Former CIA Director Thinks EU “Gets in the Way” of Security Services

Security is a big issue with companies and governments alike having issues raised when it comes to people’s data. With the UK soon to take part in a referendum, the EU is at the heart of debates about security, both digital and physical. It would seem that some think the EU doesn’t quite help security services.

Retired General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, seems to think that the EU wasn’t “a natural contributor to national security”. The EU proposed late last year a set of guidelines for its member countries to follow in cybersecurity, with specialist teams designed to help track and address issues, countries would be expected to share information and help each other learn about the new threat that can be found in the digital world.Digital

Digital security became a big topic when Edward Snowden revealed the extent that the US government (and other governments around the world, including the UK) monitored and tracked people’s information. Europe is currently debating how the new data sharing policy it has with the US should look like, a decision that will change how much information both Europe and America will be allowed to store, save and access.

Mr. De Backer of the Belgian Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has stated that members of the EU need to forget the “old concept of sovereignty” and understand that sharing information and pooling resources could only be beneficial to security services, something that is all too true for global systems like the internet.

Teen Hacker is Back and Hit the Director of National Intelligence

This is pretty much what I’d normally call a burn, and it is a big one. Back in October last year, a group of teenage hackers broke into the CIA director’s email account and now one of them is back. His latest victim is the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, a man that should know a thing or two about keeping your privacy private. Okay, I’ll be honest right here as we always got the comment haters due to the terminology ‘hacking’. This wasn’t technically a hack, but more social engineering skills. But then again, almost every large-scale hack that happens, started with social engineering. So technically it isn’t wrong either.

Back to the story at hand, where the teenage hacker who calls himself Cracka, and who claims he’s a member of the group Crackas with Attitude, targeted none less than the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. This should theoretically be one of the toughest targets with that position, but that wasn’t the case at all. Crackas didn’t just gain access to an email inbox this time, he went a little further and also had some fun with it.

With access to Clapper’s email, he could easily break into a series of accounts connected to Clapper, including his home telephone and internet connection, his personal email, and his wife’s email. Just dumping or stealing information is boring, so while Cracka was in control, he went into Clapper’s Verizon FiOS account and changed the settings to make every call to his house get forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement instead.

Cracka originally contacted Motherboard with the story, probably to brag a bit. After all, it is a pretty nice accomplishment. “I’m pretty sure they don’t even know they’ve been hacked,” he told. Later a spokesperson for the Director confirmed the hack.

Michael Adams, a former information security expert in the US Special Operations Command, said that it was insane that Clapper didn’t do more to hide his personal details, making it as easy as it was. “If I’m the Director of National Intelligence of the United States of America nobody is going to know where the fuck I live, nobody is going to have my goddamn phone number or address,” Adams told Motherboard.

Image Credit: Business Insider

Sony Xperia Creative Director Leaves, Sony in Turmoil

Creative leader Kirchiro Kurozumi has called it quits, leaving large-name tech Company Sony to pursue a slightly different career in Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation SoftBank.

This is especially bad timing for Sony, as they’re currently transitioning through a current re-design of their whole smartphone strategy. Kurozumi was responsible for overseeing the product planning for Sony’s Xperia phone series and is said to be carrying out a similar role now in SoftBank’s Mobile department. After his departure one month ago, reports began to immediately surface of Sony’s current turmoil in the form of sales figures.

The Financial Times has reported that Sony’s market performance was already suffering before this loss, as they’re expected to lower their annual smartphone sales target again at the end of October; this will mark the second time they’ve done so this year. We’ve also learned that Sony will be removing their line of low to mid range phones in the Chinese market, but they will not confirm this statement.

Suppliers aren’t too happy either – Sony has reportedly held a meeting with them with no said plans to cut back production, but then announcing a roll-back in production a few hours later. A Japanese supplier has added “We’ve set a sales forecast for Sony phones that is more conservative than what the company told us,”.

All in all, this news isn’t looking too good for Sony’s mobile branch – here’s hoping they can get someone on board to steer them in the right direction. We’ve seen plenty of good products out of them in the past, it’s only a matter of time before something new comes out to tackle the large beasts such as Apple, HTC and Samsung.

Image courtesy of Poder pda

Ubisoft Developers Real Live Watch Goat Sacrifice for Far Cry 4 Research

It looks like the Far Cry 4 title aims to be fitted with as much real-life experience as possible. Two Ubisoft developers are said to have journeyed to Nepal in order to get inspiration for Kyrat, the fictional Himalayan setting for the game.

Mark Thompson, the game’s narrative director, and Phil Fournier, the associate producer, made the journey with Vice Media’s Krishna Andavolu to Kathmadu. Once there, they apparently heard a rumor that there was an animal sacrifice about to happen and went to find the ‘event’. The sacrifice is said to have been made by a man who was performing it on behalf of his family to Kali, the Hindu goddess of change and destruction.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTDlX52WxgU[/youtube]

The video is said to be the first of a three-part series aimed at gathering source material and inspiration for Far Cry 4. Alex Hutchinson, the creative director, said that another Vice documentary entitled “The Vice Guide to Liberia” acted as another inspiration, this one for the game’s deranged villain, Pagan Min. In it, “General Butt Naked”‘s (Liberia’s Joshua Milton Blahyi) name was constantly present in the African nation torn apart by civil war in the ’90s. The name given to Blahyi came from making his army fight nude.

“It was this idea that there were these extreme characters who, in their universe, they seem sane,” Hutchinson said, “but if you take them out of context, and put them in our world, they seem very insane.”

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of YouTube

Peter Jackson Could Direct a Future Episode of Doctor Who

While early rumours had surfaced that Peter Jackson could direct an episode of Doctor Who, it may not be very possible that the Lord of the Rings director could take the time lord reigns in a future season.

While speaking with SFX, Doctor Who Executive Producer Steven Maffat confirmed that he had discussed the possibility with Jackson, the only real thing stopping Jackson from getting stuck in to the sci-fi series would be his already busy schedule, since work on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies is still far from over.

““I think it will happen at some point. He’s still incredibly busy on The Hobbit. I’ve spoken to him face to face, and he would like to do one. I mean, he can do what the hell he likes – he owns New Zealand!”

Moffat also added that Peter Jackson was expecting “no money” for the work he could do on Doctor Who, “He’s a nice guy, he quite often drops me a line after a show goes out. He’s into it – it’s just ‘Can you make it work?'” said Moffat, “We give him a Dalek and then he’ll direct an episode,” he said. “That’s what he wants.”

Jackson already owns two Daleks and has already suggested a plot featuring the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks. So, would you want to see what Jackson could do in the Doctor Who director seat? I know I do! Although I’d much rather it involved Orcs and stuff, not rugby players.

Thank you Hollywood Report for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Hollywood Report.