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Posts Tagged ‘Information Technology’

‘Spamhaus mafia tactics – main threat to Internet freedom’: CyberBunker explains largest cyber-attack

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2013

Spamhaus is a major censorship organization only pretending to fight spam, a CyberBunker spokesman said in an RT exclusive. Sven Olaf Kamphuis claimed that as a constant bully of Internet service providers Spamhaus has only itself to blame for the attack.

In a Skype interview with RT, Kamphuis denied that CyberBunker was the organization behind the historical attack, pointing the finger at a large collective of internet providers around the globe called Stophaus.com.

Spamhaus has blackmailed a number of internet service providers and carriers into disconnecting clients without court orders or any legal process, Kamphuis says. Basically, he accuses them of claiming people are spammers when they are not.

“They do it on a regular basis,” Kamphuis said. “If people do not comply with their demands they just list the entire internet provider.”

Kamphuis claims they use “mafia tactics” and have a list of internet users that they do not like, which features a lot of users from China and Russia because they allegedly believe that a lot of spammers and criminals in these two countries use the internet to facilitate crime.

Spamhaus first reported massive DDoS attacks on March 20. At one point Spamhaus servers were flooded with 300 billion bits per second (300Gbps) of data, making it the largest registered attack of this kind in the history of the internet, according to Kaspersky anti-virus giant’s experts.

Image from cyberbunker.com
Image from cyberbunker.com

“The data flow generated by such an attack may affect intermediate network nodes when it passes them, thus impeding operations of normal web services that have no relation to Spamhaus or CyberBunker,”corporate communications manager at Kaspersky, Yuliya Krivosheina, wrote in a statement for RT.“Therefore, such DDoS attack may affect regular users as well, with network slowdown or total unavailability of certain web resources being typical symptoms.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Satellite Wars: China unveils ‘cheaper’ answer to GPS

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 28, 2012

navigation-photo-beidou-facebookcom.nChina’s rapidly-expanding rival to GPS, called BeiDou, has become available to customers across Asia-Pacific for the first time. It aims to claim a fifth of the satellite services market in the region in just three years.

Previously, the satellite constellation was only used by the country’s military and government services. Now, it is being commercialized.

“The services now available include positioning, navigation, timing and short messages for China and surrounding areas. We hope BeiDou conquers 15 to 20 percent of the satellite services market in the Asia Pacific by 2015,”BeiDou spokesman Ran Chengqi announced at a press conference in Beijing, reported by Xinhua news agency.

China says that as it expands worldwide, the state-funded navigation system will bring in revenues of more than $60 billion a year.

At the moment, a user receiving BeiDou’s signal can determine their position to within ten meters. Most civilian GPS users are given positional data that is out by no more than 2 meters, but BeiDou’s makers say their services will be much cheaper than those of the US-government owned GPS.

BeiDou, which is the Chinese term for the Big Dipper star, is also expanding at an impressive rate, meaning it will soon be able to bridge the performance gap. Read the rest of this entry »

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Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2012

jason-lee-reuters.n

The most powerful company on the Internet just got a whole lot creepier: a new service from Google merges offline consumer info with online intelligence, allowing advertisers to target users based on what they do at the keyboard and at the mall.

Without much fanfare, Google announced news this week of a new advertising project, Conversions API, that will let businesses build all-encompassing user profiles based off of not just what users search for on the Web, but what they purchase outside of the home.

In a blog post this week on Google’s DoubleClick Search site, the Silicon Valley giant says that targeting consumers based off online information only allows advertisers to learn so much. “Conversions,” tech-speak for the digital metric made by every action a user makes online, are incomplete until coupled with real life data, Google says.

“We understand that online advertising also fuels offline conversions,” the blog post reads. Thus, Google says, “To capture these lost conversions and bring offline into your online world, we’re announcing the open beta of our Conversions API for uploading offline conversion automatically.”

The blog goes on to explain that in-store transactions, call-tracking and other online activities can be inputted into Google to be combined with other information “to optimize your campaigns based on even more of your businessdata.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Superhumans, supercities and supercomputers: US intelligence’s vision of 2030

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 13, 2012

2030Things are about to get a little weird. This according to the National Intelligence Council, at least, a US-based coalition of spy agencies that has just released its predictions for what’s in store for the Earth in 2030.

The NIC released on Monday “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” an 140-page report that brings together the best brains within the intelligence sector to find out what we might expect a few decades down the road. Given the current rate of growth in technology and medicine, the marvels considered in the NIC report shouldn’t come as all too surprising. Only 18 years down the road, however, the ideas being pitched by the people behind the report might not be as much science fiction as soon-to-be-reality. It also might very well be predictive policy making.

“We are at a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures,” Council Chairman Christopher Kojm writes in the report.

With the next few years ripe for experiment, the future is “malleable,” Kojm suggests, making no time like the present to start perfecting space-age advances once thought to be out of this world. On the contrary, though, the NIC seems to think cyborg civilians and instant super-cities are thing of the not-so-distant future.

“Our effort is to encourage decision-makers, whether in government or outside, to think and plan for the long term so that negative futures do not occur and positive ones have a better chance of unfolding,” the Council writes. That influence might be a bit impressive for some, though, as it includes suggestions for the world of tomorrow that will be necessary to advance them human race in order to make use of dwindling resources as populations expand around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Assange to RT: Entire nations intercepted online, key turned to totalitarian rule

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 3, 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says all the necessary physical infrastructure for absolute totalitarianism through the internet is ready. He told RT that the question now is whether the turnkey process that already started will go all the way.

RT: So you’ve written this book ‘Cypherpunks. Freedom and the Future of the Internet’ based on one of the programs that you’ve made for RT. In it, you say that the internet can enslave us. I don’t really get that, because the internet it’s a thing, it’s a soulless thing. Who are the actual enslavers behind it?

Julian Assange: The people who control the interception of the internet and, to some degree also, physically control the big data warehouses and the international fiber-optic lines. We all think of the internet as some kind of Platonic Realm where we can throw out ideas and communications and web pages and books and they exist somewhere out there. Actually, they exist on web servers in New York or Nairobi or Beijing, and information comes to us through satellite connections or through fiber-optic cables.

So whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that’s the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned – intercepting entire nations, not individuals.

‘intercepting entire nations, not individuals’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Google takes action to support open Internet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 23, 2012

An upcoming UN-organized conference on global communications aims to hammer out a treaty to safeguard “the free flow of information around the world.” Google is fighting back, saying the treaty threatens the “free and open Internet.”

Representatives from UN member-states will gather in Dubai from December 3 through 14 with the explicit aim of working out a new universal information and communication treaty that would regulate the Internet.

The conference, organized by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) has reignited a fierce debate over who should control the Web.

Google has remained unequivocal in its stance that the closed-door meeting a power grab aimed at ending public control of the Internet and strangling free speech:

“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice,” Google said on its ‘Take Action’ advocacy website.

Google, which has consistently taken a self-regulatory approach to the Internet, called the Dubai conference the“wrong place” to make decisions on the future of the Internet.

The Internet giant argued that the 42 countries set to decide the future of the Net have already moved to censor it, and that the number of regulations is only growing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Engineered virus which hacks & controls brain: Do you mind?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 4, 2012

Photo from wordlesstech.com

Photo from wordlesstech.com

Today, an average computer user cannot even keep the machine secured. So what will the world look like when hacking your mind becomes as easy as infecting your machine with a computer virus?

Human knowledge on DNA nanotechnology and bio-molecular computing increases exponentially with every passing year. Thus, protecting your own brain from security breaches could become the highest priority challenge of the 21st century.

Synthetic biology is becoming one of the most powerful forms of technology in the world. But many people fear that scientists’ games with the genetics of life forms could spin out of control and open the door to a new age of bio-hacking and bio-terrorism.

Natural living viruses and bacteria are not only making people sick, they also control the behavior and condition of the hosts, though without any malice. But the consequences of getting exposed to an artificially-created virus could be much more serious than a headache or a fever.

“Synthetic biology will lead to new forms of bioterrorism,” security expert Marc Goodman told the Daily Mail. “Bio-crime today is akin to computer crime in the early ’80s.”

Viruses and bacteria are manipulating the chemicals inside the human body and, by programming them to send the right agents into the brain, the bio-programmer potentially can take control over the victim’s behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

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US could put Assange to death if it gets him – former senior NSA official

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

If America gets its hands on the WikiLeaks founder, they may go as far as execute him, a known National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake told RT, adding that in the US, security has become a state religion.

An expert on electronic eavesdropping, Drake sacrificed his career to blow the whistle on perceived wrongdoings within the NSA. He was charged under the Espionage Act, though the charges were dropped only last year.

He told RT that in America’s ‘soft tyranny’, everyone is subject or suspect in terms of surveillance.

RT: What was the potential harm of the program that you challenged while working with the NSA?

Thomas Drake: There was a very large flagship program called Trailblazer that was designed to catapult the NSA into the twenty first century to deal with the vast amounts of data generated by the digital age. Given the massive fraud and abuse that the NSA had created with the Trailblazer program, as well as the super secret surveillance program, the NSA completely violated the Constitution and the Fourth Amendment. In particular, the stature called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was the first commandment at the NSA: you did violate Americans’ privacy without a warning, and if you did – there is a criminal penalty for doing so. And I found this out to my horror and shock, that shortly after 9/11, the NSA entered a secret agreement with the White House in which the NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plan X: Pentagon’s blueprint for full-fledged cyberwar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2012

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

The wheels of the war machine are ever turning inside the Pentagon, but the Defense Department’s latest endeavor won’t involve fighter jets and armored tanks. The DoD is putting aside billions to enhance its cyberwar capabilities.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is turning towards the private sector and America’s next generation of computer wiz-kids to recruit forces for its next war. A report released Thursday by the Washington Post reveals that DARPA is looking to invest $1.54 billion during the next five years to up its online abilities, with $110 million going directly to a program dubbed Plan X, but unlike before it won’t be budgeted necessarily for thwarting acts of cyberterrorism. Instead the Pentagon is itching to ensure that America can carry out an offensive cyberwar on other nations rather than just readying the US to defend itself against a similar assault from abroad.

Experts say that, if the Pentagon’s plans come to fruition, it will put America at the forefront in terms of cyberwar capabilities. And although it might be a success in the eyes of Congress and corporations with a vested interest in protecting America’s cyber infrastructure, the powers that the Pentagon wants could be bigger than anyone can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

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FBI secretly creates Internet police

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 26, 2012

Photo from news.21.by

                                                                                                        Photo from news.21.by

The FBI was rather public with its recent demands for backdoor access to websites and Internet services across the board, but as the agency awaits those secret surveillance powers, they’re working on their own end to have those e-spy capabilities.

Not much has been revealed about one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s newest projects, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, and the FBI will probably try to keep it that way. Despite attempting to keep the DCAC largely under wraps, an investigation spearheaded by Cnet’s Declan McCullagh is quickly collecting details about the agency’s latest endeavor.

Governmental agencies have been searching seemingly without end for ways to pry into the personal communications of computer users in America. Congressional approval and cooperation from Internet companies could be an eternity away, of course, but the FBI might be able to bypass that entirely by taking the matter into their own hands. At the Quantico, Virginia headquarters of the DCAC, federal workers are believed to be already hard at work on projects that will put FBI spies into the Internet, snooping on unsuspecting American’s Skype calls, instant messages and everything else carried out with a mouse and keyboard. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anonymous: ‘We have access to every classified database in the US’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 15, 2012

AFP Photo/Joel Saget

                                                                                                                   AFP Photo/Joel Saget

Businesses have suggested it. The government has all but confirmed it. And according to one alleged member, they both might very well be right. A hacker tied to Anonymous says the loose-knit collective may be the most powerful organization on Earth.

“The entire world right now is run by information,” Chris Doyon tells Postmedia News from an undisclosed location in Canada. “Our entire world is being controlled and operated by tiny invisible 1s and 0s that are flashing through the air and flashing through the wires around us. So if that’s what controls our world, ask yourself who controls the 1s and the 0s”

“It’s the geeks and computer hackers of the world,” says Doyon.

In a world where the most critical of information isn’t locked up in vaults but instead encoded in easily obtainable binary, Doyon says that crackers like those in Anonymous are in possession of some of the most powerful knowledge known to man.

Doyon, who is reported to be in his late 40s, was charged last year for partaking in a Distributed Denial of Service attack on the website for the county of Santa Cruz, California. Since February, however, he has resided in Canada after using what he says is the new “underground railroad” to escape persecution for alleged computer crimes in the States.

Authorities say that, under the handle of Commander X, Doyon acted as a ringleader of sorts of the Anonymous collective, an operation described by its own participants as one that lacks leadership altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anonymous takes down UK Home Office website

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 8, 2012

www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Notorious hacktivist group Anonymous has taken down the UK Home Office website. The group owned up to the attack via Twitter, saying it was launched over “draconian surveillance proposals.”

The Home Office, whose website returned to normal around midnight GMT, confirmed the attack.

“We are aware of some reports that the Home Office website may be the subject of an online protest. We have put all potential measures in place and will be monitoring the situation very closely,” the spokesperson said.

The group also claims it had launched a cyberattack on the websites of the British Prime Minister and the UK Ministry of Justice “for continued derogation of civil liberties.” However, both websites seem to be operating normally at the moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Brits to pay $3 bln to be spied upon on web, emails, texts

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 3, 2012

Police to gain access to who you call, what sites you surf and how you play video games.

Police to gain access to who you call, what sites you surf and how you play video games.

UK taxpayers will have to pay billions of dollars to have their web surfing, email exchange, text messaging, and even Skype calls, monitored. In addition to the hefty price-tag, innocent Brits risk being misidentified as terrorists.

The shocking data comes ahead of the plan announcement in the Queen’s speech, which is scheduled for May. Meanwhile, the Home Office, Britain’s interior ministry, said ministers were preparing to legislate “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.

More than $3 billion over the first decade alone is the extraordinary sum the British taxpayer will have to pay to be legally spied upon, reports the Daily Mail. In addition, annual running costs of roughly $320 million – $610 a minute – to store the data gathered from private communication.

Moreover, the above figures are based on 2009 estimates, which means the actual price, if it were estimated now, would be higher still.

British security agencies are pushing for a law, which would allow police to gain access to who you call, what sites you surf and how you play video games. Read the rest of this entry »

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Digital arms merchants make millions on keeping computers hackable

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 25, 2012

Image from mygadgetnews.com

Image from mygadgetnews.com

Why would someone keep a way to make the world a safer place secret? Because keeping it unsafe is profitable. The logic works for gun-runners just as well as for hackers reportedly earning six-digit figures from governmental agencies.

French firm Vupen Securities has a bad name in the information security industry over its taunting producers of the software they hack. Last May it clashed with Google, after demonstrating a way to take over the giant’s web browser Chrome.

The confrontation was taken to a new level at the Pwn2Own competition in early March. Vupen used two zero-day vulnerabilities in Chrome, for the first time hacking it during a public event.

In a zero-day attack, the hacker uses a glitch in software that is not known to the producer and thus cannot be closed by a patch. Just as before, the team refused to unveil their secrets, which means every computer running Chrome can be hacked in the same way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Official: ‘US govt already seized hundreds of foreign domains’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 10, 2012

US government has taken control of 750 domains over the past few years

US government has taken control of 750 domains over the past few years

US seizure of a Canadian gambling website caused online outcry as it was registered abroad and thought to be outside American jurisdiction. But this is far from isolated; it has emerged that the US has seized hundreds of foreign domain names.

US customs official Nicole Navas confirmed that the US government has taken control of 750 domains, “most with foreign-based registrars” over the past few years.

Operation “In Our Sites”, an initiative run by US and Immigration Customs Enforcement, is dedicated to shutting down illegal websites that it believes are involved in the distribution of copyright goods and copyright works. It was initially created in 2010 to police US-owned domains, but now appears to have extended its reach using federal court orders to shut down websites.

“The ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc. needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of US federal and state lawmakers,”said EasyDNS, a multinational domain-hosting company. Read the rest of this entry »

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