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#deepweb | Fake Tor Browser Found Stealing Bitcoin From Darknet Market Users

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans


A fake version of the popular Tor Browser, used to access the deep web, has been found to be stealing the bitcoin of users looking to shop on darknet markets.

According to researchers, the malicious version of the browser has been promoted as its Russian version on posts published on Pastebin, optimized to rank on search engines for queries related to cryptocurrencies, drugs, censorship, and politicians.

The malicious browser is distributed through two domains, created in 2014, to Russian users as it if were an official version. The website’s pages mimic those of the Tor project’s official website, but add a warning to the user telling them their privacy is at risk because their browser is supposedly outdated.

A translated version of the message reads:

Your anonymity is in danger! WARNING: Your Tor Browser is outdated. Click the button “Update”

On the Pastebin and forum posts, the cybercriminals advertise various features the Tor browser doesn’t actually have, such as an anti-captcha system that allows them to bypass checks. In reality, users download a compromised version of the official Tor browser’s 7.5 version, released in January of last year.

Cybersecurity researchers at ESET further discovered the altered Tor version stops the browser from asking users for an update, as this would update them to a non-compromised version of the official Tor browser.

To get to users’ bitcoins, the browser includes a script that detects when users are about to fund their BTC wallets on darknet markets, and replaces thee destination wallets with their own.

The criminals’ three identified bitcoin wallets made a total of 863 transactions, and currently have 4.8 BTC (around $38,000) in them. The wallets have been active since 2017. Back in July, Chainalysis found that darknet markets were on pace to see $1 billion worth of bitcoin transactions this year.

As reported U.S. authorities recently took down one of the largest child porn websites on the darknet after tracing bitcoin transactions.

Featured image by Kaur Kristjan on Unsplash.

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#deepweb | Extreme poverty afflicts many of the 10-12 million Roma in Europe

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Photo by Arcoudis Chrisoula

The heaviest burden of poverty is usually borne by Roma children as the most fragile members of the community. Roma children living in extreme poverty are often caught in a cycle of transgenerational poverty.

According to a recent survey carried in eleven EU member states by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)1 :

  • more than 90 % of Roma children are at risk of poverty;
  • 41 % of Roma children live in a household where at least one person in the household went to bed hungry at least once in a month;
  • 80 % of the Roma families and their children live with an income below the respective national at risk-of-poverty threshold;
  • 50% of Roma children face nutritional risk, have underlying malnutrition and exhibit stunting and inadequate child growth.

These figures, unacceptable as they are, do not relay the deep human cost of poverty, which restricts access to the most fundamental of needs. rights. Poverty is an urgent human rights concern. For those living in extreme poverty, many human rights are out of reach. It robs individuals of their dignity and increases vulnerability to hunger, malnutrition, physical and mental illnesses, human rights abuses and exclusion.

Racism, humiliation and exclusion are drivers of poverty, as well as consequences of it. Discrimination, whether based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality or other grounds can lead to exclusion and restricts pathways out of poverty. Poverty is more than just a human rights violation.

Roma children living in extreme poverty are often subjected to a life of family alienation, abuse, child labour, illiteracy, long term unemployment and homelessness. They often live in isolation and are invisible to state policies for poverty relief. Child poverty is a violation of human dignity!

The Council of Europe combats poverty in various ways. For example, the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees civil and political human rights, and it is complemented by the European Social Charter (ESC), adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996, which guarantees social and economic human rights. According to Article 30, “Everyone has the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion”.

Furthermore, the Directorate for European Cooperation and Strategy and Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) fund initiatives to provide training for Roma to facilitate their access to labour markets. Access to decent work opportunities for all is the most effective way to increase participation, lift people out of poverty, reduce inequality and drive economic growth. The Council of Europe’s Roma and Traveller Team in co-operation with the Croatian Government Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities have organsed an expert seminar on the transition of Roma young people from education to employment and working life.


1Roma survey – Data in focus, Poverty and employment: the situation of Roma in 11 EU Member States, EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 2014

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#deepweb | Hundreds arrested in ‘dark web’ paedophile sting

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

A total of 337 people in 38 countries have been arrested in an international operation targetting paedophiles on one of the world’s “largest dark web child porn marketplaces”, investigators have announced.

The suspects – from nations including the UK, Ireland, the US and Saudi Arabia – were tracked down after investigators identified a website hosting more than 200,000 videos, “which had collectively been downloaded more than a million times”, says the BBC. A notice on the dark web site, called Welcome To Video, instructed users to upload only child pornography.

The US Department of Justice has charged a 23-year-old South Korean man, named as Jong Woo Son, with running the site. He is already serving an 18-month sentence in his own country for charges related to child abuse images, according to the Daily Mail.

“I’m immensely proud of the role we played in catching some very depraved and dangerous global offenders and for beginning the work that eventually caught Jong Woo Son,” said the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) investigations lead, Nikki Holland.

“Dark web child sex offenders…cannot hide from law enforcement,” she added. “They’re not as cloaked as they think they are, they’re not as safe as they think they are.”

For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world – and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda – try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues free

The investigation was sparked by the probe into British paedophile Matthew Falder, who was imprisoned in 2018 for 32 years after carrying out a campaign of abuse against vulnerable children and adults online, says The Telegraph.

Following the arrest of the scientist and university academic, police began investigating the dark web sites that he had been using to share abuse images and tips with fellow child abusers.

The site at the centre of the latest police sting was “one of the first to offer sickening videos for sale using the cryptocurrency bitcoin”, said the NCA. Members were identified after investigators were able to trace digital transactions back to them.

Seven men in the UK have already been convicted in connection with the site. One of the convicted abusers was jailed for 22 years for raping a five-year-old boy and appearing on Welcome To Video sexually abusing a three-year-old girl.

The international police operation is one of the biggest of its kind since 2014, when Australia’s Task Force targetted a child abuse dark web site with tens of thousands of active users. Police were able to take over the site, using the account of a user who had been arrested, and “for six months in 2014 Task Force Argos… [had] access to the forum’s every crevice, and the private messages of all 45,000 users”, according to The Guardian.

One of those users was Richard Huckle, a Briton living in Malaysia, who was given 22 life sentences in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 charges of sex abuse of children aged between six months and 12 years.

Huckle was found stabbed to death in his cell in a Yorkshire prison earlier this week.

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#deepweb | There’s a sports conflict in a British court with connections to Boston

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

New Balance wants to extend its “kit” deal with Liverpool that it first forged in 2011 (“kit” is a British term for uniform). The Brighton-based athletic shoe and apparel company believes its contract allows it to match any competing offer, while Liverpool, owned by Boston-based Fenway Sports Group, believes it can maximize its newfound position as a global soccer powerhouse by striking a more lucrative deal with the far larger Nike company.

Adding an awkward local wrinkle to the High Court of England and Wales (Commercial) drama is that Fenway Sports Group also owns the Red Sox, and New Balance and the Red Sox have maintained a close corporate partnership that reached new heights just as the Liverpool-New Balance kit deal began.

Whether or not the Red Sox-New Balance relationship will be affected by the New Balance-Liverpool dispute is yet to be known.

What is known is that New Balance and Liverpool being unable to reach a settlement and having to go to court throws all the parties involved into a tangled web of deep-pocketed relationships.

“To me, it makes total sense there’d be a big fight, especially in European soccer,” said Jonathan Jensen, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina who teaches sports marketing. “There is no salary cap, and these players are going to the highest bidders with these transfer fees that are paid. It’s like Major League Baseball on steroids.

“[Liverpool] needs to siphon every dollar they can possibly get in order to compete at that level and in order to sign those players. Every single year, essentially, these players are up to the highest bidder.

“It stands to reason, even something as innocuous as an apparel or kit sponsor, is it that big of a deal? Well, they’re trying to wring every last dollar out of that deal because they know they’re going to need it to keep [top scorer Mohamed] Salah or whomever.”

Liverpool won the Champions League title in June, the latest and most significant feat in its rise to the uppermost tier of European soccer, joining the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Bayern Munich. Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool for $477 million in October of 2010. A month before its Champions League victory, Liverpool was valued at $2.2 billion by Forbes magazine.

New Balance, with estimated annual revenues of more than $4 billion, struck a kit deal with Liverpool in 2011, and its current deal expires at the end of the season next summer.

Liverpool has struck a preliminary deal with Nike to be its next kit supplier.

Nike, according to the Times of London, has guaranteed Liverpool $37.7 million a year, while the deal with New Balance pays Liverpool $56.6 million a year. Liverpool, according to the Times and other European soccer media, was swayed by Nike’s promise of a global distribution network twice as big as New Balance’s, and a higher-than-average royalty rate of 20 percent that would translate into more revenue than New Balance could provide.

In its glimpse at the court papers, the Times reported that Nike said it would promote kit sales by using superstars, including Liverpool part-owner and basketball star LeBron James, tennis star Serena Williams, and the musician Drake.

In a statement, New Balance lauded its ability to deliver two prior home kits for Liverpool fans “and we continue to match the ambition and achievements of the club as it grows from strength to strength.” The statement went on to say, “In line with our current contract, we have matched the offer made by Nike. As part of the contract renewal process, LFC has called into question elements of the agreement and as such we are asking the courts for clarity on this case.”

Irwin Kishner, co-chairman of the sports group at the New York-based Herrick Feinstein law firm, elaborated on the stakes.

“What’s got Liverpool all googly-eyed, if you will, is I think they see a much larger distribution network, particularly in Asia, more specifically China, and that market is ripe for the taking,” said Kishner, “and I see Liverpool saying, ‘Wait a second, what does New Balance have in comparison to Nike in China?’ And you really don’t have much of a comparison there; that’s just the way it is.

“From New Balance, I see this being a crown jewel that they are fighting tooth and nail to try and find a way of keeping in the family.”

The Red Sox and New Balance have been in business in a partnership that extends far beyond shoe deals.

A 2011 multiyear deal announcing New Balance as the ball club’s official footwear and apparel sponsor included the construction of the red neon “NB newbalance” video scoreboard that stands over the right-field bleachers at Fenway Park.

New Balance works closely with the Red Sox Foundation, the two serving as co-presenting sponsors of the Pan-Mass Challenge. New Balance is the presenting sponsor of Run to Home Base, which is co-sponsored by the foundation, and New Balance is listed as a charitable donor to the foundation.

At the very least, the fact that New Balance is taking to court the Red Sox’ “sister” company, Liverpool, creates a backdrop of tension against the deep ties currently maintained between the sporting world’s giants.

New Balance, the Red Sox, and Fenway Sports Group all declined to comment on whether the sponsorship deal between the Red Sox and New Balance has expired or is still active. They similarly declined to comment on any impact New Balance taking Liverpool to court would have on their relationship.

To add one more layer of context, the Boston Globe is owned by John Henry, the principal owner of Fenway Sports Group and the Red Sox. Henry did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB

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#deepweb | Bernie Sanders is right, it’s time to redistribute economic power | Mathew Lawrence | Opinion

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Oligarchy rules the United States: the republic has been ransacked, its commonwealth privatised, and rentierism runs amok. The richest 10% of Americans capture an estimated 97% of all capital income – including capital gains, corporate dividends and interest payments. Since the financial crisis of 2008, almost half of all new income generated in the US has gone to the top 1%. The three wealthiest people in the US now own more wealth than the bottom 160 million Americans. And the richest family in America – the Walton family, which inherited about half of Walmart’s stock – owns more wealth than the bottom 42% of the American people.

The case for bold action is clear and overwhelming. Only a deep reconstruction of economic and political rights can challenge oligarchic power and halt runaway environmental breakdown. Fortunately, Bernie Sanders has just announced a new plan that matches the scale of the crisis.

His announcement on Monday of the corporate accountability and democracy plan is the latest and boldest proposal for economic democracy in America to emerge from the Democratic presidential race. At its core, it seeks to democratise the company by redistributing economic and political rights within the firm away from external shareholders and executive management toward the workforce as a collective. This is about redistributing wealth and income, but critically, it is also about redistributing power and control. Democratising the company would transform it from an engine of wealth extraction and oligarchic power toward a genuinely purposeful, egalitarian institution, one where workers would have a collective stake and say in how their company operates, and would share in the wealth they create together.

The Sanders plan would transform and democratise economic and political rights by fundamentally rewiring ownership and control of corporate America. Companies would be required to share corporate wealth with their workers, transferring up to 20% of total stock over a decade to democratic employee ownership funds. The monopoly on voting rights that private external shareholders and their financial intermediaries have benefited from would be ended; employees would be guaranteed the right to vote on corporate decision-making at work, and have a voice in setting their pay, regardless of the kind or size of company or firm they work for. Corporate boards would be democratised, with at least 45% of the board of directors in any large corporation directly elected by the firm’s workers. And the outrageous power of asset management – whose actions have done so much to accelerate the climate crisis by continuing to invest heavily in fossil fuel companies – would be ended. Asset managers would be banned from voting on other people’s money – the collective savings of millions of ordinary workers – unless following clear instructions from the savers.

Taken as a whole, Sanders’s plan would radically re-engineer how the company is controlled and for whom. The echoes with Labour’s agenda for democratising economic power is obvious, particularly John McDonnell’s inclusive ownership fund proposal, and further evidence of an increasingly fertile transatlantic pollination of ideas and practice, from the Green New Deal to movement building. Common Wealth, the thinktank that I am the director of, is another example of this, committed to designing ownership models for the democratic economy on both sides of the Atlantic. In this, at least, there is much to learn from the right; Anglo-American conservatism and the new right have long shared intellectual and organisational resources and common aims, from the incubation of neoliberalism, to current salivations over a disaster capitalism-style US-UK trade deal. It is time progressives did the same.

An emphasis on reimagining ownership and governance is a vital step forward. We face two deep crises – environmental breakdown and stark inequalities of status and reward – both sharing a common cause: the deep, undemocratic concentration of power in our economy. Working people lack a meaningful stake and a say in their firm. Corporate voting rights are near-monopolised by a web of extractive financial institutions. The needs of finance are privileged over the interests of labour and nature. Tinkering won’t address this deep imbalance in power. To build an economy that is democratic and sustainable by design, we need to transform how the company operates and for whom.

For the left, remaking corporations must be at the heart of a radical agenda. The company is an extraordinary social institution, an immense engine for coordinating production based on a complex web of relationships. The critical question is who controls how it operates and who has a claim on its surplus. Today, the answer is a combination of shareholders, institutional investors and executive management; the company has been captured by finance and extractive economic practices, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

The company – and the distribution of rights within it – are neither natural nor unchangeable. There is nothing inevitable about the existing, sharply unequal distributions of power and reward within them. The company is a social institution, its rights and privileges publicly defined. We can organise it differently: through social control, not private dominion, via democracy, not oligarchy. Sanders’s announcement is an important step toward that democratisation, and the deeper economic reconstruction that both people and planet deserve.

Mathew Lawrence is director of the thinktank Common Wealth

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#deepweb | Lucia Puenzo Talks Fabula-Fremantle’s ‘The Pack’ – ‘La Jauria’ – Variety

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

CANNES —   Produced by Chile’s Fabula, headed by Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín, and Fremantle, and showrun by Lucía Puenzo (“The German Doctor”), “La Jauria” (The Pack) cuts excruciatingly to the chase.

In its very first scene, a teen girl student sits down, back to the wall, before her male drama teacher who is video-taping the class . “Pretend I’m your boyfriend,” he enthuses off camera. “Pronounce an ‘A,’” he goes on. She doesn’t know how to react but does. until, coached by her teacher, she seems to be groaning in orgasm. When the girl leaves the class, she goes straight to the washroom, sits down and bursts into tears.

The teacher’s gross abuse sparks a student takeover of the elite school in Santiago de Chile. When its leader, 17-year-old Blanca Ibarra, goes missing, a gender-based crime specialist police unit formed by Elisa Murillo (Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman”) and Olivia Fernandez (Antonia Zegers, “The Club”) is brought in  to find her before its too late, which it may well be already.

Prefaced by cool feminist Chilean rap, this full-on but informative psychological thriller delivers a knowing depiction of Chile’s youth. “The Pack” also builds into a near overwhelming vision, at least in Ep.,1, screened at the Zurich Festival, of toxic masculinity. This permeates every level of Chilean society, from abuse and bullying at schools, to parents the police and social media. “The Pack” is, understandably, one of Fremantle’s big swings at this year’s Mipcom, which kicks off today in Cannes. Variety talked with showrunner Lucía Puenzo about one of the most anticipated of premium Latin American series.

The opening scene, of a teen girl student subjected to gross psychological and physical abuse by her drama teacher, is immensely discomforting. It’s also as if you want to lay it down the line: Show exactly what the special unit is fighting.

In recent years, much of the fight being championed by women, and very young girls especially, has had to do with exactly where the notion of abuse begins. Before, one often had to deal with situations in which there was no actual physical contact, which were not considered abuse. One of the issues we wished to broach and highlight as a problem, and focus upon as a dilemma in the series, is that this is precisely what these young girls are up against. In this case, we were particularly taken by the dramatic strength and remarkable acting power of both actors in that first scene. It was such that simply showing the way an adult might look at an underage child, a look charged with sexual intent, in a class where that adult is the teacher, was enough for it to be viewed as abuse, when it is thus perceived by that child. That’s why we chose to begin with that scene.

Coming back to that scene, which is very well acted by both actors, also suggest that one problem for the victim is that she doesn’t know how to react. She’s a deer caught in the headlights if car. What the series may lay down we suspect, even in the first few moments is the importance of education: a) How to react to abuse; b) Psychological counseling in the case of denouncing abuse, which is already suggested by Olivia when she takes teacher Ossandón through the psychological impact of abuse.

One of the things we consciously strove to do in the series from the moment we started the writing, and throughout development, shooting and editing, was to steer clear of stereotypes and simply present characters in all their complexity, because abusers – those in positions of power vis-à-vis underage girls – often are great psychopaths, in all their atrocious splendor. The young girls are bowled over by them; they’ve got them eating out of their hands, magnetically hooked to them. In this case, that’s what happens with a teacher whose young girl students are hopelessly seduced by him, and that’s why it’s so difficult for them to know how to deal with things when that line starts being crossed.

But, with regard to stereotypes, we didn’t want to err on the other side either when it came to the construction of the male characters. As we’re beginning to see, there is a growing tendency towards falling into stereotypes as far as male characters go as well. So we worked very seriously with the La Jauría group. One of them, Benjamin, grapples with a terrible dilemma with regard to what he did, and with the task of building that character as a kind of looking glass, tackling all the enormous complexities of a boy who is driven to commit a criminal act. Ditto the character of the teacher, Ossandón. We worked very diligently with the actor who plays him: on how he gradually comes to see what he did, becoming aware of his abuse, of having done something criminal, reprehensible.

The credit crawl is impactful. What did you aim for with the use of black and white animatics-look animation and the hip-hop soundtrack? And who’s singing? Is that Ana Tijoux?

Yes, it is Anita Tijoux, who also plays a part in the series. She’s a feminist hacker, who operates in the shadows, working with young girls and helping them. There was never any doubt in our minds, once we decided to call the series “La Jauría,” that we were not only talking about “the male pack” as it were, or the most sinister aspect of that online game where young boys are transformed into violent creatures that attack women of different ages. We were also talking about the female horde, groups of young girls, the policewomen hounds, packs of different groups of women who get together to defend each other and defend their daughters and baby creatures the way lionesses defend their cubs. In a way, that fight, as the character played by Ana Tjoux says at one point, is not a fight between wolves and lambs; it’s between lions against lionesses, wolves and lionesses, all defending themselves and their own with the same ferocity. In a way, this addresses the issues of the empowerment of women, which is what’s been happening over the last few years – the ever-growing power positioning of women as a collective, increasingly willing and able to wage battle as a collective.

From that approach, we gave a great deal of thought to the credit sequence, which I think is fundamental in series and films. We always wanted to embrace that graffiti technique, which is so important in the series because it’s the technique used by the young girls to leave traces of Blanca, the girl who disappeared, who they go out to look for. In a way, we wanted that animated technique to underline what the series was talking about, on the surface and at a much deeper level.

Immediately, you broaden out the theme of sexual abuse to students bullying Olivia’s son, and another instance of toxic masculinity. Could you comment on this parallel plot, its dramatic and thematic use?

When we started work with the group of writers and began to delve into how those online games function, and started studying them, we also roped in a group of advisors who were real hackers, specialists in the Web and Deep Web. We began to look into whether they reach misogynistic men predisposed towards going out and attacking women, as well as their impact on very young boys, who were more innocent, and who, due to some lingering scar, some weakness, are fragile and easily drawn into indulging in those dangerous games. We wanted the different storylines of the series to gradually build the different strands of the extreme danger in this game. In some cases, some of them weren’t criminals at the outset. That’s why we included Olivia’s teen son: to show that insofar as the group of policewomen go out to attack and hunt down those behind that game, the game also turns against them and attacks them.

They can’t simply quit and run away, since they now have the monster in their own homes, which is the most dangerous thing that’s happened in recent years, because of the way danger has crept into ordinary households. Young boys are now so fragile and literally a click away from something very sinister.

“We’re suffering forms of psychological abuse which didn’t even exist a few years ago.” “La Jauría” is in fact ultra-contemporary in its portraits of school shut-down protests, teen sex at parties, Internet social organization and exposure, and hacking. Again, could you comment?

During the process of writing “La Jauría,” there was a kind of constant dialogue with reality and with events that were taking place. That only shows just how poignantly the series taps into events teenagers and families are grappling with today, things to which we are all vulnerable. That’s why the character of Petersen is so important in the series: He’s a criminologist, a who, 20 years ago, at the advent and swift take-off of Internet, was in a way already forecasting the dangers of viralization, the way things could go uncontrollably viral. That’s precisely what happens in the series and what’s happening in society today. The wild-horde phenomenon is upon us. It’s there in online games like “The Blue Whale Challenge”, which has wrought such havoc in Russia and across the entire world, and other games that are still being invented today, which are basically targeting the Achilles heel of the Internet, given its massive reach and spread, and which, with its millions and millions of users, has reached the heart of virtually every household.

CREDIT: Photo by REX/Shutterstock

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#deepweb | ‘Everyone deserves to feel loved’

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

La Salle County’s Out of Darkness suicide prevention walk brought a community together Saturday both emotionally and physically.

Ashton Blumenthal, 21, of Ottawa, walked through a large crowd with a sign designating themselves with donation team “Northern Lights” and a colorfully written “Free Hugs” on the back.

“A couple of people (have accepted the hugs),” Blumenthal said. “Everyone deserves to feel loved.”

The “Northern Lights” group was created by Cassidy Downey and was one of 40 created to raise money for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Blumenthal’s neck was covered in a variety of different beads with a mix of hues, each with a different meaning behind the color.

The teal beads represented support of another who has struggled with or attempted suicide, the dark blue beads represented general support for suicide prevention, the purple beads represented the loss of a relative or friend and the green represented a personal struggle.

Blumenthal acknowledged that thoughts about love from family and friends help him through the more difficult moments, as do events like the one held in Ottawa on Saturday.

“It’s very important to spread awareness because there’s still a lot of wrong assumptions about suicidal attempts. It’s more common than people assume which is not good,” Blumenthal said. “I do think events like this where everyone is much happier than where everyone is sad is a good thing because we’re celebrating life and it’s showing that life is so much happier than sometimes you feel it can be.”

He also finds support in talking about it with others and encourages others to do the same.

“I encourage (others) to talk about it because I feel like if I talk about it, it gives it less power over me and I think that’s really important to not let it take control,” Blumenthal said.

That’s one of the many reasons that Chairperson Alexis Ferracuti finds the event special and it’s clearly catching on in the community as well.

The event reached its goal of raising $40,000 for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention before the event even began and the number of participants continued to climb near 400, a new record, near the start of the event.

Becky Kane and her daughter Lexi placed two photos on the “Why I Walk” wall that memorialized those that died by suicide.

Becky said the photos were of her brother Jake Bradley who died in November 2016 and her father Gary Bradley who died last October.

The pair also ran in the “Run Today for Tomorrow” walk/run in June supporting the same organization.

“I think it’s really nice to bring the community together and bring awareness to suicide because I feel like it’s out there more than it ever was before,” Becky said.

She added it also brings the issue to the forefront of people’s minds and alerts them to warning signs or encourages discussion.

“When somebody says the negative thoughts about suicide, I know sometimes you like to think ‘They’re (just) young’ but my brother was very young, he was 21 when he committed suicide. He had talked about it and I don’t know if he was taken seriously so it’s something you should really take more seriously with young kids.”

Carol Bish was another attendee with a similar story and white beads, representing the loss of a child. Her team name was “Team Excision” and a $4,080 donation.

The name came from a popular DJ that her son Luke Bish used to listen to. He died by suicide in December after a long struggle.

Carol said she hopes events like this change the “stigma.”

“Hopefully people don’t think about ending their life that way. There’s hope, they just need to find help and just be educated.”

Ferracuti took notice that many in the crowd shared the same colored beads and thus shared life experiences, noting suicide affects everyone in different ways. She herself thinks about the loss of a friend.

Ferracuti said through raising money for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention the community can understand the issue more and bring much needed mental health resources to the area.

It also serves as a reminder to all.

“You are not alone. You are never alone. And in this community, I promise you I will never let you be alone,” she said to the crowd. “We will continue to advocate, we will continue to fight and we will continue to get resources for this community because I will not allow us to ignore the symptoms anymore, to push them into a closet, to not recognize them when we see them.”

Help for anyone considering suicide is available by calling 800-273-8255 or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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#deepweb | Dark web websites: 10 things you should know

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Back in the 1970s, “darknet” wasn’t an ominous term: it simply referred to networks that were isolated from the mainstream of ARPANET for security purposes. But as ARPANET became the internet and then swallowed up nearly all the other computer networks out there, the word came to identify areas that were connected to the internet but not quite of it, difficult to find if you didn’t have a map.

The so-called dark web, a catch-all phrase covering the parts of the internet not indexed by search engines, is the stuff of grim legend. But like most legends, the reality is a bit more pedestrian. That’s not to say that scary stuff isn’t available on dark web websites, but some of the whispered horror stories you might’ve heard don’t make up the bulk of the transactions there.

We spoke to some security pros who offered to give us a bit of a guided tour of the web’s nether regions. Hopefully it will demystify things a bit.

Here are ten things you might not know about the dark web.

New dark web sites pop up every day…

A 2015 white paper from threat intelligence firm Recorded Future examines the linkages between the Web you know and the darknet. The paths usually begin on sites like Pastebin, originally intended as an easy place to upload long code samples or other text but now often where links to the anonymous Tor network are stashed for a few days or hours for interested parties. 

While searching for dark web sites isn’t as easy as using Google—the point is to be somewhat secretive, after all—there are ways to find out what’s there.  The screenshot below was provided by Radware security researcher Daniel Smith, and he says it’s the product of “automatic scripts that go out there and find new URLs, new onions, every day, and then list them. It’s kind of like Geocities, but 2018″—a vibe that’s helped along by pages with names like “My Deepweb Site,” which you can see on the screenshot.

fresh onions Daniel Smith

…and many are perfectly innocent

Matt Wilson, chief information security advisor at BTB Security, says that “there is a tame/lame side to the dark web that would probably surprise most people. You can exchange some cooking recipes—with video!—send email, or read a book. People use the dark web for these benign things for a variety of reasons: a sense of community, avoiding surveillance or tracking of internet habits, or just to do something in a different way.”

It’s worth remembering that what flourishes on darknet is material that’s been banned elsewhere online. For example, in 2015, in the wake of the Chinese government cracking down on VPN connections through the so-called “great firewall,” Chinese-language discussions started popping up on the darknet — mostly full of people who just wanted to talk to each other in peace.

Radware’s Smith points out that there are a variety of news outlets on the dark web, ranging from the news website from the hacking group Anonymous to the New York Times, shown in the screenshot here, all catering to people in countries that censor the open internet.

nytimes Daniel Smith

Some spaces are by invitation only

Of course, not everything is so innocent, or you wouldn’t be bothering to read this article. Still, “you can’t just fire up your Tor browser and request 10,000 credit card records, or passwords to your neighbor’s webcam,” says Mukul Kumar, CISO and VP of Cyber Practice at Cavirin. “Most of the verified ‘sensitive’ data is only available to those that have been vetted or invited to certain groups.”

How do you earn an invite into these kinds of dark web sites? “They’re going to want to see history of crime,” says Radware’s Smith. “Basically it’s like a mafia trust test. They want you to prove that you’re not a researcher and you’re not law enforcement. And a lot of those tests are going to be something that a researcher or law enforcement legally can’t do.”

There is bad stuff, and crackdowns means it’s harder to trust

As recently as last year, many dark web marketplaces for drugs and hacking services featured corporate-level customer service and customer reviews, making navigating simpler and safer for newbies. But now that law enforcement has begun to crack down on such sites, the experience is more chaotic and more dangerous.

“The whole idea of this darknet marketplace, where you have a peer review, where people are able to review drugs that they’re buying from vendors and get up on a forum and say, ‘Yes, this is real’ or ‘No, this actually hurt me’—that’s been curtailed now that dark marketplaces have been taken offline,” says Radware’s Smith. “You’re seeing third-party vendors open up their own shops, which are almost impossible to vet yourself personally. There’s not going to be any reviews, there’s not a lot of escrow services. And hence, by these takedowns, they’ve actually opened up a market for more scams to pop up.”

Reviews can be wrong, products sold under false pretenses—and stakes are high

There are still sites where drugs are reviewed, says Radware’s Smith, but keep in mind that they have to be taken with a huge grain of salt. A reviewer might get a high from something they bought online, but not understand what the drug was that provided it.

One reason these kinds of mistakes are made? Many dark web drug manufacturers will also purchase pill presses and dyes, which retail for only a few hundred dollars and can create dangerous lookalike drugs. “One of the more recent scares that I could cite would be Red Devil Xanax,” he said. “These were sold as some super Xanax bars, when in reality, they were nothing but horrible drugs designed to hurt you.”

The dark web provides wholesale goods for enterprising local retailers…

Smith says that some traditional drug cartels make use of the dark web networks for distribution—”it takes away the middleman and allows the cartels to send from their own warehouses and distribute it if they want to”—but small-time operators can also provide the personal touch at the local level after buying drug chemicals wholesale from China or elsewhere from sites like the one in the screenshot here. “You know how there are lots of local IPA microbreweries?” he says. “We also have a lot of local micro-laboratories. In every city, there’s probably at least one kid that’s gotten smart and knows how to order drugs on the darknet, and make a small amount of drugs to sell to his local network.”

xanax Daniel Smith

…who make extensive use of the gig economy

Smith describes how the darknet intersects with the unregulated and distributed world of the gig economy to help distribute contraband. “Say I want to have something purchased from the darknet shipped to me,” he says. “I’m not going expose my real address, right? I would have something like that shipped to an AirBnB—an address that can be thrown away, a burner. The box shows up the day they rent it, then they put the product in an Uber and send it to another location. It becomes very difficult for law enforcement to track, especially if you’re going across multiple counties.”

Not everything is for sale on the dark web

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about drugs here for a reason. Smith calls narcotics “the physical cornerstone” of the dark web; “cybercrime—selling exploits and vulnerabilities, web application attacks—that’s the digital cornerstone. Basically, I’d say a majority of the darknet is actually just drugs and kids talking about little crimes on forums.”

Some of the scarier sounding stuff you hear about being for sale often turns out to be largely rumors. Take firearms, for instance: as Smith puts it, “it would be easier for a criminal to purchase a gun in real life versus the internet. Going to the darknet is adding an extra step that isn’t necessary in the process. When you’re dealing with real criminals, they’re going to know someone that’s selling a gun.”

Specific niches are in

Still, there are some very specific darknet niche markets out there, even if they don’t have the same footprint that narcotics does. One that Smith drew my attention to was the world of skimmers, devices that fit into the slots of legitimate credit and ATM card readers and grab your bank account data.

And, providing another example of how the darknet marries physical objects for sale with data for sale, the same sites also provide data manual sheets for various popular ATM models. Among the gems available in these sheets are the default passwords for many popular internet-connected models; we won’t spill the beans here, but for many it’s the same digit repeated five times.

atm skinners Daniel Smith

It’s still mimicking the corporate world

Despite the crackdown on larger marketplaces, many dark web sites are still doing their best to simulate the look and feel of more corporate sites. 

elude Daniel Smith

The occasional swear word aside, for instance, the onion site for the Elude anonymous email service shown in this screenshot looks like it could come from any above-board company.

One odd feature of corporate software that has migrated to the dark web: the omnipresent software EULA. “A lot of times there’s malware I’m looking at that offers terms of services that try to prevent researchers from buying it,” he says. “And often I have to ask myself, ‘Is this person really going to come out of the dark and trying to sue someone for doing this?”https://www.csoonline.com/”

And you can use the dark web to buy more dark web

And, to prove that any online service can, eventually, be used to bootstrap itself, we have this final screenshot from our tour: a dark web site that will sell you everything you need to start your own dark web site.

docker Daniel Smith

Think of everything you can do there—until the next crackdown comes along.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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#deepweb | Please Netflix, don’t kill TV

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

In this column, “Just putting this out there…,” we write about the odd ways we engage with tech and the unpopular opinions we form about it. You can read the rest of the articles in this series here.

Ever since Netflix came along, TV stations have become pretty much pointless, right? I mean why go through the excruciating process of waiting a week for a new episode of your favorite show when you can simply stream the entire season in one day? While that’s a solid argument, it still comes with an awful problem: choice.

Now, you might think that “choice” isn’t much of a problem at all — but you’re wrong. With the choice that streaming services bring, comes the loss of not having to make a choice. Deep, right? 

Let me explain

First up, I’m a rather extreme case because, growing up in Iceland, I only had one TV channel for most of my life, but my situation is still applicable and you should take my opinion as fact.

I’ll paint you a word-picture of an eerily familiar scenario. You come home after a long tiring day at work, kick off your shoes, wolf down dinner, and then firmly plant yourself in front of the screen, hoping to transcend the mundanities of daily life and be spirited into a new world. 

But if you’re not currently knee-deep in binging a series, choosing the next show to watch is a pain. You see the thumbnails of series your friends have said YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST WATCH, but right now you’re not really in the mood to be challenged intellectually — it was a tough day. So you decide to definitely watch it sometime soon, and then end up rewatching The Office for the gazillionth time

Too many options mean tough decisions, which means returning once again to the familiar and safe bosom of a long-worn out show. No adventure or new discovery. No ticking a movie off your bucket list.

And this is a problem shared by many, judging by how many people read our guide on how to find something to watch on Netflix. There’s also a TED talk on how more choice can actually not happier but more dissatisfied, so I have double proof and you have to believe me.

This talk is actually from 2005, before Netflix become the hottest streaming service in the world, but I’m gonna forcibly apply it to Netflix to make my case. Psychologist Barry Schwartz’s argument basically boils down to this: when faced with too many options, it actually produces paralysis, and even if we overcome it, we’ll be less satisfied with our choice. 

Unlike watching linear TV,  streaming always puts you in the driver’s seat, forcing you to deal with the existential dread of making the right choice or feeling like a failure for having wasted an evening on The Holiday Calendar. With linear TV you might waste an evening, but it isn’t really your fault — or at least it’s easier to lie to yourself that it isn’t.

Linear TV’s greatest strength: Discovery

There’s so many films and documentaries I’ve enjoyed that I would never have consciously ‘put on’ Netflix, as it would’ve felt like too much of an investment. Will I really have the time and attention to sit through a two-hour documentary about the history of Italian bidets? Only the gods know. But finding it already playing when I turn on the TV is just the nudge I need. And while this isn’t necessarily the best content out there — the documentary on French bidets was far better — it does broaden my horizons. 

Then there’s also all the types of shows and segments that streaming just hasn’t been able to master as of yet. Daily and deep-dive news programs, talk shows on topics such as literature, arts, niche subcultures, and shows depicting local issues and interesting tidbits. Linear TV still has these in the bag.

I’m also a relatively smart person (my mom says so), which I owe in part to all the ‘knowledge’ I’ve randomly gleaned from TV, especially when I was a kid. Every day I’d plant myself in front of the ol’ picture box and absorbed the world’s collective knowledge like a sponge. 

But a lot of channels suck, right?

TV stations are of course incredibly diverse and different between countries and regions — basically, there’s a lot of crap out there (looking at you, US). There’s also an incredible amount to choose from, so mindlessly flipping through channels until I hit a rerun of The Office means I’m in the same predicament as I am with streaming. There’s also annoying ads, but that’s capitalism baby. I still maintain the linear TV viewing experience is much purer. 

There’s something so beautiful about tapping into a stream of content enjoyed simultaneously by masses of people around the country, whether it’s a quality program or a disruptive ad. There’s a sense of camaraderie and companionship, as you give up a certain amount of control to join them. Instead of being a lonely, cooped-up, omnipotent streaming god, where the time of day has no meaning and all of the world’s creation is at your fingertips, you decide to acknowledge the world around you, your place in it, and all its limitations. 

You might not get exactly what you wanted, but who says you knew what that was anyway? You open yourself up to discovery and new ideas as you plug yourself into a beam of emotions and a sense of time that you share with the rest of society. Basically, it keeps you anchored in the stormy seas of technological progress and societal disunity (damn I’m a good writer).