The intelligence report’s lack of even hints at the kind of evidence collected make it difficult to assess the claims, and its weakness gave Russian officials ample opportunity to poke fun.The foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, wrote on Facebook on Monday: “If ‘Russian hackers’ managed to hack anything in America, it’s two things: Obama’s brain and, of course, the report itself.”
Former EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger, 61, is used to accusations that he is more digitally naïve than digitally native by now. But at a hearing in front of the European parliament, the EU’s next commissioner designate for digital economy and society raised some serious questions about his suitability.
During a three-hour grilling by MEPs in Brussels, Oettinger said it would not be his job to protect stars “stupid enough to take a nude photo of themselves and put it online” – seemingly unaware that the recent leak of celebrities’ nude photographs had come about as a result of a targeted hacking attack.
Oettinger said: “We can mitigate or even eliminate some risks. But like with any technology, you can’t exclude all risks.
“If someone is stupid enough as a celebrity to take a nude photo of themselves and put it online, they surely can’t expect us to protect them. Stupidity is something you can only partly save people from.”
Oettinger seemed to refer to the recent leak of nude photographs showing celebrities including actress Jennifer Lawrence and singer Rihanna, which took place after hackers targeted their victims’ iClouds. Most modern smartphones automatically store backups of photographs online, often without their users’ knowledge.
Oettinger’s comments sparked criticism from a number of MEPs and the German press. “He revealed that he still hasn’t understood the real problem behind these leaked pictures,” Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht told the Guardian. “Serious questions need to be asked about the security of cloud systems currently in use, and asking those questions is very much part of the job remit of the next EU commissioner for digital society.”