“Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).”
This is an epically sad day for America.
Trump supporters are not deserving of carrying the American flag. I have tried to be impartial and have criticized Presidents and praised Presidents from both parties. But this? Rioting and ransacking the Capitol?
This is unacceptable, unAmerican, unPatriotic and now …. it is radical insurrection and treasonous. No deflection, own your sedition.
While America has been reading news articles about tweets our adversaries have been busy.
Busy since March 2020.
Not my first rodeo, and given hackers are incredibly patient and typically play the “long game”, reported breaches in my experience are frequently off by two years or greater. So I’d guess 2018 ish for the initial entry point.
Regardless, SUNBURST, dug deep with APT into places that shouldn’t even be possible. Like the power grid.
“to gain access into the 15 electric, oil, gas, and manufacturing entities that were infected with the software. But Lee notes that it may not be possible to uncover such activity if the attackers did access them and burrow further into the industrial control networks, because critical infrastructure entities generally don’t do extensive logging and monitoring of their control system networks.“
“In these ICS networks, most organizations don’t have the data and visibility to actually look for the breach,” says Lee. “So they might determine if they are compromised, but … almost none of them have network logs to … determine if there is follow-on activity [in their network].”
In other words, we don’t know.
The Solarwinds hack is so bad… that in response … the United States will do nothing.
Because when you own department of homeland security, and the treasury, among 18,000 other organizations are compromised, You have been epically pwned.
it means your adversaries totally own you. They have surely added back doors and more back doors and more back doors into the systems as well as “sleepers” like some subcontractor’s laptop used once a year to service a particular piece of hardware.
Meanwhile we are using AI/ML bots to automate trading on the stock markets. They all have triggers, “if this / then that”, if bond yields hit x percent up or down, if company y changes their guidance up or down by y percent, sell all. Crash.
In other words, those of us in the devops and infosec world, hackers, know if an adversary has infiltrated even half this far, its game over. Yank and replace. “Game over dude.”
We have one option in the short term; capitulate. Concede. Because you can’t “rip and replace” everything simultaneously across an unknown number of compromised networks simultaneously when you can’t even identify them. And with APTs in place possibly down to the Silicon chip level, that are just lying in wait, even rip and replace will just get reinfected.
Stuxnet was the greatest malware/hack ever written. The US wrote it. We created Pandora’s box. We reimagined hell. Then left the lid open. The NSA got hacked and our own code has been “reflected” back on us. Since somewhere between 2012 and 2014 initially by my estimation.
All of the stuxnet code and more is now widely available to download for free on the dark web. You could do it today. Fire up VMWare fusion, kali linux, metasploit and an external wifi adapter and your are good to go. Or just use a raspi.
Officially I think notPETYA is still “the most expensive hack in history.” (get it? “think not”? but I digress….)
Unofficially? The Solarwinds hack is the Anvil dropped on the camel’s back that has broken it and brought it to its knees.
Solarwinds will shatter the geopolitical and monetary policy of the United States and the world.
Get your COVID vaccine. Get some popcorn. Watch your 401k and pension funds knowing that one or two edits and they go to zero. And try to wrap your brain around the fact that our military power is second only to financial power, and we are losing that. Any monetary power we have left is because they allow it.
Maybe buy some Bitcoin?
Take some anti anxiety meds. And pull out your Boy Scout handbook and practice setting up that old tent. (Just be careful where you put it in case the upstream dam and levees gates suddenly open up.
And if there is a “deep state”, maybe look externally instead of internally.
Hospitality industry jobs are f’d. Big time. You care. You need us/them/we. We take care of each other.
If you have never worked in the service industry, then you might not know that a Monday or Tuesday night (it varies by geography) are called “Industry Night.” And in every town there is/are one or two establishments that stay open a bit later and focus on catering to other professionals in the service field. If you are “industry”, special pricing and special consideration is given. And thus you ALWAYS tip your compatriots 20% or more. It’s an unwritten rule we all follow.
If you have never worked in the service industry, the people, like I was and still am, who behind the scenes make everything work smoothly, then their health, safety, economics and future, might not resonate with you.
But if you have always been served, and never the server, give it another 12 months and you will seriously care. Because you won’t have a pub or restaurant to go to.
“Nationally, hotel occupancy is hovering at around 50%, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. In urban areas, business may be even slower — in the 20% to 40% range.”
“Virtually all business travel has halted. … Conventions have canceled for the year, or postponed. Pretty much all we are seeing in hotels are the leisure travelers,” said Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.”
I am not suggesting opening everything up and a return to the wishful and fictional recidivist memories of what makes America “great”. And I don’t have all of the answers. That’s the point; none of us do.
I am posting this as a former busboy, waiter, fill-in bartender-of-last-resort in my youth. It’s how you partially pay for college. Or at least it was for many of us.
I am proud to have kept the (your) cutlery and dishes sanitary and well rinsed, the industrial ovens and grills on giant wheels cleaned with just the right amount of industrial strength cleaners. The kind that eat into your skin if you don’t wear elbow length gloves. And again rinsed and washed so customers didn’t get sick.
You do your “industry” job “right” because it’s the right thing to do. And hey, don’t forget, we also eat and drink where we work. And we bring in our family and friends.
The food and beverage “industry” is honorable work. I’m proud to have done it for years. And I’m not too prideful to return to working in the industry of restaurants, bars, and hotels if I needed to. I bet the 6 AM prepper is still is terrified of paper cuts (tomato juice is a killer) and I bet they still slice the prosciutto last (it’s greasy so you do it last before cleaning the blade.)
In conclusion, as painful as it is to write this, we must *not* fully open the service economy back up until we solve COVID. All that will do is endanger, and sometimes, literally kill my friends in the industry.
And to achieve that, in a time of international crisis, the people in industry should not be forgotten.
From the article by a Canadian in Florida returning to Canada by car. She left out of concern that Floridians were ignoring the Coronavirus Pandemic. (I will try to track down the link and update.)
Canadians are divided, politically and geographically, but compared with our neighbours, our divisions are trifling. … There are disagreements, as is proper in a democracy, about the best course to take, but the virus (in Canada) has not been turned into a political weapon, as it has in the United States, where attitudes about the illness sharply divergeon partisan lines.
With catastrophic leadership and a lack of social solidarity, the United States looks like it is going to get hit hard, which is tragic, because it has the resources to stop the virus in its tracks. What it doesn’t have is the leadership, the will, the social solidarity, to get equipment to health-care workers and convince everyone to stay home for a few weeks.
I am afraid that partisan division, fuelled by a narcissistic, attention-seeking president, is going to cost the Americans dearly.
It reminds me of this quote from President Bush:
“The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it,” George W. Bush
And right or wrong is for history to judge, usually. W did not hide from facts. I say this because as a society we need less of this imagery.
And more of this:
We need a lot more of positives images, but only those based on facts. If you, as a leader, give one iota about who genuflected to you for doing your job, then you may have picked the wrong job.
Facts: Sadly, since this last Thursday, (today being Sunday, March 29, 2020), deaths from COVID19 went from 1,000 to over 2,000 on Saturday – and a current count of 2,348.
The above image shows the current reality in the United States as of March 29, 2020 at approximately 1 PM EST.
In Houston the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response has been quite aggressive. And as the third largest metro area in the US, it should be. I get it. Mostly we are quarantined in place except for grocery store runs and emergency needs. (And we can walk the dog, but that’s about it.)
The paper section in the Walgreens across the street looks like this
This led to research on what we could do and turned up two interesting pieces of knowledge about the coronavirus.
A) How long is the coronavirus contagious or viable by surface. As in how long can it be there and still infect you?
plastic = 3 days
Stainless Steel = 3 days
Cardboard = 1 day
Copper = 4 hours
Airborne = 3 hours
They don’t mention wood, which maybe varies by paint, varnish, etc.
Copper is the winner. Cardboard three times better than stainless steel is bizarre as well.
Next up, if you can’t get a mask for when you do go out, how do other materials compare to a medical mask?
Clean vacuum cleaner bags were a close second to surgical masks, but in the end they conclude you can barely breath through them so use two cotton “tea towels.”
Thus began an insomnia driven test to try and create a coronavirus diy mask from a tea towel with no power tools. It started like this:
Then the build process using paper as my makeshift mold.
The Ghirardelli chocolate and wine are a tip of the hat to my friends in San Francisco on complete lockdown. Those aren’t technically necessary to make the DIY coronavirus mask, although they do help.
In the above photo the template is overlapping and kind of mushed into the real mask so I could get an idea of the shape of the masks. They are not circular because your face isn’t a flat circle either.
Then a whole bunch of adjustments and cuts happened at the fabric level during hand sewing. The SINGER iron stick is a temporary way to hold fabric together, but definitely not strong enough to be a permanent join. But it’ll hold it together long enough for you to stitch it up.
The straps on my version are the edges of the towel because I didn’t have any elastic bands that long, and if people in countries with limited supplies available, the straps seemed more realistic.
It’s hard to tell in the photo above but between the two layers there is a small wire bent to the approximate shape of the bridge of my nose just like the more flexible one that comes on the real masks.
And the final result
It looks amateurish, I look ridiculous, but it’s waaaaay better than taking the BARTT in SF and wondering if the person coughing is giving you an infection.
Update: I received some questions about what I used for the metal “nose bridge” so I’m adding further details.
For me (easier way below) I go by autozone at the end of a rainy day and pull the broken / discarded windshield wiper blades. If you rip them apart there are two thin, but very sturdy, pieces of metal attached to the rubber part. (they make great tension wrenches.) mine looks like this when sewn in place in between the two layers of the cotton kitchen towel.
Easier alternative: bend paperclips like this:
Pro tip: when I do a DIY project like this I usually hand sew them using dental floss. Yes “Dental Floss” because it’s always around and stronger than most threads.
If people don’t realize cryptocurrency “payment channels” (basically like a purchase order between merchants – settled up later but pre-approved) is a threat to the petrodollar, they are mistaken. The USD is nothing more than what we would call “proof of stake” in the crypto world. The Fed is the issuer, the stake.
Energy traded based on a proof of stake crypto currency pinned to the future value of a fiat currency in, say 30 days, via a smart contract could replace the influence of the US at a global level – I believe you are mistaken.
I also don’t want to live in a world where tech companies get to decide who has the right to speech and get to police content in a way that is different from what our legal system dictates.
You ALREADY DO CENSOR*** RESTRICT WHAT WE CAN POST. YOU ALREADY RESTRICT OUR SPEECH based on your terms of service. And that is within your purview. The point of this post is that given only a government can “censor”, the capricious nature of what is allowed does not, in this author’s opinion, measure up the values of our country. ***
Yet moronic thoughts of holocaust denial, a denial that ignores history, ignores evidence, and promotes hate, a denial that is factually untrue and is based on blatant falsehood – that is somehow OK? No. No those pages are not OK. And YES you can do something about it.
Mark – as a leader, if you chose your path or not, it is your DUTY to approach it with respect for the power you have. Every hate speech site, especially including “deniers” and “supremacists” can and should be shut down. That is YOUR decision.
I run a tiny software company. TINY. And I make ethical decisions every day that aren’t profit motivated. I bring this up because it is beyond ridiculous that women’s rights are blocked by facebook but hate speech and idiot speech is not blocked. The dissonance is stunning. THINK ABOUT IT.
And yes, I do want to live in a world where companies act with dignity and that includes standing up against hate speech. Oh wait, I already do. You are just making poor decisions currently.
Think of it this way – company leaders get to dictate our health care. And they are ZERO knowledge of your needs. I know this. Because, as a CEO, I promise you, and you know this, there is no class we get sent to on how to pick a healthcare plan for people. In other words – we are absolutely UNQUALIFIED to make that decision.
Consider: I have personally made the decision that our company will not represent big tobacco. I’ve lost relatives and friends to lung cancer and I choose not to host sites that promote it. Meanwhile I *absolutely* support an individual’s right to smoke. And I have smoked myself many times. I’m a hypocrite in that regard. I just know smoking tobacco is addicting and I choose to not host those sites. I choose. Because choice is part of being a leader.
Tendenci is open source so if someone else hosts a tobacco site using our software, well, that’s fine. I’m in NO WAY denying them access to our technology in any way. I’m in favor of OPEN.
Hell, I might have even made that decision while smoking a Lucky Strike debating Edward Bernays’. But ya, I made the call.
Zuck – do the right thing. Don’t hide behind the second amendment and allow people to spread hate, and in this case, completely ignorant speech. Then after that, tell Jack and Ev to do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the President of any country, we must not allow or tolerate utter bullshit.
PS – Zuck – I’ve never spoken to you directly, although also a speaker at SXSW back in the day I seem to recall my room was a bit smaller than the main stage. I have spoken to Randi years ago on a joint proposal, and I understand you are playing at a different level (by far). Just if you see this post, consider my words or call me to discuss if you wish.
PPS – yes, I made the #freethenipple photo the featured image on this post, because I am choosing to censor OUT people who don’t know facts and history like deniers. That is my choice. I get to do that. I get to focus on the positive. You do to. So damnit man, exercise your own freedom of speech Zuck. Do it.
*** This text was edited on Friday August 10, 2018 based on reasonable and logical discourse in a thread on facebook. You can view that thread here. But the bottom line is only a government can technically “censor” and I agree with that point. Therefore there is an even lower bar for companies to make the decision to kick scumbags off of their sites.
I don’t think we are even close to fully understanding the Nuclear crisis unfolding in Japan. Just read this on CNN:
Radiation in water rushing into sea tests millions of times over limit Tokyo (CNN) — Another attempt by Japanese officials to stop the leaking of highly radioactive water from a nuclear reactor into the ocean failed Tuesday, the country’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.
Both the utility and Japan’s nuclear safety agency say they don’t know how much water is leaking into the sea from reactor No. 2. But engineers have had to pour nearly 200 tons of water a day into the No. 2 reactor vessel to keep it cool, and regulators say they believe the leak originates there
Earlier Tuesday, Edano apologized for the decision to intentionally dump 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea — all part of the effort to curb the flow of the more toxic liquid spotted days ago rushing from outside the No. 2 unit.
Yup, they don’t know how much water is going into the ocean. Although I’d guess it is about the same amount as has been dumped into the reactor from helicopters and fire hoses.
Here is the problem for those of us in the states. The North Pacific Gyre is the largest ecosystem in the world and it circles between Asia and the West Coast of the US of A. So when you hear “don’t know how much water is leaking into the sea” and “had to pour nearly 200 tons of water a day into the No. 2 reactor vessel” and “intentionally dump 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea” it starts to become our problem very quickly.
Currents. The Deepwater Horizon was in the Gulf of Mexico which has a loop current, but for the most part the oil didn’t make it even to Florida. The Pacific also has a loop current but the loop goes between Asia and the United States quite efficiently.
You can’t see radiation in the water. You can’t fly a plane over the ocean and see a sheen like you can with oil. You can detect radiation, but only people with the right equipment. Thus citizen journalism and distributed responses aren’t possible from civilians.
You can’t control fish. They swim where they want to swim. And many swim all over the world. So beyond the currents dispersing the radiation, you have radioactive fish. Does Pike’s Place Market put in a Geiger counter? How long till Amazon is sold out?
Japan makes a lot of stuff. We like to buy stuff. But we prefer if it is radiation free. Not sure how the economics on this play out.
In 2006, the Japanese pharmaceutical market was the second largest individual market in the world. With sales of $60 billion it constitutes approximately 11% of the world market.
China makes a lot of steel. We buy it. They unfortunately share an ocean with Japan. And even more unfortunately a tremendous amount of water is used in the steel manufacturing process. Is the source freshwater or ocean water? And if ocean water then how does this play out in the steel market.
And now I guess we should all check the WSJ to see when Berkshire Hathaway buys the leading non-Japanese manufacturer of Geiger counters. Because sadly the ones from Japan might be detecting themselves.
What do I think will happen?
I don’t really know. What I hope is that given the majority of the planet is ocean, that the amazing creature that is our living ocean will be able to absorb the radiation and disperse it to safe levels. What I hope is despite the folly of man, nature will once again protect us. That is what I hope. And I continue to pray for Japan. Both for the victims of the Tsunami and now as victims of a nuclear disaster.
Social networks were apparently a more significant means of transmission than seating arrangements. Students were four times as likely to play with children of the same sex as with those of the opposite sex, and following this pattern, boys were more likely to catch the flu from other boys, and girls from other girls.
“Our social networks shape disease spread,“ said Simon Cauchemez, the lead author. “And we can quantify the role of social networks.“
As everyone knows by now (my Internet *was* down), Rita was a big nothing in the Houston area. This is a blessing I will take gladly. Now hopefully they have a bit of gas for all those moving traffic jams headed back south. Go figure.
Rita. Everything in Houston is about Hurricane Rita. Shut down the office temporarily of course. Thank heaven for data centers and redundant connections! The latest map suggests a hit on Galveston, and being on the North side of Houston we will likely get winds up to 100 miles an hour.
On the plus side, it was nice to set up a wiki page to handle employee communications and updates. Besides email, the wiki may be our best connection given cell phone coverage was spotty yesterday, two days before the storm, from over use.
The traffic map in Houston shows mostly 5 or 6 miles an hour, or no data available. Meaning people in cars are parked on the freeway making new friends. Gas stations are out of gas on the evacuation routes. Us silly humans haven’t exactly built the infrastructure to actually execute our emergency plans.