Denver Traffic Nightmare About To Get Worse 

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Denver, Colorado-Texting and Driving Through The Mile High City

Cristal M Clark 

I know everyone thinks our issues with driving in Denver are those getting high, actually that is just a small fraction of our issues. 

Did anyone catch the news reports last week stating that by 2040 Denver traffic will have increased over 40%? The news is leaving the Mile High city scrambling looking for ways to help relieve our already terrible congestion. 

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Overall, because the population has grown, so has traffic, that’s a given, what amazes me are the rude, inconsiderate, aggressive drivers, the individuals who are playing about on their cell instead of bloody well driving down the road, then we have the bicyclists who blow through stop signs and lights, cyclists and motorcyclists who ride in between cars in traffic(which by the way is technically not legal in Colorado), skateboarders doing the same thing down both Colfax and Broadway, now we have scooters doing the same thing, pedestrians who refrain from utilizing the crosswalk and who just pop out in front of you and RTD. 

Yes RTD. Who in the hell decided it would be smart to allow for RTD to pick up and drop off passengers right after the stop light thus holding up traffic (these stops need to be before the traffic light), not to mention RTD is out on roads like Alameda, Federal, parts of Sheridan where the lanes are already so narrow not all cars, trucks or trailers can even fit into a single lane, and here’s RTD. 

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The reality is that this is all a normal day in just about every Americans life who drives to and from work in and out of any major city. Today while I was driving home, I noticed the woman in front of me was playing about on her cell, she would fail to move at every single green light, then would snap her head up and gun it. We all know what’s going on when we see the individual in traffic whose head is pointed at their lap. We are rolling along up this bridge in Stapleton/Northfield when I notice the traffic in front of her is, for lack of better words, not moving. I slow down noticing that she is not slowing down. As you might have guessed, she did ass end the gentleman in front of her. Idiot. She was too busy texting on her phone. 

Nothing and I mean nothing is that important that you should be texting and driving, what’s more is that with hands-free your Google Assistant or Siri will read and respond to those super important texts, emails and dial a number for you should you need to call someone. 

The rest of the way home I made it a point to look around and count how many people were fucking about on their cell phones instead of paying attention. I counted 55 individuals driving through the city of Denver, right through the city, playing on their phone. Every stop light, coming up to every light, moving forward after the light changed. It was truly both amazing and sickening. 

When you think about all of the other variables I listed above, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, aggressive drivers, why would anyone text and drive? 

All of the individuals I saw tonight are all adults, you know the same people who complain about those careless teen/irresponsible younger drivers? The adults who tell these younger individuals that they cannot text and drive? The adults who will pay for an app to put on their child’s cell that prevent that child from texting and driving? 

Is that not truly disgusting? Not one of the people I counted on the way home was a teenager or individual who was over 21. IT was all older working adults, 30 and over for the most part. Some of the younger individuals I saw driving where just careless, rude or inconsiderate.

I would wager a bet, if the police had the ability to watch for every driver texting and driving they could net 3x’s as many offenders to that of drunk drivers. 

That leads to one fact and that is distracted driving causes more headache and accidents than we realize. Why pay some app developers to stop our kids from texting and driving when the problem seems to be the adults failing to practice what they preach?

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Why don’t Apple and Android make a fix that will not allow you to disable bluetooth when you are in any car and blocks all texts and emails for instance you see nothing until you get to your destination and turn the car off. Yes I am talking about a dick move here, all phones automatically pair with all car bluetooth even if you don’t own the car and you do not have the ability or option to shut that off, that way you can’t drive your friends or rental car into a crowd, someone’s home or the back of another person’s motorized transport. 

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They could create it so you have 5 minutes once it pairs with the car to get your music going, get your map set and then that’s it. If you need to know about your text or email, you tell Google Assistant or Siri to read it to you, you can verbally respond and that’s all you get. 

We clearly as a society cannot seem to follow the rules, be safe when we drive, we cannot decide on our own not to text and drive, so Android and Apple should take our ability to endanger the lives of others away. 

Having this technology is not a right, someone created it and now we are abusing it. By taking away our ability to hold our phone and physically text and drive rather than verbally it would help some of our traffic woes and it would force people to learn how to use our voice assistants. Even maps now do not need us to really type things in, we can tell Waze, Google and Apple what we are trying to find and our voice assisted apps will guide us to that destination.  

Yes before anyone points this out, this an aggressive and bold suggestion, the reality is, society is not willing to change its behavior, so we need a solution that will make our roads somewhat safer by removing a distraction that is abused every minute of every day. 

Texting and Driving Laws Don’t Work!

Or we can keep this up and insurance companies can just sue Apple and Android for not opting to disable our ability to surf the web, play Pokemon, text, read emails all while we drive…I mean shouldn’t Apple and Android be forcing us to use our voice assistants when we drive?

It’s a lot like when a bar continues to serve someone who shouldn’t be served, these companies know society is abusing certain elements of their software, it still does not excuse them from being held accountable negligence is not at least last time I checked an excuse to ignore the problem. 

Cristal M Clark

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NSA – To Finally Help Improve Security?

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Releasing Free Tool for Reverse Engineering Malware

By: Cristal M Clark 

The NSA generally undermines security rather than do anything useful so as to help.

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Now the NSA is taking a stand against malware in a pretty significant way it would seem, they are going to release a helpful tool for free in an effort to help, for a change.

On March 5th, the agency plans to release a free reverse engineering tool, GHIDRA. The software reportedly dissects binaries for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows, turning them into assembly code that can help analyze malware or pinpoint questionable activity in otherwise innocent-looking software.

GHIDRA entered the spotlight with the Vault 7 leak, so it’s not a secret nor is it really new, it is unusual however, for the NSA to release it.

Other similar tools to exist in fact however they are terribly expensive.

This does leave some to wonder what the NSA’s true motives are given it’s prior history and part in the Zero Days worldwide malware release.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

 

Android Malware That Can Physically Damage Phones?

 

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Currency Mining Malware and Your New Android Phone

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My dad used to make fun of me for shelling out the extra money for Apple anything, and while iPhone’s are not 100% malware or hacker proof, they are still the safest bet in town.

Reports are circling around town today about a fairly newer piece of malware affecting Android phones. The malware is a cryptocurrency miner that happens to be so aggressive in nature that it can actually cause physical damage to an Android phone.

Once your phone is infected the malware carries out quite a few malicious activities behind the scene such as but certainly not limited to:

Unending ad’s

Actually participating in DDoS attacks

Sending text messages to any number

Silently subscribing to paid services

And of course

Mining cryptocurrency

The malware is hidden ever so conveniently inside apps that are distributed through third party markets, browser ads, and sms based spam. The malware is called Trojan.AndroidOS.Loapi but has been given the nickname of “jack of all trades,” by researchers at Kaspersky Lab.

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After just two days of testing the malware in a lab researchers found that after it ran all of its dirty little deeds continuously it actually caused the phone’s battery to swell so much that it caused the cover to become deformed.

Of course the mining is not the only issue, then again neither is the swelling batteries one might encounter.

The malware also sends a number of prompts for users to assist it in obtaining admin permissions, once granted those highly sought after permissions the malware makes it pretty difficult for an infected device to install security apps that would otherwise “disinfect” the device.

It will subscribe the device to costly premium services pretty much all day long, sending codes in sms on its own to confirm those costly subscriptions and, whoever is on the other end of the attack, well those guys can use the infected phones to become part of DDoS attacks.

Lastly, it displays a constant stream of ads that annoy users to no end.

Researchers have never seen anything like this before and are unsure of its origins.

The good news is that no one seems to think that users are downloading it from Google Play.

Still the same, I think I’ll stick with my iPhone.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

Ransomware now hitches a ride with mobile banking trojans

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Coming soon to a mobile banking app near you

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Researchers from Kaspersky Lab have discovered at least 2 Android trojans that steal financial information and login credentials, now just in time for the holidays, double as file-encrypting ransomware programs.

Faketoken, one of the programs whose primary function was to generate fake login screens for more than 2,000 financial applications in order to steal login credentials, with the added bonus of being able to display phishing pages in order to steal credit card information, and read and send text messages, added a new and improved bonus feature.

The creators of Faketoken back in July added the ability to encrypt user files stored on the phone’s SD card and they also have since released thousands of builds with the very same functionality.

According to researchers at Kaspersky Lab “Once the relevant command is received, the Trojan compiles a list of files located on the device corresponding to the given list of 89 extensions and encrypts them.”

Faketoken is disguised to look like many popular apps and games, once installed, it creates repeated prompts that bug the user repeatedly to input necessary permissions.

Which most people eventually give at one point or another.

Another mobile banking trojan, Tordow 2.0 that has the ability to encrypt files, make phone calls, control SMS messages, download and install programs, steal login credentials, access contacts, encrypt files, visit web pages, manipulate banking data, remove security software, reboot devices, rename files, and act as ransomware.

Tordow 2.0, which is available through third-party app stores, again disguised as a popular app, contains a pack of exploits that it utilizes in order to gain root privileges on the infected devices.

So far Faketoken has managed to infect devices in 27 countries, most of which are located in Germany, Ukraine, Thailand, and Russia. 

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It is only a matter of time before the rest of the world starts to see these types of mobile banking trojans that are complete with ransomware.

File-encrypting ransomware has never really been popular until now with mobile devices because generally everything on a mobile device is backed up to a cloud.

With hackers becoming more and more daring, creative and clever, you can be sure to find these types of mobile banking ransomware trojans heading to an app near you sometime in the near future.

Banks are going to need to do more in terms of informing customers of when and why mobile apps are updated but more importantly mobile apps on the app stores need to be checked and managed a lot better than they are today.

Users are the ultimate enabler regardless of banks and the app stores.

I cannot tell you how many times users at my current job and my past jobs, who will bring me a laptop, macbook, Android phone, iPhone, iPad or tablet that has some type of app installed that is causing them a headache.

10 times out of 10, when I ask the user if they checked the app’s that they had installed before installing them, the answer is always no, after being given the glazed over, blank, deer in headlights look.

Users ultimately need to start to check apps prior to installing them.

It is only a matter of time before these types of mobile ransomware trojans become more and more popular as users ditch desktops and opt for more mobile friendly ways to function through everyday life.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop