COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Oct 15 17:36

'Do Not Track,' the Privacy Tool Used by Millions of People, Doesn't Do Anything

“Do Not Track,” as it was first imagined a decade ago by consumer advocates, was going to be a “Do Not Call” list for the internet, helping to free people from annoying targeted ads and creepy data collection. But only a handful of sites respect the request, the most prominent of which are Pinterest and Medium. (Pinterest won’t use offsite data to target ads to a visitor who’s elected not to be tracked, while Medium won’t send their data to third parties.) The vast majority of sites, including this one, ignore it.

Yahoo and Twitter initially said they would respect it, only to later abandon it. The most popular sites on the internet, from Google and Facebook to Pornhub and xHamster, never honored it in the first place.

Oct 15 17:03

TSA Announces “biometrics vision for all commercial aviation travelers”

Homeland Security was explicit in their 18-page memo from June 2017 that “the only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling.” Now, according to a new “Biometric Roadmap” from the TSA, detailed by The Identity Project, we can see the level of commitment to accelerating incremental enforcement for all domestic and international air travel (“notional phased approach” in TSA-speak). Of course when it comes to the TSA, airports may not be the final destination. Biometric ID is already spreading from planes, to trains, to events and to conferences...

Oct 15 11:23

THE FBI DOESN’T WANT USERS TO KNOW WHO HACKED FACEBOOK

The FBI has asked Facebook not to reveal who may be behind a recent hack that exposed highly sensitive personal information of 14 million users, according to a Facebook security update Friday.

A hack on Facebook, which originally was reported to have affected 50 million users, now has been confirmed to have only affected 30 million. That said, the hack “appears to be the worst hack in Facebook’s 14-year history,” according to Business Insider’s Rob Price. (RELATED: Sources: China Hacked Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server)

Hackers took advantage of an intersection of three different and distinct bugs in Facebook’s website to gain “access tokens” to users’ accounts, according to Guy Rosen, the vice president of product management at Facebook.

“We’re cooperating with the FBI, which is actively investigating and asked us not to discuss who may be behind this attack,” Rosen wrote in a post entitled “An Update on the Security Issue.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder the reason the FBI does not want the hacker named; could it have been a foreign entity, with the money, motive, and opportunity to make this happen?

But... we'll never know, because that such a hack could have been done, indicates that the FBI, DHS, and various other alphabet soup agencies would be shame-faced, were the culprit(s) named and shamed in broad daylight.

Oct 15 11:18

Ancestry Sites Could Soon Expose Nearly Anyone's Identity, Researchers Say

The researchers behind the study were inspired by the recent case of the alleged Golden State Killer.

Earlier this year, Sacramento police arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo for a wave of rapes and murders allegedly committed by DeAngelo in the 1970s and 1980s. And they claimed to have identified DeAngelo with the help of genealogy databases.

Erlich and his team wanted to see how easy it would be in general to use the method to find someone’s identity by relying on the DNA of distant and possibly unknown family members. So they looked at more than 1.2 million anonymous people who had gotten testing from MyHeritage, and specifically excluded anyone who had immediate family members also in the database. The idea was to figure out whether a stranger’s DNA could indeed be used to crack your identity.

For Erlich, the findings are both reassuring and frightening.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are huge possibilities for abuse of this technology, and Erlich is absolutely right to be concerned about how it may be used.

Oct 15 11:02

Welcome To The Smart Home Government Snitch Program

By Nicholas West

The very nature of the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution appears to be at stake as the data from our personal tech devices increasingly is open for scrutiny ... even if that data comes from within the four walls of our home...

Oct 15 10:12

BEX ALERT - Hunt for Russian sleeper agents 'planning a series of attacks to bring down Britain's internet' after GRU whistleblower, 53, exposes plot

Police are allegedly hunting two Russian sleeper agents who are waiting to 'bring down Britain's internet' with cyber attacks.

It is feared the agents are in disguise working for an Internet Service Provider or a university with access to 'super computers' and are ready to spring into action when Putin gives the word.

They have reportedly been tasked with disrupting trade after Brexit by bringing the internet to a halt in Britain.

Oct 15 08:44

Watchdog exposes Pentagon's cyber struggles

Defense experts are seizing on a stunning federal report highlighting cyber vulnerabilities in U.S. weapons systems, calling it an embarrassing wake-up call for the Pentagon.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this week found that nearly all of the weapons systems it tested had extensive cyber flaws. The report warned that the Department of Defense (DOD) “likely has an entire generation of systems that were designed and built without adequately considering cybersecurity.”

Experts said the alarming report was shining a light on the Pentagon's systematic failure to consider cyber threats in building the country's most powerful weapons.

Oct 15 07:53

In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

Probably because Microsoft has accidentally disabled your audio

Oct 15 07:29

THE PENTAGON’S PUSH TO PROGRAM SOLDIERS’ BRAINS

DARPA’s developing capabilities still hover at or near a proof-of-concept stage. But that’s close enough to have drawn investment from some of the world’s richest corporations.

Oct 14 09:48

Google tells US lawmakers it is mulling options on China services

It is still unclear whether Google would move forward with a search engine in China said Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Alphabet Inc`s Google unit has told U.S. lawmakers it was considering "a variety of options" to offer additional services in China, but declined to detail plans for addressing Chinese censorship. The company has come under criticism after reports it was considering re-entering China`s search engine market and would comply with its internet censorship and surveillance policies.

Oct 13 18:37

Hackers hide cryptocurrency mining malware in Adobe Flash updates

Cryptocurrency scammers have gotten extra creative and are now hiding mining malware in legitimate updates of Adobe Flash Player.

Researchers from cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks discovered a fake Flash updater which has been doing the rounds since early August. While it claims to install a legitimate Flash update, the malicious file sneaks in a cryptocurrency mining bot called XMRig (which mines privacy coin Monero).

The fact the scam actually installs a genuine Flash update serves to distract the user from the deceitful goings-on. Many users may be unaware their CPU is now running at full tilt, mining cryptocurrency for someone else.

Oct 13 18:35

Why missing Saudi journalist’s Apple Watch is an interesting, but unlikely, lead

But even if Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate wearing that model, a third-generation Apple Watch does not support cellular connections in Turkey, effectively ruling out any chance that his health data synced either with his iPhone outside or Apple’s servers.

It’s also unlikely that the watch connected to a known Wi-Fi network inside the consulate, or that the watch was within close enough range to sync with his iPhone outside using Bluetooth.

In any case, if health data from Khashoggi’s watch was transmitted over the air to Apple’s iCloud where it could be synced with his iPhone, the data is end-to-end encrypted with his passcode.

Not even Apple — and therefore law enforcement — can access this data, meaning any evidence of his whereabouts will be on his iPhone.

Oct 13 11:19

Pentagon Reveals Cyber Breach of Travel Records

The Pentagon on Friday said there has been a cyber breach of Defense Department travel records that compromised the personal information and credit card data of U.S. military and civilian personnel.

According to a U.S. official familiar with the matter, the breach could have affected as many as 30,000 workers, but that number may grow as the investigation continues. The breach could have happened some months ago but was only recently discovered.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the breach is under investigation, said that no classified information was compromised.

Oct 13 10:52

Husband Divorces Wife After Spotting Her on Google Maps with Another Man

This couple's story, however, isn't a heartwarming one like Denise's. Unless you count a dude discovering that his wife was cheating on him with another man thanks to one of Google's automobiles heartwarming, that is.

That's exactly what happened to this Peruvian dude when he was trying to discover the best way to get to a bridge in the country's capital city of Lima. While browsing Google street view, he noticed someone familiar: his wife.

That's right, she's sitting there on a park bench with some strange dude's head in her lap, stroking his hair. What tipped him off at first was the outfit she was wearing and then after zooming in he noticed that it was her.

When he confronted his wife with the photos, which were dated back to 2013, she admitted to having an affair. He filed for divorced after she confirmed what he clearly saw in the pictures. Thankfully, she didn't try saying that she was stroking the dude's head in a "friendly" fashion.

Oct 13 10:23

Outside In: The Trump administration’s plan to remake the Middle East

The only promise that is new about the promised peace plan is the way it will be forced on the Palestinians: no one has promised that the plan itself will be new. With Saudi Arabia and Egypt—the outside—brought onside with the promise of continued military aid despite their crimes against humanity and violations of international law and the Palestinians weakened by being silenced, economically crushed and stripped of any friends to help them, the United States and Israel are now free to attempt to impose a peace plan on the Palestinians.

Oct 13 09:35

GOOGLE CEO TELLS SENATORS THAT CENSORED CHINESE SEARCH ENGINE COULD PROVIDE “BROAD BENEFITS”

GOOGLE CEO SUNDAR PICHAI has refused to answer a list of questions from U.S. lawmakers about the company’s secretive plan for a censored search engine in China.

In a letter newly obtained by The Intercept, Pichai told a bipartisan group of six senators that Google could have “broad benefits inside and outside of China,” but said he could not share details about the censored search engine because it “remains unclear” whether the company “would or could release a search service” in the country.

Pichai’s letter contradicts the company’s search engine chief, Ben Gomes, who informed staff during a private meeting that the company was aiming to release the platform in China between January and April 2019. Gomes told employees working on the Chinese search engine that they should get it ready to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would imagine that the Dragonfly prototype will be rolled out in the US very soon, as nearly the only way to get heavily censored information, while smaller sites get shut down (as Google, Twitter, and Facebook are now doing, with their deplatforming of conservative sites).

And THAT, my friends, is why the Federal Government will let this happen, first in China, then in the US, to provide as much total control over information as they can.

Remember Terry Gilliam's brilliant film, "Brazil", released in 1985?!?

If you have never watched it, please get it now, preferably the director's cut; this man was beyond genius, in his approach to what the US would look like, a couple of decades after the film was made, and wow, was he spot-on in terms of the grinding disparities between the monied, and the have-nots in this country.

Oct 13 09:22

BREAKING: Hillary Clinton Loses Security Clearance Amid Email Scandal

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley revealed that Hillary Clinton’s aide (who magically became her lawyer) Cheryl Mills along with four others also no longer have clearance.

The U.S. State Department recently confirmed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security clearance has been withdrawn at her request. Clearances for five other individuals whom Clinton designated as researchers have also been withdrawn, including close aide Cheryl Mills, according to the State Department’s update of its ongoing review of the mishandling of classified information related to the use of Clinton’s non-government email server.

Documents containing classified material have been sent to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and all valid security incidents have been added to the security file for some individuals. Department authorities are continuing to review tens of thousands of documents for classified content.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of people!!

But I have to wonder if this collective "slap on the wrist" was done as a way of attempting to mitigate current, and future, lawsuits against her, if the statute of limitations has not run out on those alleged crimes?!?

Oct 13 09:01

FIRST THEY CAME FOR ALEX JONES — WE TOLD YOU WE WERE NEXT — WE WERE

October 11, 2018 will be remembered in history as the day the tech giants attempted to wipe out independent, liberty-minded, antiwar media from the airwaves. On Thursday, in a coordinated effort, hundreds of pages devoted to peace and liberty were memory holed by social media giants.

As part of its purge, Facebook has removed the pages of several police accountability/watchdog/critic groups, including Cop Block, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police. They've also apparently severely restricted activity for the Photography Is Not a Crime page.

What makes this recent purge from Facebook and Twitter so egregious is that the pages like the Free Thought Project, the Anti-Media, Press for Truth, and dozens of others, did not fit the hate speech narrative these same companies used to wipe out Alex Jones. Instead, these pages were dedicated to spreading peace, bridging the divide, bringing humanity together and holding government accountable.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mike and I have a great deal of respect for Matt and his team at Free Thought Project, and I have linked many of his articles to WRH.

Please leave Facebook and Twitter now; the only thing you will get from them is Government-approved narrative to support specific agendas (read: wars.)

Oct 13 09:00

SMART CITIES: ARE WE SLEEPWALKING INTO A BIG BROTHER FUTURE OF CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE IN THE NAME OF IMPROVED EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY?

When Eva Blum-Dumontet, a research officer for London-based non-profit Privacy International, attends conferences, she likes to ask people she meets if they live in a smart city.

Oct 13 08:56

GANGING UP ON BEIJING? FIVE EYES INTEL NETWORK NOW LOOKS AT CHINA

The intelligence agencies of the US, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have been cooperating closely on countering China’s “foreign activities” since the start of the year, Reuters reports.

The so-called Five Eyes network is also sharing intelligence with allies such as Germany and Japan, in what has become a multinational coalition against Beijing’s alleged foreign meddling. Washington and its partners have accused China of using foreign investments to pull political strings – an accusation that Beijing denies.

“Consultations with our allies, with like-minded partners, on how to respond to China’s assertive international strategy have been frequent and are gathering momentum,” a US official told Reuters. The unnamed source added that informal discussions on the matter have quickly turned into “detailed consultations on best practices and further opportunities for cooperation.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that NONE of this information is sourced, or attributed.

But please note; demonization of another country, plus sanctions placed on it, are most usually the solid prelude to a shooting war.

Oct 13 07:57

Google Search Competitor Reaches 30 Million Searches Per Day

This is going to be interesting. There is a lot of Google hate out there. Google Search competitor DuckDuckGo has reached 30 million searches per day.

Oct 12 18:03

Will Apple’s latest Watch crash when the clocks go back? Australian fans report gadgets have already started rebooting randomly ahead of the UK and US adopting Daylight Saving Time

Fans on the continent - which adopted summer schedules on Sunday - found that the Series 4 Watch struggles with the switch from Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Reports claim that a glitch in the Watches' Infograph Activity function that controls its fitness monitoring capabilities is behind the malfunction.

It has already caused their Watch to reboot and stall as it tries to process the missing hour.

Oct 12 17:57

Facebook fails to make most popular 50 brands voted for by UK's under 30s after Cambridge Analytica scandal - as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube top list

A survey of 1,000 under-30s conducted by youth creative agency ZAK found that the top brand was Netflix, followed by Amazon and YouTube.

The 50th top brand was Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, which got a measly 0.4 per cent of the vote - but still trumped Facebook, which wasn't even listed.

Oct 12 17:34

Facebook hack victims will not get ID theft protection

Facebook has said it will not provide identity fraud protection for the victims of its latest data breach.

On Friday it revealed 14 million users had highly personal information stolen by hackers.

It included search history, location data and information about relationships, religion and more.

However, unlike other major hacks involving big companies, Facebook said it had no plans to provide protection services for concerned users.

Oct 12 13:42

ALEXA COULD SOON KNOW IF YOU’RE SICK OR DEPRESSED

A new Amazon patent will allow Alexa to detect emotions like “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, and other emotional states” and sickness in users.

“A current physical and/or emotional condition of the user may facilitate the ability to provide highly targeted audio content, such as audio advertisements or promotions, to the user,” Amazon’s patent says.

Oct 12 13:29

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Etc. are Subversive to American Government

Subversive-Tending to subvert; having a tendency to overthrow and ruin. Public corruption of morals is subversive of public happiness.

Subversion-Entire overthrow; an overthrow of the foundation; utter ruin; as the subversion of a government or state. The subversion of the constitution or laws. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Oct 12 13:07

Facebook says hackers accessed data of 29 million social network users

Facebook has admitted that hackers accessed the data of 29 million users on the social network by using people's friends lists to steal access tokens.

The social network addressed the September attack on Friday, saying in a statement that it is cooperating with the FBI, which is "actively investigating." Facebook added that the bureau has asked it not to discuss who may be behind the attack.

Oct 12 12:15

LEAKED GOOGLE DOCUMENT ADVISES TO “POLICE TONE INSTEAD OF CONTENT” IN THE “SHIFT TOWARDS CENSORSHIP”

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Upon reading that last paragraph, the WRH Bovine Excrement Detectors sucked a valve, shuddered and imploded on the spot.

When we replace this unit (which comes, BTW, at a cost equivalent to that of a platinum-coated Unicorn's horn), the next time it happens, upon reading something thoroughly evil or shady Google has done, I will be morally obliged to to bill them directly for the damage!!

Oct 12 12:14

Global Internet Outage Over Next 48 Hours Could Affect Some Users, According To ICANN

ICANN has scheduled the Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover for today, and it could affect some DNS users all over the world.

By Rolling the KSK, ICANN implies that a new cryptographic public and private key pair will be generated and the private key will be distributed to internet service providers, enterprise network administrators, and Domain Name System (DNS) resolver operators.

KSK Rollover operations began in October 2016 and were scheduled for October 2017. However, ICANN announced that the rollover has been postponed due to the fact that “a significant number of resolvers used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Network Operators are not yet ready for the Key Rollover.”

A draft plan was announced on February 1, 2018, after receiving input from the community; October 11, 2018, was the date put forward to initiate the procedure. According to ICANN, the rollover is necessary to curb the rising number of cyber attacks.

Oct 12 11:50

POLICE FACIAL RECOGNITION BODY CAMS CAN BE EDITED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

Soon nowhere will be safe from Big Brother's prying eyes. Imagine walking down Main St., and seeing officer friendly approaching you. As the officer approaches you, he or she has already scanned your face against a 15 million person database and knows if you have any outstanding tickets, warrants etc.

That is the future of American policing.

Police across America will soon be using Vigilant Solutions (VS), "VideoBadge" body cams to identify everyone they come in contact with. (Click here to find out more.)

A VS "wearable security" video tries to convince people that it is fun to use facial recognition body cams to spy on everyone.

A question everyone should be asking is, why does a private corporation have a 15 million person "gallery" of Americans and how could it be abused?

Putting a corporation in charge of a facial recognition database is only asking for trouble.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How do we prevent police from editing footage to their liking, which holds them harmless and indemnifies them from blame, if they do not like the way a particular situation was resolved?!?

Safeguard provisions need to be in place, and right the heck now, to prevent any tampering of footage by the police because the footage looks really bad for them.

Oct 12 11:20

WALMART HAS AN INCREDIBLY CREEPY CART PATENT TO MONITOR YOUR BIOMETRIC DATA

Walmart has a totally creepy idea to monitor your biometric data, pulse, and location from the sensors on a shopping cart handle, Motherboard reported.

Walmart recently applied for a patent that details biometric shopping handles that can track a customer’s heart rate, palm temperature, grip, and how fast the cart is being pushed.

The patent titled “System And Method For A Biometric Feedback Cart Handle” published August 23rd, details a cart with sensors in it that would then send data to a server. That server would then notify store employees to check on individual customers.

The company has yet to clarify the use-cases of such a patented cart besides creepy privacy-invasive technology. However, it can be assumed that some of these cart features would be for customer safety and anti-theft measures.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just because it is both creepy and scary, is no guarantee that Walmart will not get the patent, and move forward with integrating it into their carts.

Should that implementation happen, color us OUT of Walmart, permanently!!!!

Oct 12 11:16

The Facebook hack is way worse than previously thought

Facebook revealed Friday that the biggest security breach in the company’s history is much worse than first thought.

When Facebook first reported the breach two weeks ago it said that up to 50 millions accounts could have been impacted. On Friday it downgraded that figure to 30 million, but the scale of the information the hackers accessed was much worse than initially reported.

Oct 12 10:01

COPS TOLD ‘DON’T LOOK’ AT NEW IPHONES TO AVOID FACE ID LOCK-OUT

AFTER FIVE FAILED ATTEMPTS WITH THE 'WRONG' FACE, APPLE'S FACE ID SYSTEM WILL FALL BACK TO ASKING A PASSCODE; A TRICKY SITUATION FOR INVESTIGATORS.
As Apple continues to update its iPhones with new security features, law enforcement and other investigators are constantly playing catch-up, trying to find the best way to circumvent the protections or to grab evidence. Last month, Forbes reported the first known instance of a search warrant being used to unlock a suspect’s iPhone X with their own face, leveraging the iPhone X’s Face ID feature.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, THAT has to be a major embarrassment for Apple!!

Oct 12 09:43

LEAKED GOOGLE DOCUMENT ADVISES TO “POLICE TONE INSTEAD OF CONTENT” IN THE “SHIFT TOWARDS CENSORSHIP”

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

Oct 12 09:09

Facebook purges hundreds of political pages, some alt-media with millions of followers

In August, the aggressively pro-NATO think tank Atlantic Council announced it was joining Facebook as a "fact-checking" partner. A press statement from the social media platform gushed that the think tank, which boasts such esteemed warmongers as Henry Kissinger and Michael Chertoff on its board, would serve as the "eyes and ears" of Facebook, so the platform could play a "positive role" in ensuring democracy was practiced correctly in the future.

In the recent months, accounts that post anti-establishment political content have noticed a massive drop in engagement on their posts – if they haven't been kicked off the platform altogether. In August, Facebook deleted 652 accounts after cybersecurity firm FireEye claimed they were linked to Iran.

Oct 12 09:06

Facebook shuts down 'spammy' politics pages

Scammers no longer sent messages about disasters or celebrities, it said, but used politics to generate traffic.

Oct 12 08:46

Facebook purges hundreds of political pages, some alt-media with millions of followers

Facebook is again being called out for purging political accounts too far left and right of center, after it removed more than 800 pages just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Some had millions of followers.

Many of the affected pages were supposedly sharing links between groups using fake accounts, which then clicked "Like" on the posts, artificially upping their engagement numbers. This "inauthentic behavior" violates Facebook's anti-spam policies and goes against "what people expect" from Facebook, the company said.

While some of the deleted pages have been known to run content of questionable credibility at times, Facebook did not expressly accuse them of spreading "fake news" – or actually provide a list of names or examples of postings at all. However, under the platform's new policies, simply spreading "news" is frowned upon: it has recently tweaked its algorithm to prevent users' feeds from being dominated by news stories.

Oct 12 08:26

Here's how Microsoft can fix its Windows 10 update issues

Disastrous is the best word to describe Microsoft's release of Windows 10 version 1809. A data deletion bug forced the company to take the unprecedented step of halting the roll-out of its October 2018 feature update.

ZDNet's Ed Bott and Mary Jo Foley offer some proposals that could help Microsoft avoid repeating the missteps which plagued version 1809.

Oct 11 16:43

Pentagon's new next-gen weapons systems are laughably easy to hack

Congress ordered the GAO report in preparation to approve DOD funding of over $1.66 trillion, so the Pentagon could expand its weapons portfolio with new toys in the coming years.

But according to the new report, GAO testers "playing the role of adversary" found a slew of vulnerabilities of all sort of types affecting these new weapons systems.

"Using relatively simple tools and techniques, testers were able to take control of systems and largely operate undetected, due in part to basic issues such as poor password management and unencrypted communications," GAO officials said.

Oct 11 16:35

EFF To Texas AG: Epson Tricked Its Customers With a Dangerous Fake Update

Back in 2016, printing giant HP sent a deceitful, malicious update to millions of OfficeJet and OfficeJet Pro printers that disguised itself as a "security update." Users who trusted HP and applied the update discovered to their chagrin that the update didn't improve their printers' security: rather, the updated printers had acquired the ability to reject cheaper ink, forcing the printer owners to throw away their third-party and refilled ink cartridges and buy new ones.

Now, Epson has followed suit: in late 2016 or early 2017, Epson started sending deceptive updates to many of its printers. Just like HP, Epson disguised these updates as routine software improvements, when really they were poison pills, designed to downgrade printers so they could only work with Epson's expensive ink systems.

Oct 11 12:49

Want Cheaper Insurance Rates? You Can Have It If You Let Companies Track and Manage Your Life

By Nicholas West

One of the most insidious side effects emerging in our modern world of digital tracking and Big Data goes far beyond the loss of privacy — it is the nearly inevitable move toward centralized behavior management and social engineering...

Oct 11 12:48

Facebook removes over 800 accounts, pages for political spam

Facebook says it is removing 559 pages and 251 accounts that “have consistently broken … rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

Oct 11 12:11

Don’t Upgrade to the Latest Operating Systems on Day One

More Updates, More Problems

Microsoft pulled Windows 10’s October 2018 Update because it deleted some people’s personal files, but that’s just the latest and most prominent issue—previous updates caused problems, too. For example, the Anniversary Update broke millions of webcams before a patch was released a month later. The Anniversary Update also caused some PCs to blue screen when a Kindle device was connected.

We’ve seen many smaller reports of hardware-specific problems after installing a major Windows 10 update, too.

Oct 11 11:23

Walmart Has An Incredibly Creepy Cart Patent To Monitor Your Biometric Data

By Aaron Kesel

Walmart has a totally creepy idea to monitor your biometric data, pulse, and location from the sensors on a shopping cart handle, Motherboard reported.

Walmart recently applied for a patent that details biometric shopping handles that can track a customer’s heart rate, palm temperature, grip, and how fast the cart is being pushed...

Oct 11 11:00

Disgruntled Amazon Workers About To Be Replaced By Fleet Of Robots

Amazon, which announced a $15 minimum wage bump for 250,000 employees last week, is developing a fleet of "picking" robots to staff its warehouses, known as fulfillment centers, according to The Information, citing three people with knowledge of the work.

Robot picker designed by Kindred Systems
Warehouse pickers grab items from shelves and put them into bins before they are prepped and shipped. The new robots will be able to visually identify items as they speed down a conveyor belt, then pick them up with a compressed-air vacuum gripper before moving them onto a table or shelf - said an employee who witnessed the robot in action.

That said, our future robot overlords aren't quite ready for prime time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oct 11 10:49

Amazon Atlas: The “Highly Confidential” locations of Amazon’s data centers

Today, 11 October 2018, WikiLeaks publishes a “Highly Confidential” internal document from the cloud computing provider Amazon. The document from late 2015 lists the addresses and some operational details of over one hundred data centers spread across fifteen cities in nine countries. To accompany this document, WikiLeaks also created a map showing where Amazon’s data centers are located.

Oct 11 10:47

Outlook for stability uncertain as Pentagon migrates to the cloud

In March, the Defense Department released a draft solicitation for a program known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). This solicitation provides private-sector firms a preliminary invitation to submit proposals for a new Pentagon initiative in cloud computing. (In April, an updated solicitation was released.) The department plans to spend up to $10 billion in the coming years to establish and maintain JEDI, a project that will involve both infrastructure and platform services and cover an as-yet-undetermined span of the Defense Department’s digital landscape. According to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the contract represents a major technological advancement for the department. “It’s not that the cloud’s really cool,” Shanahan says. “[Cloud computing] creates for you the opportunity to have more security, have better access at data, [and] get at lower costs.”

Oct 11 09:24

?Microsoft open-sources its patent portfolio

By joining the Open Invention Network, Microsoft is offering its entire patent portfolio to all of the open-source patent consortium's members.

Oct 11 09:24

?Microsoft open-sources its patent portfolio

By joining the Open Invention Network, Microsoft is offering its entire patent portfolio to all of the open-source patent consortium's members.

Oct 11 08:09

Google Fights Lawsuits, Builds Censored Chinese Search Engine

Google has been in the spotlight this week as it appeals a 5 billion euro fine for running a monopoly in Europe and works to shut down its social network Google Plus after discovering a massive security vulnerability.

Oct 11 07:59

Defense Intel Chief Worried About Chinese ‘Integration of Human and Machines’

Chinese efforts to teach machines to think — through emerging technologies like neural nets, a form of artificial intelligence — represent phases of a process that concludes with “the next step, the integration of human and machines,” Ashley said. This, he said, could result in “cognitive advances not just in how we think, but [also] think about the stamina of the individual soldier; think about the ethical impacts of those kind of technologies and how they would be applied? And how does a democracy view those type of technologies? How will Russia and China leverage those?”

Oct 11 07:35

Judicial Watch Uncovers More Classified Material on Hillary Clinton’s Unsecure Email System

Judicial Watch announced today that it received 288 pages of newly uncovered emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that were transmitted over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system, three of which contain classified information.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, after the State Department failed to respond to a March 4, 2015, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:

All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.

Oct 11 07:24

More Windows 10 October update woes? HP users report BSOD after Tuesday patch

The cumulative update for the few PCs that moved to Windows 10 version 1809 before Microsoft halted its rollout is causing BSOD errors on some HP machines.

The suspected cause of blue screen of death, BSOD, errors on numerous HP PCs is the update KB4464330 for Windows 10 version 1809, which fixed an error that deleted user profiles, and carried Microsoft's October Patch Tuesday security updates.

Microsoft currently lists no known issues with this build but, as spotted by Windows Latest, several HP users and admins managing HP machines are reporting BSOD problems after installing the update.

Oct 11 07:13

Cryptomining replaces ransomware as 2018's top cybersecurity threat

Cryptomining has taken ransomware's place as the top cybersecurity threat in 2018, according to Webroot's Mid-Year Threat Report Update. Focusing on trends in the first half of 2018, the report discovered cyberattack vectors becoming increasingly advanced and sophisticated, according to the Tuesday press release for the report.

Oct 11 06:59

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The emails were not hacked, they were leaked.

Oct 10 18:14

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

By B.N. Frank

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

Oct 10 17:52

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

By Aaron Kesel

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

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

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

Oct 10 14:22

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

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

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

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