BLAZING

HAPPY HERE

By

Security experts: ‘No one should have faith in Yahoo at this point’

Not only did Yahoo fail to prevent the breach, it also failed to detect the breach when it happened in 2013.
Not only did Yahoo fail to prevent the breach, it also failed to detect the breach when it happened in 2013. Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Experts have attacked Yahoo’s weak security after the revelation it suffered a hack in 2013, which exposed the personal data of 1 billion users, just months after revealing a 500-million-user data breach from 2014.

The hack saw the potential theft of login details, personal details and any confidential or sensitive information contained within email correspondences. Yahoo provided the email services for BT and Sky customers, as well as other services.

Bruce Schneier, a cryptologist and one of the world’s most respected security experts, said: “Yahoo badly screwed up. They weren’t taking security seriously and that’s now very clear. I would have trouble trusting Yahoo going forward.”

Not only did Yahoo fail to prevent the breach, it also failed to detect the breach when it happened in 2013, only realising the intrusion and data theft after recently being notified by a third party. That left users unknowingly compromised for at least three years, vulnerable to identify theft among many other potential criminal uses of their personal data and passwords.

John Madelin, CEO at RelianceACSN and a former vice president responsible for the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, said: “We thought the previous breach of 500 million user accounts was huge, but 1 billion is monumental.”

Tyler Moffitt, senior threat research analyst at Webroot, said: “All of the data stolen, including emails, passwords and security questions, make a potent package for identify theft. The main email account has links to other online logins and the average user likely has password overlap with multiple accounts.”

Moffitt takes little comfort from Yahoo’s efforts to secure user accounts. He said: “These accounts have been compromised for years and the sheer number of them means they have already been a large source of identity theft. No one should have faith in Yahoo at this point.”

Failing to prevent a breach is just one aspect of Yahoo’s fiasco. Given the sheer number of user accounts and the volume of data each one contained, data security was crucial. Unfortunately Yahoo’s disregard for the safety of user data led to the use of out-dated security techniques.

By

Could Donald Trump really get Apple to ‘build a big plant’ in the US?

Donald Trump says he promised Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘incentives’ such as tax breaks to get the company to bring its manufacturing home.
Donald Trump says he promised Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘incentives’ such as tax breaks to get the company to bring its manufacturing home. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images

Donald Trump told Apple CEO Tim Cook that he is going to “get” the company to start manufacturing its products in the United States, the president-elect told the New York Times on Tuesday.

Trump revealed that he had received a post-election phone call from Cook during which he said, “Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States.”

According to Trump’s account, Cook responded, “I understand that,” and Trump went on to promise incentives through tax breaks and reduced regulations.

“I think we’ll create the incentives for you, and I think you’re going to do it,” Trump said he said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of Trump’s characterization of the call, nor did it respond to a request for comment on the content of Trump’s remarks.

Though Apple markets its high-end products as being “designed by Apple in California”, the electronics are assembled at factories in China from components produced primarily in China, Japan and Taiwan, according to the MIT Technology Review. The company says that its suppliers employ more than 1.6 million people.

Forcing American companies to bring jobs back to the US was one of the key themes of Trump’s presidential campaign, despite his own business’s decision to manufacture apparel in China or Bangladesh.

“We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” the then-candidate told supporters in Virginia on 18 January.

Trump later called for a boycott of the company’s products unless it acceded to the FBI’s demand that it unlock one of the San Bernardino shooters’ iPhones, a request Apple had strenuously resisted.

Apple markets its products as ‘designed in California’ but assembles them in Chinese factories from components produced in China, Japan and Taiwan.

By

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review – fun, fast, but a wasted opportunity

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Photograph: Activision

In the moments that Infinite Warfare has the courage of its convictions, when its various systems sync-up sufficiently, we get a tantalising taste of its true potential.

These moments usually come when the protagonist, Nick Reyes, leaves terra firma and zips about in zero-gravity, course-correcting with boosters and engaging enemy soldiers against the backdrop of gargantuan spaceships smashing into one another. In between precision shots from his Ghostbusters-like energy weapon, he grapples on to a grunt and pulls the pin on his grenade before kicking him towards two buddies, who look on helplessly as he greets them with an explosion. That taken care of, Reyes grapples to his waiting Jackal space fighter and boosts off to begin dogfighting with enemy craft.

Needless to say, Call of Duty’s production values ensure such episodes look spectacular. They may not be perfect in execution – rotation can become disorientating and enemy AI remains erratic – but they at least attempt to jolt this long-running series off its sometimes derided rails. Disappointingly though, Infinity Ward’s latest offering is mostly the familiar CoD routine of boots-on-the-ground combat in long corridors of choreographed action. It’s just that here, those boots are rocket-boosted and wall-run-capable. Even this concept is a pale imitation of Titanfall at its finest, boasting similar fundamentals but not the conviction to make them integral. While traversing these familiar sci-fi environments – futuristic cityscape, ice planet, rock planet, space station – parkour is mostly unnecessary.

Developer Infinity Ward really wants us to care about its characters but doesn’t give us enough narrative ammo
Pinterest
Developer Infinity Ward really wants us to care about its characters but doesn’t give us enough narrative ammo Photograph: Activision

The old problem of this game’s key narrative delivery technique remains: you have to follow computer-controlled characters who yell orders and exposition at you, but often they move too slow and it gets frustrating – like attempting to navigate Oxford Street on a particularly chaotic festive shopping day. The sheer number of times the game strips control away from you remains extraordinary – after a while, even the most impressive cinematic moments become a deadening intrusion. The first time you’re blasted out of an airlock it’s inarguably impressive and it even feels appropriate that you’re helpless. The second time is simply irritating. The third time, you just want to drift away forever like Frank Poole in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Advertisement

But even in space, you lack freedom. Attempts to flank the enemy are thwarted by a curt prompt to return to the “combat zone” or be booted. The space craft combat sequences are a mess. The physics lack heft and movement feels erratic. Opposing fighters are simple to lock on to but the game then wrests control away to track them. Occasionally, when you kill an enemy, a playing card will pop up to tell you he was a big cheese (in an imitation of the American ploy towards rogue Ba’athists in 2003), but since you only find this out after killing them it renders the whole scheme somewhat pointless. You shot them just the same as all the others; that’s all you do in CoD.

Much is made of the fact you’re a captain but you can’t issue orders in the field and, despite a Mass Effect-like galaxy map to navigate on your ship’s bridge, you cannot shape the campaign’s outcome. You can select two types of side-mission – ship-infiltration or ship-to-ship combat – but the benefit of them is merely upgraded equipment. It’s certainly no Mass Effect in this respect – and while that comparison is harsh, it’s conditioned by the developer’s flagrant desire for you to care about your mission and crew; the message about prioritising one over the other crowbarred into every conversation.