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The Switchboard: ‘Spoiled onions’ on the Tor network


No, hackers didn’t steal 70,000 records from The Switch's Brian Fung reports that despite "various reports suggesting that security researcher David Kennedy broke into the health insurance hub and uncovered tens of thousands of user records within four minutes," that doesn't appear to be the case. Rather, the researcher "used basic Google tools to search the Web site, but he didn't hack it."

Scientists detect “spoiled onions” trying to sabotage Tor privacy network. "Computer scientists have identified almost two dozen computers that were actively working to sabotage the Tor privacy network by carrying out attacks that can degrade encrypted connections between end users and the websites or servers they visit," Dan Goodin at Ars Technica reports. "The 22 malicious servers were among about 1,000 exit nodes that were typically available on Tor at any given time over a four-month period."

This Google Glass user went to the movies. Then he got interrogated for about four hours. "On Saturday, an Ohio man was detained for several hours by federal agents who suspected him of recording "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" in his local movie theater using Glass's video function," reports Brian Fung for The Switch.

Ukraine’s 1984 moment: Government using cellphones to track protesters. “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” That's the chilling text message people near the clash between Ukrainian riot police and protesters in Kiev received according to Andrew E. Kramer at the New York Times.  But while eerie, as the Switch explains, it probably wasn't technically very hard to achieve.

Yale’s crackdown on student Web site creates another headache for administration. Digital unrest continues at Yale after the university forced the closure of a student-made site that allowed for students to compare course evaluations at a glance. Now, another student, Sean Haufler, has made a Chrome extension that replicates the same features but doesn't break Yale appropriate data use rules, the Switch reports.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.



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Denny McAuliffe · January 22, 2014

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