Showing posts with label hackers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hackers. Show all posts

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Podcast: Hacking the World Around Us

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The NPR Ted Podcast is a great resource of information of almost any kind. The Ted Podcast below is on hacking featuring a hacker who's been there and done that. He went in search of a pair of virus writers that in 1986 wrote a virus that the world had to contend with back in the beginning.

As it turned out, the "Brain" virus, which was the name of the virus back then, was never intended to be a bad virus, but rather a virus created by a pair of code writers who simply sought to demonstrate how vulnerable that PCs were. That they certainly did. This podcast features a number of hackers on the subject, and it's worth a listen:

I believe that in due time, given the direction (police state and fear-mongering attitude) the United States as well as other developed nations are heading, that hackers and graffiti artists may very well end up to be the only means of getting information to the public.

What's your opinion?

Al Colombo


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Algorithm: a full-length movie about hacking

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Algorithm is a full-length movie about hacking. It centers on a group of local hackers who stumble upon a covert operation that eventually gets several of them incarcerated, interrogated and killed. It serves to illustrate the extent to which hackers can go and to what ends.

One of the reasons why I believe that hackers hold an important part in free speech and the future of freedom is the fact that they seek open, free flow of information. The average hacker lives to uncover secrets and lies.

I'm not speaking of criminal hackers, but purists who's ideals are such that profiting from their skill is not in their belief system. This drive toward purity on the Internet is what I admire and support, although I have never hacked a computer myself and never will--simply because I do not have the necessary skill sets to make that happen.

TpromoCom special offer

Hacking, along with graffiti artistry, may one day be the only means we have to read the real news of the day as governments and corporations seek to censor what we read, hear, and watch on a daily basis, and that censorship will only increase over time.

So, without ado, I present the movie, Algorithm.


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reservations: Sony's Interview Draws Top Dollar

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I have many thoughts on this one, and one of them is that Sony execs realized that the movie needed help, and considering the huge investment they had, they decided to sacrifice a finger for the good of the hand............ hence look at the headline....

So far as gov't operatives supporting the notion it was DPRK hackers, there are those in gov't who support corporations and I' sure that this could be arranged by some means.

Here is what I wrote about this earlier today on Facebook. This links to a story here: Click Here


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Interview: North Korea Hackers or Sony?

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So now we know a lot more about the Sony hack than we did a week before. Just as we thought, North Korea, aka: Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), was allegedly found to be behind the enormous hack against Sony, its executive conclave, and the corporation's general employee population.

"The FBI releases the findings of its four-week investigation into one of the most destructive cyberattacks of a company on US soil," says Seth Rosenblatt (@sethr) with c/net. "It's definitive. North Korea was behind the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday." click here

A new message claimed that if Sony kept the movie out of public view, they would stop exposing Sony data.

"Top executives at Sony received a message from hackers saying it was a 'very wise' decision to cancel the release of 'The Interview' and ensuring the security of their data 'unless you make additional trouble.'" (click here)

And now, another message, allegedly from the DPRK hackers, allows Sony to release it!

"SAN FRANCISCO (USA TODAY) -- The people who hacked Sony have posted a message telling the studio it has "suffered enough" and can release The Interview." (click here)

I've been providing updates on the Sony hack for weeks through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. All along I was pretty sure that the DPRK had something major to do with this, but only because of the plot of the new movie, The Interview. At the same time, on the other end of this, I began to consider the possibility that it just might not be the DPRK that's behind this diabolical act after all. But if not them, then who? Could it be Sony itself?

Let's be honest with ourselves here. No matter how you slice and dice it, Sony's going to make millions in profits over cost from this movie. I don't care how they finally release it--and release it they certain will--but everyone is going to want to see it simply to see what all the fuss was about! Be honest here, don't you feel curious at all? I'll bet you're already thinking about getting a copy.

I've bantered the pros and cons of this thought, and if it wasn't for the fact that the plot of the movie hinges on the assassination of the N. Korean leader, I might actually believe it. I'm still on the fence about this and will be until concrete evidence pops up. So far, the FBI is telling us that the hack "resembles" previous hacks conducted by DPRK hackers and they base that allegedly on the methods used. But could other expert, learned hackers simulate that previous DPRK hacks?

Of course!

So, far as Sony removing their new movie from the box office, if it was the DPRK behind it, then this action is a big mistake. But I find it difficult to see the DPRK hackers recanting their previous threats, if it really is the DPRK behind it. This is probably the biggest red flag I see flying high above this issue. What about you? What is your personal opinion? Send it along to me using one of my alternate websites: http://wmml.info/tssb/?page_id=351.

In the end analysis, the Internet is such a blessing because of all the information and interaction that we see thereon on a daily basis. But at the same time, it's such a curse. --Al Colombo


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
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To contact Al Colombo, click here. -30-

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Criminal Hackers Threaten Sony and its Employees

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When I read this news item, I felt a great degree of anger. My good friends in Anonymous, you need to go after the criminal hackers who are responsible for threatening Sony's employees...

Here is the info I posted to Twitter, LinkedIn, my Safety/Security Page on Facebook, and on Google+:

Hackers send mass email threatening Sony employees and their families: Variety is reporting that Sony Pictures employees have received a mass threat, purporting to be from the same digital attackers that took down the company systems last week. Sony says it has alerted law enforcement to the threat. A separate warning went out advising employees to turn off mobile devices, although it is unclear whether the threat was accompanied by a new attack. http://ow.ly/Ft5mB #TpromoCom #hackers

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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hackers: It Only Gets Worse! Use Some Common Sense Here!

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As many of you know, I'm interested in the issue of hacking. Just as interested in the reason why governments and corporations who should know better continue to place their critical, centrally controlled infrastructure on a connection that is considered unsecured. As I've said time after time, it's not a matter of IF someone will hack into it, but WHEN they will successfully punch a hole in your firewalls.

The following news stories accent exactly what I've been saying for years now: No matter what you do, no matter how good you are, no matter how big and rich you are, no matter how powerful you are, when you really stop and think about it, there's someone bigger, better, faster, and more powerful than you are!

I could continue listing news article after article to illustrate my point, but it's not necessary. You know the Internet provides criminals immediate access to the very door of critical data vaults belonging to governments as well as private sector concerns. I ask you, does this make any sense whatsoever?

Al Colombo


For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hacking cannot be stopped. You want to know why?

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For many years now, I and many others in the security market as well as law enforcement have been sharing our thoughts on the issue of government placing critical infrastructure on the Internet.

Recently, on our GKO Technology Group on Facebook I featured 15 related posts for group members to ponder. I'll follow up with a few words of wisdom of my own.

Here the titles and links to these stories:

Hackers, Bots, Bluehost, and Me (Read it Now!)
US Companies Can't Protect Citizens? Chinese Hackers Steal 4.5 Million Patients Info... (Read it Now!)
Thousands of Havering residents targeted bhy Internet hackers (Read it Now!)
Marathon-style hacker competition draws 600 teams worldwide (Read it Now!)
2 Phone Hackers Out of Jail Already (Read it Now!)
Hackers hit the garden with new award-winning app that tells you what grows best in your backyard (Read it Now!)
Hackers could use smartphone gyroscopes to eavesdrop on private conversations (Read it Now!)
Hackers' bazaar raises threats to security (Read it Now!)
Protecting their (and your) data -- keeping hackers at bay (Read it Now!)
Chinese hackers targeted MH 370 investigation and appear to have stolen classified documents (Read it Now!)
Pro-Palestinian Hackers Deface Delaware State Treasury Site (Read it Now!)
Hackers Successfully Attacked U.S. Nuclear Agency Three Times in Three Years (Read it Now!)
Hospital hack 'exploited Heartbleed' (Read it Now!)

For those of you who many not know this, but there was a day before the Internet where gov't and private firms used leased telephone lines to send data back and forth between offices and the like. You had to gain access to the physical phone line or the Bell company office before you could gain access to that data.

So now, here we have a GLOBALLY CONNECTED database that ANYONE from ANYWHERE across the Earth can try their luck at penetration. ANYONE FROM ANYWHERE!!!

"At the end of 2010, the volume of stored data worldwide totaled 1.2 million petabytes (1 petabyte equals 1 million gigabytes), according to the 2010 IDC Digital Universe Study, conducted by technology researcher IDC. That's a 50 percent rise from the year before" (Source: Storage Cheat Sheet, CDW Small Business Solutions, August 2014).

Do you not get it yet? The stories above are about hackers and their efforts, successes, and the failure of governments and private sector concerns to successfully stop them. As I said yesterday, no matter how good you think you are, there's always someone better out there and they're going to kick your butt!!! If not today, perhaps tomorrow.

Putting critical infrastructure on the Internet is not only dumb, but it's plain stupid. It's like putting a sign on your back that says, "I dare you to kick me." Someone's going to do it. You can count on it!


For the serious researcher:
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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

Subscribe

Be sure not to miss each and every blog comment by subscribing to my email service. Every time I publish a comment or an update, you will be the first to know. To sign up, enter your email address in the email subscription box on the top right of this page. Thank you! To contact Al Colombo, click here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Maybe Having a Smart Home Isn't all That Smart

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"Network World - A year ago, people were mostly talking about the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) — what companies and government entities might do in the future to take advantage of this widespread network of connected objects" (The Internet of Things gets real, Network World, http://bit.ly/1n6ntuC).

The fact is, people were talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) long before a year ago. In the mid- to late-1990s, for example, I was writing about this form of connectivity between machine and service provider/owner in the magazine I worked for as an associate editor (Security Distributing & Marketing).

Internet-Connected Appliances

One of the applications to which IoT lends itself well is that of maintenance updates to a variety of companies with regards to the equipment they sell. Examples include the following:
  • Refrigerators
  • Heating Plants
  • Air Conditioning Units
  • Washing Machines
  • Cloths Dryers
  • Conventional and Microwave Ovens
  • Chillers
  • Electrical Systems
  • Smart Electric Meters
..to name only a few.

A good example of what could take place when your conventional oven develops a problem is that an update of the situation is sent to either the manufacturer or the maintenance company of record over one of the in-house broadband connections. The update would provide important ID information that enables the company to generate a call ticket. You would then be notified of the problem and given an opportunity to have a repairman come to your home or business to fix it.

Back in the 90's, there was talk of including some type of infrared scanning system that would be capable of inventorying all of the foods you keep in your refrigerator. When you are running low, a notice would be sent to you in email, providing you with a shopping list of needs for your use. Or, at the same time, this list could be periodically generated and sent to the grocery store of choice for delivery to the home.

The Danger of Connected Appliances

In the 90's, when we thought of Internet-connected appliances, we thought in terms of Category 5E or Category 5e cabling. Today, all of these devices will connect to the Internet through the WiFi system in our homes and businesses.

Well, other than being irradiated by more radio waves banging around the house, we will come to the stage where your refrigerator can be hacked. We know our computers can be hacked. Recent news stories have revealed that chain stores, banks and the government can be hacked. Cellphones can be hacked, which by the way we pointed out to our readers several years ago. So now we approach the time when your Internet-connected house can be hacked. It seems silly, of course, but the reality is, if your freezer or furnace can be reached through the Internet, it may be that the device you use to control them can be hacked. Which means, as we extend this thought into total paranoia, your passwords could be as vulnerable to a meltdown as your freezer. Will hackers soon be eyeing your fridge?

As most of you know, one of the ploys used by hackers is to get you to respond to an email by clicking on a link or simply replying to an offer. The ensuing information, especially where you reply, carries valuable information that tells the hackers exactly where you are in terms of the World Wide Web. It provides the exact IP address so they can work to enter your home via the network.

Although service providers are not apt to give out your IP to those they do not know, as well to those who have no business having it, this kind of information can fall into the wrong hands by a variety of ways. Any one of these signals can draw the attention of hackers, and even though you may not think this could be destructive, think again.

Hacking Your Appliances

With all the data flowing in and out of your home between the various appliances and those responsible for their on-line care, it's even more likely that hackers can find their way to your home. Once they enter the network through your heat pump, it's possible to penetrate other devices on your network, including your computer.

For example, a hacker who gains access to your furnace could reprogram it. They might change the set points--which is the temperature it comes on and goes off. They might even alter the safety controls that safeguard your home from fire.

Hackers could also enter your refrigerator, perhaps turning it off, adjusting the temperature so it freezes all the food, or they might cause some other combination of undesirable events to take place. At the very least, they would have a complete list of everything you have in it.

Would you allow a stranger off the street to open your front door, walk in, and open your refrigerator door? I didn't think so.


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Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
www.alcolombo.us / al_colombo@hotmail.com
(Permission is given to republish blog posts providing
my contact information and copyright notice are included.)

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