Assange blocked from internet, so supporters bring down US sites

Wikileaks has been releasing hacked e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton, so–surprise!–the head of that enterprise, Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, has had his access to the internet cut off. In retaliation, his supporters are hacking into major American service providers, bringing down major sites, such as Amazon, Twitter, PayPal, Reddit, and more.

Assange, who can’t leave the embassy lest he be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, is telling his supporters that they have made their point and should call off the attacks, which have mainly affected the East Coast.

We depend on the internet, but how fragile it is!

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The Democrats’ embarrassing e-mail leaks

Someone hacked into some 20,000 e-mails from members of the Democratic National Committee, and they have been posted on Wikileaks. They reveal embarrassing details about how the party officials were trying to rig the primaries for Hillary Clinton.  This included a plan to use Bernie Sander’s religion–he is a Jewish agnostic–against him.  (See the article excerpted and linked after the jump.)

The Wikileaks searchable DNC site is here.

Here is a list of some of the more embarrassing e-mails.

Wikileak’s Julian Assange, who also posted Clinton’s State Department e-mails, is promising more damaging leaks, part of a “Hillary Clinton project.”

UPDATE:  DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was supposed to have a big role at the convention, has resigned over the revelations.  The Democratic leadership is said to be in “disarray” over the e-mail leaks.

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The Cardinals’ hacking scandal

The St. Louis Cardinals are being accused of hacking into the Houston Astro’s data system.  Some are saying that, if true, this has the makings of one of the biggest scandals in baseball history, with the Cardinals facing huge penalties, people getting banned from baseball, and individuals going to jail.

Jeff Luhnow was an important part of the Cardinals’ brain trust, a data guru who was a master of the statistical analysis that has become dominant in baseball strategy and player evaluation.   (See Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.)  Recently, Luhnow became the general manager of the Houston Astros, where he has worked wonders, transforming a perennial losing team into one of the best performers of the season.  Reportedly, someone in the Cardinals’ organization hacked into his old colleague’s account in Houston, using the same passwords he had used on his Cardinals’ account!  (Lesson:  change your passwords.)

But isn’t this just a minor prank, on a par with stealing signs?  After the jump, read details about what apparently happened, as well as a column from Tom Boswell on why this (if true, I hasten to say) is a very big deal.

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Sony will release “The Interview” after all

Sony has backed down from its backing down to North Korean hackers, announcing that it will release “The Interview” simultaneously  on Christmas day in select theaters and on Video on Demand. [Read more…]

North Korea hacks Hollywood

Sony Pictures will soon release a comedy about two reporters who are enlisted to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.  The movie, entitled The Interview, combines fiction with non-fiction, bringing the venerated “dear leader” of the notoriously touchy Communist country into a silly comedy plot.  But North Korea is outraged and breathing threats.

So apparently North Koreans hacked into Sony’s computer system, deleting files, stealing personal information about its employees, and downloading unreleased movies and making them available on the internet.

Notice how our inter-connected global technology doesn’t just spread the Western ideal of freedom.  It can also be used to attack freedom, to the point of authoritarian governments punishing people who aren’t even citizens of their country. [Read more…]

Time to change your passwords

A group of Russian criminals has collected 1.2 billion user names and passwords.  And since most people use the same password for everything–from travel sites to banking (how else to remember the things?)–that makes 1.2 billion people extremely vulnerable. [Read more…]