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Even Taliban Leaders Have LinkedIn Profiles

TTP-Ehsanullah-Ehsan LinkedIn 2

A senior Taliban commander, wanted in connection with an assassination bid on Malala Yousufzai’s life, has been found using the networking site LinkedIn.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, one of the world’s most notorious terrorist leaders, has 69 connections on LinkedIn and lists “jihad and journalism” as his unique skills.

Ehsanullah_Ehsan_LinkedInEhsan also provided details of his schooling, employment history and language skills. He describes himself as “self-employed” and says he has been a terrorist spokesman since January 2010 – first for Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistan wing of the Taliban, which carried out the attack against Malala Yousufzai in 2012 and now for TTP Jammat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Taliban. Sounds like a straight shooter with upper management written all over him!

After LinkedIn caught wind that Taliban commanders were using their site to engage in some business networking, the company took down Ehsan’s account.

A LinkedIn spokesman said the company’s security team had decided to “restrict it” and stressed that it was not clear if the account actually belonged to Ehsan or if it was just a fake.

The spokesman said, “(I) Can’t say for certain that it is someone else…But I can say that our security team has a high degree of confidence that it is a fake account, which is reason enough to restrict it. (I) Also can’t say for certain who might have set it up if it is fake.”

Or… the discovery that Ehsan has an open profile on LinkedIn was too embarrassing for the networking company so they had to shut it down immediately?

Either way, it’s a shame Ehsan’s account has been restricted. What could be a worse punishment then an endless supply of LinkedIn endorsement emails?

Does Ahmed have these skills or expertise: Suicide bombing?*

*Disclaimer: one time use.

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Russian Sex Geckos Die in Orbit

Geckos in Space

Russia’s space agency has confirmed that the five geckos, launched into space to test the effects of zero gravity on gecko sex, have died.

The deaths of the sex geckos were discovered when the Foton-M4 satellite carrying the geckoes returned to earth on Monday – with five dead geckos. With four female lizards and one male on board, Russian scientists had hoped to learn how zero gravity would affect the sexual habits of geckos (a very important study). Instead they learned that geckos don’t fare so well in space. The space lizards appeared to have frozen to death after a heating system malfunction, but the Russians won’t confirm an official cause of death.

“We can say with confidence that they died at least a week before the landing because their bodies were partly mummified,” said an official from Russia’s Institute of Medical and Biological Problems.

John Oliver must be devastated. Back in July, when Russia first reported that it had lost contact with the satellite, John Oliver issued a call on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” to save the five gecko cosmonauts. With the hashtag #GoGetThoseGeckos, Oliver urged viewers to write letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin to rescue the lost sex geckos.

On a positive note, the Russians listened to the pleas of the public and they did go get those geckos. But on a not-s0-positive note, they were dead.  #fuckthegeckosdied

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The FBI’s Stoner Ban is Slowing Down the Fight Against Chinese Hackers

Stoner Hackers Chinese Hacking

The U.S. Justice Department filed criminal charges Monday against five Chinese military officials for hacking American companies in nuclear power, metals, and solar products industries – the first cyber-espionage case of its kind. 

The Chinese hackers allegedly used military and intelligence facilities to commit cyber espionage against U.S. companies, stealing trade secrets and internal documents. Attorney General Eric Holder said the alleged breaches were “significant” and demanded “an aggressive response”.

“Enough is enough,” Holder said. “It is our hope that the Chinese government will respect our criminal justice system.”

China is known around town as one of the worst perpetrators of using cyber spying to gather information and steal trade secrets. And the U.S. is sick and tired of it.

The only problem is, America needs its own hackers to fight off the Chinese hackers. And apparently all our hackers are stoners…

On Monday – the same day the US charged Chinese officials with cyber espionage – FBI director James Comey told an audience at the White Collar Crime Institute about the agency’s stoner problem.

Here’s the dilemma: the FBI needs to hire qualified hackers to add to its cyber crime division, but it also will not hire anyone who’s smoked weed in the past three years. Turns out smoking weed goes hand in hand with the ability to stare at code for hours on end without going completely insane and now there’s a shortage of FBI-eligible hackers.

“I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said.

Comey added that the agency is “grappling with the question right now.”

After Comey’s remarks got out, the FBI director was forced to backpeddle a little bit.

“I am absolutely dead-set against using marijuana,” Comey clarified. “I did not say that I am going to change that ban.”

Although he did admit that the FBI is thinking about changing it…

If the non-stoner hacker pool is that small and the FBI is dead-set against the Chinese stealing US secrets, Comey might want to first put his energy behind the push for marijuana legalization and then focus on the cyber-sabotage. Might be faster.

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Next Up: Russia Plans to Annex the Moon

Soviet Cities on the Moon

Turns out annexing Crimea was just practice for something far more important – taking over the Moon.

Nearly a half-century after the US won the Space Race, Russia is ready to take another crack at lunar exploration. Determined to start (and win!) round two of the Space Race, Russia is planning to put a manned colony on the Moon by 2030 and is racing to dispatch the first robotic rovers to explore the Moon’s surface within two years. And why not? Putin’s already snatching up old Soviet territories, might as well throw the Moon in there too.

According to a leaked draft of a government document that Izvestia newspaper claims to have obtained, the first stage of the ambitious “Colonize the Moon” project may start as soon as two years from now.

The Concept of Russian Lunar Program outlines a three-step plan toward manning the Moon.

  • Step 1: Send four automated rovers to the Moon and check out the Moon’s natural resources.
  • Step 2: Send manned missions to the Moon’s orbit and check things out further.
  • Step 3: Send cosmonauts to the selected site on the moon’s surface to survey the area and set the infrastructure for an initial colony using local resources. Also, set up an Earth monitoring observatory… possibly entitled the Kosmic-intelligence Gathering Building.

The leaked document stressed the importance of speedy lunar exploration, saying Russia needs to step up their game because “leading space powers will expand and establish their rights to convenient lunar footholds to ensure future opportunities for practical use” in the next 20-30 years. And while the program envisages some kind of international cooperation on the project, it emphasized that the “independence of the national lunar program must be ensured regardless of the conditions and the extent of the participation in it by foreign partners.”

In other words, Russia, and Russia alone, will claim dominance over the Moon. Although *technically* America already dominated the Moon back in 1969 with the clever use of a flag – and if Russia ever tried to remove the flag, well then…. I guess NASA would get some more funding?

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Current Event Cat of the Day: The Heartbleed Bug

Current Event Cat - Heartbleed

Heartbleed, a newly discovered security bug, is infecting the internet and causing confusion among internet users (aka everybody except that one guy who lives in a cave).

Heartbleed is a security bug or programming error in popular versions of OpenSSL, software code that encrypts and protects the privacy of your password, banking information and other sensitive data you type into a “secure” website. OpenSSL is used by about two-thirds of “secure” websites on the internet such as Gmail, Facebook and Tumblr, which means there’s a pretty good chance your passwords and financial information could have been exposed by the Heartbleed bug.

But don’t freak out yet. Although Heartbleed could be exploited by malware and cybercriminals, officials say there had not been any reported attacks or malicious incidents. But the two-year-old programming error is problematic enough to consider changing your passwords.

Officials suggest that members of the public should “closely monitor your email accounts, bank accounts, social media accounts and other online assets for irregular or suspicious activity, such as abnormal purchases or messages”.

The website Mashable has mashed together a bigger list of popular sites and whether they are affected by Heartbleed.

A fixed version of OpenSSL was released on Monday, April 7, so if you changed your vulnerable website passwords after that date, you’re good to go. Just make sure your password isn’t your credit card number, social security number, or 12345678.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: The Death of Windows XP

Current EVent Cat - Windows XP

Microsoft has officially ended their support of Windows XP, leaving the millions of elderly and technology challenged PC users who are still clinging to the outdated software vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Nearly 30 percent of PCs in the US are still using the Windows XP operating system, despite the fact that there have been three major releases of Windows since XP was created 13 years ago (but Vista doesn’t really count, does it?).

Even though Windows XP computers are already six times more likely to get infected, Microsoft has been having a rough time getting consumers to get rid of the old operating system – it’s literally everywhere. But now they are officially pulling the plug and have announced that as of April 8, the company will no longer support Windows XP. While the operating system will still work, there will be no more official security updates and bug fixes – which means Christmas morning for hackers!

Security firms say anyone using the outdated software would be at increased risk of infection and compromise by cyber-thieves.

“Malware writers go for the low hanging fruits because it’s a lot easier to infect systems running on an old Windows XP operating system compared to brand-new Windows 8.1, with all its built-in security features,” said Maik Morgenstern and Andreas Marx from the German AV-Test group, which rates and ranks security software.

“We think we will see a lot of attacks for Windows XP within the next few months, but attackers will also always add exploits for other Windows systems just to catch those systems as well.”

AKA time to get a MacBook.

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Russian Hackers Go After Hunters (AKA Russian Grindr)

Russian Hunters Grindr

The biggest threat to the Sochi Olympic Games is not Dagestani terrorists hell bent on blowing up athletes or the piles of rotting dog carcasses lining the streets of Sochi. No, the biggest threat to the Winter Olympics is obviously gay dating apps – which is why Russian hackers have attacked Hunters, the Russian equivalent to Grindr.

The gay dating app was attacked by hackers who programmed it to send an anonymous threat to all users on Feb. 1 at 11:52 that read “You will be arrested and jailed for gay propaganda in Sochi according to Russian Federationa Law #135 Sektion 6.” Referring, of course, to Russia’s infamous anti-gay law that bans anyone from publicly advocating being homosexual, or distributing pro-homosexual “propaganda” to minors.

In addition to the ominous message, the Hunters app is now blocked for all users in Sochi and approximately 72,000 user profiles were deleted throughout Russia. Users were told their passwords were incorrect and that they were banned from accessing the site for the next “55,260 minutes” – which is oddly specific…

Hunters’ CEO, Dimitry T, who withheld his last name because he’d rather not spend the rest of his life in a Russian Gulag, responded to the hacking with this:

“I urge the entire gay community and all of those who consider the Internet to be a free zone to boycott not only Russian vodka but also everything that is linked to the Olympics and not to buy any Olympic souvenirs.

This attack should be looked at as an attack on the worldwide gay community with the goal of blocking any gay interactions during the Winter Games in Sochi, including those between athletes and locals.”

Dimitry also said the team at Hunters was only able to restore 24% of the dating profiles after “12 long hours” of work. Hopefully  these dating profile pics were among the ones that were destroyed forever.

Via: Towleroad

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iPhone Catches Fire in Girl’s Pants

iphonefire

A 13-year-old girl in Maine suffered first and second-degree burns when her iPhone caught fire in her pocket while she was at school. Ah yes, that awkward middle school moment when your pants catch on fire in front of the entire class.

The eighth grader heard a popping sound on Friday morning and noticed smoke starting to billow around her. Before anyone could say “liar, liar, pants on fire,” the girls’ classmates ushered the boys out of the room so the girl could take off her flaming pants. First take care of modesty, and then worry about the second-degree burns!

After the girl did the “stop, drop and roll” (see, school teaches you something!), her friends alerted the teaching staff who quickly brought a fire blanket and extinguisher.

The girl was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford where she was treated for burns and later released.

Fire officials speculate that her Apple iPhone 5C battery “shorted out” when the girl sat down.

“People should obviously use caution when placing their phones in their back pockets so as not to crush them and cause an electrical short,” one official said.

Explosions and fires caused by Apple products are relatively rare, but you can never be too careful about a fire in you pants. Past incidents of Apple products spontaneously bursting into flames have mostly been the result of the devices’ lithium ion batteries overheating.

No word yet on whether or not the school will suspend the girl for violating the school’s strict dress code. Absolutely NO hot pants!

Via: CBC News

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FBI Arrests The Most Hated Man On The Internet: Revenge Porn King Hunter Moore

Revenge Porn Moore

Revenge porn finally got its revenge when the FBI indicted Hunter Moore, dubbed the Revenge Porn King, on Thursday.

Hunter Moore, 27, and his hacking pal Charles Evens, 24, face charges including conspiracy, unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and aggravated identity theft – among others.

Moore is accused of hacking email accounts and stealing nude photos to post on “Is Anyone Up” a now defunct website dedicated to publishing revenge porn. Moore encouraged users to post naked photos of their former girlfriends without their consent, as well as personal details about them. But I guess Moore couldn’t find enough angry ex-boyfriends scummy enough to post amateur porn shots of their ex-girlfriends and had to take matters into his own hands by hacking email accounts.

Moore’s website posted over two dozen nude photos a day, almost always of women, along with screenshots of the victims’ names, social media accounts, and addresses. And these weren’t all teenagers taking sexual duck-faced selfies in their bedrooms (not that that’s fair game for email hackers…)

Here are the stories of three victims from an xojane article about a woman who tried to take Moore down:

Tory lived in Atlanta, and her computer had been compromised by “Gary Jones.” A medical image of her bloody and bandaged breasts appeared on Is Anyone Up? next to her name, workplace and a link to her Facebook page. Her nipples were fully visible.

“The photo is from my doctor’s office,” Tory weeped into the phone. “I’d just had surgery. How could someone do this to me?”

Tina from northern California was also a victim. She and a female friend had been documenting weight loss through photos. Some of the shots were topless. “Gary Jones” had gotten into Tina’s email, nabbed the sexiest pictures, and sent them to Moore, who posted them. “I was horrified,” she told me on the phone. “I was at the drugstore and a total stranger came up to me and said ‘I’ve seen you naked.’” Tina had been stalked online, and she was seeing a psychologist because she no longer felt safe in the world.

Forty-year-old Cathy was divorced, and she feared losing custody of her two children. She had taken extreme measures to dodge the graphic photos depicted beside her name, city and social media links. Cathy had not been hacked; her photos had been morphed. In other words, she had never taken a nude shot. Someone had photoshopped her head with an unknown nude body in highly acrobatic and embarrassing poses. It made Cathy look like a veteran porn star.“I’ve emailed Hunter Moore 20 times. He knows it isn’t me, but he won’t take the pictures down,” she wailed. “Please help me.”

Ahhh.. now the whole “The Most Hated Man on the Internet” makes total sense.

After the FBI began to get involved, Moore suddenly sold his domain to an anti-bullying site, bullyville.com, and effectively shut down Is Anyone Up back in April, 2012.

“I’m f*cking sick of looking at little kids naked, and I’m sick of my f*cking site. I’m sick of f*cking people calling me a ‘f*ggot’ and telling me to kill myself,” Moore said at the time. “I’m tired of f*cking looking out the window and thinking somebody’s going to f*cking come through and murder me in my sleep.”

Unfortunately no one came through his window and murdered him in his sleep, but if found guilty, he will face decades in prison. 

Via: Mother Jones

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China Goes to the Moon, Takes a Few Pictures

China Moon Jade Rabbit

They’re about a decade (or five) too late, but China’s first moon rover, the Jade Rabbit, has made it to the moon.

The successful mission marks the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades. The 140-kilogram “Jade Rabbit” rover separated from the much larger landing vehicle early Sunday, after the unmanned Chang’e 3 space probe touched down on the moon.

China’s Jade Rabbit rover, named after the pet of Chang’e, the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology, sent back its first pictures from the moon on Sunday. The cameras produced some clear images – mainly of the lander and the rover taking pictures of each other.

Although China lags a fair bit behind the United States and Russia in terms of technology and experience, their space program is an enormous source of pride for the country.

The successful mission reflects “the new glory of China to scale the peaks in world science and technology areas,” China’s space agency, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said in a statement, adding it was committed to exploring and using space “for peaceful purposes.”

The landing marks a major step forward in Beijing’s ambitious military-run space program, making China the third country to carry out a lunar soft landing. Future plans include a permanent orbiting station by 2020 and eventually sending a human to the moon. But the immediate next step is to rip out the American flag and plant their own, sparking an increase in NASA funding which will lead to another space race.

But space race aside, I guess it makes sense that China is so eager to explore the moon. After all, it’s easier to breathe on the moon than in Shanghai.

Via: AFP

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