[FRANCE24] Software titan Microsoft and computer security giant Symantec said Thursday that they smashed a hacker-infected computer network that was hijacking Internet searches.
A Bamital "botnet" raked in an estimated million dollars annually by routing Internet users to websites that generated revenue with bogus online ad "clicks."
"The Bamital botnet defrauded the entire online advertising platform, which is what allows the Internet and many online services to be free," Microsoft said in a blog post.
"What's most concerning is that these cybercriminals made people go to sites that they never intended to go and took control of the computer away from its owner."
Along with generating fraudulent clicks for which advertisers paid, the hackers sent Internet users to websites that could sneak malicious code onto machines or steal personal information, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft and Symantec research found that during the past two years, more than eight million computers were attacked by Bamital and that the scheme targeted popular search services and browser programs.
Symantec said it has tracked the botnet since late 2009 and joined forces with Microsoft to shut down the operation.
"Bamital is just one of many botnets that utilize click fraud for monetary gain and to foster other cybercrime activities," Symantec said in a blog post.
"Many of the attackers behind these schemes feel they are low risk as many users are unaware that their computers are being used for these activities."
Bamital is part of a family of malicious software designed to highjack search engine results and route Internet users to hacker-controlled servers, which then re-direct traffic to other websites, according to Symantec.
Bamital has been spread with "drive-by downloads" of malicious code at booby-trapped websites and by infected files downloaded from peer-to-peer sharing networks, Symantec said.
I never liked having anti-virus software on my PC because so often it steals CPU cycles and storage almost as much as a virus. They get very intrusive, controlling and annoying. But these days you gotta have it. Go buy a reputable anti-virus package from a reputable computer store. DO NOT download some unknown "freeware" anti-virus.
I've had serious misgivings about Symantec because of their associations with the Chinese company Huawei. Last year they reportedly dissolved the relationship. But their decision to get involved with Huawei in the first place was such bad judgement that I'd still steer clear of them.
Kaspersky is pretty well known but he is also a Russian so I wouldn't trust him either.
Sorry. Having grown up in the 1950s and 1960s I don't trust Russians or Chinese. And having watched my web server's logs for the past few years leads me to trust them even less.
I've been using Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection. Seems to work OK--seems catch bad stuff as it appears and gives a heads up. I also used Kaspersky one time; it seemed clunky to use. Have also used Norton; it came pre-loaded on my Windows 7 laptop. It seemed to work O.K. I've had trouble with Norton in the past. The trial ran out and I went to Forefront Endpoint.
[TOLONEWS] A teenage girl has fled with her family from their home in eastern Nangarhar province to live in Kabul after receiving ongoing threats from the man who kidnapped the girl more than a year ago.
Zamzama, who was kidnapped with her brother last year, told TOLOnews she has received threats to marry her former abductor Taj Mohammad or she will be kidnapped again and her intimidators will ensure her reputation is destroyed.
Zamzama said that when she and her and brother were kidnapped, Taj Mohammad took them to a mountainous area of the Noor Valley in Nangarhar, but her father received the help of some provincial council members and they were released three days later.
While Taj Mohammad was charged with the kidnapping, he was freed and is now threatening to repeat the act, Zamzama claimed Thursday.
Zamzama's father Abdul Matin believes those sending the threats have the support of Nangarhar province's former police chief Karim Gol.
Gol no longer works for any government structure but he holds much power in the area, Matin said, and the local officials "even the governor" seem afraid to further inspect Zamzana's case.
Matin added that although he alerted Nangarhar provincial governor Gul Agha Sherzai to the threats, nothing has changed and so he decided to move the family to Kabul to protect his daughter.
"The Nangarhar provincial governor lives in a palace and you have to wait a week to meet him. How could he solve the case?" Matin said.
Nangarhar provincial spokesman told TOLOnews that efforts are being made to arrest Taj Mohammad and that it is not yet clear who is supporting or protecting him.
Zamzama called on President Hamid Karzai to address her case.
"I want the president to help me. How would he react if it was his sister or daughter?" She said.
Civil society activist Mohammed Yusof Amin said the government needs to seriously address the problem of abductions if it is truly concerned about people's sense of security.
"The government has the responsibility to address this case. How long will the armed be allowed to go against the law?" He said.
[MAGHAREBIA] Sakher El Materi officially sought asylum in the Seychelles, TAP reported on Wednesday (February 6th). Following the Tunisian revolution, the son-in-law of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Qatar. He is the subject to an international arrest warrant for his alleged ties to fraud and embezzlement of public funds.
[MAGHAREBIA] Mauritania topped all Arab countries for press freedom, according to the annual report from media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
For the second straight year, Mauritania placed 67th on RSF's Press Freedom Index, released Wednesday, (January 30th). Mauritania ranked ahead of all Arab countries.
Tunisia, the first country to usher in the Arab Spring, ranked No. 138 on the index.
Mauritania's retention of its index ranking demonstrates that the country is consolidating the progress it has made in easing government controls on press freedom, said Ambroise Pierre, who heads RSF's Africa Desk.
He praised "steps taken by the Mauritanian High Authority for Press in the field of control and regulation to urge journalists to be responsible without reducing their margin of liberty".
Among measures that eased state restrictions on the press, the Mauritanian government in 2011 authorised private television and radio stations.
"There is no doubt that pluralism in the Mauritanian media became available by freeing the audio-visual space and launching private and serious channels and radio stations," said Abdallah Ould Bay, head of the National Council for the Justice and Development Party.
"This represents an outlet for us as well as the abolition of the prison penalty for journalists. However, a person who gets all wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package... I as a politician register some flaws with regard to the handling of the official media of some political parties as well as differing or double standards," he added.
RSF's 2012 Press Freedom Index noted that Mauritania rose "thanks to the adoption of a law on the electronic media, opening up of the broadcasting sector and other developments".
Sheikh Naji Ould Sidi Salem, the news director at state-run television, greeted news of the Mauritanian ranking by saying that more could be done to push his country higher up on the Press Freedom Index.
the only size 12 girl at the prom to use a corset
Posted by: lord garth ||
"Mauretania Press freedom tops ARAB world"
Measure it against some other yardstick and see what you get.
Mauretania only outlawed Black slavery in 1989, (a new law more honored in the breach than the observance) and the biggest group of emigres to come to Senegal every years is slaves escaping over the border. So I wonder just how free anybody is, including the press.
journalists to be responsible without reducing their margin of liberty".
For example, what happens to Mauretanian journalists who report on Marabouts (combination imam and witch doctor) who abuse the talibe (students, all children) under their authority? The maribouts' usual custom is to send the kids out to beg during the day and memorize the Q'uran at night. Abuses abound. The abuse provoked so much outrage in Senegal that the Marabouts moved their operation over the border into Mauretania.
While the rest of the developed world is scrambling here and there, politely prodding its central bankers to destroy their relative currencies, all the while naming said devaluation assorted names, "quantitative easing" being the most popular, here comes Venezuela and shows the banana republics of the developed world what lobbing a nuclear bomb into a currency war knife fight looks like:
VENEZUELA DEVALUES FROM 4.30 TO 6.30 BOLIVARS
VENEZUELA NEW CURRENCY BODY TO MANAGE DOLLAR INFLOWS
CARACAS CONSUMER PRICES ROSE 3.3% IN JAN.
And that, ladies and gents of Caracas, is how you just lost 46% of your purchasing power, unless of course your fiat was in gold and silver, which just jumped by about 46%. And, in case there is confusion, this is in process, and coming soon to every "developed world" banana republic near you.
"Maybe Hugo is alive" > a restaurant patron-friend of mine believes Hugo may already be dead, or else is possibly on his deathbed, which IHO explains why Cuba's pro-Hugo Uncle Fidel Castro made a sudden reappearance in the Medias a few days ago - he also opined that Hugo's passing is a great opportunity for the USA = Bammer Admin to re-establish cordial ties + trade wid Oil-State Venezuela. IHO THE US NEEDS TO HELP VENEZUELA BE SAVED FROM ITSELF LIKE CHINA-WARY BUT STARVING NORTH KOREA???
[Hurriyet Daily News] A senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reacted strongly today to critical remarks from U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone regarding the Turkish judicial system.
"We are inviting Ricciardone to remain within his boundaries and limits. We are not pleased with [his remarks], we condemn and denounce them. The ambassador should know his place," said the deputy head of the AKP, Hüseyin Çelik in televised comments on the private broadcaster Kanal A.
Ricciardone, who briefed Ankara reporters yesterday after a suicide attack targeting the embassy killed two people Feb. 1, criticized the long detention of army officers, scholars and students. "You have your military leaders, who were entrusted with the protection of this country behind bars as if they were terrorists... When a legal system produces such results and confuses people like that for terrorists, it makes it hard for American and European courts to match up," Ricciardone had said.
Çelik noted that the U.S. envoy had in the past also commented about internal questions in Turkey, emphasizing that it was unappropriate for a diplomat to make judgments about "topics that he does not know the details of."
"The Prime Minister had called him 'novice ambassador.' As it seems, Ricciardone has not yet learnd his place in that period," said Çelik.
How many have been killed by DUI?
Supposedly they're registered and insured. Of course, there are those who don't follow the law or who have lost 'legal' authority to operate the device, but doesn't seem to stop them. Time to grab all those motor vehicles - if it just saves one child....
A person steals guns, (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
shoots and kills his own mother (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
transports these guns loaded (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
brings guns onto school property (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
breaks into the school (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
discharges the weapons within city limits (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
murders 26 people (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW),
and commits suicide (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW).
And there are people in this country that somehow think passing ANOTHER LAW Banning guns would protect us from someone like this. If you haven't noticed, people like this are not concerned about breaking laws - they only care about fulfilling their own twisted agenda.
The only people that a gun ban law would impact are the LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, which will only serve to cripple the ability to protect ourselves.
My mother-in-law is a survivor of the German concentration camps of WWII. She does not like firearms. I try to explain to her our Second Amendment and how it prevents the rise of a tyrannical government such as in occurred Nazi Germany through gun confiscation. I'm afraid all this falls on deaf ears. But she must be making some headway because the last couple of elections, she voted Pub--previously, she had always voted Donk. Most of her other relatives and friends voted Donk. I guess she has an acquired penchant for recognizing scoundrels or she sees familiar patterns from her past developing.
The only people that a gun ban law would impact are the LAW ABIDING SUBJECTS CITIZENS, which will only serve to cripple the ability to protect ourselves.
Posted by: Frank G ||
The one way gun ban laws can actually affect things like Newtown - in the long run - is by reducing the number of guns available for psychos and criminals to steal and trade. If Newtown killer's mother had not been allowed to possess guns of any kind, and had been law-abiding, her son would have had to steal them from a criminal instead, which is harder and more dangerous. I'm not saying I approve of gun bans, just pointing out that there actually IS a logic behind them.
Yes, guns are banned in prisons, the ultimate police state. Somehow they get around to killing each other anyway. And mind you, the thugs not the armed uniform personnel do have enough control of the prison yard and hallways to influence the behavior of other inmates.
In the liberal media "Sleeping giants" get a pass.
Besoeker, do you mean this "sleeping giant? You [critics] disrespect the office of the POTUS/Presidency and Commander in Chief. You call him Kenyan, mongroid, halfrican, muslim, and FBHO when in essence you are to address him as simply, President.... You call his wife a Wookie. Off the record, I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama...
Mr. Vice President, do your due diligence when formulating a concise and permanent national AWB plan. Future generations of Americans depend on your plan and advisement to the president. I've always been a fan of yours and consider you one of the few genuine and charismatic politicians...
Hillary Clinton. You'll make one hell of a president in 2016. Much like your husband, Bill, you will be one of the greatest... Look after Bill. He was always my favorite President...
Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Pat Harvey, Brian Williams, Soledad Obrien, Wolf Blitzer, Meredith Viera, Tavis Smiley, and Anderson Cooper, keep up the great work and follow Cronkite's lead. I hold many of you in the same regard as Tom Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings.
An FBI crime stat pointed out that in 2011, 80% of victims of gun violence had a prior criminal record. 323 people were killed by long rifle last yr, of which, approximately 40 were killed by an "assault rifle". I am not sure how many of these "victiims" had prior records. All proposed new Gun laws are a sham, most of the ones handed down since the 50s are also a sham -- and I'm fairly certain our Founders would be pissed at what absolute pussies we've become in not fighting harder to maintain our God given rights. Essential liberty vs a little security...
"Essential liberty vs adamned little security..."
Posted by: Barbara ||
Exactly Barbara. Gun Control is not about guns, it's about control. I've had enough from either side about what "gun owners" are going to do in the wake of Newtown. As if by owning a gun we have some sort of guilt by association w/that Lanza psycho. Never let the statists frame the argument.
Somebody does something illegal with a gun and people die, so the gummint wants to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.
So I guess that the next time somebody does something illegal with a CAR and people die, the gummint is going to insist on "common-sense car control"? Are they going to limit the number of gallons you can have in your car at any one time?
And why isn't the gummint going ballistic about the more-than-a-gun-murder-a-day in Chicago? I'll ask the obvious question: Does it have anything to do with the skin color of the dead? If not, what?
Posted by: Barbara ||
Sort of reminds me of the "defending your self from a man attacking you with a banana" routine.
If a nutjob wants to murder large numbers of innocents, there is no stopping their perverse creativity.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
NONE, However a lot have been Killed by Bullets.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
I'm also curious how many infants have been sacrificed in the Democrats religion of Abortion in that time frame? Of course everything is FOR THE CHILDREN cause the Children are the sacrifices that feed their god.
[Dawn] The widespread rain and snowfall caused substantial damages to private properties across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) largely focused its attention on Mardan district, hometown of the chief minister.
The authority immediately conducted damages and needs assessment survey in Mardan and sent 700 tents from its warehouses with directives to the district authorities to arrange food and nonfood items for the affected people.
The PDMA director general also visited Mardan on Wednesday.
The statistics compiled by the authority showed that three people have been killed and 10 injured in rain-related incidents, while 125 houses have been damaged fully or partially in Mardan.
The rain caused widespread damages in the adjacent Swabi district, where 1,227 houses, including 100 houses in the Afghan refugee camp, Gandaf, had been declared damaged.
The PDMA has dispatched 100 tents and 100 food packages to help the affected population in Swabi.
It sanctioned Rs2 million for Haripur district, while heavy machinery has been dispatched to Shangla district to clear snow from roads.
Officials said total death toll from the three-day rain in the province was 29, while 75 people suffered injuries. They said a total of 1,393 houses had been fully or partially damaged across the province.
[Dawn] An appeal of a blasphemer, who had been convicted by the sessions court of Jhelum in 2010, has been moving from one judge of the appellate court to another since 2011.
On Wednesday, an LHC judge, Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh, however, dismissed an application filed for the suspension of the sentence of the blasphemy convict under section 426 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
According to the section, the sentence of a convict may be suspended if his appeal was not decided within two years.
A man was booked by Sohawa police of Jhelum district on November 11, 2009 under section 295-B of Pakistain Panel Code for
allegedly desecrating the holy Koran.
According to the FIR lodged by a local resident Azizur Rehman, the man, who sold holy Koran, threw the pages of the Koran
into a dry well in village Kundpari of Sohawa tehsil.
An additional sessions judge of Jhelum district on June 6, 2010 sentenced him to life imprisonment.
The convict then filed an appeal in the LHC Rawalpindi bench in 2011.
Initially, it was heard by LHC Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, then by Justice Abdul Waheed Khan and Justice Shehzad Ahmed Khan.
On Decmber 13, 2011, Justice Mazhar Iqbal Siddhu heard the arguments of the defence counsel.
On January 12, 2012, the appeal was fixed before Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh. On September 24, 2012 it was placed before Justice Ali Baqir Najafi.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Senate, the partisans of Honorius went for their knives and the partisans of Stilicho went for the doors... after completion of two years imprisonment, the convict's counsel barrister Imran Hassan Ali filed an application in the LHC under section 426 of CrPC for suspension of the sentence and release of his client till the final decision on the appeal.
The application was again fixed before Justice Rauf Ahmed Sheikh, who after hearing the arguments dismissed the petition and decided to give his verdict on two-year-old appeal.
In the appeal, the convict's counsel adopted before the court that Rehman and his client, were both sellers of the holy Koran, and in order to get rid of his business rival, Rehman implicated his client in the blasphemy case.
Advocate Ayaz Sial, the counsel for complainant Rehman, on the other hand told the court that the charges against the blasphemer were true. He requested the court to dismiss the appeal of the convict.
Mr Sial told Dawn that the delay in the case was routine matter. He said recently the LHC took up the appeal against the convictions of 2008 and 2009.
He said the court had examined different aspects of the case to give a clear and comprehensive judgment.
According to human rights One man's rights are another man's existential threat. activist I. A. Rehman, the trial courts decide blasphemy cases in a hurry.
"After registration of blasphemy case, people start demonstration and agitation aimed at pressurising the court," he added.
Subsequently, the trial court presided over by the additional sessions judge or senior civil judge decide the matter in haste.
He said in the appellate court the situation was somewhat different, where judges take time to decide the appeal against the conviction in the blasphemy cases.
Owing to this fact, the appeals in the blasphemy cases are piling up in the superior courts and the convicts had to wait for years for the disposal of cases, he added.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.