It's that Prime Day time of the year again (The 3:59, Ep. 577)
Welcome to the 3:59.
I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
I'm Alfred Ng.
Yes, it's time again for Amazon's Prime Day, the annual shopping bonanza that this year will include over 1,000,000 deals worldwide.
It's so exciting.
Alfred, do you ever buy anything on Prime Day?
I mostly buy useless stuff on Prime Day.
Last year I bought a cot.
It was half off.
It was a half-off cot.
I don't why, I don't use it anymore and then I think the year before that I bought a cat tree for 30 bucks.
[LAUGH] All right, that's a pretty good price for a cat tree.
Yeah, my cats really like that cat tree, also it's like 80 dollars when it's not on sale, so.
There are some good deals on Prime Day, there are also some stupid deals on Prime Day.
You can just rest assured that there gonna be a lot of deals and I'm sure people are gonna be really excited about it.
One of the new things that's gonna be happening this year is that, I know you're gonna love hearing about this, Amazon is planning on making Prime Day more of an experience.
So they had a live-streamed concert with Ariana Grande last year.
And they told me, without many details, obviously, To expect a lot more entertainment stuff, because it's not just for shopping, it's, we're celebrating our prime members.
I hate it, I hate it when brands do that.
Like, look, we don't care about you as a company or as an experience.
Like, people come to prime day or Amazon, at least, for like, The deals like give me cheap stuff I'm not here to like see like how cool amazon is as a brand, like wow, they got Milli Vanilli to do a live stream concert.
Like get out of here, like I feel like they look at Prime Day as if it's gonna be like the next Christmas or Fourth of July or something.
Basically, that's exactly what they're doing.
It's a Prime Day tradition and it's like, no, get out of here, we just want cheap stuff.
We just wanna-
That's literally it, you're not a person to me, you don't matter to me, I don't care that there's a person behind that screen, you are a company and I just want cheap stuff from you.
I like this.
I like this part of Alfred, and we look forward to doing a lot more of this type of prime day coverage.
So look out for that.
We wanna get to our next story, cyber security firm, Cyber Reasons, cyber reasons yes.
Cyber reason that's a terrible name.
Said it uncovered a vast hacking operation.
In which hackers infiltrated mulitple mobile carriers for years.
They even had the ability to shut down communications at a moments notice.
How did this happen?
Yeah, so they had hacked more than a dozen mobile carriers in the Middle East Africa, Asia and Europe.
Not the United States.
No, there has been no activity in North America that they discovered which doesn't mean that they're not in like the network.
It's just that they haven't found it.
But yeah, so they basically hacked in through either these companies had a public-facing server that had no password on it, which seems to happen a lot, or they phished an employee who just happened to click on any link that pops up in their in box.
Pretty typical hacker tools, then.
So it's not anything like really crazy, but the sophisticated part is about how they spread.
So once they were in the network, it was basically, all right, how many computers does this login have access to?
This many computers?
Okay, so then let's access all those computers, and then from there, once they have access to those computers, it continues breaking down, like a really bad pyramid scheme.
But essentially they do all that until they get escalated privileges.
Which then they create accounts for themselves, basically posing as the IT team online.
This is crazy!
Yeah, so they worked as this kind of shadow IT team within these mobile carriers which gave them a lot of priveleges.
Like they were able to shut down the network communications if they wanted to.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't know from your perspective is, the focus was this attack was more about espionage rather then disruption.
So, they wanted to be in the network and steal information from specific people.
So, they had access to hundreds of millions of people's records.
But they chose to only like download gigabytes of data on like targeted individuals like less than 100 people.
That's pretty wild.
It sounds like a government was behind it.
So it's suspected to be the Chinese government even because it's all the all the hacking tools are what the Chinese government has used, same methods same kind of like think like philosophy of Stay there quietly and steal as much information as you can and not make any noise.
And they did it effectively.
But the thing is that this could also be a government entity and trying to frame the Chinese government on this.
Attribution is It's extremely hard in cyber security.
So it's still unclear about all science right now point to China on this.
So we're out of time but I did wanna mention one quick story.
The head of Instagram confirmed that the social network has, Has no policy on deep fake videos.
Deep fakes is obviously an area that we've been focusing on a lot at CNET.
So it's interesting to see that Instagram doesn't even have a policy yet about it.
But we'll see if they end up getting one in the future.
They're still trying to balance what they say the difference between Safety in speech.
Either way, if you wanna read more about these stories, check them out on CNN.
I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
Thanks for listening.