Tag Archives: James Comey

Screwed either way

Some will remember James Comey, at present former Director of the FBI. In addition, we need to remember on how during the final parts of the election Hillary Clinton came under investigations regarding her handling of certain matters as Secretary of State. In my mind her chances went out the window as she had bungled the Benghazi affair in the most stupid way possible. From my point of view it could have gotten her at least a million extra votes if she had done that thing right. In that Case, the 16 votes for Michigan might have been Democratic, in addition, the 29 votes for Florida and 10 for Wisconsin could have sealed the deal as the differences were really low, no guarantee, but the limping to the finish line as some newspapers reported imply that those three would have been up for grabs at that point. Would it have been enough. Was James Comey the trigger that made it falter? It would be too speculative to say ‘Yes!’

Consider the extremely hostile environment of the US and their need to be ‘by the book’ to do it according to whatever rules they decide. The fact that Hillary Clinton did office work via private email and servers and then suddenly the materials cannot be produced. This means that she gets to do government work off the books, with every possibility to feed her personal needs. I am not saying she did, I am saying she could have done that and there will be no evidence to help prove it. My issue was with the Benghazi situation. Where we see: ‘State Department officials were later criticized for denying requests for additional security at the consulate prior to the attack. In her role as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton subsequently took responsibility for the security lapses‘, which was almost the brunt of it, the fact that certain parties were not upfront about the issue and it took Freedom Of Information Act requests by the Republican National Committee to truly get things going publicly. From CNN and Politico we learn “a lack of cooperation from Obama administration officials and Secretary Clinton for the lack of progress“, certain parties were dragging their heels as the spokesperson had to admit that they were pretty much clueless on the situation, that level of ignorance got an US ambassador killed. It might have blown over, but with the death of an Ambassador it was no longer an option as the world would be watching. This issue, even as Clinton took the blame towards herself, would not clear her. She failed a position of high office and as such giving her an even higher position was a bit of a no-no. Consider that the request for additional security was denied, the next time around it could impact the security of a nation. The entire terrorist push, the billions on security are now the anchor that no party can ignore. Stating that there will be no danger could start the second civil war in the US as the intelligence and security services have been spending billions meant for welfare and education. In this we now see the issue that was brought to light later as “classified information ended up on the laptop of the disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner“, now we get “Mr. Comey had told the Senate Judiciary Committee that during the F.B.I.’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, officers uncovered evidence that Mrs. Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin, had “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information” to Mr. Weiner, her husband“, so an unqualified person forwarded from a private server mails to people who had no business getting the information. This is how nations are put into danger, this is how National Security falters. In this people want to protect the Clintons from being utter dicks in negating the need for security. In addition, the NY Times gives us the quote (at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/politics/comey-clinton-emails-testimony.html) “Our investigation determined that Ms. Abedin commonly forwarded emails to others who would print documents for her,” Gregory A. Brower, the assistant director in the F.B.I.’s Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa“, so not only is she stupid, she is commonly stupid? What other information went innocuously to indirect receivers at for example, Wall Street, or a friend in financial hardship? James Comey did what was requested from him as the news has shown in several times that House republicans requested the probe and now a Republican fires Comey for doing so.

The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/09/james-comey-fbi-fired-donald-trump), gives us: “Clinton partly blamed Comey’s letter in late October notifying Congress that the FBI was studying the emails on the laptop, for costing her the presidential election”, which sounds nice from her side, but when we realise that she allowed in principle for hundreds of classified mails to go unchecked via a third party to another person who should have no access at all. The fact that she is not in prison for gross negligence, or even on charges much worse is for her the smallest blessing in disguise”.

I will admit that there are issues on the Comey side too, yet again, when we realise that this was all in a timed situation during the running of the presidential election, and timed by republicans, there is one part that seems to stand out, as I see it, for the next 8 years, the republicans will not get any assistance that is a letter outside of the official brief request. The republicans have thrown away any options for small favours. Yet perhaps that might be their game, because as more and more people realise the dangers of the Financial Choice Act, it might be that James Comey was too much of an unknown straight shooter according to Wall Street. I wonder what friend of Wall Street will get to be appointed next. You think that my speculation is wrong? Perhaps it is, I just find it a little weird that a person who did his job in weird times, at request of the republicans, gets fired by that same group. Perhaps President Trump is merely throwing a fictive olive branch at the democrats, perhaps and more likely he was being misinformed by someone really liking someone else to be in that place. In my view there are issues on both sides, yet the direct clarity is that there has been a proven case that former Presidential runner Hillary Clinton was stupid in the way she did things and more stupid having an aide that had no office setup to properly print things, as well as knowingly share classified information with third parties. That part only came to light as the 52-year-old congressman decided to do some sexting with a 15 year old. Without that, it might not have come to light. The issue then becomes, who else, who should not be receiving any of it, ended up with classified information, who else came with: ‘shall I print that out for you?’ In this, the one support against the Wall Street Journal would be the quote “His probe of the former Secretary of State’s private email server is looking more like a kid-glove exercise with each new revelation“, which might not be incorrect, yet the election was in full swing, there was an issue that could constitute electoral fraud, which would be a big no-no to a lawyer like James Comey. He was pushed by the republicans in a hard place with no real solution. Yet in all this none of the papers stated at the headline the one part that mattered and remains unstated too often: ‘Hillary Clinton did this to herself!

There is one remaining side which we get from loyal republican Bill O’Reilly. He is illuminating it all without using the speculation I use (I am a blogger after all), we see: “Now, if you are Comey, you are basically taking copies of all your files, because if there is something wrong here – by wrong I mean, if Comey was doing his job, and now is fired because he was doing his job – Comey has got to get that out”, and there is more at https://www.billoreilly.com/b/OReilly-from-his-car-on-the-Firing-of-FBI-Director-James-Comey/662156856740165995.html. The issue is seen not by just me, but by several people, some of them scrutinising the FBI even more than I ever would, they state ‘Comey is fired because he was doing his job’, which is to many of us a real no-no, that whilst the Clinton gang goes on making loads of coin. The injustice is slightly more than I can stomach. So, as such I feel correct in my speculation, this was not about the Clinton mails, this is about making an FBI shake up for what comes next. It is done now because one additional quality win makes Comey almost untouchable and at that point too many people on the hill (that famous one in Washington DC) will ask a few more questions on both sides of the political isle. That is the part they have no worry about when the next one in the hot seat gets given the hot potato no one wants. It is a stretch on my side, I agree to that, yet with the loud noises that the Financial Choice Act is making and with groups and strong people in high places are now asking loudly what is wrong with the Republicans enabling Wall Street to this agree. As we see that consumers will lose more rights to defend themselves in these matters, having an FBI director with a strong moral compass is not something that the White House or the Senate might be comfortable with. I might be wrong here, and I likely am. Yet when you get fired for doing your job, more questions should be asked, especially as it is the position where one person has a goal to keep its citizens safe from several dangers. I hope you got that much at least.


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As messages pass by

There has been a lot of throwing regarding e-mails in the 11th hour of the campaign. As elections are officially about to start, the need to get them out in favour of the Republican side seems to be clear. Yet, in all this there is an equal worry why the Democrats have let this get so out of hand.

For those who do not keep up to date with the daily need of any Clinton e-mail, let’s mull this over, so that the sequential parts will be a lot easier to understand. For the most, part of the history (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/29/the-history-of-the-clinton-email-controversy.html) will give you part of the goods, but it is still a little short.

You see, this all goes back to 2012, when the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia started a coordinated attack against two US government facilities in Benghazi, Libya. It resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. It was the New York Daily News that reported on State Department officials who were criticized for denying requests for additional security at the consulate prior to the attack. In her role as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton subsequently took responsibility for the security lapses. So, that should have been the end of it, should it not? The basic premise is that mistakes will happen, it is really not great when lives are lost, but it is a danger many foreign dignitaries in conflict places face.

Although, at this point, one valid question becomes debatable: ‘Should any elected official making such a lapse of security be regarded as a possible president of the United States?’

I am merely phrasing the question, it is not an answer pushing you into the direction of the Yes or No answer. What followed was a media rush towards the semantics of ‘Act of Terror‘ versus ‘Act of Terrorism‘. I am calling this an issue of semantics as in the end Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens ended up being equally dead, so in that regard there was no impact. Just as many have seen, but perhaps not realised that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer claimed that a State Department e-mail, which passed along a report from Embassy Tripoli that Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility for the attack on Facebook and Twitter was evidence that the White House knew of terrorist connections to the attack almost immediately. Charles Krauthammer stated, “This is really a journalistic scandal. I mean, the fact there was not a word about any of this in the New York Times or the Washington Post today.” This comes from the 23rd October 2012. The issue now is that there are layers of issues not dealt with. Consider this part and also consider the Senate Hearing Response by Hillary Clinton “With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans?! What difference, at this point, does it make?!“, which is only part of the response, yet the response in the hours before the attack would have been important, especially as the movie linked to all this ‘Innocence of Muslims‘, a movie by an Egyptian born Coptic Christian, an anti-Islamic movie with the intent to denigrate Islam’s prophet, Muhammad. Was there really no clue that this would have repercussions? In addition, Anti-Islamic content had been added in post-production by dubbing, without the actors’ knowledge (source: Christian Science Monitor). What is interesting is that Sarah Abdurrahman states “If you watch closely, you can see that when the actors are reading parts of the script that do not contain Islam-specific language, the audio from the sound stage is used (the audio that was recorded as the actors were simultaneously being filmed). But anytime the actors are referring to something specific to the religion (the Prophet Muhammed, the Quran, etc.) the audio recorded during filming is replaced with a poorly executed post-production dub. And if you look EVEN closer, you can see that the actors’ mouths are saying something other than what the dub is saying.“, this is important because it clearly implies an attack on religious values, one that the Muslim community values above all others. Now we cannot expect that the internet is policed to a certain extent, yet in light of the trailer, was there really no one who asked ‘could this get out of hand?‘, whilst in the other direction, the fact that the trailer had been online for almost 50 days, were there no danger flags at all? So on a September 11th day, was there no perception at all that there could be a dangerous situation? In addition there was a PDF (at http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo33519/Flashing%20Red-HSGAC%20Special%20Report%20final.pdf), where the Regional Security Officer in Libya compiled a list of 234 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012, 50 of which took place in Benghazi.

  1. America and American interests were (regardless of reason) under direct terrorist attack.
  2. The State Department should have increased security on several levels
  3. It gives another view to the Senate hearing in light of certain facts (January 23rd 2013)
  4. The United States Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs paper from December 2012 shows that additional security would have been essential.

Now, why is this so important during an election? For the most, we could call trivialise all this in regards to ‘administrative failure‘, which will happen, even as we all realise that lives were lost, it gives weight to the response that Hillary Clinton gave. As she stated “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again” as well as “The Intelligence Community has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out”, which now makes the second one a killer to say the least.

This is now part of the problem!

You see, the email controversy is not just that mails were missing, it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton, as she served as the United States Secretary of State, had used her family’s private email server for official communications, instead of the State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. So certain triggers could have been missed and an issue of reporting now exists. In addition, the mere notion that thousands of emails that would later be marked classified by the State Department retroactively had been on other servers is also a clear case for response. This now gets us to Bill O’Reilly (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCYma3zZf7U), who now informs us on two sides that matter. At 2:11 we see the ‘accountability of people in power‘, which is an issue at any given day, yet there might be a clear explanation, yet the implied issues as seen gives us that there has been a level of miscommunication going all the way to the Oval Office, which is now a really big issue. In that regard, the Clinton campaign is getting cut all over the place, in addition, at 4:16, there is now the implied issue that FBI director James Comey was either not aware or covered up the private email issues as they were missing from the summation of the case.

Now, after all the grief that FBI director James Comey is now receiving. In addition, Nevada Democrat Senator Harry Reid gives us ‘James Comey may have broken law‘, is that so Harry? The trouble with Harry is that he doesn’t seem to mention on how private email servers and not the State.gov servers were used. Can we all agree that this might be the bigger issue, for more than one reason? The fact that impeachment could be due to all or any crime that abuses office powers, we could surmise that there is an optional case of perjury. If proven, we can avoid the entire election. That is not, as Harry Reid states ‘interference in an election‘, but the investigation of possible criminal acts. On one side, if this goes up after the elections and should Hillary Clinton win, than it is a first in history that both members of a family, both in a position of presidential powers gets impeached for ‘Perjury and obstruction of justice’, which is at his mere age of 76 still an interesting event to personally witness. Harry gets enthusiastic in his speech as given on the Huffington Post. You see he states “letting her GOP opponent get away with breaking the law“, which is interesting as the system does not seem to make a criminal ineligible for running for office. It mentions that you need to be an American and once elected you cannot run a second time for president (re-election does not apply), so a one term president cannot be a president again. When we look at the Constitution, Article 2, we get an interesting side. Section 4 gives us: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours“, this implies that a felon can legally become president of the United States, practically that is a lot less certain.

So here we get the trouble with Harry. You see, until the election it is the premise of conviction, if Hillary Clinton gets prosecuted and convicted regarding the Benghazi mails after a successful election, she would be impeached. It is a possible and practical solution, but it isn’t likely and in addition initially James Comey made a notification of events. In light of the Washington Post (as well as the Guardian) we see “Their decision partly reflected the institutional power of the FBI director, Comey’s personality and the political realities they were facing, according to current and former Justice Officials. In this case, officials said Comey put the department in an untenable position by informing them that he was sending a letter to Congress because he had an obligation to lawmakers or they would feel misled“, is this separation of powers at its finest, or is this a mere loophole? We need to see this in contrast to another quote in the same article. Here we see: “At the July news conference, Comey announced that the FBI had completed its investigation of Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. Comey said he was recommending to the Justice Department that Clinton not be charged, but he added that Clinton and her colleagues had been “extremely careless” in their handling of classified information.”” So it was after July that things escalated. The part that we see ‘when Harry met Hillary’ is that the path that is taken is odd to say the least. The mention by James Comey ‘in an unrelated case‘ as well as the fact that when this all happened Hillary Clinton should have had a cleaning pass on a very high level. That never happened, for the most it is an actual consideration exactly HOW Anthony Weiner got these mails to say the least. Consider that he left congress in June 2011, a little more than two months before it all happened. So how and exactly why was he kept in the loop? If the facts are correct, we are now facing a case where Hillary Clinton mailed classified materials to an outsider. A part that leads to even more questions when we see “FBI director James Comey revealed the existence of the emails, which law-enforcement sources said were linked to Weiner’s estranged wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin“, which now gets the Clintons in even more hot water. It came from a private server, it went to the top aide and she was using the laptop of resigned congressman Anthony Weiner, now it seems that the mails were meant for his wife, did she not have her own laptop (at http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/30/fbi-obtains-warrant-for-newly-discovered-emails-in-clinton-probe–as-reid-accuses-comey-of-hatch-act-violation.html)?

From my view, the fact that classified materials went via unqualified sources to a device owned by a person who’s is no longer in office. It seems that Harry is spinning his way through legal mentions whilst ignoring transgressions of classified communications. So, Harry needs to be careful on whacking the paint brush around. In the end, there is of course a chance that it will influence the election, but we could in equal margins consider that the Clintons, due to careless ignoring mails in the field, the entire mess ended up hurting themselves again.

It is because the clarity of what actually happened is out there is missing, is exactly why this is now coming to blows now. As for the mention of ‘Reid Accuses Comey of Hatch Act Violation‘, we should in equal measure consider that this is not an act where we see ‘political activity’, this is an FBI director who is now looking into possible criminal negligence and the fact that classified materials were on a laptop not owned for the person who the intended mail was, in addition, it belonged to a person no longer in office, so those conditions could well spell more mess as former Hillary Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and another top aide had “some” classified material on laptops they turned over to the bureau in its probe of Clinton’s private server use as secretary of state. Through her own statements, we saw that she was unaware what classified meant, she did not use the proper protocols on sending classified, secret and more than 20 top secret emails. So as we see Senator Harry Reid go all up in arms, we need to consider one additional quote from the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/comey-gives-in-to-shameful-partisanship/2016/10/30/c31c714a-9ed8-11e6-8d63-3e0a660f1f04_story.html). “The evidence suggests that FBI Director James B. Comey is a decent man. The evidence also suggests that he has been intimidated by pressure from Republicans in Congress whose interest is not in justice but in destroying Hillary Clinton“, that seems to be the driving force here. It is my personal belief that this is what happened and this is why the initial mail was so vague. If I resort to calling a spade a spade then I would state: “Yo Harry, we know that you are stupid, but you are not stupid. You know what I am saying?” Instead of lashing out to the Republicans in congress, instead of looking why the massive level of ignorance from a former Secretary of State wasn’t properly cleaned up the moment it was a clear visibility issue, we will get to the direct consequence of dropping the ball on the bottom of the 9th when you are down 4 points and this is the last play. It could cost you the game and that is exactly what could happen at this point. When you trace all this information back you get to the clear understanding that WikiLeaks doesn’t need to find whistle-blowers, with the cyber negligence we see at present, Congress could in theory be supplying WikiLeaks with Top Secret information for decades to come (dramatically over-sized speculation). Perhaps Congress could take a moment to send an unclassified email to Maj Gen William T. Lord (you know the dude in charge of the Air Force Cyber Units) requesting a highly needed presentation on ‘Common Cyber Sense‘, it seems that a sizeable population on Capitol Hill is in dire need of one. #JustSaying


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Targeting the FBI

Do not worry, the FBI is not under attack from any hostile force, in this particular case it is me who will be on the offensive regarding statements made in 2014. Let me explain why. To get to the start of this event, we need to take a step back, to be a little more precise we need to turn to the moment 645 days ago when we read that Sony got hacked, it got hacked by none other than North Korea. It took me around an hour to stop laughing, the stomach cramps from laughter are still on my mind when I think back to that day. By the way, apart from me having degrees in this field. People a lot more trustworthy in this field, like Kim Zetter for Wired Magazine and Kurt Stammberger from cyber security firm Norse. The list of sceptics as well as prominent names from the actual hacking world, they all had issues with the statements.

We had quotes from FBI Director James Comey on how tightly internet access is controlled there (which is actually true), and (at https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/update-on-sony-investigation) we see “the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions“. I am pretty sure that the FBI did not expect that this would bite them down the track. This all whilst they rejected the alternate hack theory that Cyber Intelligence firm Norse gave (at http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/fbi-rejects-alternate-sony-hack-theory-113893). Weirdly enough, the alternative option was no less than ten times more possible then the claim that some made. Another claim to have a giggle at came from Homeland Security, the quote was “The cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment was not just an attack against a company and its employees. It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life“, which is a political statement that actually does not say much. The person making it at the time was Jeh Johnson.

You see, this is all coming to light now for the weirdest of reasons. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/21/north-korea-only-28-websites-leak-official-data). The subtitle gives us “Apparent error by a regime tech worker gave the world a rare glimpse into the few online sources of information available“, so one of these high profile worldly infamous hackers got a setting wrong and we get “But its own contribution to the world wide web is tiny, according to a leak that revealed the country has just 28 registered domains. The revelation came after one of North Korea’s top-level name servers was incorrectly configured to reveal a list of all the domain names under the domain .kp“, you see, here we see part of the fun that will now escalate.

In this I invite NSA director Admiral Michael Rogers and FBI Director James Comey to read this, take note, because it is a free lesson in IT (to some extent). It is also a note for these two to investigate what talents their agencies actually have and to get rid of those who are kissing your sitting area for political reasons (which is always good policy). When  the accused nation has 28 websites, it is, I agree not an indication of other internet elements, but let me add to this.

The need to prototype and test any kind of malware and the infrastructure that could actually be used against the likes of Sony might be routed via North-Korea, but could never originate there. The fact that your boffins can’t tell the difference is a clear given that the cyber branch of your organisations are not up to scrap. In that case it is now imperative that you both contact Major General Christopher P. Weggeman, who is the Commander, 24th Air Force and Commander, Air Forces Cyber (AFCYBER). He should most likely be at Lackland Air Force Base, and the phone number of the base is (210) 671-1110. I reckon setting up a lunch meeting and learn a thing or two is not entirely unneeded. This is not me being sarcastic, this is me telling you two that the case was mishandled, got botched and now that due to North Korean ‘expertise’, plenty of people will be asking questions. The time requirement to get the data that got taken was not something that happened overnight. For the simple reason that that much data would have lit up an internet backbone and ever log alarm would have been ringing. The statement that the FBI made “it was unlikely that a third party had hijacked these addresses without allowance from the North Korean government” was laughable because of those pictures where we saw the Korean high-command behind a desktop system with a North Korean President sitting behind what is a mere desktop that has the computation equivalent of a Cuisena Egg Beater ($19.95 at Kitchen Warehouse).

Now, in opposition, I sit myself against me. You see, this might just be a rant, especially without clarification. All those North Korean images could just be misdirection. You see, to pull of the Sony caper you need stimulation, like a student would get at places like MIT, Stanford, or UTS. Peers challenging his solutions and blocking success, making that person come up with smarter solutions. Plenty of nations have hardware and challenging people and equipment that could offer it, but North Korea does not have any of that. The entire visibility as you would see from those 28 domains would have required to be of much higher sophistication. You see, for a hacker, there needs to be a level of sophistication that is begotten from challenge and experience. North Korea has none of that. Evidence of that was seen a few years ago when in 2012 in Pyongyang I believe, a press bus took a wrong turn. When some reporters mentioned on how a North Korean (military I believe) had no clue on smartphones. I remember seeing it on the Dutch NOS News program. The level of interaction and ignorance within a military structure could not be maintained as such the military would have had a clue to a better extent. The ignorance shown was not feigned or played, meaning that a technological level was missing, the fact that a domain setting was missed also means that certain monitoring solutions were not in place, alerting those who needed to on the wrongful domain settings, which is essential in regards to the entire hacking side. The fact that Reddit and several others have screenshots to the degree they have is another question mark in all this last but not least to those who prototype hacking solutions, as they need serious bandwidth to test how invisible they are (especially regarding streaming of Terabytes of Sony data), all these issues are surfacing from this mere article that the Guardian might have placed for entertainment value to news, but it shows that December 2014 is a very different story. Not only does it have the ability to exonerate the

We see a final quote from Martyn Williams, who runs the North Korea Tech blog ““It’s important to note this isn’t the domain name system for the internal intranet,” Williams wrote. “That isn’t accessible from the internet in any way.”” which is true to some extent. In that case take a look to the PDF (at https://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-usa-07/Grossman/Whitepaper/bh-usa-07-grossman-WP.pdf) from WhiteHat security. On page 4 we get “By simply selecting common net-block, scans of an entire Class-C range can be completed in less than 60 seconds“, yes, I agree you do not get that much info from that, but it gives us to some extent usage, you see, if something as simple as a domain setting is wrong, there is a massive chance that more obscure essential settings on intranet level have been missed, giving the ‘visitor’ options to a lot more information than most would expect. Another matter that the press missed (a few times), no matter how Time stated that the world was watching (at http://time.com/3660757/nsa-michael-rogers-sony-hack/), data needs to get from point to point, usually via a router, so the routers before it gets to North Korea, what were those addresses, how much data got ported through?

You see, the overreaction from the FBI, Homeland Security, NSA et al was overly visible. The political statements were so out in the open, so strong, that I always wondered: what else? You see, as I see it, Sony was either not the only one who got hacked, or Sony lost something else. The fact that in January 2015 Sony gave the following statement “Sony Entertainment is unable to confirm that hackers have been eradicated from its computer systems more than a month after the film studio was hit by a debilitating cyber-attack, a report says“, I mentioned it in my article ‘Slander versus Speculation‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/03/slander-versus-speculation/). I thought it was the weirdest of statements. Basically, they had almost 3 weeks to set up a new server, to monitor all data traffic, giving indication that not only a weird way was used to get to the data (I speculated on an option that required it to be an inside job), yet more important, the fact that access had not been identified, meaning it was secured gave way to the issue that the hackers could have had access to more than just what was published. That requires a little bit more explanation. You see, as I personally see it, to know a transgressor we need to look at an oversimplified equation: ‘access = valid people + valid systems + threats‘ if threats cannot be identified, the issue could be that more than one element is missing, so either you know all the access, you know all the people and you know the identity of valid systems. Now at a place like Sony it is not that simple, but the elements remain the same. Only when more than one element cannot be measured do you get the threats to be a true unknown. That is at play then and it is still now. So if servers were compromised, Sony would need a better monitoring system. It’s my personal belief (and highly speculative) that Sony, like many other large companies have been cutting corners so certain checks and balances are not there, which makes a little sense in case of Sony with all those new expansions corners were possibly cut and at that point it had an IT department missing a roadmap, meaning the issue is really more complex (especially for Sony) because systems are not aligned. Perhaps that is the issue Sony had (again this is me speculating on it)?

What is now an issue is that North Korea is showing exactly as incapable as I thought it was and there is a score of Cyber specialists, many of them a lot bigger then I will ever become stating the same. I am not convinced it was that simple to begin with, for one, the amount of questions the press and others should have been asking regarding cloud security is one that I missed reading about and certain governmental parts in the US and other nations have been pushing for this cheaper solution, the issue being that it was not as secure as it needed to be, yet the expert levels were not on par so plenty of data would have been in danger of breaching. The question I had then and have now a lot louder is: “Perhaps Sony showed that cloud server data is even less secure than imagined and the level required to get to it is not as high as important stakeholders would need it to be“. That is now truly a question that matters! Because if there is any truth to that speculation, than the question becomes how secure is your personal data an how unaware are the system controllers of those cloud servers? The question not asked and it might have been resolved over the last 645 days, yet if data was in danger, who has had access and should the people have been allowed to remain unaware, especially if it is not the government who gained access?

Questions all worthy of answers, but in light of ‘statements made’ who can be trusted to get the people properly informed? Over the next days as we see how one element (the 28 sites) give more and more credible views on how North Korea was never the culprit, the question then becomes: who was? I reckon that if the likely candidates (China, Russia, UK and France) are considered there might not be an issue at all, apart from the fact that Sony needs to up their Cyber game, but if organised crime got access, what else have they gotten access to?

It is a speculative question and a valid one, for the mere reason that there is at present no valid indication that the FBI cyber unit had a decent idea, especially in light of the official response towards cyber security firm Norse what was going on.

Could I be wrong?

That remains a valid question. Even when we accept that the number of websites are no indication of Intranet or cybersecurity skills, they are indicative, when a nation has less websites than some third world villages, or their schools have. It is time to ask a few very serious questions, because skills only remain so through training and the infrastructure to test and to train incursions on a WAN of a Fortune 500 company is not an option, even if that person has his or her own Cray system to crunch codes. It didn’t make sense then and with yesterday’s revelation, it makes even less sense.

Finally one more speculation for the giggle within us all. This entire exercise could have been done to prevent ‘the Interview’ to become a complete flop. You know that movie that ran in the US in 581 theatres and made globally $11,305,175 (source: Box Office Mojo), basically about 10% of what Wolf of Wall Street made domestically.

What do you think?


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Perception is an essential need for all of us. Yes, it is used in videogames where the power of perception allows us to see our foes approach earlier (Fallout series), or it allows the game to play with our minds as floors become ceilings and where statues follow your every move (Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem). Just two of many options, but this is not about gaming or about a videogame. You see perception allows us to perceive the events as they take place. From my perception it is clear that the events in Martin Place were never terrorism, it was merely a case of a mental health crises with a hostage situation and that person happened to be a Muslim.

The events in France were clearly terrorism, it is that clear view that we could all watch that diminished whatever terrorism claim existed over Sydney, and perception does that.

But what about San Bernardino?

You see, that is not a question, it is not THE question, but it is an essential question. The guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/04/san-bernardino-shooting-tashfeen-malik-isis-connection). Here we see that the FBI is investigating this shooting as an act of terrorism.

To their support we should consider

  1. Suspects attempted to destroy ‘digital fingerprints’
  2. Tashfeen Malik allegedly made pledge of allegiance to Isis in a Facebook post on day of the attack
  3. FBI director James Comey said that there was “no indication that the killers are part of an organised larger group or form part of a cell. There is no indication that they are part of a network.

In the first three elements, it is important to realise that the first one gives view to premeditation.

These three need to be kept in mind, yet the main issue is not just those three, now I need to push a few quotes together, so you see the view that I also perceive to be.

Tashfeen Malik, 27, swore fealty to the terror group in a Facebook post on Wednesday, the same day she and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, committed the rampage” is part one, which we now connect to “David Chelsey, a lawyer for Farook and Malik’s family, said many details “do not add up”. “There are a lot of disconnects and there are a lot of unknowns and there are a lot of things that quite frankly don’t add up, or seem implausible,” he told CNN. “It doesn’t make sense. No one has ever seen Syed with any of the things – with some of the things found on the scene, they’ve never seen them with him. The pipe bombs, for example. No one had ever seen him use or have anything like that,” he said“.

Now we get the issue at hand. If we accept David Chelsey’s words as absolute truth, we are faced with at least two scenarios that are a lot harsher than you might consider at present.

  • In the first, is David Chelsey in absolute lawyer mode? So to say, if the families Farook and Malik require isolation from the events, this is the play to make, which means that his clients might not have told him the truth. They might not have been lying, but that is not the same. Yes, it is possible that they never saw a pipe bomb, but that does not mean that they have not been privy to eccentricities like buying goods in the middle of nowhere when you can buy the same items 15 minutes away from their home. The lawyer might just be doing his job, but in equal measure he is aiding in changing a view from realistic to an intentional attempt to misinform the federal authorities, or more precise his clients are. It is an additional view towards premeditation in the worst case, and an intentional act to colour the glasses of those trying to sway the public.

Why am I stating this?

Consider you are a parent and your child picks up a gun and kills fellow schoolies and teachers, how would you react? When we have a mental health case like Sydney that view is one we can all understand, but what if your child shouts allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, now it becomes a different game, now the parent does whatever he/she does not to lose their own sanity. Can you blame them?

So is the FBI confronted with a case where the family was unaware, in denial or hiding their involvement/ we can state that the lawyer is not helping any of it, but that is not his fault, the FBI’s job does not get to be any easier!

  • In the second, when we consider the acts from Malik, who was born in Pakistan and travelled on a Pakistani passport, and recently lived in Saudi Arabia. She apparently met Farook online. In addition, the participation of Syed Rizwan Farook now ups the ante in all this. In addition we read “Christian Nwadike, who worked with Farook for five years, told CBS that his co-worker had been different since he returned from Saudi Arabia. “I think he married a terrorist,” Nwadike said“, so here is the issue, how did Christian Nwadike know? I am not stating he is right or wrong, I am asking, what signs were there? You see, I am going somewhere with this. Was Syed Rizwan Farook groomed for terrorism during his engagement period? It seems he lived an isolated life, which goes a long way towards making him an easier mark, yet in that, from the little I know of Muslims, one woman alone could not have done this, which implies that he’s had additional conversations with a Muslim Cleric, one he met whilst in Saudi Arabia, possibly with contacts before and after he came back, which would have gone a long way towards move for extremism, which makes destroying the digital fingerprint essential and possibly that part, if successful is part of the problem because that method can be employed again and not just in the US.

So is that all?

You see, this opens the door to the issue the FBI has been puzzling over for the better part of a decade. Home grown terrorism was always a worry, but the extent shown in San Bernardino gives view that part of all this remained under the radar of the FBI, which is the perception issue they have. They knew they had it, as they were trying to find options on how to deal with this, but in all this the reality is that perception is the only initial weapon a person have to counter the imagination of an extreme fanatic, yet is that enough and what else could there be?

It is not something that is easily answered. You see as FBI director Comey said, there are elements of evidence that will not make sense, but is that because the picture is distorted or is that because elements are missing. That is part of the puzzle that both the FBI and Homeland security are facing at present. This now gets us to the next perception, is this in part Lone wolf terrorism? The act here might not be, but the ‘support’ system behind this, is that part lone wolf terrorism? You see, part of these answers are not here yet and perhaps it will take a while for this to surface, but when we consider the pipe bombs we are also left with other questions. If this was a one way trip, why did the police find the dozen pipe bombs? KSNV, News3LV reports (at http://www.news3lv.com/content/news/story/12-pipe-bombs-thousands-of-ammo-found/sf3rLM0bzEWOxM3pBXLpZA.cspx), “Authorities have revealed 12 pipe bombs and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition were found inside the San Bernardino suspect’s believed residence“, did they expect to start shooting, get away, go home and load up for the next round? You see, in all this perception is key. Now consider the elements that are required to buy and make these pipe bombs. Are you telling me that this does not get noticed? Well, apparently not. I can go to www.bulkammo.com and get myself 500 Rounds of 7.62x54r for the FN FAL for a mere $241, or $240 for 1000 rounds of 9 mm, which means that they had left for well over $750 in ammo at home. In addition, if they kept a certain lifestyle (spending), were no flags raised by the shifting of purchased goods? If we consider the other elements in play, where did the money come from? Perhaps his job allowed him to prepare to this extent, yet in all this questions come to the surface, a rational mind would expect that this was decently certain to be a one way trip, so why leave bombs and ammo at home? The part made no sense, unless they were not alone, perhaps another party was going to be in attendance but they bailed out at the last moment and as such this act was more hastily executed. It is mere speculation on my side, but that speculation comes from my own perception of the events seen. They could be very wrong!

You see that view is in opposition from the very last quote in the News3LV report “They were equipped and could have committed another shooting but we intercepted that“, did you really? Consider that the San Bernardino Police Department is a mere 3.5 miles away, at normal speed that is 10 minutes, at full speed and sirens no more than 3.5 minutes. That is all the time they would have had because there is an option that patrols are on scene, so getting back home was never truly realistic, so why leave it all there?

Were they head cases to begin with or is the FBI missing a few clues? Clues that David Chelsey is helping to muddy. Not by his choice, because he is representing his clients the best way he can, so I am not having a go at him in any way, shape or form. In addition, the weird act of their landlord to give the press access to their home is actually giving us additional questions. The house in the way it looked, was that how they lived? Did they never have guests and as such was the wife intentionally isolating her groomed co-shooter from the very beginning.

If that is the case, than how does the response from the family as voiced by David Chelsey make sense?

You see perception is an essential element, what we perceive, what others should have perceived and what the authorities perceive from all the data that they are receiving this very moment. How does it all fit?

At present it does not seem to fit at all, apart from the timetable and the fact that they either took no time at all for the ‘first’ shooting being able to get past South Waterman Avenue which then lead to the 4 hour manhunt. Again, this is not to place blame (in this case on the San Bernardino Police Department), but to get us to the question,  that as the shooting had passed, how did the couple expect to get back home to pick up more bombs and ammunition? I asked it before and with the added information you too should consider the thought on how they could have gotten back to their homes to load up for more? It merely gives us the question mark and the idea that this was likely never meant to be a party of two. If we accept that speculation we will get to the final question, who else was involved (were more people involved) and what comes next?

What is your perception on this case?

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