First Tupac, now Steve Jobs.
An eerie selfie posted to Reddit has sparked conspiracy theories that the Apple cofounder, who died — er, supposedly? — of pancreatic cancer in 2011 is actually still alive, and living in Brazil. The photo, uploaded by Redditor TheHorseSizedDuck, is captioned, “Steve Jobs is in Rio de Janeiro, alive.”
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You may have heard that Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation amid concerns about his health. The last Pope to resign was Gregory XII, who did so in 1415, so web users prone to a good conspiracy theory are looking for a reason Benedict XVI would do such a thing. There’s no sex scandal or money laundering cover up. In fact, it turns out the reason is simple: The Pope’s resignation is a fulfillment of the “Gangnam Style” prophecy.
Cryptome, a sort of proto-WikiLeaks website best known for exposing the CIA analyst who found Osama Bin Laden, announced this week that its entire website had been hacked. But, in a surprising response from Cryptome founder John Young—a man suspicious even of tap water—no foul play was suspected. At least no more foul than the usual Internet hijinks.
Reached by phone, Mr. Young explained that the site had been attacked by malware from Blackhole exploit kit 12, the latest iteration of what TechWorld calls an insidious, but “incredibly common automated web compromise system. ” This kind of malware harvests IP addresses of people visiting the site for potential nefarious use later on, said Mr. Young.
Mr. Young discovered the malware when a reader got a virus this morning from downloading one of Cryptome’s files that had been in its directory for a long time. After some examination, his team discovered other files containing the malware script as well. Crytome, which made the breach public (part of the site’s mission to expose such security flaws), is currently in the process of completely restoring all of its 70,000 files and expects to be finished by the end of the day.
You know that whole Stop Online Privacy Act that threatens to give our government control to basically turn off whatever part of the internet they want? It’s really scary. And cable news networks don’t really care about it enough to cover it. Or they’re simply afraid to poke at their corporate overlords because of it. Or they’re part of a vast conspiracy theory to help it pass.