Republic of China investigates monopoly Windows

China is investigating the market dominance of Microsoft in the operating systems market. The invasion of the Chinese authorities in four offices of Microsoft earlier this week might be the reason.
According to The Business News Daily, a Chinese business newspaper.  Based on the statements of an anonymous Chinese employee of Microsoft.
Yesterday  China’s market watchdog SAIC paid unannounced visits to four offices of Microsoft.
Microsoft has admitted to be investigated by SAIC.
The Windows operating system has a total of 95 percent of the market in the country.
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Russia made a budget available for cracking Tor network

The Russian Interior Ministry is interested  in a method to crack the anonymity of the Tor network.
The Department made 3.9 million rubles available, converted 83,000 euros.

BBC Russia writes that the tender was available two weeks ago. but it only came out recently.

Using Tor has increased significantly in one year, although the last month use appears to be declining according to statistics from the Tor network.
According to Sarkis Darbinyan from the Russian Pirate Party, the proposal is intended to support the weblog Act, which is valid from August.
This law requires that bloggers who have more than 3,000 daily visitors that they register.
Using Tor allows popular bloggers to dodge that restriction of online freedom.

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Talk on exposing Internet anonymity service Tor users Identity canceled

Two security researchers at Carnegie Mellon University wanted to demonstrate a proof of concept on  the Black Hat 2014 conference in Las Vegas,

The highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Internet privacy service Tor was withdrawn from the upcoming Black Hat 2014 security conference.
The talk was canceled at the request of attorneys for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where the speakers work as researchers, the spokeswoman, Meredith Corley, told Reuters.
The committee of the university did not give permission

Corley said a Carnegie Mellon attorney informed Black Hat that one of the speakers could not give the Tor talk because the materials he would discuss have not been approved for public release by the university or the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

It was unclear what aspects of the research concerned the university. The institute, based at the university, is funded by the Defense Department. SEI also runs CERT, historically known as the Computer Emergency Response Team, which works with the Department of Homeland Security on major cybersecurity issues.

This is the announcement deleted from the blackhat website.

You Don’t Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget The Tor network has been providing a reasonable degree of anonymity to individuals and organizations worldwide. It has also been used for distribution of child pornography, illegal drugs, and malware. Anyone with minimal skills and resources can participate on the Tor network. Anyone can become a part of the network. As a participant of the Tor network, you can choose to use it to communicate anonymously or contribute your resources for others to use. There is very little to limit your actions on the Tor network. There is nothing that prevents you from using your resources tode-anonymize the network’s users instead by exploiting fundamental flaws in Tor design and implementation. And you don’t need the NSA budget to do so. Looking for the IP address of a Tor user? Not a problem. Trying to uncover the location of a Hidden Service? Done. We know because we tested it, in the wild…In this talk, we demonstrate how the distributed nature, combined with newly discovered shortcomings in design and implementation of the Tor network, can be abused to break Tor anonymity. In our analysis, we’ve discovered that a persistent adversary with a handful of powerful servers and a couple gigabit links can de-anonymize hundreds of thousands Tor clients and thousands of hidden services within a couple of months. The total investment cost? Just under $3,000. During this talk, we will quickly cover the nature, feasibility, and limitations of possible attacks, and then dive into dozens of successful real-world de-anonymization case studies, ranging from attribution of botnet command and control servers, to drug-trading sites, to users of kiddie porn places. The presentation will conclude with lessons learned and our thoughts on the future of security of distributed anonymity networks.


Spokesmen for Carnegie Mellon and the Defense Department did not comment on the cancellation. One official said DHS had played no role in pulling the talk.

The question remains why the talk was cancelled. Some suggest the ties with various US government security agencies others suspect ethical reasons. For example many people who live in countries where the regime is suppressing the freedom of speech and they use tor to stay save.
But the second motive is highly questionable. Presenting the proof of concept would only strengthen the Tor project but in that case various US government security agencies will lose an important spy-ing tool.

The volunteer-run Tor network allows users to surf anonymously on the internet. For this purpose, various forms of encryption is used. Among other things, the NSA has a lot of interest in users of the Tor network and tries to identify them, for example by exploiting browser bugs.

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Google-committee in European countries to discuss about privacy

Google is going to discuss with a commission and experts on how the search engines should deal with the “right to be forgotten ‘ in six European countries. The European Court ruled in May that citizens can ask search engines to remove certain information.

Google has not yet announced anything on this, but the New York Times has published all the details. The search giant, according to the newspaper forms a committee which should include former CEO Eric Schmidt and Wikipedia front man Jimmy Wales, a declared opponent of the right to be forgotten. The ten-member committee will call in a period of nine months, visit six countries.

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Google discovers fake SSL certificates for Google sites

An Indian Certificate Authority has issued fake SSL certificates for different Google domains. Especially Internet Explorer users were vulnerable. It is unclear how the certificates were forged.

On Wednesday, July 2, we became aware of unauthorized digital certificates for several Google domains. The certificates were issued by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) of India, which holds several intermediate CA certificates trusted by the Indian Controller of Certifying Authorities (India CCA).

The India CCA certificates are included in the Microsoft Root Store and thus are trusted by the vast majority of programs running on Windows, including Internet Explorer and Chrome. Firefox is not affected because it uses its own root store that doesn’t include these certificates.

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Dutch ISP if offering free VPN to bypass Geoblocking

A Dutch ISP is responding to growing frustration about blocked content and streams services like Netflix and Hulu with a free VPN sollution.

The Internet is global, but  in many countries content is being blocked increasingly due to legal issues.

Bypassing geoblocking is usually not complicated, but the phenomenon provides much frustration.

The Dutch ISP Slingshot has enough of it and offers all it’s broadband subscribers a free VPN service called ‘Global Mode’. This allows them to enjoy streaming services that are not yet officially available in the country without much difficulty. It is offered only for some sites including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. 

Slingshot states that this VPN solution reduces piracy.
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Firefox has never been so unpopular and is losing its marketshare

Mozilla Firefox is struggling in the competitive browser market. Googles Chrome, does it remarkably well.

Firefox OS

The market share of Firefox – both on the desktop and mobile –  reached rock bottom in the last two months. The desktop browser continues to lose users, while users of the mobile browsers seems to ignore Firefox. Safari also has huge problems and sees both the desktop and mobile users running away, this according to a research of the Net Applications Statistics Agency.

Mozilla’s combined market share for June was 12.9 percent, the lowest ever and 1.2 percentage points lower than in April. Eight months in a row, the open-source browser is loosing ground. In June 2011Firefox was the market leader with 43 percent.

‘Chromification’ of the browser market is continuing

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