This is the September 2019 archives of Road Talk
Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.
The band went on to become major stars, and by the early 1980s they were one of the most successful rock acts of the time. 1984 was their most successful album. The lead single, “Jump”, became an international hit and their only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The following singles, “Panama” and “I’ll Wait”, both hit number 13 on the U.S. charts. The album went on to sell over 12 million copies in the U.S. alone. In 1985, the band replaced lead singer David Lee Roth with former Montrose lead vocalist Sammy Hagar. With Hagar, the group would release four U.S. number-one albums over the course of 11 years. Hagar left the band in 1996 shortly before the release of the band’s first greatest hits collection, Best Of – Volume I. Former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone was quickly recruited as lead singer to replace Hagar, and Van Halen III was released in 1998. Cherone left the band in frustration in 1999 after the tour due to the poor commercial performance of the album.
Van Halen went on hiatus until 2003 when they reunited with Hagar for a worldwide tour. The reunited band released a second greatest hits collection the following year, The Best of Both Worlds. Like Volume I before it, The Best of Both Worlds included material from both the Roth and Hagar eras but omitted any Cherone era tracks. The album featured three brand new tracks recorded by the reunited band, two of which were released as singles. Hagar again left Van Halen in 2005, and in 2006 Roth returned as lead vocalist for their highest-grossing tour, and one of the highest-grossing tours of that year. Anthony was not invited to participate in the tour and was essentially fired from the band, replaced by Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son. In 2012, the band released the commercially and critically successful, A Different Kind of Truth, with Roth as lead vocalist. According to the RIAA, Van Halen is the 19th-best-selling band/artist in United States history, selling 56 million albums in the U.S. They were also revealed at number 4 on the Billboard’s top moneymakers list in 2013. Van Halen is one of only five rock bands that have had two studio albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S. Additionally, Van Halen charted the most number-one hits in the history of Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and they are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 80 million records.
Van Halen achieved worldwide fame for their many popular songs and larger-than-life stage performances; they also became known for the drama surrounding the departures of former members. Controversy surrounded the band following the exits of Roth, Hagar, and Anthony; this controversy often included numerous conflicting press statements between the former members and the band. In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. VH1 ranked them 7th on their list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time.
Guns N’ Roses, often abbreviated as GNR, is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. The current lineup consists of Rose, Slash, McKagan, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardist Melissa Reese.
Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, on the strength of “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, the band’s only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the country’s bestselling debut album and eleventh-bestselling album. Their next studio album, G N’ R Lies (1988), reached number two on the Billboard 200. Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, recorded simultaneously and released in 1991, debuted at number two and number one on the Billboard 200 respectively and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide, including 14 million units in the United States. “The Spaghetti Incident?” (1993), an album of covers, was the band’s last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan.
Chinese Democracy (2008), Guns N’ Roses’ long-awaited sixth studio album, was released after more than a decade of work and several lineup changes. At an estimated $14 million in production costs, it is the most expensive rock album in history. It debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, but undersold industry expectations despite mostly positive critical reception. Slash and McKagan rejoined the band in 2016 for the Not in This Lifetime… Tour, which became the fourth-highest-grossing concert tour of all time, grossing over $480 million by December 2017.
In their early years, the band’s hedonism and rebelliousness drew comparisons to the early Rolling Stones and earned them the nickname “the most dangerous band in the world”. The band’s classic lineup, along with later members Reed and drummer Matt Sorum, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, its first year of eligibility. Guns N’ Roses have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 45 million in the United States, making them the 41st-bestselling artist of all time.
Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970) and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.
Formed in 1968 as the Polka Tulk Blues Band, a blues rock band, the group went through line up changes, renamed themselves as Earth, broke up and reformed. By 1969, they had named themselves Black Sabbath after the film Black Sabbath starring Boris Karloff, and began incorporating occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars. The band’s first show as Black Sabbath took place on 30 August 1969, in Workington. Signing to Philips Records in November 1969, they released their first single, “Evil Woman” in January 1970. Their debut album, Black Sabbath, was released on Friday the 13th, February 1970, on Philips’ newly formed progressive rock label, Vertigo Records. Though receiving a negative critical response, the album was a commercial success and reached number 8 in the UK Albums Chart, so the band returned to the studios to quickly record the follow up, Paranoid, which was also released in 1970. The band’s popularity grew, and by 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, critics were starting to respond favourably.
Osbourne’s regular use of alcohol and other drugs led to his dismissal from the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Following two albums with Dio, Black Sabbath endured many personnel changes in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin, as well as several drummers and bassists. In 1991, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record Dehumanizer (1992). The original line-up reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album Reunion. Black Sabbath’s final studio album and nineteenth overall, 13 (2013), features all of the original members but Ward, who left the band prior to the recording sessions due to a contract dispute. A year after embarking on a farewell tour, the band played their final concert in their home city of Birmingham on 4 February 2017, after which they broke up. Iommi has stated that he has not ruled out the possibility of new material or one-off shows under the Black Sabbath name.
They were ranked by MTV as the “Greatest Metal Band” of all time, and placed second in VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock” list. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number 85 in their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. They have sold over 70 million records worldwide. Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They have also won two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance.
Facebook says that it has discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million accounts and that it’s not yet clear whether any information was accessed or any accounts were otherwise misused.
The vulnerability that caused the breach was found Tuesday and was fixed on Thursday night, Facebook says. It was the result of bugs introduced into Facebook’s code in July 2017. No passwords or credit card numbers were stolen, the company says.
But as a result of the breach, attackers could gain access to a user’s account — hypothetically giving them the ability not only to view information, but to use the account as though they were the account holder.
“We do not yet know if any of the accounts were actually misused,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters Friday. “This is a really serious security issue, and we are taking it really seriously.”
The company said it is working with the FBI and conducting an investigation, which is “still in its early stages.”
Facebook does not yet know who carried out the attacks or where they were based. The company knows the attackers attempted to access profile information, but not whether they succeeded; it does not yet have evidence that the attackers accessed private messages or posted to accounts.
The attack involved stealing “access tokens.” Facebook explains:
“[A]ttackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted ‘View As’, a feature that lets people see what their own profile looks like to someone else. This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts. Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don’t need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.”
Nearly 50 million accounts are known to be affected, and have had their access tokens reset. An additional 40 million accounts have had their tokens reset as a “precautionary step.”
“As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back in to Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook Login,” Facebook says. “After they have logged back in, people will get a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened.”
The “View As” feature has also been temporarily turned off, pending a security review.
The vulnerability that made the attack possible was caused by multiple bugs in Facebook’s code interacting. At some point, attackers discovered the vulnerability and began exploiting it.
On Sept. 16, Facebook noticed a pattern of unusual activity on the site and launched an investigation.
On Tuesday, the company uncovered the flaw that made this attack possible. It involves three problems with the video uploading feature, explained Guy Rosen, vice president of product management at Facebook. First, the uploader was sometimes appearing on posts prompting people to send “Happy Birthday” messages, even in “View As” mode. (The uploader should not have shown up in “View As” mode at all.)
Second, the uploader was incorrectly generating an access token with permissions for the Facebook app. And third, instead of generating the access token for the person’s own Facebook account, it was generating the token for the other user whose name they had plugged into “View As.”
From there, the attacker had to use that account access to “pivot” to another account to get another access token. Each token would allow the attacker to access a user’s Facebook account.
By mid-September, the attack was being used on a “fairly large scale,” Rosen said.
Facebook has been on the defensive over issues of user privacy and data security in recent months, after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in the spring.
“It’s an arms race,” Zuckerberg said Friday, repeating a phrase he often deploys. “We’re continuing to improve our defenses, and I think this underscores that there are constant attacks by people who are trying to take over accounts or steal information from our community.”
Sen. Mark Warner, co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, called for a “full investigation” into the breach.
“This is another sobering indicator that Congress needs to step up and take action to protect the privacy and security of social media users,” Warner said in a statement Friday.
SOURCE: NPR News