Tag Archives: FBI

The new disaster movie

Yup, we all have seen them, buildings on fire (Towering inferno), silly snappers with appetite (Jaws), Catching your stones (Deep Impact), shaking your love (Earthquake), warming up the neighbourhood (Dante’s Peak), or solving the greenhouse effect (The Day after tomorrow), yes we have more likely than not seen at least one of them, especially when we still have our 2012 diary set to that day in December. And we all love these movies, especially when it is a fight of man (or woman) against nature, the person becomes the automated underdog and we know the we really do not have a chance, especially those who remember Will Yun Lee in San Andreas. Nature is a bitch any given day of the week.

So what happens when we take the premise and really give you a nightmare scenario? The idea popped up when I was looking to the absolute lack of intelligence coming from the Oval Office. So when we got the quote “Well, we’ll have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster”, it was at that moment when I remember a situation in history, you might have heard of it, a guy named Nero and what he decided to do to Rome. It was at that moment when the mind started to think things through.
For your consideration

The setting is given to us in a stage where a person is opted to join Google and offers for sale all his 5G IP (let’s just pretend that is me, it is an ego thing) and it goes better than the main character ever considered. He is promptly paid the initial fee ($25,000,000 post taxation up front) and he hands over the IP, all of it and it is a winner, Google learns where they forgot to look and the main character gets a hell of a lot more than even he considered ($12B pre taxation), so as the IP becomes all Google, the main character heads for a nice early retirement with the largest golden parachute in history. Yet the people around him take notice, Russian organised crime, greed hungry bankers (a reference to HSBC) and they gang up on him, in this even American politicians and members of the CIA take care to snap up what they can and he ends up with nothing. This sets in motion a wave of rage never seen before and the silly criminals are all laughing, because they got the cash. But the creative mind goes to town and vows vengeance. He sets the stage with access to a larger NBC arsenal. Into the stage where he unleashes 13 nuclear sites, most of them near the spaces of the criminals, now suddenly everyone is crying like little bitches and how unfair it all is, but the main character is beyond caring, he sees the ultimate equaliser, it is loss, when the criminals and the corrupt are confronted with the loss of everything THEY care for, the need for a compromise by the criminals and politicians alike. He then sets on a larger binge, even as some think that they have a handle, he starts with the Nuclear bombing of Grand Coulee, Palo Verde, W. A. Parish, Monroe, Bath County, and Peach Bottom. These 6 changes the power options to the largest extent and no matter how great their protection was, having a 2 megaton bomb explode next to it renders such a place decently useless. At the same setting he sets of the 4 bombs near the goons responsible for being playing bad Santa to the main character, taking care of Chicago, San Francisco, San Antonio and Miami, the last to go off in Virginia setting the FBI and the CIA in a stage where they have nowhere to go. It is not the end, the Russian criminals are now in a stage where the law and a few hundred thousand Americans are hunting them down. As the rage in the main character goes on, we see the he had set the stage before the first nuclear bomb went off, where he had ‘liberated’ a few really nasty bedfellows. The bombs made reporting the issue a non-option, but as the nation is learning what had happened, the main character had seen everything taken away from him. He releases the diseases in Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles and Jacksonville. The panic is now complete, as all plead for a compromise, we see the person put a gun towards his mouth, whispers ‘I will all see you soon’ whilst in the background a mustard gas bomb the size of a fuel bomb goes off, he swallows the barrel and pulls the trigger. We will vows that this will never be a reality, yet when we sit at home and we see ‘HSBC Stock Pummelled by Financial Crimes Report’ with the additional “hit by the fallout from revelations of the bank’s involvement in facilitating criminal activities” which happened three days ago. Crime and opportunity seekers tend to go after the people they think are weak, so what do you think happens when they go after the wrong person? This is not nature that you cannot stop, that opponent is still for the most predictable, it is the person that loses his or her mind, that person becomes unreasonable and unpredictable.

It becomes even more fun when we realise the HSBC was not alone, it is not. The Guardian reported three years ago ‘British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money’, am I still dreaming? Greed is like mother nature, it is predictable, and I do believe that insurmountable loss is the only thing the corrupt and the greed driven truly fear. The corrupt tend to think the it is for a greater good, you only have to blow away their children in front of a corrupt person to see their armour dent permanently. In that do you think that a person losing billions will listen to reason? Especially when government officials are involved? You might think that this will never happen, did you? But that is probably what you thought of banks as well. Greed has no limits, neither does rage and in this it tends to be a fight to behold, especially as unbridled rage equals a volcano or a meteorite that is on a path, neither of them ever wavers.

So yes, we can all agree with President Trump on “we’ll have to see what happens”, however do you want to be there when things go ballistic? I certainly don’t, but then this was merely a small movie idea, just like ‘How to assassinate a politician’, which I wrote about in ‘Sweden has it too’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/30/sweden-has-it-too/), I wonder if the people in the Critical Incident Analysis Group – CIAG (University of Virginia) the people who give us “But we are wrong about that. Mass shootings are not unstoppable, and there are people trying to stop them. They are not even inexplicable, because every time Trunk hears of one he understands why it happened and who did it”, I wonder where they were when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold decided to throw a little party at the Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. 12 students and one teacher did not make it out and there is every indiction that the damage could have been much worse. So what happens when you push a person over the brink, a person that designed a solution the 114 thousand people at Google had not considered. Sundar Pichai might be one of the 100 most influential people n the planet, but no one will blame him for not considering everything. So when the person with the one original idea goes nuts, what will the impact be? I believe it could be the disaster movie of the decade, a step on the chessboard that none of the hundred think tanks in the US can consider, they are not ready for the parameters and in that meantime the most damage is incurred.

Well, that is my sense of humour satisfied, have a nice weekend and sweet dreams, don’t think too much of the power station near you, any of them have at least 4 flaws that they all forgot to report on.

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In Netflix we trust

Yup, as marketing titles go, it is not the worst and to be fair, Netflix has its ups (and downs), yet there is no denying, they have been offering a lot more than most and the really good series that they do not have (Billions for example) does not mean that they are not on a high. In that setting I was considering to additional titles for the Netflix barn.

Title unknown

It is a weird title to set the stage to, I saw the movie about 25 years ago and I still remember parts of the movie, this movie sticks with me like nothing I have ever known. In the movie a man basically commits a misdemeanour and unknowingly leaves the state, as he lives his live, a well respected man, engaged to a nice lady and a decent breadwinner, he is contacted about the event. He is willing to pay a fine, he is willing to make repairs (he did no damage to anyone), and he is offered a deal one months of light jail time in the state the crime was committed and the slate is wiped clean, when he gets to the town he is arrested and in court he is made an example of, nothing of his goodwill is shown and he gets a much longer jail term and not in a light jail, the system intentionally thoroughly destroys the man and after a long time, he escapes. A little later we see the man approaching his fiancé, she asks him how he will survive, his response “I’ll make it, I’m a criminal now”, the man is a psychotic shade of his former self.

I was unable to find the movie, but I would love to see it again, I also believe that this movie could be remade into a modern version, I reckon Will Smith might be a great fit, but that is not a dealbreaker, there are several really good actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Don Cheadle, all great choices, all established actors, because this is not a soft movie, this would be a much darker version as today is a much darker reality than the people in 1950 could dream of. 

Hiding Out

Hiding out is a 1987 comedy drama. It is not one of the best 140 movies from the 80’s, yet I still remember the movie. I believe it to be a diamond in the rough (sorry Disney). Jon Cryer made it into an above average movie. And it could be made into a serious piece of work, perhaps a 3-4 episode mini-series. The story is about 3 stockbrokers passing off bogus stock for the mob, when the issues start the mob get rid of one of them and the other two run for cover into the arms of the FBI, yet on route things happen and one more bites the dust. The one remaining (Jon Cryer) goes underground in high school. I believe that it could be a much larger story, especially if we add darkness and realism to the remake. The original was fine, especially in 1987, but in 2022, if we set the stage in episode one into a more realistic view of stock markets and how bogus junk bonds are created, the risk involved and how the US government is basically unable to stop it, merely limit the damage at best. From that we get to episode two and shed light on FBI protocols and activities. How they work (to some degree) and the options of evading the FBI (and the mob) as the protagonist ends up in a less visible state (like Arkansas, Ohio, Idaho, or Wisconsin). As such we see the stage of how the new protagonist sets up his new identity in one of these state colleges as an economics teacher. Episode three will be set in college life and how he falls for one of the other teachers, and her life (so we can use the ATM part to get the mob and FBI back on track), and in light of that we get to the final episode where we get the showdown, the arrest of some (not all) of the mob and the essential need of the protagonist to enter witness protection. The episode ends with him falling of the radar and some look on how witness protection works. I state all this in an academic approach, but it will be a drama (some comedy would be nice too), Jon Cryer is too old for the role now, but I believe it would be nice having him as the clued in FBI agent, or perhaps one of the mob bosses. Merely two ideas mixing in my mind, and it is only Monday, what will I be capable of on Wednesday? 

Well, that will be another story, optionally another creation whilst I wait the terms I have to wait for.

 

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The 51st State

Consider that the US just grew a little, it seems that Canada has become the 51st state, Governor of that state is Justin Trudeau, that is until President Trump decides that he is not allegiant enough. How did I get here? A few sources are giving us ‘US court issues summons for Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman’, under normal circumstances there wouldn’t be a big thing. Yet consider the events, an exiled person moves to Canada, when we are confronted with “Mohammed bin Salman attempted to send Tiger Squad to Canada to assassinate al-Jabri, according to a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in August 2020”, so a person went in exile in Canada and now relies on US jurisprudence? And if you are in doubt, the other element is (rephrased) “allegedly attempted to send a Tiger Squad to Canada to allegedly assassinate al-Jabri”, so in the first it was an alleged attempt, in that case where is the evidence of the alleged attempt? What evidence is there to assassinate al-Jabri? Beyond that, why is this case not heard in Canada? In the second, it is my personal belief that Saad al-Jabri needs to get evicted from Canada into America, he is so sure of their legal system. And of course there is the stage where we need to investigate on why an optional case of alleged events in another country are being heard in America, is that not a question that baffles you too?

And it does not end there, the only additional information is given by Gulf News. I am making mention of it as I cannot vouch for the information. I am not willing to use merely one source because it fits my speculation better. Gulf News (at https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/report-fugitive-saudi-official-misspent-11b-in-government-funds-1.72662340) gives us ‘Fugitive Saudi official misspent $11b in government funds’, and lets face it, if I walked away with $11,000,000,000 I would move to Canada, buy the Edmonton Oilers, or the Calgary Flames, buy a nice mansion in either city, train to be their goalie and live the life until I die. It is a plan, not a plan everyone will embrace, but I like that plan, especially if I have that much money. Oh, and the quote gives is “Al Jabri, a 61-year-old with a doctorate in computer science, was the virtual No 2 in the Saudi Interior Ministry, which was run for years by Mohammed bin Nayef. Al Jabri ran a special ministry fund that mixed government spending on high-priority antiterrorism efforts with bonuses for himself and others, according to documents reviewed bio y the Journal and interviews with Saudi officials and Al Jabri’s confidants,” the WSJ report read”. In all this and in fact of tha accusation of corruption and through that (as well as) “spending on high-priority antiterrorism efforts with bonuses for himself and others”, who else was paid? So in this, how much investigation was done by the FBI, for did they allegedly acquire enough self-funding to be above the law? I am merely asking!

So in this universe where Canada is the 51st state of the US, and as we see a quote by the Wall Street Journal, how much investigation did the US do? How much investigation did the Canadians do? The are mere questions but they matter, even as the newspapers on both countries are all about “A former top-ranking Saudi intelligence official living in exile in Canada alleged in a lawsuit filed in a U.S. court that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a team to kill him in 2018 but the effort was foiled by Canadian authorities” if those are the facts, what investigation was done by the Canadians? Consider that I would be angry when someone steals $1,000,000 from me (an amount I do not own mind you), so an amount that is 11,000 times higher will get the blood boiling in many persons. So in all this, the entire matter does not make sense, Oh I get the need to add $11 billion to my bank account, that makes sense, although I would hope to use my own IP to get there, then there is the stage where I doubt that it was about ‘assassination’ I reckon the Saudi’s want their money back, so there would be a stage of alleged kidnapping, not assassination. And lastly, I reckon that the US would love Saad al-Jabri to move to the US so he can spend $11 billion (minus addition taxation) freely in the US and the US is so bankrupt, they are willing to set the legal stage in their nation, a nation of laws they will claim. 

Yes it is a brand new day as we see the optional stage of laws to whitewash money that was not the property of the person white washing it. It is my point of view and some will claim that it is not a valid one, but consider, how many papers set the stage of making the money link in all this? That is the $11 billion dollar question of the day, have a great one!

 

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The day after the day before

I just noticed a story on Reuters, which came a day after I gave the lowdown on the GDPR. In their story ‘Companies need immediate rethink on U.S. data transfers, says watchdog’ I see “Companies seeking to transfer data to the United States must revert to new arrangements with immediate effect after the Privacy Shield transatlantic pact was declared invalid last week, a European Union watchdog said on Friday”, OK, we know that, but Reuters gives a little more, with “The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) said that companies that transfer data to the United States via standard contractual clauses would have to self-assess whether these have suitable safeguards and inform their national privacy enforcer” we see a part I had forgotten about (Yes, I forget things too), when we consider ‘via standard contractual clauses would have to self-assess’, I am confronted with a thought I had in 1998 in another station. You see there is an issue with ‘self-assess’ and ‘backups’. The self assess part is to ignore that small little data cruncher, whilst the global standardisation of back-up systems give a larger implied stage that for US Intelligence, it remains business as usual, with the optional larger workflow. Did anyone consider that?

So when we see “The EDPB, together with the European Commission, is now looking into ways to beef up standard contractual clauses and binding corporate rules that could be legal, technical or organisational”, I wonder how many delays back up solutions are given before that train ends, I reckon that it will take a while. And the situation is not new, ITProPortal gave us in 2018 “The legislation gives customers the right to be removed from the records of companies even if they have previously agreed to the collection and storage of their data. It’s called the ‘right to be forgotten’ and could be a potential stumbling block as organisations keep backup copies of their data. A request to have personal data removed, technically means that it should be removed from all copies including the cloud, or tape kept off-site in deep storage. Having to do this each time a request comes in, however, has been deemed excessive by those overseeing GDPR due to the logistical challenges it would throw up” and even if you think that it is something else, think again! We see this in “technically means that it should be removed from all copies including the cloud, or tape kept off-site in deep storage. Having to do this each time a request comes in, however, has been deemed excessive by those overseeing GDPR due to the logistical challenges it would throw up” and consider that there is a situation, we see this in “According to France’s GDPR supervisory authority, CNIL, organisations don’t have to delete backups when complying with the right to erasure. … You should also document policies and procedures for keeping backup data secure. This will include instructions on encrypting backups and where you will keep backup devices”, yes this is still about the right to be forgotten, but there is an absence on tertiary locations for backups and cloud backups, they can still be in the US, as such, the Intelligence conclave (the alphabet group) are still in a stage of business as usual. One source is giving me in 2019 “Rather than backing up everything in bulk as whole systems, organisations may find it easiest to separate systems backups and personal data backups so that systems backups can be kept for much longer retention periods than might be allowed/justifiable for the personal data”, yet the station of ‘organisations may find it easiest’ as well as ‘so that systems backups can be kept for much longer retention periods than might be justifiable for the personal data’, which in itself is not really an answer and I was surprised to the amount of ambiguity towards operational and logistical needs, whilst keeping the limelight away from backups, as such I believe that there is a lot more going on and no real matters regarding privacy will be solved any day soon. In this Curtis Preston, chief technical architect at Druva raised in 2019 “GDPR is not going to be able to force companies to ‘forget’ people in their backups – especially personal data found inside an RDBMS or spreadsheet.” (at https://www.theregister.com/2018/05/31/backup_gdpr_analysis/), and it seems that everyone links it to ‘the right to be forgotten’, so what happens to the off site backups of global databases? Are they still in the US? And why is there such a darkness around the states of backups? I find the comment ‘due to the logistical challenges’ a bit of a joke, they had years to get ready. Even closer to home, last January we see “Although Apple uses end-to-end encryption for both iMessage and FaceTime, it doesn’t do the same for iCloud backups. They are encrypted, but Apple holds the key, meaning that the company has access to a copy of almost everything on your phone – and that includes stored messages. I’d long expected Apple to fix this, but a report today claims that the company has decided not to…” so what else has not been done, and where are all these iCloud backups? If they are on an Apple Server, there is every chance others have access (speculation from my side). Which is actually not the weirdest thought, when we go back to 2018 and consider “authorities also discovered a series of hacking tools and files that allowed the 16-year-old boy to break into Apple’s mainframe repeatedly”, so if a 16 year old has access to the Apple mainframe, do you really believe that US Intelligence cannot enter it? 

So when we consider where our backups are, also consider how up to date your personal records are at 57 Duker Rd, Farmville, VA 23901, United States. To be ‘speculatively more precise’, how about IBM-VA23901-1-3.213.5? I wonder how many other places your data can be found, all for the simple reason of national security, all whilst we see the media take a hard look on all the cyber tools that some agencies have no one seems to be looking at all the access that they have to backups. The fact that several locations are giving us versions of ambiguity, none of them look deeper into the matter, I reckon that the Stakeholders wouldn’t allow it, but that is me grasping at straws.

There is a larger station now that the agreement has fallen apart for the EU, on the other hand, there will be a pool of new talent be required all over Europe, and in the light of the Corona events, I wonder how many are still alive. So, what will we see tomorrow in this regard?

 

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Injustice, not the game

Many have heard of the game injustice, a game where you can defeat Superman as Batman, or Ryan Reynolds, oops I meant Green Lantern as the Flash. Lots of heroes, you can go through each of the timelines, and the game is for a lot satisfying, as you play your favourite hero, as you slice through the band of heroes, you feel justified.

There is another form of injustice and in the light of clampdowns regarding Covid-19 people are actually taking notice. We see the initial part from the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53403270) and there we get a little timeline:

Epstein sex trafficking case: Timeline

  • 2005: One of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, aged 14, reports him to the police in Palm Beach
  • 2006: Epstein is charged with unlawful sex acts with a minor
  • 2007: A plea deal is struck – instead of facing federal sex-trafficking charges, Epstein pleads guilty to two charges of soliciting prostitution, including with a minor
  • 2008: Epstein gets an 18-month sentence following the plea deal
  • November 2018: The Miami Herald publishes an explosive investigation into Epstein, the plea deal, and the dozens of women alleging abuse
  • July 2019: Epstein is arrested again, accused of sex trafficking of underage girls over a number of years
  • August 2019: Epstein is found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial
  • 2 July 2020: Ghislaine Maxwell is arrested by the FBI at her New Hampshire home
  • 14 July 2020: Ms Maxwell pleads not guilty to charges of trafficking minors for Epstein and is denied bail

I myself took notice after the press took a jab at Prince Andrew, I mentioned it in ‘That what is ignored!’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/25/that-what-is-ignored/), where I wrote “I came to serious doubts to some regard of these events as I looked into the PDF of what I believe to be the original affidavit from the Palm beach Police Department”, when you see the timeline, 3 years before the Miami Herald caught on. Things did not add up and let’s be clear, the Affidavit was not hidden, it was out in the open for all to see, so after the Catholic Clergy got their rocks off, we get to hand over our children to the billionaires. So how is your feeling of injustice at present?

And we are not even ready for the main event. And whilst the media is trying to earn extra coins from clicks in the final showdown, we are treated to ‘It is revealed’, and ‘Ghislaine Maxwell helped to procure up to three girls a day for Jeffrey Epstein’s “sexual pleasure”, an alleged victim claims’, but where were these people whilst the evidence was out in the open? I had a THREE YEAR head start on the Miami Herald, I found parts others basically ignored. In this I am not attacking the Miami Herald, but what about all these other digital click vagrants (I think you still call them journalists)? They had the same access, I had no special access. Yet I looked beyond the accusations of Prince Andrew, I found other matters that did not add up and the press left it for dead, I wonder how driven they would be if it was their child. 

In light of the stages we see now, how much ACTUAL digging have these journalists done? 

Yet that is not the real injustice, the injustice goes beyond Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. When we see the news, the actual decent news, we still see responses in many nations to the Coronavirus that many find baffling. Yet the people are not taking the questions out loud and in part the media is to blame. I state in part, because they report and they do that, yet as I see it, to some extent, the right people have not been given the amount of direct light and reporting space that should have been given. That’s how I see it, if you wonder Google “World Health Organisation Coronavirus” and see what you see in the news section, when you discard the links from the WHO themselves, you are not left with a lot. Consider that webspace costs next to nothing, now consider what news has been published. When you see the tally, these so called news agencies are not really giving you the load of daily updates, are they? And let’s not forget that the entire Jeffrey Epstein situation is at present ONE case, I wonder how we will be treated to sensationalism we will get exposed to with limiting factual information when it is the day of Ghislaine Maxwell in court. So how much worse is the real deal? How many issues never make it to court? How many others got the ‘nice’ treatment because they were powerful or because they were close friends to powerful people? In this stage of lockdowns and limited movement an increasing amount of people are looking in other places to avoid boredom and in the process they are being exposed to levels of injustice and levels of unacceptability that they would never accept and they are getting angry, in a stage where this cannot be vented. I believe that the riots in the US is merely a phase, it is not merely on BlackLivesMatter or George Floyd, they are true and real all-right, but I believe that these matters are now also gaining momentum as people realise that they are merely the tip of the iceberg and the inequality and imbalance is starting to show. And these people, not only in America are tired and angry. I reckon that a lot would not have happened, if the Corona lockdowns were not in all their faces, and let’s be honest, some governmental responses on a global stage have been off by a lot. 

So when we look forward I wonder what more will be up for evaluation.

 

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Oh what a show

Yes, Oh what a circus, Oh what a show. It is that setting I am listening to, Evita the soundtrack with Antonio Banderas and Madonna starring. It was updated only 4 hours ago, yet the founding article was placed almost 13 hours AFTER I published my story. The article ‘In pursuit of Ghislaine Maxwell, authorities allege mysterious financial dealings with Jeffrey Epstein’ (at https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/03/us/ghislaine-maxwell-mysterious-financial-dealings-jeffrey-epstein/index.html) will give the people a lot to consider, especially when they give us “Maxwell was living on a 156-acre New Hampshire estate purchased for $1.07 million in cash in December 2019 “through a carefully anonymized LLC,” according to court papers and the realty company”, a 156 acre piece of real estate in New Hampshire? So, Jeff Bezos, wanna buy 5G technology concepts for $25 million post taxation? It is not the weirdest question to state, consider that before CNN rolled the die I gave you all “We see “Prosecutors allege that between 1994 and 1997 Ms Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14. The charges say she would build a rapport with them – including by taking them shopping or to the movies – and would later coax them into giving Epstein massages during which they were sexually abused.”” I gave you more in the article ‘The FBI Snooze button’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/07/03/the-fbi-snooze-button/), in this, I am not doubting CNN, I am also not doubting the words of Shan Wu, a CNN legal analyst who gives us “that arouse my suspicions are the large transfers in the millions between her accounts and Epstein’s accounts, which raises the question, is there some kind of laundering going on?” And the star is decently given, it sets the stage that it took time to get some of the details and consider that I made some of the speculated conclusions within an hour if getting access to the data, al that and it took the CNN machines months? We accept that Shan Wu would need time to set the proper legal stage, but in all this there is a time lap where those connects to Jeffrey Epstein would have been able to vanish into the wind and I did make a speculated sage of numbers (based on Catholic numbers thanks to the Boston Globe) that there are optionally 300,000 child hunters out there, a person facilitating to these people should have been regarded as beyond dangerous, as such we see a much larger stage and the stage was out in the open, so why was it taking this long? Consider that Epstein died in August 2019, so where was the witch-hunt that the US had no problems to paint China with? Why was it not aimed at optional facilitators that cater to the needs of people like Jeffrey Epstein? Is that not a valid question?

CNN gives us more, yup they were on the case. They give us “Prosecutors say that between 1994 and 1997, the period that covers her indictment, the two were in an “intimate” relationship and that he paid her to manage his various properties, which ranged from an Upper East Side mansion to a sprawling ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.” This gives us a rather large issue, the published Affidavit from Miami (see earlier mentioned blog), as well as the blog from January 2015 (art https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/07/as-we-judge-morality/) we see a much larger absence, there is every indication that they are missing from the unsealed documents as well (this is my speculation, I did not read those documents). As such, how much did the FBI miss? Were they asleep and did they miss the snooze button, or did they bring a Rohypnol Mickey? It is not the weirdest idea, it is like they walked up to a vagrant and the vagrant asks them ‘Does this rag smell like Chloroform? 

It is a stage where too many pieces are simmered to silence and either the media accepted this or were not willing to actually investigate. It took me an hour to find a lot of it and that was by merely investigating open sources. And all this gives us one other part that is not out in the open. The quote “federal prosecutors disclosed that for a five-year period beginning in 2007, Maxwell and Epstein exchanged more than $20 million dollars between their bank accounts, with the sums going first from Epstein to Maxwell, and then back to Epstein.” The question becomes ‘What does the IRS have?’ Let’s face it the US treasury coffers are empty at minus 25,000,000,000,000 dollar, so the question is relevant, more importantly what is the registered value of the New Hampshire estate and what are the tax briefs on that part? So are my questions out of bounds? I believe that this is not the case and that is before you take a look at Jeffrey S. Pagliuca, who is (as far as I can tell) seen at https://www.hmflaw.com/attorney-jeff-pagliuca.html. This man as an amazing career in law, this gives us that a man like this costs a lot more per hour than I make in a week implying that the retainer of this man can fuel a small state. So where does a socialite get access to this kind of money? We did see what money was involved, yet consider the last 5 years, how did she get her income (the IRS link again) and she has decently massive living expenses as well. This is not the kind of girl that is satisfied with $2.98 Hershey bites at Walmart, does it not fuel your questions? I think that people like Shan Wu have found a lot more, I wonder who is setting course of the CNN sails (perhaps for very valid reasons), yet when you consider what was out there for close to 15 years, I reckon that American citizens should not asking questions, they should shout at their congressional and senatorial representatives for endangering their children, yet that is merely my view on the matter. I wonder what Governor Chris Sununu and Senator Maggie Hassan both from New Hampshire will have to say on the matter during the week, don’t you? Og and when you are consider all the complex parts in what is part of all the estate and other matters, who dealt with those and as such what cogs were in play? To keep her name out of pampers takes time and involves a fair amount of people, were they ALL in the dark? I will let you decide. 

 

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The FBI Snooze button

Don’t you just love your snooze button? I do, there are these moments that I have to be up at 07:01, but not always, and the idea of the snooze button that I remain under the warm blankets just a little longer in a half awake and half not stage is pretty addictive, intoxicatingly addictive. I reckon that there are loads of people who feel that way, even the FBI, even though one could argue that their snooze button is set to an annual option.

To see this we need to take a look at the Law and Crime site (at https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/anonymous-individuals-fight-possible-unsealing-of-details-related-to-alleged-epstein-sex-ring/) where we see on March 20th 2019 the following “The Second Circuit Court of Appeals is deciding whether or not to unseal documents from a lawsuit against a woman accused of running a sex trafficking ring with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Judges had given parties 15 days to argue why documents in a lawsuit brought against Epstein’s former partner Ghislaine Maxwell should not be unsealed.”, you know what, it might be longer than an annual snooze. The court records indicate that the FBI could have done a hell of a lot more to do something about the Maxwell factor in paedophelia. The BBC reported (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53268218) that she was arrested with ‘Jeffrey Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI’, yet the setting does not match up, I had initial questions when I saw the affidavit in January 2015 and that was 9 years later. OK, I will say now there was no link to Ghislaine Maxwell at that point, yet the stage seemed delimited. You see the affidavit shows on pages 16 and 17 6 censured names, we cannot see the names, but if you consider the affidavit, the stage was larger, and that size was already visible in 2006, almost 14 years ago, so why did it take the FBI that long to get any traction? And let’s face it, it did not happen until AFTER Epstein allegedly committed suicide. And the affidavit describes events from almost a year before that date, the issue was larger!

Now that Maxwell has been arrested, the question is not what will she get, the question becomes who else is part of all this and what remains hidden as such, because the events that are criminal and part of sealed court documents whilst others remain untouched is as I see it a new low in American jurisprudence. There is actually a lot more in the BBC article. We see “Prosecutors allege that between 1994 and 1997 Ms Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14. The charges say she would build a rapport with them – including by taking them shopping or to the movies – and would later coax them into giving Epstein massages during which they were sexually abused.” Yet when we see the timeline we see that optionally these girls who were still in high school, some would have been exposed to Ghislaine Maxwell and there is no clear trail how. If we look at it from a distance, grooming requires identifying, prepping the stage where they will have a conversation with an unknown person like Ghislaine Maxwell, and that is after you realise that this had been going on since 1994, 26 years is a long time to create a clientele, so there is every chance that she was not merely setting the stage for Epstein. If we consider the stage of Ghislaine Maxwell, a socialite, we need to consider the stage. A socialite is (according to the dictionary “a person who is well known in fashionable society and is fond of social activities and entertainment”, it is a title that also limits her activities, one failure and she is exposed. As such we ca argue that she had a system, a system with co-conspirators. And let’s face it, how often do you see a socialite scouring high school? Especially when the socialite is well over 50 (OK, she was half her age in those days). The stage does not match the activities, she had serious help, I see no other way there.

Even if we casually dismiss “claimed that Maxwell recruited her to be a “masseuse” for Epstein when she worked at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida club owned by President Donald Trump.” We see places (one that former president Clinton visited), a stage where security is a lot larger then normal, as such others wee in the know, camera’s that would have set the stage where people too young to be allowed were let in, the stage does not add up, when you start reading the affidavits, the documents and the connected briefs, there is a much larger stage to be seen. Do you think that a place like the Mar-a-Lago gets by with below par security? Several people avoided the boat with “In return, prosecutors declined to bring federal charges.” It was not about Epstein, in that phase a lot more would be brought to light, I have absolutely zero doubt about that. That part is partially visible when we consider “The agreement, which was offered by prosecutors working under then-federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta (President Trump’s current U.S. Labor Secretary), was made without informing any of the alleged victims in the case.” In addition, we see several people now in a stage where they are at the top of the legal profession, among them Kenneth Star and Alexander Acosta. So when we see “The appellate court ruled that the district court “failed to conduct the requisite particularized review when ordering the sealing of the materials at issue.” So what else did the district court fail to conduct?

And this has been out and about for close to a decade, so do we like the FBI snooze button at present? The fact that in all this federal players were left in the dark seems completely impossible to me, as such we need to include that there is every chance that Ghislaine Maxwell is part of something much larger, involving other players too, this is not the stage of a socialite, this is the optional stage of a facilitator. If this deviant behaviour is possible in 6% of the clergy, how many rich people would optionally be driven by similar illegal needs? If we accept that there are a little over 5 million multimillionaires in the USA, the 6% mark hands us that Ghislaine Maxwell might have had access to (or being sought by) up to 300,000 very wealthy people requiring her services. Now let’s be fair, they do not all know Ghislaine Maxwell, but see might and that makes this issue a lot larger than we previously considered. And it brings forth the issue of the FBI snooze button, perhaps I am wrong and they were very awake, and it took this long to get a group of people subpoenaed, but consider what I stated and the evidence as it was out and about, and in the media no less.

How many looked away whilst some of this was happening under their very noses?

 

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And so it begins

Yes, it is beginning and the quote is not from me, the phrase was used by King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings movie “The Two Towers“, right before the major battle at Helms Deep. It is not the first time it was used, but there is where most get it from. As we were treated a few hours ago ‘The US is making its own 5G technology with American and European companies, and without Huawei‘, in this I have no objection, but the larger image is ignored by those less intelligent individuals in the White House. 

What I predicted is coming to pass and big tech companies are about to face the larger setback in the US. So no matter how this gets warped by players like the Wall Street Journal. In my personal view this step now gives us a clear view, the US will be lagging by 3-5 years in 5G as per now. When we see the article in the Business Insider (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/5g-huawei-white-house-kudlow-dell-microsoft-att-nokia-ericsson-2020-2), we forget a few items, in the first the US is nowhere near ready for 5G, in the second Huawei is already fully ready for 5G and any nation embracing either temporary or long term with Huawei will get the jump on American Big Tech. Even as “sic infit” (so it begins) goes back to The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, we need to understand that the reference to ‘The Golden Ass‘ might actually apply to certain players in the White House, we need to understand that the push for anti-Huawei sentiments was never doused in evidence, merely non-US paranoia. The world to a much larger degree has demanded evidence from the US, who actually never produced it. 

So as the Wall Street Journal gives us “the White House is working with U.S. technology companies to create advanced software for next-generation 5G telecommunications networks. The plan would build on efforts by some U.S. telecom and technology companies to agree on common engineering standards that would allow 5G software developers to run code on machines that come from nearly any hardware manufacturer. That would reduce, if not eliminate, reliance on Huawei equipment.

And here we see a few points. First there is ‘create advanced software‘, which is only partially true, the hardware is a larger part that is currently incomplete when we look at non-Huawei players, as such the presentation given is one that is debatable on a few sides. Then we get ‘agree on common engineering standards‘, a statement which would have been a given long before any of this started, as such the presentations we will see will be doused in ambiguity and in that format it implies that the US will be being whatever it was +2 years as it will not fill the gap it currently does not. Then we get a larger issue ‘run code on machines that come from nearly any hardware manufacturer‘, which should not be a 5G issue in the infrastructure, they would need to pass on anything on the system, this is a mobile setting. It is basically telling the stage that Apple and Android should have the same code and optionally set the stage to bar Harmony OS, so is this an actual 5G setting or a filtering setting to keep unwanted players out?

Yet this setting is one that is massively dangerous to the US, it relies on Big Tech (Google and Facebook) to enter a new stage where they cannot gather data and merge data in a global stage which would redefine their global data settings and such a delay would be monumental for these two. 

So we get all this because the US cannot provide evidence of optional Huawei wrongdoing? How weird is that? It is actually not weird that the data gathering tools are on the Chinese side now, the US is about to learn that being 4th in a place where they were alone is not the place to ever be, not in this economy, as such setting a stage for segregation now would give them a larger benefit down the road and that is where the shoes get to tight to dance.

There is a decent chance that Huawei is not the player that will be disregarded on the global stage, as such several EU countries are willing to entertain Huawei and with the Middle East and Asia already there, we will see Huawei getting a larger share of data than the US (with 325 million people) represents and that is what the US fears and that fear through the White House will be pushed onto Google, Facebook and Apple, and I am guessing not with their approval, they will have to adjust their models by a fair bit and feel the brint for a year at least (that is if hardware manufacturers agree on standards) and good luck with that part. 

Then we get to look at “the White House is working with US companies, and potentially European companies, to deploy the United States’5G architecture and infrastructure, according to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow who spoke with The Wall Street Journal’s Bob Davis and Drew FitzGerald“, so not only are they 3-5 (or 4-6) years behind, we now see ‘the United States’5G architecture‘, so not only is it their 5G, but based on their standards and when we consider the stage of AT&T and their 5G Evolution we saw last year, the US (and those who sign on) are in for a really rough ride that might never be 5G, merely a reset 4G+ standard. Of course the latter part is not a given, but time is the one part that the White House does not have and the hardware setting in the US is nationwide too far behind. In this there will be no national 5G in the US for a much longer time. 

As such were these steps even considered by Big Tech who relies on billions of users, not merely the 325,000,000 Americans? With the UK starting now on Huawei and their 68 million people, will that stop Europe? No, it will make them switch against American paranoia and Huawei gets a much bigger boost and this will have a larger impact, as these places go ahead and gain speed the rest of the EU will find themselves in a bind to accept other standards faster and leaving the US in a stage of isolation which will impact the US in several ways. And if you think that the restrictions will work? Yes they will but only to show that those not on the Huawei pool will lag in several stages and there will be a screaming to get Huawei in a larger pool soon enough. From there we will see Germany who is partially  on board and when they see the impact in the UK, Spain, France, and Germany will sway and that means that three of the large 4 will get the fourth on board, that is what we will see in 2020 and optionally 2021 when stubborn people delay, in that stage those who are early on the 5G path they will get a much larger commercial slice of that cake and there will be a massive amount of governments blaming the US for paranoia, in my view I would state that it is all their own fault. 

And whilst nations have their own policies in place are now in a stage where the option to buy the 5G technology and develop their own national cores would be a perfect solutions for these nations whilst Huawei will enjoy the financial benefits it brings, in this their pool of talents and showing a stage of training that is much larger than expected, training these nations in making their own national 5G developers on a Huawei core is a larger play and that is one that brings in the revenue and then some.

All this was a path that the US could have committed to but they do see that the data is the future currency and they do not want to share, the US was the only one efficiently gathering data and their value is based on all this, all that whilst their prospect was ludicrous all the way to sieve based routers on a global scale. The NSA and GCHQ aren’t the only players in the field, the US merely wanted to limit the data drain value and 5G makes it a non place, ata will go nearly anywhere, you merely need to ask Amazon (Jeff Bezos) and ask him where his data has gone to and he cannot answer that question, neither can former FBI agent Anthony J. Ferrante (an FTI consulting joke), as such we see a 4G failure and it will merely get larger in 5G, more data will go anywhere and the US is on board with limiting this as long as they get the data. That is the stage we see and it is not idle speak, there is too much information out there. 

So as we see the events unfold over this year we will merely see that non US success stories will take the limelight showing us just how far the US has fallen behind in 5G. That is the stage we are sailing to and we will see large players in media remaining in denial of that, that is until the evidence of data will open all over the place, at that point the carefully stated denials come out, as well as some claims that 5G is so much more complicated than anything else. Yet, it is a stage where we all see the impact without it hurting us too much, at least not more than it is hurting us now. 

In finality we see a first case where a lack of evidence is still enough to warrant a level of discrimination, did you consider that? We are getting short changed on cheaper phones and internet because the larger players have their own bonus to consider and we do get to pay for that part, we will to a much larger degree than ever before.

 

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6 simple questions

I have written about it before, yet the article last friday forces me to take more than another look, it forces me to ask questions out loud, questions that should have been investigated as this case has been running for two years, lets not forget the hairy Amazon owner had his smartphone allegedly hacked in 2018.

My article ‘The incompetent view‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/01/28/the-incompetent-view/) was written on January 28th. I kept it alone for the longest of times, yet the accusations against Saudi Arabia, especially as that French Calamari UN-Essay writer is again involved forced my hand and the article last friday gives me the option to lash out and ask certain questions that the investigation optionally cannot answer, as such two years by these so called experts should be seen as 2 years by whatever they are, but I have doubt that expertise was part of the equation.

as such we begin with the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/31/jeff-bezos-met-fbi-investigators-in-2019-over-alleged-saudi-hack), here we see the following

NSO said: “we have not been contacted by any US law enforcement agencies at all about any such matters and have no knowledge or awareness of any investigative actions. Therefore, we cannot comment further.”“, which is a response towards the FBI who had been investigating NSO since 2017, which is based on the setting of “officials were seeking information about whether the company had received any of the code it needed to infect smartphones from US hackers

Yet it is the quote “Two independent investigators at the United Nations, Agnes Callamard and David Kaye, revealed last week that they have launched their own inquiry into allegations that Bezos’s phone was hacked on 1 May 2018 after he apparently received a video file from a WhatsApp account belonging to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince“, in this, can anyone explain to me why the UN is involved? I do not care how wealthy Jeff Bezos is and this has nothing to do with the Washington Post, either way this would be an initial criminal investigation, optionally running through the FBI.

  1. Why is the UN involved?

In defence we must observe “WhatsApp has said it believed NSO has violated criminal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal law that is used to prosecute hackers. WhatsApp has claimed 1,400 users were hacked using NSO technology over a two-week period in April-May last year, after NSO was allegedly able to exploit a WhatsApp vulnerability that was later fixed

And again, we see that NSO technology is involved, yet FTI Consulting makes no mention of that part of the equation, more important whether the same atack was used, and in light of all this, we might see ‘NSO was allegedly able to exploit a WhatsApp vulnerability that was later fixed‘, yet when exactly was it fixed? That too is part of the equation.

When we look at the FTI report, other issues become surface materials. Like the quote “The phone maintained an unusually high average of 101MB of egress data per day for months thereafter, including many massive and highly atypical spikes of egress data. Forensic artifacts demonstrated that this unauthorized data was transmitted from Bezos’ phone via the cellular network.” What data was sent exactly? The report gives us: “they provide the ability to exfiltrate vast amounts of data including photos, videos, messages, and other private or sensitive files. It should be noted that spikes resembling these might occur legitimately if a user enabled iCloud backup over cellular data service. Bezos. however. had iCloud backups disabled on his device. Other legitimate causes of spikes in egress data could be if a user willingly uploaded or transmitted large amounts of data via a chat or messaging app. email client, or cloud storage service, but none of these activities were corroborated by GDBA or Bezos.

As such, as FTI Consulting gives us “Advanced mobile spyware. such as NSO Group’s Pegasus35 or Hacking Team’s Galileo,36 can hook into legitimate applications and processes on a compromised device as a way to bypass detection and obfuscate activity in order to ultimately intercept and exfiltrate data. The success of techniques such as these is a very likely explanation for the various spikes in traffic originating from Bezos’ device.” Yet is that what happened? lets not forget that the FTI Consulting report on page 16 states “The following investigative steps are currently pending.

  1. Intercept and analyze live cellular data from Bezos’ iPhone X“, as well as “2. Jailbreak Bezos’ iPhone and perform a forensic examination of the root file system.” steps that are seemingly incomplete and optionally not done at all, as such how did anyone in Saudi Arabia get fingered as the guilty party? It could be the German Cracking Service for all we know stating to Jeff Bezos ‘Copy me, I want to travel‘.
  2. Where is the evidence on the hack and the destination of the hacked data?

There are two parts in this, as I explained earlier, Vice.com gave an earlier consideration with ““Hacking Team was thoroughly owned, with its once-secret list of customers, internal emails, and spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see”” yet the stage that we see here, is merely a footnote in the FTI Consulting report and is given no weight at all.

This leads to the question 

  1. How was the phone of Jeff Bezos infected and where is that evidence?

This could lead to 3a. Who actually infected the iPhone of Jeff Bezos?

Which leads to the last part of last friday’s article and perhaps the biggest smear of all time “New revelations about the alleged hacking of Bezos’s phone have caught the attention of a handful of politicians in Washington who have sought more information about the alleged hack, including whether there was any evidence that Saudi Arabia had infected phones of any members of the Trump administration.” and because of this (as well as more) we get to:

  1. What exactly are the new revelations, as the FTI Consulting report is incomplete.
  2. Where is the evidence that Saudi Arabia infected ANY phones?

You see, someone infecting another person by claiming that they are someone they are not is at the core of this, as such any person in the room could have infected Jeff Bezos’s phone and optionally other phones too. Claiming to be MBS and being MBS are two separate parts. 

In this it was CNN who gave us “The report’s limited results are a reminder that it can be extremely challenging to reconstruct the activities of a determined, well-resourced hacker” and if hat is the setting, we again get to the stage where we cannot tell who infected the system of Jeff Bezos in the first place. As such Kenneth White (formerly with DHS) as well as  Chris Vickery (Director UpGuard) who gives us “other evidence provided by FTI increased his confidence that Bezos was being digitally surveilled“, we do not question that, we merely question the lack of evidence that points to Saudi Arabia as a perpetrator, basically the guilty party is not seen, because no evidence leading there is given, the fact that essential tests have not been done is further evidence still of the absence of any guilty party.

As that stands I merely end with the question:

  1. Why on earth is the UN involved in an alleged Criminal investigation where so much information is missing?

When we realise the small line in the Guardian “An analysis of the alleged hack that was commissioned by the Amazon founder has not concluded what kind of spyware was used” we are given a much larger consideration, if the spyware used is unknown, how can the data spy be seen? This gets an even larger mark towards the question when we consider “Check Point Research, however, recently unveiled new vulnerabilities in the popular messaging application that could allow threat actors to intercept and manipulate messages sent in both private and group conversations, giving attackers immense power to create and spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources.” (at https://research.checkpoint.com/2018/fakesapp-a-vulnerability-in-whatsapp/), and another source (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/whatsapp-vulnerability-allows-attackers-to-alter-messages-in-chats/) gives almost the same information and also has the text “Using these techniques, attackers can manipulate conversations and group messages in order to change evidence and spread fake news and misinformation“, the FTI Consulting report gives us nothing of that, and as it does not set the stage of disabling that these were options that were disregarded, we see that this mobile situation might not now or not ever see the light of day with an actual reference to an attacker that will hold water in any court. 

As such the UN will have a lot to explain soon enough, I got there through 6 simple questions, 6 questions that anyone with an application of common sense could have gotten to, I wonder why the UN did not get there, I wonder why FTI Consuilting handed over a report that was failing to this degree.

 

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Travel by Ransomware

On Tuesday an interesting article was given by the guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/07/travelex-being-held-ransom-hackers-said-demanding-3m#maincontent), the title ‘Travelex ‘being held to ransom’ by hackers said to be demanding $3m‘ almost said it all and then I noticed something. First we get “Criminals are thought to be demanding about $3m (£2.3m) – to give the firm access to its computer systems after they attacked using the Sodinokibi ransomware on 31 December“, the price is not set without quarter, this we get from “They are reportedly threatening to release 5GB of customers’ personal data – including social security numbers, dates of birth and payment card information – into the public domain unless the company pays up” as well as “banks who use Travelex’s foreign exchange services to stop taking online orders for currency, affecting Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and First Direct.” You see Travelex, based in London, has a presence in more than 70 countries with more than 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs worldwide. It processes more than 5,000 currency transactions every hour yet, even as we see that it is on the London Stock Exchange, however the group is based in the United Arab Emirates. As for the actions we see “On Thursday 2 January, the Met’s cyber crime team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing” here is the snag, what are the chances that US actions are impeded as it impacts 70 countries? Is there a reason why the FBI is not equally involved? You see, Sodinokibi is a spin off from Gandcrab and as we see (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-releases-master-decryption-keys-for-gandcrab-ransomware/) the FBI got those keys. Now the keys will not be compatible, but if they get one solution, they might get another solution. The fact that corporations are hit and we see “the developers behind the wildly successful GandCrab Ransomware announced that they were closing shop after allegedly amassing $2 billion in ransom payments and personally earning $150 million“, we would want to think that the FBI is on top of this and get some pay-back (I had to use that pun).

We also learn from Acronis “Sodinokibi ransomware exploits an Oracle WebLogic vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725) to gain access to the victim’s machine“, and when we go to the Oracle page we see that there had been a solution from last May onwards. there is also the part “Product releases that are not under Premier Support or Extended Support are not tested for the presence of vulnerabilities addressed by this Security Alert. However, it is likely that earlier versions of affected releases are also affected by these vulnerabilities. As a result, Oracle recommends that customers upgrade to supported versions” the question becomes did Travelex forget to do a few things? the article does not pan out on that.

Yet in all this IT News (at https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ransomware-shuts-down-travelex-systems-536191) gives us ‘Unpatched systems could be attack vector, say researchers‘, and they also give us “No evidence has surfaced so far that structured personal customer data has been encrypted, or exfiltrated. This is in contrast with a report in Computer Weekly that alleged the criminals deploying the Revil/Sodinokibi ransomware had attacked servers storing sensitive, confidential information that included customer names and their bank account and transaction details” and it does not stop there. They also give us “Troy Mursch, chief research officer at security vendor Bad Packets said it notified the forex multinational in September of a serious vulnerability in its Pulse Virtual Private Networking servers. The vulnerability went unpatched until November” which sets a much larger question mark on the entire issue as the news give us that the attack came almost a month after that. They curtiously also give us “Prior to that, security researcher Kevin Beaumont noted that Travelex was operating cloud instances of Windows Server on Amazon Web Services that had Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enabled and exposed to the internet, but with Network Level Access (NLA) control disabled. An RDP flaw, known as BlueKeep, allows for full remote compromise of Windows without user interaction” and these issues are not asked about? At least the Guardian article does not stop on them. 

The most hilarious response is seen at the very end of the IT News article with “Despite the attack closing down online systems, Travelex said it does not currently anticipate any material financial impact for its parent Finablr” Travelex might have numerous issues to consider, but the customer does not make the high point of that, or as I would mildly put it, who cares about Finablr? Well I reckon that the London Stock Exchange cares as the value of Finablr made a crashing 17% loss, that is almost one in five pounds that is lost too those bright young lads (ladies also). They advertise (on their website) ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary technology‘ instead of ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary hackable technology‘. It is a small difference, but a distinct one, especially as Oracle had placed a solution for months and the second message by Kevion Beaumont does not help any I reckon. In support a source gave the BBC that they feel let down, complaining that their travel money is “in limbo”, which is interesting, as the Guardian article gives us “Travelex first revealed the New Year’s Eve attack on 2 January, when it sought to assure that no customer data had yet been compromised” and as the article came 5 days after, the absence of victim mentioning is an interesting one, it seems that Travelex is not handling this situation well on a few levels, optionally also in arrear of making mantion towards the customers, all in opposition to the text on Travelex.com, which gives (among more data) “Tony D’Souza, Chief Executive of Travelex, said “Our focus is on communicating directly with our partners and customers to protect them and their information from any further compromise. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy and security of our partner and customer’s data as well as provide an excellent service to our customers and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Travelex continues to offer services to its customers on a manual basis and is continuing to provide alternative customer solutions in the interim. We are working tirelessly to bring our systems back online.”” 

As such we get Travelex giving us one part and the BBC giving quite the opposite, and at this point my question becomes, exactly how much money is ‘in limbo‘?

That and a few more parts all rise to the surface when I look into this matter, the entire time gap on the side of Travelex being the most prevalent one. The one part that Acronis made me wonder about was the exemption list, the fact that It will try not to infect computers from countries based on the locale setting of the computer, which gives us “Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanian, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan“, the reason is unknown to me, perhaps they fear those countries and their ‘justice system’?

By the way, the entire Finablr website mention was essential, they are so for the ‘future’ yet security is seemingly not among it. That part is seen when we consider “In April 2019, the Cybereason Nocturnus team analyzed a new type of evasive ransomware dubbed Sodinokibi“, as such it took the Oracle team months to get a solution made (which makes perfect sense) yet the lack of implementation by Travelex is less normal. From all information it seems to me that Travelex should have made larger steps to be secure no later than Halloween, so the issue is a little larger than we consider, and the fact that Sodinokibi is a much larger field that goes back a few billion dollars. This is a contemplated speculation when we look at CSO Online where we get “While Sodinokibi is not necessarily a direct continuation of GandCrab, researchers have found code and other similarities between the two, indicating a likely connection” implying that for at least one person $150 million was not enough. 

As such, the entire Travelex issue will be around much longer than the ransomware will be, there will need to be a larger amount of questions to its mother organisation Finablr as well. From my speculative side it seems that some players are lacking certain IT skills, or/and a larger shortage of it, that is the initial feeling I got when I saw the information that Troy Mursch and Kevin Beaumont handed over to the press, and so far the information as seen supports a larger failing in Travelex and optionally Finablr as well. There is support for my way of thinking, no matter who is on the board of directors, none of them are IT experts and that is fine, yet by not having a visionary IT expert leading the charge we see a larger failing coming their way. It is not merely having an IT department and a security department, someone needs to spearhead and protect IT issues in the Board of Directors and there is no evidence that this is happening, actually the Travelex issue gives rise that it is not happening at all. More important, the issue with the website is that it is highly sales oriented, and when I had a look there (I reckon the Sodinokibi members as well), I wondered how secure are Unimoni, Xpress Money, Remit2India, Ditto and Swych? When one of these points get attacked, will the board of directors act appropriately? It is optionally a little ironic that they are hit whilst they advertised a paper on their site on November 20th (a month before the attack) ‘Why data protection is your new strategic priority‘, my initial thought? ‘Sarcasm, when it backfires it becomes irony!‘ Yes it seems like a cheap ride from my side, but we forget that Common Cyber Sense is a real thing and corporations need a much larger vested interest in being safe than ever before, GandCrab showed that part months before this event took place and I reckon that Financial corporations need to take a much larger vested interest in that matter, or so I am led to believe, I could (of course) be wrong.

What do you think?

 

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