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Posts Tagged ‘Hackers’

How To Hide On The Internet (Video)

Ever watch those crime dramas and see the villains thwart the authorities time and again when they try to trace them? First, it was tracing back phones (bad guy ALWAYS hangs up before they got the location fixed)? Then the TV shows and movies started adding Internet trickeration to the bad guys’ manual. Like when they try to trace back a transmission to the IP address and get a location, but just like on phones, the villain has ‘bounced’ or ‘masked’ the address… How do they DO that? Well, without getting too techy, here’s how. Watch.

It’s become apparent that anyone — hackers or the government — could be spying on what you’re doing online. Take back your privacy with these simple steps.
– Tech Insider

Oh… In the earlier examples, you realize that the so-called ‘bad guys’ could be working for the government… You knew that, right?


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Technology: The Hackers Of Damascus – Cyber Wars Of Syria

Okay, sometimes I may wax ‘conspiracy theorist’ on here from time to time, but this time I leave it to Stephan Faris of Businessweek. In an in-depth expose, Faris details the way tech is being used – for good and bad – in the Syrian conflict. THIS IS LIFE AND DEATH PEOPLE!

‘In the past year and a half, pro-government hackers have successfully targeted Facebook pages, YouTube accounts, and logins on Hotmail, Yahoo! (YHOO), Gmail, and Skype.’

That’s right. PRO-GOVERNMENT HACKERS. Now, this could be taken as legitimate counter-terrorism via Internet; noble e-soldiers fighting the good fight for their country. BUT consider the testimony of Taymour Karim, a 31-year-old doctor and anti-government protester:

‘Syrian captors beat him with their fists, with their boots, with sticks, with chains, with the butts of their Kalashnikovs. They hit him so hard they broke two of his teeth and three of his ribs. [But Karim] refused to give up the names of his friends…It didn’t matter. His computer had already told all. “They knew everything about me,” he says. “The people I talked to, the plans, the dates, the stories of other people, every movement, every word …My computer was arrested before me.”’

The same tech that Egyptians used to organize and encourage during their uprising and successful ouster of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak has now been “figured out” by oppressive government regimes; and the consequences are deadly. In the West, hackers attack government and business systems; and they are indicted and tried in court…NOT BEATEN! There is such a thing as too far folks, and the Syrian government is taking it there. I know that, in an earlier write-up, I posted that ‘safe and secure’ is a delusion in the modern computing world; but damn. I did not report that compromised passwords result in folks being injured or possibly dying. Well, I am now. It even got kind of dangerous for Faris, as he gathered facts via online interview of the Special Operations Department of The Syrian Electronic Army. They tried to hack his email account shortly after initial contact. The subversion was thwarted though, and the SEA denies the incident. Here is what they did say, however:

‘…there is a big surprise from Special Operations Department coming soon, but I can’t tell you anything about it.’



Technology: Your Passwords Can No Longer Protect You!

You know how online banking, career, gaming, and other accounts now press you to create ‘unique’ user names and ‘strong’ passwords? Okay, see the guy above? He’s Mat Honan. He protected all his online accounts using the strongest such measures; and he declares that that so-called ‘protection’… was an illusion. In his words:

This summer, hackers destroyed my entire digital life in the span of an hour. My Apple, Twitter, and Gmail passwords were all robust—seven, 10, and 19 characters, respectively, all alphanumeric, some with symbols thrown in as well—but the three accounts were linked, so once the hackers had conned their way into one, they had them all.

– Mat Honan

Since suffering at the hands of hackers (who, it turns out, just wanted to hijack his plumb of a Twitter handle @Mat), Mat devoted himself ‘to researching the world of online security…[and what he found] is utterly terrifying.’  In a very thorough write-up, Mat explores the problems… challenges… futility of trying to fully secure accounts and systems using passwords: Hackers using code and algorithms to successfully guess passwords to savvy evil-doers using new school cons to trick authorized personnel into giving up the goods.  Walking readers through it all, Mat comes to a chilling conclusion. We are dangerously exposed, and relying on current data security methods, relatively defenseless against those who want to access and do major damage to us using our data. Mat succinctly sums the security situation coldly:

The age of the password is over. We just haven’t realized it yet.

So, what is the way forward? Well, we have to move away from relying on passwords that can be cracked or single elements of personal data that can be stolen – like key cards, or even fingerprints. The problem of fending off increasingly more sophisticated hack attacks is complex. Accordingly, the new countermeasures have to be complex… without making it so difficult to access and use data to conduct business and live. Mat suggests biometrics (er… it’s like ‘fingerprinting’ on steroids) as something to try:

Devices might require a biometric confirmation just to use them. (Android phones can already pull this off, and given Apple’s recent purchase of mobile-biometrics firm AuthenTec, it seems a safe bet that this is coming to iOS as well.) Those devices will then help to identify you: Your computer or a remote website you’re trying to access will confirm a particular device. Already, then, you’ve verified something you are and something you have. But if you’re logging in to your bank account from an entirely unlikely place—say, Lagos, Nigeria—then you may have to go through a few more steps. Maybe you’ll have to speak a phrase into the microphone and match your voiceprint. Maybe your phone’s camera snaps a picture of your face and sends it to three friends, one of whom has to confirm your identity before you can proceed.


See some tips regarding what you can do to strengthen your online defense NOW are posted after the jump.

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