Category: Tech

Smartphone: Tool of Evil in China

Every tool used by humans can be used for good or evil. It is up to the individual to determine its use. Smartphones are some of the newer tools for modern living. Their longer-term implications for everyday use are as yet unknown. While we in the West, where I see this in Canada, take steps to preserve privacy, this is untrue in China. The Chinese government has turned the benign too of the smartphone into a personal tracking device for its own political purposes.

Hacked By An0n 3xPloiTeR, 8B0K3N H34R7, Team Pak Cyber Ghosts: Cyber Hack Forensic Examination

Hacked By An0n 3xPloiTeR And 8B0K3N H34R7 Team Pak Cyber Ghosts [P.C.G], main message screen with running footer 1

Hacked By An0n 3xPloiTeR And 8B0K3N H34R7 Team Pak Cyber Ghosts [P.C.G], main message screen with running footer 1

This hack suspended the hosting account and the web site as a malware infected account. The hack set up a malware attack for anyone who visited the site, specifically targeting Windows. I am still trying to figure out how they got in, This is a Pakistani-based attack, or so their message says. I’ll try to document as much as I can to help others in the same situation.

NoScript Plugin: Simple Instructions

Firefox Noscript plugin 10.1.5.9 trust a site. Note that I hit the large S for google.com and now it says trusted. The large clock means it is temporary and will be removed when the browser closes.

Firefox Noscript plugin 10.1.5.9 trust a site. Note that I hit the large S for google.com and now it says trusted. The large clock means it is temporary and will be removed when the browser closes.

NoScript 10.1.5.9 is a web browser plugin for Firefox that allows you to control what javascripts run on your browser. I find it a very effective tool that really does a good job, but was initially most discouraged because the instructions were complex and the tool is not so user friendly. This is a simplified set of minimal instructions that will get you started. If you need more than the basics then go read the complete official instructions.

Firefox NoScript Plugin Problems: Unclear Documentation, bad UI

Firefox Noscript plugin 10.1.5.9 trust a site. Note that I hit the large S for google.com and now it says trusted. Click the large clock and it will turn into a small clock, which means it is now permanent and will be retained when the browser closes.

Firefox Noscript plugin 10.1.5.9 trust a site. Note that I hit the large S for google.com and now it says trusted. Click the large clock and it will turn into a small clock, which means it is now permanent and will be retained when the browser closes.

After a couple of sites I visit decided to use overly aggressive javascript I decided to try the NoScript plugin v10.1.5.9. This plugin, standard on the Tor browser, works quite well. Unfortunately when I close the browser my settings are all lost and I have to redo them. I tried to read the documentation, which is badly written and even tried to find the solution in a Google search. Finally I stumbled upon the FAQ from within the Firefox plugin area, from my browser and found a solution. I wrote some NoScript Plugin: Simple Instructions for myself.

Feedly: Somewhat Schizophrenic so Please Settle Down

A dear friend uses Feedly to monitor my site. He complained that he was getting 403s Banned, and asked why. Well, I have found that Feedly usually only takes my RSS feed, but sometimes, not often, it scrapes me mercilessly. Once I see a bot start scraping, I ban it. I moved him over to the more well behaved Feedburner by Google.

Here are the Feedly user agents:

Feedly/1.0 (+http://www.feedly.com/fetcher.html; like FeedFetcher-Google)
FeedlyBot/1.0 (http://feedly.com)

The latter, FeedlyBot, runs off WZComm, and had previously scraped me, so I banned it. WZComm also runs the surdotly bot, which is also banned. The former, Feedly/1.0, runs off Level 3, and seems well behaved.

China’s Tactics of Influence in Foreign Countries

China is a sovereign country, the same as any other independent and the world must respect this. What is unique about China is their willingness to use any means to exert their influence far beyond Chinese jurisdiction. I see that here in Canada, but there are reports of the same tactics being used in Australia and New Zealand.

Tactics include:
Funding education programs that have a pro-Chinese viewpoint
There is great concern here in Canada about their funding tactics. While it is great to encourage the study of Mandarin language, China is using this platform to teach a pro-Chinese viewpoint to very young kids. More than worrisome, this is meddling in the internal affairs of Canada. The Toronto District School Board had signed an agreement with this group, but the decision was reversed.

Globe and Mail Degrades User Experience for Desktop Users

For substantial reading, a smartphone just does not cut it for me. A desktop has a larger screen which is wider, and fonts are larger and easier to read. For the reading of a lot of content, nothing beats a desktop. It is with displeasure that I find newspapers degrading their user interface experience for the desktop in favour of the smartphone.

Globe and Mail recently revamped their site. Now gone are mouse overs, where you mouse over a link and it tells you a summary. This allows you to know beforehand if the article is worth reading.

Caught me: Adblock-plus goes Rogue

The National Post put up a news article about user centered design in cars, which turned out to be an ad. I took screen caps of this offending article and wrote about it. The image file name I used included the snippet “-ad-“, which was enough for my ad-block plus browser plugin to remove it from my view. Only after renaming the file name and reuploading it could I actually see the ad. Lesson learned.

Acer Aspire V3-571G Dual Boot Win 7 and Kubuntu: Difficult Linux Network Config

My Aunty has an Acer Aspire V3-571G-6602 laptop that originally had Windows 7 Home on it. Then Microsoft decided she should upgrade to Windows 10, all without asking her. Her machine was slow on the reboot and looked locked up. The auto upgrade to Windows 10 and the subsequent auto upgrades persuaded her that this was not kosher, but simply wrong. I lent her an older Lubuntu system, 12 years old, while I deciphered her predicament, and she started to really like the simplicity and speed of Ubuntu. Really, she only uses a browser.

Computer and Smartphone Security in Repressive Countries

Computer and Smartphone Security in Repressive Countries | 电脑和手机安全手册在压迫国家

Links and copies are AGAIN online. I’ll post when I receive an update. Vietnamese has been added 现在可以下载。要是文章要改变,我有最新版的时一会给你下载。 Updated 2018 June 17

These security documents for computers and smartphones are useful if: 这个关于电脑和手机安全手册是好用的要是:

  • your country can confiscate, investigate and interrogate your devices at will。
  • 你国家可以随意没收,调查和询问您的电脑和手机
  • your country can force or coerce you to give up your passwords
  • 你的国家可以强制或胁迫你放弃你的密码

These documents are not mine but belong to practicaldigitalprotection.com, a project of Safeguard Defeners. I am only safeguarding and promoting the documents for those who need them. Having read these documents I believe they are important enough to the world to keep a safe copy. I do not know the names of the owners of these documents, nor do I want to know, for their and my safety. If and when these documents are changed, I will replace them with their updated versions.