Tech Week: Hackers Meet, FCC's 1.1 Million Comments, Gmail Scans

Attendees at this week's Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas. i i

Attendees at this week's Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas. Steve Marcus/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Steve Marcus/Reuters/Landov
Attendees at this week's Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas.

Attendees at this week's Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas.

Steve Marcus/Reuters/Landov

Didn't keep up with the "tech world" this week? We've got you covered. Here is a roundup of technology stories from NPR and beyond.

ICYMI

Recognizing Women In The Biz: Silicon Valley and the tech industry aren't filled with tons of women, and as NPR's Laura Sydell writes, that's no secret.

(This was highlighted when Tinder's former vice president of marketing Whitney Wolfe sued her counterparts. She says that she wasn't given credit for the work she put into the company, and that she faced harassment and discrimination.)

The exception? Marketing and public relations departments of those California-based companies.

The problem? Many women's work is being overlooked.

When Our "Things" Get Hacked: Is your watch or thermostat a spy? Maybe, but cybersecurity firms are on it.

NPR's Aarti Shahani has been at Black Hat and DEF CON conventions this week, where she's been talking security with the people who try to protect it — the "good hackers," if you will.

But the bigger question is: How vulnerable are the electronics we use day to day in our homes? And just how easy is it to hack into them?

Big Conversation

Net Neutrality Comments: The FCC has made the online net neutrality comments available for download — all 1.1 million of them. And what's been found so far? A lot of "F-bombs."

A "Russian Hacking Ring": NPR's Elise Hu and Bill Chappell report that according to Web security experts, a Russian hacking group has gathered 1.2 billion "unique Internet credentials," in what is estimated to be the "largest stockpile of stolen Internet credentials in history."

The first reports by The New York Times say the group attacked companies ranging from Fortune 500's to small websites in Russia, the U.S. and elsewhere.

The Times reports: "So far, the criminals have not sold many of the records online. Instead, they appear to be using the stolen information to send spam on social networks like Twitter at the behest of other groups, collecting fees for their work."

Curiosities

The Verge: Google Scans Everyone's Email For Child Porn, And It Just Got A Man Arrested

Google regularly scans any image sent through Gmail to check "to see if they match up with known child pornography." But according to the digital giant — as far as email goes — it stops at photos.

The Daily Dot: Digital Poverty Is A Global Issue We've Ignored For Too Long

In 2013, a U.N. agency reported that less than 38 percent of the world has access to good ol' working Internet. Sure the Web lets us play, shop and waste time — but most importantly, it has the ability to teach us. And for that reason, we're "privileged," and developing nations could really benefit from it, writes E.A. Weiss.

Business Insider: How One Billionaire Manages His Empire Without Using Email

With no computer, no email and only the occasional text message, billionaire John Paul DeJoria manages companies such as Patrón and Paul Mitchell by simply talking on the phone.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.