Archive for the ‘Meddling’ Category

Stepson of Stuxnet stalked Kaspersky for months, tapped Iran nuke talks | Ars Technica

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

A fascinating, in-depth account of how security firm Kaspersky was infected by (and later discovered) one of the world’s most powerful hacking tools.

“These guys are so confident to develop their entire platform based on this zero day it means if they get caught and this zero day is patched they probably have another one they can use, which I would say is a pretty scary thought,” he said. “Nobody develops an entire malware platform based on just one simple assumption that this zero day will work forever, because eventually it will be discovered and patched. And when it is patched your malware is not going to work anymore. I think that’s also very scary and quite impressive.”

Source: Stepson of Stuxnet stalked Kaspersky for months, tapped Iran nuke talks | Ars Technica

Another canceled credit card

Friday, May 15th, 2015

We got an email from earlier this evening, alerting us to fraudulent charges on our credit card. Someone has apparently programmed our credit card number onto another card and gone on a shopping spree.

It began with a swipe in a food vending machine owned by Berkshire Food, Inc. somewhere in Connecticut. Berkshire is in Danbury but there’s no way of knowing whether the transaction was there or the payment was processed there. The first tranaction was $1.60. I’ve heard that thieves will usually start off their spree with a small amount and increase as they gain confidence in their card.

Our thieves then began to get hungry, so they stopped into L.C. Chen’s, a Chinese restaurant in Fairfield, CT, at 6:19 PM. The two women bought Pad Thai and a drink, one signing the receipt as “Vanessa Smith,” according to Linda, the nice lady I spoke with.

Seymour M. Hersh · The Killing of Osama bin Laden · LRB 21 May 2015

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

On Sunday, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an account of the bin Laden SEAL raid that differs markedly from the official account. Hersh insists that Pakistan knew of the raid and that the Obama administration’s is a “lie.” Hersh’s reporting is now being called into question as he relies heavily on a single anonymous source.

I’ve been a fan of Hersh’s work, but these are extraordinary claims which demand convincing evidence. Unless Hersh can provide stronger sources I will have to wonder whether his account is trustworthy.

It’s been four years since a group of US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account.

Source: Seymour M. Hersh · The Killing of Osama bin Laden · LRB 21 May 2015

Text of Brian Dyson’s commencement speech at Georgia Tech, Sept 1991.

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

This is the full text of the speech given by Brian Dyson, former CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, at Georgia Tech’s 172nd commencement on September 6, 1991, as reported in the Georgia Tech Whistle faculty newspaper. See my previous post to learn how I tracked this down.

Coca-Cola CEO’s Secret Formula For Success: Vision, Confidence And Luck

(Brian G. Dyson. president and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. was the featured speaker at Georgia Tech’s 172nd commencement on Sept. 6.)

I think the ingredients for success, or as we would say at Coca-Cola. “the secret formula,” is a combination of three things: vision, knowing what you want to be when you grow up; confidence, knowing who you are; and luck, or what I would call being in the right place at the right time.

With those three ingredients and your Georgia Tech diploma, you have the formula for success. You have a first class education from a world class university, and I really congratulate you all on your achievement.

Yes, Coca-Cola CEO Brian Dyson really did give that “five balls” speech

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

On social media, a friend forwarded what was called the “Shortest speech by CEO of Coca Cola…”
It reads:

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.”

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends & have proper rest

Value has a value only if its value is valued

While I’m not the first to cast doubt on this alleged speech, the quote sounded too cheesy to be true so I decided to study it a bit.

Former Obama Pilot: TWA Flight 800 was shot down, here’s why – NY Daily News

Friday, April 17th, 2015

I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Was TWA Flight 800 shot out of the sky?As a former pilot, that is a question I get asked about all the time.

I’m no conspiracy theorist, but let’s be clear: Yes. I say it was. And I believe the FBI covered it up.

There are many reasons to disbelieve the official explanation of what happened to TWA 800 almost 19 years ago, on July 17, 1996, off the South Shore of Long Island. There’s hardly an airline pilot among the hundreds I know who buys the official explanation — that it was a fuel-tank explosion — offered by the National Transportation Safety Board some four years later.

Lots can go wrong with an airplane. Engines can fail; they can catch fire. Devices can malfunction. Pilots make errors.

But jets do not explode in midair.

via Former Obama Pilot: TWA Flight 800 was shot down, here's why – NY Daily News.

AON Hewitt thinks people are costs

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Here’s AON Hewitt’s page describing its Dependent Verification Services. I’d hate to be one of those “costly, ineligible dependents” that naively believe they have some sort of right to healthcare or something.



Aon Hewitt’s Plan-Smart® and Plan-Guard® dependent eligibility solutions help companies verify that eligible dependents maintain access to anticipated benefits and costly, ineligible dependents are removed from coverage as quickly as possible. Plan-Smart performs a complete audit of an enrolled dependent population. Plan-Guard’s ongoing dependent verification services preserve the integrity of the benefit plans on an ongoing basis and protect the results of the comprehensive audit.

Baltimore Police used secret technology to track cellphones in thousands of cases – Baltimore Sun

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

"In Baltimore, they’ve been using this since 2007, and it’s only been in the last several months that defense attorneys have learned enough to start asking questions," he said. "Our entire judicial system and constitution is set up to avoid a ‘just trust us’ system where the use of invasive surveillance gear is secret."

via Baltimore Police used secret technology to track cellphones in thousands of cases – Baltimore Sun.

Why skeptics think a South Carolina sailor lied about being lost at sea for 66 days – The Washington Post

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

This guy is a liar and a nutcase to boot.

It’s rare that a man is lost at sea and returns home looking even healthier than before he disappeared.

But that’s exactly what skeptics of Louis Jordan have pointed out as they question the 37-year-old’s miraculous account of surviving 66 days adrift in the Atlantic Ocean.

via Why skeptics think a South Carolina sailor lied about being lost at sea for 66 days – The Washington Post.

NSA and spyware

Saturday, March 21st, 2015
NSA planting spyware on a Cisco router

NSA planting spyware on a Cisco router

The photo that disturbed Cisco so much, the one showing the NSA tampering with a Cisco router, actually does not concern me as much as previous reports of NSA spying. The photo shows NSA doing what it should be doing, going after the bad guys. They have a specific router going to a specific customer and they’re using good old-fashioned hard work to gain their access. I can only assume that the target of this investigation is worthy of such attention and its targeting has been duly legally authorized.

The other thing this photo shows me is that NSA opted to plant its spyware using physical means rather than network means. If NSA has some sort of super-secret backdoor into Cisco firmware it certainly isn’t apparent from this photograph.

Cisco can of course decide it wants to make it difficult for these NSA operations to succeed and that’s the company’s prerogative. Certainly this photograph can cause the company’s customers to question Cisco’s security and can hurt its business. Even so, if NSA wants to load its firmware on boxes one by one and hands-on in a legally-authorized pursuit of a true intelligence target, I suppose I’m ok with that.