Calling it the first example of state sponsored Cyber Warfare, the FBI says that North Korea was behind the Sony Hack that prompted the studio to drop The Interview from it's release schedule. Leo's not buying it, though. First off, the US has been doing Cyber Warfare for years, as did Israel with the Stuxnet virus that broke centrifuges in Iran's Nuclear program. So it's far from the first.
This Week in Tech News
President Obama along with the FBI confirmed that the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack did indeed originate from North Korea. Security experts are questioning this conclusion, however. It's very difficult to determine the origin of a hack. This attack, like most attacks, was routed through up to 6 countries before getting to Sony. There are a number of articles saying that this couldn't possibly be the North Koreans, and yet the FBI says they know for sure that it is. We don't have all of the information they have, however, and they may have the smoking gun.
The hacking of Sony's servers have revealed even more embarrassing details about how the studio conducts business, including backbiting and name calling of director and star Angelina Jolie, as well as Sony Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal getting into hot water for racist comments about President Obama.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is now attempting to take disrupt downloads from sites that have its leaked data through Denial of Service attacks. Its using hundreds of computers in Asia to accomplish this.
A class action lawsuit against Apple is ongoing over the iPod and an old sync feature. The suit is all about the fact that Apple iTunes would erase an iPod if it wasn't recognized by the computer. The lawsuit represents 8 million users for about $350 million, of which half will go to lawyers, of course. That leaves everyone else with a settlement of about $0.50 a piece.
A class action lawsuit has been taking place against Apple regarding non-iTunes music stored on iPods between 2007 and 2009. Apple had been deleting non-iTunes music from user iPods. Apple was able to present evidence that the iPod one of the plaintiffs bought was not in the time frame covered by the lawsuit. The other plaintiff may also not have purchased an iPod between the necessary dates, and is struggling to gain credibility.
Sony Pictures Entertainment's servers were hacked so severely that 40GB of data was released to the public. This data includes digital copies of movies, scripts for upcoming films, pilots, and even employee personal data like social security numbers, passwords, salaries, and more. This may be the worst corporate attack in history. Employees say that this has been a long time coming and comes as no surprise since Sony has traditionally had a casual attitude towards online security.
Black Friday proved to be very profitable for retailers, both online and brick and mortar, with sales up 20%. But what Leo finds more interesting is that nearly one third of all sales this year were from tablets or mobile phones. This really indicates the shift into the mobile world.
It used to just be the day after Thanksgiving, but now Black Friday has expanded. It's not only happening *on* Thanksgiving, but Amazon is having Black Friday sales all week! Leo says that while people are fighting over the marked down deals, a good price on a TV often isn't a great deal. They're usually limited in quantity and often not the best models.
Music Deals, an App for Windows 8, is giving away 50 really good albums for free, with box sets for just $2. You download the 320kbps songs through the app and then you can use them anywhere.
With the 113th Congress winding down at the end of 2014, members have decided to do nothing to revise the privacy provisions of the Patriot Act, allowing the National Security Agency to collect data on Americans. Leo says that tech companies are no better. There are a few companies that are going with open source encryption of messages, like Facebook, WhatsApp, and the Google Nexus 6 is encrypted by default.