COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Feb 19 11:17

Bug in WordPress plugin can let hackers wipe up to 200,000 sites

WordPress site owners who use commercial themes provided by ThemeGrill are advised to update one of the plugins that come installed with these themes in order to patch a critical bug that can let attackers wipe their sites.

The vulnerability resides in ThemeGrill Demo Importer, a plugin that ships with themes sold by ThemeGrill, a web development company that sells commercial WordPress themes.

The plugin, which is installed on more than 200,000 sites, allows site owners to import demo content inside their ThemeGrill themes so they'll have examples and a starting point on which they can build their own sites.

However, in a report published yesterday, WordPress security firm WebARX says that older versions of the ThemeGrill Demo Importer are vulnerable to remote attacks from unauthenticated attackers.

Feb 19 11:08

New tool “De-Mainstream” allows YouTube users to blacklist mainstream media for a more authentic experience

Over the last year, YouTube has made several sweeping changes to its algorithms to promote legacy media outlets at the expense of the independent creators.

Many of these changes involve classifying certain legacy media outlets as “authoritative sources” and then boosting them in search, Trending, and recommendations.

Now, a recently released browser extension, De-Mainstream YouTube, is allowing users to reverse some of this artificial boosting of mainstream media outlets and put the focus back on independent YouTube creators.

The extension works on desktop Chrome and Firefox by blocking certain mainstream media outlets from YouTube search results and recommendations while also giving users “a truly unbiased Youtube Trending section” which shows the most popular videos from the last 24 hours based on view counts.

Feb 19 11:00

Driver stranded after connected rental car can’t call home

Over the weekend, a trip to the Californian boonies by Guardian journalist Kari Paul turned into a cautionary tale about the perils of the connected car and the Internet of Things. Paul had rented a car through a local car-sharing service called GIG Car Share, which offers a fleet of hybrid Toyota Priuses and electric Chevrolet Bolt EVs in the Bay Area and Sacramento, with plans to spend the weekend in a more rural part of the state about three hours north of Oakland. But on Sunday, she was left stranded on an unpaved road when the car's telematics system lost its cell signal. Without being able to call home, the rented Prius refused to move.

Feb 19 10:51

US natural gas operator shuts down for 2 days after being infected by ransomware

A US-based natural gas facility shut down operations for two days after sustaining a ransomware infection that prevented personnel from receiving crucial real-time operational data from control and communication equipment, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s advisory from the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, didn’t identify the site except to say that it was a natural gas-compression facility. Such sites typically use turbines, motors, and engines to compress natural gas so it can be safely moved through pipelines.

The attack started with a malicious link in a phishing email that allowed attackers to pivot from the facility’s IT network to the facility’s OT network, which is the operational technology hub of servers that control and monitor physical processes of the facility. With that, both the IT and OT networks were infected with what the advisory described as “commodity ransomware.”

Feb 19 08:52

Hackers trick Tesla into breaking speed limit by 50mph using two inches of tape

Researchers at cybersecurity firm McAfee have shown that two inches can make all the difference, fooling two types of Tesla car into speeding up by 50mph (80.5kph).

Using a small, almost imperceptible sticker on a speed limit sign, the McAfee scientists were able to trick the cars’ MobilEye EyeQ3 camera system into thinking the sign read ‘85’ and not ‘35,’ confirming that autonomous driving systems and the machine learning algorithms that power them still have a long way to go.

Feb 19 07:40

Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance and turned us into a nation of voyeurs

Amazon's Ring, Google's Nest and other Internet-connected cameras - some selling for as little as $59 - have given Americans the tools they need to become a personal security force, and millions of people now seeing what's happening around their home every second - what Ring calls the "new neighborhood watch." (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Feb 18 13:58

Why the US is losing its war against Huawei

According to a Chinese analyst, Huawei might drop the price of its chipsets by 30% in a price war with the Americans, driving them out of the whole of the Asian market. In that case, the analyst said, Nvidia would run out of cash in 18 months and Qualcomm would run out in 24 months, forcing them to shut down research and development. That would mark the end of American importance in the semiconductor industry that the US created.

Feb 18 07:31

Massive Israeli Data Leak Is Treasure Trove for Iran Intel. It Can Jeopardize Mossad and Special Ops

The leaks of personal information of 6.5 million Israelis three weeks before the election is one of the worst security screw-ups in the country in the last few years.

Both the first breach, which was reported about a week ago, and the more serious second one, reported Sunday, stem from criminal negligence by Elector Software – a small and hitherto barely known company that developed the mobile election software being used by Likud and other parties.

Feb 18 07:16

The Hillary Minions Behind The Iowa App Disaster

For the first time ever, the Iowa caucuses failed to yield any kind of tally the day they occurred, as the app that was used to count the results failed due to a “coding issue.” The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) allegedly found “inconsistencies” in the three sets of results it had promised to deliver, and then announced that it needed time to conduct “quality control.” Iowa Democrats refused an offer from the Department of Homeland Security to test the app and ensure its security before the caucuses, even after they were warned by local officials last week that there were “serious problems with the app.”

Feb 18 03:35

Doctors raise alarm over Britain’s treatment of ailing Julian Assange

More than 100 medical professionals have accused Britain of denying proper health care to jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and continuing to allow treatment that a U.N. envoy said amounted to torture.

The doctors urged Britain to end the “psychological torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange … before it’s too late.”

“Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the U.N. special rapporteur on torture has warned, he will have effectively been tortured to death,” the Doctors for Assange group said in a letter to medical journal The Lancet.

“Much of that torture will have taken place in a prison medical ward, on doctors’ watch,” they said.

“The medical profession cannot afford to stand silently by, on the wrong side of torture and the wrong side of history, while such a travesty unfolds.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would politely suggest to British prosecutors, that making Assange a martyr will definitely inspire others to take up where he left off, and let's please remember one critical fact about this case; in any of the info appearing at Wikileaks, none of it was ever proven wrong.

Feb 17 18:34

Alexa IS listening to you: Former Amazon Executive reveals he switches OFF his smart speaker whenever he wants a 'private moment'

A former Amazon Executive revealed he switches off his Alexa smart speaker whenever he wants a 'private moment' as he doesn't want it listening in.

Robert Frederick, a former manager at Amazon Web Services, told BBC Panorama he always turns it off during personal and particularly sensitive conversations.

Feb 17 17:52

How Amazon Convinced Millions of People to Welcome “Listening Devices” Into Their Homes

From the start, Amazon has marketed Alexa as a virtual assistant who helps make navigating daily life easier, more efficient and entertaining for people and families.

But as the new FRONTLINE documentary Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos reports, the multi-billion-dollar company’s increasingly ubiquitous Alexa technology — which is now compatible with more than 100,000 products — doesn’t just serve the customer. It also serves a key strategic objective for Amazon itself.

“Alexa is one more way for Amazon to gather extremely valuable data,” Meredith Whittaker, co-director of the A.I. Now Institute at NYU, tells FRONTLINE in the above excerpt. “And this data collection is extremely important to this business model. It’s extremely hard to do … convincing people to just deploy something like this in their home is— it’s a brilliant trick.”

Feb 17 17:49

Google pulls 500 malicious Chrome extensions after researcher tip-off

Google has abruptly pulled over 500 Chrome extensions from its Web Store that researchers discovered were stealing browsing data and executing click fraud and malvertising after installing themselves on the computers of millions of users.

Depending on which way you look at it, that’s either a good result because they’re no longer free to infect users, or an example of how easy it is for malicious extensions to sneak on the Web Store and stay there for years without Google noticing.

Feb 17 17:47

YouTube: coronavirus videos will be automatically demonetized until further notice

Coronavirus has claimed its latest, albeit unexpected victim: the revenues of those YouTube creators who publish content about the disease.

Even by YouTube's many and “creative” demonetization standards, this latest one stands out.

The announcement was made almost in passing on Creator Insider, a channel run by YouTube employees.

The giant is updating its guidelines, the host said, “to reflect” – i.e., reclassify – the coronavirus outbreak as a sensitive event.

And that means all videos focusing on the subject have been demonetized.

The decision will remain in force until further notice, the host remarked – and moved on to other topics.

Feb 17 12:57

China's Xi Threatens More Crackdowns As Scientists Say Coronavirus May Have Originated From Wuhan Labs

By Aaron Kesel

China’s President Xi Jinping has called for tightened control over online discussion and increased policing to ensure “positive energy” and social stability according to state media, Bloomberg reported. This is being pushed as Chinese scientists in South Beijing have said the virus’ origin was the long-suspected Wuhan Virology lab or another Wuhan Center for Disease Control lab.

The government must “strengthen the management and control of online media,” and “crack down on those who seize the opportunity to create rumors” on the internet, Xi said...

Feb 17 11:48

Google keeps a scary amount of data on you. Here's how to find and delete it

Everything you do online when you're signed into Google, and even some stuff when you aren't, becomes a part of your Google profile, but you can wipe the slate clean with these steps.

Feb 17 11:39

Windows 10’s latest update fail could be its most serious yet

Windows 10’s seemingly never-ending run of faulty updates is continuing to impact users, with reports emerging that Windows 10 KB4532693 is deleting files on some people’s PCs.

We’ve previously reported that KB4532693 was causing some serious issues for Windows 10 users, with people's Start menus and desktops reverting to their default states.

However, it seems that issue is even more serious than first thought, as it appears that it is deleting any files saved on the desktop as well.

Some people have been able to restore their files – it appears the update is renaming and moving their user profile – but it seems that many people have found they are unable to restore the files that were deleted.

While changing the user profile back to its default settings is annoying, if an update is faulty enough that it’s actually deleting users’ files, then this is very serious indeed.

Feb 17 08:45

Report: Mark Zuckerberg Requests Government Rules On 'What Discourse Should Be Allowed'

Have you ever heard of this thing called the "First Amendment," Mr Zuckerberg?

Feb 17 07:28

WHAT HAPPENS TO PRIVACY WHEN CHINA HAS PERSONAL DATA AND THE SOCIAL GRAPH OF NEARLY EVERYONE IN THE US?

The speech by US Attorney General William P. Barr hardly seems earth-shattering. But buried within its business-like announcement of the indictment of four Chinese military hackers, there is the following statement, which has huge implications for privacy:

For years, we have witnessed China’s voracious appetite for the personal data of Americans, including the theft of personnel records from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the intrusion into Marriott hotels, and Anthem health insurance company, and now the wholesale theft of credit and other information from Equifax.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

YIKES!! Double plus ungood!!

Feb 17 06:56

POWER-DRUNK YOUTUBE CENSORS FLOOR SPEECH OF SEN RAND PAUL FOR NAMING ALLEGED 'WHISTLEBLOWER'

The decision appears to have come just two days after President Trump praised the Big Tech giants as "MAGA."

A chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as @YouTube decide to censor speech. Protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Sen floor, can be blocked from getting to the people. This is dangerous & politically biased. https://t.co/LnbkZJOYgS

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 13, 2020

Nowhere in my speech did I accuse anyone of being a whistleblower, nor do I know the whistleblower’s identity. YouTube has taken it upon itself to decide what questions can even be asked in the public debate, including on the Senate floor. This is wrong! https://t.co/Czm8XobiLI

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 15, 2020

From The Hill:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At the moment, You-Tube needs to be "deplatfomed" by its users, with other platforms being "migrated to", so the concept of expression still exists, but without the censorship, which the leadership of YouTube believes it has its Divine Right (or Government-approved) ability to censure speech.

Congrats, YouTube, for having become the 4th tentacle of this government; you have now become the US Government arm of surveillance and censure, great job, you!!

Feb 17 06:09

Skynet Does Theme Parks: Meet Disney's Dystopian Flying Superhero Robots

While we're certain many in government are scheming on how to use robotics to fight wars of the future and/or control the human race as a whole, Disney appears to showing us that the robotics future may not be all doom and gloom. At least for now...

The Disney Company is now using robotics to create "Superheroes" at Disneyland. The robots, obviously capable of doing things that humans can't, look to have supernatural abilities. And that's because they do.

Feb 16 04:58

BINNEY: I Told Pompeo There Was No Russia Hack Two Years Later, He Still Hasn’t Told Trump

Why has former CIA Mike Pompeo refused to acknowledge expert forensic evidence disproving "Russia Gate"?

Feb 15 19:04

De-Mainstream YouTube

Give the power back to Independent YouTube Creators

Feb 15 13:39

400 Million Indian Users to Be De-Anonymized; UK Launches Social Media Monitoring Program With Ofcom

By Aaron Kesel

All over the world governments are now threatening to monitor social media users’ posts online. Now, India is joining the effort with a new law expected to go into effect later this month that threatens Indian users’ privacy by completely de-anonymizing them and tracking the origin of content deemed to be dangerous within 72 hours of a request ...

Feb 15 11:52

Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 KB4524244 Issues and Pulls the Update

Microsoft pulled the standalone KB4524244 security update today, February 15, 2019, from Windows Update after confirming user reports about freezes, boot problems, and installation issues since it was released on February 11.

Feb 15 11:40

New Mars Curiosity Rover Pictures

We follow the Curiosity Rover on Mars as it climbs up a Martian mountain named Mount Sharp. We have selected only the clearest footage from Mars to give you a sense of actually being there alongside Curiosity. All the places that NASA has explored have been given nicknames, which you will see in the video. Some of the images have been 'white balanced' by NASA to give geologists a clearer view of the rocks.

A quick summary of the Journey:

Feb 14 16:32

Hacker creates a $9,000 'keyless repeater' device that can wirelessly unlock any luxury car by creating an extended bridge connection to the owner's fob without their knowledge

A pseudonymous hacker going by the name ‘EvanConnect’ is selling a device that will let users break into any luxury car that uses a wireless key fob system.

EvanConnect demonstrated the device, called a keyless repeater, with a video released this week.

The video shows him approaching an unattended Jeep in a parking lot and using the small handheld device with an antenna to unlock the driver’s side door of the Jeep and start the engine

He says the car in the video belonged to a friend who gave him permission to use it, so no crime was actually committed, but he admits there's no guarantees as to how his customers might use the device.

Feb 14 12:16

Computer scientists develop an AI system that automatically rewrites outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles while 'maintaining a human tone'

A computer system has been developed that scans through a Wikipedia article and locates, checks, and corrects any factual errors automatically.

This AI-powered system can keep sentences up to date and save human editors the hassle, while maintaining a human tone in the writing.

Feb 14 12:13

MIT researchers find voting app used in West Virginia's 2018 midterm election is 'riddled with security risks' allowing hackers to easily alter, stop or expose how an individual voted

West Virginia allowed residents to cast their vote in the 2018 midterm election using the smartphone app Voatz and thousands are expected to use the technology in this year’s election.

However, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say the app 'is so riddled with security issues that no one should be using it.'

The vulnerabilities hidden in the technology give hackers the ability to alter, stop or expose how an individual users has voted.

Researchers also uncovered that Voatz's use of a third-party vendor for voter identification and verification poses potential privacy issues for users.

Feb 14 11:52

YouTube Bans Popular Conservative Commentator Nick Fuentes For 'Hate Speech'

Popular Catholic conservative commentator Nick Fuentes, a fiery critic of the GOP establishment, was purged on Friday from Google-owned YouTube for unspecified "hate speech."

Feb 14 11:17

A Primer on Domestic Spying

"The Framers ... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men." — Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

While we were all consumed by impeachment, a pernicious piece of legislation was slowly and silently making its way through Congress. It is a renewal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act of 2001 has three sections that are scheduled to expire on March 15. One of those sections is the infamous 215, which authorizes the federal government to capture without a warrant all records of all people in America held by third parties.

Feb 14 07:44

Will Google’s Social Credit System Determine Your Future?

Via: Mercola:

Google is the largest monopoly the world has ever seen, and its data-siphoning tentacles reach deep into our everyday lives, collecting data on every move you make and conversation you have, whether online or in the real world.

According to Fast Company, China’s social credit system is not entirely unique. “A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies,” Fast Company writes.

Feb 14 07:38

KABOOM! SWITZERLAND HALTS 5G ROLLOUT OVER HEALTH CONCERNS

SOURCE: TECHNOCRACY.NEWS
It’s a gloomy day for Technocrats in Switzerland, which has imposed a nationwide ban on new 5G installation while demanding a thorough study on the health effects of millimeter waves on humans. Until produced, the ban will not be lifted. ? TN Editor
VIA FT

Switzerland, one of the world’s leaders in the rollout of 5G mobile technology, has placed an indefinite moratorium on the use of its new network because of health concerns.

The move comes as countries elsewhere around Europe race to upgrade their networks to 5G standards amid a furious rearguard diplomatic campaign by the US to stop them using Chinese technology provided by Huawei. Washington says the company, which is fundamental to most European networks’ upgrade plans, presents a grave security risk.

Feb 14 07:36

DATA LEAKS IN THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY: THE PROBLEM CONTINUES

SOURCE: WIZCASE.COM
After our previous report on database leaks from medical websites around the world, WizCase’s security team diligently continued their research. They discovered 3 additional unsecured medical databases with confidential information, including full names, passport numbers, birth dates, addresses, and phone numbers.

These databases were found in the context of performing research to help companies secure their data. They were left unencrypted and required no password to access the sensitive information within.

Every company and their hosting provider has been contacted with the security team’s findings. Our goal is to inform them of the leaks so they can secure the exposed servers, protecting their patients’ private information.

LATEST BREACHES FOUND (JANUARY 2020)
HX Wellness Private Limited (Aermed Online Pharmacy App) — India — Approx. 230,000 records exposed, leaking both patient and doctor information.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

YIKES! And just because this report doesn't contain the names of any health related corporations here in the US, is utterly no guarantee, that it is not happening here.

Feb 14 07:33

JUDICIAL WATCH SUES FBI FOR SETH RICH DOCUMENTS

SOURCE: JUDICIAL WATCH

Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the FBI for all records related to murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) Voter Expansion Data Director Seth Rich.

Rich, 27, was murdered on July 10, 2016, according to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. The DC police reports that Rich was killed at approximately 4:19 a.m. in the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW, Washington, DC.

No one has been charged in connection with Rich’s death. The case has not been closed, and the DC police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, the members, and leadership of Judicial Watch, are some of Mike and my greatest heros, and heroines.

Please watch for further developments; this issue of Rich's death... may be about to get interesting.

Feb 14 06:56

US spied on governments for decades through secret ownership of Swiss encryption firm

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) have been spying on the encrypted communications of governments all over the world for the past five decades through the CIA’s secret ownership of a global security firm based in Switzerland.

According to a lengthy report in the Washington Post on Tuesday, the CIA-owned company known as Crypto AG sold diplomatic encryption technologies to more than half of the countries in the world for the past half-century, all the while with US intelligence eavesdropping on their communications.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Feb 13 17:37

Tesla on autopilot had steered driver towards same barrier before fatal crash, NTSB says

The driver who died after his Tesla crashed into a highway barrier while using autopilot had previously complained about the system aiming him towards the same barrier, according to newly released documents from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The March 2018 crash killed an Apple engineer who was on his way to work near Mountain View, California.

The NTSB investigation found that the man had previously complained about his Tesla steering him toward the concrete barrier that eventually became the scene of the fatal crash.

"Many times, when the driver went past the crash location in the left lane, the Tesla would steer left toward the gore point area and he would have to manually take control to stay within the left lane," the NTSB documents stated.

"The family explained that it happened so often that he had told both his brother and his wife about the problem," it added.

Feb 13 17:35

Macs now twice as likely to get infected by adware than PCs, according to research

When calculated in threats per system, Mac-targeted threats outpaced Windows by nearly 2:1 in 2019.

The full report details an over 400 percent rise in overall Mac-related threats, for consumers and businesses, in 2019, and a significant rise in detections per system, from 4.8 in 2018 to 11.0 in 2019. That's double the detections on Windows PCs, which was 5.8 in 2019.

Feb 13 17:33

MIT researchers disclose vulnerabilities in Voatz mobile voting election app

Academics from MIT's computer science laboratory have published a security audit today of Voatz, a mobile app used for online voting during the 2018 US midterm elections and scheduled to be used again in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

MIT academics claim they identified bugs that could allow hackers to "alter, stop, or expose how an individual user has voted."

"We additionally find that Voatz has a number of privacy issues stemming from their use of third party services for crucial app functionality," the research team said in a technical paper released today.

"Our findings serve as a concrete illustration of the common wisdom against Internet voting, and of the importance of transparency to the legitimacy of elections," researchers added.

Feb 13 14:06

China rolls out 'close contact detection app' for coronavirus

China has launched an app that aims to reduce the spread of coronavirus by alerting users when they've been in close proximity to someone with the illness. According to a report in Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, the app -- named the Close Contact Detector -- lets users check their status by scanning a QR code using an app such as Alipay, WeChat or QQ. They will then be directed to enter their name and government ID number, and can check the status of three other ID numbers.

Feb 13 10:27

South Korea's government explores move from Windows to Linux desktop

According to the Korean news site Newsis, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Planning has announced the government is exploring moving most of its approximately 3.3 million Windows computers to Linux.

The reason for this is simple. It's to reduce software licensing costs and the government's reliance on Windows. As Choi Jang-hyuk, the head of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, said, "We will resolve our dependency on a single company while reducing the budget by introducing an open-source operating system."

How much? South Korean officials said it would cost 780 billion won (about $655 million) to move government PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Feb 13 10:25

Developer Finds USB Chargers Have as Much Processing Power as the Apollo 11 Guidance Computers

Instead of plopping in an off the shelf processor, NASA’s engineers designed and built the AGC with somewhere around 5,600 electronic gates that were capable of performing nearly 40,000 simple mathematical calculations every second. While we measure processor speeds in gigahertz these days, the AGC chugged along at 1.024 MHz.

By comparison, the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 USB-C charger includes a Cypress CYPD4225 processor running at 48 MHz with the twice the RAM of the AGC, and almost twice the storage space for software instructions. There would be some challenges when it comes to making all of the software powering the Apollo 11 spacecraft work on modern equipment, but on his site, Heller lays out the case for why he believes that just four of Anker’s USB chargers could have potentially helped take astronauts to the moon and back.

Feb 13 09:09

Roger Stone jury foreperson's anti-Trump social media posts surface after she defends DOJ prosecutors

This conviction will be overturned. The prosecutors and the jury forewoman need to be indicted for obstruction of Justice. This really stinks!!!

Former Memphis City Schools Board President Tomeka Hart revealed Wednesday that she was the foreperson of the jury that convicted former Trump adviser Roger Stone on obstruction charges last year -- and soon afterward, her history of Democratic activism and a string of her anti-Trump, left-wing social media posts came to light.

Hart even posted specifically about the Stone case before she voted to convict, as she retweeted an argument mocking those who considered Stone's dramatic arrest in a predawn raid by a federal tactical team to be excessive force. She also suggested President Trump and his supporters are racist and praised the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which ultimately led to Stone's prosecution.

Feb 13 07:55

UK GOVERNMENT TO GIVE OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS POWER TO POLICE INTERNET CONTENT

SOURCE: INDEPENDENT UK

The UK government will give Ofcom new regulatory powers to police what is posted on the internet, it has said. The decision was made as part of a new “online harms“ plan that ministers say will protect people as they use the internet.

However, critics say the addition of new rules and regulations could stifle free speech and give the government unprecedented powers to decide what is posted and available on the internet. Campaign group Big Brother Watch has called the plans “dangerous and wrong” and suggested they are “a direct attack on the fundamental right to freedom of expression”.

Ofcom will have the power to enforce a “duty of care” on companies such as Facebook and Twitter “to protect users from harmful and illegal terrorist and child-abuse content”. It will be able to punish companies that fail in that duty.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, "depicting violence", even if it is legitimate news photos or videos of the casualties of war, such as, let's say, Yemeni infants, children, women, and the medically fragile elderly, who are being killed and maimed for life by a US/Saudi military joint alliance, are now forbidden, because it may give Brits the possible notion, that some of their governmental international policies, may possibly be immoral and wrong?!?

I would politely suggest to the current British government, that Orwell's masterpiece "1984" was a cautionary tale; NOT A BLOODY HOW-TO MANUAL!!

Feb 13 07:18

TECHNOCRACY: THE DIGITAL PANOPTICON OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

BY JACOB NORDANGÅRD
The World Economic Forum is totally supporting all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aka Technocracy. Here is an A to Z analysis of each SDG and what they really mean.Please take time to read through each point, listen to each short video and then share as widely as possible. Also note that this article introduces new TN contributor, Jacob Nordangård, PhD from Sweden. ? TN Editor

A week before World Economic Forum’s 2020 meeting, the report Unlocking Technology for the Global Goals was released by WEF’s Global Future Council Working Group on 4IR for Global Public Goods. The report, written in collaboration with the audit and consulting firm PwC, reviews how the advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will contribute to meeting the objectives of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is, again, a brave new world, protecting the elites, and the already monied, at the expense of ordinary working people just trying to barely survive; think the brilliant film, "Elysium", and you are quite there.

This is not a world in which I, and probably most of my more intelligent brothers and sisters, will not want to live; and those in power who think they will tether us to technology, to make it impossible to escape, have completely forgotten the power of the human will, when it is focused on survival, and ultimate thriving.

And that... is the monstrously hubristic problem with such a system.

Feb 12 17:40

Rental cars can be remotely started, tracked, and more after customers return them

In October, Ars chronicled the story of a man who was able to remotely start, stop, lock, unlock, and track a Ford explorer he rented and returned five months earlier. Now, something almost identical has happened again to the same Enterprise Rent-A-Car customer. Four days after returning a Ford Mustang, the FordPass app installed on the phone of Masamba Sinclair continues to give him control of the car.

Like the last time, Sinclair could track the car’s location at any given time. He could start and stop the engine and lock and unlock its doors. Enterprise only removed Sinclair’s access to the car on Wednesday, more than three hours after I informed the rental agency of the error.

Feb 12 17:36

People Are Jailbreaking Used Teslas to Get the Features They Expect

Tesla is getting more aggressive in revoking paid software features on used cars, raising the stakes in a battle over what used Teslas can do that has raged for years.

Feb 12 11:41

'You scone-eating hippie armpit': Hilarious Joe Biden Twitter bot pokes fun at the former VP's bizarre insults after he calls student a 'lying dog-faced pony soldier'

Former Vice President Joe Biden has come under fire this week for calling a voter a 'lying dog-face pony soldier' during a question and answer session in New Hampshire.

The odd line not only insulted 21-year-old Madison Moore, who was on the recipient end of the comment, but has also inspired a new Twitter Bot online.

The team at 'The Daily Show' released the tool today that is specifically designed to deliver personal insults to users who tweet at the bot.

The comments, which sound like they came directly from the former vice president, range from calling users a 'rinky-dinkn' toad licker' to 'a scone-eating hippie armpit'.

Users simply tweet @BidenInsultBot and the tool will reply with a personal insult, such as 'That's some real potato skin, ya potato-peelin' Muppet'

Feb 12 11:37

Rotten Apple: Number of cyber attacks targeting Mac computers has overtaken Windows PC threats for the first time EVER, study claims

Last year the number of recorded Mac cyber threats detected by anti-malware firm Malwarebytes increased a huge 400 per cent from the figure recorded for 2018.

The firm detected an average of 11 threats per Mac endpoint device in 2019 – nearly double the average of 5.8 threats per endpoint on Windows.

Overall detections of malware increased to 50.5 million in 2019, up 1 per cent from the year before.

Feb 11 11:01

Personal Data of All 6.5 Million Israeli Voters Is Exposed

A software flaw exposed the personal data of every eligible voter in Israel — including full names, addresses and identity card numbers for 6.5 million people — raising concerns about identity theft and electoral manipulation, three weeks before the country’s national election.

The security lapse was tied to a mobile app used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party to communicate with voters, offering news and information about the March 2 election. Until it was fixed, the flaw made it possible, without advanced technical skills, to view and download the government’s entire voter registry, though it was unclear how many people did so.

Feb 11 11:00

Microsoft ups the ante with fix-fixing patch that leaves some Windows Server 2008 machines unable to boot

Like a needy ex-partner that just won't let go, Microsoft's legacy OSes continue to cling to the Windows behemoth's ankles. Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 have once again been bashed with the borkage bat.

Users are reporting that the fix to fix the fix that broke the desktop wallpaper in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 has left systems unbootable after an apparent boot file deletion.

The fix-fixing fix (KB4539602) was unleashed at the end of last week, and some administrators have kicked off a deployment.

It has not gone well.

One Redditor remarked that 18 2008 R2 servers had fallen victim, while another reported 30 Windows 7 computers were refusing to boot after an install.

Feb 11 09:24

Popular email apps including Edison Mail and Cleanfox are harvesting data from users' inboxes and selling it on to third parties for profit, report claims

Free email apps offered by Edison, Cleanfox and Slice make money by scraping personal information out of emails, according to a JP Morgan document obtained and reported on by Motherboard.

In particular, transaction data in inboxes including receipts and shipping emails help third-party travel, finance and e-commerce companies monitor user behaviour.

Third parties can buy and use the data to make better investment decisions, the report says.

The Edison email app is in the top 100 productivity apps on the Apple app store and has millions of users worldwide.

Feb 10 17:30

Britain's broadband blackout scandal: Almost two-thirds of internet users suffer outages or painfully slow speeds every month, report reveals

Some 41 per cent of those who complained said their broadband supplier handled the case badly. Simply contacting the company often involves negotiating complex automated telephone systems and being kept on hold.

In fact, making a complaint is so difficult that very few people, around one in three ever make one on the issue of poor speeds.

The survey, by price comparison experts comparethemarket.com, found people who work from home are particularly hard hit by the failing broadband system.

At the same time, the current voluntary compensation scheme puts no pressure on firms to improve services.

Feb 10 08:59

Iran is hit by 'largest cyber attack in its history' hours ahead of failed attempt to launch satellite into orbit

Last night, a rocket launch from Imam Khomeini Spaceport was scuppered due to low speeds which stopped it breaking into orbit.

It was a humiliating blow to Tehran, which the United States believes is developing rocket technology to advance nuclear capabilities.

But hours before the failure, Iran's deputy information minister Hamid Fatah had revealed the country's communications network had been hit with 'the most widespread attack in Iranian history'.

He tweeted: 'Hackers today launched the most widespread attack in Iranian history against the country's infrastructure.

'Millions of origin targeted millions of destinations and are seeking worldwide disruption to Iran's Internet network'.

It is unclear if the hack caused the failure of the rocket launch, which happened at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran's Semnan province, some 145 miles southeast of Tehran.

Feb 08 13:21

Crypto Exchange Loses "Almost All Funds" in Hack

Cyber-criminals have stolen "almost all funds" entrusted to crypto exchange platform Altsbit.

The Italian exchange announced it had become the target of a devastating hack yesterday on Twitter. According to their posts, criminals made off with 1,066 Komodo (KMD) tokens and 283,375 Verus (VRSC) "coins" with a combined value of $27,000.

Feb 08 13:12

Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Apple has been fined 25 million euros (NZ $42.7 million) for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without making it clear to consumers.

The fine was imposed by France's competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF, which said consumers were not warned.

Feb 08 13:04

Critical Android Bluetooth Flaw Exploitable without User Interaction

Android users are urged to apply the latest security patches released for the operating system on Monday that address a critical vulnerability in the Bluetooth subsystem.

An attacker could leverage the security flaw, now identified as CVE-2020-0022 without user participation to run arbitrary code on the device with the elevated privileges of the Bluetooth daemon when the wireless module is active.

Feb 08 11:49

T-Mobile Warned About Product Liability Within Weeks of Unleashing 5G and Giving Away Free Phones

By B.N. Frank

Telecom companies – including T-Mobile – have been warning about liability dating back to at least 2014. T-Mobile just issued a new warning in its latest SEC filing...

Feb 07 21:38

How to Make Windows 10 Secure

Feb 07 07:23

"BRIEF CAM" ALLOWS POLICE TO IDENTIFY PEOPLE BY WHAT THEY ARE WEARING AND CARRYING

SOURCE: MASS PRIVATE I

In the span of two years, law enforcement's ability to identify the public using BriefCam has gone from disturbing to frightening.

A recent article in Twin Cities Pioneer Press revealed how the St. Paul Police Department uses Briefcam's to identify people, cars, and physical objects.
"If they’re looking for a blue car or a man wearing a white shirt, for example, algorithms can pinpoint when those objects appear in videos from particular locations and times."
Law enforcement uses BriefCam to look for more than just a single blue car or a single person wearing a white shirt, it will identify every blue car and person wearing a white shirt.
"If, for example, police are told a suspect was a male wearing a hat and backpack at a particular intersection, technicians can enter the terms “hat” and “backpack” to search CCTV videos for people with those objects."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is truly, staggeringly frightening to me, to the degree to which, in this post 9/11 era, this country has lurched, and violently backslid, from the bedrock presumption of innocence until proven guilty, to the Code Napoleon notion that the accused was considered guilty until proven innocent.

Feb 07 06:55

THE MYTH OF INCOMPETENCE: DNC SCANDALS ARE A FEATURE, NOT A BUG

SOURCE: CAITLIN JOHNSTONE

The Iowa caucus scandal has continued to get more egregious by the hour, with new revelations routinely pouring in about extremely suspicious manipulations taking place which all just so happen to disadvantage the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the first Democratic electoral contest of 2020. By the time you read this article, there will likely have been more.

Following the failure of an extremely shady app developed by vocally anti-Sanders establishment insiders which reportedly was literally altering vote count numbers after they were entered, Black Hawk County supervisor Chris Schwartz shared the election results in his county on Facebook so the public could have some idea of what’s going on as the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) slowly trickles out the results of the caucuses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Pretty awful, if this is, in fact the case; and unfortunately, completely predictable.

Feb 07 05:02

James Woods Finally Returns To Twitter, Immediately Begins Trolling

Conservative actor James Woods finally returned to Twitter late on Thursday after taking a 10-month break from the platform and wasted no time doing what he does best: trolling.

Feb 06 18:11

Bitbucket Abused to Infect 500,000+ Hosts with Malware Cocktail

Attackers are abusing the Bitbucket code hosting service to store seven types of malware threats used in an ongoing campaign that has already claimed more than 500,000 business computers across the world.

Systems falling victim to this attack would get infected with multiple payloads that steal data, mine for cryptocurrency, and culminate with delivering STOP ransomware.

Feb 06 18:08

Cisco Patches Critical CDP Flaws Affecting Millions of Devices

Five critical vulnerabilities found in various implementations of the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) could allow attackers on the local network to take over tens of millions of enterprise devices as discovered by IoT security company Armis.

CDP is a proprietary Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) network protocol used by Cisco devices for discovering info on other Cisco equipment on the local network, with the end goal of mapping Cisco products within the network.

This protocol is enabled by default in practically all Cisco products including routers, switches, and IP phones and cameras, with a vast majority of them not being able to work properly without using CDP. Many of these vulnerable devices also do not provide users with the ability to turn CDP off as a workaround.

To underline the seriousness of this discovery, more than 95% of all Fortune 500 companies and over 200,000 customers use Cisco Collaboration solutions according to Cisco's stats.

Feb 06 18:03

Ransomware Exploits GIGABYTE Driver to Kill AV Processes

As these attacks cannot take place without a network first being compromised, the best way to protect yourself is to make the network less vulnerable.

This includes performing phishing recognition training, making sure security updates are installed, and removing access to Internet exposed services like Remote Desktop Services.

Feb 06 10:39

Oscar Nominated Movies Featured in Phishing, Malware Attacks

Attackers are exploiting the hype surrounding this year's Oscar Best Picture nominated movies to infect fans with malware and to bait them to phishing websites designed to steal sensitive info such as credit card details and personal information.

This method is the perfect way to get around movie fans' defenses seeing that many of them are willing to take down their defenses for a chance to get a free preview, especially given that the 92nd Academy Awards ceremonies are just around the corner on February 9th.

High-profile TV shows and films are frequently used as lures in social engineering attacks promising early previews either in the form of fake streaming sites or via malicious files disguised as early released copies.

Feb 06 09:30

Illuminati PyOp - Discredit 2020 Election in Advance

How Government and Media Are Prepping America for a Failed 2020 Election. Russia, China and Iran are already being blamed for using tech to undermine the 2020 election. Yet, the very technologies they are allegedly using were created by a web of companies with deep ties to Israeli intelligence.

Feb 05 10:59

Flaw in Philips Hue smart bulbs opened up home networks to being being HACKED, research finds

Though the process is fairly involved, researchers say their work shows how seemingly mundane IoT devices can expose more crucial aspects of someone's home network and beyond.

'Many of us are aware that IoT devices can pose a security risk, but this research shows how even the most mundane, seemingly ‘dumb’ devices such as light bulbs can be exploited by hackers and used to take over networks, or plant malware,” said Yaniv Balmas, Head of Cyber Research, Check Point Research.

Feb 04 11:38

Twitter admits state-backed hackers in Malaysia, Iran and Israel may have stolen up to 17million phone numbers linked to Android user accounts

The breach came to light after a cyber security researcher found a flaw in the microblogging site's 'Contacts Upload' feature back in December.

In a statement on Monday, Twitter said it had identified a 'high volume of requests' to use the feature coming from IP addresses in in Malaysia, Iran and Israel.

The cyber-security researcher who discovered the flaw previously showed that it could be exploited it to match 17million phone numbers with user accounts.

Feb 04 09:24

Anti-Fake News Center Leads to Two Arrests In Thailand For “Spreading Fake News” About Coronavirus

By Aaron Kesel

The Bangkok Post is reporting that two individuals were arrested under Thailand’s new “Anti-Fake News Center” for spreading false information about the coronavirus which authorities have said has “induced panic.”

This is part of a wider trend to begin cracking down even more on the spread of information not approved by governments around the world...

Feb 03 17:16

U.S. Army Funds 'Fully Automated Microaggression Detector' to 'Catch Implicit Bias' In The Workplace

The US Army Research Laboratory gave a $1,500,000 three-year grant to two associate professors to develop what's being called a "fully automated luxury microaggression detector" Alexa-like device to "catch implicit bias" in workplaces across America.

Feb 03 12:12

Coronavirus Phishing Attacks Are Actively Targeting the US

Ongoing phishing campaigns use the recent coronavirus outbreak as bait in attacks targeting individuals from the United States and the United Kingdom, impersonating the US CDC and virologists, warning of new infection cases in their area, and providing 'safety measures.'

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