...will he ever win?

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March 15, 2012

EFF News

Fake YouTube Site Targets Syrian Activists With Malware

Last week, EFF reported on two instances of pro-Syrian-government malware targeting Syrian activists through links sent in chats and emails. This week, we've seen new Windows malware dropped by a fake YouTube site hosting Syrian opposition videos.

Below is a screenshot of the fake YouTube page, which attacks users in two ways: it requires you to enter your YouTube login credentials in order to leave comments, and it installs malware disguised as an Adobe Flash Player update.

This phishing site has been taken down, but if you encounter a similar page do not enter your YouTube login credentials to comment. If you have already logged in to the site (or a similar site) to leave a comment follow the steps outlined below to see if your computer has been infected, and change your YouTube and Gmail passwords from an uninfected computer immediately. You may also wish to take some additional steps to make sure that your Gmail account is secure, including enabling 2-factor authentication and checking to see if any suspicious forwarding addresses or delegated accounts have been added to your account.

If you encounter a similar page do not click "Install" to update Flash. Clicking "Install" drops a file called setup.exe. This is a .NET file and .NET is required to run it. Once it is installed, the dropper connects back to an address in Syrian IP space and downloads additional malware, which gives the attacker administrative access to your computer.

To see if you have been infected, look for the following files:

These files are "system files" and will not be visible by default. To change your settings to make system files visible in Windows 7, Start-->Control Panel-->Appearance and Personalization-->Show hidden files and folders, then select the radio button called Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives. Remove the checkbox labeled "Hide extensions for known file types." Remove the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files."

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\sysglobl.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\mscordbc.exe

On Windows 7 systems, you can find them here:


You can see both files in the screenshot below:

What do do if your computer is infected:

If your computer is infected, deleting the above files does not guarantee that your computer will be safe or secure. This attack eventually gives an attacker the ability to execute arbitrary code on the infected computer. There is no guarantee that the attacker has not installed additional malicious software while in control of the machine. The safest course of action is to re-install the operating system on your computer and change all passwords to accounts you may have logged into while the computer was infected.

EFF is deeply concerned about this pattern of pro-government malware targeting online activists in authoritarian regimes. We will continue to keep a close eye on future developments in this area.

Related Issues: 

March 15, 2012 06:49 PM

Crooks and Liars

Jon Stewart: Fox STFU with How Victimized You Are

Jon Stewart: Fox Needs to STFU With Playing the Victim Card in Defense of Limbaugh

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Jon Stewart took the talking heads at Fox to task for their defense of Rush Limbaugh and his sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke and the false equivalencies when comparing Limbaugh to Bill Maher and other comedians and the fact that they tried to play off Rush Limbaugh being a comedian with their defense of him.

Stewart had it exactly right with his finish here after he showed some of Sean Hannity's hypocrisy with his love of Ted Nugent:

STEWART: Ted Nugent didn't get boycotted. That was the Dixie Chicks for saying on stage they were ashamed President Bush was from Texas. But that makes sense. The Nug was actually sentenced for his diatribe, to having to jam "Catch Scratch Fever" with Huck.

And by the way, I'm not saying speech should be policed and censored and boycotted or that people don't have a right to say crazy things, or to boycott them. I don't believe that's true. I think speech should be much freer.

But here's the one thing I do believe. Fox... shut the f**k up about how victimized you, and you alone are. Nobody cares!

March 15, 2012 02:00 AM

Anonymous Documentary 'We are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists' Premieres at SXSW

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists,” a documentary covering the hacking collective Anonymous, premiered March 11th at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

The film takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical "hacktivist" collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age. The film explores early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater, then moves to Anonymous' raucous beginnings on the website 4chan.

Through interviews with current members, people recently returned from prison or facing trial, writers, academics, activists and major players in various "raids," the documentary traces Anonymous’ evolution from merry pranksters to a full-blown movement with a global reach, the most transformative civil disobedience of our time.

More showings this week (For those of you in the Austin area):

Wednesday, March 14
5:00PM - 6:29PM

Venue: SXSatellite: Alamo Slaughter

Friday, March 16
4:15PM - 5:44PM

Venue: Alamo Lamar B

The award winner will be announced on Saturday, March 17th,

March 15, 2012 01:00 AM

Santorum: Romney Spent a Whole Lot of Money Against Me For Being 'Inevitable'

Santorum: Romney Spent a Whole Lot of Money Against Me For Being 'Inevitable'

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Rick Santorum will not do much to move his delegate count after his victories this Tuesday in the latest Republican primaries in the South, but he was doing his best to try to win the messaging wars and continue to cast doubt on whether frontrunner Mitt Romney is the inevitable nominee.

Unlike Santorum and fellow rival Newt Gingrich, Romney decided to sit it out rather than give a concession speech after his third place finishes in Alabama and Mississippi. I guess I can't blame him since all that pandering, and ya'll's and talk of "cheesy grits" were just embarrassing and didn't help him win over the primary voters in either state.

Rick Santorum Wins Alabama, Mississippi:

Rick Santorum won primary victories in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, according to network projections, bolstering his credibility as Mitt Romney’s top challenger and denying the former Massachusetts governor an opportunity to solidify his status as inevitable nominee. With most of the vote counted, Romney appeared likely to finish third in both races, with Newt Gingrich poised to take second.

“We did it again,” Santorum declared at an election night rally in Louisiana, saying his underdog campaign was about “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

The races were among the first high profile contests in which both Gingrich and Santorum, who have alternated wildly between surges and collapses, were competitive at once. The predictable result: they split the conservative anti-Romney vote closely and threatened to give the frontrunner a game changing victory right as his campaign is struggling to assert its dominance. Read on...

So we get to look forward to many more weeks on Rick Santorum continuing to push Mitt Romney off a cliff to the right before this thing is over.

March 15, 2012 12:00 AM

March 14, 2012

Crooks and Liars

Livestream: Occupy Wall Street Protests Romney Event at Waldorf Astoria

Live stream by Ustream

Update: Livestream has signed off, so I've added more video footage of today's action below.

1 percenters for Romney rally outside fundraiser luncheon for Romney outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Ave. (at 50th St).

Planned to be a fun filled 1 percenters for Romney rally with people dressed to the nines, ball gowns, suits, top hats and tiaras – and signs that echo Romney’s own words, “Corporations are People too!” as well as “Buy Your Own Politician. Romney’s Mine.” We’ll highlight the nightmare of corporate personhood and the selling of our democracy to the top bidder.

Tim Pool is livestreaming from NYC where Occupy protesters wait to greet GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

A huge turnout by Occupy Wall Street, with the hotel also surrounded by NYPD - naturally - and circled by helicopters.

Also, via Twitter so this is unconfirmed, Waldorf Astoria Hotel employees are said to be planning to refuse to serve Romney, and instead have a walk-out in protest.

In this video, the NYPD physically forces about 100 protesters away from the entrance to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Protesters, labor unions, and community groups all greet mitt romney as he arrives for a fundraising luncheon held at the waldorf-astoria. Many of the protesters are dressed in costume, the Grim Reaper, more Reapers carrying a fake casket.

The Occupy Wall Street choir was even on hand to protest Romney, also known as "Mr. 1 Percent" to the protesters.

March 14, 2012 11:00 PM

Gingrich Vows to Stay in GOP Primary Race and Calls for Brokered Convention

Gingrich Vows to Stay in GOP Primary Race and Calls for Brokered Convention

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After his second place wins in both Alabama and Georgia this Tuesday night, Newt Gingrich vowed to stay in the race all the way through the Republican nomination process and called for a brokered convention if Romney fails to receive the adequate number of delegates to secure the party's nomination before then.

Which has many in the media asking why Gingrich is still staying in the race unless he's trying to make sure Mitt Romney secures the nomination, since the one person he's pulling the most votes from is Rick Santorum. Gingrich refusing to drop out has made many, myself included, wonder if his billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson is just doing his best to make sure Santorum cannot win the nomination with continuing to fund Gringrich because he does not want to see Santorum win the nomination and would rather have Romney in there if his candidate cannot win.

I guess we'll find out before long when we see if Gingrich gets out shortly despite what he said here.

Here's more from TPM -- Gingrich Calls For Open Convention Against Romney:

Addressing supporters in Alabama, Newt Gingrich made an open call for the Republican nomination to be decided by a contested convention, with Mitt Romney blocked from winning a majority of delegates.

"So you have my promise, at a time when I hope this evening we have ended any news media talk of the inevitability of their handpicked candidate. at a time when we can forget about trying to nominate a Massachusetts moderate.

"And start talking about: When the primaries are over, and it's clear no one person has won, who would do a best job of representing America, governing, and winning the election against Barack Obama."

I'm still trying to figure out whether any of these candidates who are hanging in there actually really want a brokered convention as Newt was calling for here and they are just running off of pure ego despite their slim chances of winning the nomination, or whether they're staying in the race on purpose to help Romney because they know they'll split the votes from the Evangelical Christian right base of the party and they're playing their supporters for fools. I think Gingrich is in this to make sure he raises his profile and his ability to make money later no matter what happens. His other motivations... I'd love to hear some feedback on.

I've just always assumed his motivations for getting in the race in the first place were the same as Palin pretending she was going to get in, and that's to raise the price of speaking engagements later and more time on Fox "News" pretending anyone should care what you think about much of anything.

What's astounding is that if they are staying in to help Romney, what they've managed to do in the mean time is really harm Romney by moving him so far to the right that he's going to have trouble getting elected in the general election. It all just looks like insanity to me if any of them truly care about Republicans having a chance to defeat President Obama, but maybe I'm missing something with the big picture here. I think they're actually lucky that most voters and our corporate media aren't paying as much attention to what comes out of all of their mouths on the campaign trail on a daily basis as the blogs like ours have.

I'll just finish with saying, here's to a Republican brokered convention if that's what the party really wants. I'll be sitting on the sidelines with the popcorn.

March 14, 2012 10:00 PM

The Fix

Alabama and Mississippi voters by the numbers (chart)

Now that we’ve had a chance to parse the exit polls from Alabama and Mississippi, we’re breaking down some of the most interesting numbers from last night’s primary contest into a simple chart. Take a look to see how Rick Santorum’s edge with voters who prioritize religion and morals may be his downfall in terms of electibility (or view a larger version of this chart).

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March 14, 2012 10:00 PM

Crooks and Liars

Fox News Host Suggests Democrats Are for Voter Fraud

Fox News Host Suggests Democrats Are 'for Voter Fraud'

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Fox News host Gretchen Carlson says she can't understand why Democrats would be against discriminatory voter ID laws unless they are "for voter fraud."

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice blocked a law requiring Texas voters to show identification on the grounds that it could disenfranchise Latino voters.

Similar Republican-backed laws have also been blocked or temporarily barred in South Carolina and Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder told NBC News that the laws only hindered voters because there was "no proof that our elections are marred by in-person voter fraud."

Fox News contributor Dick Morris said Wednesday that Holder's comments just amounted to election-year politics.

"What he's trying to do, of course politically, is to send a message to downscale voters, particularly to Latinos that the Republicans are against them and he's for them," Morris asserted. "The fact is that what Texas is doing is for free issuing this ID to people. Anyone who wants it can get it. And given that, for him to say that this inhibits participation in the franchise is ludicrous."

Ignoring Holder's point about there being no widespread voter fraud, Carlson said she could not imagine why anyone would be against voter ID laws.

"I just don't understand who is for voter fraud?" she asked. "Like, who is going to stand up and say, 'Yeah, I'm for voter fraud'? All this does is try to cut down on that."

A study released last year by the Brennan Center for Justice determined that the new restrictions on who can vote -- largely championed by Republican lawmakers -- could suppress the the votes of more than five million young, minority, low-income, and disabled voters, all groups who tend to vote for Democrats.

New photo ID restrictions in Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin could disenfranchise up to 3.2 million voters, the report found. Another 2.6 million voters could be suppressed by proof of citizenship laws, laws restricting voter registration drives, election day registration restrictions, reduced early voting and restrictions on when convicted felons may have their voting rights restored.

The motivations of the Republicans introducing these restrictions haven’t exactly been a secret.

Republican House Speaker in New Hampshire, Bill O’Brien, was caught on tape explaining why he wanted to disenfranchise young voters.

“The kids [are] coming out of the school and basically doing what I did when I was a kid: voting as a liberal,” he told a tea party group last year. “You know, that’s what kids do. They don’t have life experience and they just vote their feelings.”

(H/T: Media Matters)

March 14, 2012 09:00 PM

The Fix

Poll shows Santorum leads in Texas

Santorum leads in Texas Democrats are still without a candidate in Maine as Baldacci passes; Mitt Romney gets some pointers; and Scott Brown latches on to the Red Sox. .

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March 14, 2012 09:00 PM

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