Plug up the ‘tubes’ before it’s too late.
First, create the problem by having your thugs attack America. They can attack the physical, like the WTC and the Pentagon on 9/11 or attack cyberspace, creating a need to be saved from those “evildoers.”
Deliberately postpone computer and software anti-virus updates at various US agencies, like the FBI and DHS, so hackers and crackers from China and Israel can play hell with our cyber infrastructure.
Then, have your media shills at CNN and FOX repeat ad nauseam that the problem is coming from Muslim types who are intent on destroying America, because they hate our freedoms or some other BS.
Next, drive your message home, like the thugs did when they put military grade Anthrax into the mail, scaring the hell out of millions and sickening and killing some Americans.
Propose to fix the problem you created by shredding the Bill of Rights and turning America into a quasi-police state.
Get ready to take out the last pure form of unadulterated news available, the Internet.
One more 9/11 on American soil, either a physical attack or one on cyberspace, brought to you by the same homicidal maniacs that pulled off 9/11 and we can say goodbye to the Internet.
We’ll be saved by the “Thought Crime Act,” now sitting on Senator Joe Lieberman’s (Likud Party-Israel) desk. The act will be put forth to save us the same way the liberty shredding Patriot Act saved us from ourselves, by declaring war on Americans.
We all know who’s really behind 9/11 and it wasn’t some aging and feeble Muslim, sitting in a cave in Afghanistan, waiting for his dialysis machine.
The CSIS report on cyber security has hit the ground running. We have problems, people. Serious, serious problems. Just ask CNN. Every day our national security gets compromised by cyber criminals, foreign intelligence operatives, and who knows who else.
Yes, my friends. Woe. Woe! Obama must do something right away, like appoint a Cyber Czar and spend taxpayer money creating a new agency. STAT! It’s an e m e r g e n c y.
The 96-page “Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency” report was made public at the start of the week and offers numerous ideas and recommendations for government officials who are growing more concerned about the possibility of cyberwarfare.
“The United States must treat cybersecurity as one of the most important national security challenges it faces,” according to the report. It adds that the current Bush administration’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative “good but not sufficient” and the use of computers as attack tools creates “a strategic issue on par with weapons of mass destruction and global jihad.”
Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not been able to properly secure U.S. government computers from cyber attacks, and should no longer have the responsibility. DHS isn’t suited to handle technology issues, as the agency uses “archaic” methods that cannot keep up with new attacks.
At least five members of Obama’s transition team helped contribute to the report, and his staff is eager to see how they can better protect the United States from cyber attacks.
DHS will likely be strengthened once Obama takes office, but even so, it’s not recommended the agency continue to have the lead in cyber security, as it “is not the agency to lead in a conflict with foreign intelligence agencies or militaries, or even well organized international cyber criminals.”
In an ideal scenario, the new office would combine the Joint Inter-Agency Cyber Task Force and DHS National Center for Cybersecurity while recruiting cyber security experts to help create new levels of defense.
Now, just a small sampling of CSIS board of trustees members include some familiar names like Dick Armitage, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Bill Frist, Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft. This is clearly an arm of the octopus. These people know full well that our government has long since been infiltrated by foreign operatives, aka their friends and colleagues. They know full well that they at best ignored the problem they so shrilly wave their arms about today, now that it has grown massively out of control. They know that DHS, under the dual national Michael Chertoff, never had any intention of protection US national security. This is just Hegelian problem-reaction-solution stuff.
Anyone who seriously wants to help this country can start by weeding out all the dual nationals and foreign operatives who brazenly work to destroy America. And I would suggest that’s not about to happen, unfortunately, much as I would wish otherwise.
By polluting and compromising our national interest, our so called leaders have truly made a mess of the whole world; since no country can operate safely in an environment where other nations’ interests and motives remain hidden and entwined, unless of course they spy. Yes, spying has always existed, but securely lashing the US national interest to Israel’s has resulted in an escalation of security breaches because it destabilizes our position vis a vis the rest of the world. We must be like dealing with Sybil. And this has been going on for years and years, but now, all of a sudden, surprising us no end, practically inconceivable, you are to consider that it is an emergency that our security has been compromised. Yes! No shit! Thanks for the tip! And you can just imagine what sorts of fixes they have in mind, which of course will need to be rammed through as quickly as possible a la the Patriot Act, especially if we suffer some kind of terrorist attack, as has been forecast, and during which the ride will probably not withstand the tremendous spin forces.
Meanwhile, we’re just going to keep going around and around on this carnival ride until somebody down there throws some sand in the gear box or sticks a banana in the exhaust or tackles the operator, or something. God help us.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I have just survived the worst and most insidious ‘virus/trojan’ attack since I got my first PC. Despite the fact that I was loaded to the gills with anti-malware, this one ran and survived the gauntlet, set up shop and had the nerve to threaten to shut me down. The ensuing epic struggle was a ‘virtual’ Armageddon, a final, desperate battle between me and the Four Horsemen of Digital Apocalypse.
The offending malware pretended to be a Windows alert informing me that my computer was ‘unprotected’ and demanding that I ‘download’ their latest whatever. To do so, I had to click on an “I AGREE’ button. I simply could not click that button in good conscience. I rarely agree with anything –let alone a ‘button’!
Never, ever click on a button unless you know where it comes from an trust it. Likewise, suspect any prompt that does not give you a ‘I DECLINE’ option. Given the deceptive nature of these programs, I am suspicious of ‘any’ label given a button. Many are indistinguishable from legitimate ‘windows’ buttons. In this case, no alternatives were given me. No ‘X’ in a corner; no ‘decline’ option; no ‘maybe later’; no way to get out! Even CTRL-ALT-DELETE had apparently been disabled. There seemed to be no way to get this piece of crap off my screen and out of my computer.
In the conditional logic of this rudimentary program, you are simply not given an exit from the loop. But, it is this fact that gives the game away. Only a crooked or incompetent (or both) programmer would write such a conundrum. It was deliberate. It was crooked.
I found in this experience a parable and a rule of thumb. Any proposition (save life itself) is an evil bargain if there is no escape save death itself. From a programmer’s standpoint, the ‘logic’ of this code was very simple to write, a matter of omitting a critical ‘else’ or ‘else/if’ statement here and there. If you click ‘agree’, you commit to allowing this ‘trojan’ free reign over your computer. But –there is no ‘decline’ or ‘later’ button of any kind. Doing nothing at all is, likewise, not an option.
This ‘spammer’ –whom I suspect resides in either China or Florida –has much in common with the mob. It’s an offer, you cannot refuse. It might have been worse. At least, I didn’t awaken with a dead horses’ head beside me. “Offers that cannot be refused” are commonly used not only by spammers but politicians and religions. The Christian religion, primarily, puts a ‘box’ on the computer screen of your mind (or soul) with a choice: hit the ‘accept’ button or lose the use of your ‘computer’, in this case, your ‘soul’.
Elsewhere in Christianity, however, it is said that such a choice must be made freely. But a coerced choice is anything BIT free! Thus –Christian theology by enforcing a decision through blackmail has ‘spammed’ your mind and denied you free will. Christianity, by violating its own principles, nullifies itself as valid religion, philosophy, or moral guide. As a theology, as a philosophy, as a ‘program’, it is, therefore, fallacious and, perhaps, deliberately misleading. Any ‘formal system’ in violation of its own premises is false! I daresay most religions are of this form. Most, if not all, theology is false.
Decisions made under threat of death are not morally valid. Even ‘confessions’ made under the threat of death is not admissible in court. In the case of the Christian religion, the threat is not merely one of death, but everlasting hell fire the existence of which no one can prove. No wonder much of the history of the human race is largely a record of bad decisions and equally bad consequences. I am no expert on the fine points of every religion on earth but will venture this: of the world’s major religions, only Buddhism seems free of indefensible and unsupportable dogma.Of a slightly different logical structure was the ‘indulgence’ scam perpetrated by the Catholic Church, nothing more than Pope Leo’s scheme to raise enough money to pay off his debts, finance his orgies, underwrite the art. Life is always a mixed bag. Amid the waste, evil, and debauchery, the monies raised by this criminal fraud paid for the lasting works of Michelangelo and Raphael.
Historically, ‘religion’, in general, purports to explain everything. Those observed phenomena not explained by science or common sense are ‘explained’ theologically, in terms of the supernatural. In other words, something is unexplainable if it cannot be explained in terms of ‘natural’ phenomena. There are, therefore, by definition, no ‘super natural’ explanations, only natural ones. Thus religion is tautological in its inception. Scientific explanations are only ‘natural’, by definition, not ‘super’! Put yet another way: ‘supernatural’ is an oxymoron.
Interestingly, there is salvation of sorts to be found in the limits of logic itself. Rudy Rucker, a mathematician gifted with a redeeming sense of humor, wrote of Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem that it was ‘… so simple, and so sneaky, that it is almost embarrassing to relate.’
His basic procedure is as follows:
- Someone introduces Gödel to a UTM, a machine that is supposed to be a Universal Truth Machine, capable of correctly answering any question at all.
- Gödel asks for the program and the circuit design of the UTM. The program may be complicated, but it can only be finitely long. Call the program P(UTM) for Program of the Universal Truth Machine.
- Smiling a little, Gödel writes out the following sentence:”The machine constructed on the basis of the program P(UTM) will neversay that this sentence is true.” Call this sentence G for Gödel.Note that G is equivalent to: “UTM will never say G is true.”
- Now Gödel laughs his high laugh and asks UTM whether G is true or not.
- If UTM says G is true, then “UTM will never say G is true” is false. If “UTM will never say G is true” is false, then G is false (since G = “UTM will never say G is true”). So if UTM says G is true, then G is in fact false, and UTM has made a false statement. So UTM will never say that G is true, since UTM makes only true statements.
- We have established that UTM will never say G is true. So “UTM will never say G is true” is in fact a true statement. So G is true (since G = “UTM will never say G is true”).
- “I know a truth that UTM can never utter,” Gödel says. “I know that G is true. UTM is not truly universal.”
With his great mathematical and logical genius, Gödel was able to find a way (for any given P(UTM)) actually to write down a complicated polynomial equation that has a solution if and only if G is true. So G is not at all some vague or non-mathematical sentence. G is a specific mathematical problem that we know the answer to, even though UTM does not! So UTM does not, and cannot, embody a best and final theory of mathematics ..Although this theorem can be stated and proved in a rigorously mathematical way, what it seems to say is that rational thought can never penetrate to the final ultimate truth … But, paradoxically, to understand Gödel’s proof is to find a sort of liberation. For many logic students, the final breakthrough to full understanding of the Incompleteness Theorem is practically a conversion experience. This is partly a by-product of the potent mystique Gödel’s name carries. But, more profoundly, to understand the essentially labyrinthine nature of the castleis, somehow, to be free of it.–Rudy Rucker, Infinity and the Mind
The work of Alan Turing proving that certain propositions in a ‘closed logical system cannot be proved within that system’ is, of course, a corollary to Kurt Gödel’s famous proof. Both have had enormous consequences in the fields of computing, philosophy. It is hoped that one day, the impact of this work will be felt in the field of politics.
Chess is a game of guile and strategy. Chess means putting your emotional engines out of sight and choosing moves with cold calculation. In the end, Kasparov’s cool cracked. He angrily resigned — charging, at first, that IBM had let a human call the moves. I doubt anything of the kind, just because the computer’s eventual victory was predictable. Two generations ago, Alan Turing gave us an important thought model for all this. Turing said, suppose you go into a room with a keyboard and a monitor. You type in questions and receive answers. Then you try to determine whether the answers are being given by a human or by a machine. Ever since then, we’ve said that a computer which can’t be told from a human passes the Turing test.
Most of us have assumed that no one could ever create a Turing Machine because that veers close to creating sentient intelligence. Here the argument over Deep Blue heats up because of Kasparov’s initial belief that he was dealing with humans. Deep Blue really did pass the Turning Test as far as Kasparov was concerned.
That’s why I think this strange little chess game was significant — not because the outcome was a surprise, but because Kasparov thought Deep Blue might be human.
It does not follow, however, that because Big Blue defeated Kasparov, that computers will eventually rendered the human being obselte, that eventually there may be no defense against a computer generated ‘virus’ or trojan by which a ‘federation’ of networked computers will assume complete and total dictatorial control and thus rule the world.
I love Gödel’s proof and as well the related work of Alan Turing. The very language of computers is like that of human beings –‘flawed’ or, more precisely, incomplete. We need never fear computers taking over. But it is not only because Gödel’s Proof is ‘logical’ that it is compelling. It is positively liberating. ‘Incompleteness’, itself, is liberating. ‘Incompleteness’ should be celebrated. In ‘incompleteness’ is our salvation from a dictatorship imposed upon us by computers themselves.
Whenever a fundie, or a Nazi, or a Republican comes peddling an all-embracing system or purports to have all the answers, a complete and unassailable ideology, system or weltanshauung, or tries to blackmail me into swallowing it, I have Gödel’s proof that NO system is complete, that NO one person or organization has all the answers. There is no holy writ! There is no voice high or low that will replace my own conscience and my own abilities to work out the truth as best I can. There is no way that I may be blackmailed with offers I dare not refuse for fear of either hell fire or, worse, the loss of my computer forever!
There is no leveraging me into any system or cult that, like the GOP, presumes to have all the answers but is, in fact, wrong about just about everything! I am a free man! I make my own choices and live with the consequences. I am immune to coercion.
For those interested in avoiding ‘armegeddon’ with Trojans:
As that very real war goes on in the Middle East, back here at home we continue to wage a virtual war against a different kind of spam. And of course, it’s not just in the U.S. Just a few days ago, the French government announced a new project by which Internet users could alert their ISPs when they receive spam messages:
And we’re hearing that Japanese users are getting an increasing amount of spam mail from Chinese servers, most of it advertising online dating services and adult-oriented web sites:
Spam web sites are causing trouble for Google, as many of these sites are coming up in search results and some of them are downloading malware onto users’ computers when they follow the links.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on the recent deluge of “pump and dump” spam messages that attempt to inflate the prices of stocks issued by small companies. Recently this has become the second largest category of spam, with as many as 100 million of these messages being sent every week, many of them in the form of PDF attachments. The SEC has reported a 30 percent drop, however, since they initiated an aggressive program that includes freezing the trading on some of these companies
Another, more malicious variety of spam that has popped up in the last few months exploits the popularity of social networking. These messages claim to be from an “old school friend” or a “childhood friend” and contain a link that’s supposedly for the sender’s MySpace (or other social networking) homepage. However, clicking the link takes you to a site that downloads a Trojan which can gather personal information such as account numbers and passwords and send them back to the spammer:
Spammers and email scammers are great at taking advantage of whatever’s currently in the news and trends in public opinion. Shortly after September 11, there was a spate of spam messages appealing to Americans’ patriotic feelings. As the public tide turned, we now see spam messages that hook into anti-war sentiments. The recent downturn in the housing market and the subprime loan scandals have resulted in a new flood of spam messages pertaining to home financing.
You might even be a spammer yourself and not know it. Thousands of computers are infected with malicious software called ‘bots that turn them into “zombies” that can be controlled by spammers and used to send spam messages (and hide the true origins of the spam).–War Against Spammers Goes On
- Malware Bytes
- Spyware Doctor
- Alan Turing
- Rudy Rucker: Infinity and the Mind
- Rudy’s Blog
- Dr. John Lienhard: Kasparov and Deep Blue
A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad. ~Albert Camus
An Open Letter by Mike Whitney
My friend Tom Feeley is in Big trouble. He runs the web site informationclearinghouse.info which updates “news you won’t find in the corporate media” every day. The site is strongly anti-war.
Tom has gotten his share of death threats over the years, but what happened this week is a lot more serious.
Two days ago, Tom’s wife found three well dressed men in their kitchen. The man who did all the talking, told Tom’s wife (I won’t give her name) that Tom must “Stop what he is doing on the Internet, NOW!” As crazy as it sounds, he pulled back his lapel and showed her a gun of some kind which she could not identify. Like I said, Tom has been threatened before, but nothing like this. Four years ago, he was in a parking lot at Long’s Drug store in Southern California and when he tried to open his door to get out, a man in a car next to him opened his door at precisely the same time which prevented Tom from getting out. Then, a 40-ish year old man got out of the passenger side of the vehicle and approached Tom saying, “You need to stop what you are doing on the web”.
Tom said the man was overweight and had his shirt untucked. Tom was taken aback, but (after collecting himself said) “What the fuck? Who do you think you are telling me what I can do?”
The man answered, “Tom, I’m just giving you some good advice. You should take my advice, Tom.”
This is all I know about the incident. Since, then, there have been occassional death threats, but nothing like what happened on Sunday. Tom’s wife is hysterical and has not returned to the house since the incident. She contacted the FBI but the FBI said there was nothing they could do. Tom and his wife separated recently after a 30 year marriage, so he is publishing from a different location.
The well-dressed man told Tom’s wife that he knew where her son lived, what line of work he was in, and how many children he had.
Last night, Tom’s son and a friend cruised the neighborhood where his mother lives to see if anything strange was going on. They came across two men in a car a half-block from their mother’s home using their laptops at roughly 12:30 AM. When Tom’s son and friend approached them, the car sped off. Tom, does not know whether this is connected to his situation, but it is definitely suspicious.
I talked to Tom this morning and he is getting by, but he’s clearly upset. I do not know his plans, but I know he is ditching his cell phone and (I assume) will have to go underground as much as possible. He plans to keep publishing.
I’ll tell you this about Tom Feeley; he is no bullshitter. He is the “real deal” and completely committed to exposing the mob that is presently running our country. He does not understand why, (as he says) “They are reaching down SO far to get someone who just runs [a] web site”. But, the truth is, they are. Someone wants him to “shut up” and they apparently have the muscle to do it. He knows he is in danger.
I will probably only hear from Tom infrequently from this point on. But I will update information as I get it. Tom, knows some of the best writers on the Internet—many of them speak out regularly and forcefully on issues of civil liberties and war. Anything they can do to draw attention to Tom’s situation will greatly improve his chances of getting through this ordeal safely. Beyond that, I have no idea of what can be done to help.—MW
Is WUFYS in the sight of these “Kosher Kommandos” of the
The Jewish Internet Defense Force, a group that claims to have 5,000 members worldwide, says it is steadily removing members from a viciously anti-Israel and anti-Semitic group on Facebook, having taken control of the group on Sunday.
“Facebook wouldn’t do anything about [the group], so we did what had to be done,” the group posted on its Web site. “We’re not sure how long this can or will last, so we’re moving fast to do what needs to be done.”
The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) describes itself as a group of Jewish activists who fight anti-Semitism and terrorism trends throughout the Internet. It says it formed as a grassroots effort in 2000, mainly to mount mass e-mail campaigns, in response to the second intifada. It then began operating on various Web sites, including Facebook, to spread news about Israel and Jewish issues.
“As we used Facebook, we noticed many of the issues began literally to stare us in the face, as many various anti-Semitic and pro-Jihadist groups were springing up everywhere,” said David, the spokesperson for the JIDF, who asked that his last name not be published. He said he had received four death threats since beginning his activities.
In the JIDF’s latest efforts, the group has been working around the clock to dismantle the group on Facebook titled, “Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country.” That group had tens of thousands of members.
“This was one of the most vile, most anti-Semitic, most pro-Jihad and most disgusting, and most importantly, most active hate groups on the Internet,” the JIDF posted on the anti-Israel page on Facebook. “It actively promoted hatred, violence, murder and genocide. Despite tens of thousands of complaints, Facebook wouldn’t remove it.”
(If anyone would know about hatred, violence, murder and genocide, then it would be that master of those dark arts, Israel)
“Facebook’s negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands,” the JIDF added.
The JIDF would not specify what technological methods it used to gain access to the group, but said it succeeded in doing so after the old administrators left.
“Ultimately, it was a result of our enemies’ stupidity and our timing, persistence and determination more than anything else,” David said.
The JIDF received a response from Facebook, he said, which called the anti-Israel group “legitimate political discourse.” Facebook was not available for comment.
At the height of the two-year-old anti-Israel group’s popularity, the “Israel is not a country” page had 48,000 members. Currently, there are 24,039 members, with the numbers decreasing by the minute due to the JIDF’s actions. It has also changed the group’s administrator titles to read “Mossad Zionist.”
There are dozens of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic groups on Facebook, the popular social-networking site that has surpassed all other similar sites on-line in popularity, according to tech surveys.
According to Andre Oboler, a post-doctoral fellow in Bar-Ilan University’s political science department and a Legacy Heritage Fellow at the NGO Monitor watchdog group, Facebook has known about the anti-Israel group for more than a year, and made no effort to remove it.
“[The JIDF] gained control of the group without compromising Facebook’s security,” Oboler said. “What they have done… is taken away the hate that was spreading through [the group’s] membership. It’s a shame that Facebook themselves did not remove it. It has taken a lot of effort from [the JIDF], while it would have taken Facebook one click.”
The JIDF said its efforts are not limited to Facebook, but extend to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel posts found throughout the Internet, including on sites such as Google, Google Earth, YouTube and Wikipedia.
“Hateful propaganda and ideology like this has always prefaced great tragedy for our people,” David said. “Ultimately, we see this as a great danger.”