Tag Archives: DGSE

Oh La L’argent

Reuters is giving us the news yesterday that there is trouble brewing in France. The article titled ‘France’s Macron says defense chief has no choice but to agree with him: JDD‘ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-defence-idUSKBN1A00TE). The best way to trivialise this is by going on the fact that the world’s 6th most spending nation on defence is cutting the defence of France back by almost a billion. Now, for the number one and two spenders in this field, that is a laughable amount. In the national terms it is a little below 2% of that total budget. In light of the UK NHS and other players needing to trim the fat and handover a pound of beef that amount is equally laughably low, yet for France? The article gives us in addition ““If something opposes the military chief of staff and the president, the military chief of staff goes,” Macron, who as president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, told Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD)“, we can see this as hard talk and a kind warning to any opposition, or we can accept that this former financial advisor is setting up the board. He is placing certain pieces in reflection of the events coming in 2018. I wonder if it is merely about defence spending. Even as we see the other quote “General Pierre de Villiers reportedly told a parliament committee he would not let the government ‘fuck with’ him on spending cuts“, the questions are rising on two fronts, fronts that are not them by the way. You see, when we see another source (at http://www.iiss.org/en/militarybalanceblog/blogsections/2017-edcc/july-c5e6/franco-german-cooperation-1efd), we see ‘Can Franco-German cooperation deliver a new European defence?‘, yet the question is not merely the side that matters, it is the quote “German Chancellor Angela Merkel has committed her government to meeting the symbolic 2% defence-spending threshold” as well as “Germany remains far off the 2% spending mark – it is projected to spend 1.2% of GDP on defence in 2017 – and the Chancellor’s main opponent in this September’s federal election, Martin Schulz, has poured cold water on Germany’s commitment to that goal“, this is where the cookie starts to crumble. Is there a consideration that France is cutting costs, to remain on par with Germany, mainly because that would simplify a European Army where the ‘pound’ of all power is based on France and Germany? It works for President Macron, because at that point he could spend it somewhere else, in some form of local Quantative Easing (read: funding economy projects) as well as highly needed infrastructure overhauls. Although, 1 billion will not get this too far, but overall one or two larger issues could be resolved to a better degree, depending on whether he goes for roads or waterworks as a first priority. In all this there is a second issue, which is the combined design of a new 5th generation fighter jet, which will impact both German and France’s defence spending a lot more than anything else.

So as General Pierre de Villiers is contemplating the impact of 2% less, whilst a new jet is on the design table and 2018 will become the year of whatever EU army is up for initial presentation, the amounting costs of that infrastructure change, the General is confronted not with a president, but with a former investment banker that relies on Excel and predictive analytics to set the possible options of a virtual reality against a person who deals in real time events, idle time strategy impacts and an need towards an affirmation of hierarchy whilst having a complete operational army. In all this there is no telling when France gets attacked next and for that the DGSE will need 5 high powered computers with access to a cloud system. With a new encryption that surpasses the current 1024-bit RSA encryption that is used. So yes, that is also going to cost a bundle.

This is not just ‘all about the money’, you see, the IISS article seems to give rise to the Nuclear planning part, but that is not the actual issue that will play. As in any war and any intelligence operation, it will be about the data and intelligence that is acted on, and whilst there is data going back to 2007, that the growing issues becomes a shifting one. With: “Arjen Lenstra, a cryptology professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, says the distributed computation project, conducted over 11 months, achieved the equivalent in difficulty of cracking a 700-bit RSA encryption key, so it doesn’t mean transactions are at risk — yet“, the growing deadline was set to roughly 5 years, with the growth of Ransomware and other criminal cyber solutions, we have gone passed the deadline of 2012 and as such, the is now a growing need for matters a lot more secure. when we consider the added quote: “the University of Bonn and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in Japan, researchers factored a 307-digit number into two prime numbers“, this might be a breakthrough in some ways, yet it still took 11 months to get to the solution, with other solutions like distributed calculating (example the famous Seti@Home program) and the cloud, as well as the fact that the bulk of PC users leave their computers on and way too unsecured, we are facing a combination that could spell cyber disaster. Just consider all those kids working their DDOS attack games. What happens when the computer is not aware because it is no longer attacking places (that can actually register these events), but just silently mulling over data? The person is asleep or at work, now we get that shared options gives us for example 50,000 calculators, changing an 11 month gig into a mere 10 minute job. Now, there is no precedence for this, yet the amount of people that have an infuriating lack of common cyber sense is still way too high (well over 75% too high), so getting to 50,000 computers silently is not the greatest task. It had been made easier by the Microsoft security flaws all over the place and the users not being adamant in upgrading their system when needed, as well as the need from Microsoft to keep on pushing some version of blue (read: Azure), my speculation is not that far away, moreover, it could actually already slowly being used in one way or another (read: extremely speculative suggestion).

Yet, the gist must be clear, the governments, pretty much all over Europe are due a large overhaul of data collectors and data storage systems. Even as we see on how Russia and the US are so called collaborating on quantum computing, those who comprehend the technology will know that whomever has that technology would be able to gain access to any data, it like you using a PC XT, whilst others are all about the Pentium 2, the difference will be that severe.

Yet, this was about France (read: actually it is not). The issue is not just the small disagreement that was going on between two important players within a Western European nation; the fact that it was on a subject and amount that is not that drastic, but Reuters is going with it on the front of its pages. In all this France is also getting the forefront of visibility trying to become the facilitator for the Qatar, which comes with the added danger that France will become more of a target for extremists because of it. Not a given, but it is more likely than not that there is a danger that this will happen.

On the coming year, we see that it will be all about the money, that has always been a given, so it is just telling people that there is water coming out of a water tap, yet it will be growing in the coming year as several nations have overly neglected infrastructures and there is a decent prediction that some part will have to give in, which will require additional budgets. France and Belgium are taking the top ratings on the need to improve their roads and as some roads have been neglected for too long, the road repairs bill could become exceedingly large for those two players. As such, the total debt of France will take a rising hit (one part that France cannot really afford at present) and Belgium would be in a similar predicament. These are the additional elements that President Macron will need to deal with.

Does that not make defence cuts more important?

Well, that is one way to look at it, which is a valid one, yet the rising projects and the growing chance of a European Army start would give rise to either more spending needs in the French defence budget or the French Ministry of Defence could end up having to deal with additional pressure points soon thereafter, in this other nations (including the UK have similar complexities to deal with)

Why the reference to France?

Well, that will become a little more obvious in about a moment, yet it was important to show that the cost cutting on Defence in France is a first mistake (read: blunder) by President Macron.

The article ‘Government offers £2m for scientific research into counter-terrorism‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/17/government-offers-2m-for-scientific-research-into-counter-terrorism), is showing us a first step in regards to solve possible extremist behavioural issues. In my personal view it is a competition that Israel could win hands down as they have been employing certain parts of that with success at Ben Gurion Airport and other places for close to a decade. Yet, doing it in some automated way through data gathering is a new side to that and here is where all the hardware and DGSE comes into play, or in the UK terms, this is where GCHQ could be starting to earn the big bucks (read: £). The quote “The threat from terror does not stand still, so neither will we, which is why we are calling on the best and the brightest from the science and technology sector to come forward with their ideas and proposals to support our ongoing work to keep people safe” is the one that matter, yet overall, even beyond the £2M price, the costs will be decently staggering. You see, this is no longer about intelligence dissemination; it will become the field of real time parsing, gathering and analysing. Yes, the sequence is correct! You see, it requires the analyses of gathered information, parsing new data and overlaying the results, all that in real time. So as I stated earlier by relating this to Paris (and the attacks), it is the applied use of General Pierre de Villiers with the added parsed intelligence in real time. For the non-military trained people. It is like watching a Command and Conquer videogame, yet now seeing the entire map and knowing how the opposition is moving next, whilst in reality you are not seeing the map at all. Look at it as a version of blind chess, Hi-Octane style. Now consider that this is happening in real time at this very moment in London, with all the information of CCTV, facial recognition and back tracking the first attack and then back tracking the faces where it happened, seeing where they came from and seeing how the next event would likely happen and how soon. The computational power would be close to unimaginative large. So when you see ““In light of the horrific attacks in London and Manchester, the government has committed to review its counter-terror strategy,” Wallace will say. “Further to this I am announcing today that we are making up to £2m available to fund research into cutting-edge technology and behavioural science projects designed to keep people safe in crowds.”” we need to consider not just doing that, yet as I stated encryption, it will also require the collected data to remain safe, because the first one to have the manpower and the skill to hit not just in extremist ways with weapons, yet to hit their opponent with a cyber-assault to corrupt the initial data, will not merely have the advantage, it could cripple that forecasting system, implying that crowds will suddenly no longer be safe when an actual attack occurred.

So when we consider “Counter-terror agencies are running 500 investigations involving 3,000 individuals at any one time as they confront an unprecedented threat“, we aren’t being told the entire story. You see, it is not just that, in a crowd event, there would be the need to be able to scan 50,000 people and be able to flag as many and as fast as possible those who are not a threat. To teach a system where to look is one way, where not to look and what to overlook is equally a required skill. To do this in real time, requires loads of data and might not be entirely feasible until quantum computing is a realistic option. When someone tells you that 50,000 people can be easily scanned, we could concur, yet when every person needs to be checked against 200 sources? Consider the lone wolf (or wannabe extremist). Having an initial harmless person in the crowd is one thing, having one that came all the way from Grantham, whilst there is no data that this person has ever attended such an event becomes an issue, now correlate that against the event (like a concert, a humanitarian event or a political rally), how often has this person attended? It might be the first time, which does not make that person a worry, merely a flag that it is out of character. So how many people would have a similar flag setting? Now you get to see the need of exiting gathered data, which gives a rise to knowing those who are merely vested interest people, and optional worries. When you consider that it could require 100 additional flags that give rise to danger, you will now see the need for the computing power required. So how has Israel been successful? Well, they have observers, people who see people walk by, their stance, and their actions, how they look around, levels of nervousness, the way they walk, the luggage they have. The human brain is the most powerful computer there is, the eyes are camera’s that can see more detailed in 3D than nearly any given camera on the market and those persons can read the people walking by. I believe that there is a future where devices can do similar things because they can look different (read: infra-red), not better.

I think that the approach by Ben Wallace, the security minister, is brilliant. He is opening the doors towards out of the box thinking and perhaps set a new stage of technology. There will always be people outside the government who are more brilliant that those within, he is merely inviting them to cast the stone of innovation, I reckon that in light of the technology changes we will see in the next 2 years, the timing is great, time will tell us whether the solutions were real ones too. At least the ball has started to roll and in light of the cut backs by France, the United Kingdom could have a technological advantage that might be a long term solution all others want, which is great too for several reasons of economic growth, which keeps the commercial solution providers interested.



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How to get yourself killed

On the edge of the elections, we see new developments in a few areas. The issue is not the people trying to keep others safe; it is now to some extent the law that is aiding people getting killed. Here we see the first of a few issues, that first one being the Human Rights Act 1998. Now, let’s be clear! I am not against the HRA. The issue is that it is now protecting terrorists in completing their goals, which was not what it was intended to do. That issue is seen at the very beginning of article 2.1. Here we see: ‘Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

This gives us that Terrorists cannot be hunted down; the first rule is to capture them alive, whilst knowingly endangering the lives of many. In addition we see articles 6, 7 and 8 messing things up (in light of terrorism); still it is not a failure of the law.

The issue is that these laws were never designed with the abundance of terrorism to the amount we see nowadays. The fact that any armed police action, aimed on capturing terrorists is placing them in harm’s way, but in an unrealistic and unacceptable way. A policeman’s life is set to a higher degree of danger, whilst giving the terrorist a prolonged time to act out the acts of terrorism. It is in this light that we should see ‘May: I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/06/theresa-may-rip-up-human-rights-laws-impede-new-terror-legislation). There is a growing concern that the laws of our nations have been a hindrance in dealing with acts of terrorism. In addition we see another return with “It is possible May’s plans could involve seeking further derogations from the ECHR. This is the way the government is seeking to prevent human rights claims against soldiers in future military situations“, the question is not just in the laws, the issue we see with “May was then repeatedly challenged about how the Home Office, police and intelligence services dealt with the information relating to the attackers, after Boris Johnson, her foreign secretary, said MI5 had questions to answer. One of the attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, had been reported to the anti-terror hotline in 2015 and a third attacker, Youssef Zaghba, 22, had been detained by Italian authorities in 2016”, there are questions for MI5 to answer, yet it is not just them. The UK needs to establish to with level SIGINT (GCHQ) has been missing the ball.

Now there are two problems with that assumption of mine. The first is whether the European intelligence services have been keeping its allies and NATO partners up to date on movements. The second is how some allies classify certain people of interest (Youssef Zaghba). Without that knowledge we end up kicking both MI6 and GCHQ without actual cause. So it is not just MI5. We can wonder how certain borders were passed as well as how we will stop certain events from happening. So Boris Johnson is correct that there should be questions and answers, yet in the first only to the smallest degree and in the second, I would want to ask GCHQ a few questions before knocking on the door of Andrew Parker. The fact that he goes straight to the door of MI5, gives an implicit lack of knowledge on the address of Boris Johnson which is not the way we know him, so I wonder what he is playing at, at present. This now gets us to ‘Police and MI5 face further scrutiny after third attack since March’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/05/police-and-mi5-face-further-scrutiny-after-third-attack-since-march). The part that matters here is “MI5 has a staff of 4,000, with up to 1,000 more promised by 2020, to keep tabs on a list of 3,000 people classified as “subjects of interest”, who included Butt, and to engage in other activities. Counter-terrorism accounts for just over 60% of what MI5 does”. We can hide behind the numbers to some extent as we consider that 1650 keep tabs on 3,000 people. This implied two people to watch per agent, this in a situation where it is about resources. In addition when we consider “Another of the London attackers, Rachid Redouane, was not known to the police or MI5, the police said”. The numbers show the impossibility of the task. In opposition we get that either the UK becomes an unlivable police state, or we take the war to them and prune the HRA to a larger extent. Weirdly enough, that gives us the headache that the HRA is losing potency, something that none of the players want. We basically move a nation into a place where we end up getting ourselves killed. As Richard Barrett, former director of global counter-terrorism operations at MI6 states: “I do not want to live in a state like that”. So even the agencies want a non-police state system, as such we need to consider other evolutions.

So how to go forward?

Until we get an actual union of interest in the Intelligence industry there will be an age of uncertainty. As SIGINT departments unite to set forth the first need of identifying the dangers and replicate that knowledge we are at an impasse. If this reads weird, then let me explain it. The function of GCHQ is to monitor and report to the UK agencies. This is how it should be in the past. In this age of ISIS/ISIL we need to consider that SIGINT agencies set the data in one common database when it concerns terrorists. So basically GCHQ forwards Intel directly to NSO (Netherlands), DGSE (France), SAIC (Germany) and so on. After that (or actually at the same time) the obtained data goes to MI5 and MI6. As filters are removed the whole gets more and quicker intelligence on movements. There is no issue with Brexit or Bremain, this is about European security, and as Europe becomes safer, so will the UK be safer. This path has never been walked because the trouble is with containing intelligence going into the open. In this setting we have intelligence filters this is not a bad thing, but the need in light of the attacks require us all to rethink the issues. There is an additional benefit that the union of data could give additional clusters of information, clustering’s we did not have in the past. It gives voice to not just paths of interests, but a path of people that are a justifiable target in this situation. A path that is partially hindered by the Human Rights Act in a way that was never the intent of the Human Rights Act in the first place.

The issue becomes a larger issue when we see certain media. Now as we exclude the tabloids on mere grounds of inferior intellect and increased factors like being clueless and greed driven through the expanse of emotion, we do get some media that should have known better. So when we see “Dame Stella Rimington, the first female director general of the agency, spoke out this week (6 June) during a keynote speech at 2017’s Infosecurity conference. The former spymaster took the time to urge for a calm response in the wake of recent London terror attacks” (at http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/former-mi5-chief-nobody-really-knows-how-deal-cyber-espionage-1625025), we see in addition “We are facing a world where there’s cyber-espionage now, which nobody really knows how to effectively deal with. We are facing a world of very complex communications which make it very difficult [for] our intelligence services to keep pace with changes taking place.

This is a path that has a few additional repercussions. The first repercussion is seen in the need of new technology to meet the challenges. The second repercussion is seen in combined need to evolve HUMINT, FININT and GEOINT. As money can be transferred through alternative means in faster ways and new methods we see that the terrorists are equipped and given new means to which several intelligence paths have no way to counter at present. The simplest issue of funding terrorist infrastructure through international debit cards is a nightmare to get through. Ordering these debit cards with up to 5,000 euros is getting easier and payment via web becomes increasingly easy. Getting these cards in Western Europe and dispense them to the dangerous elements in the UK is an increased danger as we now have a situation where HUMINT and FININT walk two very different paths. If we do not get an evolved SIGINT solution, we will see an escalation of events whilst the intelligence will fail. At present when a student is found with 2,000 euro a flag is raised (not always), yet when a student is seen with a debit card and 300 Euro, no flag will ever be raised. The cyber path is intervening on several levels increasing the dangers of a successful attack as they just get what they need at their destination. Nowadays a student goes into a car rental place, has his international student ID, picks up a van, pays with the prepaid card and he is off to load it up with explosives. At this point, when properly done, SIGINT, HUMINT and FININT will all have failed to stop this. This is the danger that Dame Stella Rimington is warning us about. And whilst the tabloid jokes are all about the emotions and the blame game towards the intelligence service, we see that failure after failure stacks up, mainly because what the intelligence agencies need is not coming their way. It’s like giving Jenson Button the task of winning the F1 trophy whilst giving him an Edsel to get the job done, which seems a little too unfair on the poor lad.

The world evolved too fast in too many directions and in this terrorists, especially lone wolves could use the system to remain largely invisible until it is too late. It is a collection of what we used to perceive as unrealistic elements ion danger assessment that is now stopping police and agencies in finding the targets trying to hurt innocent civilians. The game has become too unbalanced, and for the most I agree with Richard Barrett. Yet, in equal measure, we see a lack of evolution in technology that the seekers need to classify disseminated information as well as being able to cluster a multitude of databases each filled with variable information to find that needle, hoping that you are even near the right haystack. Consider the scenario I just painted. Finding that person would be near impossible if the Lone Wolf kept to the ground. So where is the validation of blame? There is none and the people actually realise this. It does not change the job, or the challenge. It merely increases the pressure. So when I read: “The third attacker was named as Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was living in east London” there is no concern to be elevated into some danger status, yet when we see in addition “is said to have told Italian authorities “I’m going to be a terrorist”, while officers reportedly found Islamic State-related material on his mobile phone when they intercepted him” makes it a different issue (apart from any person proclaiming to become a terrorist to the police). How long until that news reached the UK? In addition, what did the Italians do to stop this possible extremist? When we see a file on Youssef Zaghba in the areas of FININT and SIGINT, what do they reveal? You see, we might not stop all events, yet there is an increased chance that any previous success by these lone wolves will leave us with information that potentially stops the next attack. That will leave us with increased options when SIGINT will start sharing the data internationally.

We are in a phase where we get ourselves killed, not because of the failing of the agencies, but with our complacency regarding human rights and thinking that the agencies did not need certain elements. As we are bragging on Facebook and demanding the government does not collect data, we place ourselves in harm’s way, which is increasingly stupid.

Yet in equal measure spending irresponsibly (read: Jeremy Corbyn’s lame promise) is equally dangerous. You see we need to work on actual solutions, not buy 1000 staff members, 15 servers and hope it will work itself out. That is a recipe for a political pork pie that leaves us with indigestion.

There is a lot that requires doing, let’s not get ourselves killed whilst doing that.


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In light of the evidence

We tend to accept facts and given situations whenever we have a reliable source and a decent level of evidence. The interesting side is that howling to the moon like a group of sheep hoping the lone wolf will not hear them is an equally weird revelation. The question becomes at that point, who is the lone wolf and who are the sheep, because neither position nor identity is a given. Now, for the first art, we have the Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/27/eu-theresa-may-combat-terror-brexit-europol), with the expected title ‘We need deal with the EU to combat terror, experts tell Theresa May‘, which of course gets them the DGSE, yet the usefulness of the rest becomes a bit of an issue. For this part we need to look somewhere else, and we will do that after the given quote in the mentioned article “Although our partnership with the US for intelligence sharing is extremely important, the fact is that the current terrorist threat is very much a European dimension issue. The Schengen database and knowing about who has moved where are all intimately dependent on European systems and we have got to try to remain in them“. This could be a valid and valued statement, yet is that truly the case? For this we need to take a little gander to another place of intelligence and Intel interest. The Cyber monkeys, or is that the cyber-mercenaries? The difference is merely a moment when you WannaCry 1.4. You will have heard, or perhaps read regarding the NHS as it was struck, here again we see: “However, it instead appears to be down to organisations and individuals failing to run keep Windows up to date“, which was actually voiced by NHS Digital, the failure of policies as they were not adhered to by IT staff, or at least those responsible for keeping those PC’s up to date with patches. The second quote given much earlier in the IT article is ““To be abundantly clear, the recent speculation concerning WannaCry attributes the malware to the Lazarus Group, not to North Korea, and even those connections are premature and not wholly convincing,” wrote James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT)“, which is where I have been all along. The one nation that has less computer and internet innovation than a Nintendo GameCube sets this level of hardship? It is just too whack for thought. It is the quote “At best, WannaCry either borrowed heavily from outdated Lazarus code and failed to change elements, such as calls to C2 servers, or WannaCry was a side campaign of a minuscule subcontractor or group within the massive cybercriminal Lazarus APT” that changes the game. In addition we see: “The publication referred to “digital crumbs” that the cyber security firm had traced to previous attacks widely attributed to North Korea, like the Sony Pictures hack in late 2014″, we will exclude the quote “Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth has said Labour would invest an extra £5 billion into new IT infrastructure for the NHS, after hospitals and services were affected by the widespread Ransomware attack on Friday“, especially as Labour had in the previous government wasted £11.2 billion on an IT system that never worked, so keeping them away from it all seems to be an essential first.

The issue is now in several phases. Who got hit (those not updating their systems). It affected according to some sources thousands of systems, yet when it comes to backtracking to a point of origin, the Cyber Intelligence groups remain unclear. The IT article (at http://www.itpro.co.uk/security/28648/nhs-ransomware-north-korea-may-not-be-behind-wannacry), gives us a few things, yet the clear reference to the Guardians of Peace, the identity the hackers had given themselves in the Sony event gives a few additional worries. Either this is clearly a mercenary group without identity, or we have a common new issue on identity when it comes to Cyber criminals. You see, as we see more and more proclaiming the links between the Lazarus group and North Korea, we do not get to see a clear link of evidence. Many sources give us ‘could be linked‘, or ‘highly likely‘, which is an issue. It makes the evidence too shallow and circumstantial. The NY Times gives us (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/technology/north-korea-ransomware-attack.html) yet they are basically stating what Symantec game us and mention that. My issue here is “But the hackers left behind a trail of digital crumbs that Mr Chien and his colleagues had traced to previous attacks by the Lazarus Group“, what if the crumbs were an intentional side? You see, the quote “another group of hackers that call themselves the Shadow Brokers published the details of National Security Agency hacking tools that the WannaCry hackers were able to use to add muscle to their attacks” give a different light. The fact that there is a team reengineering tools and flaws to get somewhere fast is one. We have seen the lack of actual cyberpower of North Korea in the past, the fact that they are regarded on the same level as Chinese Cyber forces is a bit silly. You see, any country has its own level of savants, yet the fact that North Korea, a nation as isolated as it is, gets to be on par with China, an actual superpower that has Cyber infrastructures, experts at the University of Shanghai (the white paper on cracking AES-256, 2001), as well as a growing IT technology base is just a little too whack.

This now reflects back to the European need of Schengen. The UK needs quality intelligence and with the US breaches of Manchester, the fact that no high quality evidence was ever given regarding the Sony Hack, the growing source of all kinds of hacker names and no validity or confirmable way to identify these groups leaves us with a mess that pretty much anyone could have done this. In light of the NSA flaw finders, there is now more evidence in the open giving the speculative hacker as one with skills that equal and surpass people graduating with high honours at MIT, than anything North Korea could produce. It does not put North Korea in the clear (well the fact that the generals there had no comprehension of a smartphone should be regarded as such), and as we see the entire Bitcoin go forward, we need to take more critical looks at the given evidence and who is giving that evidence. We all agree that places like Symantec and Kaspersky should be highly regarded, yet I get the feeling that their own interns know more about hacking then the sum of the population of all North Koreans do, which is saying a lot. We see supportive evidence in the Business Insider (at http://www.businessinsider.com/wannacry-ransomware-attack-oddities-2017-5). Here we see IBM with “IBM Security’s Caleb Barlow, researchers are still unsure exactly how the malware spread in the first place. Most cybersecurity companies have blamed phishing emails — messages containing malicious attachments or links to files — that download the ransomware. That’s how most ransomware finds its way onto victims’ computers. The problem in the WannaCry case is that despite digging through the company’s database of more than 1 billion emails dating back to March 1, Barlow’s team could find none linked to the attack“, one billion emails! That is what we call actual evidence and here IBM is claiming that the issue of HOW the malware spread remains a mystery. Now, can you see that the entire North Korean issue is out of touch with the reality of Common Cyber Sense and Actual Cyber Security? Two elements, both are essential in all this. It is the lack of actual evidence that seems to be the issue, giving us the question, who wants the North Korea issue propagated? Any answer here is more likely to be political than anything else, which now gives us additional questions on where for Pete’s sake the need of European Intelligence remains as they fall short of providing answers. In light of the Schengen database. Why would that not be shared? If the US has access as a non-European, non-EC nation, why would the UK, a clear European nation be barred from access? With all the flawed acts by the US, having actual professionals look at Schengen data, seems to be an elemental first, would you not agree?

An additional question would be on how these Bitcoins would be cashed, it is not like an isolated nation like North Korea ever had a flying business in Bitcoins in the first place. It is actually (yes, I am shocked too), that quality information comes from PwC. In this case Marin Ivezic, a cyber-security partner. He gives us “EternalBlue (the hacking tool) has now demonstrated the ROI (return on investment) of the right sort of worm and this will become the focus of research for cybercriminals“, which would be a clear focus for veteran cyber criminals, yet the entire re-engineering foundation gives another slice of circumstantial evidence that moves us actually away from North Korea. So in this we have two elements. As the FBI and CIA have been all about pointing towards North Korea, the question becomes, where do they not want us to look and whatever else do they not have a handle on? These points are essential because we are shown an elemental flaw in Intelligence. When the source is no longer reliable, why would they be around in the first place? We can agree that governments do not have the goods on Cyber criminals, because getting anything of decent value, tends to require inside knowledge, which is the hardest to get in any case, especially with a group as paranoid as cyber criminals. The second side is that China and Russia were on the list as one of the few abled parties to get through Sony, yet Russia has fallen of the map completely in the last case, that whilst they are actually strengthening ties with North Korea. That does not make them guilty, yet on the sale required Russia was one of the few with such levels of Cyber skills. The fact that we see in the NY Times that it is too early to blame North Korea is equally some evidence, it gives vision to the fact that there are too many unknowns and when IBM cannot give view of any mail that propagated the worm, gives additional consideration that there are other places who cannot claim or show correctly how the worm got started, which is now an additional concern for anyone altering the work for additional harm. As the point of infection is not known, stopping the infection becomes increasingly difficult, any GP can tell you that side of the virus. There is one more side I would like to raise. This comes from a source (at http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/59458/breaking-news/wannacry-linguistic-analysis.html), it is not a journalistic source, or a verified source, so please take consideration that this news could be correct. It is however compelling. The quote ““The text uses certain terms that further narrow down a geographic location. One term, “礼拜” for “week,” is more common in South China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Singapore. The other “杀毒软件” for “anti-virus” is more common in the Chinese mainland.” Continues the analysis “Perhaps most compelling, the Chinese note contains substantial content not present in any other version of the note, is lengthier, and differs slightly in format.” The English note of the ransomware appears well written, but it contains a major grammar mistake that suggests its author is either not a native speaker or possibly someone poorly educated“, that would make sense, yet how was that source acquired?

The second quote: ““Given these facts, it is possible that Chinese is the author(s)’ native tongue, though other languages cannot be ruled out,” Flashpoint concluded. “It is also possible that the malware author(s)’ intentionally used a machine translation of their native tongue to mask their identity. It is worth noting that characteristics marking the Chinese note as authentic are subtle. It is thus possible, though unlikely, that they were intentionally included to mislead.” The Flashpoint analysis suggests attackers may have used the Lazarus code as a false flag to deceive investigators, a second scenario sees North Korean APT recruiting freelance Chinese hackers to conduct the campaign” gives us a few elements, the element of misdirection, which I had noted on from other sources and the element that North Korea is still a consideration, yet only if this comes from a freelance hacker, or someone trying to get into the good graces of Pyongyang, both options are not out of the question as the lack of Cyber skills in North Korea is a little too well set from all kinds of sources. The writer Pierluigi Paganini is a Cyber professional. Now even as Symantec’s Eric Chien is from California, did they not have access to this part and did no one else correctly pick up on this? As I stated, I cannot vouch for the original source, but as I had questions before, I have a few additional questions now. So, exactly how needed is European Intelligence for the UK? I think that data should be shared within reason. The question becomes, how is Schengen data not shared between governments? The Guardian gives us “After the Manchester attack, which killed 22 people and left dozens of others grievously injured, it was revealed that suicide bomber Salman Abedi had travelled back to England from Libya via Turkey and Dusseldorf four days before the attack“, so how reliable is Turkish intelligence in the first place? How could he have prepared the bomb and get the ingredients in 4 days? There is an additional view on ISIS support active in the UK, yet as we now see that this drew attention to him, why on earth was the trip made? Also, was Libya or Mecca the starting point (source: claim from the father in earlier Guardian article)? How would sharing have resolved this?

Now look at this in light of the US leaks and the Cyber Intelligence of a dubious nature. There is a growing concern that the larger players NSA, DGSE, GCHQ have flaws of their own to deal with. As they are relying more and more on industry experts, whilst there is a lack of clear communication and reliable intelligence from such sources, the thoughts now become that the foundation of fighting terror is created by having a quality intelligence system that recognises the need for Cyber expertise is becoming an increasing issue for the intelligence branch. Should you wonder than, then reconsider the quote: ‘demonstrated the ROI (return on investment) of the right sort of worm and this will become the focus of research for cybercriminals‘, if you think that cyber jihadists are not considering the chaos that they could create with this, then think again.  They will use any tool to create chaos and to inflict financial and structural damage. They might not have the skills, yet if there is any reliable truth to the fact that the Lazarus group is in fact a mercenary outfit, there would be enough critical danger that they will seek each other out, that is providing that ISIS could bring cash to that table. I have no way of telling how reliable or how certain such a union could be. What is a known is that Sir Hugh Orde is not answering questions, he is creating them, as I personally see it. The quote “UK membership of EU bodies such as Europol and Eurojust, which brokers judicial co-operation in criminal cases, not only allowed access to huge amounts of vital data, but also meant UK police could set up joint inquiries with German police or those from other national forces without delay“. You see, the UK remains part of Europe and Interpol existed before the EC, so as we now see the virtual creation of red tape, the question becomes why the EU has changed rules and regulations to the degree that the UK would fall out of the boat. Is it not weird that the EU is now showing to be an organisation of exclusion? Even if we laugh on the ridiculous promises that Corbyn is making, just to be counted shows that there is a larger problem in place. Why is there suddenly a need for 1,000 more intelligence staff? Can we not see that the current situation is causing more issues then resolve them? As such, is throwing money and staff on a non-viable situation nothing less than creating additional worries?

The last part is seen in “The Schengen database and knowing about who has moved where are all intimately dependent on European systems and we have got to try to remain in them“, yet this does require all players to enter the data accurately, in addition, that only applies to people entering Schengen, yet as has been shown in the past, after that getting locations on people is becoming an increasingly difficult problem. The fact that after the Paris attacks, some people of interest were found to be in Belgium is one side, the fact that these people could have met up with all kinds of contacts on the road is another entirely. The truth is that the intelligence branch has no way of keeping track in such details. In addition we have seen that the list of people of interest is growing way beyond normal means and organising such data streams and finding new ways not just to find the guilty, but to decrease the list by excluding the innocent is growing in complexity on a nearly daily basis. And that is before the cyber mess is added to the cauldron of nutrition. There is at least a small upside, as the technology stream will soon be more and more about non-repudiation, there will be additional sources of information that adds the branches by pruning the list of people of interest. The extent of pruning is not a given and time will tell how this is resolved.

It all affects the evidence that the parties hold and how it is applied, it remains a matter of time and the proper application of intelligence.


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United Stupid

Update: This story is two days old. I was unable to post it yesterday, so it reads a little out of time.

We have all been there, we were in a position to state ‘I know something’, and there it was, the person speaking would suddenly get additional attention, because that person ‘was in the know’. This happens ever so often and for the most it tends to be just embarrassing for those exposed. We all tend to react to it differently. Yet what happens when that idiot has a high security clearance and works in the White House? Give me one situation when exposing the options of an allied intelligence operation benefits in any way when you spill the bacon whilst you don’t have actual skin in the game? The question at that point becomes, why was that person so utterly stupid? Whatever British Intelligence had in mind, their options went to zero when some retarded White House official decided to give out the name. There is of course a local upbeat. The US has been trying to bend over backwards to get their fingers on Julian Assange. It is not unlikely that the ‘cooperation’ in that regard could stop. Let’s face it, the US screws over the UK, yet still insists on having a person extradited who on the literal interpretation had not committed a crime. I still don’t like the dude, and what he did was stupid and irresponsible beyond belief, but when we look at the letter of the law, he broke none. So as one stupid act cancels another, the White House basically cut its own fingers. There is of course the outspoken and very publicised former US Navy Admiral Robert Gilbeau, who has been what some call: ‘a naughty boy’, my issue is with the dozen or so pending cases. Yes, the US would not like the visibility of certain construction companies to be out in the open because they are at a critical stage to close certain large deals that would surpass the 2011 bipartisan budget agreement by a lot. Yet here I state that the people have a right to know with what kind of firm they are (or rather would be) getting in bed with (that is apart from the prostitutes they might provide). You see, it is more than merely the overcharging by Glenn Defence Marine Asia. It is also the third parties that they introduce and we are entitled to know, are we not? So as the US is now going all out on what they have, we should ask the right people at GCHQ and DGSE on what they have in certain respect. I see it not as a tit for tat, but as a stern warning to those ‘blabbing’ and releasing photos allegedly from the alleged White House source, that there are consequences to this level of bungling.

You see, as we are now getting drowned on the issues of Salman Abedi, the fence is pretty much gone. Those who had links have either destroyed any evidence that could have been optionally found, burner phones all gone and even as some evidence remains it will be circumstantial at best. The other option is that those linked have faded into the background, not to be found. So as people start reading ‘What we know about him’, the reader better realises is that this is what he wanted people to see (for the most), some limelight seekers will come into the forefront to get their 15 minutes with a nice cash bonus and whilst most people will not care on what is and what is fake, the people who are trying to keep the others safe are now doing it will their hands tied, their options melted away, because someone blabbed. We can also ponder whether this was done so that the people would not look too closely to the US Budget as it was released. In that piece of work, we see that being poor in America will leave them with even less. The military get more and far beyond what the 2011 bipartisan budget agreement allowed for, so there is that to look ‘forward’ to, so whatever deficit reduction was in mind, or on the mindful pretty much goes out the window, in that side, with the ‘benefits for large businesses’, there is every chance that the USA would add 2-3 trillion to the debt within 15 months. Which is now also a driver for Europe as we see Macron and Merkel in ‘renewed’ Europe and Euro efforts (leave that to the president investment banker in the house). So are these elements linked? No, they are not (as far as I can tell)! The issue is on how certain things were released and the fact that it was an ‘unnamed source in the White House’ gives light to other issues, which we see in the guardian (athttps://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/trump-administration-manchester-bomber-name-leak). The quote: “Perry Cammack, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, added: “I don’t think in and of itself this episode will do lasting harm; I sense this was a miscommunication. But the context is that we’re in the midst of a political crisis in Washington of the first order. The institutions are leaking at an unprecedented rate. It feels like things are under stress here.”“. You see, I agree for the most, yet there is one side I do not agree with is ‘things are under stress here‘, I think that the current administration has ‘accepted’ a collection of amateurs to get into the professional mix, which is not some version of ‘miscommunication’, but rather a collection of ‘tools‘ at best and at worst a group of individuals the house or representatives would not consider hiring under the most liberal of conditions.

As I see it there are two dangers. The first is that fictive evidence will come to the surface, carefully inclined voices on what they thought they heard, especially in light of the fact that ISIS claimed the attack, which is a possibility and not a given. It gives them the option to make a cloud of additional claims driving security levels to even higher setting. The second side is that as the actual intelligence gets muddier, the approach to quality intelligence becomes harder and it will be more of a challenge to keep places secure and to get a handle on who is an actual threat, who is the wannabe and who is utterly innocent. This is a complication in any Lone Wolf issue, yet as there is a path of intelligence flow, there is a decent chance on separating the wannabe’s from the innocents. That path becomes less clear, so as the people who need to get this done are focussing on the wrong groups, the actual threats have a less threatened path for a longer time. Just because someone wanted ‘friends in the media’ to know that they were ‘in the know’. It is that utterly United Stupid!

Yet in all this there is a second level of issues. This level would have happened no matter what. It now influences other timings, but it would have happened. We see this in another Guardian article (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/23/manchester-attack-police-investigate-katie-hopkins-final-solution-tweet). People like Katie Hopkins, were never imbued with any quality level of intelligence, so when she called for a ‘final solution‘ she got reported to the police. Now, in her favour…. actually, I’ve got nothing, she is that dumb! You see, we can say for certain the the attack on Martin Place (Australia) a few years ago was done by a person with mental health issues. The attack in Paris on the cartoonist was clearly a terrorist. Yet what was Salman Abedi?

The attack should be seen as a terrorist attack, yet does that make this an attack by a terrorist? I am not stating that it is not, but consider, what happens if the attacker has clear mental health issues? It does not make the transgressor innocent, it merely makes it more important to find the people who got him to do this, they are without any doubt terrorists. You see, he was accepted into University, which gives us that the man was intelligent. Yet was he intelligent enough to make a suicide bomb? The Manchester Arena might not have bomb sniffers, but does it have metal detectors? Was there security at the entrance? It does not make the security guilty, it merely gives voice that the making of the bomb and the evasion of detection gives rise to intent. So, what if he did not make the bomb, what if it was handed to him? Again, it does not make Salman Abedi innocent, it merely gives voice that there is a support system in place making these events happen. There is a collection of intelligence, now possibly lost to British Intelligence as someone in the White House allowed this news to get out prematurely, and that makes it a much larger failure than some of the media is making it out to be.

As the information gets more and more blurred, the quality of knowledge diminishes. At present we cannot tell, because not enough is known for now, and later on, the media will obscure the clarity of vision, so that part is still there to deal with. A suicide bomber is not by definition a clear terrorist (although the act is). We know that Al-Qaida and ISIS will use whatever tool they can find and someone that can be easily impressed is a tool. The given fact that he was a University drop out, could be that he was under stress and could not hack it on that level. Such a person, depending on when he dropped out will have PTSD and depression to deal with. If you drop out on something like that, you would be depressed too, we all would. So as that news goes around, it just takes one person even from within the mosque to send the message pointing at him, for a wave of ‘reassurances that the world does not accept you‘ to come his way. Many of us all contributed to that with accepting anti-Muslim waves. Whether intentional or not, that was the outcome. So as the Intelligence Branch will have more issues trying to decipher who got to Salman Abedi, Salman Abedi ended up getting to 22 people and wounding 59 others. A media mess that would have been here no matter what. If there is one upside to it all then that would be “A Sun journalist was allegedly attacked while knocking on doors in Manchester to speak to families of those affected by the bombing“, as we have seen on the useless effect that IPSO has on the decency of the press, it is heart warming to learn that slapping such a person silly might still work. It is not a ‘final solution’ to the intrusive press, but it might be a start for them to stop and ponder their actions, before doing something this thoughtless.

So as the news cycles continue, we see another event happening. We see that there is more sadness as we wave goodbye to the suavest Bond of all. Sir Roger Moore passed away. He was my First Bond (Live and Let Die, 1973). Later I would see him in the Persuaders on a rerun. We would all admire his presence in several other movies too. I watch him as a kid in Ivanhoe, but not when it originally aired. You see, this impacts me a lot more than the events in Manchester. Not because of the severity, but because of the personal connection to the movies and TV series I watched. It will not mean anything to those directly affected by the events in Manchester, they will be in deep grief and so they should. For me there is a second realisation, it is the fact that Roger Moore had given joy to millions on the big screen, yet his visibility in the UK press seems to be a mere drop compared to all the speculations they are giving on Salman Abedi, is that not sad too? I get it, what is news? Yet, as I see certain news ‘unfold’ I remember my day at Dulles Airport 18th July 1999, Fox and others were all about the plane with Kennedy junior that crashed, which would be a sad day for many Americans. My issue is that for two hours in the department lounge I got to see a camera pointed at a sailor on a boat as the reporters were hoping to catch a first glimpse live on TV. I heard rambling and speculations, nothing more. It was like the other news that the world had, was paused. ISIS knows this and pushing this form of media is actually enabling ISIS. Would it not be a lot better to show the world what amazing feats Sir Roger Moore had done? How a collection of novels by Leslie Charteris published between 1928 and 1963 became the inspiration of a TV series done more than once, but largely identified with Sir Roger Moore as Simon Templar. He played James bond for the longest times playing the role many times. That is news that should matter, and to a lot it should matter more than the events at the Manchester Arena, that is unless you know someone there. We all need to realise that it is important to take the wind out of the ISIS sails as much as we can, it will not be possible to get that completely under control, because the events have taken place, but we could try to minimize the events by not being like US network news stations and point the camera at a sailor on the back of a boat, hoping to get the shot the instance it happens. that is equally United Stupid (as I personally see it) and that is seems to be a much larger global problem. For those not directly involved hearing it a little later is not the end of the world and so far all the latest revelations regarding Salman Abedi seems to be based on debatable sources, giving less value to what we read. A small fact that could just be my faulty view on the things that are currently being reported on.

Update: After this was written, there was additional news that the investigating parties were looking into an entire terrorist ‘network’. That news came more than a day after I had finished this.

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In speculated anticipation

This is on a matter that is slippery like a promiscuous nymphomaniac lady contemplating monogamy. In a world where any person next to you could be a pimp, a whore or merely psychotic. Welcome to the cold war! Merely a few hours ago, the Guardian gave us ‘Obama orders sanctions on Russia after campaign hacking during US election’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/29/barack-obama-sanctions-russia-election-hack). Now, we have known the CIA and other parties to be blatantly incorrect when it came to Sony and North Korea. Yet, here in this case, there are a few elements in play where it is indeed more likely than not that if there was real interference that Russia would have been guilty, involved or at the very least privy to the events. In this China is a lot less likely, because as business deals go, they are a lot better of with the Ignorance of former State Secretary Hillary Clinton, than they will ever be with President elect Donald Trump, so as the calling of garden grooming spades, the one turning the soil is overly likely to be the Russian side.

There was an earlier article referred to in this one, where we see: “He dodged whether Putin personally directed the operations but pointedly noted “not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin”“, which is actually incorrect. You see, and President Barack Obama know this to be an absolute truth is that deniability is essential in some operations. Yet, in this even as President Vladimir Putin would have been kept in the dark (likely by his own request), it is less likely that Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu is involved, yet if the GRU was involved than Igor Korobov would know for sure. You see, the FSB is the second option, yet for those who have seen some of the reports that Darknet has regarding investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov gives at some parts the inclination that the FSB funding on more advanced cyber actions was lacking making the GRU the opponent of choice. This comes with the assumption from my side that less advanced equipment would have given US cyber sides a lot more data to show earlier that Russia was intervening with the elections. The reports of a group called Fancy Bear gives way to the technology they get access to and the places they can access them at. There is another piece that I have not been able to confirm, it is speculative and even as it gives base to giggles of all matters, it remains a speculation. It is said that Fancy Bear operatives have been able to work from North Stockholm, if so, they might have accessed the IBM backbone there, which has a massive amount of data pushing power. Giving way that the US gave powers to enable hacking of the US election system, live is just too cynical at times.

Another quote is also linked to this, but not from the cyber point of view. “Obama repeatedly weighed in on what he saw as increased polarization in the United States. “Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. How did that happen?”“, in that my response would be ‘Well Mr President, if you had gotten of your ass and actually do things instead of politicising things. If you would have actually kept a budget and not push the US into 20 trillion of national debt people might be less on the fence for the other side, right?‘ There will be no reply because not only as this administration been close to useless, the actions of the last few days where the new electorate gets an agenda pushed down its throat where a clear cooperation with terrorist organisations is seen is plenty of food for thought, yet that rave needs to seize as it does not completely apply to the case at hand!

There are however other matters for concern “In a conference call with reporters, senior White House officials said its actions were a necessary response to “very disturbing Russian threats to US national security”“, which beckons three things:

1. Why was it a conference call and not on every video or a live presentation?
2. Wow long has this been actually known?
3. Where is the actual evidence?

Like Sony, like other parts, the press wants to see evidence and NONE has been presented. No station, as far as I have been able to tell has shown any schematic on how the election could have been tampered with evidence. There are hundreds of anti-Clinton and anti-Trump conspiracy theorist videos, yet none form any reputable news channel. Which also now gives voice to the thought whether the US intelligence branch in this administration has been the biggest joke ever (North Korean accusations et al).

Still in all this, the US is pushing for a cold war, which might not be the worst thing, yet as the US is to be regarded as bankrupt, the upgrades that will involve a data centre and 4-6 billion in equipment and resources is something there will be no room for any day soon.

So what is this about? Is this about the Democrats being really sore losers? I am not sure what to think, yet the entire approach via conference calls, no presentation of evidence, there are a few too many issues here. In addition, if there was evidence, do you not think that President Obama would present it, to show at least that he is capable of publicly smiting President Putin? Let’s face it, he does need to brownie points. Yet, in light of some evidence not shown, the actions at the 11th hour, are they a sign that the Democratic Party will be relying on act that some could regard as Malfeasance in office? Of course these people will not need to give a second thought as they will be removed from office in a few weeks, yet to leave open the next public officials to added pressures to clean up not just their last 8 years of action, but in addition acts of impeding elected officials could have long term consequences. Let’s not forget that the Republican Party starts with both a Republican Senate and Congress, as well as their guy in the White House, so if the Democratic Party wants anything to happen, being nice is pretty much their only option.

In addition, when we look at the US recount (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/28/election-recount-hacking-voting-machines), we see first off ‘US recounts find no evidence of hacking in Trump win but reveal vulnerabilities‘, in addition we see “In Wisconsin, the only state where the recount was finished, Trump’s victory increased by 131 votes, while in Michigan, where 22 of 83 counties had a full or partial recount, incomplete data suggests was a net change of 1,651 votes, “but no evidence of an attack”“, which is not amounting to evidence in total, we do see that two places were not intervened with, still the system is setting the pace that there are future concerns. The message ““We didn’t conclude that hacking didn’t happen,” he told the Guardian, but “based on the little evidence we have, it is less likely that hacking influenced the outcome of the election” does clearly state that hacking did not happen, it is given with some clarity that any hacking if it happened, that the outcome was not influenced by hacking. This now gives rising concerns to James Comey and what is happening on his watch. More important, the responses that the Guardian had (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/29/fbi-dhs-russian-hacking-report) where we see “The report was criticized by security experts, who said it lacked depth and came too late” as well as “Jonathan Zdziarski, a highly regarded security researcher, compared the joint action report to a child’s activity center“, which is not the first time we see it. More important is the quote “Tom Killalea, former vice-president of security at Amazon and a Capital One board member, wrote: “Russian attack on DNC similar to so many other attacks in past 15yrs. Big question: Why such poor incident response?”” is exactly the issue I had in the initial minute of the information being read by me and that is not the only part of it. The fact that the involved parties seem to be lacking more and more in advising actions as well as a clear cyber security pathway (the Clinton private mail server issues) that is correctly enforced and checked upon. The utter lack of proper ‘Common Cyber Sense‘ as seen for close to a decade at present all over official and governmental US is cause for a large amount of problems, yet the amount of evidence produced that there actually was Russian Cyber actions into changing the election results have not been brought and was brought was done in a very unconvincing way, in a way that top people had deniability of involvement in fingering the Russians. The PDF reads like something less serious in a few ways. You see, the techniques described are not wrong, but it leaves it open to who was the participating party. It could have been mere private hackers, the Russian Mafia is also a cyber-player. The fact that alleged actions from summer 2015 are only now coming into the light.  Is that not equally strange? By the way, the fact that Russian intelligence would try to ‘visit’ the files of the US Democratic Party is not that weird. Is there any indication that NSA, GCHQ and ANSSI would not have been accessing (or trying to) the United Russian party servers for intelligence is equally silly! Neither shows intent to influence an election. Let’s face it, Benghazi was a large enough mess to sway the vote in the first place and US insiders were all too happy to leak information, the Russian merely had to sit back, laugh and drink Vodka. In addition, the fact that malware was on the systems in not in question, it happens too often in too many places, yet clear evidence that APT28 or APT29 were the culprits implies router information, router data and clear information on when EXACTLY is happened (summer 2015 is a little too wide). More important, this also implies that proper malware defence was NEVER in place, so how shallow do these people want to get?

From page 8 we start seeing the true ability of the intelligence to envelope themselves into the realm of comedy. Items like ‘Update and patch production servers regularly‘ and ‘Use and configure available firewalls to block attacks‘ as well as ‘Perform regular audits of transaction logs for suspicious activity‘, these events should have been taking place for a long time, the fact that registered events from 2015 and now show that these mitigation elements are mentioned imply the fact that IT reorganisation has been essential is a larger issue and heavy on comedy if that has been absent for 2+ years. I think negligence becomes a topic of discussion at that point. The least stated on ‘Permissions, Privileges, and Access Controls‘ the better, especially if they haven’t been in place. So in retrospect, not having any ‘evidence’ published might have been better for the Democratic Party and especially for James B. Comey and Jeh Johnson. The main reason is that these events will have a longer term implications and certain parties will start asking questions, if they don’t, those people might end up have to answer a few questions as well.

In that regard the Guardian quote “The question hasn’t even been asked: ‘Did you take basic measures to protect the data that was on there?’“, a question that seems basic and was basically voiced by Sean Spicer on CNN. The fact that according to 17 intelligence agencies agree (as quoted by CNN), brings worry to those agreeing and the laughable bad quality PDF that was released. Consider that we are seeing the reaction of unanimous agreed intelligence without any clear presented evidence, actual evidence, so what are they agreeing on? As stated by Sean Spicer in the CNN interview, the burden of proof is on the intelligence community. Especially as there is an implied lack of due diligence of the Democratic National Committee to secure their IT systems. The fact that the implied lack of diligence should give view to the fact that there are plenty of American citizens that are anti democrats in the US alone to give worry on WHO have been jogging through the DNC servers.

A view that seems to have been overlooked by plenty of people as well.

In the act of anticipated speculation we should speculate that proper presentation of the evidence will be forthcoming. The presentation on a level that will give a positive response from security experts will be a lot to ask for, yet in all this, you should be asking yourself the one question that does matter, it is possible that the FBI got it wrong three times in a row? If so, in how much trouble is Cyber America?


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Pussies, Cowards or Other? (updated)

On the 23rd of December a resolution passed against Israel. It is Resolution 2334, which is attached at the end of the story. 14 votes for, one abstained (USA), we need to ask question on why the 14 nations voted in favour. China, France, Russia, UK, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. The paper is of course legally speaking an excellent piece of work. Yet let’s take a look at several parts: “Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice“, in that same stride ‘Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War‘, in answer to Palestine, in support and active assistance of terrorist forces, namely Hamas, who has fired well over 8000 rockets into Israel in the last decade alone, with a clear indication that they were send towards civilian targets, as such these hits require compensation in the form of land and as such a case could be found in support of settlement building.

In addition, there have been issues with article 19 of the Palestinian charter for the longest of times. The fact that the latest news regarding of the ethnic cleansing of Jews on the west bank, this was September 9th 2016 (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/pm-world-silent-as-palestinians-seek-ethnic-cleansing-of-jews-in-west-bank/). In all this other media remained silent. There were strong rebukes from the US State Department. So, should we accept that the comments of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is incorrect? The literal quote that SBS Australia gave was “US State Department spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, has described Mr Netanyahu’s language as “inappropriate and unhelpful”, saying settlement activity continues to hamper the peace process“, ‘inappropriate and unhelpful‘ is not stating that it was incorrect, so here the question becomes was it correct? The Washington Post analysed the video (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/09/09/watch-netanyahu-says-palestinians-want-to-ethnically-cleanse-jews-from-west-bank/), we see the quote ‘The Israeli media mostly ignored the Netanyahu video‘, yet the news made it to Haaretz and the Times of Israel, in addition, there is no evidence given that it was not happening, which is interesting to say the least, in opposition in the same WP article we see: “the Palestinians today cannot “ethnically cleanse” any Jews. The Israeli settlements are all in the 60 percent of the West Bank called Area C, which is under the complete control of the Israeli army“, which carries its own brand of validity.

So, as the world news seems to genuinely ignore events on the West Bank, as the call of Hamas in its charter gives “On the Destruction of Israel: ‘Israel will exist and  will  continue  to  exist  until  Islam  will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’” Hamas, a clear terrorist organisation, as seen supported by Palestinian officials, give rise to the dangers that Israel has faced and opposed since 1987. It still is not recognising the state of Israel, which the then Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal stated as “the Charter is ‘a piece of history and no longer relevant, but cannot be changed for internal reasons’“, which we see as part of the problem, an unadjusted charter is either irrelevant, or illegal. In that same light we see Prof. Robert Pastor from Columbia University state “Pastor surmised that those who quote the charter rather than more recent Hamas statements use it as an excuse to ignore Hamas“. Something he said in 2010, a statement that is proven to be false when we consider the well over 6000 missiles fired by Hamas on Israel since his speech.

If we want to be fair and balanced, we need to look at both sides, and in that case we must admit that wrongdoings from both sides have been done. Yet, that does not excuse either side. If the state of Israel had been accepted this situation would not have existed, in addition, after the Jewish population had been near decimated during Adolf Hitler’s European Tour, the Jewish population had a primary duty to protect itself from extinction, no one can deny that need. We can accept Reuters when we read “Hamas has observed a de facto ceasefire with Israel since 2014, when 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed in a war over the territory. But small jihadist cells in the Gaza Strip occasionally fire rockets across the border“, that innocuous statement ignores a basic part. Someone supplies these cells with rockets and I feel personally certain that these cells are still proclaiming to be ‘real Palestinian Hamas members‘. In that light, the support that the UK is giving this resolution is becoming a bit of an issue. Did it not learn from its earlier mistakes? In addition, as the UK now sees British soldiers being charged in regards to the death of an IRA leader in 1972, whilst the members of the IRA cannot be prosecuted due to earlier agreements. I reckon the UK has its share of issues, giving rise to the support of an Egyptian bill in regard to areas Egypt pretty much abandoned half a century ago. I admit that the last statement is rather dramatic in flavour, yet not incorrect.

So let’s get back to the resolution. When we see “Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines“. How is ‘viability‘ an acceptable word as we have seen acts of terrorism in name and in implied concession of the Palestine ruling administration for decades, with thousands of rockets fired towards civilian targets. That verse gets even more visibility when we see “Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001“, where the same defense can be given that resolution 1515 is no longer in play as the rockets kept flying for well over a decade. It is a personal view, yet the fact that the lands could be seen as possibly to be annexed by the state of Israel is not that far-fetched. It is unlikely to happen, yet the fact that the Palestine leadership has never truly acted against the terrorist organisation Hamas is more than questionable regarding the validity of any Palestine solution.

In regards to France we can speculate that they agreed as they have their own share of issues, the idea that Hamas turns its attention to France must be unsettling to both DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) and ANSSI (Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information), it is one headache the French at present do not need, although, I reckon they could have merely abstained their vote.

The resolution takes a swing when we see “Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution” and “Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism“, this gives way that the taste of war is changing. It gives way that the Palestinian leaders are in serious trouble. Not only do they have to deal with the danger of Islamic State, as ISIS has been reported a week ago to be ‘choking Hamas’ we now see the resolution in a different light. As ISIS is implied to be soon unopposed in Gaza and Sinai, Egypt is about to get a situation a lot less appealing. Especially if the thousands of Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers see an option to find a common goal with ISIS. This last part is my speculation, even as they have opposed each other, their common hatred of Israel is one part they both ‘agree’ on. As the Palestine elders of Gaza panic, trying to find any solution as their funds run dry (apparently the lack of rockets this year was mainly due to sponsors placing their funds somewhere else) and the reality that the middle east economy is in the biggest dip of their existence, not in the least due to the pressures that the Syrian war has placed on all the neighbouring countries is a clear sign that there are issues all over the place.

I think that this resolution is one of desperation, when the economy gets its second earthquake in the form of an economic crash (expected Q2-Q3 2017), places like Palestine will see the deterioration of all support as those who were willing to fund will see a desperate need for funds at the home front, this includes the Muslim Middle Eastern Nations. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE and Egypt will be in a long time crunch, not only today, yet as the Euro destabilises due to the Euro issues and exit referendums, both America and Japan will see their economies under severe pressures. The statement by President elect Donald Trump (read: ‘so, I’ll bankrupt America’) didn’t help either. With the economic pressures we see that Japan is also eager to get something moving here. Out of the 14 nations, we could only argue that New Zealand has the cleanest reasons (neither anti-Israel nor selfish reasons), that is unless they got a call from London to vote in a certain way.

In all this Israel is not in a good place and one could argue that Israel is starting to get anger management issues (considering the actions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is contemplating. Or as the Times of Israel article stated “still more devastating, potential diplomatic defeat at the hands of the outgoing Obama administration via a mixture of pleas, threats and boycotts“, (at http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-goes-to-war-with-the-world/). With political pressures rising, not in the least due to cancelled visits, we see the summoning of Israeli ambassadors. Currently only the Ukrainian one, but that is unlikely to remain the only one. In a time when the Ukraine needs positive visibility, the cancelled meeting to Israel might be seen as a body blow to the Ukrainian administration. Yet, in all, this will be regarded as a failure on the side of Prime Minister Netanyahu, an act from emotion which now prevents a show of information that could have seen other resolutions, especially against Palestine regarding the actions of Hamas, that opportunity will now no longer be an option. Again, it is just speculation from my side, yet the emotional reactions by Benjamin Netanyahu could bring delays to whatever data Mossad is trying to collect. Svoboda has its anti-Semitic elements, which could fuel growing of extremisms. Ukraine is too far from Israel to be a direct threat, yet the chaos in Turkey implies that any journey via Cyprus makes these extremists a larger threat than previous considered. However, this is not about that.

The resolution shows that the document as one sided as it is opening really dangerous doorways in whatever future we would like to see, in addition, ignoring certain elements from the past by the 14 vote casters will have longer consequences. We all accept that the Middle Eastern issue is not easily answered, there might not be an answer at all. Yet the reality is that Resolution 2334 should not have been given the light of day, especially when we consider the acts of Hamas and their decades of acts of terror. The fact that the Palestinian councils have never truly acted against Hamas making this resolution an issue. All peace options offered in the past were disrupted by more attacks, in the past Hamas has only ever offered a seize fire when they ran out of rockets and ammunition. Now that they realise that this is not a dry spell, their support is waning in a faltering economy, now we see their need to get the best deal possible starting with Resolution 2334. Which is as I personally see it, the worst action possible.

If this continues, it will be a signal for extremists all over the place that their method works, which under this economy isn’t the worst strategic assumption to make.

No matter how this wind blows over, the fact that Palestine is now in a state to get whatever it can get, also shows that the breech of confidence with Hamas is a lot more brittle than many are assuming, whether this means that ISIS is in charge cannot be made without more data, what has been confirmed are the execution of Hamas officials as well as the drained budget of Hamas shows that the dynamics have changed to such an extent that Egypt is now moving to get whatever solution possible in place, because it is seeing the impact that the ISIS attacks have had over the last two months alone. It cannot be denied that Resolution 2334 is a method to stop the changing dynamic and see if this change can alter the path of ISIS, again, this is a speculation from my side. Without more data there is no viable credibility to these acts. Yet the issues are clearly connected, the voiced acts by ISIS shows increased pressure on both Egypt and the West-Bank, to see them as unrelated whilst they are pretty much next to one another is equally nuts. with ISIS proclaiming a mere 5 days ago that it is closing in on Israel’s borders give way that the pressures in this region are about to rise a fair amount (Source: Jerusalem Online). Abu Hajar also called for new recruits to join the ISIS branch in Sinai, this whilst he states that the Israeli air force is ineffective. The latter is not a given, but the fact of small cells constantly in motion will delay Israeli actions a fair bit. The fact that Abu Hajar is addressing Hamas members is a larger issue, not just for Hamas. From my point of view, the issue is not Israeli Intelligence, it is the timeline of processing. In the hour that intelligence is disseminated, the mobile units could have gone 30-50 miles, making a valid target much harder if not impossible to set. It is in this active environment that Resolution had been voted on, the fact that 14 voted in favour implies that it was a one sided political view, not set on the premise of any solution, it is not a crucible, it is merely a loom holding a one-sided weave, in the days to come some of the voters in that resolution will be scrutinised and several not in a good way.



So, as we now get to the ‘Other’ part, we get to a different part then I had originally imagined. You see, after this blog went live, a development was given by the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/27/obama-and-allies-seek-to-isolate-netanyahu-before-trump-takes-office). Not only is this current US Democratic party a collection of losers, they have gone to such desperate acts in the 11th hour to prevent the media to state that they have become the worst administration in American history. They have decided that 5 days before the end of the administration, they will push through a 2 state ‘solution’. The subtitle gives us ‘John Kerry to propose principles for two-state solution in Middle East at conference next month in wake of UN resolution’, so even as such principles take months and months to design, requiring legal expertise to mull over such papers, we now see their act of ‘abstain’ was nothing less than the cowardly act of a traitor selling Israel down the drain by literally setting an agenda with a terrorist organisation (Hamas) and letting Egypt blow the clarion, making them an American vassal, which should go over really well with both the ISIS elements next to Egypt as well as the Muslim brotherhood. This level of orchestration is the most dangerous and as I see it, the most stupid of all. So, if, I say again IF other buildings start falling down like the song ‘London bridge…..’ implies, the American Democratic Party will only have themselves to blame and they will be utterly alone should that happen. To push a two state principle down the throats of a global community so that some individual can state ‘we brought peace to the middle east’ like it is a cheap infomercial just before they get kicked out of their office. This is really bad and the fact that other papers are not full of the political analyses of the dangers that the American Democratic Party created, after they got their nation bankrupt is just beyond words. The initial quote I saw yesterday and initially ignored was from the Israeli Prime Minister: “Netanyahu claims there is ‘ironclad evidence’ Obama administration plotted to promote the UN resolution”. The info seen was the Egypt came with it (no way that America was not involved), yet the statement seemed a little too ‘conspiracy theory’ to me. Now it seems that the reality of it all is actually a lot worse.

Now consider the following: “The UN resolution and Kerry’s speech represent an attempt by the outgoing Obama administration and the rest of the UN security council to box in and isolate the Israeli government before Trump, a fervent supporter of the Israeli right, enters the White House”. If so, there is now a possible case that Barack Obama President of the United States and John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State could find themselves prosecuted for Malfeasance in office. This is seen when we take a look at the case Daugherty v. Ellis, 142 W. Va. 340, 357-8, 97 S.E.2d 33, 42-3 (W. Va. 1956) where we see the following quote: “Malfeasance has been defined by appellate courts in other jurisdictions as a wrongful act which the actor has no legal right to do;
as any wrongful conduct which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty; as an act for which there is no authority or warrant of law;
as an act which a person ought not to do;
as an act which is wholly wrongful and unlawful;
as that which an officer has no authority to do and is positively wrong or unlawful;
and as the unjust performance of some act which the party performing it has no right, or has contracted not, to do”. So now the part that matter, how come that this is in play, how could they be regarded as prosecutable before the law? Well, that is seen when we consider that any deal of this magnitude will take months, sometimes years to properly set. The fact that a departing administration does this in their final week, means that they are taking away the freedom of action by the legitimate elected office. They are already being replaced by another party and as implied, the fact that they know that their path would not be followed, forcing their path on others could be seen as both Malfeasance as well as Misfeasance in nature. It can be seen as intentional harm from an act improperly performed, that part is pretty adamant when we see that this is forced down the throats of several people in the last 5 days of office, an act that will very likely have years of consequences as such an intentional act to prevent the next in line from properly conducting the state of the American union. I will not go as far as to see this as an act of treason by public officials, yet I feel certain that many, especially the republican side will call this act a lot harsher than I just did.

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Was there a clear failure?

There was an article that crossed my eyes as I was preparing to have another go at Microsoft (likely tomorrow). With Paris clearly on the retina of all who open their eyes, those who hear the word Paris, will not think of Miss Hilton (except for one Journalist), they will not think of the city of love, or the city of lights. They will think of the 6 terror attacks that have dealt a massive blow to France and those living in Paris, which is to be expected. The French have nothing to be ashamed of, they have a proud heritage and a few mad man tried to deal it a body blow.

Now round two begins and the Guardian gives us: ‘How French intelligence agencies failed before the Paris attacks’, and article by Ewen MacAskill (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/19/how-french-intelligence-agencies-failed-before-the-paris-attacks). Of course the title woke me up, because it is interesting that the limited Intel is already leading to the blame game.

The first blame part is given: “In other words, the failure of the French intelligence agencies is not that they did not have enough data – but that they did not act on what they had“, yet is that correct? Let’s take a look at a few facts.

  1. The lack of cooperation between France and Belgium, where some of the attackers were based“, so is that a failing for France or Belgium? Let’s not forget that Belgium houses the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), so as blame goes, the fact that these extremists could decently freely plot next to one of the biggest military big wig places in the world is reasonable cause for alarm.
  2. The police had a file on Omar Ismaïl Mostefai even before he traveled to Syria in 2013“, there are two issues here. In the first not every Islamic person is a terrorist, so there is one issue, yet what was known of his move to Syria and how did he get back? Did he get back to France or was he also in Belgium, or did he return via Lyon from Stockholm? There are loads of questions and not enough data. I know at least half a dozen ways to not create flags whilst travelling. In all these situations Omar Ismaïl Mostefai would not have landed on the grid and as such French Intel would remain in the dark for a longer time frame, was this properly investigated by Ewen MacAskill?

Now for his jab against data collection: “Tracking such suspects does not require the collection of the communications data – phone records, emails, Facebook postings, chat lines – of every French citizen, only the suspects“, the problem is that there is no way of knowing, who was in contact with whom else. That data is lacking, in addition, the way the average boy and girl regards their mobile phone, the simple act of stealing a mobile phone is not that much a stretch, so how will data then be available?

  1. lack of cooperation between European intelligence agencies“, which is actually a fair point, yet it is not just the lack of cooperation here, in addition there was the statement by Panos Kammenos, the Greek defence minister, which is still remaining unattended by journalists all over the place. Now, in my view the statement was stupid, but was it incorrect? The danger that Jihadists are getting into Europe vie Greece or Italy is a realistic threat, but how to deal with them? The fact that one has a Syrian passport is also a tinderbox as it could light up many national borders at present. Which goes far beyond the French borders.

In addition the last paragraph is also an issue: “Such failures are where the French and US intelligence agencies should be looking, rather than exploiting the tragedy to make the case for bulk data surveillance“, let’s take this to the rationale. 150,000 refugees have declared asylum in Europe, finding 10-20 people within that lot is impossible without a massively improved data capturing system, as well a good support system from their partners all over Europe. That list becomes a lot more complex once we look beyond for these people on less stable parameters, so the French can’t really continue without a massive overhaul of DGSE and I don’t mean this in a negative way. The UK has a much more compartmentalised system. The UK, just like Australia is ‘home is girt by sea’, which gives them an advantage. France does not have this and as we realise that Belgium intelligence is not that operational, additional methods must be employed. Even as GCHQ is in service towards both MI5 and MI6, the French system (DGSI and DGSI) need to merge with a more powerful version of their ‘upgraded’ version of GCHQ. So as Ewen MacAskill, as the intelligence correspondent of the Guardian fails to enlighten its readers of that part, as well as smooth over the European terrain by leaving out the Panos Kammenos we must all consider these parts. Now in this case it is not about having a go at Panos Kammenos (even though it is good fun to do that), the issue Greece does have is not one they can counter because of their weakened economic state. It is a side we cannot ignore. Greece is not alone, as hundreds of thousands of refugees cross the borders all over Europe, the reality of hundreds of Islamic state passing the borders in similar ways is a given. The first issue is data, it starts with collected papers and biometrics. Ewan fails in addition with the statement “rather than exploiting the tragedy to make the case for bulk data surveillance“, I am willing to entertain the thought, but data is key here. Not just on the people involved, but also on the people they interact with.

That part can be found when we consider the events around the honourable Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Banks. In his YouTube speeches, in one of them we see: ‘Microenterprises projects due to the importance of these enterprises in the future of the Arab region‘, which is an essential need, because all nations need growth, and if the Arabian nations become stagnant, we will see an escalation that Europe cannot counter. Yet there is another side here. This was shown by the Egyptian Daily News (at http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/09/19/concerns-over-islamic-state-funds-entering-arab-banks-for-terrorist-operations-uab-secretary-general/), where we see the quote: “The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) is worried about militant ”Islamic State” (IS) funds entering banks and being used to attract young people to carry out terrorist operations, said Wissam H. Fattouh, Secretary-General of the UAB“, in addition there is “the movement of funds across the border is uncontrolled, due to a lack of international laws to regulate this process“, so again, here is where Ewen failed. In all his rhetoric regarding French Failure, the fact that this needed serious funding, the fact that the funding crossed several European borders, an issue given to us by at least two white haired lame duck presidents who did not achieve ANYTHING regarding serious overhaul of banking and finance laws. They cannot be held responsible for Europe, but Europe took their pages from Wall Street, where the US presidents (plural) could have made a massive impact (but did not), in the state of debt the US is, this would never be a successful venture. These elements are all affecting France, because the money flows and it flows in many unmonitored ways, which is also part of the problem.

So after one week, we see pain, anguish and blame, the only resolve is coming from the French who are standing up proudly for THEIR France, Christians and Muslims alike, or did we all forget that it was 24 year old Muslim Lassana Bathily who kept the customers safe during the Charlie Hedbo attacks!

Yes, I believe that France must overhaul its systems and data is at the centre of it all, because if both DGSI and DGSE are working on the premise that their neighbours are unable to keep their streets clean, France better get prepared with a better data system, in that bulk data surveillance will be an essential need. In addition, that need is escalating because there is a second side to all this. There was a reason that Mr. Wissam H. Fattouh and Wall Street were mentioned. You see, three weeks ago the Financial Times reported on the break-up powers regarding banks (at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/06d6f790-7e53-11e5-a1fe-567b37f80b64.html). The quote “A controversial European Union bid to hand regulators more power to break up big banks has been given a shot in the arm after Brussels legislators agreed a preliminary deal following months of deadlock and fierce lobbying from the financial industry“. This is a problem on a few sides when we regard the lack of scruples bankers tend to have. If they are pushed in a corner they will take any deal that brings them wealth. If that requires an ISIS brokerage, the chance that some banker will take his 13% is not that far-fetched and as ‘easy’ as it was not for those funding ISIS, it seems to me that they will get additional options in the future, something Ewan did not reveal (which was not what his article was about), yet in light of the French events that item is a lot more important and visible than the emotional fishing expedition regarding a French failure, something I am not convinced of, even less when we watch the Belgium intelligence failure (the fact that Belgium never detained some of the French terrorists, nor did the Belgians inform French authorities of their concerns), a fact that we get from the quote: “We knew they were radicalized, and that they could go to Syria,” said Eric van der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. “But they showed no sign of possible threat. Even if we had signaled them to France, I doubt that we could have stopped them” (source: politico.eu), I reckon that a hundred plus fallen French citizens might disagree with Mr van der Sypt there.

My assessment is that there was no clear failure from France, there was a European Failure to properly communicate issues across borders, which is a lot more dangerous when we consider the 150,000 refugees all over the place, not to mention the 2 million plus in refugee centres all over the Middle East. So when I stated in 2014 that there is a clear and present danger in Jordan, I was not kidding. Too bad certain elements are not considering the whole picture, just the part that can be fingered for a few quick points, which will get plenty of other people killed sooner rather than later.


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