Hackers Start World War III, US & UK Trade In Online Attacks [Tech News Digest]
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 , we wouldn’t be surprised if this kind of attack didn’t punctuate the whole of 2015.
US and UK Plan Cyber War Games
Cyberwar, n: the war on using the word “cyber”
— Melissa, Basílissa (@0xabad1dea) January 15, 2015
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 .
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 , 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 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
I suspect the last time I actually downloaded a free single on iTunes was 2004.
— Peter Cohen (@flargh) January 13, 2015
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 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 , 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