Ashley Madison Data Theft, Leak Is a Crime, Morals Aside

Today's topics include the release of personal account data stolen from the Ashley Madison infidelity Website, discussion about what's next for the Linux Kernel, why Intel focused on gamers at its developer Forum, and how cyber criminals are targeting another network service to amplify Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks.

Adult infidelity Website Ashley Madison and its owner Avid Life Media (AVM) have been shaken by the news that the hackers that broke into the site and stole personal account data have now exposed the information of 37 million subscribers to public scrutiny.

The breach was first disclosed in July, with attackers threatening to disclose information on account holders in an attempt to embarrass them, which now is exactly what is happening after 9.7 gigabytes of account data were posted online.

The Ashley Madison data breach now stands as a prime example of the worst that can happen in the modern connected world when a motivated attacker wants to embarrass a company.

The Linux kernel continues to grow—both in lines of code and the number of developers that contribute to it—yet some challenges need to be addressed. That was one of the key messages from Linux kernel developer Jonathan Corbet during his annual Kernel Report session at the LinuxCon conference in Seattle.

The Linux 4.2 kernel is still under development, with general availability expected on Aug. 23.Corbet noted that 1,569 developers have contributed code for the Linux 4.2 kernel. Of those, 277 developers made their first contribution ever, during the Linux 4.2 development cycle.

Intel officials are throwing a lot of money and technology at the PC gaming market and the reasons why were among the central themes at this year's Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

During the opening address at the show Aug. 18, CEO Brian Krzanich talked about the use of the company's RealSense 3D camera technology in upcoming gaming systems from the likes of Razer, the product will be able to scan images of the user and digitally insert them into the games.

Krzanich also showed off a racing game developed by iRacing. Intel officials spent over an hour speaking about how the company is leveraging its hardware and software capabilities to help OEMs build high-end gaming systems.

Telecommunications firm Level 3 Communications published an analysis on Aug. 17 stating that cyber-attackers have started using a common network service to amplify Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks to target Websites and networks with overwhelming floods of data packets.

Using the service, known as portmap or portmapper, an attacker can send a simple request and create a much larger stream of data—from 7 to 28 times larger—directed against at a targeted network.

Level 3 Communications says that since June, the number of attacks using portmapper has increased by a factor of 22, and even though the total number of attacks continues to be small, the trend suggests that attackers may be switching to the new technique.

Thanks for watching. Follow the links on this page to learn more about the stories mentioned in this broadcast. And check back every weekday for another Daily Tech Briefing from eWEEK.com.

Top White Papers and Webcasts