News & Updates

The US border authority seeks individuals that want to enter in the Country into providing their social media details in order to improve their screening.

It is not a joke, travellers that ask for a visa waiver entry to the US may be asked to provide their social media details. I’m speaking about a proposal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that aims to collect more information about the travelers.

The proposal was added to the Federal Register by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last week.

If the proposal will pass, travelers will have to provide social media details, including login credentials to the US authorities.

The US Government needs to know which social media do you use, and how you do it to profile you.

Don’t worry, revealing this information would not be “mandatory,”

The changes would affect Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record) applications.

social media details Form I-94W changes

Both forms are filled out by aliens and are used to collect information on travellers for their screening.

“DHS proposes to add the following question to ESTA and to Form I-94W:

“Please enter information associated with your online presence—Provider/Platform—Social media identifier.” It will be an optional data field to request social media identifiers to be used for vetting purposes, as well as applicant contact information.” reads the proposal on the Federal Register.

It is possible to submit a public comment by post within 60 days.

Despite the submission of social media details it is optional it is easy to predict that travellers will provide them fearing problems.

“It’s very hard to see travellers not filling out this item – even though it’s optional – as they may fear not getting entry into the country,” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology, told the BBC. “Democracy in general requires having spaces free from government scrutiny and increasingly social life happens online,” 

“We would have a poor society if people were chilled from participating in social activity online so I really hope they rethink this.”

Recently, the US government has updated its policy on visa waiver programs regarding travellers who had a second citizenship in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan or who had travelled to these countries in the last five years.

The changes to the law state that these visitors will need to apply for a visa.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – social media details, US)

The post Do you want enter in the US? Give me your social media details appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: Security affairs

Watch out! (credit: Donald E. Davis,)

You’ve heard the story about how an astroid smashed into the Gulf of Mexico roughly 65 million years ago, lighting fires on the ground and sending sun-blocking debris high into the atmosphere. In the millennia that followed, harsh environmental conditions wiped out over 75 percent of species on the planet. Most dinosaurs met their demise, and mammals rose in their ashes. This dark period of die-outs is called the K-T mass extinction, and it marks the boundary between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods in the geological record. But a new study challenges that picture by suggesting that mammals were killed off at rates similar to those of the dinosaurs. Mammals simply recovered better than their counterparts among the Dinosauria.

Writing in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, a group of British biologists offers a portrait of the K-T mass extinction that diverges from conventional wisdom in a couple of ways. First, their reassessment of fossil evidence shows that mammal species suffered just as much as dinosaurs during the asteroid climate disaster. And second, biodiversity returned to the planet faster than previously thought. In some areas, rich ecosystems were thriving in as little as 200 thousand years after the asteroid impact. Previous studies have estimated that it took at least a million years for diverse ecosystems to return.

The researchers say our understanding of the catastrophe 65 million years ago has been warped both by an incomplete fossil record and observation bias. The animals that are most likely to be wiped out by mass extinctions are those that can only live in a specific, small habitat. These are also the same animals that are least likely to be preserved in the fossil record, simply because there were so few of them and they lived in just one place. So we’ve very likely underestimated how many mammal species died during the K-T because we didn’t account for all these rare species that lived in small areas at low population size.

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Earlier this week in San Leandro, California, law enforcement officers closed in on a house that they believed was being used as an illegal casino. But before deputies from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office could secure the residence, one of the suspects bolted and started hopping fences. Luckily for the cops, the ACSO had a secret weapon: a drone. After the bust, they even bragged about it on Twitter.

“In this situation the suspect fled, and the UAV was able to observe the suspect flee and to alert the first responders to where he was so they could contain him and apprehend him as safely as possible,” Capt. Tom Madigan, who was present for the bust, told Ars.

And what would have happened if the drone hadn’t been overhead?

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Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage right here—and let us know what you think.

From Shadows over Camelot to Ticket to Ride to Mystery of the Abbey (complete with tiny tin bell), Days of Wonder has put out some richly thematic games often set long ago or far away. Its last title, Five Tribes, was a turn toward more puzzle-y games, but even it was set in the world of the Arabian Nights.

So new title Quadropolis, from French designer François Gandon, is something of an anomaly: a puzzle-style city builder set in contemporary Eurmerica. Can Days of Wonder keep its streak of hits alive?

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Bartender John Olson and owner Dan Lilly of Pinky’s Pizza Parlor show us the latest in keg technology from Walnut Creek, Calif. I’m the moderator sporting the Oakland Raiders sweatshirt. RAIDERS! (video link)

We at Ars are always on the lookout for new technology. So when I learned (belatedly) that Heineken USA had introduced a new beer-dispensing technology called “Brewlock,” I jumped at the chance to review it. After all, only a grizzled reporter with massive experience in the genre could handle a story like the Brewlock. This was a job for a writer who feels just as comfortable drinking alone as he does imbibing with strangers at the local watering hole.

At Ars we’re often under deadlines to churn out reviews quickly. But in this case of the Brewlock, I assigned myself no deadline (you can do that when you’re the senior editor). Instead, I spent the better part of six months testing and comparing Heineken’s new technology. Because that’s what real journalists do. We push the envelope. Whether I pushed too far here and over the years might be better understood by my larger-than-normal bar tabs, breakups, mishaps, and run-ins with law enforcement.

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Own an Android smartphone?

Hackers can secretly install malicious apps, games, and pop-up adverts on your smartphone remotely in order to make large sums of money.

Security researchers at Cheetah Mobile have uncovered one of the world’s largest and most prolific Trojan families, infecting millions of Android devices around the world.

Dubbed Hummer, the notorious mobile trojan stealthily


Security experts from Kaspersky monitored a phishing campaign launched to spread a Facebook malware that infected more than 10.000 users in just two days.

Security experts from Kaspersky monitored a phishing campaign that hit Israeli media since June 26th.

facebook malware phishing

Thousands of Facebook users reported that they had been infected by a malware spread through the Facebook platform after they received a message from a friend claiming they had mentioned them in a comment.

“On the morning of 26th June, news of a phishing campaign hit the Israeli media. Thousands of Facebook users complained that they had been infected by a virus through their accounts after they received a message from a Facebook friend claiming they had mentioned them in a comment.” reported Kaspersky.”The Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) recorded almost ten thousand infection attempts around the globe in the space of just 48 hours.”

facebook malware fake notification

The researchers that investigated the issue confirmed the attack and discovered that numerous infections were observed also Brazil, Poland, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Greece, Portugal, Tunisia, Venezuela, Germany.

The researchers explained that the Facebook malware was spread in a two-stage attack:

In the first stage when the victim clicked on the “mention,” a malicious file seized control of their browsers, terminating their legitimate browser session and replacing it with a malicious one that included a tab to the legitimate Facebook login page. Of course, the fake login page was used to steal login credentials to the victims. When the victims logged in into the Facebook account, their session was hijacked in the background and a new file was downloaded. This represented the second stage of the attack, as embedded in this file was an account-takeover script that included a

In the second stage of the attack, a script embedded in the file downloaded in the first stage is executed. The script allows the attackers to take over the victim’s account script, is included a privacy-settings changer, account-data extractor and other utilities that could be used for further malicious activities, like spamming and generating fraudulent ‘likes’ and ‘shares’.

After logging in, the victims can see that the attack is launched against the user’s entire Facebook list. All the victims’ friends receive a notification by the victim about a new URL. Upon clicking on this URL, the user’s friends will also be infected by the Facebook malware too and the attack chain loops again.

The Facebook malware mainly targeted users with Windows-based machines, but also those using Windows OS phones could have been at risk too. Android and iOS users were not impacted since the Facebook malware doesn’t user libraries compatible with these mobile OSs.

Bad story, isn’t it? Do you want to know if have been infected by the Facebook malware?

Kaspersky suggests the following actions to check if the Facebook malware compromised your account too:

  • Open your Chrome browser.
  • Look for the extension named thnudoaitawxjvuGB.
  • For a more thorough check, click Start > Run > copy the following command:%AppData%Mozila if the folder and files such as “autoit.exe” and “ekl.au3” are in it, the computer is infected.
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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Facebook malware, phishing)

The post Facebook malware infected more than 10.000 users in two days appeared first on Security Affairs.

Source: Security affairs

The Regional Office Is Under Attack! is like Die Hard meets Kill Bill, with a smattering of Charlie Kaufman and David Cronenberg. (credit: 20th Century Fox)

Action movies ain’t what they used to be. Sure, computer imaging has helped Hollywood create some of the craziest action scenes you could possibly imagine, but when CGI replaces lower-tech tricks like intrigue, strong characters, and good old-fashioned explosions, what’s an ’80s action nostalgic to do?

Author Manuel Gonzales may have the answer with The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, which I recommend to anyone who would rather get their summer-movie fix on paper—and who hungers for that rare mix of crazy action and phenomenal character introspection.

This review contains a few spoilers, not least of which is the book’s title. The Regional Office is a secret organization, disguised as a boutique travel agency, that sends an army of young women superheroes to fight the “forces of darkness,” including zombies, alien invaders, and mad scientists.

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