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

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jun 14 13:03

Cryptocurrency isn’t as impenetrable as you think. This training even explains how to make your own

TLDR: The Cryptocurrency with Ethereum and Solidity Blockchain Developer Bundle explains the entire crypto phenomenon and also explores creating your own real world cryptocurrency.

If your knowledge of cryptocurrency only extends as far as shaking your head dismissively when someone brings up Elon Musk’s darling dogecoin, you might be missing the larger point. While much of the cryptocurrency market is still driven by wild speculation with minimal basis in real world logic, crypto and its blockchaining roots are anything but a fly-by-night idea.

In fact, many would argue the decentralized technology that fuels crypto creation on platforms like Ethereum are ready to fundamentally change the way digital information, business, finance, and security are all handled.

Jun 14 12:18

“Death By Design” — The Dirty Secret Of Our Digital Addiction — Free Viewing Through June 17

Consumers love – and live on – their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone.

But this revolution has a dark side that the electronics industry doesn’t want you to see.

In an investigation that spans the globe, award-winning filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the international electronics industry and reveals how even the tiniest devices have deadly environmental and health costs...

Jun 14 12:12

Blockchain News – Long Island Man’s Bitcoin In Limbo As Hackers Target Cryptocurrency Exchanges – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hackers are now targeting cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and leaving investors without access to their bitcoin.

As the interest in cryptocurrency continues to climb, the safety and security of investment apps are being called into question.

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to a Long Island man whose bitcoin is now in limbo.

“I do believe my account was hacked. It had to be,” Frank Pinto said.

Pinto started investing in bitcoin in 2017.

He used an app called Coinbase, which is like a stock exchange for cryptocurrency.

A few months ago, he tried to log in and got an alert instead saying, “Sorry, account temporarily disabled. Please contact support.”

He tried, but Coinbase has no phone support, so he emailed dozens of times. They finally responded saying: “You will receive a response from the customer complaints officer within 15 business days.”

Jun 14 12:08

Amazon Hackers Made $832,135 In Just 10 Days—Here’s How

Amazon’s live hacking event
And doing good is what Amazon’s live hacking event that took place across ten days in March was all about. More than 50 hackers from nine different countries participated in the 10-day virtual event to identify vulnerabilities across some of Amazon’s core assets. The Amazon Vulnerability Research Program itself was launched back in April 2020 on HackerOne, but the virtual live hacking event took things to a whole other level.

$832,135 in bounties paid
HackerOne could not share details regarding the total number of vulnerabilities beyond stating that there was “safe mitigation of all reported issues.” However, a spokesperson did confirm that “the top performers in the live event took home in excess of $100,000 in bounties.” The final total for all bounties paid was a staggering $832,135.

Jun 14 12:01

REvil Hits US Nuclear Weapons Contractor: Report

“We hereby keep a right (sic) to forward all of the relevant documentation and data to military agencies of our choise (sic)” REvil reportedly wrote.

Sol Oriens, a subcontractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that works on nuclear weapons with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), last month was hit by a cyberattack that experts say came from the relentless REvil ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) gang.

The Albuquerque, N.M. company’s website has been unreachable since at least June 3, but Sol Oriens officials confirmed to Fox News and to CNBC that the firm became aware of the breach sometime last month.

The company’s statement, captured in a Tweet stream posted by CNBC’s Eamon Javers on Thursday:

Jun 14 11:15

Vodafone Chooses Partners To Build First European RAN Network

Mobile and broadband operator Vodafone has chosen six partners to build Europe’s first commercial Radio Access Network (RAN).

Vodafone has selected Dell Technologies, NEC, Samsung, Wind River, Capgemini Engineering and Keysight Technologies to help it build one of the largest Open RAN networks in the world.

Vodafone said the partnerships would build on its new Open RAN lab in Newbury, England and its planned digital skills hubs in Spain and Germany.

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Mobile operators and governments want to encourage the development of Open RAN technology to help more vendors enter a market dominated by Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.

Jun 14 11:09

Windows 10 ransomware protection It’s not widely known to consumers and small business users that Microsoft offers built-in ransomware protection. Turning it on is pretty simple: type in "Ransomware Protection" in the Windows 10 Cortana search bar (typic

Windows 10 ransomware protection
It’s not widely known to consumers and small business users that Microsoft offers built-in ransomware protection.

Turning it on is pretty simple: type in "Ransomware Protection" in the Windows 10 Cortana search bar (typically in the bottom lower left of the screen) then select the "Ransomware Protection" screen.

Toggle on the "Controlled folder access." Then you have the option to select which folders you want protected.

Click on "Protected folders." The Protected Folders screen should already be populated by folders that are protected by default. You’re also given the option to add other protected folders.

In addition, you have the option to add folders from Microsoft’s file hosting service OneDrive, if you subscribe to that service.

Jun 14 11:05

Windows 10 only until 2025; Computers No longer Have The New Operating System

The message has been in the news for the past few days as the most widely used computer operating system (OS) in Microsoft Windows. The news comes ahead of an event scheduled for June 24. Six years ago, Microsoft announced that it would no longer have a Windows version. Presented by. But the company is now preparing to introduce a new version of Windows once again. It is said that it will be Windows 11.

While news and rumors about the new version of Windows are active, another piece of news is being discussed. It is reported that Microsoft will end technical support for the current version of Windows 10 in 2025 when this new version of Windows arrives.

EOL ExtremeTech reports based on the information on the End of Life page. It says that the Windows 10 Home and Pro editions will be out of service on October 14, 2025.

Jun 14 10:28

What Makes Quantum Computing So Hard to Explain?

QUANTUM COMPUTERS, YOU might have heard, are magical uber-machines that will soon cure cancer and global warming by trying all possible answers in different parallel universes. For 15 years, on my blog and elsewhere, I’ve railed against this cartoonish vision, trying to explain what I see as the subtler but ironically even more fascinating truth. I approach this as a public service and almost my moral duty as a quantum computing researcher. Alas, the work feels Sisyphean: The cringeworthy hype about quantum computers has only increased over the years, as corporations and governments have invested billions, and as the technology has progressed to programmable 50-qubit devices that (on certain contrived benchmarks) really can give the world’s biggest supercomputers a run for their money. And just as in cryptocurrency, machine learning and other trendy fields, with money have come hucksters.

Jun 14 09:53

Samsung smartphone warning: Pre-installed apps caught spying

It has been a whirlwind week for security updates and vulnerability flaws. Not only has one of the biggest data leaks been found online, but Google’s Chrome also received an urgent patch to fix problematic issues.

It seems that now it is Samsung’s turn to update its mobile phones’ security. Unfortunately, seven flaws hide in Samsung’s default, pre-installed apps by a mobile security startup company.

Samsung suffered from a different flaw earlier this year. Security researchers discovered that certain Galaxy Note 20 devices could have been unlocked by using any fingerprint for authentication. That flaw has since been fixed. Keep reading to find out how to fix the latest issue.

Here’s the backstory

The flaws could be used to access and edit your contacts, calls and text messages. Unless you update your Samsung device, you will still be vulnerable to attack. Samsung declined to specify which devices are affected, only saying it occurred in “selected” models.

Jun 14 09:33

Ransomware hackers now 'bigger threat' than nation state actors

Cybercriminals are getting more professional, warns GCHQ head

Ransomware now represents the largest threat to online security for the UK, the head of GCHQ’s cybersecurity arm has warned.

Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, has said that ransomware incidents against individuals and businesses around the world are escalating and becoming more professional in their approach.

Speaking to London’s Royal United Services Institute, Cameron said that while online spying from hostile nations remains a “malicious strategic threat”, it is the rising threat of ransomware attacks that must be addressed with utmost urgency

Jun 14 09:21

Hackers Stole Nearly 26 Million User Login Credentials for Sites Like Amazon, Google, Facebook

Hackers using a custom Trojan-type malware stole nearly 26 million login credentials - emails or usernames and associated passwords - from almost a million websites over a two year period, including from such namesakes as Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter, according to cybersecurity provider NordLocker.

The malware infiltrated over 3 million Windows-based computers between 2018 and 2020, with the cyber intruders making off with around 1.2 terabytes of personal information, according to a case study carried out by NordLocker in partnership with a third-party firm specializing in data breach analysis.

The 26 million stolen login credentials were across twelve different website types, including social media, online gaming, and email services. They included such household names as Google (1.54 million), Facebook (1.47 million), Amazon (0.21 million), Apple (0.13 million), Netflix (0.17 million), and PayPal (0.15 million).

Jun 14 07:11

MOZILLA SUGGESTS REGULATORS ISSUE LAWS THAT CURB RECOMMENDATIONS OF “CONSPIRACY THEORY VIDEOS”

The Mozilla Foundation used to do one thing, and do it well: lead the development of the free and open source Firefox browser. Sadly, that browser, once with a huge chunk of the market and representing a revolutionary step up from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, is falling by the wayside as Google’s Chrome has taken over.

Chrome and the giant behind it are riddled with (un)answered questions and concerns about privacy and safety; while Mozilla has always touted itself as the opposite, an organization that is all about promoting those values.

Why then, when Mozilla these days feels the need to “take on” a Google property, is the story not about all the drawbacks of using Chrome and promoting the use of Firefox? Why is Mozilla instead virtue signaling by joining the “war on misinformation” and calling out Google’s YouTube?

Jun 13 10:45

Avaddon ransomware shuts down and releases decryption keys

This morning, BleepingComputer received an anonymous tip pretending to be from the FBI that contained a password and a link to a password-protected ZIP file.

This file claimed to be the "Decryption Keys Ransomware Avaddon," and contained the three files shown below.

After sharing the files with Fabian Wosar of Emsisoft and Michael Gillespie of Coveware, they confirmed that the keys are legitimate.

Jun 13 10:43

Audi, Volkswagen data breach affects 3.3 million customers

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) is the North American subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group. It is responsible for US and Canadian operations for Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and VW Credit, Inc.

According to data breach notifications filed with the California and Maine Attorney General's office, VWGoA disclosed that a vendor left unsecured data exposed on the Internet between August 2019 and May 2021.

On March 20th, VWGoA was notified by the vendor that an unauthorized person had accessed the data and may have obtained the customer information for Audi, Volkswagen, and some authorized dealers.

VWGoA states that the breach involved 3.3 million customers, with over 97% of those affected relating to Audi customers and interested buyers.

The data exposed varies per customer but could range from contact information to more sensitive information such as social security numbers and loan numbers.

Jun 12 11:34

Now the supporters of cancel culture are being cancelled

The freedom to say only things that the state, Silicon Valley or the SWP approves of is not freedom at all. We need full freedom of speech, unfettered by state interference, capitalist-class meddling and cancel-culture mobs, in order that everyone may express themselves and, more importantly, that everyone else may weigh up what is being said and decide for themselves if it is right or wrong, good or bad. As the SWP and others must surely now realize, if you set the trap of censorship, it will one day ensnare you. The solution is clear: defend liberty of thought and speech for all, including your enemies.

Jun 11 18:03

Biden & Boris Team Up to Develop U.S./U.K Partnership on 6G Development that Includes A.I.; Never Mind the Risks, Warnings and Opposition

By B.N. Frank

A 2019 survey revealed that 82% of Americans thought Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) technology would be more harmful than helpful. They seem to have been onto something as warnings about A.I. keep pouring in.

Nevertheless, they are already working on developing 6G and implementing more controversial A.I.

Jun 11 14:02

The Colonial Pipeline Hack, The 'Russians', & The FBI's Ransom-Grab - What Really Happened?

Speculation has been running rampant over today's FBI press conference revealing the recovery of most of the ransom paid to "Russian" hackers by Colonial Pipeline.

Ben THE Kaufman summarizes:

Media: "The FBI hacked Bitcoin and can take anyone's funds."

Reality: The pipeline hackers didn't have the Bitcoin in the first place but kept it in a remote server the FBI could access with subpoena.

Media coverage is mostly lies at this point.

Which raises the following point (h/t Jordan Schachtel):

So the "hackers" brought down the largest pipeline on the east coast...

...but couldn't spend 50 bucks on a clean hardware wallet to secure their bitcoin?

Makes sense to me!

So what really happened?
Jordan Schachtel explains at 'The Dossier' Substack

Jun 11 13:37

Silicon Valley Thought India Was Its Future. Now Everything Has Changed.

On June 3, Google had to apologize to the Indian state of Karnataka for search results that prominently listed the state’s primary tongue, Kannada, as the “ugliest language in India.” As the search engine moved to fix the issue, the state’s minister for forest, Kannada, and culture, Arvind Limbavali, threatened legal action. Later that very week, Limbavali demanded that Amazon’s Canada outpost apologize after it listed a bikini for sale that featured Karnataka’s flag. When Amazon did not respond, Limbavali stated he’d take legal action against the e-commerce platform as well.

These incidents occurred at a terrible time for Google and Amazon. Throughout this year, India’s ultraconservative government has consistently threatened major Big Tech at a level it hadn’t dared before.

Jun 11 13:01

VERIFY: No, Indiana's unemployment office is not sending texts to verify claimants' identity

As a reminder, DWD (supposed to be Department of Workforce Development, Indiana) WILL NOT send claimants a text message. If you receive a text from someone claiming to be us, do NOT click on the link.

Jun 11 12:51

400,000 without power in Puerto Rico after fire, cyberattack

There were at least 400,000 people without power in Puerto Rico on Thursday night as the company that took over the island's power transmissions has been faced with fire and cyberattack.

Luma, the company that took over Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority on June 1, has seen more than one million customers this month without power at some point, officials said, USA Today reported.

At the height of the most recent outage, there were 700,000 customers without electricity.

The company has faced two issues this week that have hindered its performance: a fire at a main substation causing the outages and a cyberattack that has limited the ability of customers to get in contact with Luma.

Jun 11 12:39

Pirated Software Helped An Unknown Malware Infect 3.2 Million PCs

There are many reasons not to download pirated software, with the most obvious being that it’s illegal and you’re essentially “stealing”. The second reason is that because you can’t always trust the source of pirated software, it could lead to bad situations like this, where recently a report from NordLocker revealed how an unknown malware flew under the radar for two years, infecting 3.2 million PCs in the process.

The malware, which is unnamed due to the fact that it wasn’t discovered until recently, is said to have managed to spread to millions of PCs thanks to it hiding inside of pirated software like video games like tools like Adobe’s Photoshop. As a result, this malware also stole an estimated 1.2 terabytes worth of personal information from the computers it infected, like files from the Desktop and Download folders, image files, Word files, text files, and more.

Jun 11 12:35

Facebook to Release Smart Watch with 2 Cameras for Those Who Don’t Mind How Much the Company Is Already Spying on Them

By B.N. Frank

Facebook is no stranger to user privacy violations. In fact, just last month the company was exposed for secretly tracking people through their iPhones. Nevertheless, the company is still planning to release its first ever smart watch to compete with other smart watches that are also extremely privacy invasive...

Jun 11 09:51

HOW CONTACT TRACING WORKS – TWO (EQUALLY CREEPY) CASE STUDIES

Is humanity aware of the multivariate methods of contact tracing beyond the toggle switch in iOS and Android? And just how do the methods being used by the Anglo-American Establishment at Oxford University in the above Telegraph story differ from those being dreamt up by Silicon Valley?

Jun 11 08:54

Hackers steal 26 MILLION logins for Amazon, Apple, Facebook and other tech giants after targeting PCs and making off with payment information from three million devices in latest major security breach

Hackers have stolen 26 million user logins for tech giants including Amazon, Apple, Facebook as well as vital payment information in the latest online security breach.

The malware hack, exposed by cybersecurity provider NordLocker, also saw payment details nabbed from 3.25 million computers that run Windows software. It was uncovered after researchers discovered a 1.2 terabyte database filled with stolen personal information.

The other firms whose accounts were targeted include eBay, Instagram, Netflix, Paypal, Roblox, Steam, Twitch and Twitter. It saw victims computers' infected by opening emails, or downloading bootleg software, and enabled the malware to take screenshots of their browsing activity - including private login details.

According to a report released by NordLocker on Wednesday, an unidentified, Trojan-type malware stole the files, including 26 million login credentials, between 2018 and 2020.

Jun 11 08:47

EA Games has been HACKED: Cybercrooks steal source code for popular games including FIFA 21

Hackers have stolen the source code for Electronic Arts (EA) games including FIFA21 and tools like the 'Frostbite' engine that powers titles such as the 'Battlefield' series.

The California-based video game company acknowledged the cybercrime on Thursday June 10, following a report from the news outlet Vice.

A spokesperson for EA, however, has said that the attackers did not access any private player data and that the breach is unlikely to affect their business operations.

Jun 11 08:33

Some people can’t get FCC subsidy because “Street” isn’t the same as “St.”

Some broadband users who qualify for the government's new $50-per-month subsidies haven't been able to obtain the discounts because of technical problems in the Federal Communications Commission's rollout of the program.

The problems stem from the FCC's National Verifier and how the broadband providers' systems interact with the FCC database, as detailed in an article published by Protocol today. Small mismatches between entries in databases—such as having an address recorded as "Elm St." in an ISP's system and "Elm Street" in the FCC's—can cause people's applications to be rejected.

Jun 11 08:29

For $2,700, You Too Can Have Your Very Own Robot Dog

You’re probably familiar with Spot, Boston Dynamics’ highly advanced, nightmare-inducing robot dog. And while it went on sale last year, few of us have an extra $74,500 lying around to buy one. However, Chinese firm Unitree Robotics has a similar quadruped bot that’s not only a fraction of the size, but it also starts at a mere $2,700. For an advanced robot dog, that’s actually pretty dang affordable.

Jun 11 08:21

Narrative On Recent Supply Chain Cyber Attacks Already Wearing Thin

There was a moment of sheer hilarity earlier today when, during a Congressional Hearing, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline Joseph Blount took the merely farcical episode of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack – when, as a reminder, a ragtag band of elite “Russian” hackers somehow managed to penetrate the company’s cyberdefenses but was so stupid it left most if not all of the $4.4 million bitcoins it demanded in ransom in an easily traceable address for the FBI to track down and magically confiscate (it is still unclear how the Feds got the private key to access the “hackers” digital wallet) in days if not hours – and elevated it to a level of sheer ridiculous absurdity when he told Congress that he didn’t consult the FBI before paying the ransom.

This, pardon the parlance of our times, is complete bullshit: either the CEO is lying or, worse, he is telling the truth and as some have speculated, he, the FBI and the “hackers” are all in on this so-called ransomware breach…

Jun 11 03:34

Washington Moves To Make Sensitive Private Data Available For "Minority Report"-Style AI Research

Earlier this week, the investigative journalism outfit ProPublica published a story using data gleaned from the tax returns of America's richest individuals to determine exactly how much each of them paid in tax vs. the amount by which their wealth increased in a given year, a number the reporters described as their "true tax" rate.

Needless to say, the story inspired intense conversation online, where rival media organizations were quick to assume that the data was somehow "leaked" to PP. ProPublica was vague in its report, refusing to say or even hint at how it obtained the data, which led one reporter to wonder whether it might have been handed off to PP by academic researchers. It's also worth mentioning that leaking the tax data from inside the IRS would constitute a major federal crime (obtaining it via a third party who had been given the data for some legitimate purpose).

Jun 10 10:11

Best internet speed test 2021: Test your connection

Broadband should be a utility that just works. But sometimes it doesn't and broadband speed tests can help you debug a network problem for big data jobs or figure out why Netflix is not working.

Jun 10 08:50

Here We Go Again: JBS "Paid" "Russian" "Hackers" $11 Million In Bitcoin To Resolve "Ransomware" Attack

There was a moment of sheer hilarity earlier today when, during a Congressional Hearing, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline Joseph Blount took the merely farcical episode of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack - when, as a reminder, a ragtag band of elite "Russian" hackers somehow managed to penetrate the company's cyberdefenses but was so stupid it left most if not all of the $4.4 million bitcoins it demanded in ransom in an easily traceable address for the FBI to track down and magically confiscate (it is still unclear how the Feds got the private key to access the "hackers" digital wallet) in days if not hours - and elevated it to a level of sheer ridiculous absurdity when he told Congress that he didn't consult the FBI before paying the ransom.

This, pardon the parlance of our times, is complete bullshit: either the CEO is lying or, worse, he is telling the truth and as some have speculated, he, the FBI and the "hackers" are all in on this so-called ransomware breach...

Jun 10 08:46

Granholm admits adversaries capable of shutting down US power grids

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Sunday admitted that U.S. adversaries currently have the capability to shut down U.S. power grids with cyberattacks.

CNN's "State of the Union" anchor Jake Tapper asked Granholm whether she believed that U.S. adversaries pose a potential threat to U.S. power grids, prompting Granholm to respond, "Yeah, they do."

"I think that there are very malign actors who are trying even as we speak. There are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally," Granholm said. "The meat plant, for example. It's happening all the time. This is why the private sector and the public sector have to work together and this is what the president is doing."

Jun 10 08:43

‘There are a lot of parallels’: FBI Director Wray compares ransomware threat to 9/11

The FBI is investigating about 100 different types of ransomware, Director Christopher Wray revealed in a new interview, in which he compared the security challenges posed by cyberthreats to the terror threat of 9/11.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Thursday, the FBI director made the comments in the wake of two recent ransomware attacks that sent meat and gas prices skyrocketing as suppliers were left unable to move their products.

“There are a lot of parallels, there’s a lot of importance, and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention,” Wray explained, referring to this month’s hack against JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat supplier, and the similar attack on Colonial Pipeline in May.

“There’s a shared responsibility, not just across government agencies but across the private sector and even the average American.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Okay, there is some kind of agenda to lock down the internet going on here.

Jun 10 07:05

Blinken Props Up Biden In European Charade For New Cold War

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Blinken is staying close to his boss during the whirlwind tour, because Biden is liable to spin out of control and reap an embarrassing collapse.

It’s a big ask for a frail 78-year-old U.S. president to rally the world around a series of myths and falsehoods. Biden flies to Europe this week to galvanize allies under strong American leadership of supposed shared “democratic values” in a “historic confrontation” with the “autocracies” of China and Russia.

President Joe Biden’s worldview is so disconnected from reality that it is going to prove difficult mentally for him to consistently and coherently make the case over a series of summits in the next week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is of deepest concern to me, watching this charade unfolding, which would be hysterically funny, if not for the potentially deadly consequences, is that it is imminently possible, that Blinken will not be able to manage keeping the wanted "cold wars" against Russia and China, from turning "hot".

The intelligence operatives in both countries are no slouches, and have
probably very much "twigged on" to the reality, that the Unhinged Surveilled State of Amerika, is "woke, broke, dystopian, and at war with itself."

Can a country dealing with these realities succeed in a war against both Russia and China, which would probably be the case, if the US aggravates both or either enough?!?

Folks, the short answer here is, "HELL, no!!"

So, since those in power in this country give not a flying frisbee about what happens to its citizens, should war ensure from their idiotic foreign policies, because they have taken measures to protect themselves from most unpleasantness, we have to take care of ourselves and each other the best we can.

Please make sure that you have potable water; storable food; and extra medications for yourselves and your pets, should the excrement hit the fan.
Flashlights; batteries; basic first aid equipment are also of the highest importance. Find people you know with whom you can create a community, where you can share services and barter.

We could very well be going back to a 19th century life style in a moment's notice, should a series of EMPs take out the electrical grid in this county, in light of the reality that our power grids are woefully unprotected.

Jun 10 06:32

China's White Collar Workers Face Invasive Surveillance By 'Big Tech' Overlords

For a Communist nation, the People's Republic has notoriously weak labor protections. While gig economy workers face tremendous pressure to put in long hours with few breaks, as it turns out, their white-collar cousins are facing similar pressures to put in long hours as well.

Nikkei's story starts out with testimony from Andy Wang, an IT professional in Hong Kong, whose company has been ratcheting up efforts to monitor its workforce. They call it DiSanZhiYan, or "Third Eye." The software, installed on the laptop of every employee, monitors all their communications and movements, as well as their browsing activity and software and app usage.

The invasive software would automatically file complaints and every once in a while an employee would be fired. Finally, things like 20-hours work days began to seem impossibly daunting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Watch for this to become an " expected reality" at American companies as well.

Jun 10 06:22

Here We Go Again: JBS "Paid" "Russian" "Hackers" $11 Million In Bitcoin To Resolve "Ransomware" Attack

There was a moment of sheer hilarity earlier today when, during a Congressional Hearing, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline Joseph Blount took the merely farcical episode of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware hack - when, as a reminder, a ragtag band of elite "Russian" hackers somehow managed to penetrate the company's cyberdefenses but was so stupid it left most if not all of the $4.4 million bitcoins it demanded in ransom in an easily traceable address for the FBI to track down and magically confiscate (it is still unclear how the Feds got the private key to access the "hackers" digital wallet) in days if not hours - and elevated it to a level of sheer ridiculous absurdity when he told Congress that he didn't consult the FBI before paying the ransom.

This, pardon the parlance of our times, is complete bullshit: either the CEO is lying or, worse, he is telling the truth and as some have speculated, he, the FBI and the "hackers" are all in on this so-called ransomware breach..

Jun 09 13:18

War Against Big Tech Begins: Ohio Files Lawsuit To Regulate Google As A Public Utility

In a groundbreaking lawsuit filed Tuesday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asserts that he wants Google recognized as a public utility, rather than a public firm, to rein in how it distributes search results to Ohioans.

The complaint was dubbed “landmark” by Yost, who said that Google is discriminatory and anti-competitive.

He filed the complaint in Delaware County Court, claiming that Ohio is the first state in the nation to do so.

Jun 09 11:36

Intel Plugs 29 Holes in CPUs, Bluetooth, Security

The higher-rated advisories focus on privilege-escalation bugs in CPU firmware: Tough to patch, hard to exploit, tempting to a savvy attacker.

Intel has unleashed 29 security advisories to plug up some serious bugs in the BIOS firmware for Intel processors, as well as in its Bluetooth products, Active Management Technology tools, the NUC Mini PC line, and, ironically, in its own security library.

Details about the advisories can be found at Intel’s Product Security Center.

Intel’s senior director of communications, Jerry Bryant, said in a blog post on Wednesday that Intel’s mostly digging these security issues up internally – as in, 95 percent – through its own diligence, with big chunks of them coming through its bugs bounty program and the company’s own research.

Jun 09 11:33

The 'killer USB' that FRIES laptops: Malicious drive uses a high voltage to destroy the computer's circuit board

( Do not plug in unknown USB drives in your laptop)

  • The malicious, custom-built drive has been dubbed ‘USB Killer’
  • It uses a high voltage and current to ‘fry’ the laptop's components
  • Prototype was created by an electronics expert known as Dark Purple
  • Dark Purple designed the drive using parts bought in China
  • It was described as an 'atomic bomb: cool to have but not to be applied'

Security experts have warned of the dangers associated with USB drives for some time, but until now, the biggest danger has been viruses and malware.

Now there is a new potential threat that turns the lowly thumb drive into a ‘laptop killer’ by using a high voltage to destroy the computer’s components.

Dubbed ‘USB Killer’, the crude device was created by a Russian electronics expert known as Dark Purple.

Jun 09 11:19

Cryptomining at Home: How Much Money Can You Make?

What Do You Need to Start Mining Crypto?

The first thing you’ll need to mine cryptocurrency is a powerful computer. The amount of money you earn scales linearly with the computational power you contribute to the network. This is why you’ll also find individuals renting entire warehouses and filling them to the brim with computers, solely for cryptocurrency mining.

On a more reasonable level though, you will need a computer with a relatively recent graphics card. PC gamers are likely familiar with the role of a graphics card. But in a nutshell, it is a specialized piece of hardware designed specifically for certain applications, including graphics rendering and crunching numbers for cryptocurrency mining.

Assuming your PC is already outfitted with a mid to high-end GPU though, you have everything needed to start mining.

Calculating Potential Profits From Crypto Mining

Jun 09 10:48

Tuesday's Internet Outage Was Caused By One Customer Changing A Setting, Fastly Says

Fastly, the company hit by a major outage that caused many of the world's top websites to go offline briefly this week, blamed the problem on a software bug that was triggered when a customer changed a setting.

The problem at Fastly meant internet users couldn't connect to a host of popular websites early Tuesday including The New York Times, the Guardian, Twitch, Reddit and the British government's homepage.

"We experienced a global outage due to an undiscovered software bug that surfaced on June 8 when it was triggered by a valid customer configuration change," Nick Rockwell, Fastly's senior vice president of engineering and infrastructure, said in a blog post late Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If architects built buildings the way programmers write software, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy all of civilization!

Jun 09 10:37

Fastly’s Global Internet Meltdown Could Be A Sign Of Things to Come

By David S. Wall, University of Leeds

For an hour on the morning of June 8, dozens of the world’s most-visited websites went offline. Among those affected were Amazon, Reddit, PayPal and Spotify, as well as the Guardian, the New York Times and the UK government website, gov.uk. Together, these websites handle hundreds of millions of users.

The issue was quickly traced to Fastly, a cloud computing company which offers a content delivery network to the affected websites. Designed to alleviate performance bottlenecks, a content delivery network is essentially a system of computers or servers that hold copies of data across various points of a network. When it fails, the websites it supports cannot retrieve their data and are forced offline...

Jun 09 10:33

Speeding up an old iPhone in the time it took to drink a cup of coffee

"My iPhone feels so slow lately."

It was an iPhone 6s Plus. Pretty old as iPhones go, but will be supported by iOS 15 for another year, so it still had some life in it.

Since it was still raining, and I was settling in with my third coffee -- this one a decaf (shame on me) -- I offered to help.

Help was accepted.

Jun 09 10:30

The Colonial Pipeline Hack, The 'Russians', & The FBI's Ransom-Grab - What Really Happened?

Speculation has been running rampant over today's FBI press conference revealing the recovery of most of the ransom paid to "Russian" hackers by Colonial Pipeline.

Ben THE Kaufman summarizes:

Media: "The FBI hacked Bitcoin and can take anyone's funds."

Reality: The pipeline hackers didn't have the Bitcoin in the first place but kept it in a remote server the FBI could access with subpoena.

Media coverage is mostly lies at this point.

Which raises the following point (h/t Jordan Schachtel):

So the "hackers" brought down the largest pipeline on the east coast...

...but couldn't spend 50 bucks on a clean hardware wallet to secure their bitcoin?

Makes sense to me!

Jun 09 08:53

MSM EXPERIENCES GLOBAL INTERNET OUTAGE

Huge swaths of mainstream news sites, and other major online services, have all gone down within minutes of each other this morning. The Guardian, BBC, New York Times, The Independent, CNN, Buzzfeed, the New Yorker and other outlets are all returning 503 errors. And major service sites such as Twitch, Amazon and PayPal are down too.

Jun 09 08:26

'A wake-up call to the web': Security experts warn mega internet crash that took Amazon, Netflix and UK Government offline yesterday could be the tip of the iceberg if lessons aren't learned

David Warburton, of the cybersecurity company F5 Labs, said centralisation is fairly new for the internet - and will probably continue to raise issues. He told The Guardian: 'The web as a whole was intended to be decentralised.

'By not relying on any one central system, it meant that many different components could fail and internet traffic could still find a way to get where it needed to go.

'What we've seen over the past decade, however, is the unintentional centralisation of many core services through large cloud solution providers like infrastructure vendors and CDNs.'

Former deputy national security adviser for intelligence security between 2014 and 2018, Paddy McGuinness, said yesterday's incident should serve as 'a wake-up call', and the Government should expand the current security approach.

Jun 09 07:45

How A Fastly Customer "Triggered" Yesterday's "Broad And Severe" Global Internet Outage

Fastly, a major content delivery network, triggered a major internet blackout on Tuesday morning has blamed a software bug.

We first noticed the problem a little after 0600 ET Tuesday when countless websites, including Reddit, Financial Times, PayPal, and other websites, went down.

"We experienced a global outage due to an undiscovered software bug that surfaced on June 8 when it was triggered by a valid customer configuration change," Nick Rockwell, Fastly's senior vice president of engineering and infrastructure, wrote in a blog post late Tuesday.

Rockwell said, "the outage was broad and severe, and we're truly sorry for the impact to our customers and everyone who relies on them." He said the company "detected the disruption within one minute, then identified and isolated the cause, and disabled the configuration," adding that "within 49 minutes, 95% of our network was operating as normal."

Jun 09 07:35

@DailyExposeUK suspended permanently by Twitter for quoting UK Government Statistics

The Daily Expose has had its main Twitter account suspended for quoting UK Government statistics.

Twitter deemed the tweet to break its regulations on spreading “misleading information on Covid-19”.

The suspension of @DailyExposeUK comes just three days after Twitter permanently suspended @DailyExposeNews

Jun 09 06:31

APPLE AND TSA TEAM UP TO CREATE DIGITAL ID FOR AIR TRAVEL

Apple is continuing to push forward with the digitization of all things by teaming up with the TSA to allow users to scan drivers’ licenses or state IDs in its Wallet app.

Jun 09 06:23

LAWSUIT ACCUSES DIGITAL RECOGNITION NETWORK OF SECRETLY COLLECTING BILLIONS OF LICENSE PLATES

A recently filed lawsuit accuses Digital Recognition Network of covertly collecting vehicle data on millions of Americans and selling it for a profit.

Jun 09 06:08

Linux Foundation readies Global COVID Certificate Network

When the coronavirus vaccines first started arriving many assumed that most people would get a vaccine. But thanks to a shortage of supply in many countries, misinformation, and paranoia, even in the United States, only just over half of the population has been vaccinated. Easily imitated paper vaccinated certificates are almost useless for proving vaccination status. So, there's been lots of talk, but not much action, on a reliable, easily accessible vaccination record, aka a vaccination passport. Until now. The Linux Foundation Public Health (LFPN) is getting the Global COVID Certificate Network (GCCN) ready for deployment.

There are many needs for a secure vaccination record. For example, some states, such as Texas, want to forbid employers from firing potentially unvaccinated employees. However, employers usually have the right to discharge employees who deliberately put the lives of their coworkers and customers in jeopardy.

Jun 08 23:08

Ohio files lawsuit to declare Google a public utility

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) on Tuesday filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare Google a public utility, which would subject the Silicon Valley giant to government regulation.

Yost’s complaint, filed in Delaware County Court, alleges Google has used its dominance as a search engine to prioritize its own products over “organic search results” in a way that “intentionally disadvantages competitors.”

“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products--that's discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said in a statement. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access."

Jun 08 13:32

Lawsuit Accuses Digital Recognition Network of Secretly Collecting Billions of License Plates

By Derrick Broze

A recently filed lawsuit accuses Digital Recognition Network of covertly collecting vehicle data on millions of Americans and selling it for a profit.

On May 26, several vehicle owners sued the company Digital Recognition Network (DRN) for using its fleet of unmarked surveillance vehicles to collect data on Americans. The plaintiffs claim that DRN has driven its vehicles around United States and covertly gathered data on unsuspecting Americans while reaping profits.

Jun 08 11:44

Amazon’s US customers have until today to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk, or Amazon will start sharing your bandwidth with nearby devices in other people’s homes

Amazon’s customers in the United States have until June 8 to opt out Amazon Sidewalk, a plan that would turn every Echo speaker and Ring security camera in the country into a shared wireless network.

Amazon Sidewalk is part of the company’s plan to supposedly fix connection problems for its smart home devices. When it rolls out on June 8, it will use these devices as a springboard to build city-wide mesh networks that help simplify the process of setting up new devices. By doing so, it will effectively keep the devices online even if they’re out of range of home wifi, as well as extend the range of tracking devices such as those made by Tile.

Jun 08 11:30

FLASHBACK - NSA has CPU backdoors and everything is a lie

So a few researchers from the Russian cybersec firm, PT Security, recently found secret instructions inside Intel CPUs that allow them to disassembler and modify the microcode inside the chips. This is an extremely technically impressive hack that is about as low level as you can get. But it is not inventing a new hack, it is discovering undocumented backdoors that Intel have put into their own chips going back decades.

Suddenly, BAM! The US Treasury Dept puts PT Security on the Sanctions List and accuses them of being a FSB/GRU front company--a claim that cannot be disproven, so PT Security is now in the double jeopardy situation of having no way to clear their own name.

What a coincidence amirite?

Jun 08 11:20

Biden reveals plan to solve crippling shortages of computer chips, batteries, and medicine

Biden recommended Congress spend at least $50 billion on researching, developing, and manufacturing critical semiconductors within the US. The chips are used in everything from vehicles to kitchen appliances, and a global shortage has held back supply just as reopening boosted demand. The spending is a key element of a bill slated for a Senate vote that aims to boost competitiveness against China

Jun 08 11:05

Canadian Border Agency Urgently Developing Biometric Vaccine Certificates

(Canadian Security) OTTAWA — Canada’s border agency is urgently looking to hire a global technology firm to help develop a biometric strategy in response to rapidly evolving issues including COVID-19.

The Canada Border Services Agency issued a notice of procurement today inviting 15 firms to submit proposals for immediately setting up an Office of Biometrics and Identity Management.

The agency also wants a strategy and road map for digital solutions using biometric-related technologies to address issues flowing from the pandemic and other priorities...

Jun 08 10:55

Apple 'pays millions of dollars in compensation' to 21-year-old student after repair techs copy explicit images from her iPhone and post them online

Apple has agreed to pay 'millions of dollars' in compensation to a 21-year-old student after iPhone repair techs posted personal explicit images and videos of her to social media.

The settlement, first reported by The Telegraph, notes that a 21-year-old student in Oregon took her phone to a repair center in California in 2016, operated by Apple contractor Pegatron.

A pair of techs working on repairing the device subsequently posted '10 photos of her in various stages of undress and a sex video' to Facebook, making it seem as if she posted them.

The images were later deleted only after the woman's friends told her about them.

The breach happened at a repair facility in a suburb of Sacramento, California

Apple was not named in the lawsuit, only referred to as a 'customer' to keep the matter private.

Jun 08 10:12

Massachusetts School Committee Allows Real-Time Crime Center To Monitor Students Live

By MassPrivateI

How does a school committee respond to a year of remote student learning? How will the Springfield, MA School Committee respond to post-COVID schooling?

Now that public schools are reopening (just in time for summer vacation) what are officials worried about? Is it face-to-face learning? Is it in-person interactions with students? Nope, it is mass surveillance and how to let Real-Time Crime Centers (RTCC) monitor students under the guise of public safety.

The school committee took a half hour to decide that the best way to make students and faculty feel safe is to allow Big Brother to monitor them in real-time...

Jun 08 10:03

Apple iOS 15 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know

The latest version of Apple's operating system for mobile devices, iOS 15, was announced on June 7, 2021, at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference. The beta version of iOS 15 was released the same day to developers, with a public beta expected in the summer of 2021.

This new version of iOS includes many new features relevant to consumers and developers alike, including: an emphasis on communication changes, the ability to focus on specific aspects of your life, on-device intelligence and exploring the world.

Apple is expected to release iOS 15 to the public in Fall 2021.

Jun 08 09:59

Apple and TSA Team Up to Create Digital ID for Air Travel

By Jesse Smith

Apple is continuing to push forward with the digitization of all things by teaming up with the TSA to allow users to scan drivers’ licenses or state IDs in its Wallet app. Much more is planned...

Jun 08 09:36

Microsoft pauses Windows 10 preview builds ahead of 'Windows 11' event

With the big 'Windows 11' event in the wings, Microsoft has paused the release of new Windows 10 preview builds in order to test its servicing pipeline with cumulative updates.

Microsoft released the Windows 10 Insider preview build 21390 to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel on May 26 and has now released a cumulative update in the form of build 21390.1000. It contains no new features and no fixes for known issues in build 21390.

The company updated its original blogpost for build 21390 to inform Insiders that it won't be doing the usual weekly release of new builds, but rather will be packing cumulative updates on build 21390 purely to test its servicing pipeline.

Jun 08 07:47

How the FBI and AFP accessed encrypted messages in TrojanShield investigation

Over a three-year period, law enforcement agencies around the world jointly decrypted messages of criminals to foil various activities, such as plans to ship tonnes of cocaine.

The US Department of Justice has unsealed a warrant detailing how law enforcement agencies accessed and used the encrypted communications of criminals as part of its TrojanShield investigation, a global online sting operation.

The warrant [PDF] reveals that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2018 commenced the investigation after it recruited a confidential human source to provide access to Anom, an encrypted communications product used by transnational criminal organisations (TCOs).

The confidential human source also distributed Anom devices to their already existing network of distributors of encrypted communications devices, which all had direct links to TCOs.

Jun 08 07:41

FBI Possesses "Private Key" to Colonial Pipeline Hackers' Bitcoin Account, "Recovers" $2.3M Ransom Payment

The FBI just so happens to possess the private key to the alleged Colonial Pipeline hackers' bitcoin account.

UPDATE: Dilanian is now saying the FBI "may" have seized a server which possessed the private key. Odds are very high the private key would still be encrypted, so I don't know if this clarifies much.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A more likely explanation is that the NSA has backdoored the bitcoin system and has EVERYONE'S private keys!

Jun 08 07:31

Germany warns: AI arms race already underway

An AI arms race is already underway. That's the blunt warning from Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas.

"We're right in the middle of it. That's the reality we have to deal with," Maas told DW, speaking in a new DW documentary, "Future Wars — and How to Prevent Them."

It's a reality at the heart of the struggle for supremacy between the world's greatest powers.

"This is a race that cuts across the military and the civilian fields," said Amandeep Singh Gill, former chair of the United Nations group of governmental experts on lethal autonomous weapons. "This is a multi-trillion dollar question."

Jun 08 06:55

StackOverflow, Twitch, Reddit, others down in Fastly CDN outage

As noticed by BleepingComputer, sites currently impacted by this outage include:

Amazon
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
CNN
Debian.org repos (https://deb.debian.org/)
GOV.UK
GitHub
Heroku (https://dashboard.heroku.com/)
PyPI.org
Reddit
RubyGems.org
Shopify
StackOverflow
TechRadar
The Verge
TomsGuide

This is not an exhaustive list as many reports are surfacing on the internet with users struggling to access prominent websites.

Jun 08 06:31

The day the internet broke: Hundreds of websites worldwide go DOWN - with UK government, Spotify, Netflix and Amazon all affected

The problem was caused by the US firm Fastly, a content delivery network (CDN) company which helps users view website content more quickly.

The aim of CDNs is to reduce latency – the delay from the moment a user makes a request to the exact instant they receive a response. The higher the latency, the worse the user experience.

But if the service suffers a failure, as Fastly's did today, it prevents the companies that use it from operating on the net at all.

Many of the world's biggest websites run on the 'edge cloud' platform's network, hence the mass outage.

Fastly first posted an error message at 10.58 BST (05.58 ET), saying it was 'investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services'.

It later tweeted shortly after midday UK time: 'We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs globally and have disabled that configuration.

'Our global network is coming back online.'

Jun 08 06:22

Major websites go down worldwide

Multiple websites operated by news outlets including the Financial Times, CNN and Bloomberg News were down across the globe on Tuesday.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network was also affected. France’s Le Monde newspaper started showing error messages that appeared on the website at approximately 10:00 GMT.

Jun 08 06:05

Developing | Major media websites go down worldwide after brief outage at cloud service company

Multiple outages hit social media, government and news websites across the globe on Tuesday morning, with reports pointing to a glitch at US-based cloud computing services provider Fastly.

High traffic websites including Reddit, Amazon, Twitch, CNN, PayPal, Spotify and The New York Times were listed as experiencing problems by outage tracking website Downdetector.com, although several appeared to be coming back up.

The United Kingdom’s attorney general tweeted that the country’s main gov.uk website was down, providing an email for queries.

Fastly, one of the world’s most widely-used content delivery network providers, said “the issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have been getting emails from readers commenting on all the Error 503 messages they have been getting.

Jun 08 04:06

FBI encrypted phone app leads to hundreds of global underworld arrests

Hundreds of criminal gang members around the world were tricked into using a phone encryption app operated by the FBI to plan their heinous crimes, leading to their arrests, according to authorities.

Law enforcement officers in Australia and New Zealand began to unveil the scope of what is known as Operation Trojan Shield late Monday.

Authorities in Europe were scheduled to make their own announcement early Tuesday, with the FBI’s San Diego field office doing the same at noon.

Antipodean authorities credited the scheme with the arrest of more than 250 individuals and the seizure of more than 100 illegal firearms and other weapons, as well as millions of dollars in cash, drugs and other assets.

In addition, Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters that the app helped thwart 21 murder plots, including one that would have targeted a family of five.

Jun 08 03:57

This might be the mother of all password leaks, with billions of credentials exposed

Basically, there’s been another huge data leak, this time exposing several billion passwords in what just might be the biggest dump of passwords online ever.

This news comes via the team at CyberNews, which reports that a 100GB text file containing a staggering 8.4 billion password entries was just leaked on a popular hacker forum. This data set presumably combines passwords stolen via previous data breaches and leaks, and it’s been dubbed the “RockYou2020” password leak on that hacker forum. That name was apparently chosen, per CyberNews, as a nod to the RockYou data breach from back in 2009, “when threat actors hacked their way into the social app website’s servers and got their hands on more than 32 million user passwords stored in plain text.”

Jun 07 17:48

Maryland and Montana Pass the Nation’s First Laws Restricting Law Enforcement Access to Genetic Genealogy Databases

By Jennifer Lynch

Last week, Maryland and Montana passed laws requiring judicial authorization to search consumer DNA databases in criminal investigations. These are welcome and important restrictions on forensic genetic genealogy searching (FGGS)—a law enforcement technique that has become increasingly common and impacts the genetic privacy of millions of Americans...

Jun 07 17:27

Ring Changed How Police Request Door Camera Footage: What it Means and Doesn’t Mean

By Matthew Guariglia

Ring’s small reforms invite bigger questions: Why does a customer-focused technology company need to develop and maintain a feature for law enforcement in the first place? Why must Ring and other technology companies continue to offer police free features to facilitate surveillance and the transfer of information from users to the government? ...

Jun 07 14:58

Here’s why TSMC and Intel keep building foundries in the Arizona desert

Two of the world's leading chip manufacturers—Intel and TSMC—are increasing their US-based manufacturing presence by building new plants in Arizona.

Chip foundries are critically dependent on water, and Arizona is one of the driest states in the nation. Arizona gets only 13.6 inches of annual rainfall (compared with 50-60 inches in most of the Deep South, or 30.3 inches average for the USA as a whole). But as Forrester research director Glenn O'Donnell told CNBC, chip-fabrication plants are similar to indoor swimming pools—"you need a lot to fill it, but you don't have to add much to keep it going."

Counterintuitively, the famously thirsty industry can even improve the local water supply due to a focus on reclamation and purification—Intel has funded 15 water restoration projects in the Grand Canyon State with a goal of restoring 937 million gallons per year, and it expects to reach net positive water use once the projects are completed.

Jun 07 14:05

Congressman tweets photo of his laptop and it sure looks like he shared a password, too

No one has ever accused politicians of being the most technically savvy, but this one takes the cake.

Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican congressman from Alabama, accidentally shared what appears to be his Gmail password or username and an unidentified PIN number with the world on Twitter on Sunday afternoon. Mashable has blurred the PIN and added the red arrow to the photo below.

Jun 07 13:46

Why You Should Disable ‘Amazon Sidewalk’ on All Devices Before June 8

On June 8, Amazon will activate Amazon Sidewalk, a mass wireless sharing network. Users of all Amazon smart devices will be automatically enrolled, without consent, unless they opt out by disabling the network settings.

Amazon Sidewalk will connect all Amazon devices, such as Alexa, Echo speakers and Ring security cameras — including tile trackers, Ring spotlight and floodlight cameras, smart lights and smart locks — to a local “mesh wireless network.” For a complete list of devices that will be activated, review Amazon’s FAQ.

The Amazon Sidewalk network will allow shared internet use up to within about a half-mile radius of the Amazon device. In effect, this network is part of the creation of “smart cities.” The more devices connected, the stronger the network will become, according to Amazon.

Jun 07 12:10

Video Sharing App TikTok Which Is Owned By Communist China Will Start Collecting Biometric Data Of Users Including Face And Voice Prints

TechCrunch reports that a change to TikTok’s U.S. privacy policy on Wednesday added a new section that says the app “may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information” from users’ content which includes “faceprints and voiceprints.” The statement is quite vague and doesn’t specify whether it’s considering federal law, state law, or both. It also does not explain why TikTok needs this data. It doesn’t define terms such as “faceprints,” or “voiceprints.” It also doesn’t explain how it would seek the “required permissions” from users.

Jun 07 11:11

Apple shut down my iCloud account for five days, no warning, no explanation, no excuse

It began subtly, in the way that computer problems can often creep up on you. I was trying to erase and restore an iPad Pro, the memory of which had gotten full. Never buy a 64-gigabyte anything, it's a constant disappointment.

I've become practiced at this maneuver, having done it several times in the two-plus years of owning the iPad. And so the predictable set of steps was what I expected to encounter. Imagine my surprise, then, when I wasn't able to erase the iPad because my Apple I.D. password suddenly wasn't being accepted.

I went to Apple's iCloud site in the Safari browser on my MacBook to verify that I wasn't having a senior moment about my password, a distinct possibility. I was greeted with a message I'd never seen before: "iCloud encountered an error while trying to connect to the server."

Jun 07 10:50

Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America

Coincidentally, it's the 32nd anniversary of the 1989 massacre in Beijing

Jun 07 09:49

Global Law Enforcement Convention Weakens Privacy & Human Rights

By Katitza Rodriguez and Tamir Israel

The Council of Europe Cybercrime Committee’s (T-CY) recent decision to approve new international rules for law enforcement access to user data without strong privacy protections is a blow for global human rights in the digital age. The final version of the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s (CoE) widely adopted Budapest Cybercrime Convention, approved by the T-CY drafting committee on May 28th, places few limits on law enforcement data collection. As such, the Protocol can endanger technology users, journalists, activists, and vulnerable populations in countries with flimsy privacy protections and weaken everyone’s right to privacy and free expression across the globe...

Jun 07 09:14

App Store scams continue to rake in millions

Apple’s walled garden, curated approach to the App Store improves quality control — but it doesn’t filter out all of the spammy, scammy content. According to a report by the Washington Post, scam apps represent close to 2 percent of the App Store’s top grossing apps.

While that might not sound all that much, it’s a sizable amount when you consider that the App Store has in the region of 1.8 million apps. These scam apps have reportedly cost users in the vicinity of $48 million.

What constitutes a scam app varies. In one case, it refers to a QR code reaper app which charges $20 per month for functionality that is carried out for free by the iPhone’s Camera app. Some apps claim that they are official apps from companies like Samsung and Amazon. In reality, they are nothing of the kind. Yet others, the report notes, get users to download and pay for them after the user receives a fake message online telling them that their iPhone has been infected by a virus.

Jun 07 09:09

WhatsApp is getting a crafty new way to verify your identity

WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will make logging into the encrypted messaging service less of a hassle and even more secure.

Currently, when creating a new account or reregistering an existing one, WhatsApp users are required to provide a six-digit code delivered either via SMS or phone call.

However, the company is developing a new feature, called Flash Calls, that uses information in the call log to expedite this process. The addition is expected to complement the upcoming multi-device support feature, which will allow WhatsApp accounts to be accessed across up to four devices.

With Flash Calls activated, WhatsApp will place a call to the user’s phone number and then hang up automatically. The purpose is to verify that the last number in the phone’s call log matches the number that would usually deliver the six-digit code.

Jun 07 09:03

Google fined $268M by France for unfair online ads treatment

PARIS — France’s anti-competition watchdog decided Monday to fine Google 220 million euros ($268 million) for abusing its “dominant position” in the online advertising business, an unprecedented move, the body said.

Jun 07 07:55

Nearly 2% of the 1,000 highest grossing apps on Apple's App Store are SCAMS that have conned consumers out of an estimated $48 MILLION, report warns

Nearly two per cent of the 1,000 highest grossing apps on Apple's App Store are scams, new analysis has found.

The offending apps have conned customers out of an estimated $48 million (£34 million), according to market research firm Appfigures, and Apple profits from them because it takes up to 30 per cent commission on App Store transactions.

Last month the US tech giant revealed it had rejected or removed more than one million malicious apps from its App Store and stopped more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2020.

But the latest analysis, carried out by The Washington Post, suggests that scammers are still a major problem.

Jun 07 07:49

Hackers Breached Colonial Pipeline Using Compromised VPN Password

The ransomware cartel that masterminded the Colonial Pipeline attack early last month crippled the pipeline operator's network using a compromised virtual private network (VPN) account password, the latest investigation into the incident has revealed.

The development, which was reported by Bloomberg on Friday, involved gaining an initial foothold into the networks as early as April 29 through the VPN account, which allowed employees to access the company's networks remotely.

The VPN login was unused but active at the time of the attack, the report said, adding the password has since been discovered inside a batch of leaked passwords on the dark web, suggesting that an employee of the company may have reused the same password on another account that was previously breached.

Jun 07 06:57

CPU Manufacturers Are Pushing the Boundaries of CMOS and Starting to Pay For It

CPUs almost never fail. Out of all the components in a given PC, the CPU has historically been one of the least likely to suffer a failure. This has not yet changed — but there’s troubling evidence suggesting that as process nodes shrink, reliability is becoming tougher for AMD and Intel to guarantee.

Google researchers have published a paper describing what they call “mercurial” cores. Mercurial cores are cores that are subject to what Google calls “corrupt execution errors,” or CEEs. One critical component of CEEs is that they are silent.

We expect CPUs to fail in some noticeable way when they miscalculate a value, whether that results in an OS reboot, application crash, error message, or garbled output. That does not happen in these cases. CEEs are symptoms of what Google calls “silent data corruption,” or the ability for data to become corrupted when written, read, or at rest without the corruption being immediately detected.

Jun 07 06:21

US Official Warns Cyberattacks Are 'Here To Stay'

The US commerce secretary appealed Sunday for vigilance from the private sector in the face of increasingly serious cyberattacks, saying the threat is "here to stay" and may even worsen.

"I think the first thing we have to recognize is this is the reality, and we should assume -- and businesses should assume -- that these attacks are here to stay and if anything will intensify," Gina Raimondo said on ABC's "This Week."

Analysts say the hackers behind a series of recent cyberattacks -- targeting a major US oil pipeline, a global meatpacking giant and even the Irish health service -- are likely based in Russia.

Aides say President Joe Biden will raise the issue during an upcoming European trip, first at a G7 meeting of leading democracies beginning Friday in Britain, then with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Likely based in Russia." Meaning they don't actually know, but let's not miss another opportunity to demonize the Russians!

Jun 07 05:24

Karma? Mark Zuckerberg Blasts Whistleblowers Who Expose Facebook's 'Censorship'… in Leaked Video

The news comes almost two weeks after two insiders revealed Facebook has allegedly been testing an algorithm on its users that demoted, buried, and hid comments, describing "potentially or actually true" events or facts.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has criticised company employees who expose the social media giant's "alleged" censorship programme. Ironically, he made the remarks during a video chat, later leaked by a Facebook insider. The video was subsequently posted online by a non-profit investigative media outlet, Project Veritas.

During the conversation with high-ranking Facebook officials, Zuckerberg stressed that the tech giant should be good "at rooting out people, who are leaking stuff", lamenting that the company had suffered from numerous whistleblowers last year.

"I've been clear that we have a number of efforts to find people and we terminate people and pursue the recourse that we have when we identify them", Zuckerberg said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hey, Zuck; a "scorched earth" policy against people who have the courage to tell the truth, has a tendency to BITE the rear of the person instituting that policy, BIG-TIME!!!!

Jun 07 03:46

THE NOTORIOUS LONDON SPY SCHOOL CHURNING OUT THE WORLD’S TOP JOURNALISTS

LONDON — In a previous investigation, MintPress News explored how one university department, the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, functions as a school for spooks. Its teaching posts are filled with current or former NATO officials, army officers and intelligence operatives to churn out the next generation of spies and intelligence officers. However, we can now reveal an even more troubling product the department produces: journalists. An inordinate number of the world’s most influential reporters, producers and presenters, representing many of the most well-known and respected outlets — including The New York Times, CNN and the BBC — learned their craft in the classrooms of this London department, raising serious questions about the links between the fourth estate and the national security state.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In this country, with rare exceptions like WRH, the "Fourth Estate" and the "National Security State"... are simply one entity, period, end of discussion, each there to support the other seamlessly in the creation of officially sanctioned narrative.

Jun 07 03:40

US SPYING ON "ALLIES" SPOILS BIDEN'S SET-PIECE VISIT TO EUROPE

SOURCE: STRATEGIC-CULTURE.ORG
American President Joe Biden flies to Europe next week for a series of major summits in what was being billed as a happy revival for the transatlantic alliance. Four years of bitter and divisive chaos under Trump were supposed to be sutured by the new president declaring the importance of a strong U.S.-European partnership and “shared values”.

Unfortunately for Biden, the scandal over U.S. spying on European governments looks like casting a shadow on the “happy family reunion”. What’s more, this American president is fully implicated in the illicit snooping.

The timing also upsets Biden’s attempt to burnish America’s image as a defender of “rules-based order” and “shared Western values” when he meets Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Geneva for their first face-to-face presidential summit.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely amazing!!!

Jun 07 03:03

Smugglers Openly Advertise Illegal Border Crossings On Facebook

Authored by Petr Svab via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Human smugglers along the southern border are openly advertising their services on Facebook and the social media company has fallen short on removing such content.

A plethora of user accounts have posted offers to facilitate illegal border crossings on the platform. Some even directly advertise how much they charge for the service. Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), who took office in January, repeatedly alerted Facebook to the issue in general and to a number of specific posts of this kind, but most of them haven’t been removed, she said.

Facebook has so far failed to accommodate Cammack’s request for an in-person meeting to discuss the issue, she told The Epoch Times.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I love the stench of "techpocrisy" (high tech hipocrisy) in the morning!!!!

Jun 07 02:11

Daimler Trucks Is Short Of Workers Across The Board, CEO Says

By Alan Adler of FreightWaves,

Production workers. Service technicians. Parts depot staff. Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is short of all of them, exemplifying how hard it is to keep up with a hot economy following a pandemic, recently named CEO John O’Leary said.

“It’s really a problem end to end,” O’Leary told FreightWaves on Wednesday.

“We have difficulty getting workers to build trucks and to work in our parts warehouses. Our dealers have difficulty getting techs to work on trucks. Our customers have difficulty getting drivers and service techs in their shops.

“So, it’s really a problem that is very widespread, and I know it’s not unique to our industry.”

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