COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jul 24 07:59

Windows 10 and a bump in the road to Windows as a Service

The discovery last week that millions of PCs that upgraded to Windows 10 might be cut off from support much earlier than expected is one unexpected consequence of Microsoft's ongoing shift to Windows as a Service.

Under the old model, it was pretty easy to understand where you stood with Windows, because Microsoft has long published the dates after which it will stop supporting various versions of its software.

Jul 24 06:40

Debian patches plenty in new version 9.1

26 security fixes for 55 packages. You know what to do!

Jul 24 06:38

Sweden leaked every car owners' details last year, then tried to hush it up

Falkvinge writes Sweden's government has been trying to handle the huge leak of sensitive data away from the public eye.

The story goes back to 2015, when Sweden's transport agency awarded IBM a contract to manage its databases and networks.

...

The leak seems to have happened over email after the transport agency e-mailed the entire database in clear text messages to marketers that subscribe to it – and when the error was discovered, the agency merely sent a new list and told subscribers to delete the old list themselves.

Jul 24 06:33

Sweden Accidentally Leaks Personal Details of Nearly All Citizens

Another day, Another data breach!

This time sensitive and personal data of millions of transporters in Sweden, along with the nation's military secrets, have been exposed, putting every individual's as well as national security at risk.

Who exposed the sensitive data? The Swedish government itself.

Swedish media is reporting of a massive data breach in the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) after the agency mishandled an outsourcing deal with IBM, which led to the leak of the private data about every vehicle in the country, including those used by both police and military.

The data breach exposed the names, photos and home addresses of millions of Swedish citizen, including fighter pilots of Swedish air force, members of the military's most secretive units, police suspects, people under the witness relocation programme, the weight capacity of all roads and bridges, and much more.

Jul 24 06:27

Source Code For SLocker Android Ransomware That Mimics WannaCry Leaked Online

Bad news for Android users — Source code of for one of the oldest mobile and popular Android ransomware families has been leaked online, making it available for cyber criminals who can use it to develop more customised and advanced variants of Android ransomware.

Jul 24 05:25

Scott Adams: How “Confident” are Intelligence Agencies that Russia Interfered with the Election?

Remember when all seventeen intelligence agencies agreed that Russia interfered with our elections?

Turns out it was only four.

Do you know how you get four agencies to agree on something of this nature? It’s easy. One publishes an opinion and the other three loyal agencies assume it is credible, so they support it. Do they all do independent investigations?

I kinda doubt it.

Jul 23 21:08

Let the robots take our jobs and pay for a universal basic income

As developments in artificial intelligence and robotics advance, there is going to be a severe and swift disruption of many working classes. Large swaths of laborers are going to lose their jobs, leading to unprecedented levels of unemployment.

To account for this problem, having access to basic needs should become a right, not a privilege for the non-automated classes. It should be the responsibility of the corporations that have taken away working-class jobs to grant families this right—and the best solution would be in the form of a universal basic income.

The following video explains, amongst other things, why a universal basic income is doomed to fail:

Jul 23 09:43

‘Fight For The Future’ Offers $15K To Leftist Cells Fighting TrumpIAN MILES CHEONG

“Fight for the Future,” a progressive non-profit organization that claims to “seek to expand the internet’s transformative power for good,” is offering as much as $15,000 a month to fund leftist activism against Donald Trump. Prospective members are expected to establish “A-Teams,” or cells dedicated to specific issues.

Jul 23 08:39

REPORT: Armies of Cyber-Troops Manipulating Public Opinion

The Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP) investigates the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics. This work includes analysis of how tools like social media bots are used to manipulate public opinion by amplifying or repressing political content, disinformation, hate speech, junk or fake news.

In their most recent report COMPROP have identified how organisations, often with public money, have created a system to help ‘define and manage what is in the best interest of the public.’

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Meaning the best interests of the government and corporations.

Jul 23 08:06

Facial recognition surveillance is here — but privacy protections are not

In a little publicized section of Trump’s Immigration Executive Order, the president ordered Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry exit tracking system.” The purpose of the tracking system is to confirm who is entering and exiting the country to, for example, identify people who have overstayed their visas. Congress has already provided up to a billion dollars over the next ten years to implement the program.

Jul 22 16:41

SCAM WARNING: Website is tricking students out of thousands in fees

Newcastle University has put out an alert over a website calling itself “Newcastle International University” which has copied its branding, colours and fonts as well as animation, blogs and photos as well as details of dozens of courses.

The site appears to target unsuspecting students to hand over online their course fees as one section allows people to apply and pay for courses with requests for their personal information and passport and bank details.

The warning from the real Newcastle University said: "We have been made aware of an unofficial website which is fraudulently using the Newcastle University brand and accepting credit card payments to apply for courses.

"The website 'newcastle international university' is in no way associated with the University and we are advising anyone who finds the website not to submit any personal details. All students should use our official website http://www.ncl.ac.uk/."

Jul 22 10:41

Wisconsin Company To Implant Microchips In Employees

"It's the next thing that's inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it," Three Square Market Chief Executive Officer Todd Westby said. The company designs software for break room markets that are commonly found in office complexes.

Jul 22 09:54

PATREON BANNED MY ACCOUNT??

Jul 22 09:32

Kansas data breach gives hackers access to millions of Social Security numbers

Hackers who breached a Kansas Department of Commerce data system in March had access to more than 5.5 million Social Security numbers in 10 states, along with another 805,000 accounts that didn't include the Social Security numbers, according to records obtained from the agency.

The department will be required to pay for credit monitoring for most of the victims of the hacking, according to records obtained through an open records request by the Kansas News Service.

Besides Kansas, the other states affected by the hack are Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Oklahoma, Vermont, Alabama and Illinois.

Jul 22 09:18

IBM warns of malware on USB drives shipped to customers

IBM has urged customers to destroy USB drives which shipped with some of its Storewize storage systems because they may contain malware.

In a support advisory, the company has said an unspecified number of USB flash drives containing the Storewize initialisation tool for V3500, V3700, and V5000 Gen 1 systems are infected with malicious code.

Jul 22 08:46

Windows 10 shares your files with the internet... here's how to turn it off

By default, a Windows 10 update will use your bandwidth to share files on your PC with other PCs. This walk-through shows how to disable that feature--or tone it down a bit.

Jul 22 08:42

Spend ONE EURO on referendum and we’ll CUT FUNDS: Madrid in huge threat to Catalonia

THE Spanish government has increased the pressure on Catalonia and its bid for independence by threatening to cut the funding it gives to the Spanish region.

A spokesman for Mariano Rajoy’s administration in Madrid, Méndez de Vigo, said that the government would slash funds from the FLA - the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomous Communities - in the event of any “disobedience” from the Catalan separatists.

Jul 21 17:34

Twitter comes under fire as it emerges paedophiles are using live streaming app Periscope to groom children as young as nine

Twitter has come under fire after it emerged that paedophiles are using its Periscope live streaming app to groom children as young as nine.

They are bombarding the youngsters with sexual questions and requests, asking them to lift up their shirts and take off their clothes.

The app – which has more than 10million users – allows people to film themselves on their mobile phones and broadcast to strangers over the internet.

People watching then can send the ‘broadcasters’ messages, which flash up on the screen for everyone to see.

It is supposed to be restricted to children over the age of 13, but users can simply state they are older.

Children as young as nine are broadcasting to strangers from their bedrooms and even from school, the BBC reported.

Jul 21 12:39

They See You: FBI Warns About Dangers Of Internet-Connected Toys

While many American parents think ‘smart toys’ are a great idea, the FBI has issued an unprecedented warning that internet-enabled items may pose a privacy and safety risk for children by harvesting personal information.

Jul 21 10:30

BREAKING: YouTube Sued By Creators in Class-Action Lawsuit

YouTube creators ZombieGoBoom are leading a class-action lawsuit against YouTube, claiming the streaming service intentionally demonetized and removed creator content in order to appease advertisers.

Jul 21 09:33

Rare Earth Mania And China/US Trade Spat 2.0?

Unfortunately for the rest of the world, especially the US, China has a monopoly on the rare earths market with 85-90% of global production.

REEs are strategically important due to their (small but critical) applications in products used for the defense and technology sectors - including today’s mainstay of human existence, the mobile phone. China’s dominance arose from undercutting almost every other mining and processing player in the decades prior to its WTO entry.

The current story behind the higher prices is that China is getting serious (again) about the environmental impact of REE mining, and is making renewed efforts to curb significant levels of illegal production. On Monday, managing director of Australian-based rare earth producer, Lynas Corp (who just happened to note how her company is “highly leveraged to any increase in price for NdPr”) commented.

Jul 21 09:17

“Smart” Toothbrushes Are Equipped With Interactive Wireless Displays—Radio Transmitters

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Do you brush your teeth with a ‘smart’ toothbrush?

Did you know there are ‘smart’ toothbrushes?

According to the package information that comes with the Oral-B Triaction/Precision 5000/5500, it contains an “interactive wireless display,” i.e., a radio transmitter that puts out electromagnetic frequencies. Holy moly—one more smart device to track us, even while brushing our teeth...

Jul 21 08:27

Launch Live PlayerTHE CLINTONSFBI turns over 7,000 documents from Weiner laptop in Clinton-tied case

The FBI has turned over 7,000 new documents from Anthony Weiner’s private laptop to the State Department as part of a watchdog group's lawsuit related to last year's Hillary Clinton email case.

Judicial Watch and State Department representatives appeared in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday over the group's Freedom of Information Act suit seeking Clinton emails from her tenure at the State Department.

It emerged during the hearing that the 7,000 new documents were turned over. The trove is expected to contain some emails sent by Weiner’s estranged wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

In this Sept. 20, 2011 file photo, Huma Abedin, top, deputy chief of staff and aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, during a meeting with leaders for the Open Government Partnership in New York.Expand / Collapse
Huma Abedin and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York in September 2011. (AP)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This effectively puts Hillary Clinton out of a run for President in 2020, but she is working to establish control of the Democratic Party to insure that a Clintonista gets "anointed" as the Democrat's candidate, to attempt to keep a lid on the bigger scandals in which she is involved.

Bernie Sanders, if he has one shred of decency left in him, needs to fight against this, so the the Democrat's choice will be an authentic one in 2020; not the kind of campaign which saw the life squeezed out of it, thorough corruption, as was his Presidential campaign in 2016.

Jul 21 07:52

Feds Shut Down AlphaBay; Sessions Warns Criminals "You Cannot Hide" On Dark Web

More than three years after the FBI shut down the Silk Road, the pioneering dark-web marketplace for drugs and illegal goods, the FBI and DEA – working with international law-enforcement agencies - have busted two more dark-web marketplaces that facilitated the sales of illicit items like drugs, weapons and stolen data, according to the Department of Justice.

AlphaBay and Hansa, two of the largest illegal marketplaces on the dark web, have been shut down and their operators arrested during a collaboration between US and European police agencies, according to the BBC. Investigations were led by the FBI and DEA in partnership with Europol.

Jul 21 07:37

Hackers are using hotel Wi-Fi to spy on guests, steal data

The DarkHotel hacking group has returned -- but this time they're focusing on a different target, using a new strain of Inexsmar malware.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jul 20 13:05

NEW DOCUMENTS SHOW MASSACHUSETTS PROSECUTORS CONDUCT SWEEPING WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE

Your call records, showing who you’ve called and texted, when, and how long the calls lasted. Your IP logs, showing where you access websites from—whether it’s home, work, a friend’s house, or on the go via your mobile phone. Your banking and credit card information. The email address you used to sign up for online services. Records showing every time you’ve logged on to your favorite social networking site, and how long those sessions lasted.

Jul 20 12:31

VW's settlement in emissions scandal reaches $1.3 billion

California says Volkswagen will pay the state another $154 million in penalties and costs over the automaker's emissions scandal.

California's Air Resources Board says the increase in a consent decree filed Thursday brings VW's total settlement in California to $1.3 billion.

Volkswagen Group of America acknowledges rigging 11 million of its vehicles with software used to cheat on vehicle emissions tests.

Jul 20 08:52

Nationwide Outage Hits Bank of America: Customers Unable To Access Accounts

In an apparent nationwide system outage, Bank of America customers have been shut out from accessing their accounts and online banking on Wednesday afternoon. As of 4pm ET the outage was continuing with most online systems still frozen.

Jul 20 08:49

Wasserman Schultz May Start Cooperating With House Hacking Probe

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is “negotiating” with the Capitol Police over whether to stop blocking access to a computer seized from her as part of a criminal cybersecurity investigation, Fox News reported Wednesday.

Soon after resigning as head of the Democratic National Committee in wake of it being hacked, the Florida Democrat’s top information technology (IT) aide, Pakistan-born Imran Awan, was named as the lead suspect in a separate information breach involving House data.

But instead of cooperating with Capitol Police, she used a hearing on the law enforcement group’s budget to threaten “consequences” for Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa unless he returns her a computer taken in the investigation. Wasserman Schultz appeared visibly distraught in the televised hearing.

Jul 20 07:51

?Millions of IoT devices hit by 'Devil's Ivy' bug in open source code library

Devil's Ivy is likely to remain unpatched for a long time: "code reuse is vulnerability reuse".

Jul 20 07:41

Your iPhone could be HACKED unless you update right now

iPhone owners should update their smartphone as soon as possible.

Apple has rolled-out a new operating system update – iOS 10.3.3 – that patches a number of vulnerabilities in the software, including some that could enable remote code execution on the device.

This would allow a hacker to take control of your iPhone, thanks to a bug in the Broadcom Wi-Fi chip.

Hackers would have complete control over the device, allowing them to access your data and features remotely.

Jul 20 07:39

WhatsApp WARNING - This new virus secretly FILMS YOU and shares your ENTIRE web history

WhatsApp users should be on the look-out for a dangerous new form of malware that disguises itself as the successful messenger.

Dubbed GhostCtrl, the malware disguises itself as a number of popular apps, including WhatsApp and Pokemon Go to trick users into downloading the virus.

As soon as the fraudulent app is downloaded, a malicious software package is installed to takeover the device.

This creates a backdoor into the device, enabling cybercriminals to siphon data, including call logs, text messages, contact details, phone numbers, GPS location data and web browser history.

GhostCtrl is also capable of gathering information about core details of the device, like software version, Wi-Fi information, battery level, and more.

Worse still, GhostCtrl can be used to secretly film and record the victim using the smartphone’s built-in camera and microphone.

Jul 20 07:13

Hackers Stole $32 Million in Ethereum; 3rd Heist in 20 Days

On Wednesday, Smart contract coding company Parity issued a security alert, warning of a critical vulnerability in Parity's Ethereum Wallet software, which is described as "the fastest and most secure way of interacting with the Ethereum network."

Exploiting the vulnerability allowed attackers to compromise at least three accounts and steal nearly 153,000 units of Ether worth just almost US$32 million at the current price.

Jul 20 07:11

Critical Code Injection Flaw In Gnome File Manager Leaves Linux Users Open to Hacking

A security researcher has discovered a code injection vulnerability in the thumbnail handler component of GNOME Files file manager that could allow hackers to execute malicious code on targeted Linux machines.

Dubbed Bad Taste, the vulnerability (CVE-2017-11421) was discovered by German researcher Nils Dagsson Moskopp, who also released proof-of-concept code on his blog to demonstrate the vulnerability.

The code injection vulnerability resides in "gnome-exe-thumbnailer" — a tool to generate thumbnails from Windows executable files (.exe/.msi/.dll/.lnk) for GNOME, which requires users to have Wine application installed on their systems to open it.

Jul 19 15:51

FLASHBACK - DNC Affiliates Increase Involvement In Seth Rich Case After Wheeler Claims

Last week, Fox 5 DC's report incited a storm of controversy after former D.C. police homicide detective Rod Wheeler stated that there was tangible evidence on murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich's laptop suggesting that he was communicating with Wikileaks prior to his death.

Jul 19 15:34

10 Surprising Ways the Government is Spying on You (VIDEO)

It does seem that our dystopian future is going to be (is) a mix of both 1984 and A Brave New World.

Jul 19 15:09

Targeted, custom ransomware menace rears its ugly head

Matt Hillman, a principal security researcher at MWR InfoSecurity, said the custom ransomware associated with these attacks is typically getting distributed through phishing emails rather than software exploits. The attacks are targeted against banking and infrastructure firms worldwide.

"This ransomware is targeted at big organisations because the amount they are prepared to pay is greater," Hillman explained. "Hackers are timing their attack to add pressure," for example by launching assaults just before sales quarters close or a major announcement or industry event.

The attacks are more geared at making money than causing disruption, unlike the recent NotPetya outbreak.

Jul 19 15:05

Millions of IoT systems wide open to hackers after devs drop the gSOAP

Security researchers investigating internet-connected video cameras have uncovered a bug that could conceivably leave millions of devices open to easy pwnage.

The team from embedded security specialists Senrio was looking into the code running an M3004-V network camera from Axis Communication. They found a serious hole that would allow an attacker to either shut down the camera or hijack the feed.

Cases such as this are very common in a world infected with Internet of Sh!t devices.

Jul 19 14:33

CIA Plans To Destroy Old Files Related To Leaks

A CIA proposal to destroy files deemed no longer of historical importance has been authorized. Critics are questioning how honest the agency will be when it comes to the purging of potentially serious files.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has authorized the move to dump CIA documents that include classified information that was leaked, according to the Daily Beast.

Jul 19 13:28

Facial Recognition Coming To Police Body Cameras As Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Takes Over

AN APPROACH TO MACHINE LEARNING INSPIRED BY THE HUMAN BRAIN IS ABOUT TO REVOLUTIONIZE STREET SEARCH. EVEN IF THE COP WHO PULLS YOU OVER DOESN’T RECOGNIZE YOU, THE BODY CAMERA ON HIS CHEST EVENTUALLY JUST MIGHT.

Jul 19 10:44

FLASHBACK 2015 - Unbeknownst to Clinton, IT firm had emails stored on cloud; now in FBI’s hands

A Connecticut company, which backed up Hillary Clinton‘s emails at the request of a Colorado firm, apparently surprised her aides by storing the emails on a “cloud” storage system designed to optimize data recovery.

The firm, Datto Inc., said Wednesday that it turned over the contents of its storage to the FBI on Tuesday.

A Republican Senate committee chairman, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, also has asked the firm to provide the committee copies of any data from Clinton’s account still in its possession.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently the FBI, under Comey, ignored this request.

Jul 19 09:58

They See You: FBI Warns About Dangers Of Internet-Connected Toys

While many American parents think ‘smart toys’ are a great idea, the FBI has issued an unprecedented warning that internet-enabled items may pose a privacy and safety risk for children by harvesting personal information.

Jul 19 09:27

CoinDash crowdfunding hack further dents trust in crypto-trading world

More than $7m was stolen by hackers on Monday from folks investing in a cryptocurrency startup.

Israel-based CoinDash – which bills itself as an "an operating system" for "interacting, handling and trading crypto assets" – launched what's called an initial coin offering. This is a process in which people buy virtual tokens from a fledgling biz, such as CoinDash. These tokens are vital to whatever service the company is offering. As the startup grows, these tokens are supposed to increase in value. Buying the tokens early is akin to buying shares during a normal business's IPO. It's a way of crowdfunding investment.

Well, on Monday, $7m of that investment, all in the Ethereum cyber-currency, went not to CoinDash in exchange of tokens, but to hackers, it's claimed. Security and financial technology experts voiced concerns that this latest online heist only serves to undermine confidence in digital currency trading platforms.

Jul 19 09:05

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

The latest two-wheel transporter toy from Segway was disturbingly easy to hack, with miscreants requiring just seconds to take control of a vehicle, we're told.

Researchers at hacking house IOActive probed the Chinese Segway miniPro, and said they found the wireless link between the machine and its accompanying mobile app was insecure – allowing anyone in radio range to potentially reconfigure and commandeer passing rides.

Jul 19 09:03

New Linux Malware Exploits SambaCry Flaw to Silently Backdoor NAS Devices

Remember SambaCry?

Almost two months ago, we reported about a 7-year-old critical remote code execution vulnerability in Samba networking software, allowing a hacker to remotely take full control of a vulnerable Linux and Unix machines.

We dubbed the vulnerability as SambaCry, because of its similarities to the Windows SMB vulnerability exploited by the WannaCry ransomware that wreaked havoc across the world over two months ago.

Despite being patched in late May, the vulnerability is currently being leveraged by a new piece of malware to target the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, particularly Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances, researchers at Trend Micro warned.

Jul 19 07:37

Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation

Cyber troops are government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media. In this working paper, we report on specific organizations created, often with public money, to help define and manage what is in the best interest of the public. We compare such organizations across 28 countries, and inventory them according to
the kinds of messages, valences and communication strategies used. We catalogue their organizational forms and evaluate their capacities in terms of budgets and staffing. This working paper summarizes the findings of the first comprehensive inventory of the major organizations behind social media manipulation.

We find that cyber troops are a pervasive and global phenomenon. Many different countries employ significant numbers of people and resources to manage and manipulate public opinion online, sometimes targeting domestic audiences and sometimes targeting foreign publics.

Jul 19 07:17

Windows 10 no longer supported? How to tell if your PC is eligible for latest version

Millions of three- and four-year-old PCs are being blocked from installing the latest Windows 10 feature update. Is your PC at risk? Here are two ways to check for potential problems.

Jul 18 17:48

They See You: FBI Warns About Dangers Of Internet-Connected Toys

While many American parents think ‘smart toys’ are a great idea, the FBI has issued an unprecedented warning that internet-enabled items may pose a privacy and safety risk for children by harvesting personal information.

Smart toys and entertainment devices for children typically contain sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage chips and multimedia capabilities such as speech recognition or global positioning (GPS).

Jul 18 13:43

Facial Recognition Coming To Police Body Cameras

Device-maker Motorola announced Monday that would partner with artificial intelligence software startup Neurala to build “real-time learning for a person of interest search” on Motorola products such as the Si500 body camera for police, the AI firm announced in a press release today.

Jul 18 10:44

Extra copyright for news sites

Anyone using snippets of journalistic online content must first get a license from the publisher. This new right for publishers would apply for 20 years after publication.

Example:
The automatic link previews social networks generate when users share links (showing the article headline, a thumbnail picture and a short excerpt) would require a license, as well as anyone analysing news content on the web like news aggregators, media monitoring services and fact checking services.

Intent:
The Commission wants to generate income for European publishers by allowing them to charge internet platforms for displaying snippets of their content to users. Stated targets are Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, who use such snippets in the course of linking to news articles.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, we have to stop linking to EU media sources!

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