Amazon Echo devices can be exploited by hackers to steal your bank account information

Image: Amazon Echo devices can be exploited by hackers to steal your bank account information

Source: NaturalNews.com
Jayson Veley
June 16, 2017

While it may be convenient to walk into your home and turn the lights on by simply saying “Alexa” or “Ok Google,” a security expert has warned that devices like the Amazon Echo could pose a serious security risk. “If hackers find a way to compromise these devices in our homes, they could have it recording all of the time and you wouldn’t necessarily know,” explained cyber security expert Dr. Jason Nurse. “They could hear you discussing your holiday plans, so they know when you are away and could burgle you. They may hear you buying something on the phone, giving away your credit card details.”

Nurse’s comments came during a recent speech at the Cheltenham Science Festival. The cyber security expert explained that he is so concerned about the potential privacy risks that come with the use of devices like the Amazon Echo that he refuses to keep electronic assistants of any kind in his home.

But despite the fact that your banking information is put in jeopardy every time you turn on your Amazon Echo, the gadget is more popular than ever. With the ability to answer virtually any question you have, pick up commands even in a noisy room, track online shopping and even lower the thermostat, it’s easy to see why devices like the Amazon Echo are being used by millions of people across the country. But still, some are concerned that such gadgets are inviting electronic spies right into their living rooms.

“If there’s something private you want to say, the first thing you should do is mute the device… or turn it off,” Dr. Nurse advises. “You should think twice about what you say in front of these devices.” Dr. Nurse went on to explain that “someone else in your home may say the wake word without your knowledge and start it recording while you are discussing something private or sensitive.”

In the case of the Amazon Echo, the “wake word” is “Alexa,” and in the case of Google Home, the “wake word” is “Ok Google.”

Although an Amazon spokesperson claimed that they take customer privacy very seriously, this isn’t the first time that the electronic commerce company has been surrounded by controversy. Back in April, Natural News reported on the potential privacy risks concerning the Echo Look, a $199 device recently released by Amazon that has the ability to watch you get dressed in your own bedroom. Even though the original purpose of the Echo Look was to give you recommendations on what to wear, many people are concerned that it could secretly record you during some of your most intimate moments.

With technology advancing at an astonishing rate and new devices coming out every year that once were only imaginable in science fiction films, our everyday lives are becoming more and more simplistic. We used to have no choice but to drive our own cars from point A to point B; now we have the option of purchasing a car that is able to drive itself. We used to have to walk into a dark house and feel around blindly for the light switch; now all we have to do is say “Alexa, turn on the lights.” Without question, life is much more convenient than it was even just five years ago.

But just because it is more convenient doesn’t mean it’s safer. As a matter of fact, one could argue that with the invention of devices like the Amazon Echo, people are more at risk of experiencing some type of privacy violation, whether it’s a video recording taken of you while you get dressed or a hacker stealing your banking information. That is why it is up to companies like Amazon and Google to continue looking for ways to protect the privacy rights of their customers, while simultaneously putting new products on the market.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources:

Dailymail.co.uk

NaturalNews.com

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How Precious Metals Can Help Protect Your Wealth From Hackers


Source: ActivistPost.com
June 14, 2017
Stefan Gleason

Could your wealth be hacked? It’s a threat most investors overlook. But they do so at their own peril.

If elections can be hacked, then so can bank and brokerage accounts, as well as any online platforms for digital currencies.

More than five months into Donald Trump’s presidency, the “Russia hacked the election” conspiracy theories still won’t go away. They’re expanding to also implicate Russian hackers for meddling in elections in France and elsewhere. The latest Russian hacking story centers on Qatar.

According to the Guardian, “An investigation by the FBI has concluded that Russian hackers were responsible for sending out fake messages from the Qatari government, sparking the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in decades.”

The Russian government has repeatedly denied involvement in these hacking campaigns. Regardless of whether the news about Russian hackers is fake, the threat of cyber attacks is very real.

In recent months, major e-mail providers and e-commerce sites have been hit by hackers. They often take customers’ information and try to sell it on the dark web.

Think Bitcoins are “hack proof” due to cryptography? Think again. Tens of millions of dollars worth of the crypto-currency have been digitally stolen by hackers. The biggest heists hit Bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox and Bitfinex. More recently, South Korean Bitcoin exchange Yapizon was hacked out of more than $5 million.

Electronic Banking Is Vulnerable to Hackers

Electronic banking and brokerage institutions are also vulnerable. A rogue government, a group of terrorists, or even a lone mischievous teenager could potentially crash markets by unleashing a debilitating computer virus or breaking into networks that undergird the financial system.

The worst-case scenario for the digital economy would be an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack. An EMP could be triggered by an extreme solar flare or a nuclear detonation. In the event of an electro-magnetic pulse, large-scale economic disruptions could unfold as the power grid goes down and computer systems get fried.

If the Internet goes dark, then so does Bitcoin and other digital platforms. No online banking. Your ATM card may no longer work. A national “bank holiday” may have to be declared as a physical cash shortage sends the economy reverting to barter transactions.

Granted, this is an extreme scenario. But you don’t have to take extreme measures in order to protect yourself from it.

Reducing Your Vulnerability to Cyber Attacks: Simple Steps You Can Take

One of the most important steps to take to boost your resilience to digital threats is to hold tangible assets that aren’t dependent on, or connected to, the internet. Physical precious metals are a time-tested form of unhackable money.

Virtual ownership of metals in the form of futures, options, or exchange-traded products will leave you vulnerable to any of the major threats to the financial grid.

The upshot to owning low-premium bullion products you can hold in your hand is that it costs you nothing extra to obtain the protection and utility that physical metals provide.

We’re not suggesting that you pull everything out of your bank accounts and close all your credit cards – for now, they remain a convenience most of us won’t want to do without in our daily lives. (And we’re not saying to steer completely clear of cryptocurrencies either.)

But you can and should take steps to make your accounts at least somewhat more secure:

  • Close any dormant accounts that you no longer use.
  • Keep paper records, including statements, from accounts you access online.
  • Strengthen your passwords by lengthening them or using a password manager.
  • Avoid storing sensitive information directly on cell phones or other commonly stolen/ hacked devices.
  • Check your credit report regularly for signs of identity theft.
  • Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it up to date.

For the portion of your wealth you want to secure in physical, off-the-grid metal, make sure you keep it far removed from the banking system. That means not storing your precious metals in a bank safe-deposit box that could be raided or rendered inaccessible during a financial crisis.

Keep at least some portion of your gold and silver stash stored in a home safe for immediate accessibility at all times. And keep quiet about it! Your neighbors don’t need to know all about your pure silver bars or your shiny gold Krugerrands.

For the portion of your precious metals holdings you don’t want to keep at home, opt for a secure bullion storage facility such as Money Metals Depository.

MMD only uses physically segregated storage which ensures your metals aren’t pooled or co-mingled with those of other customers.

Even as new and potentially bigger cyber threats emerge, you can rest comfortably knowing much of your wealth is beyond the reach of hackers. That peace of mind is difficult to put a price on. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to obtain. Rotating wealth out of financial assets and into hard assets is as easy as writing a check to a reputable bullion dealer such as Money Metals Exchange.

Read More At: ActivistPost.com

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC, and his writings have appeared in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com, Seeking Alpha, Detroit News, Washington Times, and National Review.

Crypto-currency, Financial Clearing, & Rogue Hacking Groups


Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.
June 7, 2017

Color me crazy, but I’ve never been on the cashless society bandwagon for a variety of reasons, not the least being that anything Mr. Globaloney is for, is probably ab initio et in principio a bad idea. Crypto-currencies, in this light, always struck me as being “too good to be true” and their principal selling point – security and privacy – a little too convenient. They struck me then, and strike me now, as being taylor-made to press Mr. Globaloney’s desire to move everyone to cashlessness.

Which brings me to my second reason for skepticism: the integrity of cyber systems in general. Why anyone would trust such a system is beyond me, especially when, if one wants to turn the clock back a bit to the 1980s, there were already stories circulating about computers being sold with “clipper chips” that allowed your local not-so-friendly three-letter-agencies access to every electronic communication. Then, of course, came the Inslaw-PROMIS scandals of the late 1980s, and we were off and running.

Now, in that context, consider the following article by Rich Haridy – a very intriguing article from several points of view – that was shared by Mr. J.K.:

Shadow Brokers hacking group reveals bizarre data dump subscription plan

Several things caught my eye in this article, and we’d be here for days if I were to blog about all of them, but I want to draw attention to the first thing that really leaped off the page:

The Shadow Brokers first appeared in August 2016, announcing an auction to sell off a set of security exploits the group purportedly stole from the NSA. After the auction failed to reach the absurd asking price of one million bitcoins, the group publicly released four sets of exploits over the following months. One of those exploits contained the now infamous EternalBlue vulnerability that underpinned the recent WannaCry attack.

Since the WannaCry outbreak, the Shadow Brokers have been threatening to release more NSA hacking tools, and in early May the group published a blog post in broken English ominously announcing a bizarre subscription model offering members a monthly haul of data.

The group described it as a, “new monthly subscription model. Is being like wine of month club. Each month peoples can be paying membership fee, then getting members only data dump each month. What members doing with data after is up to members.”

In a follow-up post published more recently, the group explained the process in greater detail. Subscribers can pay 100 Zcash coins (equivalent to over US$20,000) to access the data dump, which will be revealed in the first two weeks of July.

Zcash is a relatively new cryptocurrency launched in October 2016. Purportedly more secure than Bitcoin, the Shadow Brokers’ use of Zcash seems to be less about using a safer cryptocurrency and more about revealing to the public the US government’s connection to its development.

The Shadow Brokers’ blog post explicitly points out that the development of Zcash is allegedly linked to the Department of Defense, DARPA and Israel. It also claims the new cryptocurrency, which was recently accepted as a legitimate currency on iOS and Android platforms, could be a trojan horse with a cryptographic flaw monitored by the NSA or used by the government to send money to deep cover assets outside of banking systems. (Italicized emphasis added)

Now, before we get to my high octane speculation de jour, note the following things:

(1) The hacking group “Anonymous” seems to have dropped off the radar, to be replaced now with “The Shadow Brokers” which raises the interesting questions: (a) has the former group simply rebranded itself and reemerged under a new name? Or did the former simply cease operations? Or are they two discrete groups? One may never know, but as we’ll see in a moment, the question of who and what this new group – the Shadow Brokers – is, is an important component of any speculation regarding what it going on.

(2) The new group is exposing the alleged links of the new cyber-currency to the US Department of Defense, DARPA, and Israel; and,

(3) that said cyber-currency has a “back door” built in, which, of course, raises the entire philosophical objection I have to the whole idea: what is to prevent any cyber-currency, state-sponsored or otherwise, from having a similar “flaw”? Answer: nothing.

Given that flaw, however, note that The Shadow Brokers have tapped into it, which raises the question of just who they are. Here Mr. Haridy explores the options at opposite ends of the spectrum:

This odd series of actions, which seem to be constantly iterating information with a strong anti-government bent, has caused many to question who The Shadows Brokers actually are, and whether their motives are simply mercenary.

Much speculation has floated around the possibility that the group could be a foreign nation state working to embarrass or disrupt the US government’s cyber-spying efforts. A former NSA employee tells Ars Technica that they, “are foreign intelligence, and the continued requests for money are all geared towards plausible deniability that they are intel.”

Edward Snowden tweeted suspicions that the group were Russian hackers back in August 2016, when the original auction was revealed. Over a series of 15 tweets he laid out a compelling case for the original NSA hacks coming from a foreign intelligence, in particular, Russia.

Security specialist Bruce Schneier also published a more recent, and exhaustive, investigation into the source of the mysterious hacking group. He concludes, quite reasonably, that while they are seemingly not just random hackers or cybercriminals, it also looks unlikely they are a cyber-intelligence sector of a nation state due to their erratic and anarchic activities.

All of this brings me to my high octane speculation of the day. Assuming the first hypothesis, that the group is a state-sponsored group, then the effect of their action seems to be to expose the extent of NSA electronic eavesdropping, and the lack of integrity of cyber systems. If, on the other hand, it is a private group, the effect would be the same. But it is the effect itself that seems to be being ignored by analysts hypothesizing on who they are and what they’re up to, for regardless of whether or not they are state-sponsored (and that means, even a group or faction within the American military-intelligence complex), or not, the group is (1) Calling into question the integrity of cyber systems in general and (2) crypto-cyber currencies in particular. And hence it strikes me as being entirely possible that the real ultimate and deepest motivation of these types of attacks is to call into question the whole agenda of cashless society, all firmly under the control of Mr. Globaloney. In support of this high octane speculation, recall that even Darth Soros was recently hacked, and some of his financial dealings exposed to scrutiny.

If my hypothesis is true, expect more such hacks, and more such exposure of the global super-elite.

See you on the flip side…

Read More At: GizaDeathStar.com
________________________________________________

About Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Trust CIA Hackers Who Hack France’s Election Campaign?

fakenews
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
March 7, 2017

If a chronic thief and a liar and a con artist told you what other thieves were doing, would believe him?

Perhaps if you were crazy.

The CIA states that Russia hacked the US election campaign in order to sway the vote to Trump.

In my previous article, I mentioned how, according to the latest WikiLeaks CIA data dump, the CIA can fabricate, yes, fabricate the “fingerprints” of Russian government hackers and create the false impression that Russians hacked the US presidential campaign of 2016.

But there’s more.

Commenting on its CIA data dump, WikiLeaks also describes a wide-ranging CIA espionage plan to infiltrate the candidates running in the 2012 French presidential election. These are, of course, the same CIA thieves who assure us that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election campaign. CIA credibility? Zero. Who has time to try to sort out when the liars might not be lying?

WikiLeaks, Press Release, 16 February, 2017: “All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human (‘HUMINT’) and electronic (‘SIGINT’) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election. The revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks as context for its forth coming CIA Vault 7 series. Named specifically as targets are the French Socialist Party (PS), the National Front (FN) and Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) together with current President Francois Hollande, then President Nicolas Sarkozy, current round one presidential front runner Marine Le Pen, and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Khan.”

“The CIA assessed that President Sarkozy’s party was not assured re-election. Specific tasking concerning his party included obtaining the ‘Strategic Election Plans’ of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP); schisms or alliances developing in the UMP elite; private UMP reactions to Sarkozy’s campaign stratagies; discussions within the UMP on any ‘perceived vulnerabilities to maintaining power’ after the election; efforts to change the party’s ideological mission; and discussions about Sarkozy’s support for the UMP and ‘the value he places on the continuation of the party’s dominance’. Specific instructions tasked CIA officers to discover Sarkozy’s private deliberations ‘on the other candidates’ as well as how he interacted with his advisors. Sarkozy’s earlier self-identification as ‘Sarkozy the American’ did not protect him from US espionage in the 2012 election or during his presidency.”

There is much more, but you get the idea.

The mass media choose to regard statements from the CIA as holy and sacred when those statements support a favored agenda. But this is on a par with accepting the word of a confidential informant whose entire history involves twisting and bending and painting over and stepping on the truth.

It’s fake news spelled out in flaming letters in the sky.

Most mainstream reporters who rise high enough on the food chain eventually operate, when a story demands it, as CIA assets, whether they know it or not.

The most successful of those reporters are chronic liars themselves. They know they represent, when necessary, the CIA; and at the same time, they don’t know it. They choose to turn on and off their knowledge of what they’re doing.

Over the past 34 years of working as an independent freelance journalist, I’ve occasionally spoken off the record with these newspaper and broadcast denizens. The first inclination is to write them off as schizoid personalities. But that’s not accurate. They’re slithering creatures. They’re consciously working the angles. Like any hustler, they take a certain amount of enjoyment from running their psychological shell games.

In this, they fit quite well with CIA operatives. Brothers under the skin.

A wink and a nod, a nudge and a wink.

Their version of the good life.

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
_______________________________________________________________

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

CIA can steal hacking fingerprints to frame others

Source: RTAmerica
March 7, 2017

WikiLeaks has published what it claims is the largest ever batch of confidential documents on the CIA, revealing the breadth of the agency’s ability to hack smartphones and popular social media messaging apps such as WhatsApp. The agency can hide the fingerprints from its hacking exploits and attribute blame to others, such as Russia and China. Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof joins RT America’s Alex Mihailovich to discuss.

CIA’s Hacking Capabilities Revealed

Source: RTAmerica
March 7, 2017

The CIA has the capacity to hack “smart” devices by turning on microphones, bypass encryption apps like Signal and WhatsApp, and remotely control smart cars, a practice that is reportedly useful for assassinations. WikiLeaks released the information as part of a project called “vault 7.” RT America’s Anya Parampil reports.

WikiLeaks Exposes Purported CIA Cyberhacking Tools

Records show agency able to spy on smartphones, internet TVs

WikiLeaks released thousands of documents and files Tuesday that it said exposed hacking tools the Central Intelligence Agency uses.
Source:WSJ.com
Shane Harris & Paul Sonne
March 7, 2017

WASHINGTON—WikiLeaks released thousands of documents and files Tuesday that it said exposed tools the Central Intelligence Agency uses to hack smartphones, computer operating systems, messenger applications and internet-connected televisions.

The unauthorized disclosure—the first part of which WikiLeaks said consisted of 8,761 documents and files from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence—confronts President Donald Trump with a threat from the very organization that leaked documents on his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 presidential campaign.

WikiLeaks named the series of files “Vault 7” and called the unauthorized disclosure the “largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency,” saying it exposed the malware and exploits the agency amassed to hack smartphones and turn some televisions into covert microphones.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment “on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.”

An intelligence source said some of the information does pertain to tools that the CIA uses to hack computers and other devices. This person said disclosing the information would jeopardize ongoing intelligence-gathering operations and the revelations were far more significant than the leaks of Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency who exposed active surveillance programs in 2013.

Mr. Snowden’s leaks revealed names of programs, companies that assist the NSA in surveillance and in some cases the targets of American spying. But the recent leak purports to contain highly technical details about how surveillance is carried out. That would make them far more revealing and useful to an adversary, this person said.

In one sense, Mr. Snowden provided a briefing book on U.S. surveillance, but the CIA leaks could provide the blueprints.

WikiLeaks said in its statement that it was not publishing such information as computer source code that could be used to replicate the tools it claims to have exposed. But the group left open the possibility of publishing those crucial details if “a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA’s program and how such ‘weapons’ should [sic] analyzed, disarmed and published.”

Mr. Snowden said in a tweet Tuesday, “Still working through the publication, but what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal. Looks authentic.”

WikiLeaks said the CIA recently “lost control” of the majority of its hacking arsenal. “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” the site said in a statement. “The archive appears to have been circulating among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”

The website put out what it called the first installment in a series of planned leaks on Tuesday, calling it “Year Zero.” It said the first installment “introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of ‘zero day’ weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products.”

WikiLeaks said the information on CIA hacking came from an unidentified source who believes the spy agency’s hacking authorities “urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency.”

Much of what WikiLeaks posted Tuesday appeared to be a kind of internal Wikipedia for U.S. cyber-warfare developers to collaborate, post and access information about available hacking tools. In many instances, WikiLeaks has redacted entries that appear to link to specific executable files. The documents show, for example, what capabilities exist to bypass antivirus software, with a different entry for each antivirus company.

The revelations are sure to fuel an ongoing debate over whether intelligence agencies that discover security flaws in popular technology should disclose them, so that the users can defend themselves from hackers, or keep that information secret for use in intelligence operations.

One document claims that the CIA has discovered numerous ways to hack into versions of Apple’s iOS, the mobile operating system used on iPhones. In general, hacking tools for the iPhone are considered especially valuable because the technology is so widely used, experts said. One particular hacking tool appears to remain on an iPhone even after it has been rebooted, which would make it particularly valuable to an intruder.

“These documents, which appear to be authentic, show that the intelligence community has deliberately maintained vulnerabilities in the most common devices used by hundreds of millions of people,” Ben Wizner, the director of the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

“Those vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and governments around the world. The government has the capacity and obligation to help technology companies fix vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered,” Mr. Wizner said.

This is the latest high-profile leak of information by WikiLeaks, which last fall published emails stolen from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian government hackers stole those emails and provided them to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks said the documents show the CIA’s ability to bypass the encryption of popular messenger applications, including WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Confide by hacking the smartphones they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before the applications encrypt the user’s texts.

The site said the documents also show how the CIA developed other mobile hacking technologies, including the ability to activate the camera and microphone of a target’s smartphone covertly and surreptitiously retrieve a target’s geolocation, audio and text communications.

WikiLeaks said one of the documents also shows how the CIA developed a program to hack internet-connected televisions in conjunction with British intelligence. The attacks can place Samsung smart TVs in a fake off mode, so the owner believes the television is switched off, while in reality it is functioning as a bug and recording conversations in the room, WikiLeaks said.

Read More At: WSJ.com