Tag: hacking

Assume that your devices are compromised

I was in Catalonia in 2017 during the independence referendum. The way that people were treated when trying to exercise democratic power I still believe to be shameful.

These days, I run the most secure version of an open operating system on my mobile device that I can. And yet I still need to assume it’s been compromised.

In Catalonia, more than sixty phones—owned by Catalan politicians, lawyers, and activists in Spain and across Europe—have been targeted using Pegasus. This is the largest forensically documented cluster of such attacks and infections on record. Among the victims are three members of the European Parliament, including Solé. Catalan politicians believe that the likely perpetrators of the hacking campaign are Spanish officials, and the Citizen Lab’s analysis suggests that the Spanish government has used Pegasus. A former NSO employee confirmed that the company has an account in Spain. (Government agencies did not respond to requests for comment.) The results of the Citizen Lab’s investigation are being disclosed for the first time in this article. I spoke with more than forty of the targeted individuals, and the conversations revealed an atmosphere of paranoia and mistrust. Solé said, “That kind of surveillance in democratic countries and democratic states—I mean, it’s unbelievable.”

[…]

[T]here is evidence that Pegasus is being used in at least forty-five countries, and it and similar tools have been purchased by law-enforcement agencies in the United States and across Europe. Cristin Flynn Goodwin, a Microsoft executive who has led the company’s efforts to fight spyware, told me, “The big, dirty secret is that governments are buying this stuff—not just authoritarian governments but all types of governments.”

[…]

The Citizen Lab’s researchers concluded that, on July 7, 2020, Pegasus was used to infect a device connected to the network at 10 Downing Street, the office of Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. A government official confirmed to me that the network was compromised, without specifying the spyware used. “When we found the No. 10 case, my jaw dropped,” John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the Citizen Lab, recalled. “We suspect this included the exfiltration of data,” Bill Marczak, another senior researcher there, added. The official told me that the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of British intelligence, tested several phones at Downing Street, including Johnson’s. It was difficult to conduct a thorough search of phones—“It’s a bloody hard job,” the official said—and the agency was unable to locate the infected device. The nature of any data that may have been taken was never determined.

Source: How Democracies Spy On Their Citizens | The New Yorker

Upgrading an iPod Video for use in 2022

I’m an OG when it comes to MP3 players, having owned an Archos MP3 Jukebox while I was at uni in about 2001. It was ridiculously expensive for me as a student, but I was working at HMV at the time, and I was (and still am!) really into music.

In the end, I ‘upgraded’ the battery in it and managed to melt the entire thing, then switched to Spotify for all of my music in 2009. But there’s definitely part of me that wants to get back to what I would consider ‘real’ music listening.

While I do have plenty of MP3s and FLAC files on my smartphone, there’s just something about having a separate device for music. And you don’t get more iconic than an iPod. So this project is super-cool and once again has me thinking…

See also: How To Enjoy Your Own Digital Music

See also: ListenBrainz

I realised something not so long ago – I was being very lazy. I’d often just play my weekly/daily mix, or some playlist I made up a long time ago. I’d never really think about what music I liked + what music I wanted to listen to. I think this is in part due to the fact that almost any music was available – which made choosing even more difficult.

Anyway. Over the weekend I took apart a 5.5th gen iPod Classic (or iPod Video) and made it suit 2022 a little better 😀

Source: Building an iPod for 2022 | Ellie.wtf