COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Oct 11 06:59

'Free Speech': Trump Campaign Defends WikiLeaks' Release of Hacked DNC Emails

A lawsuit filed in September by two donors and an ex-employee from the Democratic Party alleged that President Donald Trump’s team had purportedly conspired with Russia to release emails ostensibly stolen from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

In a motion to dismiss a new lawsuit, the Trump campaign, represented by lawyers from the firm Jones Day, turned to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to state that WikiLeaks couldn’t be held “liable” for publishing Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails because the whistleblowing website served as an “intermediary” for other parties’ information.

“A website that provides a forum where ‘third parties can post information’ is not liable for the third party’s posted information. Since WikiLeaks provided a forum for a third party (the unnamed “Russian actors”) to publish content developed by that third party (the hacked emails), it cannot be held liable for the publication,” the motion read.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The emails were not hacked, they were leaked.

Oct 10 18:14

“Smart” Playgrounds Emerge While Reports Indicate Kids Already Suffer From Too Much Tech

By B.N. Frank

So when communities install and promote “Smart” Playgrounds as a way to get kids to go outside and play, it sounds more like a skit on Saturday Night Live than something that’s actually happening. But it's no joke...

Oct 10 17:52

Leaked Google Document Advises to “Police Tone Instead of Content” in the “Shift Towards Censorship”

By Aaron Kesel

Another Google document has found its way into the public domain, this time through Breitbart. The news publication reports that an 85-page briefing entitled “The Good Censor,” advises tech companies to “police tone instead of content” and to not “take sides” when censoring users.

This must be why Activist Post remains censored on YouTube and the wrongful suspension still hasn’t been removed, along with other accounts that were removed, or further why Iran has had 39 YouTube channels deleted. It must be Google’s “new position as ‘moderators in chief.'” (page 70)

The document, which can be read in full at Breitbart, admits in writing that big Silicon Valley companies including Google have shifted toward censoring users, moving away from their original values. Moreover, the mission to “create an unmediated ‘marketplace of ideas'” has become a plan by tech companies to “create well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.” (page 67)...

Oct 10 14:22

Intel Stands Behind Controversial Tests That Favored Its CPU Over AMD's

It's a basic rule of benchmarking. When you're comparing two competing products, you need to make all the testing conditions -- especially the settings -- as similar as possible. Otherwise, you're just comparing apples to crab apples, which is what may have happened in a recent benchmark report that showed Intel's new Core i9-9900K outperforming AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X in several games.

As part of its Coffee Lake Refresh launch, Intel paid test firm Principled Technologies to benchmark its new processors and compare them to chips in AMD's current lineup (PDF). However, Hardware Unboxed spotted a few test conditions that obviously could skew the results in favor of Intel's processor, including using a less-capable CPU cooler on AMD's chip, overclocking the RAM on Intel's platform only, and disabling half the cores on an AMD Ryzen processor.

Oct 10 14:17

TRANSCRIPT: GOOGLE LIED ABOUT ‘DRAGONFLY’

The transcript, according to The Intercept, was from a July 18 conversation involving Google’s search engine chief, Ben Gomes, regarding the development of a censored search engine for China that would “blacklist phrases” including:

• human rights,

• student protest, and

• Nobel Prize.

Oct 10 13:23

The Man Who Saved VoIP - Naomi Brockwell


In the early days of the internet there was a danger that parts of the internet would be regulated out of existence. One man who fought this, @jeffpulver, shares his insight about how blockchain now faces a similar threat

Oct 10 11:10

Sexist AI: Amazon ditches recruitment tool that turned out to be anti-women

Investigations into the cause of the gender imbalance found that the data which fed the algorithm was based on ten years of resumes sent to the company. The vast majority of which were submitted by men.

The algorithm in turn learned to dismiss female candidates as a negative leading to its sexist scoring system.

Oct 10 10:48

Google Lied About "Dragonfly" China Censorship Project According To Leaked Transcript

The project, code-named Dragonfly, would blacklist phrases like "human rights," "student protest," and "Nobel Prize," and has resulted in at least seven Google employees quitting for ethical reasons. Other employees have circulated a letter recognizing a "code yellow" emergency, suggesting that the Dragonfly initiative violates Google's ethical code, which states that the company will not build or deploy technologies "whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights," according to The Intercept.

The project has also drawn criticism from human rights groups, congressional legislators and Vice President Mike Pence - who called on the search engine giant to "immediately end development of the Dragonfly app that will strengthen the Communist Party’s censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers."

Google, meanwhile, lied in their attempts to downplay the project.

Oct 10 09:49

Report: Pentagon Weapons Systems Are At Risk Of Cyberattacks

Almost all of the Pentagon's newer weapons are vulnerable to cyberattacks. The threat was revealed in a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Tuesday.

The Department of Defense's newest weapons systems went through cybersecurity tests from 2012-2017. Many of the testers, posing as hackers, were able to easily guess DOD login information — some passwords had reportedly never been changed from their factory settings. One team guessed an administrator password in less than 10 seconds.

The GAO found hackers only needed "simple tools and techniques ... to take control of systems and largely operate undetected."

It also found the DOD failed to fix cybersecurity threats that were identified in earlier tests, allowing hackers to exploit them again. A report on one assessment showed only one out of 20 vulnerabilities had been fixed since the last test.

Oct 10 09:48

Homeland In-security? 'Entire generation' of US weapons easily hackable

A report from the US Government Accountability Office paints a grim picture of American military security – or the lack thereof. A host of American weapons can easily be hacked, either due to tech issues or human incompetence.
The GAO report draws on 30 years of Department of Defense data and interviews with dozens of military officials to reveal a broad range of cybersecurity flaws in the world’s most high-tech military apparatus. Security holes were found both in aging systems and systems still under development, suggesting the problem is systemic.

The vulnerabilities are surprisingly low-tech for a country that spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined. Many security flaws involved weak passwords and unencrypted network traffic. Others suggested a poor understanding of network security by military technicians.

DOD likely has an entire generation of systems that were designed and built without adequately considering cybersecurity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That would certainly explain the debacle with the USS Donald Cook.

Oct 10 09:03

Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China

It was Wednesday, July 18, and Gomes was addressing a team of Google employees who were working on a secretive project to develop a censored search engine for China, which would blacklist phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize.”

“You have taken on something extremely important to the company,” Gomes declared, according to a transcript of his comments obtained by The Intercept. “I have to admit it has been a difficult journey. But I do think a very important and worthwhile one. And I wish ourselves the best of luck in actually reaching our destination as soon as possible.”

Gomes joked about the unpredictability of President Donald Trump and groaned about the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, which has slowed down Google’s negotiations with Communist Party officials in Beijing, whose approval Google requires to launch the censored search engine.

Oct 10 09:00

World's largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing

Yet another IoT device vendor has been found to be exposing their products to attackers with basic security lapses.

This time, it's Chinese surveillance camera maker Xiongmai who was named and shamed by researchers with SEC Consult for the poor security in the XMEye P2P Cloud service. Among the problems researchers pointed to were exposed default credentials and unsigned firmware updates that could be delivered via the service.

As a result, SEC Consult warns, the cameras could be compromised to do everything from spy on their owners, to carry out botnet instructions and even to serve as an entry point for larger network intrusions.

Oct 10 08:56

US may have by far the world's biggest military budget but it's not showing in security

If you were worried about the state of US military security systems you might not want to read the latest audit. with such frequency, there was no reason to suspect an attack.

A “red teamer” cracked into a US Department of Defense system and rebooted it, but nobody noticed: the system suffered unexplained crashes. In another case, testers “caused a pop-up message to appear on users’ terminals instructing them to insert two quarters to continue operating.”

That and a thousand other delicious details can be found in a report the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released October 9, “Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities”.

Oct 10 08:48

Opinion: Two Windows 10 feature updates a year is too many

The idea of delivering two full Windows 10 upgrades every year sounds great on paper. In practice, the Windows 10 upgrade cycle has been unnecessarily disruptive, especially to home users who don't have the technical skills to deal with those updates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dear Microblorch. Frankly, I would like to spend far less time updating and patching and more time getting real work done.

Oct 10 08:47

Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

There's still a mystery about why Microsoft let Windows 10 October update ship with the bug, because it was reported by testers of Insider releases in June and August.

Here's the June complaint: “Yesterday morning my dev laptop upgraded to insider preview build 17692. When I logged in, I was surprised to see that C:\Users\me\Documents<\code> contained only "desktop.ini'.”

Sound familiar? It certainly did to the 57 other Insiders who clicked: “I have the same question."

And in August, another user upgraded to “Evaluation Copy Build 17713.rs5_release. 180706-1551” and also lost files – and 167 other users made the same report.

Oct 10 08:10

Google's secret plan to censor the internet: Giant wants tech companies to police what users post, leaked report reveals

The 85-page paper, leaked by a Google employee, claims that cyber harassment, racism and people venting their frustrations are 'eroding' free speech online.

It says that the ability to post anonymously has 'empowered' online commenters to express their views 'recklessly' and 'with abandon'.

Censoring the internet could make comment sections safer and more civil for everyone, the report concludes.

In response to the leak, Google insisted the document was not company policy, though it admitted the research was something being considered by top bosses.

Internet rights advocates said that censoring online debate risks hampering free speech and creating an environment in which the views of some groups are not tolerated by big technology firms.

Oct 09 10:45

Tech workers are downing tools and refusing to work on unethical projects

Tech workers are in demand: companies find it easier to raise cash than to hire engineers; this gives workers enormous bargaining power, and they're using it.

From the Google uprisings over a Pentagon babykiller project and a Chinese surveillance project to the Microsoft uprising over ICE contracts, tech workers are emerging as part of the solution -- while their secretive, shareholder-haunted bosses are more and more the problem.

It's part of a wider movement to formulate an ethical basis for technical work (here's a list of more than 200 university tech ethics syllabi) and a sense among established and new engineers that their work has an all-important ethical dimension.

Oct 09 10:34

Genius Bar caught ripping customer off ON CAMERA by CBC News

Oct 09 10:33

Israeli firm pitched social media manipulation to Trump campaign — report

An Israeli firm under investigation by the FBI was approached by a senior official from Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to use social media manipulation on Trump’s behalf and against his rivals, including by creating thousands of fake online identities, according to a report Monday.

Psy-Group created several secretive proposals for the Trump campaign at the behest of Rick Gates, who has since pleaded guilty and offered to cooperate with the FBI probe into foreign meddling in the US election, The New York Times reported.

Oct 09 10:28

Report: Google to pay Apple $9 billion to remain default search engine on Safari

Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs has estimated (via Business Insider, registration req’d) that Google will pay a whopping $9 billion to remain the default search engine for Apple’s Safari browser. The report also estimated that the number could grow by $3 billion to $12 billion over the next year.

From $1 billion to $9 billion in four years. In 2014, court documents in Oracle’s copyright suit against Google, asserted that “Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014.” Wall Street firms had estimated the number at between $1 to $1.3 billion at the time.

But 2017 third party estimates had put the the figure that Google pays Apple at $3 billion. There’s uncertainty and disagreement about whether it’s a straight fee based on traffic or query volume or whether there’s a revenue share on ad revenue generated by Safari as part of the agreement.

Oct 09 09:05

CHINESE SPY CHIP HOAX

Recently, a story about a special chip “the size of a grain of rice” that China allegedly put in countless electronic items to spy on everyone made the MSM rounds. Perhaps a few dolts in alt media also ran this. I have been thinking of a perfect way to debunk this crap. I have it.

If this spy chip is in your iPhone, then whoever produced the story will have it identified and be able to tell you the part designation and where it is on the circuit board. A part “the size of a grain of rice” is an ENORMOUS part for an iPhone; all parts except for the main processor are smaller than a grain of rice, and a grain of rice is much thicker than any circuit board in an iPhone, so it ought to be pretty easy to find. But you won’t find it because the story is a hoax.

Oct 09 09:03

Apple under fire for allegations of controversial business practices

Oct 09 08:44

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft has taken the unprecedented step of pulling a Windows 10 release a mere four days after its arrival amid a clamour of users complaining about files not being where they had left them.

Windows Insider supremo Dona Sarkar took to Twitter to announce that Windows fans would no longer be able to get their hands on the afflicted build. Redmond said the automatic rollout would also be paused until it works out just what in blue blazes is going on.

Oct 08 19:04

Apple fixes 'chargegate' bug that left iPhone XS users unable to charge when their screen was off

Apple has issued an update to its iOS software to fix a bug that left some users unable to charge their phones.

iPhone users were reporting a bug that means their devices do not charge when plugged in, with the new XS and XS Max handsets among those said to be affected.

Today the firm released a new update, iOS 12.01, to address the issue.

Oct 08 15:12

Schools Pushing For Police-Grade Surveillance Technology To "Protect" Students

By Aaron Kesel

After the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, schools across the U.S. are installing police-grade surveillance “gunshot-detection systems,” metal detectors and even biometric locks requiring facial recognition or a person’s iris, The Atlantic reported.

Hermosa Elementary in Artesia, New Mexico, has installed a network of wireless microphones that can analyze the audio signature of gunfire...

Oct 08 12:11

The Government Is Blacklisting People Based on Predictions of Future Crimes

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project

Imagine: You’ve never been charged with any crime, yet the government blacklists you as a terrorism threat and bans you from flying indefinitely. You’re separated from family members, can’t get to weddings or funerals or religious obligations, and lose jobs because you can’t travel or your employer finds out you’re blacklisted.

You know what the government has done violates your constitutionally protected ability to travel and to be free from false stigma. You have rights — the Constitution guarantees due process. So you ask the government for its reasons and evidence, as well as a live hearing to establish your credibility and innocence. In response, the government says it put you on the No Fly List because it predicts that you might commit a violent terrorism act in the future, but it won’t tell you all the reasons why or give you any evidence or the hearing you seek.

This is the Kafkaesque nightmare...

Oct 08 10:57

Are wireless voting machines vulnerable? Florida, other states say they’re safe enough

Barely a month before midterm elections, voting integrity advocates and electronic voting experts want the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated cellular modems that the machines are vulnerable to hacks, potentially interfering with the ballot counting.

Once seen as a useful tool to provide quick election results, voting machines with cellular modems are now subject to fierce debate over how easy it would be to break into them and change the results.

Such machines are certified for use in Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you have not seen the documentary "Hacking Democracy", now, right before our midterms, would be a great time to see what is has to say on fraudulent election results.

Oct 08 08:59

Creating National Biometric System for Patient Matching Will Threaten Privacy and Security

By Natural Blaze

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Pew Research Center last week released a new public opinion report on “patient matching,” a term which is simply a less-offensive moniker for “national patient ID,” says Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF).

Pew led off the study with this dubious claim about developing a national system of patient identification: “Enhanced Patient Matching Is Critical to Achieving Full Promise of Digital Health Records.” However, problems abound with both the idea of pushing a national patient ID strategy to link patient data and the proposed use of a national infrastructure to collect and store the biometrics of Americans, such as their DNA, fingerprints or iris scans...

Oct 08 08:28

Facebook is hit by a new viral hoax message that falsely tells users their account has been 'cloned' by cyber criminals and to forward on the message to ALL of their friends

The scam message reads: 'Hi....I actually got another friend request from you yesterday...which I ignored so you may want to check your account.

'Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears...then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too....I had to do the people individually. Good Luck!'

Facebook said there is no virus attached to the message, and advised users to simply delete it if they receive it.

Oct 08 08:27

Facebook's UK tax bill triples to £15.8m despite making £1.2bn AND the social media giant will get an immediate cut thanks to a tax credit

Facebook has been handed its biggest ever UK tax bill - but the tech giant has already managed to slash it by millions by claiming tax relief, it was revealed today.

The social network's corporation tax demand from the Treasury tripled to £15.8million in 2017 but it only had to pay £7.4million, new accounts show.

The reduction came despite British revenues going up a third from £842million to an extraordinary £1.2billion last year and record profits of £62million in those 12 months – up from £58million.

The company, run by Mark Zuckerberg, managed to cut its tax bill by 46 per cent after it awarded shares to its employees.

Oct 08 08:16

The UK is practicing cyberattacks that could black out Moscow

British defense officials say they have practiced cyber war games that could shut off electricity in Russia’s capital, the Sunday Times (paywall) reports.

The measures are part of a wider range of strategies to hit back at an increasingly assertive Russia—accused of interfering with US elections, cyberattacks on Western targets, and poisoning a former spy on UK soil—without resorting to a full-blown nuclear attack.

“If they sank our aircraft carrier with a nuclear-tipped torpedo, what is our response? There’s nothing between sinking their submarine and dropping a nuclear weapon on northern Kamchatka,” one senior source told the Sunday Times. “This is why cyber is so important; you can go on the offensive and turn off the lights in Moscow to tell them that they are not doing the right things.”

Oct 08 07:42

Microsoft halts rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 Update: What happens next?

Only days after releasing its latest feature update to Windows 10, Microsoft abruptly stopped the rollout and pulled the new version from its download servers as it investigates "isolated reports" of a data-destroying bug. What should you do now?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Next, we restore product liability so that customers can sue companies that do not take the trouble to make sure their products are working perfectly before they are released to the public!

Oct 07 20:08

Bookmark This: Over 400 Links Google Doesn’t Want You To Visit

whatreally happened.com is #4 on Google's Hit Parade!

The war on truth has reached a fever pitch as Google has made it their mission to annihilate the independent media. The ‘New Media’ lead by the likes of Infowars, Breitbart, Natural News and many other great independent sites will have an uphill battle when it comes to getting their content in front of readers. Google has announced they will be doubling down on their ‘Orwellian’ practice of making stories disappear from their monopolistic search engine. Outlined in their Gestapo like 160-page handbook, Google describes exactly how they plan to suppress any information they deem unfit for readers. Highlighted at the bottom of page 108 Google states:
Drudgereport.com

Breitbart.com

Infowars.com

SteveQuayle.com

Whatreallyhappened.com

Rense.com

Blacklistednews.com

Thefreethoughtsproject.com

Oct 07 18:03

Instagram tests controversial new privacy setting that shares your location with Facebook to serve targeted ads - even when the app is closed

Instagram is testing a tool that would allow it to share users' location data with Facebook, even if the app has been shut down.

The data, which could include a user's exact GPS coordinates, would be shared with Facebook to help it serve up targeted advertisements, according to TechCrunch.

Even though it's still in the prototype stages, news of the feature has exacerbated fears that Instagram is taking a page from its parent company, Facebook, by going after users personal data.

Oct 07 18:01

Former Google boss launches scathing Silicon Valley attack urging tech giants to end the delusion that it's making the world a better place

Jessica Powell said she had become tired of defending the company in her role as its top PR chief.

‘This is an industry that takes itself far too seriously, and its own responsibility not seriously enough,’ she added.

‘I want Silicon Valley to end the self-delusion and either fess up to the reality we are creating, or live up to the vision we market to the world each day. Because if you’re going to tell people you’re their saviour, you better be ready to be held to a higher standard.’

Oct 06 23:36

Several Issues with Smart Device Addiction

Has it ever occurred to you that the constant use of modern “smart” technologies and devices in our everyday life is gradually turning us into unreflecting or even silly people? Let’s look into 5 main examples of the issues stemming from deleterious addiction to the routine use of contemporary technologies and gadgets.

What are the risks of becoming addicted to smart devices?

The modern cutting-edge technologies, numerous applications for mobile devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) on the whole are causing us to become addicted to smartphones and the like. Although these contrivances are intended to make people’s lives easier and free up time, excessive dependence on smartphones is dangerous because it makes us helpless when they are not at hand. You can overcome this addiction just like any other problem, but it takes quite a bit of effort to do it.

5 examples demonstrating that addiction to smart technologies is a problem:

Oct 06 11:28

Canadian Music Group Proposes ‘Copyright Tax’ on Internet Use

In Canada, there have been ongoing discussions and proposals about new levies and fees to compensate creators for 'missed revenue.' There have been calls to levy a tax on mobile devices such as iPhones, for example. This week the Screen Composers Guild of Canada took things up a notch, calling for a copyright levy on all broadband data use above 15 gigabytes per month.

Oct 06 10:48

Your Cell Phone is a Psychotronic Weapon of Mass Mind Control

Your cell phone is a psychotronic weapon. That means that your cell phone CAN read and control and probably IS reading and controlling your mind.

Oct 06 10:47

5G Network Uses Same EMF Waves as Pentagon Crowd Control System

The new cell network uses high band radio frequency millimeter waves to deliver high bandwidth data to any device within line of sight.

Oct 06 10:31

Digital activists are fighting to reclaim the web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web back in 1989, when he was working for CERN, "the European Organization for Nuclear Research [where] physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe." At his urging, CERN put the technology into the public domain, rather than trying to monetize it.

"On 30 April 1993 CERN put the World Wide Web software in the public domain. CERN made the next release available with an open licence, as a more sure way to maximize its dissemination. Through these actions (making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code) the web was allowed to flourish."

Oct 06 09:51

TSA Facial Recognition Experiment Receives 85% Accuracy Rate

The TSA is using facial recognition technology with a “biometric confirmation” rate of 85% for testing purposes at airports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expected to complete a 30-day test next month testing the use of facial recognition technology at Los Angeles International Airport, the LA Times reported.

The DHS, (Department of Homeland Security) desires to use facial recognition technology to better track and record approximately 1 million foreign travelers who each year enter and exit the United States, with a rough estimate of 300,000 traveling by plane.

During test programs at Boston, Houston, New York, and Atlanta, travelers were photographed as they prepared to board planes. The cameras then used facial recognition technology to match up the passengers’ faces with data collected by the federal government on each foreign national who entered the country.

Oct 06 09:50

The NSA Wouldn't Let Us in This Building (But We Found Out What's Inside)

Oct 05 17:53

California Is Making It Illegal for Devices to Have Shitty Default Passwords

Under the new law, all new internet-connected devices made or sold in California with a default password will be required to make that password unique and secure for every single device. That means no more devices shipped with username/password combos of “admin/admin,” for example. It’s far from a panacea—and really, why aren’t you using a password manager already—but it’s a step towards at least a minimal baseline of security in our internet-of-things addled future.

Oct 05 16:55

#4 on PROJECT CENSORED’s Top 25 List: “How Big Wireless Convinced Us Cell Phones and Wi-Fi are Safe”

By B.N. Frank

Activist Post and many others have already reported about The Nation’s February 2018 article, “How Big Wireless Convinced Us Cell Phones and Wi-Fi are Safe.” It received so much attention that there were follow-up interviews with Mark Hertsgaard...

Oct 05 15:07

Facebook user who uploaded pirated copy of ‘Deadpool’ sentenced

A California man who uploaded a pirated copy of the movie Deadpool to Facebook has been sentenced to three weeks prison. The film was shared to the social media network, shortly after it premiered, where it was viewed 6,386,456 times. The man was indicted following an FBI investigation last year and previously pleaded guilty.

Oct 05 11:16

Could An Artificial Intelligence Be Considered A Person Under The Law?

By Roman V. Yampolskiy, University of Louisville

Humans aren’t the only people in society – at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people, too – without any legislation, court rulings or other revisions to existing law...

Oct 05 11:00

TSA Facial Recognition Experiment Receives 85% Accuracy Rate

By Aaron Kesel

The TSA is using facial recognition technology with a “biometric confirmation” rate of 85% for testing purposes at airports.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is expected to complete a 30-day test next month testing the use of facial recognition technology at Los Angeles International Airport, the LA Times reported...

Oct 05 10:39

Cyber Criminals Can Buy Passports On The Dark Web For As Little As $15, Study Finds

Are you a convicted felon who has dreams of traveling abroad? Or a cybercriminal looking to set up a legitimate bank account into which you can deposit your ill-gotten funds? Then buying a passport off the dark web is an option that you should consider!

But while in the past forged or stolen passports would fetch a hefty sum on the black market, thanks to the modern marvel that is the dark web, prices have fallen significantly. Last month, Comparitech analyzed listings on a handful of illicit marketplaces to try and determine exactly how much a passport or passport scan can fetch in the seediest corners of the Internet. Their analysts scoured marketplaces like Dream Market, Berlusconi Market, Wall Street Market and Tochka Free Market, among others.

During their search, they discovered that passport scans, which are often enough for a scammer or criminal to set up a bank account in another person's name, can be purchased for as little as $15.

Oct 05 08:53

Frankfurt used as remote hacking base for the CIA: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks released a trove of CIA documents on Tuesday that it claimed revealed details of its secret hacking arsenal.

The release included 8,761 documents that it claimed revealed details of "malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation."

The leaks purportedly revealed that a top secret CIA unit used the German city of Frankfurt am Main as the starting point for numerous hacking attacks on Europe, China and the Middle East.

Oct 05 08:40

Lawyer for Clinton campaign and DNC gave FBI documents for Russia probe, sources say

A top lawyer working with the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign contacted the FBI’s general counsel in late 2016 and provided documents for the Russia probe as federal investigators prepared a surveillance warrant for Trump campaign aide Carter Page, sources close to a congressional investigation told Fox News, citing new testimony.

The FBI official who was contacted, James Baker, revealed the exchange to congressional investigators during a closed-door deposition Wednesday. He said Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann initiated contact with him and provided documents as well as computer storage devices on Russian hacking. The sources said Baker described the contact as unusual and the “only time it happened.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF these charges are determined to be true, we could begin to see a great unraveling in DC.

But I am not holding my breath that anyone will be prosecuted, even if these charges prove true.

Oct 05 08:19

MATTIS SAYS RUSSIAN GRU CAUGHT RED-HANDED HACKING OPCW, VOWS CYBER SUPPORT TO ALLIES

Russia is facing new multiple wide-ranging charges of hacking as Western officials on Wednesday alleged its intelligence agencies conducted four high profile cyber attacks, including an attempt to spy on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is the independent body responsible for investigating chemical attacks in Syria and in the UK.

The OPCW is headquartered the Netherlands, and according to breaking reports a group that the Dutch government has alleged are Russian operatives may have been caught red-handed in the act.

Moscow has dismissed the charges as but more "Western spy mania" while leveling its own accusations that the Pentagon is conducting an illegal and dangerous germ and bio-weapons research program near Russia's borders.

The four suspects identified by Dutch officials had diplomatic passports and included two IT experts and two support agents, officials said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The timing of the leveling of these charges, coupled with the very clumsy way in which the evidence was left out for US, Dutch, and NATO operatives to find, and hurtle down the "J'accuse!" was just too cute.

And please remember this; this happened just 24 hours after Mattis had told NATO that he would give them the best of the US's spycraft, if they wanted and needed it.

Things appear to be moving, geopolitically, between Russia, NATO, and the US which is going to lead to war, unless someone mans up, and draws these geopolitical competitors away from the abyss of war. This article from SouthFront, datelined June of this year, demonstrating what NATO and the West's plans are for Ukraine, and what has been done to move that agenda along:

US Involvement in Ukraine: NATO expansion through proxy war

There is a chance, growing exponentially, that NATO and the US are planning to test Moscow with attacks on the breakaway republics, like Donbass, which do not want to submit again to Ukrainian control.

An article appearing in Tass just yesterday seems to confirm this, in a very jarring manner:

Kiev moving air defense systems to contact line in Donbass — Russian OSCE envoy

The timing of this move, I think, may well be gravely significant, and augur
badly for peace in the region.

Then, we have current developments in Syria, which require serious consideration and attention.

This morning, courtesy of blacklistednews.com, we have the following headline:

US Sends Marines into Eastern Syria to join major battle. The article goes on to state:

"US Marines are now being sent into the area to join the ground offensive. Previously, the US was offering only air support. This is the first ground troop deployment of this latest military push.

So we now have documented evidence of US boots on the ground in Syria; it is only a matter of time before we have Russian and Syrian troops tangling with US troops, and there appears to be no deconfliction area for where these troops are fighting.

So, we have one potential theatre of war in and around Ukraine, with the other in Syria, where Israel has vowed to strike again against any Iranian units on the ground might be, in spite of Russia having installed their truly capable S-300 defensive system for the Syrians.

What could possibly go wrong?!?

Bloody everything!!!

Oct 05 07:55

BEX? - 'Intrusion Truth', The Mysterious Group Doxxing China's Hacking Army

An anonymous group calling itself Intrusion Truth has exposed members of APT10, an elite Chinese hacking unit that has targeted aerospace, engineering, and manufacturing firms to steal trade secrets, including from the US government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We are anonymous. Trust us! It's the Chinese!"

Oct 05 07:52

Sudden, unexpected demise of Rethink Robotics shakes up automation industry

Boston-based Rethink Robotics, one of a handful of pioneering companies that led the charge to move industrial robots out of cages and alongside human workers, announced Wednesday it was ceasing operations. The news was largely unexpected and has sent shock waves through the robotics industry, where Rethink has been held up as a model of the new industrial automation paradigm.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Rethink was in the final stages of a deal to stave off closure by selling itself to an unnamed buyer. Ultimately, that deal fell through and the robotics firm had no alternative but shut its doors.

Oct 05 05:48

Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

As well as the usual complaints from overenthusiastic users reporting freezes during setup and mysteriously vanishing files or apps, a low rumble of dissatisfaction could be heard regarding battery life. One Redditor reported a markedly decreased time between charges while another chimed in with similar woes.

The culprit, according to a support article, could be a compatibility issue with a bunch of Intel Display Audio drivers that can end up sending CPU usage skyrocketing and battery life plummeting.

As such, Microsoft has now put a block on afflicted machines being offered the Windows 10 update, although users can push things through if they really want to. A particularly stunning bit of interface design means that clicking "Confirm" on the warning screen will actually cause the update to install regardless.

Oct 04 18:43

US Hacking Charges, Sharing Cyberweapons With NATO Inflame Danger of ‘Real War’

US, UK and Dutch authorities levied heavy accusations against Russian intelligence officials Thursday, alleging that seven Russians had hacked various agencies, organizations and institutions. The accusations come just one day after the US announced it would share offensive cyberwar technology with NATO allies “if asked.”

"We announce an indictment charging seven Russian military officers with violation of several US criminal laws for malicious cyber activities against the United States and its allies," US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers told reporters Thursday. Four of the accused are allegedly GRU agents, Russian military intelligence, who were previously expelled from the Netherlands, the Los Angeles Times reported.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis, at a meeting with NATO allies in Brussels, said Russia would "have to be held to account."

Timing of UK, Dutch Accusations Against Russia Point to 'Closely Coordinated Action' – Scholar

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, we appear to be on the brink of a world war almost more intensely than at almost any other time in my life..

And at this juncture of the process, understanding that sophisticated AI can very probably be weaponised, and caused to lash out in a devastating cyber war which could, quickly, become a shooting war,

I really think that now - and right the HELL now- is the time the representatives for Russia, NATO, and the US to please check their testosterone before they walk into that hopefully upcoming meeting with each other to ramp tensions down.

Unfortunately, however, it is very hard for me to see that the folks controlling the Unhinged, Surveilled, State of Amerika really wants peace.

These alleged actions, right after the US has sanctioned Russia for its alleged poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, is too abrupt not to be characterized like the ink of a squid, which uses it to create what magicians would call "misdirection".

This misdirection on the part of Europe and the US is to further, and very quickly, demonize Russia before people ask themselves the question; why would the Russian state do something like this when the odds of getting away with the project be nearly slim to none, and done so clumsily to boot, that greasy digital "fingerprints" were left all over the place for the US to "discover"?!?

And please remember; tThese revelations were made just one day after United States Sec Def Mattis "... promised US allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) the use of its offensive cyberwarfare technology if they so desired."

I frankly suspect that this was a digital "false flag", to marginalize and demonize Russia to the rest of the world, in order to "groom" the world, and the American people, for a bloody war against it.

The preparations for such a war have been set up in the outlying reaches of Ukraine, which has been prepped for such a conflict, generously armed and trained by both NATO and the United States military.

It appears to me that the question will be one of "when", rather than "if" with such a potentially explosive conflict looming.

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