Tag Archives: Cyber

Are Robbers Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers?!

Are Robbers Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers?!

Is there a gang of robbers pretending to be Home Affairs officers from the government?!

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Robbers Are Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers!

People are sharing messages warning of a gang of robbers pretending to be Home Affairs officers, together with a picture purportedly of one of these robbers.

Here are two versions of the viral warnings being shared on WhatsApp and Facebook :

High Security Alert:

Beware, one group is going from house to house pretending to be a Home Affairs Officer. They have the documents and the letterhead of the department of the home ministry and claim they have to confirm that everyone has a valid identity card for the upcoming census.

They are looting houses. Note that there is no such initiative from the government. Send this to your neighborhood group chat. They are everywhere, and they look presentable. Please alert your family and friends.

A person comes to your home and says I want to take your photo / thumbprint under some schemes. They have a laptop, a biometric machine and a list of all the names. They are showing a list and asking for all this information. It has been pointed out that all this is bogus. Don’t give them any information.

Everyone should be alert and BE AWARE‼️

Security Alert from Police: Be warned, there is a group going to homes and pretending to be officials from home affairs.

They have documents with the letterhead Department of Home Affairs and claim to be confirming that everyone has a valid ID for the upcoming elections.

 

Truth : Robbers Are NOT Pretending To Be Home Affairs Officers!

This is just FAKE NEWS created from real news, and here are the reasons why….

Fact #1 : Warning Originated In South Africa

The original warning about fake Home Affairs officers originated in South Africa, many years ago.

The South African Department of Home Affairs issued this media statement in October 2017 and April 2019 :

MEDIA STATEMENT ON ELECTIONS SCAM

Home Affairs wishes to warn members of the community of a group of individuals visiting homes and pretending to be officials from the Department.

They carry with them documents with letterheads purportedly from Home Affairs and claim to be confirming the validity of IDs for the upcoming elections. These individuals are criminals who rob households once they gain entry. There is no such initiative from the Department.

Home affairs officials are clearly identifiable by name tags. We will announce household visits through official
government channels

This warning was only issued in South Africa. No government agency from other countries issued similar warnings.

Fact #2 : Warning Transformed Into Fake News

The genuine warning by the South African Department of Home Affairs spread globally, and became fake news in other countries.

Many countries do not have a Department of Home Affairs. Neither do they have government officials going around verifying citizens’ identification cards ahead of any elections.

Even worse – some people took the initiative to modify the warning, and even added pictures of genuine government officials to make the warning look genuine.

Government agencies in many countries – United States, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, Malaysia – have labelled this warning as fake news.

Fact #3 : Malaysian Immigration Officer Was Victimised

In July 2021, a Malaysian immigration officer bore the brunt of netizen outrage when he was falsely identified as a fake Home Affairs officer – his picture was shared on social media and WhatsApp together with the warning.

The Malaysia Immigration Department and the Royal Malaysia Police announced on 13 July 2021, that the man in the photo was a genuine Immigration officer.

According to Ampang District Police Chief, ACP Mohamad Farouk Ishak, the Immigration officer was conducting an official investigation into an individual staying at a house in Pandan Indah, Ampang.

The Immigration officer introduced himself and inform the residents of the purpose of his visit. The 60 year-old Malaysian homeowner who hosted the Immigration officer during his inspection also lodged a police report over the matter.

From the picture, you can clearly see that the officer was wearing a t-shirt with the Immigration Department HQ logo, and carried an Immigration Malaysia badge as well.

Fact #4 : Fake Story Circulating Again With New Photo

In September 2022, the same fake warning went viral again on WhatsApp, this time with a new photo of two Malaysian officers who appeared to have served some kind of official paper to a homeowner.

While I cannot yet trace the provenance of this photo, or the context behind it, these officers are definitely not attempting to gain entry to the person’s home by falsely identifying themselves as Home Affairs officers.

Again, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has repeatedly announced that this story of robbers posing as Home Affairs officers is fake news.

Fact #5 : No Actual Robbery Cases Were Reported

Even though the South African Department of Home Affairs issued the warning twice, it is unknown if there are really robbers pretending to be their officers to gain entry into homes.

Ironically, acting Director-General Thulani Mavuso claimed that the South African Department of Home Affairs never actually received any complaint about such crimes :

Home Affairs has not received any complaint of this nature from members of the public. People who are aware of such an activity, depending on it veracity, are advised to report it to the police.

We reiterate our message that Home Affairs officials do not and will not come to your homes to validate IDs.

It sounds like the South African Department of Home Affairs were proactively warning people about the possibility, not reporting on actual cases.

Fact #6 : Safer For Robbers To Rob Empty Houses

Robbers generally prefer NOT to rob homes while their occupants are still inside. Not only could the occupants fight back, they would become witnesses to the crime and help the police identify them!

It would be much safer to gain entry into a house after its occupants have left.

Fact #7 : There Are Other Ways To Gain Entry

Robbers who prefer to gain entry through this method do not need to pretend to be Home Affairs officers.

They can pretend to be other government officials, like a police officer or an immigration officer. They can also pretend to be utility workers, the mailman or a deliveryman.

There is no particular advantage in pretending to be a Home Affairs officer.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Can Greeting Photos + Videos Hack Your Phone?!

Can hackers use greeting photos and videos to hack your phone, and steal your data?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Greeting Photos + Videos Can Hack Your Phone!

People keep sharing this warning about greeting photos and videos, which claims that they can hack your phone and steal your data.

It’s a long message, so just skip to the next section for the facts!

Hello Family and friends,

Starting tomorrow, Please do not send network pictures. Look at the following article to understand. I’m going to stop too.

Please delete all photos and videos of Good morning, Evening and other greetings and religious messages as soon as possible. Read the following article carefully and you will understand why.

Read all! Please send this message urgently to as many friends as possible to prevent illegal intrusion.

 

Truth : Greeting Photos + Videos Cannot Be Hack Your Phone!

Many of us get spammed with Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening photos and videos every day from family and friends.

While they often clog up Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp groups, they really cannot hack your phone. Here are the reasons why Good Morning messages are very irritating, but harmless…

Fact #1 : Shanghai China International News Does Not Exist

The news organisation that was claimed to be the source of this warning – Shanghai China International News –  does not exist!

Fact #2 : Greeting Photos + Videos Not Created By Hackers

Hackers (from China or anywhere else) have better things to do than to create these greeting photos and videos.

They are mostly created by websites and social media influencers for people to share and attract new followers.

Fact #3 : No Fraud Involving Greeting Photos / Videos

There has been no known fraud involving Good Morning or Good Night messages, videos or pictures.

Certainly, half a million victims of such a scam would have made front page news. Yet there is not a single report on even one case…. because it never happened.

Fact #4 : Image-Based Malware Is Possible, But…

Digital steganography is a method by which secret messages and other data can be hidden in digital files, like a photo or a video, or even a music file.

It is also possible to embed malicious code within a Good Morning photo, but it won’t be a full-fledged malware that can execute by itself.

At most, it can be used to hide the malware payload from antivirus scanners, which is pretty clever to be honest…

Fact #5 : Image-Based Malware Requires User Action

In January 2019, cybercriminals created an online advertisement with a script that appears innocuous and would pass any malware check.

However, the image itself has an “almost white” rectangle that is recognised by the script, triggering it to redirect the user to the cybercriminals’ website.

Once there, the victim is tricked into installing a Trojan disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.

Such a clever way to bypass malware checks, but even so, this image-based malware requires user action.

You cannot get infected by the Trojan if you practice good “Internet hygiene” by not downloading or installing anything from unknown websites.

Fact #6 : Malicious Code Executes Immediately

If you accidentally download and trigger malware, it will execute immediately. It won’t wait, as the hoax message claims.

Deleting Good Morning or Good Night photos or videos will free up storage space in your phone, but it won’t prevent any malware from executing.

There is really no reason for malware to wait before it infects your devices. Waiting will only increase the risk of detection.

Whether the malware serves to take over your device, steal your information or encrypt it for ransom, it pays to do it at the first opportunity.

Now that you know the facts, please SHARE this article with your family and friends!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Malaysia Police Denies Running Political Troll Farm!

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) denies running a troll farm to corrupt or manipulate public discourse!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Meta Accuses Malaysia Police Of Running Political Troll Farm!

On 4 August 2022, Meta directly named the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) as being responsible for a troll farm designed to “corrupt or manipulate public discourse“.

Here were the key findings that the Meta team revealed about the individuals behind the PDRM troll farm :

  • They were active on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.
  • They posted memes in Malay, in support of the current government coalition
  • They posted claims of corruption amongst the current government coalition’s critics
  • They created Facebook Pages that posed as independent news entities, and promoted police while criticising the opposition.
  • Their posting activity were greatest during weekdays, taking breaks for lunch.
  • Their fake accounts were under-developed, and some of them used stolen profile photos.

The troll farm was initially suspected to have originated in China by researchers at Clemson University in South Caroline. But when the Meta team investigated it, they found links to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).

Read more : Meta Accuses PDRM Of Running Political Troll Farm!

The Meta team also revealed that the PDRM troll farm spent about $6,000 (~RM26,750) in Facebook and Instagram ads, paid for primarily in Malaysian Ringgit.

They also shared how successful the PDRM troll farm was in garnering followers on Facebook and Instagram :

  • Facebook Pages : About 427,000 accounts
  • Facebook Groups : About 4,000 accounts
  • Instagram Accounts : About 15,000 accounts

As a result of their investigation, Meta removed 595 Facebook accounts, 180 Pages, 11 Groups and 72 Instagram accounts that were linked to this PDRM troll farm, for violating their police against “coordinated inauthentic behavior“.

What Is Inauthentic Behavior?

Inauthentic behaviour (IB) as an effort to mislead people or Facebook about about the popularity of content, the purpose of a community (i.e. Groups, Pages, Events) or the identity of the people behind it. It is primarily centered around amplifying and increasing the distribution of content, and is often (but not exclusively) financially motivated.

IB operators typically focus on quantity rather than the quality of engagement. For example, they may use large numbers of low-sophistication fake accounts to mass-post or like their content — be it commercial, social or political. They often use tactics similar to other large-scale online activities, like spam.

This behavior pattern distinguishes IB from Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB) where operators invest in mimicking human social activity as closely as possible.

 

PDRM Denies Meta Accusations Of Running Political Troll Farm!

On 6 August 2022, PDRM issued a short notice (with my English translation) stating that it takes Meta’s allegations seriously, denies them, and is currently gathering information about those allegations.

Penafian PDRM Atas Dakwaan Syarikat Meta Platforms Incorporated

Police Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) memandang serius laporan pihak syarikat Meta Platforms Incorporated yang mendakwa terdapat akaun-akaun palsu di media sosial yang “mempunyai hubungan dengan PDRM”.

PDRM menafikan dakwaan tersebut dan sedang mengampul maklumat lanjut mengenainya.

PDRM Denies Allegations By Meta Platforms Incorporated

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) is taking seriously the report by Meta Platforms Incorporated which claimed that there are fake social media account “with ties to PDRM”.

PDRM denies these allegations and is gathering more information about it.

 

PDRM Troll Farm : Is That Even Legal?!

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) enforces the laws of the country, including the Internet. In fact, they have a Cyber & Multimedia Criminal Investigation Unit under the Commercial Crime Investigation Department.

The PDRM works together with the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) to tackle cybersecurity threats, and these would include malicious influence campaigns.

All the more reason why it is both perplexing and troubling that Malaysia’s national police force has been linked to a troll farm designed to promote the current government coalition, while denigrating the opposition.

These are specifically the cybercrimes that NACSA should be looking out for, and the PDRM should be assisting them in arresting anyone in Malaysia who participated in such activities.

The PDRM will no doubt be under tremendous pressure to explain / refute Meta’s allegations.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Indonesia Bans Steam, PayPal, Epic Games + More!

Indonesia just banned a number of major websites including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal and Battle.net!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Indonesia Banned Steam, PayPal, Epic Games + More!

On 30 July 2022, Indonesians woke up to the shocking discovery that a number of gaming platforms like Steam, Epic Games, Origin, Ubisoft and Battle.net are now banned!

Not only were gaming platforms banned, Indonesia also banned major websites and digital services like PayPal and Waze.

Indonesian netizens have started sharing tips on how to bypass this sudden ban – by using VPN, or changing their DNS servers, to bypass what appears to be an IP block.

 

Why Indonesia Banned Steam, PayPal, Epic Games, Etc!

There was no official announcement by the Indonesian government, but it is likely that Indonesia banned Steam, PayPal, Epic Games and a bunch of other websites and digital platforms because they failed to register as an Electronics System Provider / Penyelenggara Sistem Elektronik (PSE).

On November 24, 2020, the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) imposed a new regulation calling for all local and international digital services to register with them for cybersecurity and user protection purposes.

Failure to comply with that regulation would subject the digital service to being banned / blocked in Indonesia.

Here is a partial list of major websites, platforms and digital services registered with the Indonesian government, and those that have not been registered, or are known to be blocked.

Those on the unregistered list are likely to be blocked, if not already blocked. Interestingly, Telegram is listed as registered, but is currently inaccessible (blocked) in Indonesia.

Registered Unregistered Blocked
LINE
WhatsApp
TikTok
Google
Google Classroom
Google Drive
Gmail
Google Cloud
YouTube
Amazon AWS
Facebook
Telegram
Twitter
Instagram
Discord
Zoom
Gojek
Spotify
Shopee
Lazada
Traveloka
Netflix
Disney+ Hotstar
Zenius
Mobile Legends
LinkedIn
Roblox
Vidio
FB Messenger
Wikipedia
Deezer
Waze
Brainly
Notion
Pinterest
SoundCloud
PayPal
EA
Nintendo
Ubisoft
Mangaku
MediaFire
GitHub
GitLab
Bitbucket
CloudFlare
MS Azure
Amazon
Reddit
DuckDuckGo
Twitch
IMDb
MS Office
Yahoo
IMDb
Patreon

Epic Games
Steam
Uplay
Battle.net
Origin

On July 15 – just 2 weeks earlier – Kominfo warned that digital service providers will be banned in Indonesia on July 21, 2022 if they refused to register.

The deadline for all PSE registration – both domestic and foreign – was set at July 20, 2022. After that, Kominfo would start banning unregistered apps and services.

At that time, Kominfo reported that many major brands and companies have yet to register with them, like Google (which owns YouTube, Google Drive, Gmail, etc.), Meta (which owns WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook), Twitter, Netflix, PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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China Fines Didi Global $1.2 Billion For Violating Laws!

China just fined Didi Global a whopping $1.2 billion for violating its cybersecurity, data security and privacy laws!

 

China Fines Didi Global $1.2 Billion For Violating Laws!

On Thursday, 21 July 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced that Didi Global breached the country’s cybersecurity law, data security law, and personal information protection law.

The Chinese cyberspace regulator fined Didi Global 8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), as well as a personal fine of 1 million yuan ($148,000) each on Chairman and CEO Cheng Wei, as well as President Liu Qing (also known as Jean Liu).

The facts of violations of laws and regulations are clear, the evidence is conclusive, the circumstances are serious, and the nature is vile.

Didi Global responded to the regulator’s announcement with a contrite statement “sincerely” accepting the judgement and penalties :

We sincerely accept this decision, and resolutely obey it. We will strictly follow the penalty decision and the requirements of relevant laws and regulations, conduct comprehensive and in-depth self-examination, and actively cooperate with supervision and complete rectification carefully.

We will take this as a warning and further strengthen the construction of cyberspace security and data security, strengthen the protection of personal information, and earnestly fulfill our social responsibilities. We will serve every passenger, driver and partner well, and realize the safe, healthy and sustainable development of the enterprise.

 

What Did Didi Do To Incur China’s Wrath?

According to an FAQ by the CAC, its investigators started their investigation of Didi in July 2021.

After conducting an extensive investigation, they found that Didi conducted data processing activities that “seriously affected national security”, and refused to comply with “the explicit requirements of regulatory authorities” and conducted “malicious evasion” of regulatory supervision.

They also stated that Didi Global committed 16 violations of China’s laws, including :

  1. Didi illegally collected 11.9639 million screenshots from its users’ mobile phone photo albums.
  2. Didi excessively collected 8.323 billion pieces of its users’ clipboard information, and application list information.
  3. Didi excessively collected 107 million pieces of passenger face recognition information, and 53.5092 million pieces of age group information, 16.3556 million pieces of occupational information, 1.3829 million pieces of family relationship information, and 153 million pieces of taxi address information.
  4. Didi excessively collected passengers’ evaluation of the drivers, when the app is running in the background, and 167 million pieces of precise location (longitude and latitude).
  5. Didi excessively collected 142,900 pieces of driver education information, and 53.976 billion pieces of “intent information”, 1.538 billion pieces of resident city information, and 304 million pieces of non-local business/travel information.
  6. Its users are frequently asked to provide “telephone permissions” while using its services.
  7. Inaccurate and clear description of user personal information processing, including device information.

The CAC noted that Didi started its bad practices in June 2015, and continued even after the Cybersecurity Law was implemented in June 2017, the Data Security Law started in January 2022, and the Personal Information Protection Law was implemented in November 2021.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Will Scanning RFID Bar Codes Hack Your Phone?!

Will scanning an RFID bar code cause your phone to be hacked?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Scanning RFID Bar Codes Will Hack Your Phone!

This warning about an RFID bar code scam has gone viral on WhatsApp, and social media.

It claims that scammers are sending people RFID stickers, and asking them to scan the bar code.

Allegedly, scanning the RFID bar code will cause your phone to be hacked by these scammers!

They send the RFID to you. When you scan the bar code they hack your hp
It’s a scam

他们将 RFID 发送给您。 当您扫描条形码时,他们会入侵您
这是一个骗局

Mereka menghantar RFID kepada anda. Apabila anda mengimbas kod bar mereka menggodam anda
Ia satu penipuan ☠️👻💩😱😰

 

Truth : Scanning RFID Bar Codes Will NOT Hack Your Phone!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Is No RFID Bar Code Scanning Scam

First of all – let me just say that there is no such thing as an RFID bar code scanning scam. No one can hack your phone just because you scan an RFID bar code.

The bar code is nothing more than a series of numbers, which you can readily see printed under the bar code. These numbers cannot possibly hack your phone / smartphone.

Fact #2 : RFID Bar Code Is Used To Register Sticker

The bar code visible in the clear window of the TNG RFID self-fitment kit is merely the serial number for the RFID sticker (also known as an RFID tag).

This serial number is used to register the RFID sticker, by scanning scan the bar code using the TNG eWallet mobile app.

All it does is link the RFID sticker to your TNG eWallet account, so that all toll charges are automatically deducted from that account.

Read more : TNG RFID Self-Fitment Guide : How To Do It Yourself

Fact #3 : There Are Easier + Cheaper Ways To Hack Your Phone

Truth be told – there are far easier and cheaper ways to hack your phone, than send you a free RFID sticker and ask you to scan the bar code.

These scammers will have to put in considerable expense and technical expertise into hacking the TNG eWallet app, and inserting their malware that the fake RFID number would trigger.

But why bother? If they can hack the TNG eWallet, they don’t even need to send you any fake RFID bar code to scan!

Making fake RFID stickers (tags) that look like genuine TNG RFID self-fitment kits costs money. Sending these fake kits also put them at risk, because deliveries can be traced.

There are many other ways to compromise your smartphone. There is simply no reason why scammers to waste time and money on such a convoluted scheme.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Scam Alert : Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day Contest!

Please watch out for the Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day contest scam!

Find out why it is just a SCAM, and WARN your family and friends!

 

Scam Alert : Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day Contest!

People are now sharing the Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day Contest scam on WhatsApp :

Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day Contest

5,000 free coffee machines for your Mother!

 

Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day Contest : Why This Is A Scam!

Many of us are in dire straits during this COVID-19 pandemic, having lost jobs, income or even loved ones.

Unfortunately, scammers are counting on our desperation to prey on us, using the same survey scam they have been using for years :

Unfortunately, this Nespresso contest is yet another SCAM that you should NEVER participate in!

  1. After you click on the link, you are taken to a page that looks like a genuine Nespresso contest page.
  2. You will be asked to answer three very simple questions.
    The answers are irrelevant – no matter what you answer, you are always allowed to proceed to the next step.
  3. You are then asked to share the promotion with 30 WhatsApp contacts, or 5 WhatsApp groups.
  4. Next, you will be asked to complete one of these tasks to receive the “free” Nespresso coffee machine :
    a) install an app, which is really a malware to send you advertisements, or
    b) enter your credit card details
    Needless to say – proceeding with this step will open you up to great risk of monetary loss. DO NOT PROCEED!
  5. If you install their malware, you will start receiving promotions, some of which will ask you to send an SMS to receive expensive free gifts like laptops and smartphones.
    If you proceed to send the confirmation SMS messages, you will be subscribed and billed for international premium SMS services.

So never click on such contest links, even if they were sent to you by a trusted relative or friend.

They would have certainly been fooled by the scam, so please warn them too!

 

How To Spot Scams Like The Nespresso Survey Contest!

Now, let me show you how to spot these scams next time!

If you spot any of these warning signs, DO NOT PROCEED and DO NOT SHARE!

Warning Sign #1 : Bad Grammar

Most of these scammers do not have a good command of the English language, so if you spot bad grammar, stay away.

Proper contests or events sponsored by major brands like Nespresso will have at least one PR or marketing person who will vet the text before allowing it to be posted.

Read more : Watch Out For Nestle 2022 Anniversary Phishing Scam!

Warning Sign #2 : Offering You Free Money Or Gifts

Please do NOT be naive. No one is going to give you money or free gifts just to participate in a survey!

Petronas isn’t going to give you FREE money, just because it’s their anniversary.

They are a corporation whose business is to make money, not a charity to give you free money.

Warning Sign #3 : Not Using The Real Jaya Grocer Domain

A genuine Petronas campaign would use their real domain – www.petronas.com.

Or they would run it off the official Petronas page on Facebook – www.facebook.com/petronas/.

If you see nonsensical domains like 0yjjg61.cn, 1eaf1rnbeef.top, ldxqw.bar, etc. that’s a sign of a SCAM!

Warning Sign #4 : Asking You To Forward The Offer

No brand will insist that you must share the offer with 5 groups or 20 friends on WhatsApp.

Do not click to forward their offer to your family and friends. They will not appreciate being scammed with your help!

Warning Sign #5 : Asking You To Download + Register An App

If you click through and joined the fake survey scam, you will eventually be asked to download and register for an app.

This is VERY DANGEROUS. Never agree to download and register for any unknown app from a website.

Always download your apps from an official App Store like Google Play Store (for Android smartphones) and Apple App Store (for iPhones).

Please help us fight scams like this and SHARE this article out!

And please WARN your family and friends!

 

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Scam Alert : Petronas 50th Anniversary Survey Contest!

Please watch out for the Petronas 50th Anniversary survey contest scam!

Find out why it is just a SCAM, and WARN your family and friends!

 

Petronas 50th Anniversary Survey Scam Alert!

People are now sharing the Petronas 50th Anniversary messages on WhatsApp :

Petronas 50th Anniversary!

Click to enter to participate in the survey, have a chance to win 2000 Ringgit!

 

Petronas 50th Anniversary Survey : Why This Is A Scam

Unfortunately, this is yet another survey scam, like the FamilyMart 70th Anniversary scam!

For one thing – Petronas was incorporated on 17 August 1974, so their 50th anniversary would be on 17 August 2024!

Petronas confirmed that this survey is a scam in a Facebook post :

PETRONAS has been made aware of a scam online “survey” conducted supposedly in conjunction with “PETRONAS’ 50th Anniversary”.

We wish to inform that neither PETRONAS nor any of our subsidiaries within the Group of Companies are involved in this “survey”, and we appeal to the public not to respond or take part.

I know many of us are in dire straits during this COVID-19 pandemic, having lost jobs, income or even loved ones.

Unfortunately, scammers are counting on our desperation to prey on us, using the same survey scam they have been using for years :

Now, let me show you how to spot these scams next time!

If you spot any of these warning signs, DO NOT PROCEED and DO NOT SHARE!

Warning Sign #1 : Bad Grammar

Most of these scammers do not have a good command of the English language, so if you spot bad grammar, stay away.

Proper contests or events sponsored by major brands like Petronas will have at least one PR or marketing person who will vet the text before allowing it to be posted.

Warning Sign #2 : Offering You Free Money Or Gifts

Please do NOT be naive. No one is going to give you money or free gifts just to participate in a survey!

Petronas isn’t going to give you FREE money, just because it’s their anniversary.

They are a corporation whose business is to make money, not a charity to give you free money.

Warning Sign #3 : Not Using The Real Jaya Grocer Domain

A genuine Petronas campaign would use their real domain – www.petronas.com.

Or they would run it off the official Petronas page on Facebook – www.facebook.com/petronas/.

If you see nonsensical domains like 0yjjg61.cn, 1eaf1rnbeef.top, ldxqw.bar, etc. that’s a sign of a SCAM!

Warning Sign #4 : Asking You To Forward The Offer

No brand will insist that you must share the offer with 5 groups or 20 friends on WhatsApp.

Do not click to forward their offer to your family and friends. They will not appreciate being scammed with your help!

Warning Sign #5 : Asking You To Download + Register An App

If you click through and joined the fake survey scam, you will eventually be asked to download and register for an app.

This is VERY DANGEROUS. Never agree to download and register for any unknown app from a website.

Always download your apps from an official App Store like Google Play Store (for Android smartphones) and Apple App Store (for iPhones).

Please help us fight scams like this and SHARE this article out!

 

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US Homeless Setting Up Tent + Robbing People In Subway?!

Are homeless people in the US setting up tents and robbing passengers on subway trains?!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : US Homeless Are Setting Up Tent + Robbing People In Subway!

People are sharing a video of homeless people in the US setting up their tent in the middle of a subway train, and then a homeless man rob another subway passenger of his food.

It is being actively shared in pro-China groups, and by pro-China social media accounts, together with messages like these :

US homeless has moved into the subway. The US homeless has moved into the subway car, and is also robbing other passengers for food in the subway car. The US government should spend more time dealing with domestic problems, instead of going abroad to set fires everywhere. Really US have degenerated to such sad state very depressing 👇👇

PRC.Forces0 : #Homeless couple camp in #NYC subway, snatching food from other passengers.

Such shameful story in US.

 

Truth : US Homeless Are NOT Setting Up Tent + Robbing People In Subway!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and/or propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : It Was A Staged Prank Video

The video was a staged comedy prank by American comedians Esteban Hashtag Tino Romero, and Smiley Hundo.

The video was originally posted by Tino Romero on his @Pundamoniums Instagram account on 12 January 2022.

Smiley Hundo also posted it on YouTube as a short video on 2 March 2022, calling it Homeless Couple Takes Man Food On NYC Train.

Fact #2 : Tino Romero Is Famous For Prank Videos

Tino Romero is famous for participating in pranks and stunts in New York City.

In July 2021, one of his videos went viral, showing him taking a dump into a NYC sanitation worker’s mop bucket!

Of course, that video was also staged – the MTA worker was Morris Cornbread, another New York City-based comedian.

That same video was also used by the Chinese 50 Cent Army as “evidence” of how far American society has fallen. It was a kind of payback for videos of Chinese citizens pooping in public that went viral years earlier.

Fact #3 : New York City Subway Is Patrolled By NYPD

The video appears to spread quickly amongst people who have never been to the United States, and are therefore unaware that the New York City subway is patrolled by the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

NYPD officers patrol the stations, and ride the trains to help prevent crime. They also make sure homeless people do not stay in the subway stations, or sleep on the train.

Therefore, it is impossible for homeless people to actually set up a tent in the middle of a subway train. NYPD officers on patrol would certainly evict them from the train.

Fact #4 : Homelessness Is A Problem Globally

While the video was staged, it is true that homelessness is a problem in the United States, and in particular, New York City which boasts some of the most expensive real estate and rental rates in the world.

But this is not an exclusively American problem. Homelessness is a global problem, affecting many countries around the world – rich and poor alike.

Ignoring wars and conflicts that displace people, here is the top 6 list of countries with the most homeless people:

  • Nigeria : 1.66%
  • Honduras : 1.24%
  • Egypt : 1.20%
  • Pakistan : 0.94%
  • Zimbabwe : 0.85%
  • Philippines : 0.42%

Instead of mocking the homeless, perhaps we should be grateful that we have a home to live in. Many people around the world don’t.

 

Why Create Fake Stories About Homeless People In US?!

With China’s aggressive foreign stance in recent years, it is not uncommon to see such fake stories being created and shared by the Chinese 50 Cent Army, and pro-China netizens.

These fake stories are being created to drown out the negative coverage of China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, and its aggressive moves in the South China Sea.

The Wumao have also been actively creating fake stories to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Whatever the reasons may be, it is our duty as global citizens to stop the proliferation of such fake stories.

Please share this fact check with your friends, so they know the truth!

 

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Did Joe Biden Block Vietnam Evacuation + Refugees?!

Did Senator Joe Biden block the Vietnam evacuation, and the resettlement of Vietnamese refugees in 1975?

Take a look at the viral post, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Senator Joe Biden Blocked Vietnam Evacuation + Refugees!

The message was first introduced before the 2020 US Presidential Elections, and reintroduced after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in a rout of the Afghan government, and a stampede to escape the Taliban.

Now, people are sharing this viral message on social media and WhatsApp, as President Joe Biden punishes the Russian government for its invasion of Ukraine.

ONE FOR HISTORY BUFFS THAT I BET YOU DID NOT KNOW

In 1975, President Ford was left to manage the difficult ending of the Vietnam War. President Ford went to Congress for a relief package to allow American personnel and our allies to evacuate. However, there was ONE US SENATOR who opposed any such support. The result was the embarrassing and hurried evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon.

This senator reveled in the embarrassment and did everything he could to leverage it politically against Ford. Despite the efforts of this U.S. Senator – President Ford managed to rescue 1,500 South Vietnamese allies prior to the country’s fall. Had President Ford not acted quickly, these people would have been targeted and slaughtered for their support for America.

When they arrived in America, President Ford asked Congress for a package to assist these refugees to integrated into American society. That SAME troublesome SENATOR TORPEDOED ANY SUPPORT for these shell shocked, anti-communist Americans and our helpers, the refugees.

Instead, President Ford had to recruit Christian organizations to offer assistance on a voluntary basis. As he did so, the Senator belittled those efforts. What kind of person would oppose President Ford’s tireless work to do the right and humanitarian thing? Who would want to play politics with the well-being of innocent people who stood by America in the tragic Vietnam War?

THAT SENATOR WAS JOE BIDEN

From the book – “When the Center Held” by Donald Rumsfeld in 2018 (biography)

… spread it, far and wide!

 

Truth : Joe Biden Did Not Block Vietnam Evacuation + Refugees!

This recycled FAKE NEWS was originally created by Trump supporters, and is still fake news, no matter how many times it’s reposted.

It is now being recycled to cast aspersions on US President Joe Biden’s actions against the Russian government for its invasion of Ukraine.

Here is a quick summary of the facts :

  • Senator Joe Biden did not block President Gerald Ford’s Vietnam evacuation plans.
  • Senator Joe Biden did not torpedo any support for Vietnamese refugees.
  • President Ford did not rely on Christian organisations to help the Vietnamese refugees.
  • Senator Joe Biden voted to approve humanitarian aid for Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.
  • Humanitarian aid was approved for both Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees.
  • Senator Joe Biden voted to welcome the Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. 

For those who want the nitty, gritty details, here are the facts…

Fact #1 : Senator Joe Biden Voted Against Vietnam Contingency Act

Senator Joe Biden voted against the Vietnam Contingency Act (S. 1484) when it was proposed in the US Senate, because he disagreed with two terms in the bill :

  • military assistance to Vietnam
  • authorisation to use American troops (if necessary) to protect the evacuation of South Vietnamese citizens.

Specifically, he was against the Ford Administration tying military assistance to Vietnam and the continued use of US troops, with the evacuation of American and Vietnamese civilians.

He was worried that $100 million of contingency funds in this bill would be used to provide military aid, instead of helping to evacuate the refugees.

Fact #2 : Joe Biden Was One Of 17 Who Voted Against S. 1484

The claim that Senator Joe Biden was the only senator to vote against S. 1484 is false. He was one of 17 senators who voted against the Vietnam Contingency Act.

Fact #3 : Vietnam Contingency Act Passed In The US Congress

Despite Senator Biden’s Nay vote, together with 16 other senators, the Vietnam Contingency Act (S. 1484) was approved in the Senate with a 75-17 vote on 24 April 1975.

Fact #4 : Vietnam Contingency Act Rejected In House Of Representatives

The Vietnam Contingency Act however failed to pass the House of Representatives, where it was defeated in a vote of 162 to 246 on 1 May 1975.

It was generally agreed that the majority of Representatives were against the Ford Administration’s intentional linking of the evacuation with military assistance to Vietnam.

So it was ultimately not Joe Biden – a very young senator at that time – who blocked President Ford’s militarised evacuation plan, but the US House of Representatives.

Fact #5 : HR 6096 Rejected In House Of Representatives

The Vietnam Humanitarian Assistance and Evacuation Act of 1975 (HR 6096) was proposed in the US House of Representatives, to assist the Vietnamese refugees.

However, it was defeated in the same US House of Representative vote for S. 1484 above, with a vote of 162 to 246.

The defeated bill never got to the US Senate, so Senator Joe Biden never voted for or against it. It is therefore categorically FALSE to claim that he torpedoed the bill.

Fact #6 : S. 1661 Passed In The US Congress

After HR 6096 failed in the House of Representatives, President Ford submitted a new bill to the US Congress – the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (S. 1661) on 6 May 1975.

This bill passed the US Senate with an overwhelming majority vote of 77 to 2. Only Republican senators Jesse Helm and William Scott voted against it.

Senator Joe Biden was not present for the vote, but later voted to advance the bill to the House of Representatives with a “favourable recommendation”.

Joe Biden certainly did not torpedo this humanitarian bill either.

Fact #7 : President Ford Did Not Rely On Christian Organisations

The S. 1661 Senate bill was merged into HR 6755 (Authorizing Funds for Assistance to Refugees from South Vietnam and Cambodia), which passed in the House of Representatives with a 381 vs. 31 vote.

HR 6755 was signed into law by President Gerald Ford on 23 May 1975.

So the claim that President Ford had to rely on Christian organisations to help the Vietnamese refugees is also FALSE.

Fact #7 : US Congress Welcomed Vietnamese + Cambodian Refugees

On 8 May 1975, the US Congress issued a resolution called “Welcome the latest refugees to our shores (S. Res. 148)“.

92 senators, including Senator Joe Biden, voted in favour, with only one Republican senator voting against – Senator William Scott, and seven others abstaining.

In short, Joe Biden voted to welcome both Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees to the United States.

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE THIS OUT so other people won’t get fooled by the fake viral claim!

Recommended : Should We Blame Joe Biden For Fall Of Vietnam Too?

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Putin Just Threaten To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence?!

Did Russian President Vladimir Putin just threaten to release secret satellite evidence of US government’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Putin Just Threatened To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence!

People are sharing links to a Pravda news report that Russian President Vladimir Putin just threatened to release secret satellite evidence of US government involvement in the 9/11 attacks!

Apparently, this threat was in retaliation for US sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, Putin is apparently striking back.

It’s a long article, so please skip to the next section for the facts…

Putin is going to hit once, but he’s going to hit hard. Russia is preparing the release of evidence of the involvement of the US government and intelligence services in the September 11 attacks. The list of evidence includes satellite images.

 

Truth : Putin Did Not Threaten To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence!

This is yet another example of pro-Russia FAKE NEWS that are spamming social media, as well as WhatsApp and Telegram groups. Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Was From February 2015

This article was actually posted in February 2015. This was specifically mentioned in all the 2015 examples :

VT Editor’s note:  Russian satellite evidence proving the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center using “special weapons” was reviewed by a VT editor while in Moscow.

The article below was forwarded to us for publication in the US and translated from Russian. It is 3 days old, published on February 7, 2015.

The fake news creator removed that section, to mislead you into thinking that this was a new threat by Putin in 2022.

Fact #2 : There Is No Such Pravda Article

There is no evidence that Pravda actually published such an article on 7 February 2015.

On that day, Pravda published four articles, none of which referred to Putin, or satellite imagery, or the 9/11 attacks.

  • The crisis will retrain office workers
    Кризис переучит офисный планктон
  • 10 best gifts for Valentine’s Day
    10 лучших подарков на День святого Валентина
  • Sofa troops of Ukraine raised the white flag
    Диванные войска Украины подняли белый флаг
  • February 8: The verdict of Giordano Bruno, the fatal duel and how the war ended
    8 февраля: Приговор Джордано Бруно, роковая дуэль и как войну замолчали

If you go through the Pravda archives, three days before and after 7 February, you will only find a single article on the September 11 attacks :

  • Obama blackmails Congress with new 9/11
    Обама шантажирует конгресс новым 11 сентября

Fact #3 : Russia Did Not Release Any Evidence Of 9/11 Conspiracy

It may seem silly to you now, but it has to be said – Russia never released any evidence of any conspiracy by the US government in the September 11 attacks.

No satellite imagery… no documents… no evidence in any form or manner, since this claim was made in 2015 – seven years ago!

Fact #4 : Russian Satellites Were Terrible In 2001

It would also be quite a feat for Russia to provide “conclusive satellite imagery” as the fake story alleges, as Russian electro-optical satellites were not quite “state-of-the-art” back in 2001.

At that time, they used the Yantar-4KS1M (Neman / Неман) satellite, which had a resolution of just under a meter using the Zhemchug-18 camera.

These satellites have a limited lifespan of just 26 to 32 weeks, and used film which could be returned using two small canisters mid-mission, and a larger reentry module at the end.

Russia only had one in operation at that time – Cosmos 2377, which was launched on 29 May 2001, and landed on 10 October 2001.

Cosmos 2377 could plausibly have taken photos of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, but the images would only be as good as the Maxar IKONOS commercial imaging satellite.

Fact #5 : There Are Many Satellite Images Of 9/11 Attack

Frankly, there is no need for the Russians to share their satellite photos anyway, because there are many publicly-available satellite photos on the September 11 attacks.

The private satellite imaging company, Maxar, for example, shared this high-resolution photo of ground zero at the World Trade Center on 15 September, 2001.

Taken by IKONOS, which had a resolution of 0.82 to 1 metre, it gives you a good idea of the image quality and resolution that are already available for free to the public.

So it begs the question – do the Russians really have better images than that?

Fact #6 : Satellites Have Limitations

Despite being extremely useful, imaging satellites not magical instruments. They have limitations in what they can and cannot do.

For example, they have to generally stay in a pre-determined orbit, and “fly through” an area – leaving large gaps during which there is no coverage.

They also cannot look inside or under solid objects – planes, buildings, trees; and their view can be obscured by smoke and clouds, unless they have multi-spectral ability.

You can see how the smoke obscures the picture in this Maxar image taken of the Manhattan financial district on September 11, 2001.

It is therefore highly improbable that any satellite image from way up high would have captured “incriminating evidence” of the US government’s involvement in the September 11 attacks.

Fact #7 : 9/11 Attack Was Committed By Al Qaeda

In the past 20 years, the many conspiracy theories have all been repeatedly looked into and debunked.

We now know, with absolute certainty, that the September 11 attacks were conceived by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, approved by Osama bin Laden, and carried out by nineteen Al Qaeda terrorists.

There was no US government involvement in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Osama bin Laden himself claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on several occasions. You don’t need a satellite to know that.

Now that you know the truth, please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check out!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Anonymous Affiliates Are Attacking Russian Space Agency!

After Anonymous declare a cyberwar against Russia, their affiliates are going after the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

Here is what they accomplished so far!

 

Anonymous Affiliate NB65 Attacked Russian Space Agency!

On 28 February 2022, the hacking group – Anonymous Network Battalion 65′ (NB65), which hacked and released over 40,000 files from the Russian Nuclear Safety Institute.

They then turned their attention to the Russian Space Agency, claiming to shut down the WS02 Vehicle Monitoring System server at the Roscosmos Control Center on 1 March 2022.

The Russian Space Agency sure does love their satellite imaging.

Better yet they sure do love their Vehicle Monitoring System.

The WS02 was deleted, credentials were rotated and the server is shut down.

Network Battalion isn’t going to give you the IP, that would be too easy, now wouldn’t it?

Have a nice Monday fixing your spying tech. Glory to Ukraine.

We wont [sic] stop until you stop dropping bombs, killing civilians and trying to invade.

Go the fuck back to Russia.

However, Roscosmos Chief Executive, Dmitry Rogozin denied the claim, saying that “The information of these scammers and petty swindlers is not true. All our space activity control centers are operating normally.

 

Anonymous Affiliate v0g3lSec Hacked Russian Space Agency Website!

On 3 March 2022, another Anonymous affiliate, v0g3lSec, hacked a website owned by the Russian Space Agency – http://uv.ikiweb.ru/.

This appears to be the official website for the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) telescope, also known as the Spektr-UV. It is still down as of 4 March 2022.

 

Anonymous Affiliate v0g3lSec Leaked Russian Space Agency Files!

On 4 March 2022, v0g3lSec released files that were hacked from a private service hosted by the Russian space agency.

The files apparently contained data from Luna – a joint programme between Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA).

  • The leaked data consisted of 261 items, with a size of 729 gigabytes.
  • The executable files (.exe) are from 2012, with a timestamp of 2012-12-20 18:18:57.
  • Most of the documents are from 2009 to 2012, so the files are pretty old.

This suggests that the files that v0g3lSec stole were old data archived by Roscosmos. While it is a technical success, it is unlikely to have any actual effect.

 

Roscosmos Chief Threatens ISS + War

Roscosmos chief, Rogozin, suggested that sanctions against Russia could result in the destruction of the International Space Station (ISS).

If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?

Rogozin also said that any cyberattack on Russia’s satellites would be considered casus belli – a cause for war.

However, it is unknown how Roscosmos or Russia plans to declare or effect war against Anonymous, or its affiliates.

 

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Anonymous Cyberwar Against Russia : 28 February 2022

Here are the latest cyberattacks by the hacktivist group, Anonymous, in their cyberwar against Russia!

 

Anonymous Launches Cyberwar Against Russia!

On 22 February 2022, Anonymous lobbed a warning shot at both Russia and China, hacking an official Chinese website and a Russian Modbus device.

After the Russian invasion started on 24 February, Anonymous announced that they would also begin “gearing up for action” :

#Anonymous has always been against war, and against colonialism. We’ve seen how unfettered power decimates the weak, only having its own self interests in mind. We stand with the people, not the governments of the world.
Anonymous condemns the attacks on the Ukrainian people.

There are many #Anonymous accounts gearing up for action against the imperialist state of Russia, and we will be retweeting their endeavors.

The next day, Anonymous announced that they have started attacking the Russian government.

#Anonymous is currently involved in operations against the Russian Federation. Our operations are targeting the Russian government. There is an inevitability that the private sector will most likely be affected too. While this account cannot claim to speak for the whole (con)

Read more : Anonymous fires Warning Shot at China, Russia over Ukraine!

 

Anonymous Cyberwar Successes Against Russia!

Here is the latest list of cyberattacks that Anonymous successfully conducted in their cyberwar against Russian.

25 February 2022

26 February 2022

  • Anonymous took down several Russian government websites, including the Kremlin, State Duma, and Ministry of Defense.
  • Anonymous “retrieved” and leaked 200 GB of emails from Tetraedr – a Belarusian arms manufacturer, including blueprints of the SAMs (Surface-to-Air Missiles) they manufacture.

27 February 2022

  • Anonymous took down the Chechen Republic government website : chechnya.gov.ru
    Note : This came after multiple reports of Chechen soldiers being deployed to Ukraine.
  • Anonymous shut down gas supply provided by Tvingo Telecom in Russia. Tvingo Telecom is owned by Rostelecom, a Russian state owned telecommunications company.

28 February 2022

  • Anonymous took down several official Belarus government websites :
    – Belarus Ministry of Communications and Information : mpt.gov.by
    – Belarus State Authority for Military Industry : vpk.gov.by
    – Belarus Military : mil.by
  • Anonymous took down several more Russian state and state-linked websites :
    – Pension Fund of the Russian Federation : pfr.gov.ru
    – Russian Public Services portal : gosuslugi.ru
    – Kremlin website (again) : Kremlin.ru
    – Russian Federal Customs Service : customs.gov.ru
    – Russian government website : government.ru
    – Moscow city + mayor website : mos.ru
    – Tass news agency website : Tass.ru
  • The hacking group GNG – an Anonymous affiliate – hacked and leaked a Sberbank database
  • Anonymous Network Battalion 65′ (nB65) hacked and released 40,000 files from the Russian Nuclear Safety Institute.

I will keep updating this article, as and when Anonymous announces their successes against Russia.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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Is This Zelenskyy Before He Became President Of Ukraine?!

Take a look at the viral video of Volodymyr Zelenskyy before he became President of Ukraine, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : This Is Zelenskyy Before He Became President Of Ukraine!

People are sharing a video allegedly of Volodymyr Zelenskyy performing on stage, before he became President of Ukraine.

The video has the overlay “The comedian before he became the Ukrainian president“, and showed him ogling the breasts of several women, while he sang.

 

Truth : This Is Not President Of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy!

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, social media and WhatsApp groups have been inundated with fake news and videos involving those two countries.

This is yet another example of pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine fake news that people are intentionally / ignorantly sharing, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : He Is Vasyl Humenyuk, Not Volodymyr Zelenskyy

When I first saw the video, I could immediately see that the man was not Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Identifying the man though took some effort, but I was finally able to identify him as Vasyl Humenyuk (Facebook page).

Fact #2 : Vasyl Humenyuk Is Like Volodymyr Zelenskyy, But Not Him

Vasyl Humenyuk is a Ukrainian comedian and politician like Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In fact, he ran for the Ukrainian Parliamentary elections under the Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party, but lost.

He was later appointed to head the Yarmolynets District State Administration by Zelenskyy in February 2020.

Except for the fact that they are white males, they don’t really look alike… but just in case, here’s a comparison of the two man.

Fact #3 : It Was A Satirical Comedy Song

Vasyl Humenyuk is a member of the Vinnytsia team in the comedy show, League of Laughter.

The video was a clip of him singing his signature song, “Maiden’s Eyes” in the 2017 League of Laughter.

The song satirises men’s obsession with breasts, calling them “maiden’s eyes” which are what men should really be looking at.

Please watch out for the surge of pro-Russia and anti-Ukraine propaganda like this video.

Help us fight fake news, by sharing this fact check out!

 

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CODEX Cracking Group Officially Shuts Down!

The games cracking group – CODEX – has called it quits, officially shutting down for good. This is truly the end of an era.

 

CODEX Cracking Group Officially Shuts Down!

The CODEX cracking group announced their retirement in the release notes of “The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories”.

It was not due to legal troubles (arrests) or internal conflict, but the team felt they had already achieved their goal.

A CODEX short story

CODEX was founded with one and only one goal in mind: “to give the dominating PC games group at the time, RELOADED, some serious competition.”

A highly motivated and hard-working group of veterans and rookies alike banded together and created a new name to achieve that goal. It was a fun and sometimes dirty ride with lots of give and take on both sides. Bud sadly, it did not last very long and RLD started to crumble and slowly fell apart, making the scene less interesting.

What was left when they finally surrendered and the dust settled?

The blade has been dull for a long time. Quality, tradition and pride was slowly fading to darkness.

Of course, there is a particular group that uses an old name without permission. From the first day they started releasing in the PC section, they have worked hard to shamelessly destroy the reputation of a once iconic group tag when they really should have closed down years ago after all the spectacular fuckups they are responsible for.

Since then there have only been people resurrecting and adopting old names from previously busted groups instead of creating something new and unique on their own. Starting from nothing to slowly build up a reputation for themselves through hard work was obvious too much of a hassle and recycling old identities to get a head start was their way to go.

Still, even with that, this did not lead to any serious competition with two traits we pride ourselves on– a strong continued effort and a good amount of quality output on more than just DRM-free games or simple Steam protections.

CODEX cracked a large variety of protections like Steam (Stub+API+CEG), Arxan, XboxLive, UWP, Denuvo, Origin, Play, Bethesda.net, Battle.net and custom protections on games like Grim Dawn, Street Fighter V, WWE2k20, Croteam games, BigAnt games, Minecraft Dungeons, and many more.

So now, years after reaching our initial goal, we feel that it is time to move on. We thank everyone who accompanied and supported us on our journey.

Have a good time… Bye from CODEX!

 

CODEX Ends 8-Year Run At The Top

Since they burst into the scene in 2014, CODEX has been at the forefront of cracking and removing game copy protections.

They were able to consistently crack even the strongest copy protections like Denuvo, and release major game titles soon after their launch.

That made them the bane of game developers and publishers, potentially costing them millions of dollars in revenue.

On the other hand, CODEX gave less fortunate people access to games they perhaps would not be able to afford, and a DRM-free copy to gamers who already paid for a particular game.

More than a few hardware reviewers also relied on the latest CODEX-cracked games to run benchmarks.

Perhaps their greatest effect was to convince at least some game developers to eschew paying for “strong” copy protections, and offer DRM-free games through platforms like GOG.

Warhorse Studios, for example, released Kingdom Come: Deliverance on Steam, only to have CODEX release a cracked copy within hours. But Warhorse quickly offered a DRM-free version on GOG.

In the end, Warhorse sold half a million copies of Kingdom Come: Deliverance within two days, and a million copies by the end of the week. By its first anniversary, two million copies were sold, even though a CODEX cracked copy existed on launch day.

Warhorse Studios director and co-founder, Daniel Vávra, even printed and put up a poster of the CODEX NFO of their cracked game.

Now that the CODEX crew has officially retired, new PC games cracking groups will inevitably come to the fore, possibly “taking over” their famous name.

But they will likely not be able to come close to their quality or prolificacy – CODEX released some 7,000 game titles in the past 8 years.

This is truly the end of an era in the scene.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Anonymous fires Warning Shot at China, Russia over Ukraine!

The hacktivist group, Anonymous, just fired a warning shot at both China and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine!

 

Anonymous fires Warning Shot at China, Russia over Ukraine!

The hacktivist group, Anonymous, just hacked a Chinese state website, and a logic controller in Russia, as a warning shot to both countries over the invasion of Ukraine.

On Tuesday, 22 February 2022, Anonymous hacked the Chinese Culture website (www.chineseculture.com.cn), replacing its content with a page showing its logo, and the Guy Fawkes mask.

The hacked Chinese Culture website was taken offline, but you can still see the hacked page through the Wayback Machine.

The hacked page includes the YouTube video – It Might Break Your Pinky Heart – the famous music video by Malaysian singer-songwriter, Namewee, that mocks the Chinese government.

Read more : Anonymous Launches Cyberwar Against Russia!

After a video about an old MIT experimental antiviral approach called DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer), and a reference to Operation Samatha Smith, the hacked page warned Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, with a warning shot in the form of “a small hack”.

However sadly because Putin has burned the bridge and reneged the Minsk deal by prematurely recognising separatist territories as independent, instead of waiting until the conclusion of UN interim administration period and if they vote overwhelmingly for independence per that plan, Anonymous decides to make good some of its threats by conducting a small hack on a Modbus device which we intend as a warning shot.

The above Modbus device isn”t located in countries friendly to the US and Taiwan, nor in neutral countries that want nothing with these. Instead, it is in places like China or somewhere like it.

You can make stupid threats like a spoiled child, but remember that Anonymous never have restrictions that says that only homo sapiens can be part of it.

Sony learnt the hard way in 2011 that a part of Anonymous can finish what a totally different part had started!

The Modbus device was later confirmed to be a Schneider Electric Modicon M251 logic controller located in Russia.

 

Anonymous Will Formally Attack Russia Over Ukraine Invasion!

According to Taiwan News, which reached out to Anonymous, their representative said that they were previously “playing nice and not give them an excuse to start a war“, but now that missiles had been fired on Ukraine, “we are taking off the gloves altogether.

That representative also said, “Anonymous will formally attack Russian websites or devices later” in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Anonymous threat on the Chinese Culture website ended with its signature quote in English, Russian and Chinese :

We are Anonymous
We are legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Expect us!
Мы анонимы
Мы легион
Мы не прощаем
мы не забываем
Ждите нас!
我们是匿名者
我们是军团
我们不原谅
我们不会忘记
期待我们

Anonymous did not explicitly say why they are targeting China over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it seems obvious that they believe that China is partly responsible for Russia’s military action.

Perhaps they felt that indirect support by the Chinese, as well as their propaganda effort, gave Russia some leeway and economic support in attacking Ukraine.

Read more : Chinese Media Accidentally Leaks Ukraine Censorship Order!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Watch Out For Nestle 2022 Anniversary Phishing Scam!

Please watch out for the Nestle 2022 Anniversary phishing scam!

Find out why it is just a SCAM, and WARN your family and friends!

 

Nestle 2022 Anniversary Phishing Scam Alert!

People are now sharing the Nestle 2022 Anniversary message on WhatsApp (translated into English) :

CONGRATULATIONS!

Your family has been chosen to receive a lucky drag for the Nestle 2022 Anniversary at the Nestle office.

This contest has been approved by the Malaysian court / police, with the cooperation of Bank Negera Malaysia (BNM).

The link attached to the a website with the following instructions :

  1. Winners must keep the PIN-CEK number as evidence for winner verification and prize collection
  2. There are two ways to submit the contest form – through WhatsApp or this website.
  3. The contest form must be completed with your details. Incomplete forms will be rejected by the sponsor without notice.
  4. Every valid application will be shortlisted. There is no limit to the number of applications.
  5. First Prize Winner : RM10,500
    Second Prize Winner : RM9,300
    Third Prize Winner : RM8,500
  6. To redeem your prize, just use your WhatsApp to :
    a) Fill in the Nestle winner application number
    b) Fill in your full name and identity card number
    c) Attach a clear picture of your BANK ATM CARD – front and back
    d) Go to the nearest ATM machine, and WhatsApp the details above to +60124181128

 

Nestle 2022 Anniversary Phishing Scam : How Does It Work?

The Nestle 2022 Anniversary phishing scam is DANGEROUS. Please warn your family and friends to AVOID it.

Fact #1 : There Is No Such Nestle Giveaway!

There is no such anniversary giveaway by Nestle Malaysia. There is no reason for Nestle Malaysia to give out so much money.

They are a business, not a charity. They are in the business of selling you products, not giving you money.

Businesses do sponsor giveaway contests, but they are generally low value. Nestle Malaysia, for example, is currently giving away RM30 Shopee vouchers.

Fact #2 : Nestle Would Not Use Free Websites

Nestle is a large multinational company. It would not be using free website services like Wix.

Nestle Malaysia has its own website (https://www.nestle.com.my/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Nestle.Malaysia) where they post official contests and promotions.

Always verify if a contest is genuine by visiting the official website / social media page.

Fact #3 : Nestle Would Never Ask For Pictures Of Your ATM Card!

Nestle, and any legitimate brand, would NEVER ask you to send them pictures of your bank ATM card!

Sending the pictures of your ATM card will allow them to clone the card, or trick bank staff into giving the scammers access to your bank account.

NEVER EVER SEND ANYONE PICTURES OF YOUR BANK ATM CARD!

Fact #4 : Nestle Would Never Ask You To Go To An ATM

No legitimate contest would require you to go to an ATM machine to receive money.

NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHO ASKS YOU TO GO TO AN ATM MACHINE.

Fact #5 : Nestle Would Never Ask For Your PIN / TAC

Nestle would never ask you for your ATM card’s PIN or any TAC number you may receive.

Giving out those details is how scammers get access to your bank account.

NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR PIN OR TAC NUMBER!

Fact #6 : This Lets Scammers Withdraw Money From Your Bank Account

I know many of us are in dire straits during this COVID-19 pandemic, having lost jobs, income or even loved ones.

Unfortunately, scammers are counting on our desperation to prey on us, using such anniversary scams.

This particular Nestle 2022 Anniversary Scam is a real danger, because it will allow scammers to gain access to your bank account and withdraw money.

Also watch out for the other anniversary scams that I have covered over the years :

Please WARN your family and friends about these scams!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Can SIM Swap Attack Empty Bank Accounts Without Warning?

Can a SIM swap attack clear out your bank accounts without warning?

Take a look at the viral warning, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : SIM Swap Attack Can Empty Bank Accounts Without Warning!

This message has gone viral on social media and WhatsApp, warning about a new high tech fraud called SIM Swap Fraud that can empty bank accounts without warning.

The message includes a link to a Straits Times report about a young couple who lost $120,000 in a fake text message scam targeting OCBC Bank customers.

Your BANK Account could be Emptied without an Alert!

Dear All, Please let’s be very careful.. There is a new HIGH TECH FRAUD in town called the SIM SWAP FRAUD, and hundreds of persons are already VICTIMS.

 

Truth : SIM Swap Attack Are Real, But Don’t Work Like That

The truth is – SIM swap attacks are real and very dangerous, but they do not work like the viral message claims.

Here is what you need to know about the viral message, and SIM swap attacks.

Fact #1 : SIM Swap Attacks Are Not New

SIM swap attacks are really not that new. They have been around at least since 2015.

Fact #2 : Viral Message Is Partly Fake

The viral message is correct about the risk of SIM swap attacks, but pretty much wrong about everything else.

In fact, the method by which the SIM swap attack works is completely made up. So the viral message is really FAKE NEWS.

Fact #3 : Straits Times Article Was Not About SIM Swap

The fake news creator added a link to a Straits Time article, to mislead you.

That’s because the article isn’t about a SIM swap attack, but a phishing attack, where the victim received an SMS  with a link that took him to a fake website that “looked exactly like the OCBC login page“.

The victim then keyed in his bank login details, thus handing over control of his bank account to the scammers. He also ignored automated messages warning him that his “account was being setup on another phone“.

It had nothing to do with a SIM swap attack. It was an SMS-based phishing attack.

Fact #4 : SIM Swap Attack Generally Does Not Require Any Action

In most SIM swap attacks, scammers use your personal information, either purchased from other criminals or obtained through earlier phishing attacks or social engineering, to request for a SIM card replacement.

All that does not require any action on your part. In most cases, you only realise you’ve been hit when you lose access to your mobile number.

Fact #5 : SIM Swap Attack May Require Action In Some Cases

The Press 1 claim in the viral message is partially correct, but it only happens in a particular circumstance.

In India, scammers have tricked people by offering a free network upgrade, or to help improve signal quality on their phones :

  1. The scammer will call the victim, claiming to be from their mobile service provider.
  2. The scammer will try to get the victim to reveal his/her 20-digit SIM card number.
  3. The scammer will use the 20-digit SIM number to initiate a SIM swap with the mobile service provider.
  4. The mobile service provider will automatically send an SMS to confirm the swap.
  5. Once the victim confirms the swap, his/her SIM card will stop working.
  6. The scammer now has access to the victim’s mobile number.

Fact #6 : SIM Swap Attack Does Not Hack Your Phone

The SIM swap attack does not involve any hacking of your phone.

You only lose access to your mobile number. Your phone is not hacked.

Fact #7 : SIM Swap Attack Does Not Empty Bank Accounts

Once the scammers successfully gain control of your mobile number, they can use it to intercept one-time passwords (OTP) like TAC numbers.

This allows them to change passwords to your bank accounts, social media accounts, etc. which is why SIM swap attacks are so dangerous and damaging.

However, it does not mean your bank accounts are immediately emptied. For one thing – the scammers need to know your bank login.

That’s why SIM swap victims often have had their bank logins and passwords stolen earlier though phishing attacks. The scammers only need their mobile numbers to receive OTP / TAC numbers to authenticate the transfers.

Fact #8 : SIM Swap Attack Can Be Used To Cheat Friends Too!

Stealing money from your bank account requires extra work, so scammers who do not have your bank login details will resort to cheating your friends.

With access to your phone number, they can easily gain access to your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as well as instant messaging apps (WhatsApp, Telegram).

Once they have control, they can send messages to your friends, pretending to be you. Naturally, they will concoct some story to ask your friends for money.

The idea is to use your (now) stolen accounts to convince your friends that you genuinely need their help. The money that they transfer goes directly to the scammers, or their mules (people who rent their bank accounts to scammers).

Now that you know the facts behind the SIM swap attack or scam, please SHARE this article with your family and friends!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Can Hackers Use Good Morning Greetings To Hack You?

Can hackers use Good Morning videos, pictures and messages to hack your devices, and steal your data?

Find out what is happening, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Hackers Are Using Good Morning Messages To Hack You!

This post about Chinese hackers using Good Morning videos, pictures and messages to hack your devices, keeps going viral on social media and WhatsApp.

It’s a long message, so just skip to the next section for the facts!

Dear friends, please delete all welcome photos and videos in Good Morning format and the like. Read below the article to the end, which will be clear why I ask about it. From now on I will only send personally prepared greetings.

Read it all !!! Send this message urgently to as many friends as you can to stop the invasion.

Olga Nikolaevna Lawyer: Caution:

ATTENTION

For those who like to send Good Morning pictures! Good day! Good evening!

Do not send these “good” messages.

Today, Shanghai China International News sent SOS to all subscribers (this is the third reminder) that experts recommend: please do not send good morning, good night, pictures and videos,.

 

Truth : Good Morning Greetings Not Being Used To Hack You!

Many of us get spammed with Good Morning or Good Night messages every day from family and friends.

While they often clog up Facebook, Telegram and WhatsApp groups, they really do NOT allow hackers to hack your devices.

Here are the reasons why Good Morning messages are very irritating, but harmless…

Fact #1 : Shanghai China International News Does Not Exist

The news organisation that was claimed to be the source of this warning – Shanghai China International News –  does not exist!

Fact #2 : Good Morning Greetings Not Created By Hackers

Hackers (from China or anywhere else) have better things to do than to create these Good Morning pictures and videos.

They are mostly created by websites and social media influencers for people to share and attract new followers.

Fact #3 : No Fraud Involving Good Morning Messages

There has been no known fraud involving Good Morning or even Good Night messages, videos or pictures.

Certainly, half a million victims of such a scam would have made front page news. Yet there is not a single report on even one case…. because it never happened.

Fact #4 : Image-Based Malware Is Possible, But…

Digital steganography is a method by which secret messages and other data can be hidden in digital files, like a photo or a video, or even a music file.

It is also possible to embed malicious code within a Good Morning photo, but it won’t be a full-fledged malware that can execute by itself.

At most, it can be used to hide the malware payload from antivirus scanners, which is pretty clever to be honest…

Fact #5 : Image-Based Malware Requires User Action

In January 2019, cybercriminals created an online advertisement with a script that appears innocuous and would pass any malware check.

However, the image itself has an “almost white” rectangle that is recognised by the script, triggering it to redirect the user to the cybercriminals’ website.

Once there, the victim is tricked into installing a Trojan disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.

Such a clever way to bypass malware checks, but even so, this image-based malware requires user action.

You cannot get infected by the Trojan if you practice good “Internet hygiene” by not downloading or installing anything from unknown websites.

Fact #6 : Malicious Code Executes Immediately

If you accidentally download and trigger malware, it will execute immediately. It won’t wait, as the hoax message claims.

Deleting Good Morning or Good Night photos or videos will free up storage space in your phone, but it won’t prevent any malware from executing.

There is really no reason for malware to wait before it infects your devices. Waiting will only increase the risk of detection.

Whether the malware serves to take over your device, steal your information or encrypt it for ransom, it pays to do it at the first opportunity.

Now that you know the facts, please SHARE this article with your family and friends!

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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MySJ Trace : Should You Enable Or Disable?

Should you enable the new MySJ Trace feature in MySejahtera, or should you disable it?

Let’s take a look at people’s deepest fears about MySJ Trace, and find out what the facts really are!

 

MySJ Trace : Should You Enable Or Disable?

MySejahtera just introduced a new MySJ Trace feature, which uses Bluetooth technology to track your close contacts.

The proximity data it collects allows Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) to accurately determine if you are a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person.

KKM has been strongly urging people to turn it on, but many people are offering conflicting advice on whether to enable or disable it.

Let’s take at what people are saying, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Should You Enable MySJ Trace?

There are several good reasons to enable MySJ in MySejahtera :

  1. MySJ Trace allows for more accurate contact tracing. If you test positive for COVID-19, the data it collects lets KKM accurately identify your close contacts, and inform them.
  2. MySJ Trace automatically tracks your close contacts. All you have to do is turn it on, and forget about it.
  3. MySJ Trace removes the need to manually check out from locations, which was tedious and easy to forget.
  4. Those who use MySJ Trace will avoid being wrongly identified as casual or close contacts, due to the inaccuracy of using check-in and check-out times.

MySJ Trace gets more accurate and more useful, when more people use it. So KKM is strongly encouraging everyone to use it.

Plus, when enough people start using it, we will all enjoy an additional benefit :

  1. When enough people use MySJ Trace, we will no longer need to check-in at every location!

Read more : What You Need To Know About The New MySJ Trace Feature!
Read more : MySJ Trace : Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions!

 

Should You Disable MySJ Trace?

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why people are disabling MySJ Trace, and see what the facts really are!

Claim #1 : Government Uses MySJ Trace To Track Our Movements
Verdict : False

People are falsely claiming that the Malaysian government will use MySJ Trace to track our movements.

The truth is MySJ Trace does not record or collect geolocation data, so it cannot possibly track your movements.

MySJ Trace also does not transmit data, unless we consent. In fact, we are only asked to transmit MySJ Trace data if we test positive for COVID-19.

Claim #2 : MySJ Trace Not Useful Because No One Is Using It
Verdict : False

Some people are discouraging people from using MySJ Trace because “not many people are using it yet“.

Switching to MySJ Trace immediately helps you by removing the need to check-out of locations. Isn’t that useful?

For healthcare professionals who need to quickly and accurately trace close contacts of infected individuals, MySJ Trace works better when more people use it, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely useless when few people use it.

Claim #3 : Old Check-In, Check-Out System Is More Accurate
Verdict : False

Some people claim that the old method of checking in and out of locations is more accurate than MySJ Trace.

That may be true in the early days, when very few people are using it, but that is no longe true once many of your close contacts are using it.

MySJ Trace not only automatically determines who comes into close contact with you, it also logs how long they are in close contact, and their proximity (distance) to you.

The manual check-in and check-out system is unable to determine time of contact, and distance of contact; and can easily lead to false positives – people wrongly identified as casual or close contacts.

Claim #4 : MySJ Trace Uses A Lot Of Battery Life
Verdict : False

This is a real concern for many people as MySJ Trace requires Bluetooth to be turned on all the time. However, it uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology, which uses very little power.

I had earlier tested MySJ Trace on an old Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone, and did not notice any noticeable drain on its battery life.

For people who have strong concerns over this aspect, it is possible to temporarily turn off MySJ Trace while you are at home, and only turn it on when you go out.

Claim #5 : Bluetooth Increases Risk Of Hacking
Verdict : Misleading

It is possible for criminals to hack your smartphone using Bluetooth, and it is good cybersecurity practice to turn off wireless connections that you are not using.

However, it is far more difficult to hack you through your Bluetooth connection, than your Wi-Fi connection.

After all, Bluetooth only has a range of 10 metres! The hacker will have to remain in close proximity to hack you.

Claim #6 : Hackers Can Grab Our Personal Information
Verdict : False

Some people are claiming that hackers can hack into MySJ Trace and use it to trawl for personal information of people nearby.

That’s nonsense, because MySJ Trace will only record the following information :

  • Unique User ID (UUID) that is created by the MySejahtera app.
  • Operating system version (Android or iOS)
  • Time of contact
  • Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)

There is no personal information that would be useful to hackers, even if they grab these information.

The UUID, for example, is useless as an identification number without access to the KKM database of MySejahtera users and their personal information.

Claim #7 : MySJ Trace Continuously Uses Internet Data
Verdict : False

Some people are falsely claiming that MySJ Trace continuously uses Internet data, which is extremely limited for some users.

That’s not true. MySJ Trace does not require Internet connectivity, except :

  • when you first download and install MySejahtera,
  • whenever you update MySejahtera
  • when you consent to upload your MySJ Trace data to KKM

Since those are all optional, you can do it when you have access to a Wi-Fi network. You can use MySJ Trace without mobile Internet.

I hope that clarifies the reasons why you should enable or disable MySJ Trace. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask us.

Meanwhile, I hope you can share this article with your family and friends, and encourage them to turn on MySJ Trace.

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Scam Alert : TnG eWallet 5th Anniversary Survey!

Please watch out for the TnG eWallet 5th Anniversary survey scam!

Find out why it is just a SCAM, and WARN your family and friends!

 

TnG eWallet 5th Anniversary Survey Scam Alert!

People are now sharing the TnG eWallet 5th Anniversary messages on WhatsApp :

Touch n’Go eWallet 5th Anniversary!

Click to enter to participate in the survey, have a chance to win 2000 Ringgit .

 

TnG eWallet 5th Anniversary Survey : Why This Is A Scam

Unfortunately, this is yet another survey scam, like the FamilyMart 70th Anniversary scam!

For one thing – the TnG eWallet was only launched in July 2017, so it would only be celebrating its 5th anniversary in July 2022!

TnG eWallet also confirmed that this survey is a scam.

I know many of us are in dire straits during this COVID-19 pandemic, having lost jobs, income or even loved ones.

Unfortunately, scammers are counting on our desperation to prey on us, using the same survey scam they have been using for years :

Now, let me show you how to spot these scams next time!

If you spot any of these warning signs, DO NOT PROCEED and DO NOT SHARE!

Warning Sign #1 : Bad Grammar

Most of these scammers do not have a good command of the English language, so if you spot bad grammar, stay away.

This scammer even got the spelling of the brand wrong! It’s Touch ‘n Go, not Touch n’Go.

Proper contests or events sponsored by major brands like TnG eWallet will have a PR or marketing person who will vet the text before allowing it to be posted.

Warning Sign #2 : Offering You Free Money Or Gifts

Please do NOT be naive. No one is going to give you money or free gifts just to participate in a survey!

Touch ‘n Go isn’t going to give you so much FREE money, just because it’s their anniversary.

They are a corporation whose business is to make money, not a charity to give you free money.

Warning Sign #3 : Not Using The Real Domain

A genuine TNG eWallet campaign would use their real domain – www.touchngo.com.my or www.tngdigital.com.my, not di47823.shop as shown in the scam post above.

Or they would run it off the official TnG eWallet page on Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchngoewallet/.

If you see nonsensical domains like childrerdg.xyz, uglyarticle.club, ldxqw.bar, etc. that’s a sign of a SCAM!

Warning Sign #4 : Asking You To Forward The Offer

No matter how many times you “try” this scam, you will ALWAYS win the RM 2000 “prize”.

If you don’t find that odd, you should know that no brand will insist that you must share the offer with 5 groups or 20 friends on WhatsApp.

Do not click to forward their offer to your family and friends. They will not appreciate being scammed with your help!

Warning Sign #5 : Asking You To Download + Register An App

If you click through and joined the fake survey scam, you may eventually be asked to download and register for an app.

That is VERY DANGEROUS. Never agree to download and register for any unknown app from a website.

Always download your apps from an official App Store like Google Play Store (for Android smartphones) and Apple App Store (for iPhones).

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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3 Days Later… Roblox Is Finally Up + Running Again!

Three days after they fell off the face of the Earth, Roblox is finally UP and RUNNING again!

Roblox’s CEO explains what happened…

 

3 Days Later… Roblox Is Finally Up + Running Again!

Ever since Roblox went down on 29 October 2021, they have been saying that they are “making progress” and even “identified an underlying internal cause of the outage“.

But frustrated kids… and adults who are kids at heart, spent the weekend walking around like zombies because they could no longer get their fix of Arsenal or Piggy.

Just kidding! Many of them turned to Minecraft or Among Us, because who can go a weekend without games?

Anyway…. 3 days later… Roblox finally announced that they “identified root cause and solution” and “are working on getting things back online“.

And about 7 hours later, they managed to get Roblox up and running globally!

 

Roblox CEO On What Happened…

Roblox founder and CEO, David Baszucki, later shared a little on what happened and why it took them so long to get the problems fixed.

  • it was a combination of several factors
  • there was a subtle bug in their backend service communications that is triggered under heavy load
  • a core system in their infrastructure became overwhelmed
  • it was not due to external traffic or any particular experience (e.g. Chipotle promotion)
  • the failure was due to the growth in the number of servers in their datacenters

So it looks like it really did not involve whacking their servers with a crowbar, or praying to them…

The good news is – there has been NO LOSS of player’s data, and your Roblox experience should be fully back to normal!

 

3 Days Earlier… Roblox Went Down HARD

Here’s a quick round-up of what happened three days ago, for people who have no freaking idea what happened.

A couple of days ago, Chipotle announced that they would open a virtual restaurant in Roblox, which will give away free burritos, virtual costumes and exclusive items. There’s even a fun Boorito Maze to try out!

But about 30 minutes after that Chipotle event kicked off, Roblox started experiencing problems, which snowballed until their entire platform and website fell off the face of the Earth.

That was THREE DAYS AGO… and since then, all we know is that they have been working hard to figure out what went wrong, and no, it was not Chipotle’s fault.

Read more : Roblox Down More Than 2 Days, Not Because Of Chipotle!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Roblox Down More Than 2 Days, Not Because Of Chipotle!

Roblox, has been down for MORE THAN 2 days now, but apparently, it has NOTHING to do with the massive Chipotle promotion!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Roblox Down More Than 2 Days

Roblox first experienced issues at around 7 AM on 29 October 2021, which initially affected only Games and Account Information.

But that snowballed and the entire Roblox gaming platform and website went offline, forcing them to issue a terse tweet saying that they are “working hard to get things back to normal”.

Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to be making much progress because Roblox has been down for more than two days!

That’s an eternity for an online gaming platform, especially a massively-popular one for kids… on a weekend!

At about 11 PM on 30 October, the Roblox website announced that it is “currently in maintenance mode to allow for internal work to be completed“.

More than 6 hours later – Roblox remained offline, with another round of assurance that they’re working on the problem :

Did they get locked out of their servers like Facebook earlier this month? Sounds far worse, if you ask me…

Read more : Did 13 Yr Sun Jisu Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram?

 

Roblox Went Down Not Because Of Chipotle

On 26 October 2021, Chipotle announced that it would open a virtual restaurant in Roblox, offering $1 million in free burritos!

Fans would be able to visit the virtual Chipotle restaurant to score a free burrito, by dressing up in new Chipotle-inspired Halloween virtual costumes.

They would also be able to navigate the Chipotle Boorito Maze to unlock exclusive Roblox items!

Some irate players have suggested that Roblox went down because of this Chipotle promotion, a hypothesis that had some teeth because the issues started occurring about 30 minutes after Chipotle promotion kicked off!

However, Roblox later claimed that the downtime was NOT related to the Chipotle promotion :

We know that this outage was not related to any specific experiences or partnerships on the platform.

At 5 AM on 31 October, Roblox shared that they “believe” they identified the problem :

We believe we have identified an underlying internal cause of the outage. We’re in the process of performing the necessary engineering and maintenance work to get Roblox back up and running ASAP. Thanks for your patience.

Well, Chipotle’s fault or not, kids and adults who are kids at heart around the world will be eagerly waiting for Roblox to get back online again!

Until then, enjoy these funny memes and comments by Roblox fans!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Facebook, Instagram, Messenger + Workplace Down Again!

Just days after going down for SIX HOURS, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Workplace went down AGAIN!

Find out what happened!

 

Facebook, Instagram, Messenger + Workplace Down Again!

Just days after all of Facebook’s services went down for six hours, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Workplace went down AGAIN!

At around 3:22 AM on 9 October 2021, they went down again… with people reporting that they were unable to log into their accounts, or send messages.

Fortunately, this time it didn’t take down WhatsApp and it took their engineering team just under 2 hours to get those Facebook services restored.

 

Why Did Facebook, Instagram, Messenger + Workplace Go Down Again!

Again, Facebook blamed another faulty “configuration change” for this downtime, but did not announce any details on what actually happened.

But coming right after an extraordinarily long downtime just days earlier and public testimony by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, this new downtime may be shorter but is no less grievous.

It will feed growing opinion that Facebook has too much services under its control, and it’s dangerous and even folly to let a single company control so many social networks and communication services.

Regulators will no doubt be spurred by this new incident to look at breaking up Facebook.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said that the major Facebook outage highlighted the danger of relying on just a few big players, underscoring “the need for more rivals”.

Even Russia jumped into the fray, stating that Russia was right to develop its own Internet platforms and social networks.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the recent 6-hour outage of Facebook services “answers the question of whether we need our own social networks and Internet platforms“.

We will be looking forward to Facebook Engineering’s explanation of what happened, and whether it involved cutting through doors to get to their servers…

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Was Facebook Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker?

Was Facebook taken down by a 13 year-old Chinese hacker?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Facebook Was Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker!

On 4 October 2021, Facebook and ALL of its messaging and social media platforms went down for about six hours, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram!

Several websites, as well as people on Twitter and Facebook started claiming that Facebook was taken down by a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Jiso / Sun Ji Soo.

There are quite a number of these claims, so just SKIP to the next section for the facts!

International media claimed that “China” was behind the suspension of social media services in the world.

According to Reuters, a Chinese hacker named “Sun Jisu” is responsible for stopping the services of “Facebook”, “WhatsApp” and Instagram, and added that the Chinese hackers are only 13 years old.

The Chinese hacker “Sun Ji Su” has topped the famous search engines and Twitter platforms during the past minutes, after disabling WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook today 2021 in all countries of the world, amid questions among activists about the details of this information.

 

Truth : Facebook Was Not Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker!

The story of a 13 year-old Chinese hacker taking down Facebook is just fake news created by fake news / clickbait websites to go viral and get money through ads.

Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : International Media Did Not Blame China

On one blamed China for the bizarre 6-hour downtime of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

The international media referred to cybersecurity specialists who pointed at DNS failure as the most likely cause, not a state actor like China.

Clickbait / fake news websites intentionally added that false claim to “trigger” Chinese netizens and Sinophiles to share their fake news.

Read more : US Refused WHO Investigation Of Fort Detrick For COVID-19?

Fact #2 : Reuters  + NYT Did Not Report On Any Chinese Hacker

Reuters did not report that a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu was responsible for the bringing down Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Neither did the New York Times write about a 13 year old hacker attacking Facebook.

These are complete lies that are easily verified with a quick check on the Reuters and New York Times websites.

Fact #3 : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu / Sun Jiso Does Not Exist

There is no 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Ji So / Sun Ji Soo. He does NOT exist.

In addition, that is a Korean name, not Chinese – a mistake that a non-Asian person would make.

Fact #4 : That Was An Old Picture Of Wang Zhengyang

The fake news websites used a picture of Chinese hacking prodigy, Wang Zhengyang, speaking at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference.

Wang Zhengyang was 13 year-old at that time, and would be 20 years old this year – 2021. Here are two more pictures of him speaking at that event.

Wang Zhengyang at 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference

Fact #5 : Facebook Services Were Brought Down By Configuration Changes

Facebook services were not brought down by a hacker, but configuration changes their own engineering team initiated internally.

Facebook’s Vice-President of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, confirmed that “configuration changes” on their “backbone routers” caused the 6-hour long failure.

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Fact #6 : Access Problems Were Caused By Same Servers

Facebook run their internal systems through the same servers, so they became inaccessible when those servers were taken offline.

This included security systems that controlled the fob door locks, with a New York Times reporter tweeting that Facebook staff were unable to gain access to an unspecified office using their keycards.

However, many Facebook staff are working from home due to COVID-19 precautions, so this was only a big problem for engineers trying to gain access to the Facebook data centre in Santa Clara, California.

At no time was this security issue caused by a hacker. It was due to the same servers that went offline.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends!

Also, please STOP SHARING fake stories created by fake news / clickbait websites!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did 13 Yr Sun Jisu Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram?

Did the 13 year-old Chinese hacker, Sun Jisu, hack Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, causing them to fail for more than 6 hours?

Take a look at the new viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu Hacked Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram!

On 4 October 2021, Facebook and ALL of its messaging and social media platforms went down for about six hours, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram!

Some websites and people on Twitter and Facebook started claiming that the failure was due to a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Jiso / Sun Ji Soo.

There are quite a number of these claims, so just SKIP to the next section for the facts!

International media claimed that “China” was behind the suspension of social media services in the world.

According to Reuters, a Chinese hacker named “Sun Jisu” is responsible for stopping the services of “Facebook”, “WhatsApp” and Instagram, and added that the Chinese hackers are only 13 years old.

The Chinese hacker “Sun Ji Su” has topped the famous search engines and Twitter platforms during the past minutes, after disabling WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook today 2021 in all countries of the world, amid questions among activists about the details of this information.

 

Truth : Sun Jisu Doesn’t Exist, Did Not Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram!

The truth is – this is just fake news created by fake news / clickbait websites to go viral and get money through ads.

Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : International Media Did Not Blame China

No mainstream media blamed China for the bizarre 6-hour downtime of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Practically all of them referred to cybersecurity specialists who pointed at DNS failure as the most likely cause, not a state actor like China.

Clickbait / fake news websites intentionally added that false claim to “trigger” Chinese netizens and Sinophiles to share their fake news.

Read more : US Refused WHO Investigation Of Fort Detrick For COVID-19?

Fact #2 : Reuters  + NYT Did Not Report On Any Chinese Hacker

Reuters did not report that a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu was responsible for the bringing down Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Neither did the New York Times write about a 13 year old hacker attacking Facebook.

These are complete lies that are easily verified with a quick check on the Reuters and New York Times websites.

Fact #3 : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Soo Does Not Exist

There is no 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Ji So / Sun Ji Soo. He does NOT exist.

In addition, Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Soo is a Korean name, not Chinese. This is a mistake that a non-Asian person would make.

Fact #4 : That Was An Old Picture Of Wang Zhengyang

The fake news websites used a picture of Chinese hacking prodigy, Wang Zhengyang, speaking at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference.

Wang Zhengyang was 13 year-old at that time, and would be 20 years old this year – 2021. Here are two more pictures of him speaking at that event.

Wang Zhengyang at 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference

Fact #5 : Facebook Services Were Brought Down By Configuration Changes

Facebook services were not brought down by a hacker, but configuration changes their own engineering team initiated internally.

Facebook’s Vice-President of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, confirmed that “configuration changes” on their “backbone routers” caused the 6-hour long failure.

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

He also asserted that it was a faulty configuration change, and no user data was compromised.

Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Fact #6 : Access Problems Were Caused By Same Servers

Facebook run their internal systems through the same servers, so they became inaccessible when those servers were taken offline.

This included security systems that controlled the fob door locks, with a New York Times reporter tweeting that Facebook staff were unable to gain access to an unspecified office using their keycards.

However, many Facebook staff are working from home due to COVID-19 precautions, so this was only a big problem for engineers trying to gain access to the Facebook data centre in Santa Clara, California.

At no time was this security issue caused by a hacker. It was due to the same servers that went offline.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends!

Also, please STOP SHARING fake stories created by fake news / clickbait websites!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Facebook and ALL of its messaging and social media platforms went down for about six hours, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram!

Find out why they all went down at the same time, and for so long!

 

Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram + More DOWN!

The entire slew of messaging and social media platforms owned by Facebook was inaccessible for about six hours, including :

  • Facebook
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram
  • Oculus
  • Workplace

The failure also extended to Facebook authentication, which you may be using to log into third-party apps and games, with Pokemon Go and Match Master gamers have reported problems logging in.

This left Twitter as the only major social media network still up and running, which is ironic since it became the only way for Facebook to reach out to the world…

This massive outage couldn’t come at a worse time for Facebook, whose stock slumped about 5.5% after former employee and whistleblower, Frances Haugen, leaked internal documents to the Wall Street Journal.

She also accused her former firm of repeatedly and knowingly allowing the proliferation of hate speech and misinformation for profit. Really tough times for Team Zuckerberg indeed…

Even Edward Snowden chimed in, saying that the world has become a healthier place for one shining day…

 

Why Did Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. Go DOWN?

This massive, unprecedented GLOBAL outage appears to be caused by a DNS (Domain Name Server) failure.

The DNS service “translates” the plaintext link we use (www.facebook.com for example) into its actual numerical IP address (123.123.123.123 for example), allowing your app or browser to connect to the right server.

Without a working DNS service, no one is able to connect to any Facebook-owned service because the Internet no longer knows how to locate the right server.

CloudFlare senior vice-president Dane Knecht shared that the Facebook BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) routes have been “withdrawn from the Internet”, causing failure to connect through CloudFlare’s DNS service.

This was likely due to a configuration error on Facebook’s side, but coming one day after the story broke on Frances Haugen? It would be folly to rule out internal sabotage or a rush to remove some controversial features before she testified to the US Congress.

The conspiracy theory that it was a DDOS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attack by Anonymous or some vigilante group is really farfetched. It would require an incredible amount of resources and coordination to not only bring down Facebook, but all the other services as well… at the same time!

Read more : Did 13 Year Old Sun Jisu Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram?

Facebook’s Vice-President of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, later confirmed that “configuration changes” on their “backbone routers” caused the 6-hour long failure.

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

He also asserted that it was a faulty configuration change, and no user data was compromised.

Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

While he blamed “the underlying cause” for impacting their ability. to “quickly diagnose and resolve the problem”, it is notable that it took Facebook engineering teams more than 6 hours to resolve a DNS failure.

It is now believed that the changes were made to Facebook’s Border Gateway Protocol, a mechanism that exchanges routing information to help figure out the fastest route for any request.

Apparently, the changes “withdrew” Facebook services from the DNS system, making it impossible for anyone to connect to them.

Even worse, Facebook ran their own systems through the same servers, so everything from engineering tool, messaging services and even security systems that controlled the key fob locks were no longer accessible.

So their engineering team had to rush to their data centres to manually reset the servers there.

Needless to say, this will be a big wake-up call for their engineering teams, and in the words of Russell Peters – “Somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad!

It is also a big wake-up call for everyone using Facebook services. This massive outage is a reminder that we should NOT put all our eggs in one basket.

I believe it will at least temporarily spur the adoption of alternative messaging services like Telegram and Signal. Even Twitter should see a nice boost in Tweets and maybe new users.

Now, I’m not into conspiracy theories… but what are the odds of this failure happening just one day after Frances Haugen came out publicly against Facebook, and a day before she was set to testify before the US Congress?

Could these “configuration changes” be designed to remove some controversial features before Haugen’s testimony to the US Congress?

Could Facebook’s own engineering team have accidentally triggered the failure in their rush to remove those controversial features before she testified?

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Verified : KKM + MySejahtera SMS Messages Are Legit!

Are scammers sending fake SMS messages from KKM and MySejahtera to scam you out of your money?

Take a look at the viral post, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : KKM + MySejahtera SMS Messages Are Fake!

People have been sharing a screenshot of two SMS messages from KKM (Malaysia Ministry of Health) and MySejahtera, claiming that they are scam messages.

RM0 MySejahtera: You are COVID-19 positive. Kindly refresh your MySejahtera Profile and click to declare your close contact: https://bit.ly/3jNvOqL

RM0 KKM Anda adlh COVID19 positif & masih belum menjawab status kesihatan hari ini. Segera lengkapkan H.A.T. di MySejahtera. Rujuk https://bit.ly/2VMaWrC

This is a scam. If receive don’t click. Please inform all ur family members and friends ….NETIZEN WATCHDOG

Many also include a link to the Kuan Evening Edition video to prove that these messages are indeed fake messages used by scammers in “phishing attacks”.

 

Truth : KKM + MySejahtera SMS Messages Are Legit!

The SMS messages in the screenshot are legit, and came from KKM and MySejahtera.

The truth is that viral message is FAKE NEWS, and here are the facts…

Fact #1 : The MySejahtera SMS Message Is Legitimate

The MySejahtera SMS message in English is legitimate. It warns you that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

You are therefore required to declare your close contacts in the MySejahtera app or website.

The link – https://bit.ly/3jNvOqL – leads to the Close Contact reporting page in the MySejahtera website (https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/help/closecontact/).

Fact #2 : The KKM Telephone Number Is Genuine

On 24 September 2021, KKM confirmed that the 03-2703-3000 telephone number is genuine.

The Malaysia Ministry of Health uses that telephone number to call those identified as COVID-19 positive to fill up their Home Assessment Tool (HAT) in the MySejahtera app.

Fact #3 : The KKM SMS Message Is Legitimate

The KKM SMS message in Bahasa Malaysia is also legitimate.

It is a reminder that you did not fill in your Home Assessment Tool (HAT) in the MySejahtera app today.

Those who are under home quarantine must complete that home assessment test every day.

The Ministry of Health may issue a compound if you fail to perform the home assessment test, as required.

The link in the SMS – https://bit.ly/2VMaWrC – actually leads to a PDF infographic on the Home Assessment Tool (HAT) – https://www.infosihat.gov.my/images/media_sihat/poster/pdf/DiManakahHAT.pdf

The infographic explains who needs to perform self-monitoring using the HAT feature, and how to do it in the MySejahtera app.

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE this fact check, so your family and friends won’t be fooled by the fake news!

It is critical that everyone understands that these alerts are genuine, and take them seriously!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Here’s How Antivaxxers Create Fake News Using VAERS!

VAERS, like the British Yellow Card system, has long been used by antivaxxers to create fake news about vaccines.

Find out why VAERS is so important to doctors, and yet so easily abused by antivaxxers!

 

VAERS : What Is It?

VAERS is an acronym for the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System used by the US government.

Like the British Yellow Card system, it is a passive reporting system that relies on individuals to submit reports of their adverse reactions to vaccines.

This open design used by both VAERS and Yellow Card lets scientists catch very rare adverse effects that even large trials may not catch.

For example, anaphylactic reactions to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are so rare, they didn’t show up in their large Phase 3 trials at all. They were only identified through VAERS after mass vaccinations started.

 

Here’s How Antivaxxers Create Fake News Using VAERS!

Both the American VAERS and the British Yellow Card system suffer from the same problem – their open catch-all design lets ANYONE file a report.

Not just parents and patients, but also any Tom, Dick or Harry with nothing better to do. And you don’t even have to ever been to the United States to file a report!

This allows antivaxxers to abuse both the VAERS and Yellow Card systems to create fake news about vaccines.

Back in 2004, James Laidler famously filed an adverse reaction report into VAERS, claiming that his annual influenza vaccine turned him into the Incredible Hulk!

Incredibly, the CDC had to ask for his permission to remove the fake report. Otherwise, it would remain in the database forever!

More recently, anti-vaccination websites are using VAERS and Yellow Card reports to fabricate fake news that vaccines are killing people.

The CDC is well-aware of this problem, which is why they explicitly pointed out to everyone that :

  • Reports may include incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental and unverified information.
  • The number of reports alone cannot be interpreted or used to reach conclusions about the existence, severity, frequency, or rates of problems associated with vaccines.

So the next time you read an article claiming that VAERS or the Yellow Card system are reporting injuries and deaths from this or that vaccine, take them with a BIG, BIG PINCH of salt. None of those reports are verified.

 

VAERS : Anyone Can File A Fake Report!

To demonstrate this point, here is a FAKE report I attempted to file into VAERS, with the following information :

First Name : Donkey
Last Name : Kong
Street Address : Rolling Barrel Avenue
City : Jungle
County : Donkey
Date Of Birth : 1 January 1908
Age : 113 Years Old
Race : 1% white, 2% black, 3% Asian, 4% Latin, 90% alien

Date of Vaccination : 31 May 2021, 1:00 AM
Date of Adverse Event : 31 May 2021, 1:01 AM
Facility / Clinic Name : Jungle Clinic
Facility / Clinic Address : Jungle Clearing, Jungle

Vaccine : COVID19 (Pfizer-BioNTech)
Lot Number : 1110654
Dose Number : 6 (it actually only has 2 doses)

Description of Adverse Event(s)

I asked to be jabbed in my left arm, the doctor insisted right arm is better because right is right, no?

After the jab, I went back and on the way back, two young punks pulled up in their fancy Mercedes at the traffic light.

I challenged them to a race in my Mustang, and midway, they clipped me and sent me flying through the walls of the Grand National Bank.

As a result, I suffered two broken legs and my right arm was ripped off.

I’m absolutely confident that my driving skills were impaired by the vaccine, and it also made my right arm easy to tear off.

Medical tests and lab results

The doctors at AdventHealth Orlando have all my medical reports and my right arm.

Days hospitalised : 300
Life threatening illness : Yes
Disability or permanent damage : Yes
Congenital anomaly or birth defect : Yes

Other Vaccine : Bullshit Vaccine
Manufacturer : Google
Adverse Event From That Vaccine : My penis fell off after getting the MMR vaccine

I did not hit Submit though, because I did not want to add another fake adverse event to the holster of anti-vaccination advocates.

But take a look at the screenshots, and see just how easy it is for anyone to make a fake VAERS report. There is no need to verify any personal details, and you can do this from anywhere in the world!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Should We Blame Joe Biden For Fall Of Vietnam Too?

Should we blame Joe Biden for the fall of Vietnam in 1975, as well as the disastrous Afghanistan evacuation?

Find out what’s the new viral claim, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : President Ford Blamed Joe Biden For Vietnam Disaster

Ever since the American evacuation of Afghanistan turned into the complete and utter collapse of the Afghan government, people have been claiming that it is a repeat of Vietnam.

I had earlier fact checked the viral claim that then Senator Joe Biden unilaterally blocked President Ford’s Vietnam evacuation.

On the same day, Jeffrey Lord of The America Spectator wrote a piece claiming that President Gerald Ford blamed Senator Joe Biden for the collapse of the South Vietnamese government in 1975.

It’s pretty long, so just skip to the next section for the FACTS…

Somewhere the late President Gerald Ford is shaking his head.

It was Gerald Ford, famously President Richard Nixon’s number two, who took over the presidency when Watergate forced Nixon’s resignation. Which in turn put Ford in charge of winding down the Vietnam War, building on a negotiated settlement that Nixon and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger had reached with the North Vietnamese. The Paris Peace accords were signed in January of 1973, ending all U.S. combat activities.

But eventually, with U.S. combat troops departed, the war resumed. And Democrats were determined to shoot down all funding for the South Vietnamese — period.

In a highly unusual move, the Democrats who ran the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanded a meeting with Ford at the White House. The last time a president had a formal meeting with the Committee was in 1919, a full 56 years earlier, when President Woodrow Wilson met with the Committee to push his post-World War One League of Nations proposal.

The April, 1975 meeting with Ford and the Committee was, Ford writes in his memoirs A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford, “extremely tense.” Ford quite specifically mentions the presence of the freshman Senator from Delaware — Joe Biden. The discussion became focused on getting out not only the remaining Americans in the country, but the Vietnamese who had been such loyal help to the Americans. Joe Biden would have none of the latter.

“I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out,” Ford writes of Biden’s words. But “I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”

 

Truth : Joe Biden Cannot Be Blamed For Fall Of Vietnam

With the Afghanistan evacuation crisis still unfolding, it may seem odd to suddenly blame President Joe Biden for the fall of Vietnam. After all, that happened 46 years ago!

The truth is – Joe Biden is not to blame for the fall of the South Vietnamese government in 1975, leading to the infamous helicopter evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon.

The fake story is being promoted to convey the narrative that the fall of the Afghan government is also Joe Biden’s fault. He did it back in 1975, and he just did it again in 2021.

That is demonstrably FALSE, and these fake news creators know it. However, they are counting on you to simply accept their word, and not to verify the facts yourself.

Here is a quick summary of the facts :

  • South Vietnam would have fallen anyway, even if  the US Congress gave President Ford the $722 million he asked for, to continue the war.
  • The entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee met with President Gerald Ford, not only the Democrats.
  • Joe Biden was against spending additional money on military assistance and the continued use of US troops.
  • Joe Biden was a first-term Senator at that time, and only one of 16 Senators to vote against the funding request.
  • The US Senate nevertheless approved the funding, but it was rejected by the House of Representatives.
  • The deal to withdraw US and allied troops from Afghanistan was negotiated and approved by the Trump Administration in February 2020.
  • The US-Taliban Agreement originally required all US and allied forces to depart Afghanistan by May 2021.
  • President Biden agreed to follow through with the US-Taliban Agreement with a delayed withdrawal date of 31 August 2021.

For those who want the nitty, gritty details, here are the details behind those facts…

Fact #1 : South Vietnam Would Have Fallen Anyway

When President Gerald Ford asked the US Congress for $722 million to continue the Vietnam war, North Vietnamese forces had already reached Xuân Lộc, the last line of defence before Saigon.

Xuân Lộc would fall on 20 April, allowing Saigon to be encircled by 27 April. The city fell and the South Vietnamese government capitulated on 30 April 1975.

In hindsight, it is obvious that the South Vietnamese government would have fallen, even if the US Congress gave President Ford the $722 million he asked for…

Fact #2 : President Ford Met With Entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee

The entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanded a face-to-face discussion with President Ford, which took place on 14 April 1975.

It wasn’t just Democrat senators who asked for the meeting, it was also Republican senators.

You can read the entire transcript of that meeting here.

Fact #3 : Joe Biden Was Against Military Aid + Use Of US Troops

The American Spectator intentionally quoted a small section of what then Senator Biden said during the meeting with President Ford, to convey the perception that he did not want to help evacuate the Vietnamese.

The truth was he was against funding additional military aid to the falling South Vietnamese government, and the continued use of US troops.

Here was what Senator Joe Biden said at the meeting, in its entirety :

What concerns us is that a week ago Habib told us we would be formulating a plan. A week has gone by and nothing has happened. We should focus on getting them out. Getting the Vietnamese out and military aid for the GVN are totally different.

I feel put upon in being presented an all or nothing number. I don’t want to have to vote to buy it all or not at all. I am not sure I can vote for an amount to put American troops in for one to six months to get the Vietnamese out. I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out. I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.

I don’t want to commit myself to any precise number. How much money depends on how many we try to get out.

Fact #4 : Joe Biden Was One of 16 Senators To Vote Against Additional Funding

Senator Joe Biden ultimately voted against the Vietnam Contingency Act (S. 1484) when it was proposed in the US Senate, because he disagreed with two terms in the bill :

  • military assistance to Vietnam
  • authorisation to use American troops (if necessary) to protect the evacuation of South Vietnamese citizens.

Specifically, he was against the Ford Administration tying military assistance to Vietnam and the continued use of US troops, with the evacuation of American and Vietnamese civilians.

He was worried that $100 million of contingency funds in this bill would be used to provide military aid, instead of helping to evacuate the refugees.

Fact #5 : US House of Representatives Rejected Funding Request

Senator Joe Biden’s Nay vote was pointless – the US Senate approved the funding request with a 75-17 vote on 24 April 1975.

However, it was rejected by the House of Representatives in a vote of 162 to 246 on 1 May 1975.

Not that it mattered – Saigon and the South Vietnamese government had already fallen by then – on 30 April 1975.

No matter how you slice and dice it, Senator Joe Biden’s vote and comments during his meeting with President Ford had no material effect on the Vietnam War, or its disastrous conclusion.

Fact #5 : US-Taliban Agreement Was Negotiated + Approved By Trump Administration

The US-Taliban Agreement was negotiated and approved by the Trump Administration, and signed on 29 February 2020 in Doha, Qatar.

At that time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted that the Trump Administration was “seizing the best opportunity for peace in a generation.

The US-Taliban Agreement had two “interconnected guarantees” :

  • the withdrawal of all US and international forces by May 2021, and
  • unspecified Taliban action to prevent other groups (including Al Qaeda) from using Afghan soil to threaten the United States and its allies.

Fact #6 : President Biden Opted To Go Ahead With The US-Taliban Agreement

President Joe Biden had the option of renegotiating the US-Taliban Agreement, but that would have meant sending in more US troops to gain additional negotiating leverage over the Taliban.

That would have risked attacks on US and allied troops during the coming spring fighting season, and more casualties amongst both the military and civilians.

“The choice I had to make, as your president, was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season,” Biden said.

He ultimately decided to go ahead with the withdrawal, with a delayed deadline of 31 August 2021.

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE THIS OUT so other people won’t get fooled by the fake viral claim!

Recommended : Did Joe Biden Block President Ford’s Vietnam Evacuation?

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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