Archive for September, 2013

Barnaby Jack, one of world’s best known computer hackers, dies suddenly at 35.

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Peter Foster  27th July 2013.       Find Article Here:-

One of the world’s best known computer hackers, who claimed to know how to remotely kill someone fitted with a heart pacemaker, has died suddenly at the age of just 35.

Barnaby Jack.

Barnaby Jack. 

Barnaby Jack, a New Zealand-born computer whizz, shot to prominence in 2010 after demonstrating that he could hack ATM machines.

He was found dead at a San Francisco apartment late on Friday night. The cause of Mr Jack’s death is still under investigation, according to the San Francisco coroner’s office, however a police spokesman told Reuters they had ruled out foul play after people began voicing suspicions over his death on social media.

His sudden death came just days before he was due to deliver a much-anticipated talk to the annual Black Hat security convention in Las Vegas, demonstrating how he could hack human pacemakers, potentially killing a person from 30 feet away.

Thursday’s planned talk, entitled “Hacking Humans”, echoed the hit US TV drama “Homeland,” where terrorists kill the vice president by hacking into his heart device, and was typical of the flamboyant style of Mr Jack, who was always careful to ensure that his secrets did not fall into malicious hands.

It promised to be almost as electrifying as the 2010 presentation to Black Hat, “Jackpotting ATMs”, which brought him to worldwide attention with a clip of his presentation being viewed more than 2.6 million times on YouTube.

Mr Jack was a so-called “white hat” hacker who used his great skills to help companies improve their security.

Black Hat organisers said they would not replace Jack’s session at the conference, saying the hour would be left vacant for to commemorate his life and work.

“Lost but never forgotten our beloved pirate, Barnaby Jack has passed.”, said Mr Jack’s most recent employer, the cybersecurity consulting firm IOActive Inc, said on Twitter, adding that Mr Jack was a “visionary” whose work had saved lives.

Even an arm of the US government paid tribute to Mr Jack for his work on medical devices.

“The work that Barnaby Jack and others have done to highlight some of these vulnerabilities has contributed importantly to progress in the field,” said William Maisel, deputy director for science at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

“He was passionate about finding security bugs before the bad guys,” added longtime security industry executive Stuart McClure, who gave Mr Jack one of his first jobs and also had worked with him at Intel Corp’s McAfee, a computer security company.

“He was one of those people who was put on this earth to find vulnerabilities that can be exploited in a malicious way to hurt people,” Mr McClure said.


See Also:-    Hacker Barnaby Jack’s cause of death could remain unknown for months

Barnaby Jack Conspiracy theories flood Reddit, Twitter following death of celebrated ATM Hacker


The punishment was death by stoning. The crime? Having a mobile phone.

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Emma Batha   29th September 2013.     Find Full Article Here:-

This barbaric form of execution is on the rise, and campaigners are calling on the UN to act.

Two months ago, a young mother of two was stoned to death by her relatives on the order of a tribal court in Pakistan. Her crime: possession of a mobile phone.

Arifa Bibi’s uncle, cousins and others hurled stones and bricks at her until she died, according to media reports. She was buried in a desert far from her village. It’s unlikely anyone was arrested. Her case is not unique. Stoning is legal or practised in at least 15 countries or regions. And campaigners fear this barbaric form of execution may be on the rise, particularly in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Women’s rights activists have launched an international campaign for a ban on stoning, which is mostly inflicted on women accused of adultery. They are using Twitter and other social media to put pressure on the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to denounce the practice.

“Stoning is a cruel and hideous punishment. It is a form of torturing someone to death,” said Naureen Shameem of the international rights group Women Living Under Muslim Laws. “It is one of the most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms.”

She said activists will also push the UN to adopt a resolution on stoning similar to the one passed last year on eradicating female genital mutilation – another form of violence against women often justified on religious and cultural grounds.

Stoning is not legal in most Muslim countries and there is no mention of it in the Koran. But supporters argue that it is legitimised by the Hadith – the acts and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed. Stoning is set out as a specific punishment for adultery under several interpretations of sharia or Islamic law. In some instances, even a woman saying she has been raped can be considered an admission to the crime of zina (sex outside marriage).

In one case cited by Shameem, a 13-year-old Somali girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was buried up to her neck and stoned by 50 men in front of 1,000 people at a stadium in Kismayu in 2008. Her father told Amnesty International she had been raped by three men but was accused of adultery when she tried to report the rape to the al-Shabaab militia in control of the city.

Categories: Middle East, Religion

Trust me, taking my suncream on board is no threat.

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Emily Maitlis    23rd August 2013.      Find Article Here:-

Going through airport security changed for ever after the terror attacks but some rules are wearing thin.

Thorough: security at airports remains tight — and a test of patience for even the most seasoned traveller.

I have taken off shoes, coat, sunglasses, watch, sweater, belt and earrings. I’m now removing the tissues from my short pockets. Tissues take a long time with me: there are scrunched-up tissues about my person constantly. The tissues are causing such concern among the security personnel that I am now being patted down. Then the female guard makes me stick my hands behind my ears and put my tongue out. She is checking for piercings but I become aware that I now seem faintly abusive. It’s not a good look.

There are only two scenarios that could explain the above. Visiting rights at a maximum security jail. Or a sunny holiday flight to somewhere really threatening, such as La Rochelle.

It is, of course, the latter.

On my way to Oslo last year, my perfectly packed carry-on case squeaked as it went through the machine. After a 40-minute wait, I was told explosive traces had been found on the handle. Could I explain it? I couldn’t. I did try. But I ran out of things to say because explosives and me are not natural companions. I do not even allow my children Nerf guns.

They ran another check on the bag. Explosive traces again. They upended the entire thing, laying out Tampax and knickers and — even more excruciating, a copy of Fifty Shades — with an artful tenderness that bordered on irony. I went into a zen-like calm. It was the day after Andrew Mitchell had lost his rag with that policeman at the Downing Street gates and I knew that I couldn’t afford to get stroppy.

The lady in charge was lovely. “Almost everything counts as explosives these days,” she chuckled. “Gardening tools, hand cream”. I nodded sympathetically but inside I was screaming: “HAND CREAM?” If hand cream is setting off the explosives detector, perhaps the machine is not ideally suited to its task. Both it and I were in danger of becoming a little oversensitive.

The double explosive test kicked in an automatic airport security alert. Sure enough, within minutes I was escorted through the building by armed officers from Special Branch. They took my name, scribbled down details and oddly apologised, even though they were just scrupulously doing their job.

The Special Branch female officer asked me the purpose of travel. I told her leisure — a half marathon. She was from the North, as I am: “Why aren’t you doing the Great North Run?” she asked, affronted. “Your colleague Sophie did.” She looked at me more suspiciously than at any time during the explosives debacle. It was my turn to apologise. “Too hilly,” I mumbled. And I promised to consider it next year if she let me on to the plane before I missed it.

I seem to spend an awful lot of time in airport security. I don’t mean I’m a jetsetter: I mean I literally spend a long time in the security bit. Perhaps it is my obsession with always travelling with only hand luggage. Perhaps I am just unlucky. But increasingly, I think I am just normal.

And that’s what worries me most. Because every time I see some poor mother made to drink her own breast milk or some dad being told to throw away the last centimetre of his screaming toddler’s medicine because it comes in a 125ml bottle, every time I look at the Warhol-like mountain of Nivea and water bottles and the near nudity and the endless queues, I can’t help wondering if we’re really getting this whole war on terror thing right.

And I know, because I have been told by a friend, that I risk sounding — what was the lovely phrase? — “a bit of a twat” when I moan about something so fundamental. So for the record, this is not a complaint about the folk at UK Border Agency, who are encumbered by more and more regulations each time a foiled plot hits the headlines.

It is not even a complaint about the millions BAA must be raking in through this status quo, where people re-buy the shampoo they have just been made to throw away (often in a bottle too large for them to bring back into the country a week later).

It is a reflection — during some of my 40-minute stints by the X-ray machine — on how many of the rituals we now intone before every flight are really justified and effective. The ban on liquids, for example, was introduced following the foiled 2006 airline bomb plot. It was policing genius that worked out how a Lucozade bottle could be subtly turned from refreshing energiser into a peroxide-based death trap. I am not joking when I say that discovery was phenomenal.

The trouble is, terrorists adapt and iterate, as we do. The smart ones are smart. This month reports suggest that the latest designer bomb can be surgically placed inside the body. Don’t tell me that’s going to be foiled by making me throw away the Colgate. Or the “spray-on bomb” that is aerosoled on to a wet T-shirt and detonates when dry. To a terrorist, large drink bottles are probably soooo 2006 — the zeitgeist equivalent of Larry and Sergei using a typewriter.

In truth, some of the measures from the 2006 plot have now been tacitly abandoned by some countries. I’m always surprised to see how much more relaxed America — yes America, with its pit-bull immigration officers — is about its carry-on system.

So I just want someone to explain to me whether we are clinging to these measures out of superstition, or whether we are happy to keep adding and adding. And more importantly, whether we are in danger of missing the next trick because we are dwelling on the last. Because I remain to be convinced that the achievements of our security services are down to  — whisper it quietly — making everyone throw away their suncream.

Categories: Government, Surveillance

UK Queen in depleted uranium trade?

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Posted August 5th 2013.        Find Article Here:-

British anti-war campaign group the Stop the War Coalition has in a video claimed that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is one of the richest women on earth and much of her profits are from arms trade including the notorious depleted uranium trade.

The video apparently created by anti-monarchy activists and published on YouTube says the British monarch has managed to increase her wealth from £300 million early in her 60-year reign to £17 billion at present thanks to investments in arms firms that produce uranium used in depleted uranium (DU) shells, including Rio Tinto Zinc.

DU shells are notorious for their ability to pierce armor and kill targets due to their deadly radioactive features.

The video cites the American nuclear radiation expert Jay M. Gould as saying in his 1996 book titled “The Enemy Within: the High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors” that the British royal family, especially the Queen herself, privately own investments in uranium holding worth some £4 billion through Rio Tinto Zinc.

The mining company, originally named Rio Tinto Mines, was allegedly created for the British Royal family in the late 1950’s by Ronald Walter Rowland, the Queen’s “buccaneer”.

The video argues that the Queen and other royals have been investing in the death trade of depleted uranium globally with little ethical concerns for the consequences of their profiteering.
DU weapons were first used by the US military during the first Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1991.

The US Defense Ministry estimated that between 315 and 350 tons of DU bombs, shells and bullets were fired during the conflict

There are allegations that American and British troops used more than five times as many such weapons as the total number used in the 1991 war in Iraq.

The US has confirmed the use of depleted uranium in both wars but refuses to disclose the scale of the use.

Iraq has seen a sharp rise in the number of children with leukemia and genetic malformation in the decades after the First Persian Gulf War that are attributed to the use of DU weapons.

Triple swarm of earthquakes shakes Yellowstone.

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By MIKE KOSHMRL, Jackson Hole News & Guide    22nd September 2013.         Find Article Here:-

Triple swarm of earthquakes shakes Yellowstone
The largest of the quakes shook the ground near Old Faithful Geyser.
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Until recently, Bob Smith had never witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms in his 53 years of monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera.

Now, Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor, has seen three swarms at once.

“It’s very remarkable,” Smith said. “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?”

Because concurrent swarms have never been detected in the past, the answers aren’t in yet, Smith said. The geophysicist said he “wouldn’t doubt” if at least two of the events were related.

Temblors from the three quake swarms mostly hit in three areas: Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and the northwest part of Norris Geyser Basin.

The largest earthquake shook the ground near Old Faithful Geyser on Sept. 15.

The epicenter of the magnitude 3.6 quake, the largest in Yellowstone in about a year, was just 6 miles to the north of Old Faithful.

“Generally speaking it needs to be 3.0 or higher for individuals to feel it,” Yellowstone National Park spokesman Al Nash told the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “This one was somewhat stronger than that and it was in an area where a lot of people are.”

Yellowstone’s recent earthquake swarms started on Sept. 10 and were shaking until about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16.

“A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin,” a University of Utah statement said. “Notably much of seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms.”

Including smaller events that have not been verified, there were many more quakes, Smith said.

The recent swarms produced roughly four quakes that were large enough to feel.

The first, a magnitude 3.5, struck Sept. 13 about 17 miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Mont. Then, in the early hours Sept. 15, two quakes, a magnitude 3.2 and magnitude 3.4, were detected in quick succession at 5:10 and 5:11 a.m., about 15 miles southeast of West Yellowstone. The magnitude 3.6 that marked the peak of the swarm struck nearby about 4 1/2 hours later.

“They weren’t big earthquakes,” Smith said, “but they were felt.”

About half a dozen earthquakes are felt in Yellowstone in an average year, he said.

“This is pretty unusual, to be honest,” Smith said.

None of the recent quakes, Nash said, were strong enough to cause damage or throw off the cycle of the Old Faithful geyser’s eruptions.

“We know that a significant enough earthquake in the region has potential to alter geyser activity,” the spokesman said. “A strong enough earthquake, like the one that occurred out at Hebgen Lake in 1959, did change the interval of Old Faithful eruptions.”

That quake, a 7.3 to 7.5 on the Richter magnitude scale, caused nearly 300 features on the Yellowstone landscape to erupt, 160 of which had no previous record of geysers.

Smith traced the three recent earthquake swarms to the Hebgen Lake quake.

“These are a really related,” he said.

“We think that much of the seismicity is still aftershocks from that event in 1959. It can go on for hundreds of years.”

Categories: Environment

28 killed, hundred injured by swarms of giant hornets in China.

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Jenny M.   26th September 2013.           Find Article and Video Here:-


September 26, 2013CHINA – Twenty-eight people have died and hundreds have been injured in a wave of attacks by giant hornets in central China, according to reports. Victims described being chased for hundreds of meters by the creatures and stung as many as 200 times. Most of the attacks in the past three months were in remote, rural, wooded areas in southern Shaanxi, the province’s China Business newspaper reported. In the city of Ankang alone, 18 people have died from the stings, health official Zhou Yuanhong told Associated Press. People in the cities of Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been injured. The insects’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure. An official from Ankang’s disease control centre urged people to seek medical help if they received more than 10 stings, and warned that emergency treatment was required for those stung more than 30 times. One woman in her 50s said she had spent almost a month in hospital and was still incontinent after receiving more than 200 stings. A man from her village died of kidney failure.

The hornet attacks are a recurring problem in the area from May to as late as November. According to Ankang police, 36 people died in the city and 715 were injured by the creatures between 2002 and 2005. But Zhou said the issue had been particularly severe this year, possibly because of weather changes. Experts have suggested in the past that warmer temperatures in the area have led to hornets breeding more successfully, that laborers have been moving deeper into areas where they may disturb nests, and that the insects are sensitive to chemicals found in food and cosmetics. Li Jiuzhou, deputy director of the Shaanxi Bee and Wasp Industry Association, said that hundreds or even thousands of hornets could live in a single nest. They attack humans only if disturbed, he added. But they are carnivorous and can quickly destroy bee colonies. Ankang’s fire service has removed over 300 hornet nests this summer, but experts said that the problem was unlikely to end entirely until the temperature drops. Wang Zhengcai, an official from one of the affected villages, said authorities had warned people to be careful if they enter the woods. Local authorities have also promised to help patients pay for the treatment, because of the heavy cost for the rural poor. The culprit appears to be the Asian giant hornet or Vespa mandarinia, which grows up to 5cm long with a 6mm sting, although the area is also home to the smaller Asian hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax. –The Guardian

US Congress Moves To Outlaw the Alternative Media.

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment

By Dave Hodges  25th September 2013.       Find Full Article Here:-

media control

The alternative media is having a dramatic impact on the worldview of the country, so much so, that the US Senate is legislating against the only objective media left in the country.

It is a well known fact that Senator Diane Feinstein wants your guns and now she wants control over your words. Feinstein believes that a proposed media shield law should be applied only to those she refers to as  “real reporters.” Feinstein chastises other reporters as being “basement-dwelling, pajama-clad bloggers with no professional credentials”

At issue is that the government could soon decide who is a journalist and who is not. Feinstein introduced an amendment, to Senate bill 558, that defines a “covered journalist” as someone who gathers and reports news for “an entity or service that disseminates news and information.” The definition includes freelancers, part-timers and student journalists, and it permits a judge to go further and extend the protections to any “legitimate news-gathering activities.” In the definition introduced in Feinstein’s amendment, somebody writing for a small town paper with a circulation of 30 would receive First Amendment protections, but quality news people such as Steve Quayle, John Stadtmiller, Jeff Rense, Doug Hagmann, Stan Deyo, Michael Edwards, Alex Jones, George Noory and Matt Drudge would not be considered journalists and therefore, the First Amendment would not apply to this group of aforementioned newsmen. With the passage of this amendment, our sources would not be privileged and many of our sources would dry up. But Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper can take bribes from the CIA to not cover certain stories, yet Feinstein thinks they deserve protection as authentic journalists. Award winning journalist, Amber Lyon, quit CNN because of the CIA and CNN’s complicity in obfuscating the truth from the American people, for a price. Obviously, journalistic integrity means nothing to someone like Feinstein.

This is the same Feinstein who In 2009, introduced legislation which directed $25 billion in “taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband’s real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry standards. Feinstein was a member of the Military Construction Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 to 2005. During her tenure, Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions of dollars to her husband’s firms URS Corp. and Perini Corp. Feinstein’s personal wealth accumulation since becoming a senator has grown to nearly $200 million. Feinstein has never held a job outside of public service. I am having trouble understanding how a public servant can accumulate a fortune of this magnitude.

Many of my colleagues in the alternative media have reported on Feinstein’s long list of conflicts of interest, including yours truly. This is why she is trying to attack the alternative media. In a quid pro quo, the gun-grabbing corporate controlled media, such as CNN, would never report on her illegal activities, but I will continue to do so as will my alternative media colleagues.

CNN’s ratings are in the toilet. The network used to get 6-10 million viewers for their primetime shows, now they get less than 500,000. Feinstein is carrying the water for the corporate controlled media and trying to eliminate the competition as much as possible. And of course, CNN would never reveal Feinstein’s dirty little secrets in exchange for her help.