Russian 'methbot' fraud steals $180 million in online ads - Dec. 20, 2016 The fraud has siphoned more than $180 million from the online ad industry, according to researchers. Dubbed "Methbot," it is a new twist in an increasingly complex world of online crime, according to White Ops, the cybersecurity firm that discovered the operation. "This is a very advanced cyber operation on a scale no one's seen before," said Eddie Schwartz, White Ops chief operating officer. Methbot, so nicknamed because the fake browser refers to itself as the "methbrowser," operates as a sham intermediary advertising ring: Companies would pay millions to run expensive video ads. White Ops first spotted the criminal operation in October, and it is making up to $5 million per day -- by generating up to 300 million fake "video impressions" daily. In the past, hackers have figured out how to deliver malvertising (viruses through ads) and how to fake clicks on ads. They built custom software so that computers (at those legitimate data centers) acted like real people viewing those ads.
15 Broad-Brimmed Facts About Stetson Hats In 1860, an ailing East Coast hat maker named John Batterson Stetson headed west to mine for gold. He didn’t strike it rich, but he ended up with something much more valuable: the design for the first commercially successful cowboy hat. In the decades that followed, the John B. Stetson Company defined the look of the American cowboy. And as the country’s sartorial tastes evolved from ten-gallon hats to homburgs and fedoras, the company evolved along with it. The man who pioneered the cowboy hat wasn’t a cowpoke or a former farmhand. While mining and hunting around Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Stetson used the felting technique his father had taught him to make waterproof blankets. Stetson returned east in 1865 penniless but determined to make money off the hat he’d created. Cowboys didn’t always wear broad-brimmed hats. From film stars like Tom Mix and John Wayne to crooners like Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, Stetson has long relied on celebrities to sell its image. Getty 10. 11.
Student Lets Thief Steal His Phone, Spies On Him For Weeks To Make This Documentary Film student Anthony van der Meer had his iPhone stolen and the thought that a stranger had access to all of his personal data really concerned him. What kind of person would steal a phone? Where do these phones end up? These were his biggest questions. To get answers, Anthony had another phone stolen from him on purpose, but this time he followed the thief using a hidden app and made a captivating documentary film about the whole process. Show Full Text “Find my Phone” was possible because of a spyware app called Cerberus. Latest update shows that his phone resurfaced in Romania. More info: anthonyvdmeer.nl (h/t: petapixel)
Pentagon to build $6.8 billion center to combat fraud, waste, and abuse PENTAGON – The Department of Defense has announced it would build a new $6.8 billion “Center of Excellence” in San Jose, California dedicated to combatting fraud, waste, and abuse, Duffel Blog has learned. A Pentagon spokesman noted that despite San Jose being one of the most expensive cities in the country to live and work, the location would allow the department to plug directly into the spirit of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. “Part of that entrepreneurial spirit that drives tech companies will be infused in the center to help cut costs around the department,” spokesman John Miller said. “In order to be LEED certified at the highest levels we have employed the most expensive construction techniques possible,” Miller added. The Center’s 10,000 employees will be divided into three sections to individually look at fraud, waste, and abuse, which would, according to one official, “create a real synergistic effect.”
The Legend (and Truth) of the Voodoo Priestess Who Haunts a Louisiana Swamp The Manchac wetlands, about a half hour northwest of New Orleans, are thick with swamp ooze. In the summer the water is pea-green, covered in tiny leaves and crawling with insects that hide in the shadows of the ancient, ghost-gray cypress trees. The boaters who enter the swamps face two main threats, aside from sunstroke and dehydration: the alligators, who mostly lurk just out of view, and the broken logs that float through the muck, remnants of the days when the swamp was home to the now-abandoned logging town of Ruddock. But some say that anyone entering the swamp should beware a more supernatural threat—the curse of local voodoo queen Julia Brown. Back when Brown was alive at the turn of the 20th century, the towns of Ruddock, Frenier, and Napton were prosperous settlements clustered on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain, sustained by logging the centuries-old cypress trees and farming cabbages in the thick black soil. The hurricane seemed to come out of nowhere.
Leah Remini Is Taunting the Church of Scientology to Sue Her Actress Leah Remini, best known for The King of Queens, is now making a name for herself as one of the most vocal critics of the Church of Scientology. The former member of the secretive religion wrote a book and produced a TV series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, about what it's like both in and out of the group. She and other ex-Scientologists have accused the church of defrauding its members, plus a number of other horrific abuses. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below The Church of Scientology created an entire website to respond to Remini's show; the website claims that Remini, and the other ex-Scientologists she talks to, are lying to get money. But Remini is willing to defend herself in court, should the organization want to take her on. On his Ora.TV show Larry King Now, Larry King read aloud Scientology's statement about her show. Remini had a succinct response: So sue me. "They should sue us.
Police Tried to Rescue a Little Old Lady Only to Learn She Was a Mannequin Police in Hudson, New York, thought they were rescuing a elderly woman from freezing to death only to learn they had saved a mannequin instead. Responding to a call from a concerned citizen, police came upon a Subaru vehicle covered in fresh snow with what appeared to be an elderly woman inside wearing an oxygen mask. She appeared to be unresponsive. It was eight degrees outside, and the snow signaled that the car had been parked in the same spot overnight. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Worried that the woman may be experiencing hypothermia, police officers broke one of the car's windows to attempt to reach the damsel in distress, who turned out to be a surprisingly realistic-looking medical mannequin. The owner of the car uses the dummy for his job selling medical training equipment. The mannequin had no comment.
The 52 Best — And Weirdest — Charts We Made In 2016 In addition to a number of interactive graphics and updating dashboards, this year we published almost 1,000 charts and maps on FiveThirtyEight. Here are 52 of our favorites, in no particular order: More Culture Australian Teens Recreate Key Ingredient in 'Pharma Bro' Drug for Just $20 Martin Shkreli Photo Credit: CNBC A group of Australian teenagers have cheaply created the active ingredient in the drug Daraprim, which “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli hiked the cost of by 5,500 percent. Sydney Grammar students recreated 3.7 grams of Pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in the drug used to treat parasitic infection in patients with weakened immune systems, for just $20, reported the Australian Broadcasting Company. Shkreli hiked the cost of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 last year as then-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which earned him nearly universal condemnation and a congressional subpoena. He justified the dramatic price increase by arguing that Daraprim, which is used to treat AIDS patients and pregnant women, was underpriced after the company he founded acquired rights to the drug. A group of 17-year-old students set out to prove Shkreli wrong, and they worked with their chemistry teacher, Malcolm Binns, to synthesize the drug. Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story.
What Happens to a Dead Body in the Ocean? When a dead body decomposes in the ocean, scientists know little about what happens to it. To find out, some researchers performed an unusual experiment that involved dropping pig carcasses into the sea and watching them on video. Lots of human bodies end up in the sea, whether due to accidents, suicides or from being intentionally dumped there, but nobody really knows what happens to them, said Gail Anderson, a forensic entomologist at Simon Fraser University in Canada who led the unusual study. Anderson and her team got a chance to find out, using the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS), an underwater laboratory that allows scientists to take video and other measurements via the Internet. "Pigs are the best models for humans," Anderson told Live Science. It didn't take long for scavengers to find the pigs. The third body likely took so much longer due to the levels of oxygen in the water, the researchers found.
Irish bookie puts odds on Trump’s administration, inauguration and impeachment The circus surrounding Donald Trump continues to reach new moments of peak insanity. The most recent, of course, came on Wednesday, amidst Trump’s cabinet confirmation hearings, when the president-elect gave his first press conference since July. In it, the president-elect refused to answer questions from CNN, calling the channel “fake news”; he sort-of answered a question about a tweet likening America to Nazi Germany; and he denied the existence of videos involving him, Russian prostitutes, and a certain golden sexual fetish. (He’s a germaphobe.) In America, such days are not without levity (as Twitter will attest), but what levity there is is weighted, nervous, of the gallows. “It’s a nice day for Mr. So, when a whiff of prostitutes and asparagus traveled across the pond, you can bet that Paddy Power had some fun. Foreign bookmakers likely aren’t expert prognosticators of American politics. Scandal and age will play a big role in which cabinet member will get the boot first
The Best Secret Weapon Against Landmines and Tuberculosis Is a Rat Tanzania is a beautiful but complicated country. Beneath its parks and lakes lurk tens of thousands of active landmines. And like much of Africa, Tanzania is also struggling with a tuberculosis crisis; there were 60,000 new cases of TB last year. Each of these problems alone is difficult. But what if there were a solution to both—something that could detect not only unexploded landmines but also new tuberculosis cases, and help stop both before they cause further damage? Well, this magic device exists. The amazing HeroRATs, a corps of specially trained mine- and TB-sniffing rats, were created by a Dutch NGO called the Anti-Personnel Landmines Removal Product, or APOPO. The first HeroRats went to work in Tanzania in 2003. Common in sub-Saharan Africa, African giant pouched rats are one of the world’s largest rodents: they measure almost three feet in length and weigh about four pounds. The rats are many times more efficient at this job than humans. And these heroic rats don’t stop there.
Melania And Barron Trump Won’t Live In White House It was announced that Melania and Barron Trump will stay in New York City after Inauguration Day rather than move to the White House so that Barron can continue at the same school. What do you think? <img src=" /> “It’s important to maintain a sense of normalcy for billionaire children by not uprooting them from their gold skyscrapers.”