COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Jan 13 18:08

Greta Thunberg’s father caught making Facebook posts in her name, confirming she’s a puppet being run by her parents

Thanks to a software glitch at Facebook last week during a software update, anyone and everyone who wanted to see exactly who was posting under the accounts of public figures could do so.

As such, roughly 3 million followers of young Greta could have discovered that the posts accredited to her were actually being made by her father, Svantes Thunberg, as well as a climate change activist in India who is a delegate at the UN’s Climate Change organization, Adarsh Prathap.

So much for the teen’s ‘activism’ — though her ‘handlers’ still claim she is the author of the posts.

Jan 13 16:21

Millions of PCs will stop receiving security updates TOMORROW as Microsoft finally stops support for Windows 7

PCs running Windows 7 will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates or security fixes.

The technology giant will use full-screen pop-up notifications on devices running the decade old system to try to convince users to switch to the newer Windows 10.

With a market share of more than 25 per cent, Windows 7 is still the second most used operating system after Windows 10 which has 55 per cent of the market.

Jan 13 16:08

Walmart welcomes the robot takeover by using machines to fulfill grocery orders and adding shelf-scanning devices to more than 650 stores in a bid to take on Amazon

Walmart is embracing a robot takeover in a bid to compete with Amazon.

The Arkansas-based firm is using robots to fulfill grocery orders in one of its Supercenters and is set to add shelf-scanning machines to 650 additional stores by the end of the summer.

The shift is aimed at reducing costs, improving store performance and gaining credibility in its battle against to reign supreme as the king of retail.

Jan 13 16:07

Are YOU protected from SIM-swap attacks? Alarming tests from Princeton reveal five of the largest US carriers are not following authentication protocols

he five largest US carriers are not protecting customers from SIM-swap attacks, according to a new study.

Researchers at Princeton University contacted AT&T, T-Mobile, Tracfone, US Mobile and Verizon Wireless and found they all used ‘insecure authentication challenges that could be easily subverted by attackers’.

Out of 50 SIM swap attempts, 39 of them were successful just by simply by telling representatives they had forgotten the answers to the security questions.

The team noted that they had repeatedly given incorrect answers, but were still permitted to switch to a different SIM in a smartphone.

Jan 13 08:58

Tesla’s 14th Victim . . . So Far

Tesla may have just killed its 14th victim; there are at least 13 confirmed kills so far – as the result of Autopilot. Excluding auto-immolation.

This qualifies Tesla for serial killerhood.

But no FBI investigation – or even a recall.

Instead, an “advisory” from the National Highway Traffic Safety (sic) Administration that drivers of Autopiloted Teslas must always “keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times” – which is right up there with Don’t Squeeze the Charmin.

Jan 12 07:54

CAN THE COPS SECRETLY RECORD YOUR HOME FOR EIGHT MONTHS WITHOUT A WARRANT?

SOURCE: PRIVACY SOS
Yesterday the First Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to hear oral argument on the constitutionality of the warrantless placement of a secret video camera on top of a utility pole after the ACLU’s 2018 victory in the Supreme Court case Carpenter v. United States. Carpenter represents a growing recognition that we have a right to be free from long-term surveillance that catalogs the whole of our physical movements, even in a public place. Yesterday’s oral argument in United States v. Moore-Bush focused on Carpenter’s impact on a person’s expectation of privacy against the placement of a video camera directed at a home for eight months without any judicial oversight.

Jan 11 12:15

Microsoft in trouble after revelation unvetted Chinese contractors listened in on Skype calls with NO security

Microsoft is in damage control after former employee has claimed that contractors in China reviewed audio recordings from Skype calls over the open internet, with zero security measures, no vetting, and one shared password.

Cybersecurity was nonexistent in Microsoft’s audio transcription and rating program, according to a former contractor who spoke to the Guardian on Friday. The company sent contractors a username and password in plaintext, unencrypted email, using the same password for everyone who joined in a given year. They also neglected to vet workers, the ex-contractor said, adding that they merely took his bank account details when he was hired.

Other than the popular VoIP and messaging service, the Cortana voice assistant is also claimed to have been affected.

Jan 11 07:51

DARPA Asks for Help Completing its Flotilla of Drone Warships

By Nicholas West

In April 2016 I reported that DARPA was hard at work on a plan to introduce 132-foot “Sea Hunter” drone warships to the world’s waterways within 5 years. Seemingly behind schedule, DARPA is now releasing some more details about their plans to update the artificial intelligence program for the Navy and Marines, but is soliciting help to complete the project...

Jan 10 09:58

US Government-funded Android phones come preinstalled with unremovable malware

An Android phone subsidized by the US government for low-income users comes preinstalled with malware that can't be removed without making the device cease to work, researchers reported on Thursday.

The UMX U686CL is provided by Virgin Mobile's Assurance Wireless program. Assurance Wireless is an offshoot of the Lifeline Assistance program, a Federal Communications Commissions plan that makes free or government-subsidized phones service available to millions of low-income families. The program is often referred to as the Obama Phone because it expanded in 2008, when President Barack Obama took office. The UMX U686CL runs Android and is available for $35 to qualifying users.

Jan 10 09:55

Tesla's "Black Boxes" Are Only Accessible By The Company (Not NTSB Or NHTSA) After Crashes

Like in airplanes, Teslas are equipped with "black boxes" that log critical information in the seconds and minutes leading up to accidents and crashes. They record details like braking, airbag deployment and other measurements.

While conventional vehicles can have their Black Boxes accessed widely, cars with automated driving technologies can only have their information accessed by the manufacturer. This means that any potential investigation hinges on information that would need to be handed over by the company that's being investigated.

And so Bloomberg's Dana Hull asks a good question: should we be worried that the only people that have access to this information are the manufacturers themselves?

And we'll ask another question: isn't this even more true when, say, that company perhaps doesn't have the best track record for unbridled honesty?

Jan 10 07:37

Connected cars are 'moving targets' for hackers, experts warn at the year's biggest electronics show

Israeli cybersecurity firm GuardKnox demonstrated the threat in a driving simulation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week by remotely taking control of a speeding car's steering wheel so the driver had no command over the direction the vehicle was travelling.

They warned that opportunities for attacks are being revved up by the introduction of self-driving tech, electric cars communicating in real-time with the cloud, smart city infrastructures, and one another - turning the next generation of vehicles into 'moving targets' for hackers.

Jan 10 06:57

Terrifying or nothing to fear? Apple admits to scanning user photos, presumably only to hunt child abuse

Apple has confirmed that it scans user images in an effort to detect evidence of child abuse, but the company has revealed little about how the scans work, piquing concerns about data privacy and the reach of intrusive tech firms.

While it’s unclear when the image scans started, Apple’s chief privacy officer Jane Horvath confirmed at an event in Las Vegas this week that the company is now “utilizing some technologies to help screen for child sexual abuse material.”

Apple initially suggested it might inspect images for abuse material last year – and only this week added a disclaimer to its website acknowledging the practice – but Horvath’s remarks come as the first confirmation the company has gone ahead with the scans.

Jan 09 18:22

Researchers Reveal 11 New 5G Vulnerabilities

By B.N. Frank

Purdue University researchers are the latest to issue security warnings about the rollout of 5G technology including:

"expose your location, downgrade your service to old mobile data networks, run up your wireless bills, or even track when you make calls, text, or browse the web. They also found five additional 5G vulnerabilities that carried over from 3G and 4G. They identified all of those flaws with a new custom tool called 5GReasoner."...

Jan 09 10:14

Critical Firefox 0-Day Under Active Attacks – Update Your Browser Now!

Attention! Are you using Firefox as your web browsing software on your Windows, Linux, or Mac systems?

If yes, you should immediately update your free and open-source Firefox web browser to the latest version available on Mozilla's website.

Why the urgency? Mozilla earlier today released Firefox 72.0.1 and Firefox ESR 68.4.1 versions to patch a critical zero-day vulnerability in its browsing software that an undisclosed group of hackers is actively exploiting in the wild.

Jan 08 10:28

Multiple security flaws discovered in TikTok app exposed its 1.5BILLION users to hackers who could upload and delete videos and steal personal data

Cybersecurity experts at CheckPoint Research discovered two glaring security holes which allowed criminals access to private addresses, emails and date of birth.

Hackers could also upload unauthorised videos, delete users' videos and switch videos from 'private' to 'public'.

CheckPoint made TikTok aware of the weaknesses and the vulnerabilities were fixed in the latest app update.

Users are now being encouraged to update their app to ensure they are fully protected.

Jan 07 10:36

Internet Disruption: Different Terms for Different Tactics

By Advox

As the internet progressively becomes an intrinsic part of our daily lives — from communicating with friends and applying for social services, to studying and working — staying connected is no longer a luxury but a necessity. In this context, internet shutdowns have evolved into a human rights issue with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives. Apart from the documented negative economic impacts, intentional internet shutdowns can be weaponized to silence dissent and stunt protest movements. However, internet shutdowns are on the rise with 196 intentional internet disruptions recorded in 2018 alone. In 2019, Global Voices covered internet shutdowns in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Ecuador to name a few...

Jan 07 10:18

Big Tech strikes again: All criticism of transgenderism will now be treated as “malware,” equivalent to malicious code

Just in time for the 2020 presidential election, a pair of college professors from the United Kingdom has unveiled a new technology for blocking “hate speech” online that involves algorithmically flagging politically incorrect language in the same way that anti-virus software identifies “malware.”

According to researcher Stephanie Ullmann and professor Marcus Tomalin, both from the University of Cambridge, this newfangled “Hate O’Meter,” as they’re calling it, will flag all potentially “controversial” content – at least as they personally define it as such – and place it into a “quarantine.” Users will then have the option to view the content with a simple click, or leave it in the digital “trash,” never to be seen again.

Jan 05 11:36

Xiaomi Cameras Connected to Google Nest Expose Video Feeds From Others

Internet-connected devices have been one of the most remarkable developments that have happened to humankind in the last decade. Although this development is a good thing, it also stipulates a high security and privacy risk to personal information.

In one such recent privacy mishap, smart IP cameras manufactured by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi found mistakenly sharing surveillance footage of Xiaomi users with other random users without any permission.

The issue appears to affect Xiaomi IP cameras only when streamed through connected Google's Nest Hub, which came into light when a Reddit user claimed that his Google Nest Hub is apparently pulling random feeds from other users instead of his own Xiaomi Mijia cameras.

The Reddit user also shared some photos showing other people's homes, an older adult sleeping on a chair, and a baby sleeping in its crib that appeared on his Nest Hub screen.

Jan 05 10:09

Google and the evil tech giants have done far more damage to America than Soleimani, yet Trump does NOTHING to stop the domestic terrorism of Big Tech

The number of Americans killed by Soleimani is dwarfed by the number of children killed by the CDC and the vaccine industry. There’s no comparison. Yet those of us who dare to expose the danger of vaccine ingredients or share the government statistics of vaccine injuries and deaths are treated by the Big Tech establishment as if we were terrorists.

Jan 02 09:58

Ransomware attack takes US maritime base offline

A computer virus forced a US maritime base offline for more than 30 hours, the country's coast guard has revealed.

Ransomware interrupted cameras, door-access control systems and critical monitoring systems at the site.

The agency did not reveal the name or the location of the facility targeted by the attack.

Officials said they believed the ransomware was sent in a malicious email link, clicked by an employee.

Jan 02 09:57

Pokemon Go: Documents show Canadian military's struggle with game

The arrival of Pokemon Go left a baffled Canadian military struggling to understand a surge in trespassing, newly released documents show.

When the game was launched in 2016, civilians started walking and driving on to operational bases at all hours.

"Plse advise the Commissionaires that apparently Fort Frontenac is both a PokeGym and a PokeStop," one email from a major read.

"I will be completely honest in that I have no idea what that is."

Dec 31 12:09

Joe Biden: Anyone Who Can Mine Coal Can Learn to Code

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday used the "learn to code" meme unironically while on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Dec 29 17:29

Wyze data leak may have exposed personal data for millions of users

Security camera startup Wyze has confirmed it suffered a data leak earlier this month that may have left the personal information for millions of its customers exposed on the internet. No passwords or financial information was exposed, but email addresses, Wi-Fi network IDs and body metrics were left unprotected from Dec. 4 through Dec. 26, the company said Friday.

More than 2.4 million Wyze customers were affected by the leak, according to cyber-security firm Twelve Security, which first reported on the leak

Dec 26 16:29

Flaw in Twitter Android app lets researcher match 17 MILLION phone numbers with user accounts

A researcher is warning Android users not to upload their contacts to Twitter after he was able to match 17 million phone numbers to their respective user accounts.

Ibrahim Balic uploaded a list of generated phone numbers through the contacts upload feature, which he told TechCrunch ‘fetches user data in return’.

Matches were made for users in Israel, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Armenia and Germany – and some were government officials.

Dec 26 09:02

MIKE BLOOMBERG EXPLOITED PRISON LABOR TO MAKE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN PHONE CALLS

SOURCE: THE INTERCEPT
FORMER NEW YORK CITY mayor and multibillionaire Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg used prison labor to make campaign calls. Through a third-party vendor, the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign contracted New Jersey-based call center company ProCom, which runs calls centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Two of the call centers in Oklahoma are operated out of state prisons. In at least one of the two prisons, incarcerated people were contracted to make calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign.

According to a source, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, people incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, were making calls to California on behalf of Bloomberg. The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign. They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey... if your people cannot fact-check how a company sources its campaign phone calls, should you, by some miracle, get nominated and elected, how can the rest of America expect you to protect us from harm's way, if there is a real danger at our doorstep?!?

The short answer is, they cannot, sir; you've just proven it to them, with this debacle.

Dec 26 06:38

Mysterious drones flying nighttime patterns over northeast Colorado leave local law enforcement stumped

A band of large drones appears to be flying nighttime search patterns over northeast Colorado — and local authorities say they don’t know who’s behind the mysterious aircraft.

The drones, estimated to have six-foot wingspans, have been flying over Phillips and Yuma counties every night for about the last week, Phillips County Sheriff Thomas Elliott said Monday.

The drones stay about 200 feet to 300 feet in the air and fly steadily in squares of about 25 miles, he said. There are at least 17 drones; they emerge each night around 7 p.m. and disappear around 10 p.m., he said.

“They’ve been doing a grid search, a grid pattern,” he said. “They fly one square and then they fly another square.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't believe that they don't know what the drones are doing; they have just been ordered, by those flying the drones, not to say anything about their use.

Dec 26 06:35

COLLEGES ARE TURNING STUDENTS' PHONES INTO SURVEILLANCE MACHINES, TRACKING THE LOCATIONS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS

SOURCE: SLASH DO

Colleges are tracking students' location to enforce attendance, analyze their behavior and assess their mental health. One company calculates a student's "risk score" based on factors such as whether she is going to the library enough.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a student in this part of the 21st century, when inspecting a college for future attendance, I would ask point blank, if it was an established policy to do such surveillance of their students, without their permission.

If the answer was yes, I would thank the person showing me the campus, and leave, scratching that particular school of higher surveillance off my list, as a place I would want to go.

Dec 23 16:24

Twitter Warns Millions of Android App Users to Update Immediately

If endlessly scrolling through Twitter on your phone is part of your daily ritual, you’re going to want to update the app as soon as you can if you’re an Android user. This week, Twitter confirmed a vulnerability in its Android app that could let hackers see your “nonpublic account information” and commandeer your account to send tweets and direct messages.

Dec 23 16:03

Dating app Plenty of Fish reveals it leaked private names and zip codes of users allowing other users to pinpoint their exact location

Researchers discovered the dating app Plenty of Fish was leaking information that users had set to private on their profiles.

User's names and zip codes were displayed in the app's API, allowing malicious actors to locate a user's exact location.

Although the data was scrambled, experts were able to reveal the information using freely available tools designed to analyze network traffic, as first reported by TechCrunch.

Dec 21 13:25

Are 5G-Enabled “Smart Ambulance” Tests Contributing to Multiple Deaths of UK Ambulance Workers?

5G will massively increase electromagnetic radiation in both the microwave and millimeter wave frequencies in our environment. This next generation of wireless telecommunications will use both our current 3G and 4G wireless frequencies and also add higher frequencies in the submillimeter and millimeter waves.

Dec 21 13:16

IRREGULATORS vs. FCC: Exposing and prosecuting a vast, illegal financial scandal behind 5G

Bruce and Scott lead the IRREGULATORS, a group of telecom industry experts and insiders who are taking the FCC to federal court in January 2020, armed with evidence — of an estimated $1 Trillion scandal — and strategy that could very well pave the way to a great restructuring of telecom and dissolution of the 5G agenda.

Dec 20 11:13

Drupal Warns Web Admins to Update CMS Sites to Patch a Critical Flaw

If you haven't recently updated your Drupal-based blog or business website to the latest available versions, it's the time.

Drupal development team yesterday released important security updates for its widely used open-source content management software that addresses a critical and three "moderately critical" vulnerabilities in its core system.

Considering that Drupal-powered websites are among the all-time favorite targets for hackers, the website administrators are highly recommended to install the latest release Drupal 7.69, 8.7.11, or 8.8.1 to prevent remote hackers from compromising web servers.

Dec 20 10:29

The Hidden Military Use of 5G Technology

The possibilities offered by this new technology are explained by the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology, published by the Defense Science Board, a federal committee which provides scientific advice for the Pentagon –

“The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements”.

In other words, the 5G commercial network, built and activated by private companies, will be used by the US armed forces at a much lower expenditure than that necessary if the network were to be set up with an exclusively military goal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And of course, the other "dark side" of this technology is probably much more, and more intense surveillance against perfectly innocent people, who are doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Dec 19 18:07

267 million - mostly American - Facebook users' IDs, names and phone numbers are exposed online and shared on the dark web

Personal information belonging to more than 267 million Facebook users has been exposed in an unsecured database on the dark web, it has emerged.

The Facebook IDs, phone numbers and full names of 267,140,436 users, most residing in the US, were discovered in the database by cybersecurity firm Comparitech and researcher Bob Diachenko, according to a report published Thursday.

The report warned that people identified in the database could be targeted by spam messages or phishing schemes.

Although it is not yet clear how the sensitive information was exposed, Diachenko traced the database back to Vietnam and speculated that it may have been compiled through an illegal process called 'scraping' – where automated bots copy public information from Facebook profiles - or stolen directly from Facebook's developer API.

Dec 19 18:04

Your CAR could be at risk of cyberattacks: Scientists reveal 'holes' in systems that let hackers steal data or even takeover your smart vehicle

Scientists have found 'holes' in these systems that lets digital deviants access your data or worse, take over the vehicle.

The first hole is when users plug their smartphone into their smart car, which is an open door for hackers to breach vehicle systems.

However, another vulnerability lets users access features in order to take over the system and could ultimately crash the car.

Experts are now calling on carmakers to release constant updates for the software in order to put an end to data breaches and save lives.

Dec 19 10:13

Federal Reserve "Network Issues" Cause Nationwide Direct Deposit Outage

In recent years, banks and credit card processors had blamed hackers, blackouts, infrastructure inefficiencies, and of course the "Russians" for periodic service outages. As of today, they are now blaming the Fed itself.

Starting around 7am, there was a surge of outages reported at Capital One...

Dec 19 09:46

Google goes offline after fibre cables cut

Severed fibre optic cables disrupted internet access in parts of eastern Europe, Iran and Turkey on Thursday.

The issue, which lasted for about two hours, was caused by multiple fibre cables being physically cut at the same time, a highly unusual thing to happen.

Google said its services were among those unavailable in the region for about 30 minutes.

The company told internet service providers to connect to its other servers to "route around the problem".

In a statement, the company blamed "multiple simultaneous fibre cuts", which are very rare.

BBC Monitoring confirmed that internet access in Iran and Turkey had been disrupted for about two hours on Thursday morning.

Dec 19 06:33

Top 3 Most Dangerous Browser Hijackers For Mac

Browser hijacking is when a software modifies browser settings, especially homepage, extensions, extensions, and default search engines without taking your consent. The explanation may not seem that dangerous but in actual, these hijackers can also steal your personal information while redirecting you to some unwanted platforms. Recent forms of this adware like Search Baron are extremely persistent.

Browser hijackers are basically some kind of unwanted applications in the cybersecurity world. No one wants to install those programs on their Mac systems, but they are still present without getting noticed. Hackers also use them to distribute malware, keyloggers, adware, and spyware, etc. In the worst cases, they can even steal your banking information, such as passwords and usernames as well.

Top 3 most dangerous browser hijackers for Mac

Dec 18 16:38

Facebook admits it can track your movements and bombard you with adverts even if users turn OFF location settings

The bombshell revelation went viral on social media with many decrying it as a violation of privacy, including Republican Senator Josh Hawley who called for Congress to take action.

Facebook stops tracking location data specifically when a user opts out but it admits that it can piece together various piece of information to determine where they are.

Tagged photos or locations as well as addresses for purchases on the site's shopping section provide clues to where a user is, as well as IP address information.

Dec 18 16:36

Monopoly money: Google and Facebook's 'dominance' in online advertising - worth a combined £8 BILLION in 2018 - could drive up prices of flights and electronics, competition watchdog warns

Google and Facebook are so dominant in the advertising market they risk pushing up the cost of flights and electronics, a competition watchdog has warned.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says it fears the tech giants' large market share could allow them to increase what they charge companies to advertise.

They say these higher charges could be passed on to consumers, pushing up prices.

Dec 18 16:35

Amazon, Apple and Google join forces to make their home products 'speak to each other' to make smart homes a reality

It is a move the technology giants hope will make it easier for consumers as they will be able to use different devices from a variety of companies on the same network.

'We believe that the protocol has the potential to be widely adopted across home systems and assistants', the new group said in a statement.

The royalty-free and open source software standard will have 'security as a fundamental design tenet', according to Apple.

Dec 18 16:33

Anonymous whistleblower reveals $43million fraud scheme at Apple assembly partner Foxconn's biggest iPhone factory in China that 'sold more than 300,000 bootleg phones made from defective parts'

Workers at Foxconn's biggest iPhone assembly plant in China were allegedly running an illegal side business selling bootleg phones made from defective components that would otherwise have been destroyed.

The scheme is believed to have generated an estimated $43million over the course of more than two years.

Local reports say an estimated 300,000 units were sold during the scheme, including iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models.

Dec 18 11:08

Distribution Release: Linux Mint 19.3

The Linux Mint team has published an update to the project's 19.x series, which is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The distribution's newest release is Linux Mint 19.3 which is available in three editions (Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce).

Dec 18 07:46

The weird future of brain-computer interfaces: Replacing passwords with thoughts and mind-reading bosses who can tell when you are bored

Brain computer interfaces may sound futuristic, but adoption of such systems -- which allow signals from the brain to be recorded or used to control technology -- is on the rise. Much of the development work going on around BCIs is focused on medical uses for the tech, but consumer applications of BCIs are already being explored, from providing a better gaming experience to allow your boss to track your work rate.

Dec 18 07:21

Ellen DeGeneres, Lisa Kudrow, Facebook, and Google named worst password offenders of 2019

Companies and employees are not the only users at fault for poor password security, however. To display how widespread password security malpractice is, Dashlane identified the following 10 worst password offenders of 2019, spanning from tech companies, to congressmen--and even celebrities. These mistakes include repeated passwords, easily guessed passwords, faulty encryptions, and more.

Dec 18 06:15

MGM Resorts to Replace Bartenders With Machines (No, Really)

Can we write a sensational headline, or what?

Thing is, we’re not kidding.

Several sources inside MGM Resorts have confirmed the company will soon roll out automated cocktail dispensing machines in its service bars (also called “well bars”) in Las Vegas and across the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At least these robot bartenders won't rat you out to your spouse about the "date" you were buying drinks for!

Dec 17 18:04

New Orleans Declares State of Emergency After Cyberattack

By B.N. Frank

Technology is great but only when it’s safe. Unfortunately, city governments – and hospitals – being held for ransom by hackers are becoming more common.

A recent report also revealed tens of thousands of cybersecurity weaknesses in The U.S. Dept of Energy – including inside the Nuclear Security Administration. Yikes! Now “The Big Easy” has been compromised...

Dec 17 17:33

Where's our data, Google? Chrome 79 update 'a catastrophe' for Android devs with WebView apps

A change to the location of profile data in Chrome 79 on Android, the new version rolling out now, means that applications using the WebView component lose data stored locally.

"This is a catastrophe; our users' data are being deleted as they receive the update," complained one developer.

"I heard from a company that uses local storage for offline no-connection available that had local record[s] of animals getting vaccination. The update 'erased' all the data. They don't know which animals got [a] vaccine and can't repeat on all of them. Serious stuff," said another user.

Google said it has halted the rollout, which is estimated at 50 per cent of devices.

The problem appears to stem from a change to the location of profile data in Chromium, the open source project on which Google Chrome is based.

Dec 17 16:56

Linux Mint

For someone coming off of Windows 7 hands down the best,the easiest to use Linux OS on The Planet. Software Manager,Synaptic and Gdebi. Lots of stable software. If you want to learn the command line and terminal you can put a whole lot more interesting software programs on your machine. Available in Linux Mint OS as well as the latest Debian OS. A breeze to install and fast.

Dec 17 16:48

This is Manjaro (Arch Linux for Dummies)

Beginners can use this. Geeks can have fun using the command line and terminal. Tons of available software of all kinds,but some is unstable. It uses a Rolling Release update. Was unstable in the early days. You can really tweak this one.
Based on one of the geekiest forms of Linux OS's Arch Linux.

For people who want a reliable and fast desktop

This edition is supported by the Manjaro team and comes with XFCE, a reliable desktop with high configurability.

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

https://www.archlinux.org/

Dec 17 16:12

Zorin OS 15.1 is Released: A Better Way to Work, Learn and Play

One of your best Linux systems for someone coming off of Windows 7.

Just over 6 months ago, we launched Zorin OS 15, our most advanced and refined operating system ever. Since then, it’s been downloaded over 550,000 times around the world. Over 65% of these downloads were coming from Windows and macOS, reflecting our mission to bring the power of Linux to people who’ve never had access to it before. We would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for making this release as big and impactful as it has been.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Zorin OS is getting even better with the release of version 15.1. We’ve paid close attention to your feedback and worked hard to make the desktop experience better for work, learning, playing, and everything in between. We’ve focused on making the desktop feel even more familiar and user-friendly to new users, especially those moving away from Windows 7 leading up to the end of its support in one month.

Dec 17 15:15

World's wealthiest people are using 'reputation management companies' to wipe their embarrassing stories from Google search results

A new kind of tech company has emerged to help people outrun their bad online reputations.

Reputation management companies will execute comprehensive plans to ensure past controversies and bad publicity fade out of someone's Google search results.

One of the industry’s biggest movers is Status Labs in Austin, which has been listed on Inc.’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in America in 2019.

A new report in the Wall Street Journal sheds some light on how Status Labs and company's like them operate, flooding the internet with fake news sites that post positively-slanted stories about their subjects.

Dec 17 10:36

Airports of the Future: Surveillance by Design

By Edward Hasbrouck

As we’ve seen in the ongoing debate over biometric identification of travelers at Sea-Tac Airport, and as we’ve seen before elsewhere, airlines and government agencies want to pretend that each of their initiatives to identify and track travelers is a discrete, limited project, not part of any common agenda for government and commercial surveillance.

Don’t believe a word of this soothing blather...

Dec 17 08:47

So you want to keep running Windows 7? Good luck with that, small businesses

Anyone who administers Windows PCs in a large organization with an active volume licensing contract has it easy. They can deploy ESU to Windows 7 devices by downloading a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) from the Volume Licensing Service Center and then installing a few servicing stack updates and using a command-line tool to register the new key.

Businesses that aren't big enough for a volume licensing contract, however, are not so lucky: Microsoft says you small fry have to purchase Windows 7 ESUs through one of its partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. Sounds easy, right?

It's not.

Dec 17 06:12

SECRET DEEP STATE DEMANDS: THE FBI WANTS CONSUMERS’ CREDIT DATA

SOURCE: SHTFPLAN.COM
Secret Deep State Demands: The FBI Wants Consumers’ Credit Data
Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has secretly demanded access to a whole bunch of consumer credit information and data. Recently revealed documents prove that the FBI wants access to troves of financial information from the nation’s largest credit agencies.

According to a report by Tech Crunch, this is a regular thing for the FBI. The government agency regularly uses these legal powers (known as national security letters) to compel credit giants to turn over non-content information, such as records of purchases and locations, that the agency deems necessary in national security investigations. But these letters have no judicial oversight and are typically filed with a gag order, preventing the recipient from disclosing the demand to anyone else; including the target of the letter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Forth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, has been getting continually clobbered by these national security letters.

Now, I am a person who loves to look on line for things like clothing, etc., because the customer experience in this country has gone the way of the dodobird, and the dribble glass.

But that this would in any way, make me more interesting to all the alphabet soup agencies who continually monitor this site, I don't know.

And yes, yesterday, I was looking at clothing; I confess, I confess; but do any of you monitoring this site understand how difficult it is for a 70 year old woman to purchase a comfortable pair of slacks which really will look good on her?!?

Sorry for attempting to inject a little levity here ...However, that being said, this is the butt-ugly truth of the business; when one has so much data, it can become absolutely overwhelming, and it is difficult to ferret out what is important, and what is not.

My shopping browsing habits are not anything with which to be concerned; anything the watchers of this site need to be concerned with, is what I say here.

And yes, just to annoy all the people who have been "tasked" to monitor this blog, (probably for having done some incredible screw-up in their job),I am a Christian pacifist activist, who never, ever condones violence, but consistently encourages her country to find ways of achieving its geopolitical objectives through honest, reasoned, hard, good-will negotiations, rather than through wars.

And if someone in the deep state wishes to correct me in my attitude or logic, please feel free to call; you've got my number!! :-)

Dec 16 19:57

Visa warns holiday travelers to be wary of hackers using self-service gas station kiosks to steal credit card information

A new fraud report from Visa warns customers about an increased of identity theft at gas stations this holiday season.

The company uncovered several instances of hackers breaking into an unidentified gas station computer network and getting access to information of everyone who swiped their credit cards at self-pay kiosks.

In one instance, hackers used a phishing scheme to send fraudulent emails to an employee at an unidentified gas station.

After the employee clicked a link from one of the deceptive emails, they unwittingly downloaded a program that gave hackers remote access to the company's computer network, and eventually the credit card information of customers swiping their credit cards or debit cards to pay for gas.

Dec 16 16:09

Google Now Bans Some Linux Web Browsers From Their Services

Google is now banning the popular Linux browsers named Konqueror, Falkon, and Qutebrowser from logging into Google services because they may not be secure.

Dec 16 16:07

TP-Link Router Bug Lets Attackers Login Without Passwords

TP-Link patched a critical vulnerability impacting some of its Archer routers that could allow potential attackers to void their admin passwords and remotely take control of the devices over LAN via a Telnet connection.

"If exploited, this router vulnerability can allow a remote attacker to take control of the router’s configuration via Telnet on the local area network (LAN) and connect to a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server through the LAN or wide area network (WAN)," found IBM X-Force Red's Grzegorz Wypych.

To exploit this security flaw, attackers have to send an HTTP request containing a character string longer than the allowed number of bytes, with the result being that the user password is completely voided and replaced with an empty value.

...

TP-Link has already released patches to help customers protect their routers against attacks that would abuse the security vulnerability currently tracked as CVE-2019-7405.

Dec 16 15:52

Self-Driving Mercedes Will Be Programmed To Sacrifice Pedestrians To Save The Driver

Mercedes gets around the moral issues of self-driving cars by deciding that–of course–drivers are more important than anyone else.

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.

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