COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Nov 12 12:10

New Home “Amazon Experience Centers” Are Really Amazon Home Surveillance Centers

By MassPrivateI

For those of you who miss the good old days when government spies used to bug people’s homes, I give you “Amazon Experience Centers”: new homes pre-equipped with a mind-boggling array of listening devices.

Amazon’s ‘Experience Centers’ tagline, “Try smart home devices in person and see how Amazon can simplify your everyday” is less about simplification and more about home surveillance.

As NPR notes, builders like Lennar Homes have pre-installed Amazon smart devices in at least 45,000 new homes this year alone...

Nov 12 10:25

The case of the disappearing snow: A stormy week — for the computers

The Philadelphia region might see its first snowflakes on Tuesday. But what happened to that threat of a major snowfall? How did it devolve into a prosaic forecast of harmless white fireflies appearing in the air?

The alleged offender is a familiar one, particularly as winter nears: the computer. While last week represented a welcome respite from the traumas of tornadoes and mass power outages, it was a wild one in the world of long-range virtual weather.

Nov 12 10:22

iOS 13.2.2 causes battery havoc

iOS 13.2.2 might fix the bug that broke multitasking on the iPhone and iPad, but it appears to introduce a new bug that severely limits productivity when on the move.

Nov 12 10:11

No, YouTube Won't Cancel Accounts That Don't Generate Revenue

A new update to the YouTube Terms of Service has users concerned that Google will cancel their account if they are deemed to be not "commercially viable". Google says this is not true and that this section of the agreement only applies towards Google services and not user accounts.

On November 10th, 2019, Google released an updated YouTube Terms of Use in order to make it easier to read and to make sure they are up to date.

"We made some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date. We’re not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings," a YouTube spokesperson told BleepingComputer.com.

Unfortunately, a part of the "Account Suspension & Termination" section of the updated Terms of Use is not clearly written and states that Google can terminate your access or your Google account's access to YouTube if it is not "commercially viable".

Nov 12 04:16

NATIONAL REAL ID CARDS CREATE ‘INTERNAL PASSPORTS’ THAT WILL ENABLE ORWELLIAN SURVEILLANCE STATE

The official deadline for states to comply with the REAL ID Act is Oct. 1, 2020. The legislation was passed in 2005, and implementation has been stalled for years due to state-level resistance. After playing the waiting game, the feds have settled on next year to enforce their unconstitutional legislative mandate.

Analyst Peter Earle of the American Institute for Economic Research explains that state-level efforts to resist REAL ID are futile, and all will be forced to comply due to federal aid being tied to implementing the onerous scheme. Earle believes these “internal passports” are another step toward the destruction of privacy rights by Big Brother.

Nov 11 13:44

Google running Orwellian project to secretly hoover up health records of millions of Americans across 21 states – WSJ

Google is teaming with one of the country’s largest health-care systems on a secret project to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents.

The data involved in Project Nightingale includes lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, complete with patient names and dates of birth.

Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Nov 11 13:42

YouTube now banning doctors for daring to question transgenderism… Trannies the new “untouchables” who can never be questioned

“See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.”

Those are the words of Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician with many years’ experience and the executive director of the American Academy of Pediatricians, in a Daily Signal video published in 2017.

It’s a sentence YouTube will not allow the doctor to say about children and gender identity issues.

Talk about rational; Cretella is spot-on. But no; the Left-wing speech Nazis at YouTube will not allow anyone to question the wisdom of self-mutilation over what really only amounts to gender confusion.

Nov 11 11:18

YouTube says it can delete your account if you’re not 'commercially viable'

YouTube’s new terms of service has some users and content creators very worried that the company could delete their account.

In the section titled “Account Suspension & Termination” with the subheader “Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes,” the site’s new terms, which are set to take effect on Dec. 10, adds the following:

“YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.”

In its most basic terms: if YouTube isn’t making money off you, the company can delete your account.

Nov 10 11:04

THOUGHT POLICE: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter all ban any mention of “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella as the Overton Window of allowable speech collapses

In order to achieve this Orwellian goal of complete secrecy and obfuscation of the facts, the tech giants are now aggressively de-platforming any channel that mentions the name “Ciaramella” in text, images or videos. This action is predicated on the coordinated liberal lie that falsely claims naming whistleblowers is somehow against the law.

It turns out it isn’t. That’s why the left-wing media itself routinely names whistleblowers if doing so is calculated to be able to harm President Trump, Kavanaugh or other prominent conservatives. (Remember the Christine Blasey Ford circus against Kavanaugh? Ford’s name wasn’t blacklisted from the internet…)

Nov 10 09:59

China Working on 6G Despite Opposition and Lawsuits Against 5G Increasing Worldwide

By B.N. Frank

According to many respected sources, 5G is already too risky. Regardless, China and other countries -- including the U.S. -- are working on 6G...

Nov 09 07:16

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be removing an posts which name alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be removing an posts which name alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella.

"We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in the debate," Facebook said in a statement in which they claim it violates their "coordinating harm" policy which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activist.'

On Wednesday, the social media giant removed ads naming Ciaramella which had been viewed several hundred thousand times according to the Washington Post.

On Friday, Breitbart's Allum Bohkari reported that the news outlet's posts containing references to Ciaramella had been scrubbed from the site.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Frankly, this is precisely what we can expect henceforward from the Zuk, the Malnificent's "Facebook"; since the 4th estate in this country has been defined as "journalism, or what passes for it in this country today", the 5th estate has become that of both the cybersurveillence, and cyber-scrubbing ordered by the US Deep State; folks, it is just that simple.

Zuk the Malnificent, through Facebook, is simply a tool of the US Deep State; nothing more and nothing less.

Nov 09 05:16

HACKERS CAN SILENTLY CONTROL YOUR GOOGLE HOME, ALEXA, SIRI WITH LASER LIGHT

SOURCE: THE HACKER NEWS
A team of cybersecurity researchers has discovered a clever technique to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice-controlled devices — all just by shining a laser at the targeted device instead of using spoken words.

Dubbed 'Light Commands,' the hack relies on a vulnerability in MEMS microphones embedded in widely-used popular voice-controllable systems that unintentionally respond to light as if it were sound.

According to experiments done by a team of researchers from Japanese and Michigan Universities, a remote attacker standing at a distance of several meters away from a device can covertly trigger the attack by simply modulating the amplitude of laser light to produce an acoustic pressure wave.

"By modulating an electrical signal in the intensity of a light beam, attackers can trick microphones into producing electrical signals as if they are receiving genuine audio," the researchers said in their paper [PDF].

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is more than scary; and if it can happen to civilian equipment, what about military equipment?!?

Nov 08 17:04

Some online retailers can now get the phone number of people who visit their sites and call them while they're still browsing

This week the online furniture retailer Wayfair confirmed the company is testing a new program that allows them to identify the phone number of some of their customers and call them to ‘assist them in the shopping process.’

According to Wayfair, the program is currently being tested with fewer than one percent of their customers, and everyone who receives a call is first sent an email to explain the program.

The program is part of a growing trend of online retailers who’ve begun calling customers visiting their sites to try and encourage them to go through with a purchase.

Nov 08 15:06

Facebook Communications Leaked Antitrust Behaviors, Admits 100 Developers Had Access To User Data

By Aaron Kesel

Facebook states that even after the company locked down its Groups’ application programming interface (API) last year, some app developers retained improper access to information about the site’s millions of members, according to a Facebook blog post.

Facebook notes that roughly 100 developers might have accessed user information since Facebook changed its rules in April of 2018, and at least 11 of those devs accessed member data in the last 60 days. Facebook now says it has cut all partners off from that data.

Facebook Group administrators are able to use third-party tools to manage their groups, giving apps information about its users’ activity. However, since the changes last year, developers shouldn’t be able to see individual members’ names, profile pictures, or unspecified other profile data...

Nov 08 11:20

NSA to Congress: Our spy programs don’t work, aren’t used, or have gone wrong – now can you permanently reauthorize them?

The NSA was unable to give a single example of how one of its most controversial spying programs has been useful in the fight against terrorism in a Congressional hearing on Wednesday morning.

The repeated refusal by NSA senior official Susan Morgan to provide any detail whatsoever about how the program - which the NSA and FBI are formally asking Congress to permanently authorize - has proved useful, left senators on the Judiciary Committee shaking their heads in disbelief.

Nov 08 08:29

DNS-over-HTTPS will eventually roll out in all major browsers, despite ISP opposition

All six major browser vendors have plans to support DNS-over-HTTPS (or DoH), a protocol that encrypts DNS traffic and helps improve a user's privacy on the web.

The DoH protocol has been one of the year's hot topics. It's a protocol that, when deployed inside a browser, it allows the browser to hide DNS requests and responses inside regular-looking HTTPS traffic.

Doing this makes a user's DNS traffic invisible to third-party network observers, such as ISPs. But while users love DoH and have deemed it a privacy boon, ISPs, networking operators, and cyber-security vendors hate it.

Nov 07 12:19

Elon Musk-backed AI company releases its text-generating robot despite concerns it could be used to create fake news and spam

Creators of a text-generating robot have released the tool to the public despite initial trepidation that it could be manipulated by bad actors.

OpenAI - an Elon Musk-backed company that researches artificial intelligence- detailed its system, called GPT-2, in February, but stopped short of releasing it over concerns that it might be used to proliferate spam and fake news.

The AI is capable of taking a snippet of text and extrapolating that small piece of information into a larger document.

For instance, if fed a phony headline, the bot would be able to produce a fairly convincing fake news story based on the prompt.

Nov 07 11:52

Another day, another iOS update: Apple rolls out SECOND update in a week that fixes an app-killing bug

The tech giant has rolled out iOS 13.3 to fix a multitasking issue that was found to 'aggressively' kill apps, instead of leaving them open in the background.

Nov 07 11:42

Netflix scam warning: New email con tries to steal YOUR username and password - what to do

This latest attack, which is being sent out via email, tells Netflix users that their account has been put “on hold.”

The message reads, “Hello, we're having some trouble with your current billing information. We'll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.”

Users are then urged to update their account via a link embedded into the email. Once someone clicks on the link, they're taken to a website that looks almost identical to the official Netflix sign-in page.

But instead of checking the username and password and signing you into Netflix like you'll get with the official Login page, this one sends the details you've entered to the creators of the suspicious website.

It's likely the attacker will then use this personal data to try and access other accounts and services.

Nov 07 11:21

Google open sources Cardboard VR after killing its Daydream project

After killing its ambitious Daydream VR project last month, Google is making the Cardboard VR project open source.

The company said the code repository includes features such as APIs for head tracking, lens distortion rendering, and input handling, for developers to build Android and iOS apps designed for Cardboard VR experiences.

Nov 07 11:17

tFacebook Flip-Flops; Mulls New Political Ad Policy After Hillary Warns Zuck "Should Pay Price"

After a chorus of Democrats came down hard on Facebook after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company would continue to distribute political ads without fact checking them, the company is now 'mulling' changes to how such ads are treated, according to CNN. That said, the company will continue to allow politicians to run unverified advertisements.

Notably, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - who still appears to be having issues accepting the results of the 2016 election decried a "war on truth" last week, and suggested that "Mark Zuckerberg should pay a price for what he is doing to our democracy."

"Part of our problem, those of us who are appalled by this war on truth and this fake news which is truly surrounding us these days, is we’re not very good at combating it. It’s hard because you’re up against algorithms, plus all these other powerful forces, it’s really hard," she added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

FAKE TRUTH, HILLARY?!? YOU AND BILL CLINTON NEARLY INVENTED THE GENRE; NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE MODEST, MY DEAR!!

Nov 07 11:08

Amazon's Ring Video Doorbell Lets Attackers Steal Your Wi-Fi Password

Security researchers at Bitdefender have discovered a high-severity security vulnerability in Amazon's Ring Video Doorbell Pro devices that could allow nearby attackers to steal your WiFi password and launch a variety of cyberattacks using MitM against other devices connected to the same network.

Nov 07 09:57

Netflix will stop working on some Samsung smart TVs next month due to 'technical limitations' - as the company announces crackdown on password sharing

Some Samsung smart TV users will no longer be able to stream Netflix from next month, due to 'technical limitations' on older models.

In a statement on its website - which now appears to have been deleted - the tech giant announced that anyone with an older model who still wants to use Netflix will need to buy a compatible device.

Nov 07 05:41

COPS NOW USING WARRANTS TO GAIN ACCESS TO DNA SERVICES' ENTIRE DATABASES

SOURCE: TECH DIRT
Cops have discovered a new source of useful third-party records: DNA databases. Millions of people have voluntarily handed over personal information to a number of services in exchange for info on medical markers or distant family members.

Investigators are submitting DNA samples from cold cases in hopes of tracking down criminals who’ve managed to evade them for years. It has led to the closing of some cases, which is all agencies need to argue for continued access to DNA samples from millions of users.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I used to think about using DNA services to get a little more background on my ancestors; however, with recent revelations, (and not that I have done anything to cause any police to come knocking at my door), I don't think I want to at this point in time.

Nov 07 05:01

TWO FORMER TWITTER EMPLOYEES CHARGED WITH SPYING FOR SAUDI ARABIA, MAY BE INVOLVED IN KHASHOGGI MURDER

Two Former Twitter Employees Charged With Spying For Saudi Arabia, May Be Involved In Khashoggi Murder
For all those still seeking details about Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it may be time to give Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey a call.

Two former Twitter employees were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia, the Justice Department unveiled on Wednesday in San Francisco, in a case which the WaPo said "raises concerns about the ability of Silicon Valley to protect the private information of dissidents and other users from repressive governments."

The complaint unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco detailed a coordinated effort by Saudi officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of thousands of Twitter accounts. The accounts included those of a popular journalist with more than 1 million followers and other prominent government critics.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) President Trump, a word, please.

I understand that you greatly admire your two BFFs in the Middle East, The Butcher of Yemen, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the Butcher of Gaza, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu, primarily because they seem to be able to get away with anything, including murder, and never seem to have to pay a moral or political price for their actions.

I would like to politely suggest, Mr. President, that those days may well soon be over for both men.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu was unable to create a majority for the Israeli government, and is awaiting his fate on corruption charges.

IF in fact these charges indicated above are proven true, your BFF in Saudi Arabia, the Butcher of Yemen, may well be facing a "coup-coup-a-CHOO!!", courtesy of other family members who never believed he should have been given the title of Crown Prince by his dad in the first place.

IF, in fact, by some miracle, you are re-elected in 2020, I would strongly caution you to only have around you moral and ethical people who really care about the future of this country (not just the fatness of their own wallets), and understand that the actions of this current administration appear to be those archetypal "last gasps of an empire in decline", and wish to see this country change course before it is too late.

And it well may be too late to save any vestiges of this country; I say that as someone who cares about this future of the US (because Mike and I have young family and we want to see them all thrive and survive); unfortunately, its leadership has dug itself into so many holes, post World War II, from which there is no return, that I cannot begin to enumerate them.

And one final observation, President Trump; your having positioned yourself as this country's "Merchant of Death in Chief", by signing off on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, in its continuing, unmitigated genocide in Yemen, has not done much to endear you to those people in this country, and on the planet (I am one of them) who sincerely wish to see this country prosper by promoting peace, prosperity, innovation and through intelligent, moral, hard-won negotiations.

Nov 06 19:43

Setting up the perfect Windows 10 Installation | Faster, Lighter, and Functional

Steps:
-Update to the Latest
-Block Updates
-Debloat Script
-Disable Privacy Settings
-High Performance Power Settings
-Disable Indexing
-Disable Firewall (ONLY ON SECURE NETWORKS!)

Nov 06 16:43

NVIDIA Fixes Security Flaws in GPU Driver, GeForce Experience

Users are urged to update their GeForce, Quadro, NVS, and Tesla Windows GPU display drivers by applying the security update available on the NVIDIA Driver Downloads page. Some of the affected driver versions will receive patches during the week of November 18 as per NVIDIA.

The company also advises customers to patch their GeForce Experience software by downloading the latest version from the GeForce Experience Downloads page or by launching the client to have it applied via the automatic update mechanism

Nov 06 16:40

Facebook executives planned 'switcharoo' on data policy change: court filings

began cutting off access to user data for app developers from 2012 to squash potential rivals

Nov 06 13:31

ACLU SUES FBI AND OTHER AGENCIES, DEFENDING PRIVACY RIGHTS OF AMERICANS AGAINST FACIAL RECOGNITION

The ACLU has sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies, making claims that the government is improperly withholding information on how it uses a facial recognition database on millions of Americans. The civil rights organization also asks for a “federal court to intervene and order the FBI and related agencies to turn over all records concerning their use of face recognition technology,” according to a legal document.

“Because of the FBI’s secrecy, little is known about how the agency is supercharging its surveillance activities with face recognition technology,” Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a post on its website.

The public has a right to know when, where, and how law enforcement agencies are using face recognition technology, and what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect our rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I find that I do have a "hug and a punch" relationship with this organization, but on this issue, I am having a "hug and let's do coffee" moment, with their actions here.

Nov 06 11:38

Netflix will stop working on older Samsung smart TVs next month

Some Samsung smart TVs will no longer include Netflix support starting Dec. 2, a Netflix representative said Tuesday. The change is due to technical limitations.

Nov 06 11:27

Heads up from Internet of S*!# land: Best Buy's Insignia 'smart' home gear will become very dumb this Wednesday

FYI: US mega-retailer Best Buy will switch off the "smart" portion of its Insignia-branded smart home gadgets this coming Wednesday, rendering them just plain old dumb gear.

Folks who've bought these soon-to-be-internet-less Internet-of-Things gizmos can apply for some money back in the form of a gift card, though a full refund is off the cards, literally.

“As the Insignia Connect platform will be discontinued on November 6, 2019, this process will determine your eligibility for compensation for your eligible Insignia Connect products,” Best Buy stated on its webpage about the shutdown. An FAQ with more details is here.

"The compensation will not be a full refund of your product, and will be determined by product type."

Nov 06 11:17

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

The self-driving Uber car that hit and killed a woman walking her bike across a street wasn’t designed to detect “jaywalking pedestrians.”

That's according to an official dossier published by the US National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) on Tuesday.

The March 2018 accident was the first recorded death by a fully autonomous vehicle. On-board video footage showed the victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, pushing her bike at night across a road in Tempe, Arizona, moments before she was struck by the AI-powered SUV at 39 MPH.

Now, an investigation by the NTSB into the crash has pinpointed a likely major contributing factor: the code couldn't recognize her as a pedestrian, because she was not at an obvious designated crossing.

Nov 06 08:52

Israeli spyware targeted Americans

An Israeli company enabled the hacking of American citizens’ phones – possibly including some belonging to government officials.

The NSO Group’s spy software used a security vulnerability in WhatsApp to hijack the phones of at least 1,400 people in the spring, a Reuters report revealed on Thursday.

The news agency spoke to sources familiar with an internal WhatsApp investigation into the breach.

The targets were spread across more than 20 countries, many of them US allies, Reuters reported.

Their sources stated that a “significant” number of the known victims were high-profile government and military officials.

Some of the victims are in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Mexico, Pakistan and India, according to Reuters’ sources.

Nov 06 08:44

Fitbit is doomed: Why everything Google buys turns to garbage

Late last week, Google announced its intention to purchase Fitbit, the beleaguered health tracker manufacturer, in an attempt to vitalize its wearables business, with the presumed intent of producing a Pixel Watch to rival Apple and Samsung's offerings sometime in the future.

You'll have to excuse my pessimism. I fully expect this to result in a total catastrophe for Fitbit's employees, products, and customers. Just about everything Google has ever purchased has been discarded like garbage or has been completely devalued as a result of the company's inability to successfully integrate acquired businesses into its culture.

Nov 05 19:37

More Smartphone Lawsuits Expected. RF Radiation Exceeds Outdated Federal Safety Levels Up to 500%

By B.N. Frank

An article published in the Chicago Tribune in August revealed that 11 smartphone models exceed very outdated federal RadioFrequency (RF) exposure safety limits.

How outdated? No “safe” levels of RF radiation have even been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. Health experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics have warned that children are more susceptible to harm from all sources of wireless radiation and have encouraged reducing their exposure everywhere including in medical buildings, schools, etc.

Because of the Chicago Tribune article, Fegan Scott law firm started a class action lawsuit...

Nov 05 17:20

8chan Relaunches As 8kun

After months offline due to a sustained assault by our Big Tech oligarchs, 8chan is finally back online after relaunching as 8kun.

Nov 05 16:01

Apple, Google, Facebook move aside: State Duma mulls making Russian-made software mandatory for mobile devices

A bill obligating all devices in Russia to have local software pre-installed on them is being considered by the Parliament. If it becomes law, there are fears that Apple could leave the $3 billion market altogether.

The legislation, which passed the first reading by the MPs on Tuesday, stipulates that any smartphone, computer or smart TV sold in Russia must have Russian applications by default on it. Such software, it claims, is friendlier and more attractive for Russian users than Western counterparts.

Nov 05 15:55

AMD, a chipmaking underdog, is having its day

Two things explain the firm’s resurgence. One is a better product. In 2012 AMD rehired Jim Keller, a well-regarded chip designer who had been at Apple. AMD had long been competing on price—its chips were slower than Intel’s but much cheaper. Mr Keller’s “Zen” chips, unveiled in 2017, are still cheap. But they are now as zippy as Intel’s, or even zippier: AMD’s top-end server chip, for instance, is faster than its Intel counterpart in many tasks, and costs half as much. Zen chips have won a string of contracts with Microsoft and Sony (for new games consoles), Google (data centres) and Cray (supercomputers), among others.

The second reason is that, while AMD has improved, Intel has stumbled. The firm makes its own chips. Its latest and greatest manufacturing process, which should have delivered a big performance boost, is years late, leaving the firm to rehash existing designs.

Nov 05 15:31

Boeing's poor information security posture threatens passenger safety, national security, researcher says

Boeing's poor information security practices threaten aviation safety and national security, security researcher Chris Kubecka told an audience at the Aviation Cyber Security conference in London today.

Boeing test development networks are publicly exposed to the internet, Kubecka said, and at least one of Boeing's email servers is infected with multiple strains of malware. Kubecka believes that the infected email servers are being used to exfiltrate sensitive intellectual property including code used in both civilian passenger aircraft as well as aircraft Boeing sells to the US military.

Nov 05 15:23

Actively exploited bug in fully updated Firefox is sending users into a tizzy

Scammers are actively exploiting a bug in Firefox that causes the browser to lock up after displaying a message warning the computer is running a pirated version of Windows that has been hacked.

The message, which appears without any user interaction upon visiting a site, reads:

Please stop and do not close the PC... The registry key of your computer is locked. Why did we block your computer? The Windows registry key is illegal. The Windows desktop is using pirated software. The Window desktop sends viruses over the Internet. This Windows desktop is hacked. We block this computer for your safety.

The message then advises the person to call a toll-free number in the next five minutes or face having the computer disabled.

Nov 05 09:08

Executives at more than half of organizations worldwide say they are not prepared for cyberattacks, troubling new report claims

More than 4,000 cyberattacks occur daily worldwide, half of organizations across the globe admit they are not prepared for such events.

A new report has found that only 49 percent of chief information security officers believe in their company's ability to respond to a hacking incident or data breach.

Executives in the US were found to be the most confident with 72 percent stating they are fully prepared, but just a quarter of organizations in Japan said they could handle a cyberattack.

Nov 05 09:02

Uh Oh, Siri ?— Researchers Hack Smart Speakers With Lasers

Ars Technica reports that the attack exploits a vulnerability in microphones that use micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMs. The microscopic MEMs components in these microphones respond to light as if it were sound.

“We show how an attacker can use light-injected voice commands to unlock the target’s smart-lock protected front door, open garage doors, shop on e-commerce websites at the target’s expense, or even locate, unlock and start various vehicles (e.g., Tesla and Ford) if the vehicles are connected to the target’s Google account.”

Researchers tested Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Portal, and tablets and phones. All devices that use MEMS microphones are susceptible to this laser attack.

Nov 05 08:31

Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant smart speakers – they're all open to remote laser attacks

Researchers have found that MEMS microphones are so sensitive they can interpret light as sound, allowing an attacker to shoot silent commands to voice assistants from afar.

Nov 05 08:31

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

By MassPrivateI

Smart city surveillance is much worse than anyone could have imagined.

Two years ago, I revealed how a CIA “signature school” was installing thousands of CCTV cameras and microphones in smart cities, but Sidewalk Labs wants to take public surveillance to a whole new level.

The Globe And Mail revealed that Sidewalk Labs’ “Yellow Book,” a guidebook designed to help Google employees build a smart city from the ground up, would give their employees control of public services...

Nov 05 06:03

WE’RE BEING BLINDED TO THE DANGER OF FACIAL RECOGNITION

BY MICHAEL MAHARREY
We’ve become increasingly comfortable with facial recognition technology. We use it to unlock our phones and to skip the security line at the airport. But the convenience of facial recognition is blinding us to its dangers.

Georgetown University School of Law privacy expert Clare Garvie put together a video that explains why you should be concerned about the growing use of facial recognition technology, even if you think you have “nothing to hide.”

According to Garvie, police databases now contain images of nearly half of all Americans. She argues that without some restrictions on facial recognition, we’re rapidly hurtling toward a Chinese-style surveillance state.

As Garvie puts it, Americans are basically in a perpetual police lineup.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know how much this future "Minority Report" world, courtesy of the government of the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, scares the stuffing out of you, but it sure as heck scares the stuffing out of me!!

Nov 05 04:47

SOCIAL MEDIA IS DRIVING A GLOBAL EPIDEMIC OF LONELINESS AMONG MILLENNIALS

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
A team of academics from Swinburne University and VicHealth studied 1,520 Victorians aged 12 to 25, and examined their experience of loneliness, asking questions about their symptoms of depression and social anxiety. The study confirmed that loneliness - the biggest driver behind symptoms of depression - has become a global epidemic tied to the rise of social media.

Here's what they found: One in four young people - aged 12 to 25 - reported feeling lonely for three or more days within the last week. Among 18 to 25 year olds, one in three - 35% - reported feeling lonely three or more times a week. We also found that higher levels of loneliness increases a young adult’s risk of developing depression by 12% and social anxiety by 10%, according to the WEF.

Nov 05 04:41

ISPS LIED TO CONGRESS TO SPREAD CONFUSION ABOUT ENCRYPTED DNS, MOZILLA SAYS

SOURCE: ARSTECHNICA.COM

Mozilla is urging Congress to reject the broadband industry's lobbying campaign against encrypted DNS in Firefox and Chrome.

The Internet providers' fight against this privacy feature raises questions about how they use broadband customers' Web-browsing data, Mozilla wrote in a letter sent today to the chairs and ranking members of three House of Representatives committees. Mozilla also said that Internet providers have been giving inaccurate information to lawmakers and urged Congress to "publicly probe current ISP data collection and use policies."

DNS over HTTPS helps keep eavesdroppers from seeing what DNS lookups your browser is making. This can make it more difficult for ISPs or other third parties to monitor what websites you visit.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Everyday working people deserve to have the tools for privacy and security in their systems; and the problem is, the more data the Feds collect, the less intelligible it becomes, until it becomes so overwhelming, as to become utterly useless.

Nov 04 15:21

While You Slept, Government Created Internal Passports

By Peter C. Earle

Looking back, Social Security Numbers and the cards bearing them broke ground for the path to a national identification system — thank you, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For decades there have been pointed reminders that the cards were intended to be account numbers and not integrated into a government registry of American citizens.

The Real ID represents the “last mile” in the ability of the state to track individuals in real time. With various electronic, social media, and cellphone tracking measures, there is always a delay; and one can choose not to use social media, not to own a cellphone, and opt into other methods of extricating oneself from the prying eyes of the NSA or other government agencies. But the Real ID — in particular, coupled with biometrics — fulfills Orwellian conceptions of the total surveillance state...

Nov 04 15:16

Mozilla Asks Congress to Investigate ISPs Data Collection Practices

Mozilla's push is the latest in a burgeoning debate over DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), with Mozilla deciding to encrypt it's users browsing data by default, and Google's Chrome soon enabling DoH by default if possible for a particular user.

"Our recent experience in rolling out DNS over HTTPs (DoH)—an important privacy and security protection for consumers—has raised questions about how ISPs collect and use sensitive user data in their gatekeeper role over internet usage," the letter, signed by Marshall Erwin, senior director of trust and security and Mozilla, reads. "With this in mind, a congressional examination of ISP practices may uncover valuable insights, educate the public, and help guide continuing efforts to draft consumer privacy legislation."

Nov 04 09:32

ACLU Sues FBI And Other Agencies, Defending Privacy Rights Of Americans Against Facial Recognition

By Aaron Kesel

The ACLU has sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies, making claims that the government is improperly withholding information on how it uses a facial recognition database on millions of Americans. The civil rights organization also asks for a “federal court to intervene and order the FBI and related agencies to turn over all records concerning their use of face recognition technology,” according to a legal document...

The ACLU lawsuit names the FBI, Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration, alleging the agencies “failed to produce any responsive documents” in response to a Freedom of Information Act request...

Nov 04 09:02

Millions of Android device owners are warned to delete emoji keyboard app ‘ai.type’ that has tried to buy $18 million worth of premium content without users' permission

Android device users have been warned to deleted a popular, free-to-download emoji keyboard app that makes purchases without the user's knowledge.

Installed more than 40 million times, 'ai.type' purports to be a customisable, intelligent on-screen keyboard developed by Israeli firm ai.type LTD.

However, researchers at mobile technology firm Upstream have revealed that the app has made millions of unauthorised purchases of premium digital content.

The app hides its unwanted activity so such is not visible onscreen, sometimes masking itself as legitimate popular apps like audio platform SoundCloud.

Nov 04 08:49

Project Silica proof of concept stores Warner Bros. ‘Superman’ movie on quartz glass

Microsoft and Warner Bros. have collaborated to successfully store and retrieve the entire 1978 iconic “Superman” movie on a piece of glass roughly the size of a drink coaster, 75 by 75 by 2 millimeters thick.

It was the first proof of concept test for Project Silica, a Microsoft Research project that uses recent discoveries in ultrafast laser optics and artificial intelligence to store data in quartz glass. A laser encodes data in glass by creating layers of three-dimensional nanoscale gratings and deformations at various depths and angles. Machine learning algorithms read the data back by decoding images and patterns that are created as polarized light shines through the glass.

Nov 03 18:27

Bipartisan law targets Google and its rivals to end 'secret' online search algorithms that critics say censor political speech and manipulate users

Google, Facebook and other internet giants would disclose the algorithms they use to return search results under new legislation proposed by US law makers.

The bipartisan Filter Bubble Transparency Act also would require the online companies to offer users an unfiltered search option that delivers results without any algorithmic tinkering.

Senator John Thune, a Republican from North Dakota, filed the bill on Friday. The legislation was co-sponsored by Republican senators Jerry Moran of Kansas and Marsha blackburn of Tennessee, as well as Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Nov 03 18:24

The Deadly Consequences of Rounding Errors

When almost everything in society is represented digitally, almost everything in society is vulnerable to seemingly tiny errors.

Nov 03 18:20

Amazon Alexa Could Be Used To Prosecute Case In Florida — But Is There Probable Cause?

By Aaron Kesel

If a precedent is set, this could allow police to use any recorded audio/video in the future during a criminal proceeding.

That means everything from doorbells like Amazon’s Ring surveillance network that connect directly to smartphone apps, fridges with built-in cameras, and even washing machines and smart light bulbs are now potential witnesses in court. We don’t think even George Orwell could have predicted that we would be spied on by our appliances. This is a massive potential overreach by police investigators...

Nov 03 12:13

Will Uber Food Delivery Drones Be As Problematic As Their Self-Driving Vehicles?

By B.N. Frank

It wasn’t that long ago that a self-driving Uber killed an Arizona pedestrian. More recently a whistleblower reported that the company’s automated vehicles still weren’t safe – despite Uber’s claims that they were.

Drones have been associated with some high-profile catastrophes too. A quick search on YouTube renders an extensive collection of scary videos. Unfortunately, this hasn’t deterred companies like Walgreens and CVS from using them for deliveries. Apparently, untrustworthy Uber isn’t deterred either. Good Luck, San Diego...

Nov 03 11:09

Verizon Installing Approx. 1000 4G and 5G “Smart Poles” in California, Colorado, Ohio, and Utah Despite Increasing Lawsuits, Opposition, and Warnings

By B.N. Frank

Before the insidious “Race for 5G” began telecom companies had been warning their investors that they may eventually be held liable for causing harm with their products and transmitters. Regardless, they continued to invent, manufacture and market products for everybody – from cradle to grave.

This being said – 5G is just the tip of an enormous iceberg that’s only getting bigger...

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