Last week I shared some links to photos and stories about happenings in Russia as reporters and others arrived for the Olympics.
Many of the photos I shared were of reporters letting us all know the hardships they were having in their hotels and other places at the Olympics. Were some true? I think so. Just look at what happened to U.S. Bobsledder Johnny Quinn, he was trapped in his bathroom this weekend and Tuesday he was trapped in an elevator.
Were some false? I think so too, people capitalizing on the interest to spread rumors and falsehoods. Take a look at several photos that are circulating the internet as coming from Sochi, they are all fake.
Here is a story of how one photo became a story and it wasn’t even taken in Sochi.
But it didn’t get any better for the Russians when the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the games got in trouble defending the preparedness of Sochi implied that they had surveillance cameras in the hotel rooms saying they saw people turn on the showers and leave their rooms for the day.
But one of the biggest wrongs came from NBC’s Richard Engel who worked with a security expert to test whether a new Mac, Windows machine and an Android device could be hacked. You can watch the video story here.
The security expert was from Trend Micro. In a detailed blog post he explains what and how this happened. If you watch the video again, you will see that they opened a Microsoft Word document that then executed malware. They downloaded “recommended” security software from hackers, they changed security settings on the android device and installed and let open Flash and Java on the Macbook Air.
As the expert points out in a second post about the story, all the hacks required user interaction. There is no doubt about this. You don’t run Java or Flash on a Mac unless you restrict it to specific sites you need to use it on. You don’t run attachments or recommended software people email you, you are just asking for trouble. And you don’t completely open the security settings on your Android device.
Take a look at this story from Rene Richie of iMore and how NBC’s credibility has taken a hit.
The story was edited to look like there was no interaction from the user. But that is just not the case as the security expert has shown. What he did add is this type of hacking could take place any where. They went to websites that you can get to from the United States, anywhere in the world.
It is time that the media takes a serious look at itself and get back to its roots of reporting quality, true stories and stop trying to be sensational. Good reporting wins out every time.
Sorry for sharing those incorrect stories with you. I still think the Sochi Olympics were as ready as they should have been, but it is still great to see all the Olympic Sports and its spirit in all the Olympians.