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Anonymous Blackmails New Jersey Police into Reasonable Conduct

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Three days ago, members of Anonymous went public regarding the recent, brutal killing  of unarmed Phillip White by a Vineland, New Jersey K-9 unit.

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Officers involved claimed that White was out of control at the time of his death, but video evidence revealed otherwise, showing the man laying on the ground, compliant in every sense of the word. The officers allowed the German Shepard with them to maul the African American to death just a few yards from his home.

Below is how the local news reported the incident. Notice the break from the usual “cops got to do what cops got to do” mantra. Instead, real reporting takes place, even gaining the shocked commentary of a cop far senior to any of those involved, who gave them cause to say:

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Our law enforcement says that demand [for the cell phone capturing the murder] was inappropriate and police have no right to take anyone’s cell phone because they are recording uniformed police officers making an arrest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lonwenKVEv0

You Should Have Expected Us

Though many throughout the security and technology communities have in recent times chalked Anonymous up to a very bad joke due to things like its bullying of the BBC, the following video could be seen as a return to the hacktivist group’s roots. In this case, they got results, with some of their demands being met.

Also read: Police Are Using Radar Devices To See Inside Homes

As you can see, the group makes plain what will become of the department if it does not comply. Not only will all of the personal information of every officer involved be released, but:

For every hour these names are not released, we will release a name and all personal information, beginning with the Cumberland County Prosecutor, to the last member hired by the Vineland Police Department. We will also begin cyber attacks on your websites & your databases until our demands are met.

anonWithin a few days, the public would have all the information it needed to exact justice on its own. But, the by the time the deadline came, the police had decided not to comply. That was when, on Tuesday, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of Officer Louis Platania and Officer Jeffrey Travaline were released via a known Anonymous hacking dump. Platania is the one you see holding the dog’s leash, clearly able to call him off before the fatal blows occur. Travaline is the one who tries to destroy evidence.

The local police union lawyer, Stuart Alterman, told the local news that the dead man had been demonstrating “super human strength.” He must have taken a page from the case of Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot and killed an 18-year-old Mike Brown last year and was cleared by a Grand Jury of wrongdoing. One of the hallmarks of the case was Wilson’s post-court statement to the news media that Brown “looked like a demon.”

The dispatch recordings of the events tell a convoluted story, and we will leave it up to the readers to make sense of them from here. One thing is clear: the video shows the man under control while the audio demonstrates the police trying to convince their superiors that they were under duress. Overuse of deadly force by police in this country is at an all-time high, and it’s nice to see Anonymous make a comeback, however minor, to push events in justice-minded direction.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. RJF

    April 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Not saying anything for or against the actors in the incident but, I don’t see the Police Dog doing anything that would have killed a full grown human male. Perhaps I’m missing something but, where does that occur in the video? And, to the author of the article, many drugs can produce the appearance of “super human strength” especially PCP. Not saying drugs were involved but, just generalizing that the FACTS in this incident are not yet quantified.

    • Underbridge

      April 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      It’s not shown on the NBC clip, of course…

      You can see the fatal injuries from 0:30 – 0:50 in the actual video on youtoob. He seems to become unconscious and there’s certainly enough of a mauling to kill him through loss of blood, although I suspect immediate first aid might have kept him alive.
      Needless to say, the cops don’t bother with first aid.

  2. oakmaster

    April 13, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Ya this how police have policed for years and nobody would listen now that the video proof is becoming available IT’S O MY GOD when the officers behind the bade start acting and be treated like they are not above the law that’s when change will still if a cop goes to jail they are protected from the general population well they are not a cop put them in the cage just like any of the rest of us if anything they should get more time for doing what they took a oath to up hold I

    • DougNJ

      April 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      And that was all one sentence.

      • DCmehome

        April 16, 2015 at 1:58 am

        A sentence requires completion with a period. It appears that the author perhaps speaks out loud while he types and ran out of air after the personal pronoun, “I”. Alternatively, he was using this literary technique to offer the reader the opportunity to run-on thinking as the first person.
        In either case, this is the finest example of a run-on incomplete thought I’ve seen in some time.

        • Underbridge

          April 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

          “…to offer the reader the opportunity to run-on thinking as the first person.”

          Is there a missing verb here? Because when you criticise someone else’s (on-topic!) sentence structure you really need to be squeaky-clean yourself.

          • DCmehome

            April 17, 2015 at 3:20 am

            You are correct. And, you are wrong. The verb, thinking, was there. The tense, present progressive, was inappropriate.

          • DCmehome

            April 17, 2015 at 3:22 am

            I believe I responded to the person criticizing the on-topic comment in the same vein that you criticized me. The irony is hard to miss.

          • Underbridge

            April 17, 2015 at 8:18 am

            Oh. My bad, and my apologies. I thought you were snarking Oakmaster.

          • DCmehome

            April 21, 2015 at 7:19 am

            Actually, your point is well taken. It was a good article and I could have brought the conversation back on-topic more skillfully.

  3. Jim Brown

    April 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Another (victimless) crime stopped .
    (although, that guy on the ground looks like a victim of crime to me)
    Well, wait a minute ….. what’s wrong with this picture? Who are the criminals here?

    All slaves around the world should be grateful that our masters care enough
    about our well-being to provide these “proud boys-in-blue” to protect us from ourselves .

    “To Protect and Serve” …… WHO???

    The “good Cops” are leaving their profession in record numbers,
    leaving behind nothing but a big gang of insane sociopaths with guns.
    Any cop who does NOTHING to stop this type of incident needs to be
    shot dead on the spot with no warning, no hesitation, no discussion.

    They are obviously brainwashed beyond any hope of recovery.

    If you think this is “Hate Speech” you are brainwashed too. YEAH, THAT MEANS YOU.

    This is very simply a situation of killing a 6-foot long rattle snake where your children play.
    The snake doesn’t know he’s doing anything wrong,
    but you can’t plead with the snake to not bite your children,
    he’s not responsible for his actions,
    just like these Cops will tell you that they are “just following orders”,
    I’m not personally responsible in any way.
    I CAN LEGALLY KILL YOU BECAUSE I HAVE A SHINY BADGE.

    Welcome to the New World Order.
    Jim
    .
    .
    .

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Cybersecurity

The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency

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For the second time in as many months, The Pirate Bay has been caught mining cryptocurrency on your computer without consent. The torrent platform was actually test-driving cryptocurrency mining in your browser – no doubt a lucrative revenue stream.

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The Pirates Are At It Again

The Pirate Bay has been caught using software called Coinhive, a JavaScript library that essentially serves as a cryptocurrency miner. It basically connects to visitors’ computers to mine Monero, one of the world’s most profitable cryptocurrencies.

The news was later confirmed by Bleeping Computer, which reported that,”The Pirate Bay, the internet’s largest torrent portal, is back at running a cryptocurrency miner after it previously ran a short test in mid-September.”

Estimates indicate that the scheme has earned the pirates a total of $43,000 over a three-week period.

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Users had no way to opt their computers out of being test-driven by the torrent network. Back in September, The Pirate Bay got away by telling people it was just a test. The site’s owners cannot use the same excuse this time around.

CoinHive advises websites to let their visitors  know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.

“We’re a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate CoinHive into their pages without disclosing to their users what’s going on, let alone asking for their permission,” the company said.

The good news is most ad-blockers and antivirus programs will block CoinHive, given its recent abuses. That means not all visitors of The Pirate Pay were being used as a conduit for mining Monero.

Monero Joins Global Crypto Rally

The value of Monero (XMR) shot up nearly 8% on Friday, and was last seen trading at $94.17. With more than 15.2 million XMR tokens in circulation, the total market cap for Monero is $1.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s enough for ninth on the global cryptocurrency list.

Twelve cryptos have now crossed the $1 billion valuation mark. A handful of others have made their way north of $500 million.

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Breaches

Coders Safeguard Vulnerable Ethereum Wallets Following Security Breach

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hacker extortion bitcoin

Ethereum suffered large-scale security breaches last week after anonymous hackers targeted vulnerable wallets in the network, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars. However, it didn’t take long for a volunteer group of coders to “rescue” the funds in 500 at-risk wallets before the same attackers could get to them too.

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White Hat Group Takes Charge

The so-called White Hat Group showed initiative by “rescuing” the funds using the same techniques the thieves employed to compromise $32 million USD worth of ether from three multi-signature wallets. As of Monday, the White Hat Group of ethical hackers was in possession of $86 million worth of ether and an additional $122 million in tokens.

Tokens are digital assets that are sold during an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fundraising event. They have proven to be extremely popular.

Tens of millions of dollars worth of ether and tokens have already been returned to their owners. The White Hat Group says it will issue full refunds by the end of July.

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Blockchain-based trading platform Coindash was also breached last week, resulting in the loss of more than $7 million worth of ether.

Security Breaches Nothing New in Crypto World

For all its benefits, cryptocurrency has been vulnerable to several high-profile security breaches. Last summer, Hong Kong-based Bitfinex was the target of a major attack that resulted in the theft of around $70 million worth of bitcoins. In response, the exchange announced a controversial plans to “socialize” its losses among all users. Each Bitfinex trader was docked 36% as a result.

Bitcoin prices declined sharply following the attack, stopping what had been a blistering summer of gains.

Ethereum Enterprise Alliance

For anyone doubting the potential of the ether, take a look at the list of companies participating in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). The EEA is a forum that connects Fortune 500 companies, startups and academics with ethereum subject matter experts.  The EEA is made up of multinational banks and some of the world’s biggest technology companies.

The forum has made cyber security a top priority, according to a May 22 press release. In the release, companies like Infosys, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Synechron and others expressed their intent to contribute to the future of ethereum’s security.

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Hacking

Hackers Only Need Seconds to Figure Out Card Details

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Experts from Newcastle University in England has found that hackers only need six seconds to figure out the card number, expiry date, and security code for a Visa debit or credit card by simple guesswork, according to a report from The Telegraph.

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According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, in the U.K. the number of bank account fraud cases reported up to June 2016, from the beginning of the year, amounted to over 2.3 million.

The researchers found that all that a hacker needs is a computer and an Internet connection. It is believed that hackers simply utilize what is known as a Distributed Guessing Attack enabling them to get around security features that help prevent online fraud.

By using the Distributed Guessing Attack, the system was unable to detect multiple attempts made by hackers.

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Process of Elimination

As such, within a matter of seconds hackers were able to determine the correct information on a person’s card by a process of elimination.

Only recently Tesco bank account customers were subjected to hacking after criminals were able to gain access to their accounts. It is believed that these hackers may have used the Distributed Guessing Attack to siphon money from peoples’ accounts.

Payment Cards Remain Vulnerable

Unfortunately, even though Visa debit and credit cards remain popular and convenient forms of payment, they remain vulnerable as well.

And hackers know this, which is why reports of online card fraud are becoming more prevalent in today’s technologically-advanced world.

Visa states though:

The research does not take into account the multiple layers of fraud prevention that exist within the payments system, each of which must be met in order to make a transaction possible in the real world.

However, while this may be the case, it seems something is amiss if cybercriminals can simply determine a person’s card details in six seconds through guesswork.

Bitcoin to the Rescue?

The digital currency bitcoin, however, may provide an answer to this problem.

As a type of digital currency that is held and created electronically with no central bank governing it, bitcoin is considered the cash of the Internet.

Due to its popularity more people are turning to it instead of fiat currency.

It was recently reported that Sweden is considering the issuance of its own digital currency, ekrona, in an effort to address the significant decline of the use of cash in the country.

Whereas India has announced that digital currency will become the new normal in the country as it attempts to reduce the amount of cash transactions with the banning of its biggest banknotes, the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.

While these are just a few instances of how bitcoin is revolutionizing how we see money, many are quickly catching on to how safe and effective bitcoin is as a form of payment in a world where hackers are gaining easy access to a person’s Visa debit and credit cards.

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