COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Mar 18 10:54

This Surveillance Company Claims It Can Track Nearly Any Car in Real-Time

A defense contractor that claims to have access to motor vehicle location data on a global scale says it wants to use that data to help U.S. federal agencies conduct more efficient spying and military operations.

The Ulysses Group, which offers “cutting edge operational and intelligence services, support, and equipment” to government clients, says it can “access over 15 billion vehicle locations” worldwide every month. This data, which can be viewed “historically” or in real-time, should be used operationally by U.S. agencies, the company says.

A document obtained by the office of Sen. Ron Wyden, which was first reported by Motherboard and shared with Gizmodo, shows Ulysses claims to be able to “remotely geolocate” cars in “nearly any country,” with the exceptions of Cuba and North Korea. In the document, the firm explains how this might be useful to a government agency:

Mar 18 10:53

~4,300 publicly reachable servers are posing a new DDoS hazard to the Internet

Criminals are upping the potency of distributed denial-of-service attacks with a technique that abuses a widely used Internet protocol that drastically increases the amount of junk traffic directed at targeted servers.

DDoSes are attacks that flood a website or server with more data than it can handle. The result is a denial of service to people trying to connect to the service. As DDoS-mitigation services develop protections that allow targets to withstand ever-larger torrents of traffic, the criminals respond with new ways to make the most of their limited bandwidth.

Getting amped up

In so-called amplification attacks, DDoSers send requests of relatively small data sizes to certain types of intermediary servers. The intermediaries then send the targets responses that are tens, hundreds, or thousands of times bigger. The redirection works because the requests replace the IP address of the attacker with the address of the server being targeted.

Mar 18 10:52

AT&T whines about Calif. net neutrality law as ISPs’ case appears doomed

The broadband industry's attempt to kill California's net neutrality law appears to have very little chance of succeeding in the US district court where the case is being heard.

On February 23, the industry's motion for a preliminary injunction was denied by Judge John Mendez of US District Court for the Eastern District of California, as we reported at the time. We didn't have much detail on Mendez's reasoning last month, but we've since obtained a not-yet-publicly released transcript of the hearing in which he issued his verbal ruling against the injunction. (He did not issue a written ruling, citing time constraints caused by a shortage of judges in his district.)

Mendez's denial of the injunction means that California can enforce its net neutrality law while the case continues, leaving open the possibility that Mendez could ultimately side with the broadband industry. But Mendez explained during the hearing why he thinks the industry is unlikely to succeed at trial.

Mar 18 10:51

Coding and space: Microsoft and NASA learning pathways serve as a STEM career launchpad

The last few months have been exciting times for space enthusiasts around the globe. Last fall, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft momentarily touched down on asteroid Bennu and collected samples of its surface during a "touch-and-go" millions of miles from Earth. In February, NASA successfully landed its latest rover on Mars and another roving bot is set to join Perseverance on our celestial neighbor later this year. Coding is an integral part of modern space exploration and educational pathways could help aspiring scientists enable tomorrow's missions with artificial intelligence, machine learning and more.

"Coding has been a part of space exploration since its inception and will only continue to play a more crucial role," said Sarah Guthals, Ph.D., a principal program manager for developer relations at Microsoft. "Software is enabling us to explore, discover and learn about our planet and universe safely."

Mar 18 10:50

Hackers Are Targeting U.S. Banks, And Hardware May Give Them An Open Door

When people run their credit card, pay a bill online, or withdraw money from an ATM, few consider the software and hardware that makes those transactions happen. They expect that their personal and financial information is secure. Yet, there is a silent but immense assault against consumers via their financial transactions. The financial service organizations on which we all rely are increasingly the chief target of cyber attacks.

A new report for China Tech Threat identifies that financial organizations have become the prime target of cyber attack, which a morass of government agencies and policies tasked with cyber-defenses have done little to abate. U.S. banks must take proactive measures—including cyber resilience audits, secure-sourcing strategies and removing elements with vulnerabilities—to protect their systems, data, and customers.

Mar 18 10:42

Largest ransomware demand now stands at $30 million as crooks get bolder

Ransomware shows no sign of slowing down as the average ransom paid to cyber criminals by organisations that fall victim to these attacks has nearly tripled over the past year.

Cybersecurity researchers at Palo Alto Networks analysed ransomware attacks targeting organisations across North America and Europe and found that the average ransom paid in exchange for a decryption key to unlock encrypted networks rose from $115,123 in 2019 to $312,493 in 2020.

That represents a 171% year-over-year increase, allowing cyber criminals to make more money than ever before from ransomware attacks.

Mar 18 10:20

Shopping for an inexpensive projector? Don't fall for this deceptive practice

I'm always on the lookout for projector deals, but recently I've noticed an unfortunate trend in the way certain models are listed at stores like Amazon and Walmart. It's misleading at best, deceptive at worst -- and one that I think all projector sellers need to address immediately.

It's all about resolution. Take a look at this Amazon product listing for the "ViewSonic M1 Mini 1080p Portable LED Projector," which was captured on March 17:

Based on that headline, anyone shopping for this projector would naturally assume that it's a 1080p model, meaning capable of 1,920x1,080 "full HD" resolution. It says so, right there.

Nope.

If you scroll down a bit, you'll see the actual, native resolution of the M1 Mini:

Mar 17 06:41

Google’s Nest Adds Sleep Tracking in New Health Tech Foray

Google’s Nest unit is expanding into health technology with a feature that tracks sleep patterns, offering a potential new revenue stream but also raising privacy concerns.

The company unveiled the second-generation model of its Nest Hub smart display in a blog post Tuesday, and this time it comes with a function called Sleep Sensing that monitors the breathing and movement of a person sleeping next to the screen -- without a camera or needing to wear a device in bed.

The system also detects disturbances such as coughing and snoring, along with light and temperature changes using the Nest Hub’s built-in microphones and ambient light and temperature sensors. Over time, it learns the user’s sleep patterns and gives personalized recommendations.

Ashton Udall, a senior product manager at Google Nest, said Sleep Sensing will be available as a free preview until next year. That suggests the company may begin charging for the service in the future.

Mar 17 06:07

Chinese Tech Giants Build Tools To Bypass Apple's New Privacy Controls

As Beijing works to bring China's powerful tech giants to heel, the FT has published a report detailing how Chinese tech giants are working to override new privacy controls being introduced by Apple to help protect the privacy of iPhone users from ruthless digital advertisers.

Of course, the new privacy controls being introduced by Apple will make it harder to track iPhone users without their consent, something that both Facebook and the Chinese state see as a major problem. Pretty soon, America's biggest social media giant might be lobbying to compare notes with the state-backed China Advertising Association.

Mar 16 08:35

Forget COVID, Global Oligarchs Are Now Rehearsing For A ‘Cyber Pandemic’

On Wednesday, the World Economic Forum (WEF), along with Russia’s Sberbank and its cybersecurity subsidiary BI.ZONE announced that a new global cyberattack simulation would take place this coming July to instruct participants in “developing secure ecosystems” by simulating a supply-chain cyberattack similar to the recent SolarWinds hack that would “assess the cyber resilience” of the exercise’s participants. On the newly updated event website, the simulation, called Cyber Polygon 2021, ominously warns that, given the digitalization trends largely spurred by the COVID-19 crisis, “a single vulnerable link is enough to bring down the entire system, just like the domino effect,” adding that “a secure approach to digital development today will determine the future of humanity for decades to come.”

Mar 16 07:31

How Microsoft is invested in Israeli settler-colonialism

When millions took to the streets last year to protest for Black lives, corporations saw trouble. The abolitionist call within the uprising – defund the police and invest in a better world – challenges state violence and its profiteers. So, companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, which enable state surveillance and violence, boosted their public relations. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, for example, declared “solidarity” with Black Lives Matter, and the company donated $250,000 to social justice groups (including the Minnesota Bail Fund).

Mar 16 05:58

Biden’s retaliatory cyberattacks against Russia are folly

The Biden administration is reportedly planning a “retaliation” against Russia in the next three weeks or so for last year’s massive “SolarWinds” hack of U.S. cyber infrastructure, for which Russia was allegedly responsible.

The New York Times has written that U.S. plans include both new sanctions against Russia and U.S. cyber hacking of Russian state institutions. According to the Times, this will include “a series of clandestine actions across Russian networks,” which U.S. intelligence has already prepared. According to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the response is intended to show Russia “what (actions) the United States believes are in bounds, and out of bounds.”

We hope that wiser counsels can still prevail, and in particular, that someone in the administration will notice both the logical incompatibility of these two responses, and the fact that they could set a precedent that will be used against America itself in future.

Mar 15 19:35

Hello, I Must Be Going! . . .

I'm one strike away from having my main YouTube channel deleted and Patreon has permanently "suspended" my account, so if you're only following my work through these controlled platforms then all I have to say is: It was nice knowing you! For everyone else, here's how you can continue watching The Corbett Report even after YouTube pulls the plug...

Mar 15 11:46

Social media users obsessed with “likes” think a lot like LAB RATS seeking food – study

American and European researchers suggest that people who chase “likes” on social media share similar thinking patterns with lab rats seeking food.

In their study, which is set to be published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers found that looking for affirmation online is very much like “reward learning,” a type of reinforcement learning commonly observed in lab mice conditioned to perform certain actions with food as a reinforcer.

Mar 15 10:21

Microsoft investigates potential ties between partner security firm, Exchange Server attack code leak

Microsoft is reportedly investigating a potential partner leak that could have exacerbated the current wave of attacks against Microsoft Exchange servers.

On March 2, Microsoft issued emergency patches to tackle four zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server which were being actively exploited in the wild.

The critical bugs were disclosed privately in January, and since then, exploit usage has gained traction to the point researchers estimate that tens of thousands of businesses worldwide have been impacted.

The suspected state-sponsored Chinese hacking group Hafnium was originally attributed to exploitation of the zero-days. Now, however, proof-of-concept (PoC) code has been released and more advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are attempting to capitalize on the situation. Ransomware, too, is now being deployed in some attacks.

Mar 15 09:35

SmartPhone Apps Let Users Monitor Police Brutality And Bear Witness

By Aaron Kesel

A new app lets users become a witness to police brutality. The app intelligently titled “BEAR Witness” allows users to instantly record any cases of police brutality in real-time.

Kyieme White, a developer of the app, talked to The North Star, about how individuals can alert others in their area when they are feeling unsafe during law enforcement interactions. BEAR, is an acronym for Bystanders Exercising American Rights, has a mission of creating a positive impact and change in every community by offering support and peace of mind to any fellow “BEARs” who may feel alone and unsafe in potentially dangerous law enforcement interactions.

Mar 15 07:13

Mind Control and Neurotechnology: Will People Allow Themselves to be Deprived of Their “Freedom of Thought”?

“We are on a path to a world in which it will be possible to decode people’s mental processes and directly manipulate the brain mechanisms underlying their intentions, emotions and decisions; where individuals could communicate with others simply by thinking“.

Those lines were written by 25 scientists in the article entitled “Four Ethical Priorities for Neurotechnologies and AI“ in the scientific magazine Natur in November 2017.

The scientists noted as well that “powerful computational systems linked directly to people’s brains“ will “aid their interactions with the world such that their mental and physical abilities“ will be “greatly enhanced“.

Mar 15 06:14

Drivers To Be Given Real-Time "Risk Scores" Using Embedded Telematic Surveillance Sensors

Gone are the days when insurance companies used race, sex and a person's age to determine their auto insurance premiums.

A new whitepaper by Cognizant, titled "The New Auto Insurance Ecosystem: Telematics, Mobility and the Connected Car" reveals the real reasons why auto manufacturers are installing machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, or telematics in new cars.

"Nowhere is this more clear than in auto/motor insurance, where advances in M2M communication, or telematics, are rippling across the marketplace, generating data to more precisely assess risk and reward for policyholders who adhere to safe driving practices."

The whitepaper explains that auto manufacturers have been installing real-time telematic surveillance sensor in new cars for years.

Mar 15 05:50

Prepping for a cyber pandemic: Cyber Polygon 2021 to stage supply chain attack simulation

The World Economic Forum (WEF) will stage another cyber attack exercise as it continues to prep for a potential cyber pandemic that founder Klaus Schwab says will be worse than the current global crisis.

The SolarWinds hack served as a wake-up call to the supply chain attack vulnerabilities still present in public and private organizations, and it served as a warning that the next breach could be exponentially worse in spreading through any device connected to the internet.

Following up on last year’s Cyber Polygon cyber attack exercise and event aimed at preventing a digital pandemic, the WEF has announced that the 2021 edition will be taking place on July 9.

“A cyber attack with COVID-like characteristics would spread faster and farther than any biological virus” — World Economic Forum

Mar 14 13:39

The UK is secretly testing a controversial web snooping tool

For the last two years police and internet companies across the UK have been quietly building and testing surveillance technology that could log and store the web browsing of every single person in the country.

The tests, which are being run by two unnamed internet service providers, the Home Office and the National Crime Agency, are being conducted under controversial surveillance laws introduced at the end of 2016. If successful, data collection systems could be rolled out nationally, creating one of the most powerful and controversial surveillance tools used by any democratic nation.

Despite the National Crime Agency saying “significant work” has been put into the trial it remains clouded in secrecy. Elements of the legislation are also being challenged in court. There has been no public announcement of the trial, with industry insiders saying they are unable to talk about the technology due to security concerns.

Mar 13 22:51

YouTube deletes 30,000 vaccine misinfo videos

YouTube has removed more than 30,000 misleading Covid-19 vaccination videos in the past five months, it said.

A YouTube spokeswoman said the videos contradicted vaccine information from the World Health Organization (WHO) or health authorities such as the NHS.

In October, it banned vaccine misinformation in a bid to clamp down on attempts to discredit the jabs.

It added that in the past year, it had removed more than 800,000 videos for coronavirus misinformation.

That figure covers more than just vaccines, but wider "medically unsubstantiated" claims about the virus.

Mar 13 13:14

Even Beer Is Threatened by Cyberattacks As Coors Shuts Down Production

Molson Coors has announced in a regulatory filing that it halted its brewery operations as a result of a cyberattack — just when things were starting to look up.

Cyberattacks have become a common occurrence across industries, with new ones reported almost daily. Unfortunately, the threat has reached a new low, impacting the nation’s beer supply.

In a regulatory filing, the company says it suffered an attack on March 11, and is working around the clock to get its systems running again.

Although the Company is actively managing this cybersecurity incident, it has caused and may continue to cause a delay or disruption to parts of the Company’s business, including its brewery operations, production, and shipments.

Mar 13 13:13

Here’s why Facebook is so scared of the iPhone’s new privacy features

Apple announced last summer that iOS 14 would deliver better privacy protections when it comes to user tracking across apps and services. Apple had two distinct functionalities in mind. One of them is the privacy labels that will inform users about all the data an app collects. The other concerns user tracking, as Apple will force developers to ask for explicit permission to track users. Facebook went on the offensive in late December with ads in print media claiming that Apple will hurt small businesses and the entire web with its new privacy features.

Mar 13 10:51

High school basketball announcer blames ambien and his DIABETES after he was caught on hot mic calling girls team the N-word when they kneeled during the anthem

The incident took place at a high school playoff game on Thursday
A live video feed caught the shocking moment the unidentified basketball broadcaster called one team 'f*****g n*****s'

Mar 13 06:59

Same IBM that partnered with Adolf Hitler to help run the Holocaust now partnering with Moderna to install Vaccine Passports

When an evil is ignored or accepted as normal, when justice is not properly served, history ultimately has a way of repeating itself, beckoning that evil to resurface again. If not confronted, its curse will remain.

The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), an American multinational technology company, is now partnering with Moderna, an experimental mRNA vaccine maker. The two entities are working on a Vaccine Passport that utilizes artificial intelligence to track vaccine administration in real time for the end goal of enforcing vaccine compliance. The partnership seeks to control the lives of everyone, starting with the citizens of New York, who will soon be required to furnish a Digital Health Pass to travel, work and attend certain events. The new IBM technology threatens to exclude anyone who doesn’t submit their body to Moderna’s genetic experiments and succumb to the demands of the all-powerful vaccine industry.

Mar 12 10:41

Scientists may have solved ancient mystery of 'first computer'

From the moment it was discovered more than a century ago, scholars have puzzled over the Antikythera mechanism, a remarkable and baffling astronomical calculator that survives from the ancient world.

The hand-powered, 2,000-year-old device displayed the motion of the universe, predicting the movement of the five known planets, the phases of the moon and the solar and lunar eclipses. But quite how it achieved such impressive feats has proved fiendishly hard to untangle.

Now researchers at UCL believe they have solved the mystery – at least in part – and have set about reconstructing the device, gearwheels and all, to test whether their proposal works. If they can build a replica with modern machinery, they aim to do the same with techniques from antiquity.

Mar 12 10:09

Microsoft Exchange Server hacks ‘doubling’ every two hours

Cyberattackers are taking full advantage of slow patch or mitigation processes on Microsoft Exchange Server with attack rates doubling every few hours.

In the past 24 hours, the team has observed "exploitation attempts on organizations doubling every two to three hours."

The countries feeling the brunt of attack attempts are Turkey, the United States, and Italy, accounting for 19%, 18%, and 10% of all tracked exploit attempts, respectively.

Government, military, manufacturing, and then financial services are currently the most targeted industries.

Mar 12 07:42

SOCOM Fields Killer Robots "For Immediate Force Protection" 

A new R&D budget document from the Office of the Secretary of Defense reveals that Special Operation Command (SOCOM) has already acquired and possibly fielded remote weapon technology for ground robots, according to Forbes.

Called the Lightweight Remote Weapons System (LRWS), it's a miniature version of the Commonly Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). This unmanned turret enables an operator inside an armored vehicle to find targets via cameras and engage targets with high-powered weapons.

The R&D budget document from the Office of the Secretary of Defense said:

"LRWS rapidly developed and evaluated a remote weapon station with significant size weight and power reduction to enable operations on remotely operated small ground vehicles."

Mar 12 06:38

Unsafe Space

Welcome to Unsafe Space.

We are committed to creating a culture that:

fully respects the freedom of speech;
viscerally understands the distinction between the initiation of speech and the initiation of force; and
upholds reason as the only valid tool of cognition, rejecting arguments based on feelings, faith, or force.
Readers interested in learning why we’ve made it our mission to create such a culture will find an overview of the philosophy behind Unsafe Space below.

Truth matters

Mar 11 12:44

BUILDING THE ULTIMATE RETRO COMPUTER

AlthoughAlthough I assembled it myself, and its software all comes from an open-source DIY project, in many ways my MiSTer is the most versatile computer I own. It’s a shapeshifting wonderbox that can change its own logic to make itself run like countless other machines as accurately as possible. From old arcade boards to early PCs to vintage consoles, MiSTer developers are devoted to helping it turn into an ever-expanding range of hardware.

Mar 11 12:39

There’s a vexing mystery surrounding the 0-day attacks on Exchange servers

The Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities that allow hackers to take over Microsoft Exchange servers are under attack by no fewer than 10 advanced hacking groups, six of which began exploiting them before Microsoft released a patch, researchers reported Wednesday. That raises a vexing question: how did so many separate threat actors have working exploits before the security flaws became publicly known?

Researchers say that as many as 100,000 mail servers around the world have been compromised, with those for the European Banking Authority and Norwegian Parliament being disclosed in the past few days. Once attackers gain the ability to execute code on the servers, they install web shells, which are browser-based windows that provide a means for remotely issuing commands and executing code.

Mar 11 12:38

Laptop Startup Framework Thinks It Can Succeed Where Many Others Have Failed

Among PC enthusiasts, a modular notebook computer has been an unattainable Holy Grail. There have been attempts to build and sell a laptop with easily interchangeable parts, but most have failed. Indeed, other than desktop and tower personal computers, being able to mix and match electronic components easily is rare in any product category.

So when Framework, a startup helmed by the former chief of hardware for the Facebook-owned VR leader Oculus, unveiled last month a thin, stylish and highly modular laptop, it generated lots of buzz in the tech press.

It also inspired lots of skepticism, but Framework CEO Nirav Patel is convinced that his company can launch and sustain a business in which the primary model is selling laptops that last a long time because their parts can be easily upgraded. The question he gets the most – from investors, analysts, journalists and curious buyers – is why will Framework succeed when so many others have not?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I will definitely be looking at these when they finally hit the stores!

Mar 11 12:32

This trojan malware is now your biggest security headache

Trickbot malware has risen to fill the gap left by the takedown of the Emotet botnet, with a higher number of criminals shifting towards it to distribute malware attacks.

Emotet was the world's most prolific and dangerous malware botnet before it was disrupted by an international law enforcement operation in January this year.

What initially emerged as a banking trojan in 2014 went on to become much more, establishing backdoors on compromised Windows machines which were leased out to other cyber-criminal groups to conduct their own malware or ransomware campaigns.

While the disruption of Emotet represented a blow for cyber criminals, they've quickly adapted and now Trickbot has become the most prevalent form of malware.

Mar 10 14:25

Moscow Alarmed by Report About US Preparing Cyberattacks on Russia

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin is concerned over a report from The New York Times that said the US is preparing a series of cyberattacks on Russia.

The Times report cited anonymous officials who said a “series of clandestine actions across Russian networks” are expected to start within the next three weeks. The officials said the cyberattacks could come along with new economic sanctions on Russia.

“This is alarming information,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. “This would be pure international cybercrime.”

The planned cyberattacks are being framed as retaliation for the hack of the software firm SolarWinds that affected several US agencies. But no evidence has been provided that showed Russia was responsible for the SolarWinds incident, and Moscow denies the accusation.

Mar 10 09:00

Reddit Bans 'SuperStraight' Community For 'Hateful' Satire; TikTok Bans Viral #SuperStraight Hashtag

Being super gay is now a requirement to have a community on Reddit.

Mar 10 08:54

Brave Preparing to Launch Privacy-Focused Search Engine

The legendary Brendan Eich is preparing to launch a privacy-focused search engine called Tailcat that has been built from scratch and will have its own organic results instead of just indexing Bing results as is predominantly done with DuckDuckGo.

Mar 10 06:42

That Time the NSA Admitted to Placing Backdoors Into Huawei Equipment

American officials have long considered Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, a security threat, blocking it from business deals in the United States for fear that the company would create “back doors” in its equipment that could allow the Chinese military or Beijing-backed hackers to steal corporate and government secrets.

But even as the United States made a public case about the dangers of buying from Huawei, classified documents show that the National Security Agency was creating its own back doors — directly into Huawei’s networks.

The agency pried its way into the servers in Huawei’s sealed headquarters in Shenzhen, China’s industrial heart, according to N.S.A. documents provided by the former contractor Edward J. Snowden. It obtained information about the workings of the giant routers and complex digital switches that Huawei boasts connect a third of the world’s population, and monitored communications of the company’s top executives.

Mar 09 08:32

When a Robot Police Dog Is Deemed "Racist" (For Being Deployed in Communities of Color to Stop Crime), Have We Reached Peak Wokeness?

AOC slams NYPD’s $75,000 robotic police dog named Digidog as racist – saying it prowls the streets only in low-income communities of color

Democratic firebrand AOC blasted the police department’s four-legged ‘Digidog’ in a succession of Thursday tweets after it was deployed in the Bronx
Ocasio-Cortez appeared to accuse the NYPD of racism for deploying the device for ‘testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools’

She also argued that police funding that allows for new technology like the Digidog would have better served if it had been allotted to education or housing

Digidog, which was designed by Boston Dynamics and has a starting price of around $75,000, joined the NYPD last year and was used in a call Tuesday
Other critics have warned that empowering a robot to do police work could have implications for bias, mobile surveillance, hacking and privacy

Mar 09 08:05

VAX THOUGHT POLICE: Anyone who criticizes coronavirus vaccines FIVE times will be banned from Twitter

Anyone caught spreading “misleading information” about Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines on Twitter will be given five chances to stop before being forever banned from the social media platform, the company recently announced.

A new “strike system” will reportedly keep track of the number of times a Twitter user says something bad about Chinese virus vaccines. Each time the punishment will increase until eventually that user is struck from the platform for good.

This is Twitter’s way of ensuring that as many people as possible are misled into taking an experimental gene therapy “vaccine” that will forever alter their DNA through genetic engineering and reprogramming.

Mar 09 08:01

'Operation Chokepoint Is Back Under Biden': Gab CEO Details Being Blacklisted From The Financial System

Gab CEO Andrew Torba on Monday revealed how his pro-free speech social media site has been banned from 4 banks and one credit card "in the past month alone."

Mar 09 07:49

Mozilla Releases Firefox Extension to Shield Women From 'Hate Speech'

Mozilla has unveiled a new add-on with the purported aim of shielding women from "hostile comments" and "hate speech" online.

Mar 09 07:41

Microsoft attack blamed on China goes global, with 60,000 victims

A sophisticated attack on Microsoft’s widely used business email software is morphing into a global cybersecurity crisis, as hackers race to infect as many victims as possible before companies can secure their computer systems.

The attack, which Redmond-based Microsoft has said started with a Chinese government-backed hacking group, has so far claimed at least 60,000 known victims globally, according to a former senior U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation. Many of them appear to be businesses caught in a wide net the attackers cast as Microsoft worked to shut down the hack.

The European Banking Authority became one of the latest victims as it said Sunday that access to personal data through emails held on the Microsoft server may have been compromised. Others identified so far include banks and electricity providers, as well as an ice cream company, according to Huntress, a Maryland-based firm that monitors the security of customers, in a blog post Friday.

Mar 09 07:29

How the Microsoft Exchange hack could impact your organization

Organizations that run Microsoft Exchange Server are being urged to apply several bug fixes to the program in response to a hack from a Chinese cybercriminal group. The attack has sparked concern among everyone from security experts to the White House.

Early last week, Microsoft revealed that a China-based group called Hafnium has been launching cyberattacks against organizations by exploiting four zero-day vulnerabilities in on-premises versions of its Exchange Server software. The attacks are being carried out in three steps, according to Microsoft.

Mar 09 06:52

Biden preparing to launch series of ‘clandestine’ cyberattacks against Russia – NYT

The Biden administration is gearing up to carry out cyberattacks aimed at Russian networks, the New York Times has reported, describing the provocation as a retaliatory measure designed to send Moscow a message.
Citing officials familiar with the operation, the Times said that a “series of clandestine actions” aimed at Russia is expected to begin over the next three weeks and that the cyberattacks are intended to be “evident” to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s intelligence services, but not to the “wider world.”

The attack will likely coincide with new economic sanctions against Moscow, as well as an executive order from President Joe Biden that would bolster security for US government networks.

Mar 08 15:37

DJI's VR goggles let you see the world from your drone's point of view – Future Blink

The DJI FPV Combo racing drone gives you a real-time, immersive drone-flying experience thanks to VR googles.

Mar 08 15:32

Someone Is Hacking the Hackers

In the latest in a string of “hits” on Russian dark web forums, the prominent crime site Maza appears to have been hacked by someone earlier this week.

This is kind of big news since Maza (previously called “Mazafaka”) has long been a destination for all assortment of criminal activity, including malware distribution, money laundering, carding (i.e., the selling of stolen credit card information), and lots of other bad behavior. The forum is considered “elite” and hard to join, and in the past, it has been a cesspool for some of the world’s most prolific cybercriminals.

Whoever hacked Maza netted thousands of data points about the site’s users, including usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords, a new report from intelligence firm Flashpoint shows. Two warning messages were then scrawled across the forum’s home page: “Your data has been leaked” and “This forum has been hacked.”

Mar 08 15:29

Ransomware as a service is the new big problem for business

Ransomware as a service is proving effective for cyber criminals who want a piece of the cyber-extortion action but without necessarily having the skills to develop their own malware, with two out of three attacks using this model.

Ransomware attacks are still proving extremely lucrative, with the most well-organised gangs earning millions per victim, so many cyber criminals want to cash in – but don't have the ability to code and distribute their own campaigns.

That's where ransomware as a service (RaaS) comes in, with developers selling or leasing malware to users on dark web forums. These affiliate schemes provide low-level attackers with the ability to distribute and manage ransomware campaigns, with the developer behind the ransomware receiving a cut of each ransom victim's pay for the decryption key.

Mar 08 15:04

The Army’s New Goggles Let Soldiers See Right Through Walls

The U.S. Army’s new goggles can help soldiers see right through the walls of combat vehicles, which means infantry troops will have unparalleled situational awareness.

The Army is developing its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggles for close-combat forces, including mounted and dismounted troops, particularly infantry. The service hopes to field tens of thousands of the goggles, which can also help soldiers see in the dark, check around corners, and even project digital maps and other data onto the lenses.

Mar 08 14:45

Xanadu announces programmable photonic quantum chip able to execute multiple algorithms

A team of researchers and engineers at Canadian company Xanadu Quantum Technologies Inc., working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S., has developed a programmable, scalable photonic quantum chip that can execute multiple algorithms. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes how they made their chip, its characteristics and how it can be used. Ulrik Andersen with the Technical University of Denmark has published a News & Views piece in the same journal issue outlining current research on quantum computers and the work by the team in Canada.

Mar 08 07:20

Watch: Microsoft Hacked, Over 30,000 Businesses Compromised In Chinese Cyberwar Operation

Thousands of small businesses and government offices across the US were endangered due to a back door defect in Microsoft’s email program, according to reports.

Hackers in China have been abusing some flaws in Microsoft’s Exchange software to break into accounts and view emails without authorization and to install unlawful software, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sources told the newspaper that tens of thousands of customers all over the world could be affected, and that figure could be higher than 250,000.

Mar 07 07:40

Utah Lawmakers Pass Bill to Require 'Porn Filters' on All Tablets and Phones Sold in the State

Pour one out for all the horny folks in Utah, y’all. The state’s legislature has passed its baffling “porn filter” bill, which would mandate a default filter for “material that is harmful to minors” on all tablets and smartphones sold in the state beginning in 2022.

House Bill 72—its official title—passed the state Senate this week in a 19-6 vote with four absences, as first spotted by XBIZ. In February, the Utah House of Representatives sanctioned the bill after it narrowly scraped through a committee vote with a 6-5 margin. Now it’s headed to the desk of Utah Governor Spencer Cox for final approval.

Mar 07 07:38

Check to see if you’re vulnerable to Microsoft Exchange Server zero-days using this tool

Microsoft's Exchange Server team has released a script for IT admins to check if systems are vulnerable to recently-disclosed zero-day bugs.

As noted in an alert published by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Saturday, Microsoft's team has published a script on GitHub that can check the security status of Exchange servers.

The script has been updated to include indicators of compromise (IOCs) linked to four zero-day vulnerabilities found in Microsoft Exchange Server.

On March 2, the tech giant warned of the active exploit of the zero-days by a state-sponsored Chinese threat group called Hafnium. FireEye's Mandiant Managed Defense team has also tracked ongoing attacks against US organizations leveraging the bugs. So far, victims include local government entities, a university, and retailers.

Mar 07 07:37

The Latest Microsoft Hack Looks Like It Could Be Huge

Microsoft announced this week that another one of its email products, Exchange, had been compromised by a hacking campaign. This recent hack is actually totally unrelated to the “SolarWinds” one, in which Microsoft has also played an outsized role.

A state-sponsored threat actor from China dubbed “HAFNIUM” is said to be exploiting a number of zero-day flaws in on-premises Microsoft Exchange servers all over the globe in an apparent effort to steal data. Exchange essentially works with mail clients like Microsoft Office, ensuring that updates to devices are synchronized. It’s a very widely used product, to say the least. While Microsoft has sought to play down the potential scope of this hack (calling it “limited and targeted” in nature), it is beginning to look like that assessment is actually really, really wrong.

Mar 07 07:36

A new type of supply-chain attack with serious consequences is flourishing

A new type of supply chain attack unveiled last month is targeting more and more companies, with new rounds this week taking aim at Microsoft, Amazon, Slack, Lyft, Zillow, and an unknown number of others. In weeks past, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, and 32 other companies were targeted by a similar attack that allowed a security researcher to execute unauthorized code inside their networks.

The latest attack against Microsoft was also carried out as a proof-of-concept by a researcher. Attacks targeting Amazon, Slack, Lyft, and Zillow, by contrast, were malicious, but it’s not clear if they succeeded in executing the malware inside their networks. The npm and PyPi open source code repositories, meanwhile, have been flooded with more than 5,000 proof-of-concept packages, according to Sonatype, a firm that helps customers secure the applications they develop.

Mar 04 13:05

Five strikes and you're OUT! Twitter launches new 'strike' system for tweets that contain misinformation about Covid-19 and will attach warning labels to anti-vax posts

Twitter has launched a new 'strike' system for users who post tweets containing misinformation about Covid-19, including vaccines.

The strike policy will punish repeat offenders with temporary suspensions, which could lead to permanent suspension from the platform after five strikes.

The social network is also expanding its use of warning labels to tweets that may contain misleading information about the Covid-19 vaccines.

Offending tweets will appear with the message: 'This tweet may be misleading. Find out why health officials consider Covid-19 vaccines safe for most people.'

Mar 04 09:31

Microsoft's new Power Fx is an open-source language based on Excel

Microsoft has introduced Power Fx, an open-source, low-code language built on the foundation of Microsoft Excel.

Power Fx is the new language for expressing logic across the Microsoft Power Platform . It's not so much a brand-new programming language as it is the new name for the formula language for Microsoft's so-called canvas apps.

Power Fx is described by Microsoft as a general-purpose, strong-typed, declarative, and functional programming language. It shares the same syntax and functions as Excel, with Microsoft explaining that Power Fx behaves much in the same way its popular spreadsheet application handles formulas.

Mar 04 08:55

Skydio: Drones With ‘Most Advanced AI Ever’ Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department

It claims to be shipping the most advanced AI-powered drone ever built: a quadcopter that costs as little as $1,000, which can latch on to targets and follow them, dodging all sorts of obstacles and capturing everything on high-quality video. Skydio claims that its software can even predict a target’s next move, be that target a pedestrian or a car.

The technology is futuristic, but not exactly brand-new. DJI, which claims yearly revenues above $2 billion, has been making drones with similar autonomous flying features since at least 2016. Some police who’ve used Skydio claim its drones are better at flying in tight, tactical situations—like inside buildings or through a forest—but DJI, which is valued north of $15 billion, has a significant market advantage. Analysts put its U.S. market share at between 70% and 80%, with no other manufacturer above 10% (worldwide numbers are similar).

Mar 04 08:53

CISA issues emergency directive to agencies: Deal with Microsoft Exchange zero-days now

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued an emergency directive following the release of fixes for zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange.

The US agency's Emergency Directive 21-02, "Mitigate Microsoft Exchange On-Premises Product Vulnerabilities," was issued on March 3.

This week, Microsoft warned that four zero-day vulnerabilities in Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Server 2016, and Exchange Server 2019 are being actively exploited by a suspected state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) group from China called Hafnium.

Exchange Online is not affected by the bugs. However, Exchange Server is software used by government agencies and the enterprise alike, and so Microsoft's warning to apply provided patches immediately should not be ignored.

Mar 04 08:42

Companies are using this email trick to spy on you – here’s how to stop them

All of the marketing emails that flood your email account each don’t just make it harder to achieve inbox zero. Many of them actually do much more than push the brand’s message into your inbox — they also include unseen mechanisms that allow the email messages to essentially spy on you, tracking things like whether you opened the message and what time you did so.

Mar 04 08:35

If you use this app, your private data might have been exposed in a big data breach

Reports have begun circulating that Zee5, an on-demand Internet streaming service based in India, that’s available almost everywhere globally except the US, may have suffered another data breach — this time reportedly putting some 9 million users’ private data at risk of being exploited by hackers.

Previous Zee5 data leaks were reported last year. What sparked this new episode, about which Zee5 has been quiet thus far, is a tweet a few days ago from an independent Internet security researcher, who wrote the following: “9 Million users data alleged leaked from #Zee5 again!! It seems latest data leak on 23rd Feb 2021. I sure no one is going to take responsibility for this too. Now we can say that there is no value of our personal and financial data. Risk is ours.”

Mar 04 08:14

Apple might replace the iPhone’s Lightning port with something much better

Various rumors claimed last year that Apple is already developing a portless iPhone. This handset would not feature a Lightning port for battery charging and data transfer, which is what Lightning does on all iPhones and most iPads. Known for his accurate Apple predictions, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo made similar remarks in a recent note to customers. He said that Apple wouldn’t replace Lightning with USB-C anytime soon. Instead, the company would launch a portless design than switching to USB-C.

Mar 03 10:41

Google patches actively exploited Chrome browser zero-day vulnerability

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-21166, was reported by Alison Huffman from the Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research team on February 11 and is described as an "object lifecycle issue in audio."

Google has labeled the vulnerability as a "high" severity security flaw and has fixed the issue in the latest Chrome release.

Alongside CVE-2021-21166, Huffman also recently reported another high-severity bug, CVE-2021-21165, another object lifestyle issue in audio problem, and CVE-2021-21163, an insufficient data validation issue in Reader Mode.

The tech giant has not revealed further details concerning how CVE-2021-21166 is being exploited, or by whom.

Mar 03 10:40

Microsoft: These Exchange Server zero-day flaws are being used by hackers, so update now

Microsoft has released updates to address four previously unknown or 'zero-day' vulnerabilities in Exchange Server that were being used in limited targeted attacks, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft is urging customers to apply the updates as soon as possible due to the critical rating of the flaws. The flaws affected Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Server 2016, and Exchange Server 2019. Exchange Online is not affected.

"We strongly encourage all Exchange Server customers to apply these updates immediately," it said.

Mar 03 09:23

Wikipedia’s founder is creating new free speech competitor to website, citing leftist domination

Sanger admitted that Wikipedia had become “badly biased” last year, citing the use of political propaganda by establishment editors on the site who consistently lock down articles pertaining to publicly discussed topics and figures.

Mar 03 08:40

U.S. ‘Not Prepared To Defend Or Compete’ With China On AI According To Commission Report

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, or NCSAI, issued a report on Monday, March 1, 2021, which offers a stark warning to the leadership of the United States. According to the thorough 756-page report, China could likely soon replace the U.S. as the world’s leader in artificial intelligence, or AI, and that shift will have significant ramifications for the U.S. military at home and abroad. The full text of the report is listed on the NCSAI website.

Mar 03 07:35

'Failing': Alarming Report Spells Out Artificial Intelligence Development Gap Between U.S. & China

The United States needs to intensify its artificial intelligence-powered instruments in order not to fall short of the efforts of communist China, a U.S. national security commission has told Congress.

In a 750-page report to Congress published on March 1, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) outlined the threats posed by Beijing, which has been striving to replace the United States as the world’s next AI superpower.

If left uncared for, the communist regime’s rapid progress in the AI field would see China surpass America within the next ten years, suggested the commission headed by former Google chairman Eric Schmidt, along with executives from Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon.

Mar 03 07:16

Why privacy-busting, law-breaking GCHQ’s pledges to protect the public using artificial intelligence should raise an eyebrow

The UK’s signals intelligence agency isn't known for its commitment to the rule of law, so claims its new Artificial Intelligence capabilities will be used to safeguard citizens, not spy on them, shouldn’t be taken at face value.
On February 24, GCHQ issued a report – Pioneering a New National Security – outlining how it intends to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tackle child sex abuse, drugs, weapons and human trafficking, and online disinformation.

Mainstream media outlets widely reiterated the paper’s headline claims without criticism or balance. The BBC went so far as to suggest the release reflected GCHQ’s benevolent intentions and commitment to transparency.

Mar 02 16:51

Oxford University lab researching coronavirus was just targeted in a cyberattack

“Portuguese-speaking” South American hackers have targeted the biomedical systems in a laboratory in the University of Oxford that is conducting research on the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Officials from Oxford confirmed that its Division of Structural Biology, known as Strubi, was targeted by a cyber attack sometime in mid-February. The university was quick to point out that, while Strubi was researching the coronavirus, it was distinct from the Jenner Institute, the laboratory that developed the coronavirus vaccine in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Oxford was alerted to the breach in Strubi when screenshots of the attack were discovered inside the lab’s network. The hackers left these screenshots in one of their “poorly secured servers.”

Mar 02 11:55

The Perseverance rover runs on processors used in iMacs in the 1990s

Remember the colourful iMac computers from the late 1990s? The same processor that powered those is being used to run NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover.

This processor, which is also being used in the Curiosity rover, has just 10.4 million transistors – even affordable smartphones now have more than 1000 times as many. So why is such old technology used in a cutting-edge space exploration mission?

It all comes down to radiation.

Mar 02 08:08

Forget 5G, Apple is now looking for engineers to work on 6G

Hot on the heels of launching its first 5G-enabled iPhones, Apple is now looking to start work on sixth-generation (6G) cellular connectivity. The California-based company is currently looking for wireless systems research engineers for next-generation networks.

Mar 02 07:30

The Global Inflation Nightmare That You Have Been Warned About Is Here

If you thought that authorities all over the planet could print, borrow and spend money like there was no tomorrow without any consequences, you were being delusional.  Since the beginning of the "COVID pandemic", we have witnessed the greatest monetary binge in world history.  Of course that was going to cause enormous problems.  Of course that was going to cause nightmarish inflation.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense should have been able to see that.  When the value of money is tied to nothing, “more money” is always such a tempting solution for those in power.  But as history has demonstrated over and over again, going down that path almost always leads to tragedy.

Mar 02 06:54

Another Mega Group Spy Scandal? Samanage, Sabotage, and the SolarWinds Hack

The devastating hack on SolarWinds was quickly pinned on Russia by US intelligence. A more likely culprit, Samanage, a company whose software was integrated into SolarWinds’ software just as the “back door” was inserted, is deeply tied to Israeli intelligence and intelligence-linked families such as the Maxwells.

In mid-December of 2020, a massive hack compromised the networks of numerous US federal agencies, major corporations, the top five accounting firms in the country, and the military, among others. Despite most US media attention now focusing on election-related chaos, the fallout from the hack continues to make headlines day after day.

The hack, which affected Texas-based software provider SolarWinds, was blamed on Russia on January 5 by the US government’s Cyber Unified Coordination Group. Their statement asserted that the attackers were “likely Russian in origin,” but they failed to provide evidence to back up that claim.

Mar 01 12:27

Google: Bad bots are on the attack, and your defence plan is probably wrong

Google is warning that bots are causing more problems for business -- but many companies are only focused on the most obvious attacks.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said Microsoft had seen "two years' worth of digital transformation in two months." Google now sees that attackers have adapted to these changed conditions and are boosting attacks on newly online businesses, with bots high on the list of tools used.

Bot attacks can cover anything from web scraping where bots are used to gather content or data, to bots that try to beat Captchas, to ad fraud, card fraud and inventory fraud. Of particular concern are distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), where junk traffic is directed at an online service with the purpose of flooding it to the point of knocking it offline.

Mar 01 07:57

SWISS RESEARCHERS DEVELOP WEARABLE MICROCHIP THAT ELIMINATES BODILY PRIVACY ONCE AND FOR ALL

A group of Swiss scientists developed a wearable microchip which sits on the skin throughout the day and records hormone levels via sweat. The microchip measures levels of cortisol in the body and tells the wearer when they are experiencing too much stress, say the researchers.

Mar 01 07:12

You have to see this laptop that you can build and upgrade yourself

It might look like a MacBook from that angle, but then again, many laptop makers attempt to mimic Apple’s MacBook Pro and Air designs. A closer look makes it clear that this isn’t an Apple computer.

The Framework Laptop is easily the most exciting laptop project of 2021 so far, and we’ve just seen a bunch of interesting new notebooks that will hit stores this year. What sets the Framework Laptop apart is something you normally only see on desktops. The Framework Laptop is a modular machine that you can build and rebuild at any time, upgrading the parts that slow you down.

Feb 28 07:48

CONFIRMED: Hackers Strike And Leak Bill Gates, WHO, And Wuhan Lab Emails

FRN has confirmed reports that hackers have successfully hacked accounts belonging to Bill Gates, the WHO, and a lab in Wuhan believed to be the location researching coronavirus that received funding from Dr. Fauci.

The event appears to have taken place on or about April 20th.

Netizens have taken to activism and people are logging in via SSH and downloading the contents of these hacks. This means that many people will be combing through the hacked documents with a fine-toothed comb.

Hackers apparently looking for the truth behind the coronavirus outbreak have allegedly hacked the World Health Organization, the Wuhan biolab and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A set of huge databases containing usernames and passwords has been leaked.

Feb 28 07:20

War Mongering For Artificial Intelligence

The ghost of Edward Teller must have been doing the rounds between members of the National Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The father of the hydrogen bomb was never one too bothered by the ethical niggles that came with inventing murderous technology. It was not, for instance, “the scientist’s job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be constructed, whether it should be used, or how it should be used.” Responsibility, however exercised, rested with the American people and their elected officials.

The application of AI in military systems has plagued the ethicist but excited certain leaders and inventors. Russian President Vladimir Putin has grandiloquently asserted that “it would be impossible to secure the future of our civilization” without a mastery of artificial intelligence, genetics, unmanned weapons systems and hypersonic weapons.

Feb 28 07:04

The Air Force is using virtual reality to fight its suicide epidemic

Airman Mike is having a real bad day. He’s in a tough spot at work, his wife left him and took the kids, and he’s posting a lot of worrisome stuff on Instagram. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Mikes in the Air Force, and now you’re at his house, trying to check in on him. What do you do?

That’s exactly the question the Air Force’s new suicide prevention virtual reality simulator is trying to help airmen answer. The 30-minute training session being demoed at Scott and Travis Air Force Bases puts trainees in the shoes of airmen checking in on their virtual buddies at a rough time in their lives.

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