Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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August 9, 2012

Slate: 4 steps to avoid getting hacked

Last Friday evening, a hacker got into Mat Honan's Apple account, remotely erased the data on his iPhone, iPad and MacBook, deleted his Google account, commandeered his Twitter account, and then posted a string of nasty stuff under Honan's name. Until recently, Honan, who's a writer at Wired and one of my favorite tech journalists, worked at Gizmodo, and his Twitter account was still linked to the tech blog's main Twitter page — so for about 15 minutes, the hacker was able to post a bunch of foul-mouthed, racist stuff there, too.

I was on a cross-country flight when I read Honan's first post about the hack. When the jet captain turned on the Wi-Fi, I got down to doing what I always do when I hear about an attack that could have happened to me: I changed my passwords. This made me feel better, but it turns out it certainly wasn't sufficient. Honan spent the weekend on the phone with Apple tech support and — curiously — in conversation with the hacker. By Monday morning, he'd found out exactly how his online identities had been compromised. The upshot: Creating better passwords wouldn't have helped him.

In a lengthy Wired piece, Honan explains that the hacker got into his account not by guessing his passwords but by asking for them. On Friday, the hacker called Apple's tech support line and, pretending to be Honan, claimed he'd been locked out of his Apple account. Apple's support guy asked the hacker to answer the security questions on Honan's account, but the hacker apparently said that he'd forgotten the answers.

No problem, because the hacker knew something most of us don't: If you can't answer your security questions, Apple will issue you a new password if you can prove that you're who you say you are using another form of identification. What identification does Apple ask to reset your password? A billing address and the last four digits of your credit card number.

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  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

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