Unknown devices…..

Unknown devices keep showing up under network adapters in my device manager. I keep disabling them and they keep showing up.

They have no signature, no device ID or function, no location or vendor information. They just have the word root and then a number.

Then there’s the comment link on which I accidentally clicked that took me to an empty website. Was someone tying to download something or find my IP address?

My computer got very buggy and slow yesterday. Then my security software keeps turning off.

Worse, there are the unknown devices of my fellow man.

Someone sent me an email at which to contact them. The handle was something like city-slicker@usa.com (not the actual handle, of course).

Now do high-profile people usually have emails with such handles,  and, even if they do, do they give it out to strangers on the web?  Do they insist on contacting you and then insist that you respond only on personal email and private cell numbers?

And then do they comment on this blog using a fake handle?

One with a link on which I accidentally click that takes me to an empty website set up a long while ago?

Methinks I smell a set-up.  Especially when the high-profile one claims to have intelligence contacts/experience.

I could be wrong, of course. In which case, my profound apologies.

But that is why I do not respond except in ways I choose.

And that is why I like to keep it strictly about politics, except for people who have actually intersected with me.

Even then, I tend to be wary.

Anything a stranger needs to tell me can be posted at this blog.

If it’s confidential and has some public importance, disguise the information and post pseudonymously.

If it’s private information, please find a personal friend in whom to confide.

It does you, the reader, and me, the blogger,  no good to confuse web-reality with real-reality.

Google: Cyberbullying for profit

An anonymous Australian web-site reveals how Google has a financial incentive to cyber-bully people by elevating smear-and-extort sites like The Ripoff Report.

(I will not link to it, but here is Wikipedia’s entry on the Ripoff Report):

[Side-note: One of my attackers on the web seems to have been affiliated with this site,  which essentially runs an extortion racket by smearing people via hired proxies and then asking for money from the victims to remove the smears.]

UPDATE September 20th 2013: Victory

A large number of major companies have removed their advertisements from Ripoff Report.

This webpage contains an overview of the project.

The updated full report can be downloaded from this url:

https://www.adrive.com/public/9u3aau/Cyberbullying for Profit September 2013.zip

A list of examples URLs from Ripoff Report containing offensive material about children, public figures and individuals is contained in an attachment to the report but an also be found here:

This video explains how Google priorities links from Ripoff Report in its search results.

This video shows that Google considers Ripoff Report has unacceptable  business practices. So why does it advertise on its webpages? The answer is…..advertising revenue for  Google (see above).

Overview

The website Ripoff Report and other websites that emulate the business model of ‘cyberbullying for profit’  publish false and offensive information about minors, teenager, adults and businesses and these are often accompanied by photographs and identifying details.   Ripoff Report also publishes extremely racist and homophobic material, offensive material about religious groups, public figures and ‘celebrities’. While the material about public figures appears to be given a low Google page rank, the names of children, teenagers, ordinary people and small business owners ‘reported’ on these websites is contained in snippets displayed at or near the top of the Google search results (SERPs). These snippets contain names and location details couched in terms such as ‘ripoff’, ‘fraud, ‘pedophile’, ‘scam’, ‘whore’, ‘slut, ‘prostitute’, ‘skank’, ‘murderer’, ‘bitch’ ‘faggot’ ‘liar’ ‘drug abuser’, ‘cunt’, ‘stalker’, ‘HIV’ and/or ‘AIDS’ and other accusatory and derogatory terms.  

Ripoff Report earns revenue from two sources – advertising and payments from victims to the website to ‘rehabilitate’ their reputation in the Google search results or remove the false material. Despite the fact that the claims are false, if a person cannot pay their life is ruined because, as stated by Google, their search engine is often ‘the first place people look for information that’s published’ about a person.

Even if the allegations can be proven to be false Ripoff Report will not remove the material unless they are paid a substantial corporate advocacy’, or ‘arbitration’ feeIn response to removal requests, Google provides a number of excuses and victims must find an ‘ex-gratia’ payment in order to ensure the material is removed from the Google index and ameliorate the danger towards their children and/0r save their livelihoods and businesses. Furthermore, Ripoff Report publishes registered trade names and copyrighted photographs without permission. It claims a copyright over the webpages. This business model is enabled by both a high Google page rank  and advertising revenue. The companies and business that advertise on Ripoff Report supply this revenue and support the endangerment and cyberbullying of children, teenagers and adults and the destruction of careers and livelihoods. This project arose out of my own experience with the publication of false and defamatory material on these websites.

Despite the fact that it takes only a couple of minutes to remove links from the Google index, after four years of notifications, pleading with the website and Google, and litigation against Google it has not been removed. ……I sued Google for defamation in February 2011 with the hope that it would simply remove the links and I could then move on with my life. My hope was misplaced. …….

…Despite the fact that Google refuse most removal requests, they have quietly removed links for other victims of Ripoff Report.

[Lila: I have seen Google actively suppress information that exposes the financial mafia,which is to the left, politically.]

“For obvious reasons I cannot and will not publish the names of these people because they likely paid a substantial amount to either the websites or Google to save their families and livelihoods.

However, Google can and does remove websites and links without much effort.

For example, since December 2011 Google has removed almost 90,000 links from its index at the request of Ripoff Report. Many of those links contained registered trademarks and copyrighted photographs but it appears that Ripoff Report is  not questioned about these DMCA issues by Google. My blog, was also removed from the Google index soon after it went online.  If this appears difficult to believe consider that the removal occurred  after I drew attention to the blog by applying for AdSense advertising as an experiment.

In fact, I clearly stated on my blog that I was suing Google. Apparently’ freedom of speech’ only applies unless one says something negative about Google.

My blog was magically re-indexed in the Google index within hours of my public complaint in a blog conversation in which Matt Cutts was participating. The documents showing the removal and reinstatement of my blog in the Google SERPs can be downloaded from this link.

[Lila : Here is a previous blog post of mine, from 2009, where I reference Ripoff  Report and its owner, in the context of describing the nexus of organized crime and short-sellers.]

Worst cyber-crime is in US, Russia

As I blogged yesterday, the IP addresses attacking me trace back to a Netherland hosting company called Ecatel Network.

ECATEL NETWORK

Ecatel has become notorious for hosting bad actors, from the Russian spammers to pedophile networks.  It also has a reputation for brushing off requests for help from the victims.

Trying to figure out what was going on, I did a bit of research into the world of cyber-crime.

AKAMAI REPORT – CHINA LEADS CYBER-CRIME?

The mainstream media likes to portray cyber-crime as essentially a foreign threat. China, especially, is fingered as the bad guy.

For instance, in January,  US-based Akamai Technologies issued a report  placing China at the head of global hacking, responsible for 35% of cyber-attacks world-wide.

More recently,  the US government pressed cyber-warfare charges against five of China’s army officers.

Nigerians scamsters are rumored to run a close second.

There are two things wrong with this picture. The first is the source of the information.

Akamai Technologies is a “content-delivery network” head-quartered in Cambridge, Massachussetts.

It was founded by an MIT applied math professor, Tom Leighton, and a graduate student at MIT, Daniel Lewin, later killed on AA flight 11, which crashed during the September 11, 2001 attack.

According to his MIT bio, Leighton is a specialist in cryptography,  digital rights, and algorithms for network applications. He also chaired a Presidential committee on Cyber-Security.

Akamai’s co-founder,  COO, and President was the founder of the Road-Runner cable service. Its CEO was a senior VP from IBM.

Akamai’s privacy policy states that it collects IP addresses and effectively tracks clients.

Its partners include Microsoft and Apple and its clients include the BBC, the White House,  Facebook, Twitter, Adobe Systems, Netflix, Yahoo, ESPN Star (India),  China Central Television and Al Jazeera, among many others.

How likely is it that reports from Akamai on cyber-crime are untouched by political pressure?

WORLD HOSTS REPORT –  US, RUSSIA LEAD CYBER-CRIME

Point two. The statistics don’t support Akamai’s pious propaganda.

The Chinese do indeed have a very high number of IP addresses attached to their malicious activity. If sheer volume were the only criterion, China would dominate.

However,  as far as the number of malicious sites and the level of threat involved, the world’s leading cyber-criminals aren’t Chinese.  Not even close.

They are in the US and in Russia, closely followed by smaller countries like the Netherlands, the Ukraine, and Romania.

In Host Exploit’s authoritative World Hosts Report of March 2013, five of the top twenty  malware hosts were based in the US; four were in Russia, two each in the Netherlands, Germany, and the Ukraine.

Chinanet Backbone was the only host from China that made the top twenty.

What was especially interesting to me was to find the originator of the attacks on my computer, Ecatel network, at the top of the list of the world’s leading hosts for malware.

Host Exploit also breaks down cyber-crime by country, with Russia leading the pack.

This is its list of the world’ top ten cyber-crime havens in 2013:

1. The Russian Federation (RU)

2. Belarus (BY)

3. Ukraine (UA)

4. The British Virgin Islands (VG)

5. The United States (US)

6. Romania (RO)

7. Netherlands (NL)

8. Poland (PL)

9. Turkey (TR)

10. Bulgaria  (BG)