Think passwords, people. Think long, complex passwords. Not because a breach dump’s landed, but because the security-probing-oriented Kali Linux just got better at cracking passwords.Kali is a Debian-based Linux that packs in numerous hacking and forensics tools. It’s well-regarded among white hat hackers and investigators, who appreciate its inclusion of the tools of their trades.The developers behind the distro this week gave it a polish, adding new images optimised for GPU-using instances in Azure and Amazon Web Services. The extra grunt the GPUs afford, Kali’s backers say, will enhance the distribution’s password-probing powers. There’s also better supoprt for GPU cracking, hence our warning at the top of this story: anyone can use Kali and there’s no way to guarantee black hats won’t press it into service. And they can now do so on as many GPU-boosted cloud instances as they fancy paying for.The new distribution, version 2017.1, also adds support for Realtek’s RTL8812AU wireless chipsets. The Linux kernel doesn’t support that silicon, but lots of mainstream modem-makers like D-Link, Belkin and TP-Link do. Adding support to Kali therefore makes it capable of probing a great many WiFi access points.
Daily Archives: May 3, 2017
A Canadian man’s Star Trek-inspired license plate has been revoked after his public insurance company received complaints that it was offensive to indigenous people. The two-year-old plate, which reads “ASIMIL8,” is a sly reference to the Borg, evil aliens in Star Trek who “assimilate” their prey and go by the motto “Resistance is Futile.”Manitoba local Nick Troller was informed by an agent from Manitoba Public Insurance on Wednesday that they had received complaints from two people about the word “assimilate,” which they claimed is offensive to minorities. He was then served a letter informing him that “it has been brought to the attention of this office that the personalized plate ASIMIL8 is considered offensive,” and was ordered to surrender it immediately.
With cattle breeding at an all time high, manure has become one of the world’s greatest environmental hazards, but one Dutch artist is using chemistry to turn into something that is both eco-friendly and valuable. Her innovative technique turns manure into a variety of useful materials like clothing fabric, bio-degradable plastic and paper.In recent years, scientists around the world have made great progress in their attempts to recycle cattle manure, including turning it into natural fertilizer and biogas, but Eindhoven designer Jalila Essaïdi didn’t think they were efficient enough to solve the global manure surplus problem. So she started on her very own solution, one that approached animal waste as a valuable material that could be processed into useful products. The results of her work prove that manure really is worth its weight in gold.
The journal Tumor Biology has just retracted 107 research papers after discovering that several authors faked the peer-review progress. It’s not the first time the journal has done something like this — last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals, and 25 of them came from Tumor Biology.Valuing research is always hard. If you’re studying something that no one else has studied before, who can judge if you’re doing a good job or not? Unfortunately, there’s no perfect answer to that question, but there is a pretty good one, which hasn’t been topped for hundreds of years: peer review. Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or several people of similar competence to the authors — basically, you find the “peers” of the scientists and have them analyze the work. It constitutes a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field and it pretty much defines a quality scientific journal.Because the niches of scientific research have diversified so much, authors are often asked to suggest peer reviewers for themselves. Who better knows who can understand your work than you, right? Well, that sounds pretty good in theory, but some journals take things even further. They ask authors to submit the contact details of these potential reviewers. By now, you probably see where this is ongoing — a malicious author can submit fake contact details, the journal editor merrily sends an email to that fake address, the fake review is submitted and all is good. The paper gets published.
1. Use a VPNFirst of all, a virtual private network will keep you from being relentlessly throttled by your Internet provider. The main job of a VPN, though, is to cloak your ISP address with one of its own addresses. Secondly, in order of importance, the data you’re downloading will be encrypted, so no one will ever trace any copyrighted material back to you.Using a paid VPN has some additional benefits. It’s probably the best way to avoid being hacked or having your identity stolen. Be sure to use a trusted service, though. The highest-quality services are able to transfer encrypted information at incredible 246-bit speeds! You may not need that though.The central question you should ask either way is how well they’re able to hide your information from third parties. That usually means making sure they don’t keep logs of your downloading history.2. Get onto a Proxy ServerThese perform quite a different role in that they only work on the HTTP level. Within this category there are several setup methods, depending on your browser. The benefit of a proxy is mostly in the lower cost or them being completely free. Even though you’re in the US, by all purposes you’ll appear to be surfing the ‘Net from Japan or Sweden to any third parties. This is especially useful in your initial foray into visiting a Torrent site.After that a VPN or one of the other options we’ll mention work best. But the method that Torrent aficionados trust most isn’t a VPN or a proxy server.Related: How to Use a Proxy Server in Windows 10 to Protect Your Connection3. The Aficionados Use Seedbox ServicesSeasoned Torrent users are well aware of the benefits of seedbox. The idea is to completely de-link the downloading process from your ISP altogether. Once in place, you’re virtually 100% safe from hacking, data snooping and anyone who wants to solicit online bribes because of your downloaded copyrighted stuff.Data transfer speeds are geared toward high-volume users as well, and not all of them are expensive. (They start around $5 per month for lower-speed offerings.)4. For Maximum Convenience, Take on a DNSJust like the anonymizers above, a DNS keeps data intruders at bay. An open DNS manager will make this masking process particularly convenient by choosing from a massive list of IP addresses so that you don’t have to pick from a written list each time you download a Torrent.The method of using an open DNS is still open to intruders, though, especially in recent times. But if you aren’t interested in a free and convenient option that takes only minutes to set up and is better than nothing, this is a good security screener for the interim.
The weird, sickening persecution of Barrett Brown continues. Whether or not you like the guy (and every time we post about him, we hear from people who provide reasons why they dislike him), the way he’s been treated by our justice system is despicable. If you don’t recall, Brown is an award winning journalist, who certainly went deep with Anonymous and other online groups. Eventually that resulted in him being arrested and harassed by prosecutors for sharing a link. When the infamous Stratfor hacks were released, he shared a link to the files to get people to sift through them. Because some of the files included swiped credit card numbers, he was charged with “trafficking” in stolen credit cards. Oddly, right before trial — realizing how insane it was to charge him over this — the feds dropped the charges around linking, but pushed forward on other charges because he hid a laptop in a cabinet and (stupidly…) got angry at the FBI when they came to investigate. The odd part is that following a plea deal, the judge sentenced him to an astounding 63 months in jail — and cited the sharing of the link (again, those charges were dropped, but it sometimes appeared the judge didn’t realize that) to explain why.
But the odder part throughout all of this was just how vindictive and petty everyone in the system were towards Brown — and specifically towards his interactions with the press. The feds sought to stop the media from reporting on Brown’s case and got a judge to block Brown or his lawyers from talking to the media. And once he was in prison, the feds cut off his email.
What is Facebook?
To most people, it’s something called a “social network”, a thriving digital hub that conveniently also packages news, secure messaging, live video streaming and even a jobs marketplace.
For naysayers, it’s more like an unregulated surveillance system people might not be so keen on if they were to think about the extent to which it is constantly mining their online lives for commercial gain.
Yesterday, we learned in a report from the company itself that there is a third and even more alarming possibility: Facebook is being quietly manipulated by nation states to act as a gigantic “information operations” platform tuned for near-invisible political subversion.
Facebook has endured a lot of flak over fake news recently but what it describes goes a lot further than click-fraudsters writing a few bogus stories which end up being believed by gullible readers.
Photo: Instagram/Kamilla WarneckThank God.Kamilla Warneck is a 25-year-old porn star in Brazil who has appeared in hundreds of adult films, and continues to be one of the hottest and most popular porn stars — so popular that even God is fine with it. Well, at least according to Warneck. And churchgoers aren’t happy.Warneck, who is an evangelical Christian, pissed off a lot of Christians after she declared in an interview on an X-rated TV show called Pornolandia (incredible), that God is cool with what she does for a living.“People are very judgmental,” Warneck says. “They try to make you conform in a way they think an evangelical should be because society says so. But I don’t agree with this. I think God sees inside our hearts. He judges the good and the bad things you do, and I do good things for people. I’m a good person at heart and that’s what matters.”