AT&T goes to war with the US over Time Warner (The 3:59, Ep. 320)AT&T will fight the justice department in court to secure it's Time Warner acquisition, the alleged HBO hacker is indicted and some cyber security tips.
"Welcome to The 359. I'm Roger Cheng." "I'm Alfred Ng." "AT&T's bid for a major Hollywood player just hit a big snag. The Justice Department sued AT&T to block its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner citing antitrust concerns. The telecom giant has vowed to battle the U.S. in court, which should make for an interesting showdown come 2018." Yeah. It's incredibly interesting that AT&T and Time Warner are now the crossroad, fighting for freedom of speech. Right. Even though this is also a major merger that would go against that as well. It's a weird situation. The argument that the Justice Department has made is that this would create a company that both owns the content and distributes it. And that's way too powerful. But there's been a lot of chatter that this is really about President Trump and his hatred for CNN, fake news CNN, and So, a lot of people are finding themselves in that awkward position where they're like, we're really against these big mergers but we're also not so happy with Trump meddling with government. Yeah, they're stuck in between a rock and a hard place here. But I mean, I would kind of have to agree with it where they're getting way too much content. Even if you take CNN out of the fact and when they're saying "You should divest, just, Turner Broadcasting?" "Yes." "How much does that leave AT&T in the merger if they will even agree to that?" "So far they have said that any kind of divestiture to that extent is a non-starter. Even CNN alone--" Is something they would not agree to. And, you know, I was on the conference call with the CEO. He sounded pissed. He was angry yesterday, he was shocked. And it's kind of an interesting, it's a weird situation for everyone. Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing this fight, though. Yeah, it's gonna be a glorious battle come 2018. Mhm. All right, next up, the alleged hacker who went Broke into HBO servers and leaked scripts for Game of Thrones and unreleased episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ballers. Was indicted by the Justice Department, which is having a really busy week, apparently. Al, have you heard about this? What's the latest? So, essentially, That they charge an Iranian citizen who had worked for the Iranian military in the past. You know, he had hacked on behalf of the military, attacking other armies. He attacked nuclear software systems and Israeli infrastructure. He was also a part of a infamous hacking group that basically defaced US websites saying you've been hacked by this superior Yeah. Iranian hacking group And then he turned his focus to HBO, where he basically, as you know the story goes, he leaked Game of Thrones episodes, leaked Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, and then demanded $6 million in ransomware from HBO. Not in ransomware, just in Bitcoin. Right, just to clarify, if he's hacking other intelligence agencies I assume hacking HBO is like nothing for him. Yeah, this attack actually wasn't that complicated according to the indictment at least. He had basically targeted HBO employees who had access to HBO's computer servers. So he never broke through HBO's firewalls or anything like that. He basically targeted the weakest links, and found that they had access to all these files. And then he went after them. So speaking of hacking, Alfred you put together this nice little tip sheet for folks Going back to their parents. What are some of the top tips that you would suggest talking about with your parents when it comes to cyber security? I try to keep it simple. Phishing as you now is basically responsible for like 90% of the reason why people get hacked. And that usually happens over emails. It's when there's a suspicious link in an account, and usually, you know, they're pretending to be something that you do use like. Right. You know, here's the tracking for your package that's been delivered. But it's actually not from Amazon. It's from a hacker who wants your account information. You click on it and it goes to a page that looks like it's Amazon. So, the tip that I have for that is essentially Don't click on the link in the email, if you get something like that and you want to check it out, just go straight to Amazon, or go straight to Netflix, or whatever it is that's coming, and log in through that channel. It's an extra step, but it's a lot more secure. Definitely, a nice bit of practical advice. For more about that story, check it out on CNet. I'm Roger Chang. I'm Alfred Ing. Thanks for listening.