We Were Under Attack

In case you have been glued top the TV on this train wreck….no an actual train wreck not the Trump White House…..the world was under attack, a cyber attack, and according to the US it was North Korea that attacked……

It’s official, according to Trump aide Thomas Bossert: The US publicly blames the massive “WannaCry” ransomware attack earlier this year on North Korea. “We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence,” Bossert writes in the Wall Street Journal. He accuses Pyongyang of being “directly responsible” for the “cowardly, costly, and careless” attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 100 countries. “We are not alone with our findings, either. Other governments and private companies agree,” Bossert writes. “The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government.”

“North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious,” writes Bossert, who says Pyongyang must be held accountable. The May attack froze computers around the world. Users were asked to pay a ransom to unlock them, but those who paid up didn’t have their data restored. A senior administration source tells Reuters that the US government has determined with a “very high level of confidence” that the Pyongyang-linked Lazarus Group was behind the attack and that the White House will make a more formal statement Tuesday.

I know that the US wants to blame North Korea for everything that goes wrong…but in case this accusation is true I have just one question……(Replace Russia with North Korea and eliminate the word election)……

Answer that one question if you please………justify your existence.

Do You Need That Selfie?

Saturday and a bit nipply in the Deep South……have you ever done one of those “selfies” that are all the rage these days?

Selfies are everywhere……every one with a Cel phone with a camera is spending their time taking photos……why are these pics so “special”?  But beyond that they are dangerous…..if you get hacked and all your nudey pics are found or worse yet……

A friend of mine and reader of this blog once wrote to tell me about how he and the men in his congregation had to go clean out the apartment of the kindly elderly bachelor who worshiped with them … and found lots of child pornography. They also found thousands of ordinary images of children this creep grabbed off the Internet, from people posting photos of their kids. It shook him up so much that he resolved never, ever to post photos of his kids to social media.

I read a news story last week in which researchers in this field said that parents who post lots of pictures of their kids to social media wouldn’t do it if they knew how those images were used by perverts. I just tried to find that story again, but the Google search for it is too depressing, so I gave up

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/stop-it-with-the-selfies-really/

Maybe it would be prudent not to splash your image all over every social site….just a thought.

Please be careful with your image and your safety…..there are people out there that want your information…..be careful, be safe……

You Are Screwed, Happy?

Closing Thought–04Apr17

There has been so much about our right to privacy on the internet and now it will be a thing of the past.

Pres. Trump has made it official……YOU NO longer have a right to privacy on the internet.

– In a move the ACLU has decried as putting “profits over privacy,” President Trump on Monday signed a repeal of former President Obama’s internet privacy rules, removing obstacles for internet service providers who wish to cull web browsing histories or other information from consumers, the AP and Reuters report. It was widely expected Trump would approve the pullback measure, which passed both the House and Senate last month. The repeal nixes an FCC regulation that would have forced ISPs to get consumers’ OK before using specific data for marketing purposes. Repeal supporters say the regulation held back innovation and was unfair to ISPs, considering internet companies like Google don’t have to ask consumers for permission before gathering similar data. Supporters also want oversight of internet privacy practices moved from the FCC to the Federal Trade Commission.

Elections have consequences….

In the words of Wild Bill Hickcock after killing a rival in a gunfight….”Are you happy now?”

Have a good evening…….

Closing Thought–22Feb17

I am not by any measure of the imagination a techno geek….I include such posts in my closing thoughts and hope that my readers with more knowledge will find it worthy of comment and correct any mis-statements that may be included….

The buzzword of the year is —-cyber-security….both personal and national…..a new report covers just how it works within the confines of a democracy…..

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” This 19th-century quip, often attributed to the satirist Ambrose Bierce, deserves a 21st-century update: “Attacks against the U.S. are God’s way of teaching Americans how weaker enemies are stronger than they seem.”

Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are the paradigmatic examples of this. On September 11, 2001, they gave Americans, along with the rest of the world, a lesson in “asymmetric warfare”—armed conflict between two sides whose relative military power differs significantly, and in which one party can gain advantage by targeting the other one’s weak points.

Source: How Democracies Lose in Cyberwar – The Atlantic

This is my swan song for the day….go out and live a bit….be well, be safe…..chuq

Closing Thought–20Feb17

Just a FYI piece for my readers

This would be a good post for my more tech oriented readers to reply about….I am not a techno geek….Hell I still hunt and peck with 3 fingers….

Ever get annoyed by those pop-up adverts that appear out of nowhere when you are trying to watch something interesting?

Did you know that many of those advertisers are getting popped by hackers for millions, even billions of dollars?

Computer hackers are a sophisticated system of fake websites and artificial web users to deceive advertisers into thinking that people are clicking on billions of online adverts and videos every day.

The fraudsters create a series of fake websites and use computer programs called “bots” to record the starting and stopping of videos and clicks on adverts, which are then reported to advertising companies as activity by humans on real websites.

In fact, some experts believe that 70% of online advertisements are never even watched or clicked by humans.

This statistic stunned Ron Amram, vice-president of media at Heineken USA, who admitted to Bloomberg in 2014, “It was like we’d been throwing our money to the mob.”

Source: Hackers use ‘bot fraud’ operation to cheat advertisers out of billions every year

I have mixed emotions…..on one hand serves them right for being irritating douches and the other no one deserves that kind of punishment….

Signing off for the day…posting will start again tomorrow….chuq

Fusion–Word Of The Day

We have added a word to the vocabulary that is a bit confusing…..FUSION.

Most people immediately think of nuclear power and such when the word is mentioned……We have Fusion food, the combining of several different cultures for a unique flavor…..then we have Fusion Jazz, to some it sounds like the musicians are all playing a different song but it is more improv than anything….and finally we have a Fusion Center.

Okay now…what is a Fusion Center?

Basically it is a program under the auspices of the Dept. of Homeland Security……

“A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.”

Fusion centers contribute to the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) through their role in receiving threat information from the federal government; analyzing that information in the context of their local environment; disseminating that information to local agencies; and gathering tips, leads, and suspicious activity reporting (SAR) from local agencies and the public. Fusion centers receive information from a variety of sources, including SAR from stakeholders within their jurisdictions, as well as federal information and intelligence. They analyze the information and develop relevant products to disseminate to their customers. These products assist homeland security partners at all levels of government to identify and address immediate and emerging threats.

Beyond serving as a focal point for information sharing, fusion centers add significant value to their customers by providing a state and local context to help enhance the national threat picture. Fusion centers provide the federal government with critical state and local information and subject matter expertise that it did not receive in the past – enabling the effective communication of locally generated threat‐related information to the federal government. Integrating and connecting these state and local resources creates a national capacity to gather, process, analyze, and share information in support of efforts to protect the country.

Now that there is a general definition and description of what these are…I shall move one…..this story is by the Future of Freedom Foundation….keep in mind it has a Libertarian tilt to their reporting….

When it comes to mindless excess in the war on terror, it is difficult to compete with the 70+ fusion centers bankrolled by the Department of Homeland Security. They began to be set up around the nation shortly after 9/11 as federal-state-local partnerships to better track terrorist threats. But the centers have been a world-class boondoggle from the start.

Fusion centers have sent the federally funded roundup of data on Americans’ private lives into overdrive. As the Brennan Center for Justice noted in 2012, “Until 9/11, police departments had limited authority to gather information on innocent activity, such as what people say in their houses of worship or at political meetings. Police could only examine this type of First Amendment-protected activity if there was a direct link to a suspected crime. But the attacks of 9/11 led law enforcement to turn this rule on its head.”

Source: A Billion Dollars of Federally Funded Paranoia – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Oh goodie….another government program that gets lots of cash and accomplishes little……the American way.

I Feel So Much Safer Now (Sarcasm)

This war on terrorism is going well if you count the physical aspects but what about the program to counter the on-line recruitment and radicalization?

We are kicking ass and taking names on the ground but in the fight on-line is another story…..

In that seemingly endless array of US government programs intended to counter ISIS’ online recruitment, the Pentagon invested substantial money in a program called WebOps, meant to employee top language specialists to scour social media and talk potential recruits out of joining ISIS.

Those familiar with the program call it an absolute disaster, quickly becoming a laughingstock in social media circles for its incompetence, and having no measurable impact beyond costing money, and leading to investigations of impropriety.

Counter-propaganda efforts failing is nothing new, but the ways in which WebOps has failed are definitely unique, centering in no small part on their “Arabic specialists,” meant to talk ISIS recruits out of joining, having no experience in counter-propaganda, little to no understanding of Islam, and not even being able to speak Arabic very well.

This has been the source of a lot of mocking from would be targets, who get approached and quickly discover the specialists are unintelligible, using incorrect words all over the place. Workers said that one translator had mixed up the word authority with the word for salad, and made numerous social media posts about the Palestinian Authority which referred to it as Palestinian Salad.

While Centcom is downplaying the problems and refusing to discuss the matter too directly, reports are that whistleblowers have been pushing investigations into the program, even as the Pentagon has begun taking bids on another $500 million scheme that aims to do what WebOps was supposed to be doing, but isn’t.

(antiwar.com)

Maybe someone in the new admin ought to address this lack of success and find a way to expand this program to include a successful conclusion.

Just a thought that will not do anything to improve their success percentage….get more media bang for visuals not shadow ops…..