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

Teen Driver Technology Aims to Keep Teenagers and Parents’ Worries at Bay

Parents are always worried to give the keys of their first car to teenagers, given all the accidents teens are involved nowadays. But a new technology aims to help keep parents’ worries at bay when teenagers are out cruising in their new car.

General Motors seems to have introduced a new system dubbed ‘Teen Driver’ at the New York auto show, having it been added in the new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. It is said that the system aims in encouraging safe driving habits for kids. The company states that their system is aimed at helping parents teach their teens the valuable rules of driving safely in their new car.

“It’s a programmable feature that encourages safe driving habits in a number of ways,” GM safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe.

The technology is said to include trip monitoring that parents can review, giving information about the maximum speeds, distance driven and the number of times active safety features were enabled. The ‘Teen Driver’ is also said to allow parents to set a maximum speed anywhere between 72 to 120 KM/h, which in turn will set a visual and audio chime in the car if exceeded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXsgcP2dexE

Other safety features includes the car radio being disabled until the seatbelts are buckled and smartphones connected to the car’s stereo system set on ‘do not disturb’ mode. The new technology could be a step forward in the right direction, but many seem to believe that the best safety precaution is just teaching proper driving skills.

“We do think we need to know the skills before you start relying a bit more on the technology,” says Ian Jack of the Canadian Automobile Association.

US statistics reveal that crash fatalities of 16 to 19 year-old is three times the rate compared to drivers of age 20 or over. The new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu model will debt at the New York Auto Show in April and is expected to hit the market by the end of this year.

Thank you CTV News for providing us with this information

Teen Isolated in the Outback Builds 80’s DOS UI

Not everything has to be about the newest and the best of tech, once in a while a low-tech story comes along that I just love. A teen isolated in the outback of Australia built his own 80’s style DOS user interface with what he had. Following a messy parental divorce, he found himself cut off from the internet and technologic advances. On top of that his mother, who he now lived with, was very strict about what he was allowed to do and not do; not easy times for sure.

He did have a 486 based PC from his dad, but with nothing but a plain DOS installation. So with the help of that and some old books from the public library, he went ahead and created his own OS Interface, or UI, much in the direction of what the first windows versions looked like, and many other user interfaces from that time for that matter.

He dubbed his user interface OSCI (pronounced Aussie), which stood for Operating System Command Interface. With this work of his, he was able to maintain all his files in a much simpler way than through the command interface. But he didn’t stop there and unaware of the technological progress going on, and only hearing bits and pieces here and there, he went on to create his own games and even started on a fake 3D engine called Ray-caster.

I can relate a lot to this teen, or young adult by now, as I’ve been in similar situations. Stuck with an old computer without anything on it and no connection to get anything new. Only thing left is to create it yourself, with whatever tools at your disposal. In this case, it was DOS and QBasic that was used, and that was the same I used for a while when limited to an old 16colour laptop based on a 386 CPU; it’s amazing what you can build with very little.

The good news on top of his not so good years in the outback is that there definitely is a future programmer in him with eyes for things other people might miss. He’s also back in civilization again and has been since 2007, where he’s enjoying the advancements like Half-Life and Half-Life 2. The full story can be read at the source below.

Thanks to fiberbundle for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Imgur