Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hacker culture, soda and popcorn

"Exactly. There's no way to win. The game itself is pointless! But back at the war room, they believe you can win a nuclear war. That there can be "acceptable losses"."It is one of the mythical quotes from hacker movies: 'War Games' (1983), directed by John Badham; 32 years after its release, it remains at the 'top-of-mind' of cyberculture.

After all, War Games is one of four finalists films in the hacker culture movie competition by tech magazine Ars Technica, which reaches semifinals facing Office Space. The other semifinal confronts another immortal classic, Tron, with a play where hacking is a secondary argument but nevertheless is a major part of the story: Jurassic Park. What better to do on a Sunday like today to give you some cinema, popcorn and soda, returning to see some of these films, or discovering them if you didn't do it before?

It is a good plan, as far as Internet is so revolutionized and dangerous these days. There are two findings these days that put the willies. First one is thanks to people at IBM Security, which has warned the Dyre Wolf campaign by which a group of well prepared cybercriminals is having a field day, attacking with a careful combination of fraud e-mail and social engineering. The second one has been reported by researchers at Symantec, where they flagged a malware called "Trojan.Laziok" and that seems to have been specifically designed to target firms in the energy sector. The malware, also known by previous names like Dynamer!ac and Fsysna, could be part of a known suite called Kraken, and would have had a very strong impact on the Arab countries.

While most conscientious criminals play in this "Premier League" of cybercrime, other young people take their first strokes, although in cases like this one, there is the occasional gaffe that makes the hack to seem even friendly. This is a student living in a population of Silicon Valley, perhaps close to the protagonist of War Games, David L. Lightman, who planned to seize thousands of dollars attacking a well known online gaming platform. The rest of the story, with ample literary deployment, will by found on the prestigious Business Insider.

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess". Truly, we are quite fans of 'War Games'. Not surprisingly, it is not the first time we recall this movie ;-) Have a nice Sunday.

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