Cyber Beat Daily: Syrian Electronic Army Hits NYT, Twitter Through Attack on Domain Registrar + The Day's Top Tech Picks

The day’s top picks in social media and technology for 8/27: Syrian Electronic Army Hits NY Times, Twitter Through Attack on Domain Registrar; twerk and selfie added to dictionary; NSA parody t-shirt pulled from shop; camp for internet addicts; epic Amazon wishlist social engineering hack; father of cyberbullied teen who committed suicide threatened online; Google Palestine hijacked by anti-Israel trolls; hacker tried to sell FBI ‘root’ access to supercomputers; Facebook releases stats on government data requests; court rules Facebook users in Sponsored Stories can get $15 each; scientist uses brain to control another video gamer’s finger; video games, depression and violence.

Read below for these stories and more.

Featured Story.

Syrian Electronic Army Hits NY Times, Twitter Through Attack on Domain Registrar

All it took was for the Syrian Electronic Army to gain access to the user name and password of one of the reseller partners of Melbourne IT, a web hosting and domain registration service. And it was a chain reaction from there.  Once in, according to Melbourne IT, the hacker(s) were able to change the DNS records of several domain names on that reseller account, which included the NY Times. A few tweeted that Twitter also used Melbourne IT.  Twitter indicated that its image server had been impacted; some users trying to access the site for a time saw broken image links, while the NY Times was inaccessible unless visited through the IP address (vs.  The Huffington Post UK was also said to have been minimally impacted.  We don’t know all the details yet on exactly how the Melbourne IT reseller account’s credentials were obtained, but the firm said in its statement, “We are currently reviewing our logs to see if we can obtain information
on the identity of the party that has used the reseller credentials.”  It sounds possible that initial access point could have been the result of social engineering/phishing rather than hacking, or some combination of both.

Update from CBS News confirms that the credentials were obtained by way of phishing: “Theo Hnarakis, chief executive of Melbourne IT, told the Associated
Press the breaches were caused by a spear phishing attack at one of its
U.S.-based global resellers.”


Syrian Electronic Army: “Media is going down”

Additional reading at TechCrunch and TheNextWeb.


Social Media/Tech Trends, Happenings and Faux Pas.

Long. Exasperated. Sigh.
Twerk and Selfie Added to Dictionary

And now, everyone will be ordering them.
The parody shirt the NSA doesn’t want you to wear

It’s come to this.
Japan Wants to Treat Internet-Addicted Kids With Offline ‘Fasting Camps’

Hoaxes, Harassment and Hacking.

Because sometimes hacking isn’t even required.
Amazon ‘wish list’ is gateway to epic social engineering hack

Creepy: “I know where you live, I know your face, I know your car, I know your house, I know where you work. And you better shut up, bud, or you’re going to be joining your daughter”
Rehtaeh Parsons Update: Father of teen who committed suicide after rape, cyberbullying receives online death threat, report says

A couple of trolls want Israel’s name removed from Google Maps and replaced with Palestine.
Google Palestine page hijacked by anti-Israel trolls

Hacker Pleads Guilty to Selling FBI Access to U.S. Supercomputers

Law and Order.

And still, the government won’t let them separate out how many are national security versus law enforcement requests.
Facebook: Governments demanded data on 38K users

Don’t all jump at once.
Facebook users in Sponsored Stories can get $15 each, court rules


This is cool and creepy at the same time.
Is it mad? Scientist uses ‘mind meld’ to control video gamer’s finger

One of those “a new report claims” things…
Computer Games And TV Make Children Depressed

On the other hand…
Violent video games could be therapeutic


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