Technology

Always Look at The Bright Side of Technology

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Letting aside all the bad and by this I mean ransomware, malware, skimming devices, tracking methods, hijacked surveillance cameras and so on let’s look at the bright side of what’s about to come and remind ourselves how wonderful technology can be. Thanks to technology we managed to save a lot of time and space, save a lot of trees writing down those ideas in Word Documents (activists will love this) and much more. Let’s look at the following article to get a few more in depth ideas.

5 Reasons You Should Be Optimistic About The Digital Age

 

Even a passing familiarity with headlines these days is bound to induce a certain degree of stress.  Everyone is already on edge as a result of an election cycle that has been among the most acrimonious in recent memory (perhaps ever), with new and unpleasant revelations about both candidates emerging seemingly every week.  Amidst all of the political noise, it is actually easy to miss or tune out another troubling pattern making news: a growing wave of cybercrime and digital disruptions.

Whether it’s Russian hackers meddling with the election, Wikileaks releasing troves of e-mails or entire swaths of the internet going down when a little-known company called Dyn got attacked multiple times in one day by “bots,” which can be categorized as any internet-enabled devices in homes like TVs or thermostats that are weaponized for the purposes of cyber disruption.  It all sounds like futuristic Hollywood creative types getting carried away.  But this is now our reality. Read more…

 

Yes we find mean people and cyber crooks everywhere on the internet that mean only trouble but there are also big comunities of people that share the same interest that we share like painting, music, stories and so on. This is what the Internet is all about, creating, discovering and sharing.

 

So let’s get enthusiastic about the future because it holds many wonderful discoveries that we can’t imagine even yet. And after all is good because the vast majority of technology users are good guys on our side. Whatever may happen there’s some group out there that will love to debunk a technology issue just for the sake of curiosity.

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Hacker Communities Vs Security Communities

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Right from the start, I can say that the good guys are on higher grounds. Here’s why:

 

First of all, nobody likes ransomware on their computer and the vast majority of people are not hackers but targets so if there’s something that they can do to get rid of it they will do it.

Secondly, there are a lot of security companies that sell anti-virus software so every one of them is trying to make theirs more powerful than the other. A high competition means a higher interest to upgrade it.

Then you have the tech guys that are well paid from big companies to invest their time in understanding what are the hackers motives and methods so that they can come up with solutions to those attacks.

 

Five Ways That Good Guys Share More Than Bad Guys

It takes a lot for me to write a cybersecurity blog post these days. I spend most of my writing time working on my PhD. Articles like Nothing Brings Banks Together Like A Good Hack drive me up the wall, however, and a Tweet rant is insufficient. What fired me up, you might ask? Please read the following excerpt:

[Troels] Oerting, with no small dose of grudging admiration, says his adversaries excel at something that can’t be addressed with deep pockets or killer software: They’re superb networkers. “The organized crime groups in cyber are sharing much better than we are at the moment,” says Oerting, a Dane with a square jaw and the watchful eyes of a cop who’s investigated the underworld for 35 years. “They are sharing methodologies, knowledge, tools, practices—what works and what doesn’t.”

Statements like these are regularly submitted without evidence. In response, I provide five sources of evidence why organized crime groups do not share more than defenders.

1. Solution providers share. Both commercial and not-for-profit solution providers share enormous amounts of information on the security landscape. Some of it is free, and some of it is sold as products or consulting. Thousands of security companies and not-for-profit providers compete for your attention, producing white papers, Webinars, and other resources. You might argue that all of them claim to be the answer to your problem. However, this situation is infinitely better than the 1980s and early 1990s. Back then, hardly any solutions, or even security companies and organizations, existed at all.

Criminal solution providers share, but they do so by selling their wares. This is true for the open world as well, but the volume of the open world is orders of magnitude greater. Read more…

 

Other good news is that websites and forums are starting to close and ban hacker communities due to the fact that hacker attacks are getting more and more serious.

A webmaster will avoid getting into trouble and harming their website because of a few bad intended users.

 

Hackforums Shutters Booter Service Bazaar

 

Perhaps the most bustling marketplace on the Internet where people can compare and purchase so-called “booter” and “stresser” subscriptions — attack-for-hire services designed to knock Web sites offline — announced last week that it has permanently banned the sale and advertising of these services.

On Friday, Oct. 28, Jesse LaBrocca — the administrator of the popular English-language hacking forum Hackforums[dot]net — said he was shutting down the “server stress testing” (SST) section of the forum. The move comes amid heightened public scrutiny of the SST industry, which has been linked to several unusually powerful recent attacks and is responsible for the vast majority of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks on the Internet today.

The administrator of Hackforums bans the sale and advertising of server stress testing (SST) services, also known as "booter" or "stresser" online attack-for-hire services.

The administrator of Hackforums bans the sale and advertising of server stress testing (SST) services, also known as “booter” or “stresser” online attack-for-hire services.

“Unfortunately once again the few ruin it for the many,” LaBrocca wrote under his Hackforums alias “Omniscient.” “I’m personally disappointed that this is the path I have to take in order to protect the community. I loathe having to censor material that could be beneficial to members. But I need to make sure that we continue to exist and given the recent events I think it’s more important that the section be permanently shut down.” Read more…

 

The websites we are registering on are protecting our privacy, PayPal, Facebook, Google and so on are adopting new methods of log in security so that your account are being kept safe. All this said know that there are powerful forces working in your favor in order to make the Internet a safe place for all to share and enjoy.

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The Reasons Why Hackers Might Attempt To Access Your Computer

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There are many reasons for why a Hacker might target a computer, for fun, feeling of power, money or political reasons. They will also try to gain access to a computer so that they could use it for money laundry and bait purposes. They can attempt an attack from another computer virtually and leave it once they are done. His first concerns are his IP, MAC address, location coordinates and even desktop clock.

 

The Scrap Value of a Hacked PC, Revisited

 

A few years back, when I was a reporter at The Washington Post, I put together a chart listing the various ways that miscreants can monetize hacked PCs. The project was designed to explain simply and visually to the sort of computer user who can’t begin to fathom why miscreants would want to hack into his PC. “I don’t bank online, I don’t store sensitive information on my machine! I only use it to check email. What could hackers possibly want with this hunk of junk?,” are all common refrains from this type of user.

I recently updated the graphic (below) to include some of the increasingly prevalent malicious uses for hacked PCs, including hostage attacks — such as ransomware — and reputation hijacking on social networking forums. See the graphic and read more…

 

You might start considering strengthening up your computer security if you haven’t done so by now. Even if you did, new hacking methods appear every week or so, there are even methods that we don’t know about yet. Revising and doing a check once in a while is a good thing. It’s like cleaning your house every spring. See what new prevention methods appeared, new hacker baits, top most recommended anti-virus for this year and so on.

 

Tools for a Safer PC

An important aspect of securing any system is the concept of “defense-in-depth,” or having multiple layers of security and not depending on any one approach or technology to block all attacks. Here are some links to tools and approaches that I have found useful in stopping malware from invading a PC. Your mileage may vary.

Learn, Memorize, Practice the 3 Rules

Follow Krebs’s 3 Basic Rules for online safety, and you will drastically reduce the chances of handing control over your computer to the bad guys. In short, 1) If you didn’t go looking for it, don’t install it; 2) If you installed, update it. 3) If you no longer need it, get rid of it! For more on these rules, check out this blog post.

Keep Up-to-Date with Updates!

It shouldn’t be this way, but the truth is that most software needs regular updating. As a result, staying on top of the latest security updates can sometimes feel like a nagging chore. Not all software includes auto-update features that let you know about new patches, or if they do, many of these take their sweet time let you know. Fortunately, there are some tools that make it easier to learn when security updates are available. Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is popular option. Another is File Hippo’s Update Checker. Both are free.

Put a Leash on Javascript

Most Web sites use JavaScript, a powerful scripting language that helps make sites interactive. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of Web-based attacks use JavaScript tricks to foist malicious software and exploits onto site visitors. To protect yourself, it is critically important to have an easy method of selecting which sites should be allowed to run JavaScript in the browser. Read more…

 

Going trough that article and applying those steps won’t take more than a day. It’s better to spend a day at home enjoying your coffee and finding new interesting things than spending a day at the bank just to come home and do what you avoided doing in the first place.

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Vulnerability of Webcams and Surveillance Cameras

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surveillance-147831_1280Surveillance cameras and webcams have many things in common, we know what they are, but the one that I want to draw your attention towards is their vulnerability. As much as I like to think about them that they’re of great use to chat with family and friends or keep us safe I can’t deny the fact that sometimes they are easily accessible from outside especially if the software that runs them is outdated and it doesn’t have any means of protection.

We just add a weak wi-fi protection scenario to this situation and the end result is that anyone with some basic hacking skills can access them. Mostly it’s for fun but there are other cases when these attacks are used to steal information.

Mostly it’s for fun but there are other cases when these attacks are used to steal information. Even for fun, it isn’t pleasant to find a recording on the internet after a while with you doing your bed. Even Mark Zuckerberg likes doing his bed in pace without worrying about someone watching him.

Mark Zuckerberg tapes over his webcam. Should you?

Does covering his laptop camera and microphone with tape make Facebook’s boss paranoid, or are they really after him? Probably a bit of both

Mark Zuckerberg celebrates 500 million monthly active users on Instagram.
Mark Zuckerberg celebrates 500 million monthly active users on Instagram – but he also revealed a lot about himself by leaving his laptop in the background Photograph: Facebook

Don’t worry, Mark Zuckerberg: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. And as the richest millennial in the world, you can probably be confident that someone, somewhere, is after you.

Which is why it makes perfect sense that you’ve joined the growing number of people doing a little DIY hardware hacking, and disabling their computer’s webcam and microphone. Even if a sneaky hacker does manage to penetrate your security, they’re not going to be seeing you in your tighty whities.

Yes folks, Zuckerberg tapes over his webcam. The billionaire made the (accidental?) revelation in a Facebook post intended to promote Instagram reaching its latest milestone of half a billion monthly active users. Read more…

 

The way attackers manage to access your camera is by installing malware on your computer, if you don’t have an anti-virus, a firewall, secure internet connection and the only thing that you have is bad internet habits your pretty much easy prey. Don’t worry, IT security experts aren’t exceptions.

Are Hackers Using Your Webcam to Watch You?

Steven Fox, an IT security expert, was chatting with friends on his webcam one night when he started receiving some strange emails. Imagine his surprise when he opened one and found images of himself chatting.

His webcam had been hacked by a “script kiddie,” a person who uses malware written by someone else to show off their skills at accessing other computer systems, says Fox. He quickly detached the webcam, but he had to re-install his operating system after he found malware installed on his computer. “It was painful, but it was a learning experience,” says Fox, who writes a column for the journal of the Information Systems Security Association.

The risks of webcams
Webcams may let you stay in touch with friends and family, but they also pose risks of people hacking into them and spying on you. A recent Pennsylvania lawsuit accused a school district of using webcams on school-issued laptops to spy on students and their families. And in China, a sophisticated network of hackers known as GhostNet has cracked 1,295 webcams in 103 countries.

Since most laptops now come with a built-in webcam, it’s critical to understand the risks, says Richard Stiennon, a malware expert with IT-Harvest, a research firm that specializes in Internet security. “We all have to become aware that our every action could be watched,” says Stiennon.

How hackers attack webcams
Most hackers utilize so-called Trojan horse attacks, says Stiennon. You click on an attachment or download a piece of music or video infected with malware, and a hacker is able to remotely control your PC’s functions.

Fortunately, you can take steps to secure your webcam. Experts offer these do’s and don’ts…Read more…

 

Taping your webcam and microphone, avoiding unknown attachments and emails, installing an anti-virus and so on is very simple and effective but the surveillance cameras, well that’s another thing.

 

Hacked Cameras, DVRs Powered Today’s Massive Internet Outage

A massive and sustained Internet attack that has caused outages and network congestion today for a large number of Web sites was launched with the help of hacked “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as CCTV video cameras and digital video recorders, new data suggests.

Earlier today cyber criminals began training their attack cannons on Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company that provides critical technology services to some of the Internet’s top destinations. The attack began creating problems for Internet users reaching an array of sites, including Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify and Netflix.

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A depiction of the outages caused by today’s attacks on Dyn, an Internet infrastructure company. Source: Downdetector.com.

At first, it was unclear who or what was behind the attack on Dyn. But over the past few hours, at least one computer security firm has come out saying the attack involved Mirai, the same malware strain that was used in the record 620 Gpbs attack on my site last month. At the end September 2016, the hacker responsible for creating the Mirai malware released the source code for it, effectively letting anyone build their own attack army using Mirai. Read more…

 

Fortunately, as the internet grows and these attacks are happening more and more often people are starting to take the subject of Security more and more serious and so strengthen the protection measures. Indeed it would be nice if we all surfed the internet in pace clicking everywhere but not everyone is nice and good.

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