Posts Tagged ‘computer security’

US government has betrayed the internet

In Nerds only on September 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

Great article in The Guardian today regarding the unlawful surveillance of the internet by the USG.  By hacking online encryption the USG has betrayed businesses,  governments and citizens around the world.  This has resulted in a new cold war but on the internet.

On one side we have anarchist groups like Anonymous and whistle-blowers like Assange, Manning and Snowden.  On the other side we have out-of-control USG agencies like the NSA and CIA breaking all recognizable laws to invade our privacy in the name of the all-powerful national security state.  How could this possibly end well?


Rap News on Snowden

In Humour, Polytricks on June 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hilarious Snowden rap news song… ;o)

Asks a serious question though.. these guys risk their liberty to leak for the pubic good.

But is the public even interested in what they are leaking?

Busted! Prism surveillance program out of control

In Nerds only on June 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

The Guardian released two bombshell revelations regarding out-of-control US government surveillance programs.

Anyone paying attention to the post-9/11 police-state takeover of lawful governments suspected this all along.

Everything we do with Microsoft, Google, Youtube, Skype, Yahoo etc is being tapped live and indefinitely retained.

Nobody seems to know why Twitter isn’t on this list, (yet).

There is zero privacy or legal rights in the brave new world of the ‘war on terror’ police-state.

We are all ‘terrorist suspects’ now….

Naked Citizens, total exposure in state surveillance

In Nerds only on May 28, 2013 at 7:08 am

Naked Citizens is a great new documentary about the latest developments in unlawful state surveillance of the public.

This is a must-watch for those concerned and/or curious about how the modern surveillance state ‘criminalizes’ innocent public behaviour.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, but is it even too late to stand up for our right to privacy from arbitrary surveillance?

Clearly we owe it to our friends and community to practice ‘cyber self defence’.

Finfisher caught spoofing Firefox

In Nerds only on May 2, 2013 at 7:25 am

Finfisher is at it again.  The spyware suite has been discovered spoofing the Firefox browser in Malaysia by Citizen Lab.

Firefox is plenty mad about this and has sent a legal cease and desist letter to the creepy spyware manufacturers.

Hats off once again to Citizen Lab for exposing the outrageous invasion of our privacy by the state and corporations.

Clearly the targets of this surveillance are pro-democracy activists, making a mockery out of the claims that this is about ‘police work’.

Congratulations Finfisher, you made on Reporters without Borders list of Corporate Enemies of the Internet.

I would love to see these creeps shut-down for good.. but they obviously have important friends in government.. pfffttt!!



CISPA part deux

In Nerds only on April 12, 2013 at 9:09 am

Security-boffins are at it again with CISPA.  First they got smacked-down over SOPA, then PIPA now they are relentlessly coming back with CISPA.

CISPA basically criminalizes internet usage that is frowned upon by corporates and governments.  End of story.

What creeps me out about this bill is that it gives the copyright police a free hand to invade our privacy and opens the door wide to bogus prosecutions.

CISPA relates  ‘cyber-security’.. like GWoT relates to Haliburton.. ;o)

Online petitions to Google, Fakebook and Twitter here.  White House petition already has over hundred thousand signatures, here.





OTR on Instant Messaging or Android

In Nerds only on March 24, 2013 at 11:28 am

OTR, (Off the Record) is an  encryption method that bypasses limitations PGP-type, public/private key encryption methods.

Its considered an improvement over PGP since its impossible to verify the participants or content of the messages.

There is no private key that can be bullied out of the user to decrypt the message.   Its available for Instant Messaging and Android text messaging.

Open WhisperSystems has produced a OTR text messaging encryption app for Android called TextSecure.

For Instant Messaging, OTR is available via Pidgin or in the Tor Browser Bundle I blogged about yesterday.

There is a great anonymous remailer called Mixminion, and an anonymous remailer server has been raided in the past.

Ironically this didn’t do anything to compromise the security of the users since multiple nodes are used to send anonymous mail this way.

BTW.. web-based anonymous email services can hardly be expected to respect your privacy.

Better yet to use the Claws email client that comes bundled with the Tails bootable operating system… ;o)

Surfing with Tor

In Nerds only on March 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

There are different ways to surf with Tor.  One way is using the Tails bundle that I blogged about yesterday.  Another way is to use the Tor browser bundle which uses your regular computer setup.

Here is the man himself, Jacob Applebaum, a core member of the Tor Project explaining why Tor is needed to protect your privacy online.

In this video he claims that evidence is emerging that Facebook is targeting its users for criminal investigation…. Whaat??

Also his point about the anonymity of of some commercial VPN services is well taken.


Does your computer have a hard drive?

In Nerds only on March 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

Sounds like a dumb question but Jacob Applebaum travels without one.  This is because our hard drives contain a treasure trove of information.

Not having a hard drive means nobody can take that information from us.  One method is to use a bootable USB stick as a removable hard drive, (which can be stored safely away from your computer).

Tails is a handy bootable operating system that contains many counter surveillance software tools to help secure your computer.  For example it has a screen-keypad that you can enter your password with a mouse thereby defeating keystroke-loggers.

Putting Tails on a non-rewritable CD and booting from that would make loading spyware impossible. (apologies for the ads.. gak)

Another way is to encrypt your hard drive.  While not totally foolproof it removes one from the low-hanging fruit category.

Using a bootable USB stick operating system for only one online task like banking is a good idea.  Only plug in the stick when doing banking and then take it out of the computer and store it safely.

Unfortunately our rights and privacy are not guaranteed online.  Its good to know we can do something about that… ;o)

Securing your personal tracking device

In Nerds only on March 21, 2013 at 10:29 am

Jacob Applebaum has called cell phones ‘your personal tracking device’.  He should know since having three of his cell phone seized by federal agents and never returned.

Hell he isn’t even legally allowed to discuss what happened to his phones!

Jacob Applebaum gave a very interesting talk to Occupy New York about how to secure your life online from unlawful surveillance from the state.

Its a long talk but well worth listening closely to what he is telling us.  (Part two of this talk describes the practical means of securing your life online).

I don’t want to be a hand-wringing gloomazoid so I’m going to be blogging about the practical suggestions Jake makes to secure your life online.

One of the Android apps he suggested is RedPhone.  This app encrypts your VoIP calls allowing encrypted calling between any user with the RedPhone app installed on their phone.

Its great that this app has gone open source, that inspires some confidence.  While not foolproof it would thwart most of the egregiously gratuitous spying software that is being used unlawfully against us.


%d bloggers like this: