Author Archive

postheadericon Privacy News Round-Up: Facebook “VPN”, Unsecured Routers, And Firmware Holes

Keep up to date with Facebook’s Onavo Protect, unsecured routers, and firmware vulnerabilities with FlashRouters.

The post Privacy News Round-Up: Facebook “VPN”, Unsecured Routers, And Firmware Holes appeared first on FlashRouters Networking & VPN Blog.

FlashRouters Networking & VPN Blog

postheadericon Friendly warnings left in unsecured Amazon S3 buckets which expose private data

Ethical hackers are warning businesses who use Amazon S3 cloud storage if they have left data exposed for anyone to access… by leaving “friendly warnings” on the servers.

The post Friendly warnings left in unsecured Amazon S3 buckets which expose private data appeared first on WeLiveSecurity


postheadericon FL School Gunman Should Have Been a Prohibited Person

Details that have been revealed in the aftermath of last week’s horrific Parkland, Florida school shooting have revealed a Keystone Cops-like response to reports of the shooter’s disturbing behavior by the hapless sleuths at the FBI. Despite the gunman’s open declaration of wanting to shoot up a school and a variety of erratic behavior, the Fibbies utterly fumbled the situation.

But long before the gunman was first brought to the attention of the G-Men, before he was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he displayed other behavior which, if handled properly at the time, would have prevented him from legally obtaining the the Smith & Wesson AR-15 he used to murder 17 people last week.

He had no criminal record and bought his rifle legally. He jumped through all of the requisite hoops every gun buyer is required to navigate including a federal background check. A background check which turned up nothing.

But he should have been a prohibited person. The New York Times reports that he was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for possessing knives on campus:

…..School officials declined to say why Mr. Cruz no longer attended Douglas High School. But Amanda Samaroo, whose daughter, Elizabeth, attended the school while he was a student there, said he had been expelled for bringing knives on campus. “Her friends have said he was known to always be mentally ill and would kill animals,” Ms. Samaroo said….. 

The actual offense committed by the gunman may have been far worse. It’s been reported that he threatened or actually attacked the boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend with a knife. If prosecuted only for the knives on campus, that would have been a third degree felony under Florida Statutes, Chapter 790, Section 115:

790.115 Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited; penalties; exceptions.—
(1) A person who exhibits any sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon as defined in s. 790.001(13), including a razor blade, box cutter, or common pocketknife, except as authorized in support of school-sanctioned activities, in the presence of one or more persons in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner and not in lawful self-defense, at a school-sponsored event or on the grounds or facilities of any school, school bus, or school bus stop, or within 1,000 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school, during school hours or during the time of a sanctioned school activity, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084…… 

But the gunman’s actions were never reported to local police. That’s because the Broward County School district had decided that reducing the number of arrests on their campuses was a priority. The best way to reduce the number of arrests is by never reporting crimes that occur on school property in the first place.

Toward that end, in 2013 they created a “restorative justice” agreement (RJA) to usurp the role of police on all their school grounds.

The Broward County School board teamed up with a group of community partners this month to sign a collaborative agreement on school discipline. The agreement, first of its kind, establishes new guidelines for handling non-violent misdemeanor offenses on school campuses, outlining when law enforcement is necessary and when problems can be handled through school resources.

Representatives from the Broward County-Fort Lauderdale NAACP, Juvenile Judicial Circuit, Public Defender’s office and County Sheriff’s office, among others, signed the agreement with school board members in Fort Lauderdale.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie says the new procedures are a common-sense approach that will give students the benefit of the doubt….. 

Had the school reported the gunman and had he been prosecuted, he would have had a felony criminal record. That record would have prevented him from buying a firearm from an FFL dealer.

But the Broward County School District’s policy of handling even criminal behavior by its students internally kept police from charging the gunman — and no doubt others — with a felony. The BCSD believed that expulsion was an adequate response to criminal conduct, without considering future consequences. The cost of restorative justice turned out to have been unimaginably high.

Now, with seventeen dead bodies resulting from the district’s molly-coddling approach, Superintendent Robert Runcie and Sheriff Scott Israel – both signatories to the RJA – are calling for more gun control, all the while disingenuously ignoring their central role in enabling the purchase of the murder weapon.

John Dingell III contributed to this article.

Concealed Nation

postheadericon Six tips to help you avoid targeted marketing

If you get sick of shopping sites sending you “I see you stared at this item, here’s some similar stuff” messages, you may be able to modify your subscriptions or notifications to make this stop.

The post Six tips to help you avoid targeted marketing appeared first on WeLiveSecurity


postheadericon Survey shows sloppy password habits among young Brits

Young people were singled out as increasingly likely victims of internet-borne fraud, including because of their penchant for liberal sharing of personal information.

The post Survey shows sloppy password habits among young Brits appeared first on WeLiveSecurity


postheadericon How Many Rounds Should You Keep With You While Carrying?

How many rounds should you keep handy in case you have to use your defensive tool against a deadly threat?

Well, people have been bouncing that question back and forth for some time.

For some time, I knew a fair number of people who carried either a 5-round revolver or a 2-round derringer with no additional ammunition and call it a day.

That might seem sparse, but with all the people who employ a single-stack magazine-based firearm with no extra ammunition it’s not that much less that what some carry today.

So, what should we carry?

Well, the 5 or 6 rounds you carry in your revolver — for those of you that do carry a revolver — is probably enough to deal with a deadly threat. Most conflicts happen fast, and with a fairly small amount of rounds exchanged between concerned parties.

Heck, I can’t even count back to you how many confrontations resolved with one or two rounds fired that we’ve discussed in our little archive here.

That being said, I don’t like “probably.” I don’t carry a firearm that will “probably” go “Bang!” when I need it to, and I’m not “probably” going to be carrying a firearm where it’s legal to do so.

Certainty in the ability to neutralize a threat is a very good thing to have.

In addition to the number and nature of a potential given threat, we also have to take into account the possibility that under fire, even well-trained shooters aren’t the most accurate.

In fact, Brandon Scott of noted multiple studies of NYPD, LAPD, and FBI shootings in which it was shown the “hit to shots fired” ratio was less than 1 in 5. Another report from the The Police Policy Studies Council studying shooting from NYPD officers from 1990-2000 showed a “hit probability” during a gunfight to be about 15 percent.

In other words, if you have two attackers who stand their ground and you’re carrying some Taurus 5-shot revolver with no extra ammunition you could very well be up a creek, should the statistics play out even along average lines.

I’m not trying to say you’re a bad shot, but people are people, and we need to be willing to acknowledge the possibility of our being pumped with adrenaline and terrified.

Keep in mind, also, that although the caliber debates may continue to rage — I have carried a little bit of everything, and I really don’t have a big opinion one way or another in the grand scheme of things — one can argue that a .45 ACP packs more stopping power than any 9mm option, but if your accuracy is 1 in 5, as discussed above, you really should carry extra ammunition either way.

So, what’s the answer?

It’s pretty simple, at least for me. If I’m carrying fewer than ten rounds in the magazine, I double my capacity (minus one in the pipe) by carrying either a spare magazine or a speed clip.

Heck, even if you’re already carrying more than ten rounds and feel like you could stand to carry more ammunition, do it. I think my record is 55 rounds.

If you are concerned about where that spare magazine will sit on your body, try an unused pocket. If you don’t have any to spare and you want easy reaching, check your favorite holster company for a magazine holder to put on your belt.

The most important thing is getting you or a threatened party from extreme danger to safety as expediently as possible. Bring what you feel you need to get the job done, but keep in mind that simple math — at least five rounds for every threat you’re likely to face — may well make you as assured as it does me.

Concealed Nation

postheadericon Apple defuses ‘text bomb’ bug

A number of text-based apps crashed, became unresponsive or entered an endless bootloop when attempting to show the otherwise little-used character from a language that is spoken by some 75 million people.

The post Apple defuses ‘text bomb’ bug appeared first on WeLiveSecurity


postheadericon How To Set Up A Repeater Bridge in DD-WRT

Spotty wireless connection in your house? Don’t want to spend money on an expensive repeater? Learn how to make your own with an old router and DD-WRT!

The post How To Set Up A Repeater Bridge in DD-WRT appeared first on FlashRouters Networking & VPN Blog.

FlashRouters Networking & VPN Blog

postheadericon Iowa Man Freed Under State’s New ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

So-called ‘stand your ground’ laws have been allegedly controversial since the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case back in 2012. The fact that the Florida’s stand your ground law was never used as a defense during the Zimmerman prosecution didn’t seem to matter. Anti-gunners seized on the issue — now on the books in twenty-four states — claiming the laws gave gun owners a license to kill with impunity.

In reality, stand your ground laws are merely an extension of castle doctrine laws. In states where gun owners have a duty to retreat before using a firearm in a self defense situation, castle doctrine laws designate an individual’s home (and, in some states, his vehicle) as different. When attacked in a person’s home and in reasonable fear of death or grievous bodily harm, castle doctrine laws remove the duty to retreat before resorting to armed self defense.

Stand your ground laws extend the castle doctrine outside the home. Stand your ground means the use of armed self defense is defensible anywhere a gun owner has a legal right to be. In other words, stand your ground removes an individual’s duty to retreat before using a firearm to defend his life in the face of a reasonable threat.

Iowa was a duty to retreat state until last year. But the problem with duty to retreat is that running away isn’t always an option, depending on the situation. One such situation is when you’ve been charged and knocked down by two armed thugs in a dark alleyway.

Iowa enacted their stand your ground law in April of 2017. In October, Kevin Duane Staley was walking through an alley when he was attacked by Devin Alexander Davis and another man. At least one of them — most likely Davis — had a knife.

…Staley was ambushed in an alley by two men wearing hoodies and bandannas as they screamed and ran toward him. Staley pulled his registered handgun after he was knocked down and shot Davis. Both attackers ran off, and Davis collapsed and died a few moments later. A knife was later found near Davis’ body.

So while it would have been at least arguable that facing two attackers while flat on his back would have given Staley the right to draw and fire even under the state’s old duty-to-retreat regime, Iowa’s new stand your ground law should have removed any doubt.

Should have. Despite the new law, though, Staley was inexplicably charged with manslaughter by prosecutors. Until, that is, the matter came before District Judge James Heckerman.

The court ruling filed Monday ordered the release of Kevin Duane Staley, 39, of Red Oak, who was scheduled to go on trial Tuesday. … “A reasonable person being attacked in a dark alley by masked men would believe their life to be in jeopardy,” Heckerman wrote in his order.

Given the circumstances of the case, it clearly never should have gotten that far. Staley’s attorney was naturally pleased with the ruling.

Staley’s lawyer, DeShawne Bird-Sell, called the outcome “exactly in line with what the Legislature put in place” and praised Heckerman for having “enough guts to actually rule” on the stand your ground issue.

Why was Staley prosecuted for defending his life in the first place?

(Assistant Montgomery County attorney Mark) Swanson said prosecutors weren’t aware of the statute when they began working on the case.

“It’s brand new,” he said. “We’re just a small county. We haven’t had this issue.”

That may be. But you can be damned sure they were made aware of the statute long before it ever got as far as it did.

So to hear prosectors try to justify their actions, you can attribute the legal jeopardy Staley found himself in and the attendant costs of defending himself to their own ignorance of the law. How far do you suppose the average citizen get if he argued that he’d violated a new state statute because he was unaware of it?

Concealed Nation

postheadericon Cybercrime weighs most heavily on financial service firms

A further breakdown of the overall figures shows that, in all, the actual cost hinges on a number of variables. The factors that enter heavily into the equation include attack types and their frequency, along with the organization’s size and even the country in which an organization is based.

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