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Spyware linked to Khashoggi killing used to hack phones of journalists, activists: report

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Investigators found evidence of powerful spyware that’s designed to be used to track criminals on the phones of journalists, human rights activists and politicians, a bombshell report said.

Some 23 phones showed signs that they were hacked and another 14 showed signs of attempted hacks using Pegasus software licensed by Israeli-based NSO Group, a private technology firm, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and several media partners.

The spyware can be sent in a message, but may not even need to be clicked on to hack a phone – leading one cyberattack expert to call it “eloquently nasty.”

Using the spyware, hackers can have access to anything on a phone and may even be able to activate cameras and microphones.

“There’s not anything wrong with building technologies that allows you to collect data; it’s necessary sometimes,” Timothy Summers, IT director at Arizona State University, told the Washington Post.

But Summers, a former cybersecurity engineer in US intelligence, said there’s the possibility of using it to spy on nearly the entire population of the world.

“But humanity is not in a place where we can have that much power just accessible to anybody.”

The number of alleged hacks and attempted hacks may only be a fraction of a total. Of 67 phones voluntarily offered for review, 37 showed signs of hacks or attempted hacks but that doesn’t mean the other 30 weren’t under surveillance, the report said.

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reportedly had NSO Group's flagship Pegasus spyware installed on the phone.
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reportedly had NSO Group’s flagship Pegasus spyware installed on the phone.
AP

Reporters identified the numbers and requested voluntary access to the phones after the news organizations obtained a list dating back to 2016 of more than 50,000 phone numbers as part of their probe into Pegasus, according to the report.

More than 1,000 people on the list were identified in over 50 countries, including 189 journalists for organizations like CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, the Washington Post said. Over 600 of those identified are politicians or government workers, including heads of state the report stated.

Two people apparently targeted were directly connected to Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist murdered in October 2019, the report stated. His wife was allegedly targeted ahead of his death and his girlfriend was allegedly targeted days after the killing, the report claimed.

Mexican journalist Cecilio Pineda, who appeared on the list twice, was shot dead at a car wash, the report stated. NSO denied any connection to the company and the deaths of Khashoggi and Pineda.

The probe was based on misinterpretations and mischaracterizations, an attorney for NSO told the publication.

“NSO Group has good reason to believe that this list of ‘thousands of phone numbers’ is not a list of numbers targeted by governments using Pegasus, but instead, may be part of a larger list of numbers that might have been used by NSO Group customers for other purposes,” said the libel attorney.

The overall list, which doesn’t identify people associated with the number or why they’re on the list, was obtained by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International. It isn’t clear where the list originated or who may have used it, but the company says its customers include agencies in 40 different countries, the Post stated.

A large share of numbers on the list were are in places like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which are or have reportedly been NSO clients, according to the investigation.

NSO has claimed it polices clients for human rights violations and recently ended two contracts over abuses, the report said.

The analysis of phones found no evidence that spyware had affected any phones in the US, although a dozen Americans oversees were listed. NSO said none of their products can be used for surveillance of US phones.

For further reading visit Source

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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