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Hacktivist groups join the fight against ISIS

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Several Hacktivist groups, including Anonymous, GhostSec, and Ctrlsec, have formed an alliance of sorts, to combat ISIS. Together, the groups have compiled a list of 9200 Twitter accounts that they claim support ISIS. Earlier this year, the hacktivist group known as Anonymous released a video in which they mark ISIS as their next target. In the video, they say that

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“You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure. We own the internet,” and “ISIS, we will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you. From now on, no safe place for you online.”

Anonymous and ISIS

hacker anonAccording to Anonymous, Twitter is essentially the central hub for ISIS operations. While they use other sites to spread information, Twitter provides them with resource they need to link their content together effectively. Without Twitter accounts, they wouldn’t be able to keep their content alive and easily accessible. Twitter has suspended several ISIS related accounts but has ultimately proved unsuccessful in stamping out ISIS accounts on Twitter. ISIS uses what are known as “swarm accounts” to stay active through the suspensions. They use these accounts to cross promote each other, which creates a hydra-like environment.

Anonymous claims to have already taken down over 1000 websites, social media accounts, emails, and network connections that were supporting ISIS. Anonymous is adding to that list with 9200 Twitter accounts.

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The list of Twitter accounts related to ISIS has been publicly released here, and in a post on Medium, they state that

We’re releasing it to hold Twitter accountable.I encourage you all to do your duty not only as a citizen of the world but also as a member of the internet community and re-post this on social media. The more attention it gets, the more likely it becomes Twitter takes action in removing these accounts and making a serious impact on the ability of ISIS to spread propaganda and recruit new members.

These hacktivist groups don’t normally have any association with each other, but in the interest of a common enemy, they have come together. A member of Anonymous told the International Business Times in an interview,

“This is historic amongst the digital world as it’s the first time these groups have come together for something this large. Usually, they are very closed off and not willing to work outside of their circles but this has become so large of a problem they’re willing to form an alliance for what is seen as a greater good.”

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. armedovic

    March 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Leave it alone. Understand the spirit, and appreciate the enthusiasm, but the Twitter postings provide valuable information for people tracking & terminating these people.

    • Steven Schwartz

      March 19, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      To a degree I agree with you, but wouldn’t it be better if they had no way to communicate with each other instead. Wouldn’t it be better if a group with the ability to do so could expose their every move with enough time for us to stop and capture them? I think that thees groups of hackers are using their abilities in teh best way that they can.

    • Merchant Integration

      March 19, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Excellent point, but lets not forget the information gleaned from any SM account can easily be shared with whomever wants it. These lower body jabs, if sustainable, will most certainly help and require greater collaboration across all fronts, government and other.

      BIGbtc – Bitcoin Integration Group – Toronto, Canada

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Cybersecurity

This Tool Lets you Scan the Dark Web for your (Stolen) Personal Data

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A recently revealed a dark web scanning service was launched in the UK. The service is called OwlDetect and is available for £3,5 a month. It allows users to scan the dark web in search for their own leaked information. This includes email addresses, credit card information and bank details.

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The service reportedly uses online programs and a team of trained experts to scan hundreds of thousands of dark web websites in order to look for their customers’ data. If any personal data is found, the company helps its users act in order to keep themselves safe. It was launched in an attempt to remove reliance on big companies, as users usually only know they were hacked after these companies make it public.

In a few cases, however, the information is revealed a long time after users are hacked. Earlier this year, Yahoo confirmed that, at least 500 million user accounts were compromised by what they believed to be a “state-sponsored actor”. The breach reportedly occurred in 2014, so it took users two years to know they were hacked.

Chairman of the National Cyber Management Centre, and member of OwlDetect’s advisory team, Professor Richard Benham said:

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Today the risk of having your personal information compromised is greater than ever. From messaging apps to online shopping and dating websites, we trust a huge number of companies with our details, and there are endless opportunities for those details to fall into the wrong hands.

Crawling the Deep Web

The deep web is, as we all know, beyond the reach of regular search engines. That may be about to change in the future, as more and more tools keep on claiming to be able to crawl it in search for specific information.

According to their website, this new service has a database of stolen data. This database was created over the past 10 years, presumably with the help of their software and team. A real deep web search engine does exist, however.

A few days ago, Hacked.com reported how the Department of Defense’s deep web search engine was to be enhanced by a recent acquisition. This search engine, named Memex, is reportedly able to crawl 90 to 95% of the deep web, presenting its search results in sophisticated infographics.

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Companies

Facebook Looking into “Disrupting Economics” of Fake News Sites

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Facebook

In a Facebook post Friday night, founder of the popular social network Mark Zuckerberg took time to outline the steps the company will take to tackle its “fake news” problem, which has been a hot topic in the wake of the election. One way the social media behemoth plans on doing that is by making sure fake news sites can’t profit. 

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Mr. Zuckerberg calls it “disrupting fake news economics.”

“A lot of misinformation is driven by financially motivated spam,” he posted. “We’re looking into disrupting the economics with ads policies like the one we announced earlier this week, and better ad farm detection.”

Mr. Zuckerberg underscored that Facebook takes “misinformation serious” and reinforced the company’s goal “to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful.”

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The social media tycoon admits “We’ve been working on this problem for a long time.” There’s more work to be done, he says.

“Historically, we have relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not,” he wrote in the long post. “…The problems here are complex, both technically and philosophically. We believe in giving people a voice, which means erring on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible. We need to be careful not to discourage sharing of opinions or mistakenly restricting accurate content. We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties.”

Mr. Zuckerberg claims the percentage of misinformation is small, then outlines what Facebook will do, including stronger detection, easy reporting by users, third party verification via fact checking organization, warnings for stories flagged as false by other users, and raising bar for articles which appear in related articles suggestions.

“Some of these ideas will work well, and some will not,” he admits. “But I want you to know that we have always taken this seriously, we understand how important the issue is for our community and we are committed to getting this right.”

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Cybersecurity

LastPass Password Manager Goes Free Cross-Platform

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LastPass, arguably the most widely used password manager around is passing on some welcome news to its users. Starting Wednesday, LastPass users will be able to sync their passwords across multiple devices and platforms, for free.

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The cross-platform sync for users’ credentials, previously a perk enjoyed by paying members, will now be enabled for all users and members on the free tier can start using the feature immediately across on multiple devices beyond their desktops or laptops.

Launched in 2008, LastPass has come a long way in becoming a ubiquitous name in password management. Joe Siegrist, founder and general manager of LastPass who made the announcement , sees the move enabling good password habits into becoming the norm. Using a password manager that works everywhere across devices and platforms, he notes, will help users with a strong foundation for securing their identities.

LastPass protects users’ credentials (usernames and passwords) and other data in a vault that’s secured by a master password. The data is encrypted with AES-256 bit encryption with Sha-256 salted hashes, which enables encryption and decryption to take place offline.

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The announcement makes for a significant move for LastPass, the second in as many years. In August 2015, LastPass announced that it would enable users to manage their passwords, for free, on any one device. The popular choice was, of course, between desktops or smartphones. Now, users will merely have to put up with ads to use LastPass on their mobile devices once they’re out and about, away from their desktops or laptops.

Just under a year ago, LastPass was acquired by remote-access management provider LogMeIn, in a deal worth $110 million. This year, LastPass was proven to be vulnerable through a phishing attack. Since the revelation, the company has revamped and strengthened its security framework, before eventually launching its own two-factor authentication app, comparable to the likes of Google Authenticator and Authy.

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