COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

May 09 09:33

Second wave of Spectre-like CPU security flaws won't be fixed for a while

Intel needs more time and it could be Q3 before all the patches for OSes and VMs land

May 09 09:32

Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and some implementations of Xen have a design flaw that could allow attackers to, at best, crash Intel and AMD-powered computers.

At worst, miscreants can, potentially, "gain access to sensitive memory information or control low-level operating system functions,” which is a fancy way of saying peek at kernel memory, or hijack the critical code running the machine.

The vulnerabilities can be exploited by malware running on a computer, or a malicious logged-in user. Patches are now available to correct the near-industry-wide programming blunders.

As detailed by CERT on Tuesday, the security cockup, labeled CVE-2018-8897, appears to have been caused by developers at Microsoft, Apple, and other organizations misunderstanding the way Intel and AMD processors handle one particular special exception.

May 08 16:34

According to Cisco, There are 3 Reasons Why Almost 75% of Internet of Things (IoT) Projects Fail. So Why Are Taxpayer Dollars Still Being Spent to Connect Everything to It?

By B.N. Frank

The Internet of Things (IoT) is technology that can connect multiple Internet-enabled devices together in order to collect and exchange data.

For the last few years, countless security experts and tech experts have been referring to it as “The Internet of Shitty Things,” “The Internet of Vulnerable Things,” etc. because of the huge security risks associated with it and its current almost 75% failure rate...

May 08 15:45

Apple confirms there is a serious camera flaw with its 'luxury' £999 iPhone X that prevents Face ID from working properly

Some users have since found that the feature has been malfunctioning and it has emerged that a fault in the device's rear camera is responsible.

Apple is now offering replacement handsets to customers if the fault can't be fixed by a technician from the firm.

The US tech firm is now actively trying to rectify the issue, according to MacRumours who broke the news.

A leaked internal document obtained by the site revealed Tim Cook's company is authorising stores to replace entire handsets if the FaceID feature isn't working and can not be fixed.

May 08 10:41

Devastating Message About Hillary’s Server Found in FBI Office Storing It

Basically, the FBI took the infamous server which was home to Clinton’s email operation from Platte River Networks in Denver on August 12, 2015. They then took the server to their Operational Technology Division to be stored as item “1B3.”

It was more than two months later when an FBI Special agent went to pick up the server on October 20. He then found out that the chain of custody for the server had gone missing. This is a major issue in any kind of criminal investigation, but for something as huge as this, something that threatens national security, it is catastrophic.

FBI critics took to social media to express their anger with the news:

May 08 09:04

Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers

Late last week, the company gave the numbers in letters to the various US congressional committees investigating the network infiltration, and on Monday, it submitted a letter to the SEC, corporate America's financial watchdog.

As well as the – take a breath – 146.6 million names, 146.6 million dates of birth, 145.5 million social security numbers, 99 million address information and 209,000 payment cards (number and expiry date) exposed, the company said there were also 38,000 American drivers' licenses and 3,200 passport details lifted, too.

May 08 09:01

Warning over WhatsApp 'text bomb' that could crash your phone: Malicious message causes iPhone and Android handsets to freeze

It is being spread by messages sent via the popular app and comes in two varieties. One reads: 'This is very interesting' with a crying while laughing emoji, followed by 'Read more'. Tapping on 'read more' causes your handset to freeze.

Another features a black dot and contains the words ‘if you touch the black point then your WhatsApp will hang’. Clicking on the black dot causes the crash to occur.

The code powering the messages is being shared on Pastebin, meaning anyone can find it online, copy and paste it, then spread the text bomb via WhatsApp.

Anyone who is sent the text bomb is advised to delete the message in question. The safest way to do this is to delete the conversation thread it is part of, rather than clicking on the message itself.

May 07 17:53

The curse of the robocall: Record 3.4 BILLION fake phone calls were made in April, report reveals

YouMail, a company that collects and analyzes calls through its robocall blocking service, reported an estimated 3.4 billion of the calls in April, up 900 million from this time last year.

May 07 16:41

That Drupal bug you were told to patch weeks ago? Cryptominers hope you haven't bothered

Researcher Troy Mursch of Bad Packets Report has spotted hundreds of compromised Drupal sites being used to host "cryptojacking" malware that uses the CPUs of visitors to mine cryptocurrency via CoinHive.

Mursch says the sites all appear to have been compromised via their Drupal CMS software, all of which were outdated and vulnerable to the 'Drupalgeddon2' remote code execution flaws.

While the first compromised pages were spotted on the websites of the San Diego Zoo and the Chihuahua, Mexico government site, the researcher quickly found the attack to be far more widespread.

"After I analysed the IoCs, I was able to locate over 300 additional websites in this cryptojacking campaign," Mursch wrote. "Many discovered were government and university sites from all over the world."

In total Mursch said, around 348 individual sites had been compromised by this specific malware operation.

May 07 13:19

Is Social Media Destroying Humanity on Purpose?

You may not be on social media yourself, but chances are your friends and family are. Some of us are on there for work purposes and some so we can keep in touch with loved ones who live far away. There are valid reasons we have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But things are getting ugly out there in Internetland and it begs the question of whether social media is destroying humanity.

And even worse, is social media destroying humanity on purpose, because it was engineered to do?

Your lack of privacy is just a drop in the bucket.

May 06 14:15

Chicago Police One Step Closer To Using Drone Surveillance At Protests

By Nicholas West

In the wake of tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting, we’ve seen a justification emerge for using drone surveillance of large public events. Most recently we saw drones being used at the 2018 Coachella music festival with very little if any public outcry. However, the use of drones for public protests is also being pursued, which finally has drawn the attention of civil liberties advocates in Chicago...

May 05 17:40

Half a million pacemakers need a security patch

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month approved a firmware patch for pacemakers made by Abbott’s (formerly St Jude Medical) that are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks and which are at risk of sudden battery loss.

Some 465,000 patients are affected. The FDA is recommending that all eligible patients get the firmware update “at their next regularly scheduled visit or when appropriate depending on the preferences of the patient and physician.”

May 05 17:36

Twitter Admits Recording Plaintext Passwords in Internal Logs, Just Like GitHub

Following an internal audit, Twitter admitted today that due to a bug in its password storage mechanism it accidentally logged some users' passwords in internal logs.

Today's disclosure comes after GitHub made a similar announcement earlier this week, describing a similar incident.

Just like in the GitHub incident, the passwords were recorded in Twitter's internal server logs in their plaintext format.

May 05 17:30

Facebook accused of introducing extremists to one another through 'suggested friends' feature

Facebook has helped introduce thousands of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) extremists to one another, via its 'suggested friends' feature, it can be revealed.

The social media giant - which is already under fire for failing to remove terrorist material from its platform - is now accused of actively connecting jihadists around the world, allowing them to develop fresh terror networks and even recruit new members to their cause.

May 05 17:29

The NSA Managed to Collect 500 Million US Call Records in 2017 Despite Targeting Just 40 People

The message from government officials is basically this: as long as phone records exist, there will be ways for the NSA to acquire them.

May 05 16:05

Fourth-generation Android espionage campaign targets Middle East

A newly uncovered form of sophisticated Android malware is being distributed via compromised websites and Telegram channels, apparently with cyber espionage in mind.

The malware has a wide range of abilities and is capable of snooping on any activity carried out on an infected smartphone and is said to bear the hallmarks of a state-backed campaign.

It can steal information about contacts, call logs, pictures, messages and browser data, as well as making audio records of calls made using the phone, and silently making calls and executing shell commands.

The malware contains a keylogging function which allows attackers to steal sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, as well as the ability to capture photos and screenshots.

May 05 10:48

Cambridge Analytica 'Did What Wasn't Allowed by Terms of Service' - Specialist

The political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica has shut down amid a scandal over data it mined from Facebook and used in political campaigns, namely the 2016 US election and Brexit referendum. Radio Sputnik discussed the situation with Yul Bahat, a member of Cyan’s cybersecurity advisory network.

Cambridge Analytica has published a statement in which it said it had been “vilified” for legal activities.

When asked if this particular situation is a witch hunt or whether Cambridge Analytica has some questions to answer about the way it obtained and utilized information and whether he personally was pro or against this company, Yul Bahat said that the information they used was publicly available.

May 05 10:44

EMFs and RFRs Finally Taken To Court, In Canada That Is

By Catherine J. Frompovich

A Class Action was filed in Superior Court, Province of Quebec, District of Montreal, Canada, Case No. 500-06-000760-153 against 50 Respondents including the Attorneys General of Quebec and Canada, the City of Sainte-Anne-Des-Lacs, Hydro-Quebec, and approximately 40 corporations involved in the manufacture, production, servicing and transmission of Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs) and Radiofrequencies (RFRs), for their contributory roles in the transmissions, products and services that emit...

May 05 10:35

Drivers of self-steering cars including Teslas are ordered not to take their hands off the wheel for more than one minute or face a £1,000 fine, penalty points and even JAIL

Drivers of self-steering cars such as Teslas will be ordered not to take their hands off the wheel for more than a minute.

The new regulations from the UK government will target drivers who let go of the steering wheel thanks to lane steering, cruise control or emergency braking features.

Motorists who break the new rules will face points on their licence, a potential £1,000 fine and even prison.

It comes after legislation requiring cars manufacturers to install a feature to alert drivers when they have not touched the wheel for 15 seconds, The Daily Telegraph reports.

May 05 10:26

BRITAIN'S GREAT FIREWALL BLOCKS ACCESS TO OFFICIAL DISNEY SITES, INTERNET SAFETY GUIDES, VPNS, AND CODING SITES FOR KIDS

In the decade since the UK rolled out its Great Firewall, the project of somehow dividing the entire internet into "good" and "bad" (or even "all-ages" and "adult") has run into a series of embarrassing gaffes, blocking rape crisis sites while letting through all sorts of ghastly porn -- and at every turn, the Conservative government's response has been to double down on internet censorship, expanding it from a parental filter to an opt-out porn filter, whose biggest backers have repeatedly demonstrated their technical incompetence.

It's not surprising that the loudest voices clamouring for an accurate and comprehensive list of all the world's adults-only material are also technological incompetents -- the UK porn firewall is a classic example of the "nerd harder" school of technology policymaking, in which a politician insists that the reason that all the technical experts have called their plans unworkable is that they're just not nerding hard enough.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is becomming rapidly, painfully apparent, that the words "technologically capable" and "UK government", can no longer be used in the same sentence.

May 05 10:13

THE BIG LIE ISPS ARE SPREADING IN STATE LEGISLATURES IS THAT THEY DON’T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY

In their effort to prevent states from protecting a free and open Internet, a small handful of massive and extraordinarily profitably Internet service providers (ISPs) are telling state legislatures that network neutrality would hinder their ability to raise revenues to pay for upgrades and thus force them to charge consumers higher bills for Internet access. This is because state-based network neutrality will prohibit data discrimination schemes known as “paid prioritization” where the ISP charges websites and applications new tolls and relegate those that do not pay to the slow lane.

In essence, they are saying they have to charge new fees to websites and applications in order to pay for upgrades and maintenance to their networks. In other words, people are using so much of their broadband product that they can’t keep up on our monthly subscriptions.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

May 04 15:42

How To Get Better Monitor Lighting That Feels Good To Your Eyes

Ever worked late into the night on your computer and found yourself blinded by the light from the monitor? Yes, all of us have experienced it at some point or another.

So what do you do then? Get down and dirty and adjust the screen’s brightness to be a little easy on the eyes, only to find it ineffective and then find yourself adjusting it again the next morning? There’s definitely got to be a better way to automate this. And surely there is – “F.lux“.

A no fuss application that doesn’t bother you too much and sits quietly in the system tray adjusting the screen for the better.

May 04 08:12

Could Cambridge Analytica come back from the dead? Disgraced bosses of the scandal-hit firm quietly set up two new companies in London

Two new London-based companies, Firecrest Technologies and Emerdata, have been set up with the same registered address, same purpose and same directors.

May 04 08:04

Are 8 new 'Spectre-class' flaws about to be exposed? Intel confirms it's readying fixes

Intel says it's "finalizing mitigations", following a report by German tech site heise.de claiming its CPUs are affected by eight new "Spectre-class" vulnerabilities, including one found by Google's Project Zero, which identified the first set of CPU flaws known as Meltdown and Spectre.

The site reports that the bugs have been assigned CVE identifiers and that at least one of them will be revealed by Project Zero on May 7, a day ahead of Patch Tuesday, which Microsoft recently begun using to distribute Intel's hardware patches or microcode updates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Flaws? Or NSA/Israel back doors!

May 04 05:54

Fresh fright of data-spilling Spectre CPU design flaws haunt Intel

Researchers have unearthed a fresh new set of ways attackers could potentially exploit data-leaking Spectre CPU vulnerabilities in Intel chips.

German publication Heise reported that eggheads are preparing to disclose at least eight new CVE-listed vulnerability reports describing side-channel attack flaws in Chipzilla's processors.

"So far we only have concrete information on Intel's processors and their plans for patches. However, there is initial evidence that at least some ARM CPUs are also vulnerable," Jürgen Schmidt reported.

"Further research is already underway on whether the closely related AMD processor architecture is also susceptible to the individual Spectre-NG gaps, and to what extent."

May 04 00:01

Facebook Begins Ranking News Sites By Trust And Combating “Propaganda” During Elections

“Fake news” was a propaganda term designed to destroy and discredit alternative media – but we are sticking it right to the real propagandists – the very fake mainstream media that told us there was WMDs in Iraq and chemical weapons in Syria.

May 03 14:59

Memphis utility service cut-offs near 130,000 last year; MLGW smart meters cited for spike

During 2017, the utility conducted 129,922 residential and commercial cutoffs, up 29 percent from 100,533 the previous year and a 44 percent increase from the 90,099 reported in 2015.

Several factors account for the increase, including mild weather last year that resulted in fewer days when MLGW observed a moratorium on cutoffs because of extremely hot or cold temperatures.

But a significant reason for the increase is that smart meters make it much cheaper, quicker and easier for MLGW to disconnect services when customers fail to pay their bills. Instead of sending a truck and employee to manually cut off services -- a process that can be delayed by weather and other issues -- the utility is able to do it remotely via smart meter.

May 03 14:48

Spotify's shares PLUNGE after its first earnings report reveals it is still losing money despite signing up 75 million paid subscribers

Spotify's shares plunged after its first earnings report revealed it lost $49 million (£36 million/41 million euros) in the three months through March.

May 03 14:46

Change your Twitter password NOW: Firm admits glitch exposed 'substantial' number of its 330 million users' login information

Twitter is urging all of its users to change their passwords, after the firm discovered a bug that left passwords completely exposed.

While the firm has not revealed how many people could be affected by the glitch, it’s warning its more than 330 million users to create a new password ‘out of an abundance of caution.’

Twitter insists it has since fixed the bug, and found no indication of a breach or misuse of the unprotected information.

May 03 13:37

Cambridge Analytica dismantled for good? Nope: It just changed its name to Emerdata

The company formerly known as Cambridge Analytica shocked the media today when it announced an immediate shutdown and liquidation of its business.

That "shutdown," however, may be short-lived as official documents indicate those behind the controversial analytics company will be launching as a new firm with a less-toxic brand.

May 03 12:50

Facebook Begins Ranking News Sites By Trust And Combating “Propaganda” During Elections

By Aaron Kesel

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated Tuesday that his company has begun to implement a system that will rank news organizations based on trustworthiness while suppressing content that doesn’t fit in that metric...

May 03 12:23

DEEP FAKES VERSUS DEEP STATE: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CAN’T TELL WHAT’S REAL

The arms race has started: deep fakes versus tech that exposes them. The only problem is that the technology that will supposedly tell us what is real and what is not… was created by DARPA. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is the government agency responsible for the developing things like killer robots, artificial intelligence, swarms of tiny drones, and even experiments with mind reading technology. And those are just the projects we know about.

May 03 12:16

CENSORSHIP: Facebook Will Ramp Up ‘News Suppression’ Ahead Of 2018 Midterms

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that his social media platform will ramp up “news suppression” ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Although the term “news suppression” is being used, let’s call it what it is: censorship.

Zuckerberg will “dial up the intensity” of censorship in hopes that he can weaponize his social media platform to help elect leftists. Zuckerberg stated this week that the social media firm has plans to further crack down on “fake news” (news liberals don’t like) on the platform via “suppression” of certain news publications.

BuzzFeed News reported that Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook has been gathering data on certain publications by asking consumers how they feel about certain publications and their trustworthiness. Don’t be too shocked if YouTube and Twitter go ahead and do the very same thing. We already know Google suppresses search results based on a leftist bias.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please, if you haven't already started, use existing alternatives to Facebook, Google, and Amazon, like those you see on the left hand portion of the website page, right below the chat room.

Right now, for their collective censorship of real news, that is important to all of us, these venues need to be immediately and consistently shunned.

May 03 10:55

YouTube: Some Nootropics Channels Were ‘Removed Mistakenly’

“With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call,” YouTube told Motherboard in a statement. “When it's brought to our attention that a video or channel has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We give uploaders the ability to appeal these decisions and we will re-review the videos.”

“It behooves us to use our enhanced brains to figure out what is going on and how to stop it.”

At least five channels were deleted in less than a week, prompting an outcry from the affected YouTubers and fears that the site was about to be purged of "smart drug" content. YouTube has ramped up moderation over the past six months in response to a wave of bad press that highlighted the prevalence of violent, offensive videos and conspiracy theories on the site. In March, the company started banning videos made to sell guns or demonstrate how to make guns or gun accessories.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Youtube and Facebook have become two of the most censoring entities known to humankind today, and many times very innapropriately censoring, or playing fast and loose with viewing numbers, as has happened to Mike and me, in terms of throttling numbers for various pro-peace music videos.

Just think of both those entities as yet another arm of the US government/intelligence complex, and figure out from there what you want to post, or what alternative sites you might like to use.

May 03 09:28

DHS Expands Police Spying by Adding Surveillance Cameras to Bus Stops

By MassPrivateI

Not content with surveillance cameras on buses, the police state has now begun adding them to bus stops.

Last month an article in WTVR 6 revealed that the Greater Richmond Transit Center (GRTC) is installing more than one hundred surveillance cameras at bus stops...

May 03 09:01

Windows 10 April Update DROPS features from your PC, this is what you LOSE if you upgrade

The latest blockbuster Windows 10 upgrade, dubbed Windows 10 April Update, is finally available to users.

The Redmond-based company staggers the roll-out of its operating system updates – to avoid putting too much strain on its servers.

As a result, it may take a few days before Windows 10 April Update lands on your machine.

Microsoft’s latest operating system update brings a slew of new features, including the long-delayed Timeline feature, updates to Cortana, as well as offline website and push notification support in Microsoft Edge.

Windows 10 April Update will also include a Near Share feature which works a lot like Apple’s AirDrop as well as quick pairing for Bluetooth devices.

But the April Update not only adds new functionality to your computer – it also takes away some features previously available in Windows 10.

May 03 08:58

Facebook: MPs demand answers as Cambridge Analytica closes doors

The company, which worked on the Brexit campaign, sustained severe criticism over its gathering of data from millions of Facebook profiles to target users with personalised adverts.

It announced it would be shutting down on Wednesday, claiming the coverage of the scandal has driven away customers and made the business unviable.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said its investigations will continue to "seek to pursue individuals and directors as appropriate".

While Damian Collins, the chairman of the Commons select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), tweeted: "Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group cannot be allowed to delete their data history by closing.

May 03 08:29

Cambridge Analytica to shut down, as Facebook data scandal rumbles on

Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy firm at the center of the Facebook data privacy scandal, is shutting down, the Wall Street Journal reports. In March, it emerged that Facebook had exposed the data of up to 87 million users to the firm’s researchers. Last month, the company suspended its CEO Alexander Nix, ahead of investigations to determine whether it had engaged in any wrongdoing.

May 03 08:26

Is Australia ready for driverless cars?

May 03 08:11

Twitter Sold Massive Data to Researcher Behind Cambridge Analytica Uproar

Another social media tycoon has been reported to profit from obtaining users’ data with a Cambridge Analytica-affiliated man. For one day, the researcher, who got the personal info of millions of Facebook users, was granted massive public data from Twitter. It’s said to be standard practice.

A link between Twitter and Cambridge Analytica has been brought to light after it was revealed that the corporation sold massive data access to a man behind selling info of 87 million Facebook users to a political consulting firm.

In 2015, Aleksandr Kogan's commercial firm Global Science Research (GSR) bought access to data from Twitter for one day. Kogan later became notorious for created a quiz to obtain private information from Facebook for Cambridge Analitica. The Silicon Valley company admitted the fact. But according to Twitter, which conducted an internal probe, Kogan’s firm didn't leak any private data. The sold information was based on tweets made from December 2014 to April 2015.

May 03 08:09

North Korea Denies Allegations of Hacking a U.N. Sanctions Database

North Korea on Wednesday dismissed as “nonsense” what it said was a U.S. claim that Pyongyang hacked the database of the United Nations committee that monitors sanctions against the North, saying the Trump administration should instead be working toward peace.

North Korea’s U.N. Mission said in a press statement that linking the country to the recent hacking incident is a “stereotyped trick to keep up the atmosphere of sanction and pressure” against Pyongyang “at all costs.”

The mission said the United States “again picked fault” with North Korea over the hacking incident at a closed meeting of the sanctions committee on Monday. North Korea is not a committee member and did not participate in the meeting.

May 03 08:08

Windows 10: We're going to kill off passwords and here's how, says Microsoft

Microsoft wants to banish the use of passwords to log into Windows devices, and has showcased some of the new technologies it wants to use to make this happen.

"Nobody likes passwords. They are inconvenient, insecure, and expensive. In fact, we dislike them so much that we've been busy at work trying to create a world without them -- a world without passwords," said Karanbir Singh, principal program manager for enterprise and security at Microsoft, in a blog post.

Singh said the goal was to make it possible for end users to never deal with a password in their day-to-day lives, and to provide instead user credentials that cannot be cracked, breached, or phished.

May 02 17:43

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA JUST WENT OUT OF BUSINESS. DON’T WORRY, ITS OWNERS AND EXECUTIVES HAVE ALREADY STARTED A NEW COMPANY

Cambridge Analytica, the data company at the center of an international controversy over how it used Facebook to obtain personal data from tens of millions of people, is shutting down.

May 02 16:04

A New Cryptocurrency Mining Virus is Spreading Through Facebook

If you receive a link for a video, even if it looks exciting, sent by someone (or your friend) on Facebook messenger—just don't click on it without taking a second thought.

Cybersecurity researchers from Trend Micro are warning users of a malicious Chrome extension which is spreading through Facebook Messenger and targeting users of cryptocurrency trading platforms to steal their accounts’ credentials.

Dubbed FacexWorm, the attack technique used by the malicious extension first emerged in August last year, but researchers noticed the malware re-packed a few new malicious capabilities earlier this month.

New capabilities include stealing account credentials from websites, like Google and cryptocurrency sites, redirecting victims to cryptocurrency scams, injecting miners on the web page for mining cryptocurrency, and redirecting victims to the attacker's referral link for cryptocurrency-related referral programs.

May 02 12:39

Zuckerberg: Facebook Will 'Dial Up' Suppression Of News Outlets Deemed 'Untrustworthy'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the establishment media at a conference on Tuesday that Facebook is going to "dial up" its "suppression" of news outlets he deems lacking in "trustworthiness."

May 02 11:37

What's Behind Today's Cybercrime Explosion?

Bitcoin’s secure payment system has been put into many legitimate uses, but like most technologies, it’s also a lucrative crypto space for cybercriminals who use it for a new game of extortion and ransomware attacks. And it’s a great business model because the majority of victims pay - and the rates aren’t all that bad.

In May 2017, hundreds of thousands of computer systems across the world fell victim to one of the most egregious ransomware attacks in recent times. The WannaCry cryptoworm, as it was called, exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft's popular Windows OS, using a technique known as cryptoviral extortion to lock up data and demand ransom payment in Bitcoin.

Although the amount demanded to unlock a single device was a rather modest $300, the hackers still managed to collect a pretty penny due to the scale of the attack.

May 02 11:36

CIA Prepares To Replace Spies With Artificial Intelligence

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) understands that artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big thing for the secretive intelligence community. This comes at a time when the intelligence agency was all over the news later year when WikiLeaks published over 8,000 documents — apparently classified CIA files — revealing the agency’s top-secret spy tools.

In a spy versus spy scenario, CIA field officers operating abroad are expected to be followed by adversarial spies hoping to unearth their critical sources, said CNN.

But now, foreign spies often do not need to bother because technology can do it for them, said CIA’s Science and Technology division deputy director Dawn Meyerriecks.

May 02 11:33

New MRAM Breakthrough Could Revolutionize CPU Designs

Today, STT is announcing a new breakthrough the company dubs Precessional Spin Current. STT claims this new approach will increase spin-torque efficiency of an MRAM device by 40-70 percent, allowing for retention times that are as much as 10,000x higher than before. A data retention of an hour is now over a year according to this new method — while simultaneously reducing the write current. Here’s how the company describes it:

May 02 11:15

WIKIPEDIA: OUR NEW TECHNOLOGICAL MCCARTHYISM, PART 1

Today, the internet, often thought of as our world's "final frontier" for free thinkers and the flow and exchange of ideas and information, is seriously ill. It has been systemically infected by ideological viruses, memes of information intent on poisoning freedom of expression that we take for granted every time we use Google or visit Facebook, Youtube and now the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Censorship is not limited to the governments' attempts to silence dissent. Yet when it succeeds, society is greatly hindered because people no longer have easy access to the whole truth. Censorship is one of the most effective ways to lessen people's freedoms and numb the faculties for critical thought. And because the media, and having access to news and a wide variety of interpretations and opinions is at our finger tips, it has become a critical part of our daily lives.

May 02 10:44

AMAZON ORDERS SIGNAL TO STOP USING AWS TO DEFEAT CENSORSHIP

Repressive autocracies like Egypt, Oman, and the UAE ban Signal and other encrypted messaging apps, using national firewalls to try to block their traffic; Signal evades these blocks by using "domain fronting," in which the service's cloud provider shows up as the origin of its traffic, forcing countries to block Google or Amazon to get at a single service hiding behind them.

The cloud companies don't like this; Google has terminated its domain-fronting service, prompting Signal to move to Amazon for its censorship-evasion cutout; now, Amazon has ordered Signal to cease using Amazon Web Services to defeat censorship or face having its account terminated.

There are legitimate reasons not to like domain-fronting; it allows both good actors (Signal) and bad actors (fraudsters, hackers, malware purveyors, spammers) to disguise the origin of their traffic.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At was just a matter of time before Google and Amazon became instruments of government suppression; and we are right there, right now.

May 01 15:57

A Match.com glitch reactivated a bunch of old profiles, raising concerns about user data

The zombie profiles are further proof that data legislation remains ambiguous and the internet is still forever

May 01 15:39

Bitdefender Researcher Demonstrates USB Stick That Can BSOD Any Windows 10 Device Even If Locked

It looks as though Microsoft has a bit of a security issue on its hands that affects both Windows 7 and Windows 10 operating systems. Back in July 2017, Bitdefender researcher Marius Tivadar discovered an exploit in Windows operating systems that allows anyone with physical access to a computer to invoke a BSOD by simply inserting a USB thumb drive loaded with a bit of software. He reported the issue to Microsoft, but at the time they brushed him off. Now, he's stepping out with details and a demonstration to raise awareness of this vulnerability.

What makes this exploit so intriguing is that Tivadar's proof-of-concept showed that he could force a BSOD even if the Windows machine was locked.

May 01 15:37

Smart Devices Can Be Hijacked to Track Your Body Movements And Activities Remotely

If your smartphones, tablets, smart refrigerators, smart TVs and other smart devices are smart enough to make your life easier, their smart behavior could also be leveraged by hackers to steal data, invade your privacy or spy on you, if not secured properly.

One such experiment has recently been performed by a team of student hackers, demonstrating a new attack method to turn smart devices into spying tools that could track your every move, including inferring sexual activity.

May 01 14:58

Facebook Asks Every User to Flag Whether Posts Contain 'Hate Speech'

Facebook accidentally went live with their new hate speech flagging system which asks users whether every post made on the website is "hate speech."

May 01 13:54

Bill Binney: It’s next to impossible communicating safely, NSA know our weaknesses

Speaking to Bill Binney, we wanted to find out a bit more about how the National Security Agency functions and in what ways it violates the U.S. constitution. He told Newsvoice Think that it’s now practically impossible for any member of the public to communicate safely, privately or in a fashion that doesn’t end up in an NSA repository unit.

May 01 10:57

Say goodbye to Alexa and hello to gadgets listening to the voice inside your head

Controlling your gadgets by talking to them is so 2018. In the future, you won’t even have to move your lips.

A prototype device called AlterEgo, created by MIT Media Lab graduate student Arnav Kapur, is already making this possible. With Kapur’s device—a 3-D-printed plastic doodad that looks kind of like a skinny white banana attached to the side of his head—he can flip through TV channels, change the colors of lightbulbs, make expert chess moves, solve complicated arithmetic problems, and, as he recently showed a 60 Minutes crew, order a pizza, all without saying a word or lifting a finger. It can be used to let people communicate silently and unobtrusively with each other, too.

“I do feel like a cyborg, but in the best sense possible,” he says of his experience with the device, which he built as a research project.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Brilliant, but this technology sounds as though it will have a dark side when entities like DARPA get hold of it.!!

May 01 10:43

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum Quits, But Why?

Jan Koum, the CEO and co-founder of the global messaging service WhatsApp, owned by Facebook since 2014, is leaving his post, while Facebook is still deeply embroiled in a user privacy scandal.

Koum has confirmed that he is breaking his ties with his brainchild and its parent company on his Facebook page on Monday, with the Washington Post reporting that he is also considering resigning from Facebook’s board.

May 01 10:20

EU Commission Moves to Protect Whistleblowers After Cambridge Analytica Scandal

The European Commission on Monday proposed a new bill to strengthen whistleblower protection across EU member states and establish safe reporting channels in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica and the Panama Papers scandals, the press release said.

"Many recent scandals may never have come to light if insiders hadn't had the courage to speak out. But those who did took enormous risks. So if we better protect whistleblowers, we can better detect and prevent harm to the public interest such as fraud, corruption, corporate tax avoidance or damage to people's health and the environment. There should be no punishment for doing the right thing," European Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said, as quoted in the press release.

May 01 10:13

Businesses Will Use Facial Biometrics to Create Their Own Watch Lists

By MassPrivateI

All across the country businesses are being encouraged to use facial recognition to identify everyone.

Companies like DeepCam, have been been secretly working for three years, to create a facial recognition customer watch list system...

May 01 09:28

Facial Recognition For ALL International Inbound and Outbound Passengers Begins at Orlando Airport — Data Retained for “75 Years”

By Nicholas West

It’s a trend that is quickly becoming accepted reality – biometric identification at U.S. airports. However, until now, it has been marketed either as an elective measure for preferred travelers who wish to expedite clearance or for inbound international travelers...

Apr 30 16:41

Faulty Patch for Oracle WebLogic Flaw Opens Updated Servers to Hackers Again

Earlier this month, Oracle patched a highly critical Java deserialization remote code execution vulnerability in its WebLogic Server component of Fusion Middleware that could allow attackers to easily gain complete control of a vulnerable server.

However, a security researcher, who operates through the Twitter handle @pyn3rd and claims to be part of the Alibaba security team, has now found a way using which attackers can bypass the security patch and exploit the WebLogic vulnerability once again.

Apr 30 10:26

China Begins Monitoring Brain Waves in the Workplace and Military

By Nicholas West

Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, China is offering a grim vision of the future as it implements a full-scale technocracy that is still debated as conspiracy theory by many people in the West.

I have been writing for years about the various stories that have emerged about developments in neuroscience that have included the reading of brain waves for a multitude of applications, good and bad. Naturally, for authoritarian control freaks, the idea of being able to directly monitor and analyze the thoughts of your population is a dream come true; and for anyone else who simply wishes to have more data at their disposal for targeted advertising or other economic management schemes, it’s a technology too tempting to refuse.

South China Morning Post covers both aspects of this emerging reality...

Apr 30 08:23

Ask Siri to Define 'Mother' and You'll Get a Surprisingly Explicit Response

Siri has been known to produce some absolutely bizarre answers to requests from time to time, but iPhone users recently discovered perhaps the strangest—and definitely the most explicit—response yet.

Here’s the deal: Summon Siri on your iPhone or Mac and ask it to “define the word mother.” Siri will read off the first definition plain and simple, and then prompt you if you’d like to know the second definition. Say “yes,” and prepare your sensitive little ears for Siri’s R-rated response.

“As a noun,” Siri says, “it means, short for ‘motherfucker.’”

Apr 29 14:11

Why We Have a Surveillance State

The real threat to the republic, however, lies not in the weapons available but in the unlimited and unaccountable bureaucracy in Washington that deploys them, both at home and abroad. Having broken free of constitutional constraints, America’s political class now directs an all-powerful state that naturally adopts every tool technology has to offer.

Apr 28 20:03

Tech Companies Collaborate to Create Next-Gen Sex Robots

The robot revolution is coming but this early step might not be in the direction many expected. A California company and its collaborators will soon roll out a new incredibly life-like sex robot that is run by artificial intelligence.

The group hopes that one day these AI creations will become your friend, lover, companion and even your caregiver.

Apr 28 11:28

PoC Code Published for Triggering an Instant BSOD on All Recent Windows Versions

A Romanian hardware expert has published proof-of-concept code on GitHub that will crash most Windows computers within seconds, even if the computer is in a locked state.

The code exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft's handling of NTFS filesystem images and was discovered by Marius Tivadar, a security researcher with Bitdefender.

The expert's PoC contains a malformed NTFS image that users can take and place it on a USB thumb drive. Inserting this USB thumb drive in a Windows computer crashes the system within seconds, resulting in a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

"Auto-play is activated by default," Tivadar wrote in a PDF document detailing the bug and its impact.

"Even with auto-play [is] disabled, [the] system will crash when the file is accessed. This can be done for [example,] when Windows Defender scans the USB stick, or any other tool opening it."

Apr 28 10:48

Why Hillary Used a Private Server

When everyone in the mainstream media and the government seems to be on the same page on an issue, you can usually figure that something truly foul is afoot. Such is the case with the cover-up of the murder of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr., and, contrary to the popular perception, such is also the case with Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

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