Five unanswered questions about massive Russian hacker database

 There’s still much that’s unclear about Tuesday’s revelation that a small group of hackers in Russia have amassed a database of 1.2 billion stolen user IDs and passwords. The company that disclosed the incident, Hold Security, didn’t offer any fresh information Wednesday, but here are five questions we’d like to see answered (and a bonus one that we already know the answer to).

What are the hackers going to do with them?

The answer to this depends partly on the previous two questions. If they are fresh credentials for important services like online banking, they are ripe to be used to siphon money from online accounts. If they are older or from little-used services, they might be used to send spam by email or post it in online forums. Continue reading

German spies want $400M to play catch-up with the NSA

Your new post-America superpower:

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.

The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Facebook Wants To Listen In On What You’re Doing

“The aim was to remove every last bit of friction from the way we reference bits of pop culture on the social network,” writes Ryan Tate of Wired. Depending on how you feel about informational privacy and/or your friends’ taste in pop culture, that statement is either exhilarating or terrifying. Continue reading

The White House Wants to Issue You an Online ID

A few years back, the White House had a brilliant idea: Why not create a single, secure online ID that Americans could use to verify their identity across multiple websites, starting with local government services. The New York Times described it at the time as a “driver’s license for the internet.”

Sound convenient? It is. Sound scary? It is.

Next month, a pilot program of the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” will begin in government agencies in two US states, to test out whether the pros of a federally verified cyber ID outweigh the cons.

The goal is to put to bed once and for all our current ineffective and tedious system of using passwords for online authentication, which itself was a cure for the even more ineffective and tedious process of walking into a brick-and-mortar building and presenting a human being with two forms of paper identification. Continue reading

U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet

The U.S. is trying harder to suicide itself, now by giving up control of the internet, likely exposing itself even more so to cyber warfare. If it’s available out in the open, even to America’s enemies, a lot can happen and it’s foolish to think it won’t be taken advantage of. The possibilities are limited to one’s imagination now that Pandora’s Box has just been opened.

U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance. Continue reading

Merkel, Hollande to discuss European communication network avoiding U.S.

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States.

Merkel said in her weekly podcast that she disapproved of companies such as Google and Facebook basing their operations in countries with low levels of data protection while being active in countries such as Germany with high data protection. Continue reading

15 Signs That We Are Near The Peak Of An Absolutely Massive Stock Market Bubble

Essentially, what we have is an overvalued market where investors have seen a prolonged period of rises and have jumped to the conclusion that the markets are all good again. However, they’re missing the critical fact that it’s all built on hot air. The best examples, like the article pointed out are Facebook, Pintrest and Twitter… all of which have never seen a profit, yet are suppoed to be worth millions and billions (Facebook). It’s a fool’s rush to the top of the financial mountain to see who the biggest idiot is before it all implodes in a financial crash likely worse than 2008’s, or possibly the worst in U.S. history.

One of the men that won the Nobel Prize for economics this year says that “bubbles look like this” and that he is “most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market.”  But you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner to see what is happening.  It should be glaringly apparent to anyone with half a brain.  The financial markets have been soaring while the overall economy has been stagnating.  Reckless injections of liquidity into the financial system by the Federal Reserve have pumped up stock prices to ridiculous extremes, and people are becoming concerned.  In fact, Google searches for the term “stock bubble” are now at the highest level that we have seen since November 2007.  Despite assurances from the mainstream media and the Federal Reserve that everything is just fine, many Americans are beginning to realize that we have seen this movie before.  We saw it during the dotcom bubble, and we saw it during the lead up to the horrible financial crisis of 2008.  So precisely when will the bubble burst this time?  Nobody knows for sure, but without a doubt this irrational financial bubble will burst at some point.  Remember, a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts, and the following are 15 signs that we are near the peak of an absolutely massive stock market bubble… Continue reading

The BRICS “Independent Internet” Cable. In Defiance of the “US-Centric Internet”

The message from BRICS to America is quite clear:

Dear USA,

You are a dying nation — a dead man walking with a worthless fiat currency we’re already dumping. We are putting you out of commission one step at a time, with this being one of them, and the world will do just fine without you.

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BRICS Cable… a 34 000 km, 2 fibre pair, 12.8 Tbit/s capacity, fibre optic cable system

The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff announces publicly the creation of a world internet system INDEPENDENT from US and Britain ( the “US-centric internet”).

Not many understand that, while the immediate trigger for the decision (coupled with the cancellation of a summit with the US president) was the revelations on NSA spying, the reason why Rousseff can take such a historic step is that the alternative infrastructure: The BRICS cable from Vladivostock, Russia  to Shantou, China to Chennai, India  to Cape Town, South Africa  to Fortaleza, Brazil,  is being built and it’s, actually, in its final phase of implementation.

No amount of provocation and attempted “Springs” destabilizations and Color Revolution in the Middle East, Russia or Brazil can stop this process.  The huge submerged part of the BRICS plan is not yet known by the broader public. Continue reading

U.S. arms showing up in hands of pro-Assad militias

U.S. and Western weapons have been reaching Iranian-backed Shiite militias fighting to keep Bashar Assad’s forces in power in Syria.

Analysts say it’s unclear if the weapons were captured, stolen or bought on the black market in Syria, Turkey, Iraq or Libya. Propaganda photographs from Shiite militias posted on dozens of websites and Facebook pages show the weapons were acquired in new condition, said Phillip Smyth, an analyst for Jihadology.net, a site affiliated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Continue reading

French intelligence spying on emails, phonecalls: newspaper

As mentioned in a previous post, the real scandal is that the foreign governments who are screaming the loudest, have been doing it as well.

AFP – French secret services intercept all communications in France, stocking telephone and computer data for years, daily newspaper Le Monde reported Thursday amid an international uproar over spying by the United States.

Government officials have not responded to AFP requests for comment on the Le Monde report, which said data from communications was being stored on a supercomputer at the headquarters of the DGSE intelligence service.

The DGSE “systematically collects electromagnetic signals emitted by computers in France, as well as the data feed between France and abroad: the entirety of our communications are being spied upon,” said the report. Continue reading

Michael Savage: ‘We’re seeing the beginning of Soviet-style repression here in the U.S.’

Savage was outraged when he learned that Marine veteran Brandon J. Raub had been detained for psychiatric evaluation after posting anti-Obama messages on his Facebook page.

“Are we living in the USA or in the USSR?” Savage wondered, warning that these sorts of arrests were commonplace in the former Soviet Union.

“Ask any Russian who lived in the Soviet Union,” he continued, “and you’ll find that President Obama is doing exactly what occurred in the early days of Stalinism.”

Those people lived behind an iron curtain. Everything they knew, all the information they received about the world, came to them from the government.

The average Soviet had no idea what kind of lives people were leading outside the USSR. They didn’t even know there were tomatoes in Western grocery stores; such “luxuries” weren’t available to them.

They were living with very little but were told they were living with a lot, and their lives were wonderful thanks to socialism.

Soviet people had no idea what reality actually was.

Meanwhile, here in America through the late 1950s, liberal newspapers ignored and buried stories about work camps and prison camps in the USSR.

The truth is, more than 20 million people who were accused of opposing centralized government were worked to death or executed in the Soviet Union.

Now we are seeing the beginning of this in the United States of America.

If the U.S. government can snatch a Marine off the streets simply for posting anti-government feelings on Facebook, then we’re living in the old Soviet Union.

Full article: Michael Savage: ‘We’re seeing the beginning of Soviet-style repression here in the U.S.’ (Michael Savage)