Archive for February, 2006
US-CERT, the cyber division of the Department of Homeland Security introduced 4 posters today with the hopes that businesses will print them out and hang them in break rooms across America- hopefully between the water cooler and the half-eaten box of donuts.
You can see the posters here:
To be fair, the first poster is a pretty concise list of best practices that should be adopted by any organization’s IT department. But the second poster urges everyone to report to US-CERT knowledge of “anyone in your organization receiving suspicious e-mails that include unsolicited attachments.” What a monumental waste of time it is to report virus attachments to the Feds.
If anyone reports an incident to US-CERT, they will be given an incident number.
That’s it. Just a number. It doesnt mean that US-CERT will do anything about your incident, such as report it to a law enforcement office, or help you recover from your incident. For instance, you receive a malicious attachment in an email, and you open it, and it installs a network-based keylogger. If you report this to US-CERT, they will gladly give you a number and tell you to have a nice day.
You are much better off particiating with an ISAC or an Information Sharing Analysis Center, which is an industry-focused information security analysis center. Those folks are much better equipped to actually respond and provide assistance than DHS, and if law enforcement is needed, a referral from an ISAC will garner a more immediate response than a citizen report.
President Bush has allocated 93 Million Dollars for NCSD in his 2007 budget. Details are here:
Cyber security is a key element of homeland security. The consequences of a cyber attack could cascade across multiple infrastructures and imperil public safety. The National Cyber Security Division (NCSD), now a part of the Preparedness Directorate, carries out the Department?s cyber security responsibilities. It was established in 2003, in response to the President?s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, as the national focal point for cyber security. Recognizing today?s interconnected environment, NCSD works collaboratively with public, private, and international entities to secure cyberspace and America?s cyber assets. The Budget includes $93 million for the NCSD?s program and activities.
A core component of NCSD is the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT). US-CERT operates a round-the-clock cyber watch, warning, and incident response center. The center coordinates responses to cyber incidents, monitors the network activity of Federal agencies, and provides a web portal for secure communications with private and public sector stakeholders. US-CERT also operates a public website (www.us-cert.gov) and the National Cyber Alert System, which provides timely information to the public. In addition to its watch and warning function, US-CERT conducts malicious code analysis, improves the security of software, and conducts cyber threat and vulnerability analysis.
And they make nifty break-room posters.
Batman would have been a little envious. In fact, any superhero or evil genius would love to have their own underground secret cave. But the geniuses who converted an underground cavern in Tennessee to a high-tech hidden base to grow marijuana got sloppy, stupid or both.
Read this amazing story and be sure to check out the pictures.
What police found inside this Trousdale County cave led to the biggest pot bust in Middle Tennessee history. Now, pictures are showing details of the sophisticated set up.
From the outside, the house looks like a beautiful vacation home, but investigators say it was just a prop and what it concealed is right out the movies.
More than 1,000 marijuana plants were grown deep underground.
The house was built on top of the natural cave, but investigators say no one lived there. It wasn’t even furnished. But inside the house there is a secret passageway into the cave.
The interior of the house is just on the other side of the door. A corridor leads from the hidden doorway into the cave. The corridor has cinderblock walls and a concrete ceiling and floor.
The 40 foot long sloping corridor leads into the cave that stretches 250 feet. There are offices, living quarters, and a growing area.
The office space comes first, then a living area furnished with three or four colorful bunk beds for camping out in the cave, and a restroom with a shower and plenty of toiletries. Behind the restroom is a kitchen with a fully stocked pantry, air conditioning and microwave. All the comforts of home, only this cave was all business.
A starter room houses 500 to 600 small marijuana plants. Each just about six to 12 inches tall.
The next area has plants nearly ready to harvest. 500 to 600 plants as tall as six feet. Each had its own irrigation system. The lights and climate control kept the air at the perfect temperature: 87 degrees.
Just behind the growing area is the work space with all the equipment to keep the operation running. And in case the growers had to make a run for it, they built an escape route. It s 150 yards from the cave to the surface.
A hydraulic jack lifts a trap door, which is hidden with a boulder. The escape hatch lets out just a few steps away from the home where anyone driving by would have no idea what lies beneath.
Three men are charged with growing marijuana in that cave. None of them actually lives in Middle Tennessee, and investigators don’t think the drugs were sold in Trousdale County. Investigators say the men were growing enough marijuana to make $6 million to $8 million a year.
The amazing pictures are here:
The entrance was through a secret hydraulic door in the
garage that led to a concrete ramp that went about 50 yards into the
ground. Inside the cave was living quarters and a secret escape hatch that
led you through a tunnel that exited via another hydraulic door that
opened up a rock on the outside. It was very elaborate. The set up
allowed them to harvest every 60 days which resulted in multi-million
dollar sales. One of the guys busted was living in a house on the water
in FL and had a nice yacht.
So how did these supervillians with their underground fortress get caught? Did someone notice the local shortage of 5 gallon buckets? No, they started stealing electricity from the local powerlines to supply their fortress of solitude by splicing into it and causing power disruptions to the local area. From ShortNews here:
Cave-Grown Marijuana Operation Busted in Tennessee
Three men were busted in what police say was a sophisticated pot growing operation like something out of a James Bond movie. The Marijuana was grown inside a cave with special lighting and devices to keep the temperature right.
These guys even spliced into the power lines to steal some of the power to grow these plants. This operation would grow 100 pounds of pot every 8 weeks.
District Attorney Tommy Thompson claims they where growing it faster in the cave than outside.
Brian Gibson, Greg Compton and Fred Strunk where arrested in Florida and are now in jail. Compton and Gibson’s bail was set at 5 million and Strunk’s bail was set at 15 million.
As is typical for drug busts where property was purchased with drug money, the property was forfeited. That means that the yacht, beach house and vehicles will be auctioned. But then again, so will the house with the built-in secret lair! I can only imagine that all of the potential buyers for that property will need to be screened to make sure they are not super-villains.
Yesterday, I blogged about how McAfee was screwed over by their own auditing company that they hired to make sure that they were in compliance with Federal Law and best practices. Well now, Sun Micrososystems has been screwed over by their own auditing company too.
TheRegister has the exclusive scoop here:
Ernst & Young fails to disclose high-profile data loss
Sun CEO’s social security number exposed
Ernst and Young has lost a laptop containing data such as the social security numbers of its customers. One of the people affected by the data loss appears to be Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, who was notified that his social security number and personal information have been compromised.
“We deeply regret that a laptop containing confidential client information was stolen, in what appears to be a random act, from the locked car of one of our employees,” said Ernst and Young spokesman Charles Perkins. “The security and confidentiality of our client information is of critical importance to us. The computer was password-protected, and we have no reason to believe the data itself was targeted or that the information was accessed by anyone. We are notifying those clients whose information was contained on the computer.”
Ernst and Young declined to comment on whether or not McNealy was affected.
However, at last week’s RSA security conference, McNealy noted that he received an e-mail from an “anonymous partner” detailing a loss of his private data. “We determined that your name and social security number were among the data (lost),” the partner wrote to McNealy.
“This is an organization that we spend an enormous amount of money on to determine whether we are Sarbanes-Oxley compliant,” McNealy said.
Translation: These assholes who charge us a fortune to make sure we follow the rules were negligent with the our data.
Digging through Sun’s financial filings, you’ll discover that Ernst and Young serves as the company’s auditor and handles Sarbanes-Oxley consulting for Sun. A spokesman at Sun confirmed that Ernst and Young is still the company’s auditor but declined to out the firm that lost McNealy’s data.
Ernst and Young declined to return our phone calls seeking more information about the breach and why it has “no reason to believe” the password could be cracked. It makes no mention of stronger security than simple password protection.
Auditing companies need to be held to a higher standard than the typical corporation. After all, the level of trust is much higher with auditing companies, and more than anyone, they should practice what they preach. In addition, auditing companies need to put their money where their mouth is, at least contractually. When they begin an audit, they become keepers of the trust of much private corporate and personal data. If that trust gets broken, then the auditor should have to pay recompence for their error.
A self-encrypting shell overlay would also be very useful for protecting all mobile data processing equipment, be it laptop, thumbdrive or CDRom. If any personal or corporate data is allowed to exit its internal layers of security, it should do so only in an encrypted manner. And auditing companies should ensure that this is the case as well.
And someone should smack that E&Y employee across the back of his head for being so stupid as to leave the laptop in his car.
An auditor from Deloitte and Touche (or is it Toilet and Douche?) left a CDROM in the seat pocket on an airplane. What was on the CD? Just the names, socials, addies and employee stock information of about 6000 employees of McAfee.
Whoops. From SecurityFocus Here:
McAfee Employees at Risk
Thousands of McAfee employees, both American and Canadian are at risk this week as unencrypted data about them was lost by an external auditor.
The announcement was made yesterday, although the actual loss occurred December 15th when a Deloitte & Touche employee left an unencrypted backup CD in an airline seat pocket. The CD held personal information about 6,000 former McAfee employees as well as all of the current staff in the US and Canadian regions.
Information that may have been on the disc includes names, Social Security numbers and details on any McAfee stock the individual may have. Credit reporting services have been arranged for those affected, and no reports of the information being used have been received.
The odds are better than average that the CD was destroyed during the cleanup between flights. But it could have been a very costly mistake, and a total pain in the ass for the McAfee employees. No word on whether or not they are going to change auditing companies.
Dirt-bag followers of the “Religion of Peace,” angry at the world, and having little else left to live for, tried to attack a Saudi Oil refinery with suicide mission car bomb, but only got as far as the front gate. Security Guards killed the terrorists and died in the resulting explosion.
From Reuters here:
Al Qaeda claims responsibility for Saudi attack
An al Qaeda group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack on a major Saudi oil facility at Abqaiq, the group said in an Internet statement.
The statement, posted by the al Qaeda group in the Peninsula on a Web site often used by militant groups, said two of its members carried out the suicide operation, but gave no details.
“With grace from God alone, hero mujahideen from the squadron of Sheikh Osama bin Laden succeeded today (Friday)…in penetrating a plant for refining oil and gas in the town of Abqaiq in the eastern part of the peninsula, and then allowed two car bombs in driven by two martyrdom seekers,” it said.
The statement added: “These plants help in stealing the Muslims’ wealth of oil.”
The group said it would give further details of the operation and those who carried it out at a later stage.
It said the operation was within the framework of efforts by al Qaeda to prevent the theft of Muslims’ wealth by “crusaders and Jews” and to force “infidels” out of the peninsula.
And from ABCNews here:
Two cars exploded at the gates of Saudi Arabia’s huge Abqaiq oil facility on Friday when security forces fired on suicide bombers trying to storm the facility, Saudi officials said.
Six people died in the attack.
Its a shame about the security guards, but they did their job well, and they are the real heroes. Regarding “stealing muslim wealth of oil,” I am pretty sure that the Saudis SELL that oil, not give it away or allow it to be stolen. After all, if no one bought Saudi oil, what would the oil do? Sit there? How would oil that just sat underground be considered wealth?
And keep posting your statements to Internet messageboards. That always makes it easier for the good guys to track down the members of the al-queda cell.
As long as Islam continues to preach hate and oppress its people, there will be more idiots lining up to kill themselves.
In Traverse City, Michigan.
From Yahoo here:
Psycho Path Voted Wackiest Street Name
In first place was Psycho Path in Traverse City, Mich., followed by Heather Highlands, Pa.’s, Divorce Court in second and Tennessee’s Farfrompoopen Road in third. Eisenstein said all the roads were verified, although some are private and hard to find.
It reminded me of a hilarious website that was around about a crazy ex-girlfriend that phone-bombed her boyfriend with 50 voicemails. The lady was a nutjob, neurotic, needy and shrill. It is hilarious to listen to. The original site is not up anymore, but a copy of it is here. Guys, listen and be thankful this is not your girlfriend.
A botnet herder that goes by the handle of “0×80″ wanted to brag about his “l33t sk1llz” to a Washington Post reporter. The hacker, wisely, asked for his identity to be protected (ironic, considering he uses botnets to commit identity theft), and the WaPo agreed to do so. However, the metadata of the photo that was posted online in the WaPo article included information about the location of the photo shoot.
You can read the whole article here at E-Week.
The Washington Post’s online arm has apparently been caught in a metadata gaffe that exposed the whereabouts of a 21-year-old hacker who confessed to controlling thousands of compromised PCs for malicious use.
The hacker agreed be interviewed by Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs on the condition that he not be identified by name or home town, but when the article was posted on the newspaper’s Web site, an accompanying photograph included metadata that pinpointed the location to Roland, Okla., a small town with a population of 2,842.
In the feature story titled Invasion of the Computer Snatchers, the hacker known online as “0×80″ (pronounced X-eighty) openly boasted about breaking into thousands of computers around the globe and infecting them with malware that turned them into botnet drones.
In 0×80′s case, the hacker openly admitted to illegally installing adware and spyware on infected computers and earning money from online marketing companies that pay for advertisements delivered to users.
However, because of the metadata slip-up by the Washington Post, it is very likely that law enforcement authorities will be looking in the direction of Roland, OK to find the hacker, who was described in the story as “tall and lanky, with hair that falls down to his eyebrows,” and speaking with a “heavy Southern drawl and Midwestern nasality.”
The reporter also wrote that 0×80 lives with his religious parents in a small town in Middle America where the nearest businesses are a used-car lot, a gas station and convenience store and a strip club, where 0×80 claimed he recently dropped $800 for an hour alone in a VIP room with several dancers.
The article was published with several photographs, including one with a doctored image of half of the hacker’s face.
But, as eagle-eyed Slashdot posters discovered, the online images by photographer Sarah L. Voisin contained tags about the location of the shoot.
Immediately after the metadata discovery, the images were removed from the Washington Post’s Web site.
The Slashdot community, however, insisted on attempting to track down the hacker. Using Google Maps and other search-related data, the posters were able to figure out that the male population of Roland, Okla., was just over 1,300.
“Any flatfoot could find him in an hour,” said one Slashdot commenter who posted details of the metadata from the online image.
In internet lore, being “slashdotted” means that Slashdot.com links to your server or an online article that was written, and the crush of traffic coming from the slashdot article causes the site to go under. In this case, however, the hacker in Podunk, OK has discovered a new definition to being slashdotted. He will likely end up in jail soon, experiencing another type of lapdance, but he won’t have to spend $800 bucks on it.
And how is it that the American Media insists on protecting the identity of criminals? From the leakers of national secrets to hackers, the media believes that protecting the identities of criminals is more important than public safety and security. Way to go, WaPo. Your ineptness is what helps keep this nation safe. And congrats to slashdot for their mob justice.
Teenage goth or juggelette has a spat with a girl about different boys in school. To settle her differences, 16 year old Sarah Kolb strangled her classmate, Adrianne Reynolds, and then proceeded to burn her body and dismember it and scatter the remains at public parks across two counties in Illinois.
Did this little precocious, murderous bitch have a MySpace Page? Of Course. But of more interest is another blogging site called DeviantArt, which also contained more of her blogs, photos, bad poetry and teen-angst riddled scrawlings about her bisexuality, bad taste in music and teenage dramatic happenstances.
Here is a pic of Adrianne, the victim:
The details of the murder and trial are here from the AP:
DIXON, Ill. – A teenage girl was convicted Wednesday in the killing of a 16-year-old classmate who was choked, beaten and sawed into pieces after an argument over boys.
Sarah Kolb, 17, faces up to 60 years in prison.
The victim, Adrianne Reynolds, had just moved to East Moline from Texas about two months before she was killed. Prosecutors said she was just trying to fit in at a new school but picked the wrong friend.
On Jan. 21, 2005, Kolb, Reynolds and schoolmate Cory Gregory were in Kolb’s car at a fast-food restaurant when the fight began. Reynolds was killed and her body was burned, dismembered and hidden in two counties.
Rock Island County State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez said Kolb wrote in a class journal that she was going to kill Reynolds just hours before Reynolds was beaten and strangled in the car.
Terronez said Kolb was angry because Reynolds had shown interest in Kolb’s boyfriend and Gregory, her ex-boyfriend.
Prosecutors say the two took the girl’s body to Kolb’s grandparents’ farm and burned it, then returned two days later, sawed the body into pieces and dumped the remains on the farm and in Black Hawk State Park in Rock Island.
The DeviantArt site was also prominently featured in the murder of Taylor Behl by Ben “Skullz” Fawley. Another reminder to parents that they should monitor their childrens’use of the internet.
The best details on this story can be found at Steve Huff’s Crime Blog located here: A nice quote from the MySpace page, that he pulled off last year after the initial crime, and before MySpace could delete it says….
Girls stab you in the back when pretending to care about you(…)Never hurt a woman …. she will come back and stab your stuffed animals, I know this from experience(…)I love nature and I love parks…(the last noted because one of the places she, Gregory, and Gaudet are alleged to have dumped parts of Adrianne Reynolds’ body is Black Hawk State Park.)”
Seems like a light sentence to me for breaking into a system that houses such critical information. I think this highlights a problem that data and commercial systems are not classified by sensitivity- meaning that crimes against more sensitive data would be given harsher sentences that those against non-critical systems. I wonder what this hacker did with his data? From CNET here:
A bulk e-mailer who looted more than a billion records with personal information from a data warehouse has been sentenced to eight years in prison, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Scott Levine, 46, was sentenced by a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., after being found guilty of breaking into Acxiom’s servers and downloading gigabytes of data in what the U.S. Justice Department calls one of the largest data heists to date. Acxiom, based in Little Rock, says it operates the world’s largest repository of consumer data, and counts major banks, credit card companies and the U.S. government among its customers.
In August 2005, a jury convicted Levine, a native of Boca Raton, Fla., and former chief executive of a bulk e-mail company called Snipermail.com, of 120 counts of unauthorized access to a computer connected to the Internet. The U.S. government says, however, there was no evidence that Levine used the data for identity fraud.
Prosecutors had asked for a longer sentence, but expressed satisfaction with an eight-year prison stay. “This sentence reflects the seriousness of these crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins of the Eastern District of Arkansas. It also includes a $12,300 fine; restitution has not yet been determined.
According to court documents, Levine and others broke into an Acxiom server used for file transfers and downloaded an encrypted password file called ftpsam.txt in early 2003. Then they ran a cracking utility on the ftpsam.txt file, prosecutors said, discovered 40 percent of the passwords, and used those accounts to download even more sensitive information.
In early 2003, the most common vulnerabilities on servers that would house this type of information were SQL Injection bypasses, or probable backdoors leftover from the Code Red/Nimda worms. Regardless, the thief took a sam file from the server.
When it was in operation, Snipermail.com drew fire from antispam advocates for falsely claiming to operate only “opt-in” lists. The company’s now-defunct domain shows up on the Register of Known Spam Operations compiled by the Spamhaus Project, and dozens of sightings of spam from Snipermail.com appear on Usenet’s news.admin.net-abuse.sightings discussion group.
Acxiom has said that after the 2003 intrusion, it improved its intrusion detection, vulnerability scanning and encryption systems.
This is not the first prosecution to arise out of poor security practices on Acxiom’s file transfer protocol server (FTP). An Ohio man named Daniel Baas previously pleaded guilty to illegally entering Acxiom’s FTP site. That investigation led federal police–including the FBI and Secret Service–to Levine, according to the Justice Department.
On Axciom’s website, they have a special Cyber Security Statement Here. It says,
Acxiom maintains security procedures to help ensure that information will not be made available to any unauthorized person or business. We use a variety of multi-level security systems to control access to our services and information products. All users at client locations, as well as all Acxiom associates, must have the appropriate access codes and be expressly authorized to access certain data and applications.
Nothing assures someone more than locking the barn doors after the horses have escaped.
To Get Verizon’s New FiOS Internet Service. High Speed Internet is faster than broadband cable, and there is a much better, all digital television service too. I get both services for around 75 dollars per month, as opposed to getting lower quality service from Comcast for around 120 per month.
See, Comcast, until today, had a monopoly in my town. Verizon ran fiber to every house in my neighborhood, and I jumped at the chance to tell Comcast that they can take their bill and shove it.
If you get the chance to get FiOS, go for it.
A new movie is set to debut next month called Hoot. Hoot is about a Montana boy who relocates to South Florida, and proceeds to get picked on at school. He then befriends a homeless and perpetually shirtless kid who shows the Montana boy that there are owls living on a vacant lot that is scheduled to be turned into “Mother Paula’s All American Pancake House.”
Watch the trailer for this movie here:
This movie appears to be an environmental zealot’s dream. You have all of the elements- a homely, big-boned unattractive tomboy, a cute adorable homeless boy who is so tanned, he never wears a shirt, a crusade against corporate expansionism, bully cops who are also stupid, cute little fuzzy owls and greedy land developers. Yeah! DOWN WITH THE MAN!!
The premise of the movie is that only the homeless boy knows that the owls, which happen to be endangered, are on the empty lot. Rather than getting adults involved and following the proscribed process of getting a court injunction, the homeless boy urges his friends to break all the rules and think like an outlaw, because “There is nothing to stop them from bulldozing one coast to another.” Although it does not show it, I can presume that there is much vandalism involved in the youthful eco-terroristic antics.
Including the part about standing in front of a bulldozer. Hmm… Funny that the site is intended to be a Pancake House. I wonder if the restaurant will serve Rachel Corrie pancakes? For those that don’t know, Rachel is considered a martyr among the extreme left for throwing herself under an Israeli bulldozer to protect a Palestinian terrorist’s hideout.
And what is with this scrawny sunken-chested boy? Are the movie’s makers trying to stir the yearnings of underaged girls with a mixture of lust and eco-terrorism? I wonder if they will sit in a drum circle and sing Kumbaya?
The movie is based on a book by Carl Hiassen, whom I enjoy as an author. Many of his books highlight dangers to the Florida ecosystem, and the stories come off without being so preachy. I really enjoyed Skinny Dip, for instance. But this trailer makes it seem that environmental message is the theme of the movie, and the leftist stereotyping of business, police, and government play equally large roles as well.
She has been all over VH-1 for several days now, and featured several times per day when the station actually gets around to playing videos. Her hot hit right now is Black Horse and the Cherry Tree from her album Eye to the Telescope. You can check out a live performance of this at VH-1 here. The disc is only 10 bucks, and the upbeat songs are well worth the price. Out of the 13 tracks, 5 are real solid and potential hits.
Boy, PC’s really do not like having the motherboard swapped out with a newer model. Sheesh. After many fitful starts, I bit the bullet and reinstalled from scratch after making a good backup. New System is up, running slicker than frog hair, and is better than ever.
I’m running an ASUS motherboard with an AMD 3300 and a gig of Ram.
An article referenced by Drudge talks about Cyber-Bullies and online safety. What caught my attention, of course, is the bit about MySpace. Underage teens got into a cyber-spat with each other, and a 13 year old girl stabbed a 15 year old girl in the back several times. From the PalmBeach Post here:
Cyberspace new realm for bullies’ fear tactics
Schools, parents and students learn how to fight back from growing online torment.
Two freshman girls from a school in Palm Beach County logged onto Match.com and created a profile for a teacher they didn’t like. Under interests they wrote “hard core porn.”
An unpopular kid that cheerleaders made fun of stole one of the girl’s buddy list, an online address book of her friends’ screen names, and offered it back in exchange for sexy pictures.
In January, a 15-year-old girl from Port St. Lucie was stabbed in the back several times allegedly by a 13-year-old former friend after getting into an argument on MySpace.com, a popular Internet blogging site. The 13-year-old was arrested and charged with aggravated battery.
Other teens send text message threats and profanity to classmates over cellphones while teen blogs propel gossip and cruel jokes anonymously and instantaneously.
In South Florida, school officials are conducting cyber-bullying seminars for parents, asking students to promise not to tease or harass classmates in cyberspace and addressing the topic in student conduct rules.
Some kids even share passwords to e-mail and blog sites. If the friendship goes bad, it can get nasty.
“They can go in and change their profile to say they’re gay, they do drugs and drink,” said Lee Munro, a technology teacher at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton. “They’ll pretend they are someone else and write ‘I hate you.’ Sometimes a lot of it is playful bantering, but sometimes the kids are malicious.”
“I went home after the meeting and started looking up all my friends’ kids up on MySpace,” said Wendy Greenhut, whose 12-year-old daughter attends American Heritage Academy west of Delray Beach.
Greenhut is considering purchasing monitoring software and moving the computer from her daughter’s bedroom to the den.
First of all, each incident of MySpace mentioned in this article includes underage teens, which is prohibited by the Acceptable Usage Policy of MySpace. MySpace needs to do more to prevent underage use of the site, and it also needs to police its content for violent and sexual speech and images. And any page that contains personal information needs to be deleted.
But more importantly, parents need to police their children’s Internet usage. Children are constantly posting personal information on their MySpace pages that would easily lead a sexual predator to them. And often parents are oblivious to their childrens’ surfing habits.
Egads, MySpace continues to rot the popular culture. Soon you will be able to update the world’s worst looking websites with a really bad cellphone! Yipee! From the AP Here:
NEW YORK – The social networking site MySpace, hugely successful among teenagers and twenty-somethings, is about to become more ubiquitous with the launch of a cellular service that will let users read and post to the site for free.
The service and two accompanying phones will be launched in a few months by Helio LLC, a joint venture of Internet service provider Earthlink Inc. and South Korean carrier SK Telecom Co.
On MySpace, users keep personal pages with journals, communicate with friends and play games. It’s a formula that has attracted more than 54 million users and the attention of media conglomerate News Corp., which bought the site last year for $580 million.
This essentially means that Fox News paid over 10 bucks a piece for each shitty web site on MySpace. So now matter how horrifying your web authoring skills are, and no matter what crazy color scheme or background image you use, or what crappy band whose video you stream on your stupid MySpace Page, congrats, your site is worth over 10 Bucks.
“We’re able to leverage a lot of that experience about how to take social networking and put it on a device,” said Sky Dayton, founder of Earthlink and chief executive of Helio.
“What our target really cares about, this young consumer, is being connected to their friends and being connected to their world,” Dayton said, contrasting Helio’s idea to that of the major carriers, who are expanding sales of music, videos and games.
Newsflash for NewsCorp! Young Consumers? They mostly consume Internet bandwidth. Most MySpace users don’t have high paying jobs, or they still live at home. Any cellphone service you try to make will have to be bought by Mom and Dad.
Helio’s two phones, dubbed “Hero” and “Kickflip” will be based on Korean designs. Made by Pantech and VK Mobile, the phones will feature large color screens and cameras, but no QWERTY keyboards.
Helio will be a so-called “mobile virtual network operator,” meaning it won’t have its own cellular network. Instead, it will buy access to Sprint Nextel Corp.’s and Verizon Wireless’ high-speed networks.
I want a cell phone that will beep at me when someone who has a MySpace account gets within arm’s reach of me. That way I can smack that person upside the back of the head and tell them that MySpace is a waste of WebSpace. I would pay $19.99 per month for THAT service!
An Olympic Gold Medalist is hailed on television as being an entrepreneur and a millionaire, who split his time between training for the slopes and by running a business. He even drives a $300,000 Lamborghini. What is his company? Popup advertisements and spyware.
There’s already a tarnish on the gold medal won by Australian mogul skier Dale Begg-Smith at the Olympics in Turin this week.
While the 21-year-old Begg-Smith may not have been involved in doping or cheating on the slopes, the way he richly supported himself while training was incredibly unsportsmanlike and probably illegal: Begg-Smith was a key player in a company that infected other peoples’ computers with adware a.k.a. spyware.
Other sketchy sites associated with Begg-Smith include newtopsites.com, huntfly.com, and adultexpressview.com.
One of Begg-Smith’s most harmless Internet businesses was Thin Air Sports, through which he apparently tried to sell used ski gear, including jackets and other clothing worn during national competitions.
Typical of shady Internet businesses, CPM Media and AdsCPM don’t include any detailed company information at their web sites. Their domain registrations generally list a post-office box (PO Box 8978) in Moscow, Idaho.
Computer Associates, an AV company, lists some details of Begg-Smith’s fine software here, which goes on to detail how it installs keylogger software so it can steal passwords, and installs software without the knowledge of the computer user. In addition, such software is installed by using vulnerabilities in the local PC. Compromising systems in the United States without the knowledge of the users is a crime.
And having to clean up networks due to the recklessness of spyware writers ought to be a crime too.
My wife is a HUGE Beatles fan. I got her the Bob Spitz biography on the Beatles for Christmas. For some reason, I am reading it instead of her. So far, I think its a little on the pretentious side, but I’m going to stick with it and see where it goes. Will this band of mop-headed teens from Liverpool UK make it big in the music biz, or will they go bust? I’m more than a bit curious to see how it all turns out.
You can get a copy of the book from Amazon here-
No, I’m not making this one up. An idiot film director, impressed because Paris turned down a nude photoshoot with Playboy, thinks she has what it takes to be Mother Teresa. From AnnaNova here:
An Indian film director wants to cast Paris Hilton as the star of a new film about Mother Teresa.
Award-winning director T Rajeevnath told IANS: “My agents in California have contacted Paris Hilton.”
The director said he was impressed when he heard the hotel heiress had refused to strip for Playboy magazine.
“Although there are several actresses willing to play the role of Mother Teresa, the most widely respected and loved person, the history of the actress who is finally chosen for the role would have to be analysed thoroughly before she is chosen,” he added.
The English-language film will be mostly shot in West Bengal and overseas.
Heh. Hasn’t Rajeevnath seen Paris’ glowing green-eyed acting debut? I don’t think she turned down a shoot with Playboy because of any moral stand. After all, she has been filmed doing much worse.
The Register UK says:
She did, though, give a far more convinving technical performance in One Night in Paris, albeit displaying the sort of skills which we very much doubt will be required to play Mother Teresa. As one critic put it: “In this 37-minute shagfest Hilton literally sucks. And so does her acting.”
It would be the worst thing in a Nun’s habit since Whoopie Goldberg.
A British Hacker, dope smoker, and conspiracy theorist who hacked into US military and scientific computers in a vain effort to locate evidence of UFO coverups is fighting extradition to the United States. To do this, he hired lawyers that are helping known terrorists that are held in Guantanimo Bay to fight his extradition based upon fears that he will be held without parole in Cuba and threatened with torture.
From Reuters here:
LONDON (Reuters) – A British
computer enthusiasthacker accused by the U.S. government of the world’s “biggest military hack of all time” began a court fight against extradition to the United States on Tuesday.
Gary Mckinnon was arrested last June following charges by U.S. prosecutors that he illegally accessed 97 government computers — including Pentagon, U.S. army and navy and NASA systems.
Prosecutors say he hacked into sensitive networks over a one-year period from February 2002 and caused $700,000 worth of damage, after crippling U.S. defense systems in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
If found guilty, Mckinnon could face up to $1.75 million in fines and 60 years in jail.
Mckinnon’s lawyers say he might be prosecuted under military law if he were sent to the United States and could be subjected to “special administrative measures” such as solitary confinement and other tactics to persuade him to plead guilty.
He could even face the prospect of being sent to Guantanamo Bay with no chance of parole, they say.
Bow Street Magistrates’ Court in London is expected to hear from Clive Stafford-Smith, a human rights lawyer who acts on behalf of detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
Mckinnon — whose hacking name was Solo — admits gaining access to U.S. government computers but denies he caused any damage. His supporters say the U.S. government should be grateful to him for highlighting its security shortcomings.
U.S. prosecutors say there is no evidence Mckinnon downloaded classified information or forwarded files to foreign governments.
One of the allegations relates to McKinnon deleting files from computers at a U.S. naval station during a critical time following the September 11, attacks, rendering the base’s network of computers inoperable.
This article paints the hacker in the nicest of ways, letting the reader think that perhaps, the man is actually innocent. He’s not. He bragged about his exploits to a UK newspaper. He admitted his guilt. At the time that the article came out, another UK based security team analyzed the article in the newspaper in which McKinnon bragged about his elite skillz- that article is here:
It would seem Gary “Uber Hacker” McKinnon is not so “Uber” after all. After reading his interview on Spy.org.uk it has come to our attention that his technical knowledge and indeed, mental state, is not all that it should be.
But then again, if you are as high from smoking cannabis as Gary Mckinnon seems to delight in telling everyone he was when perpetrating the alleged US Military hacks, then there is really no telling what you’d do.
The interview is embarrassing for anyone remotely technically inclined to read more or less from the outset but becomes almost farcical toward the end:
Jon Ronson, the reporter for the Guardian asks “The Americans have a secret spaceship?”
“That’s what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe.” Replies Mckinnon.
Despite all this forbidden knowledge Gary still does strenuously deny the US justice departments charge that he caused the “US military district of Washington” to become “inoperable”. Well, once, he admits, but only once, he inadvertently pressed the wrong button and may have deleted some government files.
“What did you do then?” asks Ronson.
“I thought, ‘Ooh, bloody hell’ ” Mckinnon says.
Way to go. Oh yes, be careful with the buttons. You never know what you’ll do; perhaps delete some important UFO files so you have absolutely no evidence of any of your unbelievable claims when you are inevitably caught and publicly convicted of military grade ‘hacking’ by a superpower you were, by your admitted actions alone, clearly trying to subvert by stealing secrets from; surely you’d keep evidence, surely that would be the point. No. Gary has forgotten all the details. Gary the ‘uber hacker’.
Aside from which it’s always a good idea to deny charges but then admit to them later in interviews, that s a sure fire way to help your case.
Gary was caught in November 2002. He says it was inevitable, in retrospect, because he was “getting a bit sloppy“. He pauses. “I’d never have envisaged this happening to myself, but I did get a bit megalomaniacal as well.
According to The Guardian’s interview government agencies found Gary in the end because he’d used his own email address to download a “hacking program” called Remotely Anywhere.
Remotely Anywhere is a remote system administration tool. Not a “hacking program”.
“God knows why I used my real email address,” McKinnon later says. “I suppose it means I’m not a secretive, sophisticated, checking-myself-every-step-of-the-way type of hacker.” Quite.
So the US government have caught the biggest hacker of all time?
Biggest, or stupidest?
The original Guardian Story is here, which details how McKinnon was a complete stoner loser. It contains nuggets like the following:
And so, for the next seven years, on and off, Gary sat in his girlfriend’s aunt’s house, a joint in the ashtray and a can of Foster’s next to the mouse pad, and he snooped. From time to time, some Nasa scientist sitting at his desk somewhere would see his cursor move for no apparent reason. On those occasions, Gary’s connection would be abruptly cut. This would never fail to freak out the then-stoned Gary.
“The Americans have a secret spaceship?” I ask.
“That’s what this trickle of evidence has led me to believe.”
“Some kind of other Mir that nobody knows about?”
“I guess so,” says Gary.
“What were the ship names?”
“I can’t remember,” says Gary. “I was smoking a lot of dope at the time. Not good for the intellect.”
He quit his job as a systems administrator for a small business, “which hugely pissed off my girlfriend Tamsin. It was the last straw. She dumped me and started seeing this other bloke because I was such a selfish waste of space. Poor Tamsin. And she was the one paying the phone bill because I didn’t have a job. We were still living together. God, have you ever tried living with someone after you’ve split up? It’s bad.”
So it seems that the US Government wants to bring this idiot to our shores to stand trial. If he is convicted, it will just pile on to what has already seemed like a pretty miserable life. It couldn’t happen to a better kook.
Kanye West doesn’t care about women. To him, women are sex objects to be enjoyed many times per night in pursuit of his porn-addled fantasies. West is supposedly a devout Christian, but he is unmarried and has been bragging about his love of pornography and how he has to use women many times each night. Devout Christians do not have these issues, and they certainly would not brag about it in public if they did.
He also admits he cannot hold down a relationship due to his sexual compulsions.
From Independent News Here:
Kanye West has confessed he is a sex addict – who carries porn with him at all times.
The rapper, a devout Christian, says he has to make love four times a night, then again in the morning.
He is quoted in Britain’s The Sun newspaper as saying: “I think I have a sexual problem, a sexual addiction. I want to do it all the time.
“My only drug is porn. I have porn with me all the time.”
The Brit nominated hip-hop star also confessed he plays X-rated movies when women visit his home, in the hope they’ll enjoy it.
He said: “If she wants it turned off, I tell her I don’t know who left it
“But if she says, ‘Hmmm, what’s this?’ then I keep it playing.”
And then from ContactMusic, they go on to explain how this relates to Kanye’s inability to keep a girlfriend-
Rapper KANYE WEST struggles to hold down a relationship because he’s addicted to sex.
The ALL FALLS DOWN hitmaker admits he never goes anywhere without a stash of porn magazines and thinks about sex all the time, which is why he has problems being monogamous.
He explains, “I think I might have a problem, a sexual addiction.
“Lust is part of the reason I’ve been out of relationships… I just want to do it all the time. All the time. Like four times a night. And then in the morning.
“Those addictions and afflictions are what make me a great artist… My biggest problem is lust, looking at girls with big booties.”
As a rapper, Kanye’s biggest risk is getting shot. Let’s face it, rappers don’t have a long shelf life, and they attract bullets like a no-pest strip attracts flies.
But here is a bold prediction- Kanye will be accused of rape very soon, and it will put his career in jeopardy. Kanye is not a smart man, and neither was Mike Tyson, who also had a vicious sexual appetite. Kanye, like Tyson, will be accused of rape. And with boasting statements like these, I think the accusations will stick.
Kanye is a little dude too, which will not help him much in the slammer. The World Heavyweight Champion cannot be raped in jail. A little rapper who likens himself to Jesus Christ, however?
Don’t drop the soap, Kanye.