COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jul 19 10:44

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently the FBI, under Comey, ignored this request.

Jul 19 09:58

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

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

Jul 19 09:27

CoinDash crowdfunding hack further dents trust in crypto-trading world

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

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

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

Jul 19 09:05

Segway hoverboard hijack hack could make hipsters eat pavement

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

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

Jul 19 09:03

New Linux Malware Exploits SambaCry Flaw to Silently Backdoor NAS Devices

Remember SambaCry?

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

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

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

Jul 19 07:37

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

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

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

Jul 19 07:17

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

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

Jul 18 17:48

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

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

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

Jul 18 13:43

Facial Recognition Coming To Police Body Cameras

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

Jul 18 10:44

Extra copyright for news sites

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jul 18 10:11

WALMART JUST MADE SOME CHANGES DEMS ARE GOING TO HATE, THIS WILL SHAKE UP THE WAY YOU SHOP FOREVER!

Previously we reported on a robot burger flipper replacing line cooks in California. Now Walmart is replacing registers with a monolithic tower in Tulsa. Zach Ferguson for Western Journalism reports, Small-time grocery store-turned-mega-chain Walmart is rolling out massive self-serving kiosks that obtain customers’ online orders.

Jul 18 10:05

Welp, even ships are hackable now

Large shipping vessels and aircraft are often equipped with VSAT systems, allowing crewmembers to send and receive messages and access the Internet during voyages. Turns out, some of these VSAT systems are profoundly insecure, and could allow an attacker to gain access, and disrupt communications.

Security researcher x0rz discovered that many VSAT systems can be reached from the public Internet. Not only does this mean they can be tracked through services like Shodan, but some are configured in a way that could see a remote attacker gain access using default credentials.

Duuuuuude, default creds everywhere. I'm connected to a motherfucking ship as admin right now. Hacking ships is easy ???? pic.twitter.com/UmLPIveTah

— x0rz (@x0rz) July 18, 2017

Jul 18 09:30

Why you should delete your old phone number on Facebook: Simple profile recovery trick that relies on outdated details lets anyone break into your account

If someone finds one of your old phone numbers, they can easily access your account using a simple trick, a security expert has found.

A flaw in Facebook's account recovery system, which lets users log in using their phone number if they lose their password, leaves accounts exposed to hackers.

If a hacker buys an old number that is still linked to a Facebook account, they can easily gain access the profile through the account recovery system.

Jul 18 09:06

THE U.S. IS POISED TO SEPARATE MILITARY CYBER COMMAND FROM THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

After nearly a year of unsubstantiated claims that Russia hacked the U.S. election, the U.S. government is now poised to create an independent Military Cyber Command eventually splintered off from the NSA, Reuters reported.

The agency was created in 2009 under then President Barack Obama, but it seeks to stem out and become separate from the NSA while still keeping some employees of the spying agency.

This comes after President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to create a joint cyber security force, a move that many Democrats are adamant about blocking.

The goal of separating the Military Cyber Command from the rest of the intelligence community?

To wage cyber war against the Islamic State and other individuals and groups deemed to be “enemies of the state,” according to anonymous U.S. officials not authorized to speak on the matter; further noting that the plans aren’t finalized and are subject to change.

Jul 18 08:25

The Future Of Artificial Intelligence: Why The Hype Has Outrun Reality

A panel of experts at the recent 2017 Wharton Global Forum in Hong Kong outlined their views on the future for artificial intelligence (AI), robots, drones, other tech advances and how it all might affect employment in the future. The upshot was to deflate some of the hype, while noting the threats ahead posed to certain jobs.

Their comments came in a panel session titled, “Engineering the Future of Business,” with Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett moderating and speakers Pascale Fung, a professor of electronic and computer engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Vijay Kumar, dean of engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and Nicolas Aguzin, Asian-Pacific chairman and CEO for J.P.Morgan.

Jul 18 08:15

UAE Hacked Qatari Websites, US Intelligence Sources Confirm

The United Arab Emirates was behind an effort to hack Qatari government news and social media websites, sparking a diplomatic dispute among Arab states, US intelligence officials say.

Jul 18 08:10

Robot Security Guard "Commits Suicide" In Mall Fountain

The Knightscope K5 security robot was supposed to patrol the Georgetown Waterfront, a ritzy shopping-and-office complex along the Washington Harbour in D.C. Looking like a mutant hybrid of R2D2 and a Dalek, the K5 was built to be a crime-fighting robot that could rove the streets and monitor for suspicious activity. It has been used in some offices and malls across America.

But, in the absurdist take of NY Mag, "the pressure was too much for the rolling robot, which can turn, beep, and whistle in order to maintain order."

At one point today, it had had enough, rolled into fountain and drowned itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wonder what the robot knew about the Clintons! :)

Jul 18 04:58

INDIA: CASHLESS TRANSACTIONS A THING OF PAST IN AP

Cashless transactions are fast becoming a thing of the past. People are reluctant to use cashless facilities, which has made the government’s much-hyped campaign a failed episode.

Jul 17 17:22

The U.S. Is Poised To Separate Military Cyber Command From The Intelligence Community

By Aaron Kesel

After nearly a year of unsubstantiated claims that Russia hacked the U.S. election, the U.S. government is now poised to create an independent Military Cyber Command eventually splintered off from the NSA, Reuters reported.

The agency was created in 2009 under then president Barack Obama, but it seeks to stem out and become separate from the NSA while still keeping some employees of the spying agency.

Jul 17 15:38

$10bn cryptocurrency devaluation in 24 hours, Bitcoin hit hard

Cryptocurrency investors have suffered heavy losses following a dramatic drop in the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum in recent days.

Bitcoin fell to around $1,863 and Ethereum to around $133 over the weekend – 38 percent and 67 percent off their all-time high respectively. Bitcoin, in particular, suffered heavy losses since hitting a high of $3,018 on June 12.

By Monday, Bitcoin had recovered slightly to $2,129 while Ethereum also rose to $176.

Jul 17 15:31

Delete your Myspace profile NOW: Major security vulnerability lets criminals easily hack old accounts

For millions of MySpace users, it has likely been years since they last logged into their account.

The once-popular social network, which launched in 2003, was quickly replaced by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and has since faded into obscurity.

But those who still have a MySpace account are being urged to delete their account after a security expert found that old profiles are easy to hack into by criminals using basic personal details.

Jul 17 15:23

Police Body Cameras to be Equipped with Facial Recognition

By Nicholas West

Given the steady roll-out of biometrics in banking, personal computing, and travel as of late, it seemed to be just a matter of time before police were equipped the latest biometric ID technology...

Jul 17 15:13

Peter W. Smith, GOP Operative Who Sought Clinton’s Emails From Russian Hackers, Committed Suicide, Records Show

A Republican donor and operative from Chicago’s North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

Jul 17 15:12

HTC so sorry it jammed pop-up adverts into your smartphone keyboards

HTC, which needs all the love it can get these days, has enraged its customers by bunging adverts into the onscreen keyboard on its phones.

Outrage over the tacky money-grab exploded online at the weekend after folks spotted banner advertisements appearing in the TouchPal keyboard that came with the HTC 10. These are annoying at the best of times, but when you're trying to type, screen acreage is very limited and adverts are a serious disadvantage to easy use.

Jul 17 15:10

Cisco plugs command-injection hole in WebEx Chrome, Firefox plugins

Cisco has patched its Chrome and Firefox WebEx plugins to kill a bug that allows evil webpages to execute commands on computers.

A malicious page, when visited by a vulnerable Windows machine, can exploit the security flaw (CVE-2017-6753) to run arbitrary commands and code with the same privileges as the browser. In other words, the page can abuse the installed plugins to hijack the PC.

The hole is present in the Chrome and Firefox plugins for Cisco WebEx Meetings Server and Cisco WebEx Centers, and affects products including WebEx Meeting Center, Event Center, Training Center and Support Center. Internet Explorer and Edge are not considered vulnerable, and both OS X and Linux versions of Chrome and Firefox are also safe.

Jul 17 14:43

High School Enacts ‘Digital Detox’ On Students

Officials at a British school announced they will implement strict rules on the technologies students are allowed to use during the day to help stymie addiction to social media, the Guardian reported Monday.

Jul 17 13:53

PENTAGON STUDY DECLARES AMERICAN EMPIRE IS ‘COLLAPSING’

In the first of a series, we report on stunning new evidence that the U.S. Department of Defense is waking up to the collapse of American primacy, and the rapid unraveling of the international order created by U.S. power after the Second World War. But the Pentagon’s emerging vision of what comes next hardly inspires confidence. We breakdown both the insights and cognitive flaws in this vision. In future pieces we will ask the questions: What is really driving the end of the American empire? And based on that more accurate diagnosis of the problem, what is the real solution?

Jul 17 11:29

UAE Hacked Qatari Websites, US Intelligence Sources Confirm

The United Arab Emirates was behind an effort to hack Qatari government news and social media websites, sparking a diplomatic dispute among Arab states, US intelligence officials say.

Jul 17 08:29

Indonesia Blocks Access To Telegram Over ‘Terrorist Propaganda’ Concerns

Indonesia is blocking access to web versions of the encrypted messaging service, Telegram, citing concerns the app is being used to spread “terrorist propaganda.”

Jul 17 08:24

Three Microsoft Outlook patches unpatched, users left to DIY

Microsoft has withdrawn at least three of the patches released at the end of June and early July, but left it to users to find out for themselves.

The three patches – KB 4011042, KB 3191849 and KB 3213654 – fixed the same file-handling bugs in Outlook's 2010, 2013 and 2016 editions. Attachments containing “...” (ellipsis) or exclamation points were blocked; e-mails with unsafe file extensions in the subject, ditto; and attachments using ShowLevel1Attach caused errors.

The three have been updated to say the update "is not currently available. This article will be updated as soon as the update is available again", so rather than give users a heads-up, Microsoft is telling you to watch the pages for news.

A couple of weeks ago, Redditors started discussing crashes after the updates were released, and quotes Microsoft that this was the reason for their removal.

Jul 17 07:27

Microsoft cuts off Windows 10 support early for some PCs

An entire generation of PCs, most only three or four years old, are now unable to receive new feature updates to Windows 10. If Microsoft doesn't deliver a patch within the next six to nine months, those PCs could be cut off from security fixes.

Jul 17 06:22

FACIAL RECOGNITION COMING TO POLICE BODY CAMERAS

An approach to machine learning inspired by the human brain is about to revolutionize street search. Even if the cop who pulls you over doesn’t recognize you, the body camera on his chest just might in the future.

Jul 16 17:45

Virus WARNING - Ransomware threatens to upload YOUR photos to PORN sites, how to avoid it

Dubbed Karo, the malicious software holds users to ransom, threatening to leak personal and financial data online.

Unlike the majority of ransomware, which encrypts users’ files and withholds the key until the ransom is paid, Karo compels a much higher rate of payment amongst victims by using social engineering.

In addition to threatening to permanently delete affected files, Karo also threatens to leak personal and financial data online, as well as distribute any nude photos found on the victim’s computer to the victim’s contacts and to pornographic websites.

According to analysis conducted by phishing threat management firm PhishMe, the Karo ransomware does not actually have the ability to extract the information it threatens to leak from the victims’ computer.

Jul 16 10:41

THIS CNN HACK CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT... THEN SHE MAKES A STUNNING MOVE WITH HER TWITTER ACCOUNT

V Saxena for The Conservative Tribune reports, When faced with taunts and bullying, grown men and women typically hold their heads up high and withstand the pressure like champions. But for CNN reporter Alisyn Camerota, that apparently was too much for her.

Jul 16 09:21

video: Points For "Good Behaviour": Canadian Government Introduces the Creepiest App Ever

Yes, the Canadian government has rolled out an app that gives you points for eating well and exercising and taking quizzes about the flu shot and other healthy activities! And everyone seems totally fine with this. Welcome to the future, everyone, because the totalitarian states of tomorrow will be more carrot then stick, and we will all be pigeons in a virtual Skinner box. What could go wrong?

Jul 16 07:50

Homeland Security says Americans who don't want faces scanned leaving the country "shouldn't travel"

Congress allowed the government to scan faces of foreign nationals to keep track of visa overstays. But now that's set to be extended to Americans, worrying some privacy advocates.

But now the agency wants to scan the faces when anyone -- including Americans -- leaves the US.

"The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling," says the document.

Six major US airports, including Boston, Atlanta, and New York's Kennedy Airport, have completed trials started under the previous Obama administration, with an aim to have the system fully operational by next year. CBP says that it won't know exactly who is overstaying visas until face scans are also carried out at US land and sea ports.

The assessment says facial scans will be deleted after two weeks, but can be retained for longer.

Privacy advocates argue that it's inching towards a surveillance state.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"...Inching toward a surveillance state"?!? We're already there, folks!!

Welcome to the Unhinged, Surveilled States of Amerika: your face scan, please!!

And BTW, if the Department of Homeland Security really wants to stop terror in its tracks, here is precisely the way to do it: stop mucking about in other people's countries, to expropriate resources to which the United States and its corporate minions have absolutely no moral right; stop regime changing countries to insure they are western-centric, and stop insisting that those resources only get sold in US dollars.

You're welcome!! :-)

Jul 16 07:22

Feds Concede Can’t Search Cloud Data at Border for US Citizens

NBC News reported last week that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concedes it lacks authority to access data stored only on the cloud when its agents examine the electronic devices of US citizens crossing the border. The NBC news report, Border Patrol Says It’s Barred From Searching Cloud Data on Phones, was based on a CBP Letter, dated June 20, sent in response to written questions posed to CBP acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan by Senator Ron Wyden. Last April, Wyden and Senator Ron Paul introduced the Protecting Data at the Border Act that require border officials get a warrant based on probable cause before they could to search or seize cellphones at the border.

Jul 15 15:59

Russian AK-47 Gun Maker Turns to Future of Autonomous Weapons

By Nicholas West

The Kalashnikov AK-47 is certainly one of the most iconic automatic weapons ever devised. Today, nearly 70 years after its debut, worldwide demand continues to rise so rapidly that the company announced earlier in the year that they were hiring 1,700 employees to meet projected sales.

While the AK-47 is known for its bare-bones utility, Kalashnikov is clearly seeing the present trend in warfare that is leading to a future where an increasing number of robots will share the battlefield with humans, and will be empowered with a rising degree of autonomy via artificial intelligence...

Jul 15 07:47

Pentagon Studies Weapons That Can Read Users’ Mind

The troops of tomorrow may be able to pull the trigger using only their minds. As artificially intelligent drones, hacking, jamming, and missiles accelerate the pace of combat, some of the military’s leading scientists are studying how mere humans can keep up with the incredible speed of cyber warfare, missiles and other threats.

Jul 14 17:06

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare

As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much U.S. taxpayer money to pour into space warfare, explains Jonathan Marshall. By Jonathan Marshall There’s a civil war being fought on our nation’s soil, right in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the United States in space.

Jul 14 10:12

DHS Outlines Mandatory Biometric ID at Airports for Foreign Travel

By Nicholas West

What at first seemed like creeping tip-toe incrementalism toward the use of biometric ID for travel is quickly becoming a warp-speed reality.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been covering some disturbing developments at national airports that seem to show an acceleration of the plan to use biometric identification in a variety of ways...

Jul 14 07:18

Be careful when accepting terms for free WiFi: 22,275 Unknowingly Agree to Clean Festival Toilets

22,275 people from the U.S. and 31 other countries unwittingly agreed to carry out 1,000 hours of community service in return for free WiFi – including cleaning dirty festival porta-potties, hugging stray cats and painting snails' shells.

Purple, the intelligent spaces company, added the 'joke' term to the T&Cs on its own network of branded hotspots to illustrate the widespread lack of consumer awareness of what they are signing up for when they access free WiFi. According to Purple CEO, Gavin Wheeldon, a shockingly high 99.996% of the users tested failed to detect the fake term.

Jul 14 06:22

Researcher Claims Samsung's Tizen OS is Poorly Programmed; Contains 27,000 Bugs!

Samsung's Tizen operating system, written in C/C++ programming language, currently has 72.5 million lines of source code, out of which Karpov's team has analysed some randomly chosen modules i.e. 3.3% of the entire Project and found nearly 900 errors.

"If we extrapolate the results, we will see that our team is able to detect and fix about 27000 errors in Tizen," Karpov says.

In April this year, Israeli researcher Amihai Neiderman called Tizen "the worst code I've ever seen" after he examined the operating system and discovered as many as 40 zero-day vulnerabilities in Tizen code.

Jul 14 06:18

Australia plans law to force tech giants to decrypt messages

The Australian government on Friday proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to help police by unscrambling encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and other criminals.

But some experts, as well as Facebook, warned that weakening end-to-end encryption services so that police could eavesdrop would leave communications vulnerable to hackers.

The new law would be modeled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, which was passed by the British Parliament in November and gave intelligence agencies some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the Western world, the government said.

Jul 13 18:17

Private Data Of 6 Million Verizon Customers Exposed

The records of up to 6 million Verizon customers have been exposed to potential theft and abuse after they were left openly accessible on the internet. According to security analyst Chris Vickery (hat tip to ZDNet), the data was left unprotected on an Amazon S3 storage server controlled by an employee of Nice Systems, a Ra'anana, Israel-based company. Nice helped Verizon store, collect and analyze customer records for every customer service engagement consumers had with the carrier.

But Vickery (an employee of security firm Upguard) notes that Nice collected and stored this data for an "unknown purpose," including account phone numbers and the Verizon account PIN codes used to verify customers.

"This exposure is a potent example of the risks of third-party vendors handling sensitive data," Vickery notes.

Jul 13 17:34

One password you won't forget: Webcam site lets members log in with a 'penisprint'

Webcam sex website CamSoda has launched a 'Dick-ometrics' feature it claims will allow users to access their account by taking a picture of their penis.

The biometric security features uses the penis in a similar way to a fingerprint or retina scanner.

It analyzes a photo of the penises differentiating factors, including size, color and vein protrusion, to grant user's access to their accounts.

Jul 13 16:05

Chrome WARNING - Your ENTIRE web history will be shared with family unless you do THIS

According to McAfee researchers, two applications in the Google Play Store currently carry this threat.

Wallpapers Blur HD, which has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times, and Booster & Cleaner Pro, which has been downloaded between 1,000 and 5,000 times.

That means some 15,000 people may have fallen victim to the LeakerLocker ransomware, which has been present in the Google Play Store since April.

Jul 13 15:48

Bupa data breach affects 500,000 insurance customers

A Bupa employee inappropriately copied and removed information relating to 547,000 international health insurance plan customers, the company has said.

The data included names, dates of birth, nationalities, some contact and administrative information but not financial or medical data.

The private healthcare firm said concerns were first raised about a breach in June.

It is now contacting affected customers.

Jul 13 15:41

No big deal. You can defeat Kaspersky's ATM antivirus with a really fat executable

Flaws have been found and fixed in Kaspersky Lab's security software for cash machines and other embedded systems. Hackers can exploit the bugs to circumvent anti-malware defenses in ATMs.

Although Kaspersky responded promptly to the discovery and developed and released a patch, one wonders how long it will take for the updates to be installed in equipment around the world, if ever.

Jul 13 15:40

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

The community-driven organization overseeing Bitcoin on Wednesday warned that any Bitcoins received after Monday, July 31, 2017 at GMT-0700 may vanish into thin air or be rejected as invalid.

Bitcoin.org said that at the end of the month, Bitcoin confirmation scores – a number that represents the difficulty of altering the associated transaction – may become unreliable for an unknown period.

"This means that any Bitcoins you receive after that time may later disappear from your wallet or be a type of Bitcoin that other people will not accept as payment," the group said.

Jul 13 09:28

CIA Android phone SMS proxy ‘HighRise’ which masquerades as ‘TideCheck’ to form a covert messaging network

Today, July 13th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the Highrise project of the CIA. HighRise is an Android application designed for mobile devices running Android 4.0 to 4.3. It provides a redirector function for SMS messaging that could be used by a number of IOC tools that use SMS messages for communication between implants and listening posts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's see. The US Government is using OUR devices to spy on us, using our compute cycles, memory, and bandwidth! The 5th Amendment says the government cannot take our property for their use without just compensation.

Time for a class-action lawsuit? :)

Jul 13 09:08

Julian Assange: The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” In Pompeo’s worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a “priority.” News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

Jul 13 08:22

Apple to Build China Data Center to Meet New Cybersecurity Law

BEIJING—To comply with tough new cybersecurity rules, Apple Inc. will begin storing all cloud data for its China customers with a government-owned company—a move that means relinquishing some control over its Chinese data.

Jul 13 07:39

PC sales still slumping, but more slowly than feared

Analyst firms IDC and Gartner have emitted their quarterly assessments of the personal computer market, with both recording further sales slowdowns but also suggesting things could be worse.

Gartner reckons the world consumed 61.1 million machines, down 4.3 per cent from the same quarter in 2016.

IDC says combined desktop, notebook and workstation shipments hit 60.5 million units in the second quarter of 2017, for a year-on-year decline of 3.3 per cent. That's rather better than the firm's previous prediction of a 3.9 per cent dip.

Jul 13 07:39

Goodbye Windows Phone: What comes next for Microsoft in mobile?

Despite the demise of Windows Phone, Microsoft does still have a few options left in the mobile space.

Jul 13 07:36

Dutch Senate votes to grant intel agencies new surveillance powers

Plans by the Dutch government to increase surveillance powers are likely to face opposition from privacy activists.

A revamp of the country's laws (in Dutch) was passed by the Senate on Wednesday, clearing the final legislative hurdle after years of debate and protest, Reuters reports.

The new Intelligence and Security Act gives police the ability to go after the relatives of suspected terrorists or other serious criminals instead of only specified individuals. The Act also grants Dutch intelligence agencies new surveillance powers such as data retention for three years by service providers and permission for intel agencies to share intelligence with their foreign counterparts (GCHQ, NSA, and so on).

Jul 12 17:53

An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

Researchers have crafted algorithms that can take an audio recording of someone talking and map it to a video clip of them speaking to create a new convincing lip-synched video with the replacement sound.

In other words, the resulting video carries the injected audio, rather than its original sound, and the frames are manipulated so that the speaker's face and mouth movements match the new audio.

You can be forgiven for seeing this as a vital stepping stone to creating the ultimate fake news – highly believable forged videos. Imagine taking a clip of someone important speaking at a private event, and using the aforementioned software to dub in a completely new script, voiced by a skilled impersonator or generated by another AI such as Lyrebird, and then distributing that fraudulent footage.

Thankfully, technology is nowhere near that level right now.

Jul 12 10:05

The Elite 1 percent of Society to Control The Internet

Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and a host of other tech giants will join with online activists, librarians, minority rights and free speech groups today in a day of protest against the Trump administration’s plans to roll back rules in what critics charge is a “war on the open internet”.

Jul 12 09:31

The incredible lip-syncing AI that lets you put words in Obama's (and anyone else's) mouth

Researchers have developed new algorithms that can turn audio clips into realistic, lip-synced videos of the person seeming to say those words.

The team generated highly-realistic videos of former president Barack Obama talking about terrorism, fatherhood, job creation and other topics using audio clips, weekly video addresses and even clips from when he attended Harvard Law School, that were originally on a different topic.

The system works by converting audio files of an individual's speech into realistic mouth shapes - which are then grafted onto the head of that person from another existing video.

Scary stuff

Jul 12 09:25

FLASHBACK - HILLARY THE SPY?

Let us start with an historical fact. Treason and betrayal by the highest levels is a common feature of history, whether it is Judas vs Jesus, Brutus vs Julius Caesar, Benedict Arnold, the Rosenbergs, Jonathan Pollard, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen. It is just a fact of life. It does happen.

Back in 1996, when Bill Clinton was running for re-election, he authorized the transfer of highly sensitive technology to China. This technology had military applications and allowed China to close the gap in missile performance with the United States. The transfers were opposed and severely criticized by the Defense Department.

Optional Banner: 
WRH Exclusive
Jul 12 08:04

For Google, the Pixels Just Hit the Fan

Distinguished research psychologist Robert Epstein explains why Google was recently fined $2.7 billion for one of its search-engine manipulations. This is just the beginning, he says, of bad news for a company that tracks and manipulates people on a massive scale.

Jul 12 07:33

Millions of Verizon customer records exposed in security lapse

Customer records for at least 14 million subscribers, including phone numbers and account PINs, were exposed.

Jul 12 06:49

Chrome WARNING - Your ENTIRE web history will be shared with family unless you do THIS

A new form of ransomware that threatens to share your web browsing history with friends and family has been uncovered in the Google Play Store.

Dubbed LeakerLocker, the terrifying new software holds users to ransom – threatening to publish your Chrome web history, Facebook message, SMS text history, and more, to every person in your phone and email contacts.

Researchers at McAfee discovered the new variant of ransomware.

Those behind LeakerLocker demand $50 in exchange for not sharing your personal data with friends and family.

Jul 11 17:31

Raspberry Pi rival delivers a 4K Android computer for just $25

The Rock64's video capabilities outstrip the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, with Rock64 capable of outputting 4K video at 60Hz, with support for HDR10, via HDMI 2.0a.

Jul 11 17:30

Connecticut Just Banned Civil Forfeiture Without A Criminal Conviction

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed HB 7146 on Monday, which curbs the state’s civil forfeiture laws. Not only did the bill earn endorsements from the Yankee Institute for the Public Policy and the state chapter of the ACLU, HB 7146 even passed both the House and the Senate without a single no vote.

Jul 11 15:29

This is a battle for the future of the internet

Comcast & Verizon want to end net neutrality so they can control what we see & do online. On July 12, we take the first step to stop them. This is a battle for the Internet's future. Before you do anything else, send a letter to the FCC & Congress now!

Jul 11 09:04

Voice-Activated Smart Home Technology Used to Make Arrest in Assault Case

By Nicholas West

A new type of court case is slowly but demonstrably taking shape within the American legal system: alleged crimes being detected from data supplied by smart home devices...

Jul 11 08:50

Intel May Cripple Pentium G4560 to Make Core i3 Competitive

With Kaby Lake, Intel also tried out the Pentium G4560, a Pentium CPU with HyperThreading once again. According to the latest reports, however, the G4560 is so good, Intel is planning to cut it down at the knees.

The Pentium G4560 is a unique Pentium chip. Usually, the Pentium lineup is restricted to dual core chips without HyperThreading and only 2MB of L3 cache. The G4560 is special since it features both HyperThreading and has 3MB of L3 cache. Compared to the low-end Core i3 processors, the clock speed is a bit lower and the iGPU weaker. However, the chip is an amazing deal for budget users, offering 3.5 GHz and 4 threads for just $64.

Jul 11 08:49

BREAKING: Over 28,000 Hillary Emails Released by Anonymous Twitter Account!

As the media continues to freak out about the Trump campaign’s connection to Russia, Hillary Clinton just received terrible news about her persistently problematic email habits.

An anonymous Twitter user just dumped over 28,000 emails from Clinton herself on the social media platform:

Jul 11 08:44

New Research Shows Guccifer 2.0 Files Were Copied Locally Suggesting DNC Not "Hacked By Russians"

New meta-analysis has emerged from a document published today by an independent researcher known as The Forensicator, which suggests that files eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona were likely initially downloaded by a person with physical access to a computer possibly connected to the internal DNC network. The individual most likely used a USB drive to copy the information. The groundbreaking new analysis irrevocably destroys the Russian hacking narrative, and calls the actions of Crowdstrike and the DNC into question.

The document supplied to Disobedient Media via Adam Carter was authored by an individual known as The Forensicator. The full document referenced here has been published on their blog. Their analysis indicates the data was almost certainly not accessed initially by a remote hacker, much less one in Russia. If true, this analysis obliterates the Russian hacking narrative completely.

Jul 11 08:42

G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

Or in other words, access to encrypted messages

Jul 10 18:07

Ubuntu Linux is available in the Windows Store

Here's a statement that would have been unimaginable in previous years: Ubuntu has arrived in the Windows Store. As promised back in May, you can now download a flavor of the popular Linux distribution to run inside Windows 10. It won't compare to a conventional Ubuntu installation, as it's sandboxed (it has limited interaction with Windows) and is focused on running command line utilities like bash or SSH. However, it also makes running a form of Linux relatively trivial. You don't have to dual boot, install a virtual machine or otherwise jump through any hoops beyond a download and ticking a checkbox.

Jul 10 16:38

Bezos, Slim, and Buffett, Publicly Pleading Poverty, Ask Congress for Help With Their Newspapers

Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos (worth $83.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index), New York Times owner Carlos Slim (worth $61.1 billion), and Buffalo News owner Warren Buffett ($76.9 billion), publicly pleading poverty, are asking Congress for a helping hand in their negotiations with Google, controlled by Sergey Brin ($45.6 billion) and Larry Page ($46.8 billion).
Share | Comment

Jul 10 15:05

These Days Young Men In America Are Working A Lot Less And Playing Video Games A Lot More

If you could stay home and play video games all day, would you do it?  According to a brand new report that was released by the National Bureau of Economic Research on Monday, American men from the ages of 21 to 30 are working a lot less these days. 

Jul 10 13:53

Malware News: Number Of Malware On Decline While Complexity Of Attacks Increase

While reports of new malware attacks happen every day, the number of new malware samples detected in the wild over the course of the last year actually decreased, according to a recent report.

A decline in the amount of malware strains may sound like an improvement, but the data—shared in the annual AV-Test Security Report published by the IT-Security Institute—isn’t all good news. The malware that does persist is more sophisticated than ever.

Jul 10 13:53

NEW BILL WOULD REQUIRE PEOPLE TO DISCLOSE CRYPTOCURRENCY HOLDINGS AT THE BORDER

A new bill introduced in late May in the United States Senate would require people entering or leaving the United States with $10,000 or more in cryptocurrency to declare their holdings to US Customs and Border Protection agents. The bill has been introduced in the 115th Congress as S.1241, and known as the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017. Currently this regulation is already applied to cash and money orders. The bill’s prime sponsor is Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The bill has some bipartisan support, co-sponsors of the bill include Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Republican John Cornyn of Texas.

Jul 10 09:58

VIDEO: THIS GENETICALLY-MODIFIED CYBORG DRAGONFLY IS THE TINIEST DRONE

This technology is both amazing and terrifying—it’s not hard to imagine this kind of genetic modification used on higher-up species to creepy effect, and the idea of regular-looking insects acting as spies is a little nerve-wracking.

Jul 10 09:39

New Research Shows Guccifer 2.0 Files Were Copied Locally, Not Hacked

New meta-analysis has emerged from a document published today by an independent researcher known as The Forensicator, which suggests that files eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona were likely initially downloaded by a person with physical access to a computer possibly connected to the internal DNC network.

Jul 10 08:55

New Report Shows Guccifer 2.0-DNC Files Were Copied Locally—Not Hacked

A mysterious IT specialist, who goes by the name The Forensicator, published a detailed report that appears to disprove the theory that the DNC was hacked by Russia.

Jul 10 08:15

A DRM standard has been approved for the web, and security researchers are worried

The new standard is called EME, or Encrypted Media Extensions, and it allows DRM systems to hook directly into your browser. That way, Netflix and other streaming video services can protect their shows and movies without making users install annoying, often insecure plugins like Flash or Silverlight. On that note, it’s a win. But in other ways, EME’s approval has a lot of people concerned.

Researchers and open web advocates worry that by approving this standard, W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium, is giving major browser developers and content providers too much power over what users and researchers can do. “This will break people, companies, and projects,” Cory Doctorow writes on the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)’s blog.

Jul 10 08:10

MSM Runs with Claim of Russia Hacking Nuclear Plants Despite Admitting to Zero Evidence

By Aaron Kesel

MSM ran with a report about “Russians hacking nuclear plants” – there is just one problem, the report they are all citing explicitly states within the first paragraph that there is no evidence of hacking.

The report originating from the Washington Post ran the headline “U.S. officials say Russian government hackers have penetrated energy and nuclear company business networks,” the key problem is it’s absolute pure clickbait fake news that debunks itself as you read...

Jul 09 17:31

Facebook and WhatsApp HACK risk - Malware steals sensitive info from YOUR favourite apps

The SpyDealer malware has existed for almost TWO years and is capable of stealing information from 40 apps including Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype.

The trojan is capable of grabbing vast amounts of sensitive information from users, such as phone numbers, messages, contacts and call history.

It is even capable of finding out the location of the compromised device and - quite terrifyingly - recording any phone calls you make.

Any surrounding audio and video will be recorded, and Spydealer can also use the front and rear cameras of a device to take pictures.

...

Experts believe the malware was NOT spread through the Google Play store.

Instead, the three versions of SpyDealer that are being spread is via third party app stores disguised as ‘Google Update’ software.

Jul 09 16:57

GnuPG crypto library cracked, look for patches

Linux users need to check out their distributions to see if a nasty bug in libgcrypt20 has been patched.

The software fix, which has landed in Debian and Ubuntu, addresses a side-channel attack published last week.

Jul 09 16:56

Hard Rock hotels burgered up by Sabre breach

Two more hotel chains are warning customers they were caught by the breach of Sabre's "SynXis" hotel booking service that emerged earlier this year.

Last Thursday, the Hard Rock chain warned that customers of 11 of its properties may have been caught up in the breach.

According to Hard Rock's confession, Sabre advised it the system breach ran from August 2016 to March 2017.

...

Last week, Sabre issued a canned statement with the not-entirely-reassuring detail that the attackers only got full card information (customer, card number and security number) for some holiday-makers: “a large percentage of bookings were made without a security code being provided. Others were processed using virtual card numbers in lieu of consumer credit cards”.

Further: “Personal information such as social security, passport or driver’s license number was not accessed”.

Jul 09 13:09

Heads Up! Hackers Breached A Dozen US Nuclear Plants

Hackers breached at least a dozen US power plants in attacks in May and June, US media report, citing intelligence officials.
The targets included the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas, according to several reports.

Jul 09 08:20

The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear

The government has become an expert in finding ways to sidestep what it considers “inconvenient laws” aimed at ensuring accountability and thereby bringing about government transparency and protecting citizen privacy. Indeed, it has mastered the art of stealth maneuvers and end-runs around the Constitution.

Jul 08 15:26

Ethereum Mining Frenzy Leads To German Graphics Card Shortage, Retailer Pulls Cards

The problem lies with the growing popularity of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency whose price has risen to historic highs over the last few months. This has led many people to purchase graphics cards to mine Ether. It's kind of like a gold rush: Everyone's scrambling to get the tools they need to get rich quick (or at least attempt to do so), and that means you can't find a shovel, pickax, or bucket that doesn't cost far more than it usually would.

Just replace "shovel, pickax, or bucket" with "graphics card," and you have the gist of what cryptocurrency mining has done to the market.

Jul 08 15:21

New attack can now decrypt satellite phone calls in "real time"

Chinese researchers have discovered a way to rapidly decrypt satellite phone communications -- within a fraction of a second in some cases.

The paper, published this week, expands on previous research by German academics in 2012 by rapidly speeding up the attack and showing that the encryption used in popular Inmarsat satellite phones can be cracked in "real time."

Satellite phones are used by those in desolate environments, including high altitudes and at sea, where traditional cell service isn't available.

Jul 08 15:17

Ethereum And Bitcoin Energy Consumption Surpasses Entire Countries' Power Budgets

In addition to the hardware that you’ll need to purchase (or repurpose) for mining, there’s also energy consumption to keep in mind. Even though mining GPUs like the ASUS MINING P106 and Biostar Radeon RX 470D have been designed and optimized for efficiency, electrical consumption is still a big cost that must be factored into any calculations on profitability. And considering that the price of an Ethereum token has surged from $10 at the beginning of 2017 to as high as $300, an influx of amateur miners has entered the fray. That means more mining rigs and even higher energy consumption.

Power use is up so dramatically, in fact, that Ethereum (and Bitcoin) mining is consuming the same amount of electricity as a small country.

Jul 08 15:15

Private Decryption Key For Original Petya Ransomware Released

Rejoice Petya-infected victims!

The master key for the original version of the Petya ransomware has been released by its creator, allowing Petya-infected victims to recover their encrypted files without paying any ransom money.

But wait, Petya is not NotPetya.

Do not confuse Petya ransomware with the latest destructive NotPetya ransomware (also known as ExPetr and Eternal Petya) attacks that wreaked havoc across the world last month, massively targeting multiple entities in Ukraine and parts of Europe.

Jul 08 09:27

Putin and Trump discuss anti-terror efforts, cyber security, Ukrainian and Syrian crisesMore:http://tass.com/politics/955262

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he discussed the Ukraine and Syria crises, the fight against terrorism and cybercrimes along with cyber security at his talks with US President Donald Trump.

"I have had a lengthy conversation with the US president. Loads of questions have accumulated including both Ukraine and Syria along with other issues, some bilateral issues," Putin said at his meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "We have returned to discussing the fight against terrorism and cybersecurity."

Putin apologized to Abe for making him wait for about an hour.
"Both I and he [US president] owe you an apology," he said.
The 135-minute meeting was held on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit in Germany’s Hamburg. Until today, the two leaders had had only telephone conversations.

At the beginning of the talks, Putin and Trump spoke in favor of dialogue. The meeting was held behind closed doors and was attended only by the two countries’ top diplomats.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Somehow, the world seems just a little bit less on the keening edge of a world war than it did before these two gentlemen actually met, and talked.

I see reasons to be cautiously optimistic here.

Jul 08 09:14

WHISTLEBLOWER: “THE NSA IS STILL COLLECTING THE FULL CONTENT OF U.S. DOMESTIC E-MAIL, WITHOUT A WARRANT … THE NSA CANNOT IDENTIFY FUTURE TERRORISM BECAUSE 99.9999% OF WHAT IT COLLECTS AND ANALYZES IS FORESEEABLY IRRELEVANT”

The man who designed the NSA’s electronic intelligence gathering system (Bill Binney) sent us an affidavit which he signed on the Fourth of July explaining that the NSA is still spying on normal, every day Americans … and not focused on stopping terror attacks (I’ve added links to provide some background):

The attacks on September 11, 2001 completely changed how the NSA conducted surveillance …. the individual liberties preserved in the U.S. Constitution were no longer a consideration. In October 2001, the NSA began to implement a group of intelligence activities now known as the “President’s Surveillance Program.”

Jul 08 08:54

RECRUITERS USE ‘GEOFENCING’ TO TARGET POTENTIAL HIRES WHERE THEY LIVE AND WORK

Carol McDaniel has a perennial challenge: Attracting highly specialized acute-care certified neonatal nurse practitioners to come work for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla.

They are “always in short supply, high demand, and [it is a] very, very small group of people,” says McDaniel, the hospital’s recruitment director.

So, about six months ago, McDaniel says, the hospital started using a new recruitment tactic: It buys lists of potential candidates culled from online profiles or educational records. It then uses a technology to set up a wireless fence around key areas where the coveted nurses live or work. When a nurse with the relevant credentials enters a geofenced zone, ads inviting them to apply to All Children’s appear on their phones.

The system also automatically collects data from the user’s cellphone so it can continue to advertise to them, even after they leave the geofenced area.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This technique has a very "minority report" effect to it, where science fiction rapidly becomes science fact.

Do you remember that scene in the mall where the Tom Cruz character gets inundated with specialised visual ads?!?

We're there, folks!!

Jul 07 13:49

Is California Setting Up Precedent For The 5G Wireless Takeover?

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Many people are concerned—seriously, too—about a bill introduced into the California State Legislature dealing with the placement of 5G Wireless towers on poles every so many feet.

“SB 649 is a bill that would eliminate local governments’ planning authority over wireless facilities on publicly-owned streets and properties, allowing the wireless industry to install 5G cell towers on every other power pole on your street,” according to Josh Hart at Stop Smart Meters.org...

Jul 07 12:30

Hackers Targeting Nuclear Power Plant Operators In US: Report

Since May, unidentified hackers have been breaking into computer networks of companies that operate American nuclear power stations, energy facilities and manufacturing plants, a report says.

Jul 07 10:38

DNC Server: Most Critical Evidence To Proving "Russian Hacking" Is Being Withheld From Mueller, Why?

If there were any actual crimes committed during the 2016 presidential election, then the origin of those crimes can be traced back to a single piece of hardware sitting at the DNC which housed the emails that were stolen and subsequently shared with WikiLeaks. Ironically, despite the fact that they're apparently sitting on perhaps the most critical evidence available to prove that Russia "hacked the election," an allegation that has been hammered 24/7 on CNN for the better part of a year now despite a lack of actual tangible evidence to support the allegation, the DNC has completely refused to cooperate with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and/or Robert Mueller's independent investigation. Which begs one very simple question, why?

Jul 07 08:28

This Android malware steals data from 40 apps, spies on messages and location

"SpyDealer" malware has been active since October 2015 and researchers still aren't sure how it infects victims.

Jul 07 06:58

Better than Bieber? AI musician composes its own songs in different genres after studying more than 2,000 tunes

It's already taking over our jobs, beating us at strategy games and creating 'art'.

Now artificial intelligence is set to conquer the world of music.

Swiss researchers say they have developed a computer algorithm that can generate new tunes in various musical genres after listening to more than 2,000 songs.

And while it isn't quite at the level of Justin Bieber or Adele, future versions of the system may be fine-tuned to create songs that rival those by today's musicians.

Jul 06 15:45

The US government is being sued for info on the secretive Five Eyes intelligence group

The Five Eyes surveillance cabal, established at the end of World War 2, includes the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The agreement covers how intelligence is shared. And that's about all we know about it.

But that could be about to change.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA