COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jul 23 13:12

2nd Recall of Chevy EVs Due to Battery Fires; “life with an affected car is going to be a lot less convenient than it used to be.”

By B.N. Frank

Battery fires have led to a recalls in Hyundai Electric Vehicles (EVs) and also General Motors models. Now GM has issued a second recall regarding the Chevrolet Bolt...

Jul 23 11:14

Microsoft issues warning to ALL Windows 10 users: You need to follow these steps now

Windows 10 users have been put on high alert over a dangerous new flaw found lurking inside the popular desktop operating system. Dubbed SeriousSAM, it allows bad actors to gain administrator rights on vulnerable systems – enabling them to install malware, applications, delete files, and much more. SeriousSAM is a so-called "zero-day vulnerability", which means that attackers are already aware of how to leverage the flaw. That means Microsoft is in a race against the hackers – to fix the problem before too many people fall victim to hackers exploiting the issue.

Thankfully, Microsoft is working on a fix. However, these things take some time. And while the Redmond-based company is hard at work on a permanent patch for the problem, which it refers to as CVE-2021-36934, Microsoft has shared a workaround to protect your laptop, desktop PC, or tablet from these attacks.

Jul 23 11:11

Nasty macOS Malware XCSSET Now Targets Google Chrome, Telegram Software

A malware known for targeting macOS operating system has been updated once again to add more features to its toolset that allows it to amass and exfiltrate sensitive data stored in a variety of apps, including apps such as Google Chrome and Telegram, as part of further "refinements in its tactics."

XCSSET was uncovered in August 2020, when it was found targeting Mac developers using an unusual means of distribution that involved injecting a malicious payload into Xcode IDE projects that's executed at the time of building project files in Xcode.

The malware comes with numerous capabilities, such as reading and dumping Safari cookies, injecting malicious JavaScript code into various websites, stealing information from applications, such as Notes, WeChat, Skype, Telegram, and encrypting user files.

Jul 23 10:10

Botswana Police use Israeli Cellebrite Tech to Search Another Journalist’s Phone

Tsaone Basimanebotlhe was not expecting security agents to appear at her home in a village outside Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, in July 2019, she told CPJ in a recent interview. But they didn’t come to arrest or charge her, she recalled – they came for her devices, hunting for the source for an article published by her employer, Mmegi newspaper.

Basimanebotlhe, a politics reporter, said she surrendered her phone and password to the agents after they presented a warrant and could not find her computer. A senior officer then used technology sold by the Israel-based company Cellebrite to extract and analyze thousands of her messages, call logs, and emails, and her web browsing history, according to an affidavit from the police forensics laboratory.

The affidavit, which CPJ reviewed, was submitted during a related court case.“They’re looking for people that are divulging information to the media,” Basimanebotlhe told CPJ.

Jul 23 09:44

Microsoft warns over this unusual malware that targets Windows and Linux

Microsoft is warning customers about the LemonDuck crypto mining malware which is targeting both Windows and Linux systems and is spreading via phishing emails, exploits, USB devices, and brute force attacks, as well as attacks targeting critical on-premise Exchange Server vulnerabilities uncovered in March.

The group was discovered to be using Exchange bugs to mine for cryptocurrency in May, two years after it first emerged.

Notably, the group behind LemonDuck is taking advantage of high-profile security bugs by exploiting older vulnerabilities during periods where security teams are focussed on patching critical flaws, and even removing rival malware.

"[LemonDuck] continues to use older vulnerabilities, which benefit the attackers at times when focus shifts to patching a popular vulnerability rather than investigating compromise," the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team note.

Jul 23 09:39

To Protect Yourself, Never Give Your DNA Or Biometric Data

So many companies now are requesting people's biometric data. Things like fingerprints, iris scans, voice scans, DNA, etc. are not pieces of information that you should freely give to a company. These are immutable identifiers and could potentially be a security risk and privacy nightmare.

Jul 23 08:20

Facebook steps up censorship: People can no longer have online conversations without potentially getting censored

Facebook’s censorship has gone out of control in the recent past. Now, users can no longer discuss their hobbies on the platform without potentially getting censored.

The social media giant reportedly censored discussion of gardening tools in a group about gardening. “Facebook’s censors are digging deep – flagging the word ‘hoe’ in a western New York gardening group because they apparently confused the tool for a disparaging term for women,” the New York Post reported.

A group called WNY Gardeners has been repeatedly flagged by Facebook for “violating community standards” when its more than 7,500 members discussed the long-handled gardening tool – which is spelled with an “e,” unlike the offensive term.

Jul 23 08:10

Kaseya gets master decryption key after July 4 global attack

The Florida company whose software was exploited in the devastating Fourth of July weekend ransomware attack, Kaseya, has received a universal key that will decrypt all of the more than 1,000 businesses and public organizations crippled in the global incident.

Kaseya spokeswoman Dana Liedholm would not say Thursday how the key was obtained or whether a ransom was paid. She said only that it came from a “trusted third party” and that Kaseya was distributing it to all victims. The cybersecurity firm Emsisoft confirmed that the key worked and was providing support.

Ransomware analysts offered multiple possible explanations for why the master key, which can unlock the scrambled data of all the attack’s victims, has now appeared. They include: Kaseya paid; a government paid; a number of victims pooled funds; the Kremlin seized the key from the criminals and handed it over through intermediaries — or perhaps the main attacker didn’t get paid by the gang whose ransomware was used.

Jul 23 06:23

Pegasus scandal: Are we all becoming unknowing spies?

The allegations that spy software known as Pegasus may have been used to carry out surveillance on journalists, activists - and even perhaps political leaders - highlights that surveillance is now for sale.

The company behind the tool, NSO Group, has denied the allegations and says its customers are carefully assessed.

But it is another sign that high-end spy techniques, which used to be the exclusive preserve of a few states, are now spreading more widely and challenging the way we think about privacy and security in an online world.

In the not-too-distant past, if a security service wanted to find out what you were up to, it took a fair degree of effort. They might get a warrant to wiretap your phone. Or plant a bug in your house. Or send a surveillance team to follow you.

Finding out who your contacts were and how you lived your life would take patience and time.

Jul 23 06:02

Russia disconnected from global internet in tests - RBC daily

Russia managed to disconnect from the global internet during tests in June and July, the RBC daily reported on Thursday, citing documents from the working group tasked with improving Russia's internet security.

Russia adopted legislation, known as the "sovereign internet" law, in late 2019 that seeks to shield the country from being cut off from foreign infrastructure, in answer to what Russia called the "aggressive nature" of the United States' national cyber security strategy.

The legislation tightened Moscow's control over the global network and caused consternation among free speech activists, who feared the move would strengthen government oversight of the country's cyberspace.

Tests involving all Russia's major telecoms firms were held from June 15 to July 15 and were successful, according to preliminary results, RBC cited a source in the working group as saying.

Jul 23 06:01

NSA Whistleblower Says All Telecom Imports Must Be Scanned for Pegasus-Like Implants

All communications technology products from any foreign country need to be checked for potential hardware and software surveillance implants in the wake of the Pegasus scandal, former US National Security Agency (NSA) Technical Director and whistleblower William Binney told Sputnik.

Pegasus spyware, developed by Israel's NSO Group, was used to hack some 50,000 smartphones of human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and business executives around the world, a journalist-NGO consortium revealed last week. Among those targeted were high-level officials from Pakistan, France, Iraq, Egypt and the European Council.

Jul 23 05:45

Pegasus: Israeli spyware scandal explained

Jul 23 05:44

Israeli spyware is a threat to all freedoms everywhere

In 1974, Richard Nixon was impeached after being caught bugging his opponents at the Watergate Hotel in one of the twentieth century's most explosive scandals. In comparison, the Pegasus Project — a far-reaching and shocking exposé by seventeen media outlets and Amnesty International — is a thermonuclear warhead to Nixon's firecracker.

Pegasus is a product of an Israeli company, the NSO Group. Heads of state and opposition leaders from France to South Africa to Pakistan have the Pegasus spyware on their phones. As well as politicians, the list of 50,000 Pegasus targets provided by Amnesty include human rights defenders, activists and journalists. NSO Group's clients range from known human rights abusers to states that regard themselves as liberal democracies.

Jul 22 19:08

Eric Clapton Won’t Perform at Venues Requiring Proof of COVID Vax; Experienced Severe Side Effects from AstraZeneca Jab

By B.N. Frank

Vaccine side effects, injuries and deaths have been reported for decades. They continue to be reported about COVID vaccines as well, including by celebrity recipients Eric Clapton and Ben Stein. Clapton has now announced that he will not perform in venues that require proof of COVID vaccination. Go figure...

Jul 22 12:16

Japan breaks internet speed record with a 319Tbps data transfer

The many-gigabit internet speed records of a decade ago now seem downright inadequate. Motherboard reports that scientists at Japan's National institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have smashed the internet transfer record by shuffling data at 319Tbps. For context, that's almost twice as fast as the 179Tbps a team of British and Japanese researchers managed in August 2020.

Jul 22 12:14

Pegasus Spyware is a 'Big Black Hole', No Escape From Its Attack: Cyber Expert

Pegasus keeps updating its malware. Even if experts crack one, the spyware designs a new one. It is an ongoing war.

Jul 22 12:13

HP patches vulnerable driver lurking in printers for 16 years

On Tuesday, SentinelLabs published an analysis of the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-3438 and issued a CVSS score of 8.8.

The security issue is described as a "potential buffer overflow in the software drivers for certain HP LaserJet products and Samsung product printers could lead to an escalation of privilege."

According to the researchers, some HP, Xerox, and Samsung printer models contained vulnerable driver software, sold worldwide since 2005.

The driver in question, SSPORT.SYS, is automatically installed and activated, whether the model was wireless or cabled. The driver is also loaded automatically by Microsoft's Windows operating system on PC boot.

"This makes the driver a perfect candidate to target since it will always be loaded on the machine even if there is no printer connected," the researchers say.

Jul 22 11:14

Internet down: Huge outage takes some major sites offline

It’s not just you, it’s Steam, PlayStation, Disney, GoDaddy, Amazon, UPS, LastPass, and a whole bunch of other websites that are out-of-commission right this minute. One part of the problem appears to be an issue with the content distribution network (CDN) Akamai. Tracking for the service suggests that they’re experiencing an “emerging issue with the Edge DNS service.”

Major issues have occurred with this down-time, giving us a glimpse into the world of “what if” when it comes to our reliance on the internet at large. Take for example UPS, whose down time will result in users’ inability to check for tracking information on important deliveries.

The Delta webpage down-time means Delta flights cannot be checked from home or from smart devices with the internet. The same is true of British Airways. Capital One appears to be down at the moment, meaning users with money with the bank cannot check their balance or access documents until the outage is fixed.

Jul 22 11:11

Google employees listen in on private conversations between users and Google Assistant

Google representatives told India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology that the company’s employees listen to some recordings of conversations between users and Google Assistant. It was the first time the tech giant acknowledged in front of Indian officials that its employees listen to a portion of conversations that users have with Google Assistant.

Jul 22 10:19

Taking Action Against 5G—Advice from a People’s Lobbyist

Op-Ed by Jenny Miller

Perhaps you have been already convinced by reading articles on this site about the devastating effects of the ongoing rollout of massive numbers of 4G/5G so-called small cells (short for cell towers) throughout cities in the U.S. If you’re not up to speed about why you should be extremely, extremely alarmed, you can read my previous article on the subject (“The 5G Juggernaut, Coming Soon to a Utility Pole Outside Your Home”).

This article explains how you can be effective in convincing legislators to oppose the ubiquitous 5G streamlining bills. My advice is based on my past experience as a lobbyist representing a statewide human rights organization, when on more than one occasion, a tiny group of us were able to win extraordinary victories against bills being strongly pushed by powerful corporate interests. I also was very involved in the 2017 successful campaign to defeat California 5G bill...

Jul 22 10:18

Microsoft just published a workaround for this important Windows 10 flaw

Microsoft has released a workaround for a privilege elevation flaw that affects all versions of Windows 10 and could give attackers the ability to access data and create new accounts on systems.

Microsoft this week confirmed a serious elevation of privilege flaw, tagged as CVE-2021-36934, that could allow a local attacker to run their own code with system privileges.

While the bug is important, the attacker must have already gained the ability to execute code on the target system in order to exploit the flaw, according to Microsoft.

Jul 22 08:02

Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief: Pegasus leaks show nobody is safe from espionage

n this episode of Going Underground, we speak to WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson. He discusses the leaks that showed some 50,000 people are potential targets of the Pegasus spyware that has been sold to governments around the world by NSO, an Israeli company, and the inescapable global surveillance apparatus that has now become privatized. He also discusses Julian Assange’s US extradition case, slamming the ongoing detention of the WikiLeaks founder despite a key witness in the case admitting to lying.

Jul 22 07:52

Pegasus scandal turns spotlight on Israel’s controversial military tech sector

The latest revelations that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware is responsible for repeated worldwide violations of human rights and abuses of power are a huge embarrassment for Israel’s new government.

Following the news that a list of 50,000 numbers belonging to journalists, activists and senior officials targeted by the spyware has been uncovered, an interdisciplinary crisis management team consisting of the Mossad espionage agency and the defence and foreign ministries has been established to respond to the scandal.

But it seems that the response is too little, too late. More dramatic action is needed to clear the poisonous atmosphere, which has led to EU leaders expressing their concern about the intrusive Israeli tools.

Jul 22 07:52

Pegasus Spyware Targeted French President Macron - "Extremely Serious" Breach Under Investigation

The latest victim who was targeted using the phone hacking spyware Pegasus has been revealed to French President Emmanual Macron - part of a growing list that's said to include some 600 government officials and politicians from over 30 countries. Israeli tech firm and Pegasus-developer NSO Group is in damage control mode after an international consortium of news outlets has published dozens of stories exposing the hacks. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is also on the list.

Jul 22 07:40

Saudi Aramco Targeted In $50M Crypto Extortion Scheme After Major Data Breach

Saudi Aramco is pointing the finger at a third-party contractor for a breached data incident which has resulted in demands for $50 million in ransom from an unknown mysterious entity in what's looking like a Colonial Pipeline style cyber drama. The Saudi oil giant acknowledged to The Associated Press that it "recently became aware of the indirect release of a limited amount of company data which was held by third-party contractors."

"We confirm that the release of data was not due to a breach of our systems, has no impact on our operations and the company continues to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture," Aramco said, without specifying the contractor through which the breach happened. The language of "indirect release" reveals it was likely a leak and not the result of an external hacking operation.

Jul 22 06:20

Why isn’t Israel held accountable for spying on journalists?

Spyware made by the Israeli company NSO Group has been used far more extensively than previously known to target journalists and human rights defenders around the world.

This raises the question of why Israel, the state actor without which NSO Group would not exist and could not operate, is not being held accountable.

The extent of the spying has come to light thanks to a major investigation spearheaded by the global reporting consortium Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International.

“An unprecedented leak of more than 50,000 phone numbers selected for surveillance by the customers of the Israeli company NSO Group shows how this technology has been systematically abused for years,” according to Forbidden Stories.

The spyware, called Pegasus, can be installed remotely on a targeted person’s smartphone without requiring them to take any action such as clicking on a link or answering a call.

Jul 22 06:18

Reporters Without Borders demands Israel stop exporting spyware

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged Israel to suspend exports of spying technology amid allegations it was used to target more than a dozen heads of state and hundreds of journalists.

Earlier this week a list was leaked of some 50,000 phone numbers believed to have been chosen by clients of Israel’s NSO Group for possible surveillance, according to an international reporting effort.

Jul 22 06:17

US hackers attacked thousands of servers in China, news report claims

China has fleshed out its accusation that the US was behind a number of hacks into the networks of Chinese universities and sensitive government facilities, after Washington and its allies condemned Beijing for cyberattacks around the world.

The news website of the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the People’s Daily, did not specify where its information was from, but outlined three cases of “malicious cyber activities” between August and October last year which allegedly targeted the servers of sensitive facilities to prime them for later intrusion and infiltration opportunities.

In October, a US hacker group allegedly attacked 2,426 servers in China, most at government and party facilities, as well as a power train company, a steel plant and some universities, according to the report.

Jul 22 06:12

Denying mass spying claims, NSO says it’s victim of ‘an orchestrated campaign’

Pushing back against claims it has targeted more than a dozen heads of state and hundreds of journalists, Israeli spyware firm NSO Group on Wednesday denied being engaged in mass surveillance, calling the allegations against it “insinuations and slander.”

“False allegations have been published against us that ignore the facts,” the company said in a statement announcing that it would not be responding to further requests to comment on the claims. “We will not play the game of insinuations and slander.”

The company said that “an orchestrated campaign is being carried out against us.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We're the victims! Boo, hoo, hoo."

Jul 22 05:42

Pegasus: Which Middle East and North Africa figures are on the target list?

A list of more than 50,000 thousand numbers suggests numerous journalists, activists and politicians from the region could have been subject to spyware hacking

The revelations this week that the Pegasus surveillance software developed by Israel's NSO Group could have been used to hack around 50,000 phones has shocked much of the world.

Although NSO Group has repeatedly denied that its software is used to target dissidents and journalists - and has said the original Forbidden Stories report on the leaks had "no factual basis" - the appearance of the numbers of hundreds of reporters, activists, politicians and even heads of state among the list acquired by a consortium of journalists has been alarming for many.

In the Middle East and North Africa, where many states are no stranger to using repressive and invasive methods against their citizens, there have been numerous high-profile figures whose numbers are listed as targets.

Jul 22 05:25

The Inevitable Weaponization of App Data Is Here

It finally happened. After years of warning from researchers, journalists, and even governments, someone used highly sensitive location data from a smartphone app to track and publicly harass a specific person. In this case, Catholic Substack publication The Pillar said it used location data ultimately tied to Grindr to trace the movements of a priest, and then outed him publicly as potentially gay without his consent. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the outing led to his resignation.

Jul 22 05:21

Phones of Two Dubai Princesses Reportedly Hacked by Pegasus Spyware

Last Sunday, several prominent media outlets and rights groups released a report that revealed how an Israeli cyber company's spyware programme had been used to hack the phone numbers of journalists, rights activists, and even political leaders across the world.

Two Dubai princesses – Latifa and Haya - have been named as targets of the Pegasus malware attack in a report released by Amnesty International, The Washington Post, and a number of other rights groups and media outlets.

According to investigators, Princess Latifa, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, and Princess Haya, his former wife, were among 50,000 "people of interest" who may have been targeted by the Israeli cyber security firm NSO Group's Pegasus programme.

Jul 21 22:22

3 Best Online Promotion Course Ideas

Creating an online course is not as difficult as promoting it. While creating an online course one should focus on its marketing strategy as well. There are so many agencies that help to promote your online course. But the one which I know is Think Orion which is one of the best agencies I know who helps as an agency to promote online courses.

Why should create an Online Course?

Creating an online course is one of the best ways to reach and connect with your customers. In fact, it is one of the best ways to monetize things in the longer run. As per the stats within 20 years eLearning revenue has been increased by 900%. In 2015 eLearning market in the US (United States) is $107 billion and which was expected to grow to $325 billion in 2025.

How to Market Your Online Course: Best Strategies

Jul 21 14:57

How to Search for, Spot and Stamp Out Pegasus Spyware From Your PhoneHow to Search for, Spot and Stamp Out Pegasus Spyware From Your Phone

Governments, journalists, opposition politicians and rights groups worldwide are demanding formal investigations into Pegasus, the spyware product created by shadowy Israeli software company NSO Group. Sold to states to ‘fight terrorism and crime’, the software has been discovered to have been used in unscrupulous ways to target members of the press, lawmakers and others, helping to stamp out dissent or allow governments to get ahead of potentially embarrassing scandals.

Jul 21 12:34

Tokyo Olympics hacked: Ticketholders’ IDs, passwords posted online

The login IDs and passwords of people who purchased tickets for the Tokyo Olympics have been leaked online, according to a new report on Wednesday.

According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, a government official said the same information belonging to those who bought Paralympic tickets, as well as individuals who used a volunteer portal for the Summer Games, was also leaked online. The official, speaking on a condition of anonymity, noted that organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have launched an investigation into the leaks.

The number of personal identifiers leaked is “not large,” the official said, adding that certain measures have already been put in place to stop the information from spreading.

Jul 21 09:51

India’s Draconian Rules for Internet Platforms Threaten User Privacy and Undermine Encryption

By Katitza Rodriguez and Kurt Opsahl

The Indian government’s new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code (“2021 Rules”) pose huge problems for free expression and Internet users’ privacy. They include dangerous requirements for platforms to identify the origins of messages and pre-screen content, which fundamentally breaks strong encryption for messaging tools. Though WhatsApp and others are challenging the rules in court, the 2021 Rules have already gone into effect.

Jul 21 09:35

Apple under pressure over iPhone security after NSO spyware claims

Apple has come under pressure to collaborate with its Silicon Valley rivals to fend off the common threat of surveillance technology after a report alleged that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was used to target journalists and human rights activists.
Amnesty International, which analyzed dozens of smartphones targeted by clients of NSO, said Apple’s marketing claims about its devices’ superior security and privacy had been “ripped apart” by the discovery of vulnerabilities in even the most recent versions of its iPhones and iOS software.

“Thousands of iPhones have potentially been compromised,” said Danna Ingleton, deputy director of Amnesty’s tech unit. “This is a global concern—anyone and everyone is at risk, and even technology giants like Apple are ill-equipped to deal with the massive scale of surveillance at hand.”

Jul 21 09:33

REVEALED: Israeli firm NSO Group spent millions trying to woo the US government and gave huge payments to Washington lobbyists, consultants and lawyers to push its Pegasus spyware software before it was used to hack reporters' phones

Ethics filings and company records show how the Israeli cyberintelligence company NSO Group spent millions of dollars on Washington lobbyists, consultants and lawyers as it tried to sell its Pegasus spyware to the U.S. government.

Its parent companies paid $100,000 to Michael Flynn before he became President Trump's national security adviser; it took on the public relations firm cofounded by Anita Dunn, a senior White House adviser; and it relied on the legal and consulting services of a slew of figures with government experience, according to new reports.

The company's activities have exploded into public view during the past week with revelations from a media coalition, called the Pegasus Project, that its software was used by governments to spy on political opponents and journalists

Jul 21 08:02

PEGASUS UNVEILED: THE CYBER-SURVEILLANCE WEAPON OF SCIENTIFIC DICTATORSHIP

Human rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak.

The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO’s hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.

Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.

The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.

Jul 21 07:32

Amazon using videos from Ring doorbell devices to create the largest civilian surveillance network in the US

Amazon is building the largest civilian surveillance network in the United States with the help of its signature home security product: the Ring doorbell.

“Ring video doorbells … pose a serious threat to a free and democratic society.” This is the warning of Lauren Bridges, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. In an opinion piece she wrote for The Guardian, she said that around one in 10 police departments in the United States have direct access to video footage from the Ring doorbells after Amazon partnered with more than 1,800 local law enforcement agencies. These partnerships are growing at an alarming rate.

“Not only is Ring’s surveillance network spreading rapidly, it is extending the reach of law enforcement into private property and expanding the surveillance of everyday life,” wrote Bridges.

Jul 21 06:55

Israeli — not Chinese — firm caught exporting its ‘authoritarian model’

Politicians and pundits in Washington have long warned that China is seeking to erode global democracy and “export its authoritarian model,” but the culprit behind explosive spy revelations this week appears to be America’s closest military ally in the Middle East.

A private Israeli surveillance firm has been selling spyware to several governments for use in terrorism and criminal investigations, but some have turned it on journalists, activists, business executives, and politicians, an investigation by a consortium of 17 media organizations revealed on Sunday.

Reports by The Guardian and Washington Post, among others, said that NSO Group, a private Israeli firm with links to the state, developed and sold governments licenses for hacking software called “Pegasus.” The tool is capable of penetrating smartphones, granting access to their most sensitive data, and remotely activating features such as cameras and microphones.

Jul 21 06:52

Pegasus: How it hacks phones and spies for NSO clients

An investigation led by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International has revealed that thousands of journalists, activists and officials have had their phones targeted or hacked using Pegasus, spyware developed by Israel's NSO Group.

NSO claims its products are used to target terrorists. Yet the company's clients - including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Morocco, India and Hungary - have used the softwate to monitor their critics and adversaries.

Here's how it works:

Jul 21 06:50

NSO head claims company ended services in human rights-violating countries

Shalev Hulio, founder and CEO of the controversial NSO Group, responded Tuesday to an international investigation that found that the company’s cyber-surveillance products are being used by governments around the world to track political dissidents and journalists, some of whom were killed.

“The platform that we create is a platform that saves lives and prevents terrorist attacks, and that needs to be understood,” Hulio told 103FM radio on Tuesday morning.

The investigation focused on Pegasus, a spyware tool sold by NSO Group that it says is being used by dozens of governmental clients. The analysis carried out on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers found that the list included people targeted by the governments of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates.

Jul 21 06:49

After NSO bombshell, Gantz asserts that Israel complies with international law

Responding to an in-depth investigation that revealed that Israel’s NSO Group has been selling spyware used by foreign governments to target journalists and activists, Defense Minister Benny Gantz asserted Tuesday that Israel operates fully within international law.

“We are aware of recent publications regarding the use of systems developed in certain Israeli cyber companies,” said Gantz in a speech to Cyber Week at Tel Aviv University, without mentioning NSO Group by name. “Israel, as a liberal Western democracy, controls exports of cyber products in accordance with its defense export control law, complying with international export control regimes.”

Jul 21 06:44

Snowden grills WaPo for ‘embarrassingly weak’ reaction to NSO spyware scandal, says it’s untrue Pegasus can’t target US phones

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has berated the Washington Post for not taking a more forceful stance on the Pegasus spyware scandal, and said it was untrue to claim the now-infamous malware can’t infect US phones.

Jul 21 06:25

Pegasus: How to check for spyware on your phone

Am I on the list of phone numbers targeted by NSO Group's Pegasus spyware?

That is the question thousands of journalists, activists and officials have been asking since an investigation led by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International revealed 50,000 phone numbers of targets have been identified in a data leak.

Naturally, the groups involved in the investigation are inundated with requests for their numbers to be checked on the list and their phones to be assessed.

So far, a few hundred people have been identified. They include French President Emmanuel Macron and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI – both of whom were targeted by the Moroccan security services, according to the investigation.

Jul 21 05:50

China Accuses CIA of Hacking Beijing for Over a Decade

China has repeated claims that a CIA group had hacked its key industries for over a decade, just one day after a U.S.-led coalition rebuked Beijing over alleged state-sponsored cyberattacks on Microsoft.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said charges that its Ministry of State Security had sanctioned contract hackers to conduct cyber operations around the world were "unwarranted" and a "political smear."

The allegations put forward by the U.S. and its allies—including NATO, the European Union, Five Eyes and Japan—lacked evidence, he told reporters at a daily press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

Jul 21 05:50

Intelligence agencies investigate ransomware: CIA tools can fake cyberattack origins, blame Russia or China

US intelligence agencies are tasked with investigating the recent ransomware and supply chain attacks. Will white hats lead the way, or has a fox just been set loose to guard the hen house?

WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 provides documentation on CIA hacking capabilities that can fake the origins of a cyberattack, leading investigators to blame the wrong country, such as Russia.

“Marble is used to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA” — WikiLeaks Vault 7, 2017

As such, the CIA is capable of hiding the true origins of a cyberattack while making it seem like the attack came from a country that speaks Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Korean, or Farsi.

We know this thanks to WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” documents on the CIA’s hacking abilities.

With regards to the recent rise in major ransomware attacks, could malware and other cyber tools developed by the CIA still be making their rounds?

Jul 21 05:12

Biden Adviser's Consulting Firm Got Paid by Israeli NSO Group Which Sold Pegasus Spyware: Report

An international investigation by over a dozen news outlets including the Guardian and the Washington Post concluded on Sunday that the Israeli cyber firm NSO Group sold “authoritarian governments” around the world hacking software to spy on journalists, politicians and various activists.

The Israeli firm NSO Group, which is alleged to be behind the Pegasus spyware that was used by governments across the world to target their opponents and media figures, once hired the firm of Joe Biden’s senior adviser Anita Dunn, it was claimed.

Biden Adviser’s Company
Anita Dunn is a partner and a founding member of SKDKnickerbocker political consulting firm, according to the company’s website. The webpage states that the adviser, who also previously worked as ex-President Barack Obama's chief strategist, is currently on leave from SKDK but is expected to return to the company soon.

Jul 20 20:06

Pegasus Project Shows the Need for Real Device Security, Accountability and Redress for those Facing State-Sponsored Malware

By Cindy Cohn

People all around the world deserve the right to have a private conversation. Communication privacy is a human right, a civil liberty and one of the centerpieces of a free society. And while we all deserve basic communications privacy, the journalists, NGO workers and human rights and democracy activists among us are especially at risk, since they are often at odds with powerful governments.

So it is no surprise that people around the world are angry to learn that surveillance software sold by NSO Group to governments has been found on cellphones worldwide. Thousands of NGOs, human rights and democracy activists, along with government employees and many others have been targeted and spied upon. We agree and we are thankful for the work done by Amnesty International, the countless journalists at Forbidden Stories, along with Citizen Lab, to bring this awful situation to light...

Jul 20 18:37

Ghana to Become First Country to Use Contactless Biometrics in National Vaccination Program

The following article is further proof that the plot to tie vaccination to biometrics and digital IDs is real. Don’t think Ghana will be the only country to adopt it. The plan is to roll this out to all countries! This whole effort ties in with Bill Gates’ ID2020 initiative and involves his global vaccine initiative GAVI. — Truth Unmuted Editor Jesse Smith

(Biometric Update) – The Ghana Health Service in partnership with Gavi and Arm will begin a biometric-based national vaccination program in October 2021 using contactless technology from Simprints. Starting in the Eastern region, the project is reportedly the first national vaccination scheme to use contactless biometrics...

Jul 20 15:53

Pepper the robot discontinued after being repeatedly fired from jobs

Good help is hard to find, particularly in the post-pandemic world. You can add one more job opening to the list this week, though it doesn’t appear to be an employment situation directly driven by COVID. Pepper the artificial intelligence robot produced by Japan’s Softbank Group is being discontinued after having been widely distributed around the globe for the past seven years. And the reason is that Pepper turned out to be almost entirely unemployable. Despite having been “hired” by multiple businesses and schools to perform a variety of jobs, the employers almost always wound up returning the robots for a variety of job performance-related issues. (New York Post)

Jul 20 13:36

Emmanuel Macron identified in leaked Pegasus project data

The leaked database at the heart of the Pegasus project includes the mobile phone numbers of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and 13 other heads of state and heads of government, the Guardian can reveal.

The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, are also listed in the data, which includes diplomats, military chiefs and senior politicians from 34 countries.

The appearance of a number on the leaked list – which includes numbers selected by governments that are clients of NSO Group, the Israeli spyware firm – does not mean it was subject to an attempted or successful hack. NSO insists the database has “no relevance” to the company.

Jul 20 13:28

Can the Biden Administration Censor the Internet Through Private Companies?

By Ethan Yang

Misinformation has become one of the most abused words in contemporary dialogue. Any reasonable person should immediately raise red flags when someone shows concern to regulate “misinformation” as they are likely referring to simple narratives and content that they don’t like. This is why we should all be extremely concerned about the recent sentiments espoused by the Biden Administration to not only focus on misinformation but police it.

In particular, Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that private companies like Facebook should do more to shut down “misinformation.” Not only does that risk opening up a slippery slope to even greater discretion for censorship down the line, but it raises potential constitutional questions and is by no means an appropriate area of intervention for the government...

Jul 20 12:37

Biden regime now in on big tech censorship of indy media, colluding with Facebook to ban “misinformation” in blatant First Amendment attack

“If you don’t find it deeply disturbing that the White House is ‘flagging’ internet content that they deem ‘problematic’ to their Facebook allies for removal, then you are definitionally an authoritarian,” Greenwald continued. “No other information is needed about you to know that. There is no circumstance — none — in which it’s acceptable for the White House or any other agency of the government to be providing lists to Facebook of ‘problematic’ content it wants removed, yet that’s exactly what Psaki says they’re doing.

Jul 20 10:22

Northern's ticket machines hit by ransomware cyber attack

Northern rail's new self-service ticket machines have been targeted by a suspected ransomware cyber-attack.

The system has been offline since last week and an investigation is under way.

It comes just two months after 621 of the touch-screen units were installed at 420 stations across the north of England at a cost of £17m.

The government-run operator said it had taken "swift action" along with its supplier, Flowbird, and customer and payment data had not been compromised.

Only the servers which operate the ticket machines have been affected, Northern said.

Jul 20 10:19

DuckDuckGo launches new Email Protection service to remove trackers

DuckDuckGo is launching a new email privacy service meant to stop ad companies from spying on your inbox.

The company’s new Email Protection feature gives users a free “@duck.com” email address, which will forward emails to your regular inbox after analyzing their contents for trackers and stripping any away. DuckDuckGo is also extending this feature with unique, disposable forwarding addresses, which can be generated easily in DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser or through desktop browser extensions.

The personal DuckDuckGo email is meant to be given out to friends and contacts you know, while the disposable addresses are better served when signing up for free trials, newsletters, or anywhere you suspect might sell your email address. If the email address is compromised, you can easily deactivate it.

Jul 20 10:06

Terrifying Android scam is back, and here's what you must do to avoid it

One of the worst threats facing Android users is making an unwelcome resurgence, security experts have warned. The nasty threat, dubbed Joker, is designed to sign-up Android users to premium – and hugely expensive – subscription plans behind their backs. That's the latest warning from the team at Zimperium, who work alongside Google to help stop infected apps from being downloaded onto smartphones.

The security researchers say they have witnessed a "large uptick" in apps that come packed with the nasty Joker malware. Most of the applications laced with this threat take the form of legitimate apps, offering users fun photo filters, games, wallpapers, and ways to translate text.

Once installed, these apps, which can be found in the Google Play Store, introduce the gruesome Joker malware. This has the ability to install hidden spyware and premium dialers onto devices, which can then sign-up unsuspecting users to expensive monthly subscription plans they never wanted...

Jul 20 08:52

National Park Service To Spy On Picnics, Family Gatherings, Weddings And Much More

By MassPrivateI

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is turning the National Park Service (NPS) into a mirror image of the NSA, FBI, DHS and every other three-letter spy agency you can think of.

“Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Interior DOI is issuing a public notice of its intent to modify the National Park Service (NPS) Privacy Act system of records, INTERIOR/NPS-1, Special Use Permits.”

This so-called modification of special records permits will allow law enforcement to collect a disturbing amount of personal information on national park visitors.

As NextGov points out, anyone wishing to get a permit to use one of America’s 423 national parks will have all their personal information sent to the White House...

Jul 20 08:07

WhatsApp confirms: Israeli spyware was used to snoop on Indian journalists, activists

To monitor a target, a Pegasus operator must convince a target to click on a specially crafted ‘exploit link’ which allows the operator to penetrate security features on the phone and installs Pegasus without the user’s knowledge or permission. Once the phone is exploited and Pegasus installed, it begins contacting the operator’s command and control servers to receive and execute operator commands, and send back the target’s private data, including passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps. The operator can even turn on the phone’s camera and microphone to capture activity in the phone’s vicinity. In the latest vulnerability, the subject of the lawsuit, clicking the ‘exploit link’ may also not be required and a missed video call on WhatsApp will have enabled opening up the phone, without a response from the target at all.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If anyone knows where the complete list of Pegasus-attacked phone numbers is, let me know, please!

Jul 20 07:08

This tool tells you if NSO’s Pegasus spyware targeted your phone

Over the weekend, an international consortium of news outlets reported that several authoritarian governments — including Mexico, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — used spyware developed by NSO Group to hack into the phones of thousands of their most vocal critics, including journalists, activists, politicians and business executives.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Requires a development environment.

Jul 20 06:34

BOVARD: Why NSA Vs Tucker Carlson Is An Alarm Bell For All Americans

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s charge that the National Security Agency illegally spied on him and leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought “to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American,” declared MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectively claiming that “I’m not a crazy person overstating a case!”

When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?

Jul 20 06:30

European leaders blast use of Israeli spyware to target activists, reporters

European political leaders joined a chorus of consternation Monday over revelations regarding the wide reach of malware sold by Israeli firm NSO, which was allegedly used to target journalists, activists and politicians in dozens of countries.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the reports of NSO Group’s activities were “completely unacceptable” if true and opposition lawmakers in Hungary’s parliament demanded an inquiry regarding Budapest’s use of the Pegasus spyware to spy on journalists, politicians and business figures who had expressed criticism of the government.

“What we could read so far, and this has to be verified, but if it is the case, it is completely unacceptable,” von der Leyen told reporters in Prague.

Jul 20 06:28

'You weren't paranoid': Mexico at heart of spyware scandal

Journalist Marcela Turati always suspected the Mexican authorities were spying on her. Now she's almost certain, after appearing in a leaked list at the center of a global spyware scandal.

"People have written to me saying: 'Look, you weren't crazy, you weren't paranoid,'" she told AFP on Monday.

Some 15,000 Mexican smartphone numbers were among more than 50,000 believed to have been selected by clients of Israeli firm NSO Group for potential surveillance, according to an international media investigation.

They include numbers linked to 25 journalists and even President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's inner circle before he took office.

Although the Mexican license for Pegasus software acquired under former president Enrique Pena Nieto expired in 2017, Turati believes that monitoring continues in other ways.

Jul 20 05:53

BANK FAIL Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers unable to access accounts for hours after online banking goes down

FURIOUS customers have been unable to access their accounts with Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland's after internet banking and apps went down.

Thousands of users reported major technical issues which left them unable to login for hours and some unable to make essential payments.

Jul 20 05:43

Dominic Raab blames Chinese-linked groups for Microsoft Exchange 'sabotage' attacks as Western allies warn Beijing will be 'held to account' for increasing criminal activity

Dominic Raab accused China of 'systematic cyber sabotage' today as Western allies took aim at Beijing over a string of attacks on Microsoft Exchange servers.

The Foreign Secretary said the UK and allies including the United States had identified state-backed groups responsible for hacks on computer networks around the world.

The onslaught took place in early 2021, affecting more than a quarter of a million servers worldwide.

Jul 20 05:26

Edward Snowden calls for spyware trade ban amid Pegasus revelations

Governments must impose a global moratorium on the international spyware trade or face a world in which no mobile phone is safe from state-sponsored hackers, Edward Snowden has warned in the wake of revelations about the clients of NSO Group.

Snowden, who in 2013 blew the whistle on the secret mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency, described for-profit malware developers as “an industry that should not exist”.

He made the comments in an interview with the Guardian after the first revelations from the Pegasus project, a journalistic investigation by a consortium of international media organisations into the NSO Group and its clients.

Jul 20 05:10

Snowden Lauds Reporting on Israeli Spyware Scandal as 'Story of Year'

Former US intelligence officer and whistleblower Edward Snowden has dubbed revelations about government agencies using software developed by the Israeli NSO Group to spy on activists and reporters worldwide "the story of the year."

According to an investigation by seventeen media outlets from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other countries, NSO Group's software Pegasus was used to hack smartphones which belonged to human rights activists and lawyers, journalists, business executives, and even two women who were close to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

Snowden tweeted, adding that the Israeli company "should bear direct, criminal liability for the deaths and detentions of those targeted by the digital infection vectors it sells, which have no legitimate use."

Jul 19 11:56

What is Pegasus Spyware and Why Have the World's Journalists Woken Up So Angry and Scared by It?

The Israel-based NSO Group first hit the headlines in 2016, when it was accused of heping the United Arab Emirates spy on a dissident. NSO has denied the latest allegations regarding Pegasus, saying they are "false."

A worldwide scandal has broken after it emerged that thousands of journalists around the world may have been spied on by their governments using their iPhones or Android phones.

Opposition MPs in Hungary have demanded an inquiry after a investigation by a group of media outlets claimed Viktor Orban’s government bought the Pegasus malware to spy on journalists, politicians and businessmen who had been critical.

The phones of two investigative journalists in Hungary, Andras Szabo and Szabolcs Panyi, were found to have been infected with Pegagus.

Jul 19 10:06

Is It Possible To Make IoT Devices Private? Amazon Echo Dot Does Not Wipe Personal Content After Factory Reset

Internet of Things (IoT) devices that record copious details of the daily lives of users raise natural privacy concerns. Manufacturers include measures meant to address these concerns, such as the option of a history-clearing factory reset. But the consumer must trust that these privacy and safety measures work as advertised. It would appear that in the case of at least one high-profile smart speaker, that trust would be misplaced.

Academic research performed on 86 used Amazon Echo Dots has found that the factory reset does not truly wipe data from the devices; it can still be recovered with relatively basic forensic techniques. Echo Dots commonly contain WiFi passwords, router MAC addresses, and Amazon logins among other pieces of sensitive information.

Jul 19 09:28

Forensic Methodology Report: How to catch NSO Group’s Pegasus

NSO Group claims that its Pegasus spyware is only used to “investigate terrorism and crime” and “leaves no traces whatsoever”. This Forensic Methodology Report shows that neither of these statements are true. This report accompanies the release of the Pegasus Project, a collaborative investigation that involves more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with technical support of Amnesty International’s Security Lab.[1]

Amnesty International’s Security Lab has performed in-depth forensic analysis of numerous mobile devices from human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists around the world. This research has uncovered widespread, persistent and ongoing unlawful surveillance and human rights abuses perpetrated using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.

Jul 19 09:24

FT editor among 180 journalists identified by clients of spyware firm

The editor of the Financial Times is one of more than 180 editors, investigative reporters and other journalists around the world who were selected as possible candidates for surveillance by government clients of the surveillance firm NSO Group, the Guardian can reveal.

Roula Khalaf, who became the first female editor in the newspaper’s history last year, was selected as a potential target throughout 2018.

Her number is included in a leaked list of mobile phone numbers selected for possible surveillance by clients of NSO, an Israeli firm that manufactures spyware and sells it to governments. Its principal product, Pegasus, is capable of compromising a phone, extracting all of the data stored on the device and activating its microphone to eavesdrop on conversations.

Jul 19 08:59

NASA Software Benefits Earth, Available for Business, Public Use

Many of NASA's computational innovations were developed to help explore space, but the public can download them for applications that benefit us right here on Earth. The agency’s latest software catalog has hundreds of popular programs, as well as more than 180 new ones, all available for free download.

“From operations here on Earth to missions to the Moon and Mars, software is integral to all that NASA does,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The good news is this technology is available to the public for free. The software suited for satellites, astronauts, engineers, and scientists as it is applied and adapted across industries and businesses is a testament to the extensive value NASA brings to the United States – and the world."

Jul 19 07:21

50,000 phone numbers worldwide on list linked to Israeli spyware: reports

An Israeli firm accused of supplying spyware to governments has been linked to a list of tens of thousands of smartphone numbers, including those of activists, journalists, business executives and politicians around the world, according to reports.

On the list were 15,000 numbers in Mexico -- among them reportedly a number linked to a murdered reporter -- and 300 in India, including politicians and prominent journalists.

Jul 19 07:20

Forensic Methodology Report: How to catch NSO Group’s Pegasus

NSO Group claims that its Pegasus spyware is only used to “investigate terrorism and crime” and “leaves no traces whatsoever”. This Forensic Methodology Report shows that neither of these statements are true. This report accompanies the release of the Pegasus Project, a collaborative investigation that involves more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with technical support of Amnesty International’s Security Lab.[1]

Amnesty International’s Security Lab has performed in-depth forensic analysis of numerous mobile devices from human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists around the world. This research has uncovered widespread, persistent and ongoing unlawful surveillance and human rights abuses perpetrated using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.

Jul 19 07:19

Q&A: A guide to ‘spyware’

The Pegasus Project, an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 other news organizations in 10 countries, was coordinated by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and advised by Amnesty International. Those two groups had access to a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that included surveillance targets for clients of the Israeli spyware company NSO Group, which they shared with the journalists. Over the past several months, the journalists reviewed and analyzed the list in an effort to learn the identities of the owners of the phone numbers and to determine whether their phones had been implanted with NSO’s Pegasus spyware.

Jul 19 07:08

Microsoft says Israeli company is behind malware that affected Windows PCs

Microsoft said it believes an Israeli company was behind malware that was used to attack PCs running its Windows operating system.

The move represents a new step Microsoft is taking to reduce online security incidents. The company has also sought to identify government-backed hackers, such as the Chinese group it calls Hafnium, which it claims was behind attacks on its Exchange Server email software.

Microsoft calls the organization that sold the software Sourgum, although the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab has said the company is Candiru, Cristin Goodwin, general manager of Microsoft’s Digital Security Unit, wrote in a blog post.

Jul 19 06:38

Fake Social Media Operation from Abroad Catalyzes Cuba Incident

The operation made intensive use of robots, algorithms, and accounts recently created for the occasion, intending to make chorus to the messages issued by the referents of the manipulative campaign.

The first account that used the HT #SOSCuba related to the COVID situation in the country was one located in Spain. It posted more than a thousand tweets on July 10 and 11, with automation of 5 retweets per second.

The researcher points out as one of the referents of the operation the Argentinean Agustín Antonetti, who is part of the right-wing Fundación Libertad. Antonetti has been an active participant in the campaigns of hoaxes and bots in social networks against left-wing processes in Latin America, among them against the Bolivian Evo Morales and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as previous investigations revealed, from the sanction that Facebook applied to numerous accounts for political operations in the networks.

Jul 19 06:34

Microsoft Linux is not what you thought (or hoped) it would be

When I woke this morning, I admit I checked outside to see if pigs were flying, or if it was raining a plague of locusts. Neither of those things was happening, and yet the impossible still happened. Said impossible? It was finally revealed that Microsoft does, in fact, have its own flavor of Linux.

Before you get too excited about this, we're not talking about an operating system that would eventually supplant Windows as the de facto standard desktop platform. I won't lie... that's exactly what I was hoping for. Or at the least, I was hoping Microsoft would realize the Linux kernel might be a better option to serve as the foundation of Windows.

Nope. Wrong again.

Jul 19 06:26

Journos, ministers, Khashoggi’s son & a ruler’s family on list of 50,000 possible targets for Israeli spyware Pegasus – reports

A leaked list of over 50,000 phone numbers is believed to include targets marked by clients of Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group for hacking. Some of the phones were reportedly infected with its flagship malware, Pegasus.

Among the people presumed to be selected for digital surveillance are “hundreds of business executives, religious figures, academics, NGO employees, union officials and government officials, including cabinet ministers, presidents and prime ministers,” The Guardian reported. It also includes “close family members of one country’s ruler, suggesting the ruler may have instructed their intelligence agencies to explore the possibility of monitoring their own relatives.”

Jul 19 05:49

Israeli spyware was used to hack journalists' phones - including staff at Financial Times, CNN and AP - plus Arab royal families and politicians around the world

Activists, journalists and politicians around the world have been spied on using cellphone malware developed by a private Israeli firm, it emerged Sunday, igniting fears of widespread privacy and rights abuses.

The use of the software, called Pegasus and developed by Israel's NSO group, was exposed in a data leak containing 50,000 phone numbers that belong to people targeted by NSO's clients since 2016.

Among those clients are some of the world's most-repressive government regimes, including Hungary, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco.

Jul 19 05:46

Pegasus Spyware Used Against Journalists 'Completely Unacceptable' if True, Von der Leyen Says

Earlier, an international investigation by over a dozen news outlets concluded that the Israeli cyber firm NSO Group had sold “authoritarian governments” around the globe its hacking software to spy on journalists, politicians, and various activists.

The spyware scandal involving Israel's software firm and tens of thousands of smartphone numbers was "completely unacceptable" if true, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said.

"What we could read so far, and this has to be verified, but if it is the case, it is completely unacceptable and against any kind of rules we have in the European Union," von der Leyen said at a press conference in Prague.

Jul 18 12:39

Now the EU is going after video platforms like BitChute that refuse to censor content critical of LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter propaganda

The alternative media streaming platform BitChute, which is based out of the United Kingdom, has issued new guidelines against free speech that conform to the “hate speech” requirements of both its country and the European Union.

Jul 18 12:38

Windows print nightmare continues with malicious driver packages

Yesterday, security researcher and Mimikatz creator Benjamin Delpy said he found a way to abuse Windows' normal method of installing printer drivers to gain local SYSTEM privileges through malicious printer drivers.

This technique can be used even if admins applied Microsoft's recommended mitigations of restricting printer driver installation to admins and disabling Point and Print.

While this new local privilege escalation method is not the same as the one commonly referred to PrintNightmare, Delpy told BleepingComputer that he considers similar printer driver installation bugs to be classified under the same name.

Jul 18 12:35

Google patches 8th Chrome zero-day exploited in the wild this year

Google has released Chrome 91.0.4472.164 for Windows, Mac, and Linux to fix seven security vulnerabilities, one of them a high severity zero-day vulnerability exploited in the wild.

"Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-30563 exists in the wild," the company revealed.

The new Chrome release has started rolling out worldwide to the Stable desktop channel and will become available to all users over the following days.

Jul 18 12:35

Critical Cloudflare CDN flaw allowed compromise of 12% of all sites

Cloudflare has fixed a critical vulnerability in its free and open-source CDNJS potentially impacting 12.7% of all websites on the internet.

CDNJS serves millions of websites with over 4,000 JavaScript and CSS libraries stored publicly on GitHub, making it the second-largest JavaScript CDN.

The vulnerability exploits comprised publishing packages to Cloudflare's CDNJS using GitHub and npm, to trigger a Path Traversal vulnerability, and eventually remote code execution.

If exploited, the vulnerability would lead to a complete compromise of CDNJS infrastructure.

Jul 18 12:33

HelloKitty ransomware is targeting vulnerable SonicWall devices

CISA warns of threat actors targeting "a known, previously patched, vulnerability" found in SonicWall Secure Mobile Access (SMA) 100 series and Secure Remote Access (SRA) products with end-of-life firmware.

As the US federal agency also adds, the attackers can exploit this security vulnerability as part of a targeted ransomware attack.

This alert comes after SonicWall issued an "urgent security notice" and sent emails to warn customers of the "imminent risk of a targeted ransomware attack."

Even though the company said the risk of ransomware attacks is imminent, Coveware CEO Bill Siegel confirmed CISA's warning saying that the campaign is ongoing.

CISA urges users and administrators to review the SonicWall security notice and upgrade their devices to the latest firmware or immediately disconnect all end-of-life appliances.

Jul 18 12:32

Comparis customers targeted by scammers after ransomware attack

Leading Swiss price comparison platform Comparis has notified customers of a data breach following a ransomware attack that hit and took down its entire network last week.

Comparis is one of the most popular Swiss websites with more than 80 million visits every year and the largest Swiss online marketplace for property and cars.

The online independent comparison service allows Swiss nationals to compare prices and products for a wide range of health insurers, insurance companies, banks, and telecom providers, among others.

Jul 18 12:30

Microsoft: Israeli firm used Windows zero-days to deploy spyware

Microsoft and Citizen Lab have linked Israeli spyware company Candiru (also tracked as Sourgum) to new Windows spyware dubbed DevilsTongue deployed using now patched Windows zero-day vulnerabilities.

"Candiru is a secretive Israel-based company that sells spyware exclusively to governments," Citizen Lab explained in a report published today. "Reportedly, their spyware can infect and monitor iPhones, Androids, Macs, PCs, and cloud accounts."

"Sourgum generally sells cyberweapons that enable its customers, often government agencies around the world, to hack into their targets' computers, phones, network infrastructure and internet-connected devices," Microsoft added. "These agencies then choose who to target and run the actual operations themselves."

Jul 17 12:38

Biden’s SCARY Position On Free Speech: Announces Anyone Who Spreads ‘Misinformation’ Should Be Banned ‘EVERYWHERE’ Forever

The Biden administration has doubled-down on its desire to suppress American’s freedom, announcing that those who promote “misinformation” online should be permanently banned from all platforms, forever.

Psaki on Thursday proudly boasted the federal government is censoring American citizens and flagging “problematic” social media posts for Facebook to remove.

“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office,” Psaki told reporters on Thursday. “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”

Psaki went even further on Friday, declaring that Americans who spread “misinformation” should be removed from every single online site that exists now and in the future.

Jul 16 13:08

Microsoft Confirms New Windows 10 Login Bypass Threat: Here’s The Fix

Security researchers have found a way to bypass the Windows Hello facial recognition that is used by hundreds of thousands of Windows 10 users to login.

The latest batch of 'Patch Tuesday' security updates from Microsoft has landed with a hefty thump. With 116 vulnerabilities fixed, 12 of which were rated as critical and two already being exploited, the usual advice to install those updates as soon as possible applies. Not least as one of them fixes the PrintNightmare vulnerability in the Windows print spooler service that could lead to a remote takeover of your system.

Jul 16 06:31

AZ Audit Team: “There Was a Breach of Computer Systems During the 2020 Election – High Vulnerability for Internet Computer Hack (VIDEO)

Audit expert Ben Cotton told Senate leaders on Thursday that there was a breach of computer systems in Maricopa County in the 2020 election.

The Gateway Pundit actually reported on this explosive development earlier this week.

Ben Cotton then went on to explain how there is a high vulnerability for an internet computer hack.

This is important because Dominion officials testified under oath that their machines were not accessible from the internet.
That is a lie.

Jul 16 06:19

Ransomware attackers are growing bolder and using new extortion methods

It's hardly surprising that threat actors are pervasive and aggressive, but a new report finds in the first half of 2021, they have been testing new extortion methods, targeting critical infrastructure business operations continuity in particular. This was one of four key trends identified in Accenture's 2021 Cyber Threat Intelligence Report.

The report also identified the rise of the Cobalt Strike, commodity malware invading operational technology from the IT space and Dark Web actors challenging IT and OT networks as the three other main cybersecurity trends.

Meanwhile, the White House is stepping up federal efforts to fight domestic and foreign cyberattacks, and on Thursday launched a ransomware task force aimed at helping businesses and state and local governments combat cybersecurity threats.

Jul 15 11:14

Microsoft just blew up the only reason you can't use a Linux desktop

Microsoft has just announced the release of Windows 365 and Cloud PC. This new service, built on top of Azure Virtual Desktop, enables you to bring their Windows 10 and eventually Windows 11, desktop, apps, tools, data, and settings to your personal and work devices, including Windows PCs (naturally!) but Macs, iPads, Linux, and Android devices as well.

Let me repeat that: Windows 365 will enable you to run your Windows desktop, apps, data, etc., etc. on Linux. That's the Linux desktop they're talking about.

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