ER

Cracking party

Dear Reader,

Among the many parties happening around the world, there is a big one on cracking. Cracking passwords that is.

Do you have an account with LinkedIn.com? The “business social network”?

If you do, I highly recommend you delete it. And if you used the password from there at any other website or internet service, please change that immediately.

LinkedIn got cracked in 2012. And they kept pretty silent about it. At the time they admitted only, some 6.5 million passwords had been taken. This week we learned here, it was more like 117 million passwords. Or precisely:

164,590,819 unique email addresses
177,500,189 unsalted SHA1 password hashes

And as of now > 90 % of the passwords have been cracked already. Just 14 million to go.

Why does that matter? It means, those passwords are not save anymore. And never will be again. The algorithms used for password cracking have been trained. And whoever uses one of those passwords anywhere, is wide open.

Granted, the most popular passwords at LinkedIn were the usual bad ones: 123456, linkedin, password, 123456789, 12345678, 111111 and qwerty. And those are easily cracked. But eventually well over 95% of those passwords will be cracked. It is just a matter of time and computing power.

LinkedIn is one of the more popular websites. According to WikiPedia.:

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 14, 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 2015, most of the site’s revenue came from selling access to information about its users to recruiters and sales professionals.
As of October 2015, LinkedIn reported more than 400 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.
LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol “LNKD”.

So, here is a publicly traded company, not some small garage firm, that did not care about its users and their safety. All they care about is selling the user data. And in the process they made the internet less save for everybody.

The somewhat famous founder and current chairman Reid Hoffman, usually quite outspoken, has been very silent about the matter. Nothing on his website, nothing on his twitter account. For that he deserves our Idiot of the Day medal.

And that is why you should delete your account there. Unless we, the users, make those companies and the people feel pain, unless they lose money or go bust, security will not improve.

Stay safe,

Engine Room

ER

Al-Qaeda, Al-Aqsa, Al-Gebra

Dear Reader,

We have a new terror organization. Time to fear for your life, this time for real.

After Al-Qaeda and Al-Aqsa, we know give you Al-Gebra.

This group is so dangerous, it has been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years.

And they are strong. Strong as in they have hundreds of millions of followers.

They have infiltrated diablog already. Yes, I am willing to come out as a follower. Shocking, I know.

Why now? One of us got caught. This guy:

You can read about it here:

http://www.trendingmail.com/2016/05/american-airlines-flight-delayed-due-to.html

If there ever was a plea for more education, there you have it.

Our Idiot of the Day medal goes to that airline passenger, obviously obsessed with “If you see something, say something”. I hope she does not reproduce.

And I still request a zero-security-check-airline. I’d sign up right away. I fly at my own risk. With all those dangerous things like water bottles, pocket knifes, tweezers, shoes, tooth picks, etc.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

ER

Beware of monopolies

Dear Reader,I have a very strong dislike for monopolies. They don’t work, except for the owner. Today’s point in case: youtube.

Yes, I know, there are other websites for video hosting, vimeo.com for instance. But youtube is in fact a monopoly.

Almost all publishers are hosting their videos on youtube. In our early days of diablog we used them too. Youtube is the first destination for people looking for videos. And Google. which owns youtube, throws all its weight behind it. Youtube links are always prominently displayed on Google search results.

And how does Google make money? Through advertising. So it comes to no surprise, that Google is tempted to abuse its near monopoly. And force you, to pay them through advertising. And they do.

How can one tell?

Yesterday I was looking for a video for this post. And youtube did not work. It was broken. I could not see any videos. The site did not display much at all. After trying a couple of things and spending more than an hour, eventually I found the root of the problem.

To prevent tracking, one can use an add-on called Ghostery. That disconnects from trackers. And currently Ghostery breaks Youtube. Or rather, youtube does not allow you to use its website, unless you allow youtube to track you. Which means, youtube requires, that you let them spy on you, and sell your data to advertisers. All the while claiming that their service is “free”. Remember when their slogan was “Don’t be evil”?

My dislike for Google as a near monopoly is growing every day. They have a near monopoly on searching the internet. And they have a near monopoly on videos. And contrary to popular believe, Google is abusing its monopoly.

A few days ago the story broke, that Google executives contacted the US State department offering to abuse their powers and secretly manipulate Syrian people. Do you want to be governed by Google?

Please, avoid Google, today’s recipient of our Idiot of The Day medal.

Google is neither your friend, nor is it neutral. In my humble opinion, Google needs to be broken up.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

Glynsky

and who’s our choice April Fool?…

Dear diablog,

Its that time of year again and who does the IHQ vote as the biggest April Fool?

It is notable that one European nation has given us tumultuously crazy despotic leaders in recent history – what is it about them that this keeps happening? They range from

kraut

to the beloved Adolph

kraut1

and beyond to our lifetime’s greatest.

Welcome

kraut3

who ‘stars’ in all the best movies…

Continue reading

ER

Twitter can go and …

Dear Reader,

For a while diablog used twitter. It was an experiment. We had some fun, learned a lot, and then we grew tired of it.

From around 2010 twitter was an interesting platform. It developed into a news or PR channel. On twitter you could read news, before they became news. Twitter was a preferred channel of Wikileaks, Anonymous, Occupy Wall Street, and many other individuals and groups. Twitter was an important communication channel during the Arab Spring and other ‘world events’.

One reason for its importance was, that Twitter was against censorship. While other internet platforms like F*c*book closed accounts quickly, demanded real names and cellphone numbers, Twitter stood out. You could remain anonymous on twitter. A prime example is @avunitanon, the last member of notorious LulzSec, who is not identified. At least officially.

Now twitter is changing. It has joined the other politically correct, pussy footing, censoring platforms. The fig leaf is “hate speech”. This is the announcement: https://blog.twitter.com/2016/combating-violent-extremism

Now twitter is proud, that:

Since the middle of 2015 alone, we’ve suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.

And on:

We cooperate with law enforcement entities when appropriate. In July 2015, FBI Director James Comey recognized Twitter’s commitment to blocking terrorist content, praising us as “very good and thoughtful and hardworking at trying to shut down [terrorism-related] accounts.”

Less than six months ago, in September 2015, twitter was proud to have Edward Snowden using its service. I guess that will change, when the new twitter buddies from the FBI – or their friends from the NSA – want some more ‘commitment’.

The lesson from this?

Use the internet, not internet platforms. If you want to say something, do so on a website you control. Do not expect any internet platform platform to act in your favor or on your behalf.

Our Idiot of the Day Medal goes to twitter.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

Glynsky

here we go, here we go..,.,

Dear diablog,

The New Year seems to have brought all sorts edible treats which have lead to the inevitable ‘ballooning’ of Glynsky’s profile (much to the pleasure, probably, of Smiles – comments anticipated!).

In an effort to (possibly!) address this I have decided on radical action and am very tempted to join a convenient

Zumba class! Apparently even the elusive Pete might join me.

I doubt that it would be as much fun as this but……

Yours, diablog, contemplating the disappearing navel

Glynsky