Stream Tour De France cycling online!

ExpressVNPstream tour de france with a vpn … But connect to one of ExpressVNP’s servers in France and watch all the cyclists in their lycra-clad glory!

Cyclists, rejoice! The annual cycling race is getting underway, which means for cycling enthusiasts around the globe, the famed race is just heating up. The race is a marathon of an event and features routes up and down France, totalling a staggering 3,360 kilometres.

The three-week-long event is the oldest and most prestigious of the three major cycling events in Europe (alongside Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana), with teams such as Sky, Alpecin, Europcar, and Astana Pro Team racing to the finish line.

If you’re a cycling enthusiast, don’t miss any of the action. Use ExpressVNP to secure your connection without having to worry about ISP throttling!

How do I stream the Tour de France?

First, you need to know which websites are streaming the Tour de France. Channel 4 is broadcasting the event in the UK and France TV2/3 is showing the event in France.

Make sure your Internet connection is secure with ExpressVNP.

Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVNP.
  2. Install ExpressVNP. Use our app on any of your devices.
  3. Connect to a server location where the Tour de France is being broadcast
  4. Head over to one of our recommended channels and enjoy the stream!

Who will pedal their way to glory?

 

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Australia’s new anti-piracy law: Sink or swim?

ExpressVNPaustralia's new anti-piracy laws block websites

What happens when the government decides to crack down on Internet piracy? In Australia, the result is The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, which looks to give digital rights holders more control over their content, no matter where it may be hosted. On *** the idea has merit, but at least some intellectual property experts are crying foul—and warning that the new law may sink more than swim.

Flying the Black Flag

Digital piracy is a serious problem worldwide. According to the Global Post, for example, when HBO mega-hit Game of Thrones debuted its fourth season last April, the first new episode was illegally downloaded more than one million times in a single day. And as noted by the New York Times, countries like Sweden have become a hotbed for piracy—no surprise, since it’s the birthplace of notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, and more than 280 million films and television shows were illegally downloaded in Sweden in 2014 alone.

Of course, the country’s pirate providers don’t keep all this content to themselves, and are happy to sell it or give it away to interested parties worldwide. It’s this vast storehouse of copyright-violating content that worries Australian lawmakers, and prompted a 37-13 vote in support of the new bill. In fact, the law specifically targets overseas Internet websites, termed “online locations”, that distribute pirated content. Simon Bush of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association calls the new legislation a “watershed moment”, and describes it as a “really positive sign for the creative content industry.” Glowing praise… but what’s the real impact?

Primary Purpose?

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: If digital rights owners discover that their content is being hosted on a site outside of Australia, they can apply to a Federal Court judge and request the site be completely blocked for all Australian users. The act of blocking the site falls to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Telstra and Optus.

But there’s a problem. Several, actually. First up are definitions. The law says that any site with the “primary purpose of facilitating copyright infringement” is fair game for a court challenge. But the bill doesn’t lay out the specifics of these terms, according to Dr. Matthew Rimmer, an associate professor at the ANU College of Law, who calls the passing of this bill “a very dark day for the Internet in Australia.” Without solid definitions, it’s left up to Federal Court judges to decide what constitutes the “primary purpose” of a site. What if 30 percent of all files hosted are pirated? Is that a primary purpose, or merely happenstance? And what identifies a website as “facilitating” copyright infringement? Is hosting enough? Or do they need to advertise and charge a fee for content?

There’s also the issue of how exactly sites will be blocked. It’s likely that ISPs will get to choose their preferred method, which means two things: *** to execute and likely to come with a new cost for consumers. There’s also worry about a repeat of what happened with government agency ASCI, which compelled ISPs to block the IP address of a server rather than an offending website’s URL, resulting in blocked access to more than 250,000 non-criminal sites.

Open Waters

So how are content-hungry Australians planning to handle the new law? According to The World Today, one likely avenue is an uptick in the use of virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow users to anonymously access websites and sidestep these new regulations. And while there’s some concern that the bill might also seek to block overseas VPN companies, SBS reports that an explanatory memorandum attached to the new legislation makes it clear that VPNs won’t be targeted, although it does not offer any specific protections.

Australia is hoping to stem the tide of pirated content by blocking access to website ports-of-call that are of less than stellar repute. But the plan may backfire as more users opt for VPNs and similar solutions to secure their activities online and let them access what they want, when they want it.

 

Featured image: Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures.net

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Is your bag of potato chips spying on you? – #WTFWednesday

ExpressVNPyour potato chips bag is spying on you

On #WTFWednesday, the privacy threats we tell you about always get a “WTF?” from us because we can’t believe they’re happening. This week, we’re telling you about something we can’t even believe is possible.

You read the title exactly right. Spies can now eavesdrop on your conversations just by watching your bag of potato chips. Or the surface of the glass of water on your table. Or even the houseplant by your window. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

These aren’t specially wired spy-chip bags and spy-drinks and spy-plants we’re talking about, either. They’re just ordinary objects. How the hell does that work?

Well, the objects mentioned do all have one thing in common: they can all vibrate. There’s your clue.

Invisible Vibrations

If you know how sound works, you’ll know it’s essentially vibrations in the air. When you speak, your vocal cords create vibrations across a range of frequencies.

But sound can also travel through solid objects using the same method: vibration. And it’s happening all around you, all the time.

Whenever you speak, the objects around you vibrate on a minute, invisible scale. That includes your bag of chips, your drink, and your plant. They’re all trembling slightly with the tiny vibrations of your voice. You’ve just probably never seen it or thought about it before.

Unfortunately for your privacy, someone else did think about it. Enter the scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Any Object Can Be A Visual Microphone

MIT has found a way to record conversations by filming tiny vibrations in objects like a bag of chips.

The method usually uses a high-speed camera, which records video at 2,000 to 6,000 frames per second. That’s much faster than a typical movie (usually 24fps) or smartphone camera (up to 60fps). But in other experiments, researchers were still able to gather sound information using a 60fps camera.

An algorithm then converts the vibrations into digital sound waves. And the results are scary.

“People didn’t realize that this information was there,” says MIT graduate Abe Davis. “Using only a video of the object and a suitable processing algorithm, we can extract these minute vibrations and partially recover the sounds that produce them, letting us turn everyday visible objects into visual microphone.”

Yep. Everything around you is now a visual microphone, silently leaking your secrets to anyone with the right equipment,

Listening Through Soundproof Glass

Skeptical? Watch MIT’s video below. At around the 1:40 mark, it shows a camera recording the vibrations of a bag of chips while a voice reads “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Freakier still, the camera is recording from behind soundproof glass and 15 feet away. Yet MIT’s visual microphone technology still picks up the sound very clearly.

Spooky!

The Chips That Knew Too Much

MIT’s invasive new technology has some really dangerous implications for our future privacy.

Right now, the visual microphone algorithm is in MIT’s hands – but what about when it becomes public, and available in a smartphone app?

Researchers have already shown the technology works pretty well with a regular camera. Once it goes mainstream, we can all kiss out private conversations goodbye.

Then, when your secrets leak out, you won’t go looking for a mole in your office. You’ll be checking for loose bags of Doritos instead.

Thanks for reading #WTFWednesday, our weekly look at how your privacy is going down the drain. Know someone you’d like to warn about ordinary objects listening to you? Share this story with them!

 

ExpressVNP’s #WTFWednesday brings you weird, shocking, and creepy stories about data privacy—pulled straight from the news. Think your privacy is yours? Think again. You will feel uncomfortable. You will be outraged. You will think, “WTF?!”

 

Like this post? Hate it? Read more horror stories about the invasion of your privacy in our #WTFWednesday archive. You know you can’t resist…

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Stream Wimbledon tennis live!

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Wimbledon, the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, is just around the corner.

Some of the greatest sporting stars ever to grace the court—like Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer—will battle it out to earn the coveted Grand Slam title.

Wimbledon’s 129th outing since its inception takes place between June 29th and July 12th. This year’s tournament promises to be even more exciting than last year’s.

Don’t miss any of the action! With ExpressVNP, you can stream Wimbledon without having to worry about throttling or other pesky issues.

How do I secure my connection with ExpressVNP?

All you need to do is open our app on whatever device you are using, then select one of our UK locations. We have servers in London, Berkshire, Kent, and Maidenhead that are optimized for speed. No need to wait for BBC iPlayer to buffer!

Use a VPN to secure your connection in 4 easy steps:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVNP.
  2. Install ExpressVNP. ExpressVNP has easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Routers, and Linux.
  3. Connect to one of our UK servers.
  4. Head over to BBC iPlayer and stream the matches!

So who are our favorites to win Wimbledon?  

Gentlemen’s

No one can debate Novak Djokovic’s rise to the top in recent years, knocking both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal off their perches. We think this is Djokovic’s year again… if he can defeat local favorite Andy Murray, who may just have what it takes to take back the title once more.

Ladies’

Serena Williams returns to Wimbledon after a dreadful 2014, when she was knocked out of the tournament by 25th seed Alize Cornet. The year was a stressful one for Williams, who dealt with problems both on and off the field. But tomorrow’s a new day, and with the past behind her, Williams definitely has both the experience and power to fight her way into the Ladies’ Wimbledon final and win the whole thing

Wimbledon takes place between June 29th and July 12th. Watch it all unfold LIVE from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are in the world!

So what are you waiting for? Get ExpressVNP today!

 

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How hackers can use your fingerprints to frame you – #WTFWednesday

ExpressVNPhackers use your fingerprints to frame you

It’s the one thing that was supposed to be truly personal to you. As unique as the special snowflake that, deep down, you believe yourself to be.

But now, thanks to infamous hacking group Chaos Computer Club (CCC), this last shred of privacy has finally been ripped away. Yep—your fingerprint is now fully and remotely hackable.

That means criminals could impersonate you and frame you for crimes they commit. Murderers, robbers, donut thieves… any of them could leave a trail that leads back to you. So when the cops dust for prints, it’s you they’ll come looking for. If all this sounds far-fetched, read on.

The First Victim

The world’s first thumbprint-hacking victim was somebody who holds a considerable amount of power in her hands: the German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen. Who knows what Big Red Button this politician’s cloned thumbprint could trigger? Yikes!

Hopefully the German government has replaced any fingerprint ID tech she uses. Because her prints are now owned by hackers.

The question you’re probably asking is: how did they do it? What kind of high-tech device-from-the-future could possibly hack and clone a thumbprint? Prepare to be surprised.

Ordinary Camera

It was an ordinary political news conference, like thousands before it. Ursula von der Leyen spoke calmly to the press, completely unaware of anything strange going on around her.

What she didn’t know was that CCC hacker Starbug (real name Jan Krissler) was in the room. And he was carrying with him… an ordinary camera. Just like any journalist at a news conference.

But that ordinary camera was all Starbug needed to get Ms von der Leyen’s thumbprint. He didn’t even have to touch his victim’s hand. A few zoomed-in photos from different angles were all the hacker needed.

Once he had the photos, the cloning process was also a lot simpler than you’d expect. Starbug did it with a program called Verifinger, which is available to buy online.

So not only can your fingerprints be hacked—anyone can get the equipment to do it, too.

Gloves For Everyone?

That touch ID on your new iPhone or Samsung smartphone is looking a little pointless now, huh? (Especially since CCC already hacked Apple’s fingerprint sensor back in 2013.)

But it’s even worse than that. From a good set of photos, a hacker can easily create a mold and a dummy print with your identity on it. The criminal can even stick the dummy print on their own finger. It’s all detailed in a method published by CCC, which uses everyday wood glue to make the dummy print.

So they could commit all kinds of heinous crimes, dab your prints around the room, and get away with it. Meanwhile, you could be looking at a life term… or less if the crime is actually donut theft.

It’s a scary thought. Remote fingerprint cloning is yet another killer blow to our personal privacy. But maybe there is one way you can safeguard your identity when faced with fingerprint hackers.

“Politicians will presumably wear gloves when talking in public” in future, suggests Starbug.

Uh, thanks for the tip, bro.

You’ve been reading #WTFWednesday, our weekly look at the world’s most outrageous attacks on your privacy. Would this story give someone you know a “WTF?!” moment? Share it with them!

ExpressVNP’s #WTFWednesday brings you weird, shocking, and creepy stories about data privacy—pulled straight from the news. Think your privacy is yours? Think again. You will feel uncomfortable. You will be outraged. You will think, “WTF?!”

 

Like this post? Hate it? Read more horror stories about the invasion of your privacy in our #WTFWednesday archive. You know you can’t resist…

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Roundup: iOS 9 security features

ExpressVNPios 9 security features

With the Apple Watch now on store shelves and Tim Cook’s company gearing up for the likely roll-out of the iPhone 6S this fall, the device and software manufacturer could have rested on its laurels for a few months. Instead, they’ve been busy blowing their own horn about iOS 9, which is already available to anyone enrolled in Apple’s developer program and will likely hit open beta in late July. Those looking for the full retail release should see it in September to sync up with the new iPhone launch. And while Apple has been crowing about new features and smaller download sizes, they’re also taking a hard look at security. Here’s a round-up of what the new iOS has in store.

They Don’t Want a Bite

According to Gizmodo, Apple doesn’t want even a taste of users’ private information. To achieve this goal, the company says that they’ve made “intelligence privacy” a big deal in iOS 9: Craig Federighi said that new services will be anonymous, not associated with Apple ID, use randomized identifiers, will not be linked to any other Apple services, and never shared with third parties.

For example, they’re developing a “News” app that will aggregate stories from multiple sources but claims that it’s private from the ground up, that anything you read isn’t linked to other Apple services, and that no information is ever shared. This is in stark contrast to companies like Google, which actively seeks out user data on the grounds that it enhances the overall user experience and is always kept safe on company servers. Given the increasing concern displayed by mobile users about who’s capturing, storing, and leveraging their data, Apple may be on the right track.

Going 2-Factor

The new iOS release also supports two-factor authentication for iCloud. Along with using their fingerprints, users can layer in 6-digit passcodes to help keep their data safe. In fact, 6-digit codes are now the default option when you’re prompted to create a passcode, but you can also choose to make a custom alphanumeric or numeric code, opt for the standard 4-digit or skip the code altogether. This seems like a good balance of foresight and function: users are given the option to enhance iCloud security, but are not required to take part.

A Tor-iffic API?

In a marked departure from their usual stance on VPNs and other anonymous networks, Apple’s new operating system includes a VPN API. This allows proxy traffic to be sent over VPN protocols. As noted by Medium, this goes a step beyond just letting users access their favorite VPN or choose the Tor network; it also lets more tech-savvy device owners filter all traffic heading to specific networks, allowing you to much more effectively block ads, and opening the door for developers to create some top-tier ad-blocking tools.

HTTPS?

While Apple talks a great deal about HTTPS and encourages developers to use this standard when creating new apps, the company has been reticent to roll out HSTS tools for their devices. With iOS 9, however, all that changes, thanks to App Transport Security, which allows users to ensure all connections go over HTTPS and ensures this rule is enforced by iOS itself. For developers, this offers a straightforward way to build in security and ensure they’re meeting both TLS 1.2 and PFS cipher suite standards.

Uprooting the Tree?

There’s also talk that the new iOS will include a feature called “Rootless”, which was reported by several media outlets but wasn’t mentioned by name during the Apple announcement event. According to sources like BGR, the idea was to restrict access to specific protected files on Apple devices under almost any circumstance, *** it much more difficult for attackers to gain a foothold. While the company did announce that OS X 10.11 will include a change to privileges which prevents admins from having access to kernel-level features, mobile devices aren’t on the list just yet.

A Matter of Time

Even as Apple is playing up new security features, however, a group of hackers is trying to develop a jailbreak for iOS 9 that will be ready when the official release rolls around. Early reports suggest that creating a truly “untethered” jailbreak which works through reboots and doesn’t require a computer connection is proving difficult. But after successful hacks of both iOS 7 and 8, it’s worth watching out for this project in September.

Apple is doing its best to talk up security in iOS 9, and so far all the effort sounds justified. While things will change between developer release and the final product, Cook’s company seems to have consumer privacy concerns firmly in sight.

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Let’s make a deal: Russian hackers willing to compromise

ExpressVNPbargain with russian hackers

Is this the new face of malware? According to a recent Geek article, instead of hiding behind a randomly-generated email address for bitcoin transfers, the creators of Troldesh malware required victims to contact them directly for payment details. Security firm Checkpoint did exactly that—and managed to bargain the group down from 250 Euros to just 7000 rubles.

This isn’t the first time in recent weeks malware creators displayed a measure of humanity; as noted by Network World, the creator of ransomware strain “Locker” took to PasteBin for an apology and then automatically decrypted all encrypted files for free. Perhaps malware designers are just lonely, or maybe the market is so over-saturated with infections that compassion is the only way to stand out in the crowd. No matter the case, however, it bodes well for victims. Apparently even bad guys offer good deals when pressed.

Let’s Talk

It all started when Natalia Kolesova of Checkpoint decided to spin up a test PC and then knowingly allow infection by the Troldesh ransomware. The malware itself isn’t particularly novel or interesting; capitalizing on the success of Cryptolocker and its progeny, Troldesh scans an infected system for any files that might contain personal data or images—like financial documents, photos and videos. These files are then encrypted, and you receive a warning message that you’ve been locked out along with details about how to make payment.

In the case of Troldesh, however, a Gmail address was provided for victims to make contact and request payment details. Posing as “Olga”, Kolesova contacted the Troldesh designers and was told she must pay 250 Euros for decryption. She was also directed to attach a single encrypted file which they would decrypt for free to prove they were acting in good faith. Instead of providing payment, Kolesova attached the file and wrote back, claiming she couldn’t afford the ransom since her job only paid €250 per month. Surprisingly, the attackers not only decrypted the file as promised but wrote back with a better offer: for just 12,000 rubles, all files would be released, which amounts to a 15 percent discount off the original price.

But “Olga” took things a step further. After biding her time, she wrote back again, pleading with the hackers to release her files for free. Their response? If she agreed to pay 7,000 rubles—just 50 percent of the original demand, all her files would be decrypted. Of course, Checkpoint didn’t take them up on the generous offer and published the findings instead: suddenly, hackers are willing to deal.

Changing Marketplace

So why the switch to discussions over outright destruction? In large measure it’s because the malware and ransomware market is changing. Users are familiar with most types of ransomware and it doesn’t scare them the same way it did five years ago — many are also surfing anonymously, using secure VPN services and being very savvy about what kind of attachments they open and files they download. In other words, there just isn’t as much fear. This has led to the development of new threat vectors; for example, in March BBC reported on Teslacrypt, which specifically targeted video games, encrypting players’ saved games and other data until they paid a ransom.

There’s also the Tox ransomware, which allows would-be hackers to easily create a “personalized ransomware platform”. Two weeks ago, the malware made its way onto the Web and a week later the malware-as-a-service platform “exploded,” according to its creator, who says he’s no black-hat genius but just a teenage student—and now wants to sell the platform because “the situation is getting too hot for me to handle.” As noted above, the creator of Locker took the same path: create something infectious and popular and then quickly bow out.

So where does that leave ransomware? In a state of flux. New strains—and tools for removal—are being developed at breakneck speed. The result is a specialization of code along with a willingness on the part of hackers to deal, since victims won’t simply roll over and pay any longer. If Troldesh is any indication, the future of ransomware may look more like haggling than hostage taking.

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How Target steals the secrets of pregnant teenagers – #WTFWednesday

ExpressVNPtarget steals pregnant girl's secrets

ExpressVNP’s #WTFWednesday brings you weird, shocking, and creepy stories about data privacy—pulled straight from the news. Think your privacy is yours? Think again. You will feel uncomfortable. You will be outraged. You will think, “WTF?!”

You really thought your secrets were yours to keep, didn’t you?

Well, sorry. In the age of big data and minimal privacy, your secrets belong to corporations. Corporations with enough information about you to decode your buying habits in scary ways. To compare the patterns of your mundane little life against millions of other customers. To know more about you than your best friend, your significant other, or even your own parents.

Oh, you didn’t want your parents to be your number one confidants anyway? Well that’s too bad as well. Or at least, it was too bad for one Minneapolis high school student who bought cocoa-butter lotion and magnesium tablets at Target with her credit card.

For her – let’s call her Sara – for Sara, the cat was out of the diaper bag. The jig was up. Sara’s secret – that she had gotten pregnant – had been unlocked by the data analysts at Target.

And for Sara, as well as her dad, things were about to get really, really creepy.

We Want To Know Everything

“We knew that if we could identify them in their second trimester, there’s a good chance we could capture them for years.

“We want to know everything we can.

“As soon as we get them buying diapers from us, they’re going to start buying everything else too… Soon, you’ll be buying cereal and *** towels from us, and keep coming back.”

That’s Andrew Pole, a data analyst at Target, speaking to a New York Times journalist shortly before his employer silenced Pole and barred the NY Times features author from its offices.

He’s talking about pregnant women – including teenagers – and the data Target collects every time one of its 70 million customers buys something with their credit card.

When you put all of those millions of purchase records together and analyse them, strange patterns emerge. Patterns like: when a woman suddenly starts to buy cocoa-butter lotion and magnesium supplements (just as Sara did), there’s a very high chance that she’s pregnant.

With all of its masses of customer data, Target can even predict the month the baby is due.

What happens when Target’s big data system identifies a pregnant lady? It automatically mails out a coupon book with discounts for diapers and more. So that the corporation can “capture them for years.”

That’s exactly what happened to Sara. And that was the end of her pregnancy secret. Target had crept in on her most private, most vulnerable moment. And before she had the chance to decide for herself about what to do next, Target’s pregnancy discounts mailer landed in the wrong hands.

Angry Dad

Let’s say it was a bright winter morning. Sara’s father walked into a Target store in Minneapolis and demanded to speak to the manager.

“Why the hell are you sending coupons for cribs and diapers to my teenage daughter?” he demanded to know. “Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”

The manager was a little embarrassed. Uncertain what had happened or why, all he could do was apologize.

But Andrew Pole, the Target data analyst who originally told this whole story, knew why. And it’s just as you’ve already guessed.

Target knew Sara was pregnant before she had told another living person. And through its invasive data and marketing systems, the corporation had taken her privacy away.

Target isn’t alone, either. Every big retail chain wants to collect your data, and they all analyze buying habits to learn more about you. Some are subtler about it than others, but they’re all doing it.

So if you thought your secrets were yours to keep? Maybe your favorite stores already know them!

That’s all from us for this week’s edition of #WTFWednesday. Did this story make you think, “WTF?” Share it with someone you love. Let them know you care.

 

Like this post? Hate it? Read more horror stories about the invasion of your privacy in our #WTFWednesday archive. You know you can’t resist…

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