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Jon Paczkowski over Bloomberg hack
"worth noting that a senior security engineer directly involved in Apple’s internal investigation told me last week that Apple was not provided with a malicious chip or motherboard to examine. “We were given nothing. No hardware. No chips. No emails."
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
9 days ago
Bloomberg China chip story comment by @securelyfitz
"All the details that were even remotely technical seemed to have been lifted from the conversations I'd had about *theoretically* how hardware implants worked." "100% of what I described was 'confirmed' by his sources."
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
9 days ago
Say Goodbye to @sweden, the Last Good Thing on Twitter
"The account brought to life what Twitter was originally meant to do: connect people. It flattened the distance between here and Sweden, made you feel like you had a new Swedish best friend every week."
Social  Twitter 
10 days ago
Bloomberg stands by Chinese chip story as Apple, Amazon ratchet up denials | Ars Technica
"Luckily, we're likely to know the answer one way or the other in the coming days. If the Bloomberg story is true, there are thousands of compromised motherboards out there, and companies will be scouring their data centers for them. People have already identified the specific circuit board featured in the graphic at the top of the Bloomberg article, though it's not clear if this is a real photograph or a Bloomberg-made mockup. If the story is accurate, sooner or later someone will produce a compromised board and do a public teardown."
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
11 days ago
Why Supply Chain Hacks Are a Cybersecurity Worse Case Scenario | WIRED
"Security researchers and analysts emphasize, though, that the Bloomberg report raises crucial questions about the threat of hardware supply chain attacks, and the industry's lack of preparedness to deal with them."

"Ultimately, fixing supply chain incidents will take a new generation of protections, implemented swiftly and widely, to give the industry an appropriate recourse. But even the most extreme hypothetical solution—treating electronics as critical infrastructure and nationalizing manufacturing, an entirely improbably outcome—would still be at risk of an insider threat."
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
11 days ago
Chinese spy chips would be a ‘god-mode’ hack, experts say - The Verge
"But the mere idea of a malicious chip implant has already sent shock waves through the security world, which has traditionally focused on software attacks. Nicholas Weaver, a professor at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute described an alarming attack. “My initial reaction was ‘HOLY FUCKING SHIT’ [sic],” Weaver told The Verge. “This is a ‘god mode’ exploit in the system management subsystem.”"

"George Hotz, the legendary jailbreaker-turned-self-driving-entrepreneur, was skeptical of the Bloomberg story, but said a successful supply-chain attack would still be nearly impossible to mitigate with conventional security tools. “If you cannot trust your hardware, you cannot trust anything that the hardware checks,” Hotz says. “Fundamentally, there is no way to check for this in software.”"
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
11 days ago
UK cyber security agency backs Apple, Amazon China hack denials | Reuters
"“We are aware of the media reports but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by AWS and Apple,” said the National Cyber Security Centre, a unit of Britain’s eavesdropping agency, GCHQ."
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
11 days ago
British spy agency casts more doubt on spy chip report - The Verge
"Tavis Ormandy, a star researcher at Google’s Project Zero, argued on Twitter that the reporting might be overblown, saying, “there are a whole bunch of plausible explanations that don’t require fraud.”"
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
11 days ago
The Big Hack: Global Supply Village Is Stuck With Trapdoors - Bloomberg
"The reporting highlights the grave risk of a bedrock element of technology: the sprawling, interconnected and global nature of computing."
china  TheBighHack  apple  us  amazon  tech  hacking 
11 days ago
The Big Hack: Amazon, Apple, Supermicro, and Beijing Respond - Bloomberg
Amazon: "It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental. It’s also untrue that AWS knew about servers containing malicious chips or modifications in data centers based in China, or that AWS worked with the FBI to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware."

Apple: "On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement."

Supermicro: "While we would cooperate with any government investigation, we are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard."

Ministerie buitenlandse zaken China: "We hope parties make less gratuitous accusations and suspicions but conduct more constructive talk and collaboration so that we can work together in building a peaceful, safe, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace."
TheBighHack  amazon  apple  china  hacking 
11 days ago
The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies - Bloomberg
"Apple was an important Supermicro customer and had planned to order more than 30,000 of its servers in two years for a new global network of data centers."

"The first pass uncovered troubling issues, prompting AWS to take a closer look at Elemental’s main product: the expensive servers that customers installed in their networks to handle the video compression. These servers were assembled for Elemental by Super Micro Computer Inc., a San Jose-based company (commonly known as Supermicro) that’s also one of the world’s biggest suppliers of server motherboards..."

"In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

"“Think of Supermicro as the Microsoft of the hardware world,” says a former U.S. intelligence official who’s studied Supermicro and its business model. “Attacking Supermicro motherboards is like attacking Windows. It’s like attacking the whole world.”"

"Documents seen by Businessweek show that in 2014, Apple planned to order more than 6,000 Supermicro servers for installation in 17 locations, including Amsterdam, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose, Singapore, and Tokyo, plus 4,000 servers for its existing North Carolina and Oregon data centers. Those orders were supposed to double, to 20,000, by 2015."

"As for Apple, one of the three senior insiders says that in the summer of 2015, a few weeks after it identified the malicious chips, the company started removing all Supermicro servers from its data centers, a process Apple referred to internally as “going to zero.”"
TheBighHack  amazon  apple  china  hacking 
12 days ago
Is the podcast bubble bursting? - Columbia Journalism Review
"In the case of podcasting, there are a lot of shows consisting of armchair pundits (mostly white men) talking about something they saw or read, without adding much insight."

"The ironic thing about podcasts is that despite their flaws, they remain one of the best ways for a media outlet or publisher, even an individual, to connect with an audience of passionate supporters and pull them into a long-term relationship."
podcasts  media 
16 days ago
What The Correspondent adds to the American press – The Correspondent – Medium
"The roots of 2016’s collapse ran deep, but there was no tradition of deep reflection following equally massive failures, like the phony case for war in Iraq in 2003, which the political press failed to detect, or the financial crisis of 2008, against which the business press was no protection."

"The site is not in the business of measuring, packaging, and selling your attention to someone else."
Media  journalism  De_Correspondent  us 
21 days ago
Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe - The Atlantic
"By contrast, the polarizing political movements of 21st-century Europe demand much less of their adherents. They don’t require belief in a full-blown ideology, and thus they don’t require violence or terror police. They don’t force people to believe that black is white, war is peace, and state farms have achieved 1,000 percent of their planned production. Most of them don’t deploy propaganda that conflicts with everyday reality. And yet all of them depend, if not on a Big Lie, then on what the historian Timothy Snyder once told me should be called the Medium-Size Lie, or perhaps a clutch of Medium-Size Lies. To put it differently, all of them encourage their followers to engage, at least part of the time, with an alternative reality. Sometimes that alternative reality has developed organically; more often, it’s been carefully formulated, with the help of modern marketing techniques, audience segmentation, and social-media campaigns."

"Kalyvas is, among other things, the author of several well-known books about civil wars, including Greece’s civil war, in the 1940s, one of many moments in European history when radically divergent political groups took up arms and started to kill one another. But civil war and civil peace are relative terms in Greece at the best of times."

"Democracy and free markets can produce unsatisfying outcomes, after all, especially when badly regulated, or when nobody trusts the regulators, or when people are entering the contest from very different starting points. Sooner or later, the losers of the competition were always going to challenge the value of the competition itself."
Europe  Poland  Politics  Hungary  Greece  authoritarianism 
21 days ago
Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong - The Huffington Post
"Keeping weight off means fighting your body’s energy-regulation system and battling hunger all day, every day, for the rest of your life"

"Yes, nearly every population-level study finds that fat people have worse cardiovascular health than thin people. But individuals are not averages"
health  culture 
27 days ago
Tell Me It’s Going to be OK
"And yet we have apparently chosen, via liberal democracy, to live according to a system of social organization that requires us to be jumpy paranoids, suspicious of everyone and terrified of our own potential mistakes."

"We are denied the ability to seek comfort from colleagues, neighbors, or—heaven forbid—comrades, because neoliberalism has turned them into our competition. Instead, disaffected souls are relentlessly steered back into the thrall of a marketplace where we can access, individually, little hits of succor."

"The star rating average is only meaningful in relative terms: it’s higher or lower than the star ratings other striving workers earn. In other words, user reviews situate our performance not according to some stable benchmark—such as increased production per hour worked—but within an ever-fluctuating hierarchy comprised of our peers."

"Nevertheless, thanks to the atomistic social arrangements that dominate the rest of our lives, people tend to dwell mostly within their own little cliques, reinforcing their previously held notions of good politics, taste, etc."

"However, it turns out that this kind of content tends to make viewers feel alienated—by the ever-competitive logic of capitalist emotional display, even the feel-good content featured on Instagram breeds a perverse sort of invidious malaise, with each new post about an excellent meal leaving a powerful residual sense that the onlookers’ own lives are acutely lacking in the material to generate similarly celebratory posts."
capitalism  Tech  wellness  culture 
4 weeks ago
Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? | The New Yorker
"I found Zuckerberg straining, not always coherently, to grasp problems for which he was plainly unprepared. These are not technical puzzles to be cracked in the middle of the night but some of the subtlest aspects of human affairs, including the meaning of truth, the limits of free speech, and the origins of violence."

"Among other fixes, they discovered that, by offering the site in more languages, they could open huge markets. Alex Schultz, a founding member of the Growth Team, said that he and his colleagues were fanatical in their pursuit of expansion. “You will fight for that inch, you will die for that inch,” he told me. Facebook left no opportunity untapped. In 2011, the company asked the Federal Election Commission for an exemption to rules requiring the source of funding for political ads to be disclosed. In filings, a Facebook lawyer argued that the agency “should not stand in the way of innovation.”"

"David Madden, an entrepreneur based in Myanmar, delivered a presentation to officials at the Menlo Park headquarters, pointing out that the company was playing a role akin to that of the radio broadcasts that spread hatred during the Rwandan genocide."

"In conversation, Zuckerberg is, unsurprisingly, highly analytical. When he encounters a theory that doesn’t accord with his own, he finds a seam of disagreement—a fact, a methodology, a premise—and hammers at it. It’s an effective technique for winning arguments, but one that makes it difficult to introduce new information. Over time, some former colleagues say, his deputies have begun to filter out bad news from presentations before it reaches him. A former Facebook official told me, “They only want to hear good news. They don’t want people who are disagreeing with them. There is a culture of ‘You go along to get along.’ ”"

"The caricature of Zuckerberg is that of an automaton with little regard for the human dimensions of his work. The truth is something else: he decided long ago that no historical change is painless. Like Augustus, he is at peace with his trade-offs. Between speech and truth, he chose speech. Between speed and perfection, he chose speed. Between scale and safety, he chose scale. His life thus far has convinced him that he can solve “problem after problem after problem,” no matter the howling from the public it may cause."
facebook  tech  internet  democracy  politics  profile 
4 weeks ago
Phones are boring, so now we're making up conspiracy theories about them
"For those of us living in reality, this is all rather strange. But I would argue it is all highly symptomatic of the world we live in today. A world where distrust of Big Media is a popular theme, and insurgent voices have appeal not because they offer us a more believable interpretation of reality, but one we find more palatable. I won't edge into topics that are inappropriate for this venue, but I do want to be clear this is an edge that cuts both ways, and that there is nothing political about phone rumors: merely that the same forces are at work here that manifest in other spheres of our society and culture."
fake_news  internet  culture  tech  gadgets  google 
4 weeks ago
Publishing that anonymous New York Times article wasn’t ‘gutless.’ But writing it probably was. - The Washington Post
"Baquet reportedly wasn’t told who the mystery writer was — for the very reason that he runs the reporting side of the Times’s operation, which is famously separate from the opinion side."

"The First Amendment, he said, doesn’t bar legal action against a media company whose journalists make and break a promise of confidentiality. Whether the wall between opinion and news would be legally recognized in such a case, though, isn’t well-established."
politics  media  nytimes  trump  us 
4 weeks ago
Bert De Graeve over de transformatie van de VRT in de jaren 90: "VTM was de gedroomde vijand" | VRT NWS
"Heel even speelde De Graeve met het idee om die mensen in het buitenland te zoeken. "De buitenwereld weet dit niet, maar relatief snel ben ik gaan kijken of een buitenlandse onderneming, een publieke of een commerciële omroep, geïnteresseerd was om met ons samen te werken of ons over te nemen. Tot mijn grote verbazing was het antwoord eigenlijk unaniem positief.""
vrt  history  Vlaanderen  journalism  Media 
5 weeks ago
Lenovo Accelerates Turnaround with Back-to-Back, Double-Digit Quarterly Revenue Growth
" The Mobile Business Group (MBG) under IDG improved significantly during the quarter thanks to three key measures. Firstly, the group reduced operating expenses by more than US$100 million; secondly introduced a refined product portfolio and thirdly focused on selected markets where the company can compete profitably. With the refined product portfolio in place, the company focused on mainstream segments and successfully launched Moto G and E during the quarter. Revenue and volume continued to ...
motorola  moto_z3_play  lenovo  tech  gadgets 
5 weeks ago
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