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Sat, 01 Apr 2023
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Better ATM skimming through thermal imaging

Technique automates PIN theft

Security researchers have found that thermal cameras can be combined with computer algorithms to automate the process of stealing payment card data processed by automatic teller machines.

At the Usenix Security Symposium in San Francisco last week, the researchers said the technique has advantages over more common ATM skimming methods that use traditional cameras to capture the PINs people enter during transactions. That's because customers often obscure a camera's view with their bodies, either inadvertently or on purpose. What's more, it can take a considerable amount of time for crooks to view the captured footage and log the code entered during each session.

Bad Guys

Iranian Commander Predicts Massive Deployment of US Police Forces in Major Cities

A senior Iranian commander said that the US plans massive deployments of police forces in major cities fearing the eruption of popular protests similar to the recent developments in the Middle East, the Arab world and the European countries.

The Deputy Head of Iran's Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri described the deployment of US police forces in cities as "military rule," which basically aims at a quick crackdown on political unrest in the country under a "threadbare" pretext of preventing terror attacks in the US.

He noted how incumbent US President Barack Obama has followed in the path of his predecessor, George W. Bush, in inflicting huge costs on US taxpayers through the continuation of the Bush-era war policies.


India: Cops kill 3 as Farmers Protest Water Project, Land Seizure Near Mumbai

On August 9, police shot nine farmers, killing three, who were part of a mass protest against a water pipeline project in Baur Village, 50 miles east of Mumbai, India. Police also smashed cars, fired tear gas and threw rocks at farmers as they fled the violence. This was all caught on video:

Arrow Up

India Protests Swell as Anna Hazare Fasts

© Reuters/Adnan Abidi
A supporter of veteran Indian social activist Anna Hazare shouts anti-government slogans as he waits for Hazare to leave Tihar jail in New Delhi August 17, 2011.
Protests swelled across India Wednesday in support of a self-styled Gandhian anti-corruption campaigner fasting to the death in jail, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's struggling government at a loss over how to end the standoff.

Singh, 78, who is widely criticized as out of touch, dismissed the fast by Anna Hazare as "totally misconceived," sparking outrage as lawmakers cried "shame."

"It is a wake-up call for all of us unless we put our house in order. The people of this country are becoming restless," said Arun Jaitley, a leader of the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

The squat and slight 74-year-old Hazare fasted as thousands of his followers gathered outside the jail, the latest development in a crisis that saw him arrested Tuesday and then refuse to leave jail after the government ordered his release.


UK Propaganda: Clegg Brands Riots 'An attack on Liberty'


Clegg: We need punishment that sticks.
Nick Clegg made his first major foray into the political debate over the riots today, with a speech branding them an "attack on liberty".

The deputy prime minister was in danger of being overshadowed yesterday as David Cameron and Ed Miliband both made speeches laying out markedly different responses to the violence which rocked England last week.

"Crime and lawlessness deprive ordinary, decent people of their freedom," he said.

"Violence and disorder are an attack on liberty, on the freedom of individuals to live and work in peace in their own communities."

Comment: For a more balanced view of the London riots read: Who Started The London Riots?


Texas Observer: Rick Perry's Army of God

The radical religious right Christian Reconstructionism and Dominionism movements have a prophet to lead them to their end-times Rapture: Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

The Texas Observer has this disturbing must read report by Forrest Wilder in its August issue, Rick Perry's Army of God:

Comment: Read also:

Rick Perry's Army of God
Dominionism: A 'dangerous' Christian movement influencing Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry?
US: Meet the Christian Dominionist 'Prayer Warriors' Who Have Chosen Rick Perry as Their Vehicle to Power
Texas Governor Perry took Merck money before mandating cervical vaccine


The "Israeli Spring" versus Netanyahu

© Getty Images
Demonstrators shout slogans near the Knesset in central Jerusalem on August 16, 2011 to protest against rising housing prices and social inequalities in the Jewish state
Nine days ago, in the middle of Ibn Gevirol Street, on the cornerof Shaul Hamelech, I saw D. We were separated by the hordes of people flooding the street on the way to the demonstration in Tel Aviv, and though I was close enough to recognize him, there was too much noise to hear exactly what he was shouting. From his lip movements, I could guess that it was "The people demand social justice."

A few days earlier, when Margol, the well-known Mizrachi (a term used for Jews who immigrated to Israel from the Arab world) singer and judge on A Star Is Born, the Israeli version of American Idol, spoke out against the social revolution and its "inauthentic" activists, she must have been thinking of him. D. is a fair-skinned, round-spectacled redhead. He has two apartments on a quiet Tel Aviv street given to him by his well-to-do family. In addition, he holds a summa cum laude masters degree from Tel Aviv University and a dream job at one of Israel's successful high-tech companies, the kind featured in financial columns. In short, the guy has it made. And this guy who has it made, instead of sitting home and watching the finale of A Star Is Born, is standing and sweating in the middle of Ibn Gevirol Street on Saturday night, shouting hoarsely with thousands of others that the people want social justice.

Cell Phone

UK: 'Devastating' Evidence Puts Murdochs Back in the Crosshairs

© Getty
New evidence in the News Corp. phone hacking scandal reveals a widespread cover-up that casts doubt on sworn testimonies from the company's most senior leadership. A 4-year-old letter written by former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman but published Tuesday claims that phone hacking was "widely discussed" at the tabloid and conducted with "the full knowledge and support" of the tabloid's senior management. The fresh revelation spells trouble for former Dow Jones chief Les Hinton, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, Prime Minister David Cameron, and Rupert Murdoch. But it's potentially explosive for James Murdoch, who now faces another set of allegations that he lied to Parliament.

The Parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking allegations describes the Goodman letter as "absolutely devastating." Based on the context in which it was written in March 2007--just after Goodman's release from a four-month-long, phone-hacking-related prison sentence--the letter implicates each of the above News Corp. leaders in a slightly different way.


Jeers and (Some) Cheers as Obama Goes on Vacation

© The Associated Press / Senne
Life-size photographs of first lady Michelle Obama, left, and President Barack Obama, right, are seen in the window of a store, in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Thursday, Aug. 18. Obama is expected to vacation on the island with his family during the last half of August.
Mitt Romney says Obama 'shouldn't be out vacationing' during a 'crisis.' Newt Gingrich agrees. But a veteran of multiple White Houses says presidents need to 'recharge.'

When President Obama planned his annual August break on Martha's Vineyard, he could predict he'd face some grief for going off and relaxing a bit with his family while the nation goes through tough economic times.

But Mr. Obama couldn't predict the stock market would tank again. Not that there's anything he could do about that, no matter where he's physically situated. Still, the posh locale for this summer break - once again, Blue Heron Farm in the charming village of Chilmark - just seems especially bad optics for a president who is obviously financially comfortable while so many Americans are not, politicos are opining.

And ultimately, they say, he just shouldn't be on vacation, period.


India Faces Risk of its Own Arab Spring Over Anti-Graft Protests

India protests
© Times of India
The anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare is snowballing into one of the biggest challenges in decades for the ruling Congress party.
An anti-corruption movement led by the feisty 74-year-old social activist Anna Hazare is snowballing into one of the biggest challenges in decades for the ruling Congress party and if not contained risks sparking India's own version of an Arab Spring revolt.

While no one is expecting an Egypt-like overthrow in the world's biggest democracy, a galvanised and frustrated middle class and the mushrooming of social networking sites combined with an aggressive private media may be transforming India's political landscape.

Hazare has quickly become a 21st century Mahatma Gandhi inspiration for millions of Indians fed up with rampant corruption, red tape and inadequate services provided by the state despite the country posting near-double digit economic growth for almost a decade.