COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Apr 08 03:55

CONGRESS LET SPY POWERS EXPIRE LAST MONTH, WHICH IS HAVING ALMOST NO EFFECT ON CURRENT SPYING

SOURCE: TECH DIRT
FROM THE HEY-YOU-GUYS-NEED-TO-KNOCK-IT-OFF-WHENEVER-IT'S-CONVENIENT-FOR-YOU DEPT
Thanks to the goddamn everything else going on in the world right now, we've now learned what happens when Congress lets surveillance authorities expire. Nothing, really. Here's Charlie Savage for the New York Times.

House Democrats left the capital on Friday after passing the $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation without taking up a Senate bill to temporarily revive three expired F.B.I. surveillance tools for terrorism and espionage investigations, ensuring that the laws will remain lapsed at least until the Senate returns from vacation next month.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Welcome to the unhinged, surveilled, and thoroughly dystopic State of Amerika; your papers, please!!

Apr 07 21:17

Snopes Recommends Shutting Down Internet To Prevent Spread Of Satire

U.S.—In a statement issued by Snopes' editorial board, the fact-checking website recommended that the entire internet be shut down so as to prevent the spread of potentially dangerous jokes.

Apr 06 15:42

Boeing 787s need to be turned off and on again every 51 days to prevent 'potentially catastrophic failure' due to a glitch that results in pilots being fed FALSE data on airspeed and altitude

A directive from the US government will force the planes to be shut down regularly to avoid glitches in the on-board computer systems.

If left for too long without being powered down, swathes of data can accumulate in the software and wreak havoc with the information displayed to pilots.

This could lead to incorrect data on airspeed, altitude and attitude being shown on primary displays, making it harder for pilots to maintain the safe flight and landing of the plane, according to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Apr 06 12:48

PSA: Fake Zoom installers being used to distribute malware

Attackers are taking advantage of the increased popularity of the Zoom video conferencing service to distribute installers that are bundled with malware and adware applications.

Apr 06 11:59

Deepfake? : Hillary Clinton is Hannibal Lecter (VIDEO)

What would Hillary Clinton look like imprisoned, and as psycho killer Hannibal Lecter? -- Watch as “her” eyes move and lips wrinkle in a stunningly realistic way...

Apr 06 04:19

Mozilla Patches Two Actively Exploited Firefox Zero-Days

Remote unauthenticated attackers can trick potential victims into visiting a maliciously crafted website to trigger these two vulnerabilities and, subsequently, execute arbitrary code on devices running unpatched versions of Firefox.

Successful exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities may enable the attackers to compromise the vulnerable systems.

While no additional info on how these flaws were exploited is available at the moment, seeing that they are rated as critical and currently exploited in the wild, all users should install the patched Firefox 74.0.1 release.

Apr 06 04:14

We cannot allow Facebook and Twitter to use Covid-19 to launch their own coup d’état

World leaders are having their social media posts deleted under the guise of the pandemic, but is this just the beginning of socially destructive subterfuge?

A few days ago, Facebook and Twitter decided to delete contributions from two world leaders. The first was Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who shared a video and aired his view that “hydroxychloroquine is working in all places” to treat Covid-19. Facebook decided it was against what the World Health Organization had decreed and trashed the video. Twitter followed up by removing two of Bolsonaro’s tweets.

They also deleted a tweet by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, in which he spoke of a “brew” that would eliminate any infectious genes.

Even former New York Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani got his knuckles rapped. His tweet quoting someone else stating that hydroxychloroquine is 100 percent effective had the vanishing spray applied too.

Apr 05 15:13

Privacy Violation: Google Publishes Location Data During “Lockdown”

In what can only be described as a major basic human rights violation, Google has published the location data fo those who they say are violating the lockdown orders handed down by governments. “Community Mobility Reports” show where we’re going amid the lockdown, according to Google.

Apr 05 06:49

Here's How You Can 3D-Print Masks At Home

For anyone who didn't heed our warning about purchasing 3M N95 masks in January/February – here's another option: You can now 3D-print masks at home thanks to the medical students and engineers of Rowan University.

"Rowan University engineering and medical students have developed a prototype for a durable, lightweight, reusable face mask to augment the supply of face masks during the current shortage of PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak. The mask is provided "as-is" and primarily acts as a mechanical barrier. It is not a replacement for N95 masks.

Developed in collaboration with medical professionals, the mask prototype may serve in clinical and field use. If printed, used and maintained correctly, the mask provides a durable, reusable mechanical barrier," read the Rowan University website.

Apr 03 11:14

Researcher finds two new bugs in Zoom that lets hackers take over a computer's webcam and microphone as the video conferencing service is hit with a string of security compromises

A researcher discovered two new flaws in video conferencing app Zoom that allow hackers to hijack users' webcam and their microphone.

The flaws were disclosed this week in a report from Patrick Wardle - a former NSA hacker and current principal security researcher at Jamf - and are the latest in a string of security compromises highlighted in recent months.

Those previously identified bugs allowed hackers to steal Windows passwords and also another security access compromised security on Mac devices by allowing hackers to tap into users' webcam and microphone.

Apr 03 06:21

US Researchers Develop AI-Powered App to Detect COVID-19 Signs Through Voice Recordings

Researchers at Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University have created an app that can reportedly determine whether you have COVID-19 by analyzing your voice.

According to the Carnegie Mellon researchers, the app is still in its infancy and has not yet been approved by either the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“I’ve seen a lot of competition for the cheapest, fastest diagnosis you can have,” Benjamin Striner, a Carnegie Mellon graduate student who worked on the app, said in a recent interview with Futurism. “And there are some pretty good ones that are actually really cheap and pretty accurate, but nothing’s ever going to be as cheap and as easy as speaking into a phone.”

Apr 03 05:22

Bill Gates Calls for a “Digital Certificate” to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Bill Gates recently stated on Reddit that “digital certificates” will be used to identify who received the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. And these certificates will also be used to identify who can conduct business or not. Here’s how this plan is already backed by a massive organization called ID2020.

Apr 03 04:39

First quarantine, now digital leper bells: How much freedom are Britons willing to surrender in a fit of Covid-19 panic?

The NHS is planning to launch a coronavirus contact tracking app to help slow the spread of the disease through the population. It is reportedly planned for launch just before or just after the end of the lockdown, and is being modelled on TraceTogether, a Bluetooth based-app used in Singapore to curb the country’s Covid-19 spread. The idea behind this very 21st century way of keeping tabs on the health of the nation is for patients to upload their diagnostic data to the app. It will then communicate via Bluetooth with other nearby phones. If someone in the vicinity has tested positive for the disease then, after a short delay, those within an as yet to be revealed radius will be notified that they have been near someone with Covid-19.

Apr 02 12:07

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

The US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Boeing 787 operators to switch their aircraft off and on every 51 days to prevent what it called "several potentially catastrophic failure scenarios" – including the crashing of onboard network switches.

The airworthiness directive, due to be enforced from later this month, orders airlines to power-cycle their B787s before the aircraft reaches the specified days of continuous power-on operation.

The power cycling is needed to prevent stale data from populating the aircraft's systems, a problem that has occurred on different 787 systems in the past.

According to the directive itself, if the aircraft is powered on for more than 51 days this can lead to "display of misleading data" to the pilots, with that data including airspeed, attitude, altitude and engine operating indications. On top of all that, the stall warning horn and overspeed horn also stop working.

Apr 02 11:31

Coronavirus con: Scammers are sending texts from 'UK Government' telling victims they have been 'fined' for going out too much or too far during lockdown to trick people into handing over their bank details

Scammers are targeting people with texts pretending to be from the UK government telling victims they have been 'fined' for going out too much or too far during the coronavirus lockdown.

The malicious message then goes on to try and trick recipients into handing over their bank details to the real senders using links to non-governmental websites.

According to UK cyber-crime reporting centre Action Fraud, the number of coronavirus-related scams has increased by 400 per cent in March.

Apr 02 11:30

Zoom's latest security flaw allows hackers to steal customers' Microsoft Windows credentials from links shared in chats

A new report from Bleeping Computer found a vulnerability in the software that lets cybercriminals steal users' Microsoft Window passwords who click on a link shared in a chat.

Zoom's chat feature that converts URLs into hyperlinks can also do the same for Windows networking universal naming convention (UNC) strings —such as \\attacker.example.com/C$—into clickable links - turning them into a clickable link that if accessed, could reveal login information.

Windows automatically exposes a user's credentials in the link to a remote server, as it connects and downloads a file hosted on it, allowing a hacker lurkingin the shadows to cease the personal information.

'The attack is possible only because Zoom for Windows supports remote UNC paths, which converts such potentially insecure URLs into hyperlinks for recipients in a personal or group chat,' the report claimed.

Apr 02 10:50

There's now COVID-19 malware that will wipe your PC and rewrite your MBR

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic raging all over the globe, some malware authors have developed malware that destroys infected systems, either by wiping files or rewriting a computer's master boot record (MBR).

With help from the infosec community, ZDNet has identified at least five malware strains, some distributed in the wild, while others appear to have been created only as tests or jokes.

The common theme among all four samples is that they use a coronavirus-theme and they're geared towards destruction, rather than financial gain.

Apr 01 04:15

Contractor behind troubled Afghan propaganda program billed Pentagon $425 MILLION for unaired ads — lawsuit

The Pentagon’s one-time top propaganda producer in Afghanistan billed the US millions of dollars to produce ads it knew full well would never air, let alone win hearts and minds, a lawsuit by a company whistleblower has alleged.
The Leonie Group took in upwards of $425 million in military contracts from 2008 until 2015 to produce TV, radio, and billboard ads on behalf of the US in Afghanistan, knowing the lion’s share of the propaganda would never be seen by Afghan eyes, a recently-unsealed lawsuit by Scott Kreller, the company’s former president, claims. Adding insult to injury, Leonie allegedly retaliated against Kreller for trying to clamp down on the “fraud.”

Kreller claimed he was fired in February 2017 after refusing to submit an inflated $4.5 million invoice to the US government for “double-billed” psychological operations despite “several months” of pressure “on an almost weekly basis” from the company’s owners.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am sorry, but if a huge Federal agency is pathologically incapable of following the numbers when it came to Afghani propaganda, how can it be reasonably tasked with conducting wars all over the planet?!/

the short answer is, it cannot.

Apr 01 04:04

'Lack of Confidence in FBI's Procedures' - DOJ IG Audit of 29 FISA Warrants Finds Errors with All of Them

Michael Horowitz

The DOJ’s Office of Inspector General on Tuesday said in a report it still has a “lack of confidence” in the FBI’s FISA procedures.

Horowitz’s office found errors in all of the 29 FISA applications it reviewed during an audit as follow-up to an investigation of the bureau’s illegal spying of Carter Page.

Horowitz previously admonished the FBI for making “17 significant errors and inaccuracies” when it sought and obtained a total of four FISA warrants on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

The OIG released a report on Tuesday revealing the FBI’s FISA abuse is still a widespread ongoing problem.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

ABSOFLIPPINGLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE, BUT THOROUGHLY PREDICTABLE.

Mar 31 15:12

Critical WordPress Plugin Bug Lets Hackers Turn Users Into Admins

A critical privilege escalation vulnerability found in the WordPress SEO Plugin – Rank Math plugin can allow attackers to give administrator privileges to any registered user on one of the 200,000 sites with active installations if left unpatched.

Mar 31 15:11

Simulated competitions: Is Covid-19 the big moment for E-Sports?

It’s a unique time when you’re trying to keep yourself entertained during a viral outbreak. That is, unless you’re a gamer. Many people have likely spent their time playing Animal Crossing or Doom Eternal since they were released recently, keeping them occupied during this time of “social distancing.” But if your preferred pastime is watching sports events, you might not be as lucky with all the games and bouts called off because of the pandemic. It’s safe to say that the virus is hurting sport quite badly, so what exactly is the alternative? Some have turned to the electronic variety.

Mar 31 15:02

Give us a password clue, Boris! PM Johnson LEAKS cabinet Zoom meeting’s private ID as he tweets screenshot

Self-isolating British PM Boris Johnson has been left red-faced after making his UK cabinet Zoom meeting ID public on social media, prompting some to cheekily suggest they’ll join in next time if they can guess the password.

Johnson tweeted a screenshot of his Zoom meeting on Tuesday afternoon, in which ministers and key officials all appeared on a single screen via the video conferencing app to discuss the coronavirus crisis.

However, eagle-eyed observers, like Virgin Media News’ Richard Chambers, noticed that Johnson had been somewhat slack in maintaining tight security protocols by failing to hide the private ID number to access the meeting. It left many on Twitter dumbfounded that the prime minister could commit such a gaffe.

Mar 31 09:02

Windows 10 remote work bug: Microsoft races out this emergency fix

Microsoft has released an emergency update to fix a Windows 10 bug that has been causing internet connectivity issues for users and preventing some Office 365 setups from reaching the cloud.

The company confirmed the internet connectivity bug on Thursday, which affected PCs and servers running all supported versions of Windows 10 devices that are using a proxy, especially with a virtual private network (VPN).

Mar 31 06:30

For Autocrats, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power

LONDON — In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called “eye-watering” power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia has postponed elections.

As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world to a juddering halt and anxious citizens demand action, leaders across the globe are invoking executive powers and seizing virtually dictatorial authority with scant resistance.

Governments and rights groups agree that these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. States need new powers to shut their borders, enforce quarantines and track infected people. Many of these actions are protected under international rules, constitutional lawyers say.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Edward Snowden has observed that these restrictive measures, put in place "because of the Covid-19 pandemic", will outlast the virus by a very, very long time; I think he is absolutely correct on this.

Mar 30 10:43

COVID-19: Hackers Begin Exploiting Zoom's Overnight Success to Spread Malware

As people increasingly work from home and online communication platforms such as Zoom explode in popularity in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the spike in usage by registering new fake "Zoom" domains and malicious "Zoom" executable files in an attempt to trick people into downloading malware on their devices.

According to a report published by Check Point and shared with The Hacker News, over 1,700 new "Zoom" domains have been registered since the onset of the pandemic, with 25 percent of the domains registered in the past seven days alone.

Mar 29 13:19

Phishing Attack Says You're Exposed to Coronavirus, Spreads Malware

During this crisis, it is important for everyone to be especially careful of any Coronavirus-related emails that they receive and to not open any attachments.

Instead, you should look up the number for the alleged sender and contact them via phone to confirm the email and the enclosed information.

Mar 28 06:17

The Greatest Depression - corbettreport


SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/greates...

The Age of Terror was inaugurated with a series of controlled demolitions in New York City on September 11, 2001. Now the world is being led into the Age of Biological Terror with a controlled demolition of the economy that is already causing unprecedented carnage across markets and around the globe. As the dust settles on this demolition, an entirely new economy is ready to be erected in its place: one in which no citizen will be out of the sight of the all-seeing government. This week on The Corbett Report we examine the details of this collapse and why the bankster class is seeking to destroy the financial Ponzi scheme that they themselves created.

Mar 27 16:51

Yeah, that Zoom app you're trusting with work chatter? It lives with 'vampires feeding on the blood of human data'

As the global coronavirus pandemic pushes the popularity of videoconferencing app Zoom to new heights, one web veteran has sounded the alarm over its "creepily chummy" relationship with tracking-based advertisers.

Doc Searls, co-author of the influential internet marketing book The Cluetrain Manifesto last century, today warned [cached] Zoom not only has the right to extract data from its users and their meetings, it works with Google and other ad networks to turn this personal information into targeted ads that follow them across the web.

This personal info includes, and is not limited to, names, addresses and any other identifying data, job titles and employers, Facebook profiles, and device specifications. Crucially, it also includes "the content contained in cloud recordings, and instant messages, files, whiteboards ... shared while using the service."

Mar 25 11:34

Microsoft says hackers are exploiting a vulnerability in ALL versions of Windows that lets them hijack users' computers — and there's currently no fix

Microsoft says that hackers are exploiting a vulnerability in all current versions of Windows that lets them hijack users' computers — and there's currently no fix.

The security flaw — which the tech firm has given its highest severity rating of 'critical' — emerges in the way that Windows handles and renders fonts.

Hackers can exploit the vulnerability by tricking users into opening a malicious document — or viewing it in Windows Preview.

This allows malware — like ransomware — to then be remotely launched onto the victim's system.

Mar 25 09:20

Two Hundred and Thirty Years of Rights and Liberties Shredded: Why I Oppose The Lockdown

Op-Ed by Brandon Turbeville

Although it was nearly twenty years ago, I can remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. I remember the shock of hearing about the planes crashing into towers, at first believing it was a tragic accident and quickly learning it to be otherwise. I remember being told that 19 hijackers, part of a fundamentalist plot to destroy America, were behind the attacks and that the mastermind was a man in a cave in Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden.

As all of America was glued to their television screens, many rushed out to give blood in an effort to at least do something to help one another. George W. Bush’s answer for Americans was to go to work and then go out and shop. Americans dutifully complied. But the government’s answer, in tandem with mainstream media, was also to be afraid. Very afraid. Americans also complied with this request, perhaps more than any other.

20 years later, here we go again...

Mar 25 09:02

World Health Organization, Facebook, Microsoft team up in COVID-19 hackathon

The World Health Organization (WHO) has teamed up with tech giants to launch a coronavirus-themed hackathon to develop useful technologies for those impacted by the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the WHO, alongside Microsoft, Facebook, Giphy, Pinterest, Slack, TikTok, Twitter, and WeChat said the global #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon "is an opportunity for developers to build software solutions that drive social impact, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic."

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in over 435,000 confirmed cases, at the time of writing, worldwide.

Mar 24 12:17

Hackers Hijack Routers’ DNS to Spread Malicious COVID-19 Apps

A new cyber attack is hijacking router's DNS settings so that web browsers display alerts for a fake COVID-19 information app from the World Health Organization that is the Vidar information-stealing malware.

For the past five days, people have been reporting their web browser would open on its own and display a message prompting them to download a 'COVID-19 Inform App' that was allegedly from the World Health Organization (WHO).

After further research, it was determined that these alerts were being caused by an attack that changed the DNS servers configured on their home D-Link or Linksys routers to use DNS servers operated by the attackers.

As most computers use the IP address and DNS information provided by their router, the malicious DNS servers were redirecting victims to malicious content under the attacker's control.

Mar 24 12:16

Fake Corona Antivirus Software Used to Install Backdoor Malware

Sites promoting a bogus Corona Antivirus are taking advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to promote and distribute a malicious payload that will infect the target's computer with the BlackNET RAT and add it to a botnet.

The two sites promoting the fake antivirus software can be found at antivirus-covid19[.]site and corona-antivirus[.]com as discovered by the Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence team and researchers at MalwareHunterTeam, respectively.

While the former was already taken down since Malwarebytes' report, the one spotted by MalwareHunterTeam is still active but it had its contents altered, with the malicious links removed and a donation link added to support the scammers' efforts — spoiler alert, no donations were made until now.

Mar 24 12:14

Ginp Mobile Banker Targets Spain with "Coronavirus Finder" Lure

In today's deluge of malicious campaigns exploiting the COVID-19 topic, handlers of the Android banking trojan Ginp stand out with operation Coronavirus Finder.

They prey on the anxiety generated by the massive spread of the virus and launch on infected devices a page claiming to show the location infected people nearby for a small fee.

The purpose is to make victims provide payment card data in the hope of learning how close they are to infected individuals.

It's a particularly heinous campaign because it targets users in Spain, a country that's been hit hard by the new coronavirus: close to 3,000 people died from the virus and almost 40,000 are infected.

Mar 24 10:39

Hey Alexa, stop listening! Employees urged to turn off smart speakers while working from home during the coronavirus over fears of privacy risks

Now that millions of people are currently working home due to the coronavirus outbreak, employers are urging their stuff to power down the technology in order to keep it from listening to confidential phone calls.

Mishcon de Reya LLP, the UK law firm that advised Princess Diana on her divorce, advised staff to mute or shut off listening devices like Amazon's Alexa or Google's voice assistant when they talk about client matters at home, according to a partner at the firm.

Video products such as Ring and baby monitors are also on the list of devices to be away of while working from home, as first reported on by Bloomberg.

Mar 24 08:21

UK internet capacity could be RATIONED to prioritise ‘critical’ apps and websites, experts reveal

BRITAIN'S internet capacity could be "rationed" to prioritise critical apps and websites, experts have told The Sun.

It comes as networks and apps reveal how the coronavirus crisis places new pressures on the UK's mobile and broadband infrastructure.

Mar 23 03:31

New app tells you when you've come in contact with a coronavirus patient

The Health Ministry's new app is called "The Shield" ("HaMagen"), and it allows people to identify whether they have come in contact with a known coronavirus carrier and what they should do.

Mar 22 04:20

Officials warn of scams, fraud, disinformation amid COVID-19 outbreak

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently spoke out against the increasing spread of disinformation. In a video released by the White House Friday, he said false information is not only coming from random actors around the world, but also from nations like China and Iran.

This came amid reported efforts by Iran and China to blame the U.S. for the outbreak. Pompeo accused both nations of wanting to undermine the U.S.’s handling of the outbreak, but noted the American people have responded to what President Trump is saying.

Mar 22 04:18

EARN IT ACT: Bipartisan Bill Gives Government Backdoor to Encrypted Data

The measure — the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act — removes legal protection from many of the Internet’s most popular uses, including blogs, social media, instant message services, apps, and sites whose content is created by the public (think Wikipedia, for example). Should the EARN IT Act become the law, the Internet will be changed forever.

Mar 21 21:16

Never let a crisis go to waste: US lawmakers bask in coronavirus panic while quietly building the police state of their dreams

The ominously-named EARN IT Act (short for “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act”) that quietly debuted in the Senate earlier this month is a carefully crafted weapon for crushing encryption without explicitly banning, industry professionals have warned. While this particular bill purports to be all about ending child sexual exploitation, the industry is concerned it will make their business model unsustainable - while doing nothing to protect children. So are independent media producers, who fear their speech would be declared anathema. It would in practice strip section 230 legal immunity – protection from liability for third party content - from any website that failed to comply with a set of “best practices” imposed on a supposedly voluntary basis by a 19-member “commission” run by Attorney General William Barr.

Mar 21 15:11

RedLine Info-Stealing Malware Spread by [email protected] Phishing

With the rise in popularity of [email protected], security researchers at ProofPoint have discovered a new phishing campaign that pretends to be from a company developing a cure for Coronavirus.

These emails have a subject of "Please help us with Fighting corona-virus" and state that they want you to help "speed up our process of finding the cure" by downloading and installing the [email protected] client.

...

Embedded in the phishing email is a "Download now" button that when clicked will download a file called foldingathomeapp.exe, which is the Redline information-stealing Trojan.

Mar 21 15:08

WHO Chief Impersonated in Phishing to Deliver HawkEye Malware

This spam campaign started today according to researchers at IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence who spotted it and it has already delivered several waves of spam emails attempting to pass as being delivered by WHO.

"HawkEye is designed to steal information from infected devices, but it can also be used as a loader, leveraging its botnets to fetch other malware into the device as a service for third-party cybercrime actors," IBM X-Force's research team previously said.

The emails come with archive attachments containing a Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) CURE.exe executable described by the attackers as a "file with the instructions on common drugs to take for prevention and fast cure to this deadly virus called Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)."

Mar 21 15:06

FBI Warning: Phishing Emails Push Fake Govt Stimulus Checks

FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) today warned of an ongoing phishing campaign delivering spam that uses fake government economic stimulus checks as bait to steal personal information from potential victims.

"Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government," IC3's alert says.

"While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money."

Mar 21 15:05

Extortion Emails Threaten to Infect Your Family With Coronavirus

Sextortion scammers are now also attempting to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic by threatening their victims to infect their family with the SARS-CoV-2 virus besides revealing all their "dirty secrets".

If you have received such an email, it is important to know that this is just a scam and that no hacker has stolen your passwords or can infect you or your family with an actual real-life virus.

Just paying attention to their threats should be reason enough to discard their attempts at extortion and delete such emails immediately.

Mar 21 15:03

Netwalker Ransomware Infecting Users via Coronavirus Phishing

As if people did not have enough to worry about, attackers are now targeting them with Coronavirus (COVID-19) phishing emails that install ransomware.

While we do not have access to the actual phishing email being sent, MalwareHunterTeam was able to find an attachment used in a new Coronavirus phishing campaign that installs the Netwalker Ransomware.

Netwalker is a ransomware formerly called Mailto that has become active recently as it targets the enterprise and government agencies. Two widely reported attacks related to Netwalker are the ones on the Toll Group and the Champaign Urbana Public Health District (CHUPD) in Illinois.

The new Netwalker phishing campaign is using an attachment named "CORONAVIRUS_COVID-19.vbs" that contains an embedded Netwalker Ransomware executable and obfuscated code to extract and launch it on the computer.

Mar 21 05:49

Et tu, Brute? Why Huawei's Development of France's 5G Network Will be a Game-Changer

On 12 March, Reuters broke that France would permit the use of some Huawei equipment in the country's future 5G infrastructure, citing two sources close to the matter. According to observers, European states are defying Washington's diktat and opening the door to Huawei because they want to gain a competitive edge.

According to the unnamed sources, ANSSI, the French cyber-security agency, has opted to use some of Huawei's 5G apparatus in non-core parts of France's networks.

Mar 21 03:36

NTSB Faults Tesla And Publicly Calls Out NHTSA To Share Blame In Fatal 2019 Crash

The NTSB has once again cited both Tesla and regulations surrounding partially automated driving systems as the cause of a fatal 2019 crash in Florida that involved a Tesla on Autopilot. The agency also said that two drivers were to blame.

Yet again, Tesla, Autopilot and our nation's regulation of the partially automated driving system has come up, and yet again we will bet that both the NHTSA and congress does absolutely nothing about it - which has been par for the course for them over the last several years.

In their report issued on Thursday, the NTSB said that design of Tesla's Autopilot system allowed the driver to not be paying attention, according to WFTV. They also said that Tesla failed to limit where the automated system could be used, allowing drivers to activate it where they shouldn't.

Mar 21 03:33

Researchers Use World’s Fastest Computer to Search for Coronavirus Cure

In an effort to find a cure for the COVID-19 coronavirus, researchers are using the world’s most powerful supercomputer, the IBM-built Summit, to find potential compounds that could be used to fight the pandemic.

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are screening through more than 8,000 compounds to determine which ones can bind to a so-called S-protein spike. Viruses infect host cells when they inject them with a “spike” of the virus’s genetic material. If scientists find compounds that bind to the spike, they could potentially stop the virus from infecting host cells.

So far, the computer has identified 77 compounds that may potentially be used and has ranked them according to how likely they are to bind to the spike protein of the coronavirus. The research has been published in the journal ChemRxiv.

Mar 20 07:34

Surveillance State Seizes Coronavirus Pandemic as Opportunity to Expand

Following the advice of Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste,” the Surveillance Hawks in both government and Big Tech are seizing the “opportunity” provided by the coronavirus pandemic to increase surveillance of citizens.

The Washington Post is reporting:

The U.S. government is in active talks with Facebook, Google and a wide array of tech companies and health experts about how they can use location data gleaned from Americans’ phones to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.

Mar 19 03:17

Move Over, Sex Dolls! New 'Touchable' 3D Holograms Poised to Revolutionise Entertainment

The creative implementation of ultrasound in the new invention effectively allows a user to interact with a hologram at a tactile level, if the reports about this technology are to be believed.

It seems that the realm of adult entertainment may be in for some significant changes in the near future, thanks to a new advancement that lets a person interact with a digital projection on a physical level, the Daily Star reports.

According to the newspaper, a team of researchers from the University of Sussex led by Dr. Ryuji Hirayama has succeeded in creating holograms that can be touched, essentially producing "a true virtual reality" which one can experience without the need for special gloves and goggles.

Mar 19 03:14

INSIDE THE MILITARY'S TOP SECRET PLANS IF CORONAVIRUS CRIPPLES THE GOVERNMENT

Even as President Trump says he tested negative for coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic raises the fear that huge swaths of the executive branch or even Congress and the Supreme Court could also be disabled, forcing the implementation of "continuity of government" plans that include evacuating Washington and "devolving" leadership to second-tier officials in remote and quarantined locations.

But Coronavirus is also new territory, where the military itself is vulnerable and the disaster scenarios being contemplated -- including the possibility of widespread domestic violence as a result of food shortages -- are forcing planners to look at what are called "extraordinary circumstances".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I do not know if this kind of "contingency martial law" scares the hell out of you; because it certainly scares the hell out of me.

What occurs to me is that wonderful line so beloved by Rahm Emanuel; "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

We are looking at draconian controls over Americans, the like of which we have never seen in our lifetimes.

And one has to wonder if the worst case scenario comes from the Covid 19 per se, or the controls which are being contemplated, to be thrown at US society.

Mar 18 20:35

Ransomware Protection

Mar 18 19:17

A sneaky attempt to end encryption is worming its way through Congress

The EARN IT Act could give law enforcement officials the backdoor they have long wanted — unless tech companies come together to stop it

Mar 18 12:04

Data of millions of eBay and Amazon shoppers exposed

Researchers have discovered another big database containing millions of European customer records left unsecured on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for anyone to find using a search engine.

A total of eight million records were involved, collected via marketplace and payment system APIs belonging to companies including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, PayPal, and Stripe.

Discovered by Comparitech’s noted breach hunter Bob Diachenko, the AWS instance containing the MongoDB database became visible on 3 February, where it remained indexable by search engines for five days.

Data in the records included names, shipping addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, items purchased, payments, order IDs, links to Stripe and Shopify invoices, and partially redacted credit cards.

Also included were thousands of Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS) queries, an MWS authentication token, and an AWS access key ID.

Mar 18 06:46

NETANYAHU GIVES HIMSELF BROAD PHONE TAPPING POWERS TO FIGHT "INVISIBLE ENEMY" CORONAVIRUS

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
Over the weekend we noted with alarm that the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now tapping counter-terror forces and technology to fight the "invisible enemy" of the coronavorus - as Netanyahu put it in a Saturday address.

“We will very soon begin using technology... digital means that we have been using in order to fight terrorism,” Netanyahu had said. Among these new "emergency measures" include broader domestic phone tapping powers as part of the counter-terror technology initiative, as AP reports:

Netanyahu’s Cabinet on Sunday authorized the Shin Bet security agency to use its phone-snooping tactics on coronavirus patients, an official confirmed, despite concerns from civil-liberties advocates that the practice would raise serious privacy issues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why do I get the feeling that government leadership is not all that concerned with actually controlling the spread of the virus, per se, but controlling the people the virus may effect?!?

Remember that phrase so adored by Rahm Emanuel, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."?!?

I think we are going to see that, writ large, by many governments around the world, in the coming weeks and months, under the "excuse" of controlling the virus.

Mar 17 19:01

Windows 10 Update Problems: Performance Issues, Boot Failures Arise Again

Windows Latest today reported that KB4551762 appears to have caused performance issues, boot failures and other problems on some PCs. The update failed to install on some systems, too, and we suspect we'll see complaints about other problems as the update continues to reach more Windows 10 users.

Mar 17 18:32

YouTube warns more videos than usual could be removed as content moderation is automated amid coronavirus outbreak

YouTube has warned creators they could see more videos than usual being removed from the platform, as a result of its employees being told to work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

YouTube announced Monday that its video review process will be "temporarily" more automated, relying more on machine-learning tools instead of its bevy of human content moderators. Google, YouTube's parent company, has ordered most of its nearly 120,000 employees to work remotely as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.

Mar 17 04:04

Department of Health and Human Services 'is hit by a cyber attack' during coronavirus response

The Department of Health and Human Services is thought to have been hit by a cyber attack during its response to the coronavirus over the weekend.

Sources told Bloomberg the incident was targeted at slowing their systems but did not do so.

It forced the National Security Council to tweet late on Sunday night: 'Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown.

Mar 15 05:00

'Entirely Wrong': Google Slams Trump Claims of Nationwide COVID-19 Screening Website

On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency in an attempt to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the US. During a press conference he claimed that Google was working with his administration to develop a website that would assist people in determining whether they need to test for the virus and where to go to receive a diagnosis.

Tech giant Google refuted US President Donald Trump’s claims that the company is collaborating with the president's administration to build out a website that would assist Americans in screening for the coronavirus, according to WIRED.

According to the media report, citing an unnamed source, company officials were surprised by the president’s announcement, which is, according to the source, "entirely wrong".

Mar 13 08:44

State-sponsored hackers are now using coronavirus lures to infect their targets

Government-backed hacking groups from China, North Korea, and Russia are not letting a global pandemic go to waste and have begun using coronavirus-based phishing lures as part of their efforts to infect victims with malware and gain access to their infrastructure.

During the past weeks, the cyber-security community has seen state-sponsored hackers from China, North Korea, and Russia attempt these tactics.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How does anyone know these hackers are state-backed?

Mar 12 14:41

Airports To Use Self-Service Facial Recognition Luggage Check-In Kiosks

By MassPrivateI

A recent article in CBS Los Angeles revealed that the Los Angeles International Airport will allow airline passengers to check their own luggage using self-service kiosks.

Despite being purposely vague about how self-service luggage kiosks are being used to identify airline passengers, they did at least acknowledge that they plan to use facial recognition at some point...

Mar 12 05:20

Chelsea Manning hospitalized after suicide attempt

The attempt came just days before she was scheduled to appear in court over sanctions related to an investigation of Julian Assange.

The activist and whistleblower Chelsea Manning attempted suicide on Wednesday, her legal team said in a news release.

The statement came only a few days before Manning was scheduled to appear at a court hearing on whether sanctions imposed on her after she refused to comply with a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should continue. Manning came to national attention after she leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks and was court-martialed for violating the Espionage Act.

Manning has claimed that the grand jury investigation was potentially open to abuse, writing in 2019 that it was “an effort to frighten journalists and publishers, who serve a crucial public good.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A note to all her jailors, and the powers wishing to keep her in prison; this woman will die before she breaks trust on Assange; making a martyr of her; any further isolation in jail, is probably the most stupid thing you could possibly do right now, which makes it imminent.

Mar 12 05:02

BP TO TURN SMART CITIES INTO 24/7 REAL-TIME LISTENING DEVICES USING FIBER OPTIC CABLES

credit: Fotech

A recent article in Offshore-Technology revealed that British Petroleum (BP) bought a majority interest in a fiber optic innovation company called Fotech.

Why would anyone care about BP buying Fotech?

Because Fotech "uses artificial intelligence and edge computing in its products, covering areas such as surveillance, transport management, cable monitoring and rail management."

Roughly translated, they use fiber optic cables to surveil vehicles, people, pipe lines, public transit, etc.

Fotech's "products" page reveals how they plan to turn smart cities into real-rime listening devices using "Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS)."

Mar 12 04:46

New EU rules that could mark the end of 'throwaway culture' and e-waste will force tech companies including Apple and Samsung to make products that last longer and are easy to repair

Smartphone owners are being given new rights to have their device repaired under laws introduced by the EU that could put an end to 'throwaway culture'.

Manufacturers will made to fix broken electronic devices under the EU’s new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), which will also cover the UK despite Brexit.

The plan, unveiled on Wednesday by the European Commission, will give Europeans ‘the right to repair’ by making devices easier to fix.

The laws, which will also apply to tablets, laptops and printers, focus on a more circular economy – where electronic resources are kept in use as long as possible.

Mar 11 09:23

Details about new SMB wormable bug leak in Microsoft Patch Tuesday snafu

Details about a new "wormable" vulnerability in the Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) protocol have accidentally leaked online today during the preamble to Microsoft's regular Patch Tuesday update cycle.

No technical details have been published, but short summaries describing the bug have been posted on the websites of two cyber-security firms, Cisco Talos and Fortinet.

The security flaw, tracked as CVE-2020-0796, is not included with this month's March 2020 Patch Tuesday updates, and it's unclear when it will be patched.

Mar 11 09:01

Whisper app which lets people make anonymous confessions online leaves database of 900 MILLION messages exposed with personal data that could leave users open to blackmail

Nearly 900 million confessions and secrets posted to the app Whisper were left exposed on a non-password-protect database open to the public internet.

Although messages were not tied to real names, 'a user's stated age, ethnicity, gender, hometown, nickname and any membership in groups, many of which are devoted to sexual confessions and discussion of sexual orientation and desires' were visible, according to The Washington Post.

The public was able to browse and search through the records, many of which were posted by children – The Post found 1.3 million results were connected to users who listed their age as just 15 years old.

The database was discovered by the advisory group Twelve Security, which said the personal information tied to the messages was enough 'to unmask or blackmail' the user who shared the post.

Mar 10 15:48

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones arrested for DWI in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — (AP) — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was arrested in Texas on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated, authorities said Tuesday.

Mar 10 08:23

Apple: This is how you should disinfect your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

But don't mess it up, because liquid damage isn't covered under Apple warranty or AppleCare.

Mar 10 05:39

Apple Suffers "Doomsday" Plunge In iPhone Shipments Across China

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives called the decline of iPhone sales in China a "doomsday type" like decline. Ives said the fall was an "unprecedented" drop and was "not surprising given the essential lockdown that most of China saw" in February.

Wedbush expects Chinese demand to come back online in the second half of the year.

Mar 09 12:23

Hackers can clone millions of Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia keys

Over the past few years, owners of cars with keyless start systems have learned to worry about so-called relay attacks, in which hackers exploit radio-enabled keys to steal vehicles without leaving a trace. Now it turns out that many millions of other cars that use chip-enabled mechanical keys are also vulnerable to high-tech theft. A few cryptographic flaws combined with a little old-fashioned hot-wiring—or even a well-placed screwdriver—lets hackers clone those keys and drive away in seconds.

Mar 09 12:18

Why downloading this Windows 10 update could be a serious mistake

However, it seems KB4535996 is inadvertently causing a number of problems on some PCs that install it. As noted by Windows Latest, these range from frame drops when playing games to being greeted with Windows 10’s Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

Discussing the latest cumulative update on Reddit, one user said: “It's not extreme, but I say my frame rate in games has gone down 10 frames or so and stuttering occurs once in a while. After uninstalling the cumulative update, everything was fine. Weird.”

A different user, posting on Microsoft’s Community forum, posted: “Newest update KB4535996 is crashing machines. Makes the machines lock up and blue screen at log in screens. Not able to get into any safe mode and uninstall this update. Forcing rebuild and GPO's to block this particular update. Microsoft says they haven’t heard of any problems. However when you search the web there is a slew of issues just from this optional update.”

Mar 09 12:16

PC Won't Stay in Sleep Mode: Windows 10 Update Blamed

How much can an optional Windows 10 update break? It's starting to seem like Microsoft tried to find out with the KB4535996 update, because Windows Latest reported Saturday that the update has prevented certain devices from staying in sleep mode.

The report cited numerous complaints from Windows 10 users who installed the KB4535996 update. Some claimed the update stopped their devices from going into sleep mode at all; others said it automatically woke up their devices every few hours.

Mar 09 09:32

Vimeo Censors my Interview, In Which Catherine Austin Fitts and I Discuss Coronavirus and Vaccines

By Jon Rappoport

To boil it down: a video was posted, then it was censored. Removed. Deleted. By Vimeo. On March 4. Bang.

Why? Because you’re not supposed to know what was discussed in the video.

It might give you a wrong idea.

You might infer something you shouldn’t. You can’t handle making up your own mind. You have to feed at the official and approved public trough for truth. Truth is defined for you by those in charge of Knowing. You’re a pawn who must be controlled, for your own good. That’s why Vimeo took down the video...

Mar 09 09:10

Unfixable flaw in nearly all Intel chips released in the last five years could allow cyber criminals to hijack computers and wreak 'utter chaos'

An unfixable flaw present in nearly all Intel chips released in the last five years could allow cyber criminals to hijack computers and wreak 'utter chaos', an expert warns.

The vulnerability arises because a security feature designed to protect malicious edits to the computer's random-access memory does not launch quickly enough.

This creates a brief window of time in which hackers can run malicious code on start-up, with full system privileges, and bypass other security features.

Although Intel has released patches to make the weakness harder to exploit, the nature of the flaw means that it will likely not be possible to provide full protection.

Mar 09 06:43

Former DHS watchdogs charged in software and data theft

The Department of Justice announced it has indicted Charles K. Edwards, a former acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, and one of his former subordinates for allegedly stealing software and confidential databases from the U.S. government.

According to a DOJ press release, both Edwards and Murali Yamazula Venkata are accused of carrying out a scheme between October 2014 and April 2017 to steal confidential and proprietary software and databases containing personally identifiable information of DHS and U.S. Postal Services employees from the DHS Inspector General's Office. Edwards, who left his post in December 2013, allegedly struck a deal with Venkata to steal the software and records to underpin a new, enhanced version of the system that he planned to sell back to DHS IG and the Department of Agriculture.

Mar 08 04:31

Women's Day: PM Narendra Modi 'signs off' from twitter, hands over his social media accounts to seven women achievers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (March 8) greeted the nation on International Women’s Day and signed off from Twitter, handing over his social media accounts to seven women achievers to celebrate the special day.
"Greetings on International Women’s Day! We salute the spirit and accomplishments of our Nari Shakti. As I’d said a few days ago, I’m signing off. Through the day, seven women achievers will share their life journeys and perhaps interact with you through my social media accounts," tweeted PM Modi.

Mar 07 15:47

Post-Coronavirus Future? Injectable Biosensors, A.I. Virus Detection, Robots and a Cashless Society

By Aaron Kesel

As a result of the coronavirus, we are witnessing a push towards injectable sensors for virus detection, Orwellian surveillance, A.I. and robots, as well as a call to quarantine U.S. fiat money coming out of China due to its potential to spread the virus...

Next year, if the FDA approves it, a military biosensor designed by Profusa and backed by DARPA could help spot new infections weeks before symptoms begin to even show...

Mar 07 05:35

Virgin Media Breach: Company Linked Customers to Porn and Shock Sites

Virgin is Britain’s second largest telecommunications firm and it is believed that the breach is the biggest the country has seen in recent years. However, representatives from the firm say that it does not pose a risk to customers.

A breach of Virgin Media’s database has exposed customers’ contact details to porn, gambling, and shock sites. The UK company revealed on Thursday that personal information from 900,000 customers was available online from 29 April 2019 to 28 February 2020 and was accessed at least once by an unknown person. It also said the breach had occurred due to an incorrectly configured marketing database, which it blamed on a negligent staff member.

Speaking at a press conference CEO Lutz Schuler urged customers to remain calm and said that the data was not stolen. "There is no evidence that the data taken has been used in the wrong way. We want to avoid any panic".

Mar 06 13:39

NEWS/ASIA PACIFICFighting in Rakhine, Chin states rages as Myanmar limits internet

Yangon, Myanmar - Continued fighting between Myanmar's military and the Arakan Army armed group has left several people dead in recent days as the government continues a clampdown on the western region.

Activists and journalists have decried the internet blackout the government has imposed as part of the clampdown as a violation of human rights.

More:
Myanmar violence: Thousands displaced by fresh fighting
Students injured in shelling at school in Myanmar's Rakhine state
UN urged to suspend Myanmar return plan for Chin amid unrest
Reports on Tuesday said at least 11 civilians, including five Muslim Rohingya, had been killed after being caught in the hostilities in Rakhine, a western state that is home to more than three million people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I never used to think, that I would ever have to say, "watch out, folks, here comes a highly nationalistic Buddhist Army, ready to exterminate the Muslim Rohingya in their country!!"

Unfortunately, Myanmar, and its military, has proven me wrong on this one.

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