Today’s topics include a claim of responsibility from a hacker known only “Guccifer” for the breach of the Democratic National Committee’s network, the decision by mobile device maker OnePlus to discontinue its budget OnePlus X smartphone, Microsoft’s launch of a crowd-sourced debugging effort for the Windows 10 platform and the Pentagon’s bug-bounty contest yielding big returns.
On June 14, the Democratic National Committee reported that it was the victim of a data breach, allegedly by Russian cyber-attackers. The next day, a hacker identified only as “Guccifer” emerged, claiming responsibility for the breach, denying the report by security firm CrowdStrike that Russian hackers broke into the DNC’s network.
When the DNC discovered that it had been the victim of a data breach, it called in CrowdStrike to investigate. CrowdStrike determined that the DNC had been hacked by two different Russia-based groups that it identified as FuzzyBear and CozyBear. Guccifer claims to have been the first to hack the DNC. However, CrowdStrike says it is standing by its research that assigned responsibility for the DNC network break in to Russian hackers.
Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus plans to discontinue its budget OnePlus X smartphone as the company pares down its product lines to refocus its attention to its upcoming flagship OnePlus 3 handsets. The end of the OnePlus X phone line was revealed by Pete Lau, CEO of the company, in a recent interview, according to a June 15 story by HotHardware.com. The OnePlus X sold well enough, but selling budget-priced phones is difficult in a crowded global market, and the company wants to focus its marketing efforts on its premium “true flagship” models, Lau said.
Windows Insiders have a new mission this week: finding and reporting bugs affecting the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Set to arrive this summer, presumably around July 29 to commemorate a year since Microsoft launched Windows 10, the Anniversary Update will bring several highly anticipated features to the operating system, including support for the Bash Unix shell and Docker-compatible Hyper-V containers. As the clock ticks down to the update’s unspecified release date, Microsoft has begun an internal effort to unearth bugs in an effort called the Windows 10 Anniversary Update June Bug Bash.
The U.S. Department of Defense finally revealed how its systems fared in a $150,000 bug-finding contest, where specially vetted hackers were given cash awards for finding significant vulnerabilities.
On June 10, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told attendees at the Defense One Tech Summit that more than 1,400 security specialists applied to take part in the “Hack the Pentagon” program. Hackers that passed background checks before participating in the contest found more than 100 security flaws, he said.
“It’s again exceeded all of our expectations,” Carter said in the published text of his speech. “They’re helping us to be more secure at a fraction of the cost, and in a way that enlists the brilliance of the white hatters” rather than waiting to learn the lessons of the black hatters, Carter said in his published comments. The 24-day Hack the Pentagon program, managed by bug-bounty program management firm HackerOne, ended May 12.