Hack Targets Email System Of The Pentagon

NBC news is reporting information which has been supplied by US officials who have stated that Russia has launched a “sophisticated cyber attack” with the aim being the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system.

The email system has since been shut down by being taken offline for almost two weeks. The attack happened “sometime” around July the 25th 2015, this has affected around 4,000 military and civilian personnel who work for the joint chief of staff. I love how specific highly trained government officials are behaving concerning this possible intrusion.

Sources have briefed NBC News that the hack relied on “some kind of automated system that rapidly gathered massive amounts of data and within a minute distributed all the information to thousands of accounts on the Internet”. There is suspicion that Russian hackers planned and implemented the cyber attack via encrypted accounts on social media.

The phrase, “oh here we go again” comes to mind with these types of cyber attacks, which conjure a feeling of Déjà vu or Groundhog Day depending on your movie of choice. If governments, companies and infrastructures intend to keep information stored within networks and connected devices, then it needs to be secure. It’s absurd that it keeps happening over and over again; it’s almost deciding which foot to shoot and ending up shooting both.

Officials have stressed at this time no classified information has been compromised, hopefully this will not change. There is also the unknown factor of whether this has been orchestrated by hackers on behalf of the Russian government. I expect more information to be placed in the public domain within the coming days, or it will be forgotten by a new hack from a far-flung country. Who knows, at this stage nothing is surprising.

Thank you NBC News for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of masteringfilm

Facebook Could Be Hosting News Articles as Soon as Tomorrow

Facebook’s plan of self-hosted editorial content or “Instant Articles” could be going live as soon as tomorrow. The Instant Articles will have articles from The New York Times, Buzzfeed, National Geographic, and NBC News.

New York Magazine is reporting that the new feature will be going live tomorrow morning. What has apparently held up the start of the new feature is the New York Times CEO pushing for “the most favorable terms”. This is due to them having more than a million paid digital subscribers and the fact that the Facebook articles will be free to read. The worked out terms allows those publishing articles to keep 100% of the ad money (next to their article) if they sell the ad. If Facebook sells the ad they will be able to keep 70% of the money. This should help the publishers that are concerned about the bottom line when their articles will be accessible for free to the population of Facebook. We will see if the news articles, in fact go live tomorrow morning. If they do not at least we know that it will be very soon now that the compensation details have been worked out with the companies that will be providing the news articles.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

NBC to Stream Super Bowl For Free – Except on Smartphones

NBC has announced that people in the US will be able to stream this year’s Super Bowl for free. The announcement was a surprising one, as US broadcasters and cable providers are known for their heavy restrictions on streaming content.

As part of this promotion for its TV Everywhere service, NBC will allow anyone to view 11 continuous hours of Super Bowl coverage without a cable subscription and without any logins or accounts.

This offering is not completely devoid of the strict and sometimes hostile restrictions however – while streaming will be available to all Mac and Windows users in the browser, the stream is not accessible on smartphones. The reason being is because of the fact that Verizon has an exclusive deal with the NFL for smartphone streaming rights, preventing NBC from providing its free stream. NBC will be making the show available to iPad and iPod touch users however, through the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

Source: MacRumors

Dish Disables its Ad-Skipping Feature After Pressure from CBS

Satellite TV reception provider Dish has removed the ad-skipping feature from its digital video recorder (DVR) box after a feud with network television channel CBS.

After Dish launched its “AutoHop” feature, which allowed users to skip ad breaks, it was sued by CBS, NBC, and Fox. Dish won every single case. Changing tactics, CBS decided instead to bully Dish into compliance, pulling content from Dish for twelve hours, leaving customers with a channel blackout. Predictably, Dish followed the money and caved, agreeing to disable the AutoHop feature for CBS shows.

In a gloating statement, Ray Hopkins, President of Television Networks Distribution for CBS, said:

“We are very pleased with this deal, which meets all of our economic and strategic objectives. We look forward to having DISH as a valued partner for many years to come.”

Source: Ars Technica