Ars Technica: Hacker site’s incriminating database published online by rival group. “Hackers from Raidforums recently breached the site of rival hacking forum Cracked.to and spilled data for more than 321,000 of its members. The hackers did so while some of their victims were discussing cracking Fortnite accounts, selling software exploits, and engaging in other potentially illegal activities.”
MEL Magazine: The Unheard History Of Bodybuilding Forums, As Told By The Trolls And Counter-trolls Who Made Them Huge . “During the rise of the ‘alt-right,’ many articles attempting to trace the genealogy of the movement pointed to 4chan and 8chan (and related information repositories such as Encyclopedia Dramatica) as the furnaces in which all this rebellious, nihilistic, world-hating clay had been forged. The comedy website Something Awful, by contrast, launched the careers of plenty of so-called “dirtbag left” podcasters as well as ‘weird Twitter’ figures like dril. The bodybuilding forums, however, covered a vast sort of middle ground, exemplified by my Grantland-reading, anabolic steroid-loving cousin Doug Alexander.” This is probably the most unlikely long read you’re going to see today, but I encourage you to check it out.
Search Engine Roundtable: Cre8asiteforums Shutting Down On May 25th. “Kim Krause Berg, who we profiled, announced at her Cre8asite Forums that she is closing down the forums after 20 years of operations on May 25, 2018. The date is interesting because of it overlapping with the GDPR date, although Kim doesn’t mention that as the reason she is closing it.” Wow.
Engadget: CompuServe’s still-active forums are finally shutting down. “It turns out that Instant Messenger (AIM) isn’t the only thing that AOL is shutting down next month. On December 15th, Oath (AOL and Engadget’s dear parent) is also closing what remains of the CompuServe forums which, yes, still actually exist. CompuServe had the first ever mainstream online forums well before the internet came along, letting users connect to its central servers via old-school dial-up modems. You can credit (or blame) the company for allowing some of the first online group chats about subjects like investing, politics and religion.” Why yes, I am old enough to remember the squeal of a 1200 baud modem — and a 300 baud modem!
KQED:Using Artificial Intelligence As a Teaching Assistant To Help With Questions Online. “A couple of years ago, Ashok Goel was overwhelmed by the number of questions his students were asking in his course on artificial intelligence…. With a limited number of teaching assistants, or TAs, many of those questions weren’t getting answered in time. So, Goel came up with a plan: make an artificial intelligence ‘teaching assistant’ that could answer some of students’ frequently asked questions.”
Motherboard: Hacker Steals 700,000 Accounts from Police Forum. The story has been updated since being published on Friday, and it’s not clear if this was a hack, an old hack, a data leak, or something else. Because it is a very large breach, and because it does involve breaching the privacy and security of law enforcement personnel, I am linking to it here. “Update: After the publication of this story, another source provided Motherboard with the full PoliceOne database. In all, it contains 715,588 entries. However, the source said that this data has already been publicly distributed for some time, and that Bekrut did not hack the site. Bekrut did not respond for Motherboard’s request for comment.”
A database for a poker players’ forum has been hacked. “More than 400,000 members are subscribed to the TwoPlusTwo forum, and it is believed that every username, password, and email address has been extracted, along with any personal data included in members´ profiles. Although the passwords were hashed, simple passwords are fairly easy to decipher. Therefore, if you are a TwoPlusTwo subscriber, it is fair to assume that your details have been hacked.”