Category: Internet Security

Ghost Squad, a hacking group spawned from the Anonymous hacktivist collective, claims it took down the official websites of the Black Lives Matter movement on 29 and 30 April in a protest against actions taken by some of the campaign’s supporters.

According to Waqas Amir, a cybersecurity journalist based in Dubai and founder of HackRead, Ghost Squad conducted a series of persistent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against the official websites of the Black Lives Matter movement, beginning on Friday 29 April.

The DDoS attacks caused the web host for to completely suspend the domain, while the domain had its homepage defaced. Then, on 30 April, the Ghost Squad hackers took down the domain of worldwide again and posted proof on Twitter. Visitors who managed to access the domain received the message: “We’re making a few updates and we’ll be back shortly!”

Twitter user @_s1ege, one of the Ghost Squad members behind the attack, told HackRead: “We targeted the Black Lives Matter Movement. We have been watching several members of their movement hold racist signs and attack innocent individuals over cultural appropriation while speaking English.

“I, s1ege, started this operation after attacking the KKK [because] I realised the individuals in the Black Lives Matter movement were acting no better – some even promote genocide of the Caucasian race. This will not be tolerated. What angered me and the other members of Ghost Squad was that the leaders also do not speak on this topic. This was not the dream of Martin Luther King Jr, and should not be supported or promoted by any movement. All Lives Matter!”

Source: Anonymous takes down Black Lives Matter website to make point that ‘All Lives Matter’

The Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI’s hacking authority.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts transmitted the rules to Congress, which will have until Dec. 1 to reject or modify the changes to the federal rules of criminal procedure. If Congress does not act, the rules would take effect automatically.

Magistrate judges normally can order searches only within the jurisdiction of their court, which is typically limited to a few counties.

The U.S. Justice Department, which has pushed for the rule change since 2013, has described it as a minor modification needed to modernize the criminal code for the digital age, and has said it would not permit searches or seizures that are not already legal.

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), and civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Access Now contend the change would vastly expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ability to conduct mass hacks on computer networks.

They say it also could run afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

While Congress can reject amendments to the rules that govern federal courts, it rarely exercises that authority and is not expected to do so during a heated election year. And few lawmakers have shown interest in the subject.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, condemned the rule change as having “significant consequences for Americans’ privacy,” and vowed to introduce legislation to reverse it.

“Under the proposed rules, the government would now be able to obtain a single warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once; and the vast majority of the affected computers would belong to the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cybercrime,” Wyden said in a statement.

Source: U.S. high court approves rule change to expand FBI hacking power | Reuters

Government surveillance of the internet may cause people to self-censor and avoid voicing controversial opinions, a new study has suggested.

The study looks at how knowledge of surveillance can cause a “chilling effect on democratic discourse” online, and paints a worrying picture of the future of free speech on the internet.

For her research, Wayne State University’s Elizabeth Stoycheff looked through the lens of the ‘Spiral of Silence’ theory, which describes the tendency of people to keep quiet when they think their views go against those of the majority.

Source: Government surveillance stops people sharing controversial opinions online, study suggests | News | Lifestyle | The Independent


The Secure Socket Layer or SSL is one of the most important tools in keeping your data secure on the Internet, but not everybody actually understand it. Let’s change that:

What is SSL?

The first thing that one should understand is what exactly SSL is. In very simple terms, SSL/TSL or Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security is an Internet protocol designed to ensure the security of the data that is being exchanged by encrypting it with a unique key. Basically it has three jobs:

  1. Make sure that the website you’re sending data to is actually the one that you were trying to reach. So, if you were Red Riding Hood and you had to visit Grandma’s house, but you only had the address and didn’t actually know where it was, this protocol would make sure that the Big Bad Wolf won’t simply stick Grandma’s address label to his house and invite you in for supper.
  2. Create an encrypted connection between the user and the website in order to protect the data that you’re sending. If we use the same analogy, this will practically lock the basket with the goodies so that even if the Big Bad Wolf sees it or takes it, he won’t be able to see what’s inside or steal it.
  3. Verify the integrity of data transmission processes. This means that, if during the transport someone takes something from the basket or replaces some of the items, both Red Riding Hood and Granny will be able to know instantly.

Source: The age of encryption: All you need to know about SSL

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