Weekly Digital Roundup : MAY 13 – MAY 19
New Reports From The 2012 Linkedin Breach Surface
- According to Krebs On Security, a 2012 data breach that was thought to have exposed 6.5 million hashed passwords for LinkedIn users instead likely impacted more than 117 million accounts, the company now says. In response, the business-networking giant said that it would once again force a password reset for individual users thought to be impacted in the expanded breach. The 2012 breach was first exposed when a hacker posted a list of some 6.5 million unique passwords to a popular forum where members volunteer or can be hired to hack complex passwords. Forum members managed to crack some the passwords, and eventually noticed that an inordinate number of the passwords they were able to crack contained some variation of “linkedin” in them. LinkedIn responded by forcing a password reset on all 6.5 million of the impacted accounts, but it stopped there.
- Further reports have recently surfaced about a sales thread on an online cybercrime bazaar in which the seller offered to sell 117 million records stolen in the 2012 breach. In addition, the paid hacked data search engine LeakedSource claims to have a searchable copy of the 117 million record database.
- If you are a LinkedIn user and haven’t changed your LinkedIn password since 2012, your password may not be protected with the added salting capabilities. Most importantly, if you use your LinkedIn password at other sites, change those passwords to unique passwords. As this breach reminds us, re-using passwords at multiple sites that hold personal and/or financial information about you is a less-than-stellar idea.
Former Twitter Exec Launches Lucid – A Mental Training App For Athletes
- According to TechCrunch, Jason Stirman is part of a select group of early Web 2.0 builders in Silicon Valley. He was there at the beginning of Twitter, jumped with Ev Williams to Obvious Corp and then Medium and is now working on a passion of his – mindfulness for athletes. His new app, Lucid, recently launched in the App Store and lends advice and mindfulness meditations from expert sports coaches who train stars like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
- Meditation has become popular in the last few years and is said to offer benefits at work, school and in the home. Google offers meditation workshops to employees and various Silicon Valley startups have started providing mindfulness timeouts to workers. The founder says he plans to target the nearly half a million college athletes and close to 35 million youth sports players in the U.S. who could benefit from his app, but that it is useful for athletes at any level.
- There are also quite a few scholarly articles to back up the claims of enhanced athletic performance through mindfulness training. The Journal of Human Kinetics cites several instances of athletes attaining higher scores or winning competitions through mindfulness training and another major study showed a strong correlation between mindfulness and a better score. Lucid wants to offer the same type of training available to famous athletes to those who aren’t Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. The app works by logging on, determining your goals and picking a coach like Aaron Gordon, forward for the Orlando Magic, to guide users through daily meditations.
Google Embeds New AI To Make Search Ubiquitous
- According to Bloomberg, Google is turning to artificial intelligence to make sure people keep using its search engine, even if they’re not spending as much time on the Web and personal computers. The Alphabet Inc. division unveiled a new mobile messaging application Wednesday called Allo containing a digital personal assistant, based on AI technology that powers other Google services like Inbox.
- At its I/O developer conference near its Silicon Valley headquarters, the company also showed off a voice-based search device called Google Home that uses the same assistant technology to answer questions when people are in their houses, a potentially potent rival to Amazon.com Inc.’s popular Echo gadget.
- Google became one of the world’s most valuable companies by making a search engine that sucks in billions of queries people type into web browsers on PCs and phones. Google sells ads based those indications of intent and desire but that search advertising money machine is at risk as computing evolves and gives people new ways to find what they want. AI has become a big strategic area of investment for many technology companies. The bet is that whoever makes the most engaging and useful digital personal assistant, also known as the conversational interface, will control the layer between a person and their digital life, and collect the most revenue and profit from being that privileged broker.