Activist Post: How the FBI Is Identifying, Tracking and Rounding Up Dissidents

From Constitutional lawyer John Whitehead come the article at Activist Post titled Digital Trails: How the FBI Is Identifying, Tracking and Rounding Up Dissidents

“Americans deserve the freedom to choose a life without surveillance and the government regulation that would make that possible. While we continue to believe the sentiment, we fear it may soon be obsolete or irrelevant. We deserve that freedom, but the window to achieve it narrows a little more each day. If we don’t act now, with great urgency, it may very well close for good.”—Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson, New York Times

Databit by databit, we are building our own electronic concentration camps.

With every new smart piece of smart technology we acquire, every new app we download, every new photo or post we share online, we are making it that much easier for the government and its corporate partners to identify, track and eventually round us up.

Saint or sinner, it doesn’t matter because we’re all being swept up into a massive digital data dragnet that does not distinguish between those who are innocent of wrongdoing, suspects, or criminals.

This is what it means to live in a suspect society.

The government’s efforts to round up those who took part in the Capitol riots shows exactly how vulnerable we all are to the menace of a surveillance state that aspires to a God-like awareness of our lives.

Relying on selfies, social media posts, location data, geotagged photos, facial recognition, surveillance cameras and crowdsourcing, government agents are compiling a massive data trove on anyone and everyone who may have been anywhere in the vicinity of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The amount of digital information is staggering: 15,000 hours of surveillance and body-worn camera footage; 1,600 electronic devices; 270,000 digital media tips; at least 140,000 photos and videos; and about 100,000 location pings for thousands of smartphones.

And that’s just what we know.

More than 300 individuals from 40 states have already been charged and another 280 arrested in connection with the events of January 6. As many as 500 others are still being hunted by government agents.

Also included in this data roundup are individuals who may have had nothing to do with the riots but whose cell phone location data identified them as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Forget about being innocent until proven guilty.

In a suspect society such as ours, the burden of proof has been flipped: now, you start off guilty and have to prove your innocence.

For instance, you didn’t even have to be involved in the Capitol riots to qualify for a visit from the FBI: investigators have reportedly been tracking—and questioning—anyone whose cell phones connected to WiFi or pinged cell phone towers near the Capitol. One man, who had gone out for a walk with his daughters only to end up stranded near the Capitol crowds, actually had FBI agents show up at his door days later. Using Google Maps, agents were able to pinpoint exactly where they were standing and for how long.

All of the many creepy, calculating, invasive investigative and surveillance tools the government has acquired over the years are on full display right now in the FBI’s ongoing efforts to bring the rioters to “justice.”

FBI agents are matching photos with drivers’ license pictures; tracking movements by way of license plate toll readers; and zooming in on physical identifying marks such as moles, scars and tattoos, as well as brands, logos and symbols on clothing and backpacks. They’re poring over hours of security and body camera footage; scouring social media posts; triangulating data from cellphone towers and WiFi signals; layering facial recognition software on top of that; and then cross-referencing footage with public social media posts.

It’s not just the FBI on the hunt, however.

They’ve enlisted the help of volunteer posses of private citizens, such as Deep State Dogs, to collaborate on the grunt work. As Dinah Voyles Pulver reports, once Deep State Dogs locates a person and confirms their identity, they put a package together with the person’s name, address, phone number and several images and send it to the FBI.

According to USA Today, the FBI is relying on the American public and volunteer cybersleuths to help bolster its cases.

This takes See Something, Say Something snitching programs to a whole new level.

The lesson to be learned: Big Brother, Big Sister and all of their friends are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

Simply liking or sharing this article on Facebook, retweeting it on Twitter, or merely reading it or any other articles related to government wrongdoing, surveillance, police misconduct or civil liberties might be enough to get you categorized as a particular kind of person with particular kinds of interests that reflect a particular kind of mindset that might just lead you to engage in a particular kinds of activities and, therefore, puts you in the crosshairs of a government investigation as a potential troublemaker a.k.a. domestic extremist.

Chances are, as the Washington Post reports, you have already been assigned a color-coded threat score—green, yellow or red—so police are forewarned about your potential inclination to be a troublemaker depending on whether you’ve had a career in the military, posted a comment perceived as threatening on Facebook, suffer from a particular medical condition, or know someone who knows someone who might have committed a crime.

In other words, you might already be flagged as potentially anti-government in a government database somewhere—Main Core, for example—that identifies and tracks individuals who aren’t inclined to march in lockstep to the police state’s dictates.

The government has the know-how.

It took days, if not hours or minutes, for the FBI to begin the process of identifying, tracking and rounding up those suspected of being part of the Capitol riots.

Imagine how quickly government agents could target and round up any segment of society they wanted to based on the digital trails and digital footprints we leave behind.

Of course, the government has been hard at work for years acquiring these totalitarian powers.

Long before the January 6 riots, the FBI was busily amassing the surveillance tools necessary to monitor social media posts, track and identify individuals using cell phone signals and facial recognition technology, and round up “suspects” who may be of interest to the government for one reason or another.

As The Intercept reported, the FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies have increasingly invested in corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to identify potential extremists and predict who might engage in future acts of anti-government behavior.

All it needs is the data, which more than 90% of young adults and 65% of American adults are happy to provide.

When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

As for the Fourth Amendment and its prohibitions on warrantless searches and invasions of privacy without probable cause, those safeguards have been rendered all but useless by legislative end-runs, judicial justifications, and corporate collusions.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears. A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, social media posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

For example, police have been using Stingray devices mounted on their cruisers to intercept cell phone calls and text messages without court-issued search warrants. Doppler radar devices, which can detect human breathing and movement within a home, are already being employed by the police to deliver arrest warrants.

License plate readers, yet another law enforcement spying device made possible through funding by the Department of Homeland Security, can record up to 1800 license plates per minute. Moreover, these surveillance cameras can also photograph those inside a moving car. Reports indicate that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been using the cameras in conjunction with facial recognition software to build a “vehicle surveillance database” of the nation’s cars, drivers and passengers.

Sidewalk and “public space” cameras, sold to gullible communities as a sure-fire means of fighting crime, is yet another DHS program that is blanketing small and large towns alike with government-funded and monitored surveillance cameras. It’s all part of a public-private partnership that gives government officials access to all manner of surveillance cameras, on sidewalks, on buildings, on buses, even those installed on private property.

Couple these surveillance cameras with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology and you have the makings of “pre-crime” cameras, which scan your mannerisms, compare you to pre-set parameters for “normal” behavior, and alert the police if you trigger any computerized alarms as being “suspicious.”

State and federal law enforcement agencies are pushing to expand their biometric and DNA databases by requiring that anyone accused of a misdemeanor have their DNA collected and catalogued. However, technology is already available that allows the government to collect biometrics such as fingerprints from a distance, without a person’s cooperation or knowledge. One system can actually scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away.

Developers are hard at work on a radar gun that can actually show if you or someone in your car is texting. Another technology being developed, dubbed a “textalyzer” device, would allow police to determine whether someone was driving while distracted. Refusing to submit one’s phone to testing could result in a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

It’s a sure bet that anything the government welcomes (and funds) too enthusiastically is bound to be a Trojan horse full of nasty, invasive surprises.

Case in point: police body cameras. Hailed as the easy fix solution to police abuses, these body cameras—made possible by funding from the Department of Justice—turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras. Of course, if you try to request access to that footage, you’ll find yourself being led a merry and costly chase through miles of red tape, bureaucratic footmen and unhelpful courts.

The “internet of things” refers to the growing number of “smart” appliances and electronic devices now connected to the internet and capable of interacting with each other and being controlled remotely. These range from thermostats and coffee makers to cars and TVs. Of course, there’s a price to pay for such easy control and access. That price amounts to relinquishing ultimate control of and access to your home to the government and its corporate partners. For example, while Samsung’s Smart TVs are capable of “listening” to what you say, thereby allowing users to control the TV using voice commands, it also records everything you say and relays it to a third party, e.g., the government.

Then again, the government doesn’t really need to spy on you using your smart TV when the FBI can remotely activate the microphone on your cellphone and record your conversations. The FBI can also do the same thing to laptop computers without the owner knowing any better.

Drones, which are taking to the skies en masse, are the converging point for all of the weapons and technology already available to law enforcement agencies. In fact, drones can listen in on your phone calls, see through the walls of your home, scan your biometrics, photograph you and track your movements, and even corral you with sophisticated weaponry.

All of these technologies add up to a society in which there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence, especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home.

These digital trails are everywhere.

As investigative journalists Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson explain, “This data—collected by smartphone apps and then fed into a dizzyingly complex digital advertising ecosystem … provided an intimate record of people whether they were visiting drug treatment centers, strip clubs, casinos, abortion clinics or places of worship.

In such a surveillance ecosystem, we’re all suspects and databits to be tracked, catalogued and targeted.

As Warzel and Thompson warn:

“To think that the information will be used against individuals only if they’ve broken the law is naïve; such data is collected and remains vulnerable to use and abuse whether people gather in support of an insurrection or they justly protest police violence… This collection will only grow more sophisticated… It gets easier by the day… it does not discriminate. It harvests from the phones of MAGA rioters, police officers, lawmakers and passers-by. There is no evidence, from the past or current day, that the power this data collection offers will be used only to good ends. There is no evidence that if we allow it to continue to happen, the country will be safer or fairer.”

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state: the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one.

There is no gray area any longer.

Forward Observer: Why the Battlefield Is Everywhere

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer talks about China and cyber warfare in Why the Battlefield Is Everywhere.

Good morning. It’s Sam Culper with this week’s Forward Observer Dispatch.

Last week, I wrote about the reasons why conflict is virtually certain to escalate with China, leading to either a shooting war or a financial, monetary, and cyber conflict, which could lead to a shooting war. The history lesson is that monetary wars lead to military wars.

Either way, this is going to be a messy 10-20 years.

I’m picking my way through another chapter of Unrestricted Warfare, the 1999 essay/manual written by two People’s Liberation Army officers.

I want to share a key takeaway from the chapter:

The authors discuss how technology is changing the nature of warfare, from a “line” to an “area” and eventually to the entire world. Here’s the money quote:

“Just think, if it’s even possible to start a war in a computer room or a stock exchange that will send an enemy country to its doom, then is there [a] non-battlespace anywhere?”

“Where is the battlefield?” the authors ask. “The answer would be: Everywhere.”

The authors go on to write that, in light of this, the future protagonist of war is not the professional soldier, but the hacker.

This is exactly the kind of mindset and activity we’re seeing today, re: Chinese hacking campaigns.

At some point in the next four years, perhaps coinciding with the 2024 election, the U.S. could be forced to decide and act on going to war with China over Taiwan. I’m not advocating for or against it, but simply pointing out that a decision will be made.

This is one reason why Trump tried to pull U.S. Forces from the ends of the Earth.

Chinese military leaders privately say they’re within two years of being able to invade Taiwan.

The commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is requesting missiles be deployed to Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines to counteract what he describes as a shifting balance of military power that has become “more unfavorable” for the United States.

I want to encourage you, if haven’t already, to consider how prepared you are for systems disruption. If we go to war with China, we’re going to feel the effects here at home: disruptions to power, internet, communications, transportation, the stock market and financial services, etc.

According to Unrestricted Warfare, the key to beating the United States is to make them prioritize self-preservation ahead of geopolitical goals. Prepare accordingly.

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper

See also, Yahoo!’s ‘We’re going to lose fast’: U.S. Air Force held a war game that started with a Chinese biological attack

Financial Times Admiral warns US military losing its edge in Indo-Pacific

The Trumpet: The Republic Has Been Hacked

In The Republic Has Been Hacked, The Trumpet argues the dangers of electronic voting. It should be noted that security concerns related to electronic voting did not just appear with the 2020 Presidential election. Those concerns have been voiced by information technology professionals since the idea of electronic voting was first introduced, and their clamor rose when the Diebold machines first started making an appearance and were shown to be vulnerable almost immediately. See for example, CNN’s 2012 article How Secure Is Your Electronic Vote? or Security Week’s 2011 article Man-in-the-Middle Attacks on Voting Machines: Vote Early, Often, and Why Not Vote Remotely? or the New York Time’s 2006 article New Fears of Security Risks in Electronic Voting Systems to name only a few. Numbers computer/software experts gave advice on ways that the industry could increase security, while at the same time providing accountability, anonymity of voter preferences and actual vote, and still provide the ability for the voter to check later that the correct vote was recorded, but the electronic voting industry has thus far failed to heed these concerns.

Almost 245 years ago, America’s founders penned a document proclaiming, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” To secure the God-given rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, our founders devised a system of government where the people elect both senators and congressmen to make laws for the good of the country—and a president to make sure those laws are faithfully executed.

Generations of Americans have fought and died for the freedom of self-government. We have these heroes to thank for the hundreds of free and fair elections held throughout our history. This makes it all the more concerning that our election systems are currently under threat.

Ever since corrupt officials in Broward County, Florida, attempted to steal the 2000 U.S. presidential election, America has been moving away from paper ballots and toward electronic voting machines. This move was supposed to make our elections faster, more accurate and more impartial. In reality, it has removed transparency from our elections and replaced it with trust in scandal-plagued voting technology companies owned by shadowy private equity firms.

Hacking Democracy

Dominion Voting Systems is a technology company that provided equipment to 28 states during the 2020 United States presidential election. This company is now suing key figures who supported President Donald Trump for defamation and $3.9 billion. On January 8, Dominion filed a lawsuit in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., accusing attorney Sidney Powell of “falsely claim[ing] that Dominion had rigged the election.” It seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages from Powell.

Within three weeks of this lawsuit, Dominion filed another defamation suit accusing Rudy Giuliani of spreading a “big lie” that “went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election.” It also seeks $1.3 billion in punitive damages from Giuliani.

And on February 22, Dominion sued Mike Lindell, chief executive of MyPillow Inc., for more than $1.3 billion in damages. As with the previous two lawsuits, Dominion claims that Lindell falsely accused their voting machines of stealing the election from Donald Trump. The 115-page complaint cites a number of different statements made by Lindell, including social-media posts, media appearances, and a two-hour film claiming to prove widespread election fraud. This documentary, titled Absolute Proof, claims a Chinese cyberattack played a key role in stealing the 2020 election.

Winning all three lawsuits would get Dominion a sum 39 times its annual revenue!

President Trump is no longer in the White House, the radical leftists’ presidential coup d’état is a fait accompli, and Dominion is emboldened to characterize these claims as a giant $3.9 billion lie. Yet neither Powell nor Giuliani nor Lindell seem deterred. So why are they so confident?

Giuliani said, “Dominion’s defamation lawsuit for $1.3 billion will allow me to investigate their history, finances and practices fully and completely. The amount being asked for is, quite obviously, intended to frighten people of faint heart. It is another act of intimidation by the hate-filled left wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously. As such, we will investigate a countersuit against them for violating these constitutional rights.” Lindell told the Associated Press that he welcomed the lawsuit and was confident the discovery process would prove him right: “You bring it on, Dominion, because I want everybody to see.”

The irony of Dominion’s lawsuits is that they could give Donald Trump’s team an opportunity they have been denied: the chance to prove, in court, a conspiracy to steal America’s presidency.

Cyber Targets

The former director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs, has assured the American people that the 2020 presidential elections were “the most secure in American history.” Yet there is no way for his statement to be true. Electronic voting machines produced by companies like Dominion Voting Systems have made elections easier to rig than ever before.

For most of American history, votes were counted by hand or with a mechanical adding machine. That made America’s elections hard to rig. Any attempt to steal an election necessarily had to involve collaboration between hundreds of operatives spread throughout voting precincts across the nation. Only in instances where the election was virtually a tie (like in the 2000 U.S. presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore) could stolen or disputed votes in a small number of counties make a difference.

But now, more than 90 percent of voters use machines manufactured by only three companies: Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic. That means malfunctioning—or malicious—hardware or software in the machines these companies produce could dramatically change the results of an election—and it would only take a small number of people to pull off such a heist.

In December 2019, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Mark Pocan wrote to Staple Street Capital Group llc regarding Dominion Voting Systems. Their open letter stated:

We are particularly concerned that secretive and “trouble-plagued companies,” owned by private equity firms and responsible for manufacturing and maintaining voting machines and other election administration equipment, “have long skimped on security in favor of convenience,” leaving voting systems across the country “prone to security problems.” … Election security experts have noted for years that our nation’s election systems and infrastructure are under serious threat. … Moreover, even when state and local officials work on replacing antiquated machines, many continue to “run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.”

Dominion and other companies have responded to allegations that their machines could be remotely hacked by insisting that none of their devices are connected to the Internet during voting. But a senior technical adviser at the election security advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition told nbc News on January 10 that he had already found over 35 voting systems that were online during the 2020 presidential election. And Finnish data-security expert Harri Hursti is warning that many voting machines have modems or other forms of network connectivity that transmit data that a talented and determined hacker could intercept. And this doesn’t include the fact that putting the machines online after voting has ended still exposes the counting process to hacking.

Hursti was featured in Hacking Democracy, a 2006 Emmy-nominated documentary where he exposes previously unknown backdoors in the software of voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems. After this documentary was released, Diebold changed its name to Premier Election Solutions. Then, in 2009, Election Systems and Software purchased Premier and sold its primary assets to Dominion.

A spokesman for Dominion told the Wall Street Journal that the weaknesses Hursti uncovered were fixed in 2012. But Hursti says he tested the updated software and found it too was vulnerable. In the 2020 hbo documentary Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, Hursti demonstrated in a mock election that by modifying a few lines of code on a Dominion machine’s removable memory card, he could alter the results. So the question is not: Could Dominion machines be used to rig the election? The question is: Were Dominion machines used to rig the election?

Statistical Anomalies

The Data Integrity Group is a group of scientists, engineers and machine-learning specialists who are checking whether votes were stolen digitally during the 2020 presidential election. On Dec. 30, 2020, group member Lynda McLaughlin, along with data scientists Justin Mealey and Dave Lobue, testified before the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Elections that at least 30,593 votes were digitally removed from one candidate, and another 12,173 votes were digitally switched from one candidate to the other. The candidate who benefited from this fraud? Joe Biden. Based on information published on the Dominion Voting Systems website, the voting machines Georgia uses are manufactured by Dominion.

“[W]e actually have fraud that we can prove in this election,” said Mealey, a former programmer for the National Counterterrorism Center. “There was fraud in Georgia’s election; we can prove it with data. The voting will of the people of Georgia is not reflected in what was certified by the secretary of state.”

Since Biden won Georgia by only 11,779 votes according to the official count, just the 12,173 switch votes that the Data Integrity Group is talking about would have been enough to steal the state.

The story was the same in Pennsylvania. An analysis by the Data Integrity Group obtained by the Epoch Times found that 432,116 votes were digitally removed from President Trump’s total in Pennsylvania. In the official count, Biden won Pennsylvania by 81,660 votes. In reality, Biden lost by hundreds of thousands.

Dr. Peter Navarro, an economist who served as President Trump’s director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, has chronicled 136,155 voting machine irregularities in Georgia, 195,755 machine irregularities in Michigan, and 143,379 machine irregularities in Pennsylvania. He does not specify whether these irregularities favored Donald Trump or Joe Biden, but in the third volume of his study, Dr. Navarro highlights that the “margin of error” in these states is much higher than Biden’s margin of victory.

It’s a fact: It is possible that Dominion machines were used to steal the election from President Trump!

Last Chance

As Harri Hursti pointed out in Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections, hacking voting machines is cyberwarfare against America that foreign nation-states or lone wolf actors could carry out. Some security analysts, such as former National Security Agency analyst Kirk Wiebe, are even warning that operatives within the U.S. government could have hacked the election to force President Trump from office.

The idea that agents of the U.S. government would hack their own country’s elections sounds shocking, yet a sobering Bible prophecy reveals that this level of corruption will exist in the end time. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isaiah 1:4-6).

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in his book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet, these verses mean that America’s power structures are terminally ill from top to bottom. The government agents are sick; the legislators are sick; the judges are sick; the financiers are sick; the inventors are sick; even the executives counting our votes are sick. This is why a clique of shadowy technology executives is picking our leaders. The sins of the people have allowed sickness and corruption to fill our government until there is no soundness left in it.

Yet another prophecy on Amos 7 reveals that God will pass by end-time Israel (which consists of the United States and Britain primarily) one last time so that people have a chance to repent of the spiritual sickness that has led to so much corruption in government. “And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more: And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword” (Amos 7:8-9).

In his article “Why I Believe Donald Trump Is Still Coming Back,” Mr. Flurry explained that President Trump is an end-time type of King Jeroboam ii, which means God is going to pass by America one last time. God will temporarily spare America from punishment, saving it by the hand of Donald Trump (2 Kings 14:26-27).

President Trump is going to regain power in America, possibly by exposing massive election fraud. “God is invested in this,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “I still believe He is about to do some massive exposing of how the election was stolen and other crimes the radical left is committing.” The legal battles on the horizon between Dominion and President Trump’s legal team may be the way much of this corruption is exposed!

American Partisan: Signal App Compromised? Not So Fast…

NC Scout at American Partisan talks about the supposed compromise of the secure messaging app Signal in Signal App Compromised? Not So Fast… Remember that encryption works, and because encryption works the people who want your data will do anything they can to convince you to just not take the effort to use it.

Much has been written about the supposed compromise of Signal as a so-called ‘secure messaging app’, with some sources being a bit better than others on the matter. I’ve had a ton of questions about it over the past couple of days, and almost all of it doesn’t revolve around the issues with an app itself, but rather, the tradecraft errors behind using it.

First things first, almost everyone I come into contact with in the Liberty community, absent those with serious .mil backgrounds requiring at least a primer in tradecraft, have no idea what they’re actually doing. That statement is not meant to deride, far from it; its simply the truth. When it comes to communications, most are looking for a replacement: a methadone for a heroin addiction, if you will- to their incessant need for a phone. This is especially true when it comes to the instant gratification of messaging. I’m reminded of Russell Crowe’s line from a movie long since memory-holed, Body of Lies, saying “we just need al Saleem on the phone. Langley’ll do the rest.”

And they did.

Signal, as a software, does what it claims to do. On top of that, the source code for the app is open source and subject to anyone’s audit or modifications, should your skillset include the expertise in that area. And should you have that level of ability, you can even modify it to suit your needs running a code off the beaten path while still utilizing Signal’s network. It is end-to-end encrypted, after all. And what exactly does that mean? It means that the administrators can see that someone is accessing the network, but not what is being passed along it, much the same way that TOR actually works. Even with audio calls, the system does what it claims to do.

So let’s discuss the actual vulnerability in question.

According to documents filed by the Department of Justice and first obtained by Forbes, Signal’s encrypted messages can be intercepted from iPhone devices when those Apple devices are in a mode called  “partial AFU,” which means “after first unlock.”

When phones are in partial AFU mode, Signal messages can be seized by federal authorities and other potentially hostile interests. GrayKey and Cellebrite are the tools typically used by the FBI to gain this sensitive information, an expert has explained.

It uses some very advanced approach using hardware vulnerabilities,” said Vladimir Katalov, who founded the Russian forensics company ElcomSoft, believing that GrayKey was used by federal authorities to crack Signal.

So its not the app after all, but rather the hardware’s setting. A vulnerability which, since its a hardware exploit, likely applies to every messaging app. So tradecraft, or the lack thereof, is the heart. As per the usual. And the hardware in question is the hipster device of choice, an Apple iPhone. Shocker. But I thought Apple prided itself on user security?

Maybe at one point. But clearly no longer. Must be all that CCP money. And the real kick in the groin is that (shocker, again!) the FBI (or any other domestic security agency) can get into your phone without your handy little thumbprint. And just because they didn’t mention Android, don’t think its not every bit as vulnerable. It is.

So let’s talk about how to mitigate it.

First, understand the levels of data collected from cellular devices. I’ve discussed this ad nausem in the past. Your phone is constantly tracking you, no matter what you do absent putting it in an EMP bag, and if you cannot fully comprehend this reality then you’re really, really far behind the power curve. The lone answer is moving to using wi-fi only mobile devices for communications using open source apps. Wifi is common enough even in rural areas and if the technology is beyond you, so is your usefulness in a direct action cell.

Second, understand how to properly message people. The magic blanket of encryption may conceal our message but it neither conceals our presence nor our patterns of life- and in particular, who’s being messaged. This requires first discipline, and second, a pre-arranged (and trained on) code. One Time Pads work quite well, but a pre-configured Trigram or Brevity matrix works as well. On top of that, messages should be set to delete after a short period of time. Signal enables this, and if the message is important (it should be if you’re using Signal to send it), write it down. Clandestine messages are usually one-way as it is, requiring no overt response. Or if a response is necessary, respond through another backchannel (the same way I teach communicating on two different frequencies simultaneously in the RTO Course). Further, group messages of any more than two individuals is an instant non-starter. This violates even the most basic rules of clandestine cell organization and why Liberty groups feel the need to broadcast everything to everyone, I’ll never understand. Maybe you’ll learn one day. Domestic Black Sites are real.

Last, what you’re using as a so-called daily driver, ie your surface phone, is absolutely not used for this role. One of my own personal objections to Signal is and has always been the requirement of a phone number for registration. My Sudo allows us to bypass this by generating another phone number, but alternative apps such as Wire and Threema register via an email account…far, far better. And on that note you did install it on your own, absent Google play, correct?

So with that said, what do I think of this so-called ‘compromise’? It think its a smoke screen for CCP / Apple to keep their own compromise hidden in the details, as well as a smoke screen for disgruntled feminist intersectionalist IT workers behind the scenes at Signal unhappy that anyone other than AntiFa degenerates and washed up Agency Spooks would be using their app. For me, Signal is the C in my PACE plan- the ability to contact those using cell phones from my own wifi device, should the need arise. I don’t hang my hat on its ability outside my control. Neither should you. And the fact that a lot of people in this community do underscores just how behind the curve some of the louder voices really are. No matter what you’re doing, the correct answer is always using open source systems, have a PACE plan, follow the Moscow Rules and if there’s any doubt, there is no doubt.

American Partisan: Using Encryption with Veracrypt

This practical article from American Partisan discusses the use of the program Veracrypt to encrypt data in files and hard drives. While the lead of the title is “Clandestine Communications,” there are many reasons that you might want to use Veracrypt encryption in your day to day life. I have used it in a legal setting in order to encrypt an attorney’s sensitive trial files to take them between the office and the court room. You can use it to safely store a password file. At home, you can use it to securely store photocopies of your credit cards, social security cards, firearm serial numbers, birth certificates, passports, banking information, or any other information that you want to have available, but not just sitting where it can be stolen or hacked. For preppers, you can take that same encrypted file of your important information and put it on a USB drive and toss it in your bug out bag or a vehicle Go-bag so that if you have to leave home because of a fire you’ve got all of that vital information gathered already.

Clandestine Communications Part Four: File and Hard Drive Encryption with Veracrypt is a pretty simple overview of getting started with using Veracrypt software. Veracrypt is a free (free as in no cost), open-source (free as in liberty) software program. Because it is open source, the source programming code is freely available for viewing so that the software can be audited for security holes and backdoors. You can use Veracrypt to encrypt an entire drive, or you can create a volume which looks like a file to your computer which you can then mount as its own drive. There are also other more advanced features.

Today’s article is going to talk a little bit about how to use Veracrypt in order to encrypt both a file volume and a flash drive. Veracrypt can be downloaded from here.

Once you install the program, let’s take a look at what it looks like.

I recommend you spend some time in the Help menu – particularly in the ‘User’s guide” and “Beginner’s Tutorial”.

Veracrypt can encrypt your files in a few different ways. The first way is creating a volume. The volume is almost like a file itself – it can be copied, pasted, etc. It acts, in a way, like a super secure .zip file (without the file compression). The second way you can encrypt your files is by encrypting an entire hard drive or flash drive. This method in particular could be useful if you were using a dead drop system to pass a One Time Pad as you could buy a lot of inexpensive flash drives, encrypt them, and then use them in your drops.

Veracrypt also has a really cool future that I may touch on in a later article called Hidden Volumes. Basically, this creates a volume within a volume, and each volume has a separate password. This could be useful if you are forced to open the volume at gun point. The idea is that in the outer volume you have some sensitive looking documents but not the actual files you want to encrypt. If you were forced at gunpoint to open the volume, your actual files would be safe (since they use a different password). This may be something that many of you are interested in.

Volumes

To create a Volume, click on the “Create Volume” button in the lower left of Veracrypt. Here, a menu gives you some options. For now, we are going to stick with the default option of “Create an encrypted file container”. The second option is used for encrypting flash drives or external hard drives, and the third option is for encrypting the hard drive that runs your Operating System. Click Next.

Here, we have the option of creating a Standard Volume or a Hidden Volume. Since we are just starting out, make sure Standard Veracrypt volume is checked and hit Next. Now it is time to decide where we want the Volume to be. Click “Select File”. To make it easy, navigate to your desktop. In the “File Name” line, name your file. Click Save and then Next.

The next screen is where you can chose what type of encryption you want to use. I will leave it up to all of you to figure out which one is best (to be honest, I don’t really understand the differences so I am not going to give you a recommendation – if you do, throw it in the comments). Once you do, click Next.

The next screen is where you get to decide how big you want the file to be. For this example, I am going to go with 1 GB but you can choose whatever you want (think about what you are wanting to store in it and use that as a guide). Once you decide, click Next.

This screen is where you create your password. I have two rules for you to follow: 1) use numbers, letters, and symbols, and 2) use capital letters and, if you want, spaces. A great way to get a strong password is to use a password manager like KeePassXC. I actually don’t have one set up yet, so I will be doing a future article on how to do that as well. You can also use keyfiles, which is like selecting a few different files you already have to use them as the password. It is not my favorite way of doing it, but YMMV. Once you have your password entered, click Next.

The next screen is very important. You are choosing both the filesystem you want and generating the random pool to make your encryption stronger. I generally tend to use an NTFS system because FAT filesystems don’t like files over 4 GB, but again do your research and choose the filesystem you want. Then, move your mouse as random as possible inside the window. You will see tons and tons of characters in the “Random Pool area. Do this for at least 60 seconds, but the longer the better. Once you are done, click Format.

Once the formatting is done, it is time to mount your file. Go back to the first window that appeared when you started Veracrypt. Now, click on Select File on the bottom right. Navigate to your file and select it, and then select Mount. Enter your password, and select OK. Once the file mounts, you can go into Windows Explorer. You will notice in your hard drive list under “Computer” on the left hand side, there will be a new hard drive. In my case, it is Local Disk (J:) as we can see the size is 0.99GB. You can now click on that and copy your files in! In order to dismount the volume, just select it again on the main screen of Veracrypt and click “Dismount”.

Flash Drive / External HDDs

To encrypt a flash drive, begin once again by clicking “Create Volume”. This time, select the middle option of “Encrypt a non-system partition/drive”. Click Next, and you see that once more we have the option of creating a Hidden or Standard volume. For this, I am creating a Standard Veracrypt Volume. Click Next.

Now, instead of creating a file, you are selecting the flash drive or hard drive you want to encrypt. Once you select your drive, click OK. You are given two options for the Volume Creation Mode. The first one is for when you have no files on the drive and want to encrypt it more quickly. If you choose this option AND you have files on the drive, they WILL be overwritten and lost. If you have files on the drive and you cannot or do not want to take them off, chose the second option, “Encrypt partition in place”. I have never used that second option because I am terrified something will go wrong and I will lose my files, but YMMV. Make your selection and click Next.

Just like creating the volume, select your encryption algorithm and click Next. Verify that the size on the screen is really close to the size of the drive you want to encrypt (in this case, my flash drive is 4 GB in theory and in the above picture we see it is 3.7 GB, which matches closely below which says 3.65 GB). If it is really off, go back and make sure you selected the right drive to encrypt – this is really important. Once you verify it is correct, click Next.

Once again, create your password (DIFFERENT FROM YOUR FIRST ONE – NEVER REPEAT) and click Next. The same rules from the Volume section apply to the password. Now choose your file type and click next (again, I personally use NTFS). Move your mouse around in the box again to random the Heading Pool and, once you are done with that, click Format.

In order to Mount the drive, you can select what letter drive you want to mount the volume in and either 1) Click “Auto-Mount Devices”, type in the password, and click OK, or 2) Click “Select Device” and choose the device on the screen. Then, access the drive just like the volume and copy your files in!

References

https://securityinabox.org/en/guide/veracrypt/windows/

https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Beginner%27s%20Tutorial.html

https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Plausible%20Deniability.html

CISA: Alert for Potential Iranian Cyber Attacks

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued an alert to be prepared for possible cyber attacks on infrastructure. It may be a good idea to have some cash on hand and keep your fuel tanks fuel in case a cyber attack were to prevent payment processing systems from working for a time. Be on guard for suspicious email link and attachments. Make sure you have backups of important data in case a cyber response takes the form of a computer virus/worm/trojan that damages or destroys files or filesystems.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is sharing the following information with the cybersecurity community as a primer for assisting in the protection of our Nation’s critical infrastructure in light of the current tensions between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States and Iran’s historic use of cyber offensive activities to retaliate against perceived harm. Foremost, CISA recommends organizations take the following actions:

  1. Adopt a state of heightened awareness. This includes minimizing coverage gaps in personnel availability, more consistently consuming relevant threat intelligence, and making sure emergency call trees are up to date.
  2. Increase organizational vigilance. Ensure security personnel are monitoring key internal security capabilities and that they know how to identify anomalous behavior. Flag any known Iranian indicators of compromise and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for immediate response.
  3. Confirm reporting processes. Ensure personnel know how and when to report an incident. The well-being of an organization’s workforce and cyber infrastructure depends on awareness of threat activity. Consider reporting incidents to CISA to help serve as part of CISA’s early warning system (see Contact Information section below).
  4. Exercise organizational incident response plans. Ensure personnel are familiar with the key steps they need to take during an incident. Do they have the accesses they need? Do they know the processes? Are your various data sources logging as expected? Ensure personnel are positioned to act in a calm and unified manner…

Click here to read the full alert at CISA.

Related:

Iran Fires Missiles at US Troops at Ain Assad Airbase in Iraq

Forward Observer: The Coming Cyber 9/11

Yesterday, Glenn Gerstell, the general counsel of the National Security Agency, published an opinion piece in The New York Times – I Work for the NSA. We Cannot Afford to Lose the Digital Revolution. The subtitle was Technology is about to upend our entire national security infrastructure. Today, Sam Culper, intelligence analyst at Forward Observer, has a short video out about the piece and its contents titled The Coming Cyber 9/11. In this video Sam Culper discusses the warnings and what could become a cyber 9/11.

Among other things, Sam Culper summarizes Gerstell’s warnings:

  • The government will be ineffective at handling all of the technological threats as opponents are becoming more and more “peer” rather than “near peer” adversaries..
  • Systems disruption could, and likely will, occur at any time.
  • Big tech companies will become more powerful than actual governments.
  • The effects of rapid technological development could upend governments and societies.

Related:

Al-Qaeda Chief Issues 9/11 Video Urging New Attacks on US, Europe, Russia, and Israel

CSG: Welcome to the Panopticon

Combat Studies Group has a comprehensive article up about choosing a secure chat/messaging application in this time of increasing governmental and corporate excess. It’s a long read, but if you are interested in your privacy you should give it a read. If you don’t understand what he’s talking about, then this is a starting point for your electronic privacy/security education.

Welcome To The Panopticon, or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Information Warfare”

So it’s 2019……and so far we have:

– Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the like, de-platforming or censoring any content that leans towards the right or conservative side.

– Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, et al, doubling down on collection of people’s data.

– The US intelligence apparatus convincing major hotel chains (Marriot for one) to collect information and report on hotel guests (for the most trivial of “abnormalities”, if one can call them that).

– Amazon working with law enforcement to implement widespread facial recognition gathering.

– Those nifty DNA/ Heritage testing sites have been caught giving your DNA to Uncle Sam.

– Cellular providers selling your real-time location to anyone who wants to buy it.

– The proliferation of “smart” devices such as Alexa that is always listening.

– Web browsers screening the news you search for and only letting the “leftist” slanted news through.

I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point. One needs to become aggressive to secure their privacy in this day and age….so with that in mind I thought it apropos to publish an updated breakdown of available options.

Lets establish some standards that should be adhered to when choosing a chat application.

1. It should be comprised of open-source code. Open source code can be audited by third parties for completeness, proper implementation and potential security vulnerabilities.

2. It should employ end to end encryption. In other words, the encryption happens on your device and the decryption happens on the recipient’s device versus a third party server. This removes the need to trust a third party with your keys.

3. It should utilize INFOSEC industry accepted standards for cipher primitives. It should use well studied ciphers, key exchanges and hashes such as: AES-256, RSA-4096, ChaCha20, ECC-512, Curve25519, Poly1305, secp256k1, Curve448, Twofish, SHA-3, Whirlpool, GPG.

4. It should utilize forward secrecy. This protects the user if they have a key that somehow gets compromised. In this setup the system renegotiates the key exchange at short, established time intervals. Diffie-Hellman  is a common implementation of this concept.

5. It should support the removal/destruction of messages on both ends of the conversation. This could be based on a timer, manual selection or a “destroy on read” protocol…

Click here to read the entire article at CSG.

Related:

Technology and Avoiding Censorship

 

More Anti-Gun Crazy from New York

From RochesterFirst.com, more proof that the inmates are running the asylum – Proposed law would let State search gun owner’s social media and internet history. The privacy invasions involved in this bill are a new level of crazy. Look for more of this mental diarrhea coming to a state near you.

A new act introduced in the New York State Assembly this month would require pistol owners to submit to a “social media review.”

Anyone applying for, or renewing a pistol permit would have to give up all login information, including passwords, for any social media sites they’re a part of.

Posts from the past three years on site like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat would be reviewed for language containing slurs, racial/gender bias, threats and terrorism.

One year of search history on Google/Yahoo/Bing would also be reviewed.

Related:

Conservative Firing Line: New York Senate Bill 9191 – Destroying the Bill of Rights

CSG: GroundRod Primer, Mar. 24-25, 2018 – Prosser, WA

Combat Studies Group will be holding their GroundRod Primer course in the Prosser, WA area on Saturday and Sunday, March 24th and 25th, 2018. This is a two-day class. This class has moved from the Boise, ID location. Please sign up through the Combat Studies Group email address if you are interested in taking the class. The information is very valuable.

Details: https://combatstudiesgroup.blogspot.cz/p/courses.html

Class – Ground Rod Primer

Cost $400

Time Saturday and Sunday 8am – 5pm

Benefit – help limit your electronic footprint and learn how to protect your data and communications

GroundRod Primer  –  Internet and digital tradecraft

GroundRod Primer is designed to address the fundamental concerns of journalists, concerned citizens, activists, whistle blowers, missionaries and liberty lovers in general, with regard to digital security. Whether hackers, governments, criminals or acts of espionage; our privacy is in serious jeopardy.
You will learn to secure your devices and communications in the following ways:
Properly employ symmetric and asymmetric encryption
Create and safely store powerful passwords
Guard against common criminal and state level intrusion techniques
Recognize unsafe software you are using now and explore safe replacements
Surf the web anonymously
Explore the deep web
Transfer files safely
Communicate securely and privately
Understand and deal with malicious firmware
Crypto-currencies
Properly employ “burner” phones
GroundRod Primer is meant to take the uncertainty and guesswork out of digital security, give you a fundamental base of knowledge to grow from and get you up and running with the highest levels of security available TODAY.
Follow on courses will delve deeper into these subjects and address escape and evasion techniques and other tradecraft.
Gear Requirements
* Laptop
* Three USB thumbdrives (4-8 GB)
* Note taking materials
* extension cord

CSG: New Items Coming to Store

Combat Studies Group has announced some new items coming soon.

We have been hard at work over the last several months developing new tools to help secure your digital life. We continue to refine the Sepio Secure OS and expect to release the Sepio 2 this summer. Other items that are coming soon:

Sepio-Offgrid Rugged Laptop

– Offers the same level of rugged MILSPEC protection as the famous Toughbooks
– 14 inch HD screen
– 8-32GB RAM
– 128GB -1TB SSD or HDD
– i3 CPU (non vPro)
– Sepio Secure OS
– Optional packable solar panel/battery combo for field use
– Estimated Price: $1600-2000

The Libertas XL

– A 9 inch rugged tablet with:
– Dual-core 64bit CPU
– 2GB RAM
– 16 or 32GB storage
– Estimated price: $650

Sepio-Micro Desktop

– A full featured Sepio desktop not much larger than your hand.
– Plug in your own keyboard, mouse and monitor
– Estimated price: $750

Graybox Secure Router

– Router, Access Point, Bridge, Firewall, Intrusion detection and VPN all in a small package.
– Estimated price: TBA

Home Theater System

– This would replace your Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, AmazonFire, etc media devices. It will have the same functionality – streaming of your favorite shows, music, etc, but without the spying.
– Estimated Price: TBA

GrayMatter VPN Service

– We have been testing the beta of our very own VPN service. What will it offer?

– Servers in jurisdictions that are respectful of privacy rights
– Servers setup with same security you would find in the Sepio
– No logging of customers
– Anonymous account creation and payment support
– Wireguard, TOR, OpenVPN and Shadowsocks
– Multihop support
– Secure, non-logging DNS

– Estimated Price: $6-10 monthly


I should mention that all of our products are fully patched against the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. 

CSG is also holding a GroundRod Primer course in Boise, ID on March 24-25, 2018. The GroundRod Primer is an intensive digital security course of instruction.

How To Avoid the Plague

Perhaps you’ve read in the news lately about the current, big virus sweeping across Europe.

Cryptoviruses (a computer virus that encrypts a victim’s data in a way that the data can only be retrieved via a key made by the attacker) are the current weapon of choice of those bent on using malware to either cause electronic destruction or criminally extort money from anonymous reaches of the internet. In 2016, ransomware (a virus that encrypts or otherwise locks away a victim’s data) payments were estimated to hit $1 billion for the year.

The virus currently in the news is called Nyetya:

“After an hour of attempting to spread across the network, computers infected with Nyetya will reboot. After restarting the computers will appear to run CHKDSK (utilised to check the hard drive for errors) but the malware is actually encrypting files. Once this is completed the master boot record (MBR) is overwritten with a custom loader that will display the ransom note on boot.

“The ransom note presented to the user informs them that their files are no longer accessible and that $300 worth of Bitcoin will need to be paid to a specified Bitcoin wallet address in order to get the decryption key necessary to access their files. The user is instructed to e-mail a posteo.net e-mail address with information to identify their Bitcoin payment transaction. Posteo has disabled the e-mail account in question, it is not possible for victims to get decryption keys following payment as a result of this.

“Microsoft confirms that the initial infection vector for this malware was caused by a software update for MeDoc, a Ukrainian tax accounting package, pushed out via a hacked server. There have also been reports of the malware spreading via phishing e-mails.”

Viruses have gone from annoying interruptions which required expensive support to clean your computer of infections, to destructive invasions which destroy all the information on your hard drive. Below are several tips on how to avoid getting infected, but as a home user one of the most important tips is to keep a backup of all of your important data on an external drive of some sort – like a thumb drive, home network drive, or external hard drive – something that isn’t always directly attached to your computer where it could be destroyed by a virus.

Here are a few tips to avoid malware problems both inside and outside work (source is https://blog.exclaimer.com/educate-users-about-email-threats/):

  • Don’t click a link in an email unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to do so. If there is even the slightest doubt, delete it immediately or send it to the Helpdesk (if you have one).
  • Don’t open or respond to emails that look suspicious, unusual or appear to be from someone you don’t know that asks for personal or financial details.
  • Ignore attachments that you weren’t expecting, especially if you don’t know the sender. Many malicious attachments masquerade as Word documents or familiar file types, so check with your IT team if there is any doubt.
  • Check your spam folders regularly in case a legitimate email gets caught in the filter. Whitelist important email addresses so they won’t get filtered in the future.
  • Never give out personal details by email or fill in forms that pop up when you open an email as these will often be phishing attempts.
  • If you haven’t given your address to a business that emails you, do not open or interact with the message.
  • If you get a notice from a financial institution or any other online account stating that you need to upgrade your details or change your password, don’t follow the instructions, but go directly to the institution’s website and see if your account is in order. Financial institutions will never ask for these details over email nor will most other reputable institutions.
  • If you think you might have opened an email with a malicious attachment or clicked or a malicious link, shut down your machine immediately and inform your IT department. They will then be able to isolate that machine from the network and run any necessary scans. If you don’t have an IT department, take it to your local PC technician for a virus check.
  • If you receive an emailed calendar invite from someone you don’t know or it looks suspicious, don’t accept it. If it is from a colleague who is not using a corporate email address, find out it if it is real. In any case, delete the invite just to be certain.`
  • Be careful when logging onto Wi-Fi networks, especially public ones. Always stick with trusted providers and avoid suspicious-sounding SSIDs. Hackers often spoof genuine SSIDs in order to steal passwords and user names.
  • Don’t use the same password for your work email account as your personal one.
  • Avoid posting your work email address in public forums, blogs and websites unless it is absolutely necessary. You will be making it too easy for hackers to get your address and use them for various spamming attacks.
  • Never download any software that has not been approved by your IT department. This could open a backdoor for hackers to gain access to your company’s network and use your computer as part of a botnet that will spew spam across the world. At home, try to stick with reputable software producers or peer-reviewed software that has been checked for problems. If you don’t know, doing an internet search for reviews of a software program will usually produce an abundance of information.

If you don’t have an IT department, here in the Yakima Valley most of the smaller internet service providers and repair shops will be happy to answer your questions on the phone and advise you if they think that you should take your PC to a repair shop. Additional tips can be found here

Autodesk https://redshift.autodesk.com/10-tips-on-how-to-prevent-malware-from-infecting-your-computer/

and here

Malware Bytes https://blog.malwarebytes.com/101/2016/08/10-easy-ways-to-prevent-malware-infection/

and here.

PC World http://www.pcworld.com/article/210891/malware.html

The following YouTube video is a few years old, but the information is as valid today as it was then.

Please take some time to review this information and better protect yourself and your sensitive information. Let’s be careful out there.