Apr 20 18:29

The Censorship Dispute That Toppled the Technology Subreddit

For the past several months, an auto-moderation bot in the subreddit has been automatically removing posts with any of the following words in the title:

"Manning", "Snowden", "NSA", "N.S.A.", "National Security Agency", "spying", "spies", "Spy agency", "Spy agencies", "?????? ????", "White House", "Obama", "0bama", "CIA", "FBI", "GCHQ", "DEA", "FCC", "Congress", "Supreme Court", "State Department", "State Dept", "Pentagon", "Assange", "Wojciech", "Braszczok", "Front page", "Comcast", "Time Warner", "TimeWarner", "AT&T", "Obamacare", "davidreiss666", "maxwellhill", "anutensil", "Bitcoin", "bitcoins", "dogecoin", "MtGox", "US government", "U.S. government", "federal judge", "legal reason", "Homeland", "Senator", "Senate", "Congress", "Appeals Court", "US Court", "EU Court", "U.S. Court", "E.U. Court", "Net Neutrality", "Net-Neutrality", "Federal Court", "the Court", "Reddit", "flappy", "CEO", "Startup", "ACLU", "Condoleezza"

Apr 20 18:04

This Incredible Animation Was Made By Code That Could Fit on a Floppy

This is no 20 GB video file, painstakingly pulled from a render farm. All of it was generated in real time by one tiny algorithm. And it's amazing.

Every Easter, the town of Saarbrücken, Germany, plays host to Revision, a demoparty where hundreds of programmers and artists get together for four days of showing off. This year, the demoscene group Mercury unveiled an incredible 64k intro called The Timeless. Since the file size is limited to 64 kilobytes, the graphics and music are all generated algorithmically in real time—this is called procedural generation.

Apr 20 16:22

Google asked to censor 2M Pirate Bay URLs

The Pirate Bay reached a dubious milestone today, as copyright holders have now asked Google to remove two million of the site’s URLs from its search results. According to Google this means that between one and five percent of all Pirate Bay links are no longer discoverable in its search engine.

Apr 20 16:17

US Government Is Paying To Undermine Internet Security, Not To Fix It

The Heartbleed computer security bug is many things: a catastrophic tech failure, an open invitation to criminal hackers and yet another reason to upgrade our passwords on dozens of websites. But more than anything else, Heartbleed reveals our neglect of Internet security.

The United States spends more than $50 billion a year on spying and intelligence, while the folks who build important defense software — in this case a program called OpenSSL that ensures that your connection to a website is encrypted — are four core programmers, only one of whom calls it a full-time job.

Apr 20 15:05

Plainclothes police officers raid house, seize phones and computers, over a parody Twitter account

Shit is fucked up and bullshit

no arrests were made in connection with the Twitter account.

Apr 20 07:40

Flashback: Daily Kos and blogging for dollars

"Howard Dean's (2004) presidential campaign hired two Internet political 'bloggers'

Apr 20 07:03

Washington State senate passes anti-drone bill, 46-1

Tonight, the Washington State seate passed a bill putting strict limitations on the use of drones and other “extra-sensory devices” within the state. The vote was 46-1. The bill was previously passed by the house by a vote of 83-15.

Apr 19 21:53

Bitcoin for Activists – What You Need to Know

Waking Times

Among activists one often finds an aversion to even thinking about money. Associating it with the opponent — who has lots of it — they try to do without money themselves. Often, for as long as they can, they try to organize and resist without it, until burning out, quitting and getting into a different line of work just to keep up on rent. But, as the 19th-century U.S. populist movement recognized, money is also a battleground. Today, as a new wave of sophisticated digital currencies are beginning to arise, this is perhaps more true than ever before.

Apr 19 18:20

Google: the unelected superpower

Researchers at Princeton and Northwestern universities have pored over 1,800 US policies and concluded that America is an oligarchy. Instead of looking out for the majority of the country’s citizens, the US government is ruled by the interests of the rich and the powerful, they found. No great surprises there, then.

But the government is not the only American power whose motivations need to be rigourously examined. Some 2,400 miles away from Washington, in Silicon Valley, Google is aggressively gaining power with little to keep it in check.

It has cosied up to governments around the world so effectively that its chairman, Eric Schmidt, is a White House advisor. In Britain, its executives meet with ministers more than almost any other corporation.

Apr 19 12:10

Newly released Clinton document describes Internet as ‘right wing’ tool of ‘conspiracy commerce’

A previously unreleased White House document among the 7,500 published by the Clinton presidential library Friday warns that the burgeoning Internet of 1995 is being “seized” by the “right wing” and turned into a “communication stream of conspiracy commerce.”

Apr 19 08:03

HMRC to sell taxpayers' financial data - Guardian

The personal financial data of millions of taxpayers could be sold to private firms under laws being drawn up by HM Revenue & Customs in a move branded "dangerous" by tax professionals and "borderline insane" by a senior Conservative MP.

The government insists that there will be suitable safeguards on personal data. But the plans, being overseen by the Treasury minister David Gauke, are likely to provoke serious worries among privacy campaigners and MPs in the wake of public concern about the government's scheme – a plan to share "anonymised" medical records with third parties.

Apr 18 19:04

3 Million Customer Credit, Debit Cards Stolen in Michaels, Aaron Brothers Breaches

Nationwide arts and crafts chain Michaels Stores Inc. said today that two separate eight-month-long security breaches at its stores last year may have exposed as many as 3 million customer credit and debit cards.

Apr 18 17:07


All the new Ubuntu based LTS operating systems are being released!

Apr 18 17:03

Ubuntu 14.04 is ready for a world filled with high-resolution touchscreens and tablets

Has it truly been six months already? It feel like just yesterday we were kicking the tires on a fresh install of Saucy Salamander. Now Canonical is pushing out the latest version of its popular Linux distro. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (code named: Trusty Tahr) is part of its long term support series which means it will receive support and security updates for five years rather than the usual nine months. That's a major deal for companies using either on desktops and servers. But servers and enterprise desktops aren't where the excitement lies. What makes Trusty a huge deal for Canonical is that it finally makes the OS ready to use on touchscreens, high DPI displays and tablets.

Apr 18 13:42

Landmark case sees Pirate Bay user hit with 5-year sentence

A man who uploaded a single movie to The Pirate Bay kickstarting South Africa’s first online piracy case has been sentenced today

Apr 18 12:29

Hyper-Surveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing

One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, the ACLU's Kade Crockford questions whether the surveillance practices of law enforcement and an increasingly militarized police force will prevent terrorism.

Apr 18 07:47

It’s time to reveal the Israeli role in the US surveillance machine

If the Israeli government has indeed ordered its spies “to dig up intelligence” showing links between the supporters of BDS and “terrorists and enemy states” as reported in the February 11, 2014 London Times, it may find that it already has as much information as it needs in its data banks.

As described in the UK Guardian by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill, a 2008 document obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden states that “one of the NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel. There are parameters on what NSA shares with them, but the exchange is so robust, we sometimes share more than we intended.”

Apr 18 07:34

New ‘Google’ for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy

- Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser

Apr 18 06:56

Computer Tech Shows the DHS Just How Easy It Is to Breach the Security of the Power Grid

When the mainstream news warns of an event that is high on every prepper's list of concerns, it might be time to double up on your efforts to be ready for it.

Again, the vulnerability of our power grid is in the news. This time, the threat is hackers. The LA Times published an article highlighting how alarmingly simple it was for a guy in North Carolina to breach the online security of American power stations.

Apr 18 06:35

What Will You Do When You Can No Longer Buy Or Sell Without Submitting To Biometric Identification?

In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested. We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past.

Apr 17 17:41

What Will You Do When You Can No Longer Buy Or Sell Without Submitting To Biometric Identification?

In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested. We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past. We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with our credit cards, bank accounts, ATM machines and Internet passwords will all go away once we switch over to biometric identification. And without a doubt, we have some massive security problems that need to be addressed. But do you really want a machine to read your face or your hand before you are able to buy anything, sell anything or log on to the Internet? Do you really want “the system” to be able to know where you are, what you are buying and what you are doing at virtually all times? Biometric security systems are being promoted as “cool” and “cutting edge”, but there is also potentially a very dark side to them that should not be ignored.

Apr 17 17:34

John McAfee Re: Heartbleed Bug - Obamacare website

Frances Farmer posted a video

Heartbleed Bug

Dcentral1 is aiming to put that control back in people's hands.

legendary Programmer and father of McAfee virus software John McAfee

Apr 17 13:43

Is your home's energy meter spying on you?

Utility companies across the U.S. are installing smart meters in customers’ homes, touting the technology’s energy-saving ways, but opponents argue that the meters are opening a Pandora’s box of privacy concerns.

The smart energy meters read electric or gas usage, and enable a power company to collect detailed usage data on a particular home or building. But the readings also gather personal information that some critics argue is too intrusive.

Apr 17 12:57

NSA leaker Edward Snowden put a direct question to Vladimir Putin during a live televised question-and-answer session Thursday

Edward Snowden on Russian TV, Says Russia Does Not Conduct Mass Surveillance

(Video, Transcript +Article)

The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden

Apr 17 11:57

Italian court: 'You don't have to name to defame on Facebook'

Facebook users in Italy may want to think twice next time they post something on the social networking site after the country’s highest court ruled that insults on the site – even ones with an unnamed target – could be regarded as defamatory.

Apr 17 11:18

It’s Time to Encrypt the Entire Internet

The Heartbleed bug crushed our faith in the secure web, but a world without the encryption software that Heartbleed exploited would be even worse. In fact, it’s time for the web to take a good hard look at a new idea: encryption everywhere.

Apr 17 10:09

Reddit co-founder tells Joe Rogan: Cable companies about to ‘f*ck up’ the Internet

The Internet faces an existential threat from the cable companies that provide service to millions of Americans, said the founder of

Web entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian appeared last week on the Joe Rogan Experience to talk about the future of online rights and access.

Apr 17 09:46

Hackers steal 500k details from Harley Medical Group

Names and addresses of prospective Harley Medical Group clients, as well as details of the cosmetic procedures they were considering, have been stolen by hackers

Apr 17 09:33

Putin tells Edward Snowden: Russia doesn't carry out mass surveillance - Guardian

President Vladimir Putin has told the National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, that Russia is not carrying out mass surveillance programmes of the kind Snowden exposed in the US.

Snowden made a video-link appearance during Putin's marathon televised question and answer session to ask the president about Russia's attitude to mass surveillance.

Snowden asked: "Does Russia intercept or store or analyse the communication of millions of individuals?" He went on to ask whether increasing the effectiveness of internal security systems could ever justify such actions.

To applause from the studio audience, Putin responded: "Mr Snowden you are a former agent, a spy, I used to work for a intelligence service, we are going to talk the same language."

Apr 17 09:07

First Heartbleed hack arrest: 19-year-old Canadian student charged with stealing taxpayer data

Police have charged a 19-year-old Canadian man in connection with exploiting the Heartbleed bug to steal taxpayer data from a government website.

In what appears to be the first attack using a flaw in software known as OpenSSL, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said that 900 social insurance numbers and possibly other data had been compromised.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes was arrested at his residence yesterday and is charged with unauthorised use of a computer and mischief in relation to data.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Crucify the little prick on live TV. Should take him a week to die if he is in good health. That will slow down the cyber crime problem, I'll wager!

Apr 17 08:57

Heart Bleed - The Internet is Alive and Well!

Like so much coverage of these security issues, however, this outcry is misdirected. In reality, the flaw gives us an excellent example of how the Internet works when it’s at its best. How Free and Open Source software is developed, how prominent and important it is, how well its development system works and why security is, in fact, simple and possible.

It also shows how our government doesn’t care about our security: ignoring major threats to the Internet and then apparently exploiting them to spy on us — for as much as two years.

These are valuable lessons demanding that we understand what really happened.

Apr 17 08:51

Nokia Lumia 2520 taken off shelves in Europe due to risk of electric shock

On the list of features that you’d rather your tablet computer didn’t offer you, ‘involuntary electrocution’ is probably pretty high up the list. Nokia obviously skimped on their market research, as it turns out that its a problem currently affecting the Lumia 2520.

The tablet has been taken off sale in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the UK, and owners are being encouraged not to charge it, as this has the risk of leading to an electric shock. US owners are urged not to use travel adapters for the sam reason.

The AC-300 charger is only used for the Nokia Lumia 2520, so owners of other devices needn’t worry. It turns out that a fault in the plastic casing can lead to the exposure of internal components which, if touched whilst live, can have some rather shocking results (sorry).

Apr 17 08:49

Coincidence Or Accident? Microsoft Security Essentials Bug Rendering XP Machines Hamstrung Like A Virus

Hot on the heels of Microsoft's retirement of XP, users are reporting some rather severe issues with their boxes, caused by the company's security suite. While no data is at risk, and the OS remains operable, if stricken with this bug, you'd swear that you've actually contracted a virus. The PC will be slow, "down to a crawl" as one Google+ user has said.

Further, errors related to "MsMpEng.exe" might also arise on boot, and this is the process that needs to be killed in order to regain normality with your PC. To disable MSE, you can go to your Windows run line (Win + R), type "services.msc" without quotes and hit enter, then scroll down to "Microsoft Antimalware Service". Once found, right-click it, go into the properties, and then choose "Startup type: Disabled". After a reboot, MSE will stay clear, and your PC should be back to normal. Note that you may have to boot into Safe Mode in order to successfully complete this disabling.

Apr 17 08:20

Court Declares That, Yes, Bloggers Are Media is hard to dispute that the advent of the internet as a medium and the emergence of the blog as a means of free dissemination of news and public comment have been transformative. By some accounts, there are in the range of 300 million blogs worldwide. The variety and quality of these are such that the word “blog” itself is an evolving term and concept. The impact of blogs has been so great that even terms traditionally well defined and understood in journalism are changing as journalists increasingly employ the tools and techniques of bloggers – and vice versa. In employing the word “blog,” we consider a site operated by a single individual or a small group that has primarily an informational purpose, most commonly in an area of special interest, knowledge or expertise of the blogger, and which usually provides for public impact or feedback.

Apr 17 08:10

NSA Spying Is Here to Stay

On Monday, April 14, the the Washington Post and the Guardian US newspapers received the Pulitzer for Journalism Public Service for their reports on NSA spying. In light of their hard work, let's recap events of the last year.

Apr 17 07:49

The FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Consideration

Another FOIA lawsuit brought against the government by the EFF has resulted in the release of previously withheld documents. The papers cut loose this time detail the FBI's facial recognition database and other parts of its "Next Generation Identification" (NGI) program, one that aims to compile a collection of biometric data.

Apr 17 06:04

Microsoft And Sony Double Down On Patent Trolling; Dump More Cash Into Intellectual Ventures

There was a time when Bill Gates said:

"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today... A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose."

And, now, via Intellectual Ventures and its own patent holdings, Microsoft seems to be trying to make sure Gates' prediction is a reality. It all fits in to the same paradigm we've observed for years. When you're young, you innovate. When you're old, you litigate. Microsoft appears to have given up on innovation, but is ramping up on litigation, and re-investing in patent trolling via Intellectual Ventures is merely the latest step.

Apr 17 05:49

Crucial military satellite systems are vulnerable to hacking, experts say

A range of crucial satellite systems manufactured by some of the world’s biggest government contractors contain severe vulnerabilities that could be exploited to disrupt military operations and flight-safety communications, researchers have warned.

Apr 17 05:34

How super-fast cable networks allow City flash boys to fleece your pension of billions

Installing the cable was to cost £180 million, but the investors behind it were convinced it was going to make them very, very rich. For they had calculated that using this cable rather than the existing, less direct, ones would cut the time it took to send a message between the two cities from 17 milliseconds to 13.

That’s a fraction of the time it takes to blink very quickly, yet the minuscule time difference is enough to allow sophisticated computer programmes to exploit profitably tiny price differences between the Chicago and New York stock exchanges.

These split seconds saved in the transmission of information, an industry expert calculated, were worth an astonishing £12?billion a year to those who knew how to exploit them.

Apr 17 05:15

Yahoo spends $58 million to fire its chief operating officer

$58 million for 15 months of work.

That’s what Yahoo’s chief operating officer Henrique De Castro got in severance pay when he was sent packing on Jan. 16, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made public on Wednesday.

When you factor in De Castro’s salary and stock-based compensation, he earned roughly $244,000 a day — assuming he worked weekends — by Forbes’s calculations.

Apr 16 19:37

Kim Dotcom can have seized assets returned – New Zealand High Court

The New Zealand High Court has ruled that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can be reunited with millions of dollars, property, cars, and artwork. It comes after the court denied an application by the Crown to extend the freezing of Dotcom's fortune.

Apr 16 18:22

Confirmed: Nasty Heartbleed bug exposes OpenVPN private keys, too

Until you get a new key, consider your OpenSSL-powered VPN network compromised.

Apr 16 13:57

NSA Spying Is Here to Stay

On Monday, April 14, the the Washington Post and the Guardian US newspapers received the Pulitzer for Journalism Public Service for their reports on NSA spying. In light of their hard work, let's recap events of the last year.

Apr 16 13:47

Companies to Add Phone Kill Switch After July 2015

The rise in violent cellphone thefts is increasing pressure from Congress for phone companies to add an anti-theft kill switch feature on tablets and smartphones, so a group of businesses made a voluntary pledge to add such technology to phones sold in the U.S. by July 2015.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, this is about disabling cell phones and more to the point cell phone cameras wherever the government is crushing protests, to keep those embarrassing videos from showing up on YouTube.

Apr 16 13:28

The FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Consideration

Another FOIA lawsuit brought against the government by the EFF has resulted in the release of previously withheld documents. The papers cut loose this time detail the FBI's facial recognition database and other parts of its "Next Generation Identification" (NGI) program, one that aims to compile a collection of biometric data.

Apr 16 13:21

The coming Chinese EMP attack on America

I have a neighbor that can literally build or fix anything. He has converted most of his electrical output on his house to solar

Apr 16 13:18

HOME NEWS-FEED MULTI-MEDIA BLOGS OPINION REVIEWS WORLD Watch this video of your trendy hi-tech future

A future where everyone is walking around outfitted with the equivalent of Google Glass and other “immersive technologies” (as in, “blurring the line between physical reality and the digital/simulated world”).

Apr 16 13:05

The US Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It

The Heartbleed computer security bug is many things: a catastrophic tech failure, an open invitation to criminal hackers and yet another reason to upgrade our passwords on dozens of websites. But more than anything else, Heartbleed reveals our neglect of Internet security.

Apr 16 12:12

Lavabit held in contempt of court for printing crypto key in tiny font

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a contempt of court ruling against Ladar Levison and his now-defunct encrypted e-mail service provider, Lavabit LLC, for hindering the government's investigation into the National Security Agency leaks surrounding Edward Snowden.

Apr 16 11:15

Heartbleed is about to get worse, and it will slow the Internet to a crawl

Efforts to fix the notorious Heartbleed bug threaten to cause major disruptions to the Internet over the next several weeks as companies scramble to repair encryption systems on hundreds of thousands of Web sites at the same time, security experts say.

Estimates of the severity of the bug’s damage have mounted almost daily since researchers announced the discovery of Heartbleed last week. What initially seemed like an inconvenient matter of changing passwords for protection now appears much more serious. New revelations suggest that skilled hackers can use the bug to create fake Web sites that mimic legitimate ones to trick consumers into handing over valuable personal information.

Apr 16 11:14

Microsoft confirms it's dropping Windows 8.1 support

Tell me again Microsoft how you're cutting off Windows 8.1 updates so that "customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience"? Pshaw -- it sounds to me more like some customer-tone-deaf person in the organization has decided to minimize the patching budget by cutting off the company's most recent customers.

It's not a wise move at all.

Apr 16 10:10

Watch this Video of Your Trendy, High Tech Future

Watch this video of our coming trendy technocratic future...

Apr 16 09:55

Scam by Victoria’s Secret clerk highlights common risk

Between Nov. 29 and April 3, the (Victoria's Secret clerk) hid the skimmer under her skirt at Orlando Premium Outlets and swiped customers' cards before running them through the cash register, according to court documents.

The woman, whose name is not revealed in court documents, was paid $500 whenever a felon named Alexander Sundeman Sanchez, downloaded card numbers from the device (once a week), records show.

"I forgot to tell u i really only want foreigners and tourists," Sanchez texted the woman, according to court documents.

Apr 16 09:24

CTV Canadian Television Reports On Gov Trolls Online

Federal government routinely hires internet trolls, shills to monitor chat rooms, disrupt article comment sections

Apr 16 08:35

Infants 'unable to use toy building blocks' due to iPad addiction

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers warn that rising numbers of children are unable to perform simple tasks such as using building blocks because of overexposure to iPads

Apr 16 07:01

Something Very Strange Is Going On

Just ran across a very interesting video from perrrfection and until I followed her steps I thought she might be seeing something that is not there, but the evidence is undeniable that she is right, something VERY strange is going on at YouTube and her conclusion that it is happening by governement aka Fed trolls, is more than just likely because anyone that can upload 600-700 videos in one day, sometimes dozens of longer videos in the same hour, is using servers far more powerful than ordinary folks sitting at a store bought computer using cable, DSL or satellite.

What our videographer notices is that brand new accounts at YouTube, with virtually no subscribers, most using actors' names are mirroring economic and war themed videos, in the hundreds, a day.

Apr 16 06:59

'NSA is out of control'

Back in early September, 2013, Matthew Green, a computer science professor in cryptography at JHU, tweeted on his blog that the NSA was engaged in efforts “to break encryption” on private servers and was doing so on a big scale. His post was flagged and Green was told by the school to remove the post.

Apr 15 18:36

Police Are Testing a "Live Google Earth" To Watch Crime As It Happens

In Compton last year, police began quietly testing a system that allowed them to do something incredible: Watch every car and person in real time as they ebbed and flowed around the city. Every assault, every purse snatched, every car speeding away was on record—all thanks to an Ohio company that monitors cities from the air.

Apr 15 17:58

NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years

Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers.

Apr 15 17:49

In an attempt to improve web security, Google may begin favoring encrypted sites in searches

According to Google engineer Matt Cutts, the company may begin ranking encrypted sites higher than their non-encrypted counterparts in its search engine results.

Cutts hinted at the potential tweak to Google's search algorithm at SMX West, a search and social media marketing conference in San Jose. Cutts says tweaking the algorithm to favor encrypted websites would make it more difficult for third parties to spy on users, while encouraging more and more sites to adopt a standard of encryption.

Apr 15 17:47

Galaxy S5?s fingerprint scanner has already been hacked, PayPal accounts at risk

When it comes to Samsung’s fingerprint scanner technology embedded in the home button on the new Galaxy S5, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that we have spent plenty of time testing it, and we’ve found that it works very well. The bad news, however, is that it has apparently already been hacked, leaving Galaxy S5 owners’ devices and their PayPal accounts at risk.

As noted by German-language security blog H Security, SRLabs has posted video evidence that the fingerprint scanner on Samsung’s Galaxy S5 can easily be spoofed using a lifted print. In mere minutes, the group was able to create a “dummy finger” using an actual fingerprint to gain unauthorized access to the phone.

Apr 15 16:17

The IRS is said to be data mining Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other sites for info that could come handy in audits.

"It seems they may be using predictive analytics," University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication Professor Joseph Turow told Marketplace.

Apr 15 15:54

The 'Proprietary' Internet? Google Buys Drones of Its Own

Are deep-pocketed web companies laying the groundwork for a for-profit internet all of their own?

Close on the heals of Facebook, internet search giant Google entered into the drone technology race in a big way on Monday as it announced the purchase of the Titan Aerospace company.

Apr 15 09:12

Meet the NSA's New Minister of Radio Propaganda

Representative Mike Rogers has a dream.

Apparently, he’s been secretly harboring this dream since his formative days at a small liberal arts college in Adrian, Mich. This dream stayed with him through his time in the U.S. Army, his years as a Special Agent in the FBI and his tenure in the Michigan State Senate.

Apr 15 09:11

Pulitzer Prize awarded for Snowden exposures of NSA spying

Columbia University has given the most prestigious award in journalism, the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service, to the newspapers that published articles based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Apr 15 08:35

Potentially Deadly New Prank - Swat-ing

Local News Video

Online gammers prank teen in Ohio

Apr 15 08:17

Gmail does scan all emails, new Google terms clarify

Google has clarified its email scanning practices in a terms of service update, informing users that incoming and outgoing emails are analysed by automated software.

The revisions explicitly state that Google’s system scans the content of emails stored on Google’s servers as well as those being sent and received by any Google email account, a practice that has seen the search company face criticism from privacy action groups and lawsuits from the education sector.

Apr 15 08:16

Heartbleed makes 50m Android phones vulnerable, data shows Devices running Android 4.1.1 could be exploited by 'reverse Heartbleed' to yield user data - including 4m in US alone - Guardian

At least 4m Android smartphones in the US, and tens of millions worldwide, could be exploited by a version of the "Heartbleed" security flaw, data provided to the Guardian shows.

Worldwide, the figure could be 50m devices, based on Google's own announcement that any device running a specific variant of its "Jelly Bean" software – Android 4.1.1, released in July 2012 – is vulnerable.

Based on Comscore data which suggests there are 85m Android smartphones in use in the US, that means that there are at least 4m handsets which are vulnerable.

Apr 15 07:38

Google Updates Terms of Service to Officially Allow it Scan Your Emails

Google has officially changed its Terms of Service to make it quite clear that users are consenting to the search giant scanning the content of their emails in order to allow the company deliver more targeted ads and better search results.

While it may now be saying it more openly, this is not a new practice.

Apr 15 07:26

Personal data theft jumps from 11% to 18% in six months

Social Security numbers, credit card and bank account information, and other private data are being stolen at a rapidly rising rate, according to a Pew Research study.

Apr 15 07:24

Akamai admits its OpenSSL patch was faulty, reissues keys

Akamai Technologies, whose network handles up to 30 percent of all Internet traffic, said Sunday a researcher found a fault in custom code that the company thought shielded most of its customers from the Heartbleed bug.

As a result, Akamai is now reissuing all SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates and security keys used to create encrypted connections between its customer’s websites and visitors to those sites.

“In short, we had a bug,” wrote Andy Ellis, Akamai’s CTO, in a blog post.

Akamai’s customers include some of the world’s largest banks, media and e-commerce retailers.

Apr 15 07:21

Tests confirm Heartbleed bug can expose server's private key

Four researchers working separately have demonstrated a server’s private encryption key can be obtained using the Heartbleed bug, an attack thought possible but unconfirmed.

The findings come shortly after a challenge created by CloudFlare, a San Francisco-based company that runs a security and redundancy service for website operators.

Apr 15 07:16

German Minister: 'US Operating Without any Kind of Boundaries'

In an interview, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, 60, warns that American spying has become "boundless" and expresses sorrow that approval ratings for the United States have plummeted in Germany.

Apr 15 07:01

The 'Proprietary' Internet? Google Buys Drones of Its Own

Are deep-pocketed web companies laying the groundwork for a for-profit internet all of their own?

Close on the heals of Facebook, internet search giant Google entered into the drone technology race in a big way on Monday as it announced the purchase of the Titan Aerospace company.

Apr 15 06:58

Would You Trust the NSA’s Advice on How to Deal with Heartbleed?

Somewhat late to the game (by about a week), after the Heartbleed vulnerability was publicly revealed, and a few days after it was reported and denied that the NSA was already well aware of Heartbleed and exploiting it, the NSA has put out a one page PDF about Heartbleed. This seems like something of a too little, too late effort by the NSA to live up to its semi-promise of a “bias” towards revealing vulnerabilities over exploiting them. However, that leads to the simple question that plenty of people should be asking: given everything you’ve learned about the NSA recently (or, well, for years), would you trust the NSA‘s advice on how to deal with Heartbleed? Not that I think the NSA would publicly suggest anything bad, but at this point, the NSA has a serious trust problem in convincing anyone engaged in computer security that they have their best interests in mind.

Apr 15 06:52

State of Surveillance: Police, Privacy and Technology

"State of Surveillance" examines new technologies police departments are using to fight crime and the civil liberties concerns raised by these tools.

Law enforcement agencies say that many of the technologies make it easier to solve and, in some cases, even prevent crime. But privacy advocates warn that expanded databases could become dragnets that are increasingly populated with information about law-abiding citizens.

Apr 15 06:51

A look inside a 'Cybersquat'

Major software innovations do not all come from big companies like Apple or Google.

A surprising number of developers eschew the gleaming campuses of Silicon Valley, choosing an alternative lifestyle coding in so-called communal "cybersquats" around the world.

Apr 15 06:36

Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod

This guy was called "a mutt" by NYPD officers during a stop and frisk. NYPD described as bounty hunters.

Apr 15 06:33

Gmail does scan all emails, new Google terms clarify

Google has clarified its email scanning practices in a terms of service update, informing users that incoming and outgoing emails are analysed by automated software.

The revisions explicitly state that Google’s system scans the content of emails stored on Google’s servers as well as those being sent and received by any Google email account, a practice that has seen the search company face criticism from privacy action groups and lawsuits from the education sector.

Apr 15 06:31

Google Knew About Heartbleed and Didn’t Tell the Government

Google knew about a critical flaw in Internet security, but it didn't alert anyone in the government.

Neel Mehta, a Google engineer, first discovered "Heartbleed"—a bug that undermines the widely used encryption technology OpenSSL—some time in March. A team at the Finnish security firm Codenomicon discovered the flaw around the same time. Google was able to patch most of its services—such as email, search, and YouTube—before the companies publicized the bug on April 7.

The researchers also notified a handful of other companies about the bug before going public. The security firm CloudFlare, for example, said it fixed the flaw on March 31.

But the White House said Friday that no one in the federal government knew about the problem until April.

Apr 15 06:28

“Brightest Flashlight” Android app disclosed location of 50 million people, but FTC imposes no fine

What happens if you install secret tracking software on the phones of tens of millions of people and sell their location to advertisers? Not much, if a new FTC order is anything to go by.

Apr 14 22:32

New Russian bill equates popular bloggers to mass media

Russian lawmakers suggest that internet authors whose works attract 10,000 or more visitors a day should be accredited as journalists, receiving all rights and responsibilities commensurate with this status.

Apr 14 17:11

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year

New documents released by the FBI show that the Bureau is well on its way toward its goal of a fully operational face recognition database by this summer.

Apr 14 14:03

Google Beats Facebook to Acquire Solar Drone Company

Nicholas West
Activist Post

I previously reported on Facebook's interest in Titan Aerospace, a solar drone company that could presumably facilitate a truly World Wide Web that would cover the globe with a blanket of aerial communication.

It now appears that Google has taken the lead, purchasing the company for what some speculate is more than the initial price of $60 million dollars that was being considered by Facebook.

Business Insider has provided some of the known details about how Google might use this new acquisition...

Apr 14 12:59

NSA exploited Heartbleed bug

On Friday, Bloomberg News published a report citing two sources “familiar with the matter” revealing that the National Security Agency (NSA) was aware of the existence of the Heartbleed Internet security bug for two years and routinely exploited the bug to spy on private communications, rather than revealing and patching it.

Apr 14 12:32

Guardian US, Washington Post share Pulitzer Prize for coverage of NSA surveillance

The Guardian US and the Washington Post are among the winners of a prestigious journalistic Pulitzer award. The newspapers shared the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Reporting for coverage of NSA surveillance and whistleblower Snowden’s leaks.

Apr 14 11:24

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year

Jennifer Lynch
Electronic Frontier Foundation

New documents released by the FBI show that the Bureau is well on its way toward its goal of a fully operational face recognition database by this summer.

EFF received these records in response to our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for information on Next Generation Identification (NGI)—the FBI’s massive biometric database that may hold records on as much as one third of the U.S. population. The facial recognition component of this database poses real threats to privacy for all Americans.

What is NGI?...

Apr 14 10:27

Heartbleed bug claims its first victim

The Canada Revenue Agency has fallen victim to the Heartbleed security bug, with 900 social insurance numbers stolen

Apr 14 09:16

Did the Department of Homeland Security Just Admit that the Government Knew about the Heartbleed Bug?

Matt Stoller tweets:

DHS says #Heartbleed didn’t affect government websites. That is… peculiar.

Perhaps there is an innocent explanation … The government doesn’t use OpenSSL on its websites?

Nope … Security firm Codenomicon – which discovered the Heartbleed virus – reports:

You are likely to be affected either directly or indirectly. OpenSSL is the most popular open source cryptographic library and TLS (transport layer security) implementation used to encrypt traffic on the Internet. Your popular social site, your company’s site, commercial site, hobby site, sites you install software from or even sites run by your government might be using vulnerable OpenSSL.

Did DHS just unintentionally admit that the government knew about Heartbleed years ago and patched its own websites … without telling the tech community about it?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More than likely the NSA compromised OpenSSL just as it has compromised every publicly available encryption system including RSA. So, the government exposed us all to cyber-criminals just so they could look inside your web traffic and steal your business secrets or find information you can be blackmailed with.

Apr 14 07:25

German space center 'spied on by foreign intelligence'

A Der Spiegel insider familiar with the probe said the malicious code discovered by the Germans suggested a Chinese origin. It contained some Chinese characters in comments and recurring typos characteristic of Asian programmers.

But those may be just camouflage to hide the true identity of the attacker, the source added. Involvement of a western intelligence agency, for example the US National Security Agency (NSA), cannot be ruled out, the source said.

German government has ramped up its counter-cyber-espionage efforts in the wake of the revelation of the scale of electronic surveillance program of the NSA.

Apr 14 07:20

Heartbleed: routers and phones also at risk, says security expert

Manufacturers must patch routers, video conferencing software and desktop phones, as scale of software vulnerability continues to grow

Apr 14 07:15

Here's why it took 2 years for anyone to notice the Heartbleed bug

OpenSSL is an open source project. As the Wall Street Journal describes it, the project is "managed by four core European programmers, only one of whom counts it as his full-time job." The OpenSSL Foundation had a budget of less than $1 million in 2013.

That's shocking. Software like OpenSSL increasingly serves as the foundation of the American economy. Cleaning up the mess from the Heartbleed bug will cost millions of dollars in the United States alone. In a society that spends billions of dollars developing software, we should be spending more trying to keep it secure. If we don't do something about that, we're doomed to see problems like Heartbleed crop up over and over again.

Apr 13 11:25

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Kevin Samson
Activist Post

Our modern world is creating an electromagnetic soup filled with electrical pulses, radio frequencies, computer screens, wireless signals, as well as personal devices such as cell phones and gadgets that are emitting damaging radiation. There are many peer-reviewed scientific studies which are drawing conclusions that should concern us all, but particularly young children and pregnant women. In fact, the debate is heating up to such a level that government agencies are even infighting over the matter, as evidenced when the Department of the Interior recently sent a letter with their own scientific papers chastising the FCC for using standards that are 30 years out of date. As the DOI stated, the concern is not only in the negative health effects upon people, but upon wildlife as well.

Apr 13 09:07

Expert: Israel Needs More Cyber-Attack Specialists

The threatened #opisrael cyber-attack turned out to be a dud - but Israel does not have enough manpower to ward off a major cyber-attack.

Apr 13 07:10

“Can you fix my Windows 95 computer?”: How to troll a tech support scammer

The Internet gets mad—and hilarious—in exposing an obnoxious tech-related scam.

Apr 12 13:53

IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

"When Microsoft terminated official support for Windows XP on April 8th, many organizations had taken the six years of warnings to heart and migrated to another operating system. But not the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Only 52,000 of their 110,000 Windows-powered computers have been upgraded to Windows 7. They'll now be forced to pay Microsoft for Custom Support. How much? Using Microsoft's standard rate of $200 per PC, it'll be $11.6 million for one year. That leaves $18.4 million of their $30 million budget to finish the upgrades themselves, which works out to $317 per computer."

Apr 12 09:34

DHS alert: Heartbleed may have been used against industrial control systems

The threat from the cybervulnerability dubbed Heartbleed reaches well beyond Web businesses and social networks into the industrial systems that power the US economy, apparently including those used to operate the US power grid.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It has since come out that NSA knew about Heart Bleed and used it to spy on law-abiding citizens in open violation of the Fourth Amendment for years but did not reveal it (raising the possibility that Heart Bleed is actually an NSA "Back door").

Apr 12 06:57

Heartbleed programmer says he made a mistake

A German computer programmer who wrote the Heartbleed code which has caused a worldwide online security scare has said he made a mistake.

Apr 11 18:23

NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

Apr 11 14:51

Swedish ISP Bahnhof Deletes All User Records, Stops Retaining Data Following Court Of Justice Ruling

Swedish ISP Bahnhof has long been a supporter of keeping its customers' data private. Five years ago, we wrote about its decision to delete user log files to avoid having to rat out users under Sweden's draconian IPRED law (which required ISPs to hand over info on users accused of copyright infringement). However, various data retention laws were put in place to stop that sort of thing two years ago. So, it's not too surprising that, following the ruling this week in the EU Court of Justice that found the EU's data retention directive invalid, the ISP has acted swiftly to delete all user records and to cease collecting and retaining any more information.

Apr 11 14:09

Are black-budget ops creating new meta-crimes?

The Surveillance State has created an apparatus whose implications are staggering. It’s a different world now. And sometimes it takes a writer of fiction to flesh out the larger landscape.

Brad Thor’s novel, Black List, posits the existence of a monster corporation, ATS, that stands along side the NSA in collecting information on every move we make. ATS’ intelligence-gathering capability is unmatched anywhere in the world.

Apr 11 13:52

VICTORY: Appeals Court Overturns Andrew “weev” Auernheimer Conviction

Important Decision Impacts Constitutional Rights in the Internet Age

Activist Post

A federal appeals court overturned the conviction of Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, the computer researcher who was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) after he exposed a massive security flaw in AT&T's website...

Apr 11 13:30

NSA Exploited Heartbleed Bug For YEARS, Leaving Consumers Vulnerable To Attack

The NSA has exploited it – and kept it hidden from consumers and security experts – for years. Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest glitches in the Internet’s history, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites.

Apr 11 12:46

Protesters Gather at Google Lawyer’s Apartments

Halprin, a Google lawyer and now a landlord, stood resolute on Friday at 8:20 a.m. at the top of the stairs leading up to the seven unit building at 812 Guerrero St. where he began Ellis Act evictions against seven tenants earlier this year.

Apr 11 11:43

Google mapmakers to mark Crimea as Russian territory

Russia's largest search engine Yandex has already updated its mapping tools to designate the Crimean peninsuala as part of Russia.

Apr 11 10:33

Senior athlete suspended for weed-related retweet sues district

A Clear Fork High School senior who was suspended from the soccer team after retweeting a post from someone who favors decriminalizing marijuana is suing the district.

He contends school officials violated his right to free speech and denied him due process in his appeal of the decision.

Apr 11 10:00

Massive U.S. credit bureau data breach has experts worried

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office is now joining other states investigating a massive data breach at a credit reporting agency that has put 200 million Social Security numbers at risk.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There was a reason that Social Security numbers were legally prohibited from being used to anything but Social Security. This breach shows how foolish and reckless it was for the Federal Government to try to turn it into an all purpose ID number!, and indeed, the risks of having any form of universal ID.

Apr 11 07:25

10 Things You Didn't Know About BitCoin

Apr 11 06:31

Heartbleed was an accident: Developer confesses to causing coding error and admits its effect is 'clearly severe'

The code was added on New Year's Eve in 2011 and no-one spotted the mistake until earlier this month.

'It was a simple programming error in a new feature, which unfortunately occurred in a security relevant area,' Dr Seggelmann said.

'It was not intended at all, especially since I have previously fixed OpenSSL bugs myself, and was trying to contribute to the project.'

Dr Seggelmann said the flaw was missed by him and a reviewer, who appears to have been Dr Stephen Henson, according to the logs.

Apr 11 06:12

Google Chrome Bug Could Allow Websites To Snoop On Conversations

Chrome can access your computer's microphone to enable voice searches and Google Now functionality, but an Israel-based developer has found a security flaw that allows Websites to record text transcripts of any conversation in range of your computer's microphone.

Apr 11 06:08

Windows 8.1 Update woes pile up: Errors 80070020, 80073712, 800F081F, 80242FFF, 800F0922

WSUS is still down, as general update failures and complaints flow in the two days since the release of Windows 8.1 Update

Apr 11 06:03

Heartbleed: don't rush to update passwords, security experts warn

Internet security researchers say people should not rush to change their passwords after the discovery of a widespread "catastrophic" software flaw that could expose website user details to hackers.

The flaw, dubbed "Heartbleed", could reveal anything which is currently being processed by a web server – including usernames, passwords and cryptographic keys being used inside the site. Those at risk include Deutsche Bank, Yahoo and its subsidiary sites Flickr and Tumblr, photo-sharing site Imgur, and the FBI.

About half a million sites worldwide are reckoned to be insecure. "Catastrophic is the right word," commented Bruce Schneier, an independent security expert. "On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11."

Apr 11 05:47

Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business

British cops are abusing the right to snoop on communications data by holding information on innocent people for far too long, a report from the Commissioner for Interception has found.

Sir Anthony May, the commissioner, wanted to counteract the "general relatively uninformed fear" that shadowy government agencies were snooping into the private lives of individuals.

However, in his annual report (PDF), he confessed that cops, spooks and bureaucrats were gathering information on an industrial scale under powers granted by Section 57(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).

Apr 10 12:33

Turkey to maintain YouTube block despite ‘free speech’ ruling

YouTube will remain blocked in Turkey in spite of a court order ruling that the ban is a violation of freedom of speech. The prohibition of social media in Turkey sparked public ire and mass protests against internet censorship.

Apr 10 12:19

Head of German NSA probe's resignation prompts questions

Speculation is rising about why the head of the parliamentary committee investigating NSA spying in Germany quit on Wednesday. The opposition claims he was pushed in an attempt to avoid souring relations with the US.

Apr 10 12:02

A government admission of wrongdoing

In his letter to Wyden last week, Clapper not only implicitly acknowledged that Snowden was correct all along, but also that he, Clapper, lied to and materially misled the Senate Intelligence Committee, and that the NSA is in fact reading emails and listening to phone calls without obtaining the second warrant it has been claiming it obtains.

Apr 10 11:31

A Malware Protection “Placebo” App Made $40,000 by Doing Nothing

Virus Shield was an app for Android phones that users could download for $4 that kept them up to date on whether or not they had any Malware with periodic scans and little popup notifications. Well, that’s what it said it was doing, but according to reports from Android Police, the app wasn’t actually doing anything but telling users that it was keeping them malware free.

Apr 10 10:39

Angela Merkel denied access to her NSA file - Guardian

The US government is refusing to grant Angela Merkel access to her NSA file or answer formal questions from Germany about its surveillance activities, raising the stakes before a crucial visit by the German chancellor to Washington.

Merkel will meet Barack Obama in three weeks, on her first visit to the US capital since documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been monitoring her phone.

The face-to-face meeting between the two world leaders had been intended as an effort to publicly heal wounds after the controversy, but Germany remains frustrated by the White House's refusal to come clean about its surveillance activities in the country.

Apr 10 09:17

New Project Tackles Inherent Risks to Your Privacy From Electronic Medical Records

Activist Post

The digitization of medical records is being pitched to the public as a way to revolutionize healthcare. But rapid technological innovation and lagging privacy laws are leaving patients – and their most sensitive information – vulnerable to exposure and abuse, especially in this age of "big data." The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is launching a new medical privacy project today to identify the emerging issues and to give advocates the information they need to fight for stronger protections for patients...

Apr 10 09:06


The video plays on the phrase “Next year in Jerusalem” traditionally uttered at Passover seder dinners, which Jews around the world will gather for next week.

Hewlett-Packard makes electronic systems Israel uses to control the movement of Palestinians and has been specifically targeted in a number of divestment campaigns.

“This year in Jerusalem, Israeli policies limit the number of Palestinians who can live in the city” of Jerusalem, says Rabbi Brant Rosen.

“This year in Jerusalem, Palestinian Jerusalemites are considered permanent residents. Israel considers them immigrants,” adds Rabbi Margaret Holub. Effectively, Israel treats Palestinians whose roots in Jerusalem go back generations as if they were immigrants who must earn and qualify for the right to remain.

Apr 10 08:47

Are black-budget ops creating new meta-crimes?

Jon Rappoport
Activist Post

The Surveillance State has created an apparatus whose implications are staggering. It’s a different world now. And sometimes it takes a writer of fiction to flesh out the larger landscape.

Brad Thor’s novel, Black List, posits the existence of a monster corporation, ATS, that stands along side the NSA in collecting information on every move we make. ATS’ intelligence-gathering capability is unmatched anywhere in the world.

On pages 117-118 of Black List, Thor makes a stunning inference that, on reflection, is as obvious as the fingers on your hand...

Apr 10 07:46

How to Protect Yourself From the Heartbleed Bug

Secure websites — with “https” in the URL ("s" stands for secure) — make up 56% of websites, and nearly half of those sites were vulnerable to the bug. In theory, a cybercriminal could have exploited Heartbleed by making network requests that could piece together your sensitive data. The good news: There isn't any indication that a hacker caught wind of this; it seems the researchers were the first to locate the problem.

But the scary part is that attackers could have infiltrated these websites, extracted the information they wanted and left no trace of their presence. Thus, it's hard to determine whether someone ever exploited the bug, or if your account information was compromised.

Apr 10 07:44

Shameful Security: StartCom Charges People To Revoke SSL Certs Vulnerable To Heartbleed

StartCom is a free SSL Cert authority, and on the company's website, it claims it offers this service for free "because we believe in the right to protect and secure information between two entities without discrimination of race, origin and financial capabilities." Except, that's not quite how things are playing out in reality. As is being actively discussed over at HackerNews and via the StartSSL Twitter fee, the company is trying to charge people to revoke the vulnerable certs. Update: And, yes, they're even charging those who are on their premium paid service tiers as well -- and often charging exorbitant rates.

Apr 10 07:41

Were Intelligence Agencies Using The Heartbleed Security Bug in November 2013?

Peter Eckersley
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Yesterday afternoon, Ars Technica published a story reporting two possible logs of Heartbleed attacks occurring in the wild, months before Monday's public disclosure of the vulnerability. It would be very bad news if these stories were true, indicating that blackhats and/or intelligence agencies may have had a long period when they knew about the attack and could use it at their leisure...

Apr 10 07:36

Microsoft Partners Lenovo, Tencent to Offer XP Tech Support in China

Microsoft Corp has partnered Lenovo Group Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd to provide software security services for Windows XP users in China, after the U.S. tech firm stopped updating the operating system.

Microsoft wants users to move to later, more secure versions of Windows and so stopped servicing the 13-year-old XP this week, potentially leaving users vulnerable to viruses and hacking.

XP has 200 million users in China, or 70 percent of the market, according to Zhongguancun Online, cited by state news agency Xinhua. Upgrading could be expensive as computers running XP might not be powerful enough for newer versions of Windows.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"I don't care how expensive it is; MAKE them buy new computers and operating systems!!! The NSA needs to be in there!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Apr 09 18:28

The Feds Cut a Deal With In-Flight Wi-Fi Providers, and Privacy Groups Are Worried

Gogo and others that provide Wi-Fi aboard aircraft must follow the same wiretap provisions that require telecoms and terrestrial ISPs to assist U.S. law enforcement and the NSA in tracking users when so ordered. But they may be doing more than the law requires.

Apr 09 15:09

DHS funded 'FirstToSee Emergency Support System' being used to spy on social media

A social media monitoring tool developed last year by Pierce County, Wash., got its first real-world use last month during search and rescue efforts following the massive mudslide in Washington State. Known as the FirstToSee Emergency Support System, the tool was used to search Twitter for the word “missing,” and relevant tweets were provided to emergency response officials.

Apr 09 12:07

SCOTUS declines to hear challenge to NSA

The Supreme Court declined to take a case challenging the National Security Agency's bulk collection of metadata. Plaintiff Larry Klayman won his case challenging the NSA in a lower court, but wanted the Supreme Court to hear the government's appeal of the decision. This would have avoided the normal but more lengthy appeals process in lower courts. The decision by the high court does not mean that they won't hear the case in the future.

Apr 09 11:52

Merkel denied access to own NSA file

US spy bosses have ignored a request from Chancellor Angela Merkel to look at her secret service file, according to reports on Wednesday. It came as the chairman of the committee investigating NSA spying in Germany resigned.

Apr 09 08:56

72 percent say no to Google Glass because of privacy

A study from market research firm Toluna suggests there is considerable emotional opposition to the idea of people wearing Glass in public.

Apr 09 08:46

What Is This Scary Heartbleed Bug, And Why Is Everyone Freaking Out About It?

Security researchers started warning web sites yesterday afternoon that the popular bit of software many, many sites use to encrypt communications, OpenSSL, had been hit with a bug on March 14, 2012, reports the Wall Street Journal. That bug could allow an attacker to access the encryption keys used to keep the info you send to companies private — credit card numbers, passwords, email addresses, you name it.

Apr 09 07:53

Google Glass goes enterprise: Victory or defeat?

Enterprise adoption of Google Glass is nothing new. Surgeons have been taking Glass into the operating room, professional athletes have used it in games, and a host of other businesses have been experimenting with Glass almost since its inception. But now, Google is officially getting behind these use cases.

Google announced in a post late Monday night that it was bringing its Glass Explorer program to the enterprise. The post mentioned The Washington Capitals' partnership with APX Labs to create an app for fans and Schlumberger's partnership with Wearable Intelligence to create an app for its field employees.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have yet to actually see one of these things. I am not even sure what it is supposed to do. But it definitely did not have the buzz the iPhone and iPad did.

Apr 09 07:49

Heartbleed Bug prompts Revenue Canada website shutdown

The Canada Revenue Agency has shut down the public access portion of its website due to the Heartbleed Bug.

The Heartbleed Bug is a recently discovered vulnerability in a version of OpenSSL software code that is installed on two-thirds of the active servers connected to the internet.

Although OpenSSL is believed to be benign and comparatively safe and secure, the Heartbleed vulnerability could allow a malicious user to read the memory of systems protected by the bug-afflicted code, compromising the secret keys used to encrypt the data.

Apr 09 07:43

Major security alert over ‘heartbleed’ eavesdropping bug that could have infected TWO THIRDS of sites

A major online security alert has been issued after experts found a bug in one of the web's most common security systems.

Called the 'heartbleed' bug, it allows hackers to eavesdrop on supposedly secure communications.

The vulnerability was found by Google researchers in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, which is believed to be used in some way by roughly two-thirds of all websites on the Internet and is part of the most common server software in use.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh yes; spend more money, and buy the latest and greatest.

I will tell you the real solution to the cybercrime problem.

Catch just one cyber crook and crucify them live on national TV. Assuming they are reasonably healthy it should take them 5 days or so to die. I'll bet that does far more to stop the problem then going along with costly constant upgrades.

Apr 09 06:48

Germany: "NSA operating without limits." Has denied Merkel Access to her own file they compiled from tapping her phone

Germany has stated the U.S. NSA is operating without limits and is out of control.

Merkel, the German Chancellor has been denied the information they compiled on her from the tapping of her phone.

They have ignored Germany's request of information since last October.

Apr 08 12:19

Sophisticated Zeus Banking Trojan Signed With Valid Digital Signature

A new dangerous variant of ZeuS Banking Trojan has been identified by Comodo AV labs which is signed by stolen Digital Certificate which belongs to Microsoft Developer to avoid detection from Web browsers and anti-virus systems.

Apr 08 12:10

Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers - Guardian

The US has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organisations, Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe's top human rights body.

Giving evidence via a videolink from Moscow, Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

He told council members: "The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States." Snowden did not reveal which groups the NSA had bugged

Apr 08 08:44

FLASHBACK - US Military Recruits Children

But behind the fun and games is an attempt, in the words of a military booklet on "America's Army," "to build a game for Army strategic communication in support of recruiting." The Army spent $6 million to develop the game at the Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation Institute (MOVES) before handing it over to private companies for adaptation to the console formats in 2004. As the name implies, the MOVES Institute is the military center for creating virtual training environments and simulators. A MOVES Institute booklet proclaims a later version of the game, "America's Army: Special Forces," was developed specifically to increase the number of Army Special Forces recruits.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looking back from the post-Snowden awareness, one wonders if "America's Army" identified really good players and sent identifying information to military recruiters.

Apr 08 08:19

No legal means exist to challenge mass surveillance - Snowden

No legal means exist to challenge mass surveillance, said NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, testifying to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

A former NSA contractor, Snowden was speaking to the PACE session in Strasbourg via a video link-up from Moscow.

Wanted in the US on treason charges, he sparked a huge international scandal last year he leaked to the media classified evidence of American government spying programs.

“I would like to clarify that I have no intention of harming the US government or straining bilateral ties between any nations. My motivation is to improve the government, not to bring it down,” Snowden said.

Snowden told the European parliamentarians that any kind of web traffic can be analyzed and searched with little effort.

Apr 08 08:12

Is Convenience Creating Hazards In The Digital Age?

Kate Voss
Activist Post

Home automation technology: is it an asset or a liability? Alternately referred to as “The Internet of Things,” such systems allow homeowners to control multiple devices within their house, which communicate with each other via wireless technology. However egalitarian this may sound, it’s worth noting that such systems do pose multiple security risks...

Apr 08 07:05

OpenSSL has a critical security vulnerability that needs to be patched right away

The OpenSSL project has just disclosed a devastating security flaw in the protocol that could expose the cryptographic keys and private communications from some of the most important sites and services on the Internet. If you’re running a server with OpenSSL 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f, it’s vital that you update to OpenSSL 1.0.1g immediately.

Apr 08 06:46

Photos: Outrageous creations from the latest 3D printing event

Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo

There was plenty of exciting innovation at the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in New York City. New 3D printers were released by many companies, and people were able to watch them in action.

Apr 07 18:42

Media Blackout over Syria

On April 6, The London Review of Books published in its online journal Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line and the Rat Line.” Hersh continues to expose details surrounding the staged August 21 chemical attack incident in Syria, which apparently pretty much everyone in Washington’s intelligence bureaucracy suspected was carried out by the rebels as soon as it happened.

Apr 07 15:32

Fusion Centers: A Dangerous Part of the Surveillance State

Nadia Kayyali

While NSA surveillance has been front and center in the news recently, fusion centers are a part of the surveillance state that deserve close scrutiny.

Fusion centers are a local arm of the so-called “intelligence community,” the 17 intelligence agencies coordinated by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). The government documentation around fusion centers is entirely focused on breaking down barriers between the various government agencies that collect and maintain criminal intelligence information.

Barriers between local law enforcement and the NSA are already weak. We know that the Drug Enforcement Agency gets intelligence tips from the NSA which are used in criminal investigations and prosecutions. To make matters worse, the source of these tips is camouflaged using “parallel construction,” meaning that a different source for the intelligence is created to mask its classified source...

Apr 07 13:42

Metadata monitoring more intrusive than eavesdropping, Snowden and Greenwald warn

Whistleblower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald joined forces via video link at an Amnesty International event in the US to speak to a packed hotel ballroom about the dangers of government metadata collection.

Apr 07 12:33

Anonymous stages massive cyber-attack on Israel

A group of anti-Israel hackers, calling themselves "Anonymous Operation Israel" attacked hundreds of Israeli government websites Monday in protest of the country's policies.

Apr 07 11:48

Obama Issues Threats To Russia And NATO

he Obama regime has issued simultaneous threats to the enemy it is making out of Russia and to its European NATO allies on which Washington is relying to support sanctions on Russia. This cannot end well.

As even Americans living in a controlled media environment are aware, Europeans, South Americans, and Chinese are infuriated that the National Stasi Agency is spying on their communications. NSA's affront to legality, the US Constitution, and international diplomatic norms is unprecedented. Yet, the spying continues, while Congress sits sucking its thumb and betraying its oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.

Apr 07 11:22

Why Are Americans Paying to Be Searched, Spied On, Shot At and Robbed Blind by the Government?

The State Department wants $400,000 to purchase a fiberglass sculpture of a camel looking at a needle for its new embassy in Pakistan. They've already spent their allotted $630,000 to increase the number of "likes" and fans on their Facebook and Twitter pages. The NATO ambassador for the U.S. needs $700,000 for landscaping and gardening, the National Science Foundation would like $700,000 to put on a theatrical production about climate change, and the Senate staffers need $1.9 million for lifestyle coaching. Also, Yale University researchers could really use $384,000 so they can study the odd cork-screw shape of a duck's penis.

Apr 07 09:12

'Revolutionary' BDS iPhone App to Spread Boycott Israel Message on Smartphones

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is to release a beta version of a smartphone app that will allow users to search for a company's links to Israel in order to boycott its products.

The app will bring activism to a user's iPhone by informing them of a company's links to Israel via a large database of researched product information by voluntary staff.

Apr 07 08:49

Merkel Ally Says US Assurances on NSA Spying ‘Insufficient’

A leading ally of Angela Merkel has criticized the United States for failing to provide sufficient assurances on its spying tactics and said bilateral talks were unlikely to make much progress before the German leader visits Washington next month.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Assurances by the US Government are worth about the same as a Zimbabwe dollar!

Apr 07 08:13

U.S. ‘Monitoring’ Development Of European Communication Network Proposals

n February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she’s going to talk to the President of France, Francois Hollande, about building a separate communications network for Europe so as to stop data from passing through the U.S. The U.S. has criticized such proposals and has said that they may breach international trade laws. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that obstructions to cross-border data flows are a serious and growing concern.

The U.S. has been heavily criticized ever since word of the NSA’s global electronic spying programs broke last summer. Documents leaked by former CIA technical analyst Edward Snowden revealed just how widespread the NSA’s clandestine spying operations are. Apparently it also spied on allies of the U.S., which weren’t exactly happy when all this came to light.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good on Merkel, and good on Germany and Europe for this development! And there is really absolutely NOTHING the US government can do about it, except complain bitterly.

Apr 07 08:10

Triathlete hit in head by falling drone at race

Conspiracy theorists rejoice, drones are now attacking the general public.

Well ... not really. But an athlete competing in the Endure Batavia Triathlon in western Australia was hit in the head by a falling one during the race.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was being operated by local videographers covering the sporting event. The media company's owner said the circumstances surrounding the accident looked to be suspicious.

Apr 07 07:57

Woman becomes first person to be jailed for ‘trolling herself’

Michelle Chapman was given 20 months in prison after setting up fake Facebook profiles supposedly of her father and his wife to send hundreds of abusive messages to herself, before complaining to police.

Apr 07 07:57

Obama’s Hegelian Deception: NSA ‘Overhaul’ Forces Telecoms to Collect More Data

In the new American Stasi States, it’s been imperative for White House technocrats to ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’. Instead of repealing the unconstitutional Patriot Acts (these legally enable illegal gov’t practices), the public outrage over the NSA’s rape of 4th Amendment privacy rights has been used by President Barack Obama to order the seizure of even more of our metadata.

Even better now, instead of the NSA collecting and storing up to 30% of our phone records and communications, Obama has ordered that US telecoms firms store ALL of our data, and will come calling when they want it. Very clever.

In other words, the whole operation has just gone “more corporate” now. More fascist.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Common sense dictates that one avoids all phone calls and all internet communication for anything sensitive or delicate: that is simply reality for Americans at this point.

IF information doesn't get communicated this way, it cannot be tracked.

Apr 06 21:01

#OpIsrael: Anonymous attacks hundreds of Israeli websites

Hacktivist group Anonymous plans to execute an anti-Israel operation dubbed #OpIsrael by launching massive cyber-attacks against Israeli ministries and organizations on April 7, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“On April 7, 2014, we call upon our brothers and sisters to hack, deface, hijack, database leak, admin takeover, and DNS terminate the Israeli Cyberspace by any means necessary” the group said in a statement.

Apr 06 09:18

Guardian awarded 2013 IRE medal for NSA files investigative reporting

The Guardian was awarded Thursday with the 2013 IRE medal for investigative reporting for its work to expose secret government surveillance programs.

“In a series of investigative stories based on top-secret National Security Agency documents leaked by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the Guardian US revealed a story that continues to reverberate in the United States and across the globe,” the IRE judges said in a statement. “The Guardian’s reporting, and that by other news organizations, prompted vigorous debate in the US and around the world as well as numerous legal challenges, Congressional hearings and legislation calling for reform of NSA programs.”

Apr 06 09:17

Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald address US campaigners via video

In Chicago, a sympathetic crowd of nearly 1,000 packed a downtown hotel ballroom at Amnesty International USA's annual human rights meeting and gave Greenwald, who dialled in from Brazil, a raucous welcome before Snowden was patched in 15 minutes later – to a standing ovation.

The pair cautioned that government monitoring of "metadata" is more intrusive than directly listening to phone calls or reading emails and stressed the importance of a free press willing to scrutinise government activity.

Metadata includes which telephone number calls which other numbers, when the calls were made and how long they lasted. Metadata does not include the content of the calls.

Amnesty International is campaigning to end mass surveillance by the US government and calling for congressional action to further rein in the collection of information about telephone calls and other communications.

Apr 06 09:15

All Wars are Banker's Wars QR code T-SHIRTS!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"All Ware are Banker's Wars" has become one of the most popular articles at with Google reporting almost 2 million links and references to it around the world. So I created a QR code that points at that article and made it into T-shirts, buttons, etc. at the WRH CafePress store for our readers to share the link with others around them!

Apr 06 08:57

Government Agencies Battle Over Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife

Kevin Samson
Activist Post

The dangers to people (especially pregnant women and children) of Wi-Fi and the electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones and various "smart" devices are quickly becoming a non-debate to anyone who has investigated the reams of studies available.

However, there is also mounting evidence that these dangers extend to wildlife as cell towers are becoming more prevalent, deeper into previously non-explored areas.

This potential threat to wildlife appears to be such that it has sparked an attack by the Department of the Interior against the FCC for what they claim are outdated standards...

Apr 06 08:17

Big Brother’s Facebook: UK, US intelligence ‘infiltrating’ social media

American and British intelligence hope to take advantage of social media platforms, like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, in an effort to spread disinformation and propaganda, as well as potentially foment public protests, recent Snowden leaks claim.

According to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke the news on the Snowden NSA leaks, an Orwellian-style dystopia is lurking on the horizon as western spy agencies see an opportunity for manipulating public opinion and disseminating state propaganda by exploiting global internet giants, such as Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Apr 06 08:08

Windows XP diehards to fend off hackers on their own

People clinging to Microsoft’s aging Windows XP operating system will be left to fend off cyber criminals by themselves come Tuesday.

On April 8, the US software colossus will stop patching newly found security holes in Windows XP code that hackers could exploit to slip into computers.

Despite Microsoft’s long-heralded plan to stop “supporting” the nearly 13-year-old operating system, it still powers from 20 to 30 percent of Windows machines around the world, according to industry estimates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I won't buy the newer Windows products because they have MORE security holes ... thanks to the NSA! When this machine dies I am going Linux.

Microsoft wants to loot their customers for a new operating system every five years, which means being forced to buy new updated versions of all your applications. Enough is enough.

Apr 06 08:00

Social Media and the Destabilization of Cuba: USAID’s Secret “Cuban Twitter” Intended to Stir Unrest

Reported by the Associated Press, Washington has created a “Cuban Twitter” with a view to creating social unrest. The ultimate objective of this and other initiatives is to demonize and weaken the Cuban Communist government.

This program should be seen as part of Washington’s Worldwide actions to implement regime change in countries which do not abide by U.S. diktats. The social media program entitled ZunZuneo was part of a secret plan under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID):

Apr 06 07:03

Big Brother’s Facebook: UK, US intelligence ‘infiltrating’ social media

American and British intelligence hope to take advantage of social media platforms, like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, in an effort to spread disinformation and propaganda, as well as potentially foment public protests, recent Snowden leaks claim.

According to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke the news on the Snowden NSA leaks, an Orwellian-style dystopia is lurking on the horizon as western spy agencies see an opportunity for manipulating public opinion and disseminating state propaganda by exploiting global internet giants, such as Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Apr 06 06:54

Most sophisticated Android malware yet has already infected millions

A new report from The Hacker News details some new Android malware that may be the biggest threat to the operating system to date, and it may have already infected millions of devices.

Called Oldboot, the malware is “designed to re-infect mobile devices even after a thorough cleanup.” Apparently, the program resides in the memory of infected devices, and it modifies “devices’ boot partition and booting script file to launch system service and extract malicious application during the early stage of system’s booting.”

Versions of the program are so sophisticated that they can perform various stealthy operations including fighting detection and antivirus apps.

Apr 06 06:37

Paying For Facebook Promotion is Now Akin to Paying the Mafia for “Protection”

Paying for FB promotion thus only becomes extremely successful because FB artificially manipulates the market to make their promotion service appear to have more value than it does. I have been writing for a long time that the data from my own site has shown that Twitter and Pinterest have faaarrrrr better natural reach than FB and it’s nowhere near close.

The FB well is going to run dry, and it’s going to happen soon, I’d say within the next 2 years. Even the mafia is susceptible to competition and the competition is literally killing FB at the moment, they realize it, and are choosing quick cash over trying to fight back.

Apr 05 23:13

ABN Amro Ex-CEO found dead

A mere two weeks since former JPMorgan banker, Kenneth Bellando jumped to his death, Bloomberg reports that the former CEO of Dutch Bank ABN Amro (and his wife and daughter) were found dead at their home after a possible “family tragedy.”