Thursday, 23 June 2011

Personal Daily Interest News: Top Hacker Suspect Arrested After Attacks on Sony, Sega, Citibank, CIA



Top Hacker Suspect Arrested After Attacks on Sony, Sega, Citibank, CIA

What is Hacker?

==> A hacker is a person who breaks into computers and computer networks for profit, in protest, or because they are motivated by the challenge. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground but it is now an open community.

Other definitions of the word hacker exist that are not related to computer security. They are subject to the long standing hacker definition controversy about the true meaning of hacker. In this controversy, the term hacker is reclaimed by computer programmers who argue that someone breaking into computers is better called a cracker, not making a difference between computer criminals ("black hats") and computer security experts ("white hats"). Some white hat hackers claim that they also deserve the title hacker, and that only black hats should be called crackers.


Sony, Sega, Citibank, and CIA were Attacked by Hacker

Do you know Sony?

Sony Corporation commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate with US$77.20 billion (FY2010). Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, products for the consumer and professional markets.

Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through its seven operating segments – Consumer Products & Services Group, Professional & Device Solutions Group, Pictures, Music, Financial Services, Sony Ericsson and All Other. These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal business operations include Sony Corporation (Sony Electronics in the U.S.), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial. As a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.

The Sony Group is a Japan-based corporate group primarily focused on the Electronics (such as AV/IT products & components), Game (such as PlayStation), Entertainment (such as motion pictures and music), and Financial Services (such as insurance and banking) sectors. The group consists of Sony Corporation (holding & electronics), Sony Computer Entertainment (game), Sony Pictures Entertainment (motion pictures), Sony Music Entertainment (music), Sony Financial Holdings (financial services) and others.

Its founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka derived the name from sonus, the Latin word for sound, and also from the English slang word "sonny", since they considered themselves to be "sonny boys", a loan word into Japanese which in the early 1950s connoted smart and presentable young men. Sony has a joint venture with Panasonic, making Media Nusantara Citra but Sony take over 30% of Panasonic's share, making Bhakti Investama wholly owned subsidiary of Sony.

How about Sega?

Sega Corporation usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. Sega previously developed and manufactured its own brand of home video game consoles from 1983 to 2001, but a restructure was announced on January 31, 2001 that ceased continued production of its existing home console, effectively exiting the company from the home console business. While arcade development would continue unchanged, the restructure shifted the focus of the company's home video game software development to consoles developed by various third-party manufacturers.

Sega's head offices, as well as the main office of its domestic division, Sega Corporation (Japan), are located in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. Sega's European division, Sega Europe Ltd., is headquartered in the Brentford area of London in the United Kingdom. Sega's North American division, Sega of America Inc., is headquartered in San Francisco, California; having moved there from Redwood City, California in 1999. Sega Australia is headquartered in Sydney, New South Wales, and Sega Publishing Korea is headquartered in Jongno, Seoul, Korea. The company also has smaller offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy.

What about Citibank?

Citibank, a major international bank, is the consumer banking arm of financial services giant Citigroup. Citibank was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, later First National City Bank of New York. As of March 2010, Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the United States by total assets, after Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

Citibank has retail banking operations in more than 100 countries and territories around the world. More than half of its 1,400 offices are in the United States, mostly in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, DC and Miami. More recently, Citibank has expanded its operations in the Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Dallas metropolitan areas.

In addition to the standard banking transactions, Citibank offers insurance, credit card and investment products. Their online services division is among the most successful in the field, claiming about 15 million users.

As a result of the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 and huge losses in the value of its subprime mortgage assets, Citibank was rescued by the U.S. government under plans agreed for Citigroup. On November 23, 2008, in addition to initial aid of $25 billion, a further $25 billion was invested in the corporation together with guarantees for risky assets amounting to $306 billion. Since this time, Citibank has repaid its government loans in full.

And What is CIA?

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers. The CIA also engages in covert activities at the request of the President of the United States.

It is the successor of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during World War II to coordinate espionage activities against the Axis Powers for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it "no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad". One year later, this mandate was expanded to include "sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures...subversion [and] assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation movements, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world". Through interagency cooperation, the CIA has Cooperative Security Locations at its disposal. These locations are called "lily pads" by the Air Force.

The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers. The agency conducts covert operations and paramilitary actions, and exerts foreign political influence through its Special Activities Division. The CIA and its responsibilities changed markedly in 2004. Before December 2004, the CIA was the main intelligence organization of the US government; it was responsible for coordinating the activities of the US Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over management and leadership of the IC.

Today, the CIA still has a number of functions in common with other countries' intelligence agencies. The CIA's headquarters is in Langley in McLean, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, a few miles west of Washington, D.C. along the Potomac River.

Sometimes, the CIA is referred to euphemistically in government and military parlance as Other Government Agencies (OGA), particularly when its operations in a particular area are an open secret. Other terms include The Company, Langley and The Agency.

Top Hacker Suspect Arrested After Attacks on Sony, Sega, Citibank, CIA

A 19-year-old man alleged to have hacked into companies and intelligence agencies around the world was arrested Tuesday in Wickford, England by Scotland Yard and the FBI, according to British police.

The police would not confirm whether the suspect was connected to a hacking group called Lulz Security, but the arrest took place days after LulzSec took credit online for bringing down the CIA's website, the most recent major security breach the group allegedly accomplished.

"Do you feel safe with your Facebook accounts, your Google Mail accounts, your Skype accounts?" said LulzSec in a letter posted Friday. "You are a peon to these people. A toy. A string of characters with a value."

The CIA breach was just one in a string of high-profile hack attacks by loosely-organized shadow groups such as Lulzsec and Anonymous, including the websites of Sega,SonyCitibank and the U.S. Senate. Their websites have all been hit by hackers now. In Sega's case, the firm said over the weekend the attackers got access to account information for 1.3 million users.

Read more on ABC News: Top Hacker Suspect Arrested After Attacks on Sony, Sega, Citibank, CIA

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Personal Daily Interest News: Facebook Hired Former White House Press Secretary

- Who is the Former White House Press Secretary that Facebook hired?

==> It's Joe Lockhart.

- Who is Joe Lockhart?

==> Joseph Lockhart (born July 13, 1959) served as White House Press Secretary from October 5, 1998 to September 29, 2000, during the administration of President Bill Clinton. He handled the press during the Clinton impeachment trials.

Mr. Lockhart is a founding partner and managing director of The Glover Park Group, a public relations and political strategy firm. Mr. Lockhart is also a veteran of multiple political campaigns. He was an adviser to Senator John Kerry during his presidential bid in 2004. He also held senior roles in the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, the 1988 Dukakis-Bentsen campaign, and the 1984 Mondale-Ferraro campaign. In 1980, he worked as a regional press coordinator for President Carter’s failed reelection bid.

Why Facebook hired Joe Lockhart?

==> The hiring of Mr. Lockhart comes as Facebook has been deepening its already considerable ties in Washington. The company has been facing increasing scrutiny from regulators over issues like privacy. And Facebook is expected to be thrust even more into the spotlight after it becomes a publicly traded company, which is likely to happen next year.

“Joe’s arrival brings new skills and greater depth to our incredibly busy team,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of global communications, marketing and public policy, said. “His experience building and running a press office at the White House gives him particular appreciation for the demands of a global 24-hour news cycle and the challenges of responding effectively to intense scrutiny. His experience launching and scaling a communications firm will help us as we seek to build our team and continue to offer great opportunities for growth and professional development.”

==>> That's really very interesting news about Facebook!!!

Source: The New York Times, Wikipedia

*** Watch a video of Joe Lockhart:

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