Tech News

Hackers Start World War III, US & UK Trade In Online Attacks [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 19-01-2015

Hackers create fake news headlines, launching cyber war games, Windows Phone gets Lumia Denim, Be My Eyes helps blind people, no more free iTunes singles, and Jimmy Kimmel asks “What Is Your Password?


Hackers Start War On Twitter

The Twitter accounts of both the New York Post and United Press International (UPI) were hacked on Friday (Jan 16), leading to a series of bogus headlines being tweeted as fact. One of the tweets posted to the UPI account quoted the Pope as stating, “World War III has begun.” This, coupled with a fake NYP tweet claiming a U.S. aircraft carrier was “engaged in active combat” with Chinese warships led to a certain amount of panic in some quarters.

All of the bogus tweets have now been deleted, and both news organizations have taken back control of their Twitter accounts. However, with this incident coming just one week after the Twitter account of the U.S. military command was hijacked UK Plan Bans Whatsapp & Snapchat, ISIS Hacks Military Command [Tech News Digest] Read More , we wouldn’t be surprised if this kind of attack didn’t punctuate the whole of 2015.

US and UK Plan Cyber War Games

The U.S. and the U.K. are gearing up to launch cyberattacks on each other for the first of a series of virtual war games. The two countries will work together to counter online threats, with President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron appearing to agree that the Internet represents a threat to national security Why Snapchat & iMessage Could Really Be Banned In The UK Speaking to a room full of party activists in Nottingham, Prime Minister David Cameron declared that encryption for messaging would be banned should his party gain a majority at the next General Election. Read More .

The first planned attack will see the two countries attacking each other’s financial sectors and will take place sometime in 2015. Further attacks will then be planned, including “exercises to test critical national infrastructure.” The actual timing of these war games and how they will work in practice are obviously being kept under wraps.

Lumia Denim Lands On Windows Phone

Microsoft is currently rolling out the new Lumia Denim update to Windows Phone users Why You Should Consider Switching To Windows Phone [Opinion] I want Windows Phone to succeed. The problem is persuading you Apple fanboys and Google droids to give Windows Phone a chance. Read More , although when you personally get it will depend on your carrier’s attitude to updates. In the meantime, Microsoft is keen to talk up the significance of this update for Windows Phone 8.1.


Features of the Lumia Denim update include improvements to Cortana, more customization options for Live Folders, faster download speeds from the mobile Web browser, a built-in VPN for use on unprotected WiFi networks, and a vastly improved Lumia Camera app.

Be My Eyes Helps Blind People See

A new iOS app called Be My Eyes pairs blind people with sighted people to make the world a little bit easier to understand. A blind person with the app installed on their phone can request help from a volunteer. At which point the volunteer can use the phone’s camera to assist the blind person 10 Excellent Resources For Blind & Partially Sighted Users Thanks to technology, the world is smaller. Is it the same for the visually impaired? From the evidence all around us, I believe the answer is yes. Why should it be a surprise that technology... Read More by being their eyes for a specific task.

This is one of those apps that it seems incredible no one thought of until now. After all, the technology enabling it to work has existed for some time. In the end, it took Hans Jørgen Wiberg to invent the app with help from Danish software studio Robocat.

Apple Drops Free Singles On iTunes

Apple has stopped offering iTunes users a free Single Of The Week. According to Business Insider, the promotional effort that has gifted iTunes users with a free single every week since 2004 has ended.


Apple has yet to officially announce the shuttering of this iTunes institution, but all signs point to it being dead as a dodo. Which means iTunes just got a little crappier Spotify Your Music Collection: The End Of iTunes Spotify is no longer content to just compete with radio, now they're competing with the idea of even owning music. Read More than it was already.

What Is Your Password?

And finally, it turns out that hackers and cybercriminals are missing a trick when it comes to obtaining people’s passwords. Because while most of us are wary of phishing emails and the like What Exactly Is Phishing & What Techniques Are Scammers Using? I’ve never been a fan of fishing, myself. This is mostly because of an early expedition where my cousin managed to catch two fish while I caught zip. Similar to real-life fishing, phishing scams aren’t... Read More , some of us will happily give our password to a stranger in the street. As long as the stranger is being filmed and claiming to represent Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Have you ever believed a bogus headline posted on the Internet? What do you think of the Lumia Denim update for Windows Phone? Would you have been tricked into revealing your password by Jimmy Kimmel?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.


Image Credit: Tony Hisgett via Flickr

Related topics: iTunes, Security Breach, Twitter, Windows Phone.

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  1. Govertz
    January 20, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    My password is: ........

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      That's a solid password right there!

  2. Wayne
    January 20, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I miss the good old days when I didn't have to worry if the kids were in the room when I listened to an opinion piece. It's true, the kids don't hear the kind of language spewed in the Hackers start war piece in my house. Nor in the houses of my friends. Maybe you guys could use a dictionary to find the right words rather than be lazy and spew what many still consider inappropriate language.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      We didn't make that video, it was merely embedded to add some context to the story. I apologize if your kids heard a word they shouldn't have but I had no way of knowing you would play it in earshot of anyone under age.

  3. hototheyo
    January 20, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Here's a password:

  4. lojix net
    January 20, 2015 at 4:16 am

    What an absolute load of garbage! ...If people are too worried that some idiot in a position of power will push the 'Big Red Button' based on some social media comment, then we all better have a look at who is sitting in front of the button.?

    • Edgar Webb
      January 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Too late man. We elected Ronnie TWICE. According to one of his sons he was already in the early stages of Alzhiemer's (probably mispelled) (probably mispelled mispelled)! He only set us back about a generation and we named an airport and an aircraft carrier after that bozo.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      I don't believe for a second that someone in authority would start a war over fake comments made on a social network, but these sort of hoaxes still have the power to freak out ordinary citizens such as you and I.

    • dragonmouth
      January 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      @Edgar Webb:
      FYI, the closest the Doomsday Clock has ever been to midnight was under Kennedy during the Cuban Missle Crisis and recently under Obama. As bellicose and as demented as Raygun was, he never pushed the Doomsday Clock anywhere as close as Kennedy and Obama.

  5. alan trinder
    January 20, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Twitter, is it the easiest thing in the world to hack? I had to give up on it, mystery posts appearing but can you stop it, well no. How to axe your account, stop it then don't use it for a specified amount of time... How do you do that when others are using it. No wonder twitter is hacked.

  6. dragonmouth
    January 19, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    "leading to a series of bogus headlines being tweeted as fact"
    I thought most of tweets were bogus.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      That depends on who you follow! You need to make better choices, my friend ;)

  7. eric jay
    January 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Whats my password? pfft seriously they tell that stuff to strangers, or is it scripted.haha

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      I doubt it was scripted, but I suspect they asked a lot of people the same question and only the handful we get to see actually slipped up in that way.