COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 22 08:08

Report: gov’t spyware targets phones of Al-Jazeera reporters

Dozens of journalists at Al-Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned media company, have been targeted by advanced spyware in an attack likely linked to the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a cybersecurity watchdog said Sunday.

Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said it traced malware that infected the personal phones of 36 journalists, producers, anchors and executives at Al-Jazeera back to the Israel-based NSO Group, which has been widely condemned for selling spyware to repressive governments.

Most unnerving to the investigators was that iMessages were infecting targeted cellphones without the users taking any action — what’s known as a zero-click vulnerability. Through push notifications alone, the malware instructed the phones to upload their content to servers linked to the NSO Group, Citizen Lab said, turning journalists’ iPhones into powerful surveillance tools without even luring users to click on suspicious links or threatening texts.

Dec 22 08:07

Cyber Attacks by Israeli Spy Firm NSO Group Are a Modern-Day Marketing Campaign

Spyware and hack tools are not the kind of products that you can advertise on TV or in newspapers, at least not with paid commercials and paid advertisements.

The only way to really effectively advertise your spyware is by having others talk and write about it in news stories.

Dec 22 07:49

Biden’s Chief of Staff Says Response to Hack Will Go Beyond Sanctions

The incoming White House chief of staff for Joe Biden said on Sunday that the next administration’s response to a recently discovered cyberattack that targeted several government agencies will be more than “just sanctions.”

“In terms of the measures that a Biden administration would take in response to an attack like this — I want to be very clear — it’s not just sanctions,” Ron Klain told CBS. “It’s also steps and things we could do to degrade the capacity of foreign actors to repeat this sort of attack.”

Since the hack on the software company SolarWinds was first reported, many in the media and in Congress were quick to blame Russia. Despite a lack of evidence that Moscow was involved, the Biden administration is reportedly mulling ways to retaliate against Russia. Sources told Reuters that options being considered are financial penalties and hacks on Russia’s infrastructure.

Dec 22 07:20

Another "Pre-Crime" AI System Claims It Can Predict Who Will Share Disinformation Before It's Published

We previously have covered the many weighty claims made by the progenitors of A.I. algorithms who claim that their technology can stop crime before it happens. Similar predictive A.I. is increasingly being used to stop the spread of misinformation, disinformation and general “fake news” by analyzing trends in behavior and language used across social media.

However, as we’ve also covered, these systems have more often that not failed quite spectacularly, as many artificial intelligence experts and mathematicians have highlighted. One expert in particular — Uri Gal, Associate Professor in Business Information Systems, at the University of Sydney, Australia — noted that from what he has seen so far, these systems are “no better at telling the future than a crystal ball.”

Dec 21 12:41

US House Intelligence Panel Chief Slams Trump For Blaming China Instead of Russia for Massive Hack

Several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle previously reiterated accusations levelled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who claimed that it was "pretty clear" that Russia was behind the cyberattack on several government institutions. However, Trump appeared to disagree with him, suggesting that China might be the culprit.

The chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence, Democrat Adam Schiff, has blasted President Donald Trump in an interview with MSNBC over POTUS’ alleged downplaying of Russia's supposed role in the recent cyberattacks on the US government and pointing the finger at China instead.

"It [is] just uniformly destructive and deceitful, and injurious [...] to our national security", Schiff said, commenting the president's earlier tweets on the matter.

Dec 21 12:38

The Russian ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’ That Wasn’t

For almost three decades, we have awaited a mythical “cyber Pearl Harbor,” the harbinger of digital doom that the U.S. cybersecurity community assumes to be inevitable. Strangely enough, some believe this cyber Pearl Harbor already happened twice within the last two months.

Though warnings of cyber Pearl Harbor emerged as early as 1991, former defense secretary Leon Panetta is perhaps best known for promoting the idea, warning in 2012 of an impending “cyber-Pearl Harbor that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation.” Such a grand event would be tough to miss.

Dec 21 12:32

New SUPERNOVA backdoor found in SolarWinds cyberattack analysis

While analyzing artifacts from the SolarWinds Orion supply-chain attack, security researchers discovered another backdoor that is likely from a second threat actor.

Named SUPERNOVA, the malware is a webshell planted in the code of the Orion network and applications monitoring platform and enabled adversaries to run arbitrary code on machines running the trojanized version of the software.

Dec 21 11:29

‘Former’ Communist Comey Got SCORECARD Election Hacking Source Code And Knew SolarWinds Was Not Secure

The following information was breaking news first revealed LIVE on WVW-TV on Friday night with Lt. General Thomas McInerney, Mary Fanning and Alex Newman.

FBI Director James Comey demanded that the FBI be given the source code to SCORECARD, the election-hacking application that operates on THE HAMMER surveillance supercomputer platform, as a condition of CIA contractor-turned-whistleblower Dennis L. Montgomery’s 2015 FBI and DOJ immunity agreements, according to Montgomery.

SCORECARD is an election-hacking cyberweapon designed to monitor and engineer elections. SCORECARD is one of the HAMR exploits designed to run on THE HAMMER framework.

The American Report was the first news organization to report on SCORECARD, in an article titled “Biden Using SCORECARD and THE HAMMER To Steal Another U.S. Presidential Election — Just Like Obama And Biden Did In 2012,” published on October 31, 2020, three days before the 2020 election.

Dec 21 11:28

A second hacking group has targeted SolarWinds systems

As forensic evidence is slowly being unearthed in the aftermath of the SolarWinds supply chain attack, security researchers have discovered a second threat actor that has exploited the SolarWinds software to plant malware on corporate and government networks.

Details about this second threat actor are still scarce, but security researchers don't believe this second entity is related to the suspected Russian government-backed hackers who breached SolarWinds to insert malware inside its official Orion app.

The malware used in the original attack, codenamed Sunburst (or Solorigate), was delivered to SolarWinds customers as a boobytrapped update for the Orion app.

Dec 21 11:16

How to check who can access your iPhone, iPad, and Apple accounts

Apple continues its focus on privacy and security with some new resources on how to protect your devices, accounts, and personal safety. Let’s look at the recommended steps to check who can access your iPhone, other Apple devices, and Apple accounts.

Apple published its new 20-page support guide called “Device and Data Access When Personal Safety is at Risk.” And whether you’ve got some specific personal safety concerns or are just ready for a privacy and security checkup, following along with the steps below is a great idea.

We also have a guide on checking the privacy details of iOS apps.

Dec 21 11:15

A Massive Fraud Operation Stole Millions From Online Bank Accounts

RESEARCHERS FROM IBM Trusteer say they’ve uncovered a massive fraud operation that used a network of mobile device emulators to drain millions of dollars from online bank accounts in a matter of days.

The scale of the operation was unlike anything the researchers have seen before. In one case, crooks used about 20 emulators to mimic more than 16,000 phones belonging to customers whose mobile bank accounts had been compromised. In a separate case, a single emulator was able to spoof more than 8,100 devices.

The thieves then entered usernames and passwords into banking apps running on the emulators and initiated fraudulent money orders that siphoned funds out of the compromised accounts. Emulators are used by legitimate developers and researchers to test how apps run on a variety of different mobile devices.

Dec 21 06:44

Proof-Of-Fraud: Study Shows Biden Won The 'Dominion Machine Vote' By 5.6% Consistently

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden outperformed in counties that use the Dominion or HART InterCivic voting machines, according to a data analyst.

“Analysis evidence suggests the use of the Dominion X/ICX BMD (Ballot Marking Device) machine, manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems, and machines from HART InterCivic appear to have abnormally influenced election results,” the data analyst wrote in a report that was published on Thursday.

The data analyst, who wished to remain anonymous for safety reasons, has 30 years of practice in data analysis.

Dec 21 06:38

UK defence chief says he wants to beat Russia & China ‘at their own game’ with focus on ‘?yber escalation’ below war threshold

The UK needs to “beat” Russia and China “at their own game”, General Sir Nick Carter, Britain’s defence chief, told the Times newspaper after outlining an ‘up-to-date’ strategy that appears to be rooted in Cold War mentality.

Cyber attacks, asymmetric conflicts and digital surveillance – the list of “threats” and “challenges” posed to the UK and its allies by an assertive Russia and China appears to be long, at least in the mind of the British top brass. General Sir Nick Carter defined Moscow as an “acute threat” and called China a “chronic challenge” in an interview with the Times.

Dec 21 06:36

Bill Gertz: Leaked Database Suggests Widespread CCP Infiltration; China Silences Hong Kong Activists

Dec 20 07:18

Trump Says Voting Machines May Have Been Breached by SolarWinds Hack During Election

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that voting machines may have been hacked during the November election.

“There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election,” he wrote in a Twitter post.

The president apparently was referring to the SolarWinds hack which caused a number of government agencies to be compromised.

He said the hack is not as big as it’s reported.

“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality,” he wrote. “I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control.”

Dec 20 06:34

Some German Companies Made Use of SolarWinds’ Hacked Software, Report Says

Reuters reported earlier that hackers said to be backed by a foreign state stole data from several government agencies, as many, including US authorities, rush to claim that Russia is behind the sophisticated hack. Moscow has hit back, observing that there is no proof to this end and bringing up earlier calls for cooperation in the cyber sphere.

German companies and institutions use software developed by the American firm SolarWinds, whose clients, including US federal agencies, recently fell victim to hacking attacks, a representative for Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) shared with the tabloid Bild.

According to the German agency’s estimates, the number of those German firms currently suffering from the cyber attack is “insignificant”.

Dec 20 06:29

Trump lashes out at media for blaming ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’ for hacking, says it ‘may be China’

President Donald Trump has broken with the media and his own Secretary of State, brushing aside allegations that Russia was behind a massive computer hack. Trump instead claimed that the real culprit could be Beijing.
“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality,” Trump tweeted on Saturday, adding that “everything is well under control.”

Dec 19 09:25

Latest iOS update shows all the ways Facebook tracks you. There are a lot.

Knowing Facebook tracks everything you do is one thing, but actually seeing it? Oof.

Apple officially launched iOS 14.3 Monday, and with it came an update to the App Store that promises to forever change the way you look at your downloads. Now, when you pull up an app, Apple offers a detailed list of "how developers may handle your data[.]" And when it comes to Facebook's family of apps, oh, man, do they ever handle it.

Facebook, of course, owns both Instagram and WhatsApp (as well as Oculus and scores of other name-brand services). But let's look at just the main Facebook app first. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is user data which Facebook confirmed to Apple its "privacy practices may include handling[.]"

Fair warning: It's a lot. From the (hopefully) obvious like your phone number and contacts, to the more eyebrow raising like your "precise location," "sensitive info," "audio data," and "emails or text messages," Facebook has its fingers in a lot of your pies.

Dec 18 12:41

Senators Liken Hack To "Russian Invasion" As Biden Vows Retaliation

Despite the lack of evidence that Russia was behind a massive hack that appears to have targeted several US government agencies, US senators are calling for retaliation against Moscow, even likening the cyberattack to an "invasion".

"This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously," Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. On Thursday, Durbin called for a response against Moscow on the Senate floor, describing the hack as a "virtual invasion."

"No, I’m not calling for an invasion myself or all-out war. I don’t want to see that happen, but it’s no longer a buddy-buddy arrangement between the United States and Vladimir Putin," he said on Thursday. "When adversaries such as Russia torment us, tempt us, breach the security of our nation, we need to respond in kind."

Dec 18 09:58

Nuclear weapons agency breached amid massive cyber onslaught

The Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, have evidence that hackers accessed their networks as part of an extensive espionage operation that has affected at least half a dozen federal agencies, officials directly familiar with the matter said.

On Thursday, DOE and NNSA officials began coordinating notifications about the breach to their congressional oversight bodies after being briefed by Rocky Campione, the chief information officer at DOE.

Dec 18 09:53

Microsoft says it identified 40+ victims of the SolarWinds hack

Microsoft said it identified more than 40 of its customers that installed trojanized versions of the SolarWinds Orion platform and where hackers escalated intrusions with additional, second-stage payloads.

The OS maker said it was able to discover these intrusions using data collected by Microsoft Defender antivirus product, a free antivirus product built into all Windows installations.

Dec 18 08:51

Hackers use fake media domains to trick North Korea researchers

In a fresh attempt to steal passwords from researchers working on North Korea, hackers have registered domains that resemble web addresses from legitimate media organizations in order to send highly targeted emails to selected victims. An email obtained and analyzed by NK News on Thursday was sent from VOAKoreas.com — a domain that was registered less than four months ago and is not affiliated with Voice Of America (VOA). The email had a subject line of “[VOA Media] Inquiry” and claimed to come from VOA anchor Eunjung Cho. The email, which was sent to a DPRK expert who requested anonymity

Dec 18 08:15

Senators Liken Hack to Russian Invasion Despite Lack of Proof Moscow Was Involved

Despite the lack of evidence that Russia was behind a massive hack that appears to have targeted several US government agencies, US senators are calling for retaliation against Moscow, even likening the cyberattack to an invasion.

“This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously,” Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. On Thursday, Durbin called for a response against Moscow on the Senate floor, describing the hack as a “virtual invasion.”

“No, I’m not calling for an invasion myself or all-out war. I don’t want to see that happen, but it’s no longer a buddy-buddy arrangement between the United States and Vladimir Putin,” he said on Thursday. “When adversaries such as Russia torment us, tempt us, breach the security of our nation, we need to respond in kind.”

Dec 18 08:06

Israeli spy firm suspected of accessing global telecoms via Channel Islands

The Israeli private intelligence company Rayzone Group appears to have had access to the global telecommunications network via a mobile operator in the Channel Islands in the first half of 2018, potentially enabling its clients at that time to track the locations of mobile phones across the world.

Invoices seen by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggest Rayzone, a corporate spy agency that provides its government clients with “geolocation tools”, used an intermediary in 2018 to lease an access point into the telecoms network via Sure Guernsey, a mobile operator in the Channel Islands.

Such access points, known in the telecoms industry as “global titles”, provide a route into a decades-old global messaging system known as SS7, which allows mobile operators to connect users around the world. It is not uncommon for mobile companies to lease out such access.

Dec 18 07:46

ANOTHER "PRE-CRIME" AI SYSTEM CLAIMS IT CAN PREDICT DISINFORMATION BEFORE IT'S EVEN SHARED

We previously have covered the many weighty claims made by the progenitors of A.I. algorithms who claim that their technology can stop crime before it happens. Similar predictive A.I. is increasingly being used to stop the spread of misinformation, disinformation and general “fake news” by analyzing trends in behavior and language used across social media.

However, as we’ve also covered, these systems have more often that not failed quite spectacularly, as many artificial intelligence experts and mathematicians have highlighted. One expert in particular — Uri Gal, Associate Professor in Business Information Systems, at the University of Sydney, Australia — noted that from what he has seen so far, these systems are “no better at telling the future than a crystal ball.”

Dec 18 07:44

AI TAKES AUTONOMOUS CONTROL TO FLY U-2 SPY PLANE MISSION

On December 15, the United States Air Force successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane in California, marking the first time AI has controlled a U.S. military system. In this Popular Mechanics exclusive, Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, reveals how he and his team made history.

For Star Wars fans, an X-Wing fighter isn’t complete without R2-D2. Whether you need to fire up converters, increase power, or fix a broken stabilizer, that trusty droid, full of lively beeps and squeaks, is the ultimate copilot.

Teaming artificial intelligence (AI) with pilots is no longer just a matter for science fiction or blockbuster movies. On Tuesday, December 15, the Air Force successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane in California: the first time AI has controlled a U.S. military system.

Dec 18 07:29

A microchip-based program backed by Bill Gates is tracking the COVID status of millions

Dec 18 06:58

The worst bugs in the top programming languages

Veracode has released the 11th volume of its annual State of Software Security report, and its findings reveal that flawed applications are the norm, open-source libraries are increasingly untrustworthy, and it's taking a long time to patch problems.

The report found a full 76% of apps contained flaws, and 24% of apps have flaws considered highly severe. Some 70% of apps are inheriting security flaws from their open-source libraries, but it's important to note that only 30% of apps have more security bugs in their open-source libraries than in code written in-house, suggesting that it isn't solely open-source projects that are to blame.

Open-source libraries are a massive attack surface due to their ubiquity, Veracode said in the report. It also pointed out that there's no correlation between the quality of in-house code and open-source bugs, highlighting that developers should be verifying the safety of open-source libraries no matter how good they think their own code is.

Dec 18 03:24

White House activates cyber emergency response

The action is rooted in a presidential directive issued during the Obama administration known as PPD-41, which establishes a Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) that is intended to help the U.S. government coordinate multiple agencies’ responses to the significant hacking incident.

Dec 17 13:42

Computer Memory Can Be Made to Speak in Wifi, Researcher Discovers

A new theoretical exploit called Air-Fi can turn a secure, air-gapped computer into a wifi transmitter that can help a hacker exfiltrate secure data.

An air-gapped computer is a computer that is completely disconnected from any network. Many air-gapped machines have every possible network feature removed, from wifi to Bluetooth, but this exploit shows that hackers can use DDR SDRAM buses “to generate electromagnetic emissions in the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bands and encode binary data on top of it,” according to the researcher Mordechai Guri of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

“This technique required high levels of skills from the attacker, in both design and implementation,” said Guri in an email. “However, there are simpler covert exfiltration channels for conventional IT environments in the wild. This one is focusing on leaking data from air-gapped computers where the traditional network-based covert channels fail.”

Dec 17 13:42

40 GirlsDoPorn victims sue Pornhub for hosting “sex trafficking” videos

Forty Jane Does who say they were victims of GirlsDoPorn sued Pornhub yesterday for at least $2 million each, alleging that Pornhub hosted videos despite knowing that "GirlsDoPorn was a sex trafficking venture."

The lawsuit was filed against Pornhub and Pornhub owner MindGeek in US District Court for the Southern District of California. The complaint asks for "compensatory damages in an amount that exceeds one million dollars for each plaintiff," plus another $1 million or more, each, in punitive damages.

While they were separate businesses, many of the videos produced by GirlsDoPorn were uploaded to and hosted on Pornhub. The lawsuit alleges that "as early as 2009, and definitely by fall 2016, MindGeek knew GirlsDoPorn was trafficking its victims by using fraud, coercion, and intimidation as part of its customary business practices to get the women to film the videos."

Dec 17 13:41

How and when to shoot with Apple’s hidden new photo format

This week, Apple introduced iOS 14.3. Tucked in with its typical array of bug fixes and new features, the company rolled out its new ProRAW photo format for the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. It’s not on by default—you’ll have to go into Settings > Camera > Formats > Apple ProRAW to enable it—but it could open up a lot more potential from your smartphone photos once enabled.

What is a raw photo?

Dec 17 13:36

Twitter Says It Will REMOVE All Posts Claiming Vaccines Can Harm People

Twitter has declared that it will remove all posts that suggest there are any “adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations,” despite reports already emerging of health workers getting sick from taking Pfizer’s coronavirus shot.

Twitter announced that beginning next week it will memory-hole any posts that “invoke a deliberate conspiracy” or “advance harmful, false, or misleading narratives” about vaccines.

“Using a combination of technology and human review, we will begin enforcing this updated policy on December 21, and expanding our actions during the following weeks,” the company proclaimed.

Twitter added that it will be monitoring posts about vaccinations “in close consultation with local, national, and global public health authorities around the world.”

Dec 17 13:23

Part human, part machine: is Apple turning us all into cyborgs?

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Apple engineers embarked on a rare collaboration with Google. The goal was to build a system that could track individual interactions across an entire population, in an effort to get a head start on isolating potentially infectious carriers of a disease that, as the world was discovering, could be spread by asymptomatic patients.

Delivered at breakneck pace, the resulting exposure notification tool has yet to prove its worth. The NHS Covid-19 app uses it, as do others around the world. But lockdowns make interactions rare, limiting the tool’s usefulness, while in a country with uncontrolled spread, it isn’t powerful enough to keep the R number low. In the Goldilocks zone, when conditions are just right, it could save lives.

Dec 17 13:04

Major Google outage highlights company’s influence, prompts questions of Great Reset cyber attack

In the last two days, Google services have suffered major outages, rendering users across the world unable to use the platform. The system failures highlight the manner in which people have come to rely on the platform, despite it spying on its users, along with raising questions about cyber attack relating to the globalist “Great Reset.”

On Monday, Google services dropped for about an hour shortly before 7am EST, as the company’s various online services underwent a huge outage. The Google Workspace Dashboard outlines the extent of the issue, with popular services such as Gmail, Google Drive, Maps, Classroom, and YouTube unusable.

Dec 17 13:03

German Cabinet Passes 5G Security Bill Avoiding Huawei Ban

The German government approved an IT security bill on Wednesday that does not explicitly ban Huawei from supplying components for its 5G high-speed internet.

The legislation, which will now go to parliament, requires that suppliers guarantee their equipment will not be used for spying. Washington has threatened to stop sharing intelligence with Germany if it does not bar the Chinese tech giant from its 5G rollout plan.

Dec 17 12:43

“Evil mobile emulator farms” used to steal millions from US and EU banks

Researchers from IBM Trusteer say they’ve uncovered a massive fraud operation that used a network of mobile device emulators to drain millions of dollars from online bank accounts in a matter of days.

The scale of the operation was unlike anything the researchers have seen before. In one case, crooks used about 20 emulators to mimic more than 16,000 phones belonging to customers whose mobile bank accounts had been compromised. In a separate case, a single emulator was able to spoof more than 8,100 devices, as shown in the following image:

Dec 17 12:31

Ultra-thin designer materials unlock quantum phenomena

A team of theoretical and experimental physicists have designed a new ultra-thin material that they have used to create elusive quantum states. Called one-dimensional Majorana zero energy modes, these quantum states could have a huge impact for quantum computing.

Dec 17 12:29

As the world quieted down in 2020, Raspberry Shakes listened

“It’s the trains!” Ryan Hollister yelled to his wife Laura as he burst into their home in Turlock California. For two weeks in 2017, they’d been staring at data from their newly installed Raspberry Shake, a Raspberry Pi-powered instrument that detects how the ground moves at a specific location. Expecting to see the tell-tale wiggles of distant earthquakes, they instead saw peculiar cigar-shaped waveforms at regular intervals. “The biggest challenge,” says Laura Hollister, “was the noise.”

Dec 17 12:27

Apple's AirPods have a frustrating new 'feature.' We figured out how to fix it

After upgrading to iOS 14 or MacOS 11 Big Sur you've likely experienced your AirPods randomly switching between your Apple devices. The new automatic switching feature is supposed to make your life easier, but for many -- including yours truly -- it's annoying.

In theory, the new feature would be able to identify which Apple device you want to use your AirPods with in real-time. For example, if you're streaming music on your iPhone and you start playing a video on your iPad, the AirPods should switch to your iPad. But in reality, the feature is somewhat finicky. I know I've experienced issues with my iPhone taking over my AirPods connection when I unlock it while I'm listening to music on my iPad.

Dec 17 12:21

Tiny quantum computer solves real optimization problem

Quantum computers have already managed to surpass ordinary computers in solving certain tasks—unfortunately, totally useless ones. The next milestone is to get them to do useful things. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now shown that they can solve a small part of a real logistics problem with their small, but well-functioning quantum computer.

Dec 17 12:11

Facebook is standing up to Apple, but only for Facebook

For the second day in a row, Facebook took full-page ads against Apple in several top newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. The iPhone maker has just rolled out its new privacy features that show users what sort of personal data other apps collect from phones. Developers will have to add privacy labels to their App Store apps to explain exactly what sort of user tracking powers their apps have to avoid delisting. The privacy features were unveiled back at WWDC 2020, sparking a wave of worry from several companies who make money from user data and user tracking.

Dec 17 11:54

Latest iOS update shows all the ways Facebook tracks you. There are a lot.

Knowing Facebook tracks everything you do is one thing, but actually seeing it? Oof.

Apple officially launched iOS 14.3 Monday, and with it came an update to the App Store that promises to forever change the way you look at your downloads. Now, when you pull up an app, Apple offers a detailed list of "how developers may handle your data[.]" And when it comes to Facebook's family of apps, oh, man, do they ever handle it.

Facebook, of course, owns both Instagram and WhatsApp (as well as Oculus and scores of other name-brand services). But let's look at just the main Facebook app first. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is user data which Facebook confirmed to Apple its "privacy practices may include handling[.]"

Fair warning: It's a lot. From the (hopefully) obvious like your phone number and contacts, to the more eyebrow raising like your "precise location," "sensitive info," "audio data," and "emails or text messages," Facebook has its fingers in a lot of your pies.

Dec 17 11:54

Up to 3 million devices infected by malware-laced Chrome and Edge add-ons

As many as 3 million people have been infected by Chrome and Edge browser extensions that steal personal data and redirect users to ad or phishing sites, a security firm said on Wednesday.

In all, researchers from Prague-based Avast said they found 28 extensions for the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers that contained malware. The add-ons billed themselves as a way to download pictures, videos, or other content from sites including Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, and Spotify. At the time this post went live, some, but not all, of the malicious extensions remained available for download from Google and Microsoft.

Dec 17 11:38

Court-ordered audit concludes Dominion voting machines were intentionally designed to ‘create systemic fraud’ in Michigan

An audit of Dominion voting machines used in Michigan concluded that the systems are designed to perpetuate election fraud, supporting President Donald Trump’s claims of irregularities. State officials have criticized the report.

The court-ordered forensic audit, carried out by Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG), found that Dominion systems in Antrim County, Michigan recorded a shocking 68 percent error rate while tabulating votes. The report noted that the faulty software far exceeds the “allowable election error rate” of 0.0008 percent set by the Federal Election Commission.

Shockingly, the auditors claimed that the widespread errors were a feature, not a bug, stating that the voting system “intentionally” generates a high number of ballot errors which can then be used to manipulate the vote tally.

We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results.

Dec 17 11:36

Owners Of SolarWinds Have Links To Obama, The Clintons, China, Hong Kong And The US Election Process

Per our research, the owners of SolarWinds are related to the Clintons and companies that verify elections in the US.

If you look up SolarWind’s 10K on the SEC website, EDGAR, you’ll find that the company was acquired in February 2016 by investment firms Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo.

Then in 2018 the company went public through an Initial Public Offering (IPO):

Dec 17 11:14

Three million users installed 28 malicious Chrome or Edge extensions

More than three million internet users are believed to have installed 15 Chrome, and 13 Edge extensions that contain malicious code, security firm Avast said today.

The 28 extensions contained code that could perform several malicious operations. Avast said it found code to:

redirect user traffic to ads
redirect user traffic to phishing sites
collect personal data, such as birth dates, email addresses, and active devices
collect browsing history
download further malware onto a user's device

Dec 17 07:29

The Cyberpandemic has Begun: SolarWinds + FireEye - Anything can happen now

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Reposted at reader request.

Dec 16 14:57

Facebook Criticizes Apple Privacy Policy in Newspaper Ads

Facebook is again pushing back on new Apple privacy rules for its mobile devices, this time saying in full page newspaper ads that the social media giant is standing up for small businesses.

In ads that ran in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other national newspapers, Facebook said Apple's new rules “limit businesses ability to run personalized ads and reach their customers effectively."

“While limiting how personalized ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses adding to the many challenges they face right now," the ad states.

The ads come after Apple said earlier this week it would begun spelling out what kinds of personal information is being collected by the digital services displayed in its app stores for iPhones and other products made by the trendsetting company.

Dec 16 14:28

Latest iOS update shows all the ways Facebook tracks you. There are a lot.

Knowing Facebook tracks everything you do is one thing, but actually seeing it? Oof.

Apple officially launched iOS 14.3 Monday, and with it came an update to the App Store that promises to forever change the way you look at your downloads. Now, when you pull up an app, Apple offers a detailed list of "how developers may handle your data[.]" And when it comes to Facebook's family of apps, oh, man, do they ever handle it.

Facebook, of course, owns both Instagram and WhatsApp (as well as Oculus and scores of other name-brand services). But let's look at just the main Facebook app first. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is user data which Facebook confirmed to Apple its "privacy practices may include handling[.]"

Dec 16 11:00

Why you will probably never vote online

Dec 16 08:03

BREAKING REPORT: Feds Arrive at SolarWinds HQ in Austin — More News Coming on CEO and Executive Vice President — New Update

Last night the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a rare Emergency Directive 21-01, in response to a KNOWN COMPROMISE involving SolarWinds Orion products.

This was only the fifth Emergency Directive issued by CISA under the authorities granted by Congress in the Cybersecurity Act of 2015.

CISA reported a breach of the SolarWinds Orion products.

This Emergency Directive called on all federal civilian agencies to review their networks for indicators of compromise and disconnect or power down SolarWinds Orion products immediately.

Dec 16 07:24

Cyber expert says he found the SolarWinds “backdoor”

Computer expert Andrew Morris says he downloaded the infected installer from SolarWinds Orion and found the “backdoor” is still contained on the installer on SolarWinds’ website.

Morris is the founder of GreyNoise, a cyber security firm that specializes in finding comprised devices and detecting internet threats.

SolarWinds Orion is part of the SolarWinds suite of network and computer management tools used by the US government.

Reports indicate that someone, possible Russia, managed to modify SolarWinds Orion in the spring of this year. The modification created a “backdoor” which allowed the hacker to spy on numerous government agencies, including the Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, and the Pentagon.

The “backdoor” was identified by cyber security firm FireEye, and dubbed the backdoor “Sunburst.”

Dec 16 06:53

Big Brother In Disguise: The Rise Of A New, Technological World Order

It had the potential for disaster.

Early in the morning of Monday, December 15, 2020, Google suffered a major worldwide outage in which all of its internet-connected services crashed, including Nest, Google Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Hangouts, Maps, Meet and YouTube.

The outage only lasted an hour, but it was a chilling reminder of how reliant the world has become on internet-connected technologies to do everything from unlocking doors and turning up the heat to accessing work files, sending emails and making phone calls.

A year earlier, a Google outage resulted in Nest users being unable to access their Nest thermostats, Nest smart locks, and Nest cameras. As Fast Company reports, “This essentially meant that because of a cloud storage outage, people were prevented from getting inside their homes, using their AC, and monitoring their babies.”

Dec 16 06:38

US Media Outlets Claim Russia is Behind Massive Hack Without Evidence

According to reports, multiple US government agencies were targeted by a hack that penetrated network-management software of the tech firm SolarWinds, whose clients include hundreds of US corporations and many government agencies. The hack was first discovered by the cybersecurity firm FireEye.

Anonymous sources were quick to pin the hack on their favorite suspect — Russia. On Monday, The Washington Post published a story that cited anonymous “people familiar with the intrusion” who pinned the blame on Russian intelligence. What started as conjecture from unnamed sources turned into fact in a story published by the Post just hours later.

Dec 15 10:52

Google: Here's what caused our big global outage

Google has published preliminary details of the cause of Monday's global outage, which hit YouTube, Gmail, and Google Cloud Platform services.

The company reveals that the crux of the issue, now tagged as 'Google Cloud Infrastructure Components incident 20013', was reduced capacity for Google's central identity-management system, blocking any service that required users to log in.

However, the root cause was an issue in Google's automated storage quota management system, which in turn reduced the capacity of the authentication system.

The two main services impacted were Google Cloud Platform, which means Cloud Console, Cloud Storage, BigQuery, and the Google Kubernetes Engine. All users would have experienced an authentication error during the 50-minute outage.

Dec 15 10:48

Amazon’s Halo Device Will Tell You If You’re Condescending, Opinionated, or Fat

There's nothing angelic about Amazon's new wearable technology. The Halo bracelet will tell you if you are condescending, opinionated, or fat and then report that information to the cloud.

Dec 15 10:36

The Cyberpandemic has Begun: SolarWinds + FireEye - Anything can happen now

Dec 15 09:36

Apple's worst moments of 2020

History won't remember 2020 fondly. While Apple weathered the year well, the company experienced some notable troubles. Erik Eckel explores Apple's worst moments of the year.

Dec 15 09:13

Kremlin Blasts New US Agency Hack Accusations As "Blame Russians For Everything" Mania

Days ago Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s skewered what he dubbed the West's "gunboat diplomacy" during an address before Russia's annual Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy conference in Moscow. "We seek stability, fair opportunities for all states, including, of course, Russia," he said at the time. "Gunboat diplomacy or democratic or any other sort of messianism is hardly an option if we want to accomplish this."

The Kremlin has long accused Washington of seeking to gain leverage internationally by routinely ginning up fake threats which paint Russia as the perpetual boogeyman. This is precisely what it's now saying of the current widespread hacking allegations being leveled at Russia related to the Sunday night 'emergency directive' issued by the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity arm.

Dec 15 07:23

Amazon’s Halo Device Will Tell You If You’re Condescending, Opinionated, or Fat

Just when you think technology couldn’t get any more invasive
There’s nothing angelic about Amazon’s new wearable technology.

Halo, Amazon’s new AI health bracelet, offers body composition analysis, tone of voice analysis, sleep & activity tracking. Presumably, this new tech is another convenient application to bring awareness to users of such things as too much body fat or if their tone is a bit too abrasive or “condescending.”

While some individuals may benefit from both of these nudges, a recent review of Halo by the Washington Post (the unabashed purveyor of the loss of civil liberties) forcibly admits that Halo is the “most invasive tech we’ve ever tested.”

Dec 15 07:20

Intelligence and military researchers want to merge facial recognition with other biometric methods to identify people from long distances and steep angles

The intelligence community wants to put biometric identification technology on drones but has hit a wall when it comes to the most widely used biometric: facial recognition.

Federal programs experimenting with facial recognition technology have found the reliability depends greatly on lighting, camera position and other environmental factors—elements that are almost impossible to control at long range. But improvements in computer vision and techniques that take a subject’s entire body into account are increasing the possibilities.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, issued a broad agency announcement solicitation for its latest attempt to improve biometrics at range, the Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, or BRIAR, program.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even with those Covid masks on every face?!?

Dec 15 07:17

READ: Fireeye cybersecurity company describes mysterious international hacking by "highly evasive attacker"

Fireeye, a California-based cybersecurity firm, has produced an in depth analysis of the international hacking attacks utilizing software used by U.S. government agencies and private companies worldwide: SolarWinds.

Backdoor methods were used to enter systems remotely.

After an initial dormant period of up to two weeks, it retrieves and executes commands, called “Jobs”, that include the ability to transfer and execute files, profile the system, and disable system services. The backdoor’s behavior and network protocol blend in with legitimate SolarWinds activity, such as by masquerading as the Orion Improvement Program (OIP) protocol and storing reconnaissance results within plugin configuration files. The backdoor uses multiple blocklists to identify forensic and anti-virus tools via processes, services, and drivers...Hidden in plain sight, the class SolarWinds.Orion.Core.BusinessLayer.OrionImprovementBusinessLayer implements an HTTP-based backdoor...

Dec 15 06:05

Hacked SolarWinds Software Firm's Customer List Includes CDC, Hundreds from Fortune 500

A suspected Russia-led cyberattack that reportedly breached several U.S. government agencies seemingly exploited software from Texas-based software company SolarWinds, with malware pushed via booby-trapped updates.

A probe into the purported "nation state" hack is ongoing, spearheaded by the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), after Reuters reported on Sunday that the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments were believed to have been impacted, and the culprits had the ability to monitor internal emails.

The IT monitoring software targeted—called Orion—is used by "hundreds of thousands of organizations globally," The Associated Press (AP) reported on Sunday. SolarWinds says on its website its products are currently used by more than 300,000 customers spanning sectors including military, government, business and education.

Dec 15 05:26

Smart home suddenly became ‘stupid’: Google Home users left in dark as outage creates smart light blackout

Google Home users from around the world – who use the Big Tech company’s service to run their households directly from an app – found themselves left in the dark after Monday’s Google outage.
As a list of popular Google services, including Gmail and YouTube, went offline due to the company’s temporary global outage, ‘smart home’ enthusiasts also complained that they could no longer perform tasks as simple as turning on their own lights.

“I’m sitting here in the dark in my toddler’s room because the light is controlled by @Google Drive Home. Rethinking... a lot right now,” one American user tweeted, while Indonesian musician Harry Citradi quipped that his smart home had suddenly become “stupid.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another reason to live in a dumb house!

Dec 14 20:29

The Best Windows 10 Toolbox

Save hours if not days of your time! Open Source and Free Toolbox for ALL!

Dec 14 18:25

Americans Said No To Coronavirus Contact Tracing Spy Apps

After a month, only 5% of New Yorkers have downloaded Cuomo’s spy app. That’s far short of the 60% that’s needed for contact tracing to work.

Even Europeans haven’t hit that 60% target. Few outside Communist China have.

Apple and Google claimed that they needed at least 15%. Only a few states in America hit that bar and they tend to have small populations that lean leftward. Most Americans have opted out.

Governor Murphy launched his state’s contact tracing app to great fanfare, urging a, “shared sense of personal responsibility to support our contact tracing efforts”. Only 4% of New Jersey residents decided to take up the former Goldman Sachs tycoon on his modest proposal.

Dec 14 10:52

Dominion Software Intentionally Designed to Influence Election Results: Forensics Report

A forensic audit of Dominion Voting Systems machines and software in Michigan showed that they were designed to create fraud and influence election results, a data firm said Monday.

“We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,” Russell Ramsland Jr., co-founder of Allied Security Operations Group, said in a preliminary report.

“The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail. This leads to voter or election fraud. Based on our study, we conclude that The Dominion Voting System should not be used in Michigan. We further conclude that the results of Antrim County should not have been certified,” he added.

Dec 14 10:23

Super Slow Computer Programs Reveal Math's Fundamental Limits

PROGRAMMERS NORMALLY WANT to minimize the time their code takes to execute. But in 1962, the Hungarian mathematician Tibor Radó posed the opposite problem. He asked: How long can a simple computer program possibly run before it terminates? Radó nicknamed these maximally inefficient but still functional programs “busy beavers.”

Finding these programs has been a fiendishly diverting puzzle for programmers and other mathematical hobbyists ever since it was popularized in Scientific American’s “Computer Recreations” column in 1984. But in the last several years, the busy beaver game, as it’s known, has become an object of study in its own right, because it has yielded connections to some of the loftiest concepts and open problems in mathematics.

Dec 14 10:21

We have a winner in the world’s first quantum chess tournament

Forget all those amusing memes of Anya Taylor-Joy's Beth Harmon from The Queen's Gambit facing off against Spock in Star Trek's infamous 3D chess. We want to see Beth take on challengers in a quantum chess tournament. The world's first such tournament was held December 9 as part of the virtual Q2B 2020 conference on quantum computing, with Amazon's Aleksander Kubica emerging victorious, New Scientist reports.

What exactly is quantum chess? It's a complicated version of regular chess that incorporates the quantum concepts of superposition, entanglement, and interference. “It’s like you’re playing in a multiverse but the different boards [in different universes] are connected to each other,” said Caltech physicist Spiros Michalakis during a livestream of the tournament. “It makes 3D chess from Star Trek look silly.”

Dec 14 10:09

Google meltdown: Chaos as YouTube, Gmail and Maps crash leaving hundreds of millions of users WORLDWIDE unable to access the sites for up to an HOUR just days after massive Facebook outage

Hundreds of millions of people around the world were thrown into disarray today as the entirety of the Google-owned family of apps crashed worldwide for one hour.

The outage affected all of the Google apps and websites, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Maps and YouTube as well as the main search engine.

Google's websites are some of the most popular in the world, with video-streaming site YouTube frequented by more than two billion people every month.

Gmail meanwhile is the world's most popular email platform with 1.5 billion users.

Google said in a statement that the problems affected 'the majority' of each services' users, but did not provide an exact number.

Dec 14 08:28

Microsoft, FireEye confirm SolarWinds supply chain attack

Hackers believed to be operating on behalf of a foreign government have breached software provider SolarWinds and then deployed a malware-laced update for its Orion software to infect the networks of multiple US companies and government networks, US security firm FireEye said today.

Dec 14 07:59

Brexit: UK poised to lose access to security databases in event of no-deal, Raab admits

The UK is poised to lose the ability to share vital security data if there is a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab has admitted – but he denied that meant Britons will be “less safe”.

“There are certainly instruments that we may not have access to,” the Foreign Secretary said – ahead of a crunch decision whether to abandon the negotiations today.

Among the databases the UK could be shut out of are SIS II, recording suspected terrorists and major criminals, live passenger records and DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration details.

Dec 14 07:29

Butler on Wheels, Robot Cutting Salad: How Covid Sped Automation

For decades, the attitude of unions and their advocates to increased automation could be summed up in one word: no. They feared that every time a machine was slipped into the workflow, a laborer lost a job. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a small but significant shift in that calculation. Because human contact spreads the disease, some machines are now viewed not exclusively as the workers’ enem

Read more at: https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/butler-on-wheels-robot-cutting...
Copyright © BloombergQuint

Dec 14 06:56

PATRIOT ACT USED BY THE FBI TO COLLECT INTERNET BROWSING DATA, CONTRADICTING CLAIMS MADE TO OVERSIGHT

The NSA shut down its bulk phone records collection -- authorized under Section 215 -- after it became apparent it wasn’t worth the effort. Reforms put in place by the USA Freedom Act prevented the agency from collecting it all and sorting it out later. Instead, it had to approach telcos with actual targeted requests and only haul away responsive records. The NSA somehow still managed to overcollect records, putting it in violation of the law. The NSA hinted the program had outlived its usefulness anyway, suggesting it had far better collections available under other authorities that it would rather not subject to greater scrutiny.

Dec 14 06:46

Microsoft: Turning Excel into a Turing-complete programming language

Spreadsheets do more than just calculations; they help people analyse data -- and often, they codify that analysis into a decision model. Code those same kind of decisions in JavaScript or PHP and it's clear that you're doing programming.

Excel is often referred to as the original low-code tool. When Enron's company documents became public, it offered a rare chance to see how enterprises use spreadsheets for these kind of business decision models, prompting Felienne Hermans, associate professor at Leiden University, to interview typical business users about why they were effectively building applications in Excel.

"[We asked] 'Why did you build this yourself? Why didn't you go to IT and ask for a system [written] in a programming language?'' And they said 'Yeah, we did that and they said it was going to be two million euros and six months, and then it was 10 million euros and nine months, and it had half of the features of this spreadsheet I built in an afternoon'."

Dec 14 03:48

Facebook reportedly hasn't banned a violent religious extremist group in India because it fears for its business prospects and staff's safety

  • Facebook's safety team determined earlier this year that Bajrang Dal, a religious extremist group in India, was likely a "dangerous organization" that should be banned from the platform under its rules, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
  • But, The Journal reported, Facebook became concerned about banning the group after its security team warned that doing so could lead to attacks against Facebook's staff.
  • Facebook's inconsistency in enforcing its rules in India has also been motivated by fears that backlash from India's nationalist ruling party could hurt business, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
  • The social media company has increasingly come under fire over its struggle to effectively and consistently police its platform — especially outside of the US, where users have leveraged its platform to facilitate ethnic violence, undermine democratic processes, and crack down on free speech.
Dec 14 03:18

US treasury and commerce departments targeted in cyber attack

The US has issued an emergency order after revealing that its treasury and commerce departments had been hacked.

All federal civilian agencies have been told to disconnect from SolarWinds, a computer network tool that is being exploited by "malicious actors".

The US has not publicly identified who is behind the attack.

The incident comes less than a week after cyber security firm FireEye disclosed that its hacking tools had been stolen in a breach.

In its order, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) said the current hack had a high potential to compromise government systems.

Tech firm SolarWinds, which designed the tool, said on Twitter that users of its Orion platform should upgrade immediately to address a "security vulnerability".

Dec 13 15:38

YouTube now DELETING any vids that accurately claim deep state stole the election from President Trump

Social media giant YouTube proved once again this week why it is no longer just a social media company but a publisher that should be regulated under existing federal laws by promising to delete (thus censor) any videos that point out how the deep state stole the election from President Donald Trump.

Dec 11 11:36

4 major browsers are getting hit in widespread malware attacks

An ongoing malware campaign is blasting the Internet with malware that neuters the security of Web browsers, adds malicious browser extensions, and makes other changes to users’ computers, Microsoft said on Thursday.

Adrozek, as the software maker has dubbed the malware family, relies on a sprawling distribution network comprising 159 unique domains with each one hosting an average of 17,300 unique URLs. The URLs, in turn, host an average of 15,300 unique malware samples. The campaign began no later than May and hit a peak in August, when the malware was observed on 30,000 devices per day.

Dec 11 11:17

Exclusive: Israeli Surveillance Companies Are Siphoning Masses Of Location Data From Smartphone Apps

This year has seen a rush amongst government snoops for a new and sometimes contentious data set: location data grabbed by smartphone popular apps. Customs and Border, the FBI, the U.S. military and other federal agencies have been keen buyers, though it’s caused a furor amongst privacy and human rights watchdogs. The outcry this week led Apple and Google to kick apps containing location-grabbing code from Reston, Virginia-based provider X-Mode out of their respective app stores.

Dec 11 11:16

Do you have the COVID Alert app on your iPhone? It might not be workingSocial Sharing

A bug affecting Canada's COVID Alert app has not been entirely fixed as federal officials first announced, leaving an unknown number of iPhone users still without exposure notifications.

Last week, CBC News reported a glitch prevented the app from functioning properly on some smartphones for much of November. The federal agency developing the app initially said an update released on Nov. 23 fixed the problem.

A Health Canada representative has now acknowledged the fix only solved the problem on Android devices, and "there are some instances of something similar happening" on iPhones. The glitch leaves open the possibility that some users with an Apple device have not received notice to seek a COVID-19 test or self-isolate in a timely manner.

COVID Alert is designed to take note when two users spend at least 15 minutes less than two metres apart. If a user later tests positive for COVID-19, they can use the app to anonymously notify contacts of potential exposure.

Dec 10 11:30

Years-Long Court Battle in Georgia Reveals Dominion’s Security Flaws, Weak Testing

A review of court documents and sworn expert testimonies raise troubling questions about the Dominion voting system and its rushed implementation by the State of Georgia.

Among the many issues raised was the inability to accurately audit Dominion’s systems in order to verify that votes were cast as intended. Audit and cybersecurity experts also demonstrated to the court how the Dominion system inherently prevented the successful use of risk-limiting audits (RLA)—a method employed by Georgia during the recount.

Cybersecurity experts provided evidence to the court that Dominion’s QR system wasn’t secure, was subject to duplication, and that the ability to generate fake QR codes existed. A nationally recognized cybersecurity expert also found that during Georgia’s August 2020 elections, servers at two county election offices he visited “enabled unsafe remote access to the system through a variety of means,” including the use of flash drives.

Dec 10 11:28

Why an Apple search engine has a real shot at competing with Google

Small corners of the internet are ablaze with the news that Apple has significantly ramped up its search bot activity. Search bots typically scan websites in order to rank and index them for search engine results. When you look for something on a search engine, the results that appear are ordered by “ranking,” meaning that the result that is most accurate to what you are looking for appears at the top.

This increase in activity also appears alongside pressure from the U.K. competition commission to break up Apple’s multibillion dollar sweetheart deal with Google. The deal ensures that Google is the default search engine for Apple’s iOS devices. Many are now anticipating that Apple is on track to launch its own search engine soon.

Dec 10 10:58

Hackers are selling more than 85,000 SQL databases on a dark web portal

More than 85,000 SQL databases are currently on sale on a dark web portal for a price of only $550/database.

The portal, brought to ZDNet's attention earlier today by a security researcher, is part of a database ransom scheme that has been going on since the start of 2020.

Hackers have been breaking into SQL databases, downloading tables, deleting the originals, and leaving ransom notes behind, telling server owners to contact the attackers to get their data back.

Dec 10 09:36

YouTube's New Rules Now Ban The Majority Of Americans From Expressing Their Political Views

YouTube under CEO Susan Wojcicki announced Wednesday they're going to ban all content "alleging widespread fraud or errors" changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Dec 09 12:21

YouTube to remove videos claiming mass fraud changed election results

YouTube said Wednesday it will begin removing any videos that falsely claim widespread voting fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential race now that the deadline for states to resolve disputes over the results has passed.

It's a policy shift that could put the tech giant at odds with President Donald Trump and his GOP allies in the remaining days of his administration, but one that will be welcomed by Democrats who have called for more aggressive action.

Dec 09 10:17

YouTube says it will DELETE videos claiming 2020 election was fraudulent

Though the US Supreme Court is yet to have its final say on the matter, YouTube has announced it will now remove “any piece of content” claiming that the outcome of last month’s presidential election was fraudulent.

Tuesday marked the ‘safe harbor’ deadline for US states to certify their election results. Beyond this date, recounts, audits and lawsuits are generally required to have been performed or filed. President Donald Trump is still counting on a major Supreme Court lawsuit to overturn Joe Biden’s win, but to YouTube, the outcome is set in stone and dissent will no longer be allowed.

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