Category Archives: Military

Someone is learning & practicing how to take down the Internet

This is serious and genuinely alarming.

Bruce Schneier is the Chief Technology Officer of Resilient, an IBM Company, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, and a board member of Electronic Frontier Foundation — an organization defending our rights in the digital world.

In a blog post, Schneier sounds the alarm that in the past year, the websites of major companies that provide the Internet’s basic services repeatedly have been attacked, each time more sophisticated than the last, which suggests “someone” is practicing how to take down the Internet by learning from the companies’ defensive moves.

cyberwar

Below is Bruce Schneier’s blog post of Sept. 13, 2016, “Someone is Learning How to Take Down the Internet“:

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses.

First, a little background. If you want to take a network off the Internet, the easiest way to do it is with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Like the name says, this is an attack designed to prevent legitimate users from getting to the site. There are subtleties, but basically it means blasting so much data at the site that it’s overwhelmed. These attacks are not new: hackers do this to sites they don’t like, and criminals have done it as a method of extortion. There is an entire industry, with an arsenal of technologies, devoted to DDoS defense. But largely it’s a matter of bandwidth. If the attacker has a bigger fire hose of data than the defender has, the attacker wins.

Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them. Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they’re used to seeing. They last longer. They’re more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.

The attacks are also configured in such a way as to see what the company’s total defenses are. There are many different ways to launch a DDoS attack. The more attack vectors you employ simultaneously, the more different defenses the defender has to counter with. These companies are seeing more attacks using three or four different vectors. This means that the companies have to use everything they’ve got to defend themselves. They can’t hold anything back. They’re forced to demonstrate their defense capabilities for the attacker.

I am unable to give details, because these companies spoke with me under condition of anonymity. But this all is consistent with what Verisign is reporting. Verisign is the registrar for many popular top-level Internet domains, like .com and .net. If it goes down, there’s a global blackout of all websites and e-mail addresses in the most common top-level domains. Every quarter, Verisign publishes a DDoS trends report. While its publication doesn’t have the level of detail I heard from the companies I spoke with, the trends are the same: “in Q2 2016, attacks continued to become more frequent, persistent, and complex.”

There’s more. One company told me about a variety of probing attacks in addition to the DDoS attacks: testing the ability to manipulate Internet addresses and routes, seeing how long it takes the defenders to respond, and so on. Someone is extensively testing the core defensive capabilities of the companies that provide critical Internet services.

Who would do this? It doesn’t seem like something an activist, criminal, or researcher would do. Profiling core infrastructure is common practice in espionage and intelligence gathering. It’s not normal for companies to do that. Furthermore, the size and scale of these probes — and especially their persistence — points to state actors. It feels like a nation’s military cybercommand trying to calibrate its weaponry in the case of cyberwar. It reminds me of the US’s Cold War program of flying high-altitude planes over the Soviet Union to force their air-defense systems to turn on, to map their capabilities.

What can we do about this? Nothing, really. We don’t know where the attacks come from. The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with. On the other hand, it’s possible to disguise the country of origin for these sorts of attacks. The NSA, which has more surveillance in the Internet backbone than everyone else combined, probably has a better idea, but unless the US decides to make an international incident over this, we won’t see any attribution.

But this is happening. And people should know.

A reader of Schneier’s blog-post, Random Guy 17, wrote this interesting comment:

“An attack on a service is best done by an attacker that doesn’t need that service. You don’t pull the plug on the power company that supplies your own home/business.

With that in mind, a closed, not highly Internet enabled country makes the most sense- like China.”

Other commenters warn that it may be the U.S. government, e.g., the NSA, doing the attacks — to find the Internet’s weaknesses (in order to better defend it), or more malevolently, as bargaining chip for more money allocated to cyber-security.

It doesn’t help that in two weeks, on October 1, control of the Internet — specifically, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — will pass from U.S. administration to a multilateral body, most likely the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU). (Breitbart)

H/t ZeroHedge and FOTM’s Will Shanley

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 2016):

Rhett Jones reports for Gizmodo, Sept. 11, 2016, that two 18-year-old Israelis — Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani —  have been arrested “in connection with an FBI investigation into vDOS, a cyberattack service that has been credited with perpetrating ‘a majority’ of the DDoS attacks over the last few years.

The following evidence pointed to the Huri and Bidani as the perpetrators:

  1.  Their vDOS service refused to attack Israeli sites in their “home country”.
  2. vDOS was hosted on a server that was traced back to Huri.
  3. SMS notifications pointed to both men.
  4. Huri and Bidani had co-authored a technical paper about DDoS attacks that was published in Israeli security magazine Digitals Whispers.

According to security blogger Brian Krebs, the vDOS site has reportedly raked in $618,000 (£465,835) for its services in two years.

According to Israeli news site The Marker, both men were arrested, then released on $10,000 bonds and placed under house arrest. Their passports have been taken away and they are forbidden from accessing the internet or any other telecommunications equipment for 30 days. It’s unclear if the two men will be extradited to the U.S and formally charged.

It is also unclear if Huri and Bidani are the perpetrators of the increasingly sophisticated DDoS attacks addressed in this post.

H/t FOTM‘s TPR.

~Eowyn

Obama administration granted immunity to a SECOND Clinton computer guru

Of course he did.

Hillary Clinton what difference does it make

From Daily Mail: The computer technician who deleted Hillary Clinton’s emails after she was ordered by Congress to preserve the records was reportedly offered immunity by federal officials.

The New York Times has identified the whiz as Paul Combetta, an employee of Platte River Networks, the firm Clinton hired to maintain her server. It was also the first outlet to report the immunity deal.

He is the second, known IT specialist who handled Clinton’s emails to have been granted legal protection by the Justice Department in exchange for his testimony.  The former campaign staffer and State Department employee who set up Clinton’s server, Bryan Pagliano, was the first.

Pagliano on the right/Facebook photo

Pagliano on the right/Facebook photo

House Republicans want the Obama administration to launch an obstruction of justice investigation over the matter, but the legal agreement protecting the computer guru presents an obstacle.  The Justice Department did not respond to the Times’ request for comment on its report naming Combetta.

Combetta was not named in the FBI report detailing the incident with Clinton’s emails last Friday, described as an ‘oh s***’ moment in the redacted text. The Times says that multiple sources confirmed that Combetta was the employee who made the error, however.

After the news outlet reported in 2012 that Clinton had a secret server in the basement of her New York home that contained work-related emails from the time she served as secretary of state, the House’s Benghazi committee subpoenaed the pertinent messages.

Around the same time, a redacted individual realized that he had not, as he was instructed several months before, deleted an archive of Clinton’s emails.

A summary of the FBI’s findings says he the individual, whom the Times says is Combetta, ‘indicated he believed he had an “oh s***’ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015 deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the PRN server and used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s e-mails.’ PRN stands for Platte River Networks, Comebetta’s employer.

Combetta first told the Justice Department that he didn’t remember deleting the emails but changed his story several months later. He also said, ‘he was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s email data.’

The Republican-run House Oversight and Government reform committee is moving forward with its own investigation into the ‘circumstances leading to the failure to preserve federal records during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State,’ it said said Friday.

It has requested the presence of Pagliano, Combetta, longtime Clinton hand Justin Cooper, Platte River’s Bill Thornton, and Datto, Inc. founder and CEO Austin McChord at a hearing next Tuesday. Cooper monitored the server. Datto provided back-ups to Clinton’s emails.

Clinton’s presidential campaign says additional investigations into the way Clinton’s records were preserved are unnecessary. The matter was ‘thoroughly examined by the FBI prior to its decision to close out this case.’

‘As the FBI report notes, neither Hillary Clinton nor her attorneys had knowledge of the Platte River Network employee’s actions. It appears he acted on his own and against guidance given by both Clinton’s and Platte River’s attorneys to retain all data in compliance with a congressional preservation request,’ Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told the Times.

The Oversight committee will also hold a hearing next week on the FBI report. An advisory said the committee is seeking answers on classified sections and redactions within the material, as well as pages it says were omitted entirely.

Benghazi committee chairman Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, told Fox News it was ‘stunning’ that DOJ would have given Combetta a get-out-of-jail free card.

‘This is prosecutor 101. You don’t give immunity to the person who actually robbed the bank,’ he exclaimed. ‘You may want to give it to the getaway driver. You may want to give it to the person who helped count the money afterwards, but you don’t give immunity to the person who walked in and robbed the bank.’

Gowdy said the FBI ‘blew it.’

you don't say

‘They gave immunity to the very person you would most want to prosecute, which is the person who destroyed official public records after there was a subpoena and after there was a prosecution order,’ the Republican congressman stated.

DCG

Facebook co-founder pledges $20M to defeat Donald Trump

I quit Facebook in 2014 and I don’t miss it AT ALL.

Dustin Moskovitz

Dustin Moskovitz

From NY Post: Billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has pledged to spend $20 million to defeat Donald Trump — whom he accused of carrying out “a deliberate con” to promote “his personal brand.”

In a blog post on Medium, Moskovitz said the election is a “referendum on who we want to be” and — apparently referring to Trump — said: “Will we be driven by fear, towards tribalism, emphasizing the things that divide us?”

Moskovitz claimed that “the Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world.”

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, he claimed, “is running on a vision of optimism, pragmatism, inclusiveness and mutual benefit,” thus earning the endorsement of him and his wife, Cara Tuna.

These four Americans didn't benefit from Hillary's tenure...

These four Americans didn’t benefit from Hillary’s tenure…

“As a nation, we need to figure out how to bring everyone with us, and we believe the Democratic platform currently is more aligned with ensuring that happens,” he wrote.

“In comparison, Donald Trump’s promises to this group are quite possibly a deliberate con, an attempt to rally energy and support without the ability or intention to deliver. His proposals are so implausible that the nation is forced to worry that his interest in the presidency might not even extend beyond winning a contest and promoting his personal brand.”

The tech mogul warned: “If Donald Trump wins, the country will fall backward, and become more isolated from the global community.”

Moskovitz said the cash — from him and his wife —will go to support Democrat-aligned groups.

DCG

Hillary Clinton reportedly used old BlackBerrys bought on eBay

smart-power-clinton

Via NY Post: While serving as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton bought her BlackBerrys off eBay — since she preferred older models that the smartphone company had long retired — a top Republican on Capitol Hill revealed.

“I don’t want to get into this too much, but part of what was happening with the secretary of state was, she was acquiring technology that wasn’t even supported by BlackBerry,” House Oversight Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz told a forum in DC on Wednesday, according to the Washington Examiner.

“You couldn’t buy it. She was actually buying this stuff off of eBay because somebody was selling their old machine. That’s what she liked, so she did. It creates this huge vulnerability. And it’s unnecessary,” Chaffetz added in an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute.

Chaffetz’s remarks come a week after the FBI released notes from its interview of Clinton, part of its investigation into her private email server.

The FBI notes revealed Clinton had 13 BlackBerry devices over the course of her four years as America’s top diplomat. Clinton frequently lost or misplaced her smartphone, the notes said. And Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper destroyed two old devices with a hammer.

Despite the FBI’s decision not to recommend the Justice Department pursue Clinton on criminal charges, Chaffetz has pledged to continue using his House committee to investigate the Democratic presidential candidate.

DCG

Hillary Clinton wore an ear phone at Commander-in-Chief Forum

Last night, NBC’s Matt Lauer hosted a live townhall event — the Commander In Chief Forum in New York City — wherein he separately interviewed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on national security, military affairs and veterans issues in front of an audience mainly made up of members of the military.

Conservative actor James Woods, a rare breed in Hollywood, tweeted this:

james-woods-tweet

Here’s the HD image of Hillary with the ear piece in her left ear:
hillary-clinton-ear-piece-9-7-2016

Here’s another HD close-up view:
hillary-ear-phone

Woods also tweeted a Clinton email from the WikiLeaks archive in which Huma Abedin asked Hillary, “Did u take your earpiece or do I need to get it?”

Below is a screenshot I took of the PDF of Abedin’s email of September 23, 2009 to Hillary, from WikiLeaks. You can see it for yourself by going here.

wikileaks-huma-abedin-email-to-hillary-clinton-2009-09-23

Woods then linked to an article by TruePundit which reported that Hillary was wearing an earpiece to receive “stealth coaching” during the NBC live town hall event.

According to TruePundit, “NYPD sources involved with the NBC forum’s security detail confirm Clinton was wearing an ‘inductive earpiece,’ the same technology employed by almost all lead Broadway actors to receive forgotten lines and stealth off-stage cues from directors. The flesh-colored earbud is easily concealed. There are no wires running directly to the ear like you see with the units employed by Secret Service protection detail personnel.” The article goes on to provide technical details about the earpiece, asserting that it is “almost invisible to anyone” and is “normally issued to law enforcement or corporate security teams.”

Note: I tried to access TruePundit, but got a “500 Internal Server Error” message. Hmm….

Below are a picture and description of Inductive Earpiece from Professional Sound Corporation:

inductive-earpieceProfessional Sound Corporation® has met the high demands for discrete cueing with the development of the Inductive Earpiece. This inductive cueing system is quite simple to use. Audio is transmitted from any source via an inductive loop. The talent [actor] can wear a small, flexible neck loop which couples audio via a low level magnetic field into a hearing aid style earpiece. Alternately, a perimeter or “room loop” may be used to encircle an entire room or stage allowing many people to receive the same cue. Both of these two uses allow the talent to receive a discrete cue on camera.

The Professional Sound Corporation® Inductive Earpiece is routinely used for cueing of news anchors, actors, stage performers, dancers, and other on camera personalities. Its small size can be worn by both adults and children alike. It is made of a flesh color ABS plastic to provide better on camera concealment. The PSC Inductive Earpiece comes complete with a cleaning brush, ear swabs, a supply of batteries and an attractive carry case. This small Inductive Earpiece comes with a 90 day, limited warranty.

Paul Joseph Watson of InfoWars writes:

This is not the first time Clinton has faced charges that she was wearing an earpiece during a crucial event – similar claims were made after her appearance in front of the House Select Benghazi Hearing in October last year.

Of course, the earpiece could have just been a hearing aid, although there doesn’t appear to be any admission or record of Hillary wearing one in the past.

Go see it for yourself. Here’s the full video of the forum. Hillary was the first to be interviewed.

Here are screenshots I took of Hillary at the 4:10 and 5:06 marks of the video. I painted the yellow arrows pointing to something secreted inside her left ear right above her gold ball earring.

hillary-ear-phone-4-10hillary-ear-phone-5-06

Note from Eowyn on Sept. 9, 2016: One day after I published this post, the video above has already been taken down as you can see for yourself. Below is a replacement:

By the way, there’s photographic evidence that Barack Obama wore an ear piece in the third presidential debate in 2012. (See my post “Was Obama wearing an ear phone in 3rd debate?“)

Here’s a close-up pic:

LCYpc

H/t “Barry Soetoro” and FOTM‘s Sherry

~Eowyn

Chameleon Hillary Clinton is back to looking like sh*t — and the return of her medical handler

I find Hillary Clinton’s chameleon-like changing appearance fascinating, like gazing at a snake.

There’s an episode of the old Star Trek TV series, “Mudd’s Women,” in which women would instantly transform themselves from old hags to beautiful sirens by ingesting the Venus pill. Hillary’s visage also goes through interesting changes.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of Hillary at the Benghazi hearing on January 23, 2013 (left) and Hillary miraculously rejuvenated 3½ years later (right), looking like a decades-younger porcelain doll when she accepted her party’s nomination on July 28, 2016, the last day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Hillary Clinton before & after

A month later, however, on August 31, 2016, the DNC porcelain-doll look is gone.

The occasion was the American Legion Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here’s  a screenshot of Hillary during her speech, looking like death warmed over. The live video of her speech follows.

Hillary Clinton at American Legion convention, Aug. 31, 2016

Hillary Clinton at American Legion convention, Aug. 31, 2016

Below is a side-by-side comparison of Hillary in 2013 (left), on July 28, 2016 (middle), and a month later on August 31, 2016 (right).

Hillary Clinton before & afterThere is something unnatural and unsettling about the drastic changes in her appearance, and by that I don’t mean just cosmetics . . . .

The American Legion speech is notable for another reason — the reappearance of Hillary’s medical handler at the end of the video.

Medical Handler is the burly black man by the side of Hillary on her big night at the DNC, carrying what appears to be a Diazepam auto-injector pen (for seizures) in his left hand.

Hillary's body guard holding Diazepam penHillary's body guard holding Diazepam pen1

A week later, on August 4, 2016, when Hillary got flustered during a speech at a campaign rally, Mr. Medical Handler immediately went to her side, reassured her by touching her with his hand — something that a Secret Service agent would never do — and whispered to her, “Keep talking”.

Hillary’s medical handler should not be confused with her black Secret Service agent. Although both are black, bald and tall, medical handler has a shorter, thicker neck and is fatter than the SS agent, as shown in this video snip from Hillary’s big night at the DNC:

Below is a screenshot I took at the 0:13 mark of the above video, showing the physical differences between the two men.

Hillary's medical handler vs. black SS agent at DNC

Here are two screen shots I took from the video of Hillary’s speech at the American Legion convention on August 31, 2016, showing that thick-neck Medical Handler is back.

Hillary's medical handler at American Legion convention 8-31-2016 40.48 (2)Hillary's medical handler at American Legion convention 8-31-2016 40.48

By the way, were you as nauseated as I was by the fawning audience at the American Legion convention? Don’t these military veterans know Hillary abandoned four Americans, including two former Navy SEALS, to die in Benghazi?

Here’s a screenshot of some of the audience going gaga over Hillary — a woman who, if it were not for corrupt FBI Director James Comey, would be arrested, tried, and imprisoned for violating U.S. laws (Title 18, Sec. 2071) by having an unsecured private email server while she was secretary of state.

Hillary Clinton at American Legion convention 1Which just goes to show that our enemies are Americans who, despite everything that’s been revealed about her, still think Hillary’s just ginger peachy and will vote for her on November 8.

Mr. Medical Handler may be New Jersey neurologist Oladotun Okunola, M.D. (go here). See also “Hillary Clinton’s teeth, tongue-hole & now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t wrinkles“.

H/t Will Shanley

~Eowyn

Clinton claims she didn’t know ‘C’ stood for ‘classified’ in emails

So let’s make her our CIC…makes sense to me!

Hillary Clinton what difference does it make

Via NY Post: Hillary Clinton couldn’t be bothered about digital security when she was secretary of state and didn’t even realize that a “(C)” marking in emails denoted classified information, according to notes of the FBI interview with her in July.

The agency released 58 pages of its 3 1/2-hour interview about her private e-mail server and they showed Clinton was slow to embrace technology and didn’t pay attention to various levels of government security classification.

Among the more startling things to emerge from the notes was that in 2009, Clinton still did not have a personal computer in her office at the White House or her home in Chappaqua.

Clinton admitted to FBI agents that she didn’t pay attention to the different levels of security– from classified to top secret.

Clinton could not give an example of how the classification of a document was determined. Rather, she stated there was a process in place before her tenure, and she relied on career foreign service professionals to appropriately mark and handle classified information,” according to the summary of her testimony by the FBI.

Remarkably, Clinton said she had no idea that a “(C)” designation in some of her e-mails meant they were classified.

Clinton aides Clinton aides said she often replaced her Blackberries and the fate of the old devices “frequently became unknown.” In two cases, aides said they simply smashed the old ones.

DCG