Millions of LinkedIn passwords hacked and sold on black market

I’m a paid member of LifeLock. This afternoon, I received an email alert from LifeLock that “LifeLock detected a piece of your personal information” — my email address — “being sold online.”

privacy

The alert said my email address was found on “social media,” specifically the “potential impacted site” of http://www.linkedin.com — the website of LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals and business people.

Fortunately, the personal data that was breached is one of my email addresses. LifeLock warns that “If your debit card, credit card, bank account numbers or PINs appear in this alert, change all accounts sharing the login name and password, and contact the corresponding financial institutions immediately. We recommend you use different logins and passwords for each account; this will minimize the scope of your potential risk.”

After freaking out for a few seconds, I got to work.

First, I went on the net to search for LinkedIn having been hacked. This is what I found.

Jose Pagliery reports for CNN Money that four years ago, in 2012, LinkedIn was hacked, resulting in, we were told, the theft of 6.5 million passwords.

Companies typically protect customer passwords by encrypting them. But LinkedIn was hacked because in 2012, the company had a rather lackadaisical security policy that eschewed adding a pivotal layer of security that would have made the encrypted jumbled text harder to decode.

The massive hack led computer security experts to wonder why it took so long for LinkedIn to figure out what happened to their own company computers, and to acknowledge it publicly. Brad Taylor, CEO of cybersecurity firm Proficio, asked: “If LinkedIn is only now discovering the scale of data that was exfiltrated from their systems, what went wrong with the forensic analysis that should have discovered this?”

It gets worse.

It turns out that the number of passwords stolen was way more than 6.5 million. In actuality, 117 million LinkedIn passwords were stolen by hackers.

Then it gets really really bad.

According to the tech news site Motherboard, on May 18, 2016, LinkedIn acknowledged that a massive batch of login credentials is being sold by hackers on an online black market called “The Real Deal”.

Worst still is this: Since we tend to reuse our passwords, the hackers who have the 117 million LinkedIn passwords are more likely to gain access to those 117 million people’s email and bank accounts as well.

Put on the defensive, LinkedIn’s chief information security officer Cory Scott said, “We take the safety and security of our members’ accounts seriously,” blah blah blah. The company is now scrambling to try to stop people from sharing the stolen goods online — often an impractical task — as well as invalidating all customer passwords that haven’t been updated since they were stolen 4 years ago.

LinkedIn also said it’s reaching out to individual members affected by the breach, but I’ve received no notification from LinkedIn. If it wasn’t for LifeLock, I would not know that my email address was hacked and is being sold on the black market.

If you are a member of LinkedIn, you should:

  1. Change your password.
  2. Add two-factor authentication, which requires a text message every time you sign in from a new computer.
  3. Here’s my advice: If you use your LinkedIn password on other accounts, change those passwords as well, especially for bank and other financial accounts, such as PayPal. I spent several hours this afternoon doing just that. I also closed my LinkedIn account.

~Eowyn

New USDA Rules Eliminate Junk Food in Schools

Apparently Michelle hasn’t ruined the kids’ lunches enough already.

An example of Michelle Obama's mandated school lunches

An example of Michelle Obama’s mandated school lunches

From Yahoo:  Students might notice some changes in the cafeteria when they go back to school in a few weeks.  The USDA will announce rules today that require schools to get rid of unhealthy snacks and eliminate students’ exposure to junk food, ABC News has exclusively learned.

The biggest difference this year will be what students see around the school. If a snack, food item or beverage is not healthy enough for a school to sell or serve, it can’t be advertised either. That means no more pictures of soda on vending machines or in the cafeteria.

Katie Wilson, USDA deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said many schools requested these changes.  “Education and wellness and advertising to kids about healthier choices [and] that all has to be part of the school environment just like making sure they have pencils and paper and computers,” Wilson said.

One study found that 70 percent of elementary and middle school students see ads for junk food at school and research published earlier this month showed that kids tend to eat more after seeing ads for unhealthy food.

Another lovely school lunch

Another lovely school lunch

Snacks can’t have too many calories or too much sodium, fat or sugar, according to the guidelines for schools. Foods that are “whole grain-rich” or mostly made up of fruits or vegetables are emphasized, and schools are recommended to sell only water, low-fat milk or milk alternatives, or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

Wilson said 98 percent of schools around the country already meet these standards. Now that the rules are finalized, she said the USDA will continue its efforts to educate parents, communities and school staff about better nutritional food choices.

Healthier food in schools is nothing new. Guidelines about healthy school lunches and snacks have been rolling out for several years and are part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign launched in 2010 to fight childhood obesity.

mooch eating

DCG

Socialist Sawant wants to cap fees landlords charge Seattle renters

Is the socialist going to pick up the tab for any unpaid fees? Don’t hold your breath.

Socialist Kshama Sawant

Socialist Kshama Sawant

From the Seattle Times: Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on Thursday proposed legislation that would put a cap on the amount of money landlords charge incoming renters.

The ordinance would limit move-in fees — including a security deposit and any nonrefundable, one-time payments — to no more than the cost of one month’s rent.

Sawant’s legislation also would require landlords to allow renters to pay their move-in fees in installments rather than immediately and in full. Landlords asking for last month’s rent up front would likewise be required to accept that sum in installments.

The council member said her proposal is aimed at reducing costs for Seattle renters during a time in which many of them are struggling to make ends meet.

“Seattle renters are facing a serious crisis. In May, one-bedroom apartment rentals rose 11 percent, the highest increase in the nation,” Sawant said in a statement, referring to a report by the rental-search website Abodo. “We need to reduce all barriers faced by renters. The cost of moving into a rental unit is first on that list.”

The Abodo report said the price for an average one-bedroom apartment in Seattle rose to $1,906 in May from $1,722 in April. The company’s most recent report said the price for an average one-bedroom in Seattle fell 9 percent from June to July.

Read the whole story here.

See also:

DCG

Trump’s acceptance speech pivots on America & Americans First

Did you watch Donald Trump’s speech as the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee last night?

What do you think of it?

If you haven’t watched it, here it is:

It was long, because Trump did not rush his words, but clearly and emphatically articulated (and sometimes shouted) important points he wanted to impress on Americans, and because he paused often, to acknowledge the reaction from the Convention delegates. All of which was not the performance of someone just reading from a teleprompter. Instead, this was a speaker who wanted to convey and impress on his listeners the gravity of America’s problems and how he would deal with those problems.

The heart of Trump’s message is a simple one:

America and Americans First

That principle should be self-evident, requiring no defense or justification — for who else but Americans would and should put America and Americans first? Don’t you put your own and your family’s wellbeing first? How is America to help others if America falls apart? And yet, we haven’t heard this overriding principle from other politicians, not even from Trump’s GOP primary rivals. It is also a message that the Left and their MSM accomplices, as well as the GOP elites, distort and malign as something evil — that standing up for and putting America first is “nativist,” “jingoist,” “fascist”…, as if the obligation of America and Americans is to be a doormat for the rest of the world.

From his central principle of “America and Americans First” — of making America rich and strong again — flows these derivative values and principles:

  1. Law and Order: A country that is in chaos cannot thrive economically. A fundamental responsibility of government is to protect and ensure the safety of the governed against criminals, whether criminals here illegally or those gunning down police. To ensure Americans’ safety, Trump is committed to our right to arm ourselves which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. It is also on the theme of Law and Order that Trump indicts Hillary Clinton for her lawlessness in having a private email-server while she was secretary of state, and for the Obama FBI’s refusal to indict her for violating U.S. laws and endangering national security with unsecured emails containing classified state secrets and names of CIA agents.
  2. Secure Our Borders, to protect Americans against the flood of illegals, many of whom are criminals, and of Muslim “refugees” who the FBI has admitted cannot be vetted to exclude terrorists. On this, Trump reminds blacks that they are the economic victims of Obama’s and Hillary’s open-border policy, and that LGBTs were the victims of a Muslim gunman in Orlando. In so doing, without explicitly saying it, Trump reminds whites and straights that blacks and LGBTs are Americans, and putting “America First” should also mean putting all “Americans First”.
  3. A strong military, and better treatment for our veterans.
  4. In foreign policy and affairs, the United States will jealously guard our interests, be they financial, trade, or security. Trade treaties and arrangements will be rexamined and renegotiated, in order to restore America’s manufacturing industries and jobs. Our allies will have to pay their “fair share” for military defense (Japan, South Korea, but no mention of Israel) and step up to the plate against terrorism (NATO).
  5. Revive U.S. economy: Via restoring manufacturing jobs, getting allies to pay their fair share of defense costs, and lowering taxes.
  6. Populism: Trump ended his speech by telling America that unlike Hillary, who asks if Democrats are “with her,” his message is that he is “with you, the American people”.

Trump also graciously thanked Christians and Evangelicals for their support, saying he’s not sure he deserves it, which is uncharacteristically humble for him.

So how was Trump’s speech received by GOP elites?

If the editor of a supposedly conservative publication is an indication, it’s bad news for anyone hoping for Republican party unity to defeat Hillary, who will complete the destruction of America. Below is the shockingly vicious “The Demagogue Rises,” by Matthew Continetti, editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon:

Donald Trump delivered the longest, loudest convention speech in recent memory when he accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday evening. He made no attempt to “pivot to the general election,” moderate his agenda, smooth over rough rhetoric. Gone was Mitt Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch, tossed into a dustbin with George W. Bush’s Freedom Agenda, George H.W. Bush’s Thousand Points of Light, Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America. Trump was his usual self: brash, boisterous, overbearing, defiant, inimitable, roiling with anger over the state of the country and the corruption, ineffectiveness, and arrogance of the nation’s elite. Trump won’t change, won’t learn, won’t listen, won’t apologize, won’t cavil, won’t conform to the traditions of presidential politics or adhere to the norms of political discourse. He doesn’t care about facts, he wants to overturn the postwar international order, he champions the will to power, he mercilessly attacks opponents. He’s a demagogue in dark suits, electric ties. I can only imagine what he’d be capable of if he were competent.

Because he’s not competent. He is actually truly, magnificently inept. The convention was a mess, haphazard, disorganized, weird. The botched roll call vote, Melania’s plagiarism, Ted Cruz’s hand grenade, the leaked speech draft—all of these gaffes and scandals occurred against the backdrop of dismal attendance, chants to put Hillary in prison, bizarre speakers, rambling addresses, early departures, and testimonies to Trump’s greatness. His campaign has practically no money, no advertising, no infrastructure, no grassroots operation. The other day, when he expressed uncertainty about whether the United States would lead NATO in defense of the Baltic States if they were attacked by Russia, Trump made history by provoking an international incident without even being president. Many GOP officials wouldn’t come near the convention, including Ohio’s popular governor. There are two Republican parties for the moment: the party led by Trump and the Republican Party in exile, the party of Kasich and Larry Hogan and Nikki Haley and Charlie Baker and Brian Sandoval and Mark Kirk and Ted Cruz. Election Day won’t just determine who will succeed President Obama. It will also determine the fate of Donald J. Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP.

Continetti all but calls Trump a Hitler, and Americans who support Trump mindless Nazis.

Note that Continetti’s criticisms of Trump are all about style, not substantive issues — that Trump was “brash,” “boisterous,” and “mercilessly attacks opponents,” and that he did not pay obeisance to GOP old guard elites, who to the end strove to undermine Trump and boycotted the Republican National Convention. As for the “opponents” whom Trump “mercilessly attacked,” since the only “opponents” Trump attacked were Hillary Clinton and big business fat-cats (with apologies to cats) who hollowed out the U.S. economy with their outsourcing of jobs, that should tell us whose side Continetti is on.

If Hillary wins, it will be because of Republicans like Matthew Continetti who reserve their most vicious venom not for Democrats, but for a fellow Republican and patriot who simply wants to put America and Americans first. Should Hillary become president, the victory of Continetti, Bill Kristol, the Bushes, et al., against Trump will be pyrrhic because all that will be left of their Republican Party is an empty shell, devoid of rank-and-file members.

So what do you think of Trump’s speech? Take our simple short poll!

~Eowyn

 

Massachusetts AG going after “weapons of war”

Girlfriend obviously hasn’t read the Second Amendment. And I’ll bet money she’s never fired a civilian AR-15.

Article by Maura Healy (demorat), AG of Massachusetts since January 2015.

Gun grabber Maura Healey

Gun grabber Maura Healey

From the Boston Globe: Falcon Heights. Dallas. Baton Rouge again. Five horrific headlines in five weeks. Each story unique in its circumstances, but bound by a common thread: human lives taken by a gun.

There are myriad issues underlying each of these tragedies: fear, racism, mistrust, hate. These are critical issues that we, as a country, have an obligation to honestly and forthrightly address. And they’re issues my office is working hard to tackle alongside our partners in the community, in law enforcement, and in government.

But there’s one issue that can be addressed right now — the proliferation of guns, particularly assault weapons.

Here in Massachusetts, 10,000 assault weapons were sold just in the last year — each one nearly identical to the rifle used to gun down 49 innocent people in Orlando. In the week after the Pulse nightclub massacre, sales of weapons strikingly similar to the Sig Sauer MCX used at Pulse jumped as high as 450 percent over the previous week — just in Massachusetts.

It’s no surprise the Orlando killer chose an AR-15 style assault rifle. It’s a weapon of war, originally created for combat, and designed to kill many people in a short amount of time with incredible accuracy. It’s in the same category as weapons chosen by killers in Newtown, Aurora, and San Bernardino. These are not weapons of self-defense. They are weapons used to commit mass murder. And they have no business being in civilian hands.

Me with a weapon of war

Me shooting a “weapon of war”

How in Massachusetts, then, home to some of the strongest gun laws in the country, do we allow people to buy these guns? The gun industry has found a way to exploit our laws, a loophole of potentially horrific proportions. And it’s time we act.

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.

In the face of utter inaction by Congress, states have a duty to enact and enforce laws that protect people from gun violence. If Washington won’t use its power to get these guns off our streets, we will. Not only do we have the legal authority to do so, we have a moral obligation to do so.

molon labe

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG

State Department: ‘potential imminent threat’ against Americans in Saudi Arabia

At 10 o’clock this morning, the State Department sent out a tweet, warning of a “potential imminent threat” against U.S. citizens and all tourists in Saudi Arabia, especially in Jeddah, and urges Americans to limit all non-essential travel within the country.

State Dept tweet on threat in Saudi ArabiaState Dept threat warning re. Saudi Arabia

The Saudi travel warning came roughly five hours after a similar announcement from the State Department warning Americans in Turkey to move with caution.

ZeroHedge points out that although official warnings of upcoming threats to US citizens around the globe are generally ignored, this time it is prudent to pay attention because of what recently happened in Turkey:

  • In April 2016, the State Department had quietly warned U.S. citizens of “credible threats” in tourist areas in Turkey, particularly in Istanbul and the southern resort city of Antalya.
  • On June 28, 2016, three terrorists undertook a gun and suicide bombing attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing 41 and injuring more than 230 people.
  • On July 15, 2016, the Turkish military attempted a coup d’êtat, but failed. There are suspicions that the coup was a false flag staged by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to amass more power.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, its stability was recently rattled two weeks ago when a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the US consulate in Jeddah, which makes ominous the State Department’s warning.

Keep in mind that the Saudi government had warned of dire consequences — that it would dump its holding of U.S. treasuries — if the classified 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 report were to be made public. On July 15, the House Intelligence Committee released the 28 pages, which confirmed the rumors of Saudi involvement.

Since Saudi Arabia, unlike Turkey, is an oil producer, any instability in Saudi Arabia will affect oil prices.

~Eowyn

Who’s writing the script for politicians?

And who’s writing the script for TV news across America?

H/t Will Shanley

~Eowyn