Cyber Beat Daily: Colin Powell Denies Affair After 'Guccifer' Hack + The Day's Top Tech Picks

The day’s top picks in social media and technology for 8/1: hacker Guccifer allegedly posts link to ‘very personal’ emails of Colin Powell’s on Facebook; deadly Facebook feud; Juror guilty of contempt after Facebook post on case; broken-hearted man sells mattress his girlfriend used to cheat on him on Craigslist; police chief urges social media companies to tackle abuse; ‘patriot hacker’ Jester’s site seized by feds…maybe not; hacker’s program blocks you from visiting any website that isn’t pornography; the FBI crackdown on ‘Pressure Cookers’ and ‘Backpacks’ googlers wasn’t what was initially reported; Edward Snowden leaves airport after Russia grants temporary asylum; Wisconsin suspect in Koch cyberattack changes plea; Xbox team of troll hunters; video game ‘addiction’ more likely with Autism, ADHD.

Read below for these stories and more.

Featured Story.


Colin Powell Denies Affair After Guccifer‘ Hack

Back in March (or maybe February?), the notorious hacker Guccifer hacked email accounts belonging to Colin Powell, members of the Bush family and several other high profile figures.  Earlier this week, Guccifer allegedly revealed some of Powell’s emails from that earlier hack by linking from Facebook posts to a collection of them on Google Drive.  The revelation prompted a swift denial from Powell.

Colin Powell insists ‘there was no affair then and there is not one now’ with diplomat

Here’s an excerpt from The Smoking Gun of how it went down:

Armed with the [female Romanian diplomat] Cretu correspondence, which “Guccifer” apparently copied during the initial AOL incursion, the hacker uploaded 10 e-mails sent to Powell and a variety of photos to Google Drive. Then, in a bid to expose the material directly to Powell’s Facebook followers (his page has nearly 87,000 “likes”), the hacker posted a message on Powell’s wall that included a link to the Google Drive page.

The posting–which was subsequently spotted by Powell’s staff and deleted–had been uploaded via the Facebook account of a retired general with whom Powell had once worked. After hacking into the man’s account, “Guccifer” masqueraded as the general when making his post to Powell’s Facebook wall.

While in control of the second general’s Facebook account, “Guccifer” also posted an update to the man’s page that included a photo of Cretu and a link to the Google Drive collection of e-mails and photos. As of this morning, the post remains on the page of the former military commander, who did not return TSG phone messages. Oddly, five of the man’s friends have “liked” the post made in his name by “Guccifer.”

I have to admit, I was suspicious of the original hack. For one, the most we got out of George W Bush’s leaked emails was that he’s a pretty decent artist.  And then there were the Benghazi emails between Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton purporting to show secret memos – we never got to see the real thing, instead we got these weird recreated versions of them, copied and pasted onto pink background. In Comic Sans.  Comic Sans, that font selection that says, “take me seriously!” (By the way, has anyone checked to see if they match any Stratfor emails yet?)

So call me skeptical.  There are more details to the story, so go and read the whole thing.


Social Media/Tech Trends, Happenings and Faux Pas.

How Facebook, text messages and an argument over discarded baby milk ended a friendship, permanently.
Woman who killed friend over Facebook feud and spilled milk gets 15 years

Not really a good idea to brag on Facebook about what you’re going to do to a defendant when you’re on his jury…
Juror guilty of contempt after Facebook post on case

Man takes to Craigslist to sell mattress his girlfriend used to cheat on him

Police chief challenges social media firms to tackle online abuse

Hoaxes, Harassment and Hacking.

Well, this was the initial report…
Hacker Site Run By “The Jester”; Seized By Feds

But was The J35t3r’s site really “seized”? Or just made to look like it?  An astute tweeter has some observations…

Don’t take my pr0n, bro! This is how one of Britain’s hackers responds when you try to take pr0n away.
‘The Great Firewall of Porn’: This program blocks you from visiting any website that isn’t pornography

The NSA snooping story that probably wasn’t because of the NSA…

If you saw all the blog posts and tweets Thursday about the harrowing experience of music writer Michele Catalano and her husband, who got a visit from the Feds after Googling “pressure cookers” and “backpacks” in separate searches from their home computer, you’d assume – as did many others – that the NSA was spying on them real-time.  But some updates occurred later in the day that shed some more light on the situation.  I don’t know for sure who ran the first report after Catalano’s own blog post, so I’ll randomly select this one below to give the initial background:

This particular post initially ran under the headline “Google Pressure Cookers and Backpacks, Get a Visit from the Feds.”(It’s since been updated).

But after reporters’ calls to local police and others to obtain more information, there have been updates to reflect what really happened:

The Employer Tipped Off Police To Pressure Cooker And Backpack Searches, Not Google 

FBI and police deny alleged search of journalist’s home after Web searches UPDATED 

Catalano has written that she did not intend to mislead anyone; she was going by the information she had at the time.  But in the end, this was not a secret-NSA-prompted tip-off to the feds, as many assumed. It’s still a story, mind you.  But it’s one that was prompted by a concerned former employer, not Google and/or the NSA.

Law and Order.

He’ll make to plans to live and work in Russia for now.
Edward Snowden Leaves Airport After Russia Grants Temporary Asylum

You’ll recall, this incident was part of a coordinated cyberattack during the WI recall protests.
Wisconsin suspect says he’ll change plea in Koch cyberattack


Annoyed by trolls? If you’re currently an Xbox Live Ambassador, you can register to participate in the Xbox Enforcement United program. Probably not recommended if you’re the bullying type.
Xbox team creates community deputies to fight trolls

‘Study cites poor peer relationships as one reason these kids embrace gaming’
Video Game ‘Addiction’ More Likely With Autism, ADHD


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