Last Week in Cyberpunk 8/4/2017

Mr. Robot

This last week in cyberpunk, cable networks find themselves at the mercy of hackers, experts show just how insecure people should be about election integrity, and there might be a little trouble with LA’s iconic sound.

Cyberpunk Reality

HBO Hack Worse Than First Disclosed


Looks like HBO knows nothing. Or maybe the network’s feeling a little embarrassed. The latest statements on the HBO hack, provided by a security company and not the network, are worse than originally detailed.

Hackers stole 1.5 terabytes of data this includes unreleased episodes of Ballers, Insecure, Room 104, an unreleased Bill Hader comedy, Barry, and a script from HBO’s flagship series Game of Thrones. While this is damaging enough, it appears hackers also got their hands on employee data, including personal information on one executive and their email, online account information, including banking, health records, screenshots of HBO proprietary tools, an employee list with names and emails, and thousands of company documents.

While HBO has been working hard to issue DMCAs to limit leaks of its shows on the internet, and the lack of links on popular sites like Reddit suggests they’ve been successful, they’re claims that employees emails weren’t compromised is raising questions. In an internal memo, HBO chairman Richard Plepler told employees that “we do not believe that our e-mail system as a whole has been compromised, but the forensic review is ongoing.” But just in case that isn’t the case and more bank accounts have been compromised, Plepler went on to say that HBO is “in the process of engaging an outside firm to work with our employees to provide credit monitoring and we will be following up with those details.”

Despite the company’s assurances, it’s possible more data has been compromised than initially disclosed.

DefCon Hackers Infiltrate Voting Machines, Exposing Election Anxiety


At DefCon’s Voting Village, election technology researchers provided a dozen US digital voting machines to hackers to do with as they pleased. This included models used in previous US elections and those slated for present use.

One security researcher, Victor Gevers, co-founder of GDI Foundation, encountered these machines for the first time at Voting Village and found that security of these machines are “seriously lacking, and the firmware and the default settings are below any acceptable standard.” This echoes what researchers have been saying about this technology for about a decade, but it’s being given renewed consideration after evidence of Russia’s numerous attempts to influence the 2016 US elections. It’s one of the reasons Voting Village got together this past weekend, according to event organizer Harri Hursti, who said “This is about education, this is about letting more people have facts and experiences.”

Hursti’s team gathered models like the WINVote machine and the Diebold ExpressPoll 5000 from eBay and government auctions across the country. Hackers found ways to get physical and remote access to the machines and found unpatched operating systems, exposed WiFi connections, and one machine still had 600,000 voter registration records from Tennessee in its memory.

According to Chris Gallzzi, video game developer with Hyperkin and hardware hacker, the Diebold Express 5000 is made entirely of off-the-shelf chips. He said, “For hardcore copyists it would probably take them about three months and maybe $4,000 or $5,000 to make an imposter machine.”

With state officials fearing federal intervention from the Department of Homeland Security, and Republicans in Washington seeking to defund the US Election Assistance Commission, voting machines haven’t been vetted by more seasoned security researchers. Because of this DefCon organizers hope to expand Voter Village over the next three years, before the 2020 US presidential race, to further independent research.

Man Who Beat WannaCry Arrested After DefCon


Marcus Hutchins, the malware researcher who gained unwanted notoriety after stopping the WannaCry ransomware from spreading, was detained by the FBI on Wednesday. Hutchins, a UK national, was visiting Las Vegas to attend DefCon and Black Hat this past weekend when federal agents detained him at the Henderson Detention Center in Nevada before being moved.

According to reports, Hutchins was arrested for his suspected involvement in creating Kronos, a banking malware. The UK’s National Crime Agency acknowledged that Hutchins has been arrested by US law enforcement but stated that it’s “a law enforcement matter and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Dozens of Cases Dropped After Baltimore Body Cam Footage

After body cam footage showing three Baltimore police officers planting drugs on a suspect prior to an arrest went public, public defenders have expressed concern over the justifications for arrests and the veracity of evidence produced in court. Marilyn J. Mosby, Baltimore’s state attorney, stated that “the credibility of those officers has now been directly called into question.”

These officers were directly involved in over a hundred cases that relied on their testimony, and Mosby moved to dismiss 41 of them earlier this week.

This development comes just days after the Maryland Office of the Public Defender announced that they came across another body cam video that shows other officers manufacturing evidence. The footage shows officers searching the driver’s side of a vehicle. After finding nothing, officers manage to find illicit substances that weren’t there.

Sharmere Collins, the driver, was arrested in November 2016, but charges against her were dropped this Monday.

Cyberpunk Movies

What happened to Monday?

Previously titled Seven Sisters, Noomi Rapace, and Willem Dafoe come to Netflix with their biopunk thriller What Happened to Monday?

Rapace plays septuplets, named for the days of the week, who, with the guidance of their father, dodge a population-control agency that enforces a one-child policy. When Monday goes missing, the other six sisters must work together to guide her back home while being hunted by the government.

What Happened to Monday? premieres on Netflix August 18.

Infinity Chamber

Infinity Chamber

Travis Milloy’s Infinity Chamber is nearly here, and we’re finally given a better glimpse at the prison system of tomorrow with the film’s first poster.

Infinity Chamber is about an automated prison where inmates are subjected to interrogation by a computer. This autonomous process of imprisonment convicts an innocent man who must find a way out to a world that may no longer be there.

Infinity Chamber will hit US theaters September 15, and VOD and iTunes on September 26.

Cyberpunk Television

B: The Beginning

Netflix/Production I.G.

At the Netflix Tokyo conference, the streaming platform announced several original anime shows it would be rolling out in the near future. Many were excited to hear Kazuto Nakazawa, known for Parasite Dolls, was bringing B: The Beginning to a global audience.

The official synopsis:

In a world powered by advanced technology, crime and action unfold in the archipelagic nation of Cremona. Koku, the protagonist. Keith, the legendary investigator of the royal police force RIS. A mysterious criminal organization. A wide variety of characters race through the fortified city as it is beset by the serial killer, Killer B, and a chain of crimes in this suspense drama.

Nakazawa will be working with Production I.G. to produce a 12-episode order of B: The Beginning that will premiere Spring 2018.

Cannon Busters

Another anime Netflix has announced is an adaptation of LeSean Thomas’s Cannon Busters. Thomas, who’s worked on anime-inspired shows like The Legend of Korra and The Boondocks, ran a Kickstarter in 2016 to animate a pilot. It seems people at Netflix and Manga Entertainment might have backed the project and saw a series worth making.

Netflix offers an official description:

The series follows the adventures and exploits of S.A.M, a high-end, royal-class friendship droid who’s joined by a quirky, discarded maintenance robot and a brash, deadly fugitive. Together, the unlikely trio embarks on an unforgettable journey in a fantastic and dangerous world in search of S.A.M’s best friend, the heir to a powerful kingdom under siege.

Thomas will serve as director, executive producer, and will be writing alongside people like Anne Toole from The Witcher. No premiere date is set, but Cannon Busters will have a 12-episode season.

Mr. Robot Season 3: Democracy

After much anticipation the first official teaser for Mr. Robot’s third season has finally been released. Leonard Cohen “Democracy” is recited as fsociety breathlessly moves about a New York under martial law to dodge a hunting party sent out by the Dark Army.

Not much is given away, but this spoken-word rendition of a Cohen classic gives us a good idea of the tone Esmail’s going for this year. Either way, October will be upon us soon. Expect Mr. Robot updates to come at you fast.

Cyberpunk Music

Johannson Gets Help Scoring Blade Runner 2049


When it comes to remembering Blade Runner, it’s impossible to overlook the enduring power of Vangelis’s score. Finding the right composer to follow up in Blade Runner 2049 couldn’t have been easy, but when Denis Villeneuve announced he’d be working Johann Johansson for a third time after Sicario and Arrival, many were pleased. So it comes as a surprise that Johannson is now having to share control over the musical arrangement with Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer.

While Villeneuve hasn’t yet explained why Johansson is working with two other composers just two months prior to the release of Blade Runner 2049, he did say that the original Vangelis score has “a very specific sound, and for me there was no negotiation about that. It [was] very important that the 2049 would be directly inspired by Vangelis’ work as much as the cinematography was directly inspired by the original movie.”

Blade Runner 2049 is scheduled for release October 6.

Cyberpunk Events

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Comes to the MoMA

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is hosting two screenings of the original Japanese cut of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence in 35mm print. It’s part of MoMA’s “Future Imperfect: The Uncanny in Science Fiction” exhibit, where 70 sci-fi films from over 20 countries are being screened to showcase their unique takes on humanity in the near future.

Tickets for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence go on sale August 4 and 5, and the actual screening takes place on 8/18-8/19. But if you’re in New York this weekend, there’s still a chance you’ll be able to check out screenings for Under the Skin and Ex Machina.

Notice a cyberpunk story we missed this week? Let us know down below or on social media.

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Written by Daniel Rodriguez
Daniel Rodriguez is a freelance writer and author from New York City.

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