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The 2013 hack affecting a billion Yahoo users shows how seemingly innocuous bits of data gleaned from cyber-attacks can be exploited for espionage and information warfare, as well as for profit.

The breach, disclosed Wednesday, is the largest on record and comes just months after Yahoo disclosed a separate attack in 2014 affecting data from 500 million users.

On the surface, the trove of data is "a bunch of junk," said John Dickson of the security consultancy Denim Group.

But the ability to create a searchable database with data tidbits such as birth dates and phone numbers makes it enormously valuable to hackers seeking to make a profit or engage in industrial or state espionage, he said.

"If you're trying to research and get information about a target, you're going to use everything you can find," said Dickson, a former officer in the Air Force Information Warfare Center.

The Yahoo hack did not collect credit card or Social Security numbers, according to the company, leading some analysts to speculate that the goals were not financial.

"For someone using data as a weapon, this is of tremendous value," said Steve Grobman, chief technical officer at Intel Security.

Information warfare?

James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cyber-security think tank, said that while details are still unknown, the attack could fuel disinformation campaigns by governments.

 

Scott noted that the data had not appeared for sale on Deep Web markets - that is, in murky corners of the web that cannot be reached by standard search engines.

"And since a significant number of victims (if any) have not reported identity theft resulting from the incident, there is a strong likelihood that the breach was not conducted for monetary gain," Scott said.

"This could indicate that the breach was an espionage stage of an information warfare effort."

The disclosure of the breach comes amid intense scrutiny of cyber-security in the US election campaign and of the potential impact of hacked email accounts from people close to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

US officials have claimed Russia was behind the attack aimed at disrupting the election.

One of the hacks was a Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Media reports say he or an assistant was fooled by a fake email that prompted him to reveal his password.

Security analysts say such attacks are often preceded by lengthy data-gathering campaigns that might look for personal information such as a birth date or former school or university.

Signs of a state actor

Yahoo said it was not clear who was behind the billion-user hack but that some evidence pointed to "the same state-sponsored actor" believed responsible for the previously disclosed cyber-attack.

The security firm InfoArmor said in September that its analysis of the first breach indicated "professional" hackers stole the Yahoo data, and only later sold it to a state entity.

InfoArmor said at the time that the breach "opens the door to significant opportunities for cyber espionage and targeted attacks to occur."

Grobman said some attackers may mix real data with manipulated information to distort facts, creating further confusion and mistrust.

"One of the things we are concerned about is that the public is conditioned to see leaked data as legitimate, and this data can be manipulated," Grobman said.

 

Some analysts argue that the hackers' goals may be more financial than political.

Security researcher Graham Cluley said certain bits of information such as phone numbers could be of value to criminals.

"If a hacker or scammer has your telephone number, they can ring you up and trick you into believing they are an organization you already have a relationship with, which means that you might be tempted to hand over more personal information," Cluley said in a YouTube posting.

'A lot of money'

James Lewis, a senior fellow specializing in cyber-security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said new analytics tools can sift through databases for political espionage purposes, but that it is not clear if Russia has those capabilities.

"If you're a criminal, you would think you could monetize a billion accounts," Lewis said. "Even if you got a penny or a dime for each, you would still be making a lot of money."

The attacks also pose a threat to the future of Yahoo, the former internet star which has seen its fortunes decline and is in the process of selling its main assets to telecom group Verizon.

Dickson said that it's likely that "Verizon is doing a double take" on the $4.8 billion deal.

"If this kills that deal, I think it will increase the focus on cyber-security hygiene across the board," he said.

Author:  Agence France-Presse

Source:  http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/features/yahoo-1-billion-user-hack-shows-datas-use-for-information-warfare-1638536

Categorized in Internet Technology

Who is Legion?

(All information is based on media interviews that the hacker group has given. None of this has been corroborated independently by The Quint.)

  • Legion is a group of hackers based in multiple parts of the world.
  • They’re connected to India, though some of them may not have an Indian passport.
  • They’re behind at least four high profile Indian Twitter account breaches and two data dumps.
  • They’re difficult to trace as they use secure servers and apps for communication and hacking.
  • They’re addicted to crime and drugs, or so they claim.

Legion’s modus operandi so far has been breaching high profile Twitter accounts to deface them and warn about future attacks. (Photo: The Quint)

Legion’s modus operandi so far has been breaching high profile Twitter accounts to deface them and warn about future attacks. (Photo: The Quint)

 

A quick Google search of the word shows up a Wikipedia definition: ‘Legion’ is a group of demons referred to in the New Testament, in an incident during which Jesus performs an exorcism.

Biblical references aside, Legion is the latest hacker group to take centre-stage in India’s cyber-security landscape. In the last couple of weeks, Legion has hacked four high profile Twitter accounts and dumped a couple of gigabytes of sensitive personal information on the internet.

Everything you read about Legion is what they are projecting to the world. Nobody has met them, no one knows where they live or work out of, and hence it is extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies to pin them down and interrogate them. Their media interviews have all taken place on a secure chat app called Signal. Messages sent through Signal are end-to-end encrypted and the user cannot be tracked based on geo-data or IP.

The whole persona building with typical vocabulary of 4Chan and other online forums and overemphasis on drugs seems pretty forced. Perhaps this is done to allude to pop culture imagery of hackers portrayed online and in shows like ‘Mr. Robot’. 
‘Mr. Robot’ is the most popular and accurate depiction of the hacker culture in mainstream entertainment so far. (GIF courtesy: GIPHY)
‘Mr. Robot’ is the most popular and accurate depiction of the hacker culture in mainstream entertainment so far. (GIF courtesy: GIPHY)

Legion is quite media-savvy and their choice to hack Twitter accounts is a clear indication of that. Vijay Mallya, Barkha Dutt and Ravish Kumar are all extremely popular online personalities and have garnered immense chatter among relevant circles. Legion wants to establish their existence in people’s consciousness and in that endeavour they seem to have had some success.

 

They may also be aligned with the establishment or seem inclined towards it as there have been no direct hacks on the government or the BJP yet.

However, it seems Legion’s eyes are now set on releasing a big data dump of mails from sansad.nic.in. Nic.in is the official mail server used for all bureaucratic purposes and breaching this will give anyone easy access to official mail exchanges between some “Big Fishes” from the government.

Can the Indian Establishment Prevent Hacks?

Indian online defence systems are not equipped to handle a large-scale cyberattack. (GIF courtesy: GIPHY)

Does the Indian establishment have adequate and intelligent online defence systems in place to avert a large-scale cyberattack? Technology expert Prasanto K Roy doesn’t think so.

“While CERT works to secure critical assets of national importance such as the PMO office like a fortress, the general approach towards any other cyberattack seems to be a rather unscientific ‘Shut Down the Internet’.”

Prasanto also points out that ministers, bureaucrats and other government officials have an extremely lackadaisical mindset towards online security.

Most babus have an ‘armchair mail’ on the sarkarinic.in mail service but choose to use private mail services such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, even for official work. Some aren’t aware of Phishing and, hence, keep falling prey to these attacks. Till a couple of years ago, Gmail IDs were flashed on the IT ministry website as the official way to contact them. Fortunately, most departments have now switched to secure government IDs.Prasanto K Roy, Technology Expert

India has one of the most comprehensive cybercrime laws, but all that falls apart when it comes to enforcement. While high profile attacks by hackers such as Legion may not affect the average person on the street, even a small attack on digital financial services will put millions at risk. The government and private stakeholders need to ensure airtight security for financial tech if they really want to make good on the promise of Digital India.

Author : Ankit Vengurlekar

Source : https://www.thequint.com/technology/2016/12/13/drugs-hacks-and-internet-anarchy-who-is-legion-twitter-hack-rahul-gandhi-barkha-dutt-narendra-modi

Categorized in Internet Privacy

You may be paying more than your neighbor for the same item. Really.

How sure are you that you're getting the best price for that online purchase? Better check.So-called price differentiation means that different visitors to the same retailer could see varying prices on the same item. A 2014 study of 16 large retail and travel sites found that more than half showed different price results for the same search, depending on who was conducting the search, and on what kind of device.
"It's very hard to know why you're seeing what [price] you're seeing," said study co-author Christo Wilson, an assistant professor at Northeastern University.
Now, that same team of researchers, in conjunction with Volunteer Science, is aiming to raise the curtain on price differentiation. Their plugin for Chrome browsers runs the same search you did on the researchers' server, which doesn't have the same history or cookies as your machine, to show if other online shoppers are seeing a higher or lower price than you are.

"If you're worried about differentiation at a particular retailer, try searching for that item using a different browser."

Better deals than you got pop up in red, Wilson said, while ones worse than you received show up in green. The plugin currently supports shoppers browsing Amazon, Google Flights and Priceline; more sites are in the works.
 
The plugin is free to use. Shoppers can elect to keep their searches private, or donate their search data from using it to help the researchers' price differentiation studies.Every retailer has its own strategy for personalizing deals, so shoppers looking to gut-check a price should take a varied approach, said Jack Vonder Heide, president of consulting firm Technology Briefing Centers.
 
The easiest tactics are those you (hopefully) do routinely anyway: Use a price comparison search engine to see if there's a better price elsewhere, and conduct a separate search for coupon codes at the retailers where an item is the most competitively priced.
 
If you're worried about differentiation at a particular retailer, try searching for that item using a different browser, or a different device, said Vonder Heide. Shopping via your phone can often yield better prices."One of the methods they use for gauging what price they show that particular visitor is often the type of device they use," he said. "A lot of businesses are trying to target the mobile consumer, so they're offering incentives if you access the site on your mobile device."
 
If you're a frequent purchaser or a member of the retailer's loyalty program, try logging in before you shop. You may see better pricing or exclusive deals, he said.Experiment with private browsing or incognito mode on your web browser, said Stan Black, chief security officer for software company Citrix. You might see different deals visiting with that clean slate.
 

 

 
You could also clear your web browser's cache of "cookies" tracking your searches and retailer visits.But that could be risky, Vonder Heide said: Some sites' algorithms reward loyal shoppers with better deals, or dangle a lower price to someone who recently comparison shopped with a competitor. Scrubbing your history could erase those deals, too.
 
After you buy, it's smart to set price alerts on those purchases. That way, if the price changes or you come across a better deal, you can try to snag a price adjustment.
Auhtor  : Kelli B. Grant
Categorized in Others

Think you're a pro at using Google? We bet you don't know these 15 awesome hacks that can make your searches even better. These aren't just your basics. If you've thought it, Google's probably got a special search function for it.

1. Tip calculator

You're eating out with friends and are unsure how to split the bill? Type “tip calculator” in the Google search box and it will tell you the total per person as well as the tip.

2. Set a timer/stopwatch

Google can also act as a timer! For example, type “set timer 60 minutes” and the timer begins. Type “ stopwatch” and it will display a stopwatch.

3. Convert anything

Google Calculator handles conversions of all types, such as 3 ounces in tablespoons, 16 dollars in euros, or 19999GB to MB.

4. Find calories in anything

If you are confused about what to eat and what not to, start using Google as your health guide. It can give you complete details like amount of calories, and all other details like amount of total fat, cholesterol etc. For example, if you are confused among the calorie details of ice cream and a milk shake, just type “Ice cream Vs. milk shake”.

 

5. Cheapest air prices

Google Flights, the search engine's built-in flight tracking application, gives the major travel websites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak a run for their money. Simply type in "Flights from x to y", and you'll be on your way. Google Flights will show you the cheapest fares from all the major flight booking engines, browse current prices by months, and show you the cheapest times and places to fly based on your destination.

6. Specific file type

Look for specific file type by just typing “filetype: pdf” after the word or phrase you're searching for.

7. Search within a site

If you want to search something within a specific website, simply type “site: xyz.com” followed by the word you looking up for.

8. Head or tails?

Type in “flip a coin” and let Google handle all your bets from now.

9. Sunrise or sunset times

 

You're vacationing at Honolulu. Of course you want to see all the beautiful points including the spectacular sunrise on the beach. Just so that you don't oversleep and miss the beautiful sight, google “sunrise Honolulu” and it will tell you the exact time.

10. Google Goggles

Google Goggles is a smartphone app that lets you search the web using your phone's camera instead of words. Simply take a picture of the item you want to search for, and look at the results.

11. Google Trends

The Google Trends webpage lets you explore trending search topics on Google and see what other people are searching for.

12. Exclude a word

Add a dash before the word to exclude the search term. So if you want to look up everything about Inception except for the movie, type in “inception –movie.”

13. Find sites with similar content to a URL you already know

Want more websites with local news? Type “related:thedailystar.net” into Google.

14. Location search

Want news from a particular area? Just insert “location:city/country” beside the search term.

 

15. When you don't remember a song lyric

Place an asterisk instead of a word in a phrase you don't know. It'll work as a wildcard and help you find the missing word in a phrase, e.g. “there is * that never goes *.

Source : http://www.thedailystar.net/

Categorized in Search Engine

While most hackers are benign hobbyists, some hackers do inflict terrible widespread damage and cause financial and emotional hurt. Victimized companies lose millions in repair and restitution costs; victimized individuals lose their jobs, their bank accounts, and even their relationships.

So what are examples of large-scale hacks that wreaked this much havoc? What are the greatest hacks of recent history?

With 'greatest' being synonymous with 'harshest', About.com has assembled a list of noteworthy hacks from the last 20 years. As you read this list below, you will certainly want to reconsider your own password practices. We've enclosed some strong suggestions at the bottom of this article to help you reduce the risk that you too will be hacked one day.

1 Ashley Madison Hack 2015: 37 Million Users

Computer being hacked

The hacker group Impact Team broke into the Avid Life Media servers and copied the personal data of 37 million Ashley Madison users. The hackers then incrementally released this information to the world through various websites. The shameful impact to people's personal reputations has had ripples across the world, including claims that user suicides followed after the hack.

This hack is memorable not only because of the sheer publicity of the impact, but because the hackers also earned some fame as vigilantes crusading against infidelity and lies.

Read more about the Ashley Madison breach:
Rob Price describes the impacts of the Ashley Madison hack scandal
Callum Paton tells us how you can check if your spouse was affected by the hack
Krebs on Security describes how the hack transpired

2 The Conficker Worm 2008: Still Infecting a Million Computers a Year

Conficker worm malware: still infection 1 mil computers per year

While this resilient malware program has not wreaked irrecoverable damage, this program refuses to die; it actively hides itself and then nefariously copies itself to other machines. Even more frightening: this worm continues to open backdoors for future hacker takeovers of the infected machines.

The Conficker worm program (aka 'Downadup' worm) replicates itself across computers, where it lies in secret to either a) convert your machine into a zombie bot for spamming, or b) to read your credit card numbers and your passwords through keylogging, and transmit those details to the programmers.

Conficker/Downadup is a very smart computer program. It defensively deactivates your antivirus software in order to protect itself.

Conficker is noteworthy because of its resilience and reach; it still travels around the Internet 8 years after its discovery.

Read more about the Conficker/Downadup worm program:
Kelly Burton describes the technical side of the Conficker worm
How to detect and remove Conficker from your computer
Symantec can also remove the worm for you

3 Stuxnet Worm 2010: Iran's Nuclear Program Blocked

Stuxnet worm set back Iran's nuclear program by years

A worm program that was less than a megabyte in size was released into Iran's nuclear refinement plants. Once there, it secretly took over the Siemens SCADA control systems. This sneaky worm commanded over 5000 of the 8800 uranium centrifuges to spin out of control, then suddenly stop and then resume, while simultaneously reporting that all is well. This chaotic manipulating went on for 17 months, ruining thousands of uranium samples in secret, and causing the staff and scientists to doubt their own work. All the while, no one knew that they were being deceived and simultaneously vandalized.

This devious and silent attack wreaked far more damage than simply destroying the refining centrifuges themselves; the worm led thousands of specialists down the wrong path for a year and half, and wasted thousands of hours of work and millions of dollars in uranium resources.

The worm was named 'Stuxnet', a keyword that was found in the code's internal comments.

This hack is memorable because of both optics and deceipt: it attacked a nuclear program of a country that has been in conflict with the USA and other world powers; it also deceived the entire nuclear staff for a year and a half as it performed its nasty deeds in secret.

Read more about the Stuxnet hack:
Stuxnet: a modern digital weapon?
Stuxnet was like a Tom Clancy novel
The real story of Stuxnet

4 Home Depot Hack 2014: Over 50 Million Credit Cards

Home Depot hack, 2014: over 50 million credit card numbers

By exploiting a password from one of its stores' vendors, the hackers of Home Depot achieved the largest retail credit card breach in human history. Through careful tinkering of the Microsoft operating system, these hackers managed to penetrate the servers before Microsoft could patch the vulnerability.

Once they entered the first Home Depot store near Miami, the hackers worked their way throughout the continent. They secretly observed the payment transactions on over 7000 of the Home Depot self-serve checkout registers. They skimmed credit card numbers as customers paid for their Home Depot purchases.

This hack is noteworthy because it was against a monolithic corporation and millions of trusting customers.

Read more about the Home Depot hack:
How CEO Frank Blake responded to his chain of stores getting hacked
The Wall Street Journal describes the hack here
The Home Depot hack is now an official case study

5 Spamhaus 2013: the Largest DDOS Attack in History

Spamhaus: nonprofit protection against spammers and hackers

 A distributed denial of service attack is a data flood. By using dozens of hijacked computers that repeat signals at a high rate and volume, hackers will flood and overload computer systems on the Internet.

In March of 2013, this particular DDOS attack was large enough that it slowed the entire Internet across the planet, and completely shut down parts of it for hours at a time.

The perpetrators used hundreds of DNS servers to 'reflect' signals repeatedly, amplifying the flood effect and sending up to 300 gigabits per second of flood data to each server on the network.

The target at the center of the attack was Spamhaus, a nonprofit professional protection service that tracks and blacklists spammers and hackers on behalf of web users. The Spamhaus servers, along with dozens of other internet exchange servers, were flooded in this 2013 DDOS attack.

This DDOS hack is noteworthy because of the sheer scale of its brute force repetition: it overloaded the Internet's servers with a volume of data that had never been seen before.

Read more about the Spamhaus attack:
The New York Times describes the DDOS attack
A London teenage hacker pleads guilty to being one of the DDOS hackers
Meet Spamhaus, the anti-spam service who was the prime target of the DDOS attack.

6 eBay Hack 2014: 145 Million Users Breached

eBay: the world's largest marketplace

Some people say this is the worst breach of public trust in online retail. Other says that it was not nearly as harsh as mass theft because only personal data was breached, not financial information.

Whichever way you choose to measure this unpleasant incident, millions of online shoppers have had their password-protected data compromised. This hack is particularly memorable because it was very public, and because eBay was painted as weak on security because of their slow and lackluster public response.

Read more about the eBay hack of 2014:
BGR describes how the eBay hack transpired
eBay does not win any points with its sluggish response to the breach
Here's eBay's blog response

7 JPMorgan Chase Hack, 2014: (76 + 7) Million Accounts

JP Morgan Chase was hacked

In the middle of 2014, alleged Russian hackers broke into the largest bank in the USA and breached 7 million small business accounts and 76 million personal accounts. The hackers infiltrated the 90 server computers of JPMorgan Chase and viewed personal information on the account holders.

Interestingly enough, no money was looted from these account holders. JPMorgan Chase is not volunteering to share all the results of their internal investigation. What they will say is that the hackers stole contact information, like names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. They claimed that there is no evidence of social security, account number, or password breach.

This hack is noteworthy because it struck at people's livelihoods: where they store their money.

Read more about JPMorgan Chase hack:
The New York Times tells the story of the hack
The UK Register tells us that server technicians failed to upgrade one of its servers that allowed the hack
Here is the official report documentation from the S.E.C.

8 The Melissa Virus 1999: 20% of the World's Computers Infected

Melissa email virus 1999

A New Jersey man released this Microsoft macro virus into the Web, where it penetrated Windows computers. The Melissa virus masqueraded as a Microsoft Word file attachment with an email note 'Important Message from [Person X]. Once the user clicked on the attachment, Melissa activated itself and commanded the machine's Microsoft Office to send a copy of the virus as a mass mailout to the first 50 people in that user's address book.

The virus itself did not vandalize files or steal any passwords or information; rather, its objective was to flood email servers with pandemic mailouts.

Indeed, Melissa successfully shut down some companies for days at a time as the network technicians rushed to clean their systems and purge the pesky virus.

This virus/hack is noteworthy because it preyed on people's gullibility and the current state weakness of antivirus scanners on corporate networks. It also gave Microsoft Office a black eye as a vulnerable system.

Read more about Melissa virus:
1999: Melissa wreaks havoc on the Web
How Melissa works
What can we learn from Melissa?

9 LinkedIn 2016: 164 Million Accounts

LinkedIn hack 2016: 164 million accounts breached

In a slow-motion breach that took four years to reveal, the social networking giant admits that 117 million of their users had their passwords and logins stolen back in 2012, to later have that information sold on the digital black market in 2016.

The reason this is a significant hack is because of how long it took for the company to realize how badly they had been hacked. Four years is a long time to find out you've been robbed.

Read more about the LinkedIn hack:
CNN Money describes the incident
LinkedIn publicly responds to the 2012 hack

10 Anthem Health Care Hack 2015: 78 Million Users

Anthem health care: 78 million users hacked

The second-largest health insurer in the USA had its databases compromised through a covert attack that spanned weeks. Details of the penetration are not being volunteered by Anthem, but they do claim that no medical information was stolen, only contact information and social security numbers.

No harm has been yet identified for any of the compromised users. Experts predict that the information will one day be sold via online black markets.

As a response, Anthem is providing free credit monitoring for its members. Anthem is also considering encrypting all their data for the future.

The Anthem hack is memorable because of its optics: another monolithic corporation fell victim to a few clever computer programmers.

Read more about the Anthem hack here:
Anthem responds to their customer questions about the hack
The Wall Street Journal describes the Anthem hack
More details about the Anthem hack and their response.

11 Sony Playstation Network Hack 2011: 77 Million Users

Sony Playstation network: 77 million users hacked

April 2011: intruders from Lulzsec hacker collective cracked open the Sony database at their Playstation Network, revealing the contact information, logins, and passwords to 77 million players. Sony claims that no credit card information was breached.

Sony took down its service for several days in order to patch holes and upgrade their defenses.

There has been no report that the stolen information has been sold or used to harm anyone yet. Experts speculate that it was a SQL injection attack.

The PSN hack is memorable because it affected gamers, a culture of people who are computer-savvy fans of technology.

Read more about the Sony PSN hack here:
Extremetech describes how Sony PSN was hacked
How SQL injection works

12 Global Payments 2012 Hack: 110 Million Credit Cards

Heartland hack 2012: 110 million users

Global Payments is one of several companies that handle credit card transactions for lenders and vendors. Global Payments specializes in small business vendors. In 2012, their systems were breached by hackers, and information on people's credit cards was stolen. Some of those users have since had their credit accounts defrauded with dishonest transactions.

The signature system of credit cards in the USA is dated, and this breach could have easily been reduced if credit card lenders would invest in using the newer chip cards that are used in Canada and the UK.

This hack is noteworthy because it struck at the daily routine of paying for goods at the store, shaking the confidence of credit card users around the world.

Read more about the Global Payments hack:
CNN Money describes the GPN hack
How hackers use DoS and SQL injections
Heartland payment processor was also hacked in 2009 before merging with Global Payments

13 So What Can You Do to Prevent Getting Hacked?

How to Make a Killer Password

Hacking is a real risk that all of us must live with, and you will never be 100% hacker-proof in this age.

You can reduce your risk, though, by making yourself harder to hack than other people. You can also reduce the impact of when you do get hacked by implementing different passwords for your different accounts.

Here are some strong recommendations to reduce your online identity exposure:

1. Check to see if you've been hacked and outed at this free database.

2. Make the extra effort to design strong passwords as we suggest in this tutorial.

3. Use a different password for each of your accounts; this will substantially reduce how much of your life a hacker can access.

4. Consider adding two-factor authorization (2FA) to your Gmail and other main online accounts.

5. Consider subscribing to a VPN service to encrypt all of your online habits.

Author: Paul Gil

Source: https://www.lifewire.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

Nearly two weeks after Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election — and month before the Electoral College is set to vote, making the results permanent — a new movement wants to audit the November 8 vote, to investigate whether Trump won the election fair and square, or whether error and even fraud may have placed him in the White House.

One element of the vote audit movement is a Change.org online petition calling for election officials to “double-check the electronic results by conducting a ‘risk-limiting’ audit of the presidential election in every state that uses paper ballots.”

Even a United States Senator, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, has called for a congressional investigation into possible election tampering, particularly by Russian intelligence agencies.

Audit Vote, #AuditTheVote, Was election rigged, Donald Trump wins election, Russian election hack, vote fraud

A vote-counting computer used to tabulate ballots in the 2016 presidential election.

The petition started by the Verified Voting Foundation seeks 75,000 signatures which will be forwarded to Secretaries of State, election officials, and state governors. As of Sunday morning, November 20, the petition had received 65,199 supporters.

 

“The FBI determined some months ago that hacking, originating from Russia, was having an influence on our electoral process,” the petition states. “These hackers interfered with our presidential election through attempted and successful penetration of email and voter registration databases, among other systems. This created fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the safety of our electoral processes.”

In fact, it was not only the FBI but the National Security Agency itself — the intelligence bureau responsible for America’s online and digital spying and counter-espionage efforts — which detected attempts to tip the United States election by what NSA chief Michael Rogers called “a nation state,” as seen in the excerpted interview with Rogers in the video below.

“This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance,” Rogers said in the Wall Street Journal interview. “This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.”

While Russian ties to hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee that were subsequently released online by the document-dumping site WikiLeaks were confirmed by U.S. intelligence agencies as well as independent investigators weeks before the election, hackers connected to the Russian government are also known to have broken into a voter registration system in Illinois.

The Russian hackers also entered at least one other state’s voter database — and in theory could have penetrated many more which have yet to be detected. Once inside, the hackers could have altered voter information to create fake registrations and alter voting patterns.

Audit Vote, #AuditTheVote, Was election rigged, Donald Trump wins election, Russian election hack, vote fraud

Russian President Vladimir Putin, suspected of engineering manipulation of the presidential election that tipped the vote to Donald Trump.

According to Alexandra Chalupa, a consultant to the DNC investigating the Russian hacks, told the Gothamist news site that in Pennsylvania, especially, the voting results appeared strange, with between 50 and 75 percent of provisional ballots rejected. Even more alarming, “a large number of voters who voted for a Republican president and senator, but voted for Democrats down the rest of the ballot.”

“That’s not usually the pattern,” Chalupa said.

Trump ended up beating Clinton in Pennsylvania by a mere 57,588 votes — less than one percentage point — winning the state’s crucial 20 electoral votes, despite the fact that Pennsylvania had voted for the Democrat in six consecutive presidential elections.

A new Twitter hashtag, #AuditTheVote, appeared on Saturday, and one of the hashtag creators, Melinda Byerley, explained that the purpose was to collect public information and data that could either verify or disprove claims of election tampering and fraud.

 

“This is not about (Hillary Clinton) or (Donald Trump),” Byerley wrote. “This is about national sovereignty and a potential foreign breach of our voting system. “America is a beacon to the world for free and fair elections. Our ability to remain a superpower rests on the trust the world has in us.”

Author:  Jonathan Vankin

Source:  http://www.inquisitr.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

It was previously announced by Google that the newly developed digital assistant called Google Assistant will only be available for their newly launched Pixel phones. However, there are latest hacks and tricks on Android 7.0 Nougat that allows the non-pixel phones to download and make use of the said Google Assistant.

 Download Google Assistant to Android Phones

Many have been craving for the app aware and voice-controlled Google Assistant that eventually led the white hat hackers in finding ways to bring it to the non-Pixel phones. Although the digital assistant is available in Google Allo, still nothing beats the one that exclusively runs in the Pixel phones.

There are two ways to download Google Assistant to eligible handsets that run Android 7.0 Nougat such as Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Nexus, LG, HTC and others. According to Digital Trends, it is recommended for the users to have sufficient technical knowledge should they attempt to hack their respective phones.

To begin with, tricking Google servers is the first one to go. If the rooted phone has the 6.5.35.21 Google app or newer, Google servers are made to believe that the phone is a Google Pixel XL. Another thing is through using a flashable image which can be downloaded from XDA-Developer site. Full instructions can be found here.

 

On the other hand, Android 7.0 Nougat hacks and tricks on Google Assistant have apparent risks. These include bricking the device, warranty void that opens the door to malware attacks, messing up on the phone's camera and many others, thus, it's important to take the precautionary steps before attempting to hack the phones.

List of Eligible Handsets for the Nougat Hacks

So far, there are only nine handsets that are eligible for the Android 7.0 Nougat hacks. The list is consolidated by XDA-Developers and it includes the following: Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 4, Moto G 2013 (Falcon), Moto G 2015 (Osprey), One Plus One and Lenovo VIBE K5.

Author:  Shunie Pearl C. Dela Cruz

Source:  http://www.universityherald.com/

Categorized in News & Politics

The text message is dead! And in its place, long live the more popular, more flexible, more user-friendly - and now entirely free - WhatsApp. With the annual fee having long since been knocked on the head and video calling having finally landed, there's now nothing standing between you and endless chats. That means it's time to progress beyond the basics and learn to become a WhatsApp wizard.

From dodging awkward messages without the guilt to keeping the adult stuff private, here are the WhatsApp tips and tricks that will turn you into a messaging master.

1. Hide the fact that you're ignoring someone

WhatsApp blue ticks

Disabling those giveaway double blue ticks (Settings > Account > Privacy > Read Receipts) is a great way to avoid the 'I know you've read it' message rebuttals when opting to ignore someone. Turn them off all the time, however, and suspicion might start to grow.

 

And yet you can hide that you've read messages on an individual basis. Before you open the questionable chat, switch your phone to airplane mode. You can now read away with no alert being sent. Now exit the message before you turn airplane mode off again, and it will remain unread - well, in the sender's eyes at least. Cue evil laugh.

2. Enjoy guilt-free message dodging by hiding your 'last seen' time 

WhatsApp Last Seen time

WhatsApp's double blue ticks are a backstabbing homing beacon for social snubbing. However, they're not the only notifier out to show up your message-dodging deceit. Your 'last seen' time is a second layer of unwanted attention when you're desperately trying to avoid an awkward conversation.

You can turn it off though. By heading to Settings > Account > Privacy > Last Seen, you can decide who, if anyone, you want to see when you've last been active. Finally, guilt-free ignoring is possible.

3. Magically recover deleted messages

WhatsApp messages

*Smiles*, *brags*, *accidentally presses delete* ...and as simple as that, the number of that pretty girl/ guy is gone. All is not lost, though, for there is a way to bring back messages from the dead. You're going to have to pre-empt your message deleting misfortunes here a little bit though.

If you've set up daily backup for your favoured chats (see tip #11), WhatsApp will, in the wee hours of the morning, save that day's messages to the cloud. Now, if you accidentally delete messages or entire chats, you can simply recover the lost content with Harry Potter-levels of wizardry by reinstalling the app. Phone numberious, returnerum!

4. Send a message with your voice

iOS 10 Siri

"Hey, Siri, stop being beyond useless." Oh, you've listened, thanks. Having moved past its infuriating "sorry, I didn't quite catch that roots," Siri has added some impressive new smarts, and now plays nice with a number of third-party apps, including the likes of WhatsApp.

That means you can get your voice involved when you want to send a message. Now, instead of dictating your messages to be sent as out dated texts, Siri lets you read out your commands to WhatsApp and enjoy some impressive hands-free messaging. All you need to do, once you've ensured you're running the latest version of WhatsApp, is bust out the correct vocal commands: "Hey, Siri. Send a WhatsApp to mum…"

5. Throw in some bold and italics to get your point across

WhatsApp Bold

WhatsApp is great for most things. Sensing tone isn't always one of them though. Fortunately there's a hidden little feature to help you better get your point across and help your friends understand the urgency of your messages. You can add bold, italics, and even strikethrough.

How? Well, sadly it's not as easy as simply clicking the corresponding button. Instead, every time you want to put a bit of emphasis on a certain word, you'll have to put the desired command shortcut around the words you want to stand out. To bold up, you need to but an asterisk on either side of the word, like *this*, while italics need an underscore on either side of a _word_, and strikethrough a tildes (those squiggly hyphens), just like ~this~. Feeling jazzy? You can even combine commands for *_bolditalics_* attention grabbing.

6. Mute group chat notifications for personal sanity

WhatsApp mute

You just wanted to know what time you were supposed to be meeting at the pub tomorrow. But that one simple question has resulted in three hours of WhatsApp-based 'banter' between your cretinous mates. Each 'your mum' joke and unwitty aside at an ex's expense is now just a movie-interrupting, sleep-preventing irritant.

Well, no more - it's time to hit the big red mute button. In a chat, simply select the name at the top to launch an in-message settings menu. From here you can toggle mute on (NB: not big or red), cutting out the bings and bongs for a range of timeframes ranging from "friend-snubbing" 8 hours to an "OK, we're done" full year.

7. Use WhatsApp on the big screen

WhatsApp Web

Just because your boss gets a bit sniffy about having your phone out in the office, doesn't mean you have to miss out on important WhatsApp messages (read inane, time-wasting chatter). The service can be switched to your desktop too.

Dedicated Windows and Mac OS WhatsApp apps have just launched, meaning you can seamlessly sync your smartphone-based chats to your primary computer and skive work without anyone suspecting a thing - bonus.

8. Stop dirty images showing in your camera roll

WhatsApp pictures

If you're the sort of person who sends and receives images you'd rather your friends didn't stumble across, you probably don't want them saved just two swipes from last night's party pics in your camera roll.

There's an easy way to avoid accidental image embarrassment though. In Settings > Chatsyou can toggle the Save Incoming Media tab. Now you can share smutty snaps with little fear of reprise.

9. Save your data allowance from meme-spam

WhatsApp data usage

If you've been hitting it hard on the train-based Netflix sessions this month, you probably don't want every cat snap or Game of Thrones meme you're sent further eating up your data allowance. But you can save the megabytes by setting images and videos to download only when you're connected to the Wi-Fi.

To enable these data-saving ways on iOS, all you need to do is go Settings > Data Usagewhere you'll be able to assign download methods per content type. On Android things are a little different. You're offered all the same options, but you'll have to go Settings > Chats and Calls > Media Auto-Download to find them.

10. Turn your best mate into a WhatsApp-themed app

WhatsApp

Find it hard to pick out your bezzie mates from your mass of WhatsApp chats? Well, there's a great way to give people priority, although it's one for just the Android folks - sorry Apple owners. You can cut down the search time by saving shortcuts to your favourite WhatsApp Chats direct to your handset homescreen.

A long press on the desired chat will launch a menu of options, including the 'Add chat shortcut' tab. And that's it: you can now share your selfies and oddball chatter a fraction of a second quicker. It's like having an app dedicated to your mate. Which isn't creepy at all.

11. Hide incriminating chats from prying eyes

WhatsApp

There are some instances where you might not want your partner seeing your WhatsApp messages popping up. Surprise party planning, for example. Or, erm… nope, that's it, we can't think of any more innocent reasons.

Keeping your secrets secret can be achieved by hiding your message previews though. This stops your lockscreen alerts teasing the potentially incriminating introduction to a message. 'How?' we hear you cry (with only a slight tinge of urgent panic). Just go Settings > Notifications > Show Preview, and your messages will be replaced by relationship-saving basic alerts.

12. Broadcast your private messages to the masses

WhatsApp broadcast

Just because you want to send the same message to a number of people doesn't mean you necessarily want to start a group chat where everyone can interact with each other and annoy you with endless message alerts. The solution is a 'broadcast'.

Tapping the menu button reveals the 'New broadcast' option. This will send a single message to multiple recipients, creating an individual chat for each. You don't even need to trouble yourself with endless cut and paste efforts either - it's the modern equivalent of BCCing someone into an email.

13. Make it easy to switch phones with your messages in tow

WhatsApp backup

Worried about losing your past year of mass messages? You don't have to put off upgrading your handset - just take your chats with you. It's not hard to do either. Both iPhone and Android owners have their own WhatsApp backup options thanks to iCloud and Google Drive syncing.

In Settings > Chats > Chat Backup, you can set your service to sync up with the cloud on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Now if your phone malfunctions or you move to a new handset, simply logging in to WhatsApp will bring all your past chats across.

14. Make important messages easy to locate

WhatsApp Starred Messages

We've all been there - scrolling back through 268 messages trying to find an address or meet-up time. There is an easier way though - starring your standout messages for future finding. Similar to favouriting a tweet, WhatsApp messages can be starred simply be holding down on the desired correspondence and tapping the pop-up star icon.

You can then jump straight to a list of all your starred messages direct from your WhatsApp homescreen. Hours of endless scrolling begone.

15. See exactly when your message was read

WhatsApp read times

There's always one person in a group chat who fails to commit to the communal plans - you know who they are. You can chase them up though by seeing not only who has read the message, but exactly when they read them.

Long press on a message you've sent and hit the 'info' tab when it pops up. This will break down who has read and who has received the message, with timings for both handily displayed.

16. Maintain your privacy in unfriendly group chats

WhatsApp Privacy

Check you out with your multiple friendship groups! Aren't we the social butterfly? But while you're strutting around like the big I am, think on: friends of friends you've never met - but share group chat standing with - are snooping on your innermost secrets. Or your personal details, at least.

While you're never going to be able to hide your phone number (probably the biggest bit of data these people can see), you can limit access to your profile photo and personal status by heading to Settings > Account > Privacy and hitting the right sub-menus though.

17. Give yourself no excuse to not reply

WhatsApp unread

OK, so you can't handle replying right now, but you don't want to be forced out of friendship by long-term blanking either. Hmmm, what to do? Well, you could simply set a visual reminder that you've got messages that need returning.

You can do this on your chat list, by swiping in from the left on your desired message thread. This will let you mark that conversation as unread. Now there's no excuse for replying later.

Source : digitalspy.com

Categorized in Social
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