Saturday, November 27, 2010

Another accidental computer system melt-down. Imagine the impact of a coordinated attack!

NAB pay bungle hits thousands

… The NAB's call centre has been in meltdown since a corrupt file disrupted Wednesday's overnight payment process.

The malfunction stalled salaries, Centrelink benefits, contract settlements and property deals, and slowed ATM and Eftpos transactions.

… The problem spread to some customers from other banks and credit unions waiting on wages and other payments from employers, clients and banks that deal with NAB.

Upset consumers demanded compensation for any fees for late mortgage and credit card payments, overdrawn accounts or bounced direct debits charged by any institutions as a result.

Gmail only, (other are not) but you can see where this is going.

Email Oracle: Track Emails & Know If They Have Been Opened

… Email Oracle is a free web tool that comes as an extension for web browsers Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. The plug-in then adds a “Send and Track” dashboard to your Gmail interface. You can use this dashboard to add an optional image to your outgoing emails. When the recipient views this image, this is reported to your Email Oracle account thereby indicating that the email was opened. Since this involves the recipient’s privacy, the recipient can click on the image and opt out of being tracked by Email Oracle. The service’s dashboard also lets you view a complete history of un-replied emails.

Similar tool: WhoReadMe, SpyPig and Confirmeo.

The war begins! I didn't know the President had signed this bill... In fact, “Thomas” reports: Latest Major Action: 11/18/2010 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 648. So what was the basis of the “seizure warrant?”

U.S. seizes sites linked to copyright infringement

The U.S. government has launched a major crackdown on online copyright infringement, seizing dozens of sites linked to illegal file sharing and counterfeit goods.

Torrent sites that link to illegal copies of music and movie files and sites that sell counterfeit goods were seized this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security. [Does this suggest an out-of-the-country connection? Bob] Visitors to such sites as,, and found that their usual sites had been replaced by a message that said, "This domain name has been seized by ICE--Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."

"My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!" the owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak, which listed more than 70 domains that were apparently part of the massive seizure.

DHS representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The seizures came after a Senate committee unanimously approved a controversial proposal earlier this month that would allow the government to pull the plug on Web sites accused of aiding piracy. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) allows a Web site's domain to be seized if it "has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" offering or providing access to unauthorized copies of copyrighted works.

The proposal has garnered support from dozens of the largest content companies, including video game maker Activision, media firms NBC Universal and Viacom, and the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America lobbying groups. However, critics such as engineers and civil liberties groups say the COICA could balkanize the Internet, jeopardize free speech rights, and endanger legitimate Web sites.

The battle against online file sharing has ramped up. Earlier today, a Swedish court upheld the copyright conviction of the founders of The Pirate Bay, a notorious file-sharing site. In October, a U.S. district judge issued an injunction against Lime Wire, the company that operated the popular file-sharing software LimeWire. In May, a judge granted summary judgment in favor of the music industry's claims that Lime Group, parent of LimeWire software maker Lime Wire, committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced copyright infringement.


US Government Seizes Torrent Search Engine Domain

"This morning, visitors to the site are greeted with an ominous graphic which indicates that ICE has seized the site's domain. 'My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!' the exasperated owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak this morning. 'I firstly had DNS downtime. While I was contacting GoDaddy, I noticed the DNS had changed. GoDaddy had no idea what was going on and until now they do not understand the situation and they say it was totally from ICANN,' he explained. Aside from the fact that domains are being seized seemingly at will, there is a very serious problem with the action against Torrent-Finder. Not only does the site not host or even link to any torrents whatsoever, it actually only returns searches through embedded iframes which display other sites that are not under the control of the Torrent-Finder owner."

Far beyond “Open Government”

UK Asks News Outlets Not To Publish WikiLeaks Bombshell, US Prepares For Fallout

"The UK government has issued Defense Advisory Notices to editors of UK news outlets in an attempt to hush up the latest bombshell from whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks. DA Notices, the last of which was issued in April 2009 after sensitive defense documents were photographed using a telephoto lens in the hand of Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick as he arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a briefing, are requests not to publish, and therefore not legally enforceable."

This news comes alongside a raft of articles detailing the US government's preparations for the release. Officials are warning allies that the documents will be more damaging than previous releases, to the point of potentially damaging diplomatic relations with countries like Turkey. The Vancouver Sun wonders if this will lead to a change in the way diplomats communicate.

Hey, Hey! The Congressional mug-shots are ready!

New Member Pictorial Directory: 112th Congress

For my Ethical Hacker tool kit.

Stephen Fry and DVD Jon Back USB Sniffer Project

"bushing and pytey of the iPhone DevTeam and Team Twiizers have created a Kickstarter project to fund the build of an open-source/open-hardware high-speed USB protocol analyzer. The board features a high-speed USB 2.0 sniffer that will help with the reverse engineering of proprietary USB hardware. The project has gained the backing of two high-profile individuals: Jon Lech Johansen (DVD Jon), and actor and comedian Stephen Fry."

Works well. - Find & Share All The PDFs You Want

Talk about websites whose name actually tells you a lot about the service which is rendered...

What the name of this website does not tell you, now, is that the site will also let you read what you have found online, and share it with whomever you want. These are highly-practical services bar none, and the fact that you can do both things without having to pay a penny definitely helps this site have more projection. Because sites for searching and downloading PDFs are absolutely commonplace.

Also, it must be mentioned that the search engine which is employed is very flexible. You can look PDFs up not only by title but also by phrase and by keyword.

All of the above turns FindPDF into quite a convenient resource. I will make a point of visiting it next time I need to find some PDFs in earnest, to see if it works as well as it did when I tested it today.

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