Archives for the Date July 6th, 2020

<p>I don’t understand the idea behind the book. There will be a TV show, why would Sam waste time with a book. Is it about money?</p>

First, your agenda is showing by both talking about wasting time and focusing on  money.  I don’t believe your ask is genuine.

We have all had plenty of time lately.  I should have gotten off my butt and worked on my book outline.  Graham said in the video that he’s wanted to write a book about Scotland since he was a teenager.

It appears to be like a companion book plus they can go a lot deeper into certain areas that are personal to them.  They usually include photographs too. 

Companion books are common.  I own them for several movies and TV shows that I particularly enjoy (e.g. West Wing, Friends, Pride and Prejudice).  One Christmas an aunt gave all of us a companion book to It’s a Wonderful Life written and signed by the woman who played the youngest daughter.

There’s even a book version of Bloodshot but that’s more the story than a companion book.

Sam has proven he has a great way with the written word.  I’m surprised they are getting it out so quickly given that we know he was writing it in the spring but that tells me the show announcement may be soon. 

babyanimalgifs: “You gonna be done soon?” (via)

babyanimalgifs:

“You gonna be done soon?” 

(via)

dragonesseclectic: isaacsapphire: squareallworthy: invertedporcupine: Don’t download…

dragonesseclectic:

isaacsapphire:

squareallworthy:

invertedporcupine:

Don’t download Tiktok.

https://twitter.com/d1rtydan/status/1277081198624337920

From the linked Reddit thread:

So I can personally weigh in on this. I reverse-engineered the app, and feel confident in stating that I have a very strong understanding for how the app operates (or at least operated as of a few months ago).

TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device… well, they’re using it.

  • Phone hardware (cpu type, number of course, hardware ids, screen dimensions, dpi, memory usage, disk space, etc)
  • Other apps you have installed (I’ve even seen some I’ve deleted show up in their analytics payload – maybe using as cached value?)
  • Everything network-related (ip, local ip, router mac, your mac, wifi access point name)
  • Whether or not you’re rooted/jailbroken
  • Some variants of the app had GPS pinging enabled at the time, roughly once every 30 seconds – this is enabled by default if you ever location-tag a post IIRC
  • They set up a local proxy server on your device for “transcoding media”, but that can be abused very easily as it has zero authentication

The scariest part of all of this is that much of the logging they’re doing is remotely configurable, and unless you reverse every single one of their native libraries (have fun reading all of that assembly, assuming you can get past their customized fork of OLLVM!!!) and manually inspect every single obfuscated function. They have several different protections in place to prevent you from reversing or debugging the app as well. App behavior changes slightly if they know you’re trying to figure out what they’re doing. There’s also a few snippets of code on the Android version that allows for the downloading of a remote zip file, unzipping it, and executing said binary. There is zero reason a mobile app would need this functionality legitimately.

On top of all of the above, they weren’t even using HTTPS for the longest time. They leaked users’ email addresses in their HTTP REST API, as well as their secondary emails used for password resets. Don’t forget about users’ real names and birthdays, too. It was allllll publicly viewable a few months ago if you MITM’d the application.

They provide users with a taste of “virality” to entice them to stay on the platform. Your first TikTok post will likely garner quite a bit of likes, regardless of how good it is.. assuming you get past the initial moderation queue if thats still a thing. Most users end up chasing the dragon. Oh, there’s also a ton of creepy old men who have direct access to children on the app, and I’ve personally seen (and reported) some really suspect stuff. 40-50 year old men getting 8-10 year old girls to do “duets” with them with sexually suggestive songs. Those videos are posted publicly. TikTok has direct messaging functionality.

Here’s the thing though.. they don’t want you to know how much information they’re collecting on you, and the security implications of all of that data in one place, en masse, are fucking huge. They encrypt all of the analytics requests with an algorithm that changes with every update (at the very least the keys change) just so you can’t see what they’re doing. They also made it so you cannot use the app at all if you block communication to their analytics host off at the DNS-level.

For what it’s worth I’ve reversed the Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter apps. They don’t collect anywhere near the same amount of data that TikTok does, and they sure as hell aren’t outright trying to hide exactly whats being sent like TikTok is. It’s like comparing a cup of water to the ocean – they just don’t compare.

tl;dr; I’m a nerd who figures out how apps work for a job. Calling it an advertising platform is an understatement. TikTok is essentially malware that is targeting children. Don’t use TikTok. Don’t let your friends and family use it.

I’d heard a bit about this, but that’s worse than I imagined it could be.

I’m really not surprised. I don’t allow Chinese apps on my phone for good reason–the PRC is very heavy into cyber-espionage, and any successful Chinese corporation has to cooperate with the government if not actually be run by the government. (The PLA owns a lot of Chinese corporations).

Sounds like TikTok is literally spyware. It’s also a way to keep track of potential dissenters and other targets in places like Hong Kong and internally–they get a list of the target’s contacts, know their location at all times, and can upload other spyware.

babyanimalgifs: When Lion King gets too real for the…

babyanimalgifs:

When Lion King gets too real for the doggo 

(via)

julesername: what kind of show is this

julesername:

what kind of show is this

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