COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jan 30 15:34

Quantum Encryption even NSA Cannot Break!

Webmaster addition: Heck, NSA couldn't break my codes!

Jan 30 14:02

Facebook To Prioritize Local News Over ‘Divisive’ National Issues

Facebook will prioritize local news sources in people’s news feeds in an effort to avoid “divisive” media and promote civic engagement, according to Mark Zuckerberg.

“Starting today, we’re going to show more stories from news sources in your local town or city,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “If you follow a local publisher or if someone shares a local story, it may show up higher in [your] news feed.”

Jan 30 12:33

Pornhub Will Know Everything About You Under New Rules For Sex-Streaming Sites

MindGeek – the biggest internet pornography company in the world – will collect information, including users’ addresses and ages, under new age-verification laws.

The new Digital Economy Act means that anyone accessing porn must prove they are old enough – over 18 in the UK. Firms are currently scrambling to figure out how they will verify ages and could demand the collection of card data or ID documents.

Jan 30 08:11

'Did I Read This Right?' James Damore Stunned As YouTube, Google CEOs Echo His Memo Exactly

Diversity memo author James Damore expressed shock Monday after YouTube CEO Susan Wojicicki and Google CEO Sundar Pichai defended of their industry's lack of so-called "diversity" by echoing nearly the exact same statements he was fired for.

"Did I read this right? Susan Wojicicki said that women find 'geeky male industries' (as opposed to 'social industries') 'not very interesting' and Sundar cites research on gender differences," Damore tweeted.

Jan 29 16:16

Google Home Knows Mohammed & Buddha, But Not God Or Jesus

Internet users are posting videos that show Google products refusing to answer questions about Christian figures, when the same products have no problem answering similar question about other religions and deities.

Jan 29 10:01

PROPOSAL FOR NATIONALIZED 5G NETWORK TRIGGERS BLOWBACK FROM REGULATORS, INDUSTRY

Last night, Axios dropped a bombshell on the week's already brimming news cycle when it published a report and PowerPoint deck created by a National Security Council staffer outlining the necessity of building a nationalized 5G network to guard against cyberthreats.

But while the PowerPoint portrayed a nationalized 5G network as essential for national security, Axios said Monday that the report is generating a fair amount of blowback.

According to Axios, those sounding alarm bells range from those who fear it could lead to greater surveillance to those who see it as an unwarranted encroachment on free enterprise. Still others worry that government control of key communications networks could threaten free speech.

Both the FCC and CTIA issued statements this morning opposing the idea. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai opposes the idea.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Such an act by the US government would completely nullify and destroy any essence of any freedom of communication which still survives in this country.

This feels like desperation on the cusp of madness, courtesy of a government terrified of its own people.

Jan 29 09:07

Windows emergency patch: Microsoft's new update kills off Intel's Spectre fix

Microsoft has released an emergency Windows update to disable Intel's troublesome microcode fix for the Spectre Variant 2 attack.

Not only was Intel's fix for the Spectre attack causing reboots and stability issues, but Microsoft also found it resulted in the worse scenario of data loss or corruption in some circumstances.

To justify the out-of-band update, Microsoft highlights a comment in Intel's fourth-quarter forward-looking statements that mentions for the first time that mitigation techniques potentially lead to data loss or corruption.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This just gets worse and worse.

Jan 29 08:18

Fitness Tracking App Accidentally Reveals Secret US Military Bases, CIA "Black" Sites

An interactive online fitness tracking map published in November of 2017 which compiles a running history of the location and routes of 27 million fitness-device users has unwittingly revealed the location, staffing, patrol routes and layout of U.S. and foreign military bases around the world.

Jan 29 07:25

Cheap Raspberry Pi alternatives: 20 computers that cost less than the Pi 3

On its release in 2012, the $35 Raspberry Pi showed just how much computer you could get for a bargain-basement price.

But the cost of single-board computers has just kept dropping, with the Raspberry Pi Foundation releasing the tiny Pi Zero for just $5.

Today the Zero is one of several computers with a single-digit price tag, and if you're looking for a cheap as chips board you're spoiled for choice.

These are the single-board computers that you can pick up for less than a price of the $35 Pi 3.

Jan 29 07:11

Fake News: WIRED Magazine Presents Google’s Racist, Anti-Conservative Harassers as Victims, Smears Breitbart

WIRED, a leading leftist tech magazine, is terrified by the thought that corporate “diversity” protections might apply to conservatives and white males at Google.

The site published a piece interviewing a number of Google’s most notorious ideological witch-hunters and racists, including individuals who are repeatedly named among the company’s worst offenders in James Damore’s anti-discrimination lawsuit.

One of the employees interviewed, Liz Fong-Jones, is accused in Damore’s lawsuit of having “repeatedly discriminated against Caucasian males”. The lawsuit also provides evidence to back up the allegation, noting that Fong-Jones, who holds a managerial position at Google, publicly made a racist comment, saying she could “care less about being unfair to white men.”

Jan 29 05:53

White House planning to nationalize 5G network: Report

In a stunning – if accurate – report published Sunday night, Axios claims that White House national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile spectrum/network to protect against Chinese attacks, in what may well be a pre-emptive shot, hinting at upcoming trade wars between the two superpowers.

Jan 28 05:52

Soros makes surprising statement about new threats to society

Billionaire George Soros, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said that Facebook and Google pose a threat to society. "Social media companies deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide. This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents. There is a similarity between internet platforms and gambling companies. Casinos have developed techniques to hook gamblers to the point where they gamble away all their money, even money they don't have," the philanthropist said in Davos. Soros believes that Facebook and Google have created a monopoly on people's freedoms. "They have achieved monopoly power but at the same time they are also competing against each other. They are big enough to swallow start-ups that could develop into competitors, but only the giants have the resources to invade each other's territory," he said.

Jan 27 20:06

Canada testing ‘digital ID’ system that uses blockchain, biometrics to screen travelers

Canada testing ‘digital ID’ system that uses blockchain, biometrics to screen travelers

Launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the “Known Traveller Digital Identity” system aims to exploit an array of emerging technologies including biometrics, blockchain and artificial intelligence to boost cross-border security, reduce the threat of cyber-terrorism and streamline international travel, according to the WEF.

Jan 27 19:10

Lenovo’s fingerprint authentication app had bad bugs that made it easy to hack

This is pretty jarring. Lenovo has confirmed its in-house authentication software Fingerprint Manager Pro (version 8.01.86), which lets users unlock their devices using fingerprint recognition, was affected by a severe vulnerability which attackers could exploit to access to any system equipped with the app.

As per Lenovo’s disclosure, Fingerprint Manager contained a hard-coded password that made it accessible to all users with local non-administrative access. In addition to this, it stored sensitive information like Windows logon credentials and fingerprint data which were “encrypted using a weak algorithm.”

Jan 27 19:05

Voting-machine makers are already worried about Defcon

Last year, Defcon's Voting Village made headlines for uncovering massive security issues in America's electronic voting machines. Unsurprisingly, voting-machine makers are working to prevent a repeat performance at this year's show.

According to Voting Village organizers, they're having a tough time getting their hands on machines for white-hat hackers to test at the next Defcon event in Las Vegas (held in August). That's because voting-machine makers are scrambling to get the machines off eBay and keep them out of the hands of the "good guy" hackers.

Village co-organizer Harri Hursti told attendees at the Shmoocon hacking conference this month they were having a hard time preparing for this year's show, in part because voting machine manufacturers sent threatening letters to eBay resellers. The intimidating missives told auctioneers that selling the machines is illegal -- which is false.

Jan 27 18:58

Harvard Study Shows Community-Owned ISPs Offer Lower, More Transparent Prices

Again, these towns and cities wouldn't be getting into the broadband business if they were happy with the services being provided by the likes of Comcast. And again, Comcast could quickly nip these efforts in the bud by offering better, cheaper service. But time after time it's clear that Comcast, AT&T, and other incumbent ISPs would prefer to instead file lawsuits, spread disinformation, and buy laws banning communities from making their own decisions on local infrastructure. Whatever it takes to avoid having to directly compete.

Jan 27 18:51

Newsflash: Car cyber-security still sucks

In 2015, infosec gurus Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated that they could take over and turn off a jeep from afar as it was being driven, a feat that magnified interest in car hacking.

Their wireless attack was conducted on an active vehicle. But it turns out the engine doesn't have to be running. This is separate from hacks that unlock doors wirelessly – we're talking about commandeering the engine control system potentially over the air, here.

Code boffins from the University of Michigan, in the US, have demonstrated that cars with Electronic Control Units (ECUs), common in recent model vehicles, can be compromised when the engine is off.

Jan 27 18:49

Someone Stole Almost Half a BILLION Dollars from Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, has suffered what appears to be the biggest hack in the history of cryptocurrencies, losing $532 million in digital assets (nearly $420 million in NEM tokens and $112 in Ripples).

In 2014, Mt Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchange at that time, filed for bankruptcy after admitting it had lost $450 million worth of Bitcoins.

Apparently, the cryptocurrency markets reacted negatively to the news, which resulted in 5% drop in Bitcoin price early this morning.

In a blog post published today, the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange confirmed the cyber heist without explaining how the tokens were stolen, and abruptly froze most of its services, including deposits, withdrawals and trade of almost all cryptocurrencies, except Bitcoin.

Jan 27 11:56

Facebook Deals Shocking Blow to RussiaHoaxers - 'Peak Cognitive Dissonance' Looms

"a knowledgeable source says that Twitter’s internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo"

Jan 27 11:38

‘US hacks and meddling quite unlike China & Russia’s hacks and meddling’ – ex-Pentagon chief

One could almost see the proverbial pots and kettles on Friday, when ex-Pentagon chief Ashton Carter informed us that America’s cyber operations and election meddling are entirely dissimilar to the activities of China and Russia.

The panel, held as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, was dedicated to state cyberwarfare, the risks of cyber operations spiralling out of control, and ways to rein in the emerging threat – from making better software and incentivizing people to update it, to establishing international rules for states to voluntarily observe.

Jan 27 06:25

SOVIET-STYLE CENSORSHIP: Left-wing traitors in the Dept. of Defense now blocking entire websites from being viewed by members of the military

When the government has enough power to determine which citizens are allowed to access certain content on the Internet and which citizens are not, we are no longer living in a free society; we are living under an emerging totalitarian state, quite similar to the old Soviet Union.

Jan 26 16:29

SIX REASONS WHY THE NSA IS USELESS AND MUST BE DISMANTLED.

The NSA was started by executive order under the Administration of President Harry Truman at the start of the cold war with the Soviet Union. President Trump can dismantle and shut down the NSA by the same executive actio

Jan 26 10:49

DOWNTIME OF A TOP CLOUD SERVICE PROVIDER COULD COST U.S. ECONOMY $15 BILLION

Businesses in the United States could lose $15 billion if a leading cloud service provider would experience a downtime of at least three days. A new study finds that if a top cloud provider went down, manufacturing would see direct economic losses of $8.6 billion; wholesale and retail trade sectors would see economic losses of $3.6 billion; information sectors would see economic losses of $847 million; finance and insurance sectors would see economic losses of $447 million; and transportation and warehousing sectors would see economic losses of $439 million.

Businesses in the United States could lose $15 billion if a leading cloud service provider would experience a downtime of at least three days.

Lloyd’s, in partnership with the risk modeler, AIR Worldwide, on Tuesday released a new report, Cloud Down: The impacts on the U.S.economy, which analyzes the financial impact of the failure of a leading cloud provider in the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Then why in the name of heaven would anyone want to put ANYTHING on the cloud, knowing the potential downside, particularly when product or service liability doesn't exist for the computer industry?!?

The sad state of software liability

The article goes on to state:

"Software license agreements are typically crammed with boilerplate language freeing the software provider from virtually all forms of liability while binding the commercial user to severe use restrictions. Unhappy with that? Too bad. Anyone who has ever installed software after “consenting” to the terms of the accompanying clickwrap, shrinkwrap or browsewrap understands that the disgruntled user has exactly two choices when it comes to mass market license agreements: take it or leave it.

Jan 26 09:57

Mastercard Pushes Biometrics, Banks Follow

Biometric authentication “will be of great benefit to everyone.”

Jan 26 08:37

Apple's iPhone battery 'slowdown' to be optional

A software update will let iPhone owners switch off the "battery saver" feature that slows down some models, Apple has confirmed.

The option to switch off the feature will appear on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, SE, 6S, 6S Plus, 7 and 7 Plus models.

Jan 26 08:19

Russian agents created 129 US election events: Facebook to Congress

Facebook Inc said Russian agents created 129 events on the social media network during the 2016 US election campaign, according to testimony to Congress, shedding more light on Russia`s purported disinformation drive aimed at voters.

Facebook, in a written statement to US lawmakers, released on Thursday and dated Jan 8, said that 338,300 different Facebook accounts viewed the events and that 62,500 marked that they would attend. The company said it did not have data about which of the events took place.

Jan 26 06:56

Google Home smart speaker DOESN'T know who Jesus is but can identify Muhammad, Buddha and Satan, outraged users claim

He may be one of the most famous figures in history, but it appears the Google Home smart speaker doesn't know who Jesus is.

At least, that's according to several outraged users who have accused Google of deliberately filtering its results to fit its own agenda.

They claim that despite not providing any details about Jesus, the smart speaker can still identify Buddha, Muhammad and Satan.

Jan 26 06:48

Maersk forced to reinstall 45,000 PCs and 4,000 servers following NotPetya attack

Shipping firm operated for 10 days with no IT

Jan 26 06:46

Acronis: Ransomware protection! Get yer free ransomware protection!

Acronis has released a free, standalone version of its Acronis Ransomware Protection with AI-based Active Protection tech.

It can be used alongside existing backup and antivirus products on Windows systems.

The lightweight (20MB) software runs in the background and is said to monitor system processes in real-time to automatically detect and stop any ransomware attacks. When one is detected, it blocks the malicious process and notifies the user with a pop-up. It also facilitates the instant recovery of affected files.

Jan 26 03:39

World’s foremost humanoid robot crashes when asked how to tackle corruption in Ukraine

The state-of-the-art social humanoid robot known as Sophia failed to answer the question of "what should be done with corruption in Ukraine" when asked while visiting the Ukrainian house at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This is according to a statement posted on Facebook by Alyona Shkrum, a lawmaker in the Ukrainian parliament from the Batkovshchina party. "The script of the most developed robot in the world broke down and the processor crashed after getting the question:" What should be done with corruption in Ukraine?" she wrote on Facebook. Sofia, a cutting-edge humanoid robot, was developed by the Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics. She was adapted to the behavior of people and is able to maintain a dialogue. Sofia is a Saudi Arabian citizen, making her the first robot that was granted citizenship.

Jan 25 18:25

Fake cryptocurrency app installs ransomware on your computer

As enthusiasm grows for new forms of cryptocurrency, a group of hackers is trying to con you. A product billed as a digital storehouse for a cryptocurrency called SpriteCoin is actually ransomware, according to a report from cybersecurity researchers at Fortinet.

The researchers don't think SpriteCoin is a real cryptocurrency, but if, in your haste to beat everyone else to the latest goldmine, you download a file claiming to be a SpriteCoin wallet, you're likely to find your computer's files encrypted and unreadable. A ransom note will tell you to pay a set amount in Monero -- a real cryptocurrency.

Worse, if you pay, the key that's supposed to decrypt your files will install even more malicious software onto your device.

Jan 25 18:10

If you’re using an Android phone, Google may be tracking every move you make

Biking? Google probably knows you are. Up a mountain? It probably knows that, too.

The Alphabet subsidiary’s location-hungry tentacles are quietly lurking behind some of the most innovative features of its Android mobile operating system. Once those tentacles latch on, phones using Android begin silently transmitting data back to the servers of Google, including everything from GPS coordinates to nearby wifi networks, barometric pressure, and even a guess at the phone-holder’s current activity. Although the product behind those transmissions is opt-in, for Android users it can be hard to avoid and even harder to understand. Opting in is also required to use several of Android’s marquee features.

As a result, Google holds more extensive data on Android users than some ever realize.

Jan 25 18:06

Windows 10 growth remains slow as Windows 7 dominates

Windows 7 stubbornly remains the world's biggest operating system at 43.08 (-0.04) with Windows 10 gaining almost a percentage point at 32.93 (+0.98). Windows 8.x sits at 6.9 (-0.27), while Windows XP is at 5.18 (-0.55).

Jan 25 17:53

A longtime Google engineer quits, saying the company is '100% competitor-focused' and 'can no longer innovate'

Steve Yegge, who joined Google from Amazon in 2005, wrote a blog post about his decision to quit the company, saying it has become too focused on competitors instead of customers. He said product launches such as its smart speaker, Home, its chat app Allo and its Android Instant Apps copy Amazon Echo, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and WeChat, respectively.

"Google has become 100% competitor-focused rather than customer focused," he wrote. "They've made a weak attempt to pivot from this, with their new internal slogan 'Focus on the user and all else will follow.' But unfortunately it's just lip service."

Jan 25 17:48

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated calls for a special magic version of encryption to be developed by technologists so law enforcement can access everyone's communications on demand – and somehow engineer it so that no one else can abuse this backdoor.

Jan 25 17:46

Security expert discovers two Bluetooth 'panic buttons' designed to help keep users safe left them MORE vulnerable as their location could be tracked

Two Bluetooth panic buttons were found to have weak security measures in place that make them vulnerable to exploitation by hackers.

This seems particularly ironic, given that the devices were created for the express purpose of personal safety.

Specifically, Bluetooth panic buttons created by wearable companies Wearsafe and Revolar have some flaws, according to Mark Loveless, a cybersecurity expert at software provider Duo Security.

Both the Wearsafe and Revolar devices were susceptible to a security flaw that allowed them to be tracked using cheap antennas.

It seems that the very technology that would help users in unsafe situations is also the very factor that might put them at risk of dangerous security flaws.

With a push of the panic button, users can quietly notify their friends or family of their location.

Jan 25 16:01

David Brock's Shareblue has been banned from Reddit's Politics sub

Politics sub has banned Shareblue website due to it using obvious spam accounts

violation of media disclosure policies.

Jan 25 15:02

Napolitano: Trump Signs Law Allowing Mass Spying on Citizens

During the past three weeks, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law vast new powers for the NSA and the FBI to spy on innocent Americans and selectively to pass on to law enforcement the fruits of that spying.

Those fruits can now lawfully include all fiber-optic data transmitted to or in the United States, such as digital recordings of all landline and mobile telephone calls and copies in real time of all text messages and emails and banking, medical and legal records electronically stored or transmitted.

All this bulk surveillance had come about because the National Security Agency convinced federal judges meeting in secret that they should authorize it. Now Congress and the president have made it the law of the land.

>>>

(*Trump was supposed to be Our Fire Wall
This should keep the spinshysters busy , trying to explain to us how this is different from Obama's using his Presidential FISA powers .)

Jan 25 14:28

Trump Nominee Wants To 'Make The Internet American Again'

President Obama handed over America's ICANN internet domain name service to the UN, now President Trump's Commerce Department nominee reportedly wants to take it back.

Jan 25 13:37

To AG Jeff Sessions: 15 National Priorities of Immdeiate Importence then Going After Marijuana States

There are so much Jeff Session can do to keep him busy that are a priority over legalized Marijuana users and growers where when people voted or the elected legislatures of the several states responding to the will of the voters. What are your thoughts about what is a priority over going after the Marijuana states?

Jan 25 13:10

TEEN HACKER WHO SOCIAL ENGINEERED HIS WAY INTO TOP-LEVEL US GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS’ ACCOUNTS PLEADS GUILTY TO TEN CHARGES

The teenage hacker who tore CIA director John Brennan a new AOL-hole is awaiting sentencing in the UK. Kane Gamble, the apparent founder of hacker collective Crackas With Attitude, was able to access classified documents Brennan has forwarded to his personal email account by posing as a Verizon tech. Social engineering is still the best hacking tool. It’s something anyone anywhere can do. If you do it well, a whole host of supposedly-secured information can be had, thanks to multiple entities relying on the same personal identifiers to “verify” the social engineer they’re talking to is the person who owns accounts they’re granting access to.

Despite claiming he was motivated by American injustices perpetrated around the world (Palestine is namechecked in the teen’s multiple mini-manifestos), a lot of what Gamble participated in was plain, old fashioned harassment.

Jan 25 12:17

NHS deploys Microsoft threat detection service on just 30,000 devices

That's only 2% of Blighty's health service PCs

Jan 25 12:15

Microsoft whips out tool so you can measure Windows 10's data-slurping creepiness

Microsoft is laying its cards out on the table. The software giant has produced a tool that's claimed to show users how much personal information its Windows 10 operating system collects and sends back to Redmond for diagnostics.

The application is dubbed Diagnostic Data Viewer, and is free from the Windows Store. It reveals that stuff like the computer's device name, OS version, and serial number, as well as more detailed records such as installed apps, preference settings, and details on each application's usage, are beamed back to Microsoft.

The idea, says the Office giant, is to let users know exactly what data is being collected and kicked into the company's cloud each time their PC sends a diagnostics report back to the mothership.

Jan 25 12:11

Intel alerted computer makers to chip flaws on Nov 29 – new claim

Total coincidence: That's the same day Chipzilla's CEO sold off his shares

Jan 25 12:09

Beware! Undetectable CrossRAT malware targets Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems

CrossRAT is a cross-platform remote access Trojan that can target all four popular desktop operating systems, Windows, Solaris, Linux, and macOS, enabling remote attackers to manipulate the file system, take screenshots, run arbitrary executables, and gain persistence on the infected systems.

According to researchers, Dark Caracal hackers do not rely on any "zero-day exploits" to distribute its malware; instead, it uses basic social engineering via posts on Facebook groups and WhatsApp messages, encouraging users to visit hackers-controlled fake websites and download malicious applications.

Jan 25 11:06

Oklahoma’s Exemplary AMI Smart Meters Removal and Consumer Protection Bill: A Model For Other States To Follow

By Catherine J. Frompovich

You know it just had to happen! Some scientifically-hip legislator in one of the 50 United States finally decided to introduce a bill to protect his constituents’ Constitutional rights guaranteed by both state and federal Constitutions, plus delineated the factual, independent—not consensus—science that radiofrequencies (RFs) from AMI Smart Meters damage health and “The OCC [Oklahoma Corporation Commission] is to understand by this legislation that they work for the consumers and citizens of the State of Oklahoma and not the utility”! ...

Jan 25 09:43

CENSORSHIP BY WEAPONIZING FREE SPEECH: RETHINKING HOW THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS WORKS

There are those who argue that internet platforms should never do any moderation at all, and that they should just let all content flow. And while that may be compelling at a first pass, thinking beyond that proves that's unworkable for a very basic reason: spam. Almost everyone (outside of spammers, I guess) would argue that it makes sense to filter out/moderate/delete spam. It serves no useful purpose. It clutters inboxes/comments/forums with off-topic and annoying messages. So, as Dave Willner mentions in that talk back in 2015, once you've admitted that spam can be filtered, you've admitted that some moderation is appropriate for any functioning forum to exist. Then you get to the actual challenges of when and how that moderation should occur. And that's where things get really tricky. Because, I think we all agree, that when platforms do try to moderate speech... they tend to be really bad at it.

Jan 25 09:41

Invasion of bricklaying robots could put thousands of jobs at risk

The devices have already started replacing humans on a handful of sites in America, with the newly launched Sam (Semi-Automated Mason) capable of laying up to 3,000 bricks a day compared with the human average of 500.

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