Jun 25 08:41

China takes surveillance to new heights with flock of robotic Doves, but do they come in peace?

If you’ve ever looked up to the sky and enjoyed the sight of a bird gliding above, be warned: it could be a Chinese drone monitoring your every move.

The idea might seem far fetched, but robotic birds are very much a reality, and China has been using them to surveil people across the country.

Sources told the South China Morning Post that more than 30 military and government agencies have deployed the birdlike drones and related devices in at least five provinces in recent years.

One part of the country that has seen the new technology used extensively is the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in China’s far west. The vast area, which borders Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, is home to a large Muslim population and has long been viewed by Beijing as a hotbed for separatism. As a result, the region and its people have been subjected to heavy surveillance from the central government.

Jun 25 08:40

Primary schools in Finland use robot teachers that can speak 23 languages, adjust to student’s skill level and even dance

Elias is not a person. It’s a robot that teaches language to students of Finnish primary schools.

Elias doesn’t get tired of repeating answers to questions that students ask over and over. It doesn’t embarrass children with reprimands about undone homework, failing grades, repeated absences, tardiness and other forms of delinquencies.

It can even break into a “Gangnam Style” dance to make students take a break from all that learning.

The one-foot-tall Elias is not alone. This language-teaching machine is one of four robots in a pilot program at primary schools in Tampere, Finland. OVObot, the Math robot, on the other hand, is even shorter. The 25-cm (10-inch) blue robot resembles an owl, and was developed by Finnish AI Robots.

Embedded in the robots’ systems is software that lets it understand and speak 23 languages, enabling them to grasp what young students ask, and therefore facilitate learning.

Jun 25 08:02

Schneier warns of 'perfect storm': Tech is becoming autonomous, and security is garbage

With insecure computers in charge, the healthcare and transportation sectors have become a nexus of security problems, infosec veteran Bruce Schneier warned delegates at Israel Cyber Week.

Schneier said that confidentiality attacks, such as leaks of personal information, are being replaced by more dangerous integrity and availability attacks.

Schneier told El Reg after his speech: "Everybody understands what might happen if your pacemaker is hacked and it delivers a lethal charge, but what if I took over some inter-connected robot toy and tripped you in your house? It's a little more subtle.

"Cars and medical devices are the near-term examples that are very evocative."

Jun 25 07:47

Meet TLBleed: A crypto-key-leaking CPU attack that Intel reckons we shouldn't worry about

A team of researchers at the Systems and Network Security Group at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, say they were able to leverage the security weakness to extract crypto keys from another running program in 99.8 of tests on an Intel Skylake Core i7-6700K desktop CPU; 98.2 percent of tests on an Intel Broadwell Xeon E5-2620 v4 server CPU; and 99.8 per cent of tests on a Coffeelake part.

Their code was able to lift a secret 256-bit key, used to cryptographically sign data, from another program while it performed a signing operation with libgcrypt’s Curve 25519 EdDSA implementation. It took roughly 17 seconds to determine each of the keys using machine-learning software and some brute force, according to a paper detailing the attack, seen by The Register this week.

Jun 25 07:44

India tells its banks to get Windows XP off ATMs – in 2019!

The Reserve Bank of India has given that country's banking sector a hard deadline to get Windows XP out of its ATMs: June 2019.

That's more than five years beyond the May 2014 end of support for the OS.

Jun 25 07:41

UK taxman has amassed voice profiles of 5.1 MEEELLION taxpayers

Campaign group Big Brother Watch has accused HMRC of creating ID cards by stealth after it was revealed the UK taxman has amassed a database of 5.1 million people's voiceprints.

The department introduced its Voice ID system in January 2017. This requires taxpayers calling HMRC to record a key phrase, which is used to create a digital signature that the system uses to unlock the right account when they phone back.

According to a Freedom of Information request, submitted by Big Brother Watch and published today, the department now has more than 5.1 million people's voiceprints on record.

However, the group argued that users haven't been given enough information on the scheme, how to opt in or out, or details on how their data would be deleted.

Jun 25 07:36

Microsoft unexpectedly drops Windows 7 support for some ancient CPUs

Believe it or not, some hardy souls are still running Windows 7 on PCs equipped with turn-of-the-century Pentium III CPUs. But the latest round of Windows 7 security patches won't install on those devices. Here's the background.

Jun 25 07:31

"OBAMA USED FACEBOOK DATA!" Mark Zuckerberg Gets Exposed

Jun 24 12:08


Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards and even rail cards, into their bodies. Once the chip is underneath your skin, there is no longer any need to worry about misplacing a card or carrying a heavy wallet. But for many people, the idea of carrying a microchip in their body feels more dystopian than practical.

Jun 23 10:06


When one of the creators of the Internet as we know it today (not you Al Gore!) voices their discontent with the latest overstep of power towards full throttle censorship, you know it’s serious business.

Tim Berners-Lee, best known for his work helping to create the World Wide Web, along with other Internet pioneers, have penned an open letter opposing the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) who voted earlier this week in favor of a plan to force publishers to automatically remove any content that appears to violate copyright.

The Independent reports this means “memes, mixes, sampling, and even reuse of news and parliamentary footage, will get caught up and deleted without warning.”

Publishers will be expected to monitor all their content uploads and check for copyright material and remove it immediately, and ostensibly by doing so automatically, as outlined in Article 13 of the proposal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... Which is precisely what the EU hopes to accomplish with Article 13.

Jun 22 18:00

Distraught father issues a Fornite warning after his son, 12, spends nearly £700 on the violent game in just three days

Once installed, it offers a host of in-game purchases, including new skins, dance moves and accessories.

Youngsters left unattended can quickly rack up huge bills without realising it, when buying must have add ons.

After leaving his card details saved in his Xbox, Steve Harrison, 37, from Stoke-On-Trent, discovered that his son, Tyler had managed to spend the eye-watering amount in just three days.

Over the course of the 72-hour period, Tyler completed 81 separate purchases on in-game accessories, culminating in the jaw-dropping bill.

Jun 22 17:57

Supreme Court says police must obtain a warrant before using cellphones to track suspects in a major win for privacy campaigners

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the court's four liberals, wrote that 'an individual maintains a legitimate expectation of privacy in the record of his physical movements'.

Roberts said the court's decision is limited to cellphone tracking information and does not affect other business records, including those held by banks.

He also wrote that police still can respond to an emergency and obtain records without a warrant.

Jun 22 14:37

WikiLeaks Hosts ICE Officer Database Banned By GitHub, Medium & Twitter

The transparency organization WikiLeaks has published a database with public information about employees of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was previously taken down by several other sites.

Jun 22 12:19

Fourth Amendment Victory: U.S. Supreme Court Protects Americans’ Cell Phone Records Against Warrantless Government, Police Surveillance

In a 5-4 ruling in Carpenter v. United States that sends a strong message about privacy rights in an age of government surveillance, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police must generally obtain a warrant before obtaining cell phone data to track a person’s movements. Denouncing the now widespread tactic employed by police departments, big and small, of spying on Americans via their cell phones with little to no oversight, The Rutherford Institute had asked the Supreme Court to require police agencies to secure a warrant before executing a cell phone search and using that data to track a person’s movements over time. In its amicus brief, The Rutherford Institute called on the Court to reject the government’s claim that cell phone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy in cell phone location information, an idea that is based on the antiquated idea that individuals “voluntarily” provide this information to cellular service providers.

Jun 22 07:33

Is Google now able to spy on you for longer? Firm's Assistant update adds 'continued conversations' to listen for follow-up commands

The company has ditched the need to use the wake phrase ‘OK, Google’ or ‘Hey Google’ to signal the start of a follow-up voice command for the talkative personal assistant.

After an initial request, Google Assistant can now use artificial intelligence to try to discern whether you are addressing the smart speaker with a fresh query, or simply talking to someone else nearby.

However, to do this, the assistant has to send the audio recording to its servers for analysis, which could threaten your privacy, according to security experts.

Jun 21 11:34

Beware of these fake Fortnite games: Malicious apps are spreading online ahead of the hotly-anticipated Android release date, security experts warn

Fake versions of the popular video game have started to surface online ahead of the feverishly-anticipated launch on Android smartphones later this summer.

An official version of Fortnite is not yet available on Android, so any apps that claims to offer support for the Google-owned moblie operating system are fraudulent.

Jun 21 11:27

Bithumb Hacked Second Time in a Year. Hackers Steal $31 Million

For the second time in a year, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has been hacked, and this time around, hackers stole the equivalent of 35 billion won ($31.6 million) worth of cryptocurrency.

The attack took place on the night between June 19 and June 20, according to a statement on the company's website.

Jun 21 10:26

Google, Facebook domination has RUINED the internet for everyone, warns EPIC report

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) warned in a statement to Congress that today’s internet is simply not sustainable thanks to the unsavory practices of internet bigwigs Facebook and Google. These two tech firms have so much power over the flow of information, they say, that internet users’ privacy is essentially “under assault.”

After all, their entire business model depends on them obtaining vast amounts of data about people to feed their algorithms. Their behavioral advertising targets consumers directly, using deep profiles of them and algorithms that look at race, religion, age, nationality, and other aspects of a person. They say that while ads should give people information about products, Facebook and Google are now giving advertisers information about consumers; these days, the consumers are the product.

Jun 21 09:59

Amazon Shareholders Call On Jeff Bezos To Stop Selling Facial “Rekognition” Software To Police

By Aaron Kesel

An astounding 20 groups of Amazon shareholders sent its CEO, Jeff Bezos, a letter urging him to stop selling the company’s face recognition software to law enforcement. The software, called Rekognition, came under greater scrutiny last month when the ACLU published revealing internal documents related to its use by police. Numerous civil rights organizations co-signed a letter demanding Amazon stop assisting government surveillance, and several members of Congress have expressed concerns about the partnerships...

Jun 21 08:54

Israel's Netanyahu warns of cyber risks that can down fighter jets

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on governments worldwide on Wednesday to join forces to defend against cyber threats that he said could even bring down military and civilian aircraft.

Jun 21 08:35

Cisco patches critical Nexus flaws: Are your switches vulnerable?

Cisco has released fixes for 34 flaws in its software, including 24 that affect its FXOS software for Firepower firewalls and NX-OS software for Nexus switches.

Cisco's June updates include fixes for five critical arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities affecting FXOS and NX-OS and 19 high-rated flaws affecting the software.

A dozen of them affect both FXOS and NX-OS, while the remaining only affect NX-OS. Cisco says that none of the flaws affects its IOS or IOS XE software.

Four of the critical flaws affect FXOS and NX-OS Cisco Fabric Services, while the fifth one affects the NX-API feature of NX-OS. All have a CVSS v3 score of 9.8 out of a maximum of 10.

Jun 21 08:01

Orlando International Airport to scan faces of US citizens

Florida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there.

The expected announcement Thursday at Orlando International Airport alarms some privacy advocates who say there are no formal rules in place for handling data gleaned from the scans, nor formal guidelines on what should happen if a passenger is wrongly prevented from boarding.

Airports in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and Washington already use face scans for some departing international flights, but they don’t involve all international travelers at the airports like the program’s expansion in Orlando would. The image from the face scan is compared to a Department of Homeland Security biometric database that has images of people who should be on the flight, in order to verify the traveler’s identity.

Jun 21 07:52

The end of chip-and-pin: Traditional bank cards could soon be replaced with smart-cards that scan your fingerprint to approve payments

Traditional bank cards may soon be phased out, thanks to the launch of biometric debit cards by Dutch chipmaker Gemalto.

The new bank cards will allow consumers to buy goods using their fingerprints in a similar way to Apple's Touch ID.

Authenticating a payment with a fingerprint is more secure than a four-digit PIN, which means the new Gemalto cards ditch the contactless payment limit.

Jun 21 07:41

Are your IoT gizmos, music boxes, smart home kit vulnerable to DNS rebinding attacks? Here's how to check

A technique for attacking computer networks, first disclosed more than a decade ago, has resurfaced as a way to manipulate Internet-of-Things gadgets, smart home equipment, and streaming entertainment gizmos.

Researcher Brannon Dorsey this week posted an essay explaining how smart home hardware can be vulnerable to a trick known as DNS rebinding.

He also crafted this website that, with your permission, will run JavaScript in your browser to detect whether or not you have any devices vulnerable to DNS rebinding on your network.

Jun 21 07:39

Please tighten your passwords and assume the brace position, says plane-tracking site

Data breach at Flightradar24 scored some email addresses and hashed passwords

Jun 21 06:52

That Creepy Thing Alexa Said? Here's The Source.

At his home in San Francisco Monday, apropos of nothing, Shawn said that his Amazon Echo Dot said "Every time I close my eyes all I see is people dying." He said he felt "disturbed" and added that the incident was "followed by the most uncomfortable silence I have ever felt." Not only would Alexa not repeat herself, she would not even acknowledge that she said anything. Extra creepy, like the machine was being creepy on purpose.

All of which makes it slightly more interesting when all you have to do, (if you are me that is), is enter the creepy quote (in quotation marks) and use a search parameter to filter out the very story you are checking up on.

Lo and behold, there is only one result on the page.

Jun 20 16:55

EU takes first step in passing controversial copyright law that could ‘censor the internet’

This morning, the EU’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) voted in favor of the legislation, called the Copyright Directive. Although most of the directive simply updates technical language for copyright law in the age of the internet, it includes two highly controversial provisions. These are Article 11, a “link tax,” which would force online platforms like Facebook and Google to buy licenses from media companies before linking to their stories; and Article 13, an “upload filter,” which would require that everything uploaded online in the EU is checked for copyright infringement. (Think of it like YouTube’s Content ID system but for the whole internet.)

EU lawmakers critical of the legislation say these Articles may have been proposed with good intentions — like protecting copyright owners — but are vaguely worded and ripe for abuse.

Jun 20 14:37

Will this be the end of memes? EU approves copyright rules that could kill off user-generated content and 'destroy the internet as we know it'

Last week, more than 70 leading internet figures, including the creator of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wale, signed an open letter against the law change.

It read: 'By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet, from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.'

Those behind the letter say they believe in the need for copyright, but having an automated screening process in place is not the correct way to enforce the law.

Jun 20 14:32

Alexa is creeping out Amazon Echo owners yet again: Report claims device blurted ‘Every time I close my eyes all I see is people dying’ - then refused to repeat itself

In the latest case, a 30-year-old man from San Francisco claims his Amazon Echo blurted out a chilling message, totally unprovoked: ‘Every time I close my eyes all I see is people dying.’

The statement was followed by ‘the most uncomfortable silence I have ever felt,’ Shawn Kinnear told Metro US – and when asked to repeat what she’d said, Alexa replied that she did not understand.

It’s unclear what caused the haunting outburst, but for Kinnear, it’s enough to consider unplugging the rogue Echo.

Jun 20 13:03


At JSK Lab at the University of Tokyo, roboticists have developed a robot called DRAGON, which (obviously) stands for for “Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON.” It’s a modular flying robot powered by ducted fans that can transform literally on the fly, from a square to a snake to anything in between, allowing it to stretch out to pass through small holes and then make whatever other shape you want once it’s on the other side.


Jun 20 12:41

This Will Leave You Speechless! - One of The Most Eye Opening Videos

Jun 20 10:17

'Disastrous' copyright bill vote approved

A committee of MEPs has voted to accept major changes to European copyright law, which experts say could change the nature of the internet.

They voted to approve the controversial Article 13, which critics warn could put an end to memes, remixes and other user-generated content.

Article 11, requiring online platforms to pay publishers a fee if they link to their news content, was also approved.

One organisation opposed to the changes called it a "dark day".

Jun 20 09:57

Why is the Democrats' bizarre IT scandal being ignored?

While the focus in Washington, D.C. remains centered on the Mueller Russia probe, we cannot lose sight of another ongoing investigation on Capitol Hill. At the center of this developing scandal are the nefarious actions of a former Democratic congressional IT aide indicted last year on bank fraud charges, who at the time was being paid by a high-profile member of Congress although he was barred from the House computer systems.

While the case has not received a lot of mainstream media attention, the details are sordid. Not only does the case raise serious national security and obstruction of justice concerns, it also suggests a blatant cover-up on the part of the lawmakers involved.

Jun 20 09:47

Idiocracy Looms? Study Suggests IQ Scores Are Falling Due To Social Media, Central Banks

A new study, published Monday by Norwegian researchers analyzed the IQ scores between 1962 and 1991 and found that scores increased by almost 3 percentage points each decade for those born between 1962 to 1975 - but then saw a steady decline among those born after 1975.

The earlier rise in IQ scores follows the so-called "Flynn effect" - a term for the long-term increase in intelligence levels that occurred during the 20th century, arguably the result of better access to education - according to Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral fellow in cognitive ageing at the University of Edinburgh whose research explores IQ scores and intelligence and who was not involved in the new study.

But the new study, along with similar studies in Denmark, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Finland and Estonia, have all demonstrated a similar downward trend in IQ scores since the early 1970s.

Jun 20 08:08


When the Facebook, Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, we noted that however bad you thought that scandal was (and it certainly was bad), it couldn't hold a candle to the routine privacy abuses that have occurred in the telecom sector for the better part of the last few decades. From charging consumers hundreds of additional dollars annually to opt out of snoopvertising, to the use of private user financial data to justify providing even worse customer service, the broadband industry has long been the poster child for privacy abuses without much in the way of practical public penalty.

Jun 20 07:43

Cambridge Analytica-linked academic spurns idea Facebook swayed election

The academic researcher who harvested personal data from Facebook for a political consultancy firm said on Tuesday that the idea the data was useful in swaying voters’ decisions was “science fiction”.

“People may feel angry and violated if they think their data was used in some kind of mind-control project,” Aleksandr Kogan, the now notorious Cambridge University psychologist whose app collected data on up to 87 million Facebook users, said during a US Senate hearing. “This is science fiction. The data is entirely ineffective.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think it would be more accurate to say that Facebook tried to sway the election ... but failed.

Jun 20 07:32

"No One Should Have That Power" - EOS Users Furious After Block-Producers Freeze Funds

The impetus for the account freezing came from the EOS911 initiative, created by EOS42, that is designed to help the victims of EOS phishing attacks and those with compromised private keys.

EOS Block Producers discussed the decision to freeze the accounts over a two hour conference call, ultimately deciding that since the EOSIO constitution has not yet been ratified, they could ignore the EOS Core Arbitration Forum’s (ECAF) decision not to freeze the funds.

The fact that a decision could be made by a small number of players on a conference call has led to several crypto influencers on Twitter bringing up questions about EOS’s decentralized format.

Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Charlie Shrem tweeted yesterday that “this is the point of crypto, no one should have that power,” in reference to the idea that “punishing” people is needed in the crypto space:

Jun 20 07:30

BitTorrent Sells For $140 Million To Blockchain Startup Tron

Justin Sun, the founder of blockchain-focused startup Tron, has purchased BitTorrent, the owner of the file-sharing client MuTorrent, for $140 million, according to The Hacker News. Tron is a decentralized entertainment and content-sharing platform, and of course BitTorrent was a pioneer in the world of distributed file-sharing, and Sun said he hopes to use BitTorrent's recognizable brand in the course of building out his own company's content sharing system.

Tron is hoping to build a platform where users can publish content without ceding any control to a third-party like one would with YouTube or Facebook.

Jun 19 18:49

Facebook ordered to explain deleted profile

Facebook has been ordered by a UK high court judge to reveal who told it to delete the profile of a jazz musician and his band, six months after he died.

The Times reports that the firm said it had acted on a request but had declined to reveal to the family who had instructed it.

Mirza Krupalija's partner Azra Sabados says she is certain that it was not a family member or friend.

She said losing his posts and messages felt like losing him "a second time".

Jun 19 14:36

Elon Musk: Free Cash Handouts “Will Be Necessary” If Robots Take Jobs

By Aaron Kesel

Elon Musk claims that universal basic income (UBI) — essentially, free cash handouts — “will be necessary over time if (AI) artificial intelligence takes over most human jobs.”...

Jun 19 09:59

Bug in Google Home and Chromecast devices means cyber criminals could find out EXACTLY where you live and blackmail you with the information

The glitch allows hackers to access the exact location of your Wi-Fi router via a malicious link that could be sent to you via email or social media.

It was found by security researcher Craig Young, who said the issue allows cyber criminals to find your address or make scam messages more convincing.

These include fake calls from the IRS or demands for cash from hackers making phony claims that they have webcam footage of the victim watching pornography.

Google said it plans to fix the security flaw, which leaks your location with an accuracy of up to a few feet, in an update next month.

Jun 19 09:27

The government's creepy obsession with your face

The government is obsessed with your face. Do not be flattered. This is more of a creepy stalker fixation.

From the federal Department of Homeland Security down to local police departments, governmental use of biometric facial recognition software has gained a startling amount of traction in recent years. And these agencies are getting help from big business, to boot.

For example, DHS is reportedly developing a massive new biometric and biographic database with extensive data on citizens and foreigners alike. The Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will reportedly include at least seven biometric identifiers, including face and voice data, tattoos, DNA, scars, and other "physical descriptors" on as many as 500 million people. The agency has been remarkably hush-hush on how HART will be utilized — but the possibilities are frightening.

Jun 19 09:01

Pentagon Goes on Cyberwar Offensive, Raising Risk of Conflict

The US Cyber Command was meant to protect the US in general, and the Pentagon in particular, from cyberattacks. In recent months, however, the Pentagon has been unilaterally redefining their posture away from defensive operations toward a focus on aggressive offense.

Officials say that now, the US Cyber Command is conducting nearly daily raids on foreign computer networks, supposedly trying to preempt cyberattacks against the US with attacks of their own. This is not consequence-free, however.

On the one hand, US cyberattacks risk provoking retaliation from targeted nations. After years of the US threatening to retaliate with military strikes over cyberattacks, it’s possible that other nations may feel the same about US attacks. Moreover, in attacking other nations, the US is also infiltrating a number of other countries’ networks incidental to the attacks.

Jun 19 08:05

Bitcoin could 'bring internet to a halt': BIS

The Basel-based Bank for International Settlements in a report warned digital currencies like bitcoin could overwhelm and break the internet if they continue to grow.

The BIS, often described as the central bank for central banks, also warned, in a 24-page report published on its website on Sunday, that cryptocurrencies cannot be trusted the way sovereign currencies can.

Unlike central bank-issued denominations, virtual currencies are produced, or "mined," by banks of computers solving complex algorithms, and then freely traded online.

Jun 19 07:44

Google kills off domain fronting – and so secure comms just got tougher

Google has made technical changes to its cloud infrastructure that have caused collateral damage to an anti-censorship technique called domain fronting.

The technique, more a workaround than a supported feature, has become popular on App Engine, Google's platform-as-a-service product, over the past year or so. And now makers of free speech tools have had to find other service providers or adopt alternative strategies for avoiding the scrutiny of authorities.

Domain fronting conceals the hostname from those observing network traffic by using one hostname in the DNS request and TLS negotiation and another in the HTTP header. While the hostname in the DNS request and Client Hello can be discerned – presumably a politically acceptable site – the hostname in the HTTP header – the controversial site – is concealed through the use of a content delivery network (CDN) as a proxy.

Jun 18 23:34

New Copyright Law Could Make Current and Future Internet Memes Illegal to Share

Posting memes, remixes, and other similar content could soon be banned from the Web in the European Union, according to critics who are speaking out against a recently proposed copyright law.

Jun 18 15:10

Tesla Severance Packages Set To "Chill Valid Employee Complaints" About Safety Issues

Tesla is trying to silence former employees from speaking out about workplace safety issues, it appears from language being included in new severance packages.

Bloomberg reported today that Tesla is trying to curb former employees from speaking out about safety issues that they may have incurred on the job, and it is doing so by including new language in severance packages that it is issuing to 9% of its employee workforce that it is laying off.

Those employees who are accepting severance packages are being asked to give up certain rights as it relates to speaking publicly about workplace safety issues. The Bloomberg article noted:

Language in a confidential severance agreement Tesla Inc. is using as part of the biggest job cut in its history is likely to deter dismissed employees from going public with worker safety concerns, according to employment-law experts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF true, this severance package language is Draconian in a truly lousy way, and does Elon Musk not care about the optics here?!?

He's making things worse by inserting this language, and one has to understand that he is making himself look as though he is suppressing safety issues in the cars he is designing.

Jun 18 07:25

Hacker Breaches Syscoin GitHub Account and Poisons Official Client

A hacker gained access to the GitHub account of the Syscoin cryptocurrency and replaced the official Windows client with a version containing malware.

The poisoned Syscoin Windows client contained Arkei Stealer, a malware strain specialized in dumping and stealing passwords and wallet private keys. This malware is also detected as Trojan:Win32/Feury.B!cl.

Syscoin developers are now warning Syscoin users who downloaded version of the Syscoin client between June 09th, 2018 10:14 PM UTC and June 13th, 2018 10:23 PM UTC that their systems might be infected with malware.

Jun 18 07:23

Rootkit-Based Adware Wreaks Havoc Among Windows 10 Users in the US

When it was released back in 2015, one of the main perks of Windows 10 was the improved security features that made it harder for rootkits to get a foothold on Microsoft's new OS.

But three years later, security researchers from Romania-based antivirus vendor Bitdefender have detailed the operations of an adware strain named Zacinlo that uses a rootkit component to gain persistence across OS reinstalls, a rootkit component that's even effective against Windows 10 installations.

In fact, researchers say that 90% of all Zacinlo's recent victims are Windows 10 users, showing that crooks intentionally designed their "product" to work against Microsoft's latest OS.

Jun 18 07:22

New MysteryBot Android Malware Packs a Banking Trojan, Keylogger, and Ransomware

Cybercriminals are currently developing a new strain of malware targeting Android devices which blends the features of a banking trojan, keylogger, and mobile ransomware.


ThreatFabric says the current versions of MysteryBot it spotted until now have been disguised as a Flash Player app for Android.

"In general, the consumer must be aware that all of the so called 'Flash Player (update) apps' that can be found in and outside the various app stores are malware," ThreatFabric told Bleeping Computer.


Experts recommend that users avoid side-loading (installing) apps from outside the Play Store, and avoid granting apps access to the Accessibility service, which in the vast majority of cases is used mostly by malware.

Jun 17 10:01

Kaspersky Lab halts European cybercrime work

Computer security firm Kaspersky Lab has halted all cyber-crime collaboration with European agencies and organisations.

The decision is in protest against a European Parliament motion which called its software "malicious".

Kaspersky Lab said the accusation was "untrue" and demonstrated a "distinct lack of respect".

The row comes after the US and UK took steps to remove Kaspersky software from some government systems.

Jun 16 17:52

UN's freedom of expression top dog slams European copyright plans

The campaign against a key aspect of new European copyright legislation has picked up a significant backer: the United Nations' freedom of expression expert.

David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur, has sent a lengthy letter to the European Commission outlining his concerns about Article 13 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, which would require large internet platforms to introduce automated upload filters that remove copyrighted content.

Earlier this week, 70 internet luminaries including Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Jimmy Wales warned that the proposal risked damaging "the free and open Internet as we know it" by shifting legal liability from users to platforms.

Jun 16 17:50

Sir, you've been using Kaspersky Lab antivirus. Please come with us, sir

The US government issued an interim rule this morning prohibiting agencies from using products or services that have pretty much anything to do with Kaspersky Lab.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) comes into effect from 16 July 2018 and is a result of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which prohibits any part of the US Federal government from using the antivirus vendor's wares.

Jun 16 10:01


At a technology conference in Hannover, Germany, Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics, outlined how his company may soon begin to turn its decades-long robotics research into an actual business.

Boston Dynamics was sold to SoftBank by Alphabet last year following concerns around its ability to generate revenue. Since the acquisition, it seems that the company has ramped up testing on its increasingly dexterous and nimble robots. Earlier this year, Raibert said the company planned to start selling its SpotMini robot dogs in 2019, and onstage this week, he said the company plans to produce about 100 of the robots by the end of this year. The goal is to begin mass production at the rate of about 1,000 robots per year in the middle of 2019.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this technology gets paired with MIT's "Norman", Meet Norman, MIT's Psycopathic AI, welcome to the world's first twisted, soulless killer robots, ultimately to be tweaked by DARPA, and introduced to the battlefield relatively soon.

Jun 16 09:33


With regard to any application that claims to provide privacy: “The simple fact is that the platforms on which it runs are compromised from the operating systems down to the silicon.”

I’m not saying to not encrypt. Encryption can prevent your data from falling into the hands of thieves, Google and maybe the local police. What I’m saying is that, “If you are specifically targeted by a state intelligence agency, you are going to have a very, very hard time defeating that.” (From the post linked above.)

Via: Reuters:

Federal prosecutors investigating U.S. President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen have extracted more than 700 pages of messages sent using encrypted programs like WhatsApp and Signal on phones seized from Cohen, according to a court filing on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Everything I communicate via cellphone, either text or actual voicemail, is pure vanilla, with nothing of real importance or significance attached.

Privacy, which used to be guaranteed under the Bill of Rights in this country, has been thoroughly eviscerated, in post 9/11 Amerika, and the more you understand this, the more you will simply not put yourself at risk by communicating in any other way than simple platitudes, which have no real meaning or significance.

Jun 16 08:59


With regard to any application that claims to provide privacy: “The simple fact is that the platforms on which it runs are compromised from the operating systems down to the silicon.”

Jun 15 13:31

WSJ Columnist: Hey, The ‘No Bias’ Claim In DOJ IG Report Is Not What It Seems

Mr. Combetta is one of at least two people who were given immunity by the Justice Department as part of the investigation. The other was Bryan Pagliano, a former campaign staff member for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, who was granted immunity in exchange for answering questions about how he set up a server in Mrs. Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., around the time she became secretary of state in 2009.


According to the F.B.I. documents, Mr. Combetta told the bureau in February that he did not recall deleting the emails. But in May, he told a different story.

In the days after Mrs. Clinton’s staffers called Platte River Networks in March 2015, Mr. Combetta said realized that he had not followed a December 2014 order from Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers to have the emails deleted. Mr. Combetta then used a program called BleachBit to delete the messages, the bureau said.

Jun 15 12:59

IG Report: FBI Agents Found Huma Abedin Deleting Classified/Hillary Emails From Yahoo Account But Failed to Subpoena Her Devices

According to the Inspector General, FBI agents found Huma Abedin deleting classified/Hillary Clinton emails from her Yahoo account but failed to subpoena her devices.

Huma forwarded State Department passwords and classified emails to this Yahoo account before it was hacked by foreign agents and the FBI did nothing. Let that sink in.

Jun 15 09:15

Inspector General’s Report: FBI May Have Covered up Weiner Laptop to Help Clinton

Democrats have long complained that then-FBI Director James Comey’s announcement in late October 2016 that he was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails cost them the presidential election.
But the report of the Department of Justice Inspector General, released Thursday, shows that the FBI may actually have neglected an investigation into emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop in an effort to stop Donald Trump from winning.

The report notes the FBI, working together with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), had begun investigating Weiner in September 2016. They realized as early as Sep. 26 that his computer had hundreds of thousands of emails, many of which were from Clinton-related or State Department domains. They informed FBI headquarters in D.C., but no one did anything for four weeks until a prosecutor in SDNY complained.

Jun 15 09:12

Court Sets Hearing on Motion to Compel Email Testimony from Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch announced a federal court ordered a hearing for Thursday, October 11, 2018, on a motion to compel testimony about the email practices of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The order was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.

The development comes in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit, which seeks records regarding the authorization for Abedin to engage in outside employment while employed by the Department of State, was reopened because of revelations about the system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

Jun 15 09:11

'Foreign actors' accessed Hillary Clinton emails, documents show

“Foreign actors” obtained access to some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails -- including at least one email classified as “secret” -- according to a new memo from two GOP-led House committees and an internal FBI email.

Fox News obtained the memo prepared by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, which lays out key interim findings ahead of next week’s hearing with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The IG, separately, is expected to release his highly anticipated report on the Clinton email case later Thursday.

The House committees, which conducted a joint probe into decisions made by the DOJ in 2016 and 2017, addressed a range of issues in their memo including Clinton's email security.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jun 15 08:57

Do NOT update your iPhone: Frustrated Apple users are complaining that iOS 11.4 is killing their batteries

If you haven't updated your iPhone to iOS 11.4 yet, you may want to hold off a bit longer.

Frustrated Apple users are complaining that the software update is killing their batteries.

One angry user wrote on Reddit that it caused their battery to drain up to 25% faster, while others say they are constantly having to charge their phone.

Apple has not yet revealed what is causing the problem or how to fix it.

Jun 15 08:11

Top Russian Finance and Tech Firms in Major Push With Gov't to Make Russia Digital Superpower

Russia’s newly inaugurated president Vladimir Putin has tasked the government with making Russia a top-five global economy by 2024 the day he was confirmed in office for the fourth time. Several of Russia’s largest tech and financial companies have teamed up to deliver on that promise and completely transform the Russian online market.

According to the new May Decrees published on the Kremlin’s website, the Russian government must ensure that the country’s economy is “among the five largest by the end of 2024, with economic growth rates exceeding those of most countries and inflation at a level not above 4%.”

Jun 15 06:58


Evidence surfaced recently -- proof -- that each of us, that every one of us with a cellphone, might as well have a corresponding dot moving and blinking in real time, geolocated on a map somewhere.

Jun 14 18:25

'Naggy' Tesla Autopilot update following fatal crash leaves owners 'confused and frustrated' by telling them to hold the wheel every 30 seconds

Tesla is updating its Autopilot software to make it clearer when drivers need to have their hands on the wheel.

In the wake of a fatal Tesla crash in California, the electric car maker began flashing warnings in cars every 30 seconds that 'nag' users to 'hold the wheel.'

But many were annoyed and confused when the warnings didn't go away, even after applying a 'white knuckle death grip.'

Now, Tesla boss Elon Musk says Tesla will update the system so it's not so naggy.

Jun 14 18:23


Algorithms have usurped Amazon’s retail decision-makers.

Jun 14 18:23

Urgent scam warning issued to Fortnite players

The creators of the wildly popular video game Fortnite have issued a stark warning to players about scam websites.

Epic Games, the developers of the hit game, have reportedly warned players about scam sites that offer free or heavily-discounted V-Bucks, the game’s virtual currency.

The scam sites are thought to primarily target unsuspecting younger players, drawing them in with the promise of V-Bucks for little to no cost before stealing their login credentials and money.

Jun 14 18:20


Elon Musk's Boring Company has been tapped to build a futuristic transportation system using high-powered electric “skates” to carry passengers between O’Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago.

Jun 14 14:41

YouTube Won't Host Our Homemade Gun Video. So We Posted It on PornHub Instead.

Reason has a new video out today explaining how to put together a homemade handgun using some very simple tools and parts you can buy online. But