|The Mud Day in Israel - |
The Mud Day, an international sports event is produced by a leading French sports organization, A.S.O., that is well known for its top productions: Le Tour de France and the Dakar Rally. More than 150,000 people have participated in Mud Days in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain. Now it’s Israel’s turn to host the 13-kilometer race, with 22 mud-filled obstacles to overcome. (The Mud Day Israel)
|15 under 15: Rising stars in cybersecurity - |
Everything in their lives is captured in silicon chips and chronicled on Facebook. Turns out, CyFi had unearthed a new class of previously undisclosed security weaknesses, otherwise known as zero days, spanning across all mobile devices.
|Hackers still threaten a remote wipe of iPhones, despite Apple’s statement - |
After news had emerged earlier this week that a hacker group called Turkish Crime Family (TCF) is holding millions of Apple ID accounts for ransom, Apple said that its servers and databases were not hacked. Instead, the company said that hackers may be using user databases acquired from massive data breaches that affected other parties, such as LinkedIn.
Since the initial disclosure, the TCF reached out to media to provide additional details about their anti-Apple quest, explaining some of their reasoning behind the attack.
In an email from a TCF domain to BGR that was likely distributed to other members of the media, the hackers say they’re still committed to unleashing the attack come April 7th, unless Apple pays up.
The message, which reads like an ad-hoc press release coming from a hackers startup — the email does come from a “press” email account — explains that the report that said the hackers want $75,000 in ransom is false. The hackers also claim that all the communication with Apple was done via ICQ, and all the chats were kept private.
“[We] requested $100,000 for each of our members which is 7 in total or $1 million worth in iTunes vouchers for instant resale at 60% of the original gift card value + Some private stuff that we have agreed not to publicize as we believe it may ruin Turkish Crime Family and Apple relations,” the hackers say. “The second thing is worth more to us than money.”
The hackers say that Apple will force users to reset their passwords to stop them and avoid “serious server issues and customer complaints.”
The TCF group claims it can reset some 2,550 iPhones per minute per server, which amounts to over 38 million accounts per hour. As for the number of affected accounts, it was bumped “from 519 million to 627 to then 717 million.” A Twitter account for the group mentioned that 200 million iCloud accounts will be factory reset.
Why are they targeting Apple? Well, strangely enough, this appears to be some sort of retaliation for the recent measures the Department of Justice has taken against the four hackers that breached Yahoo in 2014, an attack that may have affected more than 500 million users.
“We're doing this because we can, and mainly to spread awareness for Karim Baratov and Kerem Albayrak which both are being detained for the Yahoo hack and one of them is most probably facing heavy sentencing in America,” the hackers said. “Kerem Albayrak on the other hand is being accused of listing the Yahoo database for sale online.”
The group says this isn’t a political attack, and that the TCF is a new criminal organization with a lot of resources and power. “This is just the start,” they say. They even have a media department.
The attack on Yahoo was actually a military operation conducted by Russia, the FBI’s investigation proved, so it’s strange to see the hackers claim this isn’t political.
Is this threat real? That remains to be seen. I think it's rather unlikely for this massive remote iPhone wipe to happen. Not because Apple confirmed its servers were not hacked but because of this whole messy PR campaign coming from the hackers. But fo yourself a favor and change your Apple ID password especially if you’ve been using it for any of the online services that were hacked in recent years.
|Spicer scolds wary GOP over ‘free votes’ to repeal Obamacare - |
Shortly before Republican leaders postponed a vote on repealing and replacing Obamacare, the White House on Thursday scolded Republicans who took “free votes” to roll back the law while President Barack Obama was in office, but who now balk at supporting President Trump’s health care plan. “You’ve taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn’t matter, because you didn’t have a Republican president. “Well, this is a live ball now, and this is for real, and we’re going to do what we pledged to the American people — and keep our word,” Spicer told reporters at his daily briefing.
|Intel chair Nunes admits mishandling Trump wiretap claim - |
House intelligence committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., apologized to members of the panel today for his public claims about intelligence community surveillance of President Trump’s transition team amid charges from Democrats that his unilateral announcement on the White House lawn had “betrayed” the panel’s bipartisan investigation of Russian cyberattacks on the 2016 election. “At this point, the committee’s independence is on life support,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told Yahoo News after a closed-door meeting of the committee Thursday. “Not since Sept. 11 has this committee been charged with such an important responsibility,” Swalwell added, referring to the panel’s Russia probe.
|Emboldened Taliban capture key southern district - |
Taliban fighters captured the strategic southern district of Sangin on Thursday, officials said, another setback for Afghan forces in opium-rich Helmand province ahead of the spring fighting season. The capture of Sangin, where US and British forces suffered heavy casualties until it was handed over to Afghan personnel, marks the culmination of the Taliban's year-long offensive to seize the district and underscores their growing strength. Most of Helmand is already estimated to be under Taliban control, with the capital Lashkar Gah -- one of the last government-held enclaves -- also at the risk of falling to the Taliban's repeated ferocious assaults.
|Judge orders trial for Argentina ex-president - |
A judge on Thursday ordered Argentina's former president Cristina Kirchner to stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement. A string of cases targeting Kirchner and her rival, current President Mauricio Macri, are clouding Argentine politics ahead of mid-term elections later this year. Kirchner is accused of ordering the central bank to sell dollar futures at artificially low prices, causing Argentina to lose hundreds of millions.