It’s been a rough week for Sony execs (million-dollar salaries notwithstanding). And things are only going to get worse. Which would almost be enough to make you feel bad for the poor schmucks in IT—that is, until you realize that they hid their most sensitive password data under the label “Passwords.” Go ahead and slam your head against something hard. We’ll wait.
As any veteran of the terminally self-infatuated tech world can testify, a start-up ethos usually means a very long string of conference calls and navel-gazing managerial monologues. And a number of First Lookers told me that the media side of things endured a sustained bout of neglect as management talk metastasized.
At First Look, “strategy meetings are always more important than actually producing things,” says one of the journalists still hoping to weather the storm at the company. These confabs tend to perpetuate themselves in all bureaucratic work environments, but at an ostensible journalistic endeavor—which is, after all, tasked with nimbly breaking news and moving just as quickly on to the next big story—they can become lethally counterproductive. Another source at the company says the disconnect goes much deeper than a simple aversion to productive activity. Company managers “are afraid of us, they don’t like us, they gravitate toward the people who can engage in their weird management-speak.”
Omidyar himself exerted heavy-breathing oversight of everything from the rollout schedules and social-media strategies of First Look sites to individual reporters’ travel expense statements. Taibbi and John Cook, his counterpart at First Look’s daily site The Intercept, “chafed at what they regarded as onerous intrusions into their hiring authority,” the First Look team noted. Cook later made his displeasure all too clear by leaving First Look in November and returning to his former home of Gawker Media (though in a post for First Look and several tweets, Cook said that working at First Look “was incredibly satisfying professionally”).
Indeed, in the company’s barely year-long existence, several editorial leaders have fallen in and out of favor with Omidyar, each trying his best to carry out the founder’s gnomic dictates. The newest bearer of Omidyar’s good graces is John Temple, who ran an early journalism start-up for him in Hawaii.
On conference calls, staffers would “bet among ourselves how soon it would be until Pierre described himself as a ‘technologist,’ ” another First Look employee reports. “It was always less than three minutes.”
In the latest video, Mr. Sotloff describes himself as “paying the price” for the Obama administration’s decision to strike ISIS targets in Iraq. The same masked fighter who appeared in the video of Mr. Foley’s beheading also appears beside Mr. Sotloff, asserting, “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”
Apple said Monday it was “actively investigating” the violation of several of its iCloud accounts, in which revealing photos and videos of prominent Hollywood actresses were taken and posted all over the Web.
“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris.
Photos, some real, some said to be fakes, are said to have been taken from the iCloud accounts of several celebrities, such as actress Jennifer Lawrence. They were posted to the Web image-sharing community 4Chan and have since spread across the Web, showing up on social media sites like Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere.
Security experts said the hacking and theft of revealing pictures from the Apple iCloud accounts of a few celebrities might have been prevented if those affected had enabled two-factor authentication on their accounts.
The body of an independent Russian journalist was found in a wood the day after he had gone missing following threats from law enforcement authorities.
Timur Kuashev worked for the magazine Dosh (or Dosch) as its correspondent in Nalchik, the capital of the autonomous Kabardino-Balkar republic in the Russian Caucasus.
His body was found on Friday (1 August) in a wood near the Nalchik suburb of Khasania after he went missing the previous evening. There were no visible signs of violence. At the time of his burial on Saturday, the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of his death were unknown.
An article in Dosh said: “We believe that Timur was kidnapped from his home.” It pointed out that his mobile phone, which he always carried, was found in his apartment.
Kuashev had written about alleged human rights abuses by the security forces in the course of anti-terrorism operations. He also criticised Russian policy in Ukraine.
TREMONTON - A joint investigation between local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led to the arrest of a man they say threatened to bomb several targets, including the Tremonton Police Department in order to instigate an uprising against the government.
John Huggins, 47, was under surveillance by the FBI after an anonymous tip came into local police that he was planning to blow up his Bible study group. Police say they learned that he was allegedly planning to blow up the police department along with several bridges and infrastructure points to prevent assistance from showing up, according to court documents.
Huggins had allegedly targeted two police officers to kill before initiating his plan.
Police say Huggins goal was to get the community to rise up in defiance of the government.
The supply chain attack, dubbed “Zombie Zero,” was identified by security researchers from TrapX, a cybersecurity firm in San Mateo, California, who wrote about it in a report released Thursday.
TrapX hasn’t named the Chinese manufacturer, but said that the malware was implanted in physical scanners shipped to customers, as well as in the Windows XP Embedded firmware available for download on the manufacturer’s website.
The malware was designed to launch attacks using the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol and the Radmin remote control protocol when the infected inventory scanner was connected to a company’s wireless network. It then looked for ERP (enterprise resource planning) servers with the word “finance” in their names and used known exploits to compromise them, said Carl Wright, executive vice president and general manager of TrapX.
According to the TrapX researchers, once an ERP server is found and compromised, the malware installs a second-stage component that connects to command-and-control server at the Lanxiang Vocational School in China’s Shandong province. The researchers noted in their report that the Lanxiang Vocational School has been linked in the past to cyberespionage attacks against Google and other companies as part of a campaign called Operation Aurora.
The second-stage component downloads a third and more sophisticated payload that establishes a separate connection to a facility in Beijing.
The malware’s goal is to steal corporate financial and customer data from ERP servers, as well shipping manifest information, the TrapX researchers said.
RENO, Nev. — U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they agree with a Nevada sheriff’s position that rancher Cliven Bundy must be held accountable for his role in an April standoff between his supporters and the federal agency.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Bundy crossed the line when he allowed states’ rights supporters, including self-proclaimed militia members, onto his property to aim guns at police.
“If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions,” Gillespie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it.”