Tag: Hackers

Cyber-Vigilantes take on Indian Scammers


No Tech Support ScamsEver gotten a strange pop-up claiming your computer has a virus? Gotten an email supposedly from Microsoft or Amazon that looks shady? Received a phone call where a person with an Indian accent claiming to have an American name tells you something is wrong with your computer, or that you have a refund from Amazon? Most likely, you are about to get scammed.

These scammers typically will request access to your computer via remote desktop software, and they will take advantage of people lacking detailed knowledge of their computers and the Internet. They particularly prey on the elderly and most of them lack any compassion whatsoever. They will take the last dollar from a disabled veteran and laugh at the “stupid rich American.” The Indian justice system is overwhelmed and has even more cases of buying their way out of jail than ours. Seemingly, there is no solution.

Enter a group of hackers and pranksters who fight back. This type of cyber-vigilante justice is known as scambaiting.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see New Yorkers souring on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez despite her glowing media coverage and roll their eyes at her explanation for her dip in popularity.  They also question the journalistic integrity at Reuters after reporter Joseph Menn held on to a story about Beto O’Rourke’ being a member of the hacker group “The Cult of the Dead Cow” until after his loss to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.  And they argue that long shot candidates like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who attracted a measly six supporters to his last event, should quit crowding the field and let more experienced and recognizable candidates fight it out.

How ’bout that Mirai Botnet


Do you remember that thing? It was the panic of the week last fall. Some jerks took large portions of the internet down for a couple hours. Everyone was in a tizzy for a bit. Well, the problem is still there. At least now nobody’s in a flail-your-arms panic over it, so maybe it’s worth discussing solutions.

Since there’s very little reason to remember the panic of the day even a week later, let me remind you how this works. A couple years back “Internet of Things” became the fashionable buzzword, so we all went out and bought WiFi enabled toasters. Now you can start toasting automatically when your alarm clock goes off. The fact that your toast will be ice cold by your seventh snooze is a small price to pay for living in The Future! But when you got your FutureToast, you didn’t bother to change the default password (it’s a hassle and if you did you’d forget the new one and what’s the worst that could happen anyway?) Mr. Nefarious Hacker sees that you’ve got a FutureToast, and he can log into it too. With your toaster and the 13,000 other ones that nobody’s changed the passwords on (and the 3300 GarageNoMores, and 4200 BlindsWithScience, and 132 HubCapConnects) he’s got access to a massive number internet connected devices. Mr. Nefarious Hacker can then use them to form punishing denial of service attacks, making the internet useless to the rest of us.

What Is This Democrat Aides “Hacking” Story?


I didn’t realize that this story about “Congressional I/T Staffers” getting in trouble for “hacking” — I use that over-used word very loosely — was an unknown here on Ricochet. I should have known though, since the MSM has been burying it since day one. Even Fox News only did a couple stories online about it. It popped up the first week of February, although the investigation started last year. Being in I/T for a couple decades myself, any political story dealing with computers always catches my eye. For instance, I was deeply involved in Tweeting out information relating to the #DNCLeaks fiasco, a year ago last week; it remains the best time I ever had on Twitter.

There was a small-information story that hit sites like Politico and BuzzFeed that started like this:

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I’ve been talking with someone who manages cybersecurity operations. He tells me one of the most effective security measures for consumer and employee PCs is also the simplest. If you’re just browsing the internet or using common programs, log into a user account without Administrator privileges, such as a Guest account. Whatever authorities your active […]

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Any predictions who will be the first major political figure in the U.S. exposed by the hackers? It won’t be Bill Clinton—he’s too smart, and he doesn’t need the web site’s help. Besides, infidelity for a Democrat is a political enhancement (unless you’re Gary Hart or John Edwards). Preview Open

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My first reactions when I read that Ashley Madison (the web site for cheating married people) were “poetic justice” and “serves ’em right”, but then a sobering thought came to mind: How many of the A.M. customers will be blackmailed into revealing government, industrial, or military secrets? Preview Open

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Breaking: Our Government Is Incompetent


shutterstock_163871150Gee, I’m glad these folks now run our health care:

Chinese hackers breached the computer system of the Office of Personnel Management in December, officials said Thursday, and the agency will notify some 4 million current and former federal employees that their personal data may have been compromised.

The hack was the second major intrusion of the agency by China in less than a year.

Hack Away


shutterstock_232080763To the Washington Post’s report on the North Korean hack job (no, the other one), Drudge offers the following headline: “Cancellation sets worrying new precedent for cyber terror.”

Well, sure, it’s “new” in the sense that it just happened. And the attack did take a novel form, combining the data diarrhea of WikiLeaks with jihad’s pointedly obscure threats to silence opposition.

But we are already chock full of precedents, thank you. Cyber attacks from Russia and China over a course of decades have shown the world our response policy: “Pretty please?”