Half a million złoty vanish from the bank account of Lech Wałęsa

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

According to Polish radio station, RMF FM, almost half a million Polish złoty (almost US$ 235,000) vanished from the bank account of Lech Wałęsa, a former President of Poland and the original leader of Solidarność (Solidarity). The case is already under investigation by the public prosecutor in Gdańsk.

The radio station identified the suspect as a former employee of Millennium Bank and the son of a former co-worker of Wałęsa. The Prokuratura alleges that Michał L. stole about 870,000 złoty (about US$408,000) from two bank accounts, one of which belongs to Wałęsa. The bank has already returned all the money.

Lech Wałęsa downplayed the situation. “I have all the money I had. I can show you I haven’t lost even a grosz“, he said in a interview with RMF FM.

Google performs first successful collision attack on SHA-1 security algorithm

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This Thursday, Google announced that it had performed a successful collision attack on the popular SHA-1 cryptographic hash function for the first time — that they know of. The collision attack demonstrated an algorithm for making two distinct inputs map to the same hash output, putting at risk the usage of SHA-1 for verifying data integrity. Google published a blog post and made a website about the collision attack.

A successful attacker would be able to add a malicious file to the system to damage a backup relying on SHA-1 for checking data integrity, deliver a malicious update to clients using SHA-1 to verify the update file, attack and decrypt an encrypted connection to a website where the user’s browser is using SHA-1 to identify the connection certificate, replace a file revision history using SHA-1 to identify commits, and perform other actions that would substitute for valuable files with something seemingly identical but misleading or malicious in practice. Similar systems not using SHA-1 would not be affected.

To demonstrate the success of the algorithm, Google published two distinct Portable Document Format (PDF) files with identical SHA-1 hash. Google recommended everyone who uses SHA-1 to switch to SHA-256 or SHA-3, stronger cryptographic hash functions.

The group started with a paper published by Marc Stevens in 2013 in which the authors proposed a theoretical algorithm for the collision attack. They chose PDF files as the basis for their attack. They wrote a PDF file prefix on both files and PDF contents which hashed to the same SHA-1 digest. Then they used the Google computing infrastructure to perform more than nine quintillion (upwards of 9,223,372,036,854,775,808) SHA1 computations. They described this as 6,500 years of CPU time distributed in the first phase, then 110 years of graphics processing unit (GPU) time total in the second phase of the attack to reach full collision. They said this new algorithm was 100,000 times faster than the brute-force attack and 50 times faster than a collision attack algorithm proposed in 2005.

The cryptology group at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) institute, Netherlands, collaborated with the Google Research Security, Privacy and Anti-abuse Group to achieve the collision. According to a press release, Marc Stevens and Elie Bursztein were the initial leaders of the initiative, Ange Albertini developed the PDF attack code, Pierre Karpman developed the cryptoanalysis, Yarik Markov and Pierre Karpman developed the distributed graphical processing unit (GPU) code, and Clement Baisse checked the reliability of the programs.

Google also provided a collision detector online, where users can upload a PDF file to test whether it was tampered with for reaching a collision. Alex Petit Bianco developed the online file collision detector. Following its security policy, Google set a 90-day delay before the release of the source code for the attack.

Operating systems and software rely on SHA-1 for verifying the file integrity when distributing updates to its users and in ISO checksums. Developers use SHA-1 in their file revision control systems, such as git, to verify the files’ integrity. Many people install programs that use SHA-1 for detecting duplicate files on storage media and for verifying backups’ integrity. People surfing the web see SHA-1 used for verifying the integrity of HTTPS certificates to verify the users’ connection with the website is not subject to a man-in-the-middle attack. People also use SHA-1 in email PGP/GPG signatures.

Since January, Google Chrome does not trust SHA-1 certificates. Mozilla Firefox stopped trusting them yesterday.

SHA-1 was introduced more than twenty years ago.

Google announces new operating system

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google announced today that they are developing Google Chrome OS. The operating system, announced on their official blog, will be based on their Chrome browser, which is now nine months old.

Google said that at first it will be targeted toward netbooks, but in the future, will eventually expand. The company said that it will continue to be developed alongside Android, their operating system currently being used on mobile devices.

The system will run in a windowing system atop a Linux kernel and will be fully open source. It is planned to be released in 2010. On their blog, Google said, “Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds,” said the blog post written by Sundar Pichai, Vice President Product Management, and Google’s engineering director, Linus Upson.

Both men said that “the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web” and that the new OS is “our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be”.

Getting Pregnant On The Pill}

Submitted by: Rebecca Anison

Nowadays, the birth control pills are a very popular and crucial choice for a large majority of worldwide women. The compound from the revolutionary birth control pills is an estrogen and progestin mixture, extremely efficient in comparison with the simple pills, which are composed only from progestin.

In general, if the pills are taken regularly, without missing or taking any too late, the pregnancy rate is 0.1%, 1 per 1000 women. In practice, the studies have revealed that the pregnancy rate is higher, ranging from 3% to 5%. If you are taking birth control pills, is more likely to wonder yourself what real chances are to become pregnant while taking the medication.

According to the medical experts, the large majority of pregnancy situations occur when a woman takes oral contraceptives and accidently misses to take one or several pills, or in the case the pills expiration dated well passed. The pill is not fool proof, and women who take it religiously, although very rare, can still get pregnantmore so for those who take it irregularly.

Another two extremely common situations, which are highlighted the high risk of getting pregnant on pills are: not to begin a new pack on the correct day or to take the pills too late from the sequential and predefined hour. Many women are afraid that getting pregnant soon after the pill will cause birth defects, but there have been no conclusive studies on the correlation between hormone exposure and birth defects. There is an increased risk of miscarriage though, so women should be careful when they suspect that theyre pregnant while on the pill.

There are a great variety of reasons why women may not take their oral contraceptives in time or entirely skip them, such motivations are: disruption of the daily routine, the husbands absence and simply the trouble of remembering to take them each day at a certain time. The medical professionals revealed that almost 47% of women are missing at least one pill per cycle and more than 22% are missing more than 2 pills per cycle, highlighted the increasing rate of missing the pills.

The core mechanism which sustained the pregnancy prevention is, basically the ovulation prevention. The birth control pills suppress the luteinizing hormone and the follicle-stimulating hormone. This overcomes the luteinizing hormone surge from appearing and this surge is mainly responsible for the ovulation process.

A basic and crucial characteristic of the oral contraceptives is to alter the cervical muscles, minimizing the sperm penetration risk. The pills are also changing the lining of the uterus, diminishing the implantation stage. There are a wide range of defense lines to prevent pregnancy, even if the ovulation occurs while taking pills. In essence, missing one pill dose will not be followed by serious and undesirable situations, although it is recommended to double the immediate dose, in order stay on schedule and to diminish any breakthrough bleeding. In the case of skipping several doses, it is desirable to utilize a barrier technique, which will end of the cycle at the menstruation appearance. Even without any type of bleeding, the pregnancy possibility must be taken in consideration.

Taking an ensemble view, the changes of a women getting pregnant while on the birth control pills is extremely low, highlighted the great efficiency of oral contraceptives. In the process of preventing a pregnancy, the pill is considered the most comfortable and the number one method, followed by the surgical sterilization.

About the Author: Rebecca Anison is a mother of two kids, before that she had infertility problems. Please visit her website to learn more about

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Congressman Cunningham admits taking bribes

Monday, November 28, 2005

U.S. Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (RCA) pled guilty today to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to help a defense contractor get business. In total he pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion and four counts of conspiracy, namely mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery of public official and accepting bribes. U.S. District judge Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunnigham to be sentenced on February 27. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and nearly $500,000 in fines, as well as forfeiture of unspecified amounts of cash and property.

In the court hearing, Cunningham admitted to accepting “bribes in exchange for performance of official duties” between “the year 2000 and June of 2005”, taking “both cash payments and payments in kind” and following up by “trying to influence the Defense Department”.

The federal investigation against Cunningham was triggered by his sale of his California residence to defense contractor Mitchell Wade in late 2003. However, Wade never moved in and sold the house at a $700,000 loss three quarters of a year later. At the same time Wade’s company MZM won tens of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Subsequent investigations discovered more questionable business transactions, including interactions with the defense contractor ADCS. In his plea agreement he testified that, among other charges, he “demanded, sought and received at least $2.4 million in illicit payments and benefits from his co-conspirators in various forms, including cash, checks, meals, travel, lodging, furnishings, antiques, rugs, yacht club fees, boat repairs and improvements, moving expenses, cars and boats.”

Cunningham announced his resignation after the hearing. In a written statement released by his law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP he declared “The truth is — I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.”

America’s Cup: Alinghi are fifth race victors

Saturday, June 30, 2007

File:America’s Cup.jpg

The Swiss yachting team, Alinghi, have defeated Team New Zealand in the fifth race for the 32nd America’s Cup. The overall score is now 3-2 to Alinghi.

Alinghi won the race by 19 seconds, though throughout the pre-start race each yacht was within close distance of each other. Team New Zealand, racing with NZL-92, crossed the start line first and reached a 12 second lead at the first mark. But when Team New Zealand were preparing to fly a new kite, their spinnaker ripped in two and went flying into the air. Their second spinnaker was not tied on properly and the third one got tangled half way up.

Team New Zealand managed to free the first two and untangle the third to continue the race, making up some of the 140 metres Alinghi had created in the three minute hold up.

Grant Dalton, managing director of Team New Zealand, said, “That was an important race and it wasn’t one we should have lost on a mistake on a move we’ve practised time and again.”

The team first to five wins, wins the “Auld Mug”.

Somali piracy: Kenyan navy kills three, Chinese ship hijacked, British couple freed

Monday, November 15, 2010

Three pirates were killed late Friday during a presumed attack in error, while other pirates successfully hijacked the Yuan Xiang, a Panamanian-flagged vessel with an all-Chinese crew, and a media embargo was lifted regarding the release of a British couple whose yacht was seized more than a year ago over the weekend.

At 11 p.m. on Friday a Kenyan patrol vessel was near Kilifi in Kenyan coastal waters “when four suspected Somali pirates on board a speed boat climbed the vessel, mistaking it for a merchant vessel,” according to Kenyan Defence Department spokesman Bogita Ongeri. He said three were shot dead but the fourth “dived into the sea with bullet wounds during the scuffle,” and is thought to have died. The speed boat with more pirates on board fled, the three bodies were taken to Coast General Hospital, Mombassa.

Ongeri promised more details after discussions with the vessel’s captain adding, “[t]he government will not relent in its fight against piracy.” Kenya, along with the Seychelles, performs international prosecutions of pirates, but convictions are rarely secured; 26 suspects were freed last week by Kenya owing to lack of evidence or jurisdiction.

Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers’ Assistance Program said Saturday, “I can confirm the pirates hijacked Yuan Xiang on Friday at midnight Kenyan time in the Arabian Sea near India. The vessel has 29 Chinese crew.” The Yuan Xiang was sailing outside the zone covered by a multinational task force combating piracy. Reports suggest its captors are heading to Somalia.

Retired British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler were released after their yacht Lynn Rival was captured near the Seychelles en-route to Tanzania 388 days ago, in October 2009. An injunction prevented reporting the release until 56-year-old Rachel and 60-year-old Paul, from Kent, were out of Somalia.

“Men with guns came aboard,” Paul told ITV News over the phone a week after their capture. “Then we were forced to sail … toward Somalia.” The seizure was witnessed by UK refueling ship RFA Wave Knight but they were not helped for fear their lives would be endangered. “This is not piracy and must not be reported as such,” Paul said in custody. “It is kidnapping and extortion and even torture.” It is unclear if money changed hands; US$7 million was originally demanded but UK government policy forbids ransom payments. “We’re fine,” said Paul. “We’re rather skinny and bony but we’re fine.”

New figures show 790 people have been kidnapped by Somali pirates this year, on course to beat last year’s record of 867. Of these, 435 remain hostage. Dr Alex Coutroubis and George Kiourktsoglou of London’s University of Greenwich say crews are repelling more attacks, and attackers have responded with increased violence. “As it gets harder for pirates to capture ships, the Somali gangs are more likely to fire at sailors with automatic weapons in order to force vessels to stop”. Some tankers have had rocket propelled grenades fired at them.

Last year saw 217 hijack attempts. This year, to date, 140, and 40 ships seized – versus 47 for the whole of 2009.

Scams Of Online Car Loans You Should Be Aware Of

By Canada’s Car Loans

With banks increasing their web presence to reach the most elusive of their clientage it has become very easy to obtain online car loans. Not only are they hassle free and don’t require a lot of frustration on your part but for a rational borrower it is imperative that he should be aware of possible scams that are online.

One of the benefits of the online car loans is that you have access to an array of websites that you can easily compare and evaluate. But nevertheless a prospective buyer can get ensnared by some of the scams online and it is helpful if they know some common features of these scams to effectively reduce the chances of getting into a fraudulent loan scheme.

1. The Guaranteed Loans Scam

This is one of the oldest scams in the book. This scam may be old but is as effective as any and has resulted in many borrowers getting loans with highly inflated rates. This con makes people believe that their options have become limited and their salvation lies only in these loans. Always verify the details and conditions of online car loans that have sweeping generalized statements.

2. The Up-Front Fees Scam

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This is another famous online car loans scam where you are asked to deposit the fees up front. Sadly many people pay this money without the lender ever dispatching the loans. It is true that a lender can ask you for an application fee when you are applying but never pay actual installment before your application has been approved or you are sure about the authenticity of the operations of the bank.

3. The Low-Credit Score Scam

This is the car loan where the lender will tell its gullible borrowers that their credit score is more damaged than what they perceive it is. This means that they can offer you loans with higher interest payment. You will not object but in fact will be grateful to the lender. This makes it imperative that you check your credit reports or have them checked by an independent third party.

4. The Required Co-Signer Scam

Another unique scam is the one in which the lender will ask you to get a cosigner. You can only improve your credit rating if the loan is on your name and you make the payments on time. This means when you have a cosigner these lenders will issue loans in their name hence leaving your credit rating undeterred. Try to get your online car loans always in your and the cosigner name unless you have bad credit already.

5. The Changing the Terms Scam

As the name suggests this scam works when you are facing a situation with all the terms and clauses of the contract of the online car loans changed. What actually happens is that once you get your loan approved and may even get a car, you will be notified by your lender that since your credit rating is considerably low you will have to agree to new terms and conditions. These conditions will be harsh with more strict conditions. The best remedy for this scam is to return the car as soon as possible and try to find another lender.

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Canada’s Beaches—East York (Ward 32) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Beaches—East York (Ward 32). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Donna Braniff, Alan Burke, Sandra Bussin (incumbent), William Gallos, John Greer, John Lewis, Erica Maier, Luca Mele, and Matt Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Contents

  • 1 Sandra Bussin (incumbent)
  • 2 William Gallos
  • 3 Erica Maier
  • 4 Luca Mele

One killed, many boats damaged in storms on Spanish island of Majorca

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One person has been killed and dozens of boats have been severely damaged or sunk by storms on the Spanish island of Majorca.

The storms hit the island frequently last week, and the weather finally calmed on Sunday.

In San Telmo, a 62-year-old man died when he tried to save his sinking yacht. Winds of up to 60 mph were reported with gusts reaching 75 mph.

Boats could be seen sinking into the water for several days after the storm, with people unable to rescue them due to the conditions.

Local residents stated that they were the worst to hit the island, which has a large number of ports, in ten years, with the clean up effort continuing into this week.