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Vulnerabilities

Gorillaz Web Shop Redirects To Family-Oriented Guns & Ammo Dealer

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For several weeks, the official Gorillaz web shop – http://www.shop.gorillaz.com – has redirected to Betty’s Country Grocery in Stokes County, North Carolina.

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The building where Betty’s Country Grocery is located was built in the early 1940s, but Betty did not run her business from the location until she bought it from the County Sheriff, Tony Blalock, in 1986. She’s proud of her family business. “Only family works here,” Betty tells Hacked.com. She’s never heard of Gorillaz, and finds it interesting that their shop has redirected to her website.

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Gorillaz shop on wayback machine in 2004

“We are just trying to provide the things people in the area need,” Betty said. “That’s why we added guns and ammo, as well as baits, since 1986. She says the gun business is doing really good.

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“People are afraid the next president is gonna do away with them,” she said. “They’re going to do something that will make it so you can’t buy guns. Everyone who buys a gun here goes through a FBI background check for the FBI. That’s so they don’t get into the wrong hands. On television, they say that there need to be background checks. We do.”

Betty says most of their clients are collectors or buying one for home defense. Betty has a handgun for the latter purpose. “I went and shot it once to see what it felt like,” she said. Betty’s Country Grocery began stocking guns because customers requested it. The gunsmith, who does gun repair and can engrave your name on a gun, is also a popular service provided by the small business.

Gorillaz web shop on wayback machine in 2008

Gorillaz web shop on wayback machine in 2008

“My son that works here and grandson have a concealed carry and I have one on them all the time, Betty says. “You never know when someone is gonna come in and stick a gun in your face, and I’ve got one up front where i work.” Betty’s Country Grocery has had ten break-ins, but luckily no robberies.

“It’d be just terrible to be here and not defend yourself,” she said. “If they come in and stick a gun in your face, even if you know em, they’re still gonna shoot you.”

Other than guns and ammos, another popular item at Betty’s is carp flavoring. “It’s for jackpot fishing: whoever catches the biggest fish keeps the prize money.” Bett’s has 500 different types of carp flavoring, all listed on their website. They ship the flavorings nationwide.

“We’re just family oriented, trying to serve the public, and trying to make a living,” she says.

Family built the website; namely, Stokes Web design. “He stays about six months behind [on bills], because he won’t do anything porn or alcohol related, and everyone wants him to do those websites.  

Gorillaz, a British virtual band formed in 1998 by then Blur frontman Damon Albarn and virtual artist Jamie Hewitt, consists of four animated members, whose fictional universe is explored through the band’s website and music videos. Their music has been categorized as alternative rock, britpop, trip hop, hip hop, electronica, indie, dub, reggae and pop.

Gorillaz made headlines last month when fans found tour dates on their website. Posts were made on the Gorillaz Instagram website. Now, the band’s shop redirects to Betty’s Country Grocery. The new album, set for release in early 2017, will feature De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, Vic Mensa, and more.

Featured image from Flickr.

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Breaches

Coders Safeguard Vulnerable Ethereum Wallets Following Security Breach

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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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Vulnerabilities

New Form of Ransomware Uses Social Media to Customize Demands

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A new form of ransomware is reported to have been found that uses a person’s social media and computer files to customize a demand, according to cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint.

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Called ‘Ransoc’ by the researchers because of its connection to social media, they found that the malware was scanning local media filenames and running several routines by interacting with Skype, LinkedIn, and Facebook profiles, infecting the system through Internet Explorer on Windows and Safari on OS X.

What’s interesting about this new type of ransomware is the fact that unlike ransomware such as Locky, which encrypts a person’s files before demanding payment, Ransoc customizes its demands to its victims.

After scanning a person’s computer files and social media to find potentially incriminating evidence, it then sends a penalty notice, threatening victims with court action if the amount isn’t paid.

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As it doesn’t encrypt a person’s files, the ransomware relies on a victim’s fear to pay the money straight away.

According to Proofpoint, though, this type of penalty notice threat was widespread during 2012 and 2014; however, since then the focus has been on crypto ransomware and other malware as a way of scamming victims out of their money.

Interestingly, enough, the team at Proofpoint discovered that the penalty notice only appeared if the malware was able to locate incriminating evidence on the computer. If, however, the file name was manually changed no penalty notice was triggered.

Not only that, but the team found that instead of demanding the payment in bitcoin, which is what the vast amount of cybercriminals using malware demand, this one demanded payment with a credit card. Unlike bitcoin, which gives criminals anonymity, the use of a credit card means that law enforcement can potentially trace the money back to the criminals a lot easier.

The fact that this method is used could suggest that the cybercriminals are happy in the belief that the victims have too much to hide to seek out help from the police. To encourage payment, though, the ransom note states that the money will be sent back to the victim if they are not caught again in 180 days.

It’s safe to say that repayment never happens.

All, it seems, is not lost.

According to Proofpoint, the Ransoc only employs a registry autorun key to persist, so rebooting in Safe Mode should allow users to remove the malware.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Eavesdropping

Are Children Losing Their Childhood to Smart Toys?

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Smart toys are on the rise, but while they may have the ability to enhance a child’s play, do they also pose a threat by spying on what children are doing?

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In an article from the New Scientist, the issue of privacy is looked into. More specifically, the privacy of children.

Nowadays, it seems it’s no longer a case of simply playing with Ken and Barbie as the imagination of a child takes over. As the article reports, various companies have been looking into how they can capture the imagination of children. One play item, in particular, is the Barbie Hello Dreamhouse and Hello Barbie.

Created by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc., Barbie has been in existence since 1959. Designed by businesswoman Ruth Handler, Barbie has maintained its popularity with children up to the present day for nearly 60 years.

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But, in a bid to keep up with technological advances in the 21st century, Mattel, Inc., has created the Barbie Hello Dreamhouse, a pink-and-white smart house for the world’s most popular doll. Apparently, the Hello Barbie is reported to be able to talk to a child on a number of topics ranging – as the New Scientist states – ‘from fashion and family to dreams and paddleboarding.’

Nothing wrong with that, you might think.

Except for the fact that when a child presses Barbie’s buckle to talk to her, every word the child makes is then transmitted to a Mattel-owned server farm where it is analyzed so that a suitable reply can be sent back to the child.

Sending Details to Third Parties

Shockingly, the information that was being stored was also being sent on to third parties, which, naturally, ensued a backlash.

According to Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), who launched a social media campaign #HellNoBarbie, he said that:

It just struck us as such as invasion of children’s privacy.

Open to Hackers

Children, in their innocence, don’t realize that what they are telling their dolls may now be listened to by others. This can also include hackers.

Even though toys may seem above anything else, they can just as easily become a target for hackers too.

In 2015, Chinese company VTech was targeted by hackers. Reports stated that nearly five million parents and more than 200,000 children had their information stolen after a hacker breached the servers of the toy company.

As such privacy activists have objected not only because of the concern from others listening in or the vulnerability that toys can pose, but also because it can take away the nature of a child’s play.

Taking Away the Child’s Imagination

Of course, if you walk into someone’s house, the chances are that you will find a vast array of smart technology around. Consider digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Allo to name a few.

Toys, however, don’t need to be smart, do they?

After all, when it comes to child’s play that’s when a child learns how to figure out skills while playing out a fantasy world that only they see in their eyes. By playing with toys that are already preprogramed with answers seems to only hinder a child’s play rather than broaden it.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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