Monday, February 17, 2014

Meet Paunch: The Accused Author of the BlackHole Exploit Kit



Paunch, the accused creator of the Blackhole Exploit Kit, stands in front of his Porsche Cayenne.
In early October, news leaked out of Russia that authorities there had arrested and charged the malware kingpin known as “Paunch,” the alleged creator and distributor of the Blackhole exploit kit. Today, Russian police and computer security experts released additional details about this individual, revealing a much more vivid picture of the cybercrime underworld today.

Paunch, the accused creator of the Blackhole Exploit Kit, stands in front of his Porsche Cayenne.
A statement released by the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD) — the entity which runs the police departments in each Russian city — doesn’t include Paunch’s real name, but it says the Blackhole exploit kit creator was arrested in October along with a dozen other individuals who allegedly worked to sell, develop and profit from the crimeware package.

Russian security and forensics firm Group-IB, which assisted in the investigation, released additional details, including several pictures of the 27-year-old accused malware author. According to Group-IB, Paunch had more than 1,000 customers and was earning $50,000 per month from his illegal activity. The image at right shows Paunch standing in front of his personal car, a Porsche Cayenne.

Who Is Paunch?


Dmitry Fedotov from Togliatti, Russia.
Last week, the world got the first glimpses of a man Russian authorities have accused of being “Paunch,” a computer crime kingpin whose “Blackhole” crimeware package has fueled an explosion of cybercrime over the past several years. So far, few details about the 27-year-old defendant have been released, save for some pictures of a portly lad and a list of his alleged transgressions. Today’s post follows a few clues from recent media coverage that all point to one very likely identity for this young man.

Dmitry Fedotov from Togliatti, Russia.

The first story in the Western media about Paunch’s arrest came on Oct. 8, 2013 from Reuters, which quoted an anonymous former Russian police detective.  But the initial news of Paunch’s arrest appears to have broken on Russian news blogs several days earlier. On Oct. 5, Russian news outlet neslushi.info posted that a hacker by the name of Dmitry Fedotov had been arrested the night before in Togliatti, a city in Samara Oblast, Russia. The story noted that Fedotov was wanted for creating a program that was used by various organized crime groups to siphon roughly 26 billion rubles (USD $866 million) from unnamed banks. Another story from local news site Samara.ru on Oct. 8 references a Dmitry F. from Togliatti.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Truth About Vitamin Supplements



The toxic truth about vitamin supplements
The toxic truth about vitamin supplements: How health pills millions take with barely a second thought can do more harm than good

GLUCOSAMINE

GLUCOSAMINE
WHAT IT IS: The supplement, which is made from crab and lobster shells (so should be avoided if you have a seafood allergy), is often taken to ease the symptoms of arthritis.

POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECTS: According to the Arthritis Research Campaign, these can include stomach upset, constipation, diarrhoea, headache and rash; glucosamine can also react with anti-diabetic treatments by increasing blood sugar levels.

The UK Commission on Human Medicines has noted that glucosamine has a negative interaction with the blood-thinning drug warfarin and warns against taking these substances simultaneously.

The supplement might also cause water retention, as it attracts water.

KELP

KELP
WHAT IT IS: This supplement is made from a seaweed which is the fastest-growing marine algae in the world - it can grow two feet in one day and is most abundant off the north California coast.

Kelp is a rich source of several minerals and trace elements, including iodine - deficiency of which can lead to an underactive thyroid. It is marketed as a treatment for thyroid imbalance, caused by the thyroid gland producing either too much or too little of the hormone.

POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECTS: Despite the claims made for it, studies have linked kelp to an increased risk of thyroid dysfunction. It's also a blood thinner and shouldn't be taken with aspirin or any medicine to lower blood pressure.

There's also concern that some kelp is being harvested from kelp 'forests' in polluted oceans, which means it could be toxic. In 2007, research at the University of California found high levels of arsenic in eight out of nine kelp supplements. Arsenic is linked to hair loss, headaches, confusion and drowsiness.

POTASSIUM

POTASSIUM
WHAT IT IS: Maintaining an adequate potassium level is important for bone health and the proper functioning of the body. Potassium supplements are often taken to help combat insulin resistance, arthritis and menopausal symptoms such as fatigue and mood swings.

POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECTS: Taken in very high doses as a supplement, potassium can have serious side-effects such as arrhythmia (faulty heartbeat) - and it can even be fatal.

Research at Oregon State University has also linked it to muscle weakness, confusion, stomach pain and numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or mouth.

Potassium supplements react badly with some medicines, and shouldn't be taken by anyone suffering from kidney or heart disease, severe dehydration or high blood pressure.

Older people who often have too much potassium in their bodies should avoid these supplements - kidneys are less efficient at eliminating potassium as we age.

MELATONIN

MELATONIN
WHAT IT IS: Natural melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain and helps to regulate sleep.

Supplements can control our sleep/ wake cycles and are used to treat sleep disorders. British manufacturers make medical claims about its sleep benefits, so here it is licensed as a prescription- only medicine - however it is freely available in the

U.S. POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECTS: These include raised blood pressure, vivid dreams, headache, lower body temperature, fatigue, depression, decreased libido and reduced fertility.

A daily dose of 1- 3 mg of melatonin increases the body's levels of melatonin by 20 times the normal amount. The British Pharmaceutical Society says that studies on its effectiveness to treat jet-lag have been conflicting.

CALCIUM

CALCIUM
WHAT IT IS: Calcium is an essential mineral for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth and for blood clotting, muscle contraction, healthy nerves and good hormone function. It is usually taken by women to boost bone health.

POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECTS: Research published last month by Auckland and Aberdeen universities reflected other studies in finding a 30 per cent increased risk of heart attack among women taking calcium supplements - most women taking them are postmenopausal and concerned about osteoporosis.

This increase is due to the risk of calcium supplements accelerating the hardening of blood vessels. Doctors involved with a 2008 New Zealand study advise women of 70 or older not to take calcium supplements.

The Danger of Caramel Colored Carcinogens in Soda


In the realm of food coloring, caramel color sounds rather innocuous, natural even. Unlike artificial colors like FD&C Blue No. 1 or FD& C Yellow 5, which conjure up images of being created by a mad scientist in a lab, caramel color sounds like it comes from the age-old process of heating sugars to form dark-brown caramel.


But it doesn't. Furthermore, far from being innocuous, caramel color, which is widely used in brown soft drinks, may cause cancer due to 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI), a chemical byproduct formed when certain types of caramel coloring are manufactured.
New research from Consumer Reports has also revealed that levels of 4-MeI may exist in sodas at levels above certain state limits, potentially posing a risk to soda drinkers.
How Much Cancer-Causing 4-MeI May Be in Your Soda?
There's no way to tell for certain whether 4-MeI is in soda, as it is listed on labels simply as caramel coloring or artificial coloring. While only two of the four types of caramel coloring contain the potentially carcinogenic chemical, caramel color is actually the single most used food coloring in the world,1 especially in brown-colored soft drinks.
The chemical 4-MeI was found to cause cancer in mice by a 2007 U.S. government study, and in 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared it to be "possibly carcinogenic to humans."
While there are still no federal limits, the state of California requires products to be labeled with a cancer warning if it exposes consumers to more than 29 micrograms of 4-MeI per day (the amount that poses a one in 100,000 risk of cancer).

Friday, February 7, 2014

16-Year-Old Teenager arrested for World's biggest cyber attack ever


FBI offering $100,000 reward for information on Most Wanted Cyber Criminals


FBI offering $100,000 reward for information on Most Wanted Cyber Criminals

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has added five new hackers to its Cyber most wanted list and is seeking information from the public regarding their whereabouts.
The men are wanted in connection with hacking and fraud crimes both within the US as well as internationally. Rewards ranging from up to $50,000 to $100,000 are being offered for information that leads to their arrest.





Auvergne Werewolf (1558)

May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms. And the moon is full and bright. The Shewolf. In the mountains of Auvergne, a story dating back to 1588
Woman executed for being a WEREWOLF. The case of the Auvergne Werewolf took place in 1558 and was reported by the demonologist HENRI BOGUET in his book Discours des Sorciers (1602).

According to an account related to Boguet by a “reliable source,” the events in the case unfolded in the following manner:
A gentleman asked a passing hunter to bring him some of his kill. The hunter was attacked in the woods by an enormous wolf. He tried to shoot it but could not wound it, and was forced to fight it with his hands. He was able to cut off one of its paws with his hunting knife. Howling, the wolf fled.
When the hunter took it from his pocket, he was astonished to see that it had changed into a woman’s hand with a ring on one finger. The gentleman recognized the ring as belonging to his wife. He went immediately into the kitchen, where he found his wife hiding her arm in her apron. He seized it and saw that she was missing one hand.

The hunter took the paw to show to the gentleman, who lived near the place where the attack had occurred. The wife confessed to transforming herself into a wolf in order to attend a SABBAT. She was burned alive at the stake in Ryon.

The Man Who Sold The CIA

AMES, Aldrich Hazen (1941– ) The son of a CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA) officer, born June 26, 1941, Aldrich Ames worked summer jobs for the agency in his teens and joined full-time in February 1962. He quickly mastered Russian and distinguished himself in handling matters related to the Soviet Union. Lust intervened to sidetrack his career in 1981 while Ames was assigned to Mexico City. There, he met and fell in love with Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy, a cultural attach√© with the Colombian embassy who persuaded Ames to divorce his wife and marry her. Ames soon discovered that his salary could not satisfy Maria’s expensive tastes, and his quest for additional money led him to become a mercenary Russian “mole” within the CIA. Between 1985 and his arrest on February 21, 1994, Ames earned more than $2.5 million by selling classified information to Russian spies, his betrayal continuing beyond the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Aside from delivering thousands of CIA documents, Ames also identified 25 Russian nationals employed as spies by the CIA or the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI). All were arrested by the KGB, with at least 10 subsequently executed. Those losses belatedly prompted a joint CIA-FBI investigation, beginning in 1991, but both agencies somehow ignored Ames’s extravagant lifestyle until May 1993 when he was betrayed by a KGB defector. G-men then placed Ames under close surveillance, including phone taps, searches of his household trash (revealing notes from a Russian contact), and retrieval of information stored on his computer. Ames and his wife were both indicted on April 26, 1994, Ames quickly striking a bargain on Maria’s behalf. The couple pleaded guilty to various charges on April 28, Ames receiving a sentence of life without parole for conspiracy and tax fraud, while Maria received a sentence of five years and three months. Both the FBI and the CIA were widely criticized for their apparent negligence in plugging the deadly intelligence leak.
The son of a CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA) officer, born June 26, 1941, Aldrich Ames worked summer jobs for the agency in his teens and joined full-time in February 1962. He quickly mastered Russian and distinguished himself in handling matters related to the Soviet Union. Lust intervened to sidetrack his career in 1981 while Ames was assigned to Mexico City. There, he met and fell in love with Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy, a cultural attach√© with the Colombian embassy who persuaded Ames to divorce his wife and marry her. Ames soon discovered that his salary could not satisfy Maria’s expensive tastes, and his quest for additional money led him to become a mercenary Russian “mole” within the CIA.

Between 1985 and his arrest on February 21, 1994, Ames earned more than $2.5 million by selling
classified information to Russian spies, his betrayal continuing beyond the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Aside from delivering thousands of CIA documents, Ames also identified 25 Russian
nationals employed as spies by the CIA or the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI). All were arrested by the KGB, with at least 10 subsequently executed. Those losses belatedly prompted a joint CIA-FBI investigation, beginning in 1991, but both agencies somehow ignored
Aldrich Ames convicted
Ames’s extravagant lifestyle until May 1993 when he was betrayed by a KGB defector. G-men then placed Ames under close surveillance, including phone taps, searches of his household trash (revealing notes from a Russian contact), and retrieval of information stored on his computer. Ames and his wife were both indicted on April 26, 1994, Ames quickly striking a bargain on Maria’s behalf. The couple pleaded guilty to various charges on April 28, Ames receiving a sentence of life without parole for conspiracy and tax fraud, while Maria received a sentence of five years and three months. Both the FBI and the CIA were widely criticized for their apparent negligence in plugging the deadly intelligence leak.

AMERICAN Legion

Post 56 Legion Honor Guard
Organized by veterans of the First World War in 1919, the American Legion was created to promote
“100% Americanism”—defined by its founders as militant opposition to all things “radical” or “Bolshevik.” Violence quickly followed, with at least five deaths resulting by year’s end, as  legionnaires attacked unfriendly editors, suspected communists, or union strikers. The early legion plainly favored FASCISM, as witnessed by its 1923 pledge of honorary membership to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

Two years later, national commander Alvin Owsley granted a newspaper interview that included threats to overthrow the U.S. government. “If ever needed [said Owsley], the American Legion
stands ready to protect our country’s Institutions and ideals as the Fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy!” “By taking over the Government?” he was asked. “Exactly that,” he replied. “The American Legion is fighting every element that threatens our democratic government—Soviets, anarchists, IWW, revolutionary Socialists and any other ‘Red.’. . . . Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States.”
American Legion

Nine years later, in the spring of 1934, high-ranking legionnaires attempted to carry out Owsley’s threat, operating through a front group called the AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE. On the eve of World War II, legion commanders announced their plan to organize a civilian spy network, keeping track of perceived “subversives” from coast to coast. Attorney General Robert Jackson sidetracked the vigilante campaign by authorizing the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) American Legion Contact Program, whereby some 40,000 legionnaires were recruited as “confidential national defense informants,” reporting gossip about their coworkers and neighbors. So successful was the program, filling J. EDGAR HOOVER’s private files with much information he might otherwise have missed, that it was continued until 1966.

From the 1940s onward, legionnaires provided Hoover’s most dependable forum for speeches attacking communists, civil rights activists, antiwar protesters, and other enemies of the FBI, but collaboration was not always peaceful. The legion’s superpatriots took themselves too seriously at times, as during the McCarthy era of the early 1950s. In 1953 Hoover ordered Inspector Cartha DeLoach to join the legion and “straighten it out.” DeLoach enlisted, rising swiftly to become a post commander, department commander, and then national vice-commander. Legionnaires wanted to elect him as their national commander in 1958, but Hoover vetoed the move, deeming the top post “too political.” Instead, DeLoach became chairman of the legion’s national public-relations commission, ensuring that any public criticism of Hoover or the FBI was met by immediate protest from legion posts nationwide, scripted by ghost writers in the FBI’s Crime Records Division.

ALPHA 66

The Alpha-66 Brigade in Miami show they want back "good old time" in Cuba.
Alpha 66 ranks among the most violent and most notorious of the Cuban-exile groups devoted to overthrowing FIDEL CASTRO’s regime in Havana. Official histories of the organization claim it was founded in PUERTO RICO sometime in the latter part of 1961. The group’s cryptic name allegedly combines the first letter of the Greek alphabet (marking “the beginning” of exile campaigns against Castro) with the number of men present at its founding (66).

Throughout 40-odd years of arson, bombing, murder, and futile commando raids against CUBA,
Castro has charged—and U.S. intelligence “insiders” privately agree—that Alpha 66 enjoys covert support from the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI), the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA), and other organs of the U.S. government. (In 1976, Alpha 66
leader Antonio Veciana Banch told the CHURCH COMMITTEE that his group was actively supported by the CIA from 1960 to 1973, during which time the group participated in CIA-MAFIA plots to kill Castro.) That relationship has not always been a friendly one, however. Following the BAY OF PIGS fiasco, Attorney General Robert KENNEDY staged raids against exile training camps run by the CIA in conjunction with elements of the Mafia, the KU KLUX KLAN, and other criminal groups. Antipathy toward President John Kennedy was so pronounced among right-wing Cuban exiles that they remain prime suspects in the 1963 JFK ASSASSINATION, and members of Alpha 66 were questioned in 1977 by the HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS.
Alpha 66 Logo
While acts of TERRORISM linked to Alpha 66 could fill a hefty volume of their own, prosecutions in the United States have been few and far between. Five armed members of the group were captured in Cuba in December 1968, but U.S. authorities made no effort to punish Alpha 66 for violating neutrality laws. Two years later in September 1970, Cuban authorities announced the capture of nine more Alpha 66 commandos on the island. Terrorist actions in Cuba continued through the 1990s—including three drive-by shootings at the same Havana hotel between March 1994 and May 1995—while the FBI professed inability to find the men responsible. Similar failure resulted
in various crimes committed on U.S. soil, thereby strengthening the widespread belief that Alpha’s
efforts were endorsed from Washington. The group remains active today, claiming chapters in various U.S. cities with large Cuban-American populations.