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The Spy in Your Phone | Al Jazeera World



In mid-2020, a mobile phone belonging to an Al Jazeera Arabic investigative team was hacked. Over the next few months, reporter Tamer Almisshal and the Canadian research group Citizen Lab investigated Pegasus, the sophisticated spyware used.

Pegasus is manufactured by an Israeli technology company called the NSO Group and is among the most advanced spyware in the world. It can access and infiltrate a smartphone without the owner clicking a link, opening an email or even answering their phone – meaning it can go undetected.

This investigation exposes how Pegasus works, how governments like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have bought the hugely expensive spyware and how it has been used beyond the stated intentions of the NSO Group of “developing technology to prevent and investigate terror and crime” – including to target journalists.

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  1. Investors think there’s more chance Tesla and bitcoin will halve than double, warns Deutsche Bank

    Investors are returning from the long holiday weekend in an upbeat mood, with some attributing that optimism over an imminent changing of the guard at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And we’ve got earnings and comments from Biden’s top Treasury pick, Janet Yellen, ahead.

    The S&P 500 SPX, +0.81% is up about 0.3% for the year after last week’s pullback. That pales in comparison to some assets, with bitcoin BTCUSD, 0.45% up another 27% this year, after a 300% return in 2020. And electric-car maker Tesla TSLA, +2.23% has gained 17% so far in 2021, after around a 700% gain last year.

    On that note, we move onto our call of the day, which is all about bubbles. It comes from a survey just published by Deutsche Bank, who asked, among other questions, where investors are seeing the froth right now.

    Some 89% of respondents believe markets are facing bubbles, and two stand out — U.S. technology stocks and bitcoin. The latter is getting close to “extreme bubble” territory.

    “When asked specifically about the 12-month fate of bitcoin and Tesla — a stock emblematic of a potential tech bubble — a majority of readers think that they are more likely to halve than double from these levels with Tesla more vulnerable according to readers,” said strategist Jim Reid and research analysts Karthik Nagalingam and Henry Allen. Tesla will report fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 27.

    More bubble thoughts on bitcoin — the cryptocurrency has reportedly topped the “most crowded position” in Bank of America’s monthly fund manager survey, knocking tech stocks off the highest perch….

  2. A friend of mine works in high-tech security. He told me that all of the flash memory cards such as SD, MicroSD, Compact Flash, XD, etc as well as all thumb drives and SIM cards have RFID chips in them to facilitate them being discovered by police when hidden. They use a portable RFID scanner and wait for the signal (essentially a ping-back) from the embedded chip when they are close to it. The only way to defeat this is to have them stored inside an RFID protective housing.

    Also, such cards keep a record of the serial number of every device that they are ever plugged into, and each card has it's own number which is recorded by any device it is used with.

    My guess is that the whole (blockchain, so to speak) is kept and added to with each new device or card introduced spinning a forever growing web of what device has been linked to what other device and that of course draws links between the owners of the devices.

    A further precaution; those card reader/printer devices that you find in places like Wal-Mart for printing your own photos from your memory cards violate your privacy by extracting and recording the whole of the contents of the card, including the deleted files/photos and even the remnants of the scrambled, securely deleted, or encrypted ones in case they would be of interest to the authorities some day.

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