Updates from January, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 12:20 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    The world’s worst passwords of 2016 

    The world's worst passwords of 2016

    The worst passwords of 2016 have been released and once again there are no surprises. Keeper Security studied the passwords of 10 million online accounts that were hacked and released the 25 most commonly used passwords in these hacked accounts.

    123456 remains as the most commonly used password while the top ten is littered with a few variations on that such as 1234567890 along with variations of ‘qwerty’. However it appears that some progress is being made among people who use bad passwords as the word ‘password’ has fallen to 8th on the list. In past years it was either first or second on the list.

    Some of you may be even using these passwords and are thinking to yourself that you’ve never been hacked. It’s probably only a matter of time before you will. Considering 10 million of these accounts with these bad passwords were hacked, there are probably even millions more that haven’t even been reported.

    Seriously, with all our lives being so entrenched in the digital world these days, it’s worth not only your time but your sanity to start using some more secure passwords. You can check this previous post to see how you can do that.

  • Geebo 10:59 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: copyright, I have a dream, Martin Luther King Jr.   

    The ‘I have a dream’ speech can cost you money 

    The 'I have a dream' speech can cost you money

    Today we celebrate and honor the man who was probably the greatest civil rights leader this country has seen in Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was most famous for giving his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech during the civil rights march on Washington in 1963. While the speech is known by many today, did you know that the speech has been copyrighted?

    Dr. King had the speech copyrighted a month after giving it because some companies had been selling unauthorized copies. Since Dr. King’s tragic assassination the rights to the speech has fallen to this family who have refused to release it to the public domain. What this means is that if you wanted to use the speech in a movie or another work you would have to obtain the rights from the King family. However, using it in an educational setting is considered fair use. Because of this it’s difficult to find a complete version of the speech online, but The King Center sells a DVD of the speech for $20.

    Some people may view this as a money grab by not allowing the speech into public domain, however there is a drawback to allowing into the public domain. Whenever everybody can use a famous speech or work, someone will inevitable use it for the wrong reasons. Could you imagine if some advertiser used Dr. King’s speech in some kind of commercial?

    While the speech in its essence belongs to all of us, it should be protected as much as possible from those who would betray its meaning by perverting it for unrelated profit.

  • Geebo 11:04 am on January 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Beware of fake emails pretending to be from Netflix 

    Beware of fake emails pretending to be from Netflix

    Internet security experts are saying that there is a new scam happening that purportedly targets Netflix users. In what’s known as a phishing attack, people are receiving emails claiming to be from Netflix saying that they need your personal info to be updated. Of course, the info they’re asking for are your credit card information and your social security number.

    How the scam works is that you receive and email that looks like it came from Netflix telling you that your payment information is outdated and provides a link to update your info. If you click that link it takes you to a site that may look like Netflix but isn’t and if you enter your personal information there it will more than likely be stolen.

    The best way to combat these kinds of attacks is to never click the links provided in the emails. Instead, always go to the website that is supposedly requesting the information, in this case that would be Netflix.com. Even if you receive a legitimate email asking you to update your information, always go to directly to that website in your browser rather than clicking the link in the email whether it’s your bank, utility company or what have you. This way you can be fairly certain that your information isn’t being intercepted by a third-party.

  • Geebo 11:14 am on January 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Shiva Ayyadurai, Techdirt   

    Is Techdirt about to meet the same fate as Gawker? 

    Is Techdirt about to meet the same fate as Gawker?

    As followers of industry news may remember news blog Gawker and its parent company Gawker Media were sued into bankruptcy. Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan sued them for posting his now infamous tape of his indiscretions with his best friend’s wife. Then it turned out that the lawsuit was bankrolled by venture capitalist Peter Thiel who had a personal grudge against Gawker. Now tech news blog Techdirt may be meeting a similar fate.

    Techdirt is currently being sued by Shiva Ayyadurai. Mr. Ayyadurai claims to be the inventor of email stating that he invented it while working at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at the age of 14. He has even trademarked the phrase ‘The Inventor of Email’ and his website is inventorofemail.com. Techdirt has maintained that Mr. Ayyadurai is hardly the inventor of email and has posted stories to that effect.

    The reason that this lawsuit smacks of the Gawker suit is because Mr. Ayyadurai has employed the same law firm used by Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan against Gawker. Unlike Gawker, Techdirt does not have the financial backing that Gawker did and even if Techdirt is found to be not guilty of libel, the financial aspect of the lawsuit could potentially bankrupt the news site.

    This is just another chapter in the recent history of those with deep pockets trying to silent the media who have opposing viewpoints against them. While Peter Thiel was not the first he sure seemed to make it more acceptable to do so.

  • Geebo 11:00 am on January 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: browsers,   

    Why you shouldn’t store your credit card info in your browser 

    Why you shouldn't store your credit card info in your browser

    Some web browsers, like Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, have a very convenient feature that allows you to store your credit card info in them so you don’t have to repeatedly keep entering your credit card info while shopping or doing business online. Unfortunately, in order to use this convenience you’re giving up security.

    A report recently came out where a web developer and white hat hacker noticed an exploit in these browsers that would allow your credit card info to be stolen without your knowledge. All it would take would be for a user of these browsers to visit a malicious website and all your info would be exposed.

    Not all is lost however as there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening. A few extra seconds of extra keystrokes can save you several headaches in the future.

  • Geebo 12:30 pm on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Backpage shuts down adult section after Senate scolding 

    Backpage shuts down adult section after Senate scolding

    Backpage.com has shuttered the adult section of its site after a Senate subcommittee released a report in which they said Backpage was willingly editing ads to hide the fact that they were promoting child prostitution. That means that according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Backpage was knowingly editing the ads that appeared to have someone underage in them but still letting the advertisement be displayed on their site. According to the report Backpage’s own moderators knew that the adult ads were for prostitution but were instructed to sanitize the ads as much as possible.

    Meanwhile Backpage is once again claiming that this a First Amendment issue that somehow the Constitution guarantees them the right to make money from human trafficking. child prostitution and sexual slavery. While throwing what can be best described as a hissy fit on the front page of their website claiming government censorship, Backpage is willingly shutting down the adult section of their site. Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, put it best in their joint statement to the press.

    “Yesterday we reported the evidence that Backpage has been far more complicit in online sex trafficking than anyone previously knew. Backpage’s response wasn’t to deny what we said. It was to shut down their site. That’s not ‘censorship’—it’s validation of our findings.”

    Since Backpage reportedly receives the majority of their profits from their adult ads, and that their founders are still facing criminal charges, it remains to be seen if Backpage will try to survive as a ‘normal’ classifieds site. However, if one had to hazard a guess on Backpage’s future one might speculate that it would be bleak at best.

    Make no mistake that this isn’t a blow to free speech but a victory for all the women and girls that have been trafficked on Backpage for the past 12 years.

  • Geebo 10:59 am on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Loss prevention, ,   

    Amazon’s store without people will have people 

    Amazon's store without people will have people

    Previously, Amazon.com announced that they were going to have brick and mortar stores that would have no cashiers called Amazon Go. While their technological wonderstore seemed impressive, we asked at this blog what would be preventing people from just walking out with whatever they wanted? It turns out that the store of the future will be using a tool of the past, people.

    Tech blog Recode recently reported that Amazon will have people assisting the machine that is Amazon Go. While they didn’t come right out and say that the people working there will be used as security guards that has to be part of the plan even tough that Amazon claims that humans are there just to assist the Amazon Go algorithm.

    Even the most heavily monitored brick and mortar stores with the highest security technology still fall victim to theft to the tune of millions of dollars a year. That’s with both electronic surveillance and human loss prevention specialists. While Amazon Go may seem like a technological utopian store, it feels like it puts way too much faith in humanity.

  • Geebo 11:01 am on January 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Facebook Live   

    Why are we outraged about the wrong things when it comes to the violent Facebook assault? 

    Why are we outraged about the wrong things when it comes to the violent Facebook assault

    By now most people have heard about the violent assault and torture of an 18-year-old special needs man in Chicago by 4 other people that was streamed on Facebook Live. Since the assailants were African-American and the victim was white, and the assailants used expletives against ‘white people’ and Donald Trump, Facebook erupted into its usual storm of outrage but as usual they were outraged about the wrong things.

    Facebook users shouted out cries of reverse racism and said that the perpetrators should be charged with hate crimes. Some people even blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for this tragedy. The problem with this story, as it is with many, is that many people don’t even read past the headline and if they did they only read up to the part where one of the suspects said “F—- white people” and where the victim was made to say “f— Donald Trump”.

    What many people may not know is that this was a not a random crime. The victim not only knew one of his attackers but was thought to be friends with him. Close enough friends with him that the victim’s parents trusted that their special needs son would be ok spending the night with his friend. There was no gang of black thugs roaming the streets of Chicago looking for defenseless white victims to torture.

    We should be outraged over this story. We should be outraged that a special needs man was tortured. We should be outraged that this callous act was streamed live on Facebook/ We should be outraged that people watched it and the video remained on Facebook for 30 minutes. What we shouldn’t be outraged over is the color of the skin of anyone involved. The more we focus on color the more we divide ourselves and take a step back in history.

  • Geebo 11:01 am on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pseudonym,   

    Using real names vs. pseudonyms online 

    Using real names vs. pseudonyms online

    During the early days of the internet it was almost universally recommended to use a screen name rather than your real name in order to protect your privacy. That practice was almost universally abandoned when service like Facebook came along. Not only did using your real name make in easier to find your friends but Facebook’s own policy has almost killed off the online pseudonym. While this practice is more convenient is it better?

    Facebook argues that when people use their real names online there is less chance of online harassment. One could argue that if you go to any comment section that uses Facebook comments, you’ll not only see online harassment but you’ll see people being harassed because they used real their name. Whether it’s sexist, ethnic or some other prejudice, some people will use just that information to not only harass someone but in some cases take their harassment into the real world. This isn’t even mention those who have been victims of domestic abuse who are trying to remain hidden from their attackers.

    Real names do not equal automatic respect and kindness online. As a matter of fact research shows that it’s just the opposite. Too many people are proud to be jerks online and have no fear of using their real names to belittle others.

  • Geebo 10:57 am on January 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cnn, , fallout,   

    CNN uses video game footage to portray Russian hackers 

    CNN uses video game footage to portray Russian hackers

    As we’ve shown on this blog, one of the hot topics of 2016 was the tide of fake news that plagued the internet at large. What makes the fake news so acceptable these days is when cable news channels inadvertently engage in it.

    Recently, CNN was discussing the spate of news regarding so-called Russian hackers. In order to portray the alleged hacking CNN used a graphic of a green computer screen that appeared straight out of the early 80s. The problem was that the graphic CNN used was actually a clip from the video game Fallout 4.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the Fallout franchise it’s a series of games that take place in the alternate history of a post-apocalyptic 22nd century. For some reason in this alternate timeline, computer science never progressed past the 1980s. Throughout the game are these ancient looking computer terminals that the player has to ‘hack’ in order to open locked doors. The hacking consists of guessing already displayed passwords.

    So why is this a big deal? Well, how can we dismiss fake and misleading news when supposed legitimate news outlets are seen making preventable gaffes like this?

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