COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 14 04:07

Cheney warns US against Middle East pullout as even Washington Post digs up proof his War on Terror was ‘UNWINNABLE’

Ultra-hawk former vice president Dick Cheney has reprised his role as head cheerleader for the never-ending war he kicked off nearly 20 years ago. But has the prodigious conflict dragged on too long even for the war-happy MSM?

Cheney warned a rapt Dubai audience that “American disengagement” from the Middle East would play right into the hands of Iran and Russia, serving up “power voids” on a silver platter to any US rival willing to take the initiative. “Russia is always on standby to fill power voids,” he insisted on Monday, framing the Trump administration's move to wind down its military presence in northeastern Syria as a national embarrassment sure to set the stage for a resurgence of the Evil Empire coupled with a nuclear Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Can this war criminal, with a name so vile it can barely be spoken in the homes of decent people, not possibly, please, shut up, and go home?!?

Continuing to lie to the world, about what "has been accomplished" in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, only makes the excrement of those lies flow higher and deeper, until, sir it has taken over the entirety of the ventilation system with a vengeance, and starts squirting it, gleefully, back out over those designer clothing you love to wear.

The cold, hard, and butt-ugly fact of the matter, sir, is that history will not treat you, or President Bush, or your and his minions, with much kindness.

History's mirror will see you, and the people who surrounded you professionally, precisely for what you are; soulless monsters, hell-bent on war, to drive the military industrial complex's revenues to incredibly high profits, in the process of destroying those countries, the natural resources of which, you and your team coveted greatly.

Dec 14 02:59

Wikileaks Document Shows John Podesta’s Emails Were Hacked in 2016 By the Ukraine, Not Russia – Creepy Podesta Brothers and Hillary Connected to Largest Russian Bank

Evidence shows that the Podesta emails were hacked by someone in the Ukraine, not Russia. This could be because the creepy Podesta Brothers represented and lobbied for Russia’s largest bank.

An email has been uncovered that was part of the Podesta email dump that was released by WikiLeaks shortly before the 2016 election.

The email shows that John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chairman, was hacked by someone in the Ukraine — according to the location stamp.

Interesting that this is the case with the Ukraine now so much in the news. This effort to obtain Podesta’s emails by someone in the Ukraine may be because the creepy Podesta brothers were representing and lobbying for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank.

Hillary was closely tied to the Russians through this bank:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me thoroughly unsurprised at these revelations.

Dec 13 16:34

Attackers Terrify Homeowners After Hacking Ring Devices

In a series of hacks targeting Ring camera devices, attackers are terrifying homeowners and making them feel violated in their own homes after taunting them or speaking to their children over the device's speakers.

On December 12th, numerous media outlets reported that homeowner's Ring devices were being hacked and used to talk to people in their homes while they are making dinner, having breakfast, or playing in their rooms.

In one attack, the hacker has a creepy conversation with an eight-year-old girl while she in her room by herself and tells her to break her tv or "mess up your room".

In another hack, a person talks to a young boy and asks him what video games he plays, while the boy casually disconnects the Ring camera.

Dec 13 16:14

General Election 2019: How computers wrote BBC election result stories

For the first time, BBC News published a news story for every constituency that declared election results overnight - all written by a computer.

It was the BBC's biggest test of machine-generated journalism so far.

Each of nearly 700 articles - most in English but 40 of them in Welsh - was checked by a human editor before publication.

The head of the project said the tech was designed to enhance the service provided rather than to replace humans.

Dec 13 11:14

Flaw in Elementor and Beaver Addons Let Anyone Hack WordPress Sites

Attention WordPress users!

Your website could easily get hacked if you are using "Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder," or "Ultimate Addons for Elementor" and haven't recently updated them to the latest available versions.

Security researchers have discovered a critical yet easy-to-exploit authentication bypass vulnerability in both widely-used premium WordPress plugins that could allow remote attackers to gain administrative access to sites without requiring any password.

What's more worrisome is that opportunistic attackers have already started exploiting this vulnerability in the wild within 2 days of its discovery in order to compromise vulnerable WordPress websites and install a malicious backdoor for later access.

Dec 12 15:56

Ring and Nest security cameras are being targeted by hacking group who harass homeowners and broadcast the abuse on podcast - including chilling 'I'm Santa Claus' threat to eight-year-old girl

A string of hacks on Ring and Nest security cameras are being linked back to a podcast that broadcasts the intrusions for laughs.

According to a report from Motherboard, a podcast dubbed NulledCast, has been involved in a number of hacks on the Amazon-owned Ring security cameras in which hackers commandeer the device's microphone to harass victims on the other side.

Just this week, a mother from Mississippi released a video of the team behind NulledCast talking to her eight-year-old daughter through a Ring security camera in her bedroom.

The group is also linked to an incident in Florida, in which one of the hosts who calls himself 'Chance,' hacked into a device to blare loud noises and berate a family with racial slurs, Vice reports.

Dec 12 15:52

Facebook is WATCHING you shop at physical stores to target you with relevant ads thanks to shops sharing your data with the social media giant – but there is a way to escape

Facebook is 'watching' you make purchases in physical store in order to show you relevant ads on its platform.

The social media giant has partnered with numerous retailers to gather customer data, allowing it to find profiles on the site and target them with specific ads.

However, users can opt-out of being severed ads by selecting 'Ads' in Facebook settings and choosing 'Not allowed' under 'ads based on data from partners'.

Dec 12 10:35

Silicon Valley Is Listening to Your Most Intimate Moments

The recordings she and her co-workers were listening to were often intense, awkward, or intensely awkward. Lonely sounding people confessing intimate secrets and fears: a boy expressing a desire to rape; men hitting on Alexa like a crude version of Joaquin Phoenix in Her. And as the transcription program grew along with Alexa’s popularity, so did the private information revealed in the recordings. Other contractors recall hearing kids share their home address and phone number, a man trying to order sex toys, a dinner party guest wondering aloud whether Amazon was snooping on them at that very instant. “There’s no frickin’ way they knew they were being listened to,” Slatis says. “These people didn’t agree to this.” She quit in 2016.

Dec 12 09:47

Santa hacker speaks to girl via smart camera

Video showing a hacker talking to a young girl in her bedroom via her family's Ring camera has been shared on social media amid warnings people need to secure the devices better.

The hacker tells the young girl: "It's Santa. It's your best friend."

Technology website Motherboard reported online forums used by hackers were offering software making it easier to break into such devices.

Ring owner Amazon said the incident was not related to a security breach.

Dec 12 08:56

Microsoft details the most clever phishing techniques it saw in 2019

Earlier this month, Microsoft released a report on this year's malware and cyber-security trends. Among the few trends highlighted in the report was that phishing was one of the few attack vectors that saw a rise in activity over the past two years.

Microsoft said that phishing attempts grew from under 0.2% in January 2018 to around 0.6% in October 2019, where 0.6% represented the percentage of phishing emails detected out of the total volume of emails the company analyzed.

While phishing attacks increased, the number of ransomware, crypto-mining, and other malware infections went down, the company said at the time.

Dec 11 22:57

MX Linux

MX Linux is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS communities, using the best tools and talents from each distro. It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint.

Dec 11 22:23

Windows 10 warning: Microsoft says new threat leaves 44 million at risk – are YOU affected

Microsoft has confirmed that 44 million account details have been leaked. If your details were published online, you will need to change any other accounts that use the same email address and password combination – since hackers will be able to login to any with the same details.

That could leaves users’ social media accounts, email address, or worse yet, bank details vulnerable to cybercriminals.

The vast leak was unearthed by Microsoft’s threat research team. They carried out a routine scan of all Microsoft accounts between January and March – these details were then compared with a database of more than three billion sets of leaked login credentials. Out of the three billion or more, Microsoft got 44 million matches. It’s unclear how these email address and passwords were stolen and published online.

Dec 11 22:18

China orders all American computers to be trashed as China-US trade war deepens

CHINA has ordered all its government offices and public institutions to remove American computers amid trade negotiations between the two countries failing to progress.

The aim of the move is reportedly to increase China’s reliance on home-made technologies. But this is likely to hit US companies such as HP, Dell and Microsoft hard. Analysts at Jefferies say that US technology companies generate as much as $150bn a year in revenues from China.

Dec 11 16:42

BBC iPlayer stops working on some Samsung TVs

A software glitch is preventing the BBC's iPlayer streaming service from running on many of Samsung's smart TVs.

Affected owners are being advised to download a software update.

But the patch does not work on some older models, which will have to wait until next year to get a separate fix.

The BBC has said that it expects thousands, but not tens of thousands, of screens to be unable to use its catch-up service over Christmas as a consequence.

Dec 11 15:17

Amazon Ring’s Data Maps Surveillance Network; Jeff Bezos Embraces Fascism with Amazon Military Support

By Aaron Kesel

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”? Benito Mussolini

Jeff Bezos has embraced fascism, criticizing Silicon Valley for employees of companies like Google who don’t wish to work with the military. Bezos made the comments during a Department Of Defense contractor meetup on Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Defense One reported.

“One of the things that’s happening inside of technology companies is there are groups of employees who, for example, think technology companies should not work with the Department of Defense,” Jeff Bezos said Saturday at the Reagan National Defense Forum. “People are entitled to their opinions, but it is the job of a senior leadership team to say no,” he said.

“My view is, if big tech is going to turn their back on the Department of Defense, this country is in trouble,” he said. “That just can’t happen.”...

Dec 11 11:46

CBS demands that YouTube censor “conspiracy theories” – but who defines them?

One man’s conspiracy theory is another man’s truth – so why not let individuals decide for themselves rather than controlling what they’re allowed to watch?

Dec 11 06:34

A $100.00 3D Printer...

I want one of these. It is inexpensive so I can buy one and not break the bank. The most interesting part of this is that this 3D printer is a new way of printing 3D, it is an innovation of a recent innovation. It makes you wonder about what other innovations in 3D printing will soon be coming our way.

Dec 10 18:27

Disney's Decision Not To Renew SecuROM License Bricks 'Tron: Evolution'

Show of hands: who remembers SecuROM? Alright, put your hands down, we can't see each other anyway. So, SecuROM was a really bad DRM used by several publishers to "protect" video games, by which I mean it mostly just annoyed legitimate buyers, got some of those publishers sued, and ultimately made the game unplayable on modern operating systems. The track record is enough to make you wonder why anyone would use DRM at all after this whole debacle.

But... it's still happening. Back in 2010, Disney released the game Tron: Evolution. The game was laced with SecuROM and suffered many of the same problems as previously described. As an example of how you don't really own what you buy anymore, the game simply bricked when Disney decided not to renew its SaaS subscription for SecuROM software.

Dec 10 18:04

As a Facebook moderator I saw the worst of humanity. We need to be valued

Murder, torture, child abuse: each day we see things that keep us awake at night. Yet Mark Zuckerberg calls us ‘overdramatic’

Dec 10 09:20

Android warning: Only Windows 10 is MORE dangerous to use for online banking and shopping

It’s been a devastating few weeks for Android users. There have been warnings over dozens of apps capable of generating money for criminals behind your back using adware, and an app that could reinstall itself whenever users tried to delete the harmful programme from their handset – Android users don't have to install anything to be vulnerable. And then there was StrandHogg – a flaw the allows hackers to create a fake login page pretending to be a legitimate banking app on your handset, siphoning off your bank login details.

Worse still, StrandHogg will still direct users to the legitimate app once they’ve inputted their details. So, from your perceptive, all you’ve done is log into your banking app – unaware that hackers have just been handed over all the details they need to do the same.

Dec 10 09:11

Snatch Ransomware Reboots Windows in Safe Mode to Bypass Antivirus

Cybersecurity researchers have spotted a new variant of the Snatch ransomware that first reboots infected Windows computers into Safe Mode and only then encrypts victims' files to avoid antivirus detection.

Unlike traditional malware, the new Snatch ransomware chooses to run in Safe Mode because in the diagnostic mode Windows operating system starts with a minimal set of drivers and services without loading most of the third-party startup programs, including antivirus software.

Snatch has been active since at least the summer of 2018, but SophosLabs researchers spotted the Safe Mode enhancement to this ransomware strain only in recent cyber attacks against various entities they investigated.

Dec 07 11:02

DHS Walks Back Proposed Facial Recognition Exit Scans For Americans Traveling

By Aaron Kesel

The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) branch has reversed a previous proposed plan to require all U.S. citizens to participate in its facial recognition entry/exit programs after backlash, Nextgov reported.

Earlier this week Reuters reported that the Trump administration intends to propose a regulation next year that would require all travelers – including U.S. citizens – to be photographed when entering or leaving the United States.

Since CBP’s facial recognition program started in September 2018, U.S. citizens and green card holders have technically been exempt from participating, although passengers have to actively opt out...

Dec 07 08:39

The iPhone 11’s U1 chip necessitates constant geolocation checks, Apple says

Earlier this week, security reporter Brian Krebs published a story explaining that Apple's latest iPhones (iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro) periodically check the user's location even if the user disables location services individually for each and every app and service in the iPhone's Settings app.

Further Reading
iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max review: High quality for high prices
While this behavior ended when the user disabled location services system-wide, it was a bit of a head-scratcher. What was the iPhone doing and why? Was it sending this information to Apple? Why couldn't users find information on what was happening? Krebs had notified Apple of the issue as a potential security problem back in mid November, but the company responded this week stating:

Dec 07 06:10

US Navy, Air Force team up on new ‘Manhattan Project’

The U.S. Navy and Air Force are teaming up to rapidly develop a network that can link together Air Force and Navy assets during battle, an effort the Navy’s top officer compared to the 1940s program to develop an atomic bomb.

Adm. Michael Gilday, the new Chief of Naval Operations, told an audience Thursday that in order to take on China, the Navy will have to spread out and rely on networked weapons and sensors distributed over a wide area. But doing that would rely on a network architecture that doesn’t yet exist.

To be the most effective force, the Navy acknowledges it must be able to connect with Air Force bombers and aircraft, leading the two services to an agreement to join forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What stuns me, in reading this report, is that such a system was not up and running years ago.

Dec 07 05:11

DHS WANTED TO ADD US CITIZENS TO THE LONG LIST OF PEOPLE SUBJECTED TO MANDATORY FACE SCANS AT AIRPORTS... BUT HAS BACKED DOWN FOR NOW

We knew the DHS would get to this point eventually. Since the beginning of its biometric scanning program rollout, the DHS has planned on adding US citizens to the list of people forced to trade their faces for air travel privileges. So far, the program has been limited to suspicious foreigners (which is all of them, including those here on visas), but a recent filing -- caught by Zack Whittaker at TechCrunch -- says flying in the United States would soon require adding yourself to the government's facial recognition databases.

Homeland Security wants to expand facial recognition checks for travelers arriving to and departing from the U.S. to also include citizens, which had previously been exempt from the mandatory checks.

In a filing, the department has proposed that all travelers, and not just foreign nationals or visitors, will have to complete a facial recognition check before they are allowed to enter the U.S., but also to leave the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am a little more than stunned at this; I am a Christian pacifist activist, constantly exhorting her government to behave in a moral, responsible manner, and never, ever advocate violence.

And my only tools here are logic, and responsible linking and posting.

So folks, why me?!?

Because logic....doesn't run either US domestic or foreign policy, money does.

And so how does that play out in this country?!?

Let me count the ways...

IF logic were the watchword of this government, every kid coming out of high school would be literate, nummerate, and very capable of critical thinking.

That this does not happen, is done deliberately, in order to create a permanent underclass, for the rest of us to "have to take care of"for the rest of their lives.

Because they are incapable of reason, and are dependent upon government services, they are more easily swayed toward a certain end by government propaganda, and that ... is just where the US government wants them to be.

If logic were the watchword of this government, our money would be backed by something of intrinsic value, which at the moment, it is not, and has not been since Nixon took the US off the gold standard in 1971. Nixon's Colossal Monetary Error; the verdict 40 years later.

If logic were the watchword of this government, there would be no "pay to play" corruption schemes, because the finances of ALL Federal government officials would be put into a blind trust for the duration of their service.

And finally, if logic were the watchword of this government, there would be no more hegemonic wars to attempt to keep the value of US paper money in tact; and there are countries around the world which are leaving the US dollar in droves, toward other "baskets" of currencies, particularly the BRICS nations; Russia and China are becoming "fiscally allergic" to doing any business transactions in the US dollar, and are working diligently to ensure that the divorce from the US dollar is ultimately final, and complete.

Russia's bid to ditch the US dollar is working slowly, but obstacles remain.

Diteching the US dollar emerges as popular 2019 Market Fix Call.

And to all those "alphabet soup agency" personnel tasked/cursed with reading this site, please remember; at best, I am, simply, just a very minor annoyance,and the polar antithesis of a "threat."

Unfortunately, the real "threat" to this country, comes from how those in the Bowels of Power in DC, who choose to use the power of its military to enmesh the world with endless wars, expropriating natural resources to which the US and its corporate money junkies have absolutely no moral right, and slaughtering those people who have the misfortune to live over, or around, those resources.

And I have to wonder; will those in the Federal Government, also have to have their faces scanned at the airport, before they can get on a plane?!?

I would almost be willing to bet, that the short answer to that question, would be, "HELL, no!!""

Dec 06 19:12

Smartphone Class Action Lawsuits Consolidated. FCC Accredited Lab Confirms Models Exceed RF Safety Levels Up to 500%

By B.N. Frank

In August the Chicago Tribune published a report that 11 smartphone models exceeded federal RF safety levels. This led to FeganScott law firm starting a class action lawsuit against Apple and Samsung. Consumers claim they were not adequately warned about radiation exposure risks from these devices. Thanks to FeganScott for providing updates about their progress...

Dec 06 17:10

Fake VPN Site Pushes CryptBot and Vidar Info-Stealing Trojans

A cyberthreat actor has created a web site that promotes a fake VPN program that installs the Vidar and CryptBot password-stealing trojans. These trojans will then attempt to steal saved browser credentials and other information from a victim's computer.

While investigating a different malware infection, BleepingComputer stumbled upon a website promoting a VPN program called 'Inter VPN' that claims to be the "fastest VPN". It then shows an image of the VPN client, which is actually an image of the legitimate VPN Pro software.

Dec 06 09:41

Too Much Screen Time Harms Brain Development

Watching more than two hours of screens a day may harm the structural integrity of white matter in preschoolers' brains, with implications for language and literacy skills. Children under 2 years shouldn't use screens, but even those 2 and over may face lifelong consequences of too much screen time during childhood

You may want to think twice before gifting your child a new tablet or cellphone this holiday season, as increasing research suggests screen time may cause more harm than good.

Dec 06 09:04

FBI recommends that you keep your IoT devices on a separate network

The FBI says owners of IoT (Internet of Things) devices should isolate this equipment on a separate WiFi network, different from the one they're using for their primary devices, such as laptops, desktops, or smartphones.

"Your fridge and your laptop should not be on the same network," the FBI's Portland office said in a weekly tech advice column. "Keep your most private, sensitive data on a separate system from your other IoT devices," it added.

The same advice -- to keep devices on a separate WiFi network or LAN -- has been shared in the past by multiple IT and security experts [1, 2, 3, 4].

Dec 06 09:03

New ransomware attacks target your NAS devices, backup storage

Once deployed on a system, the malware will usually encrypt files or full drives, issue its victim with a ransom note, and demand payment in return for a way to decrypt and restore access to locked content.

There is no guarantee that paying up will result in decryption, but many will do so rather than lose their files -- and in cases where crucial systems have been locked, such as at government bodies or healthcare providers, there is additional pressure to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.

Dec 06 08:46

Keyless technology sparked a sharp rise in theft of luxury cars, new figures reveal

More than 14,000 premium models were stolen between January and October this year, according to an analysis of insurance claims by Direct Line.

That is more than double the amount over the same period in 2015 and means a luxury vehicle is stolen once every 38 minutes on Britain's roads.

Police and insurance firms believe the rise is partly because modern keyless cars provide easy pickings for thieves.

Dec 06 08:20

Can’t Turn Off Siri in iOS or iPadOS? It’s Easier Than You Think

Okay, it’s confession time for some of us. I don’t use or like Siri! For me, Siri is a serious inconvenience. And I know I’m not alone. Siri drives me mad when I accidentally hit my iPhone’s home button just a little too long, and I get that series of annoying Siri questions “What can I help you with, “Go ahead, I’m listening…” and more.

And I’m thinking Siri, just go away! And with every new version of iOS, I just want to turn Siri off.

Dec 05 15:51

Disney+ Now Works in Linux After DRM Tweak

Linux users can now stream shows and movies from the Disney+ streaming service after Disney lowering the level of their DRM requirements.

Dec 05 10:20

Avast and AVG Browser Extensions Spying On Chrome and Firefox Users

If your Firefox or Chrome browser has any of the below-listed four extensions offered by Avast and its subsidiary AVG installed, you should disable or remove them as soon as possible.

  • Avast Online Security
  • AVG Online Security
  • Avast SafePrice
  • AVG SafePrice

    Why? Because these four widely installed browser extensions have been caught collecting a lot more data on its millions of users than they are intended to, including your detailed browsing history.

    Most of you might not even remember downloading and installing these extensions on your web browser, and that's likely because when users install Avast or AVG antivirus on their PCs, the software automatically installs their respective add-ons on the users' browsers.

  • Dec 05 08:27

    HUAWEI PLANS TO SUE THE FCC OVER THE LATEST US BAN

    Chinese manufacturing giant, Huawei, is still at loggerheads with the US government. The company is still enduring the ban from the government but more bans are still coming. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned U.S. telecommunications operators from using government subsidies to purchase Huawei telecommunications equipment or services. This did not go down well with the company. Recent reports claim that the company is planning to file a lawsuit in New Orleans’ Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this Friday.

    Dec 04 16:21

    Librem 5 is a Security and Privacy Focused Smartphone Based on Linux

    Librem 5 Features

  • Runs PureOS or another Linux distribution of choice. This means you can get to use Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora and even Arch Linux on your phone.
  • Privacy protection by default. Your data is secured and not shared by third parties.
  • No tracking. Your phone is completely owned and controlled by you not your Big Brother.
  • World’s first ever IP-native mobile handset
  • End-to-end decentralized communications via Matrix
  • Security focused by design
  • Works with 2G/3G/4G, GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks
  • CPU separate from Baseband
  • Hardware Kill Switches for Camera, Microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth, and Baseband
  • HTML 5 apps
  • Dec 04 16:16

    Purism’s Librem 5 phone starts shipping—a fully open GNU/Linux phone

    Purism, the maker of a line of built-for-Linux laptops, is now shipping a built-for-Linux smartphone. The company announced this week that the Librem 5 smartphone is now shipping to early backers of the crowdsourced, $699 smartphone project.

    The Librem 5 is unlike anything else on the market. Not only is it one of the only smartphones on Earth that doesn't ship with Android, a fork of Android, or iOS—Purism's commitment to 100% open software, with no binary blobs, puts severe restrictions on what hardware it can use. Android's core might be open source, but it was always built for wide adoption above all else, with provisions for manufacturers to include as much proprietary code as they want. Purism's demand that everything be open means most of the major component manufacturers were out of the question.

    Dec 04 16:09

    Facebook quietly rolled out a chatbot just for the holidays to advise employees on how to handle questions from family and friends about the firm's controversies

    Facebook quietly rolled out a chatbot to help employees tackle questions that family and friends may ask about its disastrous reputation over the holidays.

    The tool, called ‘Liam Bot’, navigates employees through tough and uncomfortable questions about Facebook’s many controversies using a series of points.

    The answers are said to have been written by Facebook’s public relationship team and lineup with the executive team’s statements on such things as free speech, election meddling and more.

    Dec 04 16:05

    Get off your phone! Study finds students who use their mobile 'intensely' at university get lower grades and are more likely to FAIL their exams

    Almost 700 students at the University of Ghent had their mobile phone use tracked and compared to their test scores.

    Researchers found that intense phone use well above the norm — around five times in an hour-long lecture — causes a five per cent drop in exam scores compared to someone who shuns their device.

    Anything more significant than using the device to check the time was taken into consideration, including using social media, using the internet or playing games.

    The drop-off in exam scores is also linked with a higher chance of failing.

    Phone-obsessed students were eight per cent more likely to flunk, sporting a 60.6 per cent pass rate, compared to the 68.9 per cent pass rate for those capable of leaving their handset face down.

    Dec 04 16:01

    Is Apple tracking you? iPhone 11 can monitor your location at all times even if you opt out - and the company KNOWS it's happening

    A security researcher found that Apple's latest smartphone periodically seeks the user's location even when all applications and system services are set to never request.

    The Cupertino company, however, is aware the handset collects location data and said it is 'expected behavior'.

    The discovery was made by Brian Krebs of KrebsonSecuirty, a source that conducts in-depth investigations into security issues, who found the issue occurs with the iPhone 11 Pro running on Apple iOS 13.2.3.

    Dec 04 08:26

    KONE TO PUT FACIAL RECOGNITION AND ALEXA LISTENING DEVICES IN ELEVATORS

    The good old days of elevator music being a minor distraction is about change.

    VentureBeat reports that "elevators of the future will have virtual windows, voice-activated controls, music-streaming, and more."

    KONE's DX Class, elevators will give security and the buildings owners, unparalleled access to view what is happening inside their elevators.

    "Yesterday’s announcement concerned new elevators designed from the get-go with connectivity built in, allowing building owners to remotely control, activate, and deactivate specific services from a central dashboard. The setup includes a dynamic display, acoustics, and lighting that can be used to tailor the ambiance and interior."
    KONE's "Monitoring Solutions" page also reveals that security and law enforcement can identify elevator riders in real-time.They even went so far as to trademark their real-time elevator spying program. It's called KONE E-Link:

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    The next time I walk into a building in which I know these devices have been installed, I believe I will take the stairs, thank you very much.

    Dec 04 05:47

    NEW JERSEY BILL WOULD ALLOW CUSTOMERS TO OPT OUT OF SMART METER TECHNOLOGY, UNDERMINE FEDERAL PROGRAM

    SOURCE: TENTH AMENDMENT CENTER

    TRENTON, N.J. (Dec. 3, 2019) – A bill filed in the New Jersey Assembly would allow utility customers in the sate to opt-out of installing “smart meter” technology on homes and businesses. Passage of this bill would enable New Jersey residents to protect their own privacy, and it would take a step toward blocking a federal program in effect.

    A bipartisan coalition of three assemblymembers introduced Assembly Bill 5884 (A5884) on Nov. 14. The legislation would create an option for New Jersey utility customers to opt-out of any utility company smart meter program with no penalty.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Fortunately, Mike and I live in a portion of Indiana, where the retrofit of housing into housing with "smart meters" would offer one heck of a headache to our power countries, in terms of them having to gouge customers for the uptick in costs.

    Many of these utilities are, additionally, publicly owned, so there is going to be a great fuss, if one of the suits running one of these companies, is looking to force-march consumers to do this.

    There are advantages to "living in the place where time forgot...but in a good way>!" :-)

    Dec 03 15:39

    AMD dominates Intel with 82% market share with major German retailer

    Germany's largest retailer sees AMD domination with 82% market share, Intel losing big time

    Dec 03 15:38

    Vulnerability in fully patched Android phones under active attack by bank thieves

    A vulnerability in millions of fully patched Android phones is being actively exploited by malware that's designed to drain the bank accounts of infected users, researchers said on Monday.

    The vulnerability allows malicious apps to masquerade as legitimate apps that targets have already installed and come to trust, researchers from security firm Promon reported in a post. Running under the guise of trusted apps already installed, the malicious apps can then request permissions to carry out sensitive tasks, such as recording audio or video, taking photos, reading text messages or phishing login credentials. Targets who click yes to the request are then compromised.

    Researchers with Lookout, a mobile security provider and a Promon partner, reported last week that they found 36 apps exploiting the spoofing vulnerability.

    Dec 03 15:33

    I Ditched Google for DuckDuckGo. Here's Why You Should Too

    Once you realize most things you search for online are boring and obvious, you realize you don't really need Google in your life.

    Dec 03 15:29

    Rudy Giuliani’s security company gets an “F” for website security

    Mozilla Observatory, an online site-scanning service operated by the nonprofit company behind the Firefox web browser, rates Giuliani Security & Safety’s website an “F” for basic connection security, with a score of 0 out of 100. In a suite of 11 tests, the Giuliani Security & Safety site passes just 3, according to Mozilla.

    Dec 03 15:17

    Ring reportedly outed camera owners to police with a heat map

    Amazon-owned home surveillance company Ring gave law enforcement a heat map that let police see all devices installed in an area, allowing them to view users down to the street level, according to a new report from CNET.

    While the feature was removed in July, law enforcement could reportedly use the function to search for the concentration of cameras in a neighborhood, and even see circles drawn around individual user locations. The documents that revealed the feature were obtained by a privacy researcher and shared with the publication.

    Dec 03 09:39

    Amazon’s “Ring” doorbell now being used to create watchlists of “suspicious” neighbors to be reported to police

    According to reports, the Jeff Bezos empire has formed a partnership with law enforcement that involves Amazon handing over facial recognition data from people’s Ring doorbell systems, which are equipped with tiny cameras and wi-fi systems that relay everything they “see” back to Amazon, which then sends it to local police departments.

    Dec 03 09:29

    Avast and AVG Firefox Extensions Pulled from Mozilla Addons Site

    While these extensions certainly appear useful, security researcher Wladimir Palant reported that these extensions are sending a large amount of tracking data about a user's browsing habits to https://uib.ff.avast.com/v5/urlinfo.

    This data includes the URL visited, page title, the referer, your OS version, a unique user identifier, your country code, whether you previously visited the page, and other information. With the large amount of info being sent, Palant is concerned that the security companies could use this information to reconstruct a user's browsing history.

    Dec 03 04:13

    "Grab Some Red Bull & Code": Israel's Bizarre Appeal For A 'Worldwide Hackathon' To Free Iran

    "This is going to sound insane," Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett introduces during a social media message on Iran published Saturday. He explains that Iran blocked internet access after mass anti-government and economic grievance-driven protests spread to some 100 cities over the past weeks.

    "Most social media sites in Iran are still banned as we speak," he notes, while also describing a typical young Iranian's frustration at being prevented from logging in. He then calls for a all programmers and techies to unite for a “worldwide hackathon” to free the Iranians from their regime-imposed internet ban.

    “So, here is a crazy idea. How about every techie in the world — Israelis, Arabs, Iranians, Americans, Europeans and everyone else unite for one purpose: to help the long-suffering Iranian people gain open access to all social media. A worldwide hackathon for freedom,” Bennet says.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    To Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, a word, please; this not only sounds insane; it is insane.

    What if critical hacks interrupt the work of medical devices in hospitals, and people die from this?!? Because if something like this happens negatively, as a result of these hacks, you have already stated that Israel will be the miscreant Middle-Eastern meddler who brought this about.

    How much misery do you intend to cause the people of Iran, just because you don't like it's leadership?!?!?

    Sir, you have just telegraphed what certain IT people in Israel and beyond may be prepared to do to bring Tehran down; I would like to politely suggest that Iran has some very excellent coders as well, and that such a hack will be ultimately repulsed by some very smart Iranians.

    Dec 03 03:13

    Data on your spending habits could be a gold mine for banks

    NEW YORK - There’s a powerful new player watching what you buy so it can tailor product offerings for you: the bank behind your credit or debit card.

    For years, Google and Facebook have been showing ads based on your online behavior. Retailers from Amazon to Walgreens also regularly suction up your transaction history to steer future spending and hold your loyalty.

    Now banks, too, want to turn data they already have on your spending habits into extra revenue by identifying likely customers for retailers. Banks are increasingly aware that they could be sitting on a gold mine of information that can be used to predict — or sway — where you spend. Historically, such data has been used mostly for fraud protection.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    IF there are no privacy laws on the books, nationally, against this, there should be.

    I know, for example, if I look at a website which features some items I might buy in the future, those ads start appearing in other blogs in a very invasive way, disruptive way, which I dislike intensely.

    Dec 03 00:53

    Russian Defense Ministry denies allegations of air strike on refugee camp in Syria

    According to the Russian top brass, the "evidence" is "fake".

    Rumors about a Russian air raid on a refugee camp in Syria last August have nothing to do with reality, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

    "To the regret of those who had ordered this fake we have to reiterate that the coordinates of targets and reports of the accomplished missions are never radioed verbally and openly," Konashenkov stated.

    He said "absurd accusations by the fake’s authors are based on a video footage of unknown origin showing White Helmets swindlers rushing about in front of the camp’s buildings, images of blue skies where a Russian plane were allegedly seen and fragments of phrases spoken in Russian and attributed to Russian air pilots.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Sorry, but the NY Slimes has slouched into a state of simply spewing the US government's propaganda, toward the end of affecting some outcome the US government wants to see happen.

    In this case, it is demonizing the Russians in Syria; however, if, in fact "...the coordinates of targets and reports of the accomplished missions are never radioed verbally and openly," Konashenkov stated", then what were these shreds of conversation, in Russian" people claimed to have heard, and why?!?

    I would love to have some excellent, independent forensic analysts go over this "information" with a fine tooth comb, to determine what was said, and possibly when it was said; I would be almost willing to bet that what the Russians said happened, actually did happen, and just in the way that they describe.

    Dec 03 00:42

    Lisa Page Is Not A Victim: Her Actions Damaged The FBI And Our Nation

    Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page surfaced on Sunday in a rare interview with the Daily Beast stating emphatically that she committed ‘no crime’ during her participation of bureau’s investigation into President Donald Trump and instead, she portrays herself as a victim of the president.

    Ironically, what comes across in the interview is her desire to shift the narrative from the mountain of evidence that exposed her anti-Trump hate during the bureau’s Russia investigation. Page, along with other former senior Obama officials, are doing everything in their power to shift the narrative before DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report goes public on Dec. 9.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    This is simply the exposure of an effort to take down a sitting President before another election could have him win again, hands down; Carter wanted this to go as nastily for President Trump as it could possibly go, and yet; these little tricks have collectively blown up in the faces of the Clintonistas who tried to make this impeachment happen.

    Have I loved what President Trump has done, so far?!? Anyone who reads my posts on this blog has to know that the short answer to that question is, "HELL, NO!!"

    But attempting impeach the guy for something he never did?!? This is as rotten as it gets folks, period, end of discussion.

    Dec 02 08:39

    Android 'spoofing' bug helps targets bank accounts

    A "major" security weakness in Google's Android software has let cyber-thieves craft apps that can steal banking logins, a security firm has found.

    The bug lets attackers create fake login screens that can be inserted into legitimate apps to harvest data.

    More than 60 financial institutions have been targeted by the technique, a survey of the Play store indicated.

    Google said it had taken action to close the loophole and was keen to find out more about its origins.

    Dec 02 08:29

    Is your TV watching you? FBI warns US citizens that connected televisions can provide hackers a window into their homes — encouraging owners to stick TAPE over their smart TV cameras

    For many people, watching television is a beloved pastime — but could your smart TV be watching you in return?

    As discount smart TVs fly off the shelves in Cyber Monday sales, the FBI has issued a warning that the internet-connected devices can allow hackers access to your home.

    Connected televisions with cameras and microphones can provide an opening for bad actors to spy on you and violate your privacy, they warned.

    Dec 01 09:47

    Film Reveals Never-Before-Seen Information About the Silk Road Case

    By Jamie Redman

    On November 26, a new Silk Road video was published that reveals underreported and never-before-seen information. The film called the Silk Road Case: The Real, Untold Story contains over 400 references to direct evidence from a wide range of sources. The organization Freeross.org published the video on YouTube and called it “the most comprehensive, researched narrative about Silk Road and Ross Ulbricht’s case.”...

    Dec 01 05:31

    RED ICE TV GETS BANNED FROM FACEBOOK

    SOURCE: BIGLEAGUEPOLITICS.COM
    Guardian writer Julia Carrie Wong has finally gotten her wish.

    Through constant pressure and misinformation, Wang and her social media army were able to ban groups like Red Ice TV from Facebook.

    Red Ice TV is one of the most well-known Dissident Right organizations on social media. Their content seeks to expose globalist plots and challenge sacred cows such as mass migration.

    For being such staunch opponents of globalism, they were rewarded with a ban from YouTube last month.

    Wong believes that Facebook “has for years failed to proactively police its site for hate groups and white supremacists, despite a longstanding ban on ‘hate’.” Because of Facebook’s reluctance to fight against hate speech, Wang took it upon herself to call out the so-called “injustice” and pressure Facebook to kick these groups off of their platform.

    On November 26, 2019, Facebook listened to Wong’s demands and finally banned Red Ice TV.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    The best thing to do right now, if you have a blog, which may in any way be construed as "not cleaving to the mainstream narrative", is to move your blog to another venue.

    Truth is the first casualty of war, and nowhere is that being proven more true, than in these "Deplatformimg Wars".

    Dec 01 05:21

    LA COUNTY INTODUCES E-VOTING SYSTEM: NOT HAND-MARKED, NOT PAPER, NOT HAND-COUNTED IN PUBLIC

    Digital systems can never be shown not to have bugs. As Computer Science Elder God Edgers Dijkstra wrote: “Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence!” Many bugs in many important programs persist for years before they are discovered. A list would include Flash in IE6 (persisted 12 years), OpenSSL (15 years), LZO data compression (18 years), and bash (25 years). None of these examples are outlier programs or trivial; they are all used by millions, essential to enterprises, networks, etc. Each of these bug is an insecurity waiting to happen. And that’s before we get to Trojan Horses, which are bugs introduced deliberately by a developer for purposes of their own.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Doing away with electronic voting, and replacing it with hand-counted votes, makes the margin for error quite a bit less possible.

    Remember the 2000 election, and the Florida recount??!? That happened, because of an horrendously flawed voting system.

    Nov 30 18:57

    Study: Artificial Intelligence Could Affect “Virtually Every Occupational Group”

    By B.N. Frank

    Most disruption predicted in San Jose, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Boulder, Detroit, Huntsville, Louisville, and more…

    82% of Americans think Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more harmful than helpful. Reports indicate there are many good reasons for this and it’s not just about massive job loss.

    Proponents insist we’ll all be okay though – we just need UBI (Universal Basic Income). $1000/month might be okay for some, but not everyone could live off that. For those who manage to keep their jobs – they’ll still be more “exposed” to AI. They also may be forced to “merge” with it...

    Nov 30 08:46

    US urging a no vote on a Russian-led UN resolution calling for a global cybercrime treaty

    The U.S. and its Western allies are urging opposition to a Russian-led resolution at the United Nations that they warn is a thinly veiled effort to create global norms that endorse state control of the internet.

    The resolution, to be voted on Monday, would pave the way for a new global treaty on cybercrime. Though the resolution itself is worded innocuously, the U.S., its allies and human rights groups see it as an opportunity for countries such as Russia and China to create a U.N.-approved standard that would permit the blocking of websites deemed critical of government authorities and the use of digital technologies to monitor dissidents.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    How completely hysterically ironic this is, when Facebook and Google are already deplatforming websites the US government doesn't want either the American- or international - public to see!!

    This is simply "No one controls the internet except the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, DAMMIT!!!", writ large.

    Nov 29 05:50

    Here Are More US Tech Giants Propping Up China's Vast Surveillance State

    A bombshell follow-up report to a major document leak which confirmed and detailed China's vast Uyghur Muslim Xinjiang prison network and system for monitoring communications and whereabouts has named names. Names that is, of US tech giants that are actually aiding and abetting China’s multibillion-dollar surveillance industry being used to impose a total electronic police state on the communist country. And it's not just Google and IBM, but a growing list of recognizable names.

    "U.S. companies, including Seagate Technology PLC, Western Digital Corp. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., have nurtured, courted and profited from China’s surveillance industry," the scathing report begins. "Several have been involved since the industry’s infancy."

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    This is disturbing, but in American business practices, and in its "morality" money trumps every other moral issue and consequence.

    Nov 28 05:31

    ISRAELI GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND GLOBAL ARMS EXPORTS IN 2020

    SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
    The Israeli government is aiming to increase the volume of Israel’s defence exports, reported Globes, which has revealed the main points of the plan for the first time.

    The project, being overseen by the Defence Ministry’s International Defence Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) led by Brigadier General (Res.) Yair Kulas, will begin to be rolled out in early 2020.

    According to Globes, the plan is based on “focused seminars for senior commanders in foreign armies”, Israeli military “assistance for promoting sales of Israeli weapons”, and “subsidising small and medium-sized defence companies seeking to sell arms around the world”.

    Speaking this week, Kulas said that SIBAT favours a major expansion of agreements between countries, resulting in significant deals for the large defence companies, especially Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Color me unsurprised at this development; but one has to wonder how Israeli weaponry really stands up to that of China or Russia, at this point?!?

    Nov 28 05:27

    CBS “60 MINUTES” INVESTIGATES MIND-READING MRIS

    BY B.N. FRANK
    The ability to read people’s minds and emotions is now possible thanks to scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.

    But who decides when it is absolutely necessary to read a person’s mind and emotions? Aren’t MRIs supposed to be used only when absolutely necessary?

    From CBS 60 Minutes:

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    One has to wonder; would such technology be a far better tool than is torture, to understand what an alleged "baddie" has been doing, or plans to do?!?

    I would see that as a moral, and reasonable use of such a tool; but what about using it to eavesdrop on peoples' thoughts, when there has been zero consent to do so?!?

    This kind of technology could morph into a "Minority Report"/Repression/Surveillance type of tool, in a heartbeat, and most probably will, in technologically adept societies.

    The next step in this process, will be the rewiring of the human brain; and that ... is a very dangerous undertaking.

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