SAN FRANCISCO — Last year, representatives of 25 countries met in Tokyo to work on setting international standards for the blockchain, the technology that was introduced by the virtual currency Bitcoin and has ignited intense interest in corporate and government circles.
Some of the technologists at the meeting of the International Standards Organization were surprised when they learned that the head of the Russian delegation, Grigory Marshalko, worked for the F.S.B., the intelligence agency that is the successor to the K.G.B.
They were even more surprised when they asked the F.S.B. agent why the Russians were devoting such resources to the blockchain standards.
“Look, the internet belongs to the Americans — but blockchain will belong to us,” he said, according to one delegate who was there. The Russian added that two other members of his country’s four-person delegation to the conference also worked for the F.S.B.
Wendi Winters stood as soon as she heard the bangs.A man with a gun had broken the glass doors leading to the newsroom of the Capital Gazette and was shooting at her colleagues, many of whom dropped to the floor or dove under their desks. Not Winters.
Grabbing the trash can and recycling bin she kept by her desk, she ran toward the man and yelled at him to stop — distracting him long enough to allow some of her colleagues to escape. Of the 11 people in the room that day, six survived.
From the article: “Perhaps the best single example of the power of sowing doubt was the decades-long campaign by US tobacco companies to fog the scientific consensus over the link between cigarettes and cancer. As one famous internal memo noted: “Doubt is our product.” Robert Proctor, the Stanford historian who studied the tobacco campaigns, created a new word to capture the tobacco companies’ beguiling success – agnotology, or the process by which ignorance is deliberately produced.”
Ever wonder what it looks like to be in the eye of a slow moving hurricane? This is what it looked like during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 in Houston.
You know you’re ‘effed when, given I am registered as a Drone Pilot, we were grounded for four days. Because the sky is full of rescue helicopters.
Other images I took during Hurricane Harvey, most actually, I’ve never published.
I bring this up because we’ve done very little to improve Houston’s flooding problem. Except study it.
I’d just moved my primary location (I still travel of course) back from SF to Houston several weeks prior.
Awesome timing, I know, right?!
And yet I’m not sure our governor even remembers hurricane Harvey. Please drive down Bramblewood and let’s talk about “brain drain” and the economy of the country.
I’ve seen little if any action from our Congressmen or Mayor.
Eyes on the ground in 77079, the one’s who were specifically flooded and were saved by citizens from so many places who drove in with bass boats and air boats, but not much help from city, state, or dc.
This is what it looks like to be forgotten. To smile at your friends house, still half completed, while both of you have the same anxiety – they’ve done nothing to fix it. And now it’s hurricane season again.
There is a social stigma with learning disabilities. People tend to believe, perhaps because they were taught, that dyslexia means someone “reads” the sequence “az” and sees “za”. Like it’s a problem with your eyes. I don’t believe this to be the case.
Perhaps the fallacy stems from the fact that while “walk” means the same observable behavior for everyone, “read” isn’t conducted the same way in our brains for all of us. (I dunno as I’m not qualified to answer that question. I’m just a curious person.)
Yet quite a few things in this article on dyslexia are spot on for me. https://www.wired.com/story/end-of-dyslexia/
… the House Intelligence Committee have shared more details of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US Presidential Election with the release of 3,000 Facebook ads. The ads, purchased by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), ran from 2015 to 2017.
Committee members this week released a total of 3,519 ads and stated more than 11.4 million Americans were exposed to them. The IRA also created 470 Facebook pages, which generated 80,000 pieces of organic content and were seen by more than 126 million Americans, the Committee reports. It plans to release this organic content at a later date.
Fairly audacious. One question to ponder. Have you ever heard of a company or government pushing a message out using one (and only 1) channel? Of course not. It will be good when their MSM advertising buys are exposed.
The greatest financial losses from cybersecurity breaches, the top 5 cyber intrusion methods, all have one (1) thing in common. The number 1 issue is we don’t keep our email secure and we lack common sense..
Plus email is based on an ancient protocol that was never designed for security. (facepalm)
/snark/ No way! TLS is only responding on 587!? Nobody will ever figure that out. /end-snark/
In short – I can barely find the humor in this. The problem is – you, me, and all of us.Grifters are part of life. We have to adapt.
So this was OUR day. Honestly, pretty typical. Graphed. And this is filtered for noise already (excludes honeypot and silly scans, but includes most of the rest.)
The headline is ridiculous. But I couldn’t make this up in my wildest dreams. Yes, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and association management systems (AMS) are all interconnected. And the primary connection is Russia.
Stay with me for a second, get a cup of coffee, and read on.
First cryptocurrency isn’t a thing. It’s two parts. I try to explain cryptocurrency like this:
BlockChain = Clipboard with a piece of paper. You check stuff in and out until you are out of paper. Some clipboards have more sheets of paper than others.
Scarcity – Scarce object = some mathematically difficult to produce number. Or controlled by an authority like the Private Federal Reserve in the US.
Picture a clip board. And you are checking in and out some token. That token only has value if it delivers value. And the best way to determine that is really a classic economics popularity contest.
These are not tulips. Blockchain is a tech that will disrupt everything from how we do a Turn-Around at the Olefins units at LyondellBassell, to how BP manages wind farms, to how carfax will be disrupted by a VIN blockchain startup.
What does this have to do with Association Management Systems?
If you can’t access the code, self host if you want, and export ALL of your data when you want, well, why not? Why does anyone in the NonProfit / NPO / NGO / Association Management space tolerate that in 2018? It is 2018, right?
If you signed up with a company where the deal was “too good to be true”…. um…. ya, think that one through again. They have to pay people, so they are either funded by someone, or they are selling your data.
YOU are part of the problem with InfoWars and Propaganda in the US. (is that too blunt? Nope.) For example: Wild Apricot / Personify.
Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations… In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.
– Alexis de Tocqueville – Book Two, Chapter V. (source)
This may sound philosophical, and we’ve blogged about this before, but it’s important for associations to remember just how much power they have. And with power comes great responsibility.
YOUR ASSOCIATION IS A HACKER TARGET
Why? Because it’s logical.
If you were a dictator in a country that had sanctions against it, I dunno, maybe they didn’t allow US Companies to help you drill for your oil reserves and you lacked the technology to do it yourself, wouldn’t it make sense to go after an association of accomplished professionals in that area?
It sounds horrible, but it is logical in a Machiavellian kind of way.
A story for y’all. I was talking to a client who had a Tendenci Open Source AMS site for a group of students at universities in the liberal arts. He said
“nobody is going after English majors“.
“Oh really?” I asked.
Then I asked If any of his students attended X University (really I could have picked any University). He said “yes.” I pointed out that exact University also has extensive Chemistry, Energy and Engineering programs that do cutting edge work.
My point was if you can do spear phishing on a student to get closer to an Engineering Professor with expertise in Directional Drilling, wouldn’t Russia be interested in that? Would North Korea be interested in obtaining information on the latest tech in chemistry? Of course they would.
My point was simply that if you can infect the computer or phone of one student, any student, then you can get into the network. And then move laterally. You are in.
Again – to the POWER of ASSOCIATIONS:
Americans combine to give fêtes, found seminaries, build churches, distribute books, and send missionaries to the antipodes. Hospitals, prisons, and schools take shape in that way. Finally, if they want to proclaim a truth or propagate some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form an association. In every case, at the head of any new undertaking, where in France you would find the government or in England some territorial magnate, in the United States you are sure to find an association. I have come across several types of association in America of which, I confess, I had not previously the slightest conception, and I have often admired the extreme skill they show in proposing a common object for the exertions of very many and in inducing them voluntarily to pursue it.
– Alexis de Tocqueville – Book Two, Chapter V. (source)
This is not to scare users of any association management software. It is pointing out facts and hopefully increasing awareness among NGO technology professionals, association executives, association leadership and in fact (hopefully) the whole country, that there is a serious vulnerability if not addressed seriously.
Mac users, particularly in academia or the biomedical or academic field. Be aware of the Fruitfly/Quimitchin malware. It includes a keystroke logger, accesses your cam, takes screenshots of your desktop frequently which are then uploaded, and more. What to do:
Put a sticker over your camera when not in use. I am a member of EFF and put one of their stickers over your camera.
Install an antivirus like Avira Antivirus for Mac (only from official site or app store). If you can afford it, support them by buying their products.
Install Malwarebytes or a similar anti-malware program (only from official site or app store)
Use different passwords on different sites. Variations on a password like “Smoking Chair Hat5!” is far better than “zds9bhy4@”. It’s just statistics, you won’t use the second one because you can’t remember it. Just change the first one a bit every time for each site. Password crackers can’t “partially” crack a password. Plus we use Rainbow tables anyway.
Remember, if you have a keystroke logger installed, then how complex your password is, well, irrelevant. Therefore first clean the computer. Don’t think Macs or Linux can’t be infected – they can and frequently ARE.
Why the paranoia? Because you can’t completely rely on any one system imho so human spot checks, particularly on your endpoints (or honeypots #heh) is an essential part of the process. Plus at AWS you can create a temp “hot” AMI and tear the thing apart while it is in an ACL/Security Group cage, and then delete it without an attacker ever knowing.
Regarding Lynis security auditing, the ubuntu apt package for lynis (e.g. apt install) is still on version 2.1 and the current version is 2.6. First off 2.6 is much faster. Secondarily it gives a lot fewer false positives on Ubuntu 16.04.
There are many details. Yes, it’s complex as hell. I KNOW. HELP US.
Because it IS possible to “help people fight back.”
An MVP model for robotic self defense is as simple as a human who points at the bad actor from a remote location on their iphone/android and activates the wall mounted robots. The robots, under human control, act in unison to disorient the shooter. Yes, it still requires a human response against the shooter. But we don’t have a damn thing right now. Can we just admit that our babies, our kids, our kids’ teachers are the first responders before the first responders get there?
We can possibly defend ourselves, and AI can help us using non-lethal means to defend ourselves, to enable our kids in their schools to defend themselves, when some evil person brings in an AR15 to attack the innocents. We CAN fight back.
Starting SOMA Robotics is why I went to San Francisco for the last year. To try to get funding to save lives.
I don’t know the game. But surely someone out there does. Please?
I’ve been busting my ass trying to get funding for Tendenci in the valley since 2011. As I’ve said before, I have a phd in f’n up. Yet damnit, this might work. Right?
I still believe that we CAN reduce the impact of mass shooters at schools and other “soft targets” using existing technology.
Watch the video. Slow it down and then if you think it has potential, the potential to help US THE PEOPLE, THE KIDS, FIGHT BACK before our heroic first responders arrive, then please HELP ME.
Yes, I’m a programmer and full stack developer, speaker, etc, but… at TAMU I minored in history. One of my focus areas was African history (the continent. Think 1000+ years of history.) Thus I’m really looking forward to watching Black Panther.
Let me count the ways:
First – I’ve heard it is a GREAT movie.
Second – I’m hoping to learn more from what is hopefully a historically “aware” science fiction movie that will open minds to the richness and culture. We must learn from our origin.