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[AxisOfEasy] Your New Volvo Will Report You For Driving Drunk Or Texting

by on March 25, 2019


Weekly Axis Of Easy #90


Last Week’s Quote was   “Your digital identity will live forever… because there’s no delete button”, which nobody got and I find that somewhat disconcerting.  So here’s another one by the same person:

This week’s quote:  We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”  by…..?

THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted in the comments below:

The Prize: First person to post, gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.


In this Issue:
  • Your new Volvo will report you for driving drunk or texting
  • FEMA released personal info of 2.3 million citizens to private contractor
  • Facebook, again, FFS. Over 800 million passwords stored in the clear.
  • European Union fines Google $1.7 Billion for privacy violations
  • Your GPS devices stop working on April 6th (unless you do this one thing…)
  • WordPress Social Warfare plugin 0-day being exploited in the wild
  • QuadrigaCX story keeps getting weirder 
  • Tired: Russian Collusion. Wired: Google interfered in US mid-terms
  • Ransomware attack cripples hydro / aluminum giant Norsk  

Your new Volvo will report you for driving drunk or texting

The next generation of Volvos will make use of in-car cameras to detect abnormal driver conditions, such as distracted driving (usually that’s texting but who knows these days? Maybe it’s balancing your chequebook or grilling a hamburger. I saw a woman peeling a potato once while I was barreling down the Gardiner Expressway….) Anyhoo… if the system detects anomalous behaviour, like excessive steering correction or weaving over lane lines, it will resort to escalating levels of remediation from warning the driver; to slowing down the car; to notifying Volvo On-Call service who may then dispatch authorities.

In other words, while your parents’ Volvo was an unglamorous fuddy-duddy of cars, your kids’ Volvo will narc them out to the cops.

FEMA released personal info of 2.3 million citizens to private contractor

Just in case having your home destroyed by Hurricanes Irma or Harvey wasn’t enough, FEMA accidentally released personal data on 2.3 million disaster victims to a third-party contractor. The data included social security numbers and banking information, potentially leaving victims vulnerable to identity theft and banking fraud. FEMA is not calling this a data breach. It’s a case of “data oversharing”. And they are taking “aggressive steps to rectify it”.

Read: https://www.wsj.com/articles/fema-officials-accidentally-released-private-data-from-2-3-million-disaster-victims-11553306354 (paywall)

Facebook, again, FFS. Over 800 million passwords stored in the clear.

Every f-ing week it gets harder to write the inevitable blurb about Facebook f-ing over their users without lacing the entire section with unedited f-ing f-bombs I’m so sick reporting this s**t: From now on we just call them F-book. F-ing F-book stored passwords for over 800 million users in the clear and searchable by f-ing F-book employees.

Zuckerbook went on to say…. Nevermnind, The F-book apology checklist has been so overused it’s already jumped the shark for 2019. We didn’t even make it through March.

Also F-book: They’ve asked the courts to seal documents pertaining to their being sued by lawmakers over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

(You might also be interested in reading “Reasons to Quit Twitter and Facebook and Switch to Mastodon”, and keep in mind that easyDNS runs a Mastodon instance at https://nojack.easydns.ca )

European Union fines Google $1.7 Billion for anti-trust violations

The European Union anti-trust commission has levied a $1.7B USD fine against Google for using its dominant market position to force customers to only advertise via Adsense. This makes the third billion dollar fine at the hands of the EU, the other two being a $5B fine for abusing its market dominance in mobile and another $2.7B for manipulating shopping search results.

Your GPS devices stop working on April 6th (unless you do this one thing…)

Apparently the Global Positioning System uses a method to store dates which rolls over on April 6, 2019. It’s kinda like the Y2K bug, except most of the satellites are expected to remain in orbit, even after it rolls over. Kidding aside, if you have a GPS device that was built for the rollover or that can update its firmware, you’re ok. Older devices that weren’t built for this will likely brick themselves after April 6. (h/t to long time OG member David Cuddy)

WordPress Social Warfare plugin 0-day being exploited in the wild

If you run any WordPress sites using a plugin called “Social Warfare” you should probably go clean things up now. Wordfence broke the news of a 0-day vulnerability being actively exploited in the wild. It’s a cross-site scripting vulnerability which was installed in 70,000+ sites. The plugin has been removed from the WordPress code repository pending a fix.

QuadrigaCX story keeps getting weirder

It seems as though the surviving founder of QuadrigaCX, Omar Dhanani has a somewhat checkered past. Bloomberg dug into it and found that he had been sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison in the US for identity theft and a bank card scam, after which he was deported… to Canada.

QuadrigaCX went up in smoke when the other co-founder, and CEO Gerald Cotten unexpectedly died …while in India …where he was building …an orphanage. It sounds weird just typing it, especially when I realize that I exchanged emails with Cotten a mere 2 days before his reported death. (QuadrigaCX was a beta client of a new domain protection platform we will be announcing soon. It does, amongst other things, realtime phishing site detection. Hit me up if you want on the invite list for that.)

Tired: Russian Collusion. Wired: Google interfered in US mid-terms

Well the Mueller Report finally docked and it smells like a big nothingburger. But what nobody is reporting is a study by Dr. Robert Epstein a San Diego-based Harvard Ph.D, who analyzed Google search results from three hotly contested California congressional mid-term battles and found “a clear democrat bias that may have flipped seats away from Republican candidates”.

(Epstein is a Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT), a UCSD visiting scholar, and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today. He reportedly backed Hillary Clinton in 2016)

Readhttps://www.theepochtimes.com/another-way-google-manipulates-votes-without-us-knowing-a-go-vote-reminder-is-not-what-you-think-it-is_2754073.html

And this 1-minute explainer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MydfaDtVNYY

Ransomware attack cripples hydro / aluminum giant Norsk

“The situation is quite severe”, was the word from Norwegian giant Norsk, one of the largest aluminum producers in the world. They were hit with a ransomware variant of the WannaCry worm and had their key systems encrypted. They believe the attack originated in the US.

Here’s the important part: Norsk will not be paying the ransom and will instead restore their systems from backups. 

That means, they have backups. It’s amazing how many companies don’t. Does yours?

Read: https://www.zdnet.com/article/norsk-hydro-will-not-pay-ransom-demand-and-will-restore-from-backups/ 

12 responses to “[AxisOfEasy] Your New Volvo Will Report You For Driving Drunk Or Texting”

  1. Avatar Josh Beavers says:

    From the 3/26 email I am guessing the “We can more or less know what you’re thinking about” is Mark Zuckerberg?

  2. Avatar Marcus says:

    Eric Schmidt

  3. Avatar gcv says:

    Is the quote from Mark Zuckerberg?

  4. Answer to the quotation question is Eric Schmidt

  5. Avatar John Manuel says:

    “We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” – Sound like Mark Zuckerberg to me…

  6. Avatar Elissa Cogan says:

    Agree with John Manuel (would have been a guess) but could also be Jeff Bezos.

  7. Avatar Rick McKelvie says:

    I’m thinking Edward Snowden.

  8. Avatar Mark Robinson says:

    Answer: General Paul M Nakasone, Director, National Security Agency

  9. Avatar Andy Konecny says:

    this had me checking quotes of Kuckerberg, Page, Brin, then thought of Schmidt, but then I was too late. sigh. In hind sight that is so him.

  10. Avatar Andy Haley says:

    “We know where are are. We know where you’ve been”.
    I thought Facebook at first, but see everyone else has the same thought. So the next one on the list would be, Google. I don’t post to Facebook anymore, but Google is integrated into my apps, my phone, my email. Google is everywhere.

  11. Avatar Jennifer Turnbough says:

    That’s a google quote for sure. Must be Eric Schmidt

  12. Avatar T.R. Elass says:

    I think the quote is from Kevin Mitnick

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