COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

May 07 09:47

Windows Defender bug fills Windows 10 boot drive with thousands of files

A Windows Defender bug creates thousands of small files that waste gigabytes of storage space on Windows 10 hard drives.

The bug started with Windows Defender antivirus engine 1.1.18100.5 and will cause the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History\Store folder to be filled up with thousands of files with names that appear to be MD5 hashes.

May 07 09:46

Qualcomm vulnerability impacts nearly 40% of all mobile phones

A high severity security vulnerability found in Qualcomm's Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chips (including the latest 5G-capable versions) could enable attackers to access mobile phone users' text messages, call history, and listen in on their conversations.

Qualcomm MSM is a series of 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G capable system on chips (SoCs) used in roughly 40% of mobile phones by multiple vendors, including Samsung, Google, LG, OnePlus, and Xiaomi.

"If exploited, the vulnerability would have allowed an attacker to use Android OS itself as an entry point to inject malicious and invisible code into phones," according to Check Point researchers who found the vulnerability tracked as CVE-2020-11292.

The security flaw could also enable attackers to unlock the subscriber identification module (SIM) used by mobile devices to store network authentication info and contact information securely.

May 07 09:43

Microsoft Edge crashes when watching full screen YouTube videos

A Microsoft Edge bug is causing the browser to become unresponsive and crash while watching YouTube videos or reading comments.

BleepingComputer has confirmed the bug on our machines, and it only takes a few seconds to trigger after a video starts.

In our tests, Microsoft Edge would become unresponsive when watching a video, and a circular loading graphic would appear. Eventually, the circular loading graphic will freeze, and the browser crashes, as shown below.

According to TechDows, who first reported on this issue, the crashes began after users upgraded to Microsoft Edge 90. In our tests, we are using Microsoft Edge 90.0.818.56.

May 07 08:05

Police Agencies Use Cars as Backdoors to Break Into Phones

Law enforcement has been struggling for years to find a way to unlock mobile devices used by suspects believed to be involved in criminal activities, with several officials, including FBI representatives, repeatedly calling for tech giants to step in and help break into password-protected devices.
The most famous case is the iPhone of the San Bernardino attacker, with the FBI publicly requesting Apple to unlock the device and help the investigators get past the passcode screen.

Apple refused to do so on national security claims, explaining that building such a backdoor would eventually compromise all of its devices, as the company said it would have been only a matter of time until such a solution landed in the wrong hands.

Since then, the police have been looking into all kinds of ways to access private data, and according to a report from The Intercept, the Customs and Border Protection officers have discovered one easy method to do the whole thing.

May 07 08:02

Google To Suddenly Flip The Security Switch On Millions Of Gmail Accounts

While the annual World Password Day event is quickly forgotten (it was May 6 if you missed it), it had one memorable moment courtesy of a seemingly unassuming Google blog post. Mark Risher, Google’s director of product management, identity and user security, wrote about password management. However, he also revealed a move that will suddenly make millions of Gmail accounts way more secur

This is where Google has stepped up to the plate this year and announced that it would “start automatically enrolling users in 2SV” or two-step verification which, in the cause of simplicity, can be thought of as the same thing as 2FA here. Although some of the 1.5 billion Gmail users will already have enabled 2FA, Google will make it the default for millions more.

May 07 06:50

Apple just issued this urgent warning to iPhone users and you need to read it

When Apple typically issues mid-cycle iOS updates, I don’t always update my iPhone immediately. Especially if the new update doesn’t address any serious security issues or have any compelling new features, I’ve never been in a rush to update my phone if things are already running smoothly. The recent release of iOS 14.5.1, however, is an exception and an update you’ll probably want to download as soon as possible.

Apple first released iOS 14.5 just about a week ago with a host of new features, including the company’s new App Tracking Transparency framework, new Siri voices, a multitude of new emojis, support for AirTags, and more. Just a few days later, Apple rolled out an iOS 14.5.1 update that it said addressed a bug associated with its App Tracking Transparency feature. An Apple support document, however, reveals that the new iOS update also addresses two serious security issues.

May 07 06:03

FACT CHECK: Bitcoin Mining is BAD For The Climate!?

May 07 05:57

Biggest ISPs paid for 8.5 million fake FCC comments opposing net neutrality

The largest Internet providers in the US funded a campaign that generated "8.5 million fake comments" to the Federal Communications Commission as part of the ISPs' fight against net neutrality rules during the Trump administration, according to a report issued today by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

Nearly 18 million out of 22 million comments were fabricated, including both pro- and anti-net neutrality submissions, the report said. One 19-year-old submitted 7.7 million pro-net neutrality comments under fake, randomly generated names. But the astroturfing effort funded by the broadband industry stood out because it used real people's names without their consent, with third-party firms hired by the industry faking consent records, the report said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Cheaters apparently DO prosper! (Just ask Joe Biden.)

May 07 04:58

THIS BIDEN PROPOSAL COULD MAKE THE US A “DIGITAL DICTATORSHIP”

SOURCE: WHITNEY WEBB, UNLIMITED HANGOUT
A “new” proposal by the Biden administration to create a health-focused federal agency modeled after DARPA is not what it appears to be. Promoted as a way to “end cancer,” this resuscitated “health DARPA” conceals a dangerous agenda.

Last Wednesday, President Biden was widely praised in mainstream and health-care–focused media for his call to create a “new biomedical research agency” modeled after the US military’s “high-risk, high-reward” Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. As touted by the president, the agency would seek to develop “innovative” and “breakthrough” treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, with a call to “end cancer as we know it.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

HOLY CRUD, SERIOUSLY?!?!?

May 07 04:55

FORIEGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT RUBBER STAMPS MASS SURVEILLANCE UNDER SECTION 702 - AGAIN

SOURCE: ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION

As someone once said, “the Founders did not fight a revolution to gain the right to government agency protocols.” Well it was not just someone, it was Chief Justice John Roberts. He flatly rejected the government’s claim that agency protocols could solve the Fourth Amendment violations created by police searches of our communications stored in the cloud and accessible through our phones.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am a Christian Pacifist Activist, who consistently asks her government to resolve all issues through pragmatic, reasoned negotiations which take a long-term and moral approach to both foreign and domestic policies, and never advocates violence; how in the name of heaven, does that make the "the enemy" in the eyes of the Deep State? And yet, I know, in my heart of hearts, that is how this country's "shadow government" sees me.

And folks, I will be honest; as someone who cares about the future of this country, and the futures of all the kids around us, both of family and friends, that hurts.

May 07 03:57

Slap On The Wrist: Honeywell Fined For Sharing F-35, Other Secrets To China

Via South Front,

On May 5th, the US State Department announced that it had reached a $13 million settlement with defense contractor Honeywell.

The settlement is over allegations it exported technical drawings of parts for the F-35 fighters and other weapons platforms to China, Taiwan, Canada and Ireland, according to the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ charging document.

“Honeywell voluntarily disclosed to the Department the alleged violations that are resolved under this settlement. Honeywell also acknowledged the serious nature of the alleged violations, cooperated with the Department’s review, and instituted a number of compliance program improvements during the course of the Department’s review. For these reasons, the Department has determined that it is not appropriate to administratively debar Honeywell at this time.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but given the magnitude of this breach, why is no one going to jail over this?!?

Is it because of the "contributions" , overt and covert, that Honywell has made, over the years, to both sides of the aisle?!?

This is absolutely mind-blowing, that no one of their executive staff, has been made to take responsibility for this!!

May 06 13:43

RSA Is Dead — We Just Haven’t Accepted It Yet

One of the biggest features of the internet is that it’s constantly evolving at an unbelievable pace. You can’t keep track of time in decades, or even years sometimes, when it comes to the web. The friendly AOL voice that used to greet us with, “You’ve got mail,” now feels like an ancient relic. Nobody has seen Jeeves in years.

So why is the internet still overleveraging a cryptosystem that is coming up on 45 years old?

In the mid-1970s, as computer scientists and mathematicians rushed to find a viable public key cryptosystem, two emerged: Diffie-Hellman and RSA. The internet equivalents of the Beatles and the Stones. While Diffie-Hellman bowed out like the Beatles and has now found new life in a new generation of elliptic curve approaches that were inspired by it, RSA is like the Stones, still touring well past its prime and begging the question, “Should we still let them be going out there?”

May 06 13:40

Roko's Basilisk : The Thought Experiment That Could Enslave The Human Race

(Note to the reader: This article discusses a philosophical inquiry that many people find deeply, emotionally disturbing. Truly, and in all sincerity: If you're susceptible to existential dread, stop reading.)

Much has been said in recent years of the purported dangers and lethalities of artificial intelligence (AI). Technologists such as Elon Musk have said that AI is "far more dangerous than nukes," as CNBC says, and that a lack of regulations mediating the relationship between man and machine is "insane." The difference, he cites, is between case-specific AI — algorithms that control, say, what ads are pushed your way on Facebook — and AI with an open-ended utility function, which basically teach and write themselves. Era-defining physicist Stephen Hawking said the same before he passed away, as Vox recounts, as have AI researchers at Berkeley and Oxford.

May 06 13:33

IBM Creates World’s First 2nm CPU Using Nanosheets

IBM has claimed a world-first for its own labs, with “2nm” silicon now in production. All nanometer references in foundry press releases are essentially made-up numbers when used in this fashion. There is no single, defining feature in the chip that matches 2nm and is used for tracking progress in this fashion. Node names are defined by each foundry individually. This is how Intel can define a 10nm node with approximately the same transistor density as TSMC’s 7nm. This gap in numbers can create the illusion that one company is more advanced than the other purely based on a marketing metri

May 06 09:25

This old programming language is suddenly hot again. But its future is still far from certain

Fortran is the oldest commercial programming language, designed at IBM in the 1950s. And even though, for years, programmers have been predicting its demise, 64 years later it's still kicking, with users including top scientists from NASA and the Department of Energy using it on the world's most powerful supercomputers.

It even recently – and very unexpectedly – popped up again in a ranking of the most popular programming languages, albeit in 20th place. This resurgence has been explained by the huge need for scientific number crunching; something that Fortran is very good at.

May 06 06:35

Data leak makes Peloton’s Horrible, No-Good, Really Bad Day even worse

Peloton is having a rough day. First, the company recalled two treadmill models following the death of a 6-year-old child who was pulled under one of the devices. Now comes word Peloton exposed sensitive user data, even after the company knew about the leak. No wonder the company’s stock price closed down 15 percent on Wednesday.

Peloton provides a line of network-connected stationary bikes and treadmills. The company also offers an online service that allows users to join classes, work with trainers, or do workouts with other users. In October, Peloton told investors it had a community of 3 million members. Members can set accounts to be public so friends can view details such as classes attended and workout stats, or users can choose for profiles to be private.

May 06 06:34

Researchers Create Free-Floating Animated Holograms That Bring Us One Step Closer to Star Trek's Holodecks

Back in 2018, researchers from Brigham Young University demonstrated a device called an Optical Trap Display that used lasers to create free-floating holographic images that don’t need a display. That same team is now demonstrating a new technique that allows those holographic images to be animated: goodbye TVs, hello holodecks.

Most 3D holograms require a special screen to be displayed, and even then the 3D effect is limited to a small field of view. Images genuinely look like they exist in 3D space, but step to the side and suddenly you see nothing at all. The approach taken by the researchers at Brigham Young University is radically different. Screens are replaced by lasers: an invisible one that manipulates a tiny opaque particle floating in the air, and a visible one that illuminates the particle with different colors as it travels through a pre-defined path, creating what appears to a floating image to a human observer.

May 06 06:33

Scammers Score $2 Million from the WallStreetBets Crowd With Fictional Crypto Launch

A cryptocurrency scam recently pilfered at least $2 million from WallStreetBets enthusiasts, convincing them that they were buying into a new crypto coin connected to the popular memestock, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

For weeks, moderators of the notorious Reddit forum have warned users to avoid fraudulent scams based around the good WSB name. A post, tethered to the top of the group’s page, asks community members to be wary of offers related to WSB products:

ANY INVESTMEMT [sic] WITH THE WSB NAME IS UNRELATED TO WSB...

People keep posting a press release about an “official” WallStreetBets distributed app. (Aka, a crypto pyramid scheme)

Nothing could be further from the truth. We are strongly anti-monetization. This scam has nothing to do with us.

May 06 06:24

I tracked my kid with Apple's Airtags to test its privacy features

I clipped a keychain with one of Apple's tiny new Bluetooth trackers, AirTags, onto my son's book bag and waved goodbye to him on the school bus. I watched on my iPhone's Find My app as the bus stopped at a light a few blocks down from our street.

But then the tiny "key" icon on the app stopped moving. The item was "last detected" seven minutes ago at a busy intersection less than a mile away. Traffic, maybe? Five more minutes passed with no update. Is there an issue with the app? After another 10 minutes, my heart started to race; still nothing.
Finally, the tracker was detected four miles away in front of his school. Relieved, I decided more information in this case was worse; I'd go back to just tracking my keys. Apple later told me the delay was due to the tracker needing to communicate with Bluetooth on other iOS devices in the Find My network along the bus route before the AirTag's location could be updated to iCloud and the app.

May 06 05:59

Beware: This dangerous new malware can steal your passwords and your cryptocurrency

Phishing attacks have spawned a slew of new malware threats in recent days, according to researchers who’ve identified a serious threat actor behind three new connected malware families — which have been labeled as Doubledrag, Doubledrop, and Doubleback — and another unrelated threat called Panda Stealer, which is a variant of a cryptocurrency stealer and is mostly being spread via global email spam.

Here’s a rundown on these new malware discoveries, including what researchers have found and the implications herein: Let’s start with a report from FireEye’s Mandiant cybersecurity team, which revealed malware strains that have never been seen before, with “professionally coded sophistication,” and that came in two waves of phishing attacks globally. These attacks hit some 50 organizations at the end of 2020, with the first wave reported on December 2 and the second wave coming between December 11 and December 18.

May 06 05:52

Glitterbomb Trap Catches Phone Scammer (who gets arrested)

May 06 05:52

New Bill Would Ban Bitcoin Mining Across New York State for Three Years

A new bill that hit the New York state senate on Monday is aiming to put a multi-year pause on crypto mining operations across the state until authorities can fully suss out what that mining is doing to the climate and local environment. Bill 6486 is being spearheaded by state Sen. Kevin Parker, who had previously sponsored other bills to help the state meet its climate goals.

Bitcoin mining has come under increasing scrutiny for the staggering carbon footprint tied to electricity use to keep operations running 24/7. An analysis by Digiconomist puts the global mining footprint at around 53 megatons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to all of Sweden’s emissions. Upstate New York has recently become a hotbed of mining activity, and there could be more mines in the works.

May 06 05:48

AirTag review: They work great—maybe a little too great

Apple's AirTag is not a revolutionary new product. Rather, it's a significant refinement of an idea that, up until now, has been fairly niche. It works very, very well, but it works so well it seems to undermine Apple's attempts to focus its products on privacy and security.

We spent several days testing AirTags in different situations, and we found that they work stunningly well—at least in a dense urban environment with iPhones all around.

I can't imagine recommending any of the preceding attempts at this concept over AirTags if you have an iPhone. (Sadly, Android users are quite literally left to their own devices—in more ways than usual, as you'll see later in this review.)

AirTags are easy to use, well designed, and relatively affordable. If you're in the market for something like this, they're easy to recommend. But we're a little more worried about what these AirTags mean for the people who don't buy one. Stick around and we'll explain.

May 06 05:45

Forensic Evidence in Michigan Prove Voting Machines Had Unauthorized Implant to Circumvent Security

May 06 05:12

ALL THOSE PENTAGON IP ADDRESSES

After weeks of wonder by the networking community, the Pentagon has now provided a very terse explanation for what it’s doing. But it has not answered many basic questions, beginning with why it chose to entrust management of the address space to a company that seems not to have existed until September.

The military hopes to “assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space,” said a statement issued Friday by Brett Goldstein, chief of the Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service, which is running the project. It also hopes to “identify potential vulnerabilities” as part of efforts to defend against cyber-intrusions by global adversaries, who are consistently infiltrating U.S. networks, sometimes operating from unused internet address blocks.

May 05 09:56

This massive DDoS attack took large sections of a country's internet offline

A massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack took down the websites of more than 200 organisations across Belgium, including government, parliament, universities and research institutes.

The DDoS attack started at 11am on Tuesday 4 May and overwhelmed the web sites with traffic, rendering their public-facing sites unusable for visitors, while the attack overwhelmed internal systems, cutting them off from the internet.

The attack targeted Belnet, the government-funded ISP provider for the county's educational institutions, research centres, scientific institutes and government services – including government ministries and the Belgian parliament. Some debates and committee meetings had to be postponed as users couldn't access the virtual services required to take part.

May 05 07:22

Cyber Command shifts counterterrorism task force to focus on higher-priority threats

U.S. Cyber Command is shifting the majority of its special task force aimed at targeting the Islamic State group to focus more on nation-state actors, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, which the command and the Department of Defense are prioritizing.

Joint Task Force-Ares was created in 2016 to combat the militant organization online as a compliment to the global coalition fighting against the group’s grip on power in Iraq and Syria. The task force has since undergone several changes. The Army’s cyber component was originally tasked to lead the joint cyber effort, but in 2018, responsibility shifted to Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, which allowed the team to focus not just on the Islamic State group, but more broadly on counterterrorism efforts globally.

May 05 06:08

SILICON VALLEY ALGORITHM MANIPULATION IS THE ONLY THING KEEPING MAINSTREAM MEDIA ALIVE

The emergence of the internet was met with hope and enthusiasm by people who understood that the plutocrat-controlled mainstream media were manipulating public opinion to manufacture consent for the status quo. The democratization of information-sharing was going to give rise to a public consciousness that is emancipated from the domination of plutocratic narrative control, thereby opening up the possibility of revolutionary change to our society’s corrupt systems.

But it never happened. Internet use has become commonplace around the world and humanity is able to network and share information like never before, yet we remain firmly under the thumb of the same power structures we’ve been ruled by for generations, both politically and psychologically. Even the dominant media institutions are somehow still the same.

May 05 05:16

Chinese TV maker: Yes, our Android TVs spied on customers [updated]

Skyworth blames collection of sensitive data on third-party app
Updated with comment from Skyworth USA.

A top Chinese TV maker that's made inroads into the North American market admits that its TVs have been spying on users, or at least users in China.

Skyworth, which made a big splash at CES 2020 in Las Vegas and sells at least six TV models in the U.S., said in a statement posted online last week that a third-party application called Gozen Service on its Android TVs had been collecting more data than it was supposed to.

According to an unnamed Skyworth TV owner who posted about it on a Chinese software-development forum, the Gozen Service app is developed by a company called Gozen Data. The app collects data about all of the internet-connected gadgets on the home wireless network, as well as the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, and sends to a Gozen-run web server.

May 05 04:52

Facebook rejects creepy ads that show how much data it collects about you

Signal wanted to run ads on Instagram putting it all in your face

It's no secret that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp collect a fair bit user data. But how much exactly? A new blog post by the makers of Signal, the open-source secure messaging platform, shows that it's quite a lot.

"You got this ad because you're a newlywed Pilates instructor and you're cartoon crazy," reads one ad that Signal had planned to run on Instagram. "This ad used your location to see you're in La Jolla [a San Diego suburb]. You're into parenting blogs and thinking about LGBTQ adoption."

That's a shame, because as Harada explained in the blog post, "the way most of the internet works today would be considered intolerable if translated into comprehensible real-world analogs, but it endures because it is invisible."

"Facebook's own tools have the potential to divulge what is otherwise unseen," he added. "We wanted to use those same tools to directly highlight how most technology works."

May 04 13:54

Biden Admin Finds Legal Loophole To Spy On American Citizens It Considers “Extremists”

President Joe Biden’s administration has found a legal loophole which will allow it to spy on American citizens without a warrant. The administration is reportedly planning to work with private firms to monitor “extremist chatter by Americans online” because the federal government is legally limited to what they can do without a warrant.

May 04 11:06

4,700 Amazon employees had unauthorized access to private seller data

Thousands of Amazon employees, including those who developed private-label goods for the e-commerce giant, enjoyed years of access to sensitive third-party seller data, according to a new report.

An internal audit in 2015 traced the issue to lax security protocols, including the use of a tool called “spoofer access,” which allowed Amazon employees to view and edit accounts as sellers. The employees had access to profile information, inventory levels, product pricing, and even the ability to cancel orders. The audit, obtained by Politico, says that spoofer access was available to employees from around the world and persisted until at least 2018.

May 04 10:38

Intel CEO says chip shortage to last ‘couple of years’

The global semiconductor shortage roiling a wide range of industries likely won’t be resolved for a few more years, according to Intel Corp.’s new CEO Pat Gelsinger.

The company is reworking some of its factories to increase production and address the chip shortage in the auto industry, he said in an interview with CBS News, based on a transcript of “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. It may take at least several months for the strain on supply to even begin easing, he added.

“We have a couple of years until we catch up to this surging demand across every aspect of the business,” Gelsinger said.

May 04 10:16

Group dedicated to exposing Chinese government secrets begins countdown for reveal this week

The group has initiated a five-day countdown for its next release.

Intrusion Truth initiated a countdown on its Twitter account Friday, promising its roughly 6,000 followers “something new” in five days.

But for those unfamiliar with the murky world of nation-state espionage, Intrusion Truth is unlikely to ring any bells. But the group has managed to make a name for itself online.

So who exactly are Intrusion Truth and what should we expect to see next week? Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Intrusion Truth?
Intrusion Truth is a mysterious group of self-described analysts who first emerged in 2017. The group, made up of an unknown number of anonymous members, quickly made a name for itself by taking the unusual step of exposing the identities of suspected Chinese government-backed hackers.

May 04 09:47

Patch issued to tackle critical security issues present in Dell driver software since 2009

Five serious vulnerabilities in a driver used by Dell devices have been disclosed by researchers.

On Tuesday, SentinelLabs said the vulnerabilities were discovered by security researcher Kasif Dekel, who explored Dell's DBUtil BIOS driver -- software used in the vendor's desktop and laptop PCs, notebooks, and tablet products.

The team says that the driver has been vulnerable since 2009, although there is no evidence, at present, that the bugs have been exploited in the wild.

The DBUtil BIOS driver, which comes pre-installed on many Dell machines running Windows, contains a component -- the dbutil_2_3.sys module -- which was subject to Dekel's scrutiny.

May 04 07:51

Anti-science Twitter censors all peer-reviewed science exposing futility of masks

Prashant Bhushan, an advocate-on-record for the Supreme Court of India, was punished by Twitter for tweeting about a peer-reviewed study showing that face masks are ineffective and harmful.

Twitter pulled the tweet citing a violation of its “community standards.” The linked study warns that wearing a face mask restricts breathing, lowers blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia), and increases blood carbon dioxide levels (hypercapnia). Wearing a face mask persistently can lead to long-term health effects, it further explains.

Joining in on the fun, YouTube also pulled a video featuring a scientific roundtable on the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19). In that “offensive” video, a professor from Harvard University explained that children in particular should not wear a face mask because of the risks involved.

May 04 05:38

YOUR CAR IS SPYING ON YOU, AND A CBP CONTRACT SHOWS THE RISKS

U.S. Customs and Border Protection purchased technology that vacuums up reams of personal information stored inside cars, according to a federal contract reviewed by The Intercept, illustrating the serious risks in connecting your vehicle and your smartphone.

The contract, shared with The Intercept by Latinx advocacy organization Mijente, shows that CBP paid Swedish data extraction firm MSAB $456,073 for a bundle of hardware including five iVe “vehicle forensics kits” manufactured by Berla, an American company. A related document indicates that CBP believed the kit would be “critical in CBP investigations as it can provide evidence [not only] regarding the vehicle’s use, but also information obtained through mobile devices paired with the infotainment system.” The document went on to say that iVe was the only tool available for purchase that could tap into such systems.

May 04 05:35

RULES AS CODE: GLOBALIST AI INFRASTRUCTURE FOR GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

The UN affiliated Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) proposes that governments should publish rules as computer code to be directly consumed by software and machines. ? TN Editor

Rules as Code (RaC) is a highly innovative idea that addresses how law and regulations are simultaneously produced in natural language and in working computer code. RaC has important implications not only for producing better rules (meaning clear and fit for purpose), but providing also a strong impetus for a powerful new generation of rule-based software platforms (ones better suited for real-world rules produced by governments and businesses).

RaC is a reaction to, and a projection of, the broader on-going digital revolution impacting citizens and businesses.[4] The World Economic Forum has coined the term ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ to describe the fundamental change in the way we live, work, and where the physical, digital, and biological worlds are merging.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hackers will have fun with this!

May 04 05:06

Intel and AMD chips are vulnerable to scary new attack — Spectre has returned [Update: Intel says threat is mitigated]

Now Spectre has returned. Researchers from the University of Virginia and the University of California San Diego determined that the new variants leak data via micro-op caches, which are used to speed up processing by storing simple commands so CPUs can grab them quickly.

Every AMD (since 2017) and Intel (since 2011) chip uses micro-op caches so they are all theoretically vulnerable to this attack. The security researchers who discovered these variants listed three possible ways a CPU could be infiltrated.

  • A same thread cross-domain attack that leaks secrets across the user- kernel boundary;
  • A cross-SMT thread attack that transmits secrets across two SMT threads running on the same physical core, but different logical cores, via the micro-op cache;

May 03 21:12

Privacy Concerns around Covid-19 immunity Passports

Countries worldwide have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by closing borders and shutting down services and facilities to prevent the virus's spread. This has had a devastating impact on businesses, particularly the travel, hospitality, and entertainment sectors. Now, governments are exploring the possibilities of implementing Covid passports. This article explores the dangers behind doing so and how this may have an impact on our freedoms.

May 03 10:06

Hacking incident exposes shocking extent of global surveillance network

May 03 09:41

Having problems with calls and data on your smartphone? Try this simple fix

To me, it didn't seem right that three handsets would suffer from the same problem. That set off alarm bells in my head. I'd have had alarm bells after the first replacement. The chances of two handsets having a similar problem are low, doubly so when they're different makes and models.

It had to be a common factor unrelated to the handset itself. And since the reader had ruled out local cellular issues, the next thing that came to my mind was the SIM card.

I asked the reader if the SIM card had been replaced.

No.

Photos showed that while the SIM was a bit scratched, it looked OK. I'd seen worse. But I recommended the reader get a replacement from their provider.

A few days later, I heard back from them.

The problem was fixed.

May 03 08:40

Caller ID should not be trusted because phone numbers are too easy for criminals to fake, Ofcom warns

In a method known as 'number spoofing', fraudsters can deliberately change their caller ID to disguise who they are or even pose as legitimate organisations.

This means that when they call their target, the number that comes up on their target's phone makes it look like they are being called by their bank, for example.

May 03 08:30

The end of free speech: Why is Britain handing huge new powers of censorship to tech giants to control what we write and say?

The UK is turning its broadcast regulator into the Hatefinder General, with a new law compelling social media companies to enforce an authoritarian crackdown on our behaviour that’s ‘unprecedented in any democracy’.

As the British nanny state widens its scope with the government’s new Online Safety Bill it is a sign that the German concept of wehrhafte Demokratie – or militant democracy – has arrived on our shores, dictating that some of our rights are sacrificed in the interests of order.

Once enshrined in law, the bill will ensure that true, online freedom of speech will follow the dial-up modem and those once omnipotent AOL subscription CDs into the dustbin of internet history. According to the authors of ‘You’re on Mute”, a briefing document from the Free Speech Union (FSU), the government’s plans “will restrict online free speech to a degree almost unprecedented in any democracy”.

May 03 07:54

MINISTRY OF TRUTH: 12 state attorneys general demand Big Tech platforms eliminate all speech from people injured by vaccines

Attorney generals from twelve states are calling on the world’s top social media networks to completely eradicate any negative claim about covid-19 vaccines. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have already implemented “misinformation” policies that remove any dissent against government lock downs, mandatory masks, and Big Pharma’s forceful vaccine push. However, the new covid vaccines are so faulty and unsafe, vaccine injury and death claims are still spreading across social media.

May 03 07:27

Why would Google suddenly need to know my birthday?

Q: When I logged into my Gmail account today, Google instructed me to add my birthday, saying this information is required to “comply with the law.” Is this a legitimate request? I have had a Google account for many years. Why would they suddenly need to know my birthday? I appreciate any enlightening information you may have on this subject!

— Anne Kuck, Bothell

A: I haven’t found a legal requirement for Google to ask for your birthday. But here’s what Google support says: “When you sign up for a Google Account, you may be asked to add your birthday. Knowing your birthday helps us use age-appropriate settings for your account. For example, minors may see a warning when we think they’ve found a site they may not want to see.”

If you’re like me, you may not want to give up personal information. Fortunately, there’s no checking on the date you enter, so feel free to get creative.

May 02 07:52

Biosurveillance On Your Smartphone? “Nano flashlight could allow future cell phones to detect viruses, more”

By Jason Erickson

Biosurveillance is beginning to enter the mainstream lexicon as the terrified public continues to seek solutions to stay virus-free, presumably forever. It’s also the new cash cow for companies seeking to capitalize on all things COVID-19.

Our colleagues in the independent media have been charting this trend extensively, reporting on everything from Smart Masks connected to your smartphone to give continuous health alerts; Bio-Barcodes via GMO spores hidden in food to track the supply chain; and the ultimate conspiracy – an implantable DARPA microchip for COVID detection. Here's the latest from MIT...

May 02 07:39

Farm Robot Zaps Weeds With High-Powered Lasers, Eliminates Need For Toxic Herbicides

In the same way, a self-driving car sees its surroundings on city streets, sensors that use machine learning technology allow farm robots to navigate fields. Automation is a growing presence in the farm industry, and a new generation of autonomous robots is helping farmers shape tomorrow's crops.

Crops that can be harvested with barely any or no herbicides would be beneficial not just to humans but also to the environment. An oddly-shaped autonomous farm tractor can eliminate the need for toxic herbicides by using high-powered lasers to weed about 20 acres per day to solve this dilemma.

Robotics company Carbon Robotics unveiled its newest weed elimination robot, Autonomous Weeder, which leverages artificial intelligence, sensors, and lasers to eliminate weeds on commercial farms.

May 02 05:57

Israeli-made robots are powering the e-commerce revolution

One of the first things that strike you when you enter eGold’s fulfillment center in the port city of Ashdod, is how quiet things are. The 20,000 square meter facility, that handles thousands of items a day, taking them from the container ship they arrived on and prepping them for delivery to customers’ homes is eerily silent. Where you would expect to hear the grumbling of engines, the whizzing and burring of conveyor belts, the shouting of instructions between workers, and the shrill warning of forklifts backing up, all you can hear is the hum of electric motors working in perfect sync.

May 02 03:28

Thieves break Experian’s credit freeze, 'thaw' accounts: report

Experian faces issues with how accounts are ‘thawed,’ according to a report from KrebsOnSecurity.

The cybersecurity blog reported that a reader had his freeze "thawed" without authorization on Experian’s website, demonstrating "how truly broken authentication and security remains in the credit bureau space."

The consumer credit reporting company, which maintains credit information on approximately 220 million U.S. consumers, allows consumers to lock or freeze their accounts to restrict access to their credit report. This makes the account more secure, protecting it from thieves who would use the information to open new accounts.

The KrebsOnSecurity report cited a software engineer who put a freeze on his credit files last year at Experian, Equifax and TransUnion after thieves tried to open multiple new payment accounts in his name.

Apr 30 16:25

Twitter isn’t censoring accounts to keep users ‘safe’, it is using its power to spoon-feed the world establishment narratives

It’s one thing to have policies against violence, abuse, and harassment. But in “protecting” users, Twitter is hell-bent on censoring voices that rock the boat, even when all they have tweeted is a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

Last week, Simon Goddek, who has a PhD in biotechnology and researches system dynamics, tweeted a link to a scientific study titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?”

Some time later, his account was frozen and he received a notice from Twitter that it would remain frozen until he deleted the offending tweet, and for the 12 hours following that.

Apr 30 14:21

‘Bat-sense’ algorithm could be used to monitor people and property without cameras

Smartphones and laptops can run the algorithm

A “bat-sense” algorithm that generates images from sounds could be used to catch burglars and monitor patients without using CCTV, the technique’s inventors say.

The machine-learning algorithm developed at Glasgow University uses reflected echoes to produce 3D pictures of the surrounding environment.

The researchers say smartphones and laptops running the algorithm could detect intruders and monitor care home patients.

Study lead author Dr Alex Turpin said two things set the tech apart from other systems:

Firstly, it requires data from just a single input — the microphone or the antenna — to create three-dimensional images. Secondly, we believe that the algorithm we’ve developed could turn any device with either of those pieces of kit into an echolocation device.

Apr 30 14:00

Opera upgrades user access to decentralized web via Unstoppable Domains

Chromium-based web browser Opera is all set to fully integrate with blockchain domain name provider Unstoppable Domains in a bid to provide millions of its users with decentralized web access.

Opera users will now be able to access decentralized websites hosted via IPFS using Unstoppable Domains’ popular .crypto NFT addresses from the Opera browser. This will include platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac or Linux.

Right now, Opera has over 320 million monthly active users across its offerings, following the addition of a crypto wallet to its browsers in 2019.

Crypto domains
Users of Unstoppable Domains are granted full ownership and control when they claim a domain because it is minted as an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain.

Domain names such as .crypto replace complex wallet addresses for payments across over 40 cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges in addition to accessing the decentralized web through Opera.

Apr 30 11:43

DHS Extends REAL-ID Airport Enforcement “Deadline” Again

By Edward Hasbrouck

The Department of Homeland Security has once again postponed its self-proclaimed “deadline” for enforcement of the REAL-ID Act at airports, this time from October 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023.

The latest postponement proves, once again, that the dates of the DHS threats to begin “enforcing” the REAL-ID Act at airports are as changeable as the dates in any of the threats made by extortionists or kidnappers. Today’s DHS press release is more like a ransom note than a legal notice: If you get an ID we deem acceptable, we might not harass you as much when you fly, and we might allow you to exercise your right to travel.

It remains unclear what enforcement of the REAL-ID Act at airports might mean. No law requires air travelers to have any ID, and the REAL-ID Act doesn’t change that...

Apr 30 11:00

New York City Public Squashes Dream of Police to Use Robot Dogs on the Streets

By Nicholas West

The creator of Black Mirror – the dystopian sci-fi series – has famously said that he chose to stop making episodes because our reality has essentially become equally dystopian to anything else he could create.

Apparently, a healthy dose of New York City residents had seen one of Black Mirror’s most iconic episodes, “Metalhead”, because an outpouring of resistance ensued after a robot dog – “Digidog” – was spotted prowling the streets, and the NYPD subsequently admitted they were beginning to use the dog at crime scenes...

Apr 30 08:22

‘Brain-like device’ mimics human learning in major computing breakthrough

Scientists have developed a device modelled on the human brain that can learn by association in the same way as Pavlov’s dog.

In the famous experiment, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov conditioned a dog to associate a bell with food. In order to replicate this way of learning, researchers from Northwestern University in the US and the University of Hong Kong developed so-called “synaptic transistors” capable of simultaneously processing and storing information in the same way as a brain.

Apr 30 08:04

Android has a unique life-saving feature that you won’t find on any iPhone

The increasing number of iPhones and other Apple devices in use allowed Apple to create a unique device tracking service. It can help users find lost phones, tablets, and other devices even if those gadgets are not connected to the internet or do not have enough battery life. Apple further leveraged this massive iPhone network to launch the AirTag tracker that can ping any nearby iPhone to send out location information about a lost object.

Google might not have the same control over the Android network to offer similar object-tracking functionality, but it has found a different way to leverage the massive number of Android devices out there. It’s using them to provide a unique service that will be incredibly useful in certain places. Google built an earthquake detection system on top of Android that could provide early warnings about local seismic activity and save lives. The service launched last year in California, and it’s now expanding to Greece and New Zealand.

Apr 30 07:29

Microchip Can Detect COVID Before You’re Sick

Pentagon scientists and Profusa have developed a tiny biosensor that can be embedded under your skin to detect disease

Its purpose is to track chemical reactions going on inside your body, which may reveal that you’re infected with a virus like COVID-19 or influenza and about to start having symptoms the next day

In addition to the under-skin sensor, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been working on a customized filter that can be put on a standard dialysis machine to remove COVID-19 from the blood

Profusa said it intended to seek FDA approval for their tissue-integrating biosensor in 2021, and a DARPA-backed study is also underway to measure early signs of influenza via the biosensor technology

Apr 30 06:34

Space Force scientist warns it's 'imperative' the US military experiment with human augmentation and AI to stay ahead of Russia and China

Combining humans with machines to create superhuman intelligence may soon no longer be the plot of science-fiction films, as the US Space Force's chief scientist say it will happen in 'the coming decade.'

Dr. Joel Mozer, speaking at an event at the Airforce Research Laboratory Wednesday, announced we are entering the age of 'human augmentation,' which is crucial to the US's national defense in order to not 'fall behind our strategic competitors.'

However, his proposal does not turn humans into cyborgs, but employs 'AI agents' to assist with strategic military planning.

Apr 30 06:30

NYPD Puts Down Its Godforesaken Robot Dog

The New York City Police Department’s contract with the robot dog that spawned countless Black Mirror memes has been mercifully cut short. On Wednesday, an NYPD deputy commissioner confirmed to the New York Times that in response to the pretty universal backlash stirred up by the so-called Digidog—along with a hefty subpoena from city council officials—the Department terminated its $94,000 contract with the robot’s creators, Boston Dynamics, earlier this month.

John Miller, the Department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, told the Times that while the contract was supposed to run through mid-August—a full year after the pup was first procured. Instead, the Department quietly cut its ties on April 22nd, apparently having only been used in the field about six times before being shipped back to Boston Dynamics.

Apr 30 06:04

EXPLAINER: No ransomware silver bullet, crooks out of reach

Political hand-wringing in Washington over Russia’s hacking of federal agencies and interference in U.S. politics has mostly overshadowed a worsening digital scourge with a far broader wallop: crippling and dispiriting extortionary ransomware attacks by cybercriminal mafias that mostly operate in foreign safe havens out of the reach of Western law enforcement.

Stricken in the United States alone last year were more than 100 federal, state and municipal agencies, upwards of 500 health care centers, 1,680 educational institutions and untold thousands of businesses, according to the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. Dollar losses are in the tens of billions. Accurate numbers are elusive. Many victims shun reporting, fearing the reputational blight.

Apr 29 13:45

Bill Gates, China, 23andMe, and Your DNA

By Derrick Broze

Is there a connection between China, Bill Gates, YouTube, and DNA collection?

Recent reports reveal that a Chinese company with connections to the Gates Foundation is involved in COVID-19 testing and poses a potential threat to American privacy, particularly the medical and health data of those who have been tested for COVID-19.

The rabbit hole goes even deeper than most imagine...

Apr 29 13:06

FCC reveals sign-up date and website for $50-per-month broadband subsidies

Enrollment for $50-per-month broadband subsidies for US residents with low incomes or those who lost income during the pandemic will begin on May 12, the Federal Communications Commission announced today. The FCC also set up a new website at which people can sign up for the subsidies.

"As of May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org," the FCC said.

Apr 29 12:25

Bio-Barcodes: GMO Spores Hidden in Food to Track Supply Chain?

By Ice Age Farmer

Spraying your food with genetically modified spores with custom DNA sequences in order to trace it through the global supply chain sounds like science fiction, but one company funded by SOSV — the same VC behind ‘food replacement’ companies like Memphis Meats, Finless Foods, and NotCo — has made it a reality, and is already testing its technology.

Biological barcodes and resource tracking is clearly an integral part of the blockchain/AI supply chain being rolled out as part of The Great Reset. But what happens when you eat them? Christian breaks down Aanika and their technology in this Ice Age Farmer broadcast.

Apr 29 09:48

New Documentary Reveals The Merging of Humans and Machines Is Here

By Jenny Punter

The Toronto-based Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival opens Thursday with the world premiere of “A.rtificial I.mmortality,” which explores advancements in AI, robotics, and biotech through close encounters with neuroscientists, AI developers, transhumanists, robot-creators, and visionaries who are pointing the way toward post-biological life...

Apr 29 07:22

Unemployment-Benefits Fraud Has Soared in the Pandemic. Here’s What to Do.

The letter that arrived in March from the New York State Department of Labor was a wake-up call: My name and Social Security number had been used to file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits.

The news that criminals have my Social Security number and other identifying information shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Due to continuing security breaches, “you can bet that the personal information of every adult in the U.S. has been exposed. Our data are out there,” said Kathy Stokes, director of fraud prevention at AARP Fraud Watch Network, which offers free help to consumers.

Amid the pandemic, identity theft has soared. Complaints to the Federal Trade Commission more than doubled to 1.38 million from 2019 to 2020, a tally that includes unemployment-benefits fraud.

Apr 29 07:07

A crafty Linux malware has evaded detection for years and experts still don't know what it does

Security researchers have discovered a crafty piece of malware written for Linux, but finding it after three years in the wild is just "the tip of the iceberg," they say. Its purpose remains a mystery.

At least it now has an identity. Researchers at Qihoo 360 Netlab (via Bleeping Computer) are calling it RotaJakiro, named after a mashing of its characteristics—it uses rotating encryption keys, and is a two-headed beast of sorts, in that it executes different code for root and non-root accounts.

Staying hidden for so long is a result of RotaJakiro employing a combination of ZLIB compression and several different encryption algorithms. Dating back to 2018, at least four RotaJakiro samples have been uploaded to VirusTotal, a website that scans files with over 60 antivirus engines. The most recent upload occurred in January of this year.

Apr 29 07:00

How to Send Encrypted Email With 5 Popular Mail Services

There are many good reasons to prefer using an email service that supports encryption. Perhaps you need to send confidential information that you don't want anyone else to see. Or maybe you don't want your email provider to allow third parties to mine your email contents for personal data.

Whatever the reason, you need to know how to send secure, encrypted emails—on desktop and mobile services—using some of the most popular email accounts.

Apr 29 06:52

New CIA Malware Spotted; Cybersecurity Firm Kaspersky Says It 'Spies' on Network Traffic

A new malware believed to have been developed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was spotted from "a collection of malware samples" studied since Feb. 2019.

Kaspersky, the cybersecurity firm that discovered the malware, said that it shared similarities with past CIA malware prompting them to track its activity and gave it the codename "Purple Lambert."

CIA's 'Purple Lambert' Spotted: What Can the Malware Do?
Kaspersky published an APT Trends report on Apr. 27, which details the cybersecurity firm's observations on activities in Q1 2021.

According to the report, the malware that Kaspersky named the Purple Lambert contains a certain network module that passively listens to network traffic and searches for a "magic packet."

The CIA's newly discovered malware can provide the agency with basic information about the system it had infected and can execute a payload it had received.

Apr 28 10:11

Signal's Cellebrite Hack Is Already Causing Grief for the Law

A Maryland defense attorney has decided to challenge the conviction of one of his clients after it was recently discovered that the phone cracking product used in the case, produced by digital forensics firm Cellebrite, has severe cybersecurity flaws that could make it vulnerable to hacking.

Ramon Rozas, who has practiced law for 25 years, told Gizmodo that he was compelled to pursue a new trial after reading a widely shared blog post written by Moxie Marlinspike, the CEO of encrypted chat app Signal. It was just about a week ago that Marlinspike brutally dunked on Cellebrite—writing, in a searing takedown, that the company’s products lacked basic “industry-standard exploit mitigation defenses,” and that security holes in its software could easily be exploited to manipulate data during cell phone extraction.

Apr 28 10:08

How Merck works with Seeqc to cut through quantum computing hype

When it comes to grappling with the future of quantum computing, enterprises are scrambling to figure just how seriously they should take this new computing architecture. Many executives are trapped between the anxiety of missing the next wave of innovation and the fear of being played for suckers by people overhyping quantum’s revolutionary potential.

That’s why the approach to quantum by pharmaceutical giant Merck offers a clear-eyed roadmap for other enterprises to follow. The company is taking a cautious but informed approach that includes setting up an internal working group and partnering with quantum startup Seeqc to monitor developments while keeping an open mind.

According to Philipp Harbach, a theoretical chemist who is head of Merck’s In Silico Research group, a big part of the challenge remains trying to keep expectations of executives reasonable even as startup funding to quantum soars and the hype continues to mount.

Apr 28 10:08

The Magic GIF Ball Will Help You Make Important Life Decisions Based on Random Memes

Despite containing no actual magic, the Magic 8-Ball has been providing random answers to life’s important questions since 1950. But the iconic toy is over 70 years old now, and it’s about time for an upgrade for the 21st century. DJ Harrigan modernized the device so that it now responds with animated GIFs.

Instead of modifying an existing Magic 8-Ball, which would have involved hacking it open to remove the answer-covered icosahedron die as well as draining away about half a cup of alcohol dyed dark blue, Harrigan started from scratch and designed an over-sized 8-ball in Fusion 360 and then 3D-printed it. That explains why it’s lacking the high-gloss finish of the official version.

Apr 28 10:07

Cable-chewing beavers take out town’s Internet in “uniquely Canadian” outage

About 900 Internet users in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, lost service for 36 hours when beavers chewed through an underground fiber cable in what network operator Telus called a "very bizarre and uniquely Canadian turn of events."

"Our team located a nearby dam, and it appears the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch thick conduit. The beavers first chewed through the conduit before chewing through the cable in multiple locations," the statement from Telus said, according to a CBC article posted Sunday.

The beavers apparently used some of the Telus materials to build their dam. Telus provided Ars with these photos of the damaged cable and the beaver dam:

Apr 28 06:06

FCC lets SpaceX cut satellite altitude to improve Starlink speed and latency

SpaceX today was granted permission to use a lower orbit for Starlink satellites, as regulators agreed with SpaceX that the change will improve broadband speed and latency while making it easier to minimize orbital debris. In granting SpaceX's request, the Federal Communications Commission dismissed opposition from Viasat, Hughes, Dish Network, OneWeb, the Amazon subsidiary known as Kuiper, and other satellite companies that claimed the change would cause too much interference with other systems.

Apr 28 00:55

Stop using your work laptop or phone for personal stuff, because I know you are

A former IT pro turned end user explains why blending your work and personal tech was, is and always will be a bad idea for you and your employer.

In the age of remote work, it's easier than ever to blur the lines between our personal and professional tech. Maybe it's sending personal texts or emails from your work phone, editing personal documents or photos on your work laptop, or joining a virtual happy hour with friends from your work tablet.

None of these actions may sound like a particularly risky activity, but as a former "IT guy" I'm asking, nay pleading, with you to stop doing them. At least the potentially more hazardous activities, such as storing personal data on your work machine or storying sensitive company data on your personal devices. Do it for the security of your employer. But more importantly, for the safety, privacy and wellbeing of yourself, your family and friends.

Apr 27 11:22

Canada introduces bill to police all internet speech

Citing the threat of “hate speech” and “hurtful” language, particularly against politicians like himself, Trudeau wants to force all social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, to start immediately removing all content that someone on the left might feel is “offensive.”

Apr 27 09:38

FLASHBACK - Rivero challenges the NSA

The US Government insists their demand for a ban on strong encryption or back doors into all of our electronic devices is to stop crime and terror.

But over the course of a year, as documented on this page, What Really Happened issued six encryption challenges based on systems of encryption created and programmed here on an air-gapped computer.

Now, I am not an encryption expert, and only a moderately decent programmer. The NSA would have a strong motive to break my codes to discourage others from creating their own systems of encryption.

None were ever solved.

If I can beat the NSA, it means real criminals and terrorists can defeat the NSA and keep their communications private.

Hence, the real agenda of the government is not to stop crime and terror but to monitor the American people to make sure they are not thinking those double-plus ungood thoughts about how this nation is being run!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I decided to repost this because Google seems to want to hide it. It can easily be found in other search engines like Yandex, but despite several different booleans, Google "forgot" this article exists. This is why I no longer use Google! Meanwhile, feel free to copy and share the contents of this article.

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Apr 27 08:48

Turning a Tiny Hot Wheels Car Into a Fully Functional RC Drifter Looks More Complicated Than Brain Surgery

Hot Wheels die-cast cars are one of the most iconic toys of all time, and there’s an entire subculture devoted to collecting and customizing everything from their paint jobs to bodywork. Taking things several steps farther, this talented modder upgraded a Hot Wheels into a fully functional RC drifter, complete with working shocks and a gyro sensor for improved steering.

Starting with a stock Hot Wheels ‘92 BMW M3 (featuring German police livery) the toy was deconstructed and its insides were stripped to make room for all of the added electronics, while the base plate was heavily modded to accept new tires, axles, functional shocks up front with tiny springs, and a custom-built mechanism that allows the front wheels to be turned and steered. An electric motor provides propulsion while a small servo handles steering control, both of which talk to a standard RC car remote through an RC receiver that somehow manages to find room inside the ride.

Apr 27 07:33

Since 2019 Apple Has Known That Its AirDrop Feature Leaks Users’ Info But Has Yet to Admit It or Fix It

By B.N. Frank

Apple is not having the greatest year. In January, the company warned that its iPhone12 model could cause health emergencies for people with pacemakers and other medical implants.

In February, the company was chastised for its “colossal e-waste timebomb”.

More recently the company has been outed for not doing anything about a huge security flaw in their AirDrop feature...

Apr 27 06:52

Top 5 reasons to build, not buy, software

Software: you need it. You can't achieve your business's goals without it. There's a salesperson offering to solve all your problems if you just plunk down a chunk of change, but you have coders on staff. You have project managers, so you could just make that software yourself. That seems more attractive. Should you do it? Here are five reasons to build, not buy, software.

Control. You decide what the software does and doesn't do. Nobody can take it away because a license is no longer offered. You might even make some money marketing it to others who don't want to build.
Cost. You don't waste money paying for features you'll never use. Because you're designing the software, you can laser focus on just what you need. Plus, once it's built, it's built—you don't have to keep paying a subscription fee.

Apr 27 05:41

Washington DC police department is held to ransom 'by Russian hackers' who threaten to share undercover informants' details with local crime gangs

Russian hackers breached Washington DC's police department database for a ransom, and threatened to share informants details with crime gangs, it is claimed.

The cybercriminals posted screenshots on their dark web site supporting their claim to have stolen more than 250 gigabytes of data as news of the hack emerged on Monday.

The District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that it had asked the FBI to investigate the 'unauthorized access.'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No evidence the hackers are Russian and in any event, haven't the cops heard of encryption?

Apr 26 16:20

“VerifyStudents” Provides Digital Platform for “ImmuniTrax” Vaccine Passports

By John Klyczek

In this video, I examine the “ImmuniTrax” digital vaccine passport that is linked to the “VerifyStudents” platform provided by a company called Corporate Screening, which partners with Platinum Educational Group’s “competency-tracking” services through “computer adaptive testing.”

Digging deeper, I document the potential for these digital “compliance” trackers to be hooked up to “Social Credit” databases that could dictate student access not only to schools, but also to employment, healthcare, housing, transportation, due process, and even food.

Apr 26 10:23

Crypto exchange boss allegedly flees with $2 billion in funds

The CEO of a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange has reportedly disappeared with $2 billion of investors' funds, leaving more than 300,000 users concerned about their money.

The crypto platform Thodex said it had been “temporarily closed” to address an “abnormal fluctuation in the company accounts,” according to a statement on its website. But local media reports claim the firm's founder, Faruk Fatih Ozer, has flown to Albania, sparking an ongoing international manhunt.

Apr 26 09:41

Brace yourselves. Facebook has a new mega-leak on its hands

Still smarting from last month's dump of phone numbers belonging to 500 million Facebook users, the social media giant has a new privacy crisis to contend with: a tool that, on a massive scale, links Facebook accounts with their associated email addresses, even when users choose settings to keep them from being public.

A video circulating on Tuesday showed a researcher demonstrating a tool named Facebook Email Search v1.0, which he said could link Facebook accounts to as many as 5 million email addresses per day. The researcher—who said he went public after Facebook said it didn't think the weakness he found was "important" enough to be fixed—fed the tool a list of 65,000 email addresses and watched what happened next.

Apr 26 08:37

This software update is deleting botnet malware from infected PCs around the world

A specially crafted update created by law enforcement has triggered the process of removing the Emotet botnet malware from 1.6 million infected computers around the world.

Emotet was thought to be the world's largest botnet, known for spewing millions of malware-laden spam emails each day. Law enforcement in the US, Canada and Europe conducted a coordinated takedown of Emotet infrastructure in January to rid the web of one of its worst menaces, which was used to spread banking trojans, remote access tools, and ransomware.

Part of the action involved law enforcement commandeering Emotet's command and control (C2) infrastructure to prevent its operators from using the botnet to spread more malware. As reported by ZDNet in January, law enforcement in the Netherlands took control of two of Emotet's three-tier C2 servers.

SEE: Network security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Apr 26 08:34

"This Is Massive": Shadowy DARPA-Linked Company Took Over 'Chunk' Of Pentagon's Internet In Inauguration Day Mystery

A shadowy company set up last September linked to a DARPA / FBI contractor who peddled a 'lawful intercept' internet spy device to government agencies and law enforcement a decade ago, took over a massive portion of the Pentagon's idle internet addresses on the day of President Biden's inauguration, according to an in-depth investigation by the Associated Press.

The valuable internet real estate has since quadrupled to 175 million IP addresses which were previously owned by the US Department of Defense - about 1/25th the size of the current internet, and over twice the size of the internet space actually used by the Pentagon.

"It is massive. That is the biggest thing in the history of the internet," said Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at network operating company Kenntic.

The company, Global Resource Systems, was established by a Beverly Hills attorney, and now resides in a shared workspace above a Florida bank.

Apr 26 08:04

Jaguar Land Rover temporarily shuts down two factories in the UK due to semiconductor chip shortage

British automobile company Jaguar Land Rover announced the suspension of production at two of its manufacturing plants due to the global semiconductor shortage.

The two factories that will be affected are the Castle Bromwich Assembly in Birmingham, west-central England, and the Halewood Body & Assembly facility just outside of Liverpool in northwestern England. The “limited period” of closure will begin on Monday, April 26.

Apr 25 13:07

Researchers say changing simple iPhone setting fixes long-standing privacy bug

The AirDrop feature on iPhones and MacBook computers has a vulnerability that could give scammers access to your email and phone number, a team of researchers say.

AirDrop lets you share photos, documents and other files with other Apple devices nearby. When users have Bluetooth and WiFi turned on, they can discover each others' devices and connect and share.

But the discovery process can also leave your device open to potential data pirates, say computer science researchers at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany.

In a recently published alert, the researchers said strangers within range of your device can learn your email address and phone number when you open the sharing function. That's because as part of the process to authenticate file sharing, AirDrop checks phone numbers and email addresses against the other user's address book.

Apr 25 13:02

Is Apple tricking iTunes customers?

A federal class-action lawsuit against Apple in California looks like it’s set to move forward, now that a judge has denied a request by the iPhone maker to dismiss the suit. US District Court Judge John Mendez in Sacramento appeared sympathetic this week to the argument from plaintiff David Andino that Apple is being too misleading with customers by offering “Buy” and “Rent” options in the iTunes store, for content like TV shows and movies that Apple users then either stream or download after purchase.

Apr 25 13:01

Apple Working on Cuffless Blood Pressure Measurement to Work With Apple Watch

A new patent application, published on Thursday, shows a wearable device, potentially paired with an Apple Watch, that might be capable of monitoring a user’s blood pressure without the need for any additional peripherals.

This could allow users to measure their blood pressure by using neutral networks and seismocardiogram data, with no need for a blood pressure cuff.

Apr 25 12:59

Why does my laptop give me small but sometimes painful zaps? Are they dangerous?

Do you get tiny electric zaps from your laptop when using it? Do you feel a strange buzzing feeling when touching the metal case?

If the answer is yes, then your next logical questions are likely to be "what's causing this?" and "is it dangerous?"

I've been getting these tiny shocks from metal-bodied laptops for years. When I first felt them, I was understandably distressed, but while they are uncomfortable, they're not dangerous, and there are things that you can do to reduce the problem.

So, what's causing the problem?

Put in simple terms, what you're feeling is a slight electrical discharge coming from the power supply, traveling along the cable, and grounding through the case. It's a tiny amount of current -- in the microamps range -- and not harmful or dangerous in any way.

Apr 25 11:35

Autism Research Shows Links to EMF, Cell Phone and Wireless “WiFi” Radiation Exposure

By B.N. Frank

Research has indicated that children’s excessive use of or exposure to screens can play a role in autism and other health issues. An overwhelming amount of research has also determined that exposure to various environmental toxins can also play a role. This includes exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and wireless radiation...

Apr 25 04:17

Chip shortage causes more disruptions in auto production, but trader has a hedge play

General Motors announced a halt in production at several North American plants and Ford announced additional downtime at two plants, the latest disruptions to the auto supply chain because of a chip shortage.

Shares for GM were down 1% on Thursday, the day of its announcement. Ford closed down nearly 2%.

Both stocks have risen more than 40% for the year, despite the continuing production issues.

JC O’Hara, chief market technician of MKM Partners, identified one way to get exposure to the auto stocks without the headwind risk.

“Used car sales are through the roof so one play that I’m very interested in here is CarMax. They are a huge used car sales company, and the positivity from used car sales is being reflected in the chart,” O’Hara told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday.

Apr 24 13:13

Academics face backlash after trying to sneak dodgy code into Linux

A couple of computer scientists at the University of Minnesota riled up veteran Linux kernel developers by intentionally submitting questionable code to the mainline kernel.

The scientists introduced what are known as use-after-free bugs into the kernel for the purposes of their research, aptly titled, "On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits."

The paper describes how the authors submitted dubious code that would introduce error conditions into the kernel. The researchers claim they subsequently contacted Linux maintainers to prevent any of their code ending up in the official kernel release.

Apr 24 13:00

Minutes before Trump left office, millions of the Pentagon's dormant IP addresses sprang to life

WASHINGTON - While the world was distracted with President Donald Trump leaving office on Jan. 20, an obscure Florida company discreetly announced to the world's computer networks a startling development: It now was managing a huge unused swath of the Internet that, for several decades, had been owned by the U.S. military.

What happened next was stranger still.

The company, Global Resource Systems LLC, kept adding to its zone of control. Soon it had claimed 56 million IP addresses owned by the Pentagon. Three months later, the total was nearly 175 million. That's almost 6% of a coveted traditional section of Internet real estate - called IPv4 - where such large chunks are worth billions of dollars on the open market.

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