Friday, March 21, 2014

The Young Turks: Twitter, but not only

Who are the Young Turks? Are those who are leading one of the major political revolts of the era 2.0? Maybe, but not only. The Young Turks is also the name of a YouTube channel which claims to be the most widespread of the Internet. According to the open encyclopedia Wikipedia, the channel reached one billion views (a one, followed by nine zeros) in April 2013.

'The Young Turks' is a space for political debate, driven by Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian. With 17,545 videos posted, and nearly a half million subscribers, the analyses developed and the opinions expressed by their drivers go all over around the world. One of the last episodes is about the alleged ability of the NSA to supplant Facebook, inject malware via phishing and steal system administrator credentials. Since they reached almost 60,000 views in a week, you can have an idea of their scope.

Among the latest documents leaked by Snowden, perhaps the most shocking and controversial aspect is the theft of system administrator credentials. The same blog that published these latest leaks, The Intercept, now explains in detail how the NSA has that system set up, from some confidential publications dated in 2012, which belong to an internal discussion forum on the American agency’s servers.

Meanwhile, since we focused on the "Young Turks", the government from that country managed to become trending topic more than ever, having blocked, as almost everyone knows, access to Twitter. Apart of some methods of anonymous surfing, or similar, the courtyard of the little blue bird is closed up tight. The argument of the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is one of those which understands the logic of force, "Let's show the world the power of the Turkish Republic."

It's an odd way of demonstrating anyone’s power. There are much more frightening ways of showing how powerful you are than shutting down a social network in your country. For example, the massive attack on websites hosted on servers running an old version of Linux, a case that has been uncovered by researchers at Cisco. Or the 161 million logs that we have available at Have I been Pwned? used to tell at a glance if any corporate e-mail address has been compromised.

Ultimately, it is sure that young Turks have issues in their head that have nothing to do with the close of Twitter. How to avoid becoming victims of online fraud, for instance, which is the order of the day. Eugene Kaspersky has recently wrote on his blog about extensive fraud schemes and his business solutions (inevitable, but this does not invalidate the reading), with a nice touch in the title: Kentucky Fraud Kickin'.

You don’t necessarily have to have amassed just a few years of life to be young, but spring in the blood. What better than this first full day of spring for learning about the "Young Turks". And share it, whether here, or in the rest of our channels (look at the sidebar).


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