He Couldn’t Hack It… Facebook Hacker Faces Prison Term & $250,000 Fine

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It’s happened to everyone. You log on to your Facebook account and get a private message from someone you know, it could be an old schoolteacher, your mother, or someone pretty you met on a night out. You open the message, and all you can see is that dreaded blue hyperlink. You groan, roll your eyes and write a message informing them that they’ve been hacked…

If you can relate to this experience, then you can probably relate to the experience of actually being hacked as well. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing, invasive and extremely annoying, since you have to run all sorts of computer checks/clean-ups and change all your passwords as well.

Hacking of this kind can also be dangerous, if you click the blue link for any reason, then you’re potentially delivering yourself into a world of virtual hurt.

Now, with everyone and their tech-retarded grannies signing up to Facebook, hacking has become far more prevalent, a way of robbing people blind without even looking them in the eye while you do it.

This week, BBC News reported that a New Yorker named Eric Crocker, who used the alias Phastman to commit his virtual crimes, has admitted to hijacking more than 77,000 Facebook accounts as part of a vast network of money making schemes.

The court heard how he and his cohorts took over the accounts of unsuspecting Facebook users and used them to send junk emails to other accounts, thus hacking them as well.

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Using the Facebook Spreader tool, Crocker received $300 (£191) for every 10,000 computers he infiltrated.

Mr. Crocker was one of 70 people arrested across 20 countries, thanks to evidence gathered by the FBI’s (very coolly-named) Operation Shrouded Horizon, an initiative aimed at the prevention of virtual crime.

Crocker and the other suspects were members of an invitation only, password-protected forum called Darkode, which boasted between 250-300 members at any given time.

Hackers used the site to buy, sell or swap malware, stolen personal details, credit card information, hacked server credentials and other pieces of data and software commonly used in worldwide cyber crime.

In order to join the site, unethical hackers like Mr. Crocker had to be sponsored by an existing member, they were then heavily vetted to ensure that they were who they said they were. Finally, prospective members had to submit a resume describing their previous criminal activities, which also detailed their skills and suggested ways in which they could contribute to the illegal activities planned by the site. If selected as members, the FBI reports, these hackers would then aid other cyber criminals in their illicit endeavours.

FBI operatives, as well as their counterparts in 20 other countries, infiltrated the site “at the highest levels”, gathering enough information to aid in the arrest of Mr. Crocker and his affiliates.

Crocker eventually pleaded guilty to the charges of violating anti-spam laws and the abuse of Internet connections. He will be sentenced in November, when he will likely be facing up to three years in prison, a $250,000 (£160,000) fine, or both.

Although these arrests are proof that the governments of the world are wising up to cyber crime, please bear in mind that these people, and others like them, are still out there, skulking in the shadows of cyberspace and plotting their next attack. Be vigilant at ALL times…

Global Hearing Protection Devices Market: North America has the largest market by 2020

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Hearing protection devices (HPDs) help to reduce the amount of sound energy being transmitted into inner ear and protect ear against hazardous noise. Hearing protection device prevents people from occupational hearing loss due to operational or presence of noisy equipment such as stone saws and rock drills in the work place. It also prevents from non-occupational hearing loss due to recreational activities, loud music and fire arms. Hearing protection devices are of many types such as earplugs, earmuffs, hearing band, canal caps and uniform attenuation earmuffs. A good hearing protection device has various characteristics such as good seal, comfortable to wear and leads to effective communication. Shape and size of hearing protection device varies according to individual’s comfort, size of ear canal and environmental conditions. Hearing protection devices are used while working in industries such as gold mines, manufacturing sites, construction, forestry and pharmaceuticals. In addition, working in military can also cause hearing loss as some weapons are so loud that can cause immediate total loss of hearing. Therefore, hearing protection devices are required to protect a person from hazardous noise exposure. Hearing protection device helps to reduce tinnitus-ringing in the ears. They can also prevent person from fatigue and irritability.

North America has the largest market for hearing protection devices followed by Europe. This is due to technological advancement, increasing awareness about noise pollution hazards and high disposable income in the region. Asia is expected to show high growth rate in the hearing protection devices market in next few years due to increasing prevalence of hearing problems and rising government initiatives in this field.

Technological advancement, passing of health and safety regulations, rising noise pollution level and growing demand for user comfort devices are some of the key factors driving the growth for global hearing protection devices market. In addition, their easy use, low cost and increasing consumer health awareness about noise hazards are driving the hearing protection devices market. However, manufacturing with lesser noise and off-shore manufacturing are some of the major factors restraining the growth for global hearing protection devices market.

Ongoing innovation in hearing protection devices would develop opportunity for growth of global hearing protection device market. Rising number of mergers and acquisitions among companies and increasing focus on style, fashion and aesthetic appeal are some the major trends that have been observed in global hearing protection devices market. Some of the major companies operating in the global hearing protection devices market are Honeywell International Inc., 3M, ADCO Hearing Products, GN ReSound, Centurion Safety Products Ltd, Amplifon, Delta Plus, Elvex Corporation, Hellberg Safety AB, Moldex-Metric AG & Co. KG., Siemens Audiology Solutions and Sonomax Hearing Healthcare, Inc.

As this article shows, Hearing protection devices are an important part of a lot of peoples working lives, protecting peoples hearing is a very important part of health and safety legislation.