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Category Archives: Internet

Botnet attack analysis of Deflect protected website blacklivesmatter.com

Deflect Labs report #3. Seamus Tuohy and eQualit.ie View the report with 3D rendering (5mb)

This report covers attacks between April 29th and October 15th, 2016. Over this seven-month period, we recorded more than a hundred separate denial-of-service incidents against the official Black Lives Matter website. Our analysis shows a variety of technical methods used in attempts to bring down this website and the characterization of these attacks point to a “mob” mentality of malicious actors jumping on board in response to callouts made on social media and covert channels. Our reporting highlights the usage of no-questions-asked-hosting and booter services used by malicious actors to carry out these attacks. We describe the ever growing trend of Internet vandals who, searching for a little bit of infamy, launch denial-of-service attacks against the Black Lives Matter (BLM) website. Our analysis documented attacks that could be accomplished for as little as $1 and, with access to public documentation and malicious software within easy reach, only required basic technical skill. Some of the larger attacks against BLM generated millions of connections without relying on huge infrastructure. Instead, traffic was “reflected” from legitimate WordPress and Joomla sites. We compare public attribution for some of the attacks with the data coming through our networks, and present the involvement of purported members of the Ghost Squad Hackers crew in these events.”

How reporters around the world risk their lives for the truth

Via GOOD – “Last May, the United Nations Security Council met to discuss a problem tragically common in the 21st century: dead journalists. In the new millennium, 876 journalists have been killed—with almost 40 percent of those deaths occurring in the last five years. Meanwhile, global press freedom is at its lowest point since 2003,… Continue Reading

That One Privacy Guy’s Guide to Choosing the Best VPN

“The following is intended to be a detailed guide to answer the question, “How do I choose the best VPN (for me)?” The reason this is a hard thing to help people with, is that their needs and level of technical knowledge vary greatly – there is no one perfect VPN, they all have at… Continue Reading

Facebook CEO pens commentary – Building Global Community

Building Global Community –  Mark Zuckerberg, February 16, 2017 – To our community, On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we’re building and updates on our business. Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want? History is the story… Continue Reading

For election news, young people turned to some national papers more than their elders

“Younger Americans have long been less likely to read newspapers than their elders. But a Pew Research Center survey has revealed a significant twist, at least for certain newspapers with a more national focus: When we asked people if they regularly got news about the 2016 presidential election through either the print or online version… Continue Reading

More Than 1 Billion YouTube Videos Have Automated Captions

AdWeek: “Caption this: YouTube announced Thursday that its automated captions have been used on more than 1 billion videos, and its users watch more than 15 million videos with automated captions per day. Product manager Liat Kaver made the announcement in a blog post, saying that Google launched captions for videos in September 2006, and… Continue Reading

AALL joins 60 advocacy groups calling for open access info on government websites

Via AALL: On February 14, 2017 “the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) partnered with OpenTheGovernment.org and more than 60 other public interest groups and associations on a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), asking OMB to issue guidance reminding agencies that they are required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C.… Continue Reading

Cloud Spanner: a global database service for mission-critical applications

Google Cloud Platform Blog: “…we’re excited to announce the public beta for Cloud Spanner, a globally distributed relational database service that lets customers have their cake and eat it too: ACID transactions and SQL semantics, without giving up horizontal scaling and high availability. When building cloud applications, database administrators and developers have been forced to… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities, GAO-17-440T: Published: Feb 14, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2017. “GAO has consistently identified shortcomings in the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of federal information systems and cyber critical infrastructure as well as its approach to protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII). While previous… Continue Reading

FlipFeed Step into someone else’s Twitter feed

“FlipFeed is a Google Chrome Extension that enables Twitter users to replace their own feed with that of another real Twitter user. Powered by deep learning and social network analysis, feeds are selected based on inferred political ideology (“left” or “right”) and served to users of the extension. For example, a right-leaning user who uses… Continue Reading

How Americans Encounter, Recall and Act Upon Digital News

When following links, online news consumers could recall the name of the news outlet 56% of the time – “Anyone who wants to understand today’s news environment faces a challenge: How to discern the nuances of digital news habits when Americans’ attention spans are fractured, human memory is naturally limited and news comes at them… Continue Reading

Beyer, Johnson, Lipinski Ask for Hearing on Trump Administration Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

“Democratic leaders on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent a letter [February 9, 2017] to their Republican counterparts on the Committee’s majority requesting a hearing on lapses in cybersecurity in the Trump White House.   “Just months ago the House Science Committee’s Republican Majority seemed to believe that cybersecurity for the President’s team… Continue Reading