COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Feb 21 10:47

Sports Direct hacked last year, and still hasn't told its staff of data breach

Sports Direct has left its 30,000-strong workforce in the dark over a data breach in the autumn when a hacker accessed internal systems containing staffers' personal information.

The Register can reveal the UK's largest sports retail business was the subject of a digital break-in during September, when an attacker exploited public vulnerabilities affecting the unpatched version of the DNN platform that Sports Direct was using to run a staff portal.

An inside source with knowledge of the incident told The Register that employees' unencrypted data was stolen during the breach. Sports Direct's internal systems detected the intrusion in September, but it was not until December that the company learned of the data breach.

Feb 21 10:44

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

The EU’s top privacy body has been probing Windows 10, but isn’t satisfied, even after Microsoft agreed to tweak the consent settings.

Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls as part of its forthcoming “Creators Update” to Windows 10 due this spring. However, Reuters reports that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents the data protection commissioners of the EU member states, still has “concerns”. The Working Party first raised the issue of personal data processing in Windows 10 with Microsoft last year.

In a statement seen by Reuters, the Article 29 Working Party finds that the new consent screen presented to users during the installation process still doesn’t sufficiently inform them about what personal data was being collected, and what it was subsequently used for.

Feb 21 10:42

TeamSpy hackers get the crew back together after four-year hiatus

Cybercrooks have once again begun slinging malware that subverts elements of the legitimate TeamViewer remote control app to snoop on victims.

The tactic was previously seen in 2013. Attacks typically begin with booby-trapped emails harbouring malicious attachments that pose as eFax messages. If installed, the malicious code uses DLL hijacking to create a backdoor on compromised machines.

The method helps to camouflage spying as well as allowing hackers to snoop on encrypted comms, warns Danish security intelligence firm Heimdal Security.

Feb 21 10:40

$350m! shaved! off! sale! price! as! Verizon! swallows! Yahoo!

Yahoo! will be gobbled by Verizon for $4.48bn, $350m cheaper than the initial deal, apparently due to the damage done to the company's value by widely reported successful cyber-attacks.

Feb 21 09:08

"Windows as a service" means big, painful changes for IT pros

Everything you know about Windows deployment is undergoing wrenching changes. For IT pros who've grown accustomed to "set it and forget it" as a management strategy, three big changes are making life much more challenging.

Feb 20 16:35

Google bellows bug news after Microsoft sails past fix deadline

On this occasion, the bug allows attackers to access memory using EMF metafiles, a tool implemented in the Windows Graphics Component GDI library (gdi32.dll) and which helps applications to use graphics. And once an attacker is in memory, things can get interesting.

Mateusz Jurczyk, the Google chap who found the bug and others like it in the past, writes that Redmond fixed similar messes he reported last year. But he also alleges that the fix for those flaws, MS16-074, didn't completely address issues that allow access to memory. So he told Microsoft about the issue on November 16th, 2016, and waited. And waited. And waited until last week's we-don't-call-it-patch-Tuesday-anymore came and went because Microsoft needed more time to get a new patch dump just right.

At which point the 90-day policy kicked in and Google pulled the trigger, revealing the flaw to the world.

Feb 20 16:34

Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

That means “about 13,000 commits”, among them support for Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0. Chipzilla's GVT graphics virtualization, which makes it easier to share GPUs, has also made it to the kernel. ATA Command Priority Support has slipped in, too, allowing orders-of-magnitude faster read request processing on supported drives.

This release also features a new maintainer for the Xen interface, namely a chap called Martin Schwidefsky.

Qualcomm's SnapDragon 808 and 810 also gain support. Both are 450Mbps-LTE-capable devices said to be ideal for streaming 4K video. Now on Linux.

Feb 20 12:21

Danish man charged with ordering rape of 346 children in ‘historic’ livestream sex abuse case

A 70-year-old Danish man has been charged with ordering numerous child rape and sex abuse livestreams from third-world countries, where each assault usually cost the predator no more than $40.

The man, who allegedly ordered sex abuse of children, predominantly Filipino, over the internet and had them streamed to his computer, was charged on Wednesday with 346 counts of participating in sexual assaults or rapes of minors.

Feb 20 09:41

Obama Appointed FEC Commissioner Behind Internet Censorship Forced To Resign

FEC Commissioner Wanted To Shut Down The Drudge Report

Feb 20 08:51

Hackers could take control of MILLIONS of smart cars through insecure Android apps

Many car manufacturers now supply proprietary apps which allow users to open doors and even start the car using only their phone.

But according to a report by Russian anti-virus and computer security firm Kaspersky, several flaws in such apps could be exploited by attackers.

Once successfully exploited, an attacker could gain control over the car, unlock the doors, turn off the security alarm and, even steal the vehicle.

As well as opening up cars to potential thefts, hackers using mobile apps could possibly get the GPS coordinates of a car, trace its route, open its doors, start its engine, and turn on its auxiliary devices.

Feb 19 15:43

Social Media Users Troll Trump Over Sweden Incident

Social media users trolled President Trump after he referred to an incident in Sweden to defend his travel ban that has baffled Swedes.

During his campaign-style rally on Saturday in Florida, Trump pointed to incidents in Germany and Sweden in defense of his executive order on immigration and refugees — specifically referring to what happened “last night” in Sweden.

Feb 19 09:49

Could Your Fitbit Data Be Used To Deny You Health Insurance?

By Andrew Boyd, University of Illinois at Chicago

Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers. But it’s not quite so simple...

Feb 19 09:25

GAWKER MEDIA BANKRUPTCY NOWHERE NEAR DONE. IRS COMES AFTER GAWKER FOR EPIC POTENTIAL FRAUD

Expect a long battle. The Trump White House hates Gawker for the hundreds of attacks that Gawker ran against them. Prime Clerk staff say that this “..may be a record-breaking case”.
FOLLOW THE MONEY is the phrase to take notice of in this case…

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Gawker Media has been proven to have taken compensation for ending people's lives. Gawker ruined people by pushing horrific made-up defamation articles to billions of people and using server technology to force those billions of people to read those defamation movies, articles and fake blog posts. Gawker also paid third-parties to lock those "defamation impressions" in ahead of, and above, billions of other news stories, on the front pages of Google, forever!

Gawker Staff bragged about being "..the MS-13 of media" (Note: MS-13 is the street gang known for killing the most people in the USA). While the inventor of email and Hulk Hogan probably wish the real MS-13 would pay Gawker's Writers a visit, the IRS may prove to be nearly as deadly for Gawker and Univision!

Feb 19 08:39

The Huge Economic Issue that Washington Isn't Talking About

Within the next 10 years, there's a good chance that 50% of the jobs today will be gone.And no one in Washington is talking about what to do to deal with this likelihood.

The cause of this coming massive economic upheaval is artificial intelligence -- a catch-all term that encompasses everything from driverless cars to sex robots. Its impact is already being felt on the factory floor, where smart machines are making American manufacturers more competitive, more efficient, and more profitable, but without the mass number of workers that used to be the backbone of the American economy.

Donald Trump says he can change all this, that he can bring these jobs back from overseas, or prevent illegal immigrants from taking them. And the president isn't alone. The Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO still believe that a manufacturing Renaissance is possible.

Feb 18 21:21

Bill Gates says robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes

If robots are going to take over human jobs, that means fewer people will be working, which in turn means fewer people will be paying taxes.

And that’s a problem, since taxes fund things that are important, like schools and roads and fire departments.

Bill Gates has idea for solving this deficit: Have the robots that take human jobs pay their share in taxes.

Feb 18 21:17

Florida Man jailed for 4 years after raking in a million bucks from spam

A marketer who used stolen email accounts to trouser more than a million dollars by spamming people has been sent down for four years.

Timothy Livingston, 31, was handed the 48-month term after he pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with computers and access devices, conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with electronic mail, and aggravated identity theft.

Feb 17 09:19

WARNING: Parents told to DESTROY talking doll because it could be used by PAEDOPHILES

PARENTS in Germany have been told to destroy a 'Big Brother' child's doll because it can be used for spying.

Officials fear the doll called 'My Friend Cayla' - which is linked to the Internet - can be easily hijacked by hackers or paedophiles.

Consumer watchdog officials say My Friend Cayla is equipped with an insecure Bluetooth device, which cyber-criminals could take over in order to steal personal data and listen and talk to the child playing with it.

Germany’s Federal Network Agency, the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway markets, now tells parents: "Destroy it immediately."

Feb 17 08:58

Dangerous: Judge Says It Was 'Objectively Unreasonable' For Cox To Claim DMCA Safe Harbors

From the very beginning, this case was a joke, and it's unfortunate that the court didn't realize that early on. The case was filed back in 2014, and we pointed out that it was really BMG (and another publisher, Round Hill Music) acting as a proxy for copyright trolling operation Rightscorp, testing out the wacky legal theory that the DMCA requires that ISPs kick repeat infringers entirely off the internet. No one has ever interpreted the DMCA in this manner. Yes, 512(i) requires a repeat infringer policy, but it had always been widely recognized that that referred to services that hosted content, not network providers (e.g., YouTube is required to have a repeat infringer policy that kicks users off YouTube if they keep posting infringing works, but your ISP shouldn't kick you off the internet for the same thing.)

Feb 17 06:41

Bug In Windows 10 Mobile Allows Access To Photos

Anyone with access to a phone using a Windows 10 Mobile OS can bypass the lockscreen passcode and access the photos in the device’s image gallery.

Feb 16 23:25

McCain Vows to Push for More Anti-Russian Sanctions in Phone Call With Prankster

Russia's notorious phone pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, made hoax phone calls to US Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Republican Majority leader Mitch McConnell, speaking about sanctions and cyberattacks.

On Wednesday, Kuznetsov and Stolyarov told Sputnik that hoax phone calls were made to Graham, McCain and McConnell, promising to release the details later.

Feb 16 13:12

“They Are Taking Out Trump’s Lieutenants”: Deep State Intelligence Ops Sabotaging the White House?

If there was any doubt that the Trump era will eventually unfold into either a) revolution and total chaos, b) a police state under martial law or c) a coup or assassination against the leader of the free world, then it should be clear from this.

Greg Hunter of USA Watchdog spoke with the very insightful Catherine Austin Fitts about the palace intrigue and cloak-and-dagger inner-workings of the new administration, and the creatures of the establishment who resent their rival claim to power over U.S. policy. This is truly historical stuff going on:

Read more

Feb 16 10:55

Chips in the hand to identify who we are

No bag, no keys, no wallet and no ID. A move of the hand simply opens doors.

Welcome to the future, or what is the present for a group of employees at NewFusion near Brussels.

Staff members at the marketing and technology company voluntarily agreed to have Radio Frequency Identification chips placed inside their hands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"I see you are back to using old-fashioned keys, lefty!"

Feb 16 10:39

Twitter Continues Court Fight For Right To Disclose Government Surveillance Requests

Twitter attorneys told a federal judge that the US government restricted its First Amendment rights by barring the social media giant from publishing a transparency report on surveillance requests of its users. Twitter sued the US over the matter in 2014.

Feb 16 10:20

Haven't deleted your Yahoo account yet? Reminder: Hackers forged login cookies

Yahoo! is reminding folks that hackers broke into its systems, and learned how to forge its website's session cookies. That allowed the miscreants to log into user accounts without ever typing a password.

In warnings emailed out this week, the troubled web biz said accounts were infiltrated in 2015 and 2016 using forged cookies. It quietly admitted this security blunder back in December, although only now is drawing more attention to it.

Feb 16 09:56

RSA Conference: New ransomware could poison your town's water supply if you don't pay up

A new form of ransomware, created by cybersecurity researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was able to gain control of a simulated water treatment plant and threaten to shut off the water supply or poison it with increased amounts of chlorine.

Feb 15 15:23

Is Snap Inc. Building a Wearable Face Recognition Device for the NSA?

But, the major issue with the notion that they’re not building hardware to exploit their facial recognition capabilities is how stupid it would be not to.

Yes?—?they’re not saying that they intend to do this. Similarly, Facebook never mentioned that they would be selling user information to advertisers.

Just as Facebook harnessed a database of personal details given to them willingly by users, Snapchat has accrued a database of facial profiles attached to names. They may now have an index of user’s’ facial data using a supervised machine learning technique

Even if they’re not mapping faces already, they easily could. It’s just a matter of running an algorithm on images they already have and processing the encoded data through a neural net.

Feb 15 09:17

Pwnd Android conference phone exposes risk of spies in the boardroom

Security researchers have uncovered a flaw in conference phone systems from Mitel that create a means for hackers to listen in on board meetings.

Boffins at Context Information Security managed to gain root access and take full control of a Mitel MiVoice Conference and Video Phone, potentially enabling them to listen to meetings without alerting the room's occupants. The flaws also created a way to plant a remote backdoor on to an enterprise network.

Feb 14 20:46

ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Researchers in Europe have developed a way to exploit a common computer processor feature to bypass a crucial security defense provided by modern operating systems.

By abusing the way today's CPUs manage system memory, an attacker can discover where software components, such as libraries and RAM-mapped files, are located in virtual memory. With these locations in hand, malicious code can find and use particular instructions and data within these components to start hijacking a computer system.

Feb 14 20:37

Twitter Censoring Trump Supporters

Every single Tweet by President Trump has top comments that are 100% negative. Positive replies are simply not seen. Twitter is absolutely censoring Pro-Trump replies and Trump supporters from voicing their support of the President.

Feb 14 13:15

Gen. Flynn Ousted From Trump Cabinet, As Hillary Crony Cites “Revenge for Pizzagate”

Is it sweet revenge, or just desserts? Gen. Flynn just fell on his sword... But is there more to the inner-workings and behind stage schemes that led to his demise?

To answer that, you'd have to see the tweets from Hillary Clinton and her senior advisor who've been gunning for Flynn ever since he dared to discuss Clinton skeletons in the closet.

Read more at SHTF

Feb 14 12:47

Video: Big Cyber-Companies Teaming Up To Resist Hackers… Or Make Money?

In the wake of recent hacking hysteria, some big companies have teamed up in the fight against potential cyber threats.

Feb 14 11:05

‘TESLA’ CREATOR BILLIONAIRE ELON MUSK SAYS ‘HUMANS MUST MERGE WITH MACHINES’ TO SURVIVE

BILLIONAIRE ELON MUSK IS KNOWN FOR HIS FUTURISTIC IDEAS AND HIS LATEST SUGGESTION MIGHT JUST SAVE US FROM BEING IRRELEVANT AS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) GROWS MORE PROMINENT.

Feb 14 09:21

Google's AI chatbot ponders the meaning of life before giving THIS chilling response

GOOGLE’S AI chatbot has been mulling over the meaning of life, and concluded that its goal in life is to further the artificial intelligence cause.

Feb 14 09:19

Ransomware: Should you pay up?

The use of ransomware has spiked in recent years: Roughly 40 percent of all spam emails in 2016 contained ransomware, according to a recent IBM Security study.

Part of the reason is simply that it works: Nearly 70 percent of business victims surveyed by IBM said they paid hackers to recover data. The incentives of hackers are straightforward -- they're looking for a big payday -- but it's less clear whether their victims should cooperate.

"It's very simple in my mind," said Michael Duff, the CISO for Stanford University, on a ransomware panel at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Monday. "If you're not able to reconstitute a system in the timeframe you need, and you need it up and running, pay the ransom."

Neil Jenkins, of the Homeland Security Department's Enterprise Performance Management Office (EPMO), said that, "From the US government perspective, we definitely discourage the payment of ransom."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So why isn't the NSA tracking these ransomware writers down? Are they complicit? Or merely incompetent?

Feb 14 09:10

Now sites can fingerprint you online even when you use multiple browsers

Online tracking gets more accurate and harder to evade.

Feb 14 09:08

Unlucky WD Ultrastar drives are knackered, need replacing ASAP

Bad batch of disks puts data at risk

Feb 14 09:04

Battle of the botnets: My zombie horde's bigger than yours

DDoS attacks more than doubled in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the same period the year before.

Although the infamous Mirai IoT botnets accounted for many of the most severe attacks, the biggest single assault came from a different zombie network, according to a new study by Akamai out Tuesday.

Attacks greater than 100Gbps increased 140 per cent in Q4 2016 compared to Q4 2015. The largest DDoS attack in Q4 2016, which peaked at 517Gbps, came from Spike, a non-IoT botnet that has been around for more than two years. Seven of the 12 100Gbps-plus attacks from the end of last year can be directly attributed to Mirai.

Feb 14 07:59

Click-Gate


In this video we cover a few articles that have gone largely unnoticed by the alternative news media concerning the corporate media manipulating not just view counts on Youtube but also apparently creating fake readers to cover up the collapse not just in sales but also in readership and credibility.

Mainstream media outlets are really desperate. They know that their “fake news” house of cards is built on a fake foundation. The collapse of the lame-stream media is not just big but also astonishing. The only way to win this information battle is to continue to expose the dishonest corporate media and to continue our online activism in the comments sections of these corporate liars.

Feb 13 08:53

AI WARNING: Google’s DeepMind becomes ‘highly aggressive’ when stressed warns search giant

GOOGLE’S artificial intelligence program has learned to become “aggressive” when it is in stressful situations, the search engine giant has warned.

Feb 13 08:27

Wordpress blogs defaced in hack attacks

A security flaw in the WordPress blogging software has let hackers attack and deface tens of thousands of sites.

One estimate suggests more than 1.5 million pages on blogs have been defaced.

The security firm that found the vulnerability said some hackers were now trying to use it to take over sites rather than just spoil pages.

WordPress urged site owners to update software to avoid falling victim.

Feb 13 08:18

The clock is ticking for Spotify

But if it waits too long before floating, it could face a serious cash crisis.

In March last year, the firm raised $1bn from investors at an interest rate of 5% a year, plus a discount of 20% on shares once the initial public offering (IPO) of shares takes place.

However, under the terms of the agreement, the interest rate goes up by one percentage point and the discount by 2.5 percentage points every six months until the IPO happens.

So as time goes on, Spotify must pay ever larger sums to its creditors just to settle the interest on its loan, while the amount of money it can raise from its IPO is trimmed by an ever greater amount.

Unless Mr Ek can get the better of this brutal arithmetic, the future looks tough for Spotify.

Feb 13 08:10

University attacked by its own vending machines, smart light bulbs & 5,000 IoT devices

A university, attacked by its own malware-laced soda machines and other botnet-controlled IoT devices, was locked out of 5,000 systems.

Feb 13 08:08

New PayPal T&Cs prevents sellers trash-talking PayPal

PayPal's released a new batch of User Agreements that includes a new “non-discouragement clause for sellers” that prevents them from talking down the service, plus price hikes a-plenty.

Feb 13 08:00

Worldwide bank attack blitz linked to Sony Pictures hacking crew

Evidence has surfaced that hackers blamed for the infamous Sony Pictures hack and the notorious Bangladesh Central Bank account heist have launched a fresh wave of assaults.

The so-called Lazarus hackers are currently targeting scores of banks and other organisations across 31 countries, Symantec warns.

The attacks appeared to have come to light after Polish banks – who had been hit by malware sent through their hacked financial regulator – "shared indicators of compromise (IOCs)" of those attacks with other institutions.

The group that claimed credit for the SONY leak called themselves the Guardians of Peace.

Feb 13 07:00

TRUMP IN SHOCK! WHAT EDWARD SNOWDEN JUST TOLD HIM WILL BRING DOWN EVERYTHING!

Feb 11 17:31

World's eighth biggest spammer, who is responsible for sending more than a million spam emails, faces decades in jail after being arrested

The No. 8 worst spammer on the planet is now facing decades behind bars after being arrested for wire fraud.

Michael Persaud, who is accused of sending more than a million spam emails and selling millions of email addresses to use for spamming, may face up to 20 years in prison for each of his 10 federal wire fraud charges.

Feb 11 16:07

Democrats Force Facebook and Google To Block Alternative Media

A powerful Democratic media watchdog has successfully convinced Facebook and Google to censor and suppress alternative media websites from their platforms.

Feb 11 13:37

Fake news is killing people's minds, warns Apple boss Tim Cook as he calls for a campaign against phoney reports

Fake news is 'killing people's minds' and a vast campaign is needed to combat the phenomenon, Apple boss Tim Cook has said. The chief executive of one of the world's largest companies said governments should wage information wars against phoney reports while businesses must create the tools to root out propaganda.

Feb 11 11:05

BANKING WARNING: Computers of financial institutes around the world attacked by hackers

HACKERS have infected 140 banks in 40 countries across the world with invisible malware giving them the ability to remotely control ATMs.

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab, a computer security company, have revealed that they have re-detected malware that has infected networks belonging to 140 banks as well as other companies.

Kaspersky has said that this malware is able to remain invisible and the attackers have covered their tracks by wiping their activity from the machine’s memory before it is rebooted.

It hides itself in the computer’s memory to avoid detection and researchers say they do not know who is behind it.

Feb 11 10:59

Lovely. Now someone's ported IoT-menacing Mirai to Windows boxes

Malware can spread to gizmos and gadgets after slipping into internal systems

Feb 11 08:42

IBM TO TRAIN 25 MILLION AFRICANS FOR FREE TO BUILD WORKFORCE

International Business Machines Corp. (IW 1000/36) is ramping up its digital-skills training program to accommodate as many as 25 million Africans in the next five years, looking toward building a future workforce on the continent.

The U.S. tech giant plans to make an initial investment of 945 million rand (US$70 million) to roll out the training initiative in South Africa, a country where 31% of 15-to-24 year-olds are unemployed, according to Statistics South Africa.

At the same time, the program will be started at IBM’s offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt, enabling an expansion of the project across the rest of the continent.

“Africa will have the largest workforce by 2040 and IBM wants to lay the foundation blocks to build a digital workforce,’’ Juan Pablo Napoli, head of IBM Skills Academy, said by phone from Dubai.

“We will be providing a free cloud-based learning platform able to train people from basic computer skills to high-end app development.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Although this does look good for African workers hungry to work in the world of computers, the skeptic in me has to wonder; what's the quid pro quo for IBM?!?

That only, ultimately, its equipment will be used, without any possibility of using other digital tools which may be far better, and cheaper?!?

Feb 11 07:55

MSM Hides One Of The Biggest National Security Breaches Of The Century From Their Audience

Three Pakistani brothers, are under criminal investigation for unauthorized access into congressional computers. The suspects had access to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence's and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs', most sensitive information.

Feb 10 11:01

Report on Android app turned double-agent that actually kills troops on the battlefield trying to use it to kill the other sides troops. - Cyberwarfare writ large!

Ukrainian junta crews use this app to aim D-30 122mm towed howitzer artillery

App was made with Kernel of malware that sends location of user to other Ukrainians who don't recognize the junta in Kiev as legitimate.

Result:
Kiev junta artillery forces have lost over 50% of their weapons in the 2 years of conflict and over 80% of D-30 howitzers, the highest percentage of loss of any other artillery pieces in Ukraine’s arsenal.

Feb 10 08:54

The 'invisible' malware that allows hacker to remotely control ATMs: Experts warn software has already infected 140 banks in 40 countries around the globe

The malware hides itself in the computer's memory to avoid detection, and researchers say they have no idea who is behind it.

'It is not known who is behind the attacks, Kaspersky Labs, who discovered the exploit, said.

'The use of open source exploit code, common Windows utilities and unknown domains makes it almost impossible to determine the group responsible – or even whether it is a single group or several groups sharing the same tools.'

The code hides in the memory, invisibly collecting the passwords of system administrators so that the attackers could remotely control the victim's systems.

'The ultimate goal appears to have been access to financial processes,' said Kaspersky.

Feb 10 08:17

Macs don't get viruses? Hahaha, ha... seriously though, that Word doc could be malware

Hackers are menacing Apple Mac users with Word documents laced with malicious macros that install malware.

Security researchers spotted a rash of poisonous files doing the rounds earlier this week, one of which was titled "U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump's Victory – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.docm." Apple fans who opened the document on a Mac are prompted to enable macros.

If enabled, the file executes a function, coded in Python, that downloads a malware payload to infect the machine. The Python code is taken from the open-source EmPyre project, a pure Python post-exploitation agent. The tactic is used to push persistent malware onto compromised Macs.

Feb 10 07:46

Secrecy surrounds White House cybersecurity staff shakeup

The chief information security officer for the White House's Executive Office of the President has been removed from his position, sources have confirmed.

Cory Louie was appointed to the position by former President Obama in 2015, charged with keeping safe the staff closest to the president -- including the president himself -- from cyber-threats posed by hackers and nation-state attackers.

But circumstances surrounding his departure, weeks after President Donald Trump took office, remain unclear.

Feb 09 12:31

YouTube glitch results in huge subscriber count losses, negative sub counts

A number of YouTube channels are experiencing huge subscriber count losses, as the result of a glitch that occurred Wednesday afternoon.

The glitch was first reported by YouTube user BlackScreenTV, who theorized that it was caused by a counting error when subscribing and un-subscribing. We conducted our own tests, and found his theory to be correct.

Here’s an example: You find a channel that has 1,000 subscribers. If you subscribe, their count would be increased to 1,001 – normal, intended behavior. When you immediately unsubscribe, however, their count decreases by two, dropping to 999. The ending result is a net gain of -1 subscribers, as opposed to 0.

The glitch caused many top channels to seemingly lose thousands of subscribers on Wednesday afternoon, with several channels dropping into the negatives.

Feb 09 12:22

We finally have a computer that can survive the surface of Venus

The chip was then placed into the GEER—the Glenn Extreme Environments Rig, a machine that can maintain Venus-like temperature and pressure for hundreds of hours at a time. The chip, a simple 3-stage oscillator, kept functioning at a steady 1.26MHz for 521 hours (21.7) days before the GEER had to be shut down.

NASA Glenn says this is the first reported demonstration of a computer chip operating in Venus-like conditions for multiple days/weeks without the aid of a pressure vessel, cooling system, or other means of protection. "With further technology maturation, such SiC IC electronics could drastically improve Venus lander designs and mission concepts, fundamentally enabling long-duration enhanced missions to the surface of Venus," the researchers conclude.

Feb 09 12:05

US visitors may have to reveal social media passwords to enter country

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has informed Congress that the DHS is considering requiring refugees and visa applicants from seven Muslim-majority nations to hand over their social media credentials from Facebook and other sites as part of a security check. "We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say?" he told the House Committee on Homeland Security on Tuesday. "If they don't want to cooperate, then you don't come in."

"If you don't do social media you will sign up at the airport" - Official White Horse Souce

Feb 09 12:02

Twitter Suspends Account of Free-Speech Competitor Gab

despite the fact that the account had deleted all of its tweets following President Trump’s inauguration

Feb 09 12:02

Wikipedia bans Daily Mail as 'unreliable' source

Online encyclopaedia editors rule out publisher as a reference citing ‘reputation for poor fact checking and sensationalism’

Feb 09 11:35

Google Is Not What It Seems

In this extract from his new book When Google Met Wikileaks, WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange describes the special relationship between Google, Hillary Clinton and the State Department -- and what that means for the future of the internet.

Feb 09 10:36

WORRIED ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY AT THE BORDER? TAKE THESE STEPS

Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Congress the Trump administration may soon require that visitors to the United States provide their social media passwords and internet activity history to DHS agents before entering the country.

It appears as if Secretary Kelly was talking about demanding social media passwords and internet history records during the visa application process, but there are reasons to fear the Trump administration could extend these surveillance demands to other groups—even US citizens and legal permanent residents.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice; you should consult an attorney about your particular situation, and you should carry an attorney’s contact information with you that you can provide to CBP agents if they seek your passwords.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That we even need to think like this upon crossing a border back into the US, when you have been absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing, is just....absoflippinglutely unbelievable, and so thoroughly wrong, legally, that I do not know quite where to begin here..

It appears that the US courts, judicial system, and state and local
officers have collectively reverted to Code Napoleon law, where one was believed guilty until proven innocent.

This attitude goes completely against the grain of what the Constitution and Bill of Rights is supposed to guarantee for American citizens.

Webmaster addition: After TSA smashed a very expensive laptop up in Seattle, I bought a cheap netbook that is my "travel machine." They can peak at it all they want; there is nothing on it (not even behind-the-scenes photos from LOST for them to steal!)

Feb 09 09:07

The Donald Trump of the Catholic Church: Controversial priest is addicted to Twitter rants - calling Hillary an 'evil witch' and Obama 'a bum' - and the Church can't stop his outbursts

It looks like Donald Trump's not the only one with a controversial Twitter account.
Reverend Peter West of St. John's Catholic Church in Orange, New Jersey, has called Hillary Clinton an 'evil witch' and former President Barack Obama a 'bum' in his frequent social media posts.

While West has racked up more than 7,300 followers on Facebook, and another 2,100 more on Twitter, church officials are looking to curtail the priest's online posts.

Feb 09 08:48

Google let scammers post a perfectly spoofed Amazon ad in its search results

It's not known how many people may have seen the ad, let alone clicked on it. But according to Google's own most recent statistics, Amazon is the top search result as of the most searched for retail store on the search engine -- likely accounting for millions of searchers.

But how a rogue and malicious ad got through the various levels of vetting required, let alone for one of the company's most sought-after and high-ranking ad units, remains a mystery.

Feb 09 08:27

Fire breaks out at Chinese factory that makes Samsung Note 7 batteries

Materials that caught fire were lithium-ion batteries and some semi-manufactured battery products, Tianjin firefighting authority says

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A bit of irony with your morning coffee.

Feb 09 07:47

FLASHBACK - Using a Bomb to Kill a Bug: FBI Forces Malware on Innocent Internet Users

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a motion in a Maryland court asking for the FBI to justify its action of infecting the computers of thousands of innocent internet users in an operation against a single website hosting child pornography.

Feb 09 07:43

Scary Fileless Malware Infects Banks Worldwide

Fileless malware, much like what has previously only been seen in nation-sponsored cyberattacks, is now “going mainstream,” as criminal hackers begin using the same in-memory bug on banks, government agencies, and other enterprises across the globe.

“The so-called fileless malware is unique in its ability to disappear after being installed on a server. Once the attacked computer is rebooted, the malware renames itself, leaving no detectable trace of its existence,” Gizmodo explained. “It can take several months before sysadmins realize the machine has been infected. During that time period, hackers can steal freely from the coffers of the affected enterprise.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 08 21:28

Founder of George Soros backed Media Matters caught conspiring with Facebook and Google to shut down independent media

In briefing book entitled “Media Matters, The Top Watchdog Against Fake News and Propaganda: Transforming the Media Landscape” (obtained by the Free Beacon) that Brock published privately in January to solicit donors, Brock asserts in the first sentence, “The onslaught of well-funded right-wing media brings with it significant challenges.”

Well-funded? Not around here!

Feb 08 11:47

Non-Linear Data StreamingMake entertainment great again (please!)


Q - What is non-linear data streaming?

A - It is a method of synchronously outputting multiple pre-processed data streams from a single source media or from multiple sources.

Q - Eh?

A - I know it sounds complicated, but the concept is simple when you grasp it. Have a good look at this page and give it some thought. It explains the concept in the simplest way I can think of.

Q - So what is required to bring non-linear data streaming into the real world?

A - An encoder and a player. The encoder is video editing software which has been modified to define how blocks of data are output. The player is a stripped down encoder which outputs the blocks of data as defined. Overall, little development is required.

Q - Has the concept been proved viable?

A - Yes. I've got a 54 minute compilation CD album which plays with the option of video playback for each track, on-screen lyrics, and more besides. This demo validates the concept.

Feb 08 09:00

Rights group: Israeli online incitement towards Arabs doubled in 2016

An Arab rights group has found ten of thousands of Israelis are publishing “widespread hatred and incitement against Arabs and Palestinians” on social media, and are often motivated to harass following charged statements by Israeli politicians.

The hate speech is going unnoticed by Israeli officials who are advancing a law to scrub similar content from Facebook, but only when it is made by Palestinians against Israelis, said the Haifa-based group 7amleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, in a report published Tuesday.

Feb 08 08:24

YODA, THE BILL THAT WOULD LET YOU OWN (AND SELL) YOUR DEVICES, IS RE-INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) just re-introduced their You Own Devices Act (YODA), a bill that aims to help you reclaim some of your ownership rights in the software-enabled devices you buy.

Feb 08 06:44

Gallery: 10 free data recovery programs for Windows

Most every IT professional knows that file headers are the only thing deleted when the Recycle Bin is empty. The average computer user may think the file is irrevocably wiped from existence but that's hardly the case. A good file recovery program can find stuff the operating system misses, and all that needs to be done is to reassemble the data and put a new header on it.

These 10 free Windows file recovery applications are designed to do just that.

PS: As with any free software there's bound to be "extra features" that request installation along with the program (like optimization apps and other unnecessary clutter). Be sure to carefully read each screen during the install process so you don't add any bloatware.

Feb 07 19:18

Mozilla Files Brief Against U.S. Immigration Executive Order

It ain't ideas the people are worried about!

Denelle Dixon-Thayer February 6, 2017

Mozilla filed a legal brief against the Executive Order on immigration, along with nearly 100 other major companies across different industries.

We joined this brief in support of the State of Washington v. Trump case because the freedom for ideas and innovation to flow across borders is something we strongly believe in as a tech company. More importantly it is something we know is necessary to fulfill our mission to protect and advance the internet as a global public resource that is open and accessible to all.

Feb 07 17:56

Stop Microsoft Experimenting on Windows 10 Users Remotely

O&O software uncovered in the latest Shutup10 software update a disturbing registry policy key in Windows 10 allowing Microsoft to conduct "experiments" on its own Mobile & PC users without their permission. The key string, labeled "AllowExperimentation," is enabled in Windows 10 by default. You may disable these keys if you wish to opt out of this experimentation program. Should you wish to do a little experimenting, users should download the software "Blackbird." Blackbird and "Destroy Windows 10 Spying" remove all known "telemetry" and Microsoft Spyware in 7, 8 & 10. Be sure to read the documentation before using these programs.

Feb 07 17:12

Facebook Launches Fake News Filter in France Ahead of Presidential Elections

Starting today, Facebook, in conjunction with Google, will be blocking unsavory news from their platforms in France — thanks to the very generous and progressive assistance of 8 liberal news agencies — including the far left Le Monde. Having learned his lesson during the US elections, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to ensure the people of France only get to see the right news and information — generously shielding them from fake news and right wing disinformation campaigns — like global warming is a hoax.

Feb 07 16:12

WH Petition: Create More Jobs By Eliminating Laws Against Bitcoin and Digital Currency Traders and Exchangers

This petition is for President Trump to immediately sign an Executive Order to exempt all Bitcoin and Digital Currency(Cryptocurrency) traders and exchangers from the existing Money Service Business(MSB) and Money Transmitting Business(MTB) laws and regulations.

There are many benefits that could come from this Executive Order, some of them are.....

Feb 07 12:29

The Trump Petition is a Fake

At the time of writing, a UK petition to refuse President Donald Trump an official state visit with the Queen has hit nearly 2 million signatures. Under British legislation, any petition with this amount of signatures MUST be debated in Parliament.

Feb 07 11:59

Google Redefines ‘Fascism’ To Smear Conservatives

The word “fascist” is on the lips of every progressive these days who hysterically likens President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler despite being unable to define the word correctly. In fact, its true definition is irrelevant to progressives, because all they care about is employing the nasty label as a scare tactic to paint Trump and conservatives as Nazis.

Feb 07 10:44

VIZIO To Pay $2.2 Million For Collecting Viewing Histories On 11 Million Smart Televisions without Users’ Consent

FTC.gov

(Editor’s Note: The settlement amount here is paltry for the violation committed, and is certainly not a direct remedy for those who were affected. Nevertheless, hopefully this will alert more people to the role of smart gadgets in their lives. It is especially vital that there is more transparency for all smart device consumers now that we know anything you say around your smart devices can and will be used against you in court.)

VIZIO, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers and sellers of internet-connected “smart” televisions, has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General that it installed software on its TVs to collect viewing data on 11 million consumer TVs without consumers’ knowledge or consent...

Feb 07 10:37

WHY ARE THE WORLD’S TECH BILLIONAIRES BUILDING UNDERGROUND DOOMSDAY SHELTERS IN NEW ZEALAND?

MORE THAN 13,000 AMERICANS REGISTERED TO BUY A HOME IN NEW ZEALAND — 17 TIMES THE USUAL RATE — IN THE WEEK AFTER DONALD TRUMP WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT.

Feb 07 09:18

Ever owned a computer with a DVD drive? You could be owed MONEY - and this is why

Have you ever owned a computer with a DVD drive?

US computer users who owned a PC with a DVD drive more than 10 years ago could be owed $10 (some £8 converted) as part of a new class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit is now accepting claims after Sony, Panasonic, NEC, and Hitachi-LG were accused of increasing the price of optical drives sold to PC manufacturers, including Dell and HP.

So, if you bought a PC (that included a DVD drive) any time between April 1st 2003 and December 31st 2008, you are eligible to claim $10 for each drive.

According to CNET, you don't even need to supply proof of purchase to be part of the class-action lawsuit.

Feb 07 09:05

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Intel's Atom C2000 processor family has a fault that effectively bricks devices, costing the company a significant amount of money to correct. But the semiconductor giant won't disclosed precisely how many chips are affected nor which products are at risk.

On its Q4 2016 earnings call earlier this month, chief financial officer Robert Swan said a product issue limited profitability during the quarter, forcing the biz to set aside a pot of cash to deal with the problem.

Feb 07 08:21

Top 5 cybercrime vectors

Attacks on the internet are getting more sophisticated. Every week it seems another large enterprise finds a hacked database or intrusion of some sort, often attributed to state actors.

There are more places than ever where you might be vulnerable. So here are five cybercrime vectors to be aware of:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 06 08:43

New SMB bug: How to crash Windows system with a 'link of death'

Security researcher publishes exploit code after Microsoft drags feet on fix

Feb 06 08:33

An Anonymous group just took down a fifth of the dark web

The hackers also claim child pornography made up more than half the data stored on the servers. It’s impossible to verify that claim without seeing the data itself, but it’s consistent with what we know about previous dark-web hosting companies. The original Freedom Hosting was compromised by law enforcement in 2013, resulting in a number of child pornography prosecutions. At the time, the service hosted as many as half of the websites accessible only through Tor, commonly referred to as the Dark Web.

Feb 06 08:19

How to change the wake word on your Amazon Echo to "Computer"

Tired of talking to a computer without being able to live out your Star Trek fantasies? Amazon has heard you, and it has answered.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Star Trek aside, the problem with Alexa is if you have someone in your name named Alexa or even Alex, or a character with that name is speaking on a TV show, Alexa will activate and buy things you did not intend to. Changing the wake up word is a good idea, but even "computer" may not be the best choice.

Feb 05 18:01

Sophos update borks systems at London NHS trust

El Reg learnt of the incident from an anonymous tipster who got in touch late on Thursday to say: "UCLH NHS was wiped out by Sophos updates effectively bombarding every PC... it caused major havoc."

False positives are a well-known prat-fall of all anti-malware packages. Things get particularly messy when anti-virus packages wrongly identify core Windows systems components as malign before shuttling them off to quarantine. This results in unstable or (not infrequently) unbootable systems.

Feb 05 17:59

Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

Trust us, says Google, we understand privacy

Feb 05 17:57

Former Prime Minister Admits to Being a Movie Pirate

These days it's pretty unlikely for anyone in authority to admit bending the law, not in public at least. However, when you're a lawyer, former Croatian prime minister, and former NATO counselor - and you're being pranked on TV by someone claiming to be a Microsoft big-shot - the situation is apparently more fluid.

Feb 05 17:55

Denuvo Website Leaks Secret Information, Crackers Swarm

While the folks at Denuvo are leaders in the field of video game protection, the same cannot be said about their website. In an embarrassing blunder, the company has left some directories and files open to the public and right now members of the cracking community are downloading and scrutinizing the contents.

Feb 05 08:57

Tails-Privacy for anyone anywhere

Operating system on a flash drive. It will get you around most blocking!

Feb 05 08:55

The best free VPN 2017

Free VPNs

There are various reasons for wanting to use free VPN (virtual private network) software, but the two main ones are to hide who you are, or to hide where you are. Why might you want to do either of these things? Depending on what you're up to online, it is entirely possible that you do not want your online activities to be traceable – particularly in parts of the world where internet surveillance is a serious issue.

As for wanting to disguise where you are, this has the advantage of opening up websites that might otherwise be inaccessible. There are a large number of websites – using video or television sites – that use geo-locking to try to block visitors from certain countries, and free VPN software can be used to get around these restrictions. It can also be used to bypass site block put in place by governments and ISPs, and secure your wireless connection.

Feb 05 08:53

Free VPN: Best free VPN services 2017 UK

The free CyberGhost service is subsidised by the Premium customers, according to CyberGhost. The company has servers in the UK and the USA plus many European countries stretching east to as far as Russia and Ukraine.

The free service offers access to 14 countries, while the Premium and Premium Plus ones allow users to choose from a range of 24 countries. CyberGhost assures us that it doesn't limit bandwidth for free users.

There are some ways in which you’re disadvantaged with the free product. When you are connected, you’ll be logged out after three hours of browsing, for instance, although you can always try to login again immediately.

Feb 05 08:45

Opera browser for Windows, Mac and Linux

Opera comes with a good unlimited free vpn service.Works most of the time.Sometimes even tor doesn't get me to WRH. With tor and several free vpn services you can get around the children.

Feb 05 08:42

Hoxx VPN Proxy 1.9.0 by Hoxx Vpn

ZenMate Security & Privacy VPN 5.9.0 https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/zenmate-security-privac...

Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy – Unblock Sites 1.2.87
by AnchorFree Inc.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/hotspot-shield-free-vpn... Hotspot

Shield Free VPN Proxy – Unblock Sites 1.2.87
by AnchorFree Inc.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/hotspot-shield-free-vpn...

Feb 05 08:14

Cyber battalion sent to spy on Russians

More than 350 soldiers from 14 Signals regiment, supported by experts from the Government’s communications centre GCHQ, will operate from Estonia in the spring.

Military sources say it is a “significant” electronic warfare force that will intercept intelligence from Russian air, ground and naval forces in the Baltic and Black Sea.

Feb 05 00:11

Tor Browser Downloads

I use this to get around the children.

Feb 05 00:07

The Best VPN Services of 2017

As consumers, we expect our computer hardware and software to keep us safe. The problem is, we all too often use our computers in risky ways. Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, for example, is a commonplace practice, but these are also excellent avenues for attackers to seize your personal information. Enter virtual private networks, or VPNs. These services use simple software to secure your Internet connection and give you greater control of how you appear online. You can even use them to stream Netflix from other countries. While you might never have heard of VPN services, they are valuable tools that everyone should have at their disposal, as we'll explain.

Feb 04 21:14

Is Spotify Going Bankrupt In 2017? Wall Street Delivers Another Red Flag

Wall Street is rejecting their IPO (again). A $1.5 billion debt pile is now a ticking time bomb. Major labels are taking 70+% of revenues. Is this the year that Spotify implodes?

Feb 04 21:11

Popular Kodi Addon ‘Exodus’ Turned Users into a DDoS ‘Botnet’

Exodus is one of the most-used Kodi addons out there, allowing users to obtain easy access to pirated movies and TV-shows. However, over the past week the same users were unwittingly part of a DDoS attack. After the issue raised eyebrows in the community, the Exodus developer rolled back the malicious code and retired.

Feb 04 17:48

Stop Microsoft Experimenting on Windows 10 Users Remotely

O&O software uncovered in the latest Shutup10 software update a disturbing registry policy key in Windows 10 allowing Microsoft to conduct "experiments" on its own Mobile & PC users without their permission. The key string, labeled "AllowExperimentation," is enabled in Windows 10 by default. You may disable these keys if you wish to opt out of this experimentation program. Should you wish to do a little experimenting, users should download the software "Blackbird." Blackbird and "Destroy Windows 10 Spying" remove all known "telemetry" and Microsoft Spyware in 7, 8 & 10. Be sure to read the documentation before using these programs.

Feb 04 16:43

West Point’s Modern War Institute Calls For “Megacities Combat Unit”

By Nicholas West

As the world hurtles toward highly-controlled living environments, encouraged by such globalist doctrines as Agenda 21 and its version 2.0 known as the 2030 Agenda, central planners need to contend with conflicting realities. One reality is high-tech, powered and tracked by the Smart Grid and policed by AI systems and their robot/drone enforcers; the other reality is the one that presents itself most clearly today – an increasing population, a greater disparity between rich and poor, and a breakdown of infrastructure that heralds a devolution of living conditions in many of the world’s largest cities...

Feb 04 09:09

Virginia Committee Passes Bill To Restrict ALPR Use, Help Block National License Plate Tracking Program

By Mike Maharrey

Today, a Virginia bill that would limit the use of automatic license plate readers (ALPRs), and restrict the retention and sharing of collected data, passed an important House committee. If passed into law, the bills would not only protect privacy in Virginia, but would also hinder some aspects of the federal surveillance state...

Feb 03 19:33

Stop Microsoft Experimenting on Windows 10 Users Remotely

O&O software uncovered in the latest Shutup10 software update a disturbing registry policy key in Windows 10 allowing Microsoft to conduct "experiments" on its own Mobile & PC users without their permission. The key string, labeled "AllowExperimentation," is enabled in Windows 10 by default. You may disable these keys if you wish to opt out of this experimentation program. Should you wish to do a little experimenting, users should download the software "Blackbird." Blackbird and "Destroy Windows 10 Spying" remove all known "telemetry" and Microsoft Spyware in 7, 8 & 10. Be sure to read the documentation before using these programs.

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