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DNC email leak: Russian hackers Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear behind breach

Cybercriminals also referred to as Guccifer 2.0 have invaded the White House, state department and German Bundestag between them, security firms say

Guccifer 2.0, the hacker behind the recent Democratic party email leak, is not a single operator but Russian cybercriminals designated Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear by investigators who have invaded the White House and the Bundestag between them, according to leading cybersecurity firms.

Security firm ThreatConnect issued a comprehensive report on Tuesday using their own data and data from previous reports by rivals CrowdStrike, Mandiant and Fidelis.

Crowdstrike associates Fancy Bear with other Russian intrusions, notably one into the German Bundestag in May and another into French television network TV5 Monde. Cozy Bear has dug into the state department the joint chiefs, and the White House, said CrowdStrike, which analyzed those hacks.

The hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is now being investigated by the FBI. DNC emails leaked by Guccifer 2.0 caused immense embarrassment ahead of the Democratic national convention. The leaks led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chair, after they revealed party staffers had favored Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders.

Weve had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well, wrote CrowdStrikes Dmitri Alperovitch. In fact, our team considers them some of the best adversaries out of all the numerous nation-state, criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups we encounter on a daily basis.

The new ThreatConnect report suggests that the person who has been giving interviews under the name Guccifer 2.0 to the press isnt a hacker at all.

I find it interesting

In June, Guccifer contacted Vocativ writer Kevin Collier through Twitter to offer a story about the DNC leaks, insisting on encryption; Collier said the story he received by email was so offbeat he asked Guccifer what good it could possibly be. I find it interesting was the only reply.

Collier also said there was something else odd about the email: it had come from a French AOL service so insecure that it included the senders IP address in the email.

Its baffling, Collier told the Guardian. Hes either an amateur, made a huge mistake, or this is part of an incredibly intricate disinformation campaign. Since the going theory of the DNC hack is that it was perpetrated by Russian government groups that then passed this information to propagandists or professional trolls to spread, my best guess is it was just a rookie mistake.

The sender had used a proxy, but the proxy masking Guccifers location was Russian.

Guccifer 2.0 had always claimed to be Romanian like the original Guccifer, imprisoned hacker Marcel Lazr Lehel, but the 2.0 version had regularly communicated with journalists in Russian. When Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai asked Guccifer 2.0 to speak Romanian, the few sentences that came back were filled with mistakes.

Then there was the way Guccifer claimed to have attacked the DNC with a zero-day hack into a software called Votebuilder used by the DNC. A zero-day hack finds a vulnerability in the software that was previously unknown to the target.

A backdoor into Votebuilder would only be valuable to someone attacking the DNC; most black-market activity focuses on exploitation of widely used software that can be used on multiple targets to make money until it is discovered and closed down.

Toni Gidwani, director of research operations for ThreatConnect, said: There are much easier ways to get in.

Another security company, Secureworks, found what may be the culprit: a fake Google login page targeting the Clinton campaign.

Gidwani said the various mistakes and inconsistencies indicate to ThreatConnect that a lot of the decisions around the hack appear to have been arrived at by committee with varying degrees of knowledge about hacking.

It would suggest to us that the operators of the Guccifer 2.0 persona were not the actors who breached the DNC, she said. Youre looking at the operations guys who dont have the same technical credibility as these very sophisticated actors who exploited these networks. Youve got a lot of cooks in this kitchen here, not just one actor.

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Popular Instagram bot site Instagress has been shut down – The Verge


The Verge

Popular Instagram bot site Instagress has been shut down
The Verge
But plenty of lifestyle bloggers, artists, and D-list celebrities who want to make money off sponsored posts have found other ways to game the system. For example, Kelsey McKinney for Racked recently detailed the practice of forming Instagram “pods

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Dallas Cowboys 2017 Schedule: Biggest Road Tests – Blogging The Boys (blog)


Blogging The Boys (blog)

Dallas Cowboys 2017 Schedule: Biggest Road Tests
Blogging The Boys (blog)
The Cowboys head to the brand new Georgia Dome in Week 10 of the 2017 season to face the defending NFC Champs, the Atlanta Falcons. This game will provide Dallas an opportunity to see who they want to become as Atlanta boasts a veteran …

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Hatchimals scheme ‘ruins’ novelist Sara Gruen and angers Christmas shoppers

The Water for Elephants novelist wanted to resell a huge purchase of the must-have toy but cannot do so, leaving frustrated buyers furious

Never cross parents of young children on the hunt for the Christmas must-have toy. It is a rule novelist Sara Gruen failed to heed when she snapped up $23,000 (18,000) worth of this years answer to Cabbage Patch Dolls and Furbies to resell. Now her pursuit of a fast profit could ruin her financially, as well as destroy her reputation among irate parents.

The Water for Elephants author has been accused of being a Grinch stealing Christmas after she spent $23,595.31 on eBay for 156 Hatchimals toys with a view to selling them on at a profit. The auction website restricts sales of toys likely to pull in counterfeiters.

Money raised by auctioning the Christmas must-have was intended to fund the defence of an innocent man whod run out of options while serving life without parole, Gruen said. She told the Philly Voice she had run up debts of $150,000 fighting for the unnamed man.

Gruen used her credit card to purchase the Hatchimals, which are lying in boxes around her house as she tries to shift them and avoid losing all her money. It felt like I got hit with a freight train, she said about the moment she realised she could not resell the toys on eBay. I waited until the next morning to tell my husband that Id completely ruined us. He should have murdered me. I ran up the credit cards for this. But he feels sorry for me. He feels bad that I feel bad. I married a saint.

Hatchimals are furry creatures that emerge from an egg and grow before your eyes. They have become the top-selling toy in the UK, Canada and the US, after supplies from manufacturer Spin Master ran out. Such is the frenzy for them that Gruen expected to turn a profit, despite paying almost three times their retail price.

I figured I could still sell them at a profit and put a dent in the extremely hefty lawyer fees Im accruing in my fight to get the wrongfully convicted mans case back before the supreme court, she wrote in a post on Facebook.

Her readers reacted angrily to the news, accusing her of exploiting children in order to make money. Its awful a person like her buys all these and then gets stuck with them while trying to make extra money off the parents, wrote one irate parent. Its sad that a lot of kids will be very upset this Christmas because of greedy people like you. Another wrote on her Facebook page: Youre reselling for $189 each. If anything less, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Guen rejected accusations that she had cynically destroyed the Christmases of small children across America. I did not, contrary to popular opinion, scoop them off shelves to prevent kids from getting them. The day after Black Friday, I decided they were really cool and probably going to be popular and so I bought the ones I got on eBay. ALL of them. She added: If you want to blame me [for] the death of Christmas, be my guest.

Not all her readers reacted with scorn. Some have offered support and encouraged her to sell them through her own online outlet The Gruen Zoo, where she is now offering Hatchimal purchasers a signed copy of one of her books.

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The Guardian view on the EU referendum: keep connected and inclusive, not angry and isolated | Editorial

Editorial: Economics, foreign policy and Britains idea of itself are all on the ballot. But after a divisive campaign so, too, is our ability to get along. Another powerful reason why the wise vote is for remain

Who do we think we are, and who do we want to be? Are we so different from others that we cannot play by shared rules? Are we one member in a family of nations, or a country that prefers to keep itself to itself and bolt the door?

All of these questions were always on the ballot in this weeks fateful referendum. But after a campaign that has been nasty, brutish and seemingly endless, the UK will be voting on another question too. With all the differences and the diversity among all of us who already live on these islands, how are we all going to get along? In the run-up to polling day this contest has risked descending into a plebiscite on whether immigrants are a good or a bad thing. To see what is at stake, just consider the dark forces that could so easily become emboldened by a narrow insistence on putting the indigenous first.

Head and heart

The backdrop has been the most unrelenting, unbalanced and sometimes xenophobic press assault in history. The leading political lights of leave have claimed to be pro-immigrant and yet have, at the same time, been ruthlessly fearmongering about Britain being overrun by Turks, after a Turkish accession which they understand perfectly well is not on the cards. The mood is frenzied, the air thick with indignation, and clouded with untruths. The best starting point for Britain to reach a sound decision on Thursday is to cool the passions of the heart, and listen to the head.

All reason tells us that the great issues of our time have little respect for national borders. The leave side has attempted to turn expert into a term of abuse, but one does not need the IMF, the Bank of England or any special knowledge to grasp that these border-busting issues range from corporate power, migration and tax evasion to weapons proliferation, epidemics and climate change. Not one of them can be properly tackled at the level of the nation state. Impose controls on a multinational corporation and it will move to a softer jurisdiction. Crack down on tax evasion and the evaders will vanish offshore. Cap your own carbon emissions in isolation and some other country will burn with abandon. In so far as any of these problems can be effectively addressed, it is through cooperation. A better world means working across borders, not sheltering behind them. Cutting yourself off solves nothing. That, fundamentally, is why Britain should vote to remain in the club that represents the most advanced form of cross-border cooperation that the world has ever seen.

We need, too, to remember our history. Britain was formed and shaped by Europe. And we are in historical as well as cultural, geographical and trading terms a European nation. In almost every generation of European history until the past 70 years, people from these islands have fought and died in European wars. But within the borders of the European Union, there has been no war at all. This has not been an accident. To turn our back on that is unworthy of our traditions.

This is not to dispute that there are flaws in the way that Europe is constituted and led. The EU is a union of nations working together, it is not and never will be a United States of Europe, and so its leadership is bound to depend on the imperfect leadership of all these countries. The single currency has been a flawed project and has set one nation against another, forcing the poor to pay the price for propping up a shonky structure. But Britain is not part of the eurozone, and the EU is not a plot against the nation state. Britain is still robustly herself too, warts and all.

If the EU has become a whipping boy, that is in large part because of the frustration that many inevitably have with day-to-day life in Britain. There are millions of citizens whose wages have been stuck for many years, whose job security has been hollowed out, and whose hopes of a fair deal are being undermined, all at a time when immigration has increased. People are bruised and angry, and many are ready to take it out on those they feel have let them down. Even if the UK government itself actually bears far more of the responsibility, it must be admitted that the EU is part of an international economic order that has been unkind to many. The wish to kick against it can thus be understood, even though it is mistaken.

For the core issues here are labour standards, and they are more effectively governed collaboratively, or else the great danger is of a competitive pressure to strip away protections covering hours, discrimination or agency and temporary working. More broadly, there is no crisis in Europe which is so serious that it would be better for the British prime minister to be outside the EU knocking on the door pleading to be heard rather than inside the room sorting things out. A leave victory would not solve the problems that cause such anger. On the contrary, it would make most of them worse.

The only argument about the immediate economic effects of Brexit is the depth of the hit that the economy would take, not whether it would take a hit at all. The political victors would not be those who wish to rebuild politics. They would be rightwing Tories, and ruthless plutocrats who want freedom to reorder Britain and make money as they choose. They have no interest in fairer taxes on the rich, or higher spending on the NHS. They have spent their so-called Brexit dividend which in reality is almost certainly a negative number, not the mendacious 350m a week which has earned them an official reprimand many times over. A significant group of them are flat-taxers who are whispering about deep cuts to corporation taxes. Facile Brexiter talk of a more buccaneering Britain presumably a country fit for Sir Philip Green or Fred Goodwin to capture other galleons offers precisely nothing to assuage the fears of elderly voters who simply want nothing more to change.

It is a fantasy to suppose that, if Britain votes to leave, these victors would want to maintain or extend protections for pensioners or workers. On the contrary. Human rights, equality, health and safety, and aid to refugees would be out of the window. Those who vote to leave as a protest against the elite will, in truth, be handing the keys to the very worst of that very elite. There would be no taking back control for most working-class leave voters, just less control over their diminishing share than ever. Those who have not yet made up their mind in this campaign should ask themselves this: do you want to live in a Britain in the image of Nigel Farage? Yes or no? For thats the choice on offer. If the answer is no, then vote remain.

Fantasy island

Thursdays vote is in some ways a choice between an imaginary past of which too many in this country cannot let go and a future about which all of us are inescapably uncertain. If it goes in favour of leave it will hand Britains young people a country that most of them do not intend to vote for. Is that fair? It may push Scottish nationalists to proceed with a break-up of Britain that was rejected less than two years ago. Is that responsible? It will put the settlement in Northern Ireland the fragile prize won so recently from decades of hatred at risk. Is that worth it? Not at all. Instead we should be putting our shoulders to the task of building a democratic, devolved, multicultural Britain with a fair deal for all, connected to the world and working with our European neighbours.

The campaign has further alienated voters who were already disaffected. To an extraordinary degree, it has inflicted the Tory partys pathological obsession with the EU on a country that does not ordinarily share it. No one bears more responsibility for this whole unedifying event than David Cameron, it is true. In the end, though, Thursdays vote is not about him. It has become a turn-in-the-road issue for Britain and Europe alike. Imagine a world without the EU without the clout to face down Russia over Ukraine, without the ability to put together coherent answers to carbon emissions, to protect standards at work from a race to the bottom. Like democracy, the EU is an imperfect way of answering the modern worlds unrelenting challenges. But the answer to its imperfections is to reform them, not to walk away still less to give in to this countrys occasional hooligan instinct in Europe.

Like democracy, whose virtues are in our minds afresh after the violent death of the committed and principled MP Jo Cox, the EU is not just the least bad of the available options. It is also the one that embodies the best of us as a free people in a peaceful Europe. Vote this week. Vote for a united country that reaches out to the world, and vote against a divided nation that turns inwards. Vote to remain.

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What no Singaporean tells you about blogging for money – The Online Citizen


The Online Citizen

What no Singaporean tells you about blogging for money
The Online Citizen
There's a rumour going around that blogging is easy money. With famous bloggers like Lady Iron Chef and Xiaxue supposedly making thousands of dollars per post, you might think it's your golden ticket. While blogging can be a good source of side-income, …

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Cowboys 2017 Draft: Which College Teammate Combo Do You Want? – Blogging The Boys (blog)


Blogging The Boys (blog)

Cowboys 2017 Draft: Which College Teammate Combo Do You Want?
Blogging The Boys (blog)
If the Cowboys draft two players from the same college, which duo would be most desirable? by DannyPhantom@DannyPhantom24 Apr 19, 2017, 3:00pm CDT. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports. Do you have a favorite Florida …

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4 Reasons Your 20s Are The Best Time To Stop Taking Money From Your Parents

There are some parents out there whoare so well off that they have no problem helping a kid out with a little money and by a little, I mean a lot. We’re talking college paid, rent paid, car paid, the list goes on.

Then there are some parents who are semi-struggling themselves, but still work their asses off to make sure you have that life you want. These are the parents whowant more for you than what they had. Then there are the parents who work hard and make you work just as hard. Their parents made them work for their own money and now that’s exactly what they have you doing.

None of these parenting styles are wrong. Everyone has their own way of handling money when it comes to their kids. But when you’re in your 20s,it’s probably time to stop taking that money.

1. You need to claim your independence.

Your 20sare a significant time in your life when it comes to gaining your independence. Being able to financially support yourself is huge and it’s a goal that you should set for yourself as soon as you initially have a decent paying job. Once you are able to be financially stable, you will find so many other things fall into place.

I’m going to reiterate the fact that independence is important AF in your 20s. If you’re borrowing money from your parents or having them pay for all of your bills still, it’s not going to happen. Hustle and establish yourself away from your family.


2. Once you do, it’s hard to stop.

It’s OK to take twenty bucks towards gas every now and then and obviously that Christmas card money is gold, but if you’re finding yourself asking your parents for help with rent each month or groceries, you need to cut the ties.

Family members who want to help support you are great, but you don’t want to take advantage of tat. Hold your head high and pass on the charity. Do it for them and do it for yourself. They spent your entire life financially supporting you, have the respect for them and the bills they need to take care of. They don’t need yours too.


3. They’ll respect you more for it.

Once your family knows you’re financially stable enough not to take their money, their respect is going to rise, they’re going to feel confident that they did their job and they’re going to be grateful for you taking on your own financial responsibility so they don’t have to.

Most Millennials who don’t accept money from their family generally have a healthier relationship with their parents than those who take the money and it makes sense.


4. You don’t want them to be able to hold it against you.

The most frustrating thing is when your parents willingly give you money and then throw it in your face. Like, WTF mom. This is something that is all too easy to bring up in a fight and if you’re taking it on the reg, it’s going to happen. Avoid all of the confrontation off the bat and don’t take their money.

Money is something that isn’t exactly growing on trees in your 20s, but that doesn’t mean that it’s OKto take out a big loan from the bank of mom and dad. Learn to work hard and make money for yourself. It’s much moreempowering to be able to stand on your own versus the feeling of taking your mom’s last 20-dollar bill.

Your bank account is as ballin’ as you work to make it.

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Live updates: Rare malfunction delays final tally in Georgia's 6th District race – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)


Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)

Live updates: Rare malfunction delays final tally in Georgia's 6th District race
Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
The Fulton County news was quick to inspire some low-grade Twitter humor (there were plenty of Russia hacking quips), as well as a joking pledge from a Pennsylvania Democrat to introduce a bill in Congress that would send more money to Fulton County to

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Etsy launches same-day delivery service for last-minute holiday shoppers

Its the Thursday before your friend’s housewarming in Brooklyn and you totally forgot to get her a pair of crocheted potholders. Don’t panic! There could be a solution: Etsy ASAP.

A new pilot program from the online handmade goods marketplace is being tested in the New York City area just in time for the holidays offering same-day delivery from select sellers. This convenience will come at a price, though: In order to take advantage of Etsy ASAP, you have to be willing to shell out an extra $20. Hey, alls fair in love and needlepoint.

Senior Product Manager Calia Talmor announced Etsys new offering on the sites blog on Tuesday. “In partnership with on-demand logistics company, Postmates, were making it possible for buyers to discover, buy, and receive unique items direct from a local seller, all within the same or next day for a flat fee of $20,” she wrote.

There are approximately 5,000 products available on ASAP, which Techcrunch points out is a small fraction of Etsys 32 million products. But for the last-minute shopper with a love of handmade goods, it could be a welcome alternative to buying at a chain store (or any brick-and-mortar store, really).

Once an Etsy shopper selects the ASAP option, she can choose a three-hour window to have the items delivered, according to the announcement. As with other Postmates services, such as food deliveries, shoppers are able to digitally track the progress of their order .

Etsy ASAP part of the company’s push to encourage users to “buy local.” It works in tandem with their other pilot program, Etsy Local, which helps connect customers with sellers in their area (particularly important when there’s a chance your “handmade” item may actually be made in China.)

After announcing its IPO earlier this year, Etsy continues to dominate the handmade good market as a place where artists and craftspeople can make a lucrative living(even witches have found a home there). And as Etsy ASAP shows, people will do pretty much anything to get their hands on some good, old fashioned crafts.

H/T Techcrunch | Photo via Mike/Flickr

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