COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Apr 20 09:16

PAYPAL EXEC WANTS TO REPLACE PASSWORDS WITH INJECTABLE CHIPS

People may only just be coming round to the idea of using their fingerprints to authenticate themselves, but a PayPal executive is already looking ahead to a time when we embed and ingest devices that identify us at the point-of-sale. In a presentation he has given at several conferences, Jonathan LeBlanc, global head of developer advocacy at PayPal, calls on industry to 'Kill All Passwords,' which he says are a broken method of authentication.

Apr 20 08:34

Thieves using a $17 power amplifier to break into cars with remote keyless systems

Cars with keyless entry systems are capable of searching for a wireless key fob that is within a couple feet of the vehicle, but car thieves can use a $17 "power amplifier" to boost the key searching capabilities, sometimes up to around 100 meters, and pull off a high-tech car break-in.

After almost becoming a victim of a high-tech car heist again, Nick Bilton over at The New York Times said he is now keeping the keys to his 2013 Prius in the freezer. There had been a rash of mysterious car break-ins near his Los Angeles address, including three break-ins to his own car; all cars involved had remote keyless systems that come with a wireless key fob which is used to unlock the doors and start the engine instead of using a physical key.

Apr 20 04:10

Techno Fascism Arrives: The Army Is Sharing Its Top Cyber Warriors With Hollywood and Wall Street

A new public-private program wants to 'marry-up' cyber soldiers with a civilian career to defend against online threats. At a time when the Pentagon arguably is losing a battle with industry for top tech talent, the Army is offering companies the resumes of its best cyberwarriors.

Apr 19 19:51

NEW ZEALAND PLOTTED HACK ON CHINA WITH NSA

New Zealand spies teamed with National Security Agency hackers to break into a data link in the country’s largest city, Auckland, as part of a secret plan to eavesdrop on Chinese diplomats, documents reveal.

The covert operation, reported Saturday by New Zealand’s Herald on Sunday in collaboration with The Intercept, highlights the contrast between New Zealand’s public and secret approaches to its relationship with China, its largest and most important trading partner.

The hacking project suggests that New Zealand’s electronic surveillance agency, Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, may have violated international treaties that prohibit the interception of diplomatic communications.

Apr 19 19:42

Hacked Sony emails reveal that Sony had pirated books about hacking

Sony doesn't like pirates—except, perhaps, when Sony feels like pirating.

Hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment emails, published in full on Thursday by WikiLeaks, reveal that Sony had pirated ebooks on its servers. This is particularly notable because Sony has engaged in aggressive and even illegal anti-piracy actions in the past.

Here's another dose of irony for you: The books are educational tomes about hacking, exactly the subject that Sony would now like to be thoroughly educated in since last year's hacks put all this information into the public sphere.

Apr 19 19:38

Congress cannot be taken seriously on cybersecurity

Members of Congress - most of whom can’t secure their own websites, and some of whom don’t even use email - are trying to force a dangerous “cybersecurity” bill down the public’s throat. Everyone’s privacy is in the hands of people who, by all indications, have no idea what they’re talking about.

Apr 19 09:11

Smart meter opt-out fees rescinded in Arizona, commissioners fearing liability

Warren Woodward
Activist Post

At a meeting last Monday, and after spending an hour in “executive session” privately discussing the issue with their lawyers, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) rescinded the decision they made last December to allow APS to charge an extortion fee to people who refuse a “smart” meter...

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Apr 18 08:46

Smart Meters Unveiled

Catherine J. Frompovich
Activist Post

Smart Meter (SM) technology is something most consumers may not be familiar with. However, just because the ‘smart’ label is attached to a technology, that doesn’t imply the technology is in the best interest of consumers’ overall health.

Think again, especially when it comes to new ‘smart’ electric, gas, or water meters that are AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) SMs, which can do a few things consumers really may not be aware of and which really are NOT very smart safety-wise...

Apr 18 08:44

FLASHBACK - Hillary Clinton: US Losing Information War to Alternative Media

Apr 18 07:52

VIDEO: Long-Range Iris Recognition System Can Identify a Person 40 Feet Away

Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet.

Apr 18 06:51

Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger may hinge on Internet service expansion

Comcast Corp.'s bid to win state approval to purchase Time Warner Cable could hinge on whether the company becomes a generous corporate citizen.

(*Do they have to demand such grueling conditions ? )

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Apr 17 15:33

Facebook blasts cancer patient with funeral home advertisements - more privacy invasions to come

A cancer patient who searched online for support about his disease was left horrified when Facebook began placing advertisement for funeral directors on his Facebook feed.

Daniel Kapp, 46, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month. Shortly after he used the web to learn more about the illness.

When he opened Facebook the following day he said he was 'bombarded' with 'insensitive' promotions that he couldn't remove.

Apr 17 14:37

No joke: Google’s April Fool’s prank inadvertently broke site’s security

Altered code undermined Google defenses against click-jacking attacks.

Apr 17 14:35

Lawyer representing whistle blowers finds malware on drive supplied by cops

According to court documents filed last week in the case, Campbell provided police officials with an external hard drive for them to load with e-mail and other data responding to his discovery request. When he got it back, he found something he didn't request. In a subfolder titled D:\Bales Court Order, a computer security consultant for Campbell allegedly found three well-known trojans, including:

  • Win32:Zbot-AVH[Trj], a password logger and backdoor
  • NSIS:Downloader-CC[Trj], a program that connects to attacker-controlled servers and downloads and installs additional programs, and
  • Two instances of Win32Cycbot-NF[Trj], a backdoor
  • Apr 17 10:10

    Bell faces $750M lawsuit over allegedly selling customer data

    A $750-million national class-action lawsuit has been filed against Bell Canada over alleged breaches of privacy arising from its recently discontinued target ads program.

    The suit against subsidiaries of Bell alleges that the defendants used the program to track, collect and sell the sensitive account and internet browsing information of their customers to advertisers.

    It seeks $750 million in damages for breach of privacy, breach of contract and breach of the Telecommunications Act.

    Apr 17 08:45

    Health Effects from Smart Meter Radiation

    by Catherine J. Frompovich

    During the week of April 12, 2015, Pennsylvania Smart Meter Awareness (PASMA) sent out two Press Releases regarding the increasing adverse health effects from Smart Meter (SM) radiofrequency non-ionizing radiation (RFs). Those Press Releases were rather dramatic, especially since utility companies claim there are no adverse health problems.

    Even Pennsylvania House of Representatives Consumer Affairs Committee Chair, Robert W. Godshall sent me a letter in response to my letter. This is what he had this to say about SM health effects...

    Apr 17 07:59

    Uncle Sam Wants Your Keys, Says 'Trust Me'

    For months, federal law enforcement agencies and industry have been deadlocked on a highly contentious issue: Should tech companies be obliged to guarantee government access to encrypted data on smartphones and other digital devices, and is that even possible without compromising the security of law-abiding customers?

    Recently, the head of the National Security Agency provided a rare hint of what some U.S. officials think might be a technical solution. Why not, suggested Adm. Michael S. Rogers, require technology companies to create a digital key that could open any smartphone or other locked device to obtain text messages or photos, but divide the key into pieces so that no one person or agency alone could decide to use it?

    Apr 17 07:58

    If Virginia Elections Weren't Hacked, It's Only Because No One Tried

    Yes, it's true that almost any system will have security vulnerabilities, but he's ridiculously, laughably wrong, in suggesting that these machines are likely secure enough. These machines don't require a sophisticated hacker (especially now that the VITA revealed all the necessary passwords). Basically anyone can change the votes however they want based on the information that has been revealed.

    For years, whenever we'd point to concerns and problems with e-voting machines, people would argue that it was just conspiracy theories and that these machines were mostly "secure enough." Yet, time and time again, we've discovered that the machines weren't even the tiniest bit secure -- and this is just the most egregious example so far.

    Apr 17 07:38

    Ukraine Blocks 10,000 Websites, Confiscates a Newspaper

    As I reported yesterday, the Security Bureau of Ukraine, on April 7th, had seized and disappeared two Odessa bloggers, who were trying to get an independent investigation, and ultimate prosecution, of the individuals who participated in the 2 May 2014 massacre of regime opponents, and who burned, shot, and clubbed to death perhaps over 200 in the Odessa Trade Unions Building - the event that precipitated the breakaway of Donbass from the rest of the former Ukraine, the country's civil war.

    And I also reported that April 7th saw the official announcement that, "The security service of Ukraine ... has discontinued operation of a number of Internet sites that were used to perpetrate information campaigns of aggression on the part of the Russian Federation aimed at violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order and territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine."

    Apr 17 04:53

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA DEBUTS 'SMART CITY' PROJECT WITH HIGH-TECH STREETLIGHTS — AND THEY'RE WATCHING YOU

    General Electric and the city are teaming up in a pilot program that will start out with street lights using LED bulbs that operate 70 percent more efficiently. The program will not cost the city a dime with GE picking up the tab. The street lights are very high tech and equipped with technology that has many applications. "What we are going to do is have a camera in every street light, really a computer in every street light that will be able to put information about available parking into the cloud," said Jamie Irick with General Electric.
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    Apr 16 19:09

    Match.com’s HTTP-only login page puts millions of passwords at risk

    Tens of millions of Match.com subscribers risk having their site password exposed each time they sign in because the dating site doesn't use HTTPS encryption to protect its login page.

    The screenshot above was taken Thursday afternoon. Showing a session from the Wireshark packet sniffing program, you can see that this reporter entered "dan.goodin@arstechnica.com" and "secretpassword" into the user name and password fields of the Match.com login page.

    Amazingly, the page uses an unprotected HTTP connection to transmit the data, allowing anyone with a man-in-the-middle vantage point—say, someone on the same public network as a Match.com user, a rogue ISP or telecom employee, or a state-sponsored spy—to pilfer the credentials.

    Apr 16 14:41

    New malware program Punkey targets point-of-sale systems

    Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals have become an attractive target for hackers over the past year, reflected in the increasing number of RAM-scraping programs that steal payment card information from the memory of such systems.

    Last month security researchers from Cisco Systems issued a warning about a new PoS threat dubbed PoSeidon and on Wednesday security blogger Brian Krebs reported that the program has already infected PoS terminals at restaurants, bars and hotels in the U.S.

    Security researchers from Trustwave now warn that during a recent investigation with the U.S. Secret Service, they’ve uncovered yet another RAM-scraping PoS threat they’ve named Punkey.

    Apr 16 14:39

    DEA, US Army bought $1.2M worth of hacking tools in recent years

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United States Army have almost certainly been buying questionable remote access hacking tools for years from an Italian company called Hacking Team, via an obscure American reseller called Cicom USA.

    Hacking Team openly advertises what it calls its "Remote Control System," (RCS) a piece of malware remotely installed on a target’s computer or smartphone. As the company touts: "Evidence collection on monitored devices is stealth and transmission of collected data from the device to the RCS server is encrypted and untraceable."

    Apr 16 14:37

    Just-released Minecraft exploit makes it easy to crash game servers

    A flaw in the wildly popular online game Minecraft makes it easy for just about anyone to crash the server hosting the game, according to a computer programmer who has released proof-of-concept code that exploits the vulnerability.

    "I thought a lot before writing this post," Pakistan-based developer Ammar Askar wrote in a blog post published Thursday, 21 months, he said, after privately reporting the bug to Minecraft developer Mojang. "On the one hand I don't want to expose thousands of servers to a major vulnerability, yet on the other hand Mojang has failed to act on it."

    Apr 16 14:36

    Dozens of US government online whistleblower sites not secured by HTTPS

    Whistleblowers beware: At least 29 US government agencies' websites that allow the online reporting of abuse, waste, and fraud are not encrypted with HTTPS, according to a survey by the American Civil Liberties Union unveiled Thursday.

    "When individuals use these official whistleblowing channels to report waste, fraud, or abuse, the information they submit is transmitted insecurely over the Internet, where it can be intercepted by others. This not only puts the identity of whistleblowers at risk, but also the confidentiality of the information they provide to inspectors general," the rights group said in a letter to Tony Scott, chief information officer for the Office of Management & Budget.

    Apr 16 14:06

    Dozens of US government online whistleblower sites not secured

    Whistleblowers beware: At least 29 US government agencies' websites that allow the online reporting of abuse, waste, and fraud are not encrypted with HTTPS, according to a survey by the American Civil Liberties Union unveiled Thursday.

    Apr 16 12:19

    GOOGLE HAS PATENTED ABILITY TO CONTROL ROBOT ARMY

    After getting a patent for giving robots personalities last month, Google now wants to unleash an army of Rodney Dangerfield bots on the world. In a patent awarded today, the company outlines a system for “allocating tasks to a plurality of robotic devices.” This sounds innocuous enough—it could mean linking a series of factory robots together, or perhaps a gaggle of Roombas to clean a large house—but the potential is much greater.

    Apr 16 12:15

    USA and UK’s surveillance violates human rights law

    Amnesty International and others won an historic victory today as the legal body that oversees the practices of the UK secret services acknowledged that the USA and the UK’s intelligence sharing on communications surveillance violated human rights law.

    Apr 16 12:15

    Author Of The Patriot Act: Government Backdoors Into iPhones Are Unnecessary

    Michael Chertoff , co-author of the Patriot Act, a set of laws that provided the US government with broad surveillance powers in the wake of 9/11, is unashamedly proud of what he built.

    Apr 16 09:54

    Tampering with Smart Meters on the Smart Grid

    Catherine J. Frompovich
    Activist Post

    There have been a lot of theories about what could happen when Smart Meters (SMs) are tampered with and customers receive “false-reading, tampered-with” utility bills—water, gas, or electric—when hackers access the porous microwave networks that transmit in-the-house information that electric SMs constantly collect, then radio-transmit via microwaves back to utilities home offices.

    That’s not some “pie-in-the-sky” theory; it’s of great concern to security experts...

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    Apr 16 08:39

    US Government Planting Malicious Software On Your Phone, So It Can Bypass Encryption and “See What You’re Doing”

    John McAfee invented commercial antivirus software. He may be a controversial and eccentric figure … but the man knows his technology.

    Earlier this month, McAfee told security expert Paul Asadoorian that encryption is dead. Specifically, he said:

    Every city in the country has 1 to 3 Stingray spy devices … Bigger cities like New York probably have 200 or 300

    When you buy a Stingray, Harris Corporation makes you sign a contract keeping your Stingray secret (background here and here)

    Stingray pushes automatic “updates” – really malicious software – onto your phone as soon as you come into range

    The software – written by the largest software company in the world – allows people to turn on your phone, microphone and camera, and read everything you do and see everything on your screen

    Apr 16 08:20

    Our Nation Depends on Restoring Product Liability

    At the height of its power, ancient Rome created many new technologies which allowed it to become the supreme power over their portion of the world. These accomplishments included the invention of concrete, improved metallurgy, medicine, hygiene, plumbing, and sewage. As each of these were developed, Rome came to be dependent on them. As Rome went into decline, their ability to maintain their technologies started to fade. Aqueducts stopped delivering water. Public health failed. Metal rusted. Concrete cracked. Eventually the failure of those systems on which Rome was dependent hastened its eventual fall.

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    Apr 16 07:47

    NSA and FBI fight to retain spy powers as surveillance law nears expiration

    With about 45 days remaining before a major post-9/11 surveillance authorization expires, representatives of the National Security Agency and the FBI are taking to Capitol Hill to convince legislators to preserve their sweeping spy powers.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    "Please extend and expand our spy powers ... or we'll send your wife a copy of your last phone call to Fifi's Fone Fantasies!"

    Apr 16 07:41

    Meet the e-voting machine so easy to hack, it will take your breath away

    Virginia election officials have decertified an electronic voting system after determining that it was possible for even unskilled people to surreptitiously hack into it and tamper with vote counts.

    The AVS WINVote, made by Advanced Voting Solutions, passed necessary voting systems standards and has been used in Virginia and, until recently, in Pennsylvania and Mississippi. It used the easy-to-crack passwords of "admin," "abcde," and "shoup" to lock down its Windows administrator account, Wi-Fi network, and voting results database respectively, according to a scathing security review published Tuesday by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

    Apr 15 13:00

    Pentagon drafting thousands of ‘cyber forces’ in prep for cyber emergency

    A week after US officials said a Russian group hacked the White House, Pentagon officials told the Senate that they are creating cyber “surge forces” trained to defend America

    Apr 15 10:45

    JADE: A Tool for Rapid Crisis Action Planning - PDF

    The Joint Assistant for Deployment and Execution (JADE) offers a new technique for rapid force deployment planning, especially in crisis situations. JADE is being developed by BBN Technologies under contract to the Air Force Research Lab and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It is being designed to operate within the next generation Global Command and Control System. JADE implements state of the art technology to reduce the time typically required for building a Time Phased Force Deployment Data package, which presently takes days or weeks, down to approximately one hour. In order to support the command and control needs of planners today and in the twenty-first century, several challenges are being met

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Note sure if this is the JADE in JADE HELM, but interesting nonetheless.

    Apr 15 08:52

    France Considers Forcing Google to Disclose Search Algorithm; Too Much Satisfaction!

    Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, is to say that the US group will soon be served with a formal charge sheet alleging that it breached antitrust rules by diverting traffic from rivals to favour its own services, according to two people familiar with the case.

    Apr 15 08:46

    EU set to file antitrust lawsuit against Google for unfair practices

    Google is facing formal antitrust charges in the EU after years of investigation and three attempted settlements. The announcement will be made at the European Commission meeting on Wednesday, EU officials told the media.

    Apr 15 08:39

    3D Printing Accessibility is Key Solution for the Disabled

    by Brian Berletic

    3D printing is increasingly becoming good at solving problems not yet solved by traditional manufacturing and distribution. Among these problems is accessibility for the disabled.

    The harsh reality is that because a relatively small number of people are disabled, the "market" doesn't see much reason to accommodate them...

    Apr 15 08:23

    Twitter, YouTube, Instagram work on stealth advertising

    The quandary for those who run social media networks is how to make money on them without antagonising and thus losing users through distracting ads.

    The answer, for Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, is to slip in some stealthy ads camouflaged to look like posts from listed contacts.

    Apr 15 08:22

    Your Facebook Chat Sessions Logged By CIA-Funded Company

    If you thought your Facebook chats are safe from prying eyes, you’re apparently wrong. Bosnadev says that Facebook’s chats are being scanned by a CIA -funded company, a discovery Bosnadev made after looking into some unusual activity on a website triggered by a link present in a Facebook chat.

    Apr 15 08:19

    A CIA-backed company may be scanning all your Facebook chats

    Upon researching Facebook chat scans, Bosnadev discovered information about a third-party company called Recorded Future that’s received funding from Google Ventures and the CIA. Apparently, this company was the primary culprit for scanning Facebook chats.

    Obviously, it’s one thing to have Facebook scan your chats for preventing criminal activity, something the social network has been doing for years, and something entirely different to have a third party doing the same thing.

    Apr 15 08:16

    Inventor of Antivirus Sofware: The Government Is Planting Malicious Software On Your Phone So It Can See What You're Doing

    Top computer and internet experts say that NSA spying breaks the functionality of our computers and of the Internet. It reduces functionality and reduces security by – for example – creating backdoors that malicious hackers can get through.

    Remember, American and British spy agencies have intentionally weakened security for many decades. And it’s getting worse and worse. For example, they plan to use automated programs to infect millions of computers.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    But not Hillary's email server, of course!

    Apr 15 08:11

    Facebook admits tracking people who don't use the site, blames bug

    Facebook knows it all, even if you're not using its social network.

    Facebook recently admitted that its social plugins added tracking cookies to some people's computers, even if they didn't have a profile with the social site. Richard Allan, Facebook's vice president of policy in Europe, says the tracking is due to a bug that is currently being fixed.

    The bug was first discovered in March when Belgian researchers reported that Facebook was tracking users across pages with its plugins — despite the users opting into a do-not-track system or not even being on the site.

    Social plugins are embeds like the "Like" button, "Share" button, comments and other tools with which people share their content with friends.

    Apr 15 07:58

    The European Union Accused Google Of Abusing Its Dominant Position

    The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Google affirming the organization has mishandled its prevailing position in the businesses for general web hunt benefits in the European Economic Area (EEA) by methodically supporting its own correlation shopping item in its general query items pages. The Commission’s preparatory perspective is that such direct encroaches EU antitrust principles in light of the fact that it smothers rivalry and damages shoppers. Sending a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the result of the examination.

    http://whatisusa.info/the-european-union-accused-google-of-abusing-its...

    Apr 15 07:48

    EU's three gripes with Android: What you need to know

    There are actually three issues, according to the EC's press release explaining what it will be focusing on in its Android probe.

    Whether Google has illegally hindered the development and market access of rival mobile applications or services by requiring or incentivising smartphone and tablet manufacturers to exclusively pre-install Google's own applications or services;

    Whether Google has prevented smartphone and tablet manufacturers who wish to install Google's applications and services on some of their Android devices from developing and marketing modified and potentially competing versions of Android (so-called "Android forks") on other devices, thereby illegally hindering the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems and mobile applications or services;

    Apr 15 07:16

    LOCUST: THE NAVY IS PREPARING TO LAUNCH SWARM BOTS OUT OF CANNONS

    The program, which the Navy is called Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology, or LOCUST, marks a significant advance in applications for robotic swarming software. In August, the Office of Naval Research, or ONR, which is behind the program, demonstrated a swarming configuration of 13 robotic boats on Virginia’s James River. The boats were able to perform a variety of tasks to protect a high-value ship from incoming craft.

    Apr 15 07:14

    More than 2 MILLION of Hillary Clinton's Twitter followers are fake or never tweet – and she's already under fire for 'buying' fake Facebook fans

    According to two popular online measuring tools, no more than 44 per cent of her Twitter fan base consists of real people who are active in using the social media platform.

    And at least 15 per cent – more than 544,000 – are completely fake.

    The new measurements will add to the Clinton presidential campaign's embarrassment following news on Tuesday that a large number of her Facebook fans may represent 'likes' that were purchased rather than earned.

    Apr 15 07:02

    The Information War on a Whole New Level: Space

    Ulson Gunnar
    Activist Post

    The information war can be quickly lost if one cannot get their assets onto the “battlefield.” For the US, UK or Europe, the constant din of their propaganda spread across the planet via their impressive and immense media networks has recently run into a few snags.

    In nations like Russia, China or Iran, ruling governments and local industry have begun creating their own Internets, their own alternatives to US-controlled social media platforms and search engines, and in some cases, even their own hardware to run it all on. They have also taken a cue from the US and decided to put in “kill switches” and censorship measures to prevent information from abroad being piped into their nation and disseminated among their populations.

    Or more accurate than saying “to prevent information from abroad,” one could say, “propaganda from abroad.”...

    Apr 15 06:55

    The Future of Freedom: A Feature Interview with NSA Whistleblower William Binney


    A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.

    The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind) was destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.

    Apr 15 02:45

    Apple Acquires Israeli Tech Company

    Apple acquires Israeli tech company LinX that promises DSLR-like mobile performance

    Apr 14 12:25

    Wireless, Cable Industries Show Their Love Of An 'Open Internet' By Suing To Overturn Net Neutrality Rules

    Now that the FCC's net neutrality rules have been published in the Federal Register, the broadband industry has fired its litigation cannons and filed the expected lawsuits via all of the major trade organizations (see suits for the NCTA, ACA and CTIA, pdfs). All of the suits proclaim that the FCC's new net neutrality rules, and its reclassification of broadband providers as common carriers under Title II are an "arbitrary and capricious" implementation of "outdated utility style regulations" that will harm the greater Internet, sector innovation and industry investment (claims even the industry itself has admitted are bunk, yet never seem to go away).

    Apr 14 09:23

    Files encrypted by CoinVault ransomware? New free tool may decrypt them

    Victims of the CoinVault ransomware might be able to decrypt their files with a free tool released by Kaspersky Lab together with the Dutch police.

    The tool can be found at https://noransom.kaspersky.com. The application uses decryption keys found by the Dutch police as part of an investigation.

    Apr 13 20:27

    CISPA Is Back With A Vengeance

    First introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is once again back in play and is being considered for legislative action this month. Much of the same concerns that accompanied its introduction in 2011 remain specifically that it is a blank check for cybersurveillance dressed up as a bill to promote cybersecurity.
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    Apr 13 19:27

    ‘Redirect to SMB’ vulnerability allows login theft, even in Windows 10

    Security researchers have identified a new variant on an old hacking technique to steal Windows user credentials, including the victim’s username, hashed password and domain – and it works just fine on the Windows 10 preview release too. Applications vulnerable to the technique include those made by Apple, Oracle, Symantec, Adobe and Box, with several popular security and antivirus suites susceptible. Microsoft has never addressed the historical exploit on which the new attack is based, even though it was made public 18 years ago.

    Apr 13 17:01

    Flashback - Vote Fraud 2004: How Ohio was "Delivered" to Bush

    Q - "Do you have an opinion whether or not the Ohio presidential election was hacked?"

    A - "Yes, I would say it was, I mean, if you have exit polling data that is significantly off from the vote then it's probably hacked."

    Apr 13 16:59

    Prosecutors suspect man hacked lottery computers to score winning ticket

    Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, may have inserted a thumbdrive into a highly locked-down computer that's supposed to generate the random numbers used to determine lottery winners, The Des Moines Register reported, citing court documents filed by prosecutors. At the time, Tipton was the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, and he was later videotaped purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket that went on to fetch the winning $14.3 million payout.

    In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said there is evidence to support the theory Tipton used his privileged position inside the lottery association to enter a locked room that housed the random number generating computers and infect them with software that allowed him to control the winning numbers.

    Apr 13 05:03

    The government hides surveillance programs just because people would freak out

    Government agencies will go to great lengths to keep their data collection a secret, strictly to avoid the bad press they know would be coming

    Apr 13 04:59

    The NSA wants tech companies to give it 'front door' access to encrypted data

    NSA director suggested tech companies could provide an encryption key in pieces

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    Apr 12 07:17

    Researchers Test Crowdsourcing Smartphone Data for Earthquake Warning

    Of all the negative uses and health hazards of smartphones, this one might actually be a good use of the tech...

    Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes according to newly reported research. This technology could serve regions of the world that cannot afford higher quality, but more expensive, conventional earthquake early warning systems, or could contribute to those systems...

    Apr 11 09:31

    How Robots & Algorithms Are Taking Over

    In September 2013, about a year before Nicholas Carr published The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, his chastening meditation on the human future, a pair of Oxford researchers issued a report predicting that nearly half of all jobs in the United States could be lost to machines within the next twenty years. The researchers, Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, looked at seven hundred kinds of work and found that of those occupations, among the most susceptible to automation were loan officers, receptionists, paralegals, store clerks, taxi drivers, and security guards. Even computer programmers, the people writing the algorithms that are taking on these tasks, will not be immune. By Frey and Osborne’s calculations, there is about a 50 percent chance that programming, too, will be outsourced to machines within the next two decades.

    Apr 11 06:39

    Long arm of the law closing in on Hillary!

    Thursday, my organization, Freedom Watch, went where no congressional committee had the guts to go before: We took real action to get a federal court to immediately seize the hard drives of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. (See freedomwatchusa.org.)

    I asked the court to appoint a forensic expert to inspect and recreate the missing email evidence from Clintons’ tenure as secretary of state. We did this without any of the power or funding of Congress and without the years of delay on Capitol Hill. Forget about Trey Gowdy and the Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Unlike Gowdy, who has accomplished little to nothing and indeed dithered as Hillary was busy destroying evidence, we are not pursuing Hillary for show, but to uncover her illegal dough!

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    Apr 10 18:11

    Facebook Admits to Tracking People Who Don't Use Facebook, Blames a Bug

    Facebook has admitted it tracks some non-users—but says it’s only a bug and that a fix is underway. At the end of Mar?ch, Belgian researchers reported that Facebook drops a long-lasting cookie onto your machine, tracking you across pages with its social plugins, even if you’ve opted into a do-not-track system or aren’t a registered user of the site. At the time, Facebook said the report was inaccurate, though it would not say which specific aspects were incorrect.

    Apr 10 17:58

    Eighth Grader Charged With Felony Cybercrime For Changing Teacher’s Desktop Wallpaper

    A middle school student who said he was just trying to play a prank on a teacher he didn't like was charged with a cybercrime Wednesday after authorities said he hacked into his school's secure computer network. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office has charged Domanik Green, an eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School, with an offense against a computer system and unauthorized access, a felony. Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday that Green logged onto the school's network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher's computer to one showing two men kissing.

    Apr 10 11:48

    Department of Defense Blocks Millions of Computers From Viewing Alternative News

    What began as a rumor that the military brass was ordering soldiers not to view news about the whistle blower revelations that the NSA is spying on all Americans has swelled into a confirmed military-wide censorship campaign using a high-tech computer filtering system.

    The US News and World Report is reporting that the DoD is blocking access to all articles related to the NSA scandal from all DoD computers. The filter reportedly effects millions of computers and potentially thousands of alternative news and civil liberties websites.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Moi?!?

    Apr 10 11:44

    US lawmakers assembling secret ‘encyclopedia of spying’

    In an effort to keep track of the US government’s sprawling spy efforts, a Senate oversight committee has been compiling a ‘secret encyclopedia’ of surveillance programs ever since the 2013 Snowden revelations.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Weren't they supposed to already know?!?

    Apr 10 10:05

    Rights groups demand justice as new details on DEA spying program revealed

    As new reporting by USA Today on Wednesday exposed the scope of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's two-decade secret surveillance operation against American citizens

    Apr 10 09:14

    BALTIMORE PD HAS DEPLOYED STINGRAY DEVICES OVER 4,300 TIMES, INSTRUCTED BY FBI TO WITHHOLD INFO FROM COURTS

    As the AP notes, the number of deployments admitted to here is the largest ever made public. This doesn't necessarily mean the rate of usage (more than once a day, on average) is out of the ordinary, however. Thanks to the very restrictive non-disclosure agreement the FBI forces law enforcement agencies to sign (while falsely claiming "the FCC made us do it!"), information on cell tower spoofers has very rarely been disclosed.

    Apr 10 08:50

    U.S. Agencies Block Technology Exports for Supercomputer in China

    U.S. officials are blocking technology exports to facilities in China associated with the world’s fastest supercomputer, a blow to Intel Corp. and other hardware suppliers that adds to the list of tech tensions between the two countries.

    Apr 10 07:47

    International cybersquad takes down ‘Beebone’ botnet

    By taking control of the server, authorities can now keep the botnet’s administrators from using a vast network of hacked computers to launch attacks. Security experts say that upwards of 12,000 machines have already been compromised since 2009, however, and that the operators of the zombie network had executed malicious programs through those computers to steal user data, including passwords and financial information.

    Infected machines, according to the US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), could be ordered to “distribute malicious software, harvest users' credentials for online services, including banking services, and extort money from users by encrypting key files and then demanding payment in order to return the files to a readable state.” The compromised machines would download and run other malicious program, including ransomware and rootkits, and then rapidly change form after an infection in order and before spreading in order to evade detection.

    Apr 09 18:36

    TripAdvisor censors complaints about hotels in Israel’s settlements

    The popular website TripAdvisor not only promotes hotels in the settlements that Israel is building in the occupied West Bank, it censors travelers who complain about such complicity with illegal activities.

    Apr 09 14:13

    Feds Suspend Funding for Los Angeles Cell Towers

    Catherine Frompovich
    Activist Post

    This is an update on the cell tower situation in Los Angeles, California...

    Even more news is breaking regarding those ‘mushroom-like-cropping-up’ cell towers. Activists in LA report to me that

    "the US Federal government suspended funding of the Los Angeles arm of the deadly federal surveillance tower roll out!! According to Fierce Wireless Magazine, we gave First Net a "black eye" which they may or may not recover from." ...

    Apr 09 12:12

    5 Clues Hidden in Computer Files That Can Get You Busted

    Which brings us to Merck & Co., the pharmaceutical company most famous for the arthritis medication Vioxx, which was pulled from the market after it was revealed that long term use of the drug caused heart attacks (even if it still worked really well on the whole). Merck was swiftly flooded with almost 7,000 lawsuits after the recall, but in their defense, it's not like anyone knew Vioxx would kill people.

    Actually, Merck had specifically known that exact thing for years. And the bizarre thing is, they almost told everyone about it, but changed their minds at the last minute and then poorly covered up their tracks. Thanks, again, to their Word document's revision history.

    Apr 09 10:34

    Facebook hit with class action lawsuit over facial recognition data

    A new class action lawsuit claims Facebook violated its users' privacy rights in acquiring what it describes as the largest privately held database of facial recognition data in the world.

    According to a report from Courthouse News Service, lead plaintiff Carlo Licata, of Cook County, claims the social network violated Illinois privacy laws by not providing him with written notification that his biometric data was being collected or stored.

    Furthermore, Licata claims that it's also unlawful to collect biometric data in the state without clearly stating the purpose for which that data is being collected, along with notification of how long it would be stored for.

    Apr 09 07:39

    Pentagon steps up special ops monitoring of social media sites

    U.S. military special operations forces are elite commandos who are sent on high-risk, high-reward missions all over the world, on a regular basis. As such, they have increasingly turned to a method of open-source intelligence collection that is becoming vital to the success of their missions: The monitoring of social media and other Internet-based outlets that can provide crucial information and data.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    Dear US Government. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but people lie on social media, especially if they are trying to impress a potential date! People exaggerate what they are doing. They take pictures of other peoples' expensive cars and claim them as their own. They post years-old selfies and claim they are current. Social media is not and never was a reliable source of hard intelligence about anyone. You have spent billions of dollars and violated the Fourth Amendment to build a search engine into the populations' self-indulgent fantasies.

    Apr 09 07:33

    HP drops out of the public cloud storm

    HP has invested billions in its cloud offerings. Now, out of the blue sky, HP is leaving the public cloud business behind.

    Webmaster's Commentary: 

    In this era of massive spying on our business secrets (and John Oliver's dick) nobody trusts the cloud for data storage. Nor should they. This is another way in which the tyrannical policies of Washington DC has slammed an already crippled economy.

    Apr 08 19:53

    Windows 10 nagware patch KB 3035583 now marked 'important' on some PCs

    Life would be so much simpler if Microsoft would tell us what it's trying to put on our PCs. Earlier this week the mystery patch KB 3035583 was unveiled by German site heise.de as a shill for Windows 10. The patch is all about advertising Windows 10 and upgrading to Windows 10, from Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs. Now readers report the patch is marked as "Important" and installs by default through Automatic Update.

    Apr 08 19:47

    Over 1 million WordPress sites may be affected by a flaw in WP Super Cache plugin

    A caching plugin currently used by over one million WordPress sites was susceptible to a cross-site scripting (XXS) vulnerability that could allow an attacker to inject a backdoor or add a new administrator. If you use the WP Super Cache plugin, then make sure it is updated to the newest version, 1.4.4, which the developers released to resolve the remotely exploitable vulnerability reported to them by Sucuri.

    Apr 08 19:44

    Not So Incognito: One Million Swedish PCs Hit by Google Chrome Spyware

    The newspaper quoted IT expert Cristian Mariolini, who explained that a hidden "spy code" had been installed inside the Webpage Screenshot program, which is used by the Google Chrome browser. The program is touted as a "quick and easy decision" to take screenshots and save them on the computer. The software has already been installed by at least 1.2 million Swedish internet users.

    Mariolini said that his IT security company Sentor MSS detected that the spyware was sending users' browsing information to a server registered in the United States.

    The researchers traced the IP address and the phone number of the server to a private individual living in Israel, the newspaper said.

    Apr 08 19:42

    Police chief: “Paying the Bitcoin ransom was the last resort”

    A small town police department just outside of Boston finally agreed to pay a $500 ransom to regain access to a police server that it had been locked out of after being infected with CryptoLocker ransomware.

    Apr 08 17:43

    U.S. Aerospace Command Moving Comms Gear Back to Cold War Bunker

    The US military command that scans North America’s skies for enemy missiles and aircraft plans to move its communications gear to a Cold War-era mountain bunker, officers said. The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

    Apr 08 11:50

    Snowden Says U.S. Gov't Has Your Nude Photos

    April 07, 2015 - In an interview with HBO's John Oliver, Edward Snowden says the U.S. government is collecting information from private citizens including nude pictures.

    Apr 08 11:41

    Saying ‘No’ to Big Bro’

    • State senator, parents, families uniting to end microchipping of all Texas students.

    A Texas state senator is standing up for personal freedom and privacy rights by introducing legislation that would ban schools from forcing radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips on students for the purpose of tracking their whereabouts during school hours.

    Apr 08 10:34

    U.S. Government Tracked Billions of American Phone Calls BEFORE 9/11

    In case you didn't know, mass surveillance started before 9/11…

    Apr 08 08:01

    Federal judge orders entrepreneur to commit his own Facebook identity theft or go to jail

    The winners of the bankruptcy proceedings, however, wish to use the "Jeremy Alcede Entrepreneur" account to promote the business they have been granted via the bankruptcy proceedings. Without those 10,800+ likes, 5,000 friends and who knows how many followers, they may not be able to successfully generate the business and cash flow necessary to keep the business afloat. So they asked Judge Jeff Bohm to force Alcede to turn over the account to them, allowing them to post messages in the name of Jeremy Alcede to Alcede's friends and followers, effectively impersonating Alcede.

    Per the court order, Alcede is even being ordered by a judge to accept a Facebook friend! (When was the last time a court judge ordered you to friend someone you didn't consider a friend at all?)

    Apr 08 07:56

    Russian Hackers Accused Of Cyberattacks Against The White House

    The intrusion was carried out through computers around the world.

    United States suspects that Russian hackers are the authors of cyberattacks suffered by the Department of State, through which would have gotten access to sensitive White House computer system elements, according to U.S. officials who were informed of the investigation revealed to CNN.

    http://whatisusa.info/russian-hackers-accused-of-cyberattacks-against-...

    Apr 08 07:08

    Russia Didn’t Carry Out White House Computer Hack, Peskov Says

    Russia rejected a report that its government had been involved in hacking a non-classified White House computer network.

    “It has become a kind of sport to blame everything on Russia,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday.

    Apr 08 06:10

    U.S. plan to shut down cell phones and internet in energency. Court ruled no disclosure. Flashback: U.S. condemns cell phone and internet shut down in Egypt and Syria

    It seems the courts through a Freedom of information act lawsuit is standing by the U.S. government and not allowing the release of the U.S. governments plan to shut down the internet and cell phone service (plan SOP303) in times of emergencies. In other words if there was civil unrest.

    The reason why the lawsuit was filed in the first place was due to when all cell phone service was cut in San Francisco during the BART unrest.

    EPIC asked the court to revisit its ruling, arguing that the decision, "if left in place, would create an untethered 'national security' exemption'" in FOIA law. On Friday, the court ordered (PDF) the government to respond—a move that suggests the appellate court might rehear the case.

    Apr 07 23:46

    Russian Hackers Accused Of Cyberattacks Against The White House

    The intrusion was carried out through computers around the world.

    United States suspects that Russian hackers are the authors of cyberattacks suffered by the Department of State, through which would have gotten access to sensitive White House computer system elements, according to U.S. officials who were informed of the investigation revealed to CNN.

    http://whatisusa.info/russian-hackers-accused-of-cyberattacks-against-...

    Apr 07 19:17

    Firefox disables “opportunistic encryption” to fix HTTPS-crippling bug

    The bug was introduced in Firefox 37, which was released last week and introduced a new feature that could encrypt Web connections even when servers didn't support HTTPS protocols. While opportunistic encryption lacks some of the crucial protections of the transport layer security protocol, it was still hailed by many as a watershed moment that moved the world closer to an Internet where all data receives end-to-end encryption. That in theory could make it harder for criminal and state-sponsored adversaries to monitor or manipulate the communications of end users.

    Now, Mozilla developers have disabled opportunistic crypto in the just-released Firefox 37.0.1 after they discovered that the implementation released last week introduced a critical bug. The vulnerability, which resides in functionality related to opportunistic crypto, in some cases gave attackers an easy way to present fake TLS certificates that wouldn't be detected by the browser.

    Apr 07 13:18

    FAA hit by cyberattack, finds no damage

    The Federal Aviation Administration discovered malicious software from email in its computer system in early February, but the agency said Tuesday it found no damage from the cyberattack.

    Apr 07 12:53

    SOP 303 MOBILE-PHONE KILL-SWITCH: COURT MULLS REVEALING SECRET GOVERNMENT PLAN TO CUT CELL PHONE SERVICE

    EPIC originally asked for the document in 2011 in the wake of the shut down of mobile phone service in the San Francisco Bay Area subway system during a protest. The government withheld the information, EPIC sued and won, but the government then appealed and prevailed.?

    A federal appeals court is asking the Obama administration to explain why the government should be allowed to keep secret its plan to shutter mobile phone service during "critical emergencies."

    The Department of Homeland Security came up with the plan—known as Standing Operating Procedure 303—after cellular phones were used to detonate explosives targeting a London public transportation system.

    Apr 07 10:49

    Facebook hit with class action lawsuit over facial recognition data

    A new class action lawsuit claims Facebook violated its users’ privacy rights in acquiring what it describes as the largest privately held database of facial recognition data in the world.

    Apr 07 09:51

    Taking Back Their Power from Smart Meters in Pennsylvania

    Catherine J. Frompovich
    Activist Post

    In 2008 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Legislative body passed, and then-Governor Ed Rendell signed into Pennsylvania Law – PA HB2200, which became Act 129 of 2008. That unethical and vested-interest law mandated AMI Smart Meters (SMs) replace perfectly safe analog meters on all residences with utility companies servicing 100,000 customers.

    However, that bill/law is flawed legally insofar as it does not provide an Opt-out from Smart Meters...

    Apr 07 09:34

    Could your online porn habits be publicly released?

    Porn viewers’ online browsing habits could be exposed by hackers – leading to the biggest internet privacy scandal since nude celebrity photos were leaked last year.

    Apr 07 09:31

    Facebook hit with class action lawsuit over facial recognition data

    A new class action lawsuit claims Facebook violated its users' privacy rights in acquiring what it describes as the largest privately held database of facial recognition data in the world.

    Apr 07 08:50

    The Whitehouse’s New Executive Order On Cyber Crime is (Unfortunately) No Joke

    by Nadia Kayyali and Kurt Opsahl

    On the morning of April 1st, the Whitehouse issued a new executive order (EO) that asserts that malicious “cyber-enabled activities” are a national threat, declares a national emergency, and establishes sanctions and other consequences for individuals and entities. While computer and information security is certainly very important, this EO could dangerously backfire, and chill the very security research that is necessary to protect people from malicious attacks...

    Apr 07 08:07

    Monkeys 'hinder India internet drive'

    The federal government has planned to lay 700,000 km (435,000 miles) of broadband cable to connect India's 250,000 village clusters within three years.

    But officials in the city in Uttar Pradesh state are struggling to stop monkeys from eating the fibre-optic cables, the Reuters news agency reports.
    "We cannot move the temples from here. We cannot modify anything here, everything is built up. The monkeys, they destroy all the wires and eat all the wires," communications engineer AP Srivastava told the news agency.

    Apr 07 08:05

    Court mulls revealing secret government plan to cut cell phone service

    A federal appeals court is asking the Obama administration to explain why the government should be allowed to keep secret its plan to shutter mobile phone service during "critical emergencies."

    The Department of Homeland Security came up with the plan—known as Standing Operating Procedure 303—after cellular phones were used to detonate explosives targeting a London public transportation system.

    SOP 303 is a powerful tool in the digital age, and it spells out a "unified voluntary process for the orderly shut-down and restoration of wireless services during critical emergencies such as the threat of radio-activated improvised explosive devices."

    Apr 07 05:10

    John Oliver interviews Edward Snowden. U.S. citizens real concerns? They only care if their 'dick' pictures are seen by government.

    June 1st the govt. votes on continuing the Patriot Act.

    It is important for people to stand up for their freedoms. If we don't stand up we lose it all. We can't live in fear as the government wants us to, just so they can spy on every single person and everything we do. Understand this is not about fighting terrorism, this is about knowing everything about every single citizen.

    Every citizen is considered guilty by the government and they spy on every thing we do and spend. John Oliver makes the conversation funny and shows how people are not concerned unless it involves pictures of dicks. Yes... I wrote that correctly.

    Must watch video.

    Apr 07 01:24

    YouTube Kids app uses deceptive advertising

    YouTube Kids app uses deceptive advertising, says consumer groups who urge FTC investigation

    The new YouTube Kids mobile app targets young children with unfair and deceptive advertising and should be investigated, a group of consumer advocates told the Federal Trade Commission in a letter Tuesday.

    Google introduced the app in February as a "safer" place for kids to explore videos because it was restricted to "family-focused content."

    But the consumer activists say the app is so stuffed with advertisements and product placements that it's hard to tell the difference between entertainment and commercials.

    Apr 06 20:15

    The Chart That Shows How Everything Is Becoming a Computer

    One of the winners of the mobile revolution has been ARM Holdings, which designs microchips for a variety of devices, from smartphones to fridges to cars ARM chips have become popular over the past decade for their relatively low power consumption, which is especially crucial for portable, battery-operated devices. (Intel, which is still the dominant chip company for desktop, laptop, and server PCs, has missed most of this trend. But it has kept trying.

    Apr 06 17:51

    Exclusive: TSA Are Quietly Training Armed Officers for Airports

    Truthstream Media

    While TSA unions are pushing for a policy allowing armed TSA agents, Homeland Security is quietly funding their training and “qualification” across the country.

    Documents at FedBiz Opps show that DHS has been contracting the use of firing ranges in close proximity to airports in numerous American cities for its personnel.

    The solicitations state that:

    “DHS will provide all ammunition, targets, and firearms instructors.”

    and:

    "TSA reserves the right to inspect all proposed sites to ensure compliance with all requirements set forth above."

    Read more at Truthstream Media.com

    Apr 06 14:55

    Content creators leave social networks when messaging is easy

    Industry reports estimate that just 10 per cent of Twitter users broadcast 90 per cent of the network's tweets...

    Apr 06 14:51

    Update for Windows 7 and 8.1 silently installs Windows 10 downloader

    It appears Microsoft is serious when it comes to upgrading Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to Windows 10. The upgrade will be free in the first year and it appears Microsoft will take that time to convince users to upgrade. Users that don’t want to receive the upgrade “advertisements” should simply not install the recommend update. If Microsoft however decides to make KB3035583 an important update it will install automatically with other Windows update.

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