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USA world rankings: #1 for sending spam, #8 for Netflix streaming speeds

Sophos named the US as the worst offender for spam-relaying by volume, but US ISPs only reach eighth-place when it comes to clocking fastest speeds for streaming Netflix.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Sun, 04/20/14 - 11:15am.

The U.S. is top dog when it comes to sending spam, but when it comes to streaming Netflix, the U.S. comes in as the eighth fastest nation.

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Microsoft releases new-and-improved Threat Modeling Tool 2014

The 2014 version includes new features such as improved STRIDE threat-generation logic.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Wed, 04/16/14 - 3:15pm.

Threat modeling can help identify "design-level security and privacy weaknesses in systems," wrote Trustworthy Computing's Tim Raines. "Threat modeling is also used to help identify mitigations that can reduce the overall risk to a system and the data it processes. Once customers try threat modeling, they typically find it to be a useful addition to their approach to risk management."

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Record and rewind: Cops quietly test aerial surveillance to track crime

Police are testing a wide-area surveillance system that is like a 'live version of Google Earth, only with a TiVo capability for forensic analysis.'
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Tue, 04/15/14 - 1:31pm.

Because America apparently isn't enough of a surveillance society, and aerial surveillance only works if it is "looking at the right spot," cops have been testing a new wide-area surveillance system that can watch, record and rewind every outdoor activity that happens in a city, every person, every car and every crime. It "is something of a time machine - the entire city is filmed and recorded in real time," reported The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR).

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When student recorded bullies with iPad, school claimed it was felony wiretapping

A desperate teenager recorded seven minutes of being bullied during his special-ed math class, but when the school found out, officials accused him of felony wiretapping.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Mon, 04/14/14 - 2:50pm.

It's said desperate times call for desperate measures, so a desperate teenager used his school-supplied iPad to record "proof" of students bullying him during his special education math class.

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Would you be on Project Insight kill list from 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'?

Yes, now even our superheroes must fight against Big Brother surveillance.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Sun, 04/13/14 - 1:49pm.

The Captain America sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, made $92 million the weekend it debuted, 4-4-14, far exceeding the $65 million the original film grossed on its opening weekend. None of those dollars were mine, and I’m a big fan of save-the-world heroes like those featured in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers, so I finally went to see the movie.

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Research: Attacks on HTML5-based apps infect smartphones, spread like a 'worm'

Syracuse University researchers warn that apps based on HTML5 can put smartphones at risk of being tracked and spreading the infection through their contacts.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Wed, 04/09/14 - 8:15pm.

By 2016, experts estimate that over 50% of mobile apps will be based on HTML5 technology and coded, at least partially, in JavaScript. Apps are usually written in a language native to a specific platform, but developers only need to create one HTML5-based app and it runs on any platform. While that's handy for app developers, it's also "just a disaster waiting to happen," according to Syracuse University Professor Kevin Du.

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Windows 8.1. Update required for future Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2 security patches

Microsoft released four security patches, two rated Critical, but unless you want to join the XP crowd, and get no more Windows updates, then all Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 must install the update.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Tue, 04/08/14 - 1:42pm.

Today is the last batch of security updates for Windows XP, so if you need them then go get MS14-018 and MS14-019. You are also reminded that MS14-017 and MS14-020 are the final updates for Office 2003.

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Social engineer tag teams to capture the flags at Def Con 22 contest

If one social engineer can be lethal to a corporation, what can a social engineering tag team do to their target? We'll find out at Def Con 22 as SECTF video submissions are open.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Mon, 04/07/14 - 3:00pm.

Want to learn how to con people? Perhaps you want to become a politician or penetration tester? Or maybe you'd like to learn which eye cues and micro-expressions can warn people that you are lying? Whether you want to be a spy, scammer or sales person - or study how to spot one - the social engineer framework is where you can learn everything from psychological to physical aspects of social engineering. And now it's easier than ever, because social-engineer.org (SEORG) was redesigned to become the ultimate one-stop research resource.

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If you block ads, then websites may block you, warned advertising exec

Adblock Plus wants you to sign its acceptable ads manifesto, but general counsel for a large advertising bureau called it a ransom before warning if you continue to block ads then websites may block you from accessing their content.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Sun, 04/06/14 - 11:47am.

While it's mostly tech-savvy surfers who install Adblock Plus browser plug-in, an advertising bureau suggested that websites will fight ad-blocking by blocking the content with an error message or a paywall if you use an ad blocker.

"Advertising is the economic engine that drives the Internet and gives us free websites and great content," but as click-through rates decline, ads get more annoying in order to grab surfers' attention. Eyeo, the creators of Adblock Plus, wrote:

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Twice as many desktops still running Windows XP than Windows 8, 8.1 combined

300 million machines, 10% belonging to government or corporations, and 95% of the world's 2.2 million ATMs are still running Windows XP.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Wed, 04/02/14 - 3:01pm.

Tick-tock goes the clock, with less than a week remaining until April 8 and the end of XP support. It would seem like crooks should be gearing up for a huge party to celebrate the coming cybercrime spree, since about "300 million" computers are still running Windows XP.

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April Fools' texting prank claimed Australian high school burned down

For April Fools Day in Australia, 'Anonymous' sent out an emergency text message in the middle of the night claiming Castle High School had burned down.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Tue, 04/01/14 - 10:56am.

If someone sends you a text message and awakens you at 2:30 a.m., then it had better be an emergency. But do you think well enough immediately upon waking to realize what the date is and to recognize an April Fools' prank when you are staring at an emergency text message on your phone?

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Forget physical access: Remote USB attacks can blue screen Windows servers

At Black Hat Asia, Andy Davis presented “USB Attacks Need Physical Access Right? Not Any More..."
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Mon, 03/31/14 - 11:24am.

NCC Group Research Director Andy Davis likes to test USB host security; over the years, Davis has "identified over 100 bugs covering all the major operating systems." He said most vendors typically respond with "Thank you for the bug, but as you need physical access to plug in your rogue device, the impact is actually quite low." Yet Davis continued researching USB security, giving presentations such as "Revealing Embedded

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North Korean leader plays Homefront on Xbox to practice taking over US

While North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is playing Xbox to plot World War III and the downfall of America, South Korea is using Kinect sensors, modified for military use, as border surveillance.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Sun, 03/30/14 - 12:52pm.

When Microsoft created Xbox and later Kinect, do you suppose the company thought its products would be used for war in a context other than gaming? Before we jump to South Korea using Kinect sensors to watch for invading enemies, let's look at how North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is using his Xbox to practice "strategizing all-out nuclear war against the U.S."

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Biased software vulnerability stats praising Microsoft were 101% misleading

Don't believe the hogwash sums up the Open Source Vulnerability Database review of the entire Secunia Vulnerability Report, adding that the Microsoft-centric report was flawed, inaccurate and convoluted.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Wed, 03/26/14 - 9:02pm.

If you about fell out of your chair when you saw the annual Secunia Vulnerability Review, which blamed third-party software, not Microsoft's, for 76% of the vulnerabilities on the average PC, then you were not the only one.  

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Is Obama's proposal to end NSA bulk collection of phone records really a privacy win?

President Obama plans to call for an end of NSA bulk collection and storage of phone record metadata, but is that a win for privacy or a way to legalize such spying?
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Tue, 03/25/14 - 11:55am.

A White House senior official said President Obama will call for an end to NSA bulk collection and storage of phone records. The Obama administration wants phone companies, not the NSA, to be responsible for storing bulk phone record metadata and for quickly handing over retained records if the government supplies a new type of surveillance court order.

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IP address does not identify a person, judge tells copyright troll in BitTorrent case

A federal judge in Florida tossed out a case after porn copyright troll Malibu Media failed to prove an IP address can identify the specific person who infringed.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Mon, 03/24/14 - 3:32pm.

A Florida District Court Judge recently determined that an IP address does not identify a specific individual guilty of infringing. She then dismissed a copyright troll's case. This is considered an important ruling that may help set a trend that others will follow.

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Your privacy is 'very important,' Microsoft says after reading users' emails and IMs

Microsoft also complies by selling user data to the FBI for $200 per pop.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Sun, 03/23/14 - 1:58pm.

After twice hacking Microsoft and vowing to publish proof of Microsoft "spying" on email accounts and selling user data to Johnny Law Officer, the Syrian Electronic Army went public with monthly invoices showing what Microsoft charges the FBI for user data.

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While we celebrate Sunshine Week, U.S. is named Enemy of the Internet. Thanks NSA!

At least the Sunshine Week 2014 cartoons are good, even if the censored or denied FOIA requests show government transparency is a joke.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Wed, 03/19/14 - 3:00pm.

I'm not sure if we should be celebrating or mourning Sunshine Week. The cartoons are always great and will hopefully cheer you up, but there's nothing cheerful about the facts. Thanks to NSA mass surveillance abuses, Reporters without Border even listed the United States as an enemy of the Internet.

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Fake police warning leads to murder-suicide: Deaths due to ransomware?

Helping out on the world's largest crowdsourcing project to find MH370 can help you avoid missing jet scams, as sadly some people don't recognize fake threats, like the 'police' ransomware that sparked a murder-suicide.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Tue, 03/18/14 - 2:56pm.

On Monday, DigitalGlobe, which reportedly has archived over 4.5 billion square kilometers of Earth imagery, said more than 3 million people have helped search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, via Tomn

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Hackers may leak Microsoft spying docs, grant Bill Gates's wish for 'intense debates'

If Bill Gates wishes for 'more intense debates' about tracking and trust, then SEA hackers may give it to him by leaking stolen Microsoft and FBI 'email spying' documents.
Submitted by Ms. Smith on Mon, 03/17/14 - 2:52pm.

It seemed surprising that no one asked Bill Gates about NSA surveillance when he last did a Reddit Ask Me Anything session last month; but Rolling Stone didn't pass up the opportunity when interviewing Bill Gates.

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