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CELEBRAGEDDON Hacking Scandal Update: Edward Majerczyk Sentenced to Nine Months

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Majerczyk faced up to five years in prison. His lawyers argued in a sentencing memo that his participation was limited to the unauthorized access of information on his personal computer, ‘for his personal use and viewing only.’

“Majerczyk sent phishing emails to his victims, tricking them into providing their usernames and passwords to a third-party website, according to a plea agreement. He in turn used the information to access their accounts, leading to material belonging to more than 300 victims.”

CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced to nine months in a plea deal Tuesday for hacking the electronic accounts of 30 celebrities and stealing their personal data, including nude photos and videos.

[ARCHIVE – The CELEBRAGEDDON of 2014: Jennifer Lawrence Requests Nude Pics Investigation]

[MORE – Social Media Goes Cuckoo Bananas Over Massive Celebrity Nude Photo Leak]

Edward Majerczyk, 29, was accused of orchestrating a phishing scheme from November 2013 to August 2014 that netted personal information from celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and many more in Los Angeles.

Lawrence likened the privacy invasion to a “sex crime” and said she worried about its impact on her career.

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Majerczyk, the son of two Chicago police officers, did not plead guilty to distributing the images. His plea was limited to
hacker-1his role in obtaining them.

“At the time of the offense, Mr. Majerczyk was suffering from depression and looked to pornography websites and Internet chat rooms in an attempt to fill some of the voids and disappointment he was feeling in his life.”

After his case was transferred from California to Chicago, he pleaded guilty in September to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information.

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles told the Chicago Tribune that the investigation into who leaked the sensitive information was ongoing.

[Coconuts: Kirsten Dunst Leads Celeb Anger at Apple Over Stars’ Nude iCloud Images Stolen]

[MORE – Nude Celebrity Leak Panic on Horizon as Mainland China Attacks Apple’s iCloud]

Majerczyk sent phishing emails to his victims, tricking them into providing their usernames and passwords to a third-party website, according to a plea agreement. He in turn used the information to access their accounts, leading to material belonging to more than 300 victims, according to the plea agreement.

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Majerczyk faced up to five years in prison. His lawyers argued in a sentencing memo that his participation was limited to the unauthorized access of information on his personal computer, “for his personal use and viewing only.” Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] New Features in MacOS Sierra  

Basics

  • Sierra wallpaper
  • Storage Recommendations (System Information)
  • Optimize Mac Storage (iCloud → iCloud Drive options)
  • Remove items from the Trash after 30 days
  • Desktop and Documents folder live on iCloud Drive
  • Keep folders on top when sorting by name
  • Notification Center updated design
  • Choose output from sound button in menu bar
  • Move any menu bar item
  • Prefer tabs when opening documents
  • Tabs in maps
  • Double space enters a period
  • Safari and iTunes Picture in Picture
  • Updated Console app
  • Dwell Control
  • Auto Unlock
  • APFS Apple File System
  • Universal Clipboard

Photos app

  • Memories
  • Intelligent Search
  • Places
  • People

iMessage

  • Large emoji
  • Tapback
  • Inline video playback
  • Inline links

iTunes

Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Removes Drone Tracking App 

WASHINGTON – Apple is known for keeping a pretty tight leash on apps, often blocking or refusing to sell programs it deems too offensive or too sexually suggestive.

The creator of an app that tracks published reports of American drone strikes around the world probably figured his program was in no danger of running afoul of Apple’s strict rules.

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But this week, Metadata+ was removed from the App Store for having “excessively rude or objectionable content,” reports CNet.

The app was designed by Josh Begley, one of the editors of The Intercept, to publish data on…(read more)

Source: CBS DC


The Rise of Phone Reading

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It’s not the e-reader that will be driving future books sales, it’s the phone; How publishers are rethinking books for the small screen.

Jennifer Maloney writes: Last fall, Andrew Vestal found himself rocking his baby daughter, Ada, back to sleep every morning between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Cradling Ada in the crook of his arm, he discovered he could read his dimly-lit phone with one hand. That’s how he read David Mitchell’s 624-page science-fiction saga “The Bone Clocks.”

“The future of digital reading is on the phone. It’s going to be on the phone and it’s going to be on paper.”

—  Judith Curr, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books

Mr. Vestal’s iPhone has offered him a way to squeeze in time for reading that he otherwise might have given up. He reads on lunch breaks. He even reads between meetings as he walks across Microsoft’s Seattle campus, where he works as a program manager.

Before he tried it, he wondered whether reading in snippets might be dissatisfying. But to his surprise, he found he could quickly re-immerse himself in the book he was reading. “I want reading to be part of my life,” said Mr. Vestal, age 35. “If I waited for the kind of time I used to have—sitting down for five hours—I wouldn’t read at all.”

Ever since the first hand-held e-readers were introduced in the 1990s, the digital-reading revolution has turned the publishing world upside down. But contrary to early predictions, it’s not the e-reader that will be driving future book sales, but the phone.

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“How do I serve something up to somebody who perhaps wasn’t thinking about a book two minutes ago? The read-anywhere option is amazing. It’s an obligation for us as publishers to find those people.”

— Liz Perl, the chief marketing officer at Simon & Schuster

“The future of digital reading is on the phone,” said Judith Curr, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books. “It’s going to be on the phone and it’s going to be on paper.”

For now, tablets like the iPad and Kindle Fire remain the most popular platform to read digital books. According to Nielsen, the percentage of people who read primarily on tablets was 41% in the first quarter of 2015, compared with 30% in 2012.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

But what has captured publishers’ attention is the increase in the number of people reading their phones. In a Nielsen survey of 2,000 people this past December, about 54% of e-book buyers said they used smartphones to read their books at least some of the time. That’s up from 24% in 2012, according to a separate study commissioned by Nielsen.bone-clock

The number of people who read primarily on phones has risen to 14% in the first quarter of 2015 from 9% in 2012.

[Order the book “The Bone Clocks: A Novel” from Amazon.com]

Meanwhile, those reading mainly on e-readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, dropped over the same period to 32% from 50%. Even tablet reading has declined recently to 41% in the first quarter this year from 44% in 2014.

The rise of phone reading is pushing publishers to rethink the way books are designed, marketed and sold with smaller screens in mind. It’s also prompting concern about whether deep, concentrated thinking is possible amid the ringing, buzzing and alerts that come with phones.

One reason people are reading on phones is convenience. If you’re standing in line at the deli, waiting at the DMV or riding home on the train, you may not have a print book or an e-reader or tablet. But chances are, you are carrying a illo-Kagan-McLeodsmartphone. Some 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in the spring of 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Forrester Research, a research and advisory firm, projects that smartphone subscribers will number 80.8% of the U.S. population by 2019.

“The read-anywhere option is amazing. It’s an obligation for us as publishers to find those people.”

—Liz Perl, the chief marketing officer at Simon & Schuster

“The best device to read on is the one you have with you,” said Willem Van Lancker, co-founder and chief product officer of the subscription-book service Oyster. “It requires no planning. My bookshelf at home isn’t any good to me when I’m at the park.”

Another reason people are turning to phones is the size and clarity of new smartphone models, which make reading much easier. The average smartphone screen in 2014 was 5.1 inches—compared with a 3.9-inch average in 2011, according to eMarketer.

Since the release of the bigger, sharper iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last September, Apple has seen an increase in the number of people downloading books onto iPhones through its iBooks app. Some 45% of iBooks purchases are now downloaded onto iPhones, an Apple spokeswoman said. Before that, only 28% were downloaded onto phones, with most of the remainder downloaded onto iPads and a small percentage onto computers. Read the rest of this entry »


Apple will No Longer Unlock User’s Mobile Devices for Police, Even with Search Warrants

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The Washington Post reports: Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

big-brother-halfThe move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.

The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails and recordings. Apple once maintained the ability to unlock some content on devices for legally binding police requests but will no longer do so for iOS 8, it said in the new privacy policy.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

As the new operating system becomes widely deployed over the next several weeks, the number of iPhones and iPads that Apple is capable of breaking into for police will steadily dwindle to the point where only devices several years old — and incapable of running iOS 8 — can be unlocked by Apple.

Apple will still have the ability — and the legal responsibility — to turn over user data stored elsewhere, such as in its iCloud service, which typically includes backups of photos, videos, e-mail communications, music collections and more. Users who want to prevent all forms of police access to their information will have to adjust settings in a way that blocks data from flowing to iCloud. Read the rest of this entry »


How Jennifer Lawrence’s Boobs Broke the Internet: Fake Links to Nude Celebs Overload New Zealand’s Telecommunications Network

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Malware trap Brings New Zealand’s Internet to its Knees

AFP – It is believed a handful of computer users clicked links on Friday evening believing they would take them to the illicit images, but instead they inadvertently installed malware triggering a crippling Internet attack.

“For obvious reasons, clicking on links to ‘naked celebrity’ photos, or opening email attachments would be a very bad idea right now, expect criminals to ride this bandwagon immediately.”

It took telecommunications giant Spark, the rebranded Telecom Corp., until Sunday to fully repair what it termed a “dynamic” cyber-attack that overloaded its system covering more than 600,000 customers.

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“Our scanning brought to our attention some freshly-concocted schemes targeting those looking for the photos borne from the aforementioned leak.”

[Also see – The CELEBRIGEDDON of 2014: Jennifer Lawrence Requests Nude Pics Investigation]

[More – Coconuts: Kirsten Dunst Leads Celeb Anger at Apple Over Stars’ Nude iCloud Images Stolen]

[More – Social Media Goes Cuckoo Bananas Over Massive Celebrity Nude Photo Leak]

The intimate celebrity photos, which included actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, and singers Avril Lavigne and Rihanna, were stolen from a cloud storage system.

Read the rest of this entry »


Coconuts: Kirsten Dunst Leads Celeb Anger at Apple Over Stars’ Nude iCloud Images Stolen

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From Mail Online: Kirsten Dunst has become the first celebrity to publicly criticize Apple after it emerged that a flaw in the ‘Find My iPhone‘ function of its iCloud service may have helped an unknown hacker steal nude photos of her and ‘100 other celebrities’.

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[Also see – The CELEBRIGEDDON of 2014: Jennifer Lawrence Requests Nude Pics Investigation]

[More – Social Media Goes Cuckoo Bananas Over Massive Celebrity Nude Photo Leak]

The Spiderman star tweeted ‘Thank you iCloud’ along with icons representing a slice of pizza and a pile of poo on Monday afternoon, the day after naked photos of her were published online.

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Kirsten Dunst has become the first celebrity to publicly criticize Apple after it emerged that a flaw in the 'Find My iPhone' function of its iCloud service may have helped a hacker to steal nude photos of her and '100 other celebrities'.

Kirsten Dunst has become the first celebrity to publicly criticize Apple after it emerged that a flaw in the ‘Find My iPhone’ function of its iCloud service may have helped a hacker to steal nude photos of her and ‘100 other celebrities’.

The supposed hacker behind the scandal has claimed that they broke into stars’ iCloud accounts, including those of Dunst, Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Rihanna, before publishing them on 4chan, the image-sharing forum.

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A list of the alleged victims of the hack – a staggering 101 in total – has also been posted online; most of whom have not seen any photographs leaked by the hacker.

Yesterday, British actress Emma Watson, a friend of Lawrence, condemned the ‘lack of empathy’ shown by social media users towards victims of the hack.

She tweeted: ‘Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.’ Read the rest of this entry »


Apple Event LIVE: Announcing Release of OS X Mavericks for Free

Craig Federighi, chief of iOS and OS X, at Apple's Oct. 22, 2013 event. (Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Craig Federighi, chief of iOS and OS X, at Apple’s Oct. 22, 2013 event.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

 reports:  Mac users can have Apple’s latest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, for free, the company announced Tuesday at an event in San Francisco.

“Today we’re going to revolutionize pricing,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief of iOS and OS X, said. The software is available today.

Apple introduced the system in June at its developers’ conference, and touted extended battery life, tabs and tags while demonstrating new features in Safari, Maps, and iBooks.

Federighi reiterated the new features at Tuesday event. A 13-inch MacBook Airwith Mavericks gets up to an hour more of Web browsing, and up to 1.5 hours more iTunes movie playback, he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Why the NSA Prism Program Could Kill U.S. Tech Companies

Within 24 hours, the leak of two documentshas revealed a vast network of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance operations that were authorized by FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts with the oversight of the U.S. Congress.
The first document, which Popular Mechanics detailed yesterday, was a FISA court order demanding all telephony metadata from Verizon Business Network Services over a three-month period, though it hinted at a much broader program of call log data mining. The second document referred to a different—and apparently much larger—program aimed at real-time analysis of web traffic from nine large technology firms, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and (“coming soon”) Dropbox. Details are still murky, but it’s clear that this was not some clandestine sniffing effort—it was done with the full cooperation of the companies involved (though many of the companieshave denied that this represents an automatic backdoor into their servers).According to the document, a bizarrely low-budget internal PowerPoint from the NSA, this Prism surveillance program could give the NSA access to email, video chat, VoIP conversations, photos, and stored data from the participating companies. Unlike the call data collection program, this program focuses on mining the content of online communication, not just the metadata about them, and is potentially a much greater privacy intrusion. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said in a statement that the Prism program “could not be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen”—a statement that, given the nature of how data mining is done, should do little to allay the fears of civil libertarians.

Let’s say we take Clapper at his word: How much should we worry about a program that is aimed at monitoring the digital communications of foreigners? We should worry quite a bit, because this issue goes far beyond just respecting the civil liberties of non-Americans.

Think for a second about just how the U.S. economy has changed in the last 40 years. While a large percentage of our economy is still based in manufacturing, some of the most ascendant U.S. companies since the 1970s have been in the information technology sector. Companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google are major exporters of information services (if you can think of such a thing as “exportable”) through products such as Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, and Azure. Hundreds of millions of people use these services worldwide, and it has just been revealed to everybody outside the U.S. that our government reserves the right to look into their communications whenever it wants.

If you lived in Japan, India, Australia, Mexico, or Brazil, and you used Gmail, or synced your photos through iCloud, or chatted via Skype, how would you feel about that? Let’s say you ran a business in those countries that relied upon information services from a U.S. company. Don’t these revelations make using such a service a business liability? In fact, doesn’t this news make it a national security risk for pretty much any other country to use information services from companies based in the U.S.? How should we expect the rest of the world to react?

Here’s a pretty good guess: Other countries will start routing around the U.S. information economy by developing, or even mandating, their own competing services. In 2000, the European Union worked out a series of “Safe Harbor” regulations mandating privacy protection standards for companies storing E.U. citizens’ data on servers outside of the E.U. For U.S. companies, that means applying stronger privacy protection for European data than for our own citizens’ data. And now there is considerable reason to believe that Prism violated our Safe Harbor agreements with the E.U.

Has it come to this? Are we really willing to let the fear of terrorism threaten one of the most important sectors of the U.S. economy? Frankly, I expect the Prism program to fall apart on its own, not because of public outcry but because the companies that participated will now see it as a toxic association that could threaten their status in fast-growing foreign markets. If U.S. intelligence agencies try to compel participation through the courts, I expect companies such as Apple and Google to start putting up a legal fight—not just because Prism is bad public relations, because it’s bad for business.

via Popular Mechanics