COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 10 18:37

That's not how it's supposed to work... Security experts urge parents to get rid of robotic toucan toy after they hack it to say 'tw*t' and 'w*****' (and warn it could be used to snoop on kids)

Security researchers at Pen Test Partners have demonstrated how the Teksta Toucan manufactured by toy-maker Genesis can easily be taken over by hackers to play audio and even snoop on your home.

The team highlights two methods that could be used to carry out an attack – and, one simply requires pairing it with a Bluetooth audio device.

Dec 10 11:29

Confirmed: New York City’s Public WiFi Stations Are Spying On You

By Kevin Samson

When New York City announced its LinkNYC program in early 2016 to convert 7,500 public payphones into WiFi stations, I sounded the alarm about the threat it potentially posed to civil liberties...

Now that the LinkNYC program is approaching the two-year mark, it seems that those early concerns were not mere paranoia. A surprising report from mainstream Huffpost couldn’t ignore new issues that are cropping up across the city...

Dec 10 09:02

Google’s AI teaches itself chess in 4 hours, then convincingly defeats Stockfish

There has just been a revolutionary development in the world of AI, and in the world of chess.

Google’s Artificial Intelligence project, DeepMind explains they’re on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how. A little over a year ago, DeepMind released AlphaGo, which sensationally defeated the world champion of the famously CPU unfriendly ancient Chinese game, GO.

Dec 10 09:00

Google Goes From Search Engine To Info Gatekeeper

Google and Facebook intend halting what they call “fake news” - an unstated aim to censor truth-telling on vital issues, wanting content diverging from the official narrative restricted or blocked.

Google transformed itself from search engine to gatekeeper. Its personnel tasked with eliminating what it calls extremist content is being increased to over 10,000, including for its YouTube subsidiary - a virtual army of censors.

In an interview with the London Telegraph, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said “(w)e will continue the growth of our teams, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies…”

She claimed “bad actors are exploiting” the Internet site to “mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm.”

The worst ones are given priority space, major media “bad actors,” featuring disinformation instead of what news consumers most need to know.

Dec 09 11:51

Machines take another big step to superintelligence

The next step in computer evolution is machine learning. Practical applications, such as self-driving cars, are moving from science fiction to daily news. But the leading edge is further ahead, with achievements that look like small miracles.

Dec 09 08:51

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Faces Lawsuit Over Biometric Data Collection

By Derrick Broze

Washington D.C. – On Tuesday two organizations filed suit against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to release records related to the agency’s use of devices to gather biometric data from immigrants. Mijente, an advocacy group focused on “promoting Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building,” and the National Immigration Project of National Lawyers Guild are asking a federal court to force ICE and the Department of Homeland Security to release information related to the use of handheld devices used to gather biometric data from immigrants during raids...

Dec 09 07:56

Moscow’s Government Launches Ethereum Based Blockchain Voting Pilot

Moscow’s government is testing blockchain technology for use in its e-voting system called Active Citizens which has 1.9 million users that have taken part in more than 2,000 votes.

The voting results are not binding, but they are very influential with Moscow’s government never making a decision that goes against the vote since its launch in 2014.

Dec 08 16:48

Facebook Censors Roy Moore Yearbook Forgery Bombshell, Politifact Says 'No Evidence' Inscription Was Tampered With

Facebook is suppressing the bombshell news of Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson "admitting she forged" parts of her yearbook inscription that she claimed was signed by Roy Moore.

According to Nelson's lawyer Gloria Allred back in November, Nelson said she "is willing to testify under oath before the U.S. Senate that there has been no tampering."

Nelson said in her initial statement with Allred that Moore wrote the entire inscription in her yearbook.

"He wrote in my yearbook as follows," Nelson said. "'To a sweeter and more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love Roy Moore, Olde Hickory House.' And he signed it 'Roy Moore D.A.'"

Dec 08 12:24

Twitter DOES THE UNIMAGINABLE Gives President Trump HORRIFIC LABEL in Search Results

Twitter has set its search algorithms so that searching the words ‘Nazi’ or ‘racist’ brings up President Donald Trump as the top ‘People’ account result.

Dec 08 08:02

New cars to be equipped with 'complimentary' TSA PreCheck biometric scanners

According to a Lincoln Motor Company media release, their 2018 Lincoln's will offer 'complimentary' CLEAR biometric memberships to new car owners.

"Working with CLEAR, Lincoln takes effortless travel to the next level, offering complimentary memberships for new Lincoln owners."

Lincoln owners and their passengers, wishing to travel to the airport or sports arenas will have the 'complimentary' pleasure of being spied on by DHS!

Dec 07 15:36

Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) continued to soar on Thursday, creating chaos among those trying to buy and sell the cryptocurrency currency due to service trouble at several exchanges.

In the past 24 hours, Bitcoin surged from around $12,700 up beyond $16,500, a new high, before retreating to around $15,500 by mid-morning Pacific Time, as listed by Coindesk. The fanciful digits sold for a less than $1,000 in January.

On the Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX), an cryptocurrency exchange, the price was at one point over $19,000, a disparity with other exchanges that invited arbitrage – profiting from price differences – but that proved difficult due to widespread service disruptions.

Coinbase, GDAX, Bitfinex, and Kraken all suffered service trouble on Thursday as buyers and sellers of Bitcoin tried to participate in the market.

Dec 07 14:13

$67 Million in Bitcoin Hacked! THIS Is Who Did It!

Another hack for cryptos. This is a huge concern for many and as the price continues to rise, more hackers will scour the exchanges for faults. Just as they do for email accounts and credit card information and more. Protect your data with as many lines of defence as you possible can. Don't risk your wealth. This goes for all asset classes and information you don't want in anyone else's hands.

Dec 07 13:58

Mastermind of lottery fraud admits he rigged jackpots

A man who helped write the computer code behind several U.S. lotteries, including some of its biggest, pleaded guilty Thursday to masterminding a scheme through which he rigged the winning numbers for jackpots in several states and collected millions of dollars.

Eddie Tipton, who worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association from 2003 until 2015 and was its computer information security director for his last two years there, appeared in a Des Moines courtroom, where he pleaded guilty to one count of ongoing criminal conduct and publicly acknowledged his lead role in the scheme for the first time.

"I wrote software that included code that allowed me to understand or technically predict winning numbers, and I gave those numbers to other individuals who then won the lottery and shared the winnings with me," Tipton said when asked by Judge Brad McCall to explain what he did.

Dec 07 13:10

Heads Up! Arizona Citizens Tracked In Database In First Step of 'Real ID' Implementation

Arizona citizens are now in a government database that uses facial recognition technology to track them simply for getting a driver’s license.

Dec 07 10:11

Massive security flaw found in hundreds of apps from major banks, including HSBC and NatWest, left 10 MILLION accounts vulnerable to hackers

If you bank with HSBC, NatWest, Co-op or Bank of America Health, you may have been at risk of a security flaw, according to a new study.

Researchers have tested a new tool on a sample of 400 apps, and found that several banking apps had a critical vulnerability that could have allowed hackers to access your username and password.

Thankfully, the banks have been informed of the flaw, which has now been removed.

Dec 07 09:56

Entire human chess knowledge learned and surpassed by DeepMind's AlphaZero in four hours

Hundreds of years of chess knowledge was learned and then surpassed by Google DeepMind’s artificial intelligence algorithm in just four hours, it has emerged.

The astonishing programme AlphaZero quickly mastered the ancient game, before coming up with completely new strategies, which are now being analysed by grandmasters.

The algorithm is so extraordinary because it learns from scratch. It has only been programmed with the rules of chess and must work out how to win simply from playing multiple games against itself.

Dec 07 09:52

Bitcoin’s insane energy consumption, explained

The skyrocketing value of Bitcoin is leading to soaring energy consumption. According to one widely cited website that tracks the subject, the Bitcoin network is consuming power at an annual rate of 32TWh—about as much as Denmark. By the site's calculations, each Bitcoin transaction consumes 250kWh, enough to power homes for nine days.

Dec 07 09:48

US says it doesn't need secret court's approval to ask for encryption backdoors

The US government does not need the approval of its secret surveillance court to ask a tech company to build an encryption backdoor.

The government made its remarks in July in response to questions posed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), but they were only made public this weekend.

The implication is that the government can use its legal authority to secretly ask a US-based company for technical assistance, such as building an encryption backdoor into a product, but can petition the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to compel the company if it refuses.

Dec 07 09:46

Intel Management Engine pwned by buffer overflow

On Wednesday, in a presentation at Black Hat Europe, Positive Technologies security researchers Mark Ermolov and Maxim Goryachy plan to explain the firmware flaws they found in Intel Management Engine 11, along with a warning that vendor patches for the vulnerability may not be enough.

Dec 07 09:44

Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

Online games-mart Steam has stopped accepting Bitcoin payments.

A Wednesday post from the service said the cryptocurrency's volatility made it just too hard to use.

“Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days,” the post stated.

That's a problem because “When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network. The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn’t complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change.”

“The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different.”

Dec 07 09:39

Largest Crypto-Mining Exchange Hacked; Over $70 Million in Bitcoin Stolen

Bitcoin is breaking every record—after gaining 20% jump last week, Bitcoin price just crossed the $14,800 mark in less than 24 hours—and there can be no better reason for hackers to put all of their efforts to steal skyrocketing cryptocurrency.

NiceHash, the largest Bitcoin mining marketplace, has been hacked, which resulted in the theft of more than 4,700 Bitcoins worth over $57 million (at the time of breach).

And guess what? You'll be surprised to know that the stolen BTC now worth over $70 million—in less than 24 hours.

Founded in 2014, NiceHash is a cloud-based crypto-mining marketplace that connects people from all over the world to rent out their spare computing power to other in order to create new coins.

Dec 07 08:01

Largest Crypto-Mining Exchange Confirms It Was Hacked, $62 Million In Bitcoin Stolen

the total amount of bitcoins stolen from Nice Hash is 4736, or just over $62 million, and they have ended up at the following address:

Dec 06 17:11

Israeli firm Cyberbit illegally spied on behalf of Ethiopia's despots, then stored all their stolen data on an unencrypted, world-readable website

Researchers from the University of Toronto's amazing Citizen Lab (previously) have published a new report detailing the latest tactics from the autocratic government of Ethiopia, "the world's first turnkey surveillance state" whose human rights abuses have been entirely enabled with software and expertise purchased on the open market, largely from companies in western countries like Finfisher and Hacking Team. In Champing at the Cyberbit, Citizen Lab researchers Bill Marczak, Geoffrey Alexander, Sarah McKune, John Scott-Railton, and Ron Deibert disclose how malware developed and sold by the Israeli company Cyberbit (a subsidiary of Elbit) was used to attack members of the Ethiopian opposition, including political exiles in the USA and elsewhere who were forced to leave Ethiopia in fear of their lives.

Dec 06 11:49

Disturbing Trend of Police Wanting Drones for Routine Infractions

By Nicholas West

After lulling the public into believing that using drones in the U.S. would be confined to border patrol or for counter-terrorism in the event of an imminent threat, we are beginning to see police calling for far wider implementation of drone surveillance...

Dec 06 09:40

Arizona Citizens Tracked In Facial Recognition Database In First Step For 'REAL ID' Implementation

Arizona citizens are now in a government database that uses facial recognition technology to track them simply for getting a driver’s license.

This allows federal and local law enforcement to use the “perpetual lineup” of suspects not accused of a crime to see if someone is wanted for a crime, Arizona Capitol Times reported.

The state says that the program is to prevent identity theft and fraud. Here’s how it works according to Arizona Capitol Times.

After someone at the Motor Vehicle Division takes your photo, your face is scanned by a system based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes facial features.

The system compares your face against the 19 million photos in the state’s driver’s license database to look for similarities. If an image is similar enough, the system will flag it for further review.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is scary, how quicky science fiction, like the concept of "pre-crime", introduced in the film "Minority Report", released in 2002, becomes science fact, generally controlled by the worst elements of Federal and State government who most probably should not be in control of it at all.

Coupled with the reality that there is no disclosure to Arizonans that this is even happening, or top-down oversight, makes such a surveillance system prone to real abuse.

Dec 06 09:11

Australian internet slows to a crawl after undersea cable cut for the second time in six weeks – and it may not be fixed for MONTHS

An undersea internet cable linking Australia with Asia has been cut, just six weeks after being repaired.

The 39,000 kilometre SEA-ME-WE3 cable linking Perth and Singapore took 50 days to fix after suffering multiple cuts in August.

Internet users are now facing the prospect of slow speeds for weeks, and no time-frame has been given for when repairs might be completed.

Dec 06 09:03

"Astonishing And Disturbing" Email Exposes Mueller Deputy As Anti-Trumper

The rumblings that Special Counsel Mueller's Russia investigation is perilously compromised by political bias are about to grow a whole lot louder.

Just a couple of days after it was revealed that FBI veteran, Peter Strzok, was removed from Mueller's team due to the discovery of anti-Trump text messages exchanged with a colleague (whom he happened to be having an extra-marital affair with), and hours after the WSJ editorial board called for Mueller to step down for being "too conflicted", Judicial Watch has released emails obtained via FOIA that reveal another agent and a Mueller deputy, Andrew Weissmann, praising former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates' efforts to defy a direct order from President Trump on the enforcement of his travel ban executive order.

"I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is proof positive that the FBI has become way too politicized, and all holdovers from the Obama Administration need to be fired, and immediately; period, end of discussion.

There are too many big issues at stake right now to allow those with extreme partisan politics to attempt to crucify a sitting President, just because they lost the election.

This punishes the nation as a whole, and that is singularly unfair and immoral.

Dec 06 09:03

Data-slurping keyboard app makes Mongo mistake with user data

Another week, another open database left online, but this latest case has shown not only sloppy security but also how much data you’re giving up with some apps.

On Tuesday security shop Kromtech released details on a MongoDB database it found unsecured online containing 577GB of data collected by predictive keyboard app AI.type from its over 31 million users.

This included the name, email address and location, along with IMSI and IMEI numbers, IP address, phone spec and OS details, and links to user's social media profiles and photos. It also slurped 373 million names and phone numbers from the contacts of over six million users.

“Theoretically, it is logical that anyone who has downloaded and installed the Ai.Type virtual keyboard on their phone has had all of their phone data exposed publicly online,” said Bob Diachenko, head of communications at the Kromtech Security Center.

Dec 06 08:50

New TeamViewer Hack Could Allow Clients to Hijack Viewers' Computer

Do you have remote support software TeamViewer installed on your desktop?

If yes, then you should pay attention to a critical vulnerability discovered in the software that could allow users sharing a desktop session to gain complete control of the other's PC without permission.

Dec 06 08:21

Google to appoint staff of 10,000 to weed out extremist content on YouTube

Google plans to increase to 10,000 the number of its staffers tasked with tracking down extremist content on YouTube.

"We will continue the growth of our teams, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018," YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told Britain's Daily Telegraph in an interview.

Wojcicki said that "bad actors" had used the video-sharing site to "mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm" others.

The announcement comes after British Prime Minister Theresa May put heavy pressure on social media companies to remove radical content after a series of deadly terror-related attacks this year in the United Kingdom.

"The tech companies have made significant progress on this issue, but we need to go further and faster to reduce the time it takes to reduce terrorist content online," May said in a speech to the United Nations in October, according to reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But what happens when a documented narrative doesn't meet with the "Deep State's" liking, as it doesn't follow the official narrative?!?

Will such content be "weeded out" as well?!?

Dec 06 08:17

INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR SAYS GOV'T CAN DEMAND ENCRYPTION BACKDOORS WITHOUT HAVING TO RUN IT BY THE FISA COURT

A set of questions from Senator Ron Wyden -- directed at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence -- have finally received answers. The answers [PDF] were actually given to the Senate oversight committee in July but have just now been made public.

Zack Whittaker of ZDNet has taken a look at the answers the ODNI provided and found something that indicates the government can not only compel the creation of backdoors, but can do so without explicit approval from the FISA court.

The government made its remarks in July in response to questions posed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), but they were only made public this weekend.

The implication is that the government can use its legal authority to secretly ask a US-based company for technical assistance, such as building an encryption backdoor into a product, but can petition the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to compel the company if it refuses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder if this is why the following article came out late last month:

Microsoft May have helped HP Install Spyware on their computers

Dec 06 08:05

MEET THE ISRAELI CYBER-WEAPONS DEALER PAID MILLIONS BY GOVERNMENTS TO HACK OUR PHONES

A seven-year-old Israeli firm founded by three veterans of Israel's military intelligence unit is raking in millions selling CIA-tier hacking software to governments around the world. With over 200 employees, a sales arm in Bethesda, Maryland, and a long list of clients identified by watchdogs which have dubious civil rights records, the NSO Group - owned by U.S.-based Francisco Partners, charges $500,000 plus $65K per phone to completely hack and infiltrate a device with their flagship "Pegasus" software suite.

Housed in an office complex in the northern Tel Aviv district of Herzelia, the NSO Group has created the world's most invasive mobile spy kit responsible for some of the most aggressive attacks in the world of espionage. From Mexico's misuse of NSO's software, to the UAE targeting dissidents, to the ex-President of Panama using Pegasus to spy on his enemies, researchers at Canada's Citizen Lab have uncovered dozens of instances of inappropriate hacking.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Inside or outside your home, Americans now have utterly no right of privacy.

It is singularly unpleasant to watch the Constitution and Bill of Rights get vivisected right under your nose, by those shadowy institutions, outsourcing their work, which alledgedly exist to protect We the People, but are only there to protect the elite and monied.

Dec 05 14:00

Feminists' Demands For Censorship Backfire: Women Banned From Facebook For Attacking 'All Men'

Feminists are outraged that the censorship rules they demanded for others are now being used against them.

According to a new report from The Daily Beast, women are being banned from Facebook for attacking men as a group. Even worse, Facebook says the ultimate evil — white men — are now classified as a "protected group" deserving of the same protections as everyone else.

Dec 05 09:31

Google Supercomputer Creates Its Own ‘AI CHILD’

The tech giant’s computer-made system known as NASNet is able to identify objects, such as people and cars, in photos and videos.

According to studies, the Google “brain” can pick out these objects with a 82.7% accuracy rate – something the company says is better than any man-made AI system.

Dec 05 08:59

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he 'shares China's cyberspace vision' at an event promoting the country's internet censorship

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has revealed that he shares China's cyberspace vision of 'developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits.'
Speaking at a conference in China this week, Cook said that Apple was 'proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace.'
The news comes as Apple faces criticism from rights groups for bowing to pressure from cyber regulators after it removed hundreds of apps from its Chinese store this year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

After this revelation, it appears that Tim Cook would sell his own mother for medical experiments to positively enhance Apple's bottom line in China.

But of course, an independent internet, bringing the truth to ordinary citizens, no matter where they reside, has always been an anathema to Big Government; the military industrial complex; the medical industrial complex; and the food industrial complex.

Dec 05 08:49

CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION SEEKS BIOMETRIC ID FOR ALL MAJOR U.S. AIRPORTS WITHIN 4 YEARS

Despite Customs and Border Protection admitting to ongoing privacy concerns over data retention (currently planned for a 2-week maximum), an article in The Business of Federal Technology highlights that a rapid expansion of biometric airport security is imminent.

Until now, biometric ID has been used or tested at 5 international airports. Although there was a clear assumption of a wider roll-out, it was unclear what the timetable was for implementation and how pervasive the program would become. Apparently, if all goes well for CBP, it will be in ALL U.S. airports within just 4 years, according to statements given to senators by Commissioner Kevin McAleenan:

McAleenan, who is facing confirmation to hold the top CBP job on a permanent basis, told members of the Senate Finance Committee that the agency planned to expand current trials at five international airports to all major airports in the U.S. in four years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For national travel, this is simply going to push people back into their cars on to already overloaded, packed, and in many cases, crumbling US highways.

IF this is the outcome CBP wants this technology to have, then bravo, well done!!

And BTW, CBP: the fastest way to eliminate terror in this country, is to stop mucking about with other countries' resources, expropriating them to the corporations which own this country, and to which they have utterly no moral right, and insuring that those resources are only sold for the US dollar.

You're welcome!! :-)

Dec 05 08:21

International team takes down virus-spewing Andromeda botnet

Police and private companies have taken down a massive botnet used to move malware onto compromised PCs.

The Andromeda botnet, also known as Gamarue, is thought to have spanned over two million PCs and distributed over 80 types of malware onto infected PCs. It was shut down on November 29 in a combined operation by Europol, the FBI, security vendor ESET and Microsoft.

A suspect thought to be associated with the botnet was arrested in Belarus.

Dec 04 17:21

Arizona Citizens Tracked In Facial Recognition Database In First Step For REAL ID Implementation

By Aaron Kesel

Arizona citizens are now in a government database that uses facial recognition technology to track them simply for getting a driver’s license. This allows federal and local law enforcement to use the “perpetual lineup” of suspects not accused of a crime to see if someone is wanted for a crime, Arizona Capitol Times reported.

The state says that the program is to prevent identity theft and fraud...

Dec 04 12:21

"Wreaking Havoc" - HP Installs System-Slowing Spyware On Its PCs Without Consent

On the heels of Lenovo’s massive $3.5 million fine for preinstalling adware on laptops without users‘ consent, Hewlett-Packard is jumping in with both feet when it comes to installing spyware on its PCs without the consumer’s permission.

According to numerous reports gathered by Computer World, the brand is deploying a telemetry client (a system data that is uploaded by the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component), on customer computers without asking permission.

The software, which was first identified on November 15 of this year, is called “HP Touchpoint Analytics Service” and appears to replace the self-managed HP Touchpoint Manager solution. According to the official productivity description, it features “the tools you need to ensure all your managed devices’ security — and brings you greater peace of mind”. The problem is, it’s installing itself without permission and is wreaking havoc on customers’ systems.

And the consumers are noticing:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As we move further into the 21st century, the companies which create our computers, and this government, will be more and more in control of them, and the data on them, than we will be allowed to be.

Dec 04 10:23

Customs And Border Protection Seeks Biometric ID For All Major U.S. Airports Within 4 Years

By Nicholas West

Over the past several months I’ve been covering the rapid acceleration toward mandatory biometric identification at U.S. airports.

At the core of this increased push is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection mandate 15 years in the making to integrate government databases for ID verification. Now it appears that we have a timetable for full implementation...

Dec 04 09:19

Dirty COW redux: Linux devs patch botched patch for 2016 mess

Linus Torvalds last week rushed a patch into the Linux kernel, after researchers discovered the patch for 2016's Dirty COW bug had a bug of its own.

Dec 04 08:07

UK government bans all Russian anti-virus software from Secret-rated systems

The United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Centre has effectively banned the use of Russian anti-virus products from government departments and revealed it is trying to “prevent the transfer of UK data to the Russian state” from Kaspersky Labs software.

Dec 04 08:06

NSA SECRETLY HELPED CONVICT DEFENDANTS IN U.S. COURTS, CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS REVEAL

During Kurbanov’s trial, the government notified him that his conversations with an alleged Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan associate based in Pakistan had been intercepted. The spying, federal prosecutors said, had been authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which regulates the monitoring of agents of foreign governments and terrorist organizations. Kurbanov was convicted at trial and sentenced to 25 years in prison, after which he’ll be deported to Uzbekistan. He is an apparent success story for U.S. counterterrorism officials. If there was any doubt about Kurbanov’s propensity for violence, he eliminated it by stabbing a prison warden in California, an act for which he is now facing additional charges.

Dec 04 08:01

PayPal Subsidiary Data Breach Hits Up to 1.6 Million Customers

Global e-commerce business PayPal has disclosed a data breach that may have compromised personally identifiable information for roughly 1.6 million customers at a payment processing company PayPal acquired earlier this year.

Dec 03 08:11

Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations

The United States Central Intelligence Agency and the White House are considering several proposals to hire private companies to carry out covert operations abroad, according to a report.

BuzzFeed News said on Thursday that the proposals were communicated to the White House in the summer. The news site, which described the proposed plans as “highly unusual”, quoted “three sources who have been briefed on or have direct knowledge of the proposals”. The sources told BuzzFeed that, if approved, the plans would include the establishment of large intelligence networks in so-called “denied areas” —namely foreign environments deemed hostile. The networks would recruit and handle local agents, carry out psychological operations, capture terrorism suspects and rendition them to the US or third countries. “Islamic extremism” is mentioned as the primary target of the proposals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am more than a little concerned over Mike Pompeo's desire to make the the CIA "much more vicious". What, precisely, please, did he mean by that?!?

Is the US about to outsource torture, so that the CIA can collectively say with a straight face, "we didn't torture the guy, honest!!"?!?

Torture rarely produces actionable intelligence; it gets the tortured person to say what he thinks his torturers want to hear in order to get the torture to stop.

And when agents of the US torture, or outsource the torture, two things happen; people around the world understand, fully, that this country lies through its teeth about respecting the rights of prisoners of war, even as a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, and such torture gives carte blanche of leaders of other countries to torture Americans and our American military.

One of the people who used kindness, and never violence, in his interrogations was Germany's Hans Scharff, during World War II.
Hans Scharff,Nazi Germany's Master Interrogator, used kindness, not brutality.

He was so well respected by the American military that he was hired to teach classes in his process in this country after the war.

What an apparently very misguided Mike Pompeo needs to do is to make interrogations more effective and actional-evidence proucing, which is completely, utterly incompatible with making interrogations more brutal and sadistic.

Dec 03 07:54

NSA leak exposes Red Disk, the Army's failed intelligence system. The leak marks at least the fifth exposure of NSA-related data in as many years.

The contents of a highly sensitive hard drive belonging to a division of the National Security Agency have been left online.

The virtual disk image contains over 100 gigabytes of data from an Army intelligence project, codenamed "Red Disk." The disk image belongs to the US Army's Intelligence and Security Command, known as INSCOM, a division of both the Army and the NSA.

The disk image was left on an unlisted but public Amazon Web Services storage server, without a password, open for anyone to download. Unprotected storage buckets have become a recurring theme in recent data leaks and exposures. In the past year alone, Accenture, Verizon, and Viacom, and several government departments, were all dinged by unsecured data.

Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at security firm UpGuard, found the data and informed the government of the breach in October. The storage server was subsequently secured, though its owner remains unknown.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looking at this new breach, it appears that both the US military and NSA are pathologically incapable of creating any degree of "security" for their data.

Dec 02 08:41

NSA EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY OF TAKING CLASSIFIED INFO THAT WAS LATER STOLEN BY HACKERS

Nghia H. Pho, 67, of Ellicott City, Md., pleaded guilty to one count of removal and retention of national defense information, an offense that carries a possible 10-year sentence. Prosecutors agreed not to seek more than eight years, however, and Mr. Pho’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, will be free to ask for a more lenient sentence. He remains free while awaiting sentencing.

Mr. Pho had been charged in secret, though some news reports had given a limited description of the case. Officials unsealed the charges on Friday, resolving the long-running mystery of the defendant’s identity.

Mr. Pho, who worked as a software developer for N.S.A., was born in Vietnam but is a naturalized United States citizen. Prosecutors withheld from the public many details of his government work and of the criminal case against him, which is linked to a continuing investigation of Russian hacking.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And yet... there is no indictment against Hillary Rodham Clinton for routinely having classified information on her weak, private server?!?!?

Dec 02 08:24

CONNECTICUT’S NEW DRONE AND SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM IS AN ORWELLIAN NIGHTMARE

Here are the supposedly outrageous threats and concerns that are being used to justify a completely Orwellian matrix of total surveillance and control.

New software will be used to analyze crime and traffic patterns and capture suspects.
Police will use the technology to crack down on quality-of-life issues, such as illegal dumping, ATVs and dirt bikes, motor vehicle violations, narcotics markets, car break-ins and larcenies.
“If a camera is watching a neighborhood and sees constant traffic going in and out of a doorway, it can tell that that’s where the drugs are being purchased.” — Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley
“It’ll help tell us where people are crossing the streets, where the most dangerous areas for pedestrians are. There’s so much they can build into it.”
Instead of engaging in high speed chases, police will now send drones to follow cars or ATVs.

The drones will monitor festivals, concerts, marathons and other public events in Hartford.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope that the people of Connecticut collectively vote with their feet, and leave the state, if not the country, particularly those large corporations upon which the State of Connecticut relies for its tax base.

Dec 02 07:46

‘This Is Obviously Not a Hack’: Dems Ignore Technical Evidence in DNC Leak Case

One year after Republican Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the US presidential race, the Russiagate narrative - that Trump colluded with Russia - continues unabated.

One of the most pivotal parts of the story, that Russians hacked the DNC under the guise of notorious hacker Guccifer 2, has never been proven. However, the US intelligence apparatus has the ability to do just that, a former National Security Agency analyst told Sputnik Radio.

Dec 02 07:16

Google refuses legal request to share pay records in gender discrimination case

Tech company’s lawyers say it should not have to provide data on how men and women are compensated, as judge appears to take firm’s side on key issues

Dec 01 19:37

Apple iOS 11 security 'downgrade' decried as 'horror show'

After rapidly patching a flaw that allowed anyone with access to a High Sierra Mac to obtain administrative control, Apple still has more work to do to make its software secure, namely iOS 11, it was claimed this week.

Oleg Afonin, a security researcher for password-cracking forensic IT biz Elcomsoft, in a blog post on Wednesday called iOS 11 "a horror story" due to changes the fruit-themed firm made to its mobile operating system that stripped away a stack of layered defenses.

What's left, he argued, is a single point of failure: the iOS device passcode.

With an iOS device and its passcode – a barrier but not a particularly strong one – an attacker can gain access not only to the device, but to a variety of linked cloud services and any other hardware associated with the device owner's Apple ID.

Dec 01 14:53

Connecticut’s New Drone and Surveillance Program Is An Orwellian Nightmare

By Nicholas West

Hartford – While a battle has been raging for years in Los Angeles, California over a proposal to give drones to the LAPD for use in limited circumstances such as counter-terrorism and hostage rescue, Hartford, Connecticut is apparently embracing the broadest possible scope for their new program of drones and surveillance cameras...

Dec 01 10:00

NBC Pushes an Unfounded Conspiracy Theory on Behalf of CIA

Retired National Security Agency (NSA) chief technology officer William Binney is being branded as a "conspiracy theorist" by corporate media outlets, most notably, the Comcast-owned National Broadcasting Corporation, for co-authoring a controversial memo issued this past summer by a group of former intelligence officers – Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Dec 01 09:28

FACEBOOK’S NEW SUICIDE DETECTION A.I., COULD PUT INNOCENT PEOPLE BEHIND BARS

Imagine police knocking on your door because you posted a ‘troubling comment’ on a social media website.

Imagine a judge forcing you to be jailed, sorry I meant hospitalized, because a computer program found your comment(s) ‘troubling’.

You can stop imagining, this is really happening.

A recent TechCrunch article warns that Facebook’s “Proactive Detection” artificial intelligence (A.I.) will use pattern recognition to contact first responders. The A.I. will contact first responders, if they deem a person’s comment[s] to have troubling suicidal thoughts.

Facebook also will use AI to prioritize particularly risky or urgent user reports so they’re more quickly addressed by moderators, and tools to instantly surface local language resources and first-responder contact info.

A private corporation deciding who goes to jail? What could possibly go wrong?

Facebook’s A.I. automatically contacts law enforcement

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This "Big Brotherness" of Facebook almost reeks of the old Soviet style detention in "psychiatric hospitals" for the politically incorrect.

Dec 01 08:53

THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED ON AN ANONYMOUS, DIY CELL PHONE NETWORK

Most people in the United States—and increasingly, around the world—carry the most sophisticated surveillance devices ever created in their pockets day in and day out. Although smartphones have enabled governments and corporations to track our movements and monitor our conversations with unprecedented ease, these devices are also an incredibly useful personal tool and have become an indispensable part of modern life.

It’s a crappy trade off, but evidently one that most of us seem OK with. But Denver Gingerich, a programmer based in New York City, doesn’t see why we can’t have our smartphones and our privacy, too.

For the past few years, Gingerich has been laying the groundwork for Sopranica, an open source, DIY cell network that allows smartphone owners to make calls, send texts and eventually browse the internet with total anonymity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sounds great; but I wonder just how quickly it will be compromised by one of the US's alphabet soup agencies.

Dec 01 06:59

Over half of FCC net neutrality comments may be fake, study says

Data scientist Jeff Kao recently released his own study that found at least 1.3 million anti-net neutrality comments registered with the FCC were fake and came from a single central source. He also found that just 800,000 of the 22 million total comments were likely to be original and that 99 percent of them supported net neutrality.

Nov 30 16:14

Hackers Now Have Incredibly Sophisticated Ways to Breach Banks' Defenses

Global banks need to do more to protect themselves from cyberattacks after a "significant evolution" in the threat level in the last 18 months, according to the SWIFT global payments network.

Hackers are deploying increasingly sophisticated ways of breaching banks’ cyber defenses to launch finely orchestrated attacks, SWIFT said in a report co-written with defense contractor BAE Systems. Intruders can spend more than a year reconnoitering targets once they have gained access to their computer systems, the report said.

"Evidence from recent cases clearly demonstrates the attackers’ adaptability, patience, determination and growing sophistication," the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and BAE Systems said in the report. "The rise in the threat level requires an equally concerted response."

Nov 30 15:49

Recent Blu Update Locks Users out of Their Phones

An Android update that Blu shipped to Blu One Life X2 smartphones yesterday, November 28, has locked people out of their phones.

On forums, Reddit, and Blu's official Facebook page, users are complaining that after applying the update and rebooting the device, their phone won't recognize their password, PIN code, or pattern lock, even if users are 100% sure they are entering the correct data. Bleeping Computer has independently verified this bug.

"I updated my BLU Life One X2 around 2 hours ago. It asks for a password in order to access Android," said one of the Blu users facing this problem. "I am completely locked out of my phone. Ever single password used is marked incorrect.

After ten "failed" login attempts, the user's data is wiped from the device, according to the standard Android OS behavior.

Nov 30 15:44

The Surgeon Who Wants to Connect You to the Internet with a Brain Implant

Eric Leuthardt believes that in the near future we will allow doctors to insert electrodes into our brains so we can communicate directly with computers and each other.

Nov 30 15:42

Google’s New AI Designs AI Better Than Humans Could

The company’s new real-time computer vision system bests anything created by humans.

Nov 30 12:26

Whatsapp outages reported across Europe, North and South America

WhatsApp’s messenger service is down in many countries around the globe, with Europe and both American continents experiencing the worst outages.

According to the DownDetector website, the worst-hit are Brazil, the Netherlands, the US, the UK, Switzerland and Italy.

Nov 30 11:10

Israel to Coordinate with Google, YouTube, to Censor Palestinian Videos of Conflict

The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, held meetings this week with representatives of YouTube and Google, to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos from occupied Palestine, videos she dubbed as “inciting violence and terrorism.” Israeli daily Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a joint mechanism that will be in charge of “monitoring and preventing” any publication of materials deemed by Tel Aviv to be “inflammatory.”

Hotovely announced in a Hebrew-only press release that she met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: Palestinians have utterly no justification for being upset, ever, at their treatment by the Israeli military and government's occupation, and all that upsets them must be completely censored from public view.

But don't worry; these stories can, and will, and need to, get out there, and they will.

Not EVER as a basis for violence, but as a testament to what a wretchedly apartheid, self-proclaimed theocracy with nuclear weapons believes it can do to its minority population,and with absolute impunity.

Nov 30 10:56

Amazon’s ALEXA is a pseudoscience quack: Declares gender is a “spectrum”

In his video, Crowder opens up by asking Alexa the simple question, “How many genders are there?” If Alexa was programmed to tell the truth, “she” (or what we’ll refer to as “it” throughout the duration of this article) would have responded by explaining that biology dictates that there are only two genders: male and female. Instead, Alexa offered a litany of talking points that seem to have been pulled straight from Wellesley College‘s Women’s and Gender Studies curriculum.

“The two main categories of the gender spectrum, male and female, are called the gender binary, but there are many other categories that exist,” Alexa is heard stating. “Because gender identity is complex and personal, there is no definite way to say how many genders there are.”

Nov 30 10:38

Spies more free to use cellphone surveillance tech without warrant, under court ruling

A federal court judge has ruled that Canada's domestic spy agency can continue to use contentious cellphone surveillance devices without a warrant, in some cases.

For several years, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has used a device it calls a Cell Site Simulator (CSS) to collect information about cellphones and other cellular-capable devices — such as some laptops or tablets — during its national security investigations.

The devices are perhaps better known as IMSI Catchers or Stingrays, and pretend to be legitimate cellphone towers in order to collect information. Privacy advocates have long criticized the technology for how it indiscriminately gathers data, not merely on the subject of an investigation, but on all of the cellular devices in its operating radius.

Nov 30 09:40

PRIVATE COMPANIES LOOK TO CASH IN AS HOMELAND SECURITY BRINGS FACIAL RECOGNITION TO U.S. BORDERS

“Technology is far better at matching identities than humans alone,” said Dan Tancier, the CBP Field Operations official in charge of the biometric program for entry and exit into the country. “That’s a given.”

Congress may also make sweeping updates to DHS mandates. Border security legislation, sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, explicitly calls for border security officials to utilize facial recognition technology “to the greatest extent practicable.”

Experts, however, are raising concerns about the potential for abuses and errors — and especially the preservation of privacy. Harrison Rudolph, a law fellow at Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology, said the DHS’s facial recognition programs “aren’t ready for takeoff.” Rudolph said that the agency has not elucidated specific rules to limit data collection, retention, and reuse with regard to facial recognition technology.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Very soon, Americans can expect utterly no privacy whatsoever, either inside, or outside of their homes.

Every word spoken, not only on the phones but in your homes, will be survielled, collected, and analyzed; every time you take a trip to your local store, your travel patterns will be analyzed; and every keystroke on every computer you use will be logged and stored.

Americans with kids and skills, please get the hell out of this country while you still can; the utterly dystopian future that George Orwell predicted in his novel "1984" is nearly upon us in this country.

Nov 30 09:23

Cryptocurrency Mining Scripts Now Run Even After You Close Your Browser

After the world's most popular torrent download website, The Pirate Bay, caught secretly using Coinhive, a browser-based cryptocurrency miner service, on its site last month, thousands of other websites also started using the service as an alternative monetization model to banner ads.

However, websites using such crypto-miner services can mine cryptocurrencies as long as you're on their site. Once you close the browser window, they lost access to your processor and associated resources, which eventually stops mining.

Unfortunately, this is not the case anymore.

Security researchers from anti-malware provider Malwarebytes have found that some websites have discovered a clever trick to keep their cryptocurrency mining software running in the background even when you have closed the offending browser window.

Nov 30 09:22

No Coin - Block miners on the web!

Block coin miners using your computer ressources without your consent.

Nov 30 09:18

HP Silently Installs Telemetry Bloatware On Your PC—Here's How to Remove It

If you don't want this application to send data from your computer to HP's servers, you can disable the service or uninstall the program completely, which is relatively quickly and easily.

To uninstall this service, go to Control Panel and right-click on the program name, and select Uninstall to remove it.

Alternatively, you can just press Windows+R, type "appwiz.cpl," and press Enter to load the Programs and Features control panel applet. Now, select "HP Touchpoint Analytics Client" from the list and click the "Uninstall/Change" to remove the service from your PC.

Nov 30 07:25

Supreme Court To Debate Warrantless Collection Of Cellphone Records

In one of the most important Fourth Amendment battles of the digital age, the Supreme Court is preparing to tackle a case involving law enforcement accessing cellphone records without a warrant.

Nov 30 06:33

30 November: Problems at Spectrum

Spectrum is having issues since 4:33 AM EST. Are you also affected? Leave a message in the comments.

Nov 29 13:53

MakeApp Founder: 'Media Tried to Trample Us But Only Helped Us Reach Out to 1M Users & Make Money'

MakeApp founder Ashot Gabrelyanov said Tuesday that despite being called a "white supremacist," "misogynist" and "Putin's spy" by the US media his makeup removing app has been a smashing success.

Nov 29 13:53

FCC Chair: Twitter, YouTube Threatening 'Free & Open Internet' By Censoring Conservatives

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday that big tech companies like Google and Twitter which censor and ban conservatives on their platforms are "a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint."

Nov 29 09:43

Russia plans to create an 'independent internet' by 2018 to protect it from 'global internet malfunctions' - but critics say the plan could make it easier to launch its own attacks

The Russian government has revealed plans to develop an ‘independent internet’ that operates separately from the Domain Name System used worldwide.

During a recent meeting of the Russian Security Council, officials discussed an initiative to create an alternative to the DNS, claiming the move could protect Russia and a handful of other nations in the event of a large-scale cyberattack.

But, some suspect it could be a way for Russia to launch its own malicious operations, according to DefenseOne.

Nov 29 09:09

YouTube Stars ‘Wrongfully’ Banned From Video Site After Mysterious ‘Glitch’ Shut Down Their Accounts

A mysterious ‘glitch’ shut down accounts run by several of the YouTube’s biggest stars last night.

Channels with millions of subscribers were suddenly booted offline yesterday evening and there has still been no clear explanation about what went wrong.

Nov 29 09:08

36% Of Govt Websites Fail ‘Important’ Security Tests

Analysts who studied hundreds of federal websites found more than one-third did not have security measures to prevent hackers from intercepting visitors’ sensitive information or redirecting traffic to malicious phishing websites.

Nov 29 09:04

US intelligence blabs classified Linux VM to world via leaky S3 silo

A classified toolkit for potentially accessing US military intelligence networks was left exposed to the public internet, for anyone to find, according to security researchers today.

A Linux-based virtual machine designed to safely receive and handle secret material, and connect to protected Pentagon computers, was discovered, we're told, in a misconfigured cloud storage service. Anyone with an Amazon Web Services account could have found and delved into the unsecured AWS S3 silo and pulled out the US government's software files.

This does not mean the code, when run, would grant automatic access to US Department of Defense networks; merely, it's a software kit for officials and agents to log into government computers to download sensitive reports, presumably while in the field.

Nov 29 08:57

Hackers Exploit Recently Disclosed Microsoft Office Bug to Backdoor PCs

A recently disclosed severe 17-year-old vulnerability in Microsoft Office that lets hackers install malware on targeted computers without user interaction is now being exploited in the wild to distribute a backdoor malware.

...

The vulnerability (CVE-2017-11882) that Cobalt malware utilizes to deliver the backdoor is a memory-corruption issue that allows unauthenticated, remote attackers to execute malicious code on the targeted system when opened a malicious file and potentially take full control over it.

This vulnerability impacts all versions of Microsoft Office and Windows operating system, though Microsoft has already released a patch update to address the issue.

...

According to Fortinet researchers, the Cobalt malware is delivered through spam emails, which disguised as a notification from Visa regarding rule changes in Russia, with an attachment that includes a malicious RTF document, as shown.

Nov 29 07:36

Ending Net Neutrality a ‘Class Issue’ That Threatens Free Speech, Opportunity

Ever since Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Ajit Pai revealed his plan last week to end net neutrality, a move that would allow broadband service providers to control what content consumers can access on the internet as early as January, millions of voices have erupted in protest and anger.

On Radio Sputnik's By Any Means Necessary, web designer and technologist Chris Garrafa discussed how rolling back net neutrality laws could affect independent websites and vulnerable populations in the US like low-income citizens, youth and people of color.

Nov 28 21:39

George Soros Teams Up With Porn Industry To Regulate The Internet

The internet is filled with discussion and panic over the potential repeal of Net Neutrality, but Soros is fighting hard to keep it in place. Perhaps we should look deeper into the issue and consider its true merits and shortfalls.

Nov 28 18:45

36% Of Govt Websites Fail ‘Important’ Security Tests

Analysts who studied hundreds of federal websites found more than one-third did not have security measures to prevent hackers from intercepting visitors’ sensitive information or redirecting traffic to malicious phishing websites.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a science and tech policy think tank, released a report Monday that said hundreds of federal websites “continue to fall short of requirements set by the federal government, as well as industry standards for web design and development.”

Nov 28 17:29

HP ‘spyware’ could be slowing down your laptop or PC

HP has been accused of stealthily installing a piece of software on its users’ PCs which hoovers up data on that machine, effectively acting as spyware, and it seems it is slowing systems down considerably, as well.

This worrying development was reported by Computerworld, and the software in question is called the HP Touchpoint Analytics Client. According to HP’s description itself, the client “harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint’s analytical services”.

Telemetry information could potentially be anything related to the hardware, software or usage of your machine.

Nov 28 17:20

Any Apple Mac computer can easily be broken into with just a few key presses because of major vulnerability

Any Apple computer can be easily broken into with a few simple key presses, security researchers have found.

A vulnerability in the way the operating system uses passwords means that they can be simply bypassed by anyone, on practically any computer. Warnings about the bug have been shared by computing experts including Edward Snowden, who described the issue as "really bad".

Whenever a computer running MacOS asks a user to login, they can simply write the username "root" and an empty password. That might not work initially – but repeated presses of the login button will eventually let you through, no matter how complicated the password usually used on the computer.

Nov 28 13:50

Amazon Is Moving Towards Automation As Human Workers Become Insufficient

By Aaron Kesel

An undercover journalist’s account of the conditions for an Amazon UK warehouse staff has gained a massive response online by exposing the legal slavery. But the bigger story is that the retail giant is replacing humans with robots, The Mirror reported.

Alan Selby explains how he found staff are just cattle – there to serve robots...

Nov 28 13:30

Warrantless Collection Of Cellphone Records Will Finally Be Debated By The Supreme Court in Huge Fourth Amendment Battle

By Derrick Broze

In one of the most important Fourth Amendment battles of the digital age, the Supreme Court is preparing to tackle a case involving law enforcement accessing cellphone records without a warrant.

On Wednesday the US Supreme Court is scheduled to address the case of Carpenter v. United States to determine whether or not law enforcement should be required to obtain a warrant before accessing the cellphone records of an individual. The case deals with a set of armed robberies that took place between December 2010 and March 2011. Several men worked together to rob RadioShack and T-Mobile stores in the Michigan and Ohio areas, stealing cell phones and holding store employees and customers hostage in the process...

Nov 28 09:11

Surprise: Android apps are riddled with trackers

In case you're wondering, yes, there's a good chance at least some of your Android apps have tracked you rather more than you expect.

That's the conclusion of a joint project between Yale University's Privacy Lab and French non-profit Exodus Privacy, which has this month documented snoopware features in apps from Uber, Tinder, Skype, Twitter, Spotify, and Snapchat, the university said.

Nov 28 09:10

'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'

If the tech industry wants another wave of innovation to match the PC or the internet, Google and Facebook must be broken up, journalist and film producer Jonathan Taplin told an audience at University College London's Faculty of Law this week.

Nov 28 08:52

Comcast hints at plan for paid fast lanes after net neutrality repeal

For years, Comcast has been promising that it won't violate the principles of net neutrality, regardless of whether the government imposes any net neutrality rules. That meant that Comcast wouldn't block or throttle lawful Internet traffic and that it wouldn't create fast lanes in order to collect tolls from Web companies that want priority access over the Comcast network.

This was one of the ways in which Comcast argued that the Federal Communications Commission should not reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, a designation that forces ISPs to treat customers fairly in other ways. The Title II common carrier classification that makes net neutrality rules enforceable isn't necessary because ISPs won't violate net neutrality principles anyway, Comcast and other ISPs have claimed.

Nov 28 07:53

Cyber Monday 'largest online sales day in history'

Adobe research suggests that this year's Cyber Monday resulted in $6.59 billion in online sales.

Nov 28 07:53

New NSA leak exposes Red Disk, the Army's failed intelligence system

The contents of a highly sensitive hard drive belonging to a division of the National Security Agency have been left online, ZDNet has learned.

The virtual disk image contains over 100 gigabytes of data from an Army intelligence project, codenamed "Red Disk." The disk image belongs to the US Army's Intelligence and Security Command, known as INSCOM, a division of both the Army and the NSA.

The disk image was left on an unlisted but public Amazon Web Services storage server, without a password, open for anyone to download. Unprotected storage buckets have become a recurring theme in recent data leaks and exposures. In the past year alone, Accenture, Verizon, and Viacom, and several government departments, were all dinged by unsecured data.

Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at security firm UpGuard, found the data and informed the government of the breach in October. The storage server was subsequently secured, though its owner remains unknown.

Nov 28 06:24

GEORGE ORWELL PREDICTED CAMERAS WOULD WATCH US IN OUR HOMES; HE NEVER IMAGINED WE’D GLADLY BUY AND INSTALL THEM OURSELVES

Normalization—the mainstreaming of people and ideas previously banished from public life for good reason—has become the operative description of a massive societal shift toward something awful. Whether it’s puff pieces on neo-Nazis in major national newspapers or elected leaders who are also documented sexual predators, a good deal of work goes into making the previously unthinkable seem mundane or appealing.

Nov 27 19:20

Uber Paid Off Hackers To Hide Breach Of 57mn Users’ Data – Report

Personal data of over 50 million riders and 7 million drivers of the taxi-alternative service Uber was hacked in 2016, but the rideshare company reportedly paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the stolen goods, in order to keep the breach under wraps.

In an effort to be “honest and transparent,” Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed Tuesday that a security data breach occurred in late 2016, before he had taken over as chief executive officer.

Nov 27 18:00

Hackers stole information from 1.7 million Imgur accounts in 2014

Imgur’s Chief Operating Officer, Roy Sehgal, confirmed that the breach occurred in 2014. Sehgal explains that Imgur doesn’t collect names, addresses, or phone numbers from its users, and that only user e-mails and password information was leaked.

Nov 27 17:40

Bulletproof Coffee lacks bulletproof security: Nerd brain juice biz hacked, cards gulped

The Silicon Valley-backed nutrition upstart specializing in butter-infused coffee says evil code injected into its website was covertly gulping customers' payment card details for months.

Bulletproof 360 Inc., purveyors of the fatty coffee touted as a wonder-treatment for mental clarity and weight loss, admitted that from May 20 to October 19 of this year – minus one day on October 14 – hackers slurped sensitive personal information hipsters entered when purchasing stuff online.

The sipped info included bank card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes (CVV), as well as names, postal addresses, and email addresses.

Nov 27 16:43

AI is God: Ex-Google Engineer Creating New Religion

Anthony Levandowski of Google's self-driving car’s fame, has set up a religious nonprofit organization called Way of the Future and devoted to the worship of artificial intelligence.

According to the organization’s founding documents, it intends to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”

An AI god sounds like something coming from a sci-fi flick or computer game and as such could certainly appeal to Silicon Valley futurists and transhumanist more than to espousers of traditional religions.

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