|Computer Security (Photo credit: Don Hankins)|
By Carl Weiss
10. What Happens in Vegas
Around since 1997, the Black Hat Convention held yearly at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas is the place where hackers hang their hat. Interested in learning how to carry out cyber-spying on cellphones? No problem. Want to know what it takes to bypass traditional malware detection measures. Piece of cake. This convention is a veritable candy store where everyone from security experts to nerds looking to take down a small government come to hone their skills. After the now defunct Silk Road website the black hat convention is one of the scariest in-your-face threats to national security that is not only officially sanctioned but wildly popular. To quote the BlackHat.com site,
|Courtesy of blackhat.com|
Then read the book, Hacking for Dummies, now in its 4th edition. Why travel to Vegas when everything you need to start hacking can be found online? This book is designed to show you the ins and outs of what it takes to get started as a hacker.
As an information security professional, your toolkit is the most critical item you can possess — other than hands-on experience and common sense. Your hacking tools should consist of the following (and make sure you're never on the job without them):
|Courtesy of amazon.com/Hacking-For-Dummies|
- Password cracking software, such as ophcrack and Proactive Password Auditor
- Network scanning software, such as Nmap and NetScanTools Pro
- Network vulnerability scanning software, such as GFI LanGuard and QualysGuard
- Network analyzer software, such as Cain & Abel and OmniPeek
- Wireless network analyzer and software, such as Aircrack-ng and CommView for WiFi
- File search software, such as FileLocator Pro and Identity Finder
- Web application vulnerability scanning software, such as Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner and WebInspect
- Database security scanning software, such as SQLPing3 and AppDetectivePro
- Exploit software, such as Metasploit
Just in case the specter of cyber terrorism doesn’t put the fear of God into you there’s a website called Exit Mundi, that catalogs dozens of ways in which the world as we know it could meet its end. Everything from asteroid strikes to gamma ray bursts, to nuclear terrorism, to a drug that would render the human population certifiably insane (too late) is described in detail on this site. So if there isn’t enough stress in your daily grind, here’s the place to help you ring the bell the next time you get your blood pressure tested.
7. Like Alien Abduction Sites
|Alien Abduction (Photo credit: Eric Leslie)|
As if we don’t have enough problems on Earth, there are sites that show you how to deal with threats from beyond the solar system. We’re talking alien abduction here and there are a number of websites devoted to this phenomenon. Googling “Alien Abduction Sites,” returned 7,580,000 results. So despite government denials, this is a hot topic. Scanning the first few pages of the results I noted everything from a wiki where you could share your abduction recollections(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_abduction) to the
International Center for Abduction Research, http://www.ufoabduction.com/ which offers information that offers "Straight Talk About UFO Abductions"
If the threat of being abducted by aliens causes you to lose sleep at night, fear not, because there is a website called http://www.stopabductions.com/ that shows you how to make a “Thought Screen Helmet,” designed to foil those insidious intergalactic interlopers.
6. Ghost Sites
Wikipedia defines a ghost site as “A that remains live but is no longer updated or maintained or only done so very infrequently.” However, if you Google the term you will find tons of sites more inclined to Ghost Busters than webmasters. Included is everything from http://topparanormalsites.com/ that lists everything from ghost hunter sites to occult and paranormal investigation sites. There was also listed on the first page of the search a spooky website that hit close to home, literally. JAXHistory.com listed a number of spooky things such as UFOs over Jacksonville to something called the Florida Skunk Ape, which is purportedly “The Southernmost Bigfoot in the USA.”
5. The 20 Scariest Street View Sightings
Mashable collected the 20 scariest sightings posted on Google’s Street View that includes everything from what looks to be the climactic scene from the Alfred Hitchcock blockbuster “The Birds,” to a bizarre group of Japanese citizens who were spotted as they walked down the street sporting pigeon heads. (Don’t ask.) https://www.google.com/#q=scary+sites+on+google+maps
4. Seeing is BelievingIf you think that Google Street View has cornered the market on weird things that happen every day you’re wrong. There are literally millions of websites and videos that show everyone just how weird the world really is. One site called http://www.abovetopsecret.com is a collection point for bizarre-but-true stories that get little attention from the media. A recent headline includes, “Melting Starfish and Odd Orca Behavior in the Pacific Ocean,” that quotes a Seattle biologist that describes some of the bizarre changes in the sea life in the area that alludes to the fact that since the Fukushima Reactor meltdown in 2012 that the environmental impact to the Pacific Ocean has been nothing short of catastrophic. The blog also states that, “There are other reports of seals with what appears to be radiation burns on their skin and Polar Bears showing signs of large hair loss.”
|Conspiracy Theory Overlap Diagram (Photo credit: Vince_Lamb)|
Of course, conspiracy theory sites thrive online. This can make it tough to weed out the chaff from the wheat. For every site that purportedly sheds light on some facet of society that could turn around and bite us, such as the recent revelation that the NSA has been spying on the phone calls, internet searches and financial transactions of millions of American citizens, there are also sites that purport that the top 3 conspiracy websites crashed at the same time that the government shutdown took place, thus proving that they are owned and operated by either the CIA or the NSA. Love them or laugh at them, there are conspiracy theory sites that claim to prove or disprove everything from government mind control to the New World Order. So if you want to go there, here are a few hot tips. But I’ll deny I sent you this if questioned by the authorities.
- 16 Conspiracy Theories That Turned out to be True http://www.trueactivist.com/16-conspiracy-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-true/
- I Want to Know http://www.wanttoknow.info/conspiracytheories
- Disclose TV’s Camp FEMA AmericanLockdown which details the recent legislation that attempts to legitimize the use of internment camps to detain citizens in the event of an uprising or civil unrest.
The Halloween episode of Man CaveMunchies purports to show viewers how to prepare “a dish that’s so easy it’s scary.” However the intro to the show depicts the host as a meat cleaver wielding ghoul that could put you right off your diet. Check it out if you dare.
1. The Scariest Site of Them All https://www.healthcare.gov/
You think that a meat cleaver wielding zombie chef is scary? This is nothing when compared to a site that has put the fear of God into hundreds of millions of citizens of the USA. This government owned and operated site starts off with the innocuous motto, “Find Health Care Coverage that Works for You.” Then it stubbornly refuses to let the majority of people sign up, much less find coverage of any kind. Worse yet, for those who either refuse to sign up or just plain can’t sing up, there is the threat of a stiff monetary penalty. While the press refers to this system as Obamacare, I think a more appropriate term would be "ObamaScare."In this article I discussed an eclectic variety of scary subject found on the internet. I have covered the gamut from cyber security to critical government website that just don't work (plus they cost us hundreds of millions of dollars). This article contains all manner of creepy, scary and treating topics take the reader on a very wild ride. If you liked this article, pass it along to your friends. If you have, a comment or other ideas leave them in the comment section. If you want to contact me, my contact information is listed below.
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