Tag: trojan

RATS and Right to Privacy

RATS and Right to Privacy

rat

While some may find them cute and cuddly, and some, absolutely disgusting; this rat that I am speaking of is neither.

The rat that I want to educate about is really an acronym for Remote Access Trojan.

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Just about everything electronic today has a built in camera.  Not to mention a microphone.

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Some smart TV’s actually have them built in to allow you to voice command the TV.

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Your car may very well have something like this built in.

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I have long held that our government could if they wanted, under some obscure interpretation of the Patriot Act, access your camera and or microphone to peek into your home.  I have also thought that this could be done with the microphone and camera on most laptops and of course desktops that have them.

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Not only is there news of the Feds hacking your cell phones and either listening in or downloading your contact list and other information through something called String Ray but there are theories that your local police may be doing this as well without a warrant!  (1)

sting ray

It is not enough that we may have our government spying on us without warrant but, we have Trojans that copy your keystrokes and send them to some server in Russia, or some other obscure third world country looking for passwords and banking information now we have RATS.

Today we know that perverted individuals out there have in fact used the cameras in laptops handed out by the school to indeed spy on kids in their bedrooms.  While this made the news, little attention was really paid to this, as conspiracy nuts are everywhere.

SCHOOL-SPYING

(2) The Case in question

We now know that the Chinese among others have created Trojans that allow them remote access to your camera and or microphone in your laptop!  Simply click on the wrong thing and the writer of the software has access to your machine.

One couple received a picture of themselves lying in bed watching a movie on Netflix.  This came to them from someone using a made up name, via their Facebook page.

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(3) Naked Security Story

You really have to be smart when you are cruising the internet and checking e-mail as the crooks and other creeps are smarter.  I have often said that these folks are probably kids sitting around in their mother’s basement in their underwear, writing Trojans, seeing who can outdo the other via groups like Anonymous.

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I would like to see devices like phones have an actual on off switch or removable customer replaceable battery.  If you want to make certain that the thing is off, remove the power.  Apple has made this task about impossible for the everyday user and that is problematic.  Placing the device in airplane mode might be your closest bet to protecting your privacy but I would bet that there is a work around for that.

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I would also like to see on off switches on cameras and microphones that absolutely can be switched off until required.

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The simple truth is we have no idea what these phones are doing in the background and with viruses and Trojans, we have no idea when some remote access Trojan will activate or be activated by some creep in some basement somewhere.

Someone write an app that tells you what the phone is dong or has done.  

When you sit back and think that I am a crazy conspiracy nut, I would remind you of the porn scanners that are still in use at some airports today. 

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Yes, if you invert the negative with any cheap software you get a positive…

Who in their right mind would think that it is ok to use ionizing radiation to undress the public by the tens of thousands for the purpose of what, looking for weapons?  We are so politically correct that we can’t profile but we can strip search the public, grope grandma and feel up children!  Political Correctness is a way to control the masses and not something that we should be doing as a people.  We have free speech, and other than yelling fire in a theater or threatening to kill someone, I would not surrender the first amendment for anything!

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Did you read about the whistle blower who worked for the TSA and admitted that it was a big joke to watch people stripped of their clothing and then make remarks and jokes about what they saw? (4) (5)

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If I could have any job in the world, currently it would be to be in some position of authority at the TSA! I would love to clean that bunch of people up and while I am at it, assist them with security as currently they are loath to do much right, of course it is the government so …. What do you expect?!  They need folks who think outside the box and currently they have a bunch of automatons.

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The news media commonly carried stories about the TSA scanner as equivalent to being at altitude for a couple of hours.  The lying bastards however did not tell the truth.  While pilots do suffer more cases of skin cancers than non-pilots as cosmic radiation is more intense at altitude, it is not the same as ionizing radiation.  

To further exacerbate the privacy issue you are undoubtedly aware that cameras are everywhere.  You must assume that wherever you are, or whatever you are doing, there may be a camera watching you. Every red light contains cameras that I maintain can and do look at people in cars collecting bio metric data, looking for who is doing what when.  These are not the low end cameras that you can buy on-line, these are high end cameras that have good quality optics.

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How about some of these cameras:

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There is a wifi enabled camera in there. Have you seen these in your hotel room perhaps?

video-recorder-sunglasses-gadget-spy-camera-dvr smiley-spy-camera Spy-Camera_watch 140875,xcitefun-calculator-spy-camera2-450x357 spy-cameras-250x250

These are just a scant few.  These things are tiny and easily concealed. Assume that you have no privacy.  If you scratch it in public, chances are someone saw you.

DAKS - IDIS DirectIP surveillance images

Orwell was ahead of his time, and you my friends need to be aware of this, and act accordingly.

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(1) http://thehackernews.com/2015/04/police-spying-cell-phones.html

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_District

(3) https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/08/14/webcam-spy-sends-couple-photos-of-previous-nights-netflix-snuggle-session/

(4) http://mountainrepublic.net/2012/12/24/ex-tsa-screener-officers-laughing-at-your-naked-image/

(5) https://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/letter-from-a-passenger-what-really-happens-in-the-tsa-private-room/

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2015

Interesting Scam

Interesting Scam

scam 515

There is not a day that goes by that someone does not try to scam me or “my e-mail” into opening some document.  Of course it will be infected or at the very least take me to some porn-site or some site for Viagra or some such non-sense.

I have spoken about these ad nauseam so I won’t go in to too much detail about the latest.

The e-mail starts as an email from the bank regarding a wire transfer that was aborted by my bank from my account.  “Click on the link to view the reason why it was aborted.”

There is a number with a dollar amount, my e-mail which was collected from something and…a link to a dropbox account which is where the Trojan or what have you lives.

This could be anything from some innocuous advertisement to ransom ware.

There was no bank logo on the e-mail and hovering over the link you can tell enough that you should not click on it.

The criminals and ne’er-do-wells are forever trying to get you to self-destruct, so don’t take the bait.

Keep really good anti-virus and malware software updated and running on your computer and make certain that your important stuff is backed up to some sort of non-volatile medium.

Oh, and Happy Friday!

-Best

Bash or ShellShock!

Bash!

Sounds like something out of Batman.

This however is no lighthearted matter.

Bash is a UNIX shell that has been exploited in a most dangerous manner.  Shellshock, a program “virus” written to take advantage of a Bug in Bash could be used to take over millions of computers world-wide.

I talk a lot about anti-virus software and why you should really buy the best that you can but, still, “day in and day out” I get computers that are infected with tens of hundreds of viruses.

“Free anti-virus software is not worth what you pay for it!”

Free software is not taken care of remotely as well as that which companies that take in revenue can afford programmers to keep on top of it.  Using free is foolhardy at best; and dangerous at worst.   Why?

Let’s say that your computer becomes infected but, not to the point to stop you from working with it, maybe it just slows it down a little.

Meanwhile, lurking within the bits and bites of software there is a Trojan waiting to be activated from some nefarious ne’er do well.  This person or people could use yours and millions of other computers to simultaneously attack systems in other countries, our country, and so forth.  They might target government systems or air traffic systems etc.  With so many computers attacking a system, it would most certainly bring it down.

My argument that I am trying to make here is this.  Every day we hear of new virus’s that are being released or discovered.  Using the “best” anti-virus software is not only a good idea for you but, it is also patriotic in that you really don’t want your computer to be attacking some government server.

Practice safe computing, use good anti-virus software and pay attention to your computer if it starts acting “wonky!”

Yes, “Wonky” is a technical term.. Ok, maybe not but, you know what I mean.

A trick that I do is run the little widgets that come with Windows 7 and 8 that display memory usage and CPU usage.  When your computer boots from a fresh installation take note at where those needles are setting during normal usage.  This is much like the gauges on your car.  When you are going down the road, you know where the temp gauge should be and where the RPM, voltage etc should be.  When they are acting “wonky” (not in their usual spot) you get it looked at.  Your PC is no different.

“Shellshock” is particularly dangerous in that it affects UNIX systems, Mac’s and even Smartphone’s that use the Android operating system.

A lot of servers run UNIX; this might explain the recent hacks pulled off against Home Depot, and nude pictures of celebrities being taken from their personal accounts on “The “Cloud.”

Some of these programs can go un-noticed and sit idle for years before someone notices them.  Generally when some “hack” is perpetrated than “White Hat Hackers” are called in to find out how.  Forensic computer guru’s who know what each and every little file in a UNIX system is for example, and what it should look like, size and usage, might be called in to see; “what is wrong with this picture.”

The days when your Mac and your Linux / UNIX system were relatively safe are gone.

Do your backups and test them.  No backup is complete until you test your backup!  Make certain that your anti-virus software is of good quality, and up-to-date.

 “Which is the best”

I know, I beat you to the punch.

First off, I buy my entire anti-virus software’s full price and am not in bed with anyone!

I have many different flavors as there is no silver bullet.

I use Esetnode 32 on my main system and, I use Trend Micro on my backup system.  I also use Norton on my laptop although I have seen way too many machines which run Norton infected.

As far as mobile and iPad and iPhone, I use Trend Mobile.

Having said this, please understand that there is no warranty expressed or implied by this blog.  For legal-ease, you should consider this and all my blogs “entertainment.”  There are no warranties of usability or anything else.

Isn’t it simply pitiful that we live in such a litigious world that disclaimers have to be put on “blogs?”

All opinions here are my own, unless otherwise stated.

Now go take on the day!

-Best