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Yer Mom’s On Facebook

    • Web sites belonging to Gawker Media abruptly stopped publishing new material on Sunday after mischief-making hackers gained access to the company’s servers. People who had accounts on the flagship Gawker, Gizmodo, Jezebel and the company’s other Web sites were told to change their passwords because, it said in a statement, “our user databases appear to have been compromised.” Working anonymously, the hackers indicated that they had found more than 1.3 million user names and passwords, though it was unclear whether all of the data had been decrypted.
    • Earlier this year, KrebsOnSecurity featured a post highlighting the most dangerous aspects of GSM-based ATM skimmers, fraud devices that let thieves steal card data from ATM users and have the purloined digits sent wirelessly via text message to the attacker’s cell phone. In that post, I explained that these mobile skimmers help fraudsters steal card data without having to return to the scene of the crime. But I thought it might be nice to hear the selling points directly from the makers of these GSM-based skimmers. A GSM-based ATM card skimmer. So, after locating an apparently reliable skimmer seller on an exclusive hacker forum, I chatted him up on instant message and asked for the sales pitch. This GSM skimmer vendor offered a first-hand account of why these cell-phone equipped fraud devices are safer and more efficient than less sophisticated models — that is, for the buyer at least (I have edited his sales pitch only slightly for readability and flow).
    • Two brothers who say police unlawfully seized more than $190,000 from them during a traffic stop had been under surveillance and were suspected of drug-dealing, a lawyer for the city of Aurora said today during a court hearing.

      Though neither Jose nor Jesus Martinez is charged with a crime, authorities are seeking forfeiture of $190,040 found in Jesus’ truck when he was stopped by an Aurora police officer on Oct. 18.

      A Kane County judge ordered the money returned, but the city has refused.

    • He is one of the newest recruits to Operation Payback. In a London bedroom, the 24-year-old computer hacker is preparing his weaponry for this week’s battles in an evolving cyberwar. He is a self-styled defender of free speech, his weapon a laptop and his enemy the US corporations responsible for attacking the website WikiLeaks.
    • The peak of the week-long shower will come just before dawn Tuesday
    • The prison protest has entered the wireless age. Inmates in at least seven Georgia prisons have used contraband cellphones to coordinate a nonviolent strike this weekend, saying they want better living conditions and to be paid for work they do in the prisons. Inmates said they would not perform chores, work for the Corrections Department’s industrial arm or shop at prison commissaries until a list of demands are addressed, including compensation for their work, more educational opportunities, better food and sentencing rules changes. The protest began Thursday, but inmates said that organizers had spent months building a web of disparate factions and gangs — groups not known to cooperate — into a unified coalition using text messaging and word of mouth.
    • Summer, 1988. Tompkins Square Park, which long served as a makeshift home for the homeless and a center for social unrest, erupted in violence when the New York City police and hundreds of protesters clashed over ideological differences. Residents of the Lower East Side, historically home to diverse immigrant communities but facing gentrification, united to protest the 1a.m. curfew the city was attempting to enforce on the park, in effect banishing the homeless and closing off many areas of the park that were once public. Over the humid night on August 6th, demonstrators carrying signs that read “Gentrification is Class War” and chanting “It’s our fucking park, you don’t live here!” clashed with police armed with riot gear. The violence lasted until the next morning. It was Tompkins Park’s first iconic police riot and became the trigger to further radicalize the community’s political movement.
    • Miley Cyrus’ dad may not be the only one feeling “sad” after his daughter was reportedly caught on video smoking Salvia from a bong. The Golden State’s Salvia users could soon be mourning the loss of their drug of choice after Cyrus was shown legally lighting up at a party she held at her Los Angeles home. Salvia, or Salvia divinorum, is a hallucinogrenic plant that users says offers a high similar to that of LSD and marijuana. A California State Assemblyman who attempted to get the plant outlawed three years ago has again called for a Salvia ban, and accused Cyrus of setting a bad example to her fans.
    • A 20-year-old tagger was hit by two cars and killed early this morning on the northbound 710 Freeway in the Compton area, the California Highway Patrol said.
    • Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals. It was marked by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places, much like the Lord of Misrule in later Christian celebrations. Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BCE to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week-long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd. Efforts to shorten the celebration were unsuccessful. Augustus tried to reduce it to three days, and Caligula to five. These attempts caused uproar and massive revolts among the Roman citizens.
    • “I think more damage will be done by keeping the federal workforce largely in the dark about what other interested parties worldwide are going to be reading and analyzing. It does not solve the problem to let only a small coterie of analysts review documents that may be deemed relevant to their own particular ‘stovepiped’ subject area. Good analysis requires finding and putting together all the puzzle pieces.” So far, however, this kind of thinking is not finding a receptive audience in government. There has been no sign of leadership from any Administration official who would stand up and say: “National security classification is a means, and not an end in itself. What any reader in the world can discover is no longer a national security secret. We should not pretend otherwise.”
    • The innards of a drug ‘mule’: A CT scan taken at the University of Bern’s Inselspital Hospital shows seven packets of swallowed cocaine as light-gray circular and oblong shapes in a smuggler’s stomach above a bright white snake-like portion of bowel. The university’s Dr. Patricia Flach led a study that found that CT scans detected cocaine contraband better than X-rays.
    • In a conversation Feb. 13, 1973, with Charles W. Colson, a senior adviser who had just told Nixon that he had always had “a little prejudice,” Nixon said he was not prejudiced but continued: “I’ve just recognized that, you know, all people have certain traits.” “The Jews have certain traits,” he said. “The Irish have certain — for example, the Irish can’t drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I’ve known gets mean when he drinks. Particularly the real Irish.” Nixon continued: “The Italians, of course, those people course don’t have their heads screwed on tight. They are wonderful people, but,” and his voice trailed off. A moment later, Nixon returned to Jews: “The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality.”

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