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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Russian hackers throw Trump victory party with new spear phishing campaign

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Tied to DNC breach

Less than six hours after Donald Trump won the US presidential election, a new spear phishing campaign was launched by a Russia-based group. The group is apparently one of the two organizations connected to the breach at the Democratic National Committee, and it’s responsible for nearly a decade of intelligence collection campaigns against military and diplomatic targets.

Security firm Volexity refers to the group as “the Dukes” based on the malware family being utilized. According to a report by Volexity founder Steven Adair, the group is known for a malware family known as “the Dukes”—also referred to as APT29 or “Cozy Bear.” The Dukes’ primary targets in this latest round of attacks appear to be non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and policy think tanks in the US.

IoT worm can hack Philips Hue lightbulbs, spread across cities

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Researchers have developed a proof-of-concept worm they say can rip through Philips Hue lightbulbs across entire cities – causing the insecure web-connected globes to flick on and off.

The software nasty, detailed in a paper titled IoT Goes Nuclear: Creating a ZigBee Chain Reaction [PDF], exploits hardcoded symmetric encryption keys to control devices over Zigbee wireless networks. This allows the malware to compromise a single light globe from up to 400 metres away.

The worm can then spread from a single smart bulb to those nearby thanks to the use of these skeleton keys.

The attack is the handiwork of researchers Eyal Ronen, Adi Shamir, and Achi-Or Weingarten of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, along with Colin O’Flynn of Dalhousie University, Canada.

It triggered Philips to release a firmware patch for owners of its “Hue” connected bulbs. This is not without some risk as users must first set up the Philips Hue app in order to receive the automatic patches, and do so before attacks take place since the worm can easily override update attempts.

Comment: Why they call these smart devices is beyond me. Not have rock solid security is pure stupidity. Oh wait, we are talking of IoT security.

Trump’s taxing problem: The end of ‘affordable’ iPhones

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In Trump’s view, Apple is emblematic of US manufacturers responsible for killing domestic jobs by buying components made and assembled overseas. The iPad employs chips designed in Britain by ARM, memory from South Korea’s Samsung and Japan’s Toshiba and Elpida Memory, with assembly by Foxconn in Taiwan.

But step back and Trump’s economic nationalism extends beyond the obvious target of Apple – it takes in a broad swath of tech firms large and small from “ordinary” US states and places.

Over in Trump-friendly Texas, Dell employs Samsung’s NAND in its storage devices with Massachusetts-based EMC also employing Sammy’s memory.

Up in the Hillary-Clinton-supporting northwest, Microsoft uses the Foxconn-like Pegatron in Taiwan to build its Surfaces, which also happen to employ Samsung’s SSD.

Technology firms across the US, not just Silicon Valley, are plugged into the global sourcing and integration of components.

The rise of IoT takes this into newer, smaller devices – no longer just the big stuff of enterprise or the shiny stuff in the hands of consumers.

US firms that are part of this global supply chain will pay more in tax.

Trump has proposed to tax goods from US companies made abroad and imported with a 35 per cent levy on goods coming from Mexico. He has also talked of a 15 per cent tax on “outsourcing jobs” and an apparent further 20 per cent tax for all imported goods.

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It’s therefore reasonable to expect the price of tech to increase domestically in the long term and for the cost to feed in internationally.

There is a “but”, however. Donald Trump himself. Given his propensity for verbal pugilism during the presidential campaign, it’s difficult to know what words were intended simply to score points and grab the sound bite and which was actual policy in the making

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If companies invested a fraction of the amount of the cost to move overseas in training, then the landscape would be far different today. The likes of Apple just accelerate the race to the bottom and hollow out the middle class adding the income disparities that we see today.

Like with a Cloth or something?

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August 2015 Hillary Clinton was asked, “Did you wipe your email server?” and she evasively replied, “Like with a cloth or something?” A year later we found out that “cloth” was BleachBit, a software application that deletes information “so even God can’t read it,” as Congressman Trey Gowdy announced August 2016.

  • After you have smashed your BlackBerry, don’t forget to wipe the fingerprints from your email server with this non-abrasive, soft microfiber Cloth or Something.
  • Thin, foldable size makes it easy to stash the Cloth or Something in burn bags.
  • 6″ x 6″ size quickly wipes even the biggest email servers with thousands of emails.
  • Buy an extra cloth for your VIP (VERY VIP) client.
  • Optionally autographed on the back by Andrew, creator of BleachBit.
  • Printed in the USA!
  • Guaranteed not to prove intent, or you will get a full refund paid when you are released from prison.
  • First-class shipping and handling is a flat rate of $2 per order.
  • Yes, this cloth is real, and you can really buy it.

Don’t wait for a subpoena: Order Now!