Puppet MastersS


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Hackers exploit Libyan unrest to target human rights groups

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© V3
Symantec.cloud uncovers targeted email attack against six organisations

Security experts are warning of a new targeted email-based hacking attack exploiting the current unrest in Libya to infect the victim's machine and enable remote code execution.

Symantec.cloud's MessageLabs Intelligence research team spotted the suspicious emails earlier this week, noting that they were sent to 27 individuals at six organisations involved in promoting human rights or supporting humanitarian aid, or acting as think-tanks for foreign affairs and economic development.

Pharoah

EU refuses to reveal bank data transfers to US

Six months after the deal, no information is publicly available

The European Commission and Europol have once again refused to reveal any information about how the Terrorist Finance Tracking Agreement between the European Union and the U.S. is working six months after it came into force.

The so-called "Swift" accord, which allows the bulk transfer of European citizens' financial data to the U.S. authorities, came into force on Aug. 1 last year. In December, German representatives revealed that questions from the German data protection commissioner about how many requests the U.S. has made for data and how many, if any, have been approved, were not answered.

BACKGROUND: Europe votes to send secret bank data to US authorities

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Night Dragon hackers targeted Shell, BP and Exxon

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© V3
IT security at global petrochemical firms called into question

The Night Dragon hacking attacks uncovered by security vendor McAfee were targeted at some of the world's largest petrochemical companies, including Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP, according to new reports.

A Bloomberg report citing "one of the companies and investigators who declined to be identified" said that the list of targeted companies also included Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips and Baker Hughes.

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Jester claims credit for knocking Westboro Baptist Church offline

Tango down, he tweets

Patriot hacker The Jester has claimed credit for denial of service attacks against the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.

The self-proclaimed activist revealed in a twitter update that he had torn into the Church's website in protests against its pickets on the funerals of American servicemen with anti-gay signs. "www.godhatesfags.com - TANGO DOWN. Temporarily. For celebrating the death of US troops - honeypot fail btw" the update read.

Laptop

Anonymous hacks Westboro Baptists during live interview

LOLZcats

Denizens of Anonymous defaced a website run by the Westboro Baptist Church on Thursday during a live radio interview.

An ongoing spat between the controversial church of GodHatesFags fame and the loosely knit hacking collective began last weekend with a message threatening hacks against websites that, depending on who you believe, was posted either by the Church itself or a faction of Anonymous. Another faction of Anonymous distanced itself from the plan, categorising Westboro Baptist Church as trolls looking for attention.

Whatever the origins of the row, WBC's site has been subject to ongoing attacks over recent days, and the topic served as suitable fodder for an item on the David Pakman show. A member of Anonymous faced off against Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Binoculars

British Airways IT worker found guilty of plotting terror attack

Encrypted emails aired after 9 month brute force crack

An IT expert for British Airways has been found guilty of using his position to plan a terrorist attack on behalf of the Yemen-based radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, according to news reports.

Rajib Karim, 31, of Newcastle, used his job as a software engineer for the UK airline to aid attacks being planned by Awlaki, who is accused of having links to the to the attempted shoe-bombing of a plane over Detroit on Christmas 2009. The plot came to light after experts from the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command spent nine months cracking 300 encrypted emails found on Karim's hard drive.

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Best of the Web: Dear Koch Brothers, Tea partiers & union bashers: 'Anonymous' would like your attention please

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© DangerousMinds“Hello, Anonymous calling for the enemies of democracy. Are the Koch Brothers in?”
This warms my Trotskyite heart: After posting the following "open letter" to Koch Industries, effectively putting them on notice and asking the American and European population to stop buying their products, the politically motivated hackers of "Anonymous" have already begun to make good on their threat, as last night and this morning the Koch-supported rightwing political organization, Americans for Prosperity's website was knocked offline several times. If an elite hacker was able to get into the intranet of Koch Industries, they could probably really disrupt their business for a few days. Let's hope they cause maximum chaos for these evil bloodsuckers. (I hope Fox News is next. THAT would be the best thing ever, wouldn't it?)


Chess

Libya Uprising: Anti-Gaddafi Forces Control Zawiya

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Forces fighting to oust the Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi have seized the city of Zawiya, 50km (30 miles) west of the capital, Tripoli.

The Libyan government took journalists to Zawiya on Sunday morning.

But instead of a show of government force, reporters saw opposition fighters manning the barricades in the city centre and flying their flag.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose sanctions on Col Gaddafi's regime.

Eastern Libya has fallen to the uprising, which began on 16 February in the wake of revolutions which toppled the long-serving leaders of neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.

However the Libyan capital Tripoli remains under the control of Col Gaddafi, who is facing the biggest challenge to his 41-year rule.

At least 1,000 people are believed to have been killed in nearly two weeks of violence.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says nearly 100,000 migrants have fled to neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt in the past week.

Arrow Up

Tunisian PM Mohammed Ghannouchi Resigns Over Protests

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Mohammed Ghannouchi was seen as too closely linked to the old regime
Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has announced on state TV that he is resigning - a key demand of demonstrators.

He was speaking at a news conference in Tunis, after making a lengthy speech defending his record in government.

Mr Ghannouchi is seen as being too close to former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was toppled in an uprising last month.

Mr Ghannouchi, 69, had served under Mr Ben Ali since 1989.

"After having taken more than one week of thinking, I became convinced, and my family shared my conviction, and decided to resign. It is not fleeing my responsibilities; I have been shouldering my responsibilities since 14 January [when Mr Ben Ali fled]," he said.

"I am not ready to be the person who takes decisions that would end up causing casualties," he added.

"This resignation will serve Tunisia, and the revolution and the future of Tunisia," he added.

It is exactly what the protesters had been demanding. Mohammed Ghannouchi, had served under the country's old dictatorship, and as far as they were concerned, until he went, their revolution was unfinished.

The question now is whether this resignation will be enough to quell the violence. As the news has spread, people have been taking to the streets, chanting and singing of victory.

Light Sabers

Libya troops mass near Tunisian border

U.S., EU weigh no-fly zone; rebel-held cities try to repel Gadhafi loyalists
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© Ben Curtis/APSoldiers and dozens of tanks from the Libyan military's elite Khamis Brigade, led by Gadhafi's youngest son Khamis Gadhafi, take positions on Monday about 6 miles outside Zawiya.

Tripoli, Libya - Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi were massed near the Tunisian border on Tuesday, residents said, and the United States said it was moving warships and air forces closer to Libya.

Residents feared pro-Gadhafi forces were preparing an attack to regain control of Nalut, about 60 km (38 miles) from the Tunisian border in western Libya, from protesters seeking an end to Gadhafi's rule.

On Monday, foreign powers talked openly of imposing a "no-fly" zone or making other military moves against leader Gadhafi, as his forces used tanks and fighter jets to strike at rebel-held cities nearest the capital.

The U.S. said all options were open, including the use of warplanes to patrol the North African nation's skies and protect citizens threatened by their leader.

Pentagon and military officials told NBC News it appears "unlikely now" that the U.S. military will have to intervene, but "prudent moves" were being taken just in case.