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Encrypted Messaging Site Privnote Cloned to Steal Bitcoin

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Privnote, a free web service that which lets users send encrypted messages that self-destruct once read, has been copied with the reported aim of redirecting users’ bitcoin to criminals.

In a Sunday post on cybersecurity blog KrebsonSecurity, journalist Brian Krebs warned users of a phishing scam that lures unsuspecting victims to a near-identical version of the privnote.com website known as privnotes.com.

However, the fake site doesn’t fully encrypt messages, as Krebs discovered in tests, and can “read and/or modify all messages sent by users.”

Just as worrying, it contains a script that hunts out messages containing bitcoin addresses and changes the original address into the bad actor’s own address in the sent message. This would mean any funds sent would arrive at the bitcoin address owned by the criminal, not the one intended by the message sender.

“Any messages containing bitcoin addresses will be automatically altered to include a different bitcoin address, as long as the Internet addresses of the sender and receiver of the message are not the same,” Krebs said in the post.

“Until recently, I couldn’t quite work out what Privnotes was up to, but today it became crystal clear,” he said.

Krebs explained that he’d been notified by the owners of privnote.com that someone had built a clone version of their site and that it was tricking users of the legitimate site.

“It’s not hard to see why: Privnotes.com is confusingly similar in name and appearance to the real thing, and comes up second in Google search results for the term “privnote.” Also, anyone who mistakenly types “privnotes” into Google search may see at the top of the results a misleading paid ad for “Privnote” that actually leads to privnotes.com,” Krebs wrote.

A quick Google search by CoinDesk verified this finding.

Making the scam harder to spot, the self-destructing nature of these messages means victims are unable to go back and check on the bitcoin addresses the script alters: they are sent, read and deleted. According to Allison Nixon, chief research officer at Unit 221B, who helped identify and test the phishing scam, said the script appears to only alter the first instance of a bitcoin address if it’s repeated within a message.

“The type of people using privnote aren’t the type of people who are going to send that bitcoin wallet any other way for verification purposes,” Nixon said in the post. “It’s a pretty smart scam.”

Bitcoin-related scams have been on the rise in recent months, particularly with concerns relating the coronavirus pandemic. U.K residents were warned in late March that scams were being used to exploit fear and uncertainty through text messages and emails posing as an official health organization.

“Even if you never use or plan to use the legitimate encrypted message service Privnote.com, this scam is a great reminder of why it pays to be extra careful about using search engines to find sites that you plan to entrust with sensitive data,” Krebs said.

Disclosure

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/encrypted-messaging-site-privnote-cloned-steal-bitcoin-crypto

Energy

American Electric Power Receives First NAPPC Pollinator Electric Power Award

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), managed by Pollinator Partnership, has awarded its first 2020 Pollinator Electric Power Award to American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) for its leadership in pollinator-friendly projects. This award was established by the NAPPC Pollinators on Managed Lands Task Force and sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). As a sponsor of the award, EPRI does not participate in the nomination process or award selection committee.

By implementing pollinator-friendly projects on managed lands, electric power companies can play a significant role in boosting pollinator habitat nationwide, including habitat for the imperiled native Monarch butterfly.

AEP is studying the substitution of native vegetation in place of traditional grasses to establish and maintain prairie habitat on typical transmission line upgrades while developing guidance and best management practices. Native prairie grasses and flowers may provide an improved alternate land use option that requires minimal maintenance once established. The native seeding approach can reduce erosion and provide drought-tolerant cover, while significantly improving the ecological value of rights-of-ways. Native seed mixes developed for AEP’s research projects include a variety of plants that attract pollinator species and support wildlife.

In one major research effort, AEP is collaborating with the nonprofit Dawes Arboretum (near Newark, Ohio) to create a biodiverse prairie habitat along a transmission line right-of-way. This approach may be a cost-effective way to fulfill electric utility vegetation management requirements while significantly improving the ecological value of the habitat. Researchers there are documenting rich biodiversity and monitoring habitat quality, erosion control and invasive tree growth. AEP also is involved with other sustainability-oriented pollinator initiatives and right-of-way vegetation management studies.

Tim Lohner and Amy Toohey, AEP environmental specialist consultants, accepted the award on AEP’s behalf at an Oct. 20, 2020, virtual ceremony during NAPPC’s annual conference hosted by the Pollinator Partnership and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Learn more about NAPPC at www.nappc.org.

Learn more about AEP’s environmental stewardship in promoting and protecting pollinators at https://www.aepsustainability.com/environment/wildlife/.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

Established in 1997, Pollinator Partnership (P2) is the largest 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals. Pollinator Partnership’s actions for pollinators include education, conservation, restoration, policy, and research. P2’s financial support comes through grants, gifts, memberships, and donations from any interested party. Its policies are science-based, set by its board of directors, and never influenced by any donor. Pollinator Partnership manages the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). To learn more, visit www.pollinator.org.

SOURCE American Electric Power

Related Links

www.aep.com

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/american-electric-power-receives-first-nappc-pollinator-electric-power-award-301156125.html

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Energy

Garrett Announces Acquisition

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White’s, who had been in business since 1950 as a premier manufacturer of metal detection products, announced the suspension of operations on June 18, 2020 in a memo to its dealers.  White’s founders, Kenneth and Olive White, built their business the same way Garrett’s founders, Charles and Eleanor Garrett, did, by innovating and committing to producing high quality products in the United States.  White’s current principals, Kenneth R. and Mary White, are choosing to fold the White’s legacy in with Garrett Metal Detectors as a way of extending their “Made in the USA” tradition. 

Garrett CEO Steve Novakovich commented, “The White family and the Garrett family have had a high level of respect for one another as competitors in the sport market for decades.  Now we at Garrett are proud to combine our respective legacies as Garrett continues on as the premier American metal detector company.”

The transaction includes White’s trademarks, intellectual property, tooling, and other assets.  It does not include White’s real estate in Oregon or Scotland.  Garrett intends to rigorously defend all of White’s trademarks, patents, and other IP wherever infringement may occur.

Novakovich continued, “Garrett recognizes that the White’s brand has a loyal following in the US and around the world.  We are pleased to welcome those customers to Garrett, and we hope we can earn your future business.” 

Current White’s customers in need of repair or warranty service should contact:

Centreville Electronics 
9437 Main Street
Manassas, VA 20110
(888) 645-0202
(703) 367-7999
centrevilleelectronics.net

Centreville Electronics NW
1550 Maple Place
Lebanon OR 97355
(541) 409-7263
centrevilleelectronicsnw.com

About Garrett Metal Detectors

Garrett Metal Detectors, co-founded by electrical engineer Charles Garrett and fifth-generation educator Eleanor Smith Garrett, is a global leader in the design and manufacture of metal detection products for hobby, security, and law enforcement applications.  Garrett Metal Detectors’ headquarters and manufacturing facility is located in Garland Texas.  Garrett is an International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001:2015 certified company.

Related Links:

https://www.garrett.com 

https://www.whiteselectronics.com

https://www.centrevilleelectronics.net

https://centrevilleelectronicsnw.com

SOURCE Garrett Metal Detectors

Related Links

http://www.garrett.com/

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/garrett-announces-acquisition-301156157.html

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Energy

NASA, Department of Energy Expand on More Than 50 Years of Collaboration

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASA’s longstanding partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) has enabled notable space exploration, from revealing more about the Moon to propelling the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft into interstellar space. NASA and DOE are expanding on more than 50 years of collaboration with a new memorandum of understanding announced Tuesday by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

The agreement – discussed during the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board meeting Oct. 20 – aptly supports Space Policy Directive-1 and other U.S. national space policies. Under the directive and NASA’s Artemis program, America will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024 and establish sustainable lunar exploration by the end of the decade to prepare for the first human mission to Mars.

“Artemis depends on a coalition of partners across U.S. government, industry, and the world,” said Bridenstine. “The DOE’s energy, science, and technology expertise remains crucial to the success of NASA missions. Together, we will mature and ready systems for exploring more of the Moon and venturing humans farther into space, all for humanity’s benefit on Earth.”

Working together, NASA and DOE continue to drive exciting scientific discoveries with missions such as the Mars Perseverance rover and sustainable exploration with future propulsion and power systems that will allow travel to and extended stays on the Moon and Mars.

“From achieving a better understanding of the Moon, to providing the nuclear fuels to propel Voyager 1 and 2 into space, DOE and NASA have been strong collaborators in our nation’s space mission for decades,” said Secretary Brouillette. “This new memorandum of understanding will continue our esteemed work together as this Administration strives to reach the next generation of space innovations and exploration.”

The memorandum of understanding highlights potential areas for collaboration, including scientific observations of the early universe from the Moon; Gateway activities; high-performance computing, modeling, and simulation; planetary defense from near-Earth objects; sensor and satellite development; space nuclear power and propulsion; space situational awareness; space weather; technology transfer; and more. Future joint activities will continue to advance civil space exploration, scientific discovery, and U.S. national space policy. 

NASA and DOE also established three working groups that focus on lunar surface infrastructure, space nuclear power and propulsion, and science and innovation, including space safety and planetary defense.

Learn more about how NASA is returning to the Moon to prepare for Mars:

https://www.nasa.gov/moontomars

SOURCE NASA

Related Links

http://www.nasa.gov

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com:443/news-releases/nasa-department-of-energy-expand-on-more-than-50-years-of-collaboration-301156149.html

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