Tag Archives: Mohammed bin Salman

Speculations, tomato juice and oil

Yup, when we see tomato juice and we call it blood, it is called a speculation. Until the liquid is tested, it could be blood, but that setting is quickly diminished when we test the liquid, and in this the setting of speculation is also important, when we say ‘it looks like blood’ it is one thing, yet when we say ‘I can clearly see that this is blood’ it becomes something else, yet the person could still hide behind a second statement by saying ‘I really thought it was blood’ and all is OK (from that point of view), but for others it is less clear. So that is the setting I had when I saw the article in Al Jazeera yesterday and I wrote about it in ‘To decide in anger’, I wrote about it yesterday at (https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/03/to-decide-in-anger/). So this morning I walked past my favourite bookshop and learned the they had the book Blood and Oil and the sales lady took me straight to it (bless her happy youthful heart), so roughly 73 seconds later, I was the owner of the book. A book I honestly would not have bought if I had not read the Al Jazeera article, so they can add the statistics to that part too. 

In this I learned early on that was in a style that I liked. It is also a dangerous style to use when it is anything else but fiction, and that is how we need to see it, it is for the larger extent a work of fiction. In this chapter 18 (In cold blood) which is about Jamal Khashoggi is as I personally see it as massively fictive.

To explain this I need to take you on a small journey. In the UN report (by UN Essay writer Agnes Calamard) we see at [208] “It also seems improbable that this plan to murder was hatched by the team on its own, or as has been apparently argued at trial, by the team leader alone, once on site”, the application of ‘seems improbable’ is clearly speculative, it makes ‘plan to murder’ fail as speculative as well. Consider that in Common law there is Murder, which requires the evidence of intent and there is manslaughter, which has a lower stage of evidence. In addition any of these actions are void of any evidence towards the Crown prince, no matter what is stated, the evidence has never ever been produced.

So when we see in the book on page 303 “the bloodcurdling detail of the brutality of the killers, dismembering Khashoggi’s body like butchers”, it is merely one of 4 issues I found in the chapter. There was never any evidence of any action, because there was never any evidence and this is what these fictional writers are setting their optional success to, it helps the they are well known writers of the Wall Street Journal. 

This is merely one of the parts of the journey. The other part is one the is a little more scientific. Consider that you add 50 quotes that have a high probability of truth, it is unproven, but those who know will of course highlight any the they know to be true. So as 20-30 out of the 50 are proven to be true, it will taint the other 20 with the ring of truthfulness.  It you give 50 quotes the are highly likely, every hit will optionally be given the ring ‘that might be true too’, this is beside the point that the chance to get one right becomes increasingly likely. It is there the the book (which is nicely written) goes from partial fiction to non-fiction. It is not new and it actually comes from Robert Ludlum (that is where I got the tactic from). He wrote about it in his book ‘The Chancellor Manuscript’ there the writer Peter Chancellor gets his fingers on details, facts he cannot prove and as an academic work it would be laughed at, but he sets it out as fiction and as people look at the book ‘Reichstag!’, people would look at it and wonder if it could be true. It is the the stage where a group called Inver Brass pushed Peter Chancellor and it was merely the beginning. This is exactly the stage the Blood and Oil find itself in and with the stage of what could be true, we can now see a larger stage. In this I looked at it differently because of all the materials I had looked at in the last few months. I do not regret buying the book, because as a fictional work, it reads nicely and plenty of us are curious about the Saudi Royal family, the pictures are a nice addition to the book. And if I can find 4 debatable offered facts in one chapter, I can find a lot more in the book, that is if we treat it as non-fiction. The setting goes on, when we see certain quotes we would consider that the leak would be the personal assistant to Mohammed Bin Salman, consider just how unlikely that is. Would ANY personal assistant be that open about the optional next regent of Saudi Arabia? It would be the highest position that any non-Royal could ever hold (I am assuming the any person assistant of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is not a member of the royal family). 

It is perhaps too funny, but I am just now realising the I am listening to the Mikado whilst writing this. A topsy turvy play on the gentleman of Japan. I feel that the setting is correct, and the stage where we cannot distinguish between fact and fiction is overwhelmingly appealing, but for me Blood and Oil is because of what I do know a work of fiction, the rest hat I cannot proof to be either is happily accepted in the fictive state, it makes the book easier to read. 

Even as the back of the book makes reference to ‘investigative journalism’, it is nice to see that the work from people of the Wall Street Journal can be easily seen as fictive, I wonder what other fictive works the paper optionally offers (a ha ha ha moment from my side).

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

View of a different nature

We all have a view, we all have a way of looking at things. I am no exception, that is the sight we have. Yet some people (and I personally count myself among them) have a much stronger ability to adjust the views we have. Some (like myself) have the ability to adjust when needed. In this age of being told a story, it is important to be able to look at the data.

My adjustment started in early 2018 when I was made aware of Neom City. The new city that was to be build by Saudi Arabia. Its foundation was so overwhelming that it was enticing to applaud it. Never in the history of mankind was something like this ever conceived. A city around 20 times the size of New York was to be build. That setting was inspiring and it drove me to create some of the IP I ended up having. The setting of a new all tech city was overwhelming, yet that was only the beginning, it was then that we got to see an increasingly amount of anti-Saudi events and articles. So when the Guardian gave us ‘Revealed: Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel’, I decided to dig. The first thing I noticed was the presence of Stephanie Kirchgaessner. I saw her name on ‘Jeff Bezos hack: Amazon boss’s phone ‘hacked by Saudi crown prince’ in January this year. There we are introduced to “that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian”, I had an issue with the hatchet approach, no matter what Kirchgaessner calls herself. I basically debunked the hacking issue, as well as security forensics firm FTI Consulting in less than an hour, the Guardian was that thorough before publishing what they would call at best ‘highly probable’, yes that is what we need from those so called investigators and the fact that I was able to pump holes in the setting within an hour, in addition to actual electronic forensic experts giving even more evidence that led to believe that the accusations were debatable at best, completely ejectable at worst, that is not a good setting to be in and now that same name comes back to the Guardian article. Now we see “The disclosure will intensify concerns about Riyadh’s interest in an atomic weapons programme”, yet the monarchy of Saudi Arabia have always stated the they would not go near an nuclear arsenal until Iran does and it seems that the pussies of this world (politicians and journalists all over the world) have not been able to do anything ab out Iran, so they have another go at Saudi Arabia. In all this the entire setting that the quote: “Confidential Chinese report seen by the Guardian intensifies concerns about possible weapons programme” is driving this all. Let’s be clear, the two places where journalists have no access, the Guardian gets a report? And the evidence is debatable, it is all linked to “These are “inferred deposits”, estimated from initial surveys”, so it is based on estimations, a debatable source. Now we can accept that it is possible the there is Uranium in Saudi Arabia, and it was never a secret, there has been plans that go back to 2016 that Saudi Arabia has had plans to extract uranium for the domestic production of nuclear fuel. The UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was also assisting Saudi’s nuclear ambition (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-15/saudi-arabia-s-atomic-ambition-is-being-fueled-by-a-un-watchdog)

Yet the Guardian gives us “The greatest international concern is over the kingdom’s lack of transparency. Under a 2005 agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Saudi Arabia avoided inspections through a small quantities protocol (SQP), which waives IAEA monitoring up to the point where fissile fuel is introduced into a reactor. The nuclear watchdog has been trying to convince the Saudi monarchy to now accept a full monitoring programme, but the Saudis have so far fended off that request”, And in this Reuters gave us 3 weeks ago “IAEA providing support for Saudi Arabia as it plans to adopt nuclear energy”, it seems that the Guardian is giving us an adjusted negative view, with a lacking support on several fronts and I wonder why that is happening. In all this the Guardian also evades the entire enrichment issues the are required for nuclear warheads in opposition to enrichment for fuel, why is that part missing? All this, whilst the escalating party (Iran) is given leeway after leeway. You see, in this the one party is fuelling the other and Saudi Arabia has been up front about the from the beginning.

The Guardian gives us that with “The kingdom’s nuclear ambitions have become a source of heightened concern in the US Congress and among allies, particularly since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declared in 2018 that if regional rival Iran develops a nuclear bomb, “we will follow suit as soon as possible”” Yet part from the Iran drive, the Saudi drive was for fuel only and that part is missing, there is a lot missing and when we consider the quote “who have been scrambling to help Riyadh map its uranium reserves at breakneck speed as part of their nuclear energy cooperation agreement” whilst this started in 2017, I merely wonder if the writers at the Guardian have any clue of the concept ‘at breakneck speed’, as I see it, in 3 years mapping is not breakneck speed, especially when we add the ““inferred deposits”, estimated from initial surveys” it smells like something it is not and yes, we should keep our eyes open (both Saudi Arabia and Iran), yet IAEA part is merely a small paragraph, and part of that is inferred, not the way I would go, but the is me. I think that the Guardian went wrong here, I would have made the entire IAEA a lot more important, and as the headline gives us ‘may have enough uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel’, my question becomes, why is there a ‘may’ in the headline? I would consider the setting that if there is a ‘may’ after the entire setting had been going on for 3 years, we have a larger issue and the stage of ‘confidential documents seen by the Guardian’ becomes a lot more debatable when there is a massive absence of ‘enrichment’ in the entire article. Did anyone notice that? So where is the fuel getting enriched? So whilst the article goes on with “for either an energy or weapons programme” we need to consider that enrichment is essential for weapons, so where does Bruce Riedel (the expert from the Brookings Institution) get his information? Why is the article skipping enrichment, the most essential element towards weapons? We are happy to see “The Guardian could not independently verify the authenticity of the report”, yet that merely makes the article more debatable, not less so.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics, Science

The shores I see from here

OK, I am not beating around the bush, I have given my point of view on several matters and I have always stated that I have always been driven by evidence. As such I have opposed the views of Agnes Calamard, not for Saudi Arabia, but because of the debatability of the evidence, so as we now see ‘Trump boasted he protected MBS after Khashoggi hit: Report’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/trump-boasted-protected-mbs-khashoggi-hit-report-200910195007682.html), all whilst there is no actual evidence of the hit. Now, I get it, I understand that you would doubt me, I would doubt me as well, but perhaps the following will convince you. When we see the quote “Trump bragged that he protected the Saudi crown prince from consequences in the United States after the assassination of Khashoggi in October 2018, the news outlet Business Insider reported on Thursday. “I saved his a**,” President Trump said about the US outcry about Khashoggi’s killing, according to Business Insider, quoting from a copy  of Woodward’s book. “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to  stop,” Trump said.” What do we see? Basically, the only action we see is ‘I was able to get Congress to leave him alone’, my question becomes, what evidence is there for congress to rattle Saudi Arabia with? When we re-open the report I spoke about yesterday we see at [6] “the Special Rapporteur was not provided with any information regarding the evidence they may have collected during this period.” Which is funny when we see at [8] “The Special Rapporteur found credible evidence pointing to the crime scenes having been thoroughly, even forensically, cleaned”, here we get the issue, they claim guilt on the setting that the room was clean, it is like you getting found guilty of killing your mom and dad because the house does not contain evidence of their death. OK, a small exaggeration, I get that, but the finding of guilt due to no evidence is the setting and she was kind enough to create doubt by ‘found credible evidence pointing to’, so the stage of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ is avoided, added to the facts that there was no credible evidence that any order was ever given to kill Khashoggi and the Crown prince was roughly 12,756,587 meters away from the crime scene. Yup, that evidence is so overwhelming isn’t it? So how come this US president is that stupid to alienate his allies? And that is merely the beginning. As we are given “US and other foreign intelligence services have reportedly concluded that MBS directed the killing” we are drawn to the report that gives us at [39] “At some point, there comes a time when an intelligence service or operative simply has to make a stab at assimilating what all this means. There is rarely space for scrutiny from anyone outside the intelligence system”, which is interesting against the ‘concluded’ part earlier when it is about “make a stab at assimilating what all this means”, which is not evidence and is nowhere near ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, did anyone consider this? The report has plenty of issues that could be speculative gems of fingering any party as guilty, but is that what a murder investigation is supposed to be about? And in this mess we see ‘Trump boasted he protected’? What is this, an episode of Comedy Capers? And the article goes on giving us “Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of Saudi agents while his fiancee waited for him outside the consulate building”, all whilst there was no evidence retrieved in any way that there was a killing and there was no evidence on dismembering, it is all speculation.

You see the claim of dismemberment implies that there is a body, there is forensic evidence and that is disputed in the report starting at [8], it is not about what might have happened, it is about what can be proven and there is no evidence, there is merely speculation through the expensive words like ‘credible evidence’ and ‘may have been collected’, the lack of ‘evidence that can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt’ and ‘collected evidence’ is missing making the issue moot and it makes the statement by President Trump one of the least intelligent boasts that any US president has ever made. But there is an upside, I needed EU 324,000,000 for a project, so I am willing and willing to offer myself as an in-between to other arms dealers to set up office with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as such I would be willing to find another party to offer the “$8bn in precision-guided missiles and other high-tech weapons”, let’s face it, fair is fair, right? Boasts on one side (especially those linked to a lack of evidence) should be countered by economic deals to other parties on the other side. That is what Wall Street taught us all and we are all willing to learn (especially when we earn a few coins), so that is that state of matters and I will be taking calls from the BAE as per direct. Raytheon eat your heart out!

Suddenly the shores I see from here don’t look so bad, what should I do, play hard to get? I think not!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Military, Politics

Just the facts?

Isn’t that what it needs to be in media? Just the facts? The issue is that media in general and in this case the BBC specifically is setting a different stage and I am not sure why. Now, I will give up front that it is my opinion and perception against that of the BBC and the stage is up in the air. For the most, or basically nearly always, the BBC is on point and is highly reliable. In this case, some facts are debatable and one factor is that I do not have all the inn’s and out’s (pun intended). That is also a factor and I am trying to keep that in mind. So the article ‘Saudi king sacks defence officials’ would initially be something I would have glanced over. Merely because even if I would be applying for the position of Defence official for the Saudi Arabian government, I do not speak the language and I reckon that there are plenty of Saudi nationals eager to get that position. In the second, the role was until recently in the hands of Prince Fahad bin Turki, and I am no prince (no matter what the ladies say). In addition we are given “The men, along with four other officials, face an investigation into “suspicious financial dealings” at the Ministry of Defence, the decree said”, implying that this is all about the politics, and I never cared for politics. It all starts with “critics say the high-profile arrests have been aimed at removing obstacles to the prince’s hold on power”, my first question becomes, who are those critics? In the second, in light of how things are in Yemen, I see no real setting that Prince Fahad bin Turki is any kind of obstacle in the current power setting in Saudi Arabia, now I will admit immediately that I have no real idea on who is in that power cycle, yet I wonder if those ‘critics’ are aware of what is and who are, or are they merely setting the stage for others to set a presentation stage? You see the accusation is given speculated strength via ‘critics say’ yet we do not get any mention of who those critics are, do we? Yet the BBC article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53980115) goes off the deep end when we see “However he has been embroiled in a series of scandals, including the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in 2018 and an alleged murder plot against a former Saudi intelligence agent in Canada”, this is achieved in a few ways. In the first, the entire Khashoggi debacle is set to flawed intelligence, especially the ‘added’ intelligence by UN essay writer Agnes Calamard, I dealt with that in several articles, especially in ‘Demanding Dismissal’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/07/04/demanding-dismissal/), so not only can we prove that Jamal Khashoggi is murdered, we can merely speculate on that, and that is before we need to realise that there is absolutely no evidence that there was any directive from Saudi Arabia to allegedly kill Jamal Khashoggi, if there was it would have ‘leaked’ to every newspaper in the world, all we got was a level of emotional outbursts devoid of evidence. And there is the alleged plot against Dr. Saad Aljabri, the allegations went so far that they try to convict Saudi Officials in another country, how is that for failing evidence? Yet that same court has no real intentions to seriously look into “Saudi officials accuse Aljabri of leading a group that misspent $11 billion of government funds and skimmed $1 billion for themselves, the Wall Street Journal reported, an allegation he denies” interesting is it not? 

So it seems that the critics are all about spinning yarn, if not they would have been out there supported by actual and factual evidence, they are not. And the implied situation in Istanbul, which comes up in every Saudi story is this time linked to the sacking of defence officials, all whilst the evidence attached is drowning additional events is disbelief and more credibility is removed from the situation. That was not hard, was it?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media, Military, Politics

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!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Allegiances and Alliances

Two words at the beginning of the alphabet, both important. There is a side that I share with Dante Alighieri (and a few others). No matter is as bad as treason, you need to have a decent level of loyalty. As a person you need to have allegiance to your employer, your regent (or president) and your country. Now, we might have points of debate on any of these three levels. The soldier has them much higher towards your country and national leader then his actual employer, others have then higher to their employers, it differs per person, but faith in those above you doing the best towards the ones you support (company) seems to be in play. Within limits the people tend to have alliances towards business partners, and others we are indirectly connected to. That is the nature of things when we are not connected to ourselves, with allegiance only to self we think that we are above matters. When we compare those towards idiots like Bradley Manning, who as a private thought he had the right to make public whatever others decided to make public. No matter how others frame it, it remains treason. So when I see ‘Former Saudi intelligence official accuses crown prince of plot to kill him’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/07/former-saudi-official-accuses-saudi-crown-prince-of-plot-to-kill-him) some issues come to mind. Now, I am not saying that the accused are innocent or guilty. I wonder how “A former senior Saudi intelligence official with close ties to western intelligence agencies has accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of plotting to kill him, claiming in a US lawsuit that one such attempt was thwarted by Canadian officials in 2018”. Consider ‘senior Saudi intelligence official’, it implies that this person requires a high level of allegiance. Now consider ‘close ties to western intelligence agencies’. We understand that one nations specialist can have ties to those of another one, yet there would be barriers. So how are ‘close ties’ defined? I am asking, not telling you. Then we get “the Saudi state launched a campaign to target the former high-ranking official in Canada because he was viewed as a threat to Prince Mohammed’s relationship with the US and his eventual ascendancy to the throne”, when we consider “target the former high-ranking official in Canada” I am left with questions. Was the (optionally former) senior intelligence official no longer in service? I remember that I had to agree a 42 year sentence of never entering an Iron curtain nation in 1981, and I was never a senior anything at that age. And when we consider “he was viewed as a threat” it might be true enough, yet the part of “relationship with the US and his eventual ascendancy to the throne”. If that is true, then the person was a whole lot higher than expected, as such we need to wonder where HIS allegiances lie. A person who is willing to betray his own country for reasons of self will only ever align to self at the expense of everything. Then we get to “The complaint includes references to two previous alleged plots – one against synagogues in Chicago and one involving a plan to blow up two cargo planes heading for the US – that were allegedly thwarted thanks to Aljabri’s assistance”, you see, I wonder who Aljabri is actually aligned to. Consider the stage, do you think that the placement of Aljabri is linked to the Crown Prince directly? Between a senior intelligence officer and the Royal family tends to be a few circles. In this there is also the consideration that the Al Said family is over 15,000 in size and the power of Saudi Arabia is set to a little over 1,500 members, as such, how easy can a senior intelligence officer get to the top of the royal family? The numbers do not add up, the station of a few circles are circumvented leaving me with a lot of questions towards Aljabri. So as we are given “praised by former colleagues in the US and UK for helping to keep westerners safe amid the threat of al-Qaida”, and not one is wondering on what HIS agenda was regarding ‘helping to keep westerners safe’? 

So when we have these elements does anyone wonder how reliable the statement “Prince Mohammed sent “explicit death threats” to Aljabri and frequently used WhatsApp, the popular messaging app” actually is? So now we see a crown prince (seemingly) relying on tools used before, on people of (for them) lower ranks, all whilst there should be a larger debate on how reliable the information is. So when we give weight to “The complaint alleges that the assassins are part of a so-called Tiger Squad of the crown prince’s own personal mercenary group and attempted to covertly enter Canada on tourist visas on or around 15 October 2018 with the “intent of killing” Aljabri”, there are a few issues with that part, but I will not bother you with that element. I will however leave you with two elements. The first is “Canadians can be confident that our security agencies have the skills and resources necessary to detect, investigate and respond to such threats. We will always take the necessary action to keep Canadians and those on Canadian soil safe and we invite people to report any such threats to law enforcement authorities.” The second part was given earlier “own personal mercenary group”, and then consider that both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) are not to be trifled with. No matter how picturesque the RCMP is, they are a lot more able to hunt down anyone in rural Canadian regions than most of the US troops, military and police troops, the CSIS has its own success rate, I would NOT EVER rely on mercenary groups, not one that stands out all over Canada. That and the Canadian population that is 5 times more allegiant to its national needs than most Americans ever has been. That is the situation that is out there, and it makes the numbers and the setting of the situation off. I would not be at all surprised (personal speculation) that Saad Aljabri would have been quite the jewel for Al-Qaeda needs, knowing about Saudi Arabia and having the ear of Western Intelligence. Mind you! This is speculation! In the other parts, why was Saad Aljabri exiled? In all this there is another optional part “new claims comes just weeks after the Guardian reported that another Saudi living in exile in Canada was warned this his life was possibly under threat by the Saudi regime. Omar Abdulaziz, a close confidante of Khashoggi, was warned by Canadian authorities that he was a “potential target” of Saudi and had to take precautions to protect himself”, exiled people all ready to point the finger on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. Now, there is no evidence, but where is the likelihood of reliability when certain people go into exile? When the money coffer dries up? They become tools for whomever needs them (if the price is right). 

My views should also be scrutinised, I get that and I accept that, yet the media gives us a view that does not add up, not in several ways. In a family with 15,000 members with 10% at the top, do you think that a person like the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia would be this careless? 

We seem to be looking at one side, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has the same elements, his alliance is his father, his allegiance is Saudi Arabia and in that setting exiled people do not add up to that much, no matter what claims they make, especially as they cannot back it up with any evidence. It does not mean that Saad Aljabri and Omar Abdulaziz are not optional targets of the Saudi government, yet it seems that they have time and people in exile tend to run out of money a lot sooner than they think. The media seems to have forgotten about that, the optional links to other places was seemingly overlooked by governments, so what is real and what is not? That remains a debate, yet the media thinks that the cover of ‘assassins sent’ is sexy, it might be for them, but for anyone in that game it is not the greatest policy and neither is the use of mercenaries in that stage, mercenaries that light up like Christmas trees even less. 

Just my view on the matter, feel free to disagree.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

Who is Miss Calculation?

There is something happening in the Middle East (there is always something happening in the Middle East mind you), yet the events of last week are seemingly larger and I am not sure in what direction it is heading.

There is a much larger stage and even as the media informed us on ‘Saudi royal arrests: Why top princes have been silenced‘ (source: BBC), we get “Prince Mohammed (commonly known as MBS) has displayed a ruthless ambition to force his way to the very top of the political tree“, as well as “The unfortunate subjects of MBS’s ambition this time were other members of the Saud family – most notably one of his uncles, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, a former interior minister; and a cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (known as MBN), a former crown prince and interior minister – who were detained for questioning and placed under investigation for treason, although no charges have been made“, this issue is that this does not add up. In the first, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that was never in question and there is no opposition in open play, as such the BBC statement (which is the same as almost every other statement in the media) is seemingly faulty. So why do I believe that I am correct and all the media is wrong? 

It is an important question as it gives rise to something much larger. In all this the intelligent part comes from Al Jazeera who gives us ‘There is a perfect storm brewing in Saudi Arabia‘, with the important byline “But why now?” it is the part that most media circumvented. 

The first we see is “Two separate issues are at play here. First is the sense of a crown prince on a mission to eradicate all forms of dissent and to ensure a smooth transition to becoming king“, I would want to question that, yet I know that I am at a loss in part as I am a non-Muslim, there might be parts of Islamic Law that I am unfamiliar with (as I am completely in the dark on Islamic law), as his father proclaimed him the Crown prince, I am at a loss why anyone would oppose the wishes of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud? As such the ‘why’ part is under scrutiny. 

Yet Al Jazeera has something to tell us, it starts with “Facing a range of parabolic pressures from domestic and international sources, the Saudi state is in a precarious position, with much at stake for MBS, the architect of the kingdom’s future trajectory” and it gives strength to the ‘Why Now’ part. We get a few “That this did not happen has been seen as a sign of weakness on MBS’s part” statements and the entire issue that revolves around Eggy Calamari (aka Agnes Callamard, the UN essay writer) should not be ignored. There are several players on the world stage shouting anti Saudi rhetoric, all whilst these people are not scrutinised on any issues that involves issues like evidence or supporting evidence. Yet the people who get the anti Saudi filtered news accept these accusations like gospel.

As such we see “these questions mean little domestically, outside the kingdom they contribute to perceptions of MBS as a reckless leader, prone to rash moves” and these issues keep on adding up, whilst the media refuses to scrutinise the information handed to them.

As such, as Al Jazaeera is stating the article by Simon Mabon, we get at the final end “The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance“, as a Middle Eastern expert Simon has achieved a lot and knows a lot more than me, yet I have analysed data for over 30 years in all matters of complacency and the data does not add up. In all this we need to see ‘Behind the Russia-Saudi Breakup, Calculations and Miscalculations‘ (at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/russia-saudi-oil.html), tere we see “With oil prices plunging and Russian state television blaming Saudi Arabia for the collapse of the ruble, the kingdom on Tuesday signaled what seemed to be an escalation. Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, said that on April 1 it would start providing customers with 12.3 million barrels a day. That is a 26 percent increase on its output before the deal with Russia collapsed” yet in all this, we see no reference on Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz (former Interior minister), Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (former Crown Prince) and their Russian Links or any other international links, which in light of everything is equally wrong. Not that it was not reported by the Saudi Government but that the international media failed to investigate it. Even the Guardian revolves around “allegedly aimed to block crown prince’s accession“, all whilst Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been clearly and accepted as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in all this the lack of questions is astounding, but I guess that an inflammatory essay by that French girl at the UN will follow shortly. 

All whilst the New York Times is sitting on the one gem that mattered, it is “Russia is now calculating that many companies cannot survive as prices fall below their break-even point“, both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia have the air to hold out on the events, yet it seems that the lungs of Saudi Arabia are larger and have the stability and long term sitting that Russia has not, in all this the two arrests are optionally the Russian council that cannot be accessed by Russia any more.

Am I correct?

I do not know, but the investigation in his area is not done and that makes for a much larger failing. And whilst the media wakes up and looks into “Russia is also worried that other high-cost producers, among them companies pumping off the coast of Brazil, would cut into European and Asian markets” a much larger stage is overlooked, so whilst too many stare at “State television stations blamed Saudi Arabia for the ruble collapse and offered as solace expert commentary that the United States and Saudi Arabia would ultimately suffer more.“, I merely glance at ‘expert commentary‘ and find it lacking. 

I believe that there needs to be a unified Saudi front against all other players, I believe that there could optionally be more arrests and it has nothing to do with the needs of MBS, and everything to do with those advising others where the goal is to harm the needs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia has to avert that. In addition, the entire NSO matter (now being gagged) is also not a sitting pretty issue, it allows for more and more media attacks on Saudi Arabia, all whilst the media does not scrutinise the materials received. So as the media goes with “A report published by the security forensics firm FTI Consulting concluded with “medium to high confidence” that was the case“, the larger issue that is seen is that the origin of the hack cannot be established and is conveniently left out of the media. No one denies that Jeff Bezos has a phone that was hacked, yet who did it is undetermined and the report that followed is abundant in links to opinion pieces and other non valid urls to sources where the determination is open to all kinds of supposition and indeterminate forms of questions, all whilst the UN uses it like gospel. A report that uses language like “While the possibility exists” we see the media merely publishing and not asking the questions that matter. It is a created stage where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has little choice but to create a unified front. 

In a stage where plenty of Cyber experts have question marks in the report that is ‘exclusively’ given out. It is one of several attacks on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince, it is this stage that matters, as it is a doubling of the Khashoggi stage (a journalist no one cares about) and the linked stage of embargoes against Saudi Arabia, whilst no one is asking the questions that matter “Who gets that income now?” We all ignore that part and so does the media, yet there is every chance that with the Russian links out and the American links in question, there is a larger chance that communications and weapons design will fall towards China more and more. And as we are in doubt of one, we get to see “Saudi Arabian Military Industries is prepared to move forward with product development“, a stage where China is optionally the larger winner in all this and the debts of Germany and the US will get a larger boost in all this, that is the price of removing the freedom of Choice (of Saudi Arabia), the data is simple and readable on that front, even as the media remains in doubt and removes all events of these actions.

Andreas Schwer stated (at the Dubai Airshow) “We have signed more than 25 agreements with foreign partners, so we have multiple opportunities to acquire alternative technologies from other partners where there are no limitations. There is no risk that any limitation of a single country or government can block Saudi Arabia from getting a full localized portfolio of products“, so tell me, how many media outlets had that bit of news? Defence News might be one of the few and that has a limited readership, so how many newspapers had that? 

I personally believe that after the events mounted up towards the Vision 2030 act of Saudi Arabia, there has been an attack after attack on Saudi Arabia, yet the verdict of evidence remained away for the longest time. And as the media looks at the figures for the Miss Calculation votes, we are left in the rear not getting any data that matters. 

It is seen in the 5G spot where Zain KSA gives us “Zain KSA has launched 5G in Saudi Arabia, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area of more than 20 cities in the Kingdom“, that was last year in October. So how much 5G do we presently see in Europe, Australia or the US? Not that much, I can tell you that, all whilst the US parts have NEVER shown any 5G speed that surpasses the 4G systems. All issues largely unreported on, so as such How happy are we when we see that we are  member of the Miss Information group? 

How correct am I?

That remains to be seen, yet the media gives out close to nothing on the history of actions of Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, we see accusation after accusation on the actions of ‘purge of relatives’ whilst that information remains debatable (when you consider how large that family really is). Even if we would accept that, where is the evidence, it has never been produced, displayed and scrutinised. I could not find more than a thousand links on the first name and well over 50% was about the first name and for the most they are all stating the same thing with references of ‘purge of relatives’ and no evidence to support this. There were a lot more links on Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (over 13,000), yet there too, the links I saw were lacking in evidence. Now we can agree that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia likes to wash its laundry out of sight, but the media is faltering again and again in showing us any acceptable evidence, or showing us supported evidence. In the end, we see a few mentions of “allegedly planning a coup“, which might be enough reason, yet the media shows no evidence of any kind, and this is the media claiming to be on top of matters, as the Khashoggi and Bezos events showed us, the media is merely on top of spreading gossip and showing us debatable documents (one of them with highly debatable links). 

So as we go into a phase where we switch the auction from Miss Information to Miss Calculation, we should wonder why we have to reside our beliefs in either of the two. Al Jazeera states: “Such misjudgements have prompted some in the kingdom to question whether MBS is the right person to rule the Saudi state“, yet at present the pressures are applied from the outside and are seemingly applied as the powers outside have too little impact on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and that worries these people. In a stage where Saudi Arabia is visibly surpassing other nations in 5G, bringing Vision 2030, which is a vision surpassing any vision the US has given us in 50 years and a stage where too many companies have  need to become active in Saudi Arabia and they are limited for what they can do, it seems that the need for Saudi Arabia is greater than most expect and that is what is feared in both the US and Europe. Both players need Saudi Arabia and it seems that Saudi Arabia needs neither, not whilst China is actively seeking expansion of technology and it finds Saudi Arabia wanting. As we now see the impact of all these embargoes against Saudi Arabia, the EU nations are learning the hard way that the deals they had with Saudi Arabia was a good thing and now that Iran is buckling its nuclear pact, the EU is left with nothing and the US with even less. And all this as presentation managers relied on bullet pointed presentations, all whilst Saudi Arabia requested a finished product, the entire slamming Saudi Arabia seems to be founded on the principle that anyone on the defence, staged on a fence is malleable and now as we see that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not playing along with that requirement, we see western desperation set in. As we are given “recent advances in defense equipment have enabled Chinese defense contractors to compete more effectively while retaining lower prices, making Chinese arms an increasingly attractive choice for customers worldwide” (source: National Defense), we need to understand that certain matters are linked. Even as China pursued smaller projects, the option to get the largest arms importer in the world is tempting, a nation that is set to stability and has a need for its growth of SAMI still means that China can gain a decade of important sales. That part is now set in motion and could improve Chinese salespaths by 30%-50% in the years to come, all by gaining one customer. All funds that the west will miss out on and the two players that were optionally internationally a beacon of information, are now arrested. I agree that it relies on the two players to be the ones that have international allure, yet as I stated, the intelligence is lacking on every angle, and what we need to see is where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to go and where it needs to go to get to where it wants to go, as I personally see it, the EU and the US are more and more lacking and that will have far reaching repercussions.

So whilst the people are treated to “US lawmakers and tech experts want a strong American competitor“, we see that the essential path is that it is about Anti Huawei, we see that Huawei has little to fear as it now has a much larger grasp on the Middle East and it is removing the options that the US used to have (mainly by US actions), and even as the US still gives us “the U.S. and other countries are concerned that Huawei poses a national security risk due to its reliance on the Chinese government and its leaders’ own ties to the country’s Communist Party“, all whilst Huawei has openly disproven the “reliance on the Chinese government” more than once, it is still phrased. Just as that same media phrases MBS and its connections to Bezos hacking and Khashoggi, all whilst those accusations cannot be backed up by evidence, when we see these elements in actions we see the first line that gives us the larger image.

The first line is that the US 5G plans are still evolving and for now largely failing (source: 5Gradar.com). Here we see “A new Opensignal report shows T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T ranking poorly for 5G across different metrics“, as well as “5G networks in the US are failing due to a lack of mid-band spectrum“, that was last week and the news is not picked up by any of the large media groups, it is n my personal opinion only reporting on what its shareholders and stakeholders want and as they are also (more often than not) advertisers, we get to see almost nothing on this. It is an essential element, they require us to take notice of both Miss Calculation and Miss Information, yet will not support evidence, evidence that holds up in court. In all this a place like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a much larger pool of evidence on all the achievements that Huawei is making and therefore a problem to the United States. As such, I personally expect that the focal point of the attacks are launched against the Crown Prince and against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Let’s be clear, it is not merely the attacks, it is the lack of acceptable evidence that is part of all this. To a much larger degree the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is surpassing the US in several fields and the US wants that to go away, in addition the EU is pussyfooting to much around Iran and as it is in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, we see too much that is about filtering out Saudi Arabia whilst we see several key elements of filtering down the danger that Iran poses and it is filtered by people linking their ego’s to the benefit of Iran, a double whammy that will work against them soon enough. As such, how much real information on the acts of Saudi Arabia and specifically Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is out there and actually being scrutinised? The media is not giving us any information on that are they? Even now (7 hours ago) Al Jazeera gives us “The latest arrests within the Saudi royal family show the young crown prince still feels insecure about his position“, yet the ‘evidence’ is limited to “rumours of an alleged coup plot in Riyadh” no reporting or evidence on the acts and actions of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz or Prince Nawaf bin Nayef are shown, we see “along with a number of high-ranking officials“, I merely wonder if it would help me to walk the streets in Riyadh to find more information than any news agency is giving us. Whilst we are given “another attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to consolidate power” we are not given any evidence one side or the other. We are merely treated to the implied “these developments show that the young royal still does not feel fully secure in his position“, treated with the complete absence of evidence. We also get “he launched a war in neighbouring Yemen without consulting senior royals” without the clear information that is out there “answering a request by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, Saudi Arabia began a military intervention alongside eight other Arab states and with the logistical support of the United States against the Houthis” a part that we had seen again and again from Reuters and Bloomberg, even Al Jazeera made mention of this, as such this article gives a much larger setting in creating emotion whilst the linked evidence is forgotten to get mentioned.

As such, whilst the media is all about the Legitimacy of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, we see a lack of evidence, the simple evidence (and outspoken evidence) that the current king, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made the statement that Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud would become his successor, I fail to see the wisdom in avoiding that part, a nation where the line of succession is determined by the King of its kingdom, can you explain the logic of ignoring that part? 

I doubt it!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics, Science

The hack game continues

The press continues to assault Mohammad Bin Salman and Saudi Arabia, the same press that has ignored hostile acts by Iran, the same press who have knowingly and from my point of view ignored (read: and downplayed) several issues in Yemen caused by Hezbollah. 

So as I got to see (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/video/2020/jan/22/jeff-bezos-phone-hacked-allegation-saudi-crown-prince-video-explainer) the video that was placed two weeks ago, in light of what I wrote yesterday. I thought that the video gives light to several questions that link to this. It is also important, because it shows a global FAILING of cyber security, not by the hairless man (Jeff Bezos) by the way, who in this is basically a consumer (one with deep pockets that is).

The video starts off with Stephanie Kirchgaessner, where she says (at 00:14) ‘who is somehow personally involved‘ (1). Then we get (at 00:32) ‘according to his own security team victim of some sort of hack by Saudi Arabia‘ (2) we get more accusations, but with the word ‘allegation’, as such she is in the clear. After that we get a clip from CBS This morning (at 1:08) with a followup and direct accusation towards the WhatsApp account ‘from the account of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia‘ (3), even as I am tempted to ignore ‘We can’t know what was going on in the mind of Mohammad Bin Salman‘ (at 1:55) (4)

After that there is a reference to ‘the experts that she spoke to‘ (at 2:12) and they point to the fact that he is the owner of the Washington Post, not the owner of Amazon or merely a rich dude. ‘It was an attack on the Press‘ is what seemingly comes out of this. 

We get a few more events, but nothing that is too interesting, not in this view.

Personally I actually do not care about Bezos and his needs, I do not give a hoot about a few items, and my personal view is that any person is innocent until PROVEN guilty and the attacks on Saudi Arabia as well as the Crown Prince are offensive to me as we should know and act better.

So as we get to the stage of the why, we need to see the stage we are entering. This is not (merely) a Criminal situation, this is a cyber ploy and that is where the focus is, I have written more than enough about the joke that is the FTI Consulting report, but in the end it is linked to all this. 

  1. Who is somehow personally involved

How? I am not referring to item 3, there is a larger stage here. The alleged infecting file was received on May 1st 2018. In this I am using alleged as the investigation did not start until February 2019. However, the FTI Consulting report on page 12, item 22 gives us that hours after the reception of a file resulting in egress data in excess of 29,000%. I do not question that, I do not question that Bezos got hacked. 

Why am I opposing here?

As I stated in ‘6 simple questions‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/02/03/6-simple-questions/) yesterday. Other experts give us “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.” This is important when we consider ‘allow threat actors to intercept‘ as well as ‘spread misinformation from what appear to be trusted sources‘ as such Check Point research gives us that false information could be sent to a person from anyone claiming to be anyone else. The source of the infection cannot be verified in this. that is an important fact, one that was out in the open and FTI Consulting never went there.

  1. According to his own security team victim of some sort of hack by Saudi Arabia

So his security team are cyber experts? And they know somehow that Saudi Arabia did the attack? Based on what evidence? I showed in the previous point that this is optionally not the case and the FTI Consulting report is nothing short of a joke (as I personally see it), there is no path to where the data is going, there is no evidence on where the infection came from. 

  1. from the account of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Here is the larger issue and even as I debunked it in point one, we must not ignore this, there is one path that is not investigated and not one that can no longer be investigated. The mobile of the Crown Prince might be infected itself. My point one avoids it, but we cannot ignore it. The chances of Saudi Arabia or its officials in light of the attacks cooperating is close to zero and as such this point will remain on the books. From my point of view gathering intel and evidence before shouting foul would have been a much better approach and why the UN gets involved in this is still open to debate on a few sides. 

  1. We can’t know what was going on in the mind of Mohammad Bin Salman

In this we can speculate and debate until we are blue in the face, but the truth is that all this started 2 years ago and the evidence is largely missing, more important, whomever was involved has removed whatever sides they needed to and as such the actual guilty party will never be found. Yet the foundation of the accusation is larger.

He was being attacked by the press and we seemingly forget that the infection started BEFORE someone seemingly ended the life of some columnist named Jamal Khashoggi, as such we can argue that there was no attack on the Washington Post. To be more honest, at the time of the infection Jamal Khashoggi was some columnist most people on the planet had never heard of (apart from the Washington Post readers) 

Yet when we look at the Vice article (at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/v74v34/saudi-arabia-hacked-jeff-bezos-phone-technical-report), there we see that former FBI investigator Anthony J Farrante gets into the fight and the report gives us ““to assess Bezos’ phone was compromised via tools procured by Saud al Qahtani,” the report states“, it is an interesting plot, especially when we consider another Vice article (at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xvzyp/hacking-team-investor-saudi-arabia) where we saw “Hacking Team was thoroughly owned, with its once-secret list of customers, internal emails, and spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see“, so lets put this in the right frame, Anthony J Farrante is going out to prove that a tool procured by Saud al Qahtani, and as far as we can speculate is in the possession of thousands of hackers through ‘spyware source code leaked online for anyone to see‘ is the guilty perpetrator. How is that ever going to work? 

Well that is optionally still the case if we can examine the source of the problem, and that is basically already debunked by Alex Stamos, the former chief information security officer at Facebook who gave us “Lots of odd circumstantial evidence, for sure, but no smoking gun“, in this I also got to “several high-profile and respected researchers, highlights the limits of a report produced by FTI Consulting, the company Bezos hired to investigate the matter“, as well as “A key shortcoming of the analysis, Edwards said, was that it relied on a restricted set of content obtained from Bezos’s iTunes backup. A deeper analysis, she said, would have collected detailed records from the iPhone’s underlying operating and file systems. Other security experts characterized the evidence in the report as inconclusive“, and “a research group at the University of Toronto, offered a suggestion that could allow investigators to gain access to encrypted information that FTI said it could not unlock” (source: CNN), we see a whole range of experts giving out claims towards non-conclusivity, lack of expertise and optionally students in Toronto giving out solutions to a situation that FTI said it could not unlock. 

These are all matters that played out over time, some before the video report and it seems to me that the press is bashing with smoke signals as loud as possible hoping someone will scream ‘fire!‘. That is my view on the matter!

Now, all what I see and expose does not make any party innocent, it merely shows that there is no evidence to call anyone guilty on and that is what matters, because we want to turn this into an event where a person needs to prove that they are innocent, we must prove that anyone is guilty. In some cases beyond all reasonable doubt and in some cases on the setting of probability of guilt set against the average man. The entire cyber event fails on both terms and that is not merely me, and when we see ‘Other security experts characterized the evidence in the report as inconclusive‘ we need to realise that (apart from) FTI Consulting did a piss poor job in this case, the finding of actual and factual evidence is a lot harder in this day and age. The WhatsApp vulnerability showed that there is a larger problem and when we cannot determine the origin of any hack or virus, we are in for a much larger problem and this is happening before 5G is fully rolled out. That nightmare was brought nicely by Kenneth White, former advisor to DHS with “it can be extremely challenging to reconstruct the activities of a determined, well-resourced hacker“, this is what the Jeff Bezos team faced and from my view, they went about it the wrong way. Their report was never ready for release and the fact that basic parts were missed gives out a much larger problem, if billionaires rely on someone like FTI Consulting and this report is the standard, then the entire cyber setting in the United States could be regarded as a larger problem from beginning to end.

In this there is one highlight that Vice gave us that matters here, it is “The second obstacle regarded the password for the iTunes backup“, and “They apparently never obtained the password” that makes no sense, because the owner should have his backup, so unless Jeff was hit by the ID10T virus, we see a failing on more than one level and as such at what stage, in light of EVERYTHING out there in 2018 why was Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ever accused?

That is what angers me, not who was accused, but that an accusation came whilst there was a whole truckload of information out there making it a bad choice from beginning to end, so was the Washington Post owner hacked, or was the hack a way for the Washington Post to strike out to someone? That is the larger game that is now in the court of perception, a massive failing of properly assessing pieces of evidence by the media (and the UN). 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics

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.

 

3 Comments

Filed under IT, Law, Media, Politics

The Bully’s henchman

Yes, we saw it before and again we see a new ploy into the bashing by a bully. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/29/uk-chance-relook-huawei-5g-decision-mike-pompeo) gave us “Britain has a chance to “relook” at its decision to allow Huawei into its 5G phone network in the future, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, declared as he flew to London for a two-day visit to the UK“, the fact that the number one US bully (as some see him) sends out Mike Pompeo warrants more scrutiny. Lets not forget that on a global scale the US has not actually produced ANY evidence that Huawei is a security concern. We see merely that the US firms will lose their data drops on a global scale as Huawei makes a larger impact, and that is a much larger fear for the US than anything else. Even as we see news with senators with privacy concerns, we see an absolute lack of actions towards Google and Facebook to amend its protocols and data capture activities, all set in some loophole, flaws which are still legal and legally set in stone (of a sort mind you). Yet the undocumented claimed fear of Huawei and the Chinese government has still not been shown to actual cyber specialists and to actual independent hardware experts. 

So as senior (read: ancient) advisors of the Trump administration give: “insisted that sensitive American information should travel only through “trusted networks”” we see a lack of evidence by them. We also see that the US is changing its tune, the claim “But our view is that we should have western systems with western rules, and American information only should pass through trusted networks, and we’ll make sure we do that,” is it the changing claim of the bully that has changed evidence for ‘we should have western systems with western rules‘ is evidence of that. In addition to that its weak and waning “The secretary of state emphasised that work was being done between the two countries “to make sure that there are true competitors to Huawei” so that “we can deliver true commercial outcomes across real secure networks that aren’t subject to the Chinese Communist party’s control”“, where we need to valuate ‘work was being done between the two countries “to make sure that there are true competitors to Huawei”‘ reads more like a flaccid 90’s software sales agent with a concept to sell than an actual commitment. This situation merely exists because governments stopped seeing infrastructure as a priority and as US commercial people saw ‘gains’ elsewhere (read: cheaper/easier way to make commission), hardware needs lagged and the US is almost 3 years behind in the 5G circuit. Like in the BBC article yesterday, we see “The US says Huawei could be used by China for spying, via its 5G equipment” hiding behind the word ‘could‘ whilst not producing any evidence. All whilst presurring on “Mr Ren’s military background and Huawei’s role in comms networks to argue it represents a security risk” that is all slanted on a time when Mr Ren actually looked young and served for 9 years, he left the army in 1983, which was when Mike Pompeo was in High School optionally hoping to fondle a local cheerleaders boobies (we can presume), oh and by the way this was all 37 years ago, as such the lack of evidence on the equipment apart from an almost 10 year old case that was settled, the evidence presently seen is a joke.

This is all about the US losing its data collecting position and it is willing to sell anyother nation down the drain, all becasue the US became lacks, stupid and flaccid. Is that the legacy that the EU and the UK have to look forward to? Lets not forget that no matter how happy Nokia and Ericsson become, they are a little over 5 years in the running and well over 3 years too later to adapt to the high-tech that Huawei is currently releasing, that is the price of iterative technology.

The fact that my personal IP surpasses the US tech stream is further evidence still, in 1992 I was really behind the curve, it makes for the difference of innovative thinking and as the world relied on the US, its flaccid actions are now a real issue. 

In addition to all this, Wednesday also gave us “A group of anti-Huawei Tories want an assurance that the government will work towards reducing the Chinese company’s influence in UK infrastructure to zero, ultimately stripping it out of the 4G network as well” which is linked to “any provider deemed high-risk by the intelligence services should be phased out of the supply chain” and the problem here is not that Huawei is a claimed spy tool for the Chinese government, it is the fact that (as Alex Younger) stated that no infrastructure should be in the hands of non-UK corporations, which is acceptable. Yet they will hand the hardware over to EU and the US government, which is slicing the meat on the other side and almost as pointless. Let’s be clear, Alex (big boss MI6) gave a clear and understandable point of view. UK infrastructure needs to be in UK hands and as such we can accept that. Yet British Telecom is nowhere near this situation and as such we see a failing of policy on more than one shore.

So as we get to “Unhappy MPs held a series of meetings in Westminster, although they are keen to operate behind the scenes to push for a concession, several senior Tories believe they have a chance of getting the 45 rebels needed for a successful backbench revolt on legislation relating to regulation of Huawei” which would boil down to a conservative mutiny on a few fronts, the question that I am currently posing is: “If I investigate these 45 ‘proclaimed rebel’ members, how many will reveal a carefully denied personal link and gain from a non Chinese Telecom market?” Is that not an interesting side either?

And the intentional limitation of 35% would that be to keep American commerce happy, or is there an actual security setting here?

There is too much on the surface that we should investigate and it is not. Even as the article makes a reference to American diplomat Plus One, whose wife Anne Saccolas is accused of causing the death of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn. They still insist on their bully tactics and they will refuse to make public any evidence of the Chinese government links to Huawei hardware, all whilst the massive bugs in the Cisco routers are ignored by all.

So whilst we all cry over non existent hacks on Huawei equipment, we are faced by Cisco insecurity, and whilst some will not get this, the fact that the bulk of all servers in the world rely on Cisco Switches. so when we get (source: Cisco) “2020 January 29. A vulnerability in the web UI of Cisco Small Business Switches could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) condition on an affected device. The vulnerability is due to improper validation of requests sent to the web interface. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending a malicious request to the web interface of an affected device. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to cause an unexpected reload of the device, resulting in a DoS condition.” Now apart from the local need to fix this, there is no real blame at Cisco, this happens and whilst we see

Vulnerable Products

  • 200 Series Smart Switches
  • 300 Series Managed Switches
  • 500 Series Stackable Managed Switches

So whilst everyone is crying over non proven proclaimed weaknesses, there are actual weaknesses in the hardware leading to the internet and that gets my goat up, the entire Hawei matter is about the US losing too much revenue and the US being out of the data loop, and we support that….why?

When we wonder how we care on who gets our data, we seem to forget that someone gets it, yet the US wants to be the only runner in this race, based on decades of feigned superiority and now that they are in the race and moving from first to 4th position we seem to grant them all the leeway they need, whilst on the other side we see no improvement on personal data intelligence security, why do we need to continue this situation?

That issue becomes larger when we see the Financial Times (at https://www.ft.com/content/96c79040-40ea-11ea-bdb5-169ba7be433d). Here we see “Wealthy individuals are scrambling to lock down their privacy in the wake of the alleged hack of Jeff Bezos’ iPhone, as personal cyber security experts warn that the rich and famous are increasingly becoming the target of sophisticated cyber criminals“, which makes sense and the supported ‘a report last week alleged that Amazon founder Mr Bezos was hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2018‘ in all this there are (at least) two sides

  1. We see a proven part where ‘sophisticated cyber criminals‘ are getting onto more and more mobiles (an issue that will continue faster and more intense in 5G. 
  2. The world is realising that corporations are not lucrative targets, the softer market and larger market of one million mobiles might be worth a lot more, and the collected information could lead to a switch in ‘criminal economies’, that part is optionally seen in “Rubica, a company that provides more affordable digital protection for families, added that had he received “lots of inbound” inquiries last week from clients about how to better protect themselves from adversaries“, and as we see “According to data compiled by RSA Security, 70 per cent of fraudulent transactions in 2019 originated on mobiles
  3. (Optional) The guilt of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was never clearly established and is by some experts in the field regarded as a strange choice of actor to incriminate in the first place, as such it implies that there is a larger concern that the ‘vested’ parties cannot make clear statements on guilt and providing proof on who did it. Making the cyber setting a lot more dangerous, especially as insurers will try to seek more ways on options to not having to pay out (making more stringent contracts), this setting could hurt millions of people whilst the actual criminals go on without prosecution.

We see a shift in the market and this shift becomes a much larger issue in 5G, as such do you want your 5G infrastructure to be 3 years behind the latest technology? It will go faster and faster as I saw what the direction was and my IP would (hopefully) lessening the impact by almost 30% whilst 400 million starters (globally) will get a much larger slice of their marketing pie for their small businesses, whilst keeping more control of their information. All because some people forgot to look in one direction, that too is the effect of flaccid American innovation. I would never be a contender if they upped their game, so when my ship does come in, I will have to thank them for that.

Marc Rogers, vice-president of cyber security at Okta is right when we see “The cache of data on these devices is just growing, We’ve seen a massive escalation of theft [from] mobile devices because criminals are realising that people are storing immense amounts of personal and financial information,” is part of that crux and the US whilst bullying their Huawei part are basically not ready to deal with this, because they will claim that is up to you and your insurance. Which is an interesting ploy to give out in the near future as Cyber crime will spike and all whilst most global governments still do not have a clear and well documented Common Cyber Sense setting in play, many are hiding it in some HR document and using that to sack people when the damage becomes a little too pronounced, or the transgression becomes a ‘politically correct’ consideration. 

I see a much larger problem and the US is merely adding fuel to the fire and whomever they send will merely be the spokesboard of US data collection groups (as I personally see it) that need their data to maintain existence. 

So who is ready to play catch with the next henchman that the US sends?

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics