US watchdog to probe FBI Clinton email actions

Source: BBC

A US government watchdog has launched an investigation into actions taken by the FBI during the election campaign.

FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server 11 days before the election shook up the race.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would look into “certain actions” by the FBI and DoJ.

Mrs Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing days before the US voted.

Her campaign team has blamed the FBI announcement as a key factor why she lost the election to Donald Trump.

The announcement on Thursday does not mention Hillary Clinton by name but refers to public disclosures by Mr Comey.

Mr Horowitz said his review would look at a news conference in July 2016 when Mr Comey said he would not recommend charges for Mrs Clinton.

A letter to Congress on 28 October, in which Mr Comey said there were more emails to look at, will also be subject to this new inquiry.

An explosive move – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

It seems the 2016 election isn’t going to go gently into that good night. Thanks to this decision by the Justice Department inspector general, one of the more controversial moments of the recently concluded presidential campaign is going to be given closer scrutiny.

Hillary Clinton and her campaign team say FBI Director James Comey’s two interventions close to election day cost her the presidency. It certainly knocked the Democrat off her stride and dominated headlines, allowing Donald Trump – who had been staggered by sexual harassment allegations – to regain his political footing.

They also contend that the action violated Justice Department guidelines and was an overtly partisan act from a law enforcement agency that should be apolitical. Perhaps they will view this announcement as bittersweet vindication.

The scope of the review covers more than just Mr Comey’s actions throughout the campaign, however. It will also address concerns expressed by Republicans that some lower-level FBI officials may have improperly shared information with the Clinton campaign.

Depending on how this investigation is conducted, and the conclusions it draws, the fuse may have just been lit on a stick of political dynamite that will explode later in the year.

The inspector general said his investigation had come in response to “numerous” requests from the public and from members of Congress.

Mrs Clinton said she had set up a home email server for reasons of convenience, but admitted it was a mistake.

In clearing her in July, the FBI said Mrs Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling classified materials.

But there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, it said.

Then in October they briefly reopened the investigation after finding new related emails from top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

They were found on a laptop belonging to her estranged husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, but nothing was found on them and the case was closed for a second time.

Yahoo! is DEAD, will be renamed “Altaba”

Source: fossBytes

Yahoo has its plans after Verizon finishes the acquisition of its operating business.

The 4.8 billion initial deal is reconsidered by Verizon for a bargain after the reported data breach affecting 1 billion accounts. According to the Jan 9 SEC filing by Yahoo Inc., the plans includes changing the name of the leftover company — which include shares in Alibaba and other places in Asia —  to Altaba Inc.

Further is the resignation of the current CEO Marissa Mayer, co-founder and chief David Filo, and some other members of the board. Altaba Inc. will collect Yahoo’s remains and progress to become an investment company. The new board will include a total of five directors.

Until last year, there was no word on Mayer stepping down from the company. The name change process might be a consequence of Verizon taking the Yahoo! brand name and use its services under its roof. Obviously, nobody would take it.

Verizon has plans to combine what they get from Yahoo with their existing AOL business. It might be possible that Verizon scraps off Yahoo! brand in the future, just like what Microsoft did for Nokia they bought their mobile phone business. Or, maybe they would want to sail on brand Yahoo!’s popularity boat, which is still in an okay condition.

Chrome, Safari, and Opera Browsers might be leaking your private information

Source: fossBytes

We often praise the autofill features of our web browsers for saving us from all the troubles of typing the details like email address, passwords, address, phone numbers, etc.

But, these features come along with some serious security risks too.

A web developer and hacker named Viljami Kuosmanen has found a flaw that’s affecting different browsers and plugins. According to his revelation, web browsers like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera, and plugins like LastPass can be exploited to leak sensitive personal information.

Browser autofill phishing in Chrome, Safari, and Opera

The phishing attack described by the hacker is very simple in application. When you fill your information in text boxes, autofill enters the profile-based information in form fields hidden from the user.

Mozilla’s Firefox is immune to this problem as it is yet to implement a multi-box autofill system, so, it can’t be tricked into filling text boxes.

Interestingly, this attack is triggered when users enter at least one information in some online form. To avert such attacks, the users are advised to disable the autofill function in their web browser.

What is that small cylinder on my computer cables?

Source: fossBytes

The digital era has gifted us many gizmos to make our lives more interesting and easy.

Just like everybody else, I use many electronic gadgets in daily life. More I explore these gadgets, more I get to learn about them. Similar desires of Fossbytes readers have made our Explainer section very popular.

In the same section, a few days ago, I told you about what causes a battery explosion. Today, I’m going to tell you about a small mysterious cylinder found on many cables–particularly the older ones. I noticed one on my laptop and monitor cables. This lump is usually found on one side of the cable.

So, what is this small cylinder on these cables? What’s its use?

This small cylinder on these cables is a ferrite core, also called a ferrite bead or ferrite choke. It’s simply a hollow cylinder that’s made of ferrite (iron oxide alloyed with other metals), which is a semi-magnetic substance.

Wondering what’s the use? Its purpose is to reduce the electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).

Such interferences cause our electronic devices to buzz, speakers to chirp, and monitors to flicker when they are too near to cell phones or other devices.

Our cables can act like an ‘unintentional’ antenna that broadcast or pick interference/noise. These cylinders in cables are made in such a way to reduce the interference with other electrical devices. In the cylinder, these signals get converted into heat. The ferrite’s atoms align themselves in different directions and block EMI.

Thus, the ferrite core prevents the disturbance and improves the quality of data stream.

But, why do some cables, e.g., cables of Apple’s products, don’t have these cylinders? In many new products, we don’t see this cylinder as it’s possible that the fixes may be already incorporated internally.

Trump election: US presidency is not a family business, says Obama

Source: BBC

US President Barack Obama says he has advised his successor Donald Trump not to attempt to run the White House “the way you would manage a family business”.

 

In an interview with ABC News, Mr Obama said that Mr Trump must “respect” US institutions.

“After you have been sworn in,” he said, “you are now in charge of the largest organisation on Earth”.

He warned that there was a difference between governing and campaigning.

“There are world capitals and financial markets and people all around the world who take really seriously what he [Mr Trump] says,” Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama also talked about the US intelligence agency’s report into alleged cyber-attacks by Russia and the attempt to influence the 2016 US presidential campaign.

He said that he had “underestimated” the impact of such attacks.

“I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation… and so forth to have an impact on our open societies.”

He said that a conversation had taken place with Mr Trump in which he had discussed the importance of having faith in the intelligence community.

“There are going to be times where the only way you can make a good decision is if you have confidence that the process is working,” he said.

Last week Mr Trump said he was a “big fan” of intelligence agencies, after months of casting doubt on the Russian link to the security breach. But he later raised questions over how the Democratic Party had responded to the cyber-attacks.

“How and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?” Mr Trump asked in a tweet.

Mr Trump will be inaugurated on 20 January.

Kim Kardashian West: Several held over Paris robbery

Source: BBC

Sixteen people have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery of Kim Kardashian West in Paris in October, officials say.

Authorities said at the time that the American reality TV star was robbed at gunpoint by at least two men dressed as police officers.

The men entered Kardashian West’s luxury apartment before tying her up and locking her in the bathroom.

They escaped with an estimated €10m (£8.7m; $10.5m) in jewellery.

French police said that traces of DNA left at the scene led to the arrests.

The men were detained in early morning raids in the Paris region, Normandy and the French Riviera following three months of investigations.

“One of the DNA samples matched an individual known to police for robbery and criminal offences,” police said.

Following the discovery, French police kept the man under surveillance, along with those he came into contact with, the BBC has learned.

Kardashian West, who is married to the rapper Kanye West, said she feared she was going to be killed at the time. The star was left badly shaken but unhurt.

“They’re going to shoot me in the back,” Kardashian West is heard telling her sisters in a promotional clip for the new season of the US show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

The 36-year-old mother-of-two, who became a household name thanks to the reality TV series, was in the French capital at the time of the robbery for Paris Fashion Week, with her mother Kris Jenner and her sister Kendall Jenner.

Act will not censor social media: NICTA

Source: Looppng

The Cybercrime Act will not be used to gag public complaints in the media.

Charles Punaha, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, said the Act, passed by Parliament in 2016, will not be a form of censorship on mainstream and social media.

“We respect freedom of information and speeches as provided for under the Constitution, but let me also specify that those freedom are referred to by law as qualified rights, meaning that people should not abuse those freedom to commit (crimes) against other people,” Punaha said.

“Our code will be developed within the confines of the law, the existing legislation and mindful to facilitate and respect the freedom provided for.”

However, many of Loop PNG readers think the Act is a smokescreen by the government to protect them from public scrutiny, especially on Facebook.

These are some of the comments on our news site.

“It is censorship your highness. You are telling us to watch our mouths when criticising public, elected officials – a norm in any democracy. Isn’t that the same as prohibiting people from watching certain movies, etc?” wrote a reader.

“People or so-called leaders are pushing around to have media under their control. (It) is to protect themselves from their corrupt practises so where does this freedom of speech come in play, shame on you leaders for pushing this agenda around to pass that law,” Arnold Mara commented.

“We need freedom of speech in our country! We all know that the media in PNG is being controlled by the Government, we need social media to expose corruption and the truth on our Parliamentarians and senior public servants’ immoral and unethical behaviours,” another reader commented.

Meanwhile, under the new Act, the three mobile phone operators must register all their users before the end of 2017.

“We remind subscribers that the number of days has been reduced, and we have 12 months left and they must register now,” Punaha said.

He added that they are in constant dialogue with the mobile operators and are confident with the current progress of SIM card registration.