Category Archives: Law

Saved by the Ding Dong

Yup, we all have these moments, you are about to take a dive into one direction, hen just in time, you see the shark swim by and as it goes, you end up jumping the shark by jumping away. I was about to go into a stage of my opposition to existential philosophy, it does not matter why, but the stage is seen as the shark (scammers) give me a reason to jump the other way. So as ABC gives us ‘Scammers target desperate renters on Sunshine Coast as housing crisis continues, the article (at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-12/scammers-taking-advantage-of-desperate-sunshine-coast-renters/100032390), where we see “Late last year Morgan Smith, a single mother of two, found “a gorgeous house” in Peregian Springs at a reasonable price, listed on Facebook”, it is a state of as close as pointless and useless as a situation gets. This is not about the almost victim Morgan Smith, she did as much as she could have, the idea that in a stage of 0.4% availability. Do you seriously think that anyone would would offer a ‘reasonable price’ location via Facebook to complete strangers? A person with available rental property will soon have more fake friends than Kim Kardassian ever had. 

The stage of Facebook is overrated and to some degree outright dangerous and the federal government there (QLD) is clueless, outmatched and overwhelmed to the largest degree. I will bet you that there is not a viable trace to work on with these scammers, is there? 

So when we take notice of “Since the start of the year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received 32 reports of rental or accommodation scams from Queenslanders, totalling $8,000 in losses”, we see the larger failing of places like Facebook, a stage not for the openminded and openly communicating people, but the ones seeking scams and phishing opportunity against unknown people and the stage is set by not INFORMING the people on the dangers of Facebook, because like that shark in the deep blue sea, Facebook has it own level of vermin and they hide better online than the roaches in your living room. So, as we start to take notice of ““The second one is that Australia has really lax laws around cybersecurity.” Mr Connory estimated there were about two million cyber crimes committed last year”, some might take notice of just how clueless the federal government is. A stage that has been there for several years and a stage that has according to some ‘two million cyber crimes committed’, and still we see the federal government fighting for advertisement money and a lot less for increased protection for it citizens and increased options for hunting down cybercriminals? Aren’t you wondering why that is? Is it because the bill is only $8,000? I wonder what ill be found when we consider “1.93 million of those cybercrimes were never investigated, never looked at”, as such when we see ““If somebody has your date of birth, your tax file number and your driver’s licence  they can act as if they were you. “They can go and create companies, they can try to set up phone bills.” Mr Connory said that a driver’s licence and tax file number could not be changed in several states. “Once they’ve been compromised, you’re always going to have issues, pretty much for the rest of your life,” he said.” In this I take offence to: ‘Once they’ve been compromised, you’re always going to have issues, pretty much for the rest of your life’, if the Federal Government has that much problems fixing the matter, give me the name and address of the roach, I will personally cap their fucking brains, it needs to end and there needs to be a clear consequence there too. If if cannot be fixed we need to find another solution and if the only good scammer is a dead scammer, then so mote it be. We see the government coming up short, we see tech firms coming up short and we merely see victims, so who is with me on this?

I do not fault the ACCC, I get it when they give us “A spokesperson for the ACCC said to be wary of “any property you are told you will be unable to view in person before handing over any bond or rent money”.” And it makes sense to do the research, it really does, yet the stage we see now is a stage with two players (government and Facebook) letting the scam ride and none of them have a clue to stop it, especially when they rely on AI, and when we consider that AI is still a decade away, they are basically telling the scammers that they have a decade left to make a killing, so why do we not invoke our own killing? 

Emotions?
This is indeed overemotional, yet the stage of people in pain (shortage of budgets), people hurting (impact of budget) and we see some scammers having a field day. We need to make sure that they understand that they must be willing to put their lives on the line, if they are relying on the minor defence, too bad, their parents should have been there to teach them the lessons that matter, if they are adult they should accept that there is a price for everything. We played the nanny state to these clowns for too long and now when we realise that there are well over a million optional victims, it is time to make the tally. It is the cost of doing business and if so, business will be good. When you consider that we can buy a 9mm bullet for $0.61, we can conclude that business will be good for us and perhaps a little less good for the scammers. We can twist and turn all we can and come up with some kind of ‘compromise’, yet I feel that it is way too late for that, especially as the law and Facebook seem more protective of the scammers, than the victims, so why do we not turn that around?

I am all for the law, yet I believe that the law has failed its victims too often and it is time to give the scammers less protection, also less life, but that might merely be me. 

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Feel free to lose control

Yup, we all have that. You, me, pretty much everyone. Even the Catholic cleric in [censored], should you doubt that, ask any choir boy there. So when the BBC gave us ‘Facebook sued for ‘losing control’ of users’ data’, I merely shrugged and went ‘Meh’. You see, it is not about “the case against the technology giant, expected to last for at least three years, will argue a “loss of control” over users’ personal data warrants individual compensation”, which is hypocrite on a few levels, we see people handing over data and fact to complete strangers in Facebook and plenty of other social media paths. We laugh at “Coolum resident Essena O’Neill, 19, said she was paid up to $2,000 for the posts, which show her posing with products and often in revealing positions. With more than 600,000 followers on Instagram and 260,000 on YouTube, Ms O’Neill has deleted many of her original photos and re-captioned others with more honest descriptions” (ABC, 2015). We also get (two weeks ago) ““I accidentally posted a picture on Instagram of my wine glass and I was naked,” she said whilst nervously laughing. Then, she went on to explain that you could actually see her naked body in the reflection of the wine glass”, is anyone buying this? Social media has been used on a huge number of settings revealing ‘accidentally’ facts that normally do not get to see the light of day, and in all this we are given ““loss of control” over users’ personal data”? Go cry me a river! In the mean time, did anyone see Alexander Nix, Julian Wheatland, Rebekah Mercer, or Steve Bannon in the dock of a courtroom in any of the hit countries? In this the quote “harvesting of Facebook users’ personal information by third-party apps was at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal” applies, a third party app, was there any documented agreement, or documented acceptance of the harvesting of personal data? I do not see Microsoft in the dock in court over their exchange failure that had hit 250,000 businesses, so why not? And when we see “Cambridge Analytica’s app on Facebook had harvested the data of people who interacted with it – and that of friends who had not given consent” did anyone consider putting the board of directors of Cambridge Analytica in prison? I wonder how far we have strayed from the flock of convictions to go after the money and not the transgressors. I do get it, it is a rule or Torts, the mere “go where the money is” is not a wrong setting, but in this setting all the blame on Facebook seems wrong. They are not without fault, I get that, but to see a reference to Journalist Peter Jukes giving us “leading the action, claims his data was compromised”, so how was his data compromised? What evidence is there? In turn I have equal issues with “The Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into these issues, which included seizing and interrogating Cambridge Analytica’s servers, found no evidence that any UK or EU users’ data was transferred by [app developer] Dr [Aleksandr] Kogan to Cambridge Analytica”, I wonder how far backup investigation went, in turn the setting of ‘no evidence that any UK or EU users’ data was transferred’ is almost preposterous, the data was collected, as such it went somewhere, the fact that the Information Commissioner’s Office couldn’t find that part is mere icing on the cake of Cambridge Analytica. In addition, when we see “Mr Jukes told BBC News it was not about “where the data went” but rather “that Facebook didn’t care”. “They didn’t look after it,” he said.” Can this be proven? ‘Didn’t care’ is subjective and presumptive, we can agree that security measures failed, yet ‘They didn’t look after it’ is equally unproven, and these people are not going after the people of Cambridge Analytica as THEY transgressed on the data. As such as we look at Eton boy Alexander Nix, in the setting of “Nix agreed to a disqualifying undertaking prohibiting him from running U.K. limited companies for seven years after permitting companies to offer potentially unethical services, while denying any wrongdoing”, he got a mere slap on the hand, with a mandatory 7 year vacation all whilst we are told ‘denying any wrongdoing’, in addition there is “agreeing to delete previously obtained data”, a 2019 agreement, so where was the data all this time? Let’s be clear, Facebook has made blunders, huge ones, yet in light of the fact that Microsoft gets a mere fine and the issues is closed after that, why keep on going after Facebook? When we see ZDNet give us ‘Microsoft Exchange Server attacks: ‘They’re being hacked faster than we can count’, says security company’ two weeks ago (at https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-exchange-server-attacks-theyre-being-hacked-faster-than-we-can-count-says-security-company/), what gives, why are they not being sued for setting a dangerous precedence on corporate information? We go after Huawei without evidence, we ignore alleged criminals and their app transgressions with our data, but it is fine to go after Facebook whilst ignoring the massive flaw that is Microsoft? So what gives?

So yes, we can lose control all we like, but if we hamper the courts with empty cases that are set on emotion, all whilst people like Alexander Nix, Julian Wheatland, Rebekah Mercer, and Steve Bannon are allowed to return to positions and try again? And what about Cambridge Analytica? As it was soon thereafter acquired by? The only reason I see to acquire Cambridge Analytica is because of hardware, because of software and because of data, so who is looking into that, preferably all before we lose time slapping Facebook around? I see very little after 2018, but perhaps Peter Jukes is too busy to see were his alleged compromised data optionally went. 

So whilst we giggle on statements like “I accidentally posted a picture on Instagram of my wine glass and I was naked”, we see a setting where a large group of people are using social media for all kind of things, the limelight most of all and in this we need to separate the real issues from the fictive cash cows. In this, did you wonder if the people are realising that Wired gave us a mere hour ago “collaboration platforms like Discord and Slack have taken up intimate positions in our lives, helping maintain personal ties despite physical isolation. But their increasingly integral role has also made them a powerful avenue for delivering malware to unwitting victims—sometimes in unexpected ways” (at https://www.wired.com/story/malware-discord-slack-links/) and that is a mere tip of the iceberg, a massively large one. How many apps are a gateway to YOUR system? So when we take notice of “hackers have integrated Discord into their malware for remote control of their code running on infected machines, and even to steal data from victims”, as such in that case it is not the nude reflection shot that matters, it is the wineglass porn that some people decided not to post that is out there for everyone to see. Consider the words by Stephen Fry on 2014, when he said “The best way to prevent nude pictures online, is to never pose nude”, or something according to those lines and he is right, the best social media is the boring one, where you just say hi and connect to relatives. But the limelight is for some just too appealing and to give everyone the lowdown on all your needs and that is what players like Cambridge Analytica were banking on. As such, when we add that light, that spotlight, what data of Peter Jukes was transgressed on and in light of the Exchange server issues, the Cisco issues and the larger stage of interconnecting apps, can it even be proven that it was Facebook? 

I’ll buy popcorn for that court case, it should be fun.

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Right & wrong, 2 multi-dimensional sides

There was an article at the BBC a few hours ago and I had to sit down and ponder for a moment. I can revisit my view again and again, but the BBC gave a very specific side and it stopped me. As I see it loot boxes are not gambling, but the article ‘Loot boxes linked to problem gambling in new research’ gave an additional side, and it matters.

The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56614281) gives a lot of the same, including the view of “About 5% of gamers generate half the entire revenue from the boxes”, which is an optional valid view, my emphasis is on ‘optional’. You see, even as we are given “Loot boxes are a video game feature involving a sealed mystery “box” – sometimes earned through playing the game and sometimes paid for with real money – which can be opened for a random collection of in-game items such as weapons or cosmetic costumes”, I noticed ‘sometimes earned through playing the game’ before, I got most of all gear in NHL19 without ever paying a cent! This is important, and there is a stage where we need to recognise the games that offer loot boxes as a reward from within the game. It is “The upcoming Gambling Act review is set to look at the question, with the UK’s House of Lords already having weighed in to say that loot boxes should be firmly regulated as “games of chance”” that made me pause, loot boxes are not gambling, but when it is stated that they are ‘games of chance’ I do not disagree. We can argue in all manner that EA games took loot boxes in FIFA and went overboard, I will not disagree on that. Consider that FIFA21 “In FUT, there are more than 16,000 Day 1 cards, corresponding to as many players”, as such, if there are 1,000 it would be a low estimate, 2,500 would be more likely, but I have no official numbers. This implies that to have them all you would have to buy a minimum of 2,500 packs, if each pack has only one rare, that is just insane. 

It is not gambling! You see, to have that premise, that needs to be a setting that buying one pack gets you one cards stating ‘Thank You’, that is not the case, you always get a set configuration of common, uncommon and 1 rare card. But the House of Lords goes with ‘games of chance’, which is the seemingly the case and even more, it has an exploitative side, I never denied that, and there is a difference, I opted in the past for an alternative. It is what is called ‘A factory set’ a set with every card, the set is not tradable and has no value as you cannot trade them, but you would have all the cards and to offer that set in the last quarter of the game might be an option. 

My issue with the article was “The link between gaming loot boxes and problem gambling has been “robustly verified”, according to a new report”, I have issues with that straight of the bat and I would want to see that full report and its data before giving it any validity. You see, in the last 6-12 months I have noticed that gambling and in game advertising that is pro gambling has been popping up all over iOS and Android, Google’s own YouTube now has an increasing amount of gambling advertisements, so the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

This included advertisements on how to win at gambling, a stage that in my mind has nowhere to go and shouldn’t be allowed in any advertisement setting of Google. I wonder if that factor was considered in that report, was it even investigated? Let’s take a look!

A stage that is on a sliding slope, as we see more and more pagers on the internet all set to the stage where you can win real money playing games, so the game is already rigged and it has nothing to do (as far as I can see it) with loot boxes. And the report by the GambleAware charity is off to the wrong start with “Loot boxes are purchasable video game content with randomised rewards. Due to structural and psychological similarities with gambling, they have come under increasing media, academic and legal scrutiny. The UK government is currently reviewing evidence on loot boxes, which will be considered in the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005”, you see plenty of games allows you to win these boxes by playing, Mass Effect 3, NHL 19 and several others, some give several packs a day, you only have to enter the game to get them. The report (at https://www.begambleaware.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/Gaming_and_Gambling_Report_Final.pdf) has more. “relationships between loot box engagement and problem gambling have been robustly verified in around a dozen studies”, I have an issue with that statement, but lets continue for now. When we see “Participants also purchased loot boxes because of a ‘fear of missing out’” I wonder how this was proven, you see, when we see on page 6, ‘A game will offer loot boxes for free. Encouraging later real-money purchases’ it is an assumption, a speculation. I never spend money on NHL19 and I have all the jerseys, all the goalie masks and all the arena’s. In addition, Mass Effect never pushed for spending money, you can get it all by merely playing. That is a setting of two games straight of the bat. Yes, it was possible to spend money, but it was never needed. The research then give us Overwatch which is a free to play and loot boxes are their only revenue, but what is there?

The report gives Fortnite a pass on a few settings, yet the Verge gives us ‘Epic Games will settle Fortnite loot box lawsuits in V-Bucks’ with the additional “The class action settlement also provides an additional $26 million in benefits” (at https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/22/22295676/epic-games-fortnite-loot-box-lawsuit-settlement-rocket-league-v-bucks), as such the report already has a few sides I find debatable and optional rejectable. When we are treated to “the game’s cooperative survival mode, “Save the World,” did — at least until 2019 when Epic changed its loot box system to allow players to see the item inside prior to purchase”, so why did that report not contain the part that gives us ‘when Epic changed its loot box system’, and all whilst another source gives us regarding Ubisoft “The Division 2 has both microtransactions and loot boxes and we said that Ubisoft didn’t go overboard with recurring revenue”, this was given to us in 2019, so why is a 2 billion dollar company excluded from this research? Is this EA games bashing?

There is more, and as gambling influences on other fields that the same group finds itself, the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

The report has some conclusions that make sense, they do have some grasp of the issue and as I personally see it, there needs to be a larger stage here, one that is beyond ‘self-regulating’, in this EA Games made several massive blunders on the stage and that Needs to be acknowledged too. I am all for the full disclosure of odds as well as a FULL LIST (including rarity) of all cards that can be obtained. I believe that a factory set, one that cannot be used for trading and optionally not for playing either, it might lower the ‘Pokemon’ impact (gotta catch them all) of those spending cards on it, some do want to have them all, merely for the having. Anyone who ever collected Football, Hockey or Basketball cards will get that part. A stage that will evolve over time and one that could reset the barriers we have now.

So yes, I feel I was right, loot boxes are not gambling, but they are a game of chance, even as every pack has the same dimensions, they tend to have 1 rare card and in case of EA’s FIFA that will not do, not in a game with 16,000 playable characters. There are several solutions, but it is up to EA to steer their ship to one of the solutions that gamers can live with, I for one think that the EA NHL solution is one that should limit damage, yet with 16,000 characters, the packs should be 500% larger, including at least 5 rare cards, but that is merely my initial view.

I have a few issues with the report, but it does give us a view that is not entirely wrong and it also gives us a few sides that matter. As for the BBC article, loot boxes might to some degree correlate to problem gambling, but that stage is a lot bigger than the report gives. And it starts in both the Android and the Apple store with their collection of free games that offer in-app purchases, the fact that these makers set the game up to mandatory show one advertisement EVERY level is a larger stage, and the oversight of that makes it an issue, if gambling is a factor, these influences should be looked at as well, as well as the deceptive conduct that we see in the advertisements with increasing amounts. 

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The joke is on us (all)

Reuters gave light (again) to an article that I wrote earlier, 2 days ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/03/30/an-almost-funny-thing/) I wrote ‘An almost funny thing’, I got it from the BBC and I feel certain that some official people were already already on the ball, being a mere 2 years late. I reckon that some figured out that the growing cash flow these people ended up with will count against certain players, if not a lot more. Some people might have gotten additional considerations with “In the OSI model, we see layers 3-7 (layer 8 is the user). So as some have seen the issues from Cisco, Microsoft and optionally Zoom, we see a link of issues from layer 3 through to layer 7 ALL setting a dangerous stage. Individually there is no real blame and their lawyers will happily confirm that, but when we see security flaw upon security flaw, there is a larger stage of danger and we need to take notice” and that is the tip of the iceberg. So when Reuters gives us ‘Ransomware tops U.S. cyber priorities, Homeland secretary says’ this morning, we might not get the entire field in view and that is not on Reuters. And as Alejandro Mayorkas gives us “ransomware was “a particularly egregious type of malicious cyber activity” and listed it as the first of several top priorities that his department would tackle in the online sphere” we are not getting the entire story and we are happily giving the Department of Homeland Security that as they have other consideration as well. Yet I personally believe (speculatively) that some programmers working in specific places got handed libraries to make more, but also got a setting where they created software that opened a backdoor, so that all parties have an excuse and any investigation will end up going nowhere. You see there are plenty of real option givers that start as ‘Top 9 Python Frameworks For Game Development’, and that is where it starts. Consider the following scenario: as some developers become better they seemingly need shortcuts and would you believe it, some knows someone on the darkweb and they will hand the developer an option, two actually, one is free, the other one is $19.99, but is ‘presented’ as a lot more secure and it has documentation, that is all that they need and as the library is linked, the trap is set. The game maker does the right thing and enhances his program with either version (both have the flaw), and now, with a passive backdoor is passive (gaming is required), it passes through a whole range of systems and as the game is offered free with ‘in-app purchases’ the people behind the screens suddenly have 100K+ stations for all kinds of use. So whilst some are trivialising “No one really knows the size of the dark web, but most estimates put it at around 5% of the total internet. Again, not all the dark web is used for illicit purposes despite its ominous-sounding name”, we see, ohh not all is illicit, but consider that this software would be in the open internet if it was all on the up and up. The indie developer (many companies of one) has that ‘special feeling’ as he was introduced and others were not, but they all were and some were offered similar links in the end all linking to the same package, and that is the game, so when we we see greed driven idiots like Epic games (and a few others) setting the stage to avoid the Google and Apple store, we will see a much larger shift, one that gives free reign to criminal minded people to infect a massive amount of systems. So when you think that players like DHS is ready for these assaults, the people will soon learn the hard way that they were not and from there it will go from bad to worse.

And this is not about Epic games, even as some will herald “Cesium will be available for free for all creators on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. It’s an open-source plugin for the engine that unlocks global 3D data and geospatial technology. This means that games that use it will be able to discover in real time the location of a player in a given 3D space, using accurate real-world 3D content captured from cameras, sensors, drones, and smart machines” (source: venture beat), we think it is all for the good of us, and it is not, it is good for the pockets of Epic Games, but what happens when other elements get a hold of the saved data linked to geospatial technology? What happens, when foundational advantages that were (for the most) in the hands of players like CIA and GCHQ; what happens when cyber criminals get THAT level of precise data and THOSE cluster data groups? Did you think of that? So whilst some laugh away “games that use it will be able to discover in real time the location of a player in a given 3D space, using accurate real-world 3D content captured from cameras, sensors, drones, and smart machines”, the data will go a lot further, it will optionally end up not merely showing those systems, but the locations of all systems they link to as well. It is a hidden version of what I called the ‘Hop+1’ intrusion malware (thought up by yours truly) that made much of the CIA counter software close to useless, someone took that idea and made a corporate version with some version of a backdoor, in that stage the internet will end up being as dangerous as walking the dog (not the ‘M’ word), in a minefield. Letting the dog have a shit will be the last thing you did that day for a very long time to come.

As such, some might applaud the DHS (they actually did nothing wrong) as we see “a DHS official said the reference was to underground forums that help cybercriminals franchise out their malicious campaigns.” Yet under these situations, finding blame is close to impossible and the mistrusting developers end up helping cyber criminals in the process, and that is if there is ever any prosecutable connection found. 4 stages not directly linked will make prosecution close to impossible. So how is that for size? And whilst we take notice of “He said the agency would “quarterback” the U.S. government’s digital defences and serve as a “trusted interlocutor” between business executives and public servants” we see that their heart is in the right place, but the people they are hunting are heartless, devious, better funded and technologically more up to speed. It is a race many politically governmental intelligence organisations cannot win, not now, and optionally not ever. What a fine mess some corporations got us into.

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An almost funny thing

I saw an article at the BBC and I will get to that in a moment, but it reminded me of a situation that happened in 2010. I needed a new laptop and I was looking in a shop at their Collection of laptops. A man came to me and was trying to convince me just how amazing this laptop was. My inner demon was grinning, I get it, the man was enthusiastic, he was giving the numbers, but in all this, did he realise what he was saying? I am not doubting the man’s skills, he was doing a good job, I was however in IT and had been there for 30 years, so I have pretty much seen it all, and there it was, my little demon, on my right shoulder calling me ‘pussy’. So as the man stated ‘this laptop has a one terabyte hard-drive, can you even imagine ho much that is?’, I could not resist and my response was ‘Yup, that would fit roughly 10% of my porn collection’, his jaw dropped to the ground, his eyes almost popped, the demon inside me stated ‘Nice!’ Actually, it was not quite true, it would only fit a rough 0.32114%. It was the impact of the shock factor. You see, there is a hidden agenda there, when you (appropriately) use the technique, you get to see the real salesperson and that was what I needed. He was thrown, but he recomposed and continued giving me the goods on the laptop, I bought that laptop roughly 132 seconds later.

So today I saw ‘The Rise of extortionware’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56570862), here I notice “where hackers embarrass victims into paying a ransom”, it is not new, it is not even novel. I will also give you the second game after the people involved get arrested, they will demand anonymity and any bleeding heart judge will comply. I state that these people will be handed the limelight so that the people that faced ransomware attacks can take their frustration out of these people. But that remains wishful thinking. So next we get “Experts say the trend towards ransoming sensitive private information could affect companies not just operationally but through reputation damage. It comes as hackers bragged after discovering an IT Director’s secret porn collection.” I have the question was it a private or a company computer? You see, sone focus on the boobies, just what the advertisers on Twitter hope for, they want the click bitches, it makes them money. It is time that we set the larger stage, you see the entire mess would be smaller if Cisco and Microsoft had done a proper job. OK, I apologise, Cisco does a proper job, but some things slip through and in combination with Microsoft exchange servers it is not slipping through, it is a cyber hole the size an iceberg created on the Titanic and we need to set a much larger stage. So when we see “Thanks God for [named IT Director]. While he was [masturbating] we downloaded several hundred gigabytes of private information about his company’s customers. God bless his hairy palms, Amen!”, it seemingly answers that he might keep it on a corporate computer, or he uses his private computer for company stuff. Yet in that same light the hacker should not be allowed any anonymity, we all get to see who the hacker is. If there is something to be learned it is see with “Hackers are now actually searching the data for information that can be weaponised. If they find anything that is incriminating or embarrassing, they’ll use it to leverage a larger pay-out. These incidents are no longer simply cyber-attacks about data, they are full-out extortion attempts” There are two sides

  1. The station of ALWAYS ONLINE needs to change, there needs to be an evolving gateway of anti hack procedures and a stage of evolving anti hack routers and monitoring software. You think that Zoom is an option?
    Tom’s Guide gave us less than 2 weeks ago “More than a dozen security and privacy problems have been found in Zoom”, as well as “Zoom’s ease of use has made it easy for troublemakers to “bomb” open Zoom meetings. Information-security professionals say Zoom’s security has had a lot of holes, although most have been fixed over the past few year”, so whilst you contemplate ‘most have been fixed’, consider that not all are fixed and that is where the problem goes from somewhat to enormous. Well over 20% of the workforce works at home, has zoom meetings and that is how cyber criminals get the upper hand (as well as through disgruntled employees), a change in mindset is only a first station.
  2. Remember that Australian? (Julian Assange) We were told that soon there would be some leaks on issues on banks (Wall Street) then it suddenly became silent, now some will say that it is a bluff, but in light of the meltdown in 2008, I am not so certain, I reckon that some have ways to show the hackers who they are and they profit by not doing that. Can I prove this? Absolutely not. It is speculation, but when you look at the timeline, my speculation makes sense. 
  3. The third side is optionally the second side as the second side might not be a real side. When we see “Hackers are now actually searching the data for information that can be weaponised. If they find anything that is incriminating or embarrassing, they’ll use it to leverage a larger pay-out. These incidents are no longer simply cyber-attacks about data, they are full-out extortion attempts”, the underlying station is ‘information that can be weaponised’ and the IT sector is helping them.

How did I get there? The cloud is not as secure as some state, and the salespeople need to take notice. Business Insider gave us about 6 months ago “70% of Companies Storing Data With Cloud Companies Hacked or Breached”, see the link we are now slowly getting presented? 

In the OSI model, we see layers 3-7 (layer 8 is the user). So as some have seen the issues from Cisco, Microsoft and optionally Zoom, we see a link of issues from layer 3 through to layer 7 ALL setting a dangerous stage. Individually there is no real blame and their lawyers will happily confirm that, but when we see security flaw upon security flaw, there is a larger stage of dangers and we need to take notice. And here the dangers become a lot more interesting when we consider the Guardian yesterday when we saw “Intelligence value of SolarWinds hacking of then acting secretary Chad Wolf is not publicly known”, what else is not publicly known? How many media outlets ignored the Cisco matter, how come ZDNet is one of the few giving us “it’s not releasing patches for some of the affected devices that reached end of life” less than 8 weeks ago. Again I say Cisco did the right thing by informing its customers close to immediately, yet when we see “More than 247,000 Microsoft Exchange servers are yet to be patched against the CVE-2020-0688 post-auth remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability impacting all Exchange Server versions under support” (source: bleepingcomputers.com) as far as I can see, a lot of the media ignored it, but they will shout and repeat the dangers of Huawei, without being shown actual evidence, and I state here, that unless we make larger changes, the extortion path will evolve and become a lot larger. With 70% of cloud systems getting hacked or breached, a large chunk of the Fortune 500 will pay too much to keep quiet and who gets to pay for that? There is a rough 99.867765% chance that its board members will not, it might be speculatively, so please prove me wrong.

A stage where the needs of the consumers changes in a stage where the corporations are not ready to adjust and all whilst the IT salespeople have that golden calf that does everything and make you coffee as well. Adjustments are needed, massive adjustments are needed and we need to make them now before the cybercriminals are in control of our IT needs and that is not mere speculation, when you see flaw after flaw and too little is done as too many are the victim of its impact is a serious breach and it has been going on for some time, but now it is seemingly out in the light and too many are doing too little and as we laugh at “God bless his hairy palms, Amen!” Consider that stage, and now consider that they invade a financial institution, these are clever criminals, they do not empty your account, they merely take $1, perhaps $1 every other month, this implies that they are looking at a $16,000,000 every two months. And this is merely one bank, one in a thousand banks, some a lot bigger than the Australian Commonwealth bank and lets face it, the fact that layer 3 to layer 7 is leaky in hundreds of thousands of customers, do you really think that banks are off-limits? Do you really think that this is a simple hick-up or that the scenery is changing this quickly by people claiming that it will be fixed in no-time? 

We need massive changes and we need them a lot sooner than we think.

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UK Islamophobia OK?

Let me tel you the story of a stupid git, a man named Robert Jenrick no less. The BBC gives us (at  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-56523179) “Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said teachers should be able to “appropriately show images of the prophet” in class”, we see this showing us a level of stupidity seldom seen before. There is no excuse and as the UK is selecting Islam phobic pushers into places of power as they walk with senseless grins around with the view that he “described the protests as “deeply unsettling”” is a little too much for me. 

As the stupid person gives us “In a free society we want religions to be taught to children and for children to be able to question and query them”, I reckon that no one denies them, and the absence of an image of the prophet and/or Allah would be optionally explained as the simple fact that it is against Islamic rules. Christianity does permit it, and that is fine, Islam does not and that should be fine too. So when we see “We must see teachers protected and no-one should be feeling intimidated or threatened as they go into school” We need to make sure that the teachers realise that stupid actions come at a price. 

So as we take notice of “Labour MP for Batley and Spen, Tracey Brabin, condemned those who “seek to fan the flames of this incident””, I wonder if they hold the teacher who pushed the image is also held to account. So when we see “Parts of the Koran are taken to mean that neither Allah nor Muhammad can be captured in an image by human hand and any attempt to do so is seen as an insult”, the teacher should have known that, or he should not be allowed to be a teacher teaching what was taught. It is so nice to see everyone trying to push political correctness into political non-Islamic correctness. Is that truly what we want to teach the kids? 

It is not the first time and it will not be the last time, but consider how long until some people have had enough? And should that teacher get hunted down, does he or she have anything to blame but themselves? This is not me condoning violence, this is me wondering how much longer the Islamic people need to show restraint? As I see as we see flares on a global scale on anti-Asian, anti Semitic, and islamophobia we seem to forget that these stages do not have a good outcome and in the end the stage we create here is one that will haunt our grand children, are we ready for that level of hatred in the world? 

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The first step

Today I was confronted with a first step in the right direction. NPR (and others) give us ‘Dominion Voting Systems Files $1.6 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox News’, the baseless accusations and the empty facilitation by merely shouting the same messages by Fox (and a few others) all whilst there was no proper investigation or follow up now has consequences. The NPR article gives us ““Fox endorsed, repeated, and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies about Dominion,” the complaint states, including claims that the company’s software manipulated the results of the 2020 vote.” This first step is one that seals the fate of Donald Trump. The bully tactics and the baseless accusations now come at a cost and should Dominion Voting System end up with a success, the base and foundation of Trumpism will see several additional court cases come there way, paving the way for honourable men like Mitt Romney to clean house and return the Republic party to sanity. It is also the first time that we will see the media being held to a higher level, one that had been surely lacking, which in turn will give the Washington Post a hard time too. With the additional “Dominion has also filed defamation lawsuits against Trump ally and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, lawyers who worked with Trump on his post-election flurry of legal actions. The company is seeking $1.3 billion in damages from each of them”, we get to see a new stage, we get to see the ‘friends’ of Donald Trump seeking the caves (like Osama Bin Laden once did) as well as the tall grass to avoid detection, they have upset too many people and too many corporations, each of them seeking their pound of flesh. So how will this end? It is too early to say, but when we see “Last month, Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against the network, and named Fox stars Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.” We might take notice of the dismissal that Fox News is seeking, but their stories are out there and at times copied by smaller players and there is no hiding from that, so as I personally see it “the network also canceled Lou Dobbs’ Tonight show” is merely a first step and Fox, should it survive they will have to clean its house in several ways, optionally introduce ethics to its field. The article (at https://www.npr.org/2021/03/26/981515184/dominion-voting-systems-files-1-6-billion-defamation-lawsuit-against-fox-news) has a few more items, but it is a start, and no matter how it turns out the outcome will introduce new versions of rage all over the US, a setting that the media condoned, yet now that their chickens are hatching they fear the outcome and they seek some level of immunity, so as the US faces its own version of the Leveson report, I wonder how it will play out, because any outspoken politician will get tainted by it, any Fox source relying on freedom of speech will be held accountable to the impact they created and the US has well over 100 million really angry people at present, which means that it is not a good day for Trumpism to seek the limelight, not with Fox in the balance of their views with an optional $4,000,000,000 ticket awaiting impact. 

I do personally believe it is a good day for accountability in the mix and that has never been a bad thing.

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The wide net

We all have the idea to go phishing, we want trout, we want salmon and we use the biggest net possible to get at least one. So when AP gave us ‘Casting a wide intrusion net: Dozens burned with single hack’ (at https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-politics-europe-eastern-europe-new-zealand-f318ba1ffc971eb17371456b015206a5), not only was I not surprised, I had been warning people about this for a few years, that setting is apparently upon us now (or at least some are admitting it now). There we see “Nimble, highly skilled criminal hackers believed to operate out of Eastern Europe hacked dozens of companies and government agencies on at least four continents by breaking into a single product they all used” this does not surprise me, this happened in the late 80’s as well when someone used Aston Tate’s DB3 to introduce a virus, it is simple find something they all use and hamper its function, a basic strategy that an Italian (Julius Caesar) introduced 2000 years ago, there he hampered the roads and not servers but you get the idea, the classics still work.

When we are given “The Accellion casualties have kept piling up, meanwhile, with many being extorted by the Russian-speaking Clop cybercriminal gang, which threat researchers believe may have bought pilfered data from the hackers. Their threat: Pay up or we leak your sensitive data online, be it proprietary documents from Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier or lawyer-client communications from Jones Day.” It might seem rash but the people relied on others to keep their data safe and whilst we see more and more that they cannot contain the bacon the clients are suffering, this is not a simple station and we get it, but package solutions tend to come with flaws and that has been a truth for 20 years, so why are you all crying now? It is the final part that has more bearing “Members of Congress are already dismayed by the supply-chain hack of the Texas network management software company SolarWinds that allowed suspected Russian state-backed hackers to tiptoe unnoticed — apparently intent solely on intelligence-gathering — for more than half a year through the networks of at least nine government agencies and more than 100 companies and think tanks. Only in December was the SolarWinds hacking campaign discovered by the cybersecurity firm FireEye. France suffered a similar hack, blamed by its cybersecurity agency on Russian military operatives, that also gamed the supply chain. They slipped malware into an update of network management software from a firm called Centreon, letting them quietly root around victim networks from 2017 to 2020.” This is important because of what happened in the last two years, remember how ‘stupid’ American people started to blame Huawei for all the bad whilst offering absolutely no supporting evidence? Huawei does not need to bother to aid whichever government there was, silly software developers are doing that for them, we see an abundance of intrusion problems that include SolarWinds, Accellion and Cisco. A stage where thousands of systems are at risk, but no, the ‘silly’ people kept on blaming Huawei. Even I knew better and as Sony gave me the idea for an intrusion method called ‘Plus One’ (a viable way to drive the Pentagon nuts) with an alternative direction that I call ‘Vee One’, but that one has a few hiccups I reckon. Then I got creative and saw a new parameter in play. One that is based on a little part I read in a Cisco manual, the text “When You Add A Hard Disk To A Virtual Machine(VM), you can create a new virtual disk, add an existing virtual disk, or add a mapped Storage Area Network (SAN) Logical UnitNumber (LUN). In most cases, you can accept the default device node. For a hard-disk, a non default device node is useful to control the boot order or have different Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) controller types. For example, you might want to boot from an LSI Logic controller and use a Bus-logic Controller With bus sharing turned onto share a data disk with another VM.” You see that small text indicates that there is a nice workaround in Cisco CMX and it opens up a lot more than they bargained for, that in conjunction with the share issues thy were already facing gives out a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Copy me I want to travel’, n’est pas? (for the French victims)

It is a much larger stage, most laws aren’t ready for this, prosecuting the guilty parties is close to impossible and any quick fix they make will only make things harder, the setting was and has for always been the makers of software, time constraints and lack of deep testing makes for a lousy solution and in most cases these players have a pushy marketing department (example: Ubisoft), and yes ‘You be soft!’ because the small tidbit that AP gives us with “Attackers are finding it harder and harder to gain access via traditional methods, as vendors like Microsoft and Apple have hardened the security of the operating systems considerably over the last years” yet it is a small stage and not a correct one. Weaknesses in Azure, issues with advertising in apps and a larger stage of programming, we see it clearest in .NET, but it goes way beyond that, for example “The problem of memory leaks is not uncommon in any technology. Simply put, the framework doesn’t release the memory that it no longer needs. .NET is frequently criticised for memory leaks and memory-related issues. Although .NET has a garbage collector for this sort of problem, engineers still have to invest additional efforts into proper resource management. And the leaks keep on growing as the application scales.” (source: Altexsoft) and it shows the smallest part, if there is a leak in one place, there will be in other places too and the leaks are not the real problem, getting it to semi-crash and taking over its right on a network are a quick way into any system, I saw the example with an accounting program (censored name), I got the program to crash (took about 20 seconds) and I ended up with the administrator rights to the entire mainframe from ANY location running that software. I get it, there will always be a bug in any place and the makers were quick to fix it, but for a few weeks there was an entrance point that took minimum efforts and that setting is only increasing with routers and cloud systems, these companies rely on marketeers that are ready to push for the investors sake and leave the client swimming in a swamp, I have seen it more than once and it will happen again, and this setting has been going on since 1989 and over the next 3-4 years it will grow to 150%, the push to billions and to quickly get to billions will be overwhelming for too many players all whilst the law will not be able to protect the victims, they will merely point at torts law, even though that you are the victim, most contracts are offered as an ‘as is’ solution and for the most software makers can avoid prosecution for the longest time, long enough for the hackers to get away with your data and sell it, what a lovely system you bought. Oh and before I forget, organised crime is way ahead of me, so for some it will already be too late.

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Where the media should never be

A case was brought to my attention, normally it goes nowhere, but this article (at https://millichronicle.com/2021/03/opinion-ghada-oueiss-lies-about-saudi-and-american-spies/) struck a nerve. In all this, there were a few unknowns. I had never dealt with the Milli Chronicle, I did not know the writer and it was against Al Jazeera, a news outlet that had shown to be often enough to be in good faith, but the article still stung. Lets take a look

There was ‘Al Jazeera anchor Ghada Oueiss sues Saudi and UAE crown princes over phone hack, harassment’ (at https://www.scmp.com/news/world/middle-east/article/3113604/al-jazeera-anchor-ghada-oueiss-sues-saudi-and-uae-crown), the South China Morning Post gives us this last December. It is there where we see “She sued Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed for allegedly hacking into her phone and stealing and doctoring images to silence her”, this is interesting because it is not the first time that Mohammed bin Salman is accused of this. I am wondering how much of it is actually true. You see one definite part in this is that one should always keep their hands clean, as such there is a larger debate on who did the deed, and as such how is any evidence of this tested and validated? Perhaps Ghada Oueiss is seeing a pay day? When we look back at a similar accusation we saw the failed papers and the debatable papers by FTI consulting. There was clear evidence that his phone was hacked, but there is also a decent setting that MBS was framed and that a third party hacked his phone.

All this becomes a second stage when we see ‘Al Jazeera anchor’s anti-Semitic Twitter persona’ (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1704376/media) a setting that was seen last July. There we see “On July 8, Al Jazeera anchor Ghada Oueiss wrote an opinion article for the Washington Post in which she detailed her alleged struggle with cyberbullying campaigns on Twitter at the hands of — as she claims — droves of Saudi and Emirati bots”, so in all this we see another Washington Post mention all towards a columnist no one gives a fuck about (pardon my French). Isn’t it interesting that they all knew one another and they are all the making the ‘alleged attempt’? As I see it Al Jazeera just entered the frame where they should not be ‘Creating the no news’ and there is every chance that this will now hit their credibility. We are also given ““Al Jazeera, though Ghada Oueiss and others, calls for chaos in its support for militias and violence against the state and calls for hatred in any form possible to defy and distort the image of those who oppose its sponsors in Qatar and its ally Turkey,” Egypt-based media expert Hani Nasira told Arab News.” This requires me to have more in depth knowledge of Hani Nasira which I do not have, but it also gives (optionally plasters) Ghada Oueiss as a tool for usage as we are treated to “Al Jazeera, though Ghada Oueiss and others”, gives rise to a different kind of journalism, I wonder who was looking that deep? So as we return to the Milli Chronicle and “Ghada needs defendants who reside in Miami, Florida in order to bring her lawsuit there. Two of the USA Defendants live in Miami, Florida—which is why Ghada made them defendants in her lawsuit. Ghada complains that these two Americans joked about eating dinner at the Olive Garden Restaurant in Miami, so now, Ghada no longer feels safe in Miami—even though she lives in Qatar.” And perhaps this reminds you of something? I wrote about it a few weeks ago and let me get a sample. It is seen in my article ‘Number of states’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/02/06/number-of-states/) there we see (at https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.220747/gov.uscourts.dcd.220747.66.1.pdf) at [4] “Fortunately, in the United States, justice is measured not by the might of one’s arms; what is lawful is measured not by the reach of one’s sword; and the law itself is not laggard when faced with a prince who, having directed the dismemberment of a prominent U.S. journalist overseas, also dispatched a team of hunters and killers into the United States and Canada to murder again”, it is interesting that all the elements were outside the USA, more important, there is a lack of Canadian Courts in play when it comes to Dr. Saad Aljabri. And personally, it might be me, yet how much value do we give a complaint when it starts with “Richard III, William Shakespeare” a play that is seen as a tragedy, just like that court case, so why was the intending ‘victim’ not in a Canadian court? And it does not end there, the opposition (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is shown in the Guardian ‘Saudi state companies sue ex-spy chief in Canada over alleged $3bn fraud’ with the additional part “Aljabri, exiled in Canada, was a top aide to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was deposed as heir to the throne by Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a 2017 palace coup.” I am not stating that one is true and one is false, but which journalist dug into the finances of Dr. Saad Aljabri? $3,000,000,000 is a lot more than most will ever make, and even as a top aide to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef there is a decent option that Dr. Saad Aljabri would end up being a millionaire, even a multi millionaire, but not a billionaire. 

I feel certain that I can live like a king in Monaco for €250,000,000, so why would I need more? Some do and for a top-aide to end up being a multi billionaire, that requires some doing and no one is asking those questions, they are all doing the same thing from different directions, like a bachelor getting to work in the morning every day from a different direction, someone is getting screwed. The people expecting neutral news is one, there are a few more but I will let you decide on that.

You see, we all want confirmation, one stating that fraud was not committed whilst the court case is filed in the US, not in Canada. So what investigation took place in Canada? Then when we see the Milli Chronicle with “It seemed like a crazy joke until the reporter said there was actually a lawsuit number, 1:20-cv-25022– and that I was personally named as a member of a shadowy, nefarious, evil-doing operation that Ghada calls “The Network” on pages 19 and 20 of her 93-page diatribe”, who investigated this stuff? The fact that it makes the Milli Chronicle and not the NY Times is a valid question, but there is every indication that the Washington Post system is working full throttle in their attempt to paint a target and they are using all they can and the non-friends of Saudi Arabia are the helping hands that the Washington Post is seeking. It is speculative, but it is my view and the evidence is stacking up against the Washington Post and now against Al Jazeera as well. I do hope that the chief editor is taking a hard and a very critical look at the work of Ghada Oueiss. I will let them decide and figure out what is actual truth and I do hope that they will inform the audience, they allegedly have credibility to repair.

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The assumption of knowing

It all started yesterday, the NOS notified us via ‘8 wounded by optional terror attack Sweden’. The stage was less clear through two parts. The first that this was not a big city, it was Vestlanda, which is in the South of Sweden, basically a village with less than 15,000 people. About an hour ago the BBC gives us ‘Sweden attack: Man injures seven in stabbing attack’, a very different headline. Two different headlines, but neither is wrong. The BBC also gives us (as did the NOS) “Police are treating the case as attempted murder but also investigating the possibility of terror motives” as such SAPO is on the case. The Swedish Security Services (formerly known as Säkerhetspolisen, or SAPO), it is at present under the leading and watchful eyes of Klas Friberg (aka Big Boss). We are told “Initially, detectives began treating the incident as suspected terrorism, before re-classifying it as attempted murder. According to the local police chief, the suspect is a resident of the area and previously known to police but in the past he was only suspected of “petty crimes”, AFP news agency reports” (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56272565) there is a need to side with caution, there is no harm in treating it as one and finding out you are wrong, it is always better than not acting and learning too late it was a a dry run. 

In Sydney (on 15–16 December 2014) a mental case called Man Haron Monis was a self pronounced ISIL operative, there was enough evidence in the early hours that this was not the case and that he was a head case, but there is nothing wrong with siding with caution, lives were on the line. In Sweden there is a different setting, optionally one that requires Swedish Intelligence to take a larger look, and it makes sense, terror has several definitions, yet the one that matters is the result when the things we hold for granted are no longer reliable and a terror attack in Vestlanda would do that in Sweden much more than in the three larger cities, in this setting dozens of smaller places would have a security issue and that worry would run over to Norway and optionally Denmark as well. Yet, it is early days and we do not know what is and what is not. And the problem is not over, actually the PM (whilst being openly honest) gives us “Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the “horrific violence” was a reminder of “how frail our safe existence is”.” He is not wrong, but I believe him to be incorrect. The application of ‘how frail our safe existence is’ is the problem. There is no such thing s a safe existence, the fact is that Scandinavia is perhaps one of the least likely targets, as most terrorists will use bombs, they do not care about one person, they care about hundreds, Stockholm is perhaps the most likely of targets, yet it is still small compared to Munich in October, Amsterdam in April, or London and Paris most time of the year. They all have infrastructures that have too many weak spots, to many options and as such the largest part of Scandinavia (including Finland) tend to be less likely places to hit, that is beside the point that in these places tourists and foreigners shine like Christmas lights and these terrorists tend to dislike Christmas lights, a stage we all need to recognise. That does not make a person like Klas Friberg wrong. I am speculating, he needs to be certain and that is what he is doing, making sure. 

Still, the assumption is there and the truth is we really do not know at present. Even as I dug through the papers in a dozen nations, most of them are somewhere between the BBC and the Dutch NOS, merely one or two are playing the terror card, the others merely mention that it is investigated s an optional one. There is a small caution in many cases and at present there are too many unknowns. As we are told “Five different crime scenes, a few hundred metres apart, were identified, local police chief Jonas Lindell said.” We need to realise that this is not a person merely going nuts, he was seemingly on a ‘nutty’ rage trip over a distance and that calls a few things into question, optionally that this was ore than merely an attack by a head job and as such the authorities need to be certain, I get that. If Sweden gets to be lucky, the person was a head case, if that is not the case this might optionally be a lone wolf act and that is the problem, there is close to no attack against such a strategy. There are too many settings where lone wolves will achieve what they are told to do and the Swedish Security Services needs to be certain, that is clear and I hope that we can soon return to the happy view of 

Instead of

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