COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 10 09:01

China Is Data Mining DIRECTLY FROM THE BRAINS of Workers

Can you imagine being at work and having your every thought or feeling recorded and shared with your employer?

China has a new program that mines data DIRECTLY FROM THE BRAINS of workers who are required to wear a special helmet when on the job. This picks up thoughts and emotions.

Companies requiring the use of this tech are seeing a HUGE profit, which means we can expect something similar here at some point in the not so distant future.

Dec 10 08:23

Five Eyes Against Huawei

Washington has asked Ottawa to arrest Meng Wanzhou and to extradite her. This young woman is the financial director and daughter of the founder of Huawei, the Chinese Telecom Giant. She was arrested on 6 December in Canada.

The motive for the war undertaken by Washington against Huawei is deep-rooted and spurious are the justifications.

The heart of the problem is that the Chinese firm uses a system of encryption that prevents the NSA from intercepting its communications. A number of governments and secret services in the non-Western world have begun to equip themselves exclusively with Huawei materials, and are doing so to protect the confidentiality of their communications.

Dec 08 11:57

What Ohio’s Tax Gimmick Really Means for the Blockchain Industry

By Max Gulker

Quickly browsing the headlines on November 26, you might be forgiven for having thought some much-needed good news for Bitcoin had hit the wire. “Ohio Becomes First US State to Allow Taxes to be Paid in Bitcoin” was the headline at CoinDesk, echoed in many other media outlets. Even a quick look shows, however, that this was merely a feel-good piece of legislation that bundled a user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that companies could have easily accessed on their own with electronic tax filing.

But when is a gimmick more than just a gimmick? Behind the tax announcement and a few other seemingly cosmetic measures, Ohio might be communicating something of substance to the nascent blockchain industry...

Dec 08 11:35

NEW ORLEANS HOMELAND SECURITY CREATES “PLATINUM” SPY ON YOUR NEIGHBORS CAM-SHARE CLUB

Looking for that special gift for your family this holiday season? Why not signup for New Orleans Homeland Security’s “Platinum” spy on your neighbors cam-share club?

Dec 08 09:26

TSA’s Roadmap for Airport Surveillance Moves in a Dangerous Direction

By India McKinney

The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel,” and the right to anonymous association with others...

Dec 07 17:38

Unity4J To Mark 9 Years Since Julian Assange Has Been Arbitrarily Detained Without Charge, As Ecuador Continues Trying To Force Him Out The Embassy

By Aaron Kesel

Live stream tonight 8-11 EST

Ecuador’s President, Lenín Moreno, is continuing to try and force WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the embassy where he has stayed now for 9 years in arbitrary detention without charge despite two UN rulings stating he should be freed. Meanwhile, activists are planning to honor Assange in a specially planned live stream of Unity4J, echoing calls for his freedom and safe passage...

Dec 07 11:15

Bitcoin crashes to new 2018 low as crypto market continues nosedive

Bitcoin plunged more than 12 percent on Friday, falling below $3,400, its lowest point in over a year. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency is worth six times less than it was last December, when it traded at $20,000.

Dec 06 16:56

22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor

Almost two dozen apps with more than 2 million downloads have been removed from the Google Play market after researchers found they contained a device-draining backdoor that allowed them to surreptitiously download files from an attacker-controlled server.

The 22 rogue titles included Sparkle Flashlight, a flashlight app that had been downloaded more than 1 million times since it entered Google Play sometime in 2016 or 2017, antivirus provider Sophos said in a blog post published Thursday. Beginning around March of this year, Sparkle Flashlight and two other apps were updated to add the secret downloader. The remaining 19 apps became available after June and contained the downloader from the start.

Dec 06 16:53

Australia passes ‘dangerous’ anti-encryption law after bipartisan compromise

Australia’s controversial anti-encryption bill is one step closer to becoming law, after the two leading but sparring party political giants struck a deal to pass the legislation.

The bill, in short, grants Australian police greater powers to issue “technical notices” — a nice way of forcing companies — even websites — operating in Australia to help the government hack, implant malware, undermine encryption or insert backdoors at the behest of the government.

If companies refuse, they could face financial penalties.

Dec 06 16:46

Wintel dust up: Intel supply woes vs Win10 demand

The PC industry is trapped in a battle between the immovable objects that are Intel shortages and crap consumer demand, versus the unstoppable force of enterprises upgrading to Windows 10.

Analyst house IDC has forecast shipments to Western European channels - distributors and retailers - to shrink 3.3 per cent this year to 76.3 million PCs and by another 3 per cent in 2019 to 74 million.

Dec 06 16:43

UK spies: You know how we said bulk device hacking would be used sparingly? Well, things have 'evolved'...

UK spies are planning to increase their use of bulk equipment interference, as the range of encrypted hardware and software applications they can't tap into increases.

Equipment interference (EI) – formerly known as computer network exploitation – is the phrase used for spies poking around in devices, like phones or computers, and media like USB sticks.

It allows them to gather up info they claim would otherwise be "lost" as it can't be obtained other ways – crucially, it means they can access encrypted data they cannot grab via the more traditional route of interception.

Dec 06 16:41

Incoming! Microsoft unleashes more fixes for Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Users of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, rejoice! Microsoft has slung out a hefty patch to, er, fix a whole bunch of stuff that was broken in the Update of the Damned.

Released last night, KB4469342 is packed full of updates, with two notable changes lurking at the end of the list of tweaks. The failure of mapped drives to reconnect after starting and logging into a Windows device – which was a showstopper for many enterprises and consumers with home servers – has been fixed, as has the mysterious issue that prevented Win32 program defaults being set for certain file and app combinations.

The other items in the long, long list of fixes include sorting out the brightness slider for the screen resetting to 50 per cent on restart, dealing with Bluetooth headsets dropping audio input after a few minutes and sorting borked display settings on a multi-monitor configuration for some users.

Dec 06 10:27

New Adobe Flash Zero-Day Exploit Found Hidden Inside MS Office Docs

The vulnerability impacts Adobe Flash Player versions 31.0.0.153 and earlier for products including Flash Player Desktop Runtime, Flash Player for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. Adobe Flash Player Installer versions 31.0.0.108 and earlier is also affected.

Researchers reported the Flash zero-day exploit to Adobe on November 29, after which the company acknowledged the issue and released updated Adobe Flash Player version 32.0.0.101 for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chrome OS; and Adobe Flash Player Installer version 31.0.0.122.

Dec 06 10:07

Facebook tumbles from top spot on Glassdoor's best places to work list as damning report claims employees have a 'bunker mentality' following slew of scandals

As Facebook battle new scandals every day, employees are revolting - and the firm has dropped dramatically from its top spot on Glassdoor's annual list of the best places to work.

After ranking No. 1 last year, Facebook now ranks seventh, dropping from a 4.6 to 4.5 award score out of a perfect 5.

Dec 06 10:06

In a Letter To The EU, European Film Companies and Sports Leagues Disavow Article 13, Say It Will Make Big Tech Stronger

By Cory Doctorow

A coalition of some of Europe’s largest film companies and sports leagues have published an open letter to the European Union officials negotiating the final stage of the new Copyright Directive; in their letter, the companies condemn “Article 13,” the rule requiring all but the smallest online platforms to censor their users’ videos, text-messages, photos and audio if they appear to match anything in a crowdsourced copyrighted works database...

Dec 06 10:03

Is NOTHING private any more? Shocking extent of how big firms harvest your data – from children's voice recordings, passport info and even pregnant mothers' due dates

The disturbing scale of the personal data harvested and traded by multinationals can be revealed today.

Health details, children's voice recordings and copies of passports can be at risk when customers tick an online consent box.

Analysis by the Mail found that Marriott International, Facebook, Asda, Paypal, BT and Tesco engaged in hidden data harvesting and sharing.

Giant firms can use personal data to build a profile of customers for targeted adverts or to pass to other organisations.

Dec 06 10:00

Facebook accused of striking 'secret deals over user data'

Emails written by Facebook's chief and his deputies show the firm struck secret deals to give some developers special access to user data while refusing others, according to MPs.

A cache of internal documents has been published online by a parliamentary committee.

It said the files also showed Facebook had deliberately made it "as hard as possible" for users to be aware of privacy changes to its Android app.

Facebook had objected to their release.

Dec 06 09:57

U.S. House passes SMART IoT Act without acknowledging security risks associated with IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is used to connect multiple devices to the Internet. According to countless security experts, IoT is vulnerable, dangerous, stupid, and shitty. For example:

Dec 06 09:49

Facebook's value plunges by $9.5BILLION as soon as markets open following document leak which showed the company was 'anti-competitive'

Shares opened around 2.5 per cent down, wiping an estimated $9.5billion off the company's $379billion value, but rebounded slightly to 1 per cent down 90 minutes after trading started.

The documents showed Facebook 'aggressively' pursued competitors, used its platform to cripple rivals, and leverage developers for advertising money, setting up conflicts with regulators and politicians around the globe.

Dec 06 09:18

Homeland Security Creates Exclusive “Platinum” Spy On Your Neighbors Cam-Share Club

By MassPrivateI

Looking for that special gift for your family this holiday season? Why not sign up for Homeland Security’s “Platinum” spy on your neighbors cam-share club.

According to an article in The Advocate, DHS and New Orleans law enforcement have just created a “platinum” spying program that encourages homeowners and business owners to spy on everyone in real-time...

Dec 06 08:52

These Confidential Charts Show Why Facebook Bought WhatsApp

In February 2014, Facebook purchased the messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion. The acquisition price was staggering for an app that made little money and was largely popular outside the United States.
Now, newly published confidential Facebook emails and charts show exactly why CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a small fortune for the messaging app. For months, the company had been tracking WhatsApp obsessively using Onavo, a VPN and data analytics app, whose data showed that the messaging app was not just a rising competitor, but a potential Facebook killer.

Dec 06 06:58

Biometric Scanning Has Rolled Out in Atlanta International Airport: “One Look And You’re In”

Atlanta airport’s Terminal F has become the “first biometric terminal” in the United States.

And Detroit is next…

International passengers will be able to use facial recognition scans from “curb to gate” to get through every facet of their air travel.

While the face scans are lauded as a great way to save time, they really aren’t as you’ll see in the article.

Dec 05 18:39

The Creepy Line: A New Documentary on the Immense Power of Tech Giants

By Ryan McMaken

The Creepy Line, a new documentary by director M.A. Taylor, is now streaming at Amazon Prime. It takes a disturbing look at how Google and Facebook influence their users’ view of the world, and how the companies have pioneered new ways of doing business. It’s a business model in which personal data harvested from users is exploited so as to offer targeted advertising to third parties.

The Creepy Line takes its title from a description of Google once uttered by Google executive Eric Schmidt who said Google’s mission was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”...

Dec 05 18:24

Alameda and Contra Costa County Sheriffs Flew Drones Over Protests

By Dave Maass and Mike Katz-Lacabe

“We don’t want to use them when people are exercising freedom of speech,” Orlando Police Sgt. Jeffrey Blye told the audience during the best practices portion of his talk. “Because that will destroy your program quickly.”

That is excellent advice for police departments, but sheriffs in the San Francisco Bay Area have chosen not to follow it...

Dec 05 17:11

Facebook exposed: Docs dumped by UK show FB whitelisted user data collection for cherry-picked firms

Facebook’s change of platform in 2014-2015 allowed it to enter into “whitelisting” agreements with app developers, giving them access to user data, in particularly how users are linked as friends within the platform. The documents didn’t reveal what policy Facebook used to decide which firms were worthy of the privilege and which were not.

The increased exposure of private data generated more revenue for app developers, and this outcome was the key driver behind the changes made by Facebook. The social network itself received data about how people were using third party apps in return.

The data-hungry mammoth wanted to know how people used their mobile phones, so it changed Facebook’s mobile app to enable it to harvest more information from devices it was installed on. It deliberately made it harder for users to be aware of this happening in order to avoid bad PR, the MP stressed.

Dec 05 13:34

Have you posted your pictures on the internet? Invasive surveillance technology awaits

We’ve all done it at one point or another, posting our pictures of ourselves, family and friends on websites and social network portals such as Facebook. Whether it be submitting your picture to output a cartoon or aged version of yourself, or uploading your personal snapshots to Facebook, marketing campaigns are aggressively being pushed by digital media corporations to obtain your facial biometrics. However, most people are completely unaware of the deceptive nature of these campaigns and their intentions.

Dec 05 11:08

Assange Case: U.S. Espionage Act Is Illegal, Says John Kiriakou

“The only thing that can save Julian Assange is jury nullification,” says whistleblower John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee based in Virginia, in an exclusive talk to this reporter.

U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradited from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S. Criminal charges against WikiLeaks’ founder were accidentally revealed in early November, when Assange’s name was found on the court filing of an unrelated case, suggesting that prosecutors had copied a boilerplate text and forgotten to change the defendant’s name.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that

“due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Attempting to make a martyr out of Assange will have the polar opposite effect than that which the government wants to see happen.

When the truth becomes illegal to disseminate, the country in which this has happened, has gone completely fascist.

Dec 05 10:46

John Stossel On Censorship: Google & Facebook Cross ‘The Creepy Line’ Daily

John Stossel has recently said that Google and Facebook aren’t just guilty of censorship, but they cross “the creepy line” of suppression of speech daily. Both companies have an obvious agenda, and they have proven that they will silence those who dissent.

Dec 05 10:20

Hackers could spy on your children using security flaw in tablet used by thousands of kids around the world

A tablet aimed at children aged between three and nine years old has a severe security flaw which allows hackers to spy on the children.

Known as the InnoTab Max or the Storio Max and available for £115 ($120), the 'safe' tablet allows parents to approve a website before their children can visit it.

But, it has been revealed, customers with affected devices are at risk of criminals taking control of the popular gadget and snooping on the vulnerable youngsters.

Accomplished hackers can monitor children, listen to them, talk to them, have full access and control of the device and even watch them through the webcam.

Dec 05 09:59

Political Decentralization: Freeing the Internet From Monopolists With Crypto-Tech

Op-Ed by Jonas Sevel Karlberg

The Internet was born from an ideal for information to be shared by all, with all, and was seen as the archetypal decentralized system. Today, however, commercialization by monopolistic and powerful actors has created a system in which we are shown information paid for by the highest bidders, and can only access what the wealthy and powerful permit. Giant tech companies, big businesses, and even governments now act as sentries who not only control what we can do, but have unprecedented capabilities to watch us do it...

Dec 04 16:05

The end of the browser wars? Microsoft to kill off its Edge browser and create new app based on the same technology as Google's Chrome

The edge browser, which was supposed to replace Internet Explorer and was hailed as being far faster, has struggled to attract users - despite being free in every copy of Windows 10.

Now, according to Windows Central, it is being killed off.

'I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, which uses a similar rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser known as Blink,'' the site says.

Dec 04 10:31

Wells Fargo computer glitch blamed as HUNDREDS lose their homes and the bank offers an apology - but no real explanation

Wells Fargo has revealed a computer glitch is behind an error that led to more than 500 customers losing their homes.

Last month the bank announced that an underwriting error had caused it to incorrectly reject some 870 home loan modifications, resulting in the bank foreclosing 545 homes.

The errors have left the banking community, legislators and, of course, the affected homeowners asking how this happened.

Dec 04 08:37

Friend of Khashoggi sues Israeli spyware company

Saudi activist Omar Abdulaziz filed a lawsuit against Israeli cyber warfare company NSO Group in Tel Aviv on Sunday, on the basis that the company’s malware intercepted conversations between the activist and slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The lawsuit alleges the spyware company violates international law through selling its software to oppressive regimes that use it to violate human rights, CNN reported.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, where he was killed and dismembered by a hit squad sent from Saudi Arabia.

After a number of attempts at muddying the waters, Saudi Arabia eventually admitted the Washington Post columnist was slain inside the building.

Dec 03 10:54

Smile, Travelers! You’re on Candid DHS Cameras.

By Edward Hasbrouck

The Department of Homeland Security has posted the latest update to a series of Privacy Impact Assessments attempting to whitewash the invasions of privacy and human rights inherent in a comprehensive system of automated facial identification of travelers.

The latest PIA reveals more than the DHS has previously admitted about the nature and scope of its planned use of automated facial ID technology...

Dec 03 10:43

AT&T makes it more expensive to cancel DirecTV or Internet service

AT&T will start charging customers for the full month after they cancel TV or Internet service, ending its customer-friendly practice of providing a prorated credit for the final month.

Even if you cancel on the first day of a new billing period, you'll be charged for the full month and service will continue for the rest of the month whether you want it or not. To avoid paying for a month of service you don't want, you'd need to cancel by the last day of the previous billing period.

The change will take effect on January 14, 2019 and apply even when a customer is paying on a month-to-basis and no longer under contract.

Dec 03 09:36

The worst tech failures of 2018

It was a rough year for the technology industry: From anxiety-inducing social networks and buggy mobile devices to glitchy operating systems and killer driverless cars, we had it all.

Dec 03 09:35

The state of cyberwarfare: 2 things you need to know

Cybersecurity headlines in recent years have been dominated by companies losing money by being hacked and leaking the data of millions of customers.

But today, cybersecurity is moving beyond the financial impact to concerns over public safety, national security, and even cyberwarfare.

To understand the state of cyberwar and its potential impact, we should all keep in mind two things:

Dec 03 08:46

Microsoft Declares Intent To Provide Military All Of Its Technology Because of the Military’s “Ethical and Honorable Tradition”

By Nicholas West

After decades of tech companies and the U.S. military overlapping in a variety of ways, it appears that the largest of them are ready to openly declare their desire to enhance the power of the state.

Because nothing says ethics like teaming up with a military that has killed more than 20 million people since WWII...

Dec 02 19:10

Microsoft vows to hand over all its technologies to ‘ethical & honorable’ US military

As big tech in the US faces increased opposition from its own employees over Pentagon contracts, the head of Microsoft Corporation appears to have decided to throw his weight behind the US military and to offer them full support.

Microsoft is “going to provide the US military with access to the best technology ... all the technology we create. Full stop,” Brad Smith, the president of the tech giant, said at the Reagan National Defense Forum, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Dec 01 11:46

Meet IARPA: Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

By Patrick Wood

The Pentagon has its Technocrat scientist operation with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The intelligence community has its own version in IARPA, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

IARPA claims that they do not implement the things they invent, which effectively removes them from responsibility for their actions and inventions. It’s a Technocrat’s dream come true...

Dec 01 10:24

Escaping the Global Banking Cartel - aantonop


Expanding on an observation from his last talk, Andreas asks why we talk so much about the cartels in drugs and oil, but rarely about one of the largest cartels in the world: banking. He analyses recent (unacknowledged) history with the 2008 financial crisis, the corrupt revolving door with regulators, how kleptocracy is destroying democracy, and why Bitcoin matters as an exit when voice is no longer an option.

Dec 01 10:22

Google Home Assistant Will Notice if You Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’

Google Home A.I. assistant devices will reportedly notice if owners say “please” and “thank you,” and will give more cheery replies, as part of a newly implemented feature called “pretty please.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is getting a bit creepy.

Dec 01 10:11

Google Rumored to Shut Down Hangouts in 2020

According to 9to5, a source says Google plans to shut off consumer access to Hangouts in 2020. So, 2019 may be the last year you get to use Hangouts. The brand would continue to live on for businesses using G Suite as Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.

Dec 01 10:09

BREAKING: Fed Prosecutors Assigned to John Huber Questioned Whistleblower INSIDE THE CLINTON FOUNDATION on Friday (VIDEO)

Federal prosecutors reached out to a CLINTON FOUNDATION whistleblower on Friday.This just happened tonight!

John Solomon: I’ll give you some breaking news right now, Sean. Just two hours ago federal prosecutors assigned to John Huber, the US attorney investigating the Clintons, reached out to a whistleblower in the Clinton Foundation – The first time we’ve seen contact between a Clinton Foundation whistleblower and that particular federal office. That just happened tonight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope this Huber character is wearing his Kevlar undies, and has no intention of traveling on small aircraft soon. In fact, it may not be a bad thing for him to find some private security for himself and his family.

The Clintonistas most likely have assassins on their speed dial!!

Dec 01 10:05

500 MILLION AFFECTED IN MASSIVE MARRIOTT DATA BREACH; NAMES, PASSPORT NUMBERS STOLEN BY HACKERS

This is terrible news for Marriott shareholders (and great news for the VC backers of Airbnb).

Marriott shares have fallen more than 2% in premarket trading after the hotel chain announced news of a massive data breach of its guest registration system at Starwood hotels, the hotel chain that it purchased in September 2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ouch!!!

Dec 01 09:18

Amazon May Be Hiding Its Plans to Test New Wireless Tech by Masquerading as a Massage Spa

What do a Silicon Valley massage spa, a local community college, and a California plastics manufacturer have in common? They will soon be testing hundreds of cutting-edge wireless devices, according to an application for an experimental permit filed last week with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

If that sounds unlikely, it is. It seems much more likely that the new devices will actually be tested at three nearby Amazon facilities. These include two buildings belonging to the company’s secretive Lab126 research division, and one of the retailer’s largest fulfillment centers in the state.

On 19 November, a company called Chrome Enterprises sought permission to test up to 450 prototype devices using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), a new technology that aims to deliver ultrafast wireless broadband over shared radio frequencies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a question of who actually gets the money from the ultimate sale of those devices, which have to work magnificently to receive approval.

Nov 30 17:19

Leaked Google Emails Reveal Internal Discussion On Burying Articles From Conservative Outlets

Google – which was exposed trying to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election, and who were beside themselves after she lost – discussed whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function after Donald Trump became president, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation‘s Peter Hasson.

Nov 30 11:10

Yes, the EU’s New #CopyrightDirective is All About Filters

By Cory Doctorow

When the EU started planning its new Copyright Directive (the “Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive”), a group of powerful entertainment industry lobbyists pushed a terrible idea: a mandate that all online platforms would have to create crowdsourced databases of “copyrighted materials” and then block users from posting anything that matched the contents of those databases.

At the time, we, along with academics and technologists explained why this would undermine the Internet, even as it would prove unworkable. The filters would be incredibly expensive to create, would erroneously block whole libraries worth of legitimate materials, allow libraries more worth of infringing materials to slip through, and would not be capable of sorting out “fair dealing” uses of copyrighted works from infringing ones...

Nov 30 10:13

US Treasury Targeting More Iranian Bitcoin Users

A few days ago the US department of treasury came out with new sanctions against two Iranians who allegedly were involved in hacking of websites. The treasury department accuses these individuals of using ransomware to hold sites hostage and then demanding Bitcoin as payment to release their hold on the sites...

Nov 30 08:33

Oh my chord! Sennheiser hits bum note with major HTTPS certificate cock-up

Headphone maker Sennheiser is facing the music after being caught compromising the security of its customers.

The vendor's Headsetup and Headsetup Pro applications install both a root certificate and its secret private key on Windows and Mac computers, which can be used, for instance, by scumbags to intercept and decrypt users' encrypted HTTPS web browsing. In effect, installing the Headsetup software leaves you open to having your web connections snooped on or tampered with, and any sensitive information like passwords stolen.

Nov 30 08:31

Here are another 45,000 reasons to patch Windows systems against old NSA exploits

Earlier this year, Akamai warned that vulnerabilities in Universal Plug'N'Play (UPnP) had been exploited by scumbags to hijack 65,000 home routers. In follow-up research released this week, it revealed little has changed.

Having revisited its April probing, the web cache biz has come to the conclusion that the security nightmare it dubbed “UPnProxy” is still “alive and well.”

The only way to truly secure a router from UPnProxy attacks is to reflash the hardware, clearing any attacker-injected configuration and installing patched firmware, where available. Oh, and turn UPnP off, which has been standard advice for a decade.

Nov 30 08:23

500 Million Marriott Guest Records Stolen in Starwood Data Breach

The stolen hotel database contains sensitive personal information of nearly 327 million guests, including their names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, genders, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences.

Nov 30 08:12

Marriott reveals data breach affecting 500 million hotel guests

Hackers have had access to the Starwood guest reservation database since 2014.

Nov 30 06:11

CHINESE GOVERNMENT GETS REAL TIME LOCATION TRACKING DATA ON ELECTRIC VEHICLES

When Shan Junhua bought his white Tesla Model X, he knew it was a fast, beautiful car. What he didn’t know is that Tesla constantly sends information about the precise location of his car to the Chinese government.

Tesla is not alone. China has called upon all electric vehicle manufacturers in China to make the same kind of reports — potentially adding to the rich kit of surveillance tools available to the Chinese government as President Xi Jinping steps up the use of technology to track Chinese citizens.

“I didn’t know this,” said Shan. “Tesla could have it, but why do they transmit it to the government? Because this is about privacy.”

More than 200 manufacturers, including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Mitsubishi and U.S.-listed electric vehicle startup NIO, transmit position information and dozens of other data points to government-backed monitoring centers, The Associated Press has found. Generally, it happens without car owners’ knowledge.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is more than creepy, how the info is being used by Government offices, without the users' knowledge

Nov 30 06:03

GOOGLE SHUT OUT PRIVACY AND SECURITY TEAMS FROM SECRET CHINA PROJECT

The secrecy surrounding the work was unheard of at Google. It was not unusual for planned new products to be closely guarded ahead of launch. But this time was different. The objective, code-named Dragonfly, was to build a search engine for China that would censor broad categories of information about human rights, democracy, and peaceful protest.
In February 2017, during one of the first group meetings about Dragonfly at Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California, some of those present were left stunned by what they heard. Senior executives disclosed that the search system’s infrastructure would be reliant upon a Chinese partner company with data centers likely in Beijing or Shanghai.

Locating core parts of the search system on the Chinese mainland meant that people’s search records would be easily accessible to China’s authoritarian government, which has broad surveillance powers that it routinely deploys to target activists, journalists, and political opponents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And when this has been successfully installed in China, look for Google to be asked to do precisely the same for the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika.

Computer users, please make sure that you stay as anonymous as you can on line, because that same kind of utterly draconian control, is what this government would love to see happen, but probably at least more subtly, and the beginning.

The deplatforming we are seeing of conservative thought, is just the beginning for this process here in the US.

Nov 29 17:56

Parents are giving tons of their kids' personal data away — and the long-term effects aren't yet known

Experts warn data posted online could one day influence kids' future job prospects, credit ratings

Nov 29 17:49

The Music Industry Asks US Government to Make 'Unauthorized Streaming' a Felony

The groups went on to insist that "as website blocking has had a positive impact in other countries without significant unintended consequences, the US should reconsider adding this to its anti-piracy tool box.”

But numerous copyright experts told Motherboard that “unintended consequences” are a frequent occurrence. Homeland Security accidentally shuttered 84,000 innocent sites in one 2011 copyright enforcement effort, and Australian filtering efforts resulted in more than 250,000 non-infringing websites being unfairly targeted and temporarily taken offline.

Experts say imposing domain-level blacklists of infringing sites is similarly problematic, since such filters are usually easily bypassed with only a modicum of technical know how.

Nov 29 11:40

Man arrested for rape after his Playstation mic allegedly broadcast audio from the crime to other players

Last June, 18-year-old Daniel Fabian of Pasco County, Florida was playing Grand Theft Auto Online, when he informed the other players in his team chat that he was going to take a break to "smash" (have sex with) a 15-year-old girl.

An unnamed player in that chat says he later heard a woman's voice say the word "no," and cries of "distress" through Fabian's mic, and called the police.

This week, Fabian was arrested for "lewd and lascivious behavior" with an underage victim (there is another 2018 case against Fabian for the same charge, it's not clear if both cases relate to the same incident).

Nov 29 11:31

Justice Department charges Iranian hackers with attacks on US cities, companies

The 25-page indictment charges that the hackers’ scheme was for their own personal profit, and was not government directed.

The defendants, Faramarz Shah Savandi and Mohammad Mehd Shah Mansouri, were charged with conspiring to hack victims between December 2015 and this month. The suspects are believed to be in Iran.

Nov 29 10:02

Israel’s espionage crimes in Gaza and abroad

Amnesty International is demanding that Israel’s defense ministry revoke the export license from a company whose spyware has been used in “a series of egregious human rights violations.”

Amnesty said that it intends to pursue legal action over NSO Group Technologies, an Israeli firm whose technology was revealed earlier this year to have been used to hack a phone belonging to one of the rights group’s staffers.

The staff member received a WhatsApp message “with Saudi Arabia-related bait content and carrying links Amnesty International believes are used to distribute and deploy sophisticated mobile spyware,” the rights group stated in August.

Nov 29 09:55

Hackers are opening SMB ports on routers so they can infect PCs with NSA malware

Akamai has detected an ingenious malware campaign that alters configurations on home and small office routers to open connections toward internal networks so crooks can infect previously isolated computers.

The way hackers achieve this, Akamai said, is via a technique known as UPnProxy, which the company first detailed in April this year.

The technique relies on exploiting vulnerabilities in the UPnP services installed on some routers to alter the device's NAT (Network Address Translation) tables.

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