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Blackout looming: Thousands to lose Internet access as FBI shuts down servers

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© Unknown
A Server Not Found error message on the Mozilla Firefox Internet browser.
On July 9, thousands of Internet users worldwide could lose access after the FBI shuts down temporary DNS servers that replaced fraudulent servers operated by hackers.

Major companies and US government agencies are amongst those that could be blocked out, according to the Internet security firm IID.

The blackout will affect systems infected with the DNSChanger Trojan, a malware program that altered user searches and redirected them to pages offering fraudulent and, in some cases, dangerous products.

Last November the FBI arrested and charged six Estonian men behind the malware as part of Operation Ghost Click. These hackers were able to make a fortune off their project, raking in millions for ads placed on their fraudulent websites.

On the eve of the arrests, the FBI hired Paul Vixie, chairman of the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to install two temporary Internet servers that would prevent infected users from losing access to the Internet once the DNSChanger botnet was shut down. These users were advised to take steps to get rid of the malware on their computers, and the DNSChanger Working Group was set up by the computer industry and law enforcement to come up with a plan to phase out the surrogate servers.

USA

U.S. Troops Become American Citizens ... In Kandahar

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© Sean Carberry/NPR
U.S. soldiers and Marines pose after being sworn in as U.S. citizens in a service at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan on Friday.
Forty-four soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan are celebrating this Fourth of July as American citizens for the first time after their naturalization ceremony at Kandahar Air Field.

As the morning sun beat down on the desert base last Friday, hundreds gathered inside the air-conditioned assembly hall for the ceremony. American flags lined the walls, patriotic music played, and smiles were everywhere.

"It's pretty exciting; we actually have 44 candidates from 24 different countries that are going to be naturalized today and become U.S. citizens," said Capt. Benjamin Wendland, one of the ceremony's organizers.

Wendland said there were lots of moving pieces to pull together for the naturalization ceremony, but one component was absolutely essential: the oath of citizenship.

People

Iranian President Congratulates Venezuela on Independence Day

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© Unknown
Presidents: Ahmadinejad and Chavez.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a message felicitated the Venezuelan nation and government on the country's Independence Day.

Ahmadinejad in a message to his Venezuelan counterpart President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday congratulated [the] anniversary of Venezuelan Independence Day to him, the Venezuelan government and to nations people.

"Dear esteemed brother, President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Hugo Chavez Rafael Ferias; I would like to convey my most sincere congratulations on the occasion of the anniversary of Venezuela's independence to your honor, and the Venezuelan nation and government," President Ahmadinejad's message read.

The message continued, "Beyond doubt, the victory of the Venezuelan nation in achieving independence is in line with materializing the ideals of the oppressed Latin American nations, and makes happy the entire freedom seekers around the globe."

Cell Phone

Score One for Us? Stealth app allows citizens to secretly record police officers

A civil rights group has released a new smartphone 'stealth' app which allows users to record video of police encounters without the officer's knowledge.

Called the 'Police Tape', the app makes the phone act as if it is off when recording video displaying a blank screen and when audio is being recorded, the app automatically minimises and disappears.

Designed by the New Jersey branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to be used as a deterent against wayward and abusive police officers, the state follows New York with the creation of a police surveillance app.

'Police often videotape civilians and civilians have a constitutionally protected right to videotape police,' said Alexander Shalom of the ACLU to the Star Ledger.

'When people know they're being watched, they tend to behave well.'


Stormtrooper

Police Brutality: Motorist Robert Leone Beaten by Pennsylvania Troopers

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© unknown
In Bradford County, Pennsylvania, protesters are calling for justice for Robert Leone, who was reportedly assaulted by five Pennsylvania State Troopers.

A March 2010 video of police arresting Leone has gone viral after being posted last week by Larry Hohol, an author -- and former Penn. cop -- investigating the case (video below).

Pennsylvania State Police said Leone led them on a low speed chase after a hit and run and resisting arrest.

The dashcam video shows Pennsylvania State troopers blocking Leone's driver's side door.

Another trooper climbs on top of the car and tases Leone through the roof. He later lands on Leone with both feet.

One of the police officers reportedly broke his hand while hitting Leone, who also claims he was kicked and tased repeatedly.

Police claimed that Leone left the scene after hitting another car, and then refused to stop when officers tried to pull him over.

Life Preserver

Lifeguard Tomas Lopez Fired After Saving Man's Life

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© unknown
A group of lifeguards in Hallandale Beach, Florida quit after one of their co-workers, Tomas Lopez, was fired for rescuing a drowning man outside the lifeguard company's zone of protected beach (video below).

Several of Lopez's co-workers have resigned as a show of solidarity and for refusing to assure the lifeguard company that they would not save people's lives, outside the specific beach area, as Lopez did.

Lopez was on duty on Monday at about 1:45 p.m. in the afternoon when he was informed that a man was drowning down the beach.

Lopez told WFTV News: "I'm looking, I don't see anyone. They said, 'He's way down over there,' so I just started running."

A hundred yards down the beach, a man lay blue and gasping in the shallows.

Camcorder

Mom Forces Toddlers to Fight, Posts Video on Facebook

Facebook
© unknown
In St. Louis, an unnamed mom posted a video (below) to Facebook that is causing outrage, and Missouri's Department of Social Services may be investigating it.

The video shows a fight between two small children, with the mother of one of the kids egging them on: "Got some action! Got some action! Y'all better ball up some fists!"

The video was posted to Facebook on Sunday, then an acquaintance of the mother in question alerted FOX 2 in St. Louis.

The friend of the mom asked not be identified, but said: "It's just sickening and I feel like there should be some kind of criminal action taken. I couldn't even watch the whole video. I had to stop it and look again. It was sad."

Mr. Potato

Hysterical Society: Armed British Police, Bomb Disposal Squad and Decontamination Unit - All For an Electronic Cigarette

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Hysteria - Armed police guard the bus with the deadly electronic cigarette on board.
Armed police swooped on a coach and shut down a motorway after a passenger spotted a man craftily smoking a fake cigarette into a bag and mistook it for a terror threat.

After closing the M6 toll road for more than four hours, police admitted the alert - which was treated like a major chemical incident - was sparked by a 'health improvement aid for smokers'.

The passenger had been inhaling the e-cigarette device, which emits water vapour and is legal to smoke on board a vehicle, but covered it with a bag so those around were not able to see what he was doing.

Electronic cigarettes simulate smoking and the flavour of inhaled tobacco. They are often used by people trying to give up.

Comment: Check out this police helicopter video footage of the arrests, separation and interrogation of a busload of innocent people just because someone lit up an e-cigarette:




Card - VISA

US Consumers Face Higher Risk of ATM Theft

ATM Thefts
© CNBC
Late last month, a Southern California man was sentenced to three years in jail for hijacking local ATMs to rob bank customers of more than $200,000. His method, called "skimming" is not new, and the authorities know how to defeat it.

But security experts say that this low-tech form of bank fraud will continue in the U.S. because banks and merchants are balking at replacing our outdated magnetic-stripe card system.

"It's all going to migrate here because the account information [on] magnetic strip cards is very easily copied," said Frank Rudewicz, head of the Forensic and Investigative division for accounting and consulting firm Marcum LLP.

Skimmers steal or "skim" cardholders' account numbers by attaching portable electronic readers to ATM machines to copy data from the card's magnetic strip.

The thief still needs the cardholder's PIN, Rudewicz explains, but can easily obtain it with a hidden camera installed on the ATM, or by means of a plastic covering laid onto the ATM's keypad that logs keystrokes.

European banks no longer use magnetic strips, a technology that is a half-century old. Instead, microchips embedded in the cards communicate with the ATM to identify customers. "They're much farther along than we are," says Rudewicz.

Arrow Up

Waldo Canyon Fire Evacuees Return To Find Property Burglarized, Vandalized

Burglared Garage
© CBS
Linda Burton’s car was stolen out of her garage while she was evacuated from the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Colorado Springs, Colorado - Some evacuees from the Waldo Canyon Fire are returning home to find they were burglarized.

One couple's car was stolen right out of their garage. Thieves also took jewelry and computers.

"It's almost as bad as a house burned down because you feel violated. There are people out there who prey upon victims and people that are already suffering, so I feel like I've been hit by a train," said Waldo Canyon Fire evacuee Linda Burton.

So far 22 homes have been reported as being burglarized while evacuees were waiting out the fire.

The reports were enough to prompt city councilmembers to ask District Attorney Dan May, who represents El Paso County and Teller County, to talk with reporters about looting.

He said he could not speak to specifics but said the alleged looters would likely be charged with burglary and could face decades in jail depending on the number of convictions.

"You can get up to 24 years in prison for that. If they've done more than one burglary you can stack that time on top of it so in other words if they've done two burglaries you can get up to 48 years, 3 burglaries up to 72 years," May told reporters at the Monday morning briefing.