Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown has 24 articles published.

Antonio is a freelance contributor who primarily writes about crypto-technologies and the internet. Antonio Brown is a pseudonym.

How to DDoS Someone (And How to Protect Yourself Against It!)

in Hacking
How to DDoS Someone

Ever wondered why that sudden spike in traffic on your website caused your site to crash? It might have been a DDoS attack.

In this article, we look at what DDoS attacks are, how to DDoS someone, and, most importantly, how to protect yourself against these attacks.

What is a DDoS Attack?

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is an attack that attempts to render a site unavailable to users by flooding it with malicious traffic. When the site’s servers get overwhelmed by the fake traffic, real traffic coming to the site is unable to access the content on the site.

DDoS attacks are very destructive and are usually targeted at sites that offer financial services or products.

How to DDoS Someone

What is a DDoS Attack

DDoS attacks are not easy to undertake. People attack sites for different reasons.

Some do it to target competitors like a small online shop in the same niche while hacktivists may do it send a message. Most DDoS attacks, however, are financially motivated.

There are several ways to carry out a denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Here are two of the most popular methods of carrying out a DDoS attack.

DDoS Programs and Tools

DDoS programs and tools are good options for regular people who do not have access to professional hacking tools and do not have the skills.

The efficiency of these tools is not as solid as proper hackers getting to work. However, they can do some damage. 

In most cases, these tools are used to target a site at once by several people. Groups like Anonymous use this strategy by asking all their followers to utilize these tools to attack a site at a particular time.

The reason behind this method is that these tools do not send out a lot of traffic to cause severe damage unless the number of users is multiplied.

Botnet

Among the technical methods that exist, botnet attacks are more popular. A collection of devices connected to the internet, infected with malware, and responding to commands from a central device is known as a botnet. 

Some members of botnets have no idea that their devices have been compromised and are part of an army of devices used by malicious actors on the internet. 

Botnets are usually part of spam email and cryptocurrency mining phishing schemes. Botnets are also deployed in DDoS attacks. The millions of devices send traffic to a site at once, causing so much pressure on servers and a crash.

4 Ways to Prevent DDoS Attacks

Prevent DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks are very common and may hit any of your sites at any time. Here are four ways you can prevent DDoS attacks in 2020.

1. Get Bandwidth

DDoS attacks affect sites that have very little bandwidth for traffic easily. Malicious actors direct a lot of traffic to your site, which overwhelms it and causes the site to go down. 

Unlike the past, where having more bandwidth than the attacker makes it almost impossible for your site to be affected by DDoS attacks, it is now not enough. 

However, getting more bandwidth raises the bar and requirements for an attacker to attempt a DDoS attack.

2. Advanced Server System

DDoS attacks can target sites with servers in one location easily. To make it more difficult to get attacked, it is best practice to spread your servers across data centers in different regions.

Also, these servers in different regions should be connected to separate networks with no single point of failure. 

Splitting servers across different locations make it impossible for attackers to affect all your servers at once, allowing unaffected servers to absorb some of the traffic sent to the site.

3. Make Your Hardware DDoS Resistant

Aside from decentralized servers, you can configure your hardware to prevent DDoS attacks.

For instance, simple configurations like making your firewall or router to drop incoming ICMP packets or block DNS responses from outside your network (by blocking UDP port 53) can avoid some DNS based attacks.

4. Use Cloud Protection 

Instead of relying on an in-house method to prevent DDoS attacks, you outsource your prevention efforts to a cloud-based service. This method of preventing DDoS has become very common due to the advantages that come with it.

Cloud-based service providers have more bandwidth and resources than a single private network does. In-house hardware can easily be overwhelmed by the pressure that comes from multiple DDoS attack attempts.

Further, cloud services can divert harmful traffic to other resources in a way that the traffic never reaches the targeted destination.

What’s more, cloud-based service providers are committed to ensuring the safety of your site 24/7, including looking out for new DDoS attack tactics.  

In some cases, some site managers opt for a hybrid system that combines both cloud DDoS prevention and in-house strategies.

The Bottom Line

It is important to monitor your sites to see if there are any unusual sources of traffic or spikes. These are typically signs that someone is attempting to DDoS attack you. With the right cybersecurity protocols in place, however, you should be able to withstand such an attack.

Top 7 WiFi Finder Apps You Can Download Today

in Guides
WiFi Finder

WiFi finder apps come in handy when you are trying to locate WiFi networks near you. In this guide, we look at the best WiFi Finder apps available in 2020.

What is a WiFi Finder App?

WiFi finders apps are mobile applications that recognize all available WiFi networks and provide as much information about them as possible.

Usually, WiFi finder apps show you WiFi name, security, brand, channel, and signal strength. These applications provide great utility for people who travel frequently.

What’s more, people who are very careful about the kind WiFi they connect to may find WiFi finder applications useful.

Top 7 Best WiFi Finder Apps

best wifi finder apps

WiFi Map

WiFi Map is a WiFi finder app that is very useful for travelers. It comes with an interactive map, which shows all the hotspots available in a particular city. The app claims to have a network of about 100 million users who have accessed over 120 million hotspots around the globe.

The app displays detailed information even when the user is offline. When offline, users have access to WiFi hotspots available in a city and their passwords.

Cost: Free (Paid Pro version)

Platform: iOS

NetSpot

NetSpot is a desktop and mobile WiFi finder application that is known for its in-depth data collection and provision features. The app creates heatmaps of radio frequencies of networks for people who want that much detail.

Moreover, it has an intuitive user interface with a” Discover Mode” that makes it easy for you to find networks available in your range.

After finding a network, NetSpot provides a chat that covers the signal strength, signal to noise ratio, and information about the router.

Cost: Free

Platform: Android, iOS, Mac OS, and Windows.

TWC WiFi Finder

TWC WiFi Finder is most useful in the US. The nationwide TWC WiFi network from Time Warner has over 500,000 hotspots in the US. TWC WiFi Finder is an app that helps you locate these hotspots.

You get free access to high-speed internet through this app. In areas where it is a requirement to be a Time Warner’s customer, the app gives you access through the free trial program.

The application is free and is available on the popular mobile operating systems.

Cost: Free

Platform: Android and iOS

WiFi Password Finder

For people who constantly travel with their laptops and jump from one place to the other, you may have issues with remembering WiFi passwords. However, this is not a problem since your computer saves the login data of WiFi networks.

Sometimes you may want to send the login info to a friend who will be visiting the same place. Further, you may want to share the data from one device to another.

There are two options you could go with in this scenario. You can spend a lot of time searching through the depths of your settings or getting an application like WiFi Password Finder.

WiFi Password Finder is a desktop app that can retrieve passwords of WiFi networks you have connected with in the past.

Cost: Free

Platform: Windows

WiFi Analyzer

Another free Android WiFi finder application, WiFi Analyzer allows you to check various details of WiFi networks available.

WiFi Analyzer checks the signal strength of networks around you. It shows if signals are overlapping others to give you a heads up on resolving cross-frequency issues. 

WiFi networks work in channels within the range of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. When two networks share the same channel, communication becomes difficult. This WiFi app gives you insights that help you avoid interference with other WiFi networks.

This app is more technical and is more useful to network administrators trying to find details about networks around them.

Cost: Free (Paid Pro version)

Platform: Android 

Hotel Wi-Fi Test

Hotel Wi-Fi Test makes it easier for you to select the right hotel with perfect internet connectivity. The website collects data from users who visit various hotels. This data is then used to provide a guide on hotels before you make a reservation.

As usual, there is more data from cities with several visitors like New York, London, and Sydney. Further, Hotel Wi-Fi Test has browser extension that attaches a WiFi score to hotels in its database listed on sites like Trust Pilot, Expedia, and Hotels.com.

Cost: Free

Platform: Web

WiFiMapper (By Open Signal)

WiFiMapper, by Open Signal, is a popular WiFi hotspot identification app. It thrives on ann active community that updates the data of the app regularly with passwords and reviews.

WifiMapper boasts of over a list of 500 million hotspots. The app’s map is integrated with Foursquare, which gives users more details on amenities available in WiFi hotspot areas. 

Unlike most mobile WiFi finder apps, WiFiMapper is not fully functional without internet connectivity.

Cost: Free 

Platform: Android

There are several WiFi finder apps at your disposal. Depending on what you need, you could use a combination of the apps to get the best results.

What’s more, after you have connected to a public WiFi network, you need to ensure that you do not get compromised – WiFi Hacking: How to Protect Yourself in a Public WiFi Network.

How Do You Know If Someone Is Watching You Through Your Phone?

in Hacking/Privacy
how do you know if someone is watching you through your phone

The unfortunate reality is that your phone camera can be accessed and switched on without your consent. How do you know if someone is watching you through your phone? Find out in this article!

How Do I Know If Someone Is Watching?

It is not easy finding out if someone can see you through your phone camera. The methods used to hack your phone to install spyware are not easily discovered. It takes specialized software applications to detect spyware on devices.

However, there are a few things you should look out for.

1. Your Camera Is Acting Weird

If, for some reason, your camera is acting out of the ordinary, that may be a red flag.  

Things that show your camera has been compromised include sudden photographs in your camera app you did not take yourself. Further, your camera app appears in recent apps even though you have not opened it.

The camera is very sensitive since it works hand-in-hand with built-in microphones and speakers on your phone. Access to your camera by hackers makes it easier for someone to watch you through your phone.

2. Strange Files

can someone see you through your phone camera

Beyond identifying unexpected videos and images among the files on your phone, other strange files signify a compromise. If you see files with unusual extensions you did not install yourself, you should be alert.

You should always check out for files you did not create since hackers need to install software on your device to make their work easier. 

For instance, an app on the ethical hacking platform Kali, called Metasploit, uses Adobe Reader 9 (a very popular document reader) to gain access to devices. 

The hackers behind the program found a way to exploit file installation loopholes to have remote access to devices. 

Hackers can use this method to steal documents, photos, and videos, and upload incriminating content to your device. Always delete strange files as soon as you identify them on your phone.

3. Apps Running in the Background

In some cases, malware is attached to regular looking applications. 

This has happened more frequently on Android devices as bad actors have managed to slip bad applications into the Google Play Store. Also, don’t download apps from unsecured or random websites.

When you identify apps running in the background for no reason, it might be a sign that someone is watching you through your phone.

Apps in the background are also characterized by sluggish device performance, high data usage, mysterious pop-ups, and a decrease in battery life.

Now that you have identified what to look out for, the next step will be what to do to prevent someone from watching you through your phone. 

How to Prevent Someone From Watching You

someone is watching you through your phone

The best solution to preventing phone spies will be to stay away from all applications you are not sure of. However, you cannot be too careful since these attacks evolve frequently.

Here are some ways you can prevent someone from watching you through your phone.

Scan Frequently

It is best practice to scan your device regularly to check for potential compromise or unknown software. For things like this, a manual scan will not be enough.

You will need specialized software like antivirus applications to detect spyware. You should also note that some applications that claim to be antivirus software are spyware themselves. Only use apps that have been reviewed and verified by industry experts.

Check App Permissions Frequently

App permissions have been prioritized by the most popular mobile operating systems, Android, and iOS. These permissions are displayed before you download the app or right before the app is about to use it.

Sometimes app permissions that have been granted in the past are used by applications to track you through your phone. Permissions like access to the camera and location can be used in the background by apps for tracking.

To prevent this, you should reduce permissions granted to apps you do not use frequently. Also, you can disable permissions for apps when you are not actively using them.

In conclusion, it will be very difficult for hackers to gain access to your device if you take your cybersecurity seriously. In the event that the unfortunate happens, being alert will help you detect any changes on your phone. 

Finally, putting small stickers on your phone’s camera lenses is a simple and cheap way to prevent anyone from looking at you through your phone’s camera.

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Order a Dark Web Mystery Box

in Dark Web
Dark Web Mystery Box

Dark web mystery boxes have become a thing on YouTube. While most of these videos are fake, you can purchase a dark web mystery box on some darknet marketplaces.

In this article, we look at three reasons why you should never order a dark web mystery box.

What is a Dark Web Mystery Box?

A dark web mystery box is a box of unknown items that you can buy from a darknet marketplace. Buyers usually acquire them for their surprise element and shock factor.

While they may be intriguing, buying these boxes can put you in danger and/or lead to legal repercussions.

Below you will find a list of three reasons as to why you shouldn’t order a mystery box on the dark web.

You May Not Get Anything After You Pay

After ordering your dark web mystery box, chances are that you may never receive the item. There is no consumer protection on the dark web. People who offer services on the deep web intentionally use that to stay anonymous and avoid tracking.

You may spend a small fortune on “rare” dark web mystery boxes and never receive them. You won’t also be able to get your money back too.

Most payment processors do not work with stores on the dark web or linked to it. That means payments are made through unconventional methods, like cryptocurrencies.

When you make payments in bitcoin on the deep web, you will be unable to get it back in case you get scammed.

You May End Up With Illegal Items

darknet mystery box

The dark web is a fertile ground for criminal activities due to the difficulty involved in tracking users. Ordering a dark web mystery box, therefore, puts you at risk of participating in illegal activity.

You may receive a stolen item, contraband, or something that was used in a crime. As a result, you may end up on the wrong side of the law. And law enforcement may come knocking on your door since your address and purchase may link you to criminal activity.

For instance, combined operation in March 2019 by law enforcement in the United States, Europe, and Canada led to the arrest of people that traded on the dark web. The operation – dubbed SaboTor – gathered intelligence information through different channels, according to Europol and the FBI.

Sharing Your Information on the DarkWeb Is Not Safe

Besides illegal marketplaces, the dark web is also known as a farm for personal information.

Under regular circumstances, you will have to share some sort of personal information with the site or store to receive your order at your doorstep. This process means that you share your data with a random person on the most dangerous part of the web.

Giving people on the dark web access to your data allows them to sell it to other bad actors. Also, they could target you for attacks or use it as a leverage for blackmail.

There have been stories of people tracing people and showing up at their houses from the dark web. Further, hackers could use your information to steal your accounts online or engage in phishing attacks.

In short, you are better off without your data in a dark web store’s database.

Dark web mystery boxes may seem like an intriguing thing to explore. However, purchasing these surprise items may put you at risk.

OnlyFans Hack: Did the Popular New Platform Get Compromised?

in Hacking
OnlyFans

OnlyFans has become one of the most popular sources of adult content, and just like other sites in the space, it might have suffered a breach. The reported OnlyFans hack is not close to other major adult site hacks like Ashley Madison or WifeLovers. However, it entrenches the narrative that these sites are major targets for hackers and need to work on their security.

In this article, we look into the OnlyFans hack claims and what that means for users.

Did OnlyFans Get Hacked?

In February this year, over 1.6 terabytes of content from OnlyFans appeared online from what looked like a hack. The majority of the content came from female pornographic content creators.

Journalist Vonny LeClerc was first to mention the issue. LeClerc, in a now-deleted tweet, pointed to a link where people could view the stolen data.

Head of marketing at OnlyFans, Steve Pym, responded to Vonny LeClerc’s tweet to explain the situation:

“We have investigated claims of a site wide hack and found no evidence of any breach of our systems,” he said. “The content contained in the supposed ‘leak’ seems to be curated from multiple sources, including other social media applications.”

The leak includes several videos and images from OnlyFans specific creators.

OnlyFans has become the new heaven for online adult content creators. It allows influencers, models, artists, and even ordinary people to share content for pay. It rose to prominence after similar platforms stopped operating due to the FOSTA federal bill.

The OnlyFans hack or leak will affect the revenue of creators. Several victims rely on their exclusive OnlyFans content as their significant revenue stream. Unfortunately, the premium content that was exclusive to OnlyFans is now available for free.

A couple of Twitter users attempted to profit from the OnlyFans leak by selling the stolen content at a discount. Further, Twitter was quick to suspend such accounts to prevent further damage.

Is OnlyFans Free Of Blame?

Other reports also claim the leak included up to four terabytes of content with the username of creators attached. To clarify, it seems to be a collection of content from OnlyFans content creators across several platforms into one large free file.

OnlyFans’ claim that it was not breached may be valid. Regardless, it shows that there are vulnerabilities with the distribution methods of the platform. Sites that sell video and images usually make it hard for these media to be downloaded. Some platforms make it impossible for you to take screenshots or screen record.

At the time of the leak, OnlyFans did not have these strong measures in place to protect content on the site.

OnlyFans sent notices to platforms where the stolen content was being hosted to take it down. What’s more, OnlyFans is providing support to victims of the leak.

How to Conduct Dark Web Research Without Going to Jail

in Dark Web
darknet research

The dark web has gained notoriety for being a haven for illicit marketplaces, illegal pornography, and traffickers. As a result, accessing specific sites and content can get you into legal trouble even if you are only conducting dark web research.

In this article, you will learn how to conduct dark web research within the bounds of the law.

Is the Dark Web Truly Anonymous?

Dark Web Research

The dark web is a hidden section of the deep web that can only be accessed through an anonymized network. You have to use specialized browsers such as Tor, I2P which enable you to surf the dark web anonymously. The browsers route data being sent from your computer through a series of network relays, building up layers of encryption. In theory, this means your browsing activity on the dark web is invisible to prying eyes.

However, this does not mean browsers like Tor are fully anonymous. Over the years, law enforcement has become adept at unmasking nefarious activity in the dark web. Through a combination of cyber enforcement tools, and surveillance, law enforcement has penetrated illegal dark web markets.

Normally, in such cases, authorities make little effort into separating perpetrators and innocuous visitors. For dark web researchers, this state of affairs makes it difficult to browse dark web markets and forums for informational purposes, and still remain anonymous in the eyes of the law.

How to Research the Dark Web Safely

deep web research

Use a VPN

Internet service providers and sites can detect Tor being used since the node IP’s are visible to everyone. While your identity cannot be traced from the node IPs, ISP’s can determine that you are using Tor. This alone can draw their attention and lead them to take action, including alerting law enforcement about ‘suspicious’ online activity.

Therefore, you are advised to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you want to use Tor privately. The VPN will successfully hide your Tor node connection from ISP’s through an encrypted tunnel to a VPN server.

Take Precautions to Remain Anonymous

As a researcher, you can safely browse dark web sites and hidden wikis. But if you plan to go further, you need to safeguard your identity.

For instance, if you plan to purchase something on a dark web marketplace for examination or fact-finding purposes, you will need to create a fake identity. This will entail setting up an encrypted email and creating a new email address. You may even need to go further and register a pseudonym, encrypt your messages with PGP, and disabe Javascript in the Tor browser.

To make any purchases, use privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like XMR, or set up an anonymous bitcoin wallet.

Verify Your .onion URLs

It is important to ensure your .onion URLs are typed correctly. Onion URLs generally comprise of a string of random numbers and letters. Additionally, once you are sure of the URL, save it using encryption so that Tor will not cache it for later.

Also, be very careful when using publicly posted .onion URLs. A number of dark web sites and marketplaces act as honeypots for law enforcement.

URLs posted on the clearnet are often malicious, and can leave you open to scams, phishing sites and malware. Considering there is very little use of HTTPS on the dark net, verifying whether a site is authentic using a SSL certificate is not practical.

Don’t Be Careless

While Tor maybe a wonderful too for anonymous browsing it will be ineffective if you are careless, and end up making silly mistakes. Even all your safety precautions are worth nothing if you use a regular site like Reddit, tell everyone how smart you are, and leave metadata on your photos. In this scenario, you may end up finding out the hard way that enforcement agents use Reddit too.

Ultimately, anonymity and common sense are paramount for those browsing the dark web. The government and internet service providers may not be able to view your activity on the dark web, but they most likely know you are using the Tor network. This alone can be used as a probable cause to investigate you as was denoted by a recent judgment in the US Supreme court, allowing enforcement agents to search and seize any computer on the basis of suspicion only. Therefore, deploy all safety precautions while browsing the dark web.

Additionally, make sure to avoid platforms that publish illegal content. The simple act of viewing such sites is breaking the law. If your work as a dark web researcher does involve researching illegal platforms, get legal advice on how to handle this situation. That way you can ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law by accident.

How an Adult Website Hack Exposed 1.2 Million Wife Lovers

in Uncategorized
Wife Lovers

On October 18, 2018, a hacker compromised the database of the adult entertainment website Wife Lovers.

In this article, you will learn about the Wife Lovers hack and how you can protect yourself from this type of data leak.

The Wife Lovers Hack and Response

Wifelovers

Wife Lovers’ site owner closed the site three days after receiving a notification that the site has been compromised.  

A notice was immediately placed on the site warning users to change passwords on other sites, especially if they were identical to the passwords on the hacked site.

The site had been operating for 21 years until the hack. According to Robert Angelini, Wife Lovers and the seven sites had less than 107,000 people posting to the site frequently.

In an email responding to the hack, Angelini said:

“It doesn’t matter if we are talking about 29,312 passwords, 77,000 passwords, or 1.2 million or the actual number, which is probably in between. And as you can see, we are starting to encourage our users to change all the passwords everywhere.”

A notice on the website explained that the compromise was noticed when an “unnamed security researcher” exploited a vulnerability to download message board registration information.

The researcher informed Angelini that they were not going to publish the information but ended up doing that to identify the breached websites. A seemingly white hat hacker turned out to be a black hat hacker in disguise.

The hack was possible due to the DEScrypt algorithm used by the sites to encrypt user data. The encryption mechanism was extremely weak, according to hacking experts. 

DEScrypt was created in the 1970s and was adopted by the National Security Agency (NSA), who made some modifications to their version. The regular version makes it nearly impossible for users to use strong passwords. 

Security researcher Troy Hunt analyzed the hack. He tweeted the details.

It took password cracking expert Jens Steube seven minutes to decipher the given hash on Twitter.

The breach only affected free users of the site because the site stores details of paid users separately, according to a company statement.

What Could This Mean For Users?

wife lovers hack

Adult sites like Wife Lovers are prime targets for hackers due to what they can do with such information.

For instance, the 2015 hack of Ashley Maddison led to several follow up attacks. The breach made the intimate details of 36 million accounts public. The following weeks saw victims receiving emails threatening to inform their spouses and loved ones about their infidelity.

Although the Wife Lovers hack may not be as massive as the Ashley Maddison, the consequences could be more damaging.

An examination of the exposed data by Ars Technica revealed the potential damage that it could cause. A web search of some private emails in the breach shows a connection with Amazon, Instagram, and other big sites. These connected accounts gave away the user’s real name, geographic location, information about family members, and other personal details.

With this information, bad actors can target victims and blackmail them. In some cases, hackers also use such details for identity theft. 

What Should I Do If I Ever Face This Situation?

To avoid this situation entirely, you should use different emails for non-essential platforms. Furthermore, to avoid panic during a site compromise, passwords should be different across sites to prevent a situation where a breach of a single account can lead to many more.

However, if you fall victim to such a hack, the best step to take is to update your passwords on all sites. Also, change your usernames on other sites if it is similar to the hacked website.

The most important tip to follow while you surf the web is to avoid sites that have poor user data protection. If you don’t trust the website to protect your data, don’t give it to them.

Learn more ways to protect yourself online by reading our article on Top Privacy Tools To Protect Yourself Online.

How Do Bitcoin Mixers Work?

in Dark Web
bitcoin mixer

You may have heard that bitcoin transactions are anonymous, but that is absolutely not the case. 

In this article, we take a look at how bitcoin mixers can be used to increase transactional privacy for bitcoin payments.

What is a Bitcoin Mixer?

A bitcoin mixer, also known as a tumbler or mixing service, enables Bitcoin users to mix their coins with other users to preserve transactional privacy.

Conventional bitcoin transactions are not anonymous. Instead, they are pseudonymous. They do not disclose your real-world identity but your addresses can be linked to your identity.

For example, exchanges require you to provide your identification papers. What this means is that cryptocurrency sent to or from your account can then be linked to you.

Also, blockchain analysis companies can tell how much bitcoin you own and who you transact with by tracing your linked accounts using a range of deanonymization methods.

The translucent nature of bitcoin transactions makes it a problem for protecting your privacy and information about your personal finance. Fortunately, you can avoid tracking of your bitcoin transactions and maintain absolute privacy using bitcoin mixers.

What Do Bitcoin Mixers Do To Your Coins?

Bitcoin Mixing

Cryptocurrency transactions start from the sender’s wallet and end in the receiver’s wallet. This direct route can be traced easily using the blockchain. 

However, transactions made using bitcoin mixers break the link.

When you send your bitcoin to a bitcoin mixer, the service then combines your coins with that of others and takes them through several internal transactions that generate a long trail of addresses.

At the end of the process, when coins are finally sent to your destination of choice, the recipient will receive the coins from an address that cannot be traced to yours.

Factors that determine the level of anonymity you receive from bitcoin tumbler:

  • Firstly, the longer a mixing platform takes to scrumble coins, the harder it is to trace transactions.
  • Secondly, the number of separate wallets and addresses used in the mixing process makes transactions more opaque. Some platforms even split your funds during mixing to make it harder to track.

The amount of coins you can mix depends on the platform you select. Most bitcoin mixers do not accept huge sums of bitcoin though.

Why Do People Use Mixers?

bitcoin tumbler

There are several reasons why people use bitcoin mixers, but at the heart of all the bases is privacy and security.

Bitcoiners use mixers to prevent the exposure of their personal financial decisions. Every time you perform a transaction with a party, they gain information about your bitcoin holdings. They can check your bitcoin address on the blockchain and see how much you own, past transactions, and who you transacted with.

In extreme cases, people can monitor all inputs and outputs from your wallet to find other addresses you own. Bitcoin mixers make it effectively impossible for other parties to track you after transacting with them.

In a world where censorship is not reserved for any particular group and could happen to anyone, having protection over your bitcoin is very important.

Money has become a political tool used to fund campaigns and operations. In authoritarian regimes where all transactions, even those on the blockchain, are under the microscope, bitcoin mixers serve a vital utility.

Political groups attain full privacy of their funds by using bitcoin mixers for transactions. People who fund these groups also protect themselves through bitcoin mixers. This prevents a situation where governments can target people who fund or run these groups by tracing their wallets. 

Finally, blockchain analysis companies spring up more often these days. What that means is that there are more eyes watching transactions on the blockchain. These eyes are always linking accounts and transactions to real identities.

Users concerned about their privacy use bitcoin mixers to detach their operations on the blockchain from their identities.

If you want to mix your next bitcoin transaction to protect your financial sovereignty, check out Bitcoin Mixer.

Top 7 PayPal Scams to Be Aware of in 2020

in Cybersecurity
PayPal Scams

PayPal scams continue to plague the internet as cybercriminals attempt to find ways to defraud individuals and businesses.

In this article, we look at a list of the most common PayPal scams and provide advice on how to avoid them.

1. Get A “Free” PayPal Account

As crazy as it sounds, one of the most popular PayPal scams targets users who haven’t signed up for the platform yet.

The scam starts with a seemingly good samaritan asking to create a free PayPal account on your behalf. It usually seems very legitimate, but there is a catch. The scammer will proceed to send you a link to a PayPal registration page that will collect your details for the creation of the account.

These sites are phishing sites that are made to look like legitimate PayPal pages. They collect very important information like your full name, location, billing address, credit card details, driver’s license number, and other financial data.

When scammers collect this much information, they could use it for anything on the internet, including identity theft and making purchases from your credit card.

2. An Advanced Fee Scam

An advanced fee scam is also popular among PayPal scams. The classic narrative includes an individual who seems to have a precious possession that they need your help to clear.

At this point, they will tell you they have to pay an advanced fee to unfreeze or clear their PayPal account, which they cannot do without you. In return, they promise to give you a large cut of the money made from the sale of the product.

3. Fake Invoice

In this PayPal scam, an invoice pops up based on something you never ordered or on a product you recently checked out. The invoice looks very legitimate and is hard to tell apart from an original invoice.

The invoice contains a link that then takes you to a phishing site that collects your data for the scammers.

4. The Shipment Never Arrived

Paypal scams are sometimes targeted at merchants and sellers. Scammers come to your site to place an order and pay with PayPal. Everything will seem alright until you lose your money and goods.

During checkout, the scammer will provide a fake delivery address that will cause the shipping company to list the product us initially “undeliverable.” Later on, the scammer will provide the right address and receive the product. However, the same person will report you to PayPal for failing to deliver the product.

Without proof on your end that you delivered it to the first address, Seller Protection will come in and release the funds back to the buyer.

5. Ship It To My Friend, It’s A Secret

This PayPal scam includes you helping a scammer surprise a “friend.” Very similar to the shipment never arrived scam, a scammer will contact you that they want to buy a product on your site.

Further, the scammer will plead with you to ship the product to a different address from their PayPal shipping address. The reason for this change, according to the scammer, is because they want to surprise a friend celebrating a birthday or wedding.

Unfortunately, if you fall for this story and you send the product to the person, the scammer will then file a report to PayPal, stating that you scammed them.

6. Fake Charities

Have you ever been hit up to send money to a “dying child in a developing country?” A lot of fake charities send emails to PayPal users claiming to be collecting money on behalf of the needy in society.

It is usually rampant during natural disasters. Scammers capitalize on the emotion of the moment to push people to give money. However, the money collected by these scammers goes straight into their pockets.

Also, unless you have given your email to a charity or NGO, they won’t send you an email. Emails from organizations you have never interacted with is most likely a scam.

7. Get Lower Fees Paypal Alternative

There are several PayPal alternatives, yet people use PayPal because it has particular features that protect the buyer.

This PayPal Scam introduces an alternative to you as a more affordable option for paying for a product. For instance, when you want to pay for a product on a site, the scammer will create an alert asking you to use another payment method like Western Union.

The usual excuse is that the alternative charges lesser fees or using that alternative gives you a discount. After making payments, the goods never arrive. You won’t be able to get your money back because the payment system doesn’t have a fail-safe system like PayPal.

How to Prevent PayPal Scams

PayPal Scam

Protecting your account against PayPal scams is as important as recognizing these scams when they hit you. Basic things like “avoid sharing your PayPal account details” is something every user is aware of.

Here are more ways to prevent PayPal Scams:

1. Don’t Open Spam

Avoid opening spam messages. Especially messages that have “PayPal” in the title or are somehow linked to money.

Also, in situations where the email bypasses the spam filter, you should avoid opening suspicious links. Any PayPal activity should be done on the official website and not other look-alike sites.

2. Greed Will Cost You

We like to look for opportunities that will make us or save us money. Unfortunately, any offer that seems to be too good to be true is most likely a scam.

Be careful of the emails with language like “buy now,” “hurry up,” “get free money here,” and “claim money now.”

3. Don’t Ship To Another Address

If a buyer tells you to send goods to an address different from what is in the transaction form, you should decline it.

It is most likely a scam that will cause you to lose your money and products. Inform the buyer that you will not be able to do that and cancel their order if they insist.

Finally, check your PayPal account frequently and keep tabs on PayPal’s latest policies to avoid being outsmarted by scammers.

How to Prevent Phone Camera Hacking

in Features/Hacking
Phone Camera Hacking

Phone cameras are the eyes of your mobile devices. They allow us to capture the world around us. However, when compromised, they can be used against us.

In this article, we look at the best ways to prevent phone camera hacking.

What is Phone Camera Hacking?

Phone camera hacking happens when an unauthorized party gains access to your camera. Also, parties with authorization to your phone camera may violate your privacy, amounting to a hack.

How to Prevent Phone Camera Hacking

This type of hack can happen through various means. The most popular phone camera hack is when third-parties have access to your camera and can use it to capture your surroundings.

Some of these hackers use RAT (Remote Accessing/Administration Tools) to monitor your phone camera.

RAT allows hackers to manage your camera and take pictures of you and your surroundings. These tactics are used to spy on you and track important information such as distance, which could be dangerous.

On the other hand, a third-party application on your phone could be secretly backing up all your pictures from your camera or be recording you. 

For instance, Google recently disclosed an Android phone camera hack that allowed applications to access the camera, record video, and access geolocation data embedded in stored photos.

Ways to Prevent Phone Camera Hacking

You can prevent camera hacking through measures that defend your phone from potential attacks and remove attacks in case they bypass the defense.

Here are four ways of preventing camera hacking:

1. Frequently Update Your Operating System

Constant software updates may get annoying but are important. Most updates contain security patches that fix existing loopholes that may allow third parties to hijack your phone.

For instance, the Google Android camera hijack mentioned above was fixed through a security update sent to affected Android phones.

2. Manage App Permissions

Camera hacking may be disguised in an application through app permissions that seem harmless. Due to this, it is imperative that you always monitor every application’s permissions.

For iPhones, go to Settings > Privacy, where you’ll see a list of all apps and the permissions you’ve granted to them. On Android, you’ll find them in Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Permission manager while on a Samsung Galaxy, you have to look in Settings > Apps > App permissions (using the three vertical dots at the top right).

3. Use AntiVirus Software

You have probably heard this a lot. Using antivirus software protects you from existing attacks or attacks that still manage to affect your phone camera.

What’s more, you should use antivirus software that has been tested and reviewed by industry experts to avoid having false security.

4. Don’t Jailbreak

Jailbreaking has become very popular among iPhone users who want to access software not available on the App Store. However, jailbreaking may expose you to malware and attacks that shouldn’t be possible on regular iPhones.

5. Put Stickers Over Your Camera

Putting stickers over your front and back phone cameras while you are not using them may sound low-tech but is an excellent way to protect yourself. Even the head of the FBI covers his laptop camera with a sticker, so why shouldn’t you cover your phone cameras too?

How to Know If Your Camera is Hacked

camera hacking

There are a couple of signs that may inform you that your phone has been hacked or, specifically, your phone camera.

Your phone gets very slow: If you begin to observe a sudden sluggish response when using your phone, it could be a sign. Malicious applications can run in the background and interfere with the phone’s functions. This interruption causes the phone to slow down.

Strange applications on your phone: If you notice unknown apps that you did not download yourself, especially related to the phone camera, it could be a sign.

Battery drain and hot battery: In some instances, your battery begins to drain faster than usual, and your phone remains hot for more extended periods. This phenomenon could be a sign that you have been hacked.

Data exhaustion: You may also notice that your phone is consuming more data than it usually does. Before you blame it on a hack, you should also check to see if you have not increased your amount of apps, uploads or downloads. 

Other weird activities on your phone: If you see apps opening up without any initiation from your end, it could also be a sign that someone has remotely accessed your phone. 

In the case where you notice any of these issues, you should find the problem and remove it. This can be through an update of the operating system and a scan by an antivirus application.

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