Watching The Drone Watchers

I smell China, or maybe Russia. The fact that the virus keeps resisting efforts to remove it shows that there’s some sophistication involved.

U.S. Military Drones Infected With Mysterious Computer Virus

A fleet of U.S. military drones on a Nevada Air Force base has been infected by a keylogger virus that tracks every key and button their pilots press, Wired.com reported Friday — and top Air Force sources strongly contested.

The virus was first noticed by officials at Creech Air Force Base nearly two weeks ago using the base’s security system. It logged every keystroke of the pilots in the control room on the base as they remotely flew Predator and Reaper drones on missions over Afghanistan and other battle zones.

There has been no confirmation of information being lost or sent to an outside source, but the virus has been resistant to military efforts to clear it from the system.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” a source told Wired.

See also:
Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet
Computers Controlling Military Drones Reportedly Infected with Virus
Computer Virus Attacks U.S. Military Drones: Wired
Keylogger virus hits US drone operations
Combat drones’ computer systems reportedly infected with virus
Computer virus hits US’ Predator drone fleet
US war drones keep flying despite computer virus
America’s Drones Have Been Infected by a Virus
Virus infects Pentagon drones’ computers
U.S. Drone Controllers Said To Be Infected By Computer Virus
US drones hit by virus
U.S. Military Facing a Battle Unlike Any Other
Cyberwar: a Whole New Quagmire – When the Drones Come To Roost
Creech Air Force Base

Theses computers didn’t just infect themselves, they were almost surely infected by someone, either deliberately or unwittingly, connecting a malware infected memory stick or other portable media storage device to the network. This has been a known attack vector for a long time now and it’s easily preventable, simply don’t allow portable media storage devices anywhere near classified computer networks!

/search all personnel coming and going if that’s what it takes, it’s a small price to pay for avoiding potentially catastrophic security breaches like this

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Can You Hack It?

Calling all hackers, do you pack what it takes?

NSA is looking for a few good hackers

The National Security Agency has a challenge for hackers who think they’re hot stuff: Prove it by working on the “hardest problems on Earth.”

Computer hacker skills are in great demand in the U.S. government to fight the cyberwars that pose a growing national security threat — and they are in short supply.

For that reason an alphabet soup of federal agencies — DOD, DHS, NASA, NSA — are descending on Las Vegas this week for Defcon, an annual hacker convention where the $150 entrance fee is cash only — no registration, no credit cards, no names taken. Attendance is expected to top 10,000.

The NSA is among the keen suitors. The spy agency plays offense and defense in the cyberwars. It conducts electronic eavesdropping on adversaries, and it protects U.S. computer networks that hold super-secret material — a prime target for America’s enemies.

See also:
NSA Wants to Hire Hackers at DefCon
US gov’t building hacker army for cyber war
U.S. government hankers for hackers
U.S. Federal Agencies Look to Hire Hackers at Defcon; Cyber Criminals Offer Services to the Public
US government agencies scouting for computer hackers: report
Federal Agencies to Recruit Hackers at Defcon
R u h4X0R? n33d @ jo8? NSA wants you (locked up in a cubicle, not a cell)
The NSA Wants More Hackers for Their ‘Collection of Geeks’
Welcome to the National Security Agency – NSA/CSS
National Security Agency
Defcon
DEF CON

Would you rather work for them or be hunted down by them? If you’re good enough, it probably pays pretty well and beats sitting in a prison cell.

/don’t forget to bring your white hat

The 2010 Aftermath

Not total victory, but all in all, it was a very good day for Republicans.

After GOP landslide of Election 2010, what next for Obama?

The Republican Party has swept the Democrats out of power in the House and gained seats in the Senate, sending a strong message of voter discontent to President Obama on the economy.

Republicans scored at least a 60-seat gain in the House, the biggest partisan shift since the Democrats lost 75 House seats in 1948. In the Senate, the Republicans fell short of the 10 they needed to take control, and failed to capture their most-hoped-for quarry: the seat of Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, who defeated tea partyer Sharron Angle by five percentage points. It is the first time in 80 years that the House has changed hands without the Senate following.

The historic wave that makes Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio the expected next speaker of the House also hands Mr. Obama the biggest challenge of his political career. Suddenly, the president has no choice but to work toward his unfulfilled 2008 campaign promise of greater bipartisanship. The alternative is gridlock and the appearance of ineffectiveness. But if Obama concedes too much to the Republicans, he risks losing the support of his Democratic base when he runs for reelection in 2012, as expected.

Maybe even more impressive and certainly just as important was the Republican near sweep at the state level. Republicans will now be in charge of redistricting in the majority of states, which will set legislative boundaries for the next ten years.

Forget D.C., look what Republicans won in state legislatures

This is especially important in years ending in ’00 because these newly elected governors and state legislators will (with the exception of California) be the ones redrawing legislative and congressional district lines that will stand for the next decade until the 2020 census. And occupying the governor’s mansion puts that party in control of an immense statewide political apparatus to help its presidential ticket two years hence.

Come January, Republicans will now run crucial governors’ offices in….

…major presidential battleground states like Florida (Rick Scott), Ohio (John Kasich), Pennsylvania (Tom Corbett) and Iowa, where former Gov. Terry Branstad returns. New Mexico voters elected their first female governor, Republican Susana Martinez, a Latino. Sometimes-maligned South Carolina voters chose Nikki Haley, who is not only the state’s first female governor but only the nation’s second of Indian American descent (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal being the other.) Oklahoma also picked its first female governor, Republican Mary Fallin.

According to the authoritative Stateline.org, the country’s contests for governor and lieutenant governor cost $850 million. Heading into 2012, the GOP will control at least 29 of the 50 governor’s suites.
Perhaps more importantly, the Republican wave at the national level was also felt at the grass-roots level, where Republicans gained control of at least 19 more state legislative chambers, possibly two dozen as vote-counting continues.

The GOP will have a majority in at least 54 of the 99 state legislative chambers, including a minimum of 53% of state legislature seats (about 3,900). That’s the most the party has controlled in 82 years — and up about 700 seats from Monday.

Of course, we didn’t win them all and this one personally sticks in my craw. If it wasn’t for third party spoiler candidate Tom Horner (former Republican), Republican Tom Emmer would already easily be the next Governor of Minnesota. Mark Dayton should send Horner some flowers or candy or a tip or something.

Guv’s race: Long ride, no end in sight

A seismic shift in Minnesota’s political landscape unfolded Wednesday as the most game-changing election in a generation sent Republicans and the DFL scrambling for the last undecided prize — the governor’s office.

DFLer Mark Dayton unofficially leads Republican Tom Emmer by 8,856 votes — a margin so slight that it could trigger a hand-ballot recount for the second election cycle in a row.

Officials began the tedious, nerve-wracking task of locking up ballots, which both parties may guard around the clock.

The day’s events placed the state, yet again, in political suspended animation, awaiting the prospect of another recount brawl that could take months to resolve and get tangled in the courts.

See also:
2010 Elections Exit Poll Analysis: The Political Price of Economic Pain
Election Day 2010 and its aftermath
Exit polls Election 2010
Karl Rove, U.S. Chamber Amass Winning Record in 2010 Elections
Tea Party Top 10 biggest winners and losers
Statehouse wins put GOP in redistricting driver’s seat
Vote 2010 Elections: What’s Your Reaction to Republicans’ Big Win?
With 2010 Behind Us, A Look Ahead To 2012
Republicans celebrate, outline legislative goals
In Social Media Election, The GOP Capitalizes
How will Obama react to GOP gains?

Tuesday’s vote was an absolute thumping repudiation of Obama and the Democrats and their big government, far left agenda. Now that the Republicans have a tight leash on the Democrats, will the Democrats learn to play ball in the poetical center? Will the Democrats learn to at least read the destructive legislation they vote to cram down the throats of the American taxpayers, over the vociferous objections and protestations of the electorate.

/because, if the Democrats don’t learn their lesson this time, they’re going to get thumped even harder in 2012, the American people have spoken and they’ve had enough of Obama and the Democrats’ progressive socialism

Let’s Play ATM Or Slot Machine?

Barnaby Jack is at it again.

Researcher Demonstrates ATM ‘Jackpotting’ at Black Hat Conference

In a city filled with slot machines spilling jackpots, it was a “jackpotted” ATM machine that got the most attention Wednesday at the Black Hat security conference, when researcher Barnaby Jack demonstrated two suave hacks against automated teller machines that allowed him to program them to spew out dozens of crisp bills.

The demonstration was greeted with hoots and applause.

In one of the attacks, Jack reprogrammed the ATM remotely over a network, without touching the machine; the second attack required he open the front panel and plug in a USB stick loaded with malware.

Jack, director of security research at IOActive Labs, focused his hack research on standalone and hole-in-the-wall ATMs — the kind installed in retail outlets and restaurants. He did not rule out that bank ATMs could have similar vulnerabilities, though he hasn’t yet examined them.

The two systems he hacked on stage were made by Triton and Tranax. The Tranax hack was conducted using an authentication bypass vulnerability that Jack found in the system’s remote monitoring feature, which can be accessed over the Internet or dial-up, depending on how the owner configured the machine.

Tranax’s remote monitoring system is turned on by default, but Jack said the company has since begun advising customers to protect themselves from the attack by disabling the remote system.

To conduct the remote hack, an attacker would need to know an ATM’s Internet IP address or phone number. Jack said he believes about 95 percent of retail ATMs are on dial-up; a hacker could war dial for ATMs connected to telephone modems, and identify them by the cash machine’s proprietary protocol.

The Triton attack was made possible by a security flaw that allowed unauthorized programs to execute on the system. The company distributed a patch last November so that only digitally signed code can run on them.

Both the Triton and Tranax ATMs run on Windows CE.

Using a remote attack tool, dubbed Dillinger, Jack was able to exploit the authentication bypass vulnerability in Tranax’s remote monitoring feature and upload software or overwrite the entire firmware on the system. With that capability, he installed a malicious program he wrote, called Scrooge.

Scrooge lurks on the ATM quietly in the background until someone wakes it up in person. It can be initiated in two ways — either through a touch-sequence entered on the ATM’s keypad or by inserting a special control card. Both methods activate a hidden menu that allows the attacker to spew out money from the machine or print receipts. Scrooge will also capture track data embedded in bank cards inserted into the ATM by other users.

To demonstrate, Jack punched the keys on the typed to call up the menu, then instructed the machine to spit out 50 bills from one of four cassettes. The screen lit up with the word “Jackpot!” as the bills came flying out the front.

To hack the Triton, he used a key to open the machine’s front panel, then connected a USB stick containing his malware. The ATM uses a uniform lock on all of its systems — the kind used on filing cabinets — that can opened with a $10 key available on the web. The same key opens every Triton ATM.

Two Triton representatives said at a press conference after the presentation that its customers preferred a single lock on systems so they could easily manage fleets of machines without requiring numerous keys. But they said Triton offers a lock upgrade kit to customers who request it — the upgraded lock is a Medeco pick-resistant, high-security lock.

. . .

Jack said that so far he’s examined ATMs made by four manufacturers and all of them have vulnerabilities. “Every ATM I’ve looked at allows that ‘game over.’ I’m four for four,” he said at the press conference. He wouldn’t discuss the vulnerabilities in the two ATMs not attacked on Wednesday because he said his previous employer, Juniper Networks, owns that research.

Jack said his aim in demonstrating the hacks is to get people to look more closely at the security of systems that are presumed to be locked down and impenetrable.

See also:
Bunker-busting ATM attacks show security holes
Hacker breaks into ATMs, dispenses cash remotely
Security researcher demonstrates ATM hacking
Black Hat: Hacker Tricks ATMs Into Raining Cash
Researcher shows how to hack ATMs with “Dillinger” tool
Armed with exploits, ATM hacker hits the jackpot
Powered By Microsoft Windows
IOActive Labs
Tranax Technologies
Triton Systems

All your ATMs are belong to Barnaby Jack!

/I’ll bet Barnaby is really well paid and gets plenty of job offers from the Black Hats as well as the White Hats

In Your Face Obama And Reid!

After billions of dollars spent and decades of study and construction of the Yucca Mountain Repository, while nuclear waste has literally been piling up at nuclear power plants across the country, the Obama administration and Harry Reid conspired to abruptly pull the plug on the project, just as it was getting set to start receiving waste. Why? Because Democrats don’t like nuclear power (or electricity generation in general, for that matter) and if there’s nowhere to permanently store the nuclear waste, there won’t be any new nuclear power plants built. Well guess what? The battle for Yucca Mountain isn’t over yet.

Panel Blocks Move to Scrap Yucca Site

Federal regulators on Tuesday denied a request by the Obama administration to withdraw an application for the first national nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

A three-judge Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel said that Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn’t have the power to withdraw the application because 1982 law “does not give the secretary the discretion to substitute his policy for the one established by Congress.”

The administration said in March that it would withdraw the application. The move marked a victory for Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D., Nev.), who has made killing the Yucca Mountain project a priority. Mr. Reid is running for re-election this year in a tough race.

The Energy Department’s application to develop Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository has been pending with the NRC since June 2008, when the Bush administration applied for the license.

Utility operators had expressed concern at the Energy Department’s decision to withdraw the permit application, saying that without progress toward developing a permanent nuclear-waste storage facility some states could refuse to permit new nuclear power plants.

The nuclear industry has contributed about $10 billion to a fund to develop a permanent national waste facility.

See also:
NRC panel: Nuclear waste dump process continues
Energy Dept. Cannot Drop Nuclear Waste Plan
Panel’s decision keeps Yucca Mountain alive
DOE can’t scrap Yucca plans, panel says
RJtv YUCCA MOUNTAIN: NOT DEAD YET
Yucca Mountain: Nuclear Waste in Nevada
Eureka County, Nevada — Yucca Mountain.org
Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository
The Democrat War On Electricity

Of course, the Obama administration won’t take no for an answer and will continue to try and sabatoge the Yucca Mountain Repository because nuclear power is bad. Let’s just hope we can get Yucca Mountain open, so that we can move all the nuclear waste from all across the country to a centralized storage facility, for safety and security reasons, and then maybe we could actually build some new nuclear power plants, like we already should have been doing for the last thirty years.

/it would probably also help to vote Democrats out of office this coming November, so they can no longer obstruct a rational U.S. energy policy

Lots More Trouble For ACORN

The hits just keep on coming.

ACORN May Face Trial for First Time as Nevada Prosecutors Allege ‘Widespread’ Criminal Policies

When ACORN took to Las Vegas and started playing “Blackjack” and “21,” the activist group was making a far bigger gamble than it ever guessed, according to Nevada prosecutors.

There’s nothing wrong with playing the tables in Vegas, but authorities say ACORN was using the names of those casino games as a cover to illegally pay workers to sign up voters as part of an illegal quota system.

A preliminary hearing Tuesday in the downtown Clark County courthouse has put ACORN on trial for the first time as a criminal defendant.

Until now, prosecutions for voter registration fraud have focused on ACORN workers, and authorities have secured guilty pleas from several who admitted to falsifying voter registration forms.

But when investigators from Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office raided the ACORN Las Vegas office, Ross says they found a paper trail that implicated the ACORN organization itself.

“We came across policy manuals that outline their policy of creating a quota system, which is against the law,” Miller told FOX News in an interview. “This, in fact, was something that was widespread and something the organization itself knew about, and it’s important to hold the organization criminally accountable as opposed to the individual field directors.”

ACORN denies it had a quota for the number of voter registration forms that its workers were required to turn in every day. Instead, the organization says there were “performance standards” — an expectation that workers would find 20 new voters a day.

But prosecutors say ACORN paid a $5 bonus per day to workers who would sign up 21 or more voters per shift, hence the name “21” or “Blackjack,” an alleged quota system that Ross says is the first step toward corrupting the democratic system.

“These charges strike at the heart of having integrity of the electoral process. That’s something that is important in Nevada and the entire country,” he told FOX News.

“By filing these charges we are sending a clear message we are not going to tolerate these kinds of activities. We have seen voter registration abuse before and we are holding these people accountable.

Affidavits: Ballot abuse rampant

Dozens of forged and fraudulent absentee ballots from people registered to vote on the Working Families Party line were filed in the Sept. 15 primary elections in Troy, the Times Union has learned.

Many of the questionable ballots were filed under the names of students and people who live in government-subsidized housing and other downtown areas. Still others were submitted on behalf of voters who were alleged to have signed the ballots earlier this month, but those people have not lived in New York state for at least a year, records show.

Documents at the county Board of Elections show the fraudulent ballots were handled by or prepared on behalf of various elected officials and leaders and operatives for the Democratic and Working Families parties. A Troy housing authority employee, Anthony Defiglio, who sources said oversees vacant properties for the Troy Housing Authority, also handled many of the fraudulent ballots, according to public records and interviews with voters who said they were duped.

With No Fanfare, Senate Hits ACORN, Again

With no fanfare and no roll call vote, not even a speech — the Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved an amendment by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-NE, that bars any funds from the Defense spending bill from going to ACORN.

Johanns promised to introduce a similar amendment on every spending bill Congress considers this year, until the chamber takes up his broader bill that would impose permanent ban on ACORN receiving any federal funds.

It took the Senate a little over one minute to consider the measure.

Bank of America pulls ACORN funding

Troubled community organizing group ACORN suffered another setback on Monday, when Bank of America announced it is pulling its funding of ACORN Housing.

In a statement, Bank of America said that is it “suspending current commitments to ACORN Housing and will not enter into any further agreements with ACORN or any of its affiliates” until it is satisfied that all issues related to the organization have been resolved.

See also:
Ex-ACORN worker details blackjack voter registration bonuses
Ex-ACORN organizer describes voter signup bonuses
Ex-ACORN official outlines alleged illegal voter registration plan
Massive Voter Fraud in NY Linked to ACORN
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY = ACORN; What Will AG Cuomo Do?
REDSTATE EXCLUSIVE: A Review of ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis’s Rolodex Suggests Strong White House Ties
Inside The ACORN Rolodex: ACORN Has Its Own Political Party Other Than the Democrats
Senate votes to ban ACORN — again
Johanns keeps aim on ACORN
Effort to defund ACORN faces hurdles
Bank suspends dealings with ACORN housing entity
BofA severs ACORN ties
Acorn Housing Board Member Steps Down
ACORN, A Toxic Organization?
Cracking down on ACORN
East Bay ACORN chapters feel impacts of national brouhaha
Preliminary ACORN probe by end of October

/keep up the pressure, ACORN needs to be totally unraveled and its rampant corruption brought to an end

More ACORN Criminal Activity

Nevada files voter fraud charges against ACORN

Nevada’s attorney general on Monday filed criminal charges accusing liberal community activist group ACORN and two of its employees of facilitating voter registration fraud in November’s election by requiring canvassers to submit 20 applications each day or face termination.

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, both Democrats, announced the charges, stressing that there’s no evidence that the phony registrations led to the casting of votes using fake identities.

A spokesman for ACORN, a nationwide grassroots organization, assailed the action as “political grandstanding.”

ACORN Statement

“This recent attack by the Nevada Secretary of State and Attorney General is the latest in an ongoing assault designed to blame the victim and prioritize media grandstanding above the pursuit of justice.

“From the time ACORN first suspected that some of its employees had tried to defraud ACORN by turning in bogus forms, ACORN repeatedly called its suspicions to the attention of election officials and requested that they investigate immediately.

“Our policy all along has been to pay workers at an hourly rate and to not pay employees based on any bonus or incentive program. When it was discovered that an employee was offering bonuses linked to superior performance, that employee was ordered to stop immediately.

“It is unfortunate that the Secretary of State can’t distinguish the victim from the villain.”

See also:
Acorn Charged in Voter Registration Fraud Case in Nevada
ACORN Criminally Charged In Nevada
ACORN CHARGED
ACORN Facing Voter Fraud Charges
Nevada AG files criminal charges alleging ACORN illegally paid canvassers to register voters
Criminal Charges Against ACORN Raise Concerns About Its Partnership With Census Bureau
Census Fun For Criminals
Knock Knock . . . Who’s There?
Criminals For Obama

I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

/Captain Renault