Tag Archives: Elbit Systems

It was the smell of coffee

We all have this and we all try to ignores it when it is not Sunday. Yet that was for me the setting this morning. I was going through the Guardian with the smell of coffee in my nose. Still half asleep I noticed the words ‘shun workers’ and I saw the picture of a lovely young lady (Genevieve LeJeune) and my mind went ‘whats this about?’ And I started to read the article. As such the title became ‘Sex discrimination: why banks shun workers in adult entertainment’, I saw the word ‘sex; and I am a simple guy, so I was very much in the ‘lets read this’ mood. So the article gives us that the HSBC bank was part of “I didn’t think for one minute they would have an issue with what the business was about. And why would they be concerned, as long as I’m cashflow positive and I do all the right things, and it’s completely legal?” It was basically as was stated “She said she told the bank that she ran a community for the “B” in LGBTQ+ and was not chased for any further information”, by her own account a community with 16000 members. They were suddenly cut off and we get “She has spent more than four years battling HSBC for access to more than £20,000 trapped in those accounts” with in the finale “only regained control of the cash this spring after complaining to the Financial Ombudsman Service”. There are two parts that catch me in the article. The first was the setting given “she ran a community for the “B” in LGBTQ+”, and the subsequent part of the article that paints them all as “sex workers”. One is not the other and even as we accept that Bi curious women might see of there is a penny, it is not a given, it requires evidence and that is even a larger problem because are stated they are not breaking the law. So let’s take a look at the other side. 

In 2018 we get ‘HSBC ‘divests’ from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems’, HSBC only acted when pro-Palestinian voices became too loud and personally I do not think they had to give in. 

. Oh and Elbit Systems is an electronics company (mostly drones), the ICIJ reported only last year ‘HSBC moved vast sums of dirty money after paying record laundering fine’, so a laundering company makes waves over skirts? How is that for irony? So when we are given (at https://www.icij.org/investigations/fincen-files/hsbc-moved-vast-sums-of-dirty-money-after-paying-record-laundering-fine/) “HSBC was profiting from an international criminal scheme even while on probation for having served murderous drug cartels and other criminals. HSBC had admitted to U.S. prosecutors in 2012 that it had helped dirty money flow through its branches around the world, including at least $881 million controlled by the notorious Sinaloa cartel and other Mexican drug gangs”, we see a setting where Bi-curious women have less rights than drug gangs in the eyes of the bank? I reckon that the drug gangs didn’t have to go to the Ombudsman (why is that?)

And only last July the Guardian reported (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/28/hsbc-faces-questions-over-disclosure-of-alleged-money-laundering-to-monitors) ‘HSBC faces questions over disclosure of alleged money laundering to monitors’ with the byline “Bank was under supervision by US Department of Justice-appointed team because of previous violations”. I think we need to do something else. Something I have never ever done on this site before. I am calling ALL readers to see if they or their friends use the HSBC as a bank, and ask them all to switch banks, to whatever bank they prefer. It is time to give HSBC an education on hypocrisy. I have no connections to that bank, and I hope the large numbers of readers (especially in the UK) will move to another bank. 

I feel this is the only path open to us. Now if you feel that curious women are to be discriminated against, I leave it up to you, but a bank with these standards acting against people who broke no law whilst they are on the US laundering top 10 with ties to drug gangs should not be allowed to function, should they?

P.S. WordPress still has not fixed colour issue

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Ignorance is not an option

Moments of scandal within the IDF are rare, but oh boy, when they do happen, they don’t seem to be light ones. That was the first thought I had when I updated my news brief last night and the news ‘Israel’s armed forces shocked at dismissal of missile defence chief‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/28/israel-armed-forces-shocked-dismissal-missile-defence-chief-yair-ramati) caressed my pupils. Yair Ramati an Israeli veteran was sacked for a “grave breach of information security”, the added quote “Israeli media reports said Ramati had broken protocol when he transferred documents to his computer, making them easier to steal” was an additional reason for concern. Israel, a nation that has been under attack for decades, where Muslim fanatics will seek any way to get a hold of information that can further any anti-Israeli cause got a little help when Yair Ramati transferred documents to his personal computer. Now the issue is not that simple, because I myself tend to hold much higher levels of protection on my own computer than the corporate networks tend to have, as such it would be safe, but infrastructure and the rules on them are clear in most networks, even more so in the slightly less trusting environment of the IDF, so what gives?

In the world of cyber, ignorance is no longer an option, ignorance can quite literally get you and your friends killed. Socially, Financially or actually killed in a death certificate kind of way, the IDF (read: Mossad Cyber division) is very aware of that and for a person like Yair Ramati to make a mistake like that, is it complacency or just plain stupidity?

Well, I am less on the side of stupidity, because stupid people do not head the Iron Dome project, they just remain janitors; so should we ‘over-analyse’ this? Yes we should, mainly because complacency is a massive issue. We all do this at times. Any person who states no is either lying to you or will soon be lying to you. We all drop the ball at times, the error might be small and it will not be to the extent of copying files to a personal computer, but those moments will happen. Phishers, hackers and others are all awaiting you to make that basic flaw one day. The only excuse where such a flaw might be excused (to some extent) is burnout. We get to be too exhausted and in one moment we think ‘oh whatever’ the moment you endanger it all.

That is the moment we need to worry about, because it will always happen.

ABC had an interesting quote “Three people familiar with Mr Ramati said, on condition of anonymity, that he had improperly handled classified documents but was not accused of criminal misconduct like espionage“(at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-28/israeli-missile-defence-director-dismissed-over-security-breach/7056400). From the data I have on Yair Ramati I feel like I should explicitly agree (not that my view can be expertly vetted), but a man like Yair Ramati with decades of loyal service does not commit espionage as I see it, the state of Israel will use his services again and again and with the last three years of missile attacks, I reckon burn out set in and Yair Ramati had his ‘oh whatever‘ moment. This event is a wakeup call for the Israeli security services in more than one way, because this situation could have more than one person in such a predicament. Some of the boffins at the IDF are in dire need of some mental health support, not in the way that they are unbalanced, they actually are, as some of them are exhausted!

A side Hamas and Hezbollah might be hoping for at present, you see when the really good ones are too tired mistakes are made and those mistakes will be exploited. And these exploitation might be on an additional side too. You see, as ABC reported “Israel has received hundreds of millions of dollars in US funding for the three missile defence systems, whose private contractors include Boeing Co, Raytheon, and Elbit Systems“, what happens when its main conductor is no longer creating the symphony? What will that mean for the product at large? We might focus on Iron dome, but the stretch goes a lot further than this. Consider places like Ashot Ashkelon Industries Ltd. People like Haim Defrin and Julian Cohen, unlike the board with people like Avi Felder, Yoram Shechter, Yehuda Gai et al. Haim and Julian are in the thick of things. With additional military pressures and of course the responsibility to get the highest quality, they are under constant need (read: pressure) to deliver, when were they taken aside, to unwind, educate them on common cyber sense and when were their stress levels reduced? Not to mention their parent company IMI (Israel Military Industries). For every organisation, there tends to be an In Bitching Mode overall whining umbrella corporation, nes paz?

So in that light, it is not entirely impossible that Udi Adam and Avi Felder at IMI could be facing dilemmas of a similar kind within their infrastructure, the question becomes, is it happening, is it containable and unlike the step made now by sacking Yair Ramati, can a solution be found to reinvigorate the soul of the loyal population that has been pushed and pushed again and again?

You see, some might see the transgression by Yair Ramati as a part of legal and security (not debating that), but we all forget that Common Cyber Sense is equally Operations, Strategy and HR. HR has a much bigger role to play, because if this is stress and burnout, than it is clear in my view that HR failed the people who have been loyal to their infrastructure, success all the time is an illusion, a person will fail to some extent, the issue is to make sure that the damage is averted. I cannot state whether this was an option for Yair Ramati due to the size of the transgression, but certain questions are asked to the lesser extent. It is the Guardian quote “The former director of the Israeli atomic energy commission, Uzi Eilam, told Israel Radio he had known Ramati for 30 years and found the news hard to believe“, in a place like Israel, when a person with 3 decades of knowledge has an issue, my view is that the dismissal might not be an overreaction, but the issues leading to this are a lot more important than we realise and another set of proper investigations (by the right people) is an essential next step.

Ignorance is not an option and the question becomes was that ignorance just in the court of Yair Ramati, or had that ball been dropped by his superiors in another field at an earlier stage?

It is not a question I can answer with the information I have, but there are enough indicators to ask that question out loud, now it is up to the right people over there to ask a similar question and it is up to them to do some proper investigations.

 

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