A Preview Of Coming Attractions

So much for Homeland Security. From Russia, without love, hitting us where it really hurts.

Foreign hackers targeted U.S. water plant in apparent malicious cyber attack, expert says

Foreign hackers caused a pump at an Illinois water plant to fail last week, according to a preliminary state report. Experts said the cyber-attack, if confirmed, would be the first known to have damaged one of the systems that supply Americans with water, electricity and other essentials of modern life.

Companies and government agencies that rely on the Internet have for years been routine targets of hackers, but most incidents have resulted from attempts to steal information or interrupt the functioning of Web sites. The incident in Springfield, Ill., would mark a departure because it apparently caused physical destruction.

See also:
Was U.S. water utility hacked last week?
Foreign cyber attack hits US infrastructure: expert
Illinois Water Utility Pump Destroyed After Hack
H(ackers)2O: Attack on City Water Station Destroys Pump
Cyberattack investigation centers on Curran-Gardner water pump
Feds investigating whether Illinois “pump failure” was cyber attack
Broken water pump in Illinois caused by cyber-attack from Russia, claims expert, but DOH denies terrorism
Cyberattack on Illinois water utility may confirm Stuxnet warnings
Water utility hackers destroy pump, expert says
UPDATE 3-U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

The SCADA vulnerabilities to a remote attack have been known for years. The solution is real simple, DON’T CONNECT YOUR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE INTERNET!

/how hard is that, is it going to take a disaster for us to learn this basic lesson?

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Good Luck With That Guy Fawkes

You really want to piss off important, rich and powerful people and call down the almighty wrath of God upon yourself? [Expletive deleted] with their money. This is so much bull[expletive deleted]. The New York Stock Exchange is one of the most hardened, redundant,and secure computer systems on Earth, Anonymous doesn’t have a chance in Hell of crippling it or shutting it down. Anonymous does, however, have a 100% chance of attracting a massive law enforcement investigative effort. Be sure to lock Mom’s basement door script kiddies and don’t forget to ask to see the warrant when the FBI comes knocking, if they knock.

Hacker Group Anonymous Threatens to Attack Stock Exchange

The FBI is investigating threats purportedly from the hacking collective that calls itself Anonymous to bring down the New York Stock Exchange on Monday by hacking into its computer system.

Members of the notorious hacker group appear to be threatening to bring the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York to a dangerous new level, sounding a call to “declare war on the New York Stock Exchange” on Monday by “erasing” it from the Internet.

“The FBI is aware of these schemes and threats and is looking into the matter,” FBI spokesman Tim Flannelly told FoxNews.com.

The hackers say they plan to launch a DDoS (or distributed denial of service) attack on the NYSE’s computer systems — the same type of computer attack that brought down numerous websites last Spring, making them inaccessible.

See also:
Anonymous Vows to Attack NYSE in Support of Wall Street Protests
Anonymous Threatens New York Stock Exchange Attack
Anonymous Hack Attack on NYSE: Will They or Won’t They?
Anonymous Vows to Attack NYSE
Anonymous Vows to Attack NYSE in Support of Wall Street Protests
A Tree Falls In The Forest: Anonymous Threatens To “Erase” NYSE From Internet
Is NYSE Vulnerable to Cyber Attack? Anonymous Might Just Try
Anonymous Group Pledges Digital Raid on NYSE Next Week
Anonymous Threatens to ‘Erase NYSE from the Internet’
Anonymous to (Maybe) Attack NYSE on Monday, Unconfirmed
‘Anonymous threat’ plot to undermine Wall Street protest?
Anonymous declares war on Wall Street? (Updates)
‘Invade Wall Street’: Occupy Wall Street’s Evil (And Probably Fake) Twin

With a threat this serious, the FBI is likely to get some help in hunting down these Anonymous douche nozzles, namely the full spectrum of U.S. “national technical means”. If Anonymous actually tries to attack the NYSE, using anything that requires electricity, they’ll quickly find out that they’re not so anonymous.

/hey scumbags, you’re in over your heads here, remember what happened to your mascot Guy Fawkes?

Aid And Comfort To The Enemy

Let’s see, China launches cyberattacks and conducts internet espionage against the United States 24/7/365 and our U.S. Department of Homeland Security is warning China about their vulnerabilities? WTF?

China’s Infrastructure Vulnerable to Cyber Attack

Software widely used in China to help run weapons systems, utilities and chemical plants has bugs that hackers could exploit to damage public infrastructure, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The department issued an advisory on Thursday warning of vulnerabilities in software applications from Beijing-based Sunway ForceControl Technology Co that hackers could exploit to launch attacks on critical infrastructure.

See also:
SCADA Vulnerabilities Patched in Two Industrial Control Software from China
Chinese Weapon Systems Vulnerable To SCADA Hack
US warns China software risk to public infrastructure
US Warns of Problems in Chinese SCADA Software
Software bugs discovered in Chinese-made applications
China’s weapons systems have exploitable software bugs
Department Of Homeland Security Cites China Vulnerability
Exclusive: China software bug makes infrastructure vulnerable
US reveals Stuxnet-style vuln in Chinese SCADA ‘ware
Critical vulnerability in industrial control software

China is not our friend, why are we feeding the hand that bites us? Why aren’t we keeping these discovered Chinese vulnerabilities to ourselves in case we might actually need to use them in the event of escalated hostilities with China?

/and just when did the DHS become the CDHS, Chinese Department of Homeland Security, protecting the homeland of a hostile country?

Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Free Internet Porn

Are you kidding me, internet access is a basic human right? Of course, as long as you have a basic human right to internet access, it follows that you also have a basic human right to a computer, modem, internet service, and hey, you’re going to need a place to plug in and the electricity to make it all work. Can’t afford all that? No problem, it’s a basic human right, demand it all free from your government and, if they can’t or won’t provide it, drag them before the U.N. Human Rights Council for human rights violations!

UN report: Internet access is a basic human right

Access to the Internet, especially during times of political unrest, is a basic human right, says a report released by the United Nations today.

“Facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible, should be a priority for all States,” says the report, published on May 16 by Frank La Rue, a “special rapporteur” for the UN’s Human Rights Council.

. . .

The report urges states to avoid or amend any laws that “permit users to be disconnected from Internet access.”

. . .

The UN report defines Internet access to include both free information flow as well as access to infrastructure, “such as cables, modems, computers and software, to access the Internet in the first place.”

Read the report:

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom
of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue

See also:
Internet should remain as open as possible – UN expert on freedom of expression
United Nations report: Internet access is a human right
UN Declares Internet Access As A Human Right
UN Report: Internet access a human right
United Nations Declares Internet Access a Basic Human Right
United Nations Claims Internet Blackouts Violate Human Rights
UN: Disconnecting File-Sharers Breaches Human Rights
Filesharing laws ‘breach human rights’
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

And make no mistake, when the report mentions “with as little restriction to online content as possible’, that’s a direct shot at copyright holders and any governmental efforts to protect copyright or otherwise filter internet content. You see, no matter how prurient, vile, subversive, inflammatory, inaccurate, untruthful, or proprietary it is, information and intellectual property just want to be free! It’s a basic human right, damn it!

/so remember boys and girls, if you don’t have access to free internet porn, demand it, along with all the equipment and infrastructure needed to enjoy yourself, it’s your basic human right!

No Vacancy At The Internet

The Internet is full, there’s no more room. Go away, find something else to do.

Last of Current Internet Addresses Doled Out to Distributors

It is official: the Internet finally has run out of addresses—sort of.

On Thursday morning, the organization that oversees Internet protocol addresses–sets of digits that help direct online traffic–doled out the last remaining batches of numbers under the current addressing system.

Internet experts hailed the event as a milestone in the evolution of the Web, one that will eventually require changes on the part of some companies and users. But it did not come as a surprise.

More than a decade ago, the Internet’s founding fathers realized that the roughly 4.3 billion addresses under the current system, known as IP version four, eventually would be exhausted. They created a new scheme with a practically unlimited number of addresses, dubbed IP version six, which is expected to succeed the original naming scheme.

See also:
Update: ICANN assigns its last IPv4 addresses
End of the line for internet addresses
The Internet’s IPv4 Gas Tank is running on empty
Supply of Internet addresses runs low
Web Running Out of Addresses
Internet will run out of IP addresses by Friday
World shrugs as IPv4 addresses finally exhausted
APNIC Triggers Last Of IANA IPv4 Free Pool Space Allocations
Final batch of IPv4 addresses assigned, exhaustion sets in
IP Addresses Are Running Out: What You Need to Know
Internet running out of addresses, new set needed
Vint Cerf, ‘Father’ of Internet, Weighs In on IPv4 Exhaustion
Net powers: IPv4 is over. All hail IPv6!
IPv4 & IPv6: A Short Guide
IPv4
IPv6

Okay, so the good news is that there’s already a new protocol for Internet addresses that will provide a practically limitless new supply. The bad news is, if your modem, router, operating system, or other Internet connection hardware or software is older, it might not be compatible with the new addressing system and you won’t be able to connect to the new web addresses.

/the moral of this story; if you’re buying any new or, especially, used hardware or software that connects to the Internet, make damn sure that it’s IPv6 compatible, you’ve been warned

Watson Wins!

Okay, so it’s only a practice round but, nonetheless, it’s pretty damn impressive. Just remember, these aren’t ordinary Jeopardy! Champions that Watson is beating like a drum, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter are the top two all time Jeopardy! Champions.


Computer beats Jeopardy! champs – is world domination far behind?

IBM recently created a supercomputer named Watson that will compete against humans in the “Jeopardy!: IBM Challenge.”

The other two contestants? Previous “Jeopardy!” champions Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive matches, and Brad Rutter, who won a record-breaking $3.3 million as a contestant. The televised match will air in February, but today IBM offered a teaser in a three-round test battle.

Watson has been in the works for approximately four years. It is powered by 10 racks of IBM servers and has 15 terabytes of RAM. However, Google or KGB are no help to the machine, as it’s not connected to the Internet. Instead, it gets its information from myriad encyclopedias, dictionaries, books, and other sources of information it has digested. According to IBM, Watson has access to the equivalent of 200 million pages of content.

Watson also works just like a human contestant would: he has a buzzer and answers in the form of a question. Although as a bonus for the audience, the top three answers that Watson believes are correct are projected on a screen, giving insight into its decision-making process.

The results of the today’s match shouldn’t be too surprising. Tech blog Engadget.com
reports that no question went answered incorrectly by any of the contestants, but the computer beat the human champs, as Watson led with $4,400, Jennings was second with $3,400, and Rutter rounded out the scoring with $1,200.

See also:
IBM’s Watson supercomputer destroys all humans in Jeopardy practice round (video!)
IBM’s Jeopardy supercomputer beats humans in practice bout
IBM’s Watson wins Jeopardy practice round: Can humans hang?
Are You Smarter Than A Computer The Size Of 10 Refrigerators?
Machine Bests Man in “Jeopardy!” Practice Round
Domo arigato, Mr. Watson: IBM computer takes on ‘Jeopardy’
Jeopardy! supercomputer: Is the next game show champ a machine?
The computer wore Jeopardy’s buzzer
Computer wins first test against 2 ‘Jeopardy!’ champs
The DeepQA Project
Watson Research Center
I’ll Take Machines That Play Jeopardy For $500, Trebek

Did you watch the way Watson destroyed those two hapless human Jeopardy! champions? Instead of Jeapardy! trivia, they should stuff Watson full of all the known economic, military, scientific, and political knowledge.

/I’d vote for Watson over Obama for President in 2012, America would be a much safer and more prosperous country

Spam, Spam, Not So Wonderful Spam

Oh sure, he’s an “ambulance chaser”. But hey, in this case, the ambulance deserves to be chased.

Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers

Daniel Balsam hates spam. Most everybody does, of course. But he has acted on his hate as few have, going far beyond simply hitting the delete button. He sues them.

Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.

Enraged, he launched a Web site called Danhatesspam.com, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

“I feel like I’m doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet,” Balsam said.

. . .

Still, Balsam settles enough lawsuits and collects enough from judgments to make a living. He has racked up well in excess of $1 million in court judgments and lawsuit settlements with companies accused of sending illegal spam.

His courtroom foes contend that Balsam is one of many sole practitioners unfairly exploiting anti-spam sentiments and laws. They accuse him of filing lawsuits against out-of-state companies that would rather pay a small settlement than expend the resources to fight the legal claims.

. . .

Balsam certainly isn’t the average Internet consumer.

When San Mateo Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner in March ordered Trancos Inc. to pay Balsam $7,000 for sending spam that recipients couldn’t stop, she noted that he has more than 100 e-mail addresses.

See also:
Anti-Spam Crusader Dan Balsam Takes on ‘Cheating Wives,’ Other Spammers
Man Quits Job, Makes Living Suing E-Mail Spammers
Daniel Balsam, the Man Who Quit His Job to Make a Living Suing Spammers
Daniel Balsam Job: Suing Email Spammers
The Man Who Makes His Living Suing Email Spammers
Man Quits Job; Now Makes Millions Fighting Spam
Daniel Balsam, Anti-Spam Crusader
Daniel Balsam, the Man Who Quit His Job to Make a Living Suing Spammers
Calif marketer goes to law school to sue over spam
Breast-Enlargement E-Mail Spurs Marketer Into Law School and Anti-Spam Practice
Calif marketer goes to law school to sue over spam
San Francisco attorney on crusade to end spam
DanHatesSpam.com

So, Balsam maintains hundreds of e-mail addresses to deliberately collect spam and then turns around and sues the senders for sending him the spam. Talk about you niche law practice. It’s not the most ethical and noble way to use a law degree to make a living, but the spammers are worse and they’re the one’s violating the law.

/pretty harmless as far as “ambulance chasers” go, at least Balsam isn’t filing frivolous lawsuits against legitimate companies