Cyberculture agenda: “Ukraine faces world’s first blackout caused by hackers” “Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2016”

shutterstock_234023152_Power grid
While 2015 was rife with news of hackers stealing data from governments, health insurers and adultery sites, it looks like targeting our energy infrastructure might be the next big thing in cyberattacks. Three regional power authorities in Ukraine were infected with malware last week, leading to a blackout across hundreds of thousands of homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region. Ukrainian news service TSN reported that the outage was the result of malware that disconnected electrical substations. Researchers from security firm iSIGHT Partners, who said that they had obtained samples of the malicious code, echoed the report. If those findings are true,…

Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2016

2016Most file-sharers are creatures of habit, but when their favorite site disappears they gladly hop over to the next one.

This is also reflected in our annual top 10 which sees the usual names on top but also features some dubious newcomers.

Facebook’s Best Hacks of 2015

Facebook’s famous hackathons have spawned many a new product and feature, and emerging markets product manager Chris Marra looked back at the social network’s favorite hacks of 2015.

Marra said in a blog post:

Every year, we host a number of hackathons across the globe, where teams come together for a few days to brainstorm, build for fun or craft innovative solutions to sticky problems. The passion people have for the ideas generated in this space outside of their daily work results in everything from new products to open-source tools for the developer community. Here are a few of our favorite features that have hackathon roots and that debuted in 2015.

uploadFifteen years ago, online peer-to-peer file-sharing was a fairly straightforward process. One simply downloaded a file-sharing client such as Kazaa, searched for whatever tickled one’s fancy, and waited for the file to transfer.

The Netherlands government vocalized its support for the use of encryption to maintain privacy online, in a statement issued on Monday. The country’s minister of security and justice Ard van der Steur wrote that the Dutch executive cabinet endorsed “the importance of strong encryption for Internet security to support the protection of privacy for citizens, companies, the government, and the entire Dutch economy. Therefore, the government believes that it is currently not desirable to take legal measures against the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands.”

Spying on Congress and Israel: NSA Cheerleaders Discover Value of Privacy Only When Their Own Is Violated

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the NSA under President Obama targeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top aides for surveillance. In the process, the agency ended up eavesdropping on “the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups” about how to sabotage the Iran Deal. All sorts of people who spent many years cheering for and defending the NSA and its programs of mass surveillance are suddenly indignant now that they know the eavesdropping included them and their American and Israeli friends rather than just ordinary people.

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