Home - Critical Computer Company Limited

XHTML 1.0 Transitional
[Valid RSS]

Search:    Start Date:    Detail:           Sources

Show Items:     Beginning 
21/05/2022 02:09:52  

An anonymous reader shares a report: The Pakistani operator of popular torrent site MKVCage can be held personally liable for contributory copyright infringement in the US. The case in question was filed by the makers of the film Hellboy. US District Court Judge Seabright concludes that the use of US-based services invokes jurisdiction, even though a magistrate judge concluded otherwise.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10/05/2022 10:04:57  

Hassanabad Bridge is destroyed after a glacial lake releases a torrent of water during a heatwave.
04/05/2022 00:06:47  

Andy Maxwell, reporting for TorrentFreak: In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, several Hollywood studios announced the immediate suspension of new releases in Russia. Unexpectedly, some Russian theaters are still able to show movies such as The Batman on the big screen but this isn't down to the studios. The movies are sourced from illegal torrent sites and few seem afraid to admit it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02/05/2022 09:06:32  

This week saw the 36th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster -- which had occurred just days before the Soviet Union's annual May Day celebration in 1986 -- and featured lots of patriotic outdoor parades. At the time Lev Golinkin was a 6-year-old living less than 300 miles away in the Ukrainian town now called Kharkiv. Writing for CNN, Golinkin remembers that Moscow "had remained silent, refusing to admit anything had occurred until the radioactive cloud from Chernobyl was detected in Scandinavia on April 28, making it impossible to hide the catastrophe any longer." Even then, Golinkin remembers that they "grossly downpayed the issue...." On April 29, three days after the Chernobyl disaster, Moscow issued a terse television announcement informing citizens that a reactor was damaged and aid was being provided to those who required it. The announcement was less than 20 seconds The days and weeks that followed were filled with a torrent of rumors and innuendo swirling around living rooms across the USSR while Moscow continued to pile over the explosion with secrecy and obfuscation. The Politburo began to loosen up restrictions on freedom of speech, but the confusion remained. No one knew the truth, but everyone knew the Kremlin was lying -- and that was about the only certainty around... [T]here was no rationalizing away the radiation. Moscow's refusal to cancel May Day festivities exposed the hollow horror of the Soviet Union -- even the most faithful believers in communism realized they lived in a country that thrust millions of people into danger just so it could hold a parade. Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev himself admitted Chernobyl -- which eroded faith in the Soviet system, poisoned vast tracts of land and cost billions to clean up -- contributed to the collapse of the USSR more than any other factor. Decades of Moscow's secrecy around the disaster makes it impossible to arrive at an accurate estimate of casuaties, and to this day, experts continue to guess and reassess the true impact of Chernobyl.... For nearly 70 years, the Soviets in Kremlin had generations of citizens tolerate bloodshed papered over by mendacity and propaganda. The same is happening today, during Moscow's savage war in Ukraine. The media formats may be somewhat different, but the lies continue... My family and I fled the Soviet Union in 1989. Watching the horrors in Ukraine unfold from America is surreal, in no small part because it feels like the intervening decades between the falls of communism and today have evaporated.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

24/04/2022 13:05:07  

CNN profiles Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative group specializing in "open-source intelligence". And investigator Christo Grozev tells CNN that authoritarian governments make their work easier, because "they love to gather data, comprehensive data, on ... what they consider to be their subjects, and therefore there's a lot of centralized data." "And second, there's a lot of petty corruption ... within the law enforcement system, and this data market thrives on that." Billions have been spent on creating sophisticated encrypted communications for the military in Russia. But most of that money has been stolen in corrupt kickbacks, and the result is they didn't have that functioning system... It is shocking how incompetent they are. But it was to be expected, because it's a reflection of 23 years of corrupt government. Interestingly there's apparently less corruption in China — though more whistleblowers. But Bellingcat's first investigation involved the 2014 downing of a Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine that killed 283 passengers. (The Dutch Safety Board later concluded it was downed by a surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine.) "At that time, a lot of public data was available on Russian soldiers, Russian spies, and so on and so forth — because they still hadn't caught up with the times, so they kept a lot of digital traces, social media, posting selfies in front of weapons that shoot down airliners. That's where we kind of perfected the art of reconstructing a crime based on digital breadcrumbs..." "By 2016, it was no longer possible to find soldiers leaving status selfies on the internet because a new law had been passed in Russia, for example, banning the use of mobile phones by secret services and by soldiers. So we had to develop a new way to get data on government crime. We found our way into this gray market of data in Russia, which is comprised of many, many gigabytes of leaked databases, car registration databases, passport databases. Most of these are available for free, completely freely downloadable from torrent sites or from forums and the internet." And for some of them, they're more current. You actually can buy the data through a broker, so we decided that in cases when we have a strong enough hypothesis that a government has committed the crime, we should probably drop our ethical boundaries from using such data — as long as it is verifiable, as long as it is not coming from one source only but corroborated by at least two or three other sources of data. That's how we develop it. And the first big use case for this approach was the ... poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in 2018 (in the United Kingdom), when we used this combination of open source and data bought from the gray market in Russia to piece together who exactly the two poisoners were. And that worked tremendously.... It has been what I best describe as a multilevel computer game.... [W]hen we first learned that we can get private data, passport files and residence files on Russian spies who go around killing people, they closed the files on those people. So every spy suddenly had a missing passport file in the central password database. But that opened up a completely new way for us to identify spies, because we were just able to compare older versions of the database to newer versions. So that allowed us to find a bad group of spies that we didn't even know existed before. The Russian government did realize that that's maybe a bad idea to hide them from us, so they reopened those files but just started poisoning data. They started changing the photographs of some of these people to similar looking, like lookalikes of the people, so that they confused us or embarrass us if we publish a finding but it's for the wrong guy. And then we'll learn how to beat that. When asked about having dropped some ethical boundaries about data use, Grozev replies "everything changes. Therefore, the rules of journalism should change with the changing times." "And it's not common that journalism was investigating governments conducting government-sanctioned crimes, but now it's happening." With a country's ruler proclaiming perpetual supreme power, "This is not a model that traditional journalism can investigate properly. It's not even a model that traditional law enforcement can investigate properly." I'll give an example. When the British police asked, by international agreement, for cooperation from the Russian government to provide evidence on who exactly these guys were who were hanging around the Skripals' house in 2018, they got completely fraudulent, fake data from the Russian government.... So the only way to counter that as a journalist is to get the data that the Russian government is refusing to hand over. And if this is the only way to get it, and if you can be sure that you can prove that this is valid data and authentic data — I think it is incumbent on journalists to find the truth. And especially when law enforcement refuses to find the truth because of honoring the sovereign system of respecting other governments. It was Bellingcat that identified the spies who's poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. CNN suggests that for more details on their investigation, and "to understand Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia, watch the new film Navalny which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CNN." The movie's tagline? "Poison always leaves a trail."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

07/04/2022 00:03:56  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: The NFT marketplace OpenSea is now facing at least three lawsuits over stolen cartoon apes after lawyers for a New York man filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court claiming that his Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT was taken from him due to what he characterized as "security vulnerabilities" of the OpenSea platform. Lawyers unaffiliated with the cases told Motherboard that, whatever the merits of the individual suits, the situation has the potential to cause trouble for the $13 billion Web3 startup, often referred to as the "eBay of NFTs," as it could potentially reveal its inner workings and invite a torrent of other suits that the company will be forced to defend against. "I think they're sitting on a ticking bomb," said Max Dilendorf, a lawyer specializing in digital assets, cryptocurrency, and asset tokenization who is not involved in any of the Bored Ape lawsuits. The newest $1 million lawsuit, filed on behalf of Michael Vasile, is similar to another lawsuit filed in February by the same lawyers on behalf of an aggrieved Texas man. In both cases, the men say they lost their apes because of alleged bugs in OpenSea's code that the company knew about but did not take appropriate steps to fix. A third ape-related lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada and also naming the NFT marketplace LooksRare and Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, claimed OpenSea did not "implement common sense and reasonable security measures'' against fraud and instead put "all the onus" on users. Altogether, the cases against OpenSea and other platforms could prove to be an arena where the courts figure out if the platform or the individual should be to blame when people lose thousands of dollars in a matter of seconds to illicit and irreversible blockchain scams. Regardless of the suits' merits, the unaffiliated lawyers said the OpenSea suits could place the popular NFT marketplace in a difficult position, as anything less than an all-out victory could invite a spate of similar lawsuits. Dilendorf added that OpenSea had reason to consider settling the case in order to avoid offering up the company's internal emails and documents during the discovery process. "I would not want to open up a Pandora's Box," Dilendorf said. "Because looking at how OpenSea operates the platform from a 10,000-foot view, it's very, very questionable."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

01/04/2022 01:03:34  

Blocking access to internet resources requires lots of hardware but due to sanctions, there are fears in Russia that a breakdown in systems operations may be just months away. Andy Maxwell, reporting for TorrentFreak: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been going on for more than a month. It isn't going to plan. In parallel with the terrible images being shared around the world, Russia is using its infamous site-blocking systems to deny access to websites that dare to challenge the Kremlin's narrative of Putin's 'Special Operation.' Telecoms regulator Roscomnadzor is working harder than ever to maintain its blockades against everything from Google News, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to the thousands of pirate sites and other resources on the country's blacklists. But, like the invasion itself, things aren't going to plan here either. A little over a week ago, local telecoms operators supplying internet access to Russian citizens were ordered to carry out "urgent checks" on their ability to continue blocking sites deemed illegal by the state. ISPs were required to carry out an audit and liaise with telecoms regulator Roscomnadzor. Today is the reporting deadline but according to several sources, problems are apparent in the system. With accurate and critical reporting being all but strangled by the state, it is not absolutely clear who or what ordered the review but the consensus is that prescribed blocking standards aren't being met. As previously reported, local torrent site RuTracker suddenly found itself unblocked earlier this month, reportedly due to issues at an ISP. Problems are also reported with the Roscomnadzor-controlled 'TSPU' Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) system embedded into the networks of around 80 local ISPs and recently used to restrict Tor, VPNs and Twitter traffic.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

31/03/2022 17:03:38  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: With Russian gamers effectively cut off from purchases on most major gaming platforms due to corporate sanctions against the country, the Russian game developer behind indie darling Loop Hero is encouraging Russian customers to pirate the game. In a Sunday post on Russian social network VK (Google translated version), Loop Hero developer Four Quarters said, "In such difficult times, we can only help everyone to raise the pirate flag (together with vpn)" to get the game. The developer then included a link to a copy of Loop Hero on a popular Russian torrent tracker to aid in that process directly. In a follow-up post the next day (Google translated version), Four Quarters insisted that "we didn't do anything special, there's nothing wrong with torrents." The company also notes that players wanting to offer the developer donations in lieu of buying the game should refrain. "The truth is that everything is fine with us, send this support to your family and friends at this difficult time," they wrote. While players outside of Russia should still be able to purchase Loop Hero on Steam, Valve said earlier this month that banking issues prevented it from sending payments to developers in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine (ironically enough). Valve recently told PC Gamer that developers in these countries will have to provide "intermediary banking information" in a foreign country to receive the payments they're due. "It's a very frustrating situation, and we hope to find the resolution soon," Valve wrote in a note to affected developers. Russia is reportedly considering legalizing software piracy to combat the sanctions imposed on the country for its invasion of Ukraine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.