Thursday, August 19, 2021

How to Defend Yourself Against NSO Spyware Like Pegasus

What it would be like to be a philosopher’s clerk: “It’ll be a matter of filing the generalisations, tidying up paradoxes, laying out the premises before the boss gets in.”
—Tom Stoppard

You are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind”  – Morpheus, The Matrix.

Do you ever feel like your phone knows too much? That it’s reading your mind, listening to you? You have just passed by a museum, then soon after, ads for the museum’s new exhibition flash up on your phone. You didn’t search for the museum or talk about it to anyone, you just happened to be nearby….

Humans for sale

In her book, “Surveillance Capitalism”, Professor Shoshana Zuboff notes that the the private human experience is the final frontier of what can be commodified. In 1986, one percent of the world’s information was digitised. In 2013, it was 98 percent.

Digital Slaves: how Big Tech tracks us for profit

When Your Boss Wants an AI Camera in Your Bedroom Cory Doctorow, OneZero

Tania Waterhouse: Gladys Berejiklian's handwritten note thanking a lawyer who anonymously sent her flowers for doing a 'wonderful job' with Sydney's Covid outbreak after the embattled leader tracked her down goes viral - and not everyone's impressed

No EV tax credit if you earn more than $100,000, says US Senate: The amendment would also limit the tax credit to EVs that cost less than $40,000. ars technica

Sit all day for work? A simple step can cut your health risk.

NSW loses control, recording 633 COVID casesMacroBusiness. Another debacle with air travel at the epicenter

Covid 19 coronavirus community cases: New Zealand lockdown – four new Delta cases including Auckland Hospital nurse New Zealand Herald. “Genomic testings shows the original case is linked to the Delta outbreak in New South Wales.” Once again

Florida couple busted in Hawaii with fake vaccine cards Boing Boing. And again

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SETH BARRETT TILLMAN:  What I Learned About the United States After Ten Years in Ireland.

International Symposium: “The Professionals: Dealing with the Enablers of Economic Crime”

By Diane Ring Just as summer is in full swing, the VIRTEU Project is back with a close look at a less than sunny side of economic life — the role that professionals (read lawyers, accountants and auditors) can play in enabling economic crime. This coming Wednesday July 21, 2021 (starting at … Continue reading 

Egypt’s Greatest Living Novelist Explores Why The Tahrir Square Revolution Failed

Alaa Al-Aswany on his The Republic of False Truths: "I made a big mistake. I thought the revolution was representing all Egyptians, but we were the minority. … At some point, people turned against us. This novel is a way to understand what happened." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Ransomware poses threat to vulnerable local governments

Source: Washington Post

Ransomware is the invisible threat that’s sweeping the nation. President Biden publicly committed aggressive action on cybersecurity and defending American infrastructure. Recent high-profile attacks left people panic-buying gas along the East Coast and debilitated hundreds of institutions around the globe. But underneath the big attacks, in the metropolitan area surrounding the nation’s capital where security is a top priority, local government agencies such as school districts, city halls and police departments are among the most vulnerable to ransomware attacks, experts say.

In April, D.C.’s police suffered an attack, with a group posting purported department data after making demands for money. In the fall, Baltimore County Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools faced similar attacks, causing online classes in Baltimore County to briefly stop. And the Hampton Roads Sanitation District and Bristol Police Department in Virginia became victims last fall and winter.

CNET: “Every time there’s a report about an iPhone or iPad exploit being actively distributed and used, it’s unnerving. In July, it was revealed that security researchers discovered evidence of Pegasus spyware being used on the phones of journalists, politicians and activists.  The spyware can be remotely installed on a target’s iPhone or iPad without the owner taking any action, granting the person or organization who installed it full access to the device and all the data it holds. That includes text messages, emails and even recording phone calls. Pegasus was originally designed and is marketed by its creator, the NSO Group, to monitor criminals and terrorists…”

How to Defend Yourself Against NSO Spyware Like Pegasus
Source: The Intercept

Even iPhones were vulnerable to the surveillance software, which appears to have been used against activists, journalists, and others. An international group of journalists this month detailed extensive new evidencethat spyware made by Israeli company NSO Group was used against activists, business executives, journalists, and lawyers around the world. Even Apple’s iPhone, frequently lauded for its tight security, was found to be “no match” for the surveillance software, leading Johns Hopkins cryptographer Matthew Green to fret that the NSO revelations had led some hacking experts to descend into a posture of “security nihilism.”

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, August 8, 2021 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: How to Defend Yourself Against NSO Spyware Like Pegasus; NIST revises flagship cyber resiliency guidance; Researchers Say They’ve Found a ‘Master Face’ to Bypass Face Rec Tech; and Department of Labor Focuses on Cybersecurity for Benefit Plans.