COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jan 19 07:16

The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos.

Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security.

His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As anyone "cursed" by the US's "alphabet agencies" in having to read this blog, you know that I am no threat; and as a Christian pacifist activist, simply an annoyance, because I advocate for logic-based, fact-based, moral domestic and foreign policies, and never advocate violence.

That having been said, the insidious surveillance which follows most of us these days, is obscene and obsessive, and once there is way too much data, it has a way of becoming so overwhelming, that it becomes... useless.

Jan 19 06:40

RCFP analysis: Court orders FBI to expunge website records under Privacy Act

In late November, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expunge certain records relating to Eric Garris, an editor of the website Antiwar.com, which describes itself as promoting “non-interventionism” and posts related news and opinions.

The move comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in September that federal law prohibits law enforcement agencies from maintaining records describing First Amendment activity, unless the record “is pertinent to and within the scope of an ongoing law enforcement activity.” The case marked the first time the Ninth Circuit has considered that question.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To our peace-centric brothers and sisters at antiwar.com, bravo, well done!!

Jan 18 09:42

The European Union May Ban Facial Recognition For 5-Year Review Of Tech

By Aaron Kesel

The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology which has raised massive privacy concerns over the years since its inception, risking us walking into George Orwell’s nightmare 1984.

The European Commission is considering a ban on all facial recognition technology in public places for three to five years, the BBC reported.

The Commission hopes to examine the technology during these years with “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” the EC’s 18-page white paper on facial recognition writes...

Jan 18 09:41

The European Union May Ban Facial Recognition For 5-Year Review Of Tech

By Aaron Kesel

The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology which has raised massive privacy concerns over the years since its inception, risking us walking into George Orwell’s nightmare 1984.

The European Commission is considering a ban on all facial recognition technology in public places for three to five years, the BBC reported.

The Commission hopes to examine the technology during these years with “a sound methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology and possible risk management measures could be identified and developed,” the EC’s 18-page white paper on facial recognition writes...

Jan 18 05:57

Assange May Walk Free Thanks To CIA Bumbling: Former NYT General Counsel

Authored by James Goodale, op-ed via TheHill.com

A few days before Christmas, Julian Assange testified to a Spanish court that a Spanish security company, UC Global S.L., acting in coordination with the CIA, illegally recorded all his actions and conversations, including with his lawyers, and streamed them back in real time to the CIA.

He will, at the end of February, make a similar complaint to a British extradition court about the CIA’s alleged misbehavior.

Will such misbehavior, if proven, set Assange free?

The Daniel Ellsberg case may be instructive. You may recall that after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the “Pentagon Papers” case, Ellsberg was indicted under the Espionage Act for leaking Pentagon documents to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Fingers crossed for Assange on this one; and please remember that none of the information provided by wikileaks, was ever proven wrong.

Jan 18 04:35

HOW AN ISRAELI SPY-LINKED TECH FIRM GAINED ACCESS TO THE US GOV'T'S MOST CLASSIFIED NETWORKS

SOURCE: WHITNEY WEBB VIA MINT PRESS NEWS
If the networks of the U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community and a slew of other U.S. federal agencies were running the software of a company with deep ties, not only to foreign companies with a history of espionage against the U.S. but also foreign military intelligence, it would — at the very least — garner substantial media attention. Yet, no media reports to date have noted that such a scenario exists on a massive scale and that the company making such software recently simulated the cancellation of the 2020 election and the declaration of martial law in the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump has bent over backwards to please the Fundies in this country, as well as the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, who he describes as one of his BFFs in the Middle East; one has to wonder, with his sign-off, declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and the developing of a US/Israeli pact which commits the US to defend Israel, no matter if it started the fracas or not Netanyahu/Pompeo Push Forward with Defense Pactjust how much dirt does Mossad have on President Trump?!?

Jan 17 11:23

Iranian Tech Users Are Getting Knocked Off the Web by Ambiguous Sanctions

By Jillian C. York

Between targeted killings, retaliatory air strikes, and the shooting of a civilian passenger plane, the last few weeks have been marked by tragedy as tensions rise between the U.S. and Iranian governments. In the wake of these events, Iranians within the country and in the broader diaspora have suffered further from actions by both administrations—including violence and lethal force against protesters and internet shutdowns in Iran, as well as detention, surveillance and device seizure at the U.S. border and exacerbating economic conditions from U.S. sanctions. And to make matters worse, American tech companies are acting on sanctions through an overbroad lens, making it much harder for Iranian people to be able to share their stories with each other and with the broader world...

Jan 14 10:55

Amazon Admits Employees Have Secretly Watched Ring Camera Customers

By Joe Wolverton, II

In a letter to U.S. senators, tech behemoth Amazon admits that it has fired employees discovered to have been spying on customers using the company’s Ring cameras.

Although the Ring cameras were originally marketed as a way to see who’s standing outside the door before opening it, many users have installed the surveillance equipment inside the house.

Ring’s eight-page letter was a response to inquiries made by five U.S. senators regarding the company’s security policies and findings of the company’s internal audits. In November 2019 Senators Ron Wyden, Chris Van Hollen, Edward J. Markey, Christopher A. Coons, and Gary C. Peters co-signed the letter looking for answers to questions about stories of privacy breaches being reported in the media...

Jan 14 04:06

NYT claims Russian hackers successfully “breached” Burisma

Color us skeptical, alt-right, conspiracy-wonk, Putin-puppets; but the transparency and timing of tonight’s “bombshell” report from The New York Times of an ‘alleged’ hacking by ‘allegedly’ Russian hackers of Burisma – the Ukrainian energy firm that VP Biden’s crack-smoking, energy-ignorant son was paid $50,000 per month as a board member – reeks so strongly of foundational narrative-building for something “embarrassing” that is coming, it is stunning just how dumb the deep state must think the American public really is. Actually, maybe not all that stunning.

Jan 14 04:05

NYT claims Russian hackers successfully “breached” Burisma

Color us skeptical, alt-right, conspiracy-wonk, Putin-puppets; but the transparency and timing of tonight’s “bombshell” report from The New York Times of an ‘alleged’ hacking by ‘allegedly’ Russian hackers of Burisma – the Ukrainian energy firm that VP Biden’s crack-smoking, energy-ignorant son was paid $50,000 per month as a board member – reeks so strongly of foundational narrative-building for something “embarrassing” that is coming, it is stunning just how dumb the deep state must think the American public really is. Actually, maybe not all that stunning.

Jan 13 23:35

The Tractor Backlash

John Deere, like Ford and GM and all the rest, is forced by the government to build tractors as complicated as new cars – and just as impossible for the average owner to service.

But people still have the choice not to buy them.

Many are beginning to exercise this choice.

Jan 13 18:16

Card-Stealing Scripts Infect Perricone's European Skin Care Sites

Multiple European websites for the Perricone MD anti-aging skin-care brand have been compromised with scripts that steal customer payment card info when making a purchase.

Two MageCart groups were competing for the credit card data on Perricone MD websites in the U.K., Italy, and Germany, but current evidence shows that only one exfiltrated the details successfully.

Jan 13 18:15

Australia Bushfire Donors Affected by Credit Card Skimming Attack

Attackers have compromised a website collecting donations for the victims of the Australia bushfires and injected a malicious script that steals the payment information of the donors.

This type of attack is called Magecart and involves hackers compromising a web site and injecting malicious JavaScript into eCommerce or checkout pages. These scripts will then steal any credit cards or payment information that is submitted and send it off to a remote site under the attacker's control.

The Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence Team has discovered a legitimate web site collecting donations for the tragic bushfires in Australia that has been compromised by a Magecart script.

Jan 13 18:08

Greta Thunberg’s father caught making Facebook posts in her name, confirming she’s a puppet being run by her parents

Thanks to a software glitch at Facebook last week during a software update, anyone and everyone who wanted to see exactly who was posting under the accounts of public figures could do so.

As such, roughly 3 million followers of young Greta could have discovered that the posts accredited to her were actually being made by her father, Svantes Thunberg, as well as a climate change activist in India who is a delegate at the UN’s Climate Change organization, Adarsh Prathap.

So much for the teen’s ‘activism’ — though her ‘handlers’ still claim she is the author of the posts.

Jan 13 16:21

Millions of PCs will stop receiving security updates TOMORROW as Microsoft finally stops support for Windows 7

PCs running Windows 7 will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates or security fixes.

The technology giant will use full-screen pop-up notifications on devices running the decade old system to try to convince users to switch to the newer Windows 10.

With a market share of more than 25 per cent, Windows 7 is still the second most used operating system after Windows 10 which has 55 per cent of the market.

Jan 13 16:08

Walmart welcomes the robot takeover by using machines to fulfill grocery orders and adding shelf-scanning devices to more than 650 stores in a bid to take on Amazon

Walmart is embracing a robot takeover in a bid to compete with Amazon.

The Arkansas-based firm is using robots to fulfill grocery orders in one of its Supercenters and is set to add shelf-scanning machines to 650 additional stores by the end of the summer.

The shift is aimed at reducing costs, improving store performance and gaining credibility in its battle against to reign supreme as the king of retail.

Jan 13 16:07

Are YOU protected from SIM-swap attacks? Alarming tests from Princeton reveal five of the largest US carriers are not following authentication protocols

he five largest US carriers are not protecting customers from SIM-swap attacks, according to a new study.

Researchers at Princeton University contacted AT&T, T-Mobile, Tracfone, US Mobile and Verizon Wireless and found they all used ‘insecure authentication challenges that could be easily subverted by attackers’.

Out of 50 SIM swap attempts, 39 of them were successful just by simply by telling representatives they had forgotten the answers to the security questions.

The team noted that they had repeatedly given incorrect answers, but were still permitted to switch to a different SIM in a smartphone.

Jan 13 08:58

Tesla’s 14th Victim . . . So Far

Tesla may have just killed its 14th victim; there are at least 13 confirmed kills so far – as the result of Autopilot. Excluding auto-immolation.

This qualifies Tesla for serial killerhood.

But no FBI investigation – or even a recall.

Instead, an “advisory” from the National Highway Traffic Safety (sic) Administration that drivers of Autopiloted Teslas must always “keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times” – which is right up there with Don’t Squeeze the Charmin.

Jan 12 07:54

CAN THE COPS SECRETLY RECORD YOUR HOME FOR EIGHT MONTHS WITHOUT A WARRANT?

SOURCE: PRIVACY SOS
Yesterday the First Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to hear oral argument on the constitutionality of the warrantless placement of a secret video camera on top of a utility pole after the ACLU’s 2018 victory in the Supreme Court case Carpenter v. United States. Carpenter represents a growing recognition that we have a right to be free from long-term surveillance that catalogs the whole of our physical movements, even in a public place. Yesterday’s oral argument in United States v. Moore-Bush focused on Carpenter’s impact on a person’s expectation of privacy against the placement of a video camera directed at a home for eight months without any judicial oversight.

Jan 11 12:15

Microsoft in trouble after revelation unvetted Chinese contractors listened in on Skype calls with NO security

Microsoft is in damage control after former employee has claimed that contractors in China reviewed audio recordings from Skype calls over the open internet, with zero security measures, no vetting, and one shared password.

Cybersecurity was nonexistent in Microsoft’s audio transcription and rating program, according to a former contractor who spoke to the Guardian on Friday. The company sent contractors a username and password in plaintext, unencrypted email, using the same password for everyone who joined in a given year. They also neglected to vet workers, the ex-contractor said, adding that they merely took his bank account details when he was hired.

Other than the popular VoIP and messaging service, the Cortana voice assistant is also claimed to have been affected.

Jan 11 07:51

DARPA Asks for Help Completing its Flotilla of Drone Warships

By Nicholas West

In April 2016 I reported that DARPA was hard at work on a plan to introduce 132-foot “Sea Hunter” drone warships to the world’s waterways within 5 years. Seemingly behind schedule, DARPA is now releasing some more details about their plans to update the artificial intelligence program for the Navy and Marines, but is soliciting help to complete the project...

Jan 10 09:58

US Government-funded Android phones come preinstalled with unremovable malware

An Android phone subsidized by the US government for low-income users comes preinstalled with malware that can't be removed without making the device cease to work, researchers reported on Thursday.

The UMX U686CL is provided by Virgin Mobile's Assurance Wireless program. Assurance Wireless is an offshoot of the Lifeline Assistance program, a Federal Communications Commissions plan that makes free or government-subsidized phones service available to millions of low-income families. The program is often referred to as the Obama Phone because it expanded in 2008, when President Barack Obama took office. The UMX U686CL runs Android and is available for $35 to qualifying users.

Jan 10 09:55

Tesla's "Black Boxes" Are Only Accessible By The Company (Not NTSB Or NHTSA) After Crashes

Like in airplanes, Teslas are equipped with "black boxes" that log critical information in the seconds and minutes leading up to accidents and crashes. They record details like braking, airbag deployment and other measurements.

While conventional vehicles can have their Black Boxes accessed widely, cars with automated driving technologies can only have their information accessed by the manufacturer. This means that any potential investigation hinges on information that would need to be handed over by the company that's being investigated.

And so Bloomberg's Dana Hull asks a good question: should we be worried that the only people that have access to this information are the manufacturers themselves?

And we'll ask another question: isn't this even more true when, say, that company perhaps doesn't have the best track record for unbridled honesty?

Jan 10 07:37

Connected cars are 'moving targets' for hackers, experts warn at the year's biggest electronics show

Israeli cybersecurity firm GuardKnox demonstrated the threat in a driving simulation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week by remotely taking control of a speeding car's steering wheel so the driver had no command over the direction the vehicle was travelling.

They warned that opportunities for attacks are being revved up by the introduction of self-driving tech, electric cars communicating in real-time with the cloud, smart city infrastructures, and one another - turning the next generation of vehicles into 'moving targets' for hackers.

Jan 10 06:57

Terrifying or nothing to fear? Apple admits to scanning user photos, presumably only to hunt child abuse

Apple has confirmed that it scans user images in an effort to detect evidence of child abuse, but the company has revealed little about how the scans work, piquing concerns about data privacy and the reach of intrusive tech firms.

While it’s unclear when the image scans started, Apple’s chief privacy officer Jane Horvath confirmed at an event in Las Vegas this week that the company is now “utilizing some technologies to help screen for child sexual abuse material.”

Apple initially suggested it might inspect images for abuse material last year – and only this week added a disclaimer to its website acknowledging the practice – but Horvath’s remarks come as the first confirmation the company has gone ahead with the scans.

Jan 09 18:22

Researchers Reveal 11 New 5G Vulnerabilities

By B.N. Frank

Purdue University researchers are the latest to issue security warnings about the rollout of 5G technology including:

"expose your location, downgrade your service to old mobile data networks, run up your wireless bills, or even track when you make calls, text, or browse the web. They also found five additional 5G vulnerabilities that carried over from 3G and 4G. They identified all of those flaws with a new custom tool called 5GReasoner."...

Jan 09 10:14

Critical Firefox 0-Day Under Active Attacks – Update Your Browser Now!

Attention! Are you using Firefox as your web browsing software on your Windows, Linux, or Mac systems?

If yes, you should immediately update your free and open-source Firefox web browser to the latest version available on Mozilla's website.

Why the urgency? Mozilla earlier today released Firefox 72.0.1 and Firefox ESR 68.4.1 versions to patch a critical zero-day vulnerability in its browsing software that an undisclosed group of hackers is actively exploiting in the wild.

Jan 08 10:28

Multiple security flaws discovered in TikTok app exposed its 1.5BILLION users to hackers who could upload and delete videos and steal personal data

Cybersecurity experts at CheckPoint Research discovered two glaring security holes which allowed criminals access to private addresses, emails and date of birth.

Hackers could also upload unauthorised videos, delete users' videos and switch videos from 'private' to 'public'.

CheckPoint made TikTok aware of the weaknesses and the vulnerabilities were fixed in the latest app update.

Users are now being encouraged to update their app to ensure they are fully protected.

Jan 07 10:36

Internet Disruption: Different Terms for Different Tactics

By Advox

As the internet progressively becomes an intrinsic part of our daily lives — from communicating with friends and applying for social services, to studying and working — staying connected is no longer a luxury but a necessity. In this context, internet shutdowns have evolved into a human rights issue with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives. Apart from the documented negative economic impacts, intentional internet shutdowns can be weaponized to silence dissent and stunt protest movements. However, internet shutdowns are on the rise with 196 intentional internet disruptions recorded in 2018 alone. In 2019, Global Voices covered internet shutdowns in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Ecuador to name a few...

Jan 07 10:18

Big Tech strikes again: All criticism of transgenderism will now be treated as “malware,” equivalent to malicious code

Just in time for the 2020 presidential election, a pair of college professors from the United Kingdom has unveiled a new technology for blocking “hate speech” online that involves algorithmically flagging politically incorrect language in the same way that anti-virus software identifies “malware.”

According to researcher Stephanie Ullmann and professor Marcus Tomalin, both from the University of Cambridge, this newfangled “Hate O’Meter,” as they’re calling it, will flag all potentially “controversial” content – at least as they personally define it as such – and place it into a “quarantine.” Users will then have the option to view the content with a simple click, or leave it in the digital “trash,” never to be seen again.

Jan 05 11:36

Xiaomi Cameras Connected to Google Nest Expose Video Feeds From Others

Internet-connected devices have been one of the most remarkable developments that have happened to humankind in the last decade. Although this development is a good thing, it also stipulates a high security and privacy risk to personal information.

In one such recent privacy mishap, smart IP cameras manufactured by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi found mistakenly sharing surveillance footage of Xiaomi users with other random users without any permission.

The issue appears to affect Xiaomi IP cameras only when streamed through connected Google's Nest Hub, which came into light when a Reddit user claimed that his Google Nest Hub is apparently pulling random feeds from other users instead of his own Xiaomi Mijia cameras.

The Reddit user also shared some photos showing other people's homes, an older adult sleeping on a chair, and a baby sleeping in its crib that appeared on his Nest Hub screen.

Jan 05 10:09

Google and the evil tech giants have done far more damage to America than Soleimani, yet Trump does NOTHING to stop the domestic terrorism of Big Tech

The number of Americans killed by Soleimani is dwarfed by the number of children killed by the CDC and the vaccine industry. There’s no comparison. Yet those of us who dare to expose the danger of vaccine ingredients or share the government statistics of vaccine injuries and deaths are treated by the Big Tech establishment as if we were terrorists.

Jan 02 09:58

Ransomware attack takes US maritime base offline

A computer virus forced a US maritime base offline for more than 30 hours, the country's coast guard has revealed.

Ransomware interrupted cameras, door-access control systems and critical monitoring systems at the site.

The agency did not reveal the name or the location of the facility targeted by the attack.

Officials said they believed the ransomware was sent in a malicious email link, clicked by an employee.

Jan 02 09:57

Pokemon Go: Documents show Canadian military's struggle with game

The arrival of Pokemon Go left a baffled Canadian military struggling to understand a surge in trespassing, newly released documents show.

When the game was launched in 2016, civilians started walking and driving on to operational bases at all hours.

"Plse advise the Commissionaires that apparently Fort Frontenac is both a PokeGym and a PokeStop," one email from a major read.

"I will be completely honest in that I have no idea what that is."

Dec 31 12:09

Joe Biden: Anyone Who Can Mine Coal Can Learn to Code

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday used the "learn to code" meme unironically while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Dec 29 17:29

Wyze data leak may have exposed personal data for millions of users

Security camera startup Wyze has confirmed it suffered a data leak earlier this month that may have left the personal information for millions of its customers exposed on the internet. No passwords or financial information was exposed, but email addresses, Wi-Fi network IDs and body metrics were left unprotected from Dec. 4 through Dec. 26, the company said Friday.

More than 2.4 million Wyze customers were affected by the leak, according to cyber-security firm Twelve Security, which first reported on the leak

Dec 26 16:29

Flaw in Twitter Android app lets researcher match 17 MILLION phone numbers with user accounts

A researcher is warning Android users not to upload their contacts to Twitter after he was able to match 17 million phone numbers to their respective user accounts.

Ibrahim Balic uploaded a list of generated phone numbers through the contacts upload feature, which he told TechCrunch ‘fetches user data in return’.

Matches were made for users in Israel, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Armenia and Germany – and some were government officials.

Dec 26 09:02

MIKE BLOOMBERG EXPLOITED PRISON LABOR TO MAKE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN PHONE CALLS

SOURCE: THE INTERCEPT
FORMER NEW YORK CITY mayor and multibillionaire Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg used prison labor to make campaign calls. Through a third-party vendor, the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign contracted New Jersey-based call center company ProCom, which runs calls centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Two of the call centers in Oklahoma are operated out of state prisons. In at least one of the two prisons, incarcerated people were contracted to make calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign.

According to a source, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, people incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, were making calls to California on behalf of Bloomberg. The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign. They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey... if your people cannot fact-check how a company sources its campaign phone calls, should you, by some miracle, get nominated and elected, how can the rest of America expect you to protect us from harm's way, if there is a real danger at our doorstep?!?

The short answer is, they cannot, sir; you've just proven it to them, with this debacle.

Dec 26 06:38

Mysterious drones flying nighttime patterns over northeast Colorado leave local law enforcement stumped

A band of large drones appears to be flying nighttime search patterns over northeast Colorado — and local authorities say they don’t know who’s behind the mysterious aircraft.

The drones, estimated to have six-foot wingspans, have been flying over Phillips and Yuma counties every night for about the last week, Phillips County Sheriff Thomas Elliott said Monday.

The drones stay about 200 feet to 300 feet in the air and fly steadily in squares of about 25 miles, he said. There are at least 17 drones; they emerge each night around 7 p.m. and disappear around 10 p.m., he said.

“They’ve been doing a grid search, a grid pattern,” he said. “They fly one square and then they fly another square.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't believe that they don't know what the drones are doing; they have just been ordered, by those flying the drones, not to say anything about their use.

Dec 26 06:35

COLLEGES ARE TURNING STUDENTS' PHONES INTO SURVEILLANCE MACHINES, TRACKING THE LOCATIONS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS

SOURCE: SLASH DO

Colleges are tracking students' location to enforce attendance, analyze their behavior and assess their mental health. One company calculates a student's "risk score" based on factors such as whether she is going to the library enough.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a student in this part of the 21st century, when inspecting a college for future attendance, I would ask point blank, if it was an established policy to do such surveillance of their students, without their permission.

If the answer was yes, I would thank the person showing me the campus, and leave, scratching that particular school of higher surveillance off my list, as a place I would want to go.

Dec 23 16:24

Twitter Warns Millions of Android App Users to Update Immediately

If endlessly scrolling through Twitter on your phone is part of your daily ritual, you’re going to want to update the app as soon as you can if you’re an Android user. This week, Twitter confirmed a vulnerability in its Android app that could let hackers see your “nonpublic account information” and commandeer your account to send tweets and direct messages.

Dec 23 16:03

Dating app Plenty of Fish reveals it leaked private names and zip codes of users allowing other users to pinpoint their exact location

Researchers discovered the dating app Plenty of Fish was leaking information that users had set to private on their profiles.

User's names and zip codes were displayed in the app's API, allowing malicious actors to locate a user's exact location.

Although the data was scrambled, experts were able to reveal the information using freely available tools designed to analyze network traffic, as first reported by TechCrunch.

Dec 21 13:25

Are 5G-Enabled “Smart Ambulance” Tests Contributing to Multiple Deaths of UK Ambulance Workers?

5G will massively increase electromagnetic radiation in both the microwave and millimeter wave frequencies in our environment. This next generation of wireless telecommunications will use both our current 3G and 4G wireless frequencies and also add higher frequencies in the submillimeter and millimeter waves.

Dec 21 13:16

IRREGULATORS vs. FCC: Exposing and prosecuting a vast, illegal financial scandal behind 5G

Bruce and Scott lead the IRREGULATORS, a group of telecom industry experts and insiders who are taking the FCC to federal court in January 2020, armed with evidence — of an estimated $1 Trillion scandal — and strategy that could very well pave the way to a great restructuring of telecom and dissolution of the 5G agenda.

Dec 20 11:13

Drupal Warns Web Admins to Update CMS Sites to Patch a Critical Flaw

If you haven't recently updated your Drupal-based blog or business website to the latest available versions, it's the time.

Drupal development team yesterday released important security updates for its widely used open-source content management software that addresses a critical and three "moderately critical" vulnerabilities in its core system.

Considering that Drupal-powered websites are among the all-time favorite targets for hackers, the website administrators are highly recommended to install the latest release Drupal 7.69, 8.7.11, or 8.8.1 to prevent remote hackers from compromising web servers.

Dec 20 10:29

The Hidden Military Use of 5G Technology

The possibilities offered by this new technology are explained by the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology, published by the Defense Science Board, a federal committee which provides scientific advice for the Pentagon –

“The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements”.

In other words, the 5G commercial network, built and activated by private companies, will be used by the US armed forces at a much lower expenditure than that necessary if the network were to be set up with an exclusively military goal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And of course, the other "dark side" of this technology is probably much more, and more intense surveillance against perfectly innocent people, who are doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Dec 19 18:07

267 million - mostly American - Facebook users' IDs, names and phone numbers are exposed online and shared on the dark web

Personal information belonging to more than 267 million Facebook users has been exposed in an unsecured database on the dark web, it has emerged.

The Facebook IDs, phone numbers and full names of 267,140,436 users, most residing in the US, were discovered in the database by cybersecurity firm Comparitech and researcher Bob Diachenko, according to a report published Thursday.

The report warned that people identified in the database could be targeted by spam messages or phishing schemes.

Although it is not yet clear how the sensitive information was exposed, Diachenko traced the database back to Vietnam and speculated that it may have been compiled through an illegal process called 'scraping' – where automated bots copy public information from Facebook profiles - or stolen directly from Facebook's developer API.

Dec 19 18:04

Your CAR could be at risk of cyberattacks: Scientists reveal 'holes' in systems that let hackers steal data or even takeover your smart vehicle

Scientists have found 'holes' in these systems that lets digital deviants access your data or worse, take over the vehicle.

The first hole is when users plug their smartphone into their smart car, which is an open door for hackers to breach vehicle systems.

However, another vulnerability lets users access features in order to take over the system and could ultimately crash the car.

Experts are now calling on carmakers to release constant updates for the software in order to put an end to data breaches and save lives.

Dec 19 10:13

Federal Reserve "Network Issues" Cause Nationwide Direct Deposit Outage

In recent years, banks and credit card processors had blamed hackers, blackouts, infrastructure inefficiencies, and of course the "Russians" for periodic service outages. As of today, they are now blaming the Fed itself.

Starting around 7am, there was a surge of outages reported at Capital One...

Dec 19 09:46

Google goes offline after fibre cables cut

Severed fibre optic cables disrupted internet access in parts of eastern Europe, Iran and Turkey on Thursday.

The issue, which lasted for about two hours, was caused by multiple fibre cables being physically cut at the same time, a highly unusual thing to happen.

Google said its services were among those unavailable in the region for about 30 minutes.

The company told internet service providers to connect to its other servers to "route around the problem".

In a statement, the company blamed "multiple simultaneous fibre cuts", which are very rare.

BBC Monitoring confirmed that internet access in Iran and Turkey had been disrupted for about two hours on Thursday morning.

Dec 19 06:33

Top 3 Most Dangerous Browser Hijackers For Mac

Browser hijacking is when a software modifies browser settings, especially homepage, extensions, extensions, and default search engines without taking your consent. The explanation may not seem that dangerous but in actual, these hijackers can also steal your personal information while redirecting you to some unwanted platforms. Recent forms of this adware like Search Baron are extremely persistent.

Browser hijackers are basically some kind of unwanted applications in the cybersecurity world. No one wants to install those programs on their Mac systems, but they are still present without getting noticed. Hackers also use them to distribute malware, keyloggers, adware, and spyware, etc. In the worst cases, they can even steal your banking information, such as passwords and usernames as well.

Top 3 most dangerous browser hijackers for Mac

Dec 18 16:38

Facebook admits it can track your movements and bombard you with adverts even if users turn OFF location settings

The bombshell revelation went viral on social media with many decrying it as a violation of privacy, including Republican Senator Josh Hawley who called for Congress to take action.

Facebook stops tracking location data specifically when a user opts out but it admits that it can piece together various piece of information to determine where they are.

Tagged photos or locations as well as addresses for purchases on the site's shopping section provide clues to where a user is, as well as IP address information.

Dec 18 16:36

Monopoly money: Google and Facebook's 'dominance' in online advertising - worth a combined £8 BILLION in 2018 - could drive up prices of flights and electronics, competition watchdog warns

Google and Facebook are so dominant in the advertising market they risk pushing up the cost of flights and electronics, a competition watchdog has warned.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says it fears the tech giants' large market share could allow them to increase what they charge companies to advertise.

They say these higher charges could be passed on to consumers, pushing up prices.

Dec 18 16:35

Amazon, Apple and Google join forces to make their home products 'speak to each other' to make smart homes a reality

It is a move the technology giants hope will make it easier for consumers as they will be able to use different devices from a variety of companies on the same network.

'We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants', the new group said in a statement.

The royalty-free and open source software standard will have 'security as a fundamental design tenet', according to Apple.

Dec 18 16:33

Anonymous whistleblower reveals $43million fraud scheme at Apple assembly partner Foxconn's biggest iPhone factory in China that 'sold more than 300,000 bootleg phones made from defective parts'

Workers at Foxconn's biggest iPhone assembly plant in China were allegedly running an illegal side business selling bootleg phones made from defective components that would otherwise have been destroyed.

The scheme is believed to have generated an estimated $43million over the course of more than two years.

Local reports say an estimated 300,000 units were sold during the scheme, including iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models.

Dec 18 11:08

Distribution Release: Linux Mint 19.3

The Linux Mint team has published an update to the project's 19.x series, which is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The distribution's newest release is Linux Mint 19.3 which is available in three editions (Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce).

Dec 18 07:46

The weird future of brain-computer interfaces: Replacing passwords with thoughts and mind-reading bosses who can tell when you are bored

Brain computer interfaces may sound futuristic, but adoption of such systems -- which allow signals from the brain to be recorded or used to control technology -- is on the rise. Much of the development work going on around BCIs is focused on medical uses for the tech, but consumer applications of BCIs are already being explored, from providing a better gaming experience to allow your boss to track your work rate.

Dec 18 07:21

Ellen DeGeneres, Lisa Kudrow, Facebook, and Google named worst password offenders of 2019

Companies and employees are not the only users at fault for poor password security, however. To display how widespread password security malpractice is, Dashlane identified the following 10 worst password offenders of 2019, spanning from tech companies, to congressmen--and even celebrities. These mistakes include repeated passwords, easily guessed passwords, faulty encryptions, and more.

Dec 18 06:15

MGM Resorts to Replace Bartenders With Machines (No, Really)

Can we write a sensational headline, or what?

Thing is, we’re not kidding.

Several sources inside MGM Resorts have confirmed the company will soon roll out automated cocktail dispensing machines in its service bars (also called “well bars”) in Las Vegas and across the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At least these robot bartenders won't rat you out to your spouse about the "date" you were buying drinks for!

Dec 17 18:04

New Orleans Declares State of Emergency After Cyberattack

By B.N. Frank

Technology is great but only when it’s safe. Unfortunately, city governments – and hospitals – being held for ransom by hackers are becoming more common.

A recent report also revealed tens of thousands of cybersecurity weaknesses in The U.S. Dept of Energy – including inside the Nuclear Security Administration. Yikes! Now “The Big Easy” has been compromised...

Dec 17 17:33

Where's our data, Google? Chrome 79 update 'a catastrophe' for Android devs with WebView apps

A change to the location of profile data in Chrome 79 on Android, the new version rolling out now, means that applications using the WebView component lose data stored locally.

"This is a catastrophe; our users' data are being deleted as they receive the update," complained one developer.

"I heard from a company that uses local storage for offline no-connection available that had local record[s] of animals getting vaccination. The update 'erased' all the data. They don't know which animals got [a] vaccine and can't repeat on all of them. Serious stuff," said another user.

Google said it has halted the rollout, which is estimated at 50 per cent of devices.

The problem appears to stem from a change to the location of profile data in Chromium, the open source project on which Google Chrome is based.

Dec 17 16:56

Linux Mint

For someone coming off of Windows 7 hands down the best,the easiest to use Linux OS on The Planet. Software Manager,Synaptic and Gdebi. Lots of stable software. If you want to learn the command line and terminal you can put a whole lot more interesting software programs on your machine. Available in Linux Mint OS as well as the latest Debian OS. A breeze to install and fast.

Dec 17 16:48

This is Manjaro (Arch Linux for Dummies)

Beginners can use this. Geeks can have fun using the command line and terminal. Tons of available software of all kinds,but some is unstable. It uses a Rolling Release update. Was unstable in the early days. You can really tweak this one.
Based on one of the geekiest forms of Linux OS's Arch Linux.

For people who want a reliable and fast desktop

This edition is supported by the Manjaro team and comes with XFCE, a reliable desktop with high configurability.

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

https://www.archlinux.org/

Dec 17 16:12

Zorin OS 15.1 is Released: A Better Way to Work, Learn and Play

One of your best Linux systems for someone coming off of Windows 7.

Just over 6 months ago, we launched Zorin OS 15, our most advanced and refined operating system ever. Since then, it’s been downloaded over 550,000 times around the world. Over 65% of these downloads were coming from Windows and macOS, reflecting our mission to bring the power of Linux to people who’ve never had access to it before. We would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for making this release as big and impactful as it has been.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Zorin OS is getting even better with the release of version 15.1. We’ve paid close attention to your feedback and worked hard to make the desktop experience better for work, learning, playing, and everything in between. We’ve focused on making the desktop feel even more familiar and user-friendly to new users, especially those moving away from Windows 7 leading up to the end of its support in one month.

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