A YouTube-related question

When I edit the subtitles that are automatically generated by YouTube, I find that some videos say “you” or “so you” or “so very you” or “foreign” or “do foreign” at the end. It strikes me as odd.

Is this some kind of artefact? Does this happen to other people’s subtitles too?

Does it mean that the YouTube process does not know how to interpret the start of music? But it’s always the same music, so why would it sometimes hear “foreign” and sometimes hear “so you”?

It’s official. As of today, I am no longer a delusional old cow. :)

One by one, literally everything that I have been saying about (my experiences with) hacking and modern communications in the past decade was later echoed in the media. Years later.

Now Ofcom is saying that the UK is behind in tackling number spoofing and that you should not trust caller ID.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56934517

And Bol.com – that’s the Dutch version of what Amazon once was – just paid €750,000 to what it thought was the company Brabantia, a brand that makes high-quality products that you can also find for sale in the UK.

Anyone who still believes that I am delusional or paranoid because of what I have said and say about hacking and modern-day communication methods needs to have his or her head examined or finally finally finally update his or her wall calendar to the year 2021.

(Insufficient awareness of the existence of number spoofing and e-mail spoofing could also pull the rug out from under a few convictions.)

Hackingtainment

So you’re self-employed and someone sends you a spoofed e-mail with work in it. How do you know it’s spoofed? You don’t. Do you open the attached file from your client? Sure, why not. Could it contain custom-written code? Oh yeah. Think your antivirus will catch it? Think again.

Oops. Too late. You’re already toast.

Think that only big companies have to be concerned? Bwah ha ha ha.

Here is some more pretend-hacking for you

This guy is not really talking about hacking. He is just pretending that he is hacking so that he can hide that he does not even know how to switch his computer off. And if he is hacking after all, oh well, just block the guy on Facebook and you’re done.

Oh, ha, Meterpreter. Does not exist in real life, of course. That hacker is just making that up, too. Just like Metasploit. Does not exist either. Just like there is no poverty in the UK. Evil people are just making that up for political reasons. That there is a shitload of deep poverty in the UK, along with a lot of hate for women and other kinds of hate. Not true. Ask Piers Morgan.

For all of you who still believe it’s 1985

The first bit in the first video – two years old – happened to a CRYPTOCURRENCY EXEC. Not the checkout girl around the corner or the older female adult who barely knows where to find the on/off button on a computer. (The latter would be a stereotypical assessment of me, ha ha, and my assertion that I am genuinely often dealing with hacking would typically be attributed to that plus that I “get delusional when stressed”.)

A friend/colleague of mine in the Netherlands, with PhD in math/physics/computer science, also recently got tricked TWICE, over the phone. Thankfully, other companies spotted the problem and protected her finances.

So I have been trying to tell Portsmouth City Council that currently, for example, anyone can call – or e-mail – local people, pretend to be PCC and ask people to pay, say, council tax over the phone, using their bank card. Because of the lockdown, this type of fraud is much easier at the moment.

Yes, PCC, it is possible to fake an e-mail address and it is possible to fake a phone number.

I have raised this problem with several UK electricity companies – that they have NO SECURITY on the accounts and anyone can mess with your account if so inclined, such as close it or tell them that you have a new address – and the people I spoke with had NO IDEA what I was going on about.

One snapped at me that she simply had to ask me questions because of privacy regulations. She of course knew my DOB and likely quickly made the “useless old cow” judgement. She did not GET that the answers to the questions she asked are largely all over the internet – for example because I am a Company Director – and are in various databases that are accessible to literally thousands of people.

(I hung up on that person. She was rude.)

It’s totally NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

Below is a video that I have posted before. It is about 18 months old.

The other side of this can be that if for example you lose your Google Authenticator app because your phone quits on you and you made no backup, some accounts ask you to supply a list of all your recent transactions as well as (a list of logins with) IP number – if you don’t have a static one, this can be a pain – and take a selfie with an ID document in such a way that the ID document is legible. It can be annoying and I have once gotten really annoyed about it because my selfie with ID kept getting rejected. But it’s better than the alternative.

Speaking of ID, if you need to supply an ID document WRITE ON IT, either digitally or with pen or pencil if you scan a copy, when and to whom you are supplying it. Through the actual document, in large letters, such that it cannot be easily used by someone else to steal your ID. This is a tip given to me years ago by the local Dutch consul.

You’ll also want to watch this one.

How to hack and do stuff to someone else’s gear

Which can happen with the full cooperation of landlords, by the way. Because the gear needs to be on the network.

Ha. this may explain why I couldn’t find my phone’s MAC address yesterday when I searched for it when I wanted to tether another phone via Bluetooth.

And my HDD is being way too active again right now.

(Ah. I think that someone was desperately looking for my webcam? I’d unplugged it as I have decided to stop using it because it makes me look like I am in 1999, lol.)

Hacking: Tampa Bay area water system contamination

Are you going to tell me now that these people, too, simply do not know how computers work and should get with it or become delusional when under stress? Must be the pressure of the pandemic that causes that stress. They’re merely imagining it. </sarcasm>

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-florida-idUSKBN2A82FV?taid=6021f604c9fa87000190e3db&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

Pinellas County is where I used to live. I’ve visited one of its water facilities. A different one.

Oh yeah

So I am editing categories, reorganising this site, and all of a sudden, my browser resolution blows up, forcing me to decrease the browser view from 100% because stuff won’t fit onto my screen.

Yep, that too has happened many times before. Yep, I think it’s another hacker thing, some kind of message along the lines of “see the bigger picture”. As seen through whose eyes? My views are as valid as anyone else’s. And vice versa.

But maybe I am lucky and it will turn out to be a mere technology hiccup.

Smart meters and hackers

I searched and this came up:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190606101822.htm

“Hacked meters can even cause house fires and explosions or even a widespread blackout. Unlike remote servers, smart meters can be relatively easily accessed by attackers, so each smart meter must be quite hackproof and resilient in the field.”

Security angles are hardly ever addressed with persistent targeting in mind. The same goes for locks on doors. But there is more beyond random brute force factors. 

Why “blocking a hacker on Facebook” does not work

For years, I have been scoffing at police officers who say things like “just block the person on Facebook” when your equipment gets hacked.

Today, someone asked me a question that puzzled me for a moment and it got me thinking.

Most people really have no idea what “getting hacked” means.

It means that someone takes full control over your equipment and can override – and change and delete – anything you do.

This is what happens when big companies get hacked. Someone gets into their equipment or gets into the “thing” that they are (like Twitter). They may do damage – break stuff – but they may also simply copy lots of data. Because when big names get hacked, it is frequently to get at data that can be sold on the black market. Credit card data, for example.

Because it is these big names that make the news when they get hacked, it seems that a lot of people may think that when a person “gets hacked”, it has something to do with those big name companies. Like Facebook. Or Yahoo. And that it is just your password that got stolen, so all you need to do is change your password and block anyone who is hassling you.

But that is not what getting hacked, as an individual, is.

Getting hacked is comparable with, say, your heating’s thermostat going completely haywire and you having no control over it. (Picture an invisible person standing there in your home and fiddling with the thermostat.)

It won’t help you to go change the thermostat setting at, say, the McDonalds in town. You need to get your own thermostat fixed and possible your heating system as well because it may have been affected. You may even have to get a whole new heating system and redo the wiring. Or more, such as do something to the water pipes.

But going to McDonalds or KFC – or Argos or any of the other places that have a lot of online orders – and changing the setting on the thermostat there won’t help you one bit.