Archive for July 27th, 2012

Anonymous hackers delay posting stolen Australian ISP data

A MAJOR security breach expected to hit an ISP last night following a threat from the hacker movement Anonymous has been delayed.

An active member of Anonymous yesterday told The Australian that the hackers planned to leak a very large cache of data stolen from a major Australian ISP around 9pm Australian Eastern Standard Time last night.

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The ABC interviews Anonymous regarding AAPT hack

After initially saying that it would release the data this morning the group says that it is more likely to appear on Monday but may take “even a month.” They “are entirely not sure, There is over 600 tables in the database.” [note the interview was conducted over Internet Relay Chat which frequently results in web-shorthand contractions and spelling mistakes. All quotes are left unedited.] The delay stems from the group cleaning potentially-damaging personal details such as credit card numbers from the records.

[Update] The hackers have been in touch again and told us the following: “We decided on something. That instead of releasing the leak as a whole, We will be releasing in parts. Just in case we miss something of importance. The first part should be ready to leak on Saturday.”

The hacktivists insist that the reason for the release is to protest against Attorney General Nicola Roxon’s proposed increases in government surveillance powers and highlight the fact that these powers would result in ever-increasing amounts of personal details being stored on servers similar to the one that has been hacked.

The group claims to be in the process of releasing some 42GB of data from Australian ISP AAPT with some 3.5GB of it being customer information. The ISP has already admitted that “business customer data” was compromised due to an intrusion with its Melbourne IT hosts.

According to the interview, data includes, “names, agreements, phonerecords, ip records registrations, contracts, company informations, contact persons, company bankaccounts. All the info is there. And there is a lot of it.”

One operative made the following statement which is in line with previous Anonymous releases, “Whilst our own rights to privacy dwindle, corporate rights to commercial confidentiality and intellectual property skyrocket. Whilst we no longer know about many of the activities of our governments, our governments have the means to accumulate unprecedented vast banks of data about us”

He goes on to say, “the attacks are a way to draw attention to the msg we wish to deriver to the ppl of au”

Time of activity suggest that the operatives are Australian-based. This was underscored by the following claim, “great show on four corners last week btw about Julian” which is a reference to Julian Assange of Wikileaks who is admired by Anonymous.

The hackers didn’t think much of the security they cracked saying, “They did not even secure the ColdFusion login. So ANY one could of accessed, and leaked data.”

The interview finishes with a dose of the ominous:

“Will there be more hacks?”
“Yes. Definetely. Much more, A lot more.”

The following is the IRC chatroom chatlog between an ABC Producer and the hackers at least one of whom runs the @Op_Australia Twitter account which has been the source of the hack. It is left virtually unedited: chatlogs appear very strange when using correct grammar and spelling while subtle nuances and meanings get lost. Names have been changed at the request of the interviewees.
– Lisa joined

Lisa Hello this is Lisa
AnonUser1 Hello Lisa.
Lisa Downey do you think you’ll release the redacted data?
Lisa Sorry on bus
AnonUser2 hi
AnonUser1 It’s alright.

Lisa Question is, when do you think you’ll release the redacted data?
AnonUser1 But yeah, You’ll be interviewing myself and AnonUser2

AnonUser1 We are entirely not sure, There is over 600 tables in the database.

AnonUser1 So it can take from a week, to a month to remove all data.
AnonUser2 yes review will take longer than the release itself

Lisa Can you tell me what type of data you have? Names, credit card no?
AnonUser1 I haven’t actually went through it yet
AnonUser1 But i’ll ask someone who has.
AnonUser2 the data is not so much as important as the reason as to its
release lisa

Lisa What do you mean by ‘release’?
Lisa Yep I’m following what the security agencies have asked for
AnonUser2 well the operation running atm is in protest of the current
proposed legislation in regards to data retention
AnonUser2 Two key assumptions have dominated recent government security policy. The first is that the threat of terror and international crime
AnonUser2 means that the government’s right to know everything about us must outweigh our individual right to privacy. The second is that the rights
AnonUser2 of the government and major corporations to secrecy must outweigh our right to know about their activities

AnonUser1 names, agreements, phonerecords, ip records registrations,
contracts, company informations, contact persons, company bankaccounts
AnonUser1 All the info is there. And there is a lot of it.
AnonUser2 Whilst our own rights to privacy dwindle, corporate rights to
commercial confidentiality and intellectual property skyrocket. Whilst we no longer know about many of the activities of our governments, our governments have the means to accumulate unprecedented vast banks of data about us

Lisa I was planning a story on Monday.
AnonUser2 we feel an increase in the current data rentention laws not only
treats every Australian as a criminal but also increases the risks we have highlighted this week to our own digital finger prints

AnonUser1 Ok

Lisa You say this is the start of your protest, right?
AnonUser1 Yes
AnonUser2 yes

Lisa Will ere be more hacks?
AnonUser1 Yes
AnonUser1 Definetely
AnonUser1 Much more, A lot more.
AnonUser1 There will also be a lot of DDoS attacks as soon as it goes through.
AnonUser2 we will continue to put the pressure on the au government while our rights are being abused yes

Lisa What about the agencies requests for citizen passwords? Are you
tailoring each attack to a specific request by the agencies?
AnonUser1 May even be able to organise some sort of protest, Like we did for #OpIndia and #OpJapan and others.
AnonUser2 yes and the attacks are a way to draw attention to the msg we wish to deriver to the ppl of au

Lisa Ok are you talking to other journalists?
AnonUser2 so they will vary depending on the phase of the operation at that time
AnonUser1 Yes, Many others.

Lisa Could we do a Skype on Monday?
AnonUser2 skype is unsecure

Lisa Or tomorrow?
AnonUser2 we feel we would expose ourselves by the use of skype
Lisa Iok

Lisa Ok tell me how easy it was to get this info
AnonUser2 like i said i have heard of them
AnonUser2 when we wer working on operatins in the middle east
Lisa That’s them.
AnonUser2 ya same group
Lisa Yep
AnonUser2 great show on four corners last week btw
AnonUser2 about julian
AnonUser1 You would not believe how easy it was to get the info.
Lisa Ta, we work hard…….Ok so let me get some of your quotes out to
news tonight….just about the type of info you have and there will be
more hacks

AnonUser1 They did not even secure the ColdFusion login.
AnonUser1 So ANY one could of accessed, and leaked data.

AnonUser1 So there’s going to be something on the news tonight?
AnonUser2 i would like to point out to if data retention laws r imposed on au isps like the ones proposed a lot more servers like this will be floating around with ppls information on them

Lisa If you want that yes, but will be online most likely and News 24.
AnonUser1 Ok, News 24, Is that on Foxtel?
AnonUser2 i pretty much only watch abc/sbs commercial tv annoys me to much
AnonUser2 lol
AnonUser1 I’m on ABC1 watching the 7:30pm show thing

AnonUser2 maybe you should cover the data sharing agreements signed last month with nicola roxn
Lisa Love to do that…..
AnonUser1 Sure
AnonUser1 An interview like this is fine. We will be here.
AnonUser2 n how this tied in with the tppa n the US ndda in theory would
allow the US to investigate au citizens without au gov knowledge n then also with the terrorist label being thrown around allow extradition of n au citizen for being a nuisance to the US gov

Lisa Ok I’ll come find you on twitter again?
Lisa Yes
AnonUser2 n in the meantime make julia apologize for calling julian a
criminal in 2010 with out any evidence being put forward at all

Lisa Do you think you’ll drop anything new on Monday?
AnonUser1 Possibly more hacked sites?
AnonUser1 And the Release of the data should be released by Monday
AnonUser2 we will continue the research n attacks u never know ­čśë

Lisa Okay if we can time that then we’ll be in good shape.
AnonUser2 what time on 24 do u expect

Lisa Ok I have to email these quotes through -can you just keep this up
for 20mins?

AnonUser2 that is np can keep it open all month if we want
AnonUser1 Damn, News24 is a HD channel.
AnonUser2 can watch it online

Lisa Lovely let’s do that, you don’t have HD it’s streamed live online.
AnonUser2 http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/
AnonUser2 we need to get some one to record it n start making a video
AnonUser2 for the op
AnonUser2 a good one
AnonUser1 Oh, it’s online too?
AnonUser1 Awesome.
AnonUser2 yup

As with previous Anonymous (and splinter group, Lulzsec) hacks, the actions have split opinion. To some they are akin to criminals who are breaking and entering illegally. However, last year’s high profile hacks on the likes of Sony drew public, corporate and government attention to the importance of online security like never before. There is also the point that criminal hackers, who seek to profit from such information, do not announce their hacks to the world.

If you are concerned that your account has been hacked, the website shouldichangemypassword.com tells you if your password has been released to the public.

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CD Projekt Red hiring multiplayer programmer for two upcoming RPGs

A job listing for a Multiplayer Programmer over on CD Projekt Red’s official site implies that at least one both of the developer’s upcoming RPGs (one cyberpunk, the other dark fantasy) may support multiplayer in some capacity or another.

The person hired, in addition to be gaining health care, 26 days of annual paid vacation and relocation assistance to Warsaw, will also be responsible for designing and implementing networking and multiplayer capabilities into CD Projekt Red’s proprietary Red Engine, which powers both of its upcoming games. The first to be announced thus far is Cyberpunk, a nonlinear game based on the pen-and-paper RPG of the same name.

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Warface takes a shot at the west, from Crytek and Trion Worlds

Warface, Crytek’s free-to-play social FPS currently live in Russia, has a deal to launch in western markets, published by Trion Worlds. Warface will hit North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand through Gface, Crytek’s social gaming network, and the Trion Platform.

Warface has two million registered users in Russia. This marks Crytek’s grand entrance into the freemium era, after CEO Cevat Yerli announced in June that all future projects from Crytek will be F2P. The budget for Warface and each of Crytek’s other F2P titles is “between $10 million to $30 million… but at the price-point of $0 entry,” Yerli said. Show full PR text
Trion Worlds and Crytek to Join Forces for the Highly Anticipated
Warface® in the West

AAA Free-to-Play Social First Person Shooter to be offered through GFACE®

Redwood Shores, CA and Frankfurt, Germany (July 26, 2012) – Leading premium online games company Trion Worlds and Crytek announced today they will co-publish and co-operate the award-winning online first-person shooter (FPS) Warface┬« in North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, through GFACE┬« powered by the Trion platform.

“Trion is the company spearheading a revolution in gaming through delivering premium online games across big genres powered by a proven, cutting edge platform,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and founder of Crytek. “The combination of this platform, GFACE and Warface shows Crytek’s commitment to finding innovative new ways to bring superior gaming experiences and AAA titles to gamers. That’s why we are creating strong strategic alliances with the best online publishers across the world.”

“Crytek has repeatedly proven their foresight and they are doing that again by leading the shift towards delivering high-quality, free-to-play, online games,” Dr. Lars Buttler, CEO and founder, Trion Worlds, said. “We are very impressed with Warface and Crytek’s commitment to polished gameplay, amazing graphics, technical excellence, and real innovation. We very much feel that we are kindred companies and stand strong together.”

Currently live in Russia, and boasting more than two million registered users, Warface recently won Best Game and Best Graphics at the Russian KRI Awards after breaking player concurrency records within four weeks of its launch.

Warface is a vast online universe, set in the near future. The game offers a cinematic experience with next gen visuals, AI and physics based on Crytek’s proprietary CryENGINE┬« 3 game development solution. Warface provides gamers with a constantly updated extensive PVE (player versus environment) universe full of dramatic multiplayer co-op missions, a full set of class based PVP (player versus player) and will be available for PC via Crytek’s free-to-play social platform GFACE.

Warface is an original Crytek game, developed by Crytek Kiev and co-produced Crytek Frankfurt.

Trion’s platform, codenamed Red Door, was announced Fall 2011, and is a full-scale publishing and development solution for premium online games, enabling unprecedented flexibility and control for game monetization teams, ideal for the free-to-play model. The platform offers a sophisticated server architecture and proprietary toolsets positioned to radically speed their foresight and they are doing that again by leading the shift towards delivering high-quality, free-to-play, online games,” Dr. Lars Buttler, CEO and founder, Trion Worlds, said. “We are very impressed with Warface and Crytek’s commitment to polished gameplay, amazing graphics, technical excellence, and real innovation. We very much feel that we are kindred companies and stand strong together.”

Currently live in Russia, and boasting more than two million registered users, Warface recently won Best Game and Best Graphics at the Russian KRI Awards after breaking player concurrency records within four weeks of its launch.

Warface is a vast online universe, set in the near future. The game offers a cinematic experience with next gen visuals, AI and physics based on Crytek’s proprietary CryENGINE┬« 3 game development solution. Warface provides gamers with a constantly updated extensive PVE (player versus environment) universe full of dramatic multiplayer co-op missions, a full set of class based PVP (player versus player) and will be available for PC via Crytek’s free-to-play social platform GFACE.

Warface is an original Crytek game, developed by Crytek Kiev and co-produced Crytek Frankfurt.

Trion’s platform, codenamed Red Door, was announced Fall 2011, and is a full-scale publishing and development solution for premium online games, enabling unprecedented flexibility and control for game monetization teams, ideal for the free-to-play model. The platform offers a sophisticated server architecture and proprietary toolsets positioned to radically speed up the time-to-market for developers who want to create the next generation of AAA games for connected devices.

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Microsoft opening new London Xbox studio

The day after reports of Microsoft reducing its Vancouver-based development studio, the company has announced it will open up a new one in London. MCV speculates the studio will focus on first-party free-to-play and online casual experiences, based on job listings.

“EMEA is a key market for us and we continue to cultivate the best talent and focus on growing our business, with this role focused on the continued expansion of our Microsoft Studios business in the region,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft’s Xbox presence in the UK includes Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare.

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Google, Facebook, eBay launch US Internet lobby

WASHINGTON: Big technology firms including Google, Facebook, eBay and Amazon have joined to create a new lobby group aimed at promoting “an open, innovative and free Internet.”

The Internet Association announced its formation in a statement on its website, indicating it will be headed by Michael Beckerman, a former congressional staffer.

The group, to be officially launched in September, did not name its member companies but sources familiar with the group told AFP that Google, Facebook, eBay and Amazon are among them.

“The newly formed Internet Association is comprised of some of the world’s most visible Internet companies and will be headquartered in Washington,” the statement said.

“Beckerman will lead the Internet Association’s efforts to advance public policy solutions that strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet.”

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on its participation.

But a source familiar with the lobby said it “is going to be a permanent association here in Washington and will be advocating on behalf of the Internet industry and its vast community of users.”

“The association will be advancing public policy solutions to strengthen America’s global Internet leadership,” the source told AFP, adding that the group was “the first trade association representing the Internet and Internet companies as a whole.”

Beckerman said: “I am honored to lead such an important undertaking. The Internet is the greatest engine for economic growth and prosperity the world has ever known. The Internet must have a voice in Washington.”

He added: “The Internet isn’t just Silicon Valley anymore, the Internet has moved to Main Street. Our top priority is to ensure that elected leaders in Washington understand the profound impacts of the Internet and Internet companies on jobs, economic growth and freedom.”

Beckerman was deputy staff director to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees telecommunications and Internet policy. He previously was an aide to Representative Fred Upton.

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Nokia scraps software project meant to rival Google Android phones: Report

Struggling Finnish cellphone maker Nokia has scrapped a software project which it had hoped would compete with mass-market Google Android phones, three sources with direct knowledge of the company’s plans said.

Nokia was hoping the Linux-based software platform, code-named Meltemi, would replace its ageing Series 40 software in more advanced feature phones, but has killed the project as part of its massive cost-cutting drive.

Scrapping the platform means loss-making Nokia will risk losing its strong position in the mass-market — where phones are priced at $100-$200. Nokia controlled more than 20 percent of this market in the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.

Nokia’s Chief Executive Stephen Elop flagged Meltemi in a leaked video in mid-2011, but Nokia has never officially confirmed Meltemi existed. It declined to comment on Thursday.

In June, Nokia said it would cut 10,000 jobs – one in five staff in its phone business – as it aims to pull the company out of the red. Talks over job cuts are scheduled to end this week in Finland.

One of the sources, who works at a supplier, said the original plan was for the first feature phones using Meltemi should to be on the market by now.

Smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone which offer a platform for third-party application developers, is where the industry’s strongest growth is. But simpler feature phones, with limited support for third-party software, still account for most units sold.

Nokia’s Series 40 platform are in around 2 billion cellphones, making it the most ubiquitous software in the market. But it lacks the smartphone-like experience Meltemi could have offered.

Google’s Android platform has stormed the smartphone market in its first few years. Last quarter it was used in roughly 60 percent of all smartphones sold.

Nokia last year dumped its own smartphone software platforms in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which has so far had a limited impact, in part due to the high prices of phones using it.

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Twitter suffers widespread outage just as Google Talk back online

Barely minutes after Google restored its GTalk service, which had suffered massive outage on Thursday, Twitter, a popular social networking website, went down, affecting millions of web users.

The company acknowledged the problem, saying in a statement that its engineers are “currently working to resolve the issue,” although it didn’t go into any further detail.

Users reported outages or sluggishness in trying to access Twitter from countries in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

The Olympics are expected to bring an unprecedented surge of activity by sports fans on social networking sites such as Twitter.

At the recent European Championship final, users fired off more than 15,000 tweets per second, setting a sports-related record for the site.

Earlier Google Talk, the popular instant messaging service used by millions across the world, suffered a massive outage lasting over four hours. The outage, which started around 4PM India time, affected users across the world. The service was restored around 8.25pm.

The outage was first reported by users on Twitter, a social networking website. “Google Talk being down is massively annoying! You don’t realize how much you take it for granted,” Pete Gould, a Twitter user said.

Many Google Talk users reported that they could log into the service, saw their contacts with the respective status but failed to send messages to them. Some other users could not log in. The service is not only used by people to keep in touch with friends but has also become a popular way to interact with co-workers in offices.

According to Google, the service was restored around 8.25pm. “Google Talk service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change,” said the company.

However, Google did not explain what caused the outage and how many users were affected by it.

Nearly 40 minutes after this message, the company declared that Google Talk service was fully restored. “The problem with Google Talk should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” it said.

Earlier, Google responded fast to the problem. It acknowledged that Google Talk service was having some issues at 4.10pm, saying, “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk.”

At 4.20pm, the company updated the status of Google Talk, terming the problem an outage.

“We’re aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users. The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior. We will provide an update by 7/26/12 5.20pm detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change,” the company said on the status page of Google Talk app. After that the company provided hourly report on the outage.

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Google talk suffers global outage

Google Talk, a popular instant messaging service used by millions across the world, suffered a massive outage lasting over four hours on Thursday. The outage, which started around 4PM India time, affected users across the world. The service was restored around 8.25PM.

The outage was first reported by users on Twitter, a social networking website. “Google talk being down is massively annoying! You don’t realise how much you take it for granted,” Pete Gould, a Twitter user said.

Many Google Talk users reported that they could log into the service, saw their contacts with the respective status but failed to send messages to them. Some other users could not log in. The service is not only used by people to keep in touch with friends but has also become a popular way to interact with co-workers in offices.

According to Google, the service was restored around 8.25PM. “Google Talk service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change,” said the company.

However, Google did not explain what caused the outage and how many users were affected by it.

Nearly 40 minutes after this message, the company declared that Google Talk service was fully restored. “The problem with Google Talk should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” it said.

Earlier, Google responded fast to the problem. It acknowledged that Google Talk service was having some issues at 4.10PM, saying, “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk.”

At 4.20PM, the company updated the status of Google Talk, terming the problem an outage.

“We’re aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users. The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior. We will provide an update by 7/26/12 5:20PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change,” the company said on the status page of Google Talk app.

After that the company provided hourly report on the outage.

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Facebook to open engineering office in London

LONDON: Facebook has announced its plans to open an engineering office in London, its first engineering office outside the United States.

The new office, which will be based at Facebook’s new British headquarters in Covent Garden, will focus on the crucial and fiercely competitive field of mobile technology

It will focus on its services for third party app developers as well as its mobile products, which are seen as vital to its future success.

According to the Telegraph, Facebook sees London as a ‘hotbed’ of mobile development talent.

The new team will bring Britain closer to the heart of Facebook’s operations, the report said.

“London is a perfect fit for Facebook engineering – it’s a global hub, and it has a vibrant local start-up community with lots of great technical talent,” Philip Su, a Facebook engineer wrote in a post on the social networking site.

“Our team in London will start small, focusing on building a core of great engineers, and then grow over time and eventually focus on building products in key areas like mobile and platform,” he added.

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