COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Feb 25 10:40

Cyborgs for God: New Robot in Kyoto Will Offer Buddhist Wisdom in Plain Terms

A humanoid robot modeled after Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, has been tasked with explaining the teachings of Buddha in colloquial language at the Kodaiji Temple in the city of Kyoto, Japan.

On Saturday, Mindar, the robot, gave its first speech on the Heart Sutra, a key scripture in Buddhist teaching that — in part — offers a path to "overcome all fear, destroy all wrong perceptions and realize perfect nirvana," while temple music played in the background, the Japan Times reported.

"If an image of Buddha speaks, teachings of Buddhism will probably be easier to understand," Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the Kodaiji temple said in a news conference about the robot's release. "We want many people to come to see (the robot) to think about the essence of Buddhism."

Feb 25 10:09

Warning issued over attacks on internet infrastructure

Key parts of the internet infrastructure face large-scale attacks that threaten the global system of web traffic, the internet's address keeper warned Friday.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) declared after an emergency meeting "an ongoing and significant risk" to key parts of the infrastructure that affects the domains on which websites reside.

"They are going after the internet infrastructure itself," ICANN chief technology officer David Conrad told AFP.

"There have been targeted attacks in the past, but nothing like this."

The attacks date back as far as 2017 but have sparked growing concerns from security researchers in recent weeks, which prompted the special meeting of ICANN.

The malicious activity targets the Domain Name System or DNS which routes traffic to intended online destinations.

Feb 25 08:03

EXCLUSIVE: EU in talks with Egypt and other states over police data-sharing

European Union officials have begun talks with counterparts in several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Turkey, about proposed data-sharing deals that would allow Europol to exchange personal information about suspects with local law enforcement authorities.

In some circumstances, the deals could allow the transfer of data concerning a person’s race and ethnic origin, their political opinions and religious beliefs, trade-union memberships, genetic data and data concerning their health and sex life.

The deals are being sought by the EU as part of efforts to bolster counter-terrorism policing across the continent despite concerns being raised about the human rights records of the countries by the bloc’s own data protection watchdog.

Since the start of the year, Egypt has executed a number of prisoners convicted in cases in which several said they had been tortured into false confessions.

Feb 24 18:00

THE AI ROAD TO SERFDOM?

Should we trust the conventional economic narrative according to which machines inevitably raise workers' living standards?

Feb 24 12:42

The Decentralized Charity Ecosystem

By Joe Waltman

While crypto wealth tends to evoke images of “bros in Lambos,” those of us who believe in the altruistic potential of cryptocurrency know that the stereotype of the crypto wealthy isn’t accurate. Instead, the increase in the number of crypto charities, charity coins, and foundations?—?alongside the growing infrastructure for accepting and transferring cryptocurrency?—?shows a desire to use crypto as a force for global good...

Feb 24 08:42

Microsoft staff protest over Pentagon contract for augmented reality tech ‘designed to kill people’

Dozens of Microsoft employees have demanded the company pull out of a contract with the US military to provide augmented reality technology, stating that they refuse to be complicit in “warfare and oppression.”

Microsoft workers released a letter on Friday addressed to CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, in which they voiced opposition to the $479 million contract that aims to equip the US Army with up to 100,000 augmented reality headsets to be used in combat and for training. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) will be based on a preexisting Microsoft technology called HoloLens. Released in March 2016, HoloLens is capable of interposing digital images on whatever its wearer sees.

Signed by more than 50 employees, the letter states that the IVAS contract marks the first time that Microsoft has “crossed the line into weapons development.”

Feb 23 21:15

How Facebook harvests your personal data from popular apps: At least a dozen popular apps secretly share 'highly sensitive' data without users' consent

At least 11 popular apps have been sending the data to Facebook, including period-tracking app Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, real estate app Realtor, and Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, a Wall Street Journal investigation found.

The apps collected highly sensitive data, which ranged from things like users' average weight and height to their blood pressure, ovulation cycles and pregnancy status.

In some cases, the 'highly sensitive information' is sent to Facebook mere seconds after it's entered into the app - even if the user doesn't have an account on the social media network, according to the Journal.

Feb 23 12:26

How The Jussie Smollett Hoax Reveals The Scope Of The Surveillance State

Op-Ed by Kevin Samson

As the Jussie Smollett hoax has taken over the media, and the ramifications of such deception are yet to be felt in full, one aspect of the exposure has been largely ignored.

As Activist Post has previously covered, there is a new type of court case that has been slowly but steadily emerging within the American legal system: alleged crimes being detected from data supplied by the interconnected network of government surveillance combined with a range of smart home devices...

Feb 23 11:13

Smartphone Apps Sending "Intensely Personal Information" To Facebook - Whether Or Not You Have An Account

Facebook has been collecting "intensely personal information" from millions of people - whether they have Facebook accounts or not, according to testing performed by the Wall Street Journal.

According to tests of more than 70 apps using software to monitor internet communications, the Journal found that "the apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure," and that "Facebook software collects data from many apps even if no Facebook account is used to log in and if the end user isn’t a Facebook member."

Eleven of the apps tested sent Facebook "potentially sensitive information about how users behaved or actual data they entered."

For example, Flo Health Inc.'s "Period & Ovulation Tracker" - which boasts 25 million active users, was sending Facebook information on when women were having their periods - or indicated their desire to get pregnant, according to the tests.

Feb 23 10:51

Win in Washington State: Judge Strikes Down Unconstitutional “Cyberstalking” Law Chilling Free Speech

By Rebecca Jeschke

Great news out of Washington state: a federal judge has ruled that the First Amendment protects speech on the Internet, even from anonymous speakers, and even if it’s embarrassing.

EFF has been fighting this statute for a long time. It’s a prime example of how sloppy approaches to combating “cyberstalking” can go terribly wrong...

Feb 22 18:29

Facebook, Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Pro-Surveillance Politician Voted Worst Privacy Intruders in Czech Republic

By Filip Stojanovski

What do two Czech state entities, one Silicon Valley giant and one vacuum cleaner have in common? They were all winners in this year’s Big Brother Awards in Czech Republic, an “anti-awards” ceremony designed to shame those who violate people’s rights to privacy and data protection...

Feb 22 11:31

Trump Tweets In Favor of Risky and Harmful 5G and 6G Tech Despite Opposition from Security Experts, Doctors, Elected Officials, Environmentalists, Scientists, etc.

By B.N. Frank

The Telecom Industry can’t even say that 5G technology is safe. Insurance companies don’t even cover them anymore – it’s too risky.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is also being investigated for COLLUSION with the Telecom Industry regarding already passed federal 5G legislation that eliminated municipal control over the installation of risky and harmful 4G and 5G small cell tower and infrastructure technology.

Not only that – embarrassingly awful Internet of Things (IoT) technology is part of the 5G game plan. IoT has been lambasted by security experts for the past few years because of its almost 75% failure rate. Almost 75%!...

Feb 22 10:52

Critical Flaw Uncovered In WordPress That Remained Unpatched for 6 Years

Exclusive — If you have not updated your website to the latest WordPress version 5.0.3, it’s a brilliant idea to upgrade the content management software of your site now. From now, I mean immediately.

Feb 22 10:51

Warning: Critical WinRAR Flaw Affects All Versions Released In Last 19 Years

Cybersecurity researchers at Check Point have disclosed technical details of a critical vulnerability in WinRAR—a popular Windows file compression application with 500 million users worldwide—that affects all versions of the software released in last 19 years.

Feb 22 08:59

‘We must be the leader in everything’: Trump demands 6G cell technology

Ahead of critical trade talks with China, US President Donald Trump is demanding America forge ahead in the tech race by jumping straight to sixth-generation mobile communications. Only problem? It doesn’t exist.

Despite 5G communication technology only recently being rolled out for consumers, Trump’s tweets on Thursday morning demanded that American companies “step up their efforts, or get left behind,” calling for “5G, and even 6G” technology to be developed “as soon as possible.”

Feb 22 07:09

‘Who knows what they have in mind?’ Putin says Russia could be cut off from global internet

“I cannot say for our partners what they have on their mind. I believe such a move would damage them immensely,” Putin said when asked if this scenario was possible.

He argued that this would run counter to America’s own intelligence interests, among other things.

“It’s their invention. They are all there, listening on what you say, amassing intelligence data. If [they cut us off], they won’t be able to do that,” he said.

He added that Russia has no intention of isolating itself online from the rest of the world, but should be ready to be attacked in this unprecedented manner. “This is why we have to develop this area,” he said. “The more sovereignty we have, including in the digital sphere, the better.”

Feb 21 18:12

YouTube Found To Have Child Exploitation Videos — It’s Been A Problem For Years — REMOVES THOUSANDS OF CHANNELS AND DISABLES COMMENTS ON MILLIONS

By Aaron Kesel

YouTube has been caught in the crosshairs of another scandal, this time the platform is being accused by YouTuber Matt Watson of enabling a softcore pedophile ring in plain sight, Tech Crunch reported.

According to Watson’s Reddit post entitled “Youtube is facilitating sexual exploitation of minors”...

Feb 21 17:44

Self-blinded, hyper-biased mainstream media has turned “fact checking” into a mockery of itself

“Fact checking” may have been founded on the premise of spreading truth, but in today’s world, “fact checkers” serve only to spread propaganda. In addition to left-leaning “fact checker” sites, we now have “fact checkers” surveying social media to stamp out dissent and “fact checker” applications for mobile devices and web browsers to label and censor “unapproved” content. -- While “fact checking” was once a valuable asset for discerning truth, it is now nothing more than a tool of oppression. The Left has gone so far to corrupt “fact checking” that the real meaning of “truth” in and of itself may also soon be forgotten.

Feb 21 13:55

Nike's self-lacing Adapt BB shoes aren't playing well with Android phones

How do you know you're living in the future? When your shoes have technical problems. Owners on Google Play and CNET report that Nike's Android companion app for the self-lacing Adapt BB has some teething troubles, most notably a buggy firmware update process. In some cases, the updates have bricked people's shoes -- yes, that's something we just said. You can still wear the shoes and force-restart them, but that's not really something you should worry about with a $350 pair of kicks.

We've asked Nike for comment. The iOS app doesn't appear to have the same problems.

Feb 21 11:18

State-Sponsored Cyberattacks Are On The Rise

Is this another case of “seek and ye shall find” or have U.S. foes actually been increasingly resorting to cyberwars when they feel threatened by the world’s only superpower? For years, Russia has been seen as the leader of politically-instigated cyberwars against the U.S., frequently using them as tools to gain leverage and force the country to the negotiating table.

Well, it’s probably not a coincidence that China and Iran, two nations whose relations with the U.S. have recently taken a turn for the worse, having escalated cyberattacks against the country with China even overtaking Russia as the biggest source of state-sponsored cyberattacks.

Feb 21 11:03

Xinhua's AI anchor broadcasts news in standing position

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow!

Feb 21 09:29

iPhone, iPad, Mac apps merging? Apple SDK will create iOS apps that work on Mac

Apple's incoming software development kit will reported initially let devs publish iPad apps that work on Mac.

Feb 20 14:16

Saudi Tracking App Under Fire By Human Rights Organizations for Putting Women At Risk

By Aaron Kesel

The app, Absher, was created in 2015 by the Saudi government and, more specifically, by the National Information Center within the Saudi Ministry of Interior, but hasn't received much attention until now, according to PC MAG. Some basic background on Saudi Arabia and how the country functions; Saudi men have what's known as guardianship laws, which is a decree stating that every woman must have a male guardian to make critical life decisions on her behalf. The guardian can be a father, brother, husband, or son, according to Human Rights Watch...

Feb 20 11:19

Severe vulnerabilities uncovered in popular password managers

A new study investigating the true security posture of password storage services has uncovered a swathe of vulnerabilities which can lead to the theft of valuable user credentials -- but this does not mean you should abandon your favorite password manager any time soon.

Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) published an assessment on Tuesday which documented the results of tests involving 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass, all of which are popular password managers available today.

Feb 19 18:20

What Good has Bitcoin Done for the World?

By Stefan Kløvning

I used to be relatively passive to Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general. I was long persuaded by Peter Schiff’s argument that Bitcoin was a bubble that would “have a very short life” due to its lack of intrinsic value and speculative nature, and that it therefore does not fulfill Aristotle’s five criteria for good money. As it was a rather new technology, I wasn’t the only skeptic. In the forefront among the crypto-currencies, it thus shocked the world when it hit $20,000 in value in the year-change of ’17/18. What in the world could make it so expensive and popular?...

Feb 19 17:54

Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked

Early last month, the security team at Coinbase noticed something strange going on in Ethereum Classic, one of the cryptocurrencies people can buy and sell using Coinbase’s popular exchange platform. Its blockchain, the history of all its transactions, was under attack.

A hacker had somehow gained control of more than half of the network’s computing power and was using it to rewrite the transaction history. That made it possible to spend the same cryptocurrency more than once—known as “double spends.” The attacker was spotted pulling this off to the tune of $1.1 million. Coinbase claims that no currency was actually stolen from any of its accounts. But a second popular exchange, Gate.io, has admitted it wasn’t so lucky, losing around $200,000 to the attacker (who, strangely, returned half of it days later).

Just a year ago, this nightmare scenario was mostly theoretical.

Feb 19 17:36

Apple's priorities are shifting as iPhone sales continue to sink

As iPhone sales continue to sink, Apple has made several key moves over the last year as it prepares new offerings to juice growth elsewhere in the business.

If you've been listening to CEO Tim Cook's comments on earnings calls and in interviews recently, none of this should come as a surprise. The company has stopped reporting iPhone unit sales figures, and instead talks more about its growing base of active devices, which the company says can be used to squeeze out more revenue through its digital services like Apple Music, App Store sales and extra iCloud storage.

But it's not just about those subscription services. Apple has made several shifts in recent months that signal its preparing to move beyond the iPhone in other ways, such as artificial intelligence, the growing smart home market and digital health monitoring.

Feb 19 13:39

Arizona Trying to Become First in U.S. to Require Citizen DNA

By Jason Erickson

Apparently emboldened by President Trump’s recent signing of the Rapid DNA Act, Arizona could be the first to make DNA collection mandatory for a wide range of reasons under a proposed bill....

Feb 19 12:24

US Schools Are Leaving Students Ill-Equipped to Compete with Artificial Intelligence

By Kerry McDonald

We have long known that the robots were coming, but now that they are here, the mismatch between our modern education system and the technology-fueled workplace is glaringly apparent. As robots expertly perform routine tasks and increasingly assume broader workforce responsibilities, we must ask ourselves an important question: What is our key human differentiator?...

Feb 19 11:42

10,000 French Tobacco Shops Begin Offering Crypto Vouchers

As the Yellow Vests burn traditional bank notes in protest, 10,000 French tobacco shops begin offering cryptocurrency purchases via a new voucher system...

Feb 19 10:45

What A Way To Go? Hackers Can Turn Sex Robots Into Killing Machines, Security Expert Warns

Patterson gave this warning in a string of interviews with various UK publications:

“Hackers can hack into a robot or a robotic device and have full control of the connections, arms, legs, and other attached tools like in some cases knives or welding devices. Often these robots can be upwards of 200 pounds and very strong. Once a robot is hacked, the hacker has full control and can issue instructions to the robot. The last thing you want is for a hacker to have control over one of these robots. Once hacked they could absolutely be used to perform physical actions for an advantageous scenario or to cause damage.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem with this reaf-mongering is that the only part of sex robots that move under computer control are the heads.

Feb 19 10:26

ONCE HAILED AS UNHACKABLE, BLOCKCHAINS ARE NOW GETTING HACKED

Early last month, the security team at Coinbase noticed something strange going on in Ethereum Classic, one of the cryptocurrencies people can buy and sell using Coinbase’s popular exchange platform. Its blockchain, the history of all its transactions, was under attack.

Feb 19 10:26

The Worst Possible Version of the EU Copyright Directive Has Sparked a German Uprising

By Cory Doctorow

Last week’s publication of the final draft of the new EU Copyright Directive baffled and infuriated almost everyone, including the massive entertainment companies that lobbied for it in the first place; the artists’ groups who endorsed it only to have their interests stripped out of the final document; and the millions and millions of Europeans who had publicly called on lawmakers to fix grave deficiencies in the earlier drafts, only to find these deficiencies made even worse. The epicenter of the uprising is Germany, which is only fitting, given that German MEP Axel Voss is almost singlehandedly responsible for poisoning the Directive...

Feb 19 09:26

GE, Boeing, T-Mobile Among Latest Victims Of Chinese IP Theft

This is only the latest in a string of leaks about China’s espionage efforts since 2015. But the constant stream of evidence being leaked to the press, all of which seems to corroborate Robert Lighthizer’s claims that China’s cyber

Feb 19 09:25

Rand Corporation Wants to Bring our Fear of Extremists to Every Community

Rand Corporation’s Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC) no longer uses the term “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) — it has been replaced with “Terrorism Prevention.”

Let that sink in for a moment; a private company with strong ties to DHS and law enforcement is in charge of Terrorism Prevention!

What could possibly go wrong?...

Feb 19 08:43

Future Shock: Over 2030 Dead in Australia Following ‘Robo-Debt’ Notices - Report

At least 2030 recipients of Centrelink's basic human services in Australia died over a two-year period following the initiation of a ‘robo-debt' machine-automation program to address discrepancies in income support payment data.

According to reports, after Canberra placed much of its human services branch into the digital realm, hundreds of thousands of resource recipients — particularly those considered to be psychologically ‘at-risk' — mistakenly received letters between July 2016 and October 2018 demanding new proofs for payment eligibility, resulting in the deaths of over 2030 people, cited by Abc.net.au.

Canberra's Centrelink program supplies income support and many other services including healthcare to pensioners, indigenous Australians, military veterans, students and families with small children, among many other social groups. An estimated 5.1 million people were noted to depend upon one or another of the services, according to the most recent data.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another reason I think moving into AI is premature.

Feb 18 17:26

Why any encryption backdoor would be a threat to online security

By demanding backdoors to encryption, Politicians are not asking us to choose between security and privacy. They are asking us to choose no security.

Feb 18 17:23

Meet the man behind a third of what's on Wikipedia

Steven Pruitt has made nearly 3 million edits on Wikipedia and written 35,000 original articles.

Feb 18 17:16

'I was worried my broadband would be cancelled': If a scammer calls and says your internet is about to be cut off, don't press '1'

Broadband customers are being warned to be on their guard against a new scam designed to panic them by claiming there is a problem with their internet service.

Customers who take the wrong action can be tricked out of serious sums of money.

Feb 18 17:06

Amazon, Apple and Google smart TVs and voice assistants can tell if you're CHEATING on your partner 'by tracking your movements and spying on what you say and how you say it'

Speaking at a science conference in Washington, former government data adviser Professor Ashwin Machanavajjhala warned of the dangers of smart tech in the home, according to the Mirror.

'Smart meters can tell you whether an individual is at home and what appliances are used,' he said.

'Smart light bulbs and WiFi access points can reveal occupancy. Social relationships between building occupants can be inferred by analysing sensor logs.

'Smart TVs and voice assistants can pick up living room chatter, some of which may be shared with third parties.'

Professor Machanavajjhala said he refuses to have a smart speaker in his home for fear of privacy violations and grey areas over who your data is shared with.

Feb 18 11:10

Facebook security app used to 'spy' on competitors

A report by a Commons committee has detailed Facebook's use of an application to "spy" on users.

The cross-party group said that Facebook used its Onavo virtual private network (VPN) app to gather information on competitors.

The MPs claim Facebook "intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws".

Feb 18 10:51

ALL US CITIZENS ORDERED OUT OF HAITI AMIDST MASS UNREST AND CHAOS

Haiti continues to be gripped by civil unrest and mass protests demanding that President Jovenal Moise step down over charges of corruption and and rampant inflation under his watch — yet unlike similar unrest happening hundreds of miles due south of the small Caribbean country in Venezuela, Washington has stood in support of the president. Starting Thursday the US State Department urged all American citizens out of the country and issued a no-not-travel advisory due to "crime and civil unrest".

Feb 18 10:47

DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE DEEP STATE NOW?

The idea of invoking the 25th Amendment was discussed, it seems, at two meetings on May 16, 2017. According to McCabe, top law enforcement officials pondered how they might recruit Vice President Pence and a majority of cabinet members to declare in writing, to the Senate’s president pro tempore and the House speaker, that the president was “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That would be enough, under the 25th Amendment, to install the vice president as acting president, pushing aside Trump.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The fact that the Dementocrats were even thinking about this, indicates, at the highest level of what should be a sense of responsibility, to take care of the people of this country (I mean, that's what national leadership is supposed to be about, right!?!?) ,that these guys wanted to play "Gotcha! politics", big time, by attempting to remove a duly elected President of the United States.

This was not about taking care of citizens of the United States; this was about power, sour grapes, and a huge, election-rejection-filled vendetta with which these sucking scumbags, are still trying to get him fouled on everything he is trying to do, so that he really has nothing positive in his track record when he comes up for re-election in 2020.

But to the folks who "thought it would be a good idea at the time", don't hold your breath for too long; I will make a prediction that some positive elements of his first 4 years in office will remain with him, and with the Democrats in self-immolation right now, are about ready to get laughed off the field, as serious contenders for President in 2020.

That's not to say I approve of everything he has done (his Bromances with the Butcher of Yemen, Crown Prince bin Salman and the Butcher of Gaza, Netanyahu, will not augur well for peace in the region.)

But the concept of the wall, keeping out illegal aliens?!?

Two words here, and they are "HELL, yes!!"

Oh, and BTW: does anyone of the Dementocrats who live in greater LA, understand that it's living with a plague of rats and typhoid right now?!? Flea-borne typhus outbreak, rats taking over Los Angeles city buildings

Feb 18 10:25

FEDS WANT RESEARCHERS TO USE AI AND GPS TRACKERS TO PREDICT “RISKY” BEHAVIOR

The National Institute for Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice, has published an advertisement for a grant seeking proposals for projects that deploy artificial intelligence to reduce recidivism among the five million people under the control of parole and probation across the United States. A few of the example projects NIJ highlights sound similar to interventions some advocates of criminal legal system reforms have been suggesting in recent years, for example using risk assessment tools to predict when someone might need services, instead of to make punitive recommendations. Some of the NIJ’s other areas of interest are downright frightening.

One example project highlights the use of artificial intelligence to mine data from GPS shackles people are often required to wear as a condition of their release from incarceration, and to use those data to make predictions about when someone may be engaged in “potentially risky behavior.”

Feb 18 09:29

DARPA THINKS AI COULD HELP TROOPS TELEPATHICALLY CONTROL MACHINES

The Pentagon’s research office is exploring how artificial intelligence can improve technologies that link troops’ brains and bodies to military systems.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently began recruiting teams to research how AI tools could augment and enhance “next-generation neurotechnology.” Through the program, officials ultimately aim to build AI into neural interfaces, a technology that lets people control, feel and interact with remote machines as though they were a part of their own body.

Impossible as they may sound, neural interfaces have already been used to allow people to control prosthetic limbs, translate thoughts into text, and telepathically fly drones. Through the Intelligent Neural Interfaces program, DARPA will explore how AIcan make these systems more durable, efficient and effective.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder about the not-so-great applications of this technology, and how the moral boundaries should be set, to avoid misuse.

Feb 18 09:13

Youtube is Facilitating the Sexual Exploitation of Children, and it's Being Monetized (2019)

Over the past 48 hours I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube. Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual child pornography in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used Youtube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.

Feb 18 08:21

NZ will assess Huawei equipment risk

New Zealand will independently assess the risk of using China's Huawei Technologies in 5G networks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

Her comments on Monday came after a report suggested that British precautions could be used by other nations.

Huawei, the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with the Chinese government and US-led allegations that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.

No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the allegations, which have led several Western countries to restrict Huawei's access to their markets.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the British government had decided it can mitigate the risks arising from the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks.

Feb 18 08:21

Parliament cyber attack hits major parties

The computer networks of Australia's major political parties were hit by a sophisticated cyber attack by a foreign country that also affected the networks of federal parliament, the prime minister has confirmed.

Scott Morrison says an investigation into a breach of the Australian Parliament House network on February 8 found the networks of Liberal, Labor and the Nationals were also affected.

A "state actor" is believed responsible for the attack, Mr Morrison said.

Feb 18 08:17

Trace - Online Tracking Protection

An extension to stop multiple advanced tracking techniques employed by websites all over the web.

Trace can protect against:

Canvas Fingerprinting (Video)
Audio Fingerprinting (Advanced)
WebGL Fingerprinting (New!)
JS Crypto Currency Mining
WebRTC Leakage
User-Agent Tracking (Advanced)
Hardware Fingerprinting
Browser plugin fingerprinting (Advanced)
Beacon Requests
Bad Top Level Domains
Hyperlink Auditing
HTTP Referrer Headers (Video)
Chrome Header Tracking
E-Tag Tracking
URL Tracking Parameters
Specific Tracking Cookies

Also available for Chrome https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/trace-online-tracking-pro/nj...

Feb 17 16:30

Twitter has been storing your ‘deleted’ DMs for years

Twitter lets users delete direct messages from their own side of the conversation (the recipient will still get to keep a copy, unless they also choose to delete it). But it turns out, those deleted messages aren’t really getting removed at all, according to a report from security researcher Karan Saini, via TechCrunch.

It turns out that despite showing that the message was deleted, Twitter still stores all those DMs dating back years. Folks can access this simply by downloading the archived data on their account from Twitter. Saini confirms that even messages sent to and from deleted or suspended accounts are still accessible.

Feb 17 12:57

The Final Version of the EU's Copyright Directive Is the Worst One Yet

Under the final text, any online community, platform or service that has existed for three or more years, or is making €10,000,001/year or more, is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that infringes copyright, even momentarily. This is impossible, and the closest any service can come to it is spending hundreds of millions of euros to develop automated copyright filters. Those filters will subject all communications of every European to interception and arbitrary censorship if a black-box algorithm decides their text, pictures, sounds or videos are a match for a known copyrighted work. They are a gift to fraudsters and criminals, to say nothing of censors, both government and private.

These filters are unaffordable by all but the largest tech companies, all based in the USA, and the only way Europe's homegrown tech sector can avoid the obligation to deploy them is to stay under ten million euros per year in revenue, and also shut down after three years.

Feb 16 21:44

Let this be a Warning to You!

The cloud-hosted email service, VFEmail, founded 2001, was hacked and the malicious actor formatted EVERYTHING! They have a few parts of their service restored, but for those customers relying on that service, they have likely lost everything. Let this be a lesson to you!

Feb 16 20:26

FTC Negotiating Multi-Billion Dollar Fine For Facebook’s Privacy Scandals; Violating 2011 Accord

By Aaron Kesel

Facebook is being accused by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) of privacy violations and is in the midst of negotiating over a multi-billion dollar fine that would settle the agency’s investigation into the social media giant’s privacy concerns.

Here's a deep dive into the history...

Feb 16 17:36

The EU's new copyright laws threaten to destroy the internet

The EU's new copyright laws will force all websites to check all posts to see if anything ever published might be a copyright violation. That will include photos, videos, words, tweets, memes, source code -- you name it.

Feb 16 17:30

New Astaroth Trojan Variant Exploits Anti-Malware Software to Steal Info

A new Astaroth Trojan campaign targeting Brazil and European countries is currently exploiting the Avast antivirus and security software developed by GAS Tecnologia to steal information and load malicious modules.

According to Cybereason's Nocturnus team which discovered the new Astaroth strain, just like previous installments, the malware uses "legitimate, built-in Windows OS processes to perform malicious activities and deliver a payload without being detected" but it also makes use "of well-known tools and even antivirus software to expand its capabilities."

Feb 16 17:27

18,000 Android Apps Track Users by Violating Advertising ID Policies

18,000 Android apps with tens or hundreds of millions of installs on the Google Play Store have been found to violate Google's Play Store Advertising ID policy guidance by collecting persistent device identifiers such as serial numbers, IMEI, WiFi MAC addresses, SIM card serial numbers, and sending them to mobile advertising related domains alongside ad IDs.

The issue here is that, while some of the companies behind these apps will most probably say that they're not actually using persistent device identifiers for ad targeting, they are still violating the Google Play Store Advertising ID policy guidance.

Feb 16 17:22

Google backtracks on Chrome modifications that would have crippled ad blockers

Google changes stance on upcoming Chrome Manifest V3 changes as benchmark shows they lied about performance hit.

Feb 16 10:27

Chinese company leaves Muslim-tracking facial recognition database exposed online

One of the facial recognition databases that the Chinese government is using to track the Uyghur Muslim population in the Xinjiang region has been left open on the internet for months, a Dutch security researcher told ZDNet.

The database belongs to a Chinese company named SenseNets, which according to its website provides video-based crowd analysis and facial recognition technology.

Yesterday, Victor Gevers, a well-known security researcher that made a name for himself in the past few years by finding leaky MongoDB databases did what he does best and found one of SenseNets' MongoDB databases that had been left exposed online without authentication.

Gevers told ZDNet that the database contained information on 2,565724 users, along with a stream of GPS coordinates that came in at a rapid pace.

Feb 16 10:21

The 'Disappearing Democrat' Scandal - Part 1

Have we had enough of scandals - fake or real - in Washington? On one side, we’ve been hearing for two years about accusations of collusion between Trump and Russia - no proof found. From the other side comes claims that innocent Trump campaign operatives were drawn into an FBI trap to trigger an unfounded investigation - plenty of proof on that one.

But if you think you have a handle on all the scandals pervading the DC swamp, think again. There was another truly shocking turn of events involving Congress that flew mostly under the radar in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign. An unvetted Pakistani national given to blackmail gained access to the computer files of more than 30 Democrats in the House of Representatives, and from there the story reads like a spy novel. Some have called it the biggest scandal in congressional history, notwithstanding the lack of publicity surrounding it.

Feb 16 10:00

Gab Is Creating A Comment Section On Every Website That Could Change The Internet Forever

Gab.com, known as the free speech alternative to Twitter, is creating a browser plugin to add a comment section to every website on the Internet.

Andrew Torba, who founded and runs Gab has shared a number of screenshots showing the plugin in action, commenting on websites with unavailable comment sections, and on websites with harsh moderating standards.

Feb 16 09:44

Why The DNC Was Not Hacked By The Russians

The FBI, CIA and NSA claim that the DNC emails published by WIKILEAKS on July 26, 2016 were obtained via a Russian hack, but more than three years after the alleged “hack” no forensic evidence has been produced to support that claim. In fact, the available forensic evidence contradicts the official account that blames the leak of the DNC emails on a Russian internet “intrusion”. The existing evidence supports an alternative explanation--the files taken from the DNC between 23 and 25May 2016 and were copied onto a file storage device, such as a thumb drive.

Feb 16 09:04

EU Outlaws 'Unfair Business Practices' by Google, Apple in 'First Ever' Deal

The newly introduced EU regulations - banning unfair business practices by app stores, search engines, e-commerce sites and hotel booking websites - are meant to see small start-ups and traditional businesses level with tech giants.

The new deal was announced by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission Main European Union bodies on Thursday. According to the Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, the EU aimed "to outlaw some of the most unfair practices and create a benchmark for transparency."

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, added:

Feb 16 09:02

Enough of the 5G Hype

Wireless carriers are working hard to talk up 5G (Fifth Generation) wireless as the future of broadband. But don’t be fooled—they are only trying to focus our attention on 5G to try to distract us from their willful failure to invest in a proven ultrafast option for many Americans: fiber to the home, or FTTH.

A recent FCC report on competition found that the future of high-speed broadband for most Americans will be a cable monopoly. Without a plan to promote fiber to the home, that’s not likely to change. In fact, because the 5G upgrade relies on fiber infrastructure, even 5G will be possibly limited to areas that already have FTTH – meaning, they already have a competitive landscape and, therefore, better service. The rest of us get monopolistic slow lanes.

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