Hackers Beware

Gucci Hacker Gets Prison Time

Hackers having fun, unlike Sam Yin.

Manhattan’s district attorney has slapped Gucci hacker Sam Chihlung Yin with up to six years in state prison for hacking the corporate network of Gucci American, Inc. In a press release from the office of Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the D.A. noted that Mr. Yin pleaded guilty in mid-July to one felony count of computer tampering in the first degree and 10 felony counts of “criminal possession of computer related material.”

Mr. Vance’s announcement regarding Mr. Yin’s sentence included a quote from the D.A. that could be read as a none-too-veiled warning to anyone else tempted to follow the former Gucci network engineer’s example: Read More

True Crime

Empire State Building Shooting: There’s No ‘Crime Scene Filter’ on Instagram

Don't do this.

Around 9 a.m. Friday 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, a former accessories designer with Hazan Imports, shot and killed a 41-year-old former co-worker. Reports from the scene indicate the shooter was confronted by police outside the Empire State Building and was killed when he opened fire. At least nine others were injured during the shootout.

Every smartphone owner in the vicinity began tweeting about the drama, many uploading photos taken on the fly–to Twitter and, perhaps more strangely, Instagram. Read More

History Is Doomed

A Cautionary Tale For Techies: The Downfall of a Dotcom Millionaire

Things were simpler then.

On Sunday the Times published the melancholy and disturbing tale of former dot-com millionaire Jennifer Sultan, who is sitting at Rikers Island, facing the prospect of years in prison.

Jennifer Sultan’s name is not familiar to anyone in tech today, but at one time she and her boyfriend Adam Cohen were sitting atop a small, forward-looking, valuable startup called Live Online. Ms. Sultan and Mr. Cohen sold Live Online in 2000 for $70 million. They rented a house in the Hamptons. They bought a big loft not far from Fifth Avenue.  But that was 12 years ago. Now? The Times reports: Read More

True Crime

Tip for Budding Burglars: Don’t Accept Friend Requests From Cops


Every savvy Facebooker knows that bragging about your misdeeds on the mostly-public social networking site is a huge no-no, but perhaps a lesser-known adage is this one: Don’t accept friend requests from strangers, especially if they look like they might spend their days fighting crime for a living.

The New York Daily News reported yesterday that a cluster of NYPD cops nailed one of the city’s worst burgling crews by friending them on Facebook and tracking their status updates for details about potential robberies. Read More

Bitcoin Mania

Leaked Report: FBI is Terrified of Bitcoin Becoming a Currency for ‘Cyber Criminals’

A physical representation of digital Bitcoins. (flickr.com/zcopley)

Bitcoin usage is on the rise; the virtual currency is now employed by everyone from advertisers to artists. In fact, Bitcoin has apparently grown so popular that it warranted its own FBI report.

Published in late April but leaked yesterday, the unclassified document–of which Wired provided a PDF–outlines the federal government’s fears surrounding the Bitcoin currency, primarily that in the near future, “cyber criminals will treat Bitcoin as another payment option alongside more traditional and established virtual currencies.” Read More


Today, in Facebook Failure: Jersey Schoolteachers and Connecticut Divorcees

Great for your life, except when it's not.

As Facebook loses ground on its battles with the FTC over user privacy settings, the world should keep in mind that it doesn’t matter, because people can still ruin their lives using Facebook regardless of privacy controls. Because they are stupid. And Facebook’s most refined technological innovation is its unprecedented ability to facilitate the digital expression of this stupidity, which can sometimes have consequences in the real world. Read More