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Bridget Miller

Bridget Miller

When was the last time you had a prolonged conversation with someone where you were trying to remember the year a particular movie or song came out? If you’re like 99 percent of people, it’s been a while. Why? Because when there’s something we don’t know, we just look it up on our the internet — and mere seconds later, we have the answer right in front of us.



But according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, this could be doing more than just cutting down on frustrating discussions about whether Pulp Fiction came out in 1993 or 1994 . In fact, in a recent paper, they claim folks’ ever-increasing reliance on the internet is having a serious impact on our ability to solve problems, recall information, and learn.

Referring to our tendency to reach for a connected device as “cognitive offloading,” the researchers suggest that we’re relying on these technologies a bit more than we might realize.

“The experiments had two phases,” lead author Dr Benjamin Storm told Digital Trends. “In the first phase, participants attempted to answer relatively difficult trivia questions — either with or without the help of Google. Then, in the second phase, participants were given the option of using Google to answer a new set of relatively easy trivia questions. Participants who were asked to use Google to answer the first set of questions became significantly more likely to use Google to answer the second set of questions than they would have been otherwise.”

This willingness to rely on the world’s most popular search engine came despite the fact that the second, easier set of questions could almost certainly have been answered from memory.

“Not only were participants more likely to use Google, but they made the decision to use Google significantly faster and they exhibited a significant reduction in something called ‘Need For Cognition’ — a measure of the extent to which someone likes to challenge themselves with difficult cognitive tasks,” Storm continued. “The findings seem to suggest that once people begin to rely on the internet to accomplish some task, they become more likely to continue to do so in the future.”

So should we be worried about this, or is this just a sign of technological progress? Is it no different from the fact that people in an age of watches and smartphones don’t rely so much on sun dials any more?

“Ultimately, we really have no idea,” Storm said. “Certainly, there are advantages to becoming reliant on the internet, especially given the breadth and depth of the information to which it gives us access. But there are also likely to be disadvantages. To what extent, for example, does our capacity for wisdom and creative insight depend on the accumulation of internal knowledge? These are the sorts of questions that will need to be answered. I don’t necessarily think we should be concerned, but I do think there are ways in which we might be able to manage our relationship with the internet more effectively.”

As for our own take? It’s kind of a tricky question. Maybe we’ll Google it.

Source : digitaltrends.com

Donald Trump charged on Saturday that "corrupt" media were seeking to rig November's election in favor of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton -- who he suggested was "pumped up" on drugs at their last debate.

His White House campaign in chaos over snowballing accusations of sexual assault, Trump has cast himself as the victim of a "smear campaign," further escalating his attacks in a scorched-earth strategy heading into the final weeks of the race.

"Hillary is running for president in what looks like a rigged election," the 70-year-old told a fired-up rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters on October 14, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters on October 14, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina ©Brian Blanco (Getty/AFP/File)

Trump tweeted out a similar allegation earlier Saturday to his 12 million followers, charging: "Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election."

In a bizarre new attack on the Democratic nominee, he suggested she had taken performance-enhancing drugs during their last debate.

He called for her to be screened ahead of their final televised duel Wednesday in Las Vegas.

"I don't know what is going on with her. At the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning. At the end, it was like, take me down, she could barely reach her car."

"Athletes, they make them take a drug test. I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate. Why don't we do that?"

- 'Undermine election' -



As the Manhattan billionaire tanks in the polls, he has spent the last week claiming the media and a "global elite" is working against him, and that Clinton had plotted to destroy the sovereignty of the United States.

"Either we win this election or we lose this country," he told supporters in New Hampshire.

"I really believe this is the last chance we have to win. I really believe it. Not going to happen again."

The Clinton camp issued an immediate response, accusing Trump of seeking to erode public faith in the November 8 vote.

"Campaigns should be hard-fought and elections hard-won, but what is fundamental about the American electoral system is that it is free, fair and open to the people," her campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement.

"This election will have record turnout, because voters see through Donald Trump's shameful attempts to undermine an election weeks before it happens."

The virulence of Trump's attacks on the Clinton camp have raised concerns about whether the real estate mogul would even acknowledge a defeat, and how his legions of fired-up supporters would react should he lose.

President Barack Obama echoed those concerns at a campaign rally Friday.

"This is somebody who... is now suggesting that if the election doesn't go his way, it's not because of all the stuff he's said, but it's because it's rigged and it's a fraud," Obama said.

"You don't start complaining about the refs before the game's even done. You just play the game, right?"

As Donald Trump tanks in the polls, he has spent the last week claiming the media and a "global elite" is working against him, and that Clinton had plotted t...

As Donald Trump tanks in the polls, he has spent the last week claiming the media and a "global elite" is working against him, and that Clinton had plotted to destroy the sovereignty of the United States ©Sara D. Davis (Getty/AFP/File)

The Clinton camp issued an immediate response, accusing Trump of seeking to erode public faith in the November 8 vote

The Clinton camp issued an immediate response, accusing Trump of seeking to erode public faith in the November 8 vote ©Jessica Kourkounis (Getty/AFP/File)

 Source : dailymail.co.uk

Carnegie Mellon University's website was hacked.

But it wasn't an attack intended to take the university offline or one aimed at stealing personal information.

Instead, the hackers slipped a single word, “machine,” into a page about the executive director of CMU's Australia campus and linked the word to an online casino site, according to an investigation by eTraffic, an Israeli web marketing company that discovered the hack last month.

That link, and dozens like it on college and government sites, helped the casino website — mobileslotcash[dot]com — shoot to the top of Google's search results, likely driving traffic to the site and potentially bringing in $80 per click.

It was a classic “black hat” search engine optimization (SEO) tactic, experts told the Tribune-Review. It's the shady side of Internet marketing, in which some groups break the rules and sometimes resort to hacking to rank near the top of search engine results.

“We felt that applying this kind of SEO strategy is aiming a bit too low,” eTraffic wrote in a report on its investigation. “There's no other way to put it — this is just wrong.”

The hack targeted CMU and more than 70 other university, college and government websites, all ending in .edu or .gov. ETraffic said the hackers took advantage of the “last online resort free of exactly these kinds of manipulations.”

The phrase “online slot machines for real money” and a link appeared in a Stanford University page about how to build a website. “Online casino games real money no deposit” appeared on a website for the city of Reading, which was intended to give step-by-step directions to access government services. Boston University's library page for The North American Fichte Society, a site for scholars devoted to the study of German philosopher J.G. Fichte, had the words “real money mobile slots” on it.

Links from these types of sites are prized in the SEO world. They can add credibility and legitimacy to sites Google scans, causing the search engine to list it higher in results.

The renegade words and links have since been removed from many of the affected websites. The casino website has since disappeared from Google search results. Google likely learned about its SEO trickery and banned it, experts said.

In a statement to the Tribune-Review, Google declined to comment on specifics.

“Our webmaster guidelines are designed to protect users, and when a site violates them, we reserve the right to take action to preserve a good user experience. This helps ensure that in the long run people can find the best possible search results on Google, and website owners can compete on a level playing field for traffic,” Google wrote.

CMU declined to comment on the hack. Other universities, colleges and governments contacted for the story did not comment.

Little is known about the casino site behind the links. Mobileslotcash[dot]com claims to have information and links to online casinos. The site's editors make casino ratings once a month to “give a complete picture of what online casinos are worth your attention, so that you can try your luck in them,” according to the site.

The site is registered in the Czech Republic. When asked for comment via email, mobileslotcash[dot]com directed the Tribune-Review to fill out a form used to report abuses by the site. No one responded.

Guy Regev, CEO of eTraffic, told the Trib his company has detected black hat SEO tactics before but not on such an aggressive level.

ETraffic reached out to the affected sites through Twitter but saw little reason for concern.

“The perpetrators got what they wanted — a link from high-trust sites. My intuition says that's all there is there,” Regev said. “The main takeaway is that there is a lot of money in search, probably too much, and people will go to insane lengths to get their hands on some of it.”

Vanitha Swaminathan, a marketing and business economics professor at University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, said black hat tactics can produce significant short-term results. But if Google or others find out, they can ban websites from their searches, costing companies dearly.

Large, reputable companies such as BMW, Toys R Us and J.C. Penney have all inadvertently hired a search engine consulting firm that used black hat tactics to inflate their search ranks.

“But, when they were found out, their rankings dropped so significantly, it cost the company a great deal by way of lost sales,” Swaminathan said. “Be aware of the risks of using black hat SEO — when you get found out, the search engine can make you regret you ever did it.”

Source: triblive.com

Monday, 03 October 2016 03:31

Best Deep web Search Engines list [2016]

The deep web is exactly what it sounds like: the underground internet, the portion that’s not indexed by traditional search engines like Google or Bing—and it’s much bigger than you might realize. In fact, major sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, and everything else you find through a search engine make up less than 1 percent of the internet.

The most secretive section in the deep web is known as the dark net, and you’ll need to download Tor to access it (here’s more on that process). Many people search the deep web to find drugs, illegal porn, or stolen credit cards. But deep web search engines also provide a lot of educational archives, hidden articles from academic journals, and intel on news around the world.

Finding all the untapped information is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. With these user-friendly, deep web search engines, hidden information is just a few clicks away. But be warned: The deep web is like a black hole. If you aren’t too careful, you may get sucked into the internet so far gone that things may never be the same.

The best deep web search engines

1) Torch

Torch has one of the largest search engines in the deep web, as they claim to have an index of more than a million hidden page results. It is one of the oldest search engines, but is still around for a good reason. —Kristen Hubby

2) DuckDuckGo

This deep web search engine—which, like many other deep web search engines on this list, also lets you search the regular web—has a clean and easy to use interface and doesn’t track your discoveries. The options for topics to search are endless, and you can even customize it to enhance your experience. —K.H.

3) Onion URL Repository

The Onion URL Repository has a massive index of over a million page results and does not set limits on what information it holds close. —K.H.

4) Uncensored Hidden Wiki

When you search the deep web occasionally, you’ll discover useful places where you need to be careful. The Uncensored Hidden Wiki is very much one of those locations, an uncensored collection of links and articles that, over the site’s history, have included links to information on criminal activities from drugs to child pornography. The site has cleaned up its act considerably, but there are still links to graphic content and possibly illegal sites to be found. If you can look past those elements, however, Uncensored Hidden Wiki is a treasure trove of deep web information. Inside you’ll discover blogs about Tor, links to deep web email services, and even social networks. Just be careful what you search. —John-Michael Bond

5) The WWW Virtual Library

Considered one of the oldest archives in the whole World Wide Web, the WWW Virtual Library has an index with results pertaining to everything from agriculture to social and behavioral sciences. The search engine was created by the same man who created the foundations of web itself, Tim Berners-Lee, so you know it’s the real deal. —K.H.

6) notEvil

This search engine is great because users can skip all the clutter and distraction from surfing the web with no ads. It’s clean and mimics the look of Google. —K.H.

7) ParaZite

The deep web can seem like a terrifying place, but part of the fun of discovery is opening doors and not knowing what’s behind them. ParaZite is a search engine that gamified the deep web. Beyond its basic, and useful, search features, it also offers up the chance to gamble by taking you to a random site on the deep web. It’s basically the deep equivalent of Google’s “Feeling Lucky” feature—except using it I was taken to a new email client, a black market site, and an essay on why children are jerks. Make sure you’re using a firewall and VPN before you fire up ParaZite. —J.M.B.

8) TorLinks

The directory in TorLinks has a wide range of intellectual results, with the most notable being the literary section. —K.H.

9) Grams

Looking for drugs? This is the search engine to end all drug-related hunts. Down in the depths, users are able to search effectively for the dark net drugs that are available for purchase on the majority of web page results. (Reminder: Buying illegal drugs on the internet is still really, really illegal. Don’t do it.) —K.H.

10) Touchgraph

Touchgraph gets visual with the deep web scavenger hunt. The algorithm it uses is specifically designed to cluster the relationship between your search results to create a visual result—a creative touch to make searching more exciting. —K.H.

11) Start Page

If you’re worried about privacy, Ixquick’s Start Page is one the best search engines available, even if you’re not using Tor. Unlike other search engines, Start Page doesn’t record your IP address, allowing you to keep your search history secret. It’s bothersome that Google knows everything about you. Start Page is a way to do some research without sharing your information with someone else. —J.M.B.

12) Ahmia.fi

Ahmia.fi is a great search engine for beginners who are new to the deep web. It takes about five seconds to figure out how the search engine works. Once cracked, scouring the deep web becomes a breeze. —K.H.

13) Yippy

Like Touchgraph, this search engine also collects your searches to make a common result or pattern, but without the visual aspect. Instead, it’s simple like Google. —K.H.

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.

When a journalist gets their first job, or switches role to a new area or specialism, they need to quickly work out where to find useful leads. This often involves the use of feeds, email alerts, and social networks. In this post I’m going to explain a range of search techniques for finding useful sources across a range of platforms.

Search techniques for finding news and blog sources

Let’s get the obvious things out of the way first, starting with Google.

Aside from the main search engine, remember that there’s a specific News search option. Within that, you can also specify you want to search within blogs.


But what about all those local websites and blogs that aren’t listed on Google News? Try using a normal Google search with site:blogspot.com or site:wix.com and your particular keywords to limit results to those hosted on Blogger or Wix.

If you are looking for a place which also exists elsewhere (such as Cambridge, Massachusetts or Birmigham, Alabama), use Search tools to specify you only want results from your country. This isn’t perfect: it will still include wrong results and exclude right ones, but it’s worth trying.

Search tools: specify country

You can also exclude irrelevant results by using the minus operator immediately before keywords in results you want to exclude, e.g. Birmingham -Alabama or Cambridge -Massachusetts

Finding email newsletters in your field

You can search for email newsletters by using your keyword with intitle:subscribe andintitle:email or intitle:newsletter.

Search box: birmingham intitle:subscribe intitle:email

Use an RSS reader instead of email alerts

RSS readers are much easier to read than email alerts: these pull in a range of feeds into one place. Widely used RSS readers include FeedlyNetvibes (where you can share or publish dashboards) and Flipboard (which gives you a magazine-like interface).If you think social media has taken over the role of RSS readers, you aren’t using RSS as much as you could. Here are some examples which you won’t find on social media…

You can get updated on new results by using Google Alerts. Use this on Chrome and you should be able to choose to receive results by email or by RSS.

WordPress has its own search engine, and results can be subscribed to using RSS so you get updated whenever a new post is published mentioning your keyword. Look for the ‘related topics’  box on the right, too: this links to tag pages on WordPress which are also useful.

wordpress search results

Look out for other places where you can find RSS feeds or email alerts for new search results For example TheyWorkForYou’s search page and WhatDoTheyKnow provide both for what MPs are saying and FOI requests respectively.

Consultation websites also typically offer RSS feeds: Transport for London’s has separate feeds for forthcoming, open, and closed consultations, but it will also give you a feed for searches.Here’s their guide to using RSS. Most government departments and local councils use the same system: here’s Leicester’s and here’s DEFRA’s.

The Gov.uk website’s Publications section also offers both RSS feeds and email alerts for new results matching any search you conduct.

Finding events in your area

Meetup, Eventbrite and Lanyrd are all useful for finding events in a particular area.

Meetup is good for regular and more informal events. You can search by location and radius, and get a calendar of upcoming events that meet your criteria.

meetup calendar view

Use the calendar view on Meetup to see upcoming events in your area

Joining a meetup group doesn’t mean you have to attend any – it’s more like joining a group on Facebook. The more you join, the more Meetup will suggest to you.

You can get an RSS feed of meetups you’ve signed up to, and you can add any individual meetup URL to an RSS reader to get an RSS feed of that meetup group’s updates. But you can’t get RSS feeds for areas or searches.

You can subscribe to emails on Meetup about groups you’ve joined, and to be alerted to new groups which may be of interest. New groups being set up is of course often a news story in itself, and an excuse to contact the organiser to interview them about it.

Eventbrite tends to be used for less regular events but also bigger ones. Again you can search by location and get a calendar of forthcoming events (remember to sort by date, not relevance).eventbrite birmingham events

Each event on Eventbrite has an organiser. Click on their profile to see more events. Sadly Eventbrite doesn’t seem to have any RSS feeds but there does appear to be a workaround using Zapier.

Lanyrd, which is owned by Eventbrite, is useful for finding conferences. You can search by keyword, and you can also try to find the URL for particular locations. This tends to begin withlanyrd.com/places/ followed by a place name, for example lanyrd.com/places/liverpool.

lanyrd events in Birmingham

Usefully, places on Lanyrd do have their own RSS feed, so you can receive updates on all events in that location on an RSS reader. You can also add them directly to your calendar. Both options are in the right hand column.The site also has a speaker directory, useful for finding experts in a particular field.

Your own specialist or local search engine

If you need to regularly search within a particular group of sites, consider setting up a personalised search engine using Google Custom Search.For example: you might make a list of local public body websites such as those for all local hospitals, the police and fire services, and local authority.


Chances are that Reddit has a number of forums related to the area you’re interested in. For example there are two Birmingham subreddits (r/brum and r/Birmingham) but also subreddits for local football teams and universities. All will have RSS feeds that can be added to an RSS reader.

Using Facebook lists to create multiple newsfeed channels

Most people know about Twitter lists, but fewer people know you can create lists in Facebook.

Like Twitter lists, these can be useful for following a specific group of people (for example those in a particular industry, organisation or area) and ensuring you can check those updates regularly: remember that most updates from your connections are never shown in your news feed, so this is a way of taking control.


Remember to bookmark your friends list once you’ve created it, as otherwise you’ll still have to access it through the Friends menu in Facebook.

Finding people on Facebook based on location or employer

Now, how do you find those people to add to your Facebook lists? If you go to Facebook’s friend requests page you will see a series of search boxes on the right hand side. These allow you to search for people by various criteria, but the most useful are where they live now and their current employer. Look for people who live and work in relevant areas.

facebook friends search boxes

Finding useful pages and groups for journalists on Facebook: Graph Search

How do you find relevant pages and groups on Facebook? Facebook’s Graph Search allows you to identify groups and pages liked or joined by people who live in a particular area, or who have liked or joined other pages or groups.

That sounds complicated as a sentence, so here’s a picture which should be a lot clearer:

Pages liked by people who live in Birmingham

To do this you need to conduct a search in Facebook using a particular sentence structure.

If you type pages liked by people who live in and then start typing a location, Facebook should start to suggest locations that it recognises. Choose the one you mean and Facebook should show your pages that match.

By default results are shown across all types of results (people, groups, pages). So make sure  that you switch to the Pages tab to see all the results.

Another phrase is pages liked by people who like followed by the name of a page. Again, start typing that name and then select one that Facebook suggests.

pages liked by people who like Aston Villa

To find groups use the phrase Groups joined by people who joined, followed by the name of a relevant group. You can also use Groups joined by people who liked, followed by the name of a relevant page, or Groups joined by people who live in followed by a location.

People joined by people who joined Birmingham Freshers 2016

LinkedIn for journalists

LinkedIn has a number of useful features for journalists. One of these is the ability to search specifically for companies. First, make sure you select Companies from the drop-down menu to the left of the search box, then press enter (don’t type any criteria):

Select the Companies option from the drop down menu

You’ll get some initial search results for all companies on LinkedIn. You can now filter those results further by using the Location option on the left. Click + Add and start typing your location until the right one appears to select.


Use the Companies filter and set the Location filter to get companies near you

It is generally not good practice to send contact requests to individuals on LinkedIn unless you know them. However, as you do build your personal contacts it is useful to add them on LinkedIn because you can choose to receive updates when your contacts are mentioned online:

LinkedIn: Connections in the news


It’s easy to underestimate Instagram, but many people find it easier or more natural to use than text-based social networks. It may be the first place that someone shares a newsworthy image or experience.

Obviously the primary way of navigating Instagram is through hashtags. These can be searched on the app, but you can also browse them online by adding your tag to the end of the URLinstagram.com/explore/tags/ e.g. instagram.com/explore/tags/manchester

A second way of finding useful accounts, however, is geotagging. A much higher proportion of instagram updates are geotagged compared to posts on other social media platforms.Worldcam allows you to find updates – and therefore users – by location.



Snapchat is another social platform which is being used by an increasingly broader range of people, including politicians and celebrities. I’ve written previously about 5 techniques for finding people on Snapchat here.

Twitter search: snapchat followed by the list name


I’ve probably written more about finding people on Twitter, and managing Twitter feeds, than any other social platform. Here are a selection of previous posts covering that:

Source : https://onlinejournalismblog.com

Bing's Christi Olson takes a look at 20 years of search.

We live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world powered by technology that changes by the nanosecond. And search is no different. Search is changing in look, form and function to become part of the fabric of our everyday lives, barely recognizable from its inception as a text box.

By 2020, 50 percent of searches will be voice searches (ComScore). The Amazon Echo, a voice-activated home automation hub, was the top-selling speaker in 2015 (KPCB Internet Trends 2016), getting over 25,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, signaling a real shift in how we conduct searches. As we enter a new era of personalized search, I’d like to take a moment to look back at where we came from. A nod to our past, if you will, as we spiral toward a knowledge-drenched future built upon the very fabric of search.

The early days

I refer to the early days of search as Query Search. Some search pioneers may even remember Archie, considered to be the very first search engine, which launched over 25 years ago. Early query searches had to match the exact wording of a website’s title in order to appear, as search bots only scanned titles. Imagine the frustration of trying to find a website, playing hit or miss across an ocean of content. Engines quickly evolved to index entire pages and return a broader array of results.

Over the years, many different engines appeared, weighing in with various technologies and pushing search forward with faster listings and smarter indexing. And then, in 2000, something very interesting happened. The pay-per-click (PPC) model arrived on the scene. Suddenly, a searcher’s everyday quest for knowledge became an advertising channel the likes of which we’d never seen. Almost overnight, “being found” on the internet turned into a commodity — and a highly valuable one at that. Engines scrambled to fine-tune the PPC model, developing self-service interfaces so that advertisers could manage their own campaigns, and a new field of marketing was born — search.

The 6 eras of search

The last 20 years of search can be broken down into six defining eras: Query, Demographic, Mobile, Voice, Personal and ultimately, Intelligent.

Demographic search quickly grew out of a need to qualify searches, leading to day parting and language targeting to help advertisers zone in on specific markets.

Mobile search started picking up steam in the mid-to-late 2000s, with marketers touting that each subsequent year would be the “year of mobile;” however, the explosion of the mobile era didn’t begin until around 2012, and we’ve now seen mobile outpace desktop search growth. This explosion has led to device bidding and location targeting, with searchers expecting hyper-relevant results based on their location.

And finally, with the advent of natural language searches, the era of voice arrived, and search officially jumped out of the text box and into our lives. Bing currently powers the voices of Cortana (Windows 10), Siri (iOS) and Alexa (Amazon Echo).

This, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg. Search is no longer just about finding information. It’s part of our everyday life, an assumed presence, and there is no going back to life without search. We’re entering an era where search is personal, predictive and actionable. It’s not only on our computers, but it’s on our phones. In our homes. In cars. In gaming systems. We can shop, book travel, make reservations — all directly within the results pages. Search engines are getting more and more intelligent, delivering contextual results based on location, trends and historical data.

So the next time you call out to your Amazon Echo, “Order me a pizza,” take in a brief moment of awe at how far we’ve come so quickly and what amazing things lie ahead.

Source : http://searchengineland.com

Sunday, 25 September 2016 02:27

Darknet E-Book As A Malicious Software

The internet has been abuzz with warnings about a new darknet eBook that has been doing rounds there, concealed as a free guidebook while in fact it’s a delivery system malware.

It claims to teach rookie users how to navigate through the darknet and make safe purchases using bitcoin, while also maintaining high standards of anonymity for user protection.

Already many web surfers have downloaded this malicious software onto their computers, putting both their machines and bitcoin sums at serious risk of being tampered with.

While this is a topic many individuals will probably take a keen interest on, exact origins of the darknet manual as well as download link are shrouded in mystery.

However, interested parties can still find more information about it on the internet for free, assuming they want to put more effort towards achieving this.

Always practice extreme caution when opening free web files, especially those that are based on darknet topics.

Most people already know that clicking on random PDF files can cause disaster, and are knowledgeable enough not to open mysterious email messages in their inbox with shady attachments.

Nevertheless, there are still those who are not very keen when it comes to retrieving such malicious files directly from the net.

According to Reddit subscribers, this free darknet eBook originated from Reddit itself and has been popping up in multiple darknet related sub-reddits for almost an entire week, possibly already infecting 100s or even 1000s of users.

One point of major concern is that scanning this software in the reputable anti-virus site “VirusTotal,” shows that the darknet file is indeed safe, clean and free from any nefarious programs.

Though, this development isn’t new, as many recent infectious files can also appear harmless even to highly advanced malware programs, including ransom-ware and “Zeus” mega botnet malware.

It’s likely that the infected file’s creators are only targeting darknet users, possibly to gain access to their market accounts and virtual bitcoin wallets.

Currently, information is rather scanty on how computers infected by this malicious software can be scanned or cleaned.

But when that information comes up it will be published online for affected persons to use it accordingly.

Even so, the best approach for those who’ve not yet been affected is simply steering clear of web downloads posing as user guides.

Individuals interested in learning more about Darknet operations are better off referring to instructions found on the specific sites they are using.

Whenever someone posts a direct link on the web to content that’s not yet well understood, users should be weary lest they become victims of cybercriminals.

Even though this darknet file is being hosted on MEGA, there’s still no way of determining whether or not it’s just a regular PDF free book, or file packaging malware with ransomware threats on the cover.

malware-microsoftMost times the darknet malware is spread through infected folders such as PDFs, Word documents and ZIP files.

This is so that it can reach as many individuals as possible.

While VirusTotal hasn’t raised any red flags as far as downloads go, it’s always safe to open files on a cloud machine first upon download.

This will help avoid malicious software or any other types ofmalware from being installed into one’s computer.

While the guide could be a legitimate version of the darknet eBook, only modified to serve interests of a few cybercriminals, such assertions seem doubtful right now.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be the first time someone has attacked Bitcoin users in an effort to infiltrate their wallets.

Darknet hackers consider this a lucrative business and usually invest a lot in it. Particularly taking into consideration how many people are nowadays interested in safeguarding their anonymity online.

In that regard, malware disguised as an eBook seems like a smart move, at least for the persons concerned.

If web users are interested in finding out more about darknet matters and keeping their identities secret, they can refer with Google instead.

Here you can find useful information on how to remain “off the grid” without risking your own safety.

Some people have tried to refine their strategy in remaining anonymous while browsing darknet, and are willing to share these valuable tips with others.

Source : https://darkwebnews.com

North Korea is very secretive when it comes to letting the world know about most things that take place in the hermit state, so it was a huge surprise when a U.S.-based engineer was able to gain access to all the internet domains in the country on Tuesday night.

As it turns out, there are only 28 registered domains in North Korea.

CNBC reports that Matthew Bryant, a United States researcher who has set up an automated request asking North Korea’s main Domain Name System (DNS) server to allow access to all its registered domains, is usually disappointed as the server is configured to reject such requests. But on Tuesday, Bryant was in for a surprise when the main server — possibly due to a technical glitch — revealed to him a list of all the domain names under the domain.kp.

Soon after, the researcher dumped the data he had accessed on Github, a site that hosts computer code. This is the first time that the outside world has been able to get a peek into North Korea’s intensely secretive internet system, and while experts were already familiar with some of the websites that form it, not many knew about the extent of North Korea’s online presence.

“When North Korea brings up a new website they never publicize it. Either someone finds it by accident or it might show up in a search engine,” Martyn Williams, who runs the website North Korea tech from San Francisco, told BBC.


“We knew about most of these, but weren’t sure what else existed.”

North Korea's Supreme Leader's extensive list of activities are the content of one site in North Korea.

So what really exists on North Korea’s highly secretive internet network?

As can be expected, a number of these sites are dedicated to publishing state propaganda or are the online arms of the official ministerial bodies, such as the committee for cultural relations and the maritime agency, as well as official state news organisations like the Pyongyang Broadcasting Service, but there are other sites where one can learn more about the cuisines and films being produced in the hermit state. The food site, cooks.org.kp, is filled with pictures of “Korea’s famous recipes” while the film site, korfilm.com.kp, highlights the North Korean film industry. One current section on KorFilm, for example, focuses on the ongoing Pyongyang International Film Festival, where North Korean citizens can apparently watch “art films, documentaries and animated movies.”

There is also a website called Friend, which analysts believe might be North Korea’s version of a social networking site. But most sites that are mentioned in the list of the 28 domain names take a long time to upload, while some are completely inaccessible. One of the sites mentioned in the list is that of the Korean Central News Agency — the state-run propaganda site — the only website of the 28 that was accessible to users outside North Korea even before Tuesday.

Most of the sites are unsophisticated and not as slick as their Western counterparts.

“They don’t try to ape Western media. When you go on the website its obvious its news from North Korea. It’s not dressed up to look like a slick international media outlet,” Williams told BBC.

North Korea's newspaper

Among others sites mentioned in the list are an insurance site, an air travel site, a charity site for the elderly and children, as well as a couple of tourism and educational sites. Despite the websites being seemingly conceptualized to represent the various facets of North Korea, some of them are exclusively dedicated to nothing but obsessing on the cult around the leader Kim Jong-un and his family.

The site for the main newspaper Rodong Sinum, rodong.rep.kp, even has a section dedicated to Kim Jong-un’s daily activities.

Despite the findings, Western media organizations might be disappointed that none of the sites contain any information about North Korea’s mysterious intranet, that could, if accessed, be much more revealing about the inner workings of the hermit state.

A full list of North Korean websites with screenshots can be found by clicking here.

Source : http://www.inquisitr.com/


Websites removed from Google’s index due to copyright requests has now reached 1.75 billion at the time of this writing. That number can be confirmedby the counter on the copyright section of Google’s transparency report.

For comparison’s sake, the amount of copyright takedown requests that are rejected are mere 39 million. Year over year the overall amount of copyright requests has seen a 53% increase.

Within the report you can also track the amount of takedown requests Google has received over time. You can also track pending URLs, invalid URLs, duplicated URLs, and more. Google is apparently quick at responding to requests, as there are absolutely zero pending requests at the moment.

Process of Submitting a Copyright Request

Copyright takedown requests have to be sent in by the owner of the copyrighted content. Google isn’t scouring the web all day looking for copyright infringements, it’s up to the owner to make Google aware of it. Once the request has been sent in, Google’s team begins the review process.

If the copyright takedown request is complete and accurate, the offending URL will be removed from search results. In typical Google fashion, the owner of the website will be notified through Search Console.

This doesn’t always happen, but the admin of the affected site might decide to retaliate in the form of a counter notification. When Google receives a counter notification, it once again considers whether or not the content should be indexed in search results.

To date, over 20 million requests have been submitted, leading to the removal of 1.75 billion URLs from 888 thousand domains.

H/T: TheNextWeb

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/1-75-billion-websites-removed-google-search-results/173419/


THERE COMES A time in everyone’s life when they consider, for better or for worse, downloading Pokémon Go. Now it seems scammers are ready for that impulsive moment to arrive, and they’re just waiting to redirect unsuspecting players to an app store where they may catch more than Pikachus.

New research from the security firm Trend Micro indicates that bogus third-party stores—a long-running problem for Android—have now been surprisingly successful in targeting iPhone users, tricking them into installing ad-laced impostor apps on their devices. TrendMicro highlights two third-party app services: Haima, which is based in China, and the Vietnam-based HiStore. Both have achieved millions of downloads of their counterfeit Pokémon Go apps for iOS (an impressive and concerning 10 million in the case of HiStore) as well as other fake versions of popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Haima’s fake Minecraft app, by Trend Micro’s count, has been downloaded more than 68 million times. The companies promote their phony apps heavily on social media, luring people into clicking on them instead of searching in Apple’s App Store. And it’s working.

The Hack

In the new scheme, the adware distributors set up their app stores through Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program. The service is meant for companies that want to build and distribute proprietary internal apps to their employees. When a company tricks someone into downloading a repackaged version of an app, the software contains adware that starts evaluating information about the victim’s device and mobile network to serve more targeted ads. Then, as the victim uses the app, ad firms deliver ads to the phone, paying fees to the scammers for the privilege.

Apple has always been aggressive about policing its apps. The company just announced a massive cleanup of its App Store at the beginning of September. And the Developer Enterprise Program gets similar scrutiny. When an app is approved it receives a certificate that Apple can revoke at any time, rendering the app unusable wherever it has been downloaded. But making a new Developer Enterprise account and getting a new certificate costs only $299. So when Apple pulls the plug on one certificate, scammers just start using a new one. While investigating Haima, Trend Micro found that the service used five different certificates over just 15 days. Apple didn’t respond to WIRED’s request for comment.

The scheme is relatively simple. But the scammers still put serious effort into ensuring that their apps actually work, so customers will keep using them for as long as the fraudulently obtained certificates remain valid. When Pokémon Go was first released and limited to functioning in certain geographic areas, Trend Micro notes that Haima had a version of its fake app that spoofed location data to get around the legitimate app’s restrictions, allowing people who had unknowingly downloaded the scam version to continue using it from anywhere. As Pokémon Go eased these restrictions, Haima updated the app accordingly.

Who’s Affected?

If you’re sure that you always download your apps from the Apple AppStore or Google Play Store your apps are secure. On the rare occasion that a malicious app actually gets approved and is available for download from these legitimate app stores, Apple and Google are generally swift about removing it, revoking its certificate and notifying customers. If you don’t pay attention to where you get your apps or you’re prone to clicking on random links without considering their origin you could be at increased risk. The best way to protect yourself against downloading fake apps loaded with adware is to navigate to authentic app stores and search for the app you want within them, instead of using an outside search engine or social media.

Fake apps can put your phone’s data and even its hardware like its GPS or its microphone in the hands of bad actors. Christopher Budd, a global threat communications manager at Trend Micro notes that the latest research focused on adware, but scam apps downloaded from unaffiliated app stores put users at risk of being exposed to all sorts of malware. “The biggest thing is the importance of going only to the official app stores,” Budd says. “The mobile malware problem that we’ve seen is almost exclusively a problem with third-party locations.”

How Serious is This?

While repackaged, scammy apps are an old problem, Trend Micro’s research is a reminder that they remain pervasive, and reach Apple devices, too. “As far as iOS this is a fairly unusual and new thing,” Budd says, noting that the sheer number of the downloads—reaching tens of millions—is unprecedented for fake iOS apps. “It’s all about scale,” he says. The research didn’t reveal any evidence that scammers are using truly malicious malware that steals data or other cybercriminal behavior—at least for now. But Trend Micro notes that developers should still take steps to make their apps more difficult to hijack, like obfuscating code so it’s harder for bad actors to access.

The crucial takeaway for consumers, though, is simpler: Use official app stores exclusively for finding and downloading apps. When it comes to mysterious software from untrusted Chinese purveyors, “gotta catch’ em all” is an ill-advised strategy.

Source : https://www.wired.com/2016/09/hack-brief-beware-spammy-pokemon-go-apps-pushed-millions-iphones/


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