COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Oct 13 08:56

GANGING UP ON BEIJING? FIVE EYES INTEL NETWORK NOW LOOKS AT CHINA

The intelligence agencies of the US, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have been cooperating closely on countering China’s “foreign activities” since the start of the year, Reuters reports.

The so-called Five Eyes network is also sharing intelligence with allies such as Germany and Japan, in what has become a multinational coalition against Beijing’s alleged foreign meddling. Washington and its partners have accused China of using foreign investments to pull political strings – an accusation that Beijing denies.

“Consultations with our allies, with like-minded partners, on how to respond to China’s assertive international strategy have been frequent and are gathering momentum,” a US official told Reuters. The unnamed source added that informal discussions on the matter have quickly turned into “detailed consultations on best practices and further opportunities for cooperation.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that NONE of this information is sourced, or attributed.

But please note; demonization of another country, plus sanctions placed on it, are most usually the solid prelude to a shooting war.

Oct 13 07:57

Google Search Competitor Reaches 30 Million Searches Per Day

This is going to be interesting. There is a lot of Google hate out there. Google Search competitor DuckDuckGo has reached 30 million searches per day.

Oct 12 18:03

Will Apple’s latest Watch crash when the clocks go back? Australian fans report gadgets have already started rebooting randomly ahead of the UK and US adopting Daylight Saving Time

Fans on the continent - which adopted summer schedules on Sunday - found that the Series 4 Watch struggles with the switch from Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Reports claim that a glitch in the Watches' Infograph Activity function that controls its fitness monitoring capabilities is behind the malfunction.

It has already caused their Watch to reboot and stall as it tries to process the missing hour.

Oct 12 17:57

Facebook fails to make most popular 50 brands voted for by UK's under 30s after Cambridge Analytica scandal - as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube top list

A survey of 1,000 under-30s conducted by youth creative agency ZAK found that the top brand was Netflix, followed by Amazon and YouTube.

The 50th top brand was Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, which got a measly 0.4 per cent of the vote - but still trumped Facebook, which wasn't even listed.

Oct 12 17:34

Facebook hack victims will not get ID theft protection

Facebook has said it will not provide identity fraud protection for the victims of its latest data breach.

On Friday it revealed 14 million users had highly personal information stolen by hackers.

It included search history, location data and information about relationships, religion and more.

However, unlike other major hacks involving big companies, Facebook said it had no plans to provide protection services for concerned users.

Oct 12 13:42

ALEXA COULD SOON KNOW IF YOU’RE SICK OR DEPRESSED

A new Amazon patent will allow Alexa to detect emotions like “joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, and other emotional states” and sickness in users.

“A current physical and/or emotional condition of the user may facilitate the ability to provide highly targeted audio content, such as audio advertisements or promotions, to the user,” Amazon’s patent says.

Oct 12 13:29

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Etc. are Subversive to American Government

Subversive-Tending to subvert; having a tendency to overthrow and ruin. Public corruption of morals is subversive of public happiness.

Subversion-Entire overthrow; an overthrow of the foundation; utter ruin; as the subversion of a government or state. The subversion of the constitution or laws. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Oct 12 13:07

Facebook says hackers accessed data of 29 million social network users

Facebook has admitted that hackers accessed the data of 29 million users on the social network by using people's friends lists to steal access tokens.

The social network addressed the September attack on Friday, saying in a statement that it is cooperating with the FBI, which is "actively investigating." Facebook added that the bureau has asked it not to discuss who may be behind the attack.

Oct 12 12:15

LEAKED GOOGLE DOCUMENT ADVISES TO “POLICE TONE INSTEAD OF CONTENT” IN THE “SHIFT TOWARDS CENSORSHIP”

Another Google document has found its way into the public domain, this time through Breitbart. The news publication reports that an 85-page briefing entitled “The Good Censor,” advises tech companies to “police tone instead of content” and to not “take sides” when censoring users.

This must be why Activist Post remains censored on YouTube and the wrongful suspension still hasn’t been removed, along with other accounts that were removed, or further why Iran has had 39 YouTube channels deleted. It must be Google’s “new position as ‘moderators in chief.'” (page 70)

The document, which can be read in full at Breitbart, admits in writing that big Silicon Valley companies including Google have shifted toward censoring users, moving away from their original values. Moreover, the mission to “create an unmediated ‘marketplace of ideas'” has become a plan by tech companies to “create well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.” (page 67)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Upon reading that last paragraph, the WRH Bovine Excrement Detectors sucked a valve, shuddered and imploded on the spot.

When we replace this unit (which comes, BTW, at a cost equivalent to that of a platinum-coated Unicorn's horn), the next time it happens, upon reading something thoroughly evil or shady Google has done, I will be morally obliged to to bill them directly for the damage!!

Oct 12 12:14

Global Internet Outage Over Next 48 Hours Could Affect Some Users, According To ICANN

ICANN has scheduled the Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover for today, and it could affect some DNS users all over the world.

By Rolling the KSK, ICANN implies that a new cryptographic public and private key pair will be generated and the private key will be distributed to internet service providers, enterprise network administrators, and Domain Name System (DNS) resolver operators.

KSK Rollover operations began in October 2016 and were scheduled for October 2017. However, ICANN announced that the rollover has been postponed due to the fact that “a significant number of resolvers used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Network Operators are not yet ready for the Key Rollover.”

A draft plan was announced on February 1, 2018, after receiving input from the community; October 11, 2018, was the date put forward to initiate the procedure. According to ICANN, the rollover is necessary to curb the rising number of cyber attacks.

Oct 12 11:50

POLICE FACIAL RECOGNITION BODY CAMS CAN BE EDITED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

Soon nowhere will be safe from Big Brother's prying eyes. Imagine walking down Main St., and seeing officer friendly approaching you. As the officer approaches you, he or she has already scanned your face against a 15 million person database and knows if you have any outstanding tickets, warrants etc.

That is the future of American policing.

Police across America will soon be using Vigilant Solutions (VS), "VideoBadge" body cams to identify everyone they come in contact with. (Click here to find out more.)

A VS "wearable security" video tries to convince people that it is fun to use facial recognition body cams to spy on everyone.

A question everyone should be asking is, why does a private corporation have a 15 million person "gallery" of Americans and how could it be abused?

Putting a corporation in charge of a facial recognition database is only asking for trouble.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How do we prevent police from editing footage to their liking, which holds them harmless and indemnifies them from blame, if they do not like the way a particular situation was resolved?!?

Safeguard provisions need to be in place, and right the heck now, to prevent any tampering of footage by the police because the footage looks really bad for them.

Oct 12 11:20

WALMART HAS AN INCREDIBLY CREEPY CART PATENT TO MONITOR YOUR BIOMETRIC DATA

Walmart has a totally creepy idea to monitor your biometric data, pulse, and location from the sensors on a shopping cart handle, Motherboard reported.

Walmart recently applied for a patent that details biometric shopping handles that can track a customer’s heart rate, palm temperature, grip, and how fast the cart is being pushed.

The patent titled “System And Method For A Biometric Feedback Cart Handle” published August 23rd, details a cart with sensors in it that would then send data to a server. That server would then notify store employees to check on individual customers.

The company has yet to clarify the use-cases of such a patented cart besides creepy privacy-invasive technology. However, it can be assumed that some of these cart features would be for customer safety and anti-theft measures.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just because it is both creepy and scary, is no guarantee that Walmart will not get the patent, and move forward with integrating it into their carts.

Should that implementation happen, color us OUT of Walmart, permanently!!!!

Oct 12 11:16

The Facebook hack is way worse than previously thought

Facebook revealed Friday that the biggest security breach in the company’s history is much worse than first thought.

When Facebook first reported the breach two weeks ago it said that up to 50 millions accounts could have been impacted. On Friday it downgraded that figure to 30 million, but the scale of the information the hackers accessed was much worse than initially reported.

Oct 12 10:01

COPS TOLD ‘DON’T LOOK’ AT NEW IPHONES TO AVOID FACE ID LOCK-OUT

AFTER FIVE FAILED ATTEMPTS WITH THE 'WRONG' FACE, APPLE'S FACE ID SYSTEM WILL FALL BACK TO ASKING A PASSCODE; A TRICKY SITUATION FOR INVESTIGATORS.
As Apple continues to update its iPhones with new security features, law enforcement and other investigators are constantly playing catch-up, trying to find the best way to circumvent the protections or to grab evidence. Last month, Forbes reported the first known instance of a search warrant being used to unlock a suspect’s iPhone X with their own face, leveraging the iPhone X’s Face ID feature.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, THAT has to be a major embarrassment for Apple!!

Oct 12 09:43

LEAKED GOOGLE DOCUMENT ADVISES TO “POLICE TONE INSTEAD OF CONTENT” IN THE “SHIFT TOWARDS CENSORSHIP”

Another Google document has found its way into the public domain, this time through Breitbart. The news publication reports that an 85-page briefing entitled “The Good Censor,” advises tech companies to “police tone instead of content” and to not “take sides” when censoring users.

Oct 12 09:09

Facebook purges hundreds of political pages, some alt-media with millions of followers

In August, the aggressively pro-NATO think tank Atlantic Council announced it was joining Facebook as a "fact-checking" partner. A press statement from the social media platform gushed that the think tank, which boasts such esteemed warmongers as Henry Kissinger and Michael Chertoff on its board, would serve as the "eyes and ears" of Facebook, so the platform could play a "positive role" in ensuring democracy was practiced correctly in the future.

In the recent months, accounts that post anti-establishment political content have noticed a massive drop in engagement on their posts – if they haven't been kicked off the platform altogether. In August, Facebook deleted 652 accounts after cybersecurity firm FireEye claimed they were linked to Iran.

Oct 12 09:06

Facebook shuts down 'spammy' politics pages

Scammers no longer sent messages about disasters or celebrities, it said, but used politics to generate traffic.

Oct 12 08:46

Facebook purges hundreds of political pages, some alt-media with millions of followers

Facebook is again being called out for purging political accounts too far left and right of center, after it removed more than 800 pages just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Some had millions of followers.

Many of the affected pages were supposedly sharing links between groups using fake accounts, which then clicked "Like" on the posts, artificially upping their engagement numbers. This "inauthentic behavior" violates Facebook's anti-spam policies and goes against "what people expect" from Facebook, the company said.

While some of the deleted pages have been known to run content of questionable credibility at times, Facebook did not expressly accuse them of spreading "fake news" – or actually provide a list of names or examples of postings at all. However, under the platform's new policies, simply spreading "news" is frowned upon: it has recently tweaked its algorithm to prevent users' feeds from being dominated by news stories.

Oct 12 08:26

Here's how Microsoft can fix its Windows 10 update issues

Disastrous is the best word to describe Microsoft's release of Windows 10 version 1809. A data deletion bug forced the company to take the unprecedented step of halting the roll-out of its October 2018 feature update.

ZDNet's Ed Bott and Mary Jo Foley offer some proposals that could help Microsoft avoid repeating the missteps which plagued version 1809.

Oct 11 16:43

Pentagon's new next-gen weapons systems are laughably easy to hack

Congress ordered the GAO report in preparation to approve DOD funding of over $1.66 trillion, so the Pentagon could expand its weapons portfolio with new toys in the coming years.

But according to the new report, GAO testers "playing the role of adversary" found a slew of vulnerabilities of all sort of types affecting these new weapons systems.

"Using relatively simple tools and techniques, testers were able to take control of systems and largely operate undetected, due in part to basic issues such as poor password management and unencrypted communications," GAO officials said.

Oct 11 16:35

EFF To Texas AG: Epson Tricked Its Customers With a Dangerous Fake Update

Back in 2016, printing giant HP sent a deceitful, malicious update to millions of OfficeJet and OfficeJet Pro printers that disguised itself as a "security update." Users who trusted HP and applied the update discovered to their chagrin that the update didn't improve their printers' security: rather, the updated printers had acquired the ability to reject cheaper ink, forcing the printer owners to throw away their third-party and refilled ink cartridges and buy new ones.

Now, Epson has followed suit: in late 2016 or early 2017, Epson started sending deceptive updates to many of its printers. Just like HP, Epson disguised these updates as routine software improvements, when really they were poison pills, designed to downgrade printers so they could only work with Epson's expensive ink systems.

Oct 11 12:49

Want Cheaper Insurance Rates? You Can Have It If You Let Companies Track and Manage Your Life

By Nicholas West

One of the most insidious side effects emerging in our modern world of digital tracking and Big Data goes far beyond the loss of privacy — it is the nearly inevitable move toward centralized behavior management and social engineering...

Oct 11 12:48

Facebook removes over 800 accounts, pages for political spam

Facebook says it is removing 559 pages and 251 accounts that “have consistently broken … rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

Oct 11 12:11

Don’t Upgrade to the Latest Operating Systems on Day One

More Updates, More Problems

Microsoft pulled Windows 10’s October 2018 Update because it deleted some people’s personal files, but that’s just the latest and most prominent issue—previous updates caused problems, too. For example, the Anniversary Update broke millions of webcams before a patch was released a month later. The Anniversary Update also caused some PCs to blue screen when a Kindle device was connected.

We’ve seen many smaller reports of hardware-specific problems after installing a major Windows 10 update, too.

Oct 11 11:23

Walmart Has An Incredibly Creepy Cart Patent To Monitor Your Biometric Data

By Aaron Kesel

Walmart has a totally creepy idea to monitor your biometric data, pulse, and location from the sensors on a shopping cart handle, Motherboard reported.

Walmart recently applied for a patent that details biometric shopping handles that can track a customer’s heart rate, palm temperature, grip, and how fast the cart is being pushed...

Oct 11 11:00

Disgruntled Amazon Workers About To Be Replaced By Fleet Of Robots

Amazon, which announced a $15 minimum wage bump for 250,000 employees last week, is developing a fleet of "picking" robots to staff its warehouses, known as fulfillment centers, according to The Information, citing three people with knowledge of the work.

Robot picker designed by Kindred Systems
Warehouse pickers grab items from shelves and put them into bins before they are prepped and shipped. The new robots will be able to visually identify items as they speed down a conveyor belt, then pick them up with a compressed-air vacuum gripper before moving them onto a table or shelf - said an employee who witnessed the robot in action.

That said, our future robot overlords aren't quite ready for prime time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oct 11 10:49

Amazon Atlas: The “Highly Confidential” locations of Amazon’s data centers

Today, 11 October 2018, WikiLeaks publishes a “Highly Confidential” internal document from the cloud computing provider Amazon. The document from late 2015 lists the addresses and some operational details of over one hundred data centers spread across fifteen cities in nine countries. To accompany this document, WikiLeaks also created a map showing where Amazon’s data centers are located.

Oct 11 10:47

Outlook for stability uncertain as Pentagon migrates to the cloud

In March, the Defense Department released a draft solicitation for a program known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). This solicitation provides private-sector firms a preliminary invitation to submit proposals for a new Pentagon initiative in cloud computing. (In April, an updated solicitation was released.) The department plans to spend up to $10 billion in the coming years to establish and maintain JEDI, a project that will involve both infrastructure and platform services and cover an as-yet-undetermined span of the Defense Department’s digital landscape. According to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the contract represents a major technological advancement for the department. “It’s not that the cloud’s really cool,” Shanahan says. “[Cloud computing] creates for you the opportunity to have more security, have better access at data, [and] get at lower costs.”

Oct 11 09:24

?Microsoft open-sources its patent portfolio

By joining the Open Invention Network, Microsoft is offering its entire patent portfolio to all of the open-source patent consortium's members.

Oct 11 09:24

?Microsoft open-sources its patent portfolio

By joining the Open Invention Network, Microsoft is offering its entire patent portfolio to all of the open-source patent consortium's members.

Oct 11 08:09

Google Fights Lawsuits, Builds Censored Chinese Search Engine

Google has been in the spotlight this week as it appeals a 5 billion euro fine for running a monopoly in Europe and works to shut down its social network Google Plus after discovering a massive security vulnerability.

Oct 11 07:59

Defense Intel Chief Worried About Chinese ‘Integration of Human and Machines’

Chinese efforts to teach machines to think — through emerging technologies like neural nets, a form of artificial intelligence — represent phases of a process that concludes with “the next step, the integration of human and machines,” Ashley said. This, he said, could result in “cognitive advances not just in how we think, but [also] think about the stamina of the individual soldier; think about the ethical impacts of those kind of technologies and how they would be applied? And how does a democracy view those type of technologies? How will Russia and China leverage those?”

Oct 11 07:35

Judicial Watch Uncovers More Classified Material on Hillary Clinton’s Unsecure Email System

Judicial Watch announced today that it received 288 pages of newly uncovered emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that were transmitted over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system, three of which contain classified information.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, after the State Department failed to respond to a March 4, 2015, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:

All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.

Oct 11 07:24

More Windows 10 October update woes? HP users report BSOD after Tuesday patch

The cumulative update for the few PCs that moved to Windows 10 version 1809 before Microsoft halted its rollout is causing BSOD errors on some HP machines.

The suspected cause of blue screen of death, BSOD, errors on numerous HP PCs is the update KB4464330 for Windows 10 version 1809, which fixed an error that deleted user profiles, and carried Microsoft's October Patch Tuesday security updates.

Microsoft currently lists no known issues with this build but, as spotted by Windows Latest, several HP users and admins managing HP machines are reporting BSOD problems after installing the update.

Oct 11 07:13

Cryptomining replaces ransomware as 2018's top cybersecurity threat

Cryptomining has taken ransomware's place as the top cybersecurity threat in 2018, according to Webroot's Mid-Year Threat Report Update. Focusing on trends in the first half of 2018, the report discovered cyberattack vectors becoming increasingly advanced and sophisticated, according to the Tuesday press release for the report.

Oct 11 06:59

'Free Speech': Trump Campaign Defends WikiLeaks' Release of Hacked DNC Emails

A lawsuit filed in September by two donors and an ex-employee from the Democratic Party alleged that President Donald Trump’s team had purportedly conspired with Russia to release emails ostensibly stolen from the servers of the Democratic National Committee.

In a motion to dismiss a new lawsuit, the Trump campaign, represented by lawyers from the firm Jones Day, turned to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to state that WikiLeaks couldn’t be held “liable” for publishing Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails because the whistleblowing website served as an “intermediary” for other parties’ information.

“A website that provides a forum where ‘third parties can post information’ is not liable for the third party’s posted information. Since WikiLeaks provided a forum for a third party (the unnamed “Russian actors”) to publish content developed by that third party (the hacked emails), it cannot be held liable for the publication,” the motion read.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The emails were not hacked, they were leaked.

Oct 10 18:14

“Smart” Playgrounds Emerge While Reports Indicate Kids Already Suffer From Too Much Tech

By B.N. Frank

So when communities install and promote “Smart” Playgrounds as a way to get kids to go outside and play, it sounds more like a skit on Saturday Night Live than something that’s actually happening. But it's no joke...

Oct 10 17:52

Leaked Google Document Advises to “Police Tone Instead of Content” in the “Shift Towards Censorship”

By Aaron Kesel

Another Google document has found its way into the public domain, this time through Breitbart. The news publication reports that an 85-page briefing entitled “The Good Censor,” advises tech companies to “police tone instead of content” and to not “take sides” when censoring users.

This must be why Activist Post remains censored on YouTube and the wrongful suspension still hasn’t been removed, along with other accounts that were removed, or further why Iran has had 39 YouTube channels deleted. It must be Google’s “new position as ‘moderators in chief.'” (page 70)

The document, which can be read in full at Breitbart, admits in writing that big Silicon Valley companies including Google have shifted toward censoring users, moving away from their original values. Moreover, the mission to “create an unmediated ‘marketplace of ideas'” has become a plan by tech companies to “create well-ordered spaces for safety and civility.” (page 67)...

Oct 10 14:22

Intel Stands Behind Controversial Tests That Favored Its CPU Over AMD's

It's a basic rule of benchmarking. When you're comparing two competing products, you need to make all the testing conditions -- especially the settings -- as similar as possible. Otherwise, you're just comparing apples to crab apples, which is what may have happened in a recent benchmark report that showed Intel's new Core i9-9900K outperforming AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X in several games.

As part of its Coffee Lake Refresh launch, Intel paid test firm Principled Technologies to benchmark its new processors and compare them to chips in AMD's current lineup (PDF). However, Hardware Unboxed spotted a few test conditions that obviously could skew the results in favor of Intel's processor, including using a less-capable CPU cooler on AMD's chip, overclocking the RAM on Intel's platform only, and disabling half the cores on an AMD Ryzen processor.

Oct 10 14:17

TRANSCRIPT: GOOGLE LIED ABOUT ‘DRAGONFLY’

The transcript, according to The Intercept, was from a July 18 conversation involving Google’s search engine chief, Ben Gomes, regarding the development of a censored search engine for China that would “blacklist phrases” including:

• human rights,

• student protest, and

• Nobel Prize.

Oct 10 13:23

The Man Who Saved VoIP - Naomi Brockwell


In the early days of the internet there was a danger that parts of the internet would be regulated out of existence. One man who fought this, @jeffpulver, shares his insight about how blockchain now faces a similar threat

Oct 10 11:10

Sexist AI: Amazon ditches recruitment tool that turned out to be anti-women

Investigations into the cause of the gender imbalance found that the data which fed the algorithm was based on ten years of resumes sent to the company. The vast majority of which were submitted by men.

The algorithm in turn learned to dismiss female candidates as a negative leading to its sexist scoring system.

Oct 10 10:48

Google Lied About "Dragonfly" China Censorship Project According To Leaked Transcript

The project, code-named Dragonfly, would blacklist phrases like "human rights," "student protest," and "Nobel Prize," and has resulted in at least seven Google employees quitting for ethical reasons. Other employees have circulated a letter recognizing a "code yellow" emergency, suggesting that the Dragonfly initiative violates Google's ethical code, which states that the company will not build or deploy technologies "whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights," according to The Intercept.

The project has also drawn criticism from human rights groups, congressional legislators and Vice President Mike Pence - who called on the search engine giant to "immediately end development of the Dragonfly app that will strengthen the Communist Party’s censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers."

Google, meanwhile, lied in their attempts to downplay the project.

Oct 10 09:49

Report: Pentagon Weapons Systems Are At Risk Of Cyberattacks

Almost all of the Pentagon's newer weapons are vulnerable to cyberattacks. The threat was revealed in a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Tuesday.

The Department of Defense's newest weapons systems went through cybersecurity tests from 2012-2017. Many of the testers, posing as hackers, were able to easily guess DOD login information — some passwords had reportedly never been changed from their factory settings. One team guessed an administrator password in less than 10 seconds.

The GAO found hackers only needed "simple tools and techniques ... to take control of systems and largely operate undetected."

It also found the DOD failed to fix cybersecurity threats that were identified in earlier tests, allowing hackers to exploit them again. A report on one assessment showed only one out of 20 vulnerabilities had been fixed since the last test.

Oct 10 09:48

Homeland In-security? 'Entire generation' of US weapons easily hackable

A report from the US Government Accountability Office paints a grim picture of American military security – or the lack thereof. A host of American weapons can easily be hacked, either due to tech issues or human incompetence.
The GAO report draws on 30 years of Department of Defense data and interviews with dozens of military officials to reveal a broad range of cybersecurity flaws in the world’s most high-tech military apparatus. Security holes were found both in aging systems and systems still under development, suggesting the problem is systemic.

The vulnerabilities are surprisingly low-tech for a country that spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined. Many security flaws involved weak passwords and unencrypted network traffic. Others suggested a poor understanding of network security by military technicians.

DOD likely has an entire generation of systems that were designed and built without adequately considering cybersecurity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That would certainly explain the debacle with the USS Donald Cook.

Oct 10 09:03

Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China

It was Wednesday, July 18, and Gomes was addressing a team of Google employees who were working on a secretive project to develop a censored search engine for China, which would blacklist phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize.”

“You have taken on something extremely important to the company,” Gomes declared, according to a transcript of his comments obtained by The Intercept. “I have to admit it has been a difficult journey. But I do think a very important and worthwhile one. And I wish ourselves the best of luck in actually reaching our destination as soon as possible.”

Gomes joked about the unpredictability of President Donald Trump and groaned about the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, which has slowed down Google’s negotiations with Communist Party officials in Beijing, whose approval Google requires to launch the censored search engine.

Oct 10 09:00

World's largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing

Yet another IoT device vendor has been found to be exposing their products to attackers with basic security lapses.

This time, it's Chinese surveillance camera maker Xiongmai who was named and shamed by researchers with SEC Consult for the poor security in the XMEye P2P Cloud service. Among the problems researchers pointed to were exposed default credentials and unsigned firmware updates that could be delivered via the service.

As a result, SEC Consult warns, the cameras could be compromised to do everything from spy on their owners, to carry out botnet instructions and even to serve as an entry point for larger network intrusions.

Oct 10 08:56

US may have by far the world's biggest military budget but it's not showing in security

If you were worried about the state of US military security systems you might not want to read the latest audit. with such frequency, there was no reason to suspect an attack.

A “red teamer” cracked into a US Department of Defense system and rebooted it, but nobody noticed: the system suffered unexplained crashes. In another case, testers “caused a pop-up message to appear on users’ terminals instructing them to insert two quarters to continue operating.”

That and a thousand other delicious details can be found in a report the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released October 9, “Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities”.

Oct 10 08:48

Opinion: Two Windows 10 feature updates a year is too many

The idea of delivering two full Windows 10 upgrades every year sounds great on paper. In practice, the Windows 10 upgrade cycle has been unnecessarily disruptive, especially to home users who don't have the technical skills to deal with those updates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dear Microblorch. Frankly, I would like to spend far less time updating and patching and more time getting real work done.

Oct 10 08:47

Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

There's still a mystery about why Microsoft let Windows 10 October update ship with the bug, because it was reported by testers of Insider releases in June and August.

Here's the June complaint: “Yesterday morning my dev laptop upgraded to insider preview build 17692. When I logged in, I was surprised to see that C:\Users\me\Documents<\code> contained only "desktop.ini'.”

Sound familiar? It certainly did to the 57 other Insiders who clicked: “I have the same question."

And in August, another user upgraded to “Evaluation Copy Build 17713.rs5_release. 180706-1551” and also lost files – and 167 other users made the same report.

Oct 10 08:10

Google's secret plan to censor the internet: Giant wants tech companies to police what users post, leaked report reveals

The 85-page paper, leaked by a Google employee, claims that cyber harassment, racism and people venting their frustrations are 'eroding' free speech online.

It says that the ability to post anonymously has 'empowered' online commenters to express their views 'recklessly' and 'with abandon'.

Censoring the internet could make comment sections safer and more civil for everyone, the report concludes.

In response to the leak, Google insisted the document was not company policy, though it admitted the research was something being considered by top bosses.

Internet rights advocates said that censoring online debate risks hampering free speech and creating an environment in which the views of some groups are not tolerated by big technology firms.

Oct 09 10:45

Tech workers are downing tools and refusing to work on unethical projects

Tech workers are in demand: companies find it easier to raise cash than to hire engineers; this gives workers enormous bargaining power, and they're using it.

From the Google uprisings over a Pentagon babykiller project and a Chinese surveillance project to the Microsoft uprising over ICE contracts, tech workers are emerging as part of the solution -- while their secretive, shareholder-haunted bosses are more and more the problem.

It's part of a wider movement to formulate an ethical basis for technical work (here's a list of more than 200 university tech ethics syllabi) and a sense among established and new engineers that their work has an all-important ethical dimension.

Oct 09 10:34

Genius Bar caught ripping customer off ON CAMERA by CBC News

Oct 09 10:33

Israeli firm pitched social media manipulation to Trump campaign — report

An Israeli firm under investigation by the FBI was approached by a senior official from Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to use social media manipulation on Trump’s behalf and against his rivals, including by creating thousands of fake online identities, according to a report Monday.

Psy-Group created several secretive proposals for the Trump campaign at the behest of Rick Gates, who has since pleaded guilty and offered to cooperate with the FBI probe into foreign meddling in the US election, The New York Times reported.

Oct 09 10:28

Report: Google to pay Apple $9 billion to remain default search engine on Safari

Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs has estimated (via Business Insider, registration req’d) that Google will pay a whopping $9 billion to remain the default search engine for Apple’s Safari browser. The report also estimated that the number could grow by $3 billion to $12 billion over the next year.

From $1 billion to $9 billion in four years. In 2014, court documents in Oracle’s copyright suit against Google, asserted that “Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014.” Wall Street firms had estimated the number at between $1 to $1.3 billion at the time.

But 2017 third party estimates had put the the figure that Google pays Apple at $3 billion. There’s uncertainty and disagreement about whether it’s a straight fee based on traffic or query volume or whether there’s a revenue share on ad revenue generated by Safari as part of the agreement.

Oct 09 09:05

CHINESE SPY CHIP HOAX

Recently, a story about a special chip “the size of a grain of rice” that China allegedly put in countless electronic items to spy on everyone made the MSM rounds. Perhaps a few dolts in alt media also ran this. I have been thinking of a perfect way to debunk this crap. I have it.

If this spy chip is in your iPhone, then whoever produced the story will have it identified and be able to tell you the part designation and where it is on the circuit board. A part “the size of a grain of rice” is an ENORMOUS part for an iPhone; all parts except for the main processor are smaller than a grain of rice, and a grain of rice is much thicker than any circuit board in an iPhone, so it ought to be pretty easy to find. But you won’t find it because the story is a hoax.

Oct 09 09:03

Apple under fire for allegations of controversial business practices

Oct 09 08:44

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft has taken the unprecedented step of pulling a Windows 10 release a mere four days after its arrival amid a clamour of users complaining about files not being where they had left them.

Windows Insider supremo Dona Sarkar took to Twitter to announce that Windows fans would no longer be able to get their hands on the afflicted build. Redmond said the automatic rollout would also be paused until it works out just what in blue blazes is going on.

Oct 08 19:04

Apple fixes 'chargegate' bug that left iPhone XS users unable to charge when their screen was off

Apple has issued an update to its iOS software to fix a bug that left some users unable to charge their phones.

iPhone users were reporting a bug that means their devices do not charge when plugged in, with the new XS and XS Max handsets among those said to be affected.

Today the firm released a new update, iOS 12.01, to address the issue.

Oct 08 15:12

Schools Pushing For Police-Grade Surveillance Technology To "Protect" Students

By Aaron Kesel

After the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, schools across the U.S. are installing police-grade surveillance “gunshot-detection systems,” metal detectors and even biometric locks requiring facial recognition or a person’s iris, The Atlantic reported.

Hermosa Elementary in Artesia, New Mexico, has installed a network of wireless microphones that can analyze the audio signature of gunfire...

Oct 08 12:11

The Government Is Blacklisting People Based on Predictions of Future Crimes

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project

Imagine: You’ve never been charged with any crime, yet the government blacklists you as a terrorism threat and bans you from flying indefinitely. You’re separated from family members, can’t get to weddings or funerals or religious obligations, and lose jobs because you can’t travel or your employer finds out you’re blacklisted.

You know what the government has done violates your constitutionally protected ability to travel and to be free from false stigma. You have rights — the Constitution guarantees due process. So you ask the government for its reasons and evidence, as well as a live hearing to establish your credibility and innocence. In response, the government says it put you on the No Fly List because it predicts that you might commit a violent terrorism act in the future, but it won’t tell you all the reasons why or give you any evidence or the hearing you seek.

This is the Kafkaesque nightmare...

Oct 08 10:57

Are wireless voting machines vulnerable? Florida, other states say they’re safe enough

Barely a month before midterm elections, voting integrity advocates and electronic voting experts want the federal government to issue an official warning to states that use voting machines with integrated cellular modems that the machines are vulnerable to hacks, potentially interfering with the ballot counting.

Once seen as a useful tool to provide quick election results, voting machines with cellular modems are now subject to fierce debate over how easy it would be to break into them and change the results.

Such machines are certified for use in Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you have not seen the documentary "Hacking Democracy", now, right before our midterms, would be a great time to see what is has to say on fraudulent election results.

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