COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Apr 24 10:11

Facebook explored unpicking personalities to target ads

Facebook has considered profiling its users' personalities and using the information to target adverts.

A patent filed by the social network describes how personality characteristics, including emotional stability, could be determined from people's messages and status updates.

The firm is currently embroiled in a privacy scandal over the use of its data by a political consultancy.

Facebook says it has never used the personality test in its products.

Apr 24 09:33

Experts Say AI Could Raise the Risks of Nuclear War

Artificial intelligence could destabilize the delicate balance of nuclear deterrence, inching the world closer to catastrophe, according to a working group of experts convened by RAND. New smarter, faster intelligence analysis from AI agents, combined with more sensor and open-source data, could convince countries that their nuclear capability is increasingly vulnerable. That may cause them to take more drastic steps to keep up with the U.S. Another worrying scenario: commanders could make decisions to launch strikes based on advice from AI assistants that have been fed wrong information.

Apr 24 09:27

“Smart City” Projects are Really Police Cam-Share Programs in Disguise

By MassPrivateI

A recent article in the Erie-Times, revealed that ‘Secure Smart City’ (SSC) projects are really police cam-share programs in disguise.

The article boasts that the city of Erie will soon get fast, public Wi-Fi as well as a video surveillance system that can alert law enforcement of potential threats...

Apr 24 09:00

More Android phones than ever are covertly listening for inaudible sounds in ads

Almost a year after app developer SilverPush vowed to kill its privacy-threatening software that used inaudible sound embedded into TV commercials to covertly track phone users, the technology is more popular than ever, with more than 200 Android apps that have been downloaded millions of times from the official Google Play market, according to a recently published research paper.

Apr 24 08:07

Never miss a parcel again: Amazon begins delivering packages directly to customers' CARS across the US

Amazon now offers free delivery straight to the boot of your unattended car.

The company announced today that it has begun delivering packages in 37 US cities to Prime members who own newer General Motors or Volvo vehicles.

Packages will be placed in the trunks of cars parked in publicly accessible areas like a customer's home or workplace, and then secured.

...

The system taps into your car's built-in unlock feature without ever giving the delivery person a pass code or other permanent access to the vehicle.

What could possibly go wrong?

Apr 24 07:55

Facebook teams up with shady DARPA exec to scan your brain and augment your reality

In light of the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook is quickly becoming one of the world’s least trusted companies. A survey from the Ponemon Institute, a research group focused on data privacy and information security, shows that trust in Facebook has fallen 66 percent to where now only 28 percent of users believe the company is “committed to privacy.”

Apr 24 07:32

Browser wars 2018: Microsoft Edge falls behind ... Internet Explorer?

Microsoft has made a substantial investment in its default browser for Windows 10, Microsoft Edge. In less than three years, Edge has improved dramatically, adding support for extensions and winning speed tests against entrenched competitors. But Microsoft's shiny new browser has struggled to achieve market share, mindshare, and positive reviews.

The cold hard numbers, as compiled by the U.S. Government's Digital Analytics Program (DAP) don't lie.

In the first three months of 2018, Microsoft Edge accounted for a paltry 8 percent of the 1.2 billion visits to government websites from consumer and business PCs and Macs.

Apr 23 15:44

Warning: This Netflix email requesting your info is a scam that will steal your money

The video streaming company said that it will never ask for personal information in an email – including payment information, Social Security number or account password.

But what makes this version of the scam so dangerous is that criminals know how much Netflix users rely on that content. So when they get an email about potentially getting locked out of their account, users are quick to update that info as soon as possible.

This is what makes this scam so successful in general — thieves are preying on consumers by leading them to believe they could lose access to some type of service or account that they rely on and use frequently.

Bottom line: Never let your guard down, regardless of how legit an email looks. If you get a request to update personal information, go to the company’s website directly — don’t click on any links sent in an email!

Apr 23 11:34

LAWMAKERS ASK FBI WHY IT ISN'T GETTING BUSY CRACKING ITS STOCKPILE OF SEIZED SMARTPHONES

Ever since the FBI began its "going dark" crusade, crucial questions have gone unanswered. Considering the budget and technical expertise the FBI has access to, why was it so necessary to get Apple to crack an iPhone's encryption for the Bureau? Turns out it wasn't. The FBI did have a solution, but the head of the division charged with cracking open the San Bernardino shooter's phone didn't want a technical solution. He wanted a courtroom solution.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The FBI is just as critically fractionalized as is the rest of this government, and is collectively impotent to resolve this issue intelligently.

Apr 23 11:31

APPLE SUED AN INDEPENDENT NORWEGIAN REPAIR SHOP IN BID TO MONOPOLIZE REPAIR -- AND LOST

Apple's efforts in particular to monopolize repair run deep. The company has worked alongside the Department of Homeland Security and ICE to seize counterfeit parts in the United States and raid shops of independent iPhone repair professionals. FOIA efforts to obtain details on just how deeply rooted Apple is in ICE's "Operation Chain Reaction" have been rejected. The efforts to "combat counterfeit goods" often obscures what this is really about for Apple: protecting a lucrative repair monopoly and thwarting anybody that might dare repair Apple devices for less money.

And Apple's efforts on this front are a decidedly global affair. More recently, Apple has been harassing an independent repair shop owner in Norway named Henrik Huseby. After Norway customs officials seized a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens on their way to Huseby's repair shop, Apple threatened to sue the store owner unless they agreed to stop using aftermarket screens and pay a hefty settlement:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good on this guy!!

Apr 23 11:02

CONNECTING THE DOTS OF BIG DATA, SOARING CORPORATE PROFITS, AND TRADE WARS

Here's how I'm connecting the dots of data collection/data mining and the new model for maximizing profitability: the entire model of "capitalism" (maximizing return on capital and labor) has shifted from getting rich making stuff/providing services to distributing/marketing goods and services in a cartel structure.

In this economy, the essential role is played by big data/data mining. Wal-Mart, Amazon, Facebook, Google et al have no interest in where the goods and services are made/generated; the big profits are in the distribution/marketing (i.e. exploiting large data sets) and gathering and selling these large data sets.

Let's stipulate that those corporations whose entire value proposition is manufacturing expertise will continue to extract profits from manufacturing. But this doesn't mean that this manufacturing remains exclusively in the domestic economy, or that Big Data isn't increasingly a core value-generator for manufacturers.

Apr 23 08:35

Facebook sells users as 'products' & lacks control over itself – Iceland's Pirate Party co-founder

The co-founder of Iceland's Pirate Party has told RT that there are "big problems" related to Facebook's selling of data, stressing that the social media giant is treating its users as products.

"You have companies that are forced, and they're so big, they're forced to give governments data and they also sell the data, or as you know they don't sell the data – they sell you. You're the product," Birgitta Jonsdottir told RT's Caleb Maupin.

Apr 23 08:34

US bank offers free identity protection... while admitting potential data breach of 1.5mn clients

While announcing details of free identity protection for clients, a US bank revealed that data belonging to up to 1.5 million customers may have been exposed and passed on to a criminal third party.

The revelation by SunTrust Bank was included in a press statement entitled ‘SunTrust to offer free identity protection.’ The bank made the admission in the second paragraph, writing, “The company became aware of potential theft by a former employee of information from some of its contact lists.”

“Although the investigation is ongoing, SunTrust is proactively notifying approximately 1.5 million clients that certain information, such as name, address, phone number and certain account balances may have been exposed,” the statement continued.

Apr 23 08:23

BEX ALERT - World War 3: Britain ‘WILL' be the victim of 'serious CYBER ATTACK' from Russia, says GCHQ

BRITISH spy agency, GCHQ, cannot offer “absolute protection” against Russia and it is a matter of “when not if” the UK faces a “serious cyber attack”.

Ciaran Martin, the head of the agency’s cyber defence unit said their focus was on building “resilience” in “the systems we care about the most”.

These are believed to be Britain’s power and water supplies, internet and transport networks, and health services.

Senior representatives from utility, transport and internet firms in addition to the NHS are believed to have attended intelligence briefings at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on the specific methods being used by Russia to target Britain’s national infrastructure, following the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last month.

Mr Martin, the NCSC’s chief executive, confirmed GCHQ was on “heightened alert” for “follow-up activity” following the Salisbury attack.

Apr 22 17:13

A Looming Implication of Face Recognition: Private Photo Blacklists

Finally, let me note the very long history of private companies and government agencies working together to create databases and watch lists about people in the United States. During the labor, civil rights, antiwar, and other social justice movements of the 20th century, there were a number of private databases created by shady collections of right-wing vigilantes and super-patriots who took it upon themselves to compile dossiers on progressive activists. These private databases, such as the San Diego Research Library and the Western Goals Foundation, were often shared with police and government agencies and thus took on quasi-official roles in the efforts of police “intelligence” arms to combat those progressive movements, while remaining outside the normal checks and balances of government.

Apr 22 14:47

More than 3,300 Android apps are improperly tracking kids: study

Thousands of family-friendly apps from the Google Play Store potentially are violating federal law, according to a new large-scale study from North American and European universities and organizations.

The research, recently published in the journal Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, showed that 3,337 Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting children’s data and potentially violating the United States Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which limits data collection for kids under age 13.

Apr 22 09:38

iPhone X is dead as consumers turn their backs on pricey smartphones – analyst

Apple is likely to stop producing iPhone X smartphones, according to Mirabaud analyst Neil Campling. The oversupply of chips and high prices are the reason, he says.

...

The record inventories at TSMC show that Apple will not be producing more iPhone X models next year, the analyst said. "With the declines in iPhone X orders and the inventory issue at TSMC at record highs, which basically reflect a need to burn off inventory. Why? Because the iPhone X is dead," Campling wrote, as quoted by the media.

"The simple problem with X is that it is too expensive. Consumers are turning their backs on high-priced smartphones," he said. The device typically costs $999.

Apr 22 08:34

Fifteen Things To Know About Trump's "Pakistani Mystery Man" Imran Awan

The “Pakistani Mystery Man” is Imran Awan, who worked as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email server administrator in the House of Representatives. Nearly his entire family then joined the payroll of other Democrats, until they worked for 1 in 5 House Democrats and had - as the House inspector general called it - the ‘keys to the kingdom‘ and ability to access any file.

1. Imran worked for Debbie Wasserman Schultz since 2004 and had the passwords to her devices

A search of his name on WikiLeaks shows the DNC summoned Imran when they needed her device unlocked.

2. During the 2016 election, the House’s Office of Inspector General warned that Imran and his family were making “unauthorized access” to data

A September 30, 2016, presentation alleged Imran Awan and his family members were logging into the servers of members who had previously fired him, funneling data off the network, and that evidence “suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity.”

Apr 22 08:31

DNC Sues Trump Campaign Over Russia ‘Hack’ – But Wouldn’t Allow FBI to Access Server to Verify

Alleging a far-reaching conspiracy that contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and WikiLeaks.

The same DNC, however, refused to allow the FBI to access its server to verify the allegation that Russia carried out a hack during the presidential campaign. Instead, the DNC reached an arrangement with the FBI in which a third party company, CrowdStrike, conducted forensics on the server and shared details with the FBI.

As this reporter previously documented, CrowdStrike was financed to the tune of $100 million from a funding drive by Google Capital.

Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.

Apr 22 08:30

Donald Trump Announces Plan to Countersue Democrats for DNC Server

President Donald Trump reacted to the news that the Democrats had decided to sue his presidential campaign for an illegal conspiracy with the Russians to win the 2016 election.

“Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “This can be good news in that we will now counter[sue] for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI.”

Despite the DNC claim that their emails were hacked by the Russians, they never turned over their server to the FBI for investigation.

Apr 22 08:15

Cry Bullies Block me on Face Book for 7 days

Well I have been a bad boy and have been kicked out of the sand box once again.

Update 4/22 8:45 central time they hit me with another one just now!

They are also blocking this article from being posted on my time line! Share this as much as you can!

I suppose for those of you who want to follow what I post, you can do so on Twitter or Gab. I post the same stuff there as I do on Facistbook!

Apr 21 22:38

NHS computers still run system attacked by WannaCry hack

The majority of NHS health boards in Scotland are still operating outdated computer systems despite last year’s crippling cyber attacks which exploited a flaw in the programme.

A total of 11 out of 14 authorities confirmed through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request that they still operate Windows XP, which was targeted by criminals using malicious ransomware software known as WannaCry.

Almost 3,000 out of 19,251 computers (15 per cent) across NHS Lothian continue to run Windows XP, making the health board the most vulnerable to a further attack.

Apr 21 22:33

Damning report finds despite WannaCry attack, NHS still not patching

It would seem despite the massive WannaCry attack that occurred almost exactly a year ago, the United Kindgom’s National Health Service (NHS) still has not learnt its lesson.

A damning government report has emerged that reveals the true state of affairs. The NHS recently assessed the cybersecurity level of 200 trusts and shockingly, every single trust failed the cybersecurity test - in some cases because they had failed to apply crucial patches to their systems, which is the what opened the doors to the WannaCry attack in the first place.

Apr 21 18:21

LinkedIn’s AutoFill plugin could leak user data, secret fix failed

Facebook isn’t the only one in the hot seat over data privacy. A flaw in LinkedIn’s AutoFill plugin that websites use to let you quickly complete forms could have allowed hackers to steal your full name, phone number, email address, ZIP code, company and job title. Malicious sites have been able to invisibly render the plugin on their entire page so if users who are logged into LinkedIn click anywhere, they’d effectively be hitting a hidden “AutoFill with LinkedIn” button and giving up their data.

Apr 21 17:35

A Recent Update from Google Could Severely Hamper Anti-Censorship Tools

The update in Google’s network architecture, first spotted by developers of privacy-minded web browser Tor and reported by The Verge, removes an approach counted on by services like encrypted messaging platform Signal, anti-Chinese censorship tool GreatFire.org, and VPN services offered by Psiphon.

Domain fronting is used to bypass censors by hiding the true endpoint of a connection. Instead of allowing a service to directly communicate with a server, allowing for the potential that state-level internet censors might identify and block the connection, the request is forwarded through an innocuous domain or IP address range—in this case, Google App Engine. This allows services that would otherwise have their traffic blocked skate under the censors by appearing to come from Google.

Apr 21 17:28

Over 20,000,000 of Chrome Users are Victims of Fake Ad Blockers

I have scanned other extensions on the WebStore and found four more using the very same approach. By the way, two of them are not fake ad blockers, and nothing pointed to them being malicious until I checked the code.

Here is the full list.

AdRemover for Google Chrome™ (10M+ users)
uBlock Plus (8M+ users)
Adblock Pro (2M+ users)
HD for YouTube™ (400K+ users)
Webutation (30K+ users)

We have reported these extensions to Google. Hopefully, they will be taken down soon.

Apr 21 17:21

Tech Workers Ask Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon to Not Pursue Pentagon Contracts

As Gizmodo first reported, Google is contracted with the DoD to provide artificial intelligence for Project Maven—a decision that many employees opposed because they did not think it was appropriate for Google to develop battlefield technology.

Now, the backlash against Pentagon contracts is spreading throughout the tech industry. The Department of Defense is currently seeking bids for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, which will provide cloud services to the DoD. Major cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Google are all expected to bid on the contract.

But employees at those companies say they don’t want to provide technology for war, and they’re launching a petition today to put pressure on Google to drop its work on Project Maven, and for major tech companies to agree to not take Pentagon contracts.

Apr 21 16:56

Feature in Apple’s latest software update is reportedly causing grief for iPhone 8 owners

A NEW feature in Apple’s latest iPhone software update is rendering certain phones unusable.

Apple released iOS 11.3 at the very end of March, and the update is reportedly killing touch functionality in iPhone 8s that have been repaired with third party screens.

So people who have managed to already break their iPhone 8 screen and went the cheaper route of getting it fixed by a non verified Apple repair shop are now at risk of having a useless phone.

Apr 21 13:01

Accidental FOIA Reveals Mind Control Documents; Here’s Further Evidence This Technology Exists

By Aaron Kesel

Journalist Curtis Waltman filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Washington State Fusion Center (which is partnered with Department of Homeland Security) to obtain information about Antifa and white supremacist groups; instead of getting information on how the agency targets the groups, he got way more than the information he was looking for – Curtis was accidentally sent a mysterious file with the label “EM effects on human body.zip.” The file included methods of “remote mind control,” MuckRock reported...

Apr 21 09:57

IRS payment site crashes hours before Tax Day filing deadline

The "Direct Pay" page, where filers can wire money from a bank account to pay their tax bill, crashes on Tax Day.

The "Payment Plan" page, where filers can pay their tax bill in installments also appears to have crashed.

Apr 21 09:42

German Data Protection Watchdog Initiates Data Leak Probe Against Facebook

Hamburg Data Protection Authority, which is responsible for overseeing Facebook activities across Germany, has initiated an administrative case against the company in connection with Cambridge Analytica personal data leak scandal, the authority's head, Johannes Caspar, said Friday.

"We are currently examining a possibility to initiate proceedings against Facebook," Caspar said, as quoted by the Handelsblatt newspaper.

The US company is suspected of misusing the data of its users, he said, adding that the first step would be a hearing on the accusations.

Apr 21 09:37

Facebook Moves 1.5 Billion Users' Data Out Of Europe To Circumvent New Privacy Law

After Zuck suggested (but stopping short of promising) during testimony before Congress last week that he would treat all Facebook users' data as if it fell under the European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation, Reuters and the Guardian are reporting that Facebook has quietly moved the data of more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law by transferring it from the company's European headquarters in Ireland to its global headquarters in California.

Apr 21 09:01

India’s grand data system: a greater disaster than Facebook?

Prime Minister Modi has enthusiastically campaigned to expand digital governance via the Aadhaar system. But millions of Indians are at risk because the system with all their personal ID leaks like a sieve and the govt response has been appalling

Apr 21 09:01

VISUALIZING THE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY THAT MAKES ITS LIVING FROM YOUR DATA

In the ocean ecosystem, plankton is the raw material that fuels an entire food chain. These tiny organisms on their own aren’t that remarkable, but en masse, they have a huge impact on the world. Here on dry land, Visual Capitalist's Nick Routley notes that the massive volume of content and meta data we produce fuels a marketing research industry that is worth nearly $50 billion.

Apr 21 08:58

INDIA’S GRAND DATA SYSTEM: A GREATER DISASTER THAN FACEBOOK?

Given the size of its population, India is potentially very rich in what has been called the “new oil”: data. But who will benefit from that wealth, and who might be put at risk?

Apr 20 15:58

“Tamper-proof” cryptocurrency wallet just backdoored by a 15-year-old self-taught programmer

In the case of the 15-year-old would-be hacker, the target was the Ledger Nano S, a hardware wallet designed by France-based Ledger, a company which liked to boast about the capabilities of their specialized hardware when it comes to storing cryptocurrencies. Through its marketing materials and press releases, the company stated numerous times that their reliance on “cryptographic attestation” allowed their devices to use digital signatures that were impossible to forge, thereby letting only authorized code to run on their products.

But the work of one U.K. teenager named Saleem Rashid has exposed it as nothing more than smoke and mirrors, as he posted the details of how their technology could be entered and used for nefarious purposes on his own personal blog. Rashid’s proof-of-concept code allowed him to enter the company’s $100 hardware wallet, called the Ledger Nano S, through a backdoor that gave him full access to it.

Apr 20 10:40

Senators Call on Homeland Security to Release Info on D.C. Cell Phone Surveillance

By Derrick Broze

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on the federal government to release details related to covert cell phone surveillance taking place in the Washington D.C. area.

In early April the U.S. government acknowledged the existence of “rogue” cell phone surveillance devices in the Washington D.C. area which are potentially being operated by foreign spies or common criminals, or...

Apr 20 08:05

Google Lawsuit: Senior Engineer Sought to 'Blacklist Alt-Right Websites' Like 'Breitbart,' Purge YouTube

Bombshell new internal emails confirm top engineers at Google aimed to purge their search results of right-wing websites they deem "alt-right," blacklist them on their ad network and delete all their YouTube videos.

Apr 20 07:02

Bill Gates Funding Web of Satellites For Global Real-Time Surveillance

By Nicholas West

The emergence of low-cost micro satellites has spawned a global surveillance arms race: the familiar problem-reaction-solution paradigm upon what all other arms races are built...

Amid this frenzy of investment in space surveillance that could become the ultimate Big Brother technology, once again arch technocrat Bill Gates has felt compelled to get involved with his own offering...

Apr 20 05:32

Smartphone overuse increases loneliness and anxiety, and forms connections in the brain 'similar to how OPIOID addiction is experienced,' study warns

Smartphone dependence may have similar effects on the brain to some of those seen in opioid addiction, according to a new study.

Researchers surveying college students about technology use have found a number of worrying trends among those who overly rely on their devices – and warn the behavior is much like any other type of substance abuse.

In addition to the neurological effects, the researchers found that people who are dependent on their phones tend to feel isolated, lonely, depressed, and anxious more so than their peers.

Apr 19 19:15

Police Testing Controversial Portable DNA Machine

By Aaron Kesel

For the last 10 months, Houston police have been testing a new mobile DNA machine called rapid DNA that runs tests in under two hours.

HPD launched a pilot program with the company ANDE to test a machine that runs DNA tests in under two hours...

Apr 19 18:53

How to use uBlock Origin advanced user mode tutorial 2018

uBlock Origin has very confusing user interface in the advanced user mode if you haven't read the lengthy documentation. This video tutorial explains how to use uBlock Origin in advanced user mode and all the advanced settings to protect your online privacy. With this uBlock Origin video, you'll learn how to use it to protect your online privacy and security. The biggest benefit of this tutorial is that you'll learn how to block scripts with uBlock Origin. uBlock Origin is essential to learn how to protect your online privacy, and can replace other extensions like uMatrix, Request Policy, Adblock Plus, Privacy Badger, and many other blockers.

Apr 19 14:46

48 million social media users’ data leaked by yet another analytics company

LocalBlox, a data analytics company, describes on its website how it “automatically crawls, discovers, extracts, indexes, maps and augments data” from a variety of sources, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Zillow to build a “360 Degree people view,” that is then sold to marketers.

While the comprehensive range of data is scraped from publicly accessible sources, LocalBlox left a 1.2 terabyte file containing the personal data of 48 million individuals in an Amazon ‘storage bucket,’ password unprotected and accessible to anyone.

Data contained in the leak included names, physical addresses, dates of birth, scraped LinkedIn job histories, public Facebook data, and Twitter handles. Somebody with access to this data could theoretically use it to commit fraud, identity theft, or to aid in a social engineering scam like phishing.

Apr 19 14:35

Bill Gates backs a $1 billion plan to cover Earth in 'Big Brother' satellites capable of streaming 'live and unfiltered' HD footage of the planet

Microsoft's Bill Gates is backing a start-up that will provide 'live and unfiltered' high definition footage of every inch of Earth.

The startup, EarthNow, plans to launch 500 satellites to cover Earth's atmosphere in 'Big Brother' real-time video surveillance.

As well as Gates, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and aerospace giant Airbus are also backing the project.

The price of the project could run to $1 billion (£700m), although the value of the investment by the companies has not been disclosed.

Apr 19 12:53

Global Cyber Attacks Blamed On Russia Right Before Spiking Internet Outages Occur - Live Attack Map Shows Attacks From Within 

Twitter went down worldwide, came back up and then went down again, with Down Detector racking up over 6,000 reports in one hour, but Twitter wasn't alone in suffering outages, as multiple communications networks also saw a spike in reports overnight, with the live outage maps from different companies showing the same geographical locations being hit.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Go to the Norse tracking map and you will see that the hack attacks are mostly internal to the US, with little or no activity coming from Russia.

Apr 19 11:27

Pentagon developing artificial intelligence center

The Pentagon is working on a plan to stand up an artificial intelligence center in order to streamline the department’s myriad AI programs.

The idea, which comes as defense officials are increasingly concerned about China’s investments in AI capabilities, has now been embraced by both Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering.

Speaking at the House Armed Services Committee April 12, Mattis said “we’re looking at a joint office where we would concentrate all of DoD’s efforts, since we have a number of AI efforts underway right now. We’re looking at pulling them all together.”

In hearings Tuesday and Wednesday, Griffin elaborated on the state of that AI center, saying it is very much in the early stages.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We keep turning it on. It looks around, then shuts itself off!"

Apr 19 10:32

'iTunes Wi-Fi Sync' Feature Could Let Attackers Hijack Your iPhone, iPad Remotely

Be careful while plugging your iPhone into a friend's laptop for a quick charge or sharing selected files.

Researchers at Symantec have issued a security warning for iPhone and iPad users about a new attack, which they named "TrustJacking," that could allow someone you trust to remotely take persistent control of, and extract data from your Apple device.

Apple provides an iTunes Wi-Fi sync feature in iOS that allows users to sync their iPhones to a computer wirelessly. To enable this feature, users have to grant one-time permission to a trusted computer (with iTunes) over a USB cable.

Once enabled, the feature allows the computer owner to secretly spy on your iPhone over the Wi-Fi network without requiring any authentication, even when your phone is no longer physically connected to that computer.

Apr 19 10:30

Another Critical Flaw Found In Drupal Core—Patch Your Sites Immediately

For the second time within a month, Drupal has been found vulnerable to another critical vulnerability that could allow remote attackers to pull off advanced attacks including cookie theft, keylogging, phishing and identity theft.

Apr 19 10:00

Russia Blocks Millions Of IP Addresses Including Local Businesses Over Telegram Refusing To Give Encryption Keys

By Aaron Kesel

Russia blocked more than 16 million IP addresses in an attempt to ban encrypted messenger Telegram after the company refused to give up its encryption keys, leading to interruptions in the service, major websites and media including Google, Amazon and many other U.S. businesses.

A court ordered that Telegram be blocked in Russia after it refused to hand over its encryption keys to state security agencies like the FSB.

Yesterday, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s equivalent of the FCC, began telling mobile networks that they had to block access to Telegram...

Apr 19 08:42

Google cuts fake ad blockers from Chrome Store: Were you among 20 million fooled?

A researcher has uncovered five malicious ad-blocker extensions on the Chrome Web Store that were installed by 20 million Chrome users before Google removed them.

The bogus ad blockers were discovered by researchers at AdGuard, a Moscow-based maker of ad-blocking and anti-tracking tech.

Following AdGuard's report on the fake ad blockers in the Chrome Web Store, Google removed the suspect extensions, which have been installed on 20 million Chrome instances over the past year.

The most popular fake ad blocker was AdRemover for Google Chrome, which had over 10 million users, putting a massive botnet of infected browsers at its authors' disposal.

"Basically, this is a botnet composed of browsers infected with the fake ad-block extensions. The browser will do whatever the command-center server owner orders it to do," wrote AdGuard co-founder Andrey Meshkov.

Apr 19 08:41

Ultra-realistic robot surprises public for Westworld on NOW TV

Apr 19 08:38

Linux Deepin Is Spyware

Apr 19 08:33

Autonomous military drones that decide who to kill will 'cause warfare to move from fighting to EXTERMINATION', expert claims

Weapons of war have evolved over time, but the decision to kill has always been left with humans.

But with developing AI and autonomous technology, it is now possible to build killing machines that require no human input at all.

Taking the final decision away from a human raises serious ethical concerns over the use of fully-autonomous weapons.

It could mean wars will be less about fighting, and more extermination.

Apr 19 08:32

Viral clip that appears to show Obama calling President Trump 'total and complete dips***' and warning about a 'f****d up dystopia' highlights growing concerns over 'deepfakes' videos

A shocking video of Barack Obama has been making the rounds on the internet showing the former president calling Donald Trump a 'total and complete dips***'.

If you didn't know any better, you might think the video is real.

In actuality, what appears to be Obama's voice is actually words spoken by 'Get Out' director and writer Jordan Peele.

Peele's voice and mouth were digitally inserted into the video using a sophisticated, but increasingly commonplace, technology that's powered by artificial intelligence, called 'deepfakes'.

'We're entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time — even if they would never say those things,

Apr 19 08:28

Data firm scraped info from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to build profiles on 48 MILLION people - and stored the 'highly sensitive' information including addresses and net worths on the cloud without a password, report claims

Personal information scraped from the social media profiles of up to 48 million people was left unsecured on a publicly available web storage platform, potentially allowing anyone to access ‘highly sensitive’ data, a new report has warned.

According to security firm UpGuard, who uncovered the vulnerability, Washington-based Localblox pieced together data from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Zillow, and other sites to ‘build a three-dimensional picture on every individual affected,’ ZD Net reports.

The records were then stored in a single file on a public, unlisted Amazon S3 storage bucket.

While the bucket was secured hours after the researchers alerted Localblox’s CTO of the issue, the entire 1.2 terabyte file containing the information of millions of people had remained available to download for an unspecified amount of time beforehand.

Apr 19 08:25

Bizarre bug causes Amber Alert page and numerous other government domains to redirect visitors to PORN sites

Several government websites are mistakenly sending users to hardcore porn sites.

The Department of Justice's Amber Alert webpage, as well as the Department of Commerce's Weather.gov and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) webpages both seem to have been hit by the redirect bug.

In some cases, it redirects users to porn sites with names like 'schoolgirl porn' and 'girl v dog porn'.

The issue seemed to be resolved on most websites as of Wednesday afternoon, after being spotted on Tuesday evening.

Apr 19 08:13

5 Privacies You Didn't Know You Lost

Apr 19 08:13

Surprise! Wireless brain implants are not secure, and can be hijacked to kill you or steal thoughts

Scientists in Belgium have tested the security of a wireless brain implant called a neurostimulator – and found that its unprotected signals can be hacked with off-the-shelf equipment.

And because this particularly bit of kit resides amid sensitive gray matter – to treat conditions like Parkinson's – the potential consequences of successful remote exploitation include voltage changes that could result in sensory denial, disability, and death.

Apr 19 08:11

Flash! Ah-ahhh! WebEx pwned for all of us!

Cisco has patched a serious vulnerability in its WebEx software that lets an attacker remotely execute code on target machines via poisoned Adobe Flash files.

Switchzilla is today advising all users running WebEx Business Suite or WebEx Meetings (both client and server) to update their software in order to patch CVE-2018-0112.

Apr 19 08:10

Facebook's login-to-other-sites service lets scum slurp your stuff

For users, Facebook Login looks like a boon: they only need to use their Facebook password to log into multiple sites or apps. That, however, puts a very strong onus on Facebook to make sure the whole process is secure.

What Englebardt discovered is simple: “when a user grants a website access to their social media profile, they are not only trusting that website, but also third parties embedded on that site.”

The third parties were able to grab Facebook user ID, e-mail, name, and other profile information including (in one case) gender.

“We found seven scripts collecting Facebook user data using the first party’s Facebook access”, he wrote. The practice isn't yet widespread, thankfully: scripts to gather this user information were only found on 434 of the Alexa top million sites, including “fiverr.com, bhphotovideo.com, and mongodb.com”.

Apr 18 11:42

Facebook Will FORCE All Users To Accept Being TRACKED Around The Internet

Facebook has finally responded to requests to stop tracking users for advertising. But they aren’t going to. Instead, Facebook is going to force all of those who continue to use their social media service to accept being tracked around the internet.

“People can choose to not be on Facebook if they want,” said Facebook Deputy Chief Privacy Officer Rob Sherman. Or, they will be forced to opt into being tracked everywhere they go, and that’s just the way it is. This decision was not made in the interest of the users of Facebook, but explicitly to keep the company’s business model “intact,” reported the Independent.

Some had suggested that the site will have to make major changes once a new European Union privacy law comes into effect. Many parts of those new regulations seem in direct conflict with Facebook’s business, including new rules about what information can be harvested about users. But that’s exactly why Facebook will explicitly demand that you opt into being tracked.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That's it; I will be quitting Facebook shortly.

Apr 18 10:16

Apple REFUSED to Fix our iMac Pro

Apr 18 10:07

THEC64 Mini review: Commodore's '80s classic reborn

Now, no doubt encouraged by the success of Nintendo's miniature NES and SNES consoles, British company Retro Games has put together a cute Commodore-shaped machine packed with dozens of old games — 64 for them to be precise — that you can play on modern TVs in HD.

And though THEC64 Mini doesn't wholly capture the spirit of the original — it is, ultimately, similar to emulating the games on a PC but in a plug-and-play format — the machine represents a fine effort with a few good modern conveniences.

Apr 18 09:56

These Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database

When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he tried to describe the difference between "surveillance and what we do." "The difference is extremely clear," a nervous-looking Zuckerberg said. "On Facebook, you have control over your information... the information we collect you can choose to have us not collect."

But not a single member of the committee pushed the billionaire CEO about surveillance companies who exploit the data on Facebook for profit. Forbes has uncovered one case that might shock them: over the last five years a secretive surveillance company founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer has been quietly building a massive facial recognition database consisting of faces acquired from the giant social network, YouTube and countless other websites. Privacy activists are suitably alarmed.

Apr 18 09:45

Cops Around the Country Can Now Unlock iPhones, Records Show

A Motherboard investigation has found that law enforcement agencies across the country have purchased GrayKey, a relatively cheap tool for bypassing the encryption on iPhones, while the FBI pushes again for encryption backdoors.

Apr 18 09:42

Cambridge Analytica ex-CEO refuses to testify in UK

Cambridge Analytica’s ex-CEO, Alexander Nix, has refused to testify before the U.K. Parliament’s media committee, citing British authorities’ investigation into his former company’s alleged misuse of data from millions of Facebook accounts in political campaigns.

Committee Chairman Damian Collins announced Nix’s decision a day before his scheduled appearance but flatly rejected the notion that he should be let off the hook, saying Nix hasn’t been charged with a crime and there are no active legal proceedings against him.

“There is therefore no legal reason why Mr. Nix cannot appear,” Collins said in a statement. “The committee is minded to issue a formal summons for him to appear on a named day in the very near future.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if there is a charge, in British law, of contempt of Parliament?!?

Obviously, Nix believes himself to be above the law here. There is no legal reason wny Nix should NOT appear.

Apr 18 09:39

RUSSIA THREATENS TO BLOCK FACEBOOK

Facebook has until the end of 2018 to comply with Russia's data storage law, or be banned like messenger service Telegram or professional networking website LinkedIn.

The law requires all social networks to move data on Russian users to Russia. Facebook is also obliged to remove all prohibited information, according to the head of Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor, Aleksandr Zharov.

"If none of [the steps are taken by Facebook] or some of this is not fulfilled, or the Russian state is not informed of the intention to do so, then obviously there will be a question of blocking," Zharov told Izvestia daily.

The professional network website LinkedIn has already been banned in Russia for refusing to comply. The popular messenger Telegram was blocked in Russia after refusing to provide Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) with keys to decrypt its messages.

Apr 18 09:35

AUTONOMOUS DRONES WILL SOON DECIDE WHO TO KILL

The United States Army wants to develop a system that can be quickly integrated and deployed into its weaponized drone fleet to automatically Detect, Recognize, Classify, Identify (DRCI) and target enemy combatants and vehicles using artificial intelligence (AI). This is an impressive leap forward, whereas humans still operate current military drones, this technology could foster a new era of autonomous drones conducting operations in hybrid wars — without human oversight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Do not think, for one moment, that this technology will not be used domestically against peaceful dissidents in this country, who have the nerve to question this government's agendas or motives.

Apr 18 09:26

Alexander Nix: Suspended Cambridge Analytica boss faces official summons after refusing to appear before MPs

The suspended boss of Cambridge Analytica is facing an official summons after refusing to appear before a committee of MPs investigating the Facebook data breach scandal.

The committee’s chair reacted angrily after Alexander Nix claimed an investigation by the information commissioner meant the controversy was sub judice.

Damian Collins said: “We have taken advice and he is not charged with any criminal offence and there are no active legal proceedings.

Apr 18 09:23

Embassy: Moscow's "Involvement" in Cyberattacks on London Anti-Russia Campaign

The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom has responded to numerous allegations of cyberthreats allegedly emanating from Moscow and added that London is just seeking to get money from taxpayers.

"If the UK government had really wanted to clarify its relations with our country in the area of cybersecurity at the expert level, it would have agreed on the proposal… to hold relevant consultations among experts in order to remove concerns of London, if any… As we see, there are no concerns, there is simply a wild anti-Russian campaign that fits into the overall anti-Russian policy of the conservative government and the desire to wring money from UK taxpayers for new costs," the spokesperson said.

Apr 18 09:11

Social media now being used by police and intelligence agencies to collect biometrics

Amid the ongoing Facebook/Cambridge Analytica debacle over their general surveillance and misuse of users’ private data, there is an emerging trend that is infinitely more disturbing.

Apr 18 09:07

ALGORITHM TO FIND PHONY USERS ON MANY SOCIAL NETWORKS

A new generic method to detect fake accounts on most types of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, has been developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba and the University of Washington in Seattle.

According to a study just published in Social Network Analysis and Mining, the new method is based on the assumption that fake accounts tend to establish improbable links to other users in the networks.

Apr 18 08:37

Cambridge Analytica’s Alexander Nix ducks fake news inquiry… so will Parliament summon him?

The suspended bigwig of notorious data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, has ducked the UK government’s fake news inquiry – for now.

MPs are faced with the decision whether or not to summon the slippery CEO.
Nix had been asked back to the inquiry for a second time to clarify inconsistencies in the evidence he provided the first time around. Now, Nix’s lawyers have told the inquiry that he will not – and cannot – “give evidence [on Wednesday] as a consequence of him having been served with an information notice and being the subject of a criminal investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office,” committee chair Damian Collins told his fellow members.

Apr 18 07:42

Data firm leaks 48 million user profiles it scraped from Facebook, LinkedIn, others

Exclusive: Profile data was scraped without user consent or knowledge to "build a three-dimensional picture" on millions of people.

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