TIME intelligence

U.S. Journalist Receives Five Years in Jail for Linking to Hacked Data

Europe Hacking Startfor
The home page of the Stratfor website is seen on a computer monitor in London Wendesday Jan 11, 2012. Cassandra Vinograd—AP

Barrett Brown must also pay $890,000 in restitution

An American journalist loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacking collective was sentenced to 63 months in jail by a Dallas federal judge on Thursday for linking to hacked data from private global intelligence firm Stratfor in 2011.

Barrett Brown, 33, initially faced a sentence of over 100 years until he pled guilty last year to three reduced charges of obstructing a police search, issuing online threats and involving himself in the sharing of Stratfor data, reports the BBC.

“The government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted,” Brown said in a statement before the hearing.

Free speech activists allege Brown’s prosecution is based on his investigations into U.S. cybersecurity and intelligence contractors. He created Project PM in 2010 to probe intelligence leaks on a crowdsourcing platform.

“The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex,” Brown said in a public statement after the sentencing, according to The Guardian.

The hacker responsible for the Stratfor data breach, Jeremy Hammond, 30, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence.

TIME cybersecurity

Twitter Hackers Announce Start of World War III

By announcing that US and Chinese ships are in "active combat"

Hackers appear to have infiltrated the Twitter accounts of two news organizations Friday to announce a fictional battle between China and the United States.

Identical tweets posted to the feeds of the New York Post and news agency United Press International about “active combat” between U.S. and Chinese navy vessels in the South China sea appear to be the work of hackers:

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The New York Post announced they had been hacked in a follow-up tweet:

UPI’s Twitter also posted a tweet saying that Pope Francis had declared “World War III has begun,” also presumably the work of hackers.

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The U.S. Navy confirmed to the Military Times that the USS George Washington was in port, and not engaged in battle in the South China Sea.

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: January 13

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Paris Attacker Violence-Obsessed

Chérif Kouachi, one of the brothers responsible for the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo, was obsessed with violence, his mentor has revealed. Farid Benyettou said the pair last spoke two months ago to discuss previous attacks, and called Kouachi “guided by ignorance”

Facebook Predicts Your Personality

Researchers studied how Facebook Likes matched up with people’s own answers on personality tests — as well as those of their family and friends

Hackers Hit the Pentagon

The latest cyberwar skirmish involves an embarrassing breach of U.S. Central Command’s social-media accounts by alleged Islamist hackers

Watch the New Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

The second trailer for Marvel’s eagerly awaited Avengers: Age of Ultron has been released, and it’s more sinister than ever. Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others, star in the superhero blockbuster, which hits theaters on May 1

Ohio State Wins 1st Playoff-Era Title, Upsetting Oregon 42-20

Ohio State can add the newest version of the national-championship trophy to a case that already has a bunch of the old ones. The Buckeyes’ Cardale Jones led Ohio State past Marcus Mariota and the Ducks 42-20 on Monday nightie Arlington, Texas

Divers Retrieve 2nd Black Box From AirAsia Crash

Divers have retrieved the crashed AirAsia plane’s second black box from the bottom of the Java Sea, giving investigators the essential tools they need to start piecing together what brought Flight 8501 down

1 Person Dies After Smoke Empties D.C. Metro Station

A spokeswoman for the metro system in Washington, D.C., says one person has died after smoke forced the evacuation of the L’Enfant Plaza station on Monday. At least six others were taken to the hospital with injuriesDogs Came to Americas Thousands of Years after Humans

They may be man’s best friend, but new research indicates that dogs arrived in the Americas thousands of years after humans did. According to a recent study, dogs only came to the region about 10,000 years ago

Ford Reveals Stunning New GT

After a nine-year hiatus, the iconic American automobile manufacturer unveiled the latest installation of the prized GT to ecstatic car aficionados at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday

Pakistan Executes 7 Militants During John Kerry’s Visit

Pakistani officials oversaw the execution of seven convicted militants across the country on Tuesday morning as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began the second day of his trip to the South Asian nation aimed at ramping up security and intelligence cooperation

Apatow to Cosby: ‘Go in Your Mansion and Disappear’

The director has mostly kept his criticisms of comedian Bill Cosby, whom dozens of women have accused of sexual assault, to a 140-character minimum. But he elaborated recently to say, among other beliefs, “I absolutely would like to see him in jail”

A Plane from New York to London Almost Went Supersonic

A British Airways flight traveling from New York to London made the trip in just 5 hours and 16 minutes at ground speeds of up to 1,200 km/h (745 mph)—just short of the sonic barrier—thanks to unusually strong winds

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TIME Security

Hackers Flood Crayola Facebook Page With NSFW Images

Binney and Smith Celebrates 100 Years Of Crayola
EASTON, PA - JUNE 18: Crayons are packaged by machine at Binney and Smith, Inc., the manufacturer of Crayola crayons, June 18, 2003 in Easton, Pennsylvania. William Thomas —Getty Images

"Our sincere apologies to our Facebook community for the inappropriate and offensive posts you may have seen here today"

Crayola apologized to fans on Sunday after hackers infiltrated the company’s Facebook page and flooded it with racy, lewd and bizarre posts.

“Our sincere apologies to our Facebook community for the inappropriate and offensive posts you may have seen here today,” the crayon-maker wrote on its recently scrubbed Facebook page.

Adweek grabbed images of the posts before they were taken down on Sunday (Warning: these are not for the coloring book crowd). The images ranged from sexual innuendos to pornographic cartoons, including one image that imagined what Disney cartoons might look like “If Disney Was for Adults.”

Read more at AdWeek.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: January 8

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. The same features that make cities hubs for innovation may spur inequality. Smart policies can strike a balance.

By Richard Florida in CityLab

2. Solar power can provide hot meals for the masses.

By José Andrés in National Geographic’s The Plate

3. A simple way to make a huge difference in the lives of foster kids: college scholarships for youth ‘aging out’ of the system.

By Jennifer Guerra at National Public Radio

4. When we include women in post-conflict peacekeeping, they do a better job of managing resources to prevent future war.

By Priya Kamdar in New Security Beat

5. It’s time to build a more secure internet.

By Walter Isaacson in Time

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Security

Why You Should Change Your Amazon Password Now

hacking, computer security
Getty Images

Hackers said Friday that they leaked data associated with 13,000 accounts

Hackers said Friday that they leaked data associated with 13,000 accounts on Amazon, XBox Live and other sites. The hackers, who claim an affiliation with the group Anonymous, reportedly uploaded a now-removed document with credit card numbers, passwords and other data to the site GhostBin.

There’s little information about how the hackers actually obtained the personal data. The small scale of the hack, 13,000 accounts compared with millions in other recent data breaches, suggests that it may have targeted Internet users directly rather than through the companies where they had accounts. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft, the maker of XBox Live, both denied that at a hack occurred on their end in a statement to The Wrap.

Regardless, even if the 13,000 figure pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions of people who use these sites, the news should underscore how important it is to change your passwords frequently.


Read next: 10 Tech Resolutions to Consider in the New Year

TIME North Korea

North Korea’s Internet Comes Back on After About 9 Hours

The briefness of the outage suggests that the attack on North Korea's Internet was not state-sponsored, an analyst says

North Korea’s Internet came back on Tuesday, after about nine hours of darkness that tore from the hermit nation its already fragile connection to the global web.

Dyn Research, an Internet performance analyst, put the total downtime at nine-hours and 31-minutes, while Internet company Cloudflare calculated a darkness period of nine hours and 50-minutes.

The shutdown had severed one of the autocratic East Asian state’s last remaining tethers to the outside world. It is not yet clear whether there is any connection between the blackout and U.S. President Barack Obama promising, just hours earlier, a “proportional” reprisal for Pyongyang’s alleged hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Though it remains unclear who, or what, might have conducted the attack, Matthew Prince, co-founder of Internet company Cloudflare, tells TIME in an email that the brevity of the outage is “pretty good evidence” that independent hackers, not a government, were behind it. Prince had earlier quipped that North Korea’s Internet isn’t terribly good even in the best of times and would be vulnerable to “a 15-year-old kid in a Guy Fawkes mask.”

READ NEXT The Interview Is Not the First Time Hollywood Bowed To a Dictator

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME celebrities

Hackers to Iggy Azalea: Apologize for Racism or We’ll Reveal Sex Tape

Anonymous is trying to leverage an alleged sex tape against a female rapper

Hacker group Anonymous is threatening to release stills from a purported sex tape involving rapper Iggy Azalea unless she apologizes for a Twitter battle with fellow rapper Azealia Banks.

Threatening messages posted on a Twitter account associated with the hacker group set a 48-hour deadline for the “Fancy” singer to apologize for “misappropriating black culture, insulting peaceful protesters, and making light of Eric Garner’s death,” E! Online reports. The group also tells Azalea to apologize to Banks, with whom she has been sparring over the appropriate response to the killings of two black men by police officers.

“There’s an X rated tape of you, we bet you’d certainly don’t want public, are we right? @IGGYAZALEA….and this is nothing,” read one of the tweets. “Comply or else.”

The Twitter account, @TheAnonMessage, has since been suspended.

Banks and Azalea’s initial feud was over Banks’ outrage at what she saw as Azalea’s failure to react publicly to the cop killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. It later evolved into a confrontation about rap and race.

Anonymous said it would not release the actual alleged video, because the group has “values,” but will make public stills of Azalea’s face that prove it has a tape. Azalea has said no such video exists.

[E! Online]

READ NEXT Why Your Passwords Are Easy To Hack

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Music

Madonna Calls New Album Leak ‘A Form of Terrorism’

56th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
Singer Madonna arrives at the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer—FilmMagic

The pop star took to social media to blast hackers

Madonna did not respond well to the news that eleven songs from her upcoming album had been leaked. The album, which was still without an official title or release date, was leaked earlier this week, prompting the pop star to vent on social media.

“This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demos, half of which won’t even make it on my album,” Madonna wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post on Wednesday. “The other half have changed and evolved.” She continued: “This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?”

She also posted a less angry message to Instagram, thanking fans for their “loyalty”:

[Billboard]

TIME Innovation

These Jeans Block Hackers From Stealing Your Stuff

BetaBrand RFID blocking pants
BetaBrand RFID blocking pants Jason Van Horn—Betabrand

Norton anti-virus technology is now available in stretch denim

A wearable tech firm has joined forces with Norton to develop a new pair of jeans that prevent “digital pickpockets” from scanning your credit cards and passports as you walk by.

The pockets in Betabrand’s “Ready Active Jeans” are lined with a specially designed fabric that blocks RFID (radio-frequency identification) signals, which are used in a growing number of credit cards and passports to enable secure wireless scanning. Betabrand, however, says identity thieves armed with handheld scanners have exploited the technology in upwards of 10 million heists a year.

“That’s why we partnered with with global information-protection authority Norton to create the world’s first RFID-blocking jeans,” Betabrand wrote in an announcement of the new jeans.

The jeans are currently selling for $151, and can be purchased with a matching, RFID-repellant blazer. Machine wash cold.

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