Never cease to wonder and be amazed.
Never cease to wonder and be amazed.
After a whirlwind of several days watching the chaos ensue on the internet, there is a possibility that Kody Maxson may not the person that blackmailed Amanda Todd. I’m sure very few people would openly admit it, but other items have surfaced. Patrick McGuire, a reporter on another website, Vice, actually took some very detailed steps in digging up who Maxson is after McGuire, like myself, published nearly identical stories.
The best thing to do is to jump over to the Vice website and check out all the details yourself. There are some very interesting items there and a lot of time and effort put into his work. Do I think Maxson extorted Amanda? It will be difficult to determine a true answer, and I have thought that from the beginning since the purported victim is deceased. But common sense dictates that Maxson loves under aged girls. No one is going to be on these types of sites, like Jailbait, and also the user name kody1206 was called “Blackmailer of the Year” by “The Daily Capper,” unless they are participating in the same manner.
A horribly tragic story about Amanda Todd who committed suicide after years of being bullied. What started the bullying? She simply flashed her breasts to a male “friend” in an online chat room. Well, this “friend” was a internet scavenger just looking for girls to use and abuse. After she refused to give him a “show,” he sent that image of her flashing to everyone. I mean EVERYONE! Somehow he had found out her name, address, school information, and anything else relevant to Amanda. After a couple of years of being bullied, plus her stalker resending the photo to her new friends each time she moved, Amanda couldn’t take it anymore and left us on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012.
It was one year ago I was one of many who sat glued to the internet watching the birth of a revolution which grew worldwide. Yes, it was first in Tunisia where the people gathered in in the streets in protest. The events began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 eventually leading to a thorough democratization of the country and to free and democratic elections.
However, it was on January 25, 2011, that the world woke up when the people of Egypt gathered together and formed a revolution against Mubarak. Protesters flooded Cairo’s main squares and Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Flickr flooded the internet with updates. Supporters of Egypt’s protesters around the world spread information in updates so rapid and numerous that the collective coverage could probably be classified as viral.
I got up early this morning simply because I wanted to see Reddit and so many other sites actually go black, and throughout the day, have submerged myself in article after article, tweet after tweet, and post after post. A most phenomenal day!
A developer friend of mine posted this link to his Facebook page – and he is the kind of guy that when he posts something internet-related, I check it out. SOPA/PIPA is not just about the money so many corporations are losing due to piracy, but also the money they are not gaining because the internet now allows an entrepreneur to cut of the middle-man. I am only going to include a few excerpts here as this article is worthy of going to and reading in it’s entirety. More…
“The potential for abuse of power through digital networks – upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics – is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age … This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech.”
- Rebecca MacKinnon (New York Times)
Should SOPA pass, my fellow-internet cohorts… our world will change. Take this image I created… a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean where I masked in a Vaio and an HP laptop. Should H.R. 3261 pass, then this would no longer be “legal.” Even though I make NO monies from this little creation, my site could potentially be banned. In fact, what I have created is in all actuality, free advertising! Think about it…. All the product placement going on in movies and in TV shows… the thousands into millions of dollars spent by companies simply to have their logo or product shown at some point in time. In fact, I think Disney, Vaio and HP should pay ME for the image I created just for this post. More…
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) — In the Masquerade wing of the Rio Hotel and Casino in the gambling capital of the world, there’s a giant statue of a head hanging over a lobby of slot machines.
The masked figure has two faces and four digital eyes — clairvoyant blue — that track back and forth constantly, as if recording the movements of everyone who enters.
That awkwardly self-conscious — even slightly paranoid — feeling you get from seeing being watched by that enormous casino head is pretty much a steady-state for most of the hackers who attend the DEF CON hacker event, taking place at the Rio this weekend.
Started 19 years ago as an underground gathering of sometimes-nefarious computer wizards, DEF CON has sprawled into a 15,000-person, four-day convention where anyone with $150 — in cash only, please, lest these hackers give up their identities — can learn the latest tricks and trade of computer hacking, lock picking and security breaching.
The aim of the event is to better inform both insiders and everyday people about the risks of operating in our increasingly digital world and to work on solutions. But the practical result of gathering this many highly skilled hackers in one building — in a Las Vegas casino, no less — is that everyone here is experiencing some level of terror.
Insiders say there’s no place on Earth where you’re more likely to get hacked.
“You’re on the most hostile network in the world. If you can perform business here, you can do it anywhere,” said Brian Markus, referring to the public Wi-Fi network at DEF CON, which veterans know to steer clear of.
Unlike at other tech events, which tend to focus on Facebook-like concepts such as “sharing” and “connecting,” DEF CON is all about who can stay the most private, and therefore, who will remain the most secure in this digital war zone.
Those who don’t are shamed into doing so.
Markus, for example, sits in a dark room in the Rio’s conference center watching Internet traffic. When he sees a password fly across the connection, which is often, he posts part of it, along with the user’s log-in name and the site he or she was using, on a large projection screen, which he calls the “Wall of Sheep” (pictured above).
Within an hour of watching for passwords on Friday morning, his team from Aries Security had racked up 10 half-shaded passwords. (The team, and others, can see the full passwords and usernames, but they choose to protect the victims by only displaying the first three characters of each password. Kind of them, huh?)
So, how does one avoid the “Wall of Sheep”?
Markus suggests scrambling your Internet connection.
There are several free services that will do this, including OpenVPN and Ace VPN. That way, if someone like him is “sniffing” the Wi-Fi connection you’re using, they won’t be able to see exactly what you’re up to.
Another method: Type in “https” instead of “http” in your browser bar. That puts you on a more secure version of many major websites.
Plenty of people, however, are subjected to more sophisticated hacks.
Dan Kaminsky, one of the world’s most notable do-gooder hackers, said he had his personal passwords, e-mails and instant messages with a girlfriend dumped out into the public domain at a previous DEF CON event.
“If you walk onto a battlefield, you might get shot,” he said.
People still try to dodge the bullets, though.
As he darted through a mob of black-T-shirt-wearing convention attendees, Eli, better known by his hacker handle “Dead Addict,” told me how much he hates crowds.
Not only is there the social anxiety, there’s also the chance someone with an RFID reader and an antenna in their backpack could swipe your credit card info right out of your pocket.
The readers are the size of an old Walkman and, with a proper antenna, can grab data right off of credit cards that use quick-swipe technology (you can tell if you have one of these cards by looking for a little radio-wave symbol).
Eli, who started hacking in his teens and stopped breaking into corporate sites after all of his friends got arrested for doing the same thing, carries a metal-lined wallet to block this attack.
Other DEF CON veterans said they purchase junk computers they can throw away after the convention because they figure they’re going to get infected. Eli says he just leaves the laptop at home.
Most of the attendees carry cash. No one uses the ATMs after an incident in 2009 in which someone rolled a fake ATM machine into the event, according to Wired, and apparently used it to collect credit card information instead of dispensing money.
There’s also the anonymity of it all. Some hackers only go by their handles. Others don’t want digital records they attended the event, which does not require attendees to register or give their real names.
I got an e-mail warning me about some of these security idiosyncrasies before I got on a plane for Vegas. Written by a DEF CON spokeswoman, and reprinted with her permission, the note was full of jaw-dropping advice:
Great talking with you!
You are about to enter one the most hostile environments in the world. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind …
• Your hotel key card can be scanned by touch, so keep it deep in your wallet.
• Do not use the ATM machines anywhere near either conference. Bring cash and a low balance credit card with just enough to get you through the week.
• Turn off Fire Sharing, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on all devices. Don’t use the Wi-Fi network unless you are a security expert; we have wired lines for you to use.
• Don’t accept gifts, unless you know the person very well – a USB device for instance.
• Make sure you have strong passwords on ALL your devices. Don’t send passwords “in the clear,” make sure they are encrypted. Change your passwords immediately after leaving Vegas.
• Don’t leave a device out of sight, even for a moment.
• People are watching you at all times, especially if you are new to the scene.
• Talk quietly. Conduct confidential phone calls off site …
That is it for now.
After seeing that, I left my credit cards, debit card and company laptop in my hotel room — hidden, of course, since I’m on this newly paranoid kick. I kept my iPhone on “airplane” mode for most of Friday, turning it on only to send a couple texts.
I was particularly concerned about this phone hacking stuff, so I asked Austin Steed, another security researcher-slash-hacker about that.
He said mischievous hackers can install their own cell phone towers to intercept your calls before passing them on to the real mobile carrier. These “man-in-the-middle attacks,” he said, let hackers eavesdrop, but they can also alter the conversation you’re having, without your knowledge.
“You send a text saying ‘I love you,’ and he (the hacker) says, ‘I want to break up with you.’” Or worse than that, Markus said, you could be doing business — maybe the hacker would change “sell it all” to “buy it all,” with potentially huge ramifications.
The hackers who attend DEF CON — now in their thirties instead of their teens as they were at the start of the hacker movement — hope, in a strange way, that by teaching people about hacking they will make the tech world safer.
DEF CON is their playground of sorts. Many of the hacks aren’t necessarily malicious. They are people toying around just to see what’s possible.
If they don’t do it, then the really bad guys will, they say. There are sessions on cracking Google, PayPal, Apple — even cars and prison cells.
DEF CON attendees can also learn how to pick locks. On Friday, 17-year-old Cherry Rose de los Reyes picked her first lock while her dad, Roselito, an IT professional, watched admiringly.
“I think I got it,” she said, turning a key she had reverse-engineered.
“There, now I don’t have to pay Home Depot no more!” her dad said with a laugh.
Some parents might cringe at a dad helping his teenage daughter learn a skill that could be used for breaking and entering. But Roselito de los Reyes says they’d be missing the point.
It’s not about breaking the lock, he said, it’s about learning the lock can be broken.
“If you educate them not to have a false sense of security just because you have a lock, then being able to open a lock might teach them to use a barbell on the door at home.”
So maybe there’s a point to the paranoia after all.
Source: CNN by John D. Sutter
Welcome to the dungeon. First computer virus created 25 years ago, and Mikko Hypponen goes to visit the creators – who provided their address within the coding of the virus.
It is worthy to note that these viral creators have, themselves, had their own systems infected many times since then.
In this video, Mikko is able to run and show examples of old, outdated viruses from the 80′s and 90′s. “Centipede” virus. “Crash” virus. They actually look as though they are old games rather than viruses. Most were written by kids just because they could.
He then goes to show the number of viruses their systems currently seek out and find – which number in the mind-boggling range of hundreds of thousands in just a matter of minutes. Today, organized criminal gangs create these viruses simply because they make money. For example, gangstabucks.com – an operation in Moscow which actually buys infected computers. What they do is keylogging – watching you (while on an infected computer) for online purchases. Looking for that credit card entry with your security code. Mikko delves into this in more detail.
Mikko goes on to talk about the high level of opertion involved with today’s cyber-criminals, hire people to create and test codes. In fact, it’s rather amazing how he tracked down a Russian hacker via code the hacker embedded in his own virus.
Ends with a little tongue-in-cheek humor. Top-notch presentation.
Russia is now becoming the leader in virus creation – but it also contains the leader in viral protection.. Kaspersky. Please read my other posting on an interview with Evgeny Kaspersky. Very interesting…..
Evgeny Kaspersky is one of Russia’s top Internet virus hunters and IT entrepreneurs. In a SPIEGEL interview, he discusses a raft of recent hacker attacks on multinationals, the “total professionals” behind the Stuxnet virus and his fear of both personal and widespread cyber violence.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Kaspersky, when was the last time that a virus hunter like you fell victim to a cyber attack?
Evgeny Kaspersky: My computer was almost infected twice recently. When someone returned my flash card to me at a conference, it was infected with a virus. But then our own virus program helped me. The second time, the website of a hotel in Cyprus was infected. These kinds of things can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are. I need protection just like anyone else. After all, a specialist on sexually transmitted diseases also relies on condoms for protection.
SPIEGEL: Virologists sometimes rave about the deadly perfection of the viruses they study. Do you still ever get excited yourself about the technology of a computer virus?
Kaspersky: The more sophisticated a virus is, the more exciting it is to crack its algorithm. I’m happy if I can do it. Okay, sometimes there’s a little professional respect involved, too. But it has nothing to do with enthusiasm. Every virus is a crime. Hackers do bad things. I would never hire one.
SPIEGEL: You and your company are the winners of a new era in warfare.
Kaspersky: No, because this war can’t be won; it only has perpetrators and victims. Out there, all we can do is prevent everything from spinning out of control. Only two things could solve this for good, and both of them are undesirable: to ban computers — or people.
SPIEGEL: Although your company Kaspersky Lab now employs more than 2,000 employees, it’s a small business compared with antivirus software makers like McAfee and Symantec. Can you ever catch up with them?
Kaspersky: We’re certainly trying. Russia is our most important competitive advantage. Moscow produces the world’s best programmers. It has a large number of outstanding technical universities. And although Russians can’t build cars the way you Germans can, they do write brilliant software.
SPIEGEL: You were once trained as a cryptologist by the KGB. Does that at all hinder your expansion in the West?
Kaspersky: No, but the fact that we are a company with Russian roots does. We occasionally sense a certain amount of suspicion. Nevertheless, we are now No. 1 in Germany, are growing rapidly in the United States and even have customers within NATO.
Kaspersky: A defense ministry. I won’t reveal the name of the country.
SPIEGEL: Which countries do most viruses come from?
Kaspersky: It’s hard to say because viruses unfortunately don’t carry ID cards. We can at least usually identify the originator’s language, and that’s at the moment the inventor communicates with his virus and gives it a command.
SPIEGEL: Russian programmers don’t only do good things. We assume that they also dominate the virus business.
Kaspersky: Based on the number of programmed viruses, we are in third place behind China and Latin America. Unfortunately, Russians are also among the most sophisticated and advanced players in criminal cyber activity. These days, they invent viruses and complex Trojan programs on demand. They launder money through the Internet. However, the largest number of harmful programs are written in Chinese. This means that they can be coming directly from the People’s Republic, but also from Singapore, Malaysia and even California, where there are Mandarin-speaking hackers.
SPIEGEL: Surprisingly enough, very few viruses seem to be coming from India even though it’s a rising star in the IT world.
Kaspersky: In general, the crime level in India is low. It’s probably a matter of the mentality. India and China have roughly the same population, the same computer density, a similar standard of living and similar religious roots. But China spits out viruses like they were coming off an assembly line.
Part 2: Amateurs and Professionals
SPIEGEL: Why is Russia producing some of the most dangerous hacker rings but very few world-class software companies like your own?
Kaspersky: There are a few, but I see a basic problem: In Russia, the level of technical training has traditionally been high, and it has been transferred from teachers to students for generations. But there are no teachers who know how to build a business with this training because, over seven decades of communism, doing business was never allowed to be the focus. Most of today’s business leaders are around 50, which means they were born during the Soviet era. They often have a type of Iron Curtain in their minds. They like to go abroad for vacation; but when they do business, they limit themselves to countries that once belonged to the Soviet Union because that’s where people speak their language and understand them culturally. I hope to see a new generation that is no longer afraid of other cultures and that speaks English.
SPIEGEL: The Russian search engine Yandex recently raised $1.3 billion (€912 million) in its initial public offering in New York, which was the highest IPO figure in the industry since Google…
Kaspersky: …which is an unbelievably important signal for many people here. A Russian company has shown that it can be successful with the power of our brains rather than with our natural resources. There is an American dream, and now there is a Russian dream, as well: to make money without oil and gas.
SPIEGEL: You once described yourself as an extremely paranoid person. What is the worst possible disaster that a computer viruses could cause?
Kaspersky: In the Soviet days, we used to joke that an optimist learns English because he is hoping that the country will open up, that a pessimist learns Chinese because he’s afraid that the Chinese will conquer us, and that the realist learns to use a Kalashnikov. These days, the optimist learns Chinese, the pessimist learns Arabic…
SPIEGEL: …and the realist?
Kaspersky: …keeps practicing with his Kalashnikov. Seriously. Even the Americans are now openly saying that they would respond to a large-scale, destructive Internet attack with a classic military strike. But what will they do if the cyber attack is launched against the United States from within their own country? Everything depends on computers these days: the energy supply, airplanes, trains. I’m worried that the Net will soon become a war zone, a platform for professional attacks on critical infrastructure.
SPIEGEL: When will that happen?
Kaspersky: Yesterday. Such attacks have already occurred.
SPIEGEL: You’re referring to Stuxnet, the so-called “super virus” that was allegedly programmed to sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities.
Kaspersky: Israeli intelligence unfortunately doesn’t send us any reports. There was a lot of talk — on the Internet and in the media — that Stuxnet was a joint US-Israeli project. I think that’s probably the most likely scenario. It was highly professional work, by the way, and one that commands a lot of respect from me. It cost several million dollars and had to be orchestrated by a team of highly trained engineers over several months. These were no amateurs; these were total professionals who have to be taken very seriously. You don’t get in a fight with them; they don’t mess around.
SPIEGEL: What kind of damage can a super virus like this inflict?
Kaspersky: Do you remember the total power outage in large parts of North America in August 2003? Today, I’m pretty sure that a virus triggered that catastrophe. And that was eight years ago.
SPIEGEL: Firemen tend to describe the dangers of fire in particularly dramatic terms because they make their money fighting fires. Aren’t you just trying to scare people about viruses because that’s your bread and butter?
Kaspersky: If I were only interested in the money, my company would have gone public by now. Believe it or not, my primary concern is making the world a cleaner place. Money is important; but if I do my job well, that will take care of itself.
SPIEGEL: Hackers have recently been taking aim at companies like Lockheed Martin, Google and Sony…
Kaspersky: …simply because they can now infiltrate their well-protected security systems to access secret information. This puts companies at risk, but it also jeopardizes entire nations. It’s a matter of private industrial espionage, but countries are also involved.
SPIEGEL: Are you saying that governments are behind many of the attacks?
Kaspersky: I don’t rule it out.
SPIEGEL: Google has claimed that the attack on its e-mail services was traced back to China.
Kaspersky: I have no information pointing toward China as the actual originator. Professionals do their work through proxy servers. They can be located in China but controlled from the United States. Perhaps it was just competitors — but people then pointed the finger at China. Anything can happen in our business.
Part 3: Sources of Future Threats
SPIEGEL: In 2007, Estonia provoked the Russians when it moved a Soviet-era war memorial. Do you think the Kremlin was behind the subsequent cyber attack on the small country?
Kaspersky: Not the government, but enraged Russian spammers who directed special computer networks known as “botnets” against Estonia. It became the prototype of a belligerent cyber attack on a country. The attackers didn’t just cripple government websites; they also sent so many spam e-mails that the entire Internet channel to Estonia quickly collapsed. The country was cut off from the world. The banking system, trade, transportation — everything ground to a halt.
SPIEGEL: Could Russian hackers figuratively “checkmate” Germany?
Kaspersky: (laughing) We won’t do that. If we did, who would buy our natural gas?
SPIEGEL: A number of computer geeks and hackers have banded together into an elusive online group known as “Anonymous,” which is constantly staging fresh guerilla cyber campaigns. What are your thoughts about it?
Kaspersky: I don’t think Anonymous has done any major damage yet. But I also don’t support this group. Some of these people have good intentions and are merely trying to draw attention to security loopholes. But there are also those with bad intentions. Imagine you left the key in your front door. Some would call to let your know, whereas others would spread the news throughout the entire city that your front door is open. That’s Anonymous; it’s unpredictable.
SPIEGEL: In the future, terrorist organizations like al-Qaida could also wage cyber wars.
Kaspersky: Terrorists primarily use the Internet for communication, propaganda and recruiting new members and funding sources. So far, highly qualified cyber criminals have had enough sense to not get involved with terrorists. But, in the future, we should count on seeing cyber attacks on factories, airplanes and power plants. Just think of Die Hard 4…
SPIEGEL: …in which Bruce Willis had to fight his way through an army of young hackers.
Kaspersky: Half of the film is Hollywood fiction, but the other half is quite realistic. That really worries me.
SPIEGEL: Your 20-year-old son Ivan was recently kidnapped by a gang but liberated unharmed a few days later. How dangerous is it to be rich in Russia?
Kaspersky: More dangerous than it is in Munich, but not as dangerous as it is in Colombia, where I usually traveled in an armored car when I was there on vacation. The children of successful entrepreneurs are kidnapped in other countries, too. Thank God the Russian authorities and my security service were able to rescue Ivan. My son was partly to blame for his kidnapping: He had broadcast his address on Facebook even though I’d been warning him for years not to reveal any personal information on the Internet. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter make it easier for criminals to do their work.
SPIEGEL: Your son is studying mathematics and works as a programmer. Do you expect him to take over your company one day?
Kaspersky: If he’s good, maybe so.
SPIEGEL: Silicon Valley is teeming with Russian scientists. Didn’t you ever want to emigrate to America?
Kaspersky: Once, in 1992. I had just returned to Moscow from Hanover, from my first trip to the West. At the time, I could do nothing but shake my head in disgust over my country. The prosperity gap was enormous. It’s become significantly smaller today. And because I travel so much, I know there are pros and cons everywhere — whether social, economic or political.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Kaspersky, thank you for this interview.
Interview conducted by Matthias Schepp and Thomas Tuma
SAN DIEGO, May 26 (UPI) — A 91-year-old Southern California woman said Thursday FBI agents seized the suicide kits she makes at home and sells by mail.
The story from Huffington Post on May 1st, 2011
A La Mesa, California grandmother has recently been making headlines for her unconventional and deadly business.
Sharlotte Hydorn, a 91-year-old grandmother, has apparently been selling $60 suicide kits online, stirring much debate about the legality of the practice. Just four months ago a 29-year-old man was found dead by his brother after using one of the do-it-yourself kits, according to the Daily Beast.
How the grandmother-turned-suicide-facilitator began selling the kits, which are available for purchase under the name of the The Gladd company, is a story of personal anguish. According to the Daily Beast, Hydorn’s own husband died a painful death from colon cancer almost 30 years ago.
Many have spoken out against Hydorn’s business, including the family of Nick Klonoski, who took his life using the kit. “In a society where so many people suffer from depression and other mental-health disorders,” Zach Klonoski, Nick’s brother, said at a hearing, “this company has found their niche in the market by peddling death. This is analogous to putting a gun-vending machine next to a depression clinic. The Gladd company, so named as to avoid suspicion in case family members happen to sign for or come across the package, made $60 off my brother’s death.”
The grandmother defends her business regardless. “I’m doing what I can to improve the world,” she told 10News. “There’s a lot of heartache and difficulty here.”
The kits create a simple suffocation device that uses helium to take away life.
About 1,600 are sold every year. To this point, California does not have laws enacted that make this type of business illegal, despite many recent calls to enact laws that will limit the availability of such devices.
Charlotte makes the kits — which cost buyers $60 — by taking large plastic bags and sewing soft elastic bands around the opening. There is a slot in the bag for a plastic tube carrying helium gas to be inserted. Helium — when inhaled in its pure form — is deadly. Kit users are responsible for securing their own helium gas.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS CONTEMPLATED SUICIDE PLEASE CALL THENATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT 1-800-273-8255