COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

May 22 15:16

Huawei unwanted: Asian shops shun phone trade-ins on Google suspension worries

Mobile phone retailers in some Asian countries are refusing to accept Huawei devices for trade-ins, as more consumers look to offload their device on worries Google suspending business with the Chinese firm will disrupt services.

May 22 15:14

New Windows 10 Vulnerability Could Let Hackers Gain Full Access to Your PC

A security researcher who goes by the handle SandboxEscaper published code to GitHub that allegedly shows how a malicious hacker can gain higher privileges on a Windows 10 machine and wreak havoc. The security vulnerability was earlier reported on by ZDNet.

The zero-day vulnerability is what's called a "local privilege escalation." That means that the vulnerability won't necessarily allow hackers or malware to gain access to your machine. They have to already be on your machine. Instead, the vulnerability, when exploited, will give them full control over your machine by upping their privileges to the System level.

This is a bigger problem than it seems, because most malware can be constrained by the limits of the user account it has infected. Privilege escalation busts out of that straitjacket and gives even low-level malware godlike powers.

May 22 15:12

Huawei laptop disappears from Microsoft website, suggesting imminent 'ban'

MICROSOFT LOOKS set to become the latest company to suspend ties with Huawei after it was discovered that all reference to its flagship laptop, the MateBook X Pro, has been removed from the Microsoft Store.

The top-end laptop has had rave reviews since it launched at MWC but has now disappeared from view, suggesting that Microsoft may be preparing to take action to comply with the recent trade ban with the Chinese tech giant.

Microsoft is yet to make a statement either way, but given that Google was forced to suspend licensing Android to Huawei, it's quite likely that Microsoft will be in the same boat and will need to stop issuing Windows licences.

May 22 15:10

Huawei: ARM memo tells staff to stop working with China’s tech giant

UK-based chip designer ARM has told staff it must suspend business with Huawei, according to internal documents obtained by the BBC.

ARM instructed employees to halt "all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei and its subsidiaries to comply with a recent US trade clampdown.

ARM's designs form the basis of most mobile device processors worldwide.

In a company memo, it said its designs contained “US origin technology”.

As a consequence, it believes it is affected by the Trump administration's ban.

One analyst described the move, if it became long-term, as an “insurmountable” blow to Huawei’s business.

May 22 14:18

MOSSAD AND THE RISE OF THE VC-SPY ALLIANCE

The growth of intelligence agencies in the 21st century has been powered by the development of new technologies, created by start-ups, which are powered by intelligence agencies. This unvirtuous circle of money and espionage is a new and daunting challenge for civil liberties and human rights groups.

May 22 10:59

Microsoft hasn't said a word so far about Huawei's ban in the US, but it removed Huawei laptops from its stores

Microsoft removed Huawei laptops from the Microsoft online store last weekend, likely in response to the US government blacklisting Huawei.

Huawei laptops are still being sold in physical Microsoft stores that still have the computers in stock, according to The Verge.

Microsoft hasn't made an official statement regarding its relationship with Huawei. Business Insider has asked Microsoft for comment, but the company didn't immediately reply. Other outlets have also requested comment from the company to no avail.

May 22 10:32

Why capturing Huawei is no victory in tech war

It’s geopolitical, geoeconomic war. Cold, so far, but now about to descend to deep freeze. The US National Security Strategy unmistakably spells it out. China is a strategic competitor and must be contained, no holds barred, on all fronts: economic, military and most of all, technological.

Enter the current, concerted offensive across the spectrum, from 5G and AI to moves attempting to prevent the coming of globalization 2.0. Add to it maximum pressure all over the world to prevent nations from joining the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the organizing foreign policy concept for China in the foreseeable future and the strategic road map for Eurasian integration up to 2049.

It’s all interconnected; the Trump administration’s trade war, Google blocking Huawei from the enhanced Android OS, the demonization of Belt and Road. It’s all about control of global supply chains and technological infrastructure.

May 22 10:26

Why the Air Force is investigating a cyber attack from the Navy

The Air Force is investigating the Navy for a cyber intrusion into its network, according to a memo obtained by Military Times.

The bizarre turn of events stems from a decision by a Navy prosecutor to embed hidden tracking software into emails sent to defense attorneys, including one Air Force lawyer, involved in a high-profile war-crimes case of a Navy SEAL in San Diego.

The tracking device was an attempt to find out who was leaking information to the editor of Navy Times, a sister publication. A similar tracking device was also sent to Carl Prine, the Navy Times editor, who has written numerous stories about the case.

Navy Capt. David Wilson, chief of staff for the Navy’s Defense Service Offices, wrote in the May 19 memo that an Air Force attorney was among the defense lawyers who had received emails with the hidden tracking software, which he described as “malware.”

May 22 10:21

I Was a Paid Internet Shill [for Israeli Propagandists]How Shadowy Groups Manipulate Internet Opinion and Debate

Update 1/12/2013: CLN has received a takedown notice asking us to remove this article on the basis that “It is libelous and utterly false” from someone claiming to be a legal agent of Above Top Secret’s parent company. We are currently investigating and will post status updates as they become available. The original thread now appears to have vanished from Above Top Secret’s website.

Update 1/17/2013: We have requested clarification regarding the takedown request and have not received a response. We will provide updates on any new developments.

May 22 09:00

First SpaceX Starlink mission, why 60 Satellites? 550 km?

May 21 20:25

Popular Chinese Android app hijacks users' devices by signing them up for unwanted services and stealing their personal data, security researchers find

Researchers from Secure-D, the mobile ad fraud division of UK-based mobile monetization firm Upstream, detailed their findings in a post published on Monday.

They discovered that VidMate has a hidden component within the app that delivers hidden ads, generates fake clicks and purchases, installs malicious apps and siphons off users' private information - all without their knowledge.

As a result, it eats up users' data allowance and costs them money.

Upstream researchers blocked over 128 million malicious mobile transactions that were attempted by the VidMate app on 4.8 million devices.

Had they not been blocked, they could have cost users a boatload of unwanted charges.

May 21 19:25

Reddit Commenter’s Fight for Anonymity Is a Win for Free Speech and Fair Use

By Alex Moss

A fight over unmasking an anonymous Reddit commenter has turned into a significant win for online speech and fair use. A federal court has affirmed the right to share copyrighted material for criticism and commentary, and shot down arguments that Internet users from outside the United States can’t ever rely on First Amendment protections for anonymous speech.

EFF represents the Reddit commenter, who uses the name “Darkspilver.” A lifelong member of the Jehovah’s Witness community, Darkspilver shared comments and concerns about the Jehovah’s Witness organization via one of Reddit’s online discussion groups. Darkspilver’s posts included a copy of an advertisement asking for donations that appeared on the back of a Watch Tower magazine, as well as a chart they edited and reformatted to show the kinds of data that the Jehovah’s Witness organization collects and processes...

May 21 18:42

iPhone gyroscopes, of all things, can uniquely ID handsets on anything earlier than iOS 12.2

Oddly enough, the attack doesn't work on most Android devices because they're cheaper than Apple's, in all senses of the word, and generally aren't calibrated, though the researchers did find that some Google Pixel handsets did feature calibrated MEMS.

Beresford joked: "There's a certain sense of irony that because Apple has put more effort in to provide more accuracy, it has this unfortunate side effect!"

Apple has patched the flaws in iOS 12.2 by blocking "access to these sensors in Mobile Safari just by default" as well as adding "some noise to make the attack much more difficult".

The researchers have set up a website which includes both the full research paper and their layman's explanation, along with a proof-of-concept video. Get patching, Apple fanbois.

May 21 18:15

TalkTalk data breach customer details found online

TalkTalk failed to inform 4,545 customers their personal information, including bank account details, were stolen as part of the 2015 data breach.

Viewers contacted BBC Watchdog Live about concerns that their details had been breached by TalkTalk.

But the company had told them that their details were not comprised.

"The customer data referred to by BBC Watchdog relates to the historical October 2015 data breach. It is not a new incident," the firm said.

The BBC consumer show investigated and found the personal details of approximately 4,500 customers available online after a Google search.

The details included full names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth, TalkTalk customer numbers, mobile numbers and bank details for thousands of customers.

May 21 17:55

Some Facebook users don't have the option to turn off facial recognition technology, study finds

A consumer advocacy group has discovered that not all Facebook users have access to a privacy setting that lets them opt out of the site's facial recognition technology.

Consumer Reports examined a set of Facebook accounts and found that a significant number didn't have the ability to toggle off Face Recognition, a feature that uses facial recognition technology to identify users in tagged photos.

That's despite Facebook announcing almost two years ago that all users would be able to opt out of facial recognition entirely through the setting.

Consumer Reports looked at the accounts of 31 Facebook users and found that eight of them didn't have the privacy setting.

Additionally, the site created several new Facebook accounts to test if they had the setting and found that about a half-dozen of them did not.

It's not clear exactly how many of Facebook's 2 billion-plus users lack access to the Face Recognition privacy setting.

May 21 15:21

Soon You May Not Even Have to Click on a Website Contract to Be Bound by Its Terms

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably clicked “I agree” on many online contracts without ever reading them. Soon you may be deemed to have agreed to a company’s terms without even knowing it. A vote is occurring Tuesday that would make it easier for online businesses to dispense with that click and allow websites that you merely browse — anything from Amazon and AT&T to Yahoo and Zillow — to bind you to contract terms without your agreement or awareness.

As public outcry mounts over companies like Facebook collecting and selling user information, the new proposal would prime courts and legislatures to give businesses even more power to extract data from unwitting consumers. If the proposal is approved, merely posting a link to a company’s terms of service on a homepage could be enough for the company to conclude that a user has agreed to its policies.

May 21 15:17

Google had some passwords stored in plaintext for more than a decade

You might've tried your best to keep your passwords hidden, but a bug could've allowed Google employees to view those login credentials.

In a blog post Tuesday, Google notified G Suite customers that some passwords were stored on its internal servers without any encryption -- meaning anyone who found them could read them in plain text. Suzanne Frey, Google Cloud Trust's vice president of engineering, said in the post that this bug affects only business users -- so if you're using Google for free, this doesn't affect you.

May 21 09:27

Facebook helps phone companies gather user data, including their 'creditworthiness' – report

Facebook has supplied phone companies with customers' private data without their knowledge or consent, and even helped those companies use Facebook behavior to evaluate users' creditworthiness, documents reportedly show.

The social network supplied data on location, interests, and friend groupings to phone carriers and manufacturers without users' permission – data that went far beyond mere technical specs. Users' activity on Facebook, Instagram and even Messenger was fair game for data-mining, and the platform encouraged and even assisted over 100 global telecoms to use customers' data for purposes including evaluating their creditworthiness, according to documents seen by the Intercept, which suggest the program is still going on.

May 21 09:26

THANKS TO FACEBOOK, YOUR CELLPHONE COMPANY IS WATCHING YOU MORE CLOSELY THAN EVER

SOURCE: THE INTERCEPT
Among the mega-corporations that surveil you, your cellphone carrier has always been one of the keenest monitors, in constant contact with the one small device you keep on you at almost every moment. A confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept shows that the social network courts carriers, along with phone makers — some 100 different companies in 50 countries — by offering the use of even more surveillance data, pulled straight from your smartphone by Facebook itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Unhinged, surveilled, State of Amerika, now has a forth arm: it is called "surveillance", and that is what that smarmy triumverate, Facebook; Twitter, and Google, collectively bring to the US government table.

May 21 09:21

US Navy wants to create archive of 350 BILLION social media posts for ‘research’ purposes

The US Navy is seeking to create an archive that will store no less than 350 billion social media posts, as part of the military branch’s “research efforts” into “modes of collective expression.”

The Department of the Navy has posted a solicitation asking contractors to bid on a project that would amass a staggering 350 billion social media posts dating from 2014 through 2016. The data will be taken from a single social media platform – but the solicitation does not specify which one.

May 21 09:15

Italian Version of Article 17 Requires LEGAL Content to Be Filtered Out

Last Friday the text of the new EU Copyright Directive was published on the Official Journal of the EU. However, due to glaring error, the Italian translation of Article 17 (formerly 13) requires online platforms such as YouTube to prevent the availability of works "that do not infringe copyright", even in cases where such works are "subject to an exception or limitation".

May 21 08:40

CITIES ARE ADOPTING REAL-TIME FACIAL SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

SOURCE: TECHNOCRACY.NEWS
Because there is no Federal legislation preventing its use, cities are gobbling up China-style facial recognition systems. Individual cities can easily block this surveillance technology, but citizens are sound asleep and completely oblivious to the destruction of their own civil liberties. ? TN Editor
Civil Liberties Activists trying to inspire alarm about the authoritarian potential of facial recognition technology often point to China, where some police departments use systems that can spot suspects who show their faces in public. A report from Georgetown researchers on Thursday suggests Americans should also focus their concern closer to home.

The report says agencies in Chicago and Detroit have bought real-time facial recognition systems. Chicago claims it has not used its system; Detroit says it is not using its system currently. But no federal or state law would prevent use of the technology.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is going to keep America safe from crime?!? I really don't think that these real-time surveillance is going to cure the problem.

What will cure it, is, initially removing the stigma and curse, of low expectations, both in schools and in families, and the common culture, for our ALL of our kids.

Remember that brilliant James Olmos film, "Stand and deliver"?!? This was based on a true story, where a high school math teacher gets his kids, primarily Hispanic, to register for a math championship, which they won;and then lost, because the school "testmeisters" believed that they had cheated, somehow, without a shred of evidence.

These kids came back for a second competition, and won again, and this time, the win was allowed to stand; one teacher had made them proud, and gave them the knowledge they were really capable of doing anything to which they set their minds.

Would that all teachers in this country believed that.

Too many of our children "graduate" from high school, illiterate; innumerate; and lack the ability for critical thinking, which are all desperately needed for anyone to succeed in this society. This has to change.

Then, we need to have a thriving economy, not just for the monied; but also, for those just starting out in the work force, so that they can get decent jobs which actually matter.

We also need strong families, and strong social/religious institutions, where kids learn to express themselves in a loving, kind, manner, to keep them from getting into gangs, where time is somewhat structured for them, but in a way that structured time, doesn't feel "like a prison".

And one thing I have noticed about kids acting out; it never seems to be at a Waldorf School; or a Montessori school; it seems to happen, over and over, at our public schools.

And the worst possible outcome of a kid acting out today, is to be sentenced to a private, juvenile detention facility.

The US's School to Prison Pipeline

May 21 07:53

"THEY HAD ME AT GUNPOINT": HERTZ CUSTOMERS KEEP GETTING ARRESTED FOR DRIVING "STOLEN" CARS

If you rent a car from Hertz, you're now on notice not to be surprised if you’re randomly pulled over and arrested for seemingly no reason at all.

This is because, according to The Drive, customers of the Florida rental vehicle company are being erroneously stopped and arrested due to a faulty computer system and plain old poor office management at the company.

The majority of mix-ups are a result of Hertz reporting stolen vehicles to the police when they were actually being legitimately rented by customers, causing major issues for anyone that is spotted in the vehicle, include unwitting and unknowing customers, and their passengers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The answer is simple; never rent from Hertz again, until the problem gets solved.

Here is a link to their corporate governance:

Hertz: executive officers

Please write (or email them politely, no nastigrams, please) and let them know YOU know the mess they are in, and until, and unless there is both a public apology, and a very public paying of these illegal fines for innocent people who got caught up in this, that under no circumstances, will you ever, again, rent or lease a car from them.

I have to wonder, in fact, just when the class action lawsuits against Hertz over this glaring flaw in their software, will start to happen, although there is another one, already making its way through the court system:

Hertz Class Action Claims Fraud Over Damages

Hertz, not sorry: FIX THESE INSANE GLITCHES IN YOUR SOFTWARE, PLEASE.

May 21 07:43

BALTIMORE RANSOMWARE NIGHTMARE COULD LAST WEEKS MORE, WITH BIG CONSEQUENCES

SOURCE: ARSTECHNICA.COM
It's been nearly two weeks since the City of Baltimore's networks were shut down in response to a ransomware attack, and there's still no end in sight to the attack's impact. It may be weeks more before the city's services return to something resembling normal—manual workarounds are being put in place to handle some services now, but the city's water billing and other payment systems remain offline, as well as most of the city's email and much of the government's phone systems.

The ransomware attack came in the midst of a major transition at City Hall. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young assumed office officially just days before the attack, after the resignation of former mayor Catherine Pugh, who is facing an ever-expanding corruption investigation. And some of the mayor's critical staff positions remained unfilled—the mayor's deputy chief of staff for operations, Sheryl Goldstein, starts work today.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just brilliant, Baltimore; you were warned that this was coming, by someone who actually knew what they were talking about, and yet took no measures to protect your city, or citizens.

IF I were a citizen of Baltimore, I would be voting with my feet right now, and "get the heck out of Dodge"; I would be willing to bet you one whole cent, that this is not the last time this will happen in this city, which chose to be unprepared to deal with the issue.

May 21 07:35

MILLIONS OF INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS HAD THEIR PRIVATE CONTACT DATA SCRAPED AND EXPOSED

SOURCE: TECHCRUNCH.COM
A massive database containing contact information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts has been found online.

The database, hosted by Amazon Web Services, was left exposed and without a password allowing anyone to look inside. At the time of writing, the database had over 49 million records — but was growing by the hour.

From a brief review of the data, each record contained public data scraped from influencer Instagram accounts, including their bio, profile picture, the number of followers they have, if they’re verified and their location by city and country, but also contained their private contact information, such as the Instagram account owner’s email address and phone number.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Amazon: OUCH, come on, you (should be) better than that!!

And BTW, those "product liability" lawsuits will be coming, and not in the far future either. When this was a nascent technology, just in its "incubator phase of development.", one might understand the value of this.

But not, thank you very much, in 2019.

May 20 17:15

Massive online database left MILLIONS of Instagram influencers' personal information exposed

A security researcher has discovered a massive online database that exposes the personal contact information of nearly 50 million influencers and brands.

According to a report from TechCrunch, researcher Anurag Sen discovered the database contained the personal contact information of 'prominent food bloggers, celebrities and other social media influencers.'

Sen alerted the site to the list's existence in an attempt to find its creator and get it secured, TechCrunch noted.

TechCrunch reports that the information in the database appears to have been scraped from publicly available social media accounts and was traced back to a social media marketing firm Chtrbox based in Mumbai, India.

Chtrbox, which pays influencers to post sponsored content onto their pages, also included information on what a post with each person listed in the database would cost, including their number of followers, likes, and reach.

May 20 14:15

THANKS TO FACEBOOK, YOUR CELLPHONE COMPANY IS WATCHING YOU MORE CLOSELY THAN EVER

Among the mega-corporations that surveil you, your cellphone carrier has always been one of the keenest monitors, in constant contact with the one small device you keep on you at almost every moment. A confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept shows that the social network courts carriers, along with phone makers — some 100 different companies in 50 countries — by offering the use of even more surveillance data, pulled straight from your smartphone by Facebook itself.

May 20 10:15

Windows 10 version 1903: Is it safe to install yet?

"Once burned, twice shy." That's good advice if you're working around a hot stove. It's an equally wise strategy for anyone responsible for administering Windows 10 PCs.

After the disastrous rollout of Windows 10 version 1809, you should indeed be extremely wary of touching that hot stove. Microsoft had grown cocky after a handful of relatively trouble-free feature updates to Windows 10, and had even bragged about how quickly it was able to roll out those semi-annual feature updates. That hubris caught up with them in late 2018.

May 20 09:28

Huawei confirms it has built its own operating system just in case US tensions disrupt use of Google’s Android

The Chinese company has developed a proprietary OS as tensions between the company and the US government could impact the availability of US-made operating systems used on Huawei devices, Huawei’s mobile chief Richard Yu Chengdong, said in an interview with German publication Die Welt.
Yu’s comments confirm an earlier report

by the South China Morning Post in April 2018, which revealed the existence of a years-long project to build an alternative to Google’s Android OS. Huawei started building its own operating system after a US investigation into Huawei and ZTE Corp in 2012, a person familiar with the matter said in the report.

May 20 09:25

Huawei Responds to Android Ban

It seems like both Huawei and Google aren’t exactly certain about what’s going to happen going forward. The plan forward is a big uncertainty for both the companies and Huawei being one of the biggest phone makers in the world, that’s a huge problem for the entire market.

May 20 09:14

Netizen Report: Amid WhatsApp Attacks, Advocates Launch Legal Challenge Against Israeli Malware Maker

By Netizen Report Team

The Advox Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in technology and human rights around the world. This report covers news and events from May 10 – 17, 2019.

On May 13, WhatsApp users in multiple countries were targeted with malicious software developed by the Israeli company NSO group and deployed by governments that had purchased the software...

May 20 09:00

Have Consumers Already Lost the Online Privacy War?

By Sam Bocetta

Technology has increasingly come to occupy a central role in our lives. Growing numbers of people, however, have expressed concerns over how much of our privacy we’ve sacrificed for the sake of convenience.

Networks are under assault from cyber attacks like never before, resulting in frequent, massive data breaches. Perhaps even more significantly, companies seem to be gathering data on customers, often without their knowledge, in an effort to more precisely target their advertising...

May 19 21:20

WHY DOES NASA NEED ACCESS TO OHIO’S FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEM AND DATABASE?

More than 4,500 individuals at federal and local law enforcement agencies currently have access to a facial recognition database hosted by the Ohio Attorney General’s office, including at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

May 19 21:16

5G DANGER: HUNDREDS OF RESPECTED SCIENTISTS SOUND THE ALARM ABOUT HEALTH EFFECTS AS 5G NETWORKS GO UP NATIONWIDE

Even though many in the scientific community are loudly warning about the potential health effects that 5G technology could have on the general population, Verizon and AT&T are starting to put up their 5G networks in major cities all across the nation. Today, the total number of cell phones exceeds the entire population of the world, and the big cell phone companies are making a crazy amount of money providing service to all of those phones. And now that the next generation of cell phone technology has arrived, millions of cell phone users are looking forward to better connections and faster speeds than ever before. In fact, President Trump says that 5G networks will be up to 100 times faster than the current 4G networks that we are using right now…

May 19 21:07

CHICAGO AND DETROIT HAVE BOUGHT REAL-TIME FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEMS

Civil liberties activists trying to inspire alarm about the authoritarian potential of facial recognition technology often point to China, where some police departments use systems that can spot suspects who show their faces in public. A report from Georgetown researchers on Thursday suggests Americans should also focus their concern closer to home.

May 19 17:29

South Korea will ditch Microsoft Windows for Linux

Windows 7 support will end in January of next year, and that is a huge problem for both business and home users that are still running the aging operating system. Can't these people just upgrade to Windows 10? Well, yeah, but many just don't want to. Windows 10 has extreme telemetry that many people consider to be spying. As a result, they simply don't trust Microsoft's latest operating system. Not to mention, for businesses and organizations with many computers, the upgrade to Windows 10 could prove to be a costly affair.

And now, as a result of the upcoming death of Windows 7 support, the South Korean government has reportedly decided to ditch Microsoft Windows entirely. According to The Korea Herald, the Asian country's government will switch from Windows 7 to a Linux-based operating system.

May 19 17:27

Google 'restricts Huawei's use of Android'

New smartphones made by the company will also lose access to Google's app store and software such as Gmail, the news agency's story says.

May 19 07:58

FACEBOOK ADMITS ISRAELI SOCIAL MANIPULATION COMPANY SPENT $800,000 TO INFLUENCE AFRICAN ELECTIONS

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
In keeping with their spectacular reputation of violating privacy and rigging elections, Facebook has said that it removed "hundreds of accounts" from Facebook and Instagram that were used to influence elections in Africa, according to CNN. Only it wasn't Russia who was behind this latest intervention, but Israel.
Archimedes Group, an Israeli company, reportedly spent more than $800,000 in advertising (far more than the Kremlin allegedly spent on its "ad campaign" to crush Hillary Clinton and get Trump elected) and ran accounts that had nearly 3 million followers, for the purpose of targeting African elections. The group primarily targeted Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia.

For perspective, the $800,000 reportedly spent by the group compares to the $100,000 that has been claimed by the U.S. mainstream media to have been spent for ‘Russian bots’ used to allegedly sway the 2016 US presidential election, according to RT.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised at this revelation.

Most the worlds's precious, and yet-to-be-exploited commodities, can be found in Africa; it is no wonder Israel sought to exploit those elections for economic gain.

May 19 07:47

POLICE ARE COPYING AND PASTING BODY PARTS IN FACE RECOGNITION SEARCHES

The NYPD is sometimes photoshopping random facial features onto suspect photos, and then searching those images using face recognition tech. Source: https://www.flawedfacedata.com/

In two reports published this week, Georgetown University Law School’s Center on Privacy and Technology joins the ACLU of Massachusetts in calling for a moratorium on the government’s use of face surveillance technology, citing alarming new findings about law enforcement’s use of the tool nationwide.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is full-frontal "Minority Report", gone haywire.

May 18 12:00

Scott Adams: Buttigieg, Fake News, How to Frame Immigration, Abortion, Climate

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1129748787868700673

Border psychology: Telling people we’ll be sending them back soon
A simple tweet that reduces those swarming our border
President Trump uses psychology to protect our homeland
President Trump has a highly criticized style, BUT…
Future Presidents will be compared to his energy, results
President Trump does counter-narrative things ALL the time
Enemy press and Dems push “racist” narratives about him
President’s actions and priorities counter their narratives
The essential claim for needing immigration reform
If your incentives aren’t correct, immigration is a disaster
GOOD FRAMING: Heartbeat bills, a beating heart equals life
GOOD FRAMING: immigration policies like those in…Canada, Japan
Merit based policies like our friends in Canada and Japan

May 18 09:55

AI-Generated Joe Rogan Voice is a Warning From the Future

By John Vibes

In 2017, a startup called “Lyrebird” made headlines with AI-generated replications of celebrity voices that were extremely convincing.

Tracks posted to SoundCloud featured the voices of Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton making a pitch for the Lyrebird’s new technology. In the video, a Fake President Trump voice says, “They can make us say anything now.”

While the story gathered some attention initially, it quickly disappeared from the news cycle, except for just about one place, The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast...

May 18 08:18

Thought Crimes? Facial Recognition Technology Is Invading The U.S.; San Fran Passes Historic Privacy Bill; Man Arrested In UK For Hiding Face

By Aaron Kesel

You can’t run, you can’t hide; facial recognition technology is advancing at a quickening pace, it’s becoming more widespread and accurate, and we are entering the path of no return.

A report from Georgetown researchers states that agencies in Chicago and Detroit have bought real-time facial recognition systems. Meanwhile, a privacy bill failed to pass in San Francisco. Elsewhere, in the UK an unidentified man was arrested for hiding his face from facial recognition technology and was gifted an insane disorderly behavior fine of £90...

May 17 16:20

Tesla Model 3: Autopilot engaged during fatal crash

A preliminary report into a fatal accident involving a Tesla Model 3 in the US has found Autopilot had been engaged 10 seconds before the crash.

The Tesla was travelling above the speed limit when it crashed into a truck towing a trailer in March 2019.

The roof of the car was sheared off in the accident and the driver was killed.

According to the report, the driver did not appear to have his hands on the wheel and neither he nor the Autopilot took any evasive action.

May 17 11:50

More Chaos: Baltimore City Cryptocurrency Ransomware Attack Paralyzes Real Estate Industry

Last week, we reported the Baltimore City government was paralyzed by cryptocurrency ransomware, which infected computers associated with severs tied to the city's communication network.

A new report from The Baltimore Sun shows the hack has disrupted city servers for the eighth straight day. This time, essential systems required for transacting real estate deals have gone offline, throwing the entire industry across the city into chaos, which means no homes can currently be bought or sold.

May 17 09:10

What You Need to Know About the Latest WhatsApp Vulnerability

By Eva Galperin

If you are one of WhatsApp’s billion-plus users, you may have read that on Monday the company announced that it had found a vulnerability. This vulnerability allowed an attacker to remotely upload malicious code onto a phone by sending packets of data that look like phone calls from a number not in your contacts list. These repeated calls then cause WhatsApp to crash. This is a particularly scary vulnerability because the does not require that the user pick up the phone, click a link, enter their login credentials, or interact in any way...

May 17 08:13

Hacktivist attacks dropped by 95% since 2015

Threat intelligence analysts have long said that hacktivism was dead but new data published by IBM X-Force today confirms the complete collapse of hacktivism scene, with activity levels going down by 95% since 2015.

May 16 11:02

TINY SPIES: THIS INSECT-LIKE FLYING ROBOT IS SMALLER THAN A PENNY

A team of engineers from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles built a four-winged flying robot called Bee+, which weighs just 95 grams and sports a footprint smaller than a penny.

May 16 10:50

Hackers for hire get government stamp of approval

HackerOne announced it is one step closer to achieving coveted approval for operating on federal networks.

The San Francisco-based “hacker-powered security” company said May 15 it had achieved Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) In Process status for Tailored Low impact Software-as-a-Service (Li-SaaS).

A release noted that the “In Process” status signifies the addition of HackerOne’s full suite of solutions into the FedRAMP marketplace. These solutions include bug bounty, vulnerability disclosure and compliance solutions.

The company said it expects to achieve FedRAMP Authorized status, the final stage, by 2020.

May 16 10:48

White House Rolls Out Website To Report Silicon Valley Censorship

The White House has launched a new tool for people to use if they feel they have been unfairly discriminated against over social media.

The Trump Administration is fighting for free speech online.

No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it!

Those who feel they have been wrongly banned, censored or suspended on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter can go to "wh.gov/techbias" where the following mesage will greet them:

"SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear “violations” of user policies.

No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sounds great, but way too little and way to late for people whose sites have already been deplatformed, and demonetized.

How is the government going to handle that, and will we see lawsuits against the companies which did this in the first place, like Google, Twitter, or Facebook?!?

I wouldn't hold my breath, because the data these companies have stored, and shared with Federal government officials, has made them the unofficial 4th arm of governmental activities: surveillance.

May 16 10:08

US Adults Spend Crushing Amount Of Cash Playing Video Games

American adults spend enormous amounts of money playing video games, mostly on smartphones, and at a rapidly increasing pace, according to Reuters.

According to annual research from the Entertainment Software Association, over 164 million US adults play video games - a figure that's 20% more than a year ago and over 85% more than in 2015.

A staggering $43.4 billion spent in 2018 was mostly on content, as opposed to hardware and accessories. Of pay-to-play games, “Call of Duty: Black Ops III”, “Red Dead Redemption II” and “NBA 2K19” took the top spots for most units sold but the list did not include free games such as “Fortnite.”

“Games are striking an important chord with American culture,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, ESA’s acting president and chief executive officer. “That’s what makes it the leading form of entertainment today.”

May 16 09:53

FBI Tells The Governor Of Florida About Election Hacking, But Says He Can't Tell Anyone Else

I thought this was America, but whatever. Secrecy in all things government, despite the (often misheld) presumption that our public servants will be open and honest about issues that affect us.

It's no secret voting systems and databases are not secure. These are problems that date back 15 years, but have shown little improvement since. Election interference is just another tool in the nation-state hacking kit, and the US is far from immune from these attacks.

Federal agencies investigating election interference are at least speaking to officials in states affected by these efforts. But those officials are apparently not allowed to pass on this information to those affected the most: voters.

Gov. Ron DeSantis met with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last Friday to discuss the revelation in Robert Mueller’s report that “at least one” Florida county had its election information accessed by Russian hackers in 2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ad the proof that this actually happened?!?

Of course, absolutely no where to be found.

May 16 06:59

Outrage after Adobe says customers using an older version of Photoshop may be SUED if they continue - even though they paid for the software

Customers who have regularly paid to use Adobe's Photoshop software have been politely threatened with litigation for using older versions.

After discontinuing older versions of the popular photo editing software, Adobe emailed customers regarding its policy towards users who don't abide the company's rules.

'We have recently discontinued certain older versions of Creative Cloud applications and and a result, under the terms of our agreement, you are no longer licensed to use them,' Adobe said in the email.

'Please be aware that should you continue to use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.'

May 16 06:53

Keyloggers Injected in Web Trust Seal Supply Chain Attack

Hackers compromised the script used by Best of the Web to display their trust seal on their customers' websites and to add two key logging scripts designed to sniff keystrokes from visitors.

As Sanguine Security researcher Willem de Groot found out, "The security seal as sold by @bestoftheweb contains even 2 different keystroke loggers. One was added on Apr 24th, the other last week."

After de Groot disclosed his discovery to Best of the Web, the company confirmed that their trust seal script which was hosted on Amazon’s content delivery network (CDN) was indeed hacked.

In addition, the company stated that it took immediate action to fix the issue and all customers impacted by the compromised script were being contacted.

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