COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Mar 12 15:21

Researchers Find Critical Backdoor in Swiss Online Voting System

Researchers have found a severe issue in the new Swiss internet voting system that they say would let someone alter votes undetected. They say it should put a halt to Switzerland’s plan to roll out the system in real elections this year.

Mar 12 15:20

Two-Thirds of Android Antivirus Apps Are Total BS

Austrian antivirus-testing lab AV-Comparatives tested 250 antivirus apps in Google Play against 2,000 malware samples. They found that only 80 of the apps could stop even a minimal amount of malware.

"Less than one in 10 of the apps tested defended against all 2,000 malicious apps, while over two-thirds failed to reach a block rate of even 30 percent," the lab said in a press release.

To make sure you're protecting your Android device properly, stick to apps from well-known antivirus companies.

Mar 12 15:12

'Yelp for conservatives' MAGA app leaks users data

In media interviews, Scott Wallace, the app's creator said he built the app after a series of incidents where conservatives were forced to leave or take MAGA gear off to eat at restaurants or enter various businesses across the US.

But according to Baptiste Robert, a French security researcher who goes online under the pseudonym of Elliot Anderson (the name of the main character from the Mr. Robot TV show about hackers), the 63red Safe app is leaking almost all of its data.

Robert says the app's source code contains the credentials of its author, but also a list of API endpoints to which it connects to store or retrieve data.

This backend API doesn't use any form of authentication, Robert said. This means that anyone can look at the app's source code, get the API endpoints, and then extract data from the app's server with no challenge or restriction.

Mar 12 15:09

The UK's Extremely Dumb Plan to Force Porn Sites to Verify Users' Ages May Come Next Month

When it does takes effect, all adult websites operating in the UK (in theory) will be required to direct users to a landing page without any pornographic content. Getting beyond that page will require users to acquire credentials from a recognized age verification provider—the most prominent one of which, AgeID, is owned by MindGeek, which in turn owns a sprawling network of porn sites including PornHub and RedTube. Proposed solutions to age verification have included letting companies search applicants’ social media feeds, verifying ages with text messages, having users provide official documentation like a passport, or even requiring post office employees to give out codes.

...

As Wired noted, this is an awful idea for a number of reasons, including that it gives the age verification services unprecedented power to track users’ tastes in porn, and said database could somehow end up hacked or otherwise compromised.

Mar 12 14:39

Maduro: Two suspected of sabotage on Venezuela's power system detained

Maduro: Two suspected of sabotage on Venezuela's power system detained. Caracas, Mar 12 (UNI) The Venezuelan authorities have detained two people on ... on the country's power system, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. ... They are being questioned," Maduro said

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jim Stone says they were caught with a computer virus.

Mar 12 12:51

Privacy fears as report reveals MILLIONS of online photos are being used to train facial recognition AI without users' consent

Many facial recognition systems are being trained using millions of online photos uploaded by everyday people and, more often than not, the photos are being taken without users' consent, an NBC News investigation has found.

In one worrying case, IBM scraped almost a million photos from unsuspecting users on Flickr to build its facial recognition database.

Mar 12 10:25

POPULATION CONTROL IS THE NEW NAME OF THE GAME: KREMLIN VIES WITH CHINA TO SEE WHO CONTROLS THE INTERNET BETTER

SOURCE: WOLF STREET
BY FRED DUNKLEY, SAFEHAVEN.COM:
In a thinly veiled attempt to gain control of the internet, the Russian State Duma has passed two bills designed to do two things: ostensibly halt the spread of “fake news” and keep people from spreading information that “disrespects” the government. But Russians aren’t having it.
On Sunday, thousands took to the streets across the country to protest the government’s “digital sovereignty bill” that will require all Russian telecoms companies to reroute internet traffic through the state telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor. It means censorship and what protesters are now calling the rise of the “internet iron curtain”.

On March 7, the Russian State Duma—the lower house of parliament—passed the two bills, and now they go up for a second vote later this month. If passed, they will be signed into law by President Putin. In Moscow alone on Sunday, some 15,000 took to the streets, Reuters reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Intelligent people in all countries where this kind of censorship is attempted, will find a way around such strictures; I am sure that some very smart Russians, will certainly find a way to make this happen.

Mar 12 09:40

Venezuela Suffers major Power Outages After Alleged Cyber Attack

An blackout has covered most of Venezuela over the past several days after the country’s main electricity generator, the Guri Dam, failed. The Maduro administration alleges that the failure was due to cyber attacks and pointed the finger at the US government that has called for Maduro’s ouster. Venezuela’s Communications Minister reported that a cyberattack had taken place against the dam’s computerized system forcing its turbines to stop. Venezuela intends to present evidence of the attack to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and to other international bodies. Meanwhile, US-backed “Interim President” Juan Guaido is using the crisis to call for the armed forces to back his efforts in ousting the Maduro government and tweeted, “electricity will return once the usurpation ends.”

Mar 12 09:20

“Lights Out!” Did Trump and His Neocons Recycle Bush-Era Plan to Knock Out Venezuela’s Power Grid?

For nearly four days, much of Venezuela has been without power, bringing the country’s embattled economy to a near standstill. Though power is now returning, the outage saw U.S. officials and politicians blame the Venezuelan government for the crisis while officials in Caracas accused the U.S. of conducting “sabotage” and launching cyberattacks that targeted its civilian power grid as well as of employing saboteurs within Venezuela.

Although many mainstream media outlets have echoed the official U.S. government response, some journalists have strayed from the pack. One notable example is Kalev Leetaru, who wrote at Forbes that “the United States remotely interfering with its [Venezuela’s] power grid is actually quite realistic.”

Mar 12 08:40

Windows 10 tip: When you should (and shouldn't) pause updates

If you're too busy to deal with the latest Windows 10 update right now, just hit Pause to delay Windows Update for up to five weeks. This option even cancels pending updates, leaving you free to keep working without fear of interruption.

Mar 12 08:34

VENEZUELA BLACKOUT: CYBER ATTACKS, SABOTAGE AND MIGHTY CUBAN INTELLIGENCE

During the past few days, Venezuela was suffering a major blackout that left the country in darkness. The crisis started on March 7 with a failure at the Guri hydroelectric power plant, which produces 80% of the country’s power. Additionally, an explosion was reported at Sidor Substation in Bolivar state.

Since then, the government has been struggling to solve the crisis with varying success.

President Nicholas Maduro says that the blackout is the reason of “the electric war announced and directed by American imperialism.” According to Maduro, electrical systems were targeted by cyberattacks and “infiltrators”. He added that authorities managed to restore power to “many parts” of the country on March 8, but the restored systems were knocked down after the country’s grid was once again attacked. He noted that “one of the sources of generation that was working perfectly” had been sabotaged and accused “infiltrators of attacking the electric company from the inside.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh? And just who do massive economic sanctions hurt, Mike?

Mar 12 08:18

Jigsaw Chrome Extension Tunes Out Internet Toxicity

What if you could turn a dial and tune out an abusive tweet in your Twitter mentions or an insulting comment on Facebook?

Today, Google's sister company Jigsaw released an experimental Chrome browser extension called Tune, which lets users control how much "toxicity" they want to see in comments across the internet. Tune is built on Perspective, Jigsaw's API that trains machine learning (ML) models to identify and score comments that could be perceived as abusive or harassment.

At launch, the browser extension works across social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and comment platform Disqus. It acts as a knob that lets users set the "volume" of conversations. Turn it up to see everything, or turn it down all the way to "zen mode" to replace toxic comments with small colored dots.

Mar 11 12:55

Trump Regime Electricity War in Venezuela More Serious than First Believed

On Thursday, Venezuela’s Guri dam hydroelectric power plant was cyberattacked at 5:00 PM during the late afternoon rush hour to cause maximum disruption.

Up to 80% of the country was affected, damage done more severe than initially thought. Weeks or months of planning likely preceded what happened – US behind it? considerable expertise needed to pull it off.

On Friday, another cyberattack occurred, followed by a third one on Saturday, affecting parts of the country where power was restored, further complicating resolution of the problem, Maduro saying:

After power was restored to about 70% of the country, “we received another attack, of a cybernetic nature, at midday…that disturbed the reconnection process and knocked out everything that had been achieved until noon,” adding:

“(O)ne of the sources of generation that was working perfectly” was sabotaged again…infiltrators…attacking the electric company from the inside.”

Mar 11 12:54

US Is Pushing Venezuela to the Brink by Attacking Its Power Grid

The Hybrid War on Venezuela just took a dark turn – literally – after the US used cyber weapons and insider sabotage to attack the country’s power grid last week, cutting off most of its electricity and creating a chain reaction of negative consequences all throughout the Bolivarian Republic. According to unverified reports cited in one of RT’s recent articles on the topic, the Guri hydroelectric power plant – which provides 80% of the country’s power – failed (possibly due to a cyberattack), which was followed by an explosion at the Sidor Substation that was sustaining most of the country’s power in the aftermath of the aforementioned.

Mar 11 10:56

Thousands of Russians protest against internet restrictions

Lawmakers last month backed tighter internet controls contained in legislation they say is necessary to prevent foreign meddling in Russia’s affairs. But some Russian media likened it to an online “iron curtain” and critics say it can be used to stifle dissent.

People gathered in a cordoned off Prospekt Sakharova street in Moscow, made speeches on a stage and chanted slogans such as “hands off the internet” and “no to isolation, stop breaking the Russian internet”.

The rally gathered around 15,300 people, according to White Counter, an NGO that counts participants at rallies. Moscow police put the numbers at 6,500.

“If we do nothing it will get worse. The authorities will keep following their own way and the point of no return will be passed”, said 28-year-old protester Dmitry, who declined to give his full name.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, we need more of that sort of thing here to deal with the censorship being imposed on our internet!

Mar 11 10:46

Smart alarms left 3 million cars vulnerable to hackers who could turn off motors

Ring the alarm.

Two popular smart alarm systems for cars had major security flaws that allowed potential hackers to track the vehicles, unlock their doors and, in some cases, cut off the engine.

The vulnerabilities could be exploited with two simple steps, security researchers from Pen Test Partners, who discovered the flaw, said Friday.

The problems were found in alarm systems made by Viper and Pandora Car Alarm System, two of the largest smart car alarm makers in the world. The two brands have as many as 3 million customers between them and make high-end devices that can cost thousands. Like other smart devices, smart car alarms offer people convenience, allowing owners to find their cars from a distance and unlock their doors from their phones.

Mar 11 10:43

Internet Collapses in Venezuela with 80% Offline; Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud Blocked

In the midst of a second nationwide power outage in Venezuela, the vast majority of the country is engulfed in a massive internet outage. The first electrical blackout, which swept across the nation on Thursday, left Venezuela with only two percent connectivity amid the ongoing presidential crisis. Most of the country has been offline since Thursday with limited or no connectivity being reported across large swaths of the South American nation. The NetBlocks Group, a private internet watchdog organization based in the UK, reported on Saturday that 96 percent of the country was offline:

Mar 11 08:21

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS IS RFID CHIPPING THEIR SODA CUPS TO LIMIT REFILLS

A room at a Universal Studios Florida hotel tonight will cost you $197-$536 (plus admission tickets to the park), but make sure that you do all your soda drinking in one compact session, because Universal has deployed the creepily named Validfill RFID system, which limits your self-service (that is, you do the labor) soda refills to two hours after purchase, and after the time window expires, "you are denied soda by a robot voice."

Mar 11 06:57

Ransomware Attack on Jackson County Gets Cybercriminals $400,000

A ransomware attack hit the computers of Jackson County, Georgia, reducing government activity to a crawl until officials decided to pay cybercriminals $400,000 in exchange for the file decryption key.

The attack affected computer systems in all departments of the County, including those for email and emergency services. However, radio communication and phones remained fully functional, so people could still call 911.

Mar 10 10:19

YOUTUBE TERMINATES MIDDLE EAST OBSERVER AFTER ALMOST 10 YEARS ONLINE

After almost 10 years online, over 250 videos, almost 13,000 subscribers, and about 8 million total video views, YouTube has terminated the Middle East Observer (MEO) channel on its platform.

Mar 10 10:18

THE RISE OF TOTALITARIAN TECHNOLOGY

Is technological progress bad for human autonomy? That’s the question posed by Shoshana Zuboff in “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” a book that recounts the ways in which corporations and governments are using technology to influence our behavior. Zuboff is just the latest to chime in on “totalitarian technology” (or “total tech”), a term that describes devices and algorithms by which individuals forfeit their privacy and autonomy for the benefit of either themselves or some third party.

Mar 10 09:44

NSA in 'deliberate process' over future of surveillance program, says spy chief

The National Security Agency is preparing to potentially abandon a controversial surveillance program exposed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the agency’s director indicated.

Paul Nakasone, head of both the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, vaguely discussed the future of the government’s once-secretive system for obtaining and analyzing domestic telephone records, or metadata, in light of a senior congressional aide recently claiming that it was quietly suspended.

“We are in a deliberative process right now,” Mr. Nakasone said Wednesday at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, attendees reported. “We’ll work very, very closely with the administration and Congress to make recommendations on what authority should be reauthorized.”

Mar 09 10:53

Photos: New devices leading the foldable smartphone revolution

If early indications are anything to go on, 2019 is going to be the year a new form factor finally enters the smartphone market: Foldable smartphones. These types of devices have been rumored for quite some time, and now we're finally seeing their entry en masse into the market.

A couple of big players--Samsung and Huawei--plan to release folding screen devices later in 2019, but they aren't alone. Several of the devices in this gallery are coming in 2019 and 2020, and several others are rumored to be on the way--one foldable phone is already available.

Mar 09 09:37

The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data

Uncle Sam wants you.

Correction: Big Brother wants you.

To be technically accurate, Big Brother—aided and abetted by his corporate partners in crime—wants your data.

That’s what we have been reduced to in the eyes of the government and Corporate America: data bits and economic units to be bought, bartered and sold to the highest bidder.

Those highest bidders include America’s political class and the politicians aspiring to get elected or re-elected. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “If you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on the payroll of campaigns.”

Your phones, televisions and digital devices are selling you out to politicians who want your vote.

Mar 09 05:27

Zuckerberg suppresses my viral article “Ilhan Omar’s Tropes Are True”

My Ilhan Omar article (at Unz) had hundreds of FB likes yesterday—then they suddenly disappeared. One Zuck dislike wipes out a million likes. Looks like I got Zucked!

Now why would a guy like Zuckerberg want to cover up Jewish-Zionist wealth and power?

So please, “like” this story on Facebook! Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. Facebook has banned VT urls. Try posting one and see what happens!

To hell with Facebook>>>

(*!)

Mar 07 19:03

Inside China's mass surveillance system: Chat log leak of over 360 MILLION records reveals 'shocking' amount of personal data government collects from citizens

A leak of around 364 million online records in a Chinese database, including private messages and ID numbers, has again highlighted the size and scope of Beijing's mass surveillance system.

The files show a wealth of information linked to online accounts, including GPS locations, file transfers, and chat logs, according to the database discovered by Victor Gevers, a security researcher at Dutch non-profit GDI Foundation.

The data collection appears indiscriminate -- some conversations are simply banter between teenagers, like one commenting on someone's weight and clothing size.

Mar 07 18:38

Valve finally bans controversial Rape Day game from Steam citing 'unknown costs and risks,' after worldwide outrage - despite its 'allow everything' content policy

The zombie apocalypse game, which was not yet for sale but slated to arrive in April, is touted as a story of 'violence, sexual assault, necrophilia and incest’ and would allow players to ‘verbally harass, kill people, and rape women.’

While players weren't able to buy it yet, they could add it to their wishlist as of February 19.

After news of its disturbing content sparked massive public outcry over the last few weeks, with gamers and non-gamers alike demanding for it to be taken down, Valve now says Rape Day will not be available on Steam.

Mar 07 18:37

Facebook is tracking people who don't even have an ACCOUNT: These Android apps automatically send private information without your knowledge

Data from several Android apps automatically sends data to Facebook - even if the user does not have an account with the social media giant.

Apps such as Yelp, Indeed and Duolingo automatically send user information to the company when an Android user opens the app.

This flaw was first pointed out by Privacy International in December when an investigation found 23 popular apps all did the same thing.

Most firms, including Spotify, Skyscanner and Kayak, have since corrected the issue but a handful have yet to rectify the privacy concern, the report claims.

It is also believed the apps for Apple iOS devices also 'exhibit similar behaviour'.

Mar 07 18:32

Facebook cracks down on anti-vaxxers: Firm says pages spreading misinformation about vaccines will no longer show up in recommendations (but it WON'T remove them entirely)

Facebook says it will no longer show anti-vaccination groups or pages in its recommended content as the site faces mounting pressure to curb misinformation.

But, it won’t remove anti-vaxxers altogether.

In a blog post today, the firm said it is instead working to ‘tackle vaccine misinformation’ by giving it less of an audience and promoting more accurate information.

"More accurate information" = corporate propaganda

Mar 07 15:36

TRACKING JOURNALISTS THROUGH A SECRET DATABASE

The President has little appreciation for liberty or the dangers of a growing police state. And those working under him understand this and act accordingly.

He is as bad as most other presidents. The only difference being that there is a group of about 30% of the population, MAGA people, who don't understand this and believe he is going to protect them from the expanding state.

Wow. Big scoop by @nbcsandiego: The Trump administration created a "secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports." https://t.co/n1l4uDt300

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Really?!? I would actually want to see the list, before I jump on board here.

Now, can @nbcsandiego provide the list they assert is actually real?!?

I have to have proof, not just an assertion.

Mar 07 12:40

Violent New Video Game 'Rape Day' Slammed For Glorifying Sexual Assault (PHOTOS)

A disturbing new video game called “Rape Day,” which was supposed to be available for purchase on the online gaming platform Steam in April, will no longer be available on the website after it came under widespread condemnation from many users.

The game was created by "Desk Plant" and is described on Steam's website as a "visual novel where you control the choices of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse. You can verbally harass, kill people and rape women as you choose to progress the story."

Mar 07 12:26

An Ancient Japanese Shrine Debuts a Buddhist Robot 

Kyoto, Japan’s ancient former capital, is home to temples, shrines, and imperial gardens. As the birthplace of Japanese tradition, the city attracts some 53 million tourists every year.

Recently, the famed 400-year old Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto unveiled a modern makeover. The world’s first sutra-chanting android deity, modelled after Kannon the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, was introduced to the public last week. Kannon is worshiped by thousands of temples in Japan as a deity who helps people in distress; now the country’s fascination with robotics has made its way into that worship.

Kodaiji Temple Administrator Tensho Goto wanted to spread the word of Buddhism to a younger generation losing touch with the tradition. He enlisted the help of pioneer Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, head of intelligent robotics at Osaka University, who has made a name for himself in robotic research on the world stage.

Mar 07 11:13

12,449 Data Breaches Confirmed in 2018, a 424% Increase Over the Previous Year

The number of confirmed data breaches during 2018 reached 12,449, a 424% increase when compared with 2017, 47% of all compromised identity records having been exposed in breaches experienced by organizations from the United States and China.

Mar 07 11:11

Windows 10 KB4482887 Cumulative Update Causing Major Stuttering in Games

The February KB4482887 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1809 is causing major graphics performance issues in multiple games, from FPS drops and mouse input lag to severe stuttering and lag spikes according to numerous user reports.

Mar 07 10:10

WHY THE U.S. IS TERRIFIED THAT HUAWEI CONTROLS THE WORLD'S 5G NETWORK

With 29 billion connected devices by 2022, one security expert claims, “Whoever gets to dominate 5G infrastructure will become the owner of the next generation of the world’s telecoms infrastructure.” That company is Huawei. ? TN Editor
US lobbying against Chinese firm Huawei, one of the biggest phone makers and telecommunications kit providers in the world, hit a new level this week during the phone industry’s big annual conference.

Around 100,000 technology vendors, carriers, and device makers head to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona every year both to strike deals and to showcase emerging technologies. This year, the conversation was dominated almost exclusively by 5G, as carriers look to introduce next-generation, superfast mobile networks.

The conference was heavily sponsored by Huawei, as the firm made its big pitch about its 5G capabilities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem here is not China's emerging grasp of this technology; the problem is that the US has fallen way behind, in its grasp of the importance of this technology.

Mar 07 09:51

Every WiFi router can now be hacked with “Krack” attack … No passwords are safe

Since this is a “fundamental flaw” in the system itself, no amount of password changing can protect you. Fortunately, this type of hacking can only be done by somebody within close range of the router itself, which means that routers in private homes are less vulnerable. Using public networks at coffee shops and restaurants makes you far more vulnerable to attack. If you must use a public network check for the little gold padlock that shows the network is secure.

Certain websites, like banking and online shopping sites, use more secure technology, and can be identified by the little padlock that appears within the address bar.

Tech companies like Google and Apple have either already released updates to address the issue, or have promised to do so. Although such updates will make your network far more secure, techies are also encouraging internet users to “patch” – or update – their routers.

Mar 07 07:44

NSA-Cyber Command Chief Recommends No Split Until 2020

The commander of the nation’s top military cybersecurity organizations, the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, has recommended they split from each other next year, Defense One has confirmed. That’s another delay for an organizational change first planned for in 2016 and since slowed to allow officials time to sort out the authorities for the civilian agency and military command and ensure that both entities can perform well independently.

Mar 07 07:27

Trump Looks To Nationalize 5G

Trump apparently wants to control 5G in a ‘state-run’ socialist twist to American capitalism - and now there are indications that it could become part of the 2020 election campaign.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign team renewed its controversial pitch on nationalizing the country’s 5G network. In other words, the government would have control of 5G airwaves and lease access to private wireless providers.

Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump 2020 campaign spokeswoman, told Politico that a wholesale 5G market would drive down costs and provide access to millions of Americans who are currently underserved.

“This is in line with President Trump’s agenda to benefit all Americans, regardless of geography," McEnany said. Trump's 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, has been also pushing for a plan that would involve a nationwide 5G network.

Mar 06 16:49

Ransomware Pretends to Be Proton Security Team Securing Data From Hackers

A recent variant of the GarrantyDecrypt ransomware has been found that pretends to be from the security team for Proton Technologies, the company behind ProtonMail and ProtonVPN.

This ransomware family was found by ransomware researcher Michael Gillespie in October 2018 and while it has never achieved a large-scale distribution like other ransomware, it has seen a steady trickle of victims since it has been released.

Mar 06 14:19

‘We are not bots!’ In Berlin, Thousands Protest Proposed EU Regulation on Internet Upload Filters

By Filip Stojanovski

An estimated 5,000 people gathered in Berlin on March 2 to protest a proposed EU copyright rule that could radically shift the dynamics of posting and sharing content online.

Among other provisions, Article 13 of the draft EU Copyright Directive would require internet platforms like YouTube to install “upload filters” — a technical mechanism that would block users from uploading copyright-protected content, effectively imposing a system of “prior censorship” on major internet and social media platforms...

Mar 06 13:44

Triton is the world’s most murderous malware, and it’s spreading

The rogue code can disable safety systems designed to prevent catastrophic industrial accidents. It was discovered in the Middle East, but the hackers behind it are now targeting companies in North America and other parts of the world, too.

Mar 06 13:39

iPhone sales are falling, and Apple’s app fees might be next

“As iPhone sales slip, Apple has been positioning its booming digital-services business as its new profit engine,” Michael Liedtke writes for The Associated Press. “But there could be a snag in that plan.”

“A brewing backlash against the rich commissions Apple earns from all purchases and subscriptions made via iPhone apps could undercut the app store, which generates about a third of the company’s services revenue,” Liedtke writes. “Late last year, Netflix rebelled against Apple’s fees, which can range from 15 percent to 30 percent. Analysts fear other companies may follow. And attorneys representing consumers in a pending Supreme Court case charge that Apple is an unfair monopolist in the market for iPhone apps. An adverse decision in that case could open a legal door that might eventually force Apple to cut its generous commissions.”

Mar 06 13:32

U.S. users are leaving Facebook by the millions, Edison Research says

All the bad press about Facebook might be catching up to the company. New numbers from Edison Research show an an estimated 15 million fewer users in the United States compared to 2017. The biggest drop is in the very desirable 12- to 34-year-old group. Marketplace Tech got a first look at Edison's latest social media research. It revealed almost 80 percent of people in the U.S. are posting, tweeting or snapping, but fewer are going to Facebook.

Mar 06 12:16

Scientists Want You To Get A Brain Chip To Make You Smarter; And Intelligence Agencies Absolutely Won't Abuse This Technology Implanted In Humans

By Aaron Kesel

The next big evolutionary Orwellian technology is coming. Soon you will be able to implant yourself with a brain chip to be super smart, CBS Chicago reported.

Elon Musk has previously criticized humans at a conference in Dubai. He expressed that artificial intelligence would surpass human beings and that we would be irrelevant if we didn’t merge with machines. Musk plans to do this with his "Neuralink" product that can make anyone superhuman by connecting their brain to a computer chip...

Mar 06 08:36

New Google Chrome Zero-Day Vulnerability Found Actively Exploited in the Wild

You must update your Google Chrome immediately to the latest version of the web browsing application.

Security researcher Clement Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group discovered and reported a high severity vulnerability in Chrome late last month that could allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code and take full control of the computers.

The vulnerability, assigned as CVE-2019-5786, affects the web browsing software for all major operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux.

Without revealing technical details of the vulnerability, the Chrome security team only says the issue is a use-after-free vulnerability in the FileReader component of the Chrome browser, which leads to remote code execution attacks.

What's more worrisome? Google warned that this zero-day RCE vulnerability is actively being exploited in the wild by attackers to target Chrome users.

Mar 06 08:19

Huawei’s Plan to File Lawsuit Against US Government ‘Very Valid’

This week, Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, filed a lawsuit in Canada, claiming her constitutional rights were violated during her arrest, while the company itself intends to file a lawsuit against the US administration over its law banning US federal agencies from purchasing Huawei products.

Jude Woodward, the author of the new book "The US vs China: Asia's new Cold War?" told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear Wednesday that Huawei's reported plans to sue the US government over its ban on Huawei products is valid, given the lack of evidence provided by the US government over its claims that the Chinese company spies on US technology.

Mar 06 08:08

How Would People React To A Social Media Tax? Look At Uganda

The East African nation with a population of 43 million has become the latest country to attempt to gag the voice of its citizens after imposing a social media tax intended to ‘‘curb gossip.’’ The Ugandan government has introduced a tax of 200 Uganda shilling (5.4 cents) a day to use social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others.

And, perhaps to the delight of the Ugandan government, millions of its citizens are quitting these networks.

Mar 05 22:41

Mystery as Quadriga crypto-cash goes missing

Efforts to recover millions in crypto-cash from the digital wallets of a man who died without revealing passwords to access them have hit a snag.

The wallets have been found to be empty.

The discovery was made by a firm appointed to oversee QuadrigaCX after the death of founder Gerald Cotten.

It expected to find the wallets full of C$180m ($137m; £105m) in crypto-cash deposited by the coin exchange's customers.

Mr Cotten, who died in India in December, had sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins passing through the site.

Mar 05 22:40

Why 'ji32k7au4a83' Is a Remarkably Common Password

Have I Been Pwned is an aggregator that was started by security expert Troy Hunt to help people find out if their email or personal data has shown up in any prominent data breaches. One service it offers is a password search that allows you to check if your password has shown up in any data breaches that are on the radar of the security community. In this case, “ji32k7au4a83" has been seen by HIBP in 141 breaches.

Several of Ou’s followers quickly figured out the solution to his riddle. The password is coming from the Zhuyin Fuhao system for transliterating Mandarin. The reason it’s showing up fairly often in a data breach repository is because “ji32k7au4a83" translates to English as “my password.”

Mar 05 11:55

MIT's creepy 'Cheetah' robot can now do backflips

If a robot that can run, jump and climb isn't your thing, maybe one that can do backflips is.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently unveiled a new video of its Mini Cheetah robot, demonstrating that the four-legged android is now capable of doing backflips.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BUT.... can it clean, iron, and fold clothing!?!?! -- Claire

Mar 05 11:40

Wi-Fi in Schools: Experimenting with the Next Generation

When it comes to accessing this ocean of information, we have two basic choices: wired or Wi-Fi. The vast majority of schools have embraced the wireless revolution. It’s easy to see why. Compared to wired internet, wireless is simpler, cheaper, and faster for schools to install.

Today, students are trading notebooks and textbooks for laptops, cellphones, iPads, and all manner of “smart” devices connected to a potent wireless infrastructure that lets them be used virtually anywhere on school grounds.

But that wireless web comes with a devastating downside. Doctors and scientists say that the students and teachers who attend these schools are risking their health.

Mar 05 11:28

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on working with Silicon Valley tech giants on creating algorithms to censor opinion they don't like.

Mar 05 11:22

Controversial NSA phone data collection program shut down, aide says

The National Security Agency has quietly discontinued a controversial program put in place after the September 11 terrorist attacks that collected and analyzed millions of Americans' domestic calls and texts, according to a senior Republican congressional aide.

The NSA hasn't used the system in months, and the Trump administration might not seek to renew its legal authority, Luke Murray, the national security advisor for House minority leader Kevin McCarty (R-Calif.), said in a podcast Saturday.

Under a controversial national security policy put in place by the Patriot Act in 2001, the NSA had been collecting large amounts of metadata, the digital information that accompanies electronic communications. That information included what phone numbers were on the call, when the call was placed and how long it lasted, which was then saved in a database.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My guess; they couldn't get usable intelligence out of that mess.

Mar 05 09:15

All Intel chips open to new Spoiler non-Spectre attack: Don't expect a quick fix

Researchers have discovered a new flaw affecting all Intel chips due to the way they carry out speculative execution for CPU performance gains.

Like the Spectre and Meltdown attacks revealed in January 2018, Spoiler also abuses speculative execution in Intel chips to leak secrets.

However, it targets a different area of the processor called the Memory Order Buffer, which is used to manage memory operations and is tightly coupled with the cache.

Researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, and the University of Lübeck in north Germany detail the attack in a new paper, 'Spoiler: Speculative load hazards boost Rowhammer and cache attacks'. The paper was released this month and spotted by The Register.

Mar 05 02:17

Smart Phones, Smart Appliances…Smart People? Brain Chip Will Create Super-Intelligent Humans

What if you could have a chip installed in your brain that would increase your intelligence? Would you be interested?

While this kind of brain-computer interface technology might sound like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel, scientists are working hard to develop it, and it will likely be available in the near future.

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “smart person.”

Mar 04 19:17

Facebook Doubles Down On Misusing Your Phone Number

By Gennie Gebhart

When we publicly demanded that Facebook stop messing with users’ phone numbers last week, we weren’t expecting the social network to double down quite like this: By default, anyone can use the phone number that a user provides for two-factor authentication (2FA) to find that user’s profile. For people who need 2FA to protect their account and stay safe, Facebook is forcing them into unnecessarily choosing between security and privacy.

While settings are available to choose whether “everyone,” “friends of friends,” or “friends” can use your phone number this way, there is no way to opt out completely...

Mar 04 16:36

Hackers have started attacks on Cisco RV110, RV130, and RV215 routers

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2019-1663, was of note when it came out on February 27 because it received a severity score from the Cisco team of 9.8 out of a maximum of 10.

It received such a high rating because the bug is trivial to exploit and does not require advanced coding skills and complicated attack routines; it bypasses authentication procedures altogether; and routers can be attacked remotely, over the internet, without attackers needing to be physically present on the same local network as the vulnerable device.

Affected models include the Cisco RV110, RV130, and RV215, all of which are WiFi routers deployed in small businesses and residential homes.

Mar 04 16:33

Surprise! Facebook Low-Balled The Percentage Of Teens It Paid To Install Spyware

In January, when news first broke that Facebook had been paying teens in gift cards to let it install what is, by definition, essentially spyware on their phones, it seemed like just another Tuesday. Had it been virtually any other company, the outrage would have been tenfold.

After all, paying 13-year-olds to gain access to their mobile app usage and browser traffic is, on its face, an unconscionably creepy way for a business to gather intelligence about its competitors. But this shameless undertaking is now precisely the kind of dissolute conduct we’ve come to expect from the occupants 1 Hacker Way.

Facebook’s moral turpitude aside, it’s now come to light that the company also initially underreported the percentage of teens that it had paid to become lab rats, while falsely stating that parental consent forms were required.

Mar 04 16:20

German Data Privacy Commissioner Says Article 13 Inevitably Leads to Filters, Which Inevitably Lead to Internet "Oligopoly"

The Directive will be voted on at the end of this month, and its Article 13 requires that online communities, platforms, and services prevent their users from committing copyright infringement, rather than ensuring that infringing materials are speedily removed.

In a new official statement on the Directive (English translation), Kelber warns that Article 13 will inevitably lead to the use of automated filters, because there is no imaginable way for the organisations that run online services to examine everything their users post and determine whether each message, photo, video, or audio clip is a copyright violation.

Kelber goes on to warn that this will exacerbate the already dire problem of market concentration in the tech sector, and expose Europeans to particular risk of online surveillance and manipulation.

Mar 04 15:54

Facebook is slammed for 'unconscionable' security risks after it's revealed profiles are searchable by phone number - including the one meant to protect your account

A tweet posted this weekend by Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge revealed a worrying method for looking up specific profiles that most users are unaware of: the phone number you provided for two-factor authentication.

Facebook allows people to search for profiles using phone numbers linked to a particular account, even if you’ve chosen to hide this information from the public. Profiles can also be searched by phone number in the Messenger app.

But, it was not previously clear that this also includes numbers provided to the site only for security reasons.

The shocking revelation comes months after Facebook admitted it was using these phone numbers for targeted ads.

Mar 04 11:56

Sorry, Russia-Gaters: WikiLeaks Got the DNC Emails From Insider, Not Russia

Thinking back, President Barack Obama dropped a huge hint two days before he left office, using his last press conference to point out that the “conclusions of the intelligence community” regarding how WikiLeaks received the DNC emails were “inconclusive.” The nerve! Daring to say that just 13 days after the U.S. intelligence Gang of Four briefed Obama up and down on their evidence-free “assessment” that WikiLeaks got the DNC emails via a Russian hack.

This was one time Obama summoned the courage to face down James (the-Russians-are-almost-genetically-driven-to-deceive) Clapper and other intelligence chiefs. After all, Obama is a lawyer. He “does evidence.” In contrast, ex-CIA Director John Brennan, told Congress that he does not “do evidence.”

Mar 04 11:26

EU SCARED: Attempts to Move ACTA 2 Vote Before Protest Date — See Protest Map To Save Your Internet

By Aaron Kesel

Protests all over Europe have been planned by Anonymous and Pirate Parties International (PPI) for March 23rd, to fight against copyright companies and EU bureaucrats seeking to destroy the internet with their proposed upload filter and link tax, (Article 11 and Article 13.) Meanwhile, the Bureaucrats are trying to push the vote before there is wide scale outrage for their proposals for the Internet.

The first wave of street protests in at least 20 different cities in 15 countries took place on January 19, 2019, all across Europe.

Now, Anons, Pirates and activists alike are planning more massive demonstrations across Europe to show members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that public consensus is against the proposed articles. The Articles 11,12 and 13, were finalized for voting at the end of March...

Mar 04 10:08

As Trump and Kim Met, North Korean Hackers Hit Over 100 Targets in U.S. and Ally Nations

North Korean hackers who have targeted American and European businesses for 18 months kept up their attacks last week even as President Trump was meeting with North Korea’s leader in Hanoi.

The attacks, which include efforts to hack into banks, utilities and oil and gas companies, began in 2017, according to researchers at the cybersecurity company McAfee, a time when tensions between North Korea and the United States were flaring. But even though both sides have toned down their fiery threats and begun nuclear disarmament talks, the attacks persist.

Mar 04 09:59

The secret tricks Apple store staff use to push certain products

It all started with an insult.

An Apple store customer in Australia complained that a store employee had "questioned my intelligence" by insisting he use Apple Pay for a transaction.

Also: Apple was right, people love expensive iPhones

That customer was fed up with the pushiness and walked out.

I, however, wanted to help him. I wanted to see if this behavior was widespread. So I walked into a couple of Apple stores to learn whether its salespeople really are incentivized to push certain products or services.

None would admit to any sort of commission payments.

I did, though, receive word from former Apple store employees who said, in essence, that these salespeople may not appreciate everything that's really going on.

Mar 03 12:37

THE REAL REASON WHY GLOBALISTS ARE SO OBSESSED WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

It is nearly impossible to traverse web news or popular media today without being assaulted by vast amounts of propaganda on Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is perhaps the fad to end all fads as it supposedly encompasses almost every aspect of human existence, from economics and security to philosophy and art. According to mainstream claims, AI can do almost everything and do it better than any human being. And, the things AI can't do, it WILL be able to do eventually.

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