Yahoo confirms data breach of 500 mln users, blames ‘state-sponsored actor’

Yahoo has confirmed a massive data breach that compromised the accounts of “at least” 500 million users.
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The company revealed details of the hack in a statement on Thursday, confirming that information from at least 500 million user accounts was stolen“.

A recent investigation by Yahoo! Inc. has confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor, read the statement.

Names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, passwords and both encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers were stolen from millions of users.

However, Yahoo doesn’t believe the stolen information includes user payment card data or bank account information as that info is not stored in the system“.

News of the data breach was first revealed in August when notorious cyber criminal Peace_of_Mind [Peace] claimed he was selling data of millions of Yahoo users for around $1,800. Peace claimed that the number of user accounts affected was in the region of 200 million.

Due to the hacker’s previous success, the claim was considered credible and Yahoo launched an investigation but did not call on users to change their passwords.

READ MORE: 200 million alleged Yahoo user details up for sale on Darknet

Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network,” read the statement, adding that the investigation is ongoing and they are working with law enforcement.

Yahoo is in the process of notifying potentially affected users and has “taken steps to secure their accounts”. However they’re recommending any user who hasn’t updated their password since 2014 to do so.

The FBI has issued a statement saying it is “aware of the matter” and “will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace”.

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The concession comes at the worst possible time for the beleaguered internet company. Yahoo is about to finalize the $4.8 billion sale of its email service and other core internet properties to Verizon, and this development may have huge implications for the company.

Shareholder concern over the data hack confirmation could trigger an adjustment in the price of the transaction. The sale process is near completion but need to be first approved by a number of regulatory agencies and Yahoo shareholders before any deal is sealed.

READ MORE: Marissa Mayer may walk away from Yahoo divorce with $123mn

Shares of both companies were up 0.5 percent in late morning trading, compared with a 0.6 percent increase in the Nasdaq Composite index, according to Reuters.

Tech site Recode reported earlier Thursday that the company was expected to confirm the massive data breach shortly.

Whatever you do, do not use Google Allo: Snowden

Google Allo, the new “smart” chat app launched on Wednesday, is ‘dangerous’ and should be avoided, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
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The ex-NSA contractor posted a series of Tweets to warn everyone away from the chat app, which he says will “record every message you ever send and make it available to police upon request”.

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Allo, designed to unseat chat pack leader WhatsApp, promises to deliver quick conversations with features like; “Smart Reply” that can guess your answers and respond to messages with just the tap of a button, and “Google Assistant”, which answers your questions and helps you search for things directly in your chat.

READ MORE: Tech firms distancing themselves from spies thanks to Snowden – MI6 chief

How does Allo plan on predicting your every word and witty emoji, you ask? “The more you use it, the more it improves over time,” which basically means they’ll collect and store as much of your data as possible and then use artificial intelligence to guess your replies.

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However, the efficiency of time-saving typing may end up costing customers their already compromised privacy.

When Google first announced the introduction of Allo earlier this year they, too, had planned end-to-end-encryption in “Incognito Mode” and assured they would only store messages transiently, rather than indefinitely.

However,  it now appears that Google won’t be doing that after all. Wednesday’s announcement revealed Google plans to store all conversations that aren’t specifically started in “incognito mode” by default.

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READ MORE: ‘Terrorism investigation’ Court lets NSA collect telephone records data

As Snowden pointed out, last year every single one of the NSA and FBI’s 1,457 surveillance requests was granted by the US foreign intelligence surveillance court… and Allo’s stored data (i.e. your data) will be fair game too.

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In contrast, all of WhatsApp’s chats are encrypted and unreadable – although they did announce last month that they will now be sharing your contacts and who you talk to with Facebook.

READ MORE: ‘Betrayal of trust’? WhatsApp to start sharing user data with Facebook, corporations

 

Google dodges Clinton health problems in search autocomplete – expert

Search giant Google is now covering up Clinton’s health issues, alleges Robert Epstein, a critic of the company. Google had already been accused of using its search engine to the benefit of Democrats.
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Google denied the allegations, claiming that its search engine doesn’t favor any candidate.

READ MORE: President Clinton? How Google ‘bias’ could be election’s deciding factor (VIDEO)

Meanwhile, several people provided anecdotal evidence of how Google’s autocomplete feature for searches has been biased in Clinton’s favor, including Dr. Robert Epstein from the American Institute for Behavioral Research & Technology. In an essay published by Sputnik News on Monday, he alleges that the search manipulation continues, as evidenced by how Google handles searches about Clinton’s health, which is currently becoming a major campaign issue.

 

Epstein compares autocomplete results for Google and other major search engines, including Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo. The results indicated that Google manipulates autocomplete so that a user who begins to type “Hillary Clinton’s health” into the search field, for example, will see several suggested completions, but none of them will be include “Hillary Clinton’s health,” or anything else that might be seen as negative about the Democratic candidate.

The effect of such tinkering can be profound, Epstein says, considering that as many as 20 percent of undecided voters can be manipulated into supporting a candidate using such techniques.

Without whistleblowers or warrants, no one can prove Google executives are using digital shenanigans to influence elections, but I don’t see how we can rule out that possibility. There is nothing illegal about manipulating people using search suggestions and search rankings – quite the contrary, in fact – and it makes good financial sense for a company to use every legal means at its disposal to support its preferred candidates,” he remarked.

Allegations that Google was using its search autocomplete feature and dominant market position to swing votes in favor of Democratic candidates surfaced as early as June.

In a video released by Matt Lieberman, the tech giant is accused of favoring Clinton when suggesting how to complete search requests as they are being typed in by users. The search autocomplete feature has been available on Google since 2004.

*(NEW COUGHING FIT IN OHIO)* – Hillary Clinton Blames Coughing Fit on Donald Trump

Published on Sep 5, 2016

At a campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio Monday, Democrat presidential nominee had a coughing fit while addressing the small crowd.

Sam Barkley

She’s coughing up a fur ball from Huma
umajunkcollector

Huma, the RAB spy – used Weenieman and killery for C 411. now what does C stand for?
Kristine Taylor

+umajunkcollector “classified”
Dwig Buoy

63 days to go. If i can weasel out of the debate and any public appearances and just stay in bed on chicken soup and rothschild medicines, i might live that long.
Jay J

could you imagine four years of this bullshit?
P MCC

What’s scary is the idiots, rather than question what the hell is going on with her, they will actually buy this bullshit of an excuse!
Raymeester

I’m sure this video has been demonetized.

LIST OF 15 CORPORATIONS Working With Obama To Bring UNLIMITED NUMBER OF REFUGEES To America

Buckle up America…Obama still has 6 months to fundamentally transform America. If the media and #NeverTrump crowd manages to convince voters to support Crooked Hillary, it will be the end of America as we know it… 

Who will be vetting the unlimited number of potential terrorists refugees Obama is bringing to America?

The White House announced last week that it is launching a “Call to Action” asking private businesses to help with the resettlement of refugees. This could be done without regard to the government cap of 85,000 total refugees, including 10,000 Syrian refugees, in 2016.

Fifteen founding corporations have teamed up with the Obama administration on the effort. These are: Accenture, Airbnb, Chobani, Coursera, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co., LinkedIn, Microsoft, Mastercard, UPS, TripAdvisor, and Western Union. The Call to Action initiative is not only to help refugees in the United States, but all over the world.

In Europe for example, Mastercard “worked with Mercy Corps to distribute prepaid debit cards to eligible refugees traveling through Serbia. Approximately $75,000 was distributed to nearly 400 families and individuals.”

The three main facets of this private partnership program are: “education,” “employment,” and “enablement.” Education includes “facilitating refugee children and young adults’ education by ensuring that refugee students can access schools of all levels.” The employment facet includes “increasing employment opportunities for refugees.”

Through those two parts of the initiative refugees can be settled in the United States without limit as they wouldn’t fall under the purview of the government cap on refugee resettlement. Through work and education visas refugees would not actually be considered as refugees for their immigration status. One of the companies already partnered with the Obama administration, Chobani, currently has a work force in the United States that is roughly 30 percent resettled refugees. A White House fact sheet states 66 percent of refugees are of working age.

Outside of employment and education, under the “enablement” part of the initiative, the White House mentions that companies can help refugees get access to financial services, technology, housing and transport. This also includes “covering costs of charter flight to bring resettled refugees to the United States (or to another country of resettlement).”

“These refugees will be coming outside the refugee resettlement program so they would not be counted under the government cap of 10,000. These ‘alternative legal pathways or sponsorships’ will be under employment visas, training, student visas and scholarships, visiting scholars etc,” Nayla Rush, senior researcher at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Caller.

Rush added, “remember, the aim is to bring as many Syrian refugees as possible. 10,000 is the limit this [Fiscal Year] under the refugee resettlement program. No limit to these ‘private sponsorships’, more importantly, to traceability.”

At a United Nations summit on September 20, Obama is going to push for “double the number of resettlement slots and alternative legal pathways for admission that are available to refugees, and increase the number of countries accepting significant numbers of refugees.”

Via: Daily Caller

YOUTUBE DEFENDS PUNISHING POLITICALLY INCORRECT OPINIONS: ‘WE’VE BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS’

Google-owned platform doesn’t enforce rules against large media corporations like CNN or Sony

SEPTEMBER 2, 2016

YouTube responded to the outcry over its decision to punish “controversial” opinions by demonetizing videos by insisting that the policy had already been in place for three years.

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The Google-owned platform recently released new “advertiser friendly” guidelines that stipulated how discussion of “controversial or sensitive subjects and events” would be punished by the user being unable to collect advertising money on such videos.

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This prompted a huge backlash from the YouTube community, with many seeing the move as a way of disincentivizing the creation of any videos that touched on contentious political or social issues.

However, instead of amending the policy to satisfy the content creators who have fueled the growth of YouTube, the company simply doubled down and insisted that it had already been punishing controversial opinions for years.

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“YouTube insists it has not changed its policy on which videos will have adverts attached to them since 2013 but has merely improved the way it communicates with its users,” reports the Daily Mail.

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“While our policy of demonetizing videos due to advertiser-friendly concerns hasn’t changed, we’ve recently improved the notification and appeal process to ensure better communication,” said a YouTube spokesperson.

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This response doesn’t explain why numerous prominent YouTubers suddenly saw videos on subjects like depression and acne being demonetized. We also had dozens of videos newly demonetized, disproving YouTube’s assertion that the only change was the way in which it notified users about an already existing policy.

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“Other channels like Seeker Daily have apparently had adverts removed from 150 of their videos, including one about freedom of the press,” reports the Mail.

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As prominent YouTuber Philip DeFranco highlights in the clip below, videos by large corporations such as CNN which feature images of war have not been punished by being demonetized, suggesting the rules are only being enforced against the little guy.

CNN featured a video of the Syrian boy with blood on his face, but the clip was not stripped of advertising.

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In addition, YouTube’s policy of demonetizing ads that feature “sexually suggestive” content is not being enforced against Vevo – the channel that posts mainly music videos, about half of which contain scenes that are sexually suggestive. Vevo is owned by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group.

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YouTube has adopted a clear stance in who it decides to punish for “controversial” content – one rule for the big corporations, another rule for everybody else.

As Matt Drudge warned about when he appeared on the Alex Jones Show nearly a year ago, creators allowing their content to be swallowed up by social media ghettos was always going to lead to this outcome.

“I don’t know why they’ve been successful in pushing everybody into these little ghettos, these Facebooks, these Tweets, these Instagrams,” Drudge told Jones. “This is ghetto, this is corporate; they’re taking your energy and you’re getting nothing in return.”

REPORT: GOOGLE CENSORS ‘HILLARY CLINTON HEALTH PROBLEMS’ SEARCH RESULTS

Popular search engine accused of running cover for presidential nominee

AUGUST 27, 2016

Google users attempting to search for information regarding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s health are fed search suggestions that have nothing to do with the issue, many on Twitter pointed out Saturday.

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Images show users typing, “Hillary Clinton’s he” into the Google search bar, before the search engine gives auto-complete suggestions including “Hillary Clinton’s headquarters,” “Hillary Clinton health plan,” and “Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan” – in other words, suggestions that have nothing to do with the current trending issue concerning Clinton’s health.

Readers are encouraged to try this for themselves.

In contrast, the Microsoft-owned search engine Bing.com displays search results related to the current trending issue regarding the former secretary of state’s health conditions.

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Search engine Yahoo.com’s auto-complete search suggestions are perhaps the most truthful about current trending topics regarding the Democrat nominee.

Merely typing the name, “Hillary Clinton,” in the Yahoo search bar brings up several suggestions inquiring into the former First Lady’s health status.

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Indeed, just by entering the name, “Hillary,” users are fed multiple suggestions related to the former New York senator’s health and email scandal.

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Observation of the issue sparked the viral hashtag#HillaryClintonSearchTerms which was trending on Twitter on Saturday.

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Google had previously been called out for changing its algorithm to censor search engine suggestions for people looking for information regarding the multiple mysterious deaths tied to Hillary, known popularly as the “Clinton body count.”