Tag Archives: NSO group

Getting a mute to lead the blind

Confused? Good! It has been going on for a little while, but Al Jazeera heads the setting of others with ‘Is the US crackdown on spyware firms just getting started?’, the article (at https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/12/22/is-the-us-crackdown-on-spyware-firms-just-getting-started) gives us “The Biden administration blacklisted Israeli spyware firm NSO in November, but experts say more needs to be done.” Well, that might b e nice, yet the absence of evidence means that they take to the streets with the stupid and flammable people. It becomes even worse with “a collaboration by Amnesty International and a coalition of media outlets – revealed that NSO’s software was sold to authoritarian governments that used it to spy on political leaders, journalists, executives and human rights activists, including people close to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.” As I personally see it, it was a collection of wannabe’s and fakes. They are that because evidence was not ever presented. And now the plot thickens, you think it does not? Well hold on, we are about to really up the throttle on this.

You see Bloomberg hands over the evidence I claimed all along. I wrote in several articles that if that list of 10,000 numbers was real the NSO Group would have a $400,000,000 piggy bank. But Bloomberg gives us ‘Pegasus Spyware Maker NSO Group Throws Cash at New Ventures to Survive’, where we are treated to “Israeli spyware firm NSO Group burned through most of its cash this year in a desperate bid to move past the scandal surrounding its phone-hacking tool Pegasus, according to a person with knowledge of the matter and private financial documents seen by Bloomberg News”, this could be seen as implied evidence that the money was never there, as such the list has to be (to a larger) part fake. Something I saw in less than 5 minutes, but all these wannabe essay writers You know, the one the Guardian has in Washington DC, as well as a wannabe essay writer at the United Nations with an outspoken hatred of Saudi Arabia. All going on flames and friends, but not a lot of evidence. Last Week at Wired we also get ‘Google Warns That NSO Hacking Is On Par With Elite Nation-State Spies’, but I will get back to that. You see the Bloomberg article (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-21/nso-group-burned-up-most-of-its-cash-to-shift-away-from-pegasus) also gives us “Two American funds have expressed interest in NSO’s Eclipse technology — which can detect, commandeer and land drones — and in its new big-data analytics platform, for which the company signed its first contract this quarter, the person said. Pegasus would either be shut down or brought under the same umbrella as the other businesses in a bet that U.S. ownership would improve its standing, according to the same person.” In this I personally think that these American Funds can go and get fucked (apologies for the language), you see if the NSO is on a blacklist, the Americans can go try and make it run on a kite. 

Although, there is every chance that China, Russia and optionally Saudi Arabia might want these technologies. So as we consider Wired giving us “The exploit mounts a zero-click, or interaction-less, attack, meaning that victims don’t need to click a link or grant a permission for the hack to move forward. Project Zero found that ForcedEntry used a series of shrewd tactics to target Apple’s iMessage platform, bypass protections the company added in recent years to make such attacks more difficult, and adroitly take over devices to install NSO’s flagship spyware implant Pegasus.” You see what Google (Apple too) isn’t telling you is that the transgression was possible to begin with. This is not some nerd in his mothers basement. This is the kind of person that can equal if not surpass both the NSA and GCHQ. More importantly both Google and Apple were not prepared, so just how many gaps are there in mobile phones? You want to complain about Huawei and their security dangers? Google and Apple are doing that all by themselves, just like Cisco did, but you probably missed those articles. Credit to Cisco of alerting everyone to this, but the media was eager to ignore it, much sexier to accuse Huawei without evidence.

So whilst the White House idiot gave the people a blacklisting, we get:  “NSO issued a statement at the time saying it was “dismayed” by the Biden administration’s decision and that its technologies “support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime”” So now the parts are here, we get to my use of ‘White House Idiot’, fair enough! You see, as the finances show that members of the media have been lying (optionally by not vetting information). We also see that the members of the NSO Group might sell to anyone BUT the Americans. A stage that will cost America greatly, especially if China acquires this technology. So after they squandered weapons sales to Saudi Arabia (I am still hoping for my 3.75% bonus on sales to China), the setting is now that one of the most sophisticated pieces of intrusion software might end up where no one wanted it to go, it reminds me of the old saying regarding ‘A cornered cat’, and it serves the mother goose brigade as I personally see it and you can see it too, you merely need to look at the actual claims and the fact that we see words like ‘alleged’, we see ‘might be infected’ and we see no clear number system. No dashboard that gives optional validity to the claims by wannabe essay writers. 

You know what? I am slightly too angry. First the yanks go all out on Huawei whilst evidence was never presented, now we see that the 5G networks are AT BEST a mere 50% of what Saudi Arabia has and in case of the US it is a mere 1.4% of 1%, it is THAT slow. Now we see the same exercise and it will be anyones guess who ends up with the NSO group software. It will be up to the NSO group to decide, yet I feel strongly that it should never end up in American hands. A person should not be allowed to be THIS stupid and being given a slice of cake, if it does happen, it better be valued at several billions. If you are THIS stupid, you cannot be much of a software maker, so pay you will, optionally Google could buy it to make their hardware more secure. It is a stretch and it is a steep price, but it could mean that the Apple supremacy ends and that might be worth a bag of coins to Google. 

Yet the best moment was when I saw that the media nailed their own coffin (the finance bit), so whilst Wired and the Washington Post did the right thing, the others can take a long walk of a short pier as far as I see it. Oh yes, the Wired article was at https://www.wired.com/story/nso-group-forcedentry-pegasus-spyware-analysis/ 

One day until Christmas, I reckon it is that time of the year when we take a little more time to see what weapon systems are out for sale. I need a new hobby!

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science

When will people learn?

This is not the first time time that I go all out against a Guardian essay writer (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/20/un-backed-investigator-into-possible-yemen-war-crimes-targeted-by-spyware) So lets take you through this track of what I regard to be stupid bumbles. The title is fine ‘UN-backed investigator into possible Yemen war crimes targeted by spyware’, it is what is reported on, but the stage quickly changes with “a panel mandated by the UN to investigate possible war crimes – was targeted in August 2019, according to an analysis of his mobile phone by experts at Amnesty International and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.” Why is this important? Well we are not given an iota of evidence on how that was established. More important, we have heard of the experts of Citizen Lab, but who has heard of the experts at the UN? More important, why is this shown 2 years later (aka roughly 840 days)? So then we get to be off to the races. We now get the French Fairy tale division giving us “Jendoubi’s mobile number also appears on a leaked database at the heart of the Pegasus Project, an investigation into NSO by the Guardian and other media outlets, which was coordinated by Forbidden Stories, the French non-profit media group.” This is an issue as I had shown (source: Washington Post) in my story ‘Retry or Retrial?’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/07/28/retry-or-retrial/) with ““reporters were able to identify more than 1,000 people spanning more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents: several Arab royal family members, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and more than 600 politicians and government officials — including cabinet ministers, diplomats, and military and security officers. The numbers of several heads of state and prime ministers also appeared on the list”, no evidence mind you, merely statement and boasting. I call it boast, because we see there that the Amnesty’s Security Lab examined 67 smartphones all whilst close to 50% had an inconclusive test. If this is 67, what about the other 49,933?” In this there was another side that no one considered. The list represented $400,000,000 in revenue and the NSO Group never had that, more important, none of these essay writers EVER published a dashboard showing where the 1,000 people were, there the other 9,000 were. If there is a phone list, there is a location and a dashboard on these numbers was never released, something I would do in the first few hours. 

Then we get the other clown (at the UN) with a clear hatred of Saudi Arabia “Agnes Callamard, the secretary general of Amnesty International, who previously served as a UN special rapporteur, called the news of Jendoubi’s alleged targeting “shocking and unacceptable”” It is that much of a setting, the article goes longer into blah blah mode, but no evidence is ever given to us. And it is then that we see a pie in the face on the clowns involved. We get “It suggests further reprehensible evidence of the Saudi authorities’ utter disregard for international law, their willingness to do anything to maintain their impunity, and it demonstrates yet again a complete disrespect for the United Nations, multilateral instruments and human rights procedures.” And why do I state it like that? In the previous article we see “In this Shalev Hulio is right that he is “continuing to dispute that the list of more than 50,000 phone numbers had anything to do with NSO or Pegasus”, I would too and I found a lot of the disputable issues within an hour, I wonder how shortsighted the media was when they decided to reprint what the Washington Post gave them.” This does not mean that the NSO Group and Saudi Arabia are innocent, but it calls in question the evidence presented. The verge and the Washington Post had issues with that list and I found another issue that could have been verified, as such we see a Stephanie Kirchgaessner who in 3-4 articles reduced the Guardian to a mere level of the Daily Mail, what a lovely way to end 2021, perhaps its editor Katharine Viner might do well by internally vetting what is being published, and perhaps she is part of the setting. Let well, I never stated that Saudi Arabia was innocent, but the fact that the NSO Group cannot see WHO infected (if that was the case) the phone of Kamel Jendoubi’s mobile phone, what other matters did these essay writers ignore to get a nice little hate piece against Saudi Arabia?

When will people learn that evidence is where it is at and several sources have debated the validity and the correctness of that list, and in all those months, no. one decided to look into the list and give us all a dashboard, weird is it not? I am not stating that Shalev Hulio, or Saudi Arab ia is innocent, but there is no presented evidence that they are either, as such the Daily Mail 2 (the Guardian) has a lot of making up to do, but perhaps they are merely doing what politicians and stake holders are telling them to do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics, Science

Cross here to die

Yup it happens, there is a point in our lives when someone points at a road and states that death comes to those who cross here. I (with an uncanny sense of humour) would state that you cannot cross here, but that is me.

This all started with keeping the press accountable with what the Guardian gives us. It is (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/11/omicron-covid-variant-could-cause-75000-deaths-in-england-by-end-of-april-say-scientists) and is called ‘Omicron could cause 75,000 deaths in England by end of April, say scientists’. Let’s start by setting the proper page that the Guardian has done nothing wrong (as far as I can tell). In the second part, let’s look at the non-living rates that I see. One source gives us that at present 146,255 people in the UK stopped breathing (due to COVID). Then we see that this would up the ante by 50% and so far we are told that Omicron is a mild version, so someone is lying to us and the press should be all over this. 

The full text states “prevent Omicron causing anywhere between 25,000 to 75,000 deaths in England over the next five months, according to scientists advising the government”, My issue is that the current numbers are set to Feb 2020 – Dec 2021, so how could a mild version create up to 50% more non-living? OK, we see that it is 25K-75K, but that still does not make sense. This is fear mongering, or this is fear mongering as I personally see it. 

And there is more we get to see “a wave of infection is projected that could lead to a peak of more than 2,000 daily hospital admissions, with 175,000 hospital admissions and 24,700 deaths between 1 December this year and 30 April 2022.” And it is natural that these people hide behind ‘could lead to’, Yet the stage does not match. 175,000 admissions leading to 24,700, deaths. It goes against the numbers I have so far over a lot of nations and Omicron is stated (several sources) that it is a mild version that is more easily transmitted, yet not more deadly, so the numbers do not add up.

Why is the Guardian not all over this, why do we merely see “More follows …” at the end? I get that more will follow, but I think there is a large gap on the numbers the UK people have and saw and what this is now telling them, someone is spiking the drinks (not vetting speculative numbers). Now, I could miss something, I will happily agree to that, but the numbers do not make sense and I have been around intelligence numbers for decades. This does not add up. 

So I get it that some ‘covering’ is needed, but the ‘could lead to’ and ’could cause’ is like me stating “Cross here to die” I did remove the Warning Mines here! sign, but that negatively impacted a lovely photographic stretch of road. And let’s be honest, that sign might have been there too long in the first place, WW2 ended in 1945, a lifetime ago, almost two lifetimes ago.

On the other side, I get it, we might not know all about Omicron, but is informing us not the duty of the newspapers?  So what gives, because this setting is too surreal for words and after we got a lecture from a Nobel winner who states to us all “when lies become facts”, I reckon the news beacons better get there A game on, especially as Al Jazeera also gives us (just now) “Pegasus, the Israeli spyware tool exposed by journalists early this year, is now in trouble with  American authorities and big tech”. In the first, I do not think that the NSO group is innocent, yet no proper evidence has been presented and some newspapers have given us facts that are debatable in the very least on a few fronts (one of those newspapers was the Guardian), And in all this, the infector is yet to be proven and the NSO group is not the only player in that town and if a pervious quote applies that 34 out of 76 might have been infected (might is the operative word), we need to see a lot more and especially a lot better from the newspapers.

Getting people to cross a mine field is relatively easy when you remove the warning signs. And that is what we almost face, we are told that there is a minefield to the left and we need to cross to the right, that sounds nice, until you realise that the signs were moved and now we all get to stride through the boom boom field. 

2 Comments

Filed under Media, Science

A two sided sword

It is nice (novel too) when the press does your work. Al Jazeera (at https://aje.io/xvndmj) with the headline ‘Nobel Peace Prize winners warn of growing disinformation threat’, which sounds nice, but the complication is that the press is part of the problem, in the last two years 

I looked at issues with the NSO group, Jamal Khashoggi (the reporter no one cares about), one sided accusations against Saudi Arabia, bungled investigations involving Jeff Bezos (and the UN), Ignoring the events from Iran and Houthi forces and that running joke known as the ICIJ with their papers of hope (Pandora papers). All issues that show the press being part of the problem, not a solution. All vying for digital dollars any way they can. 

So when I see “Maria Ressa of the Philippines said the greatest threat to democracy is “when lies become facts”, while Dmitry Muratov of Russia said society is currently in a dangerous “post-truth period””, I am not opposing Maria Ressa, I am stating that the disinformation problem is a lot larger than what we hear and journalists are part of that problem. 

Journalists have with some regularity placed themselves on the axial of a seesaw and tried to keep a balance between events taking place and Stakeholders that need things go certain ways (my speculation/presumption). It is a setting that have been going on since 2012 (which is when I started to take notice). So when I see “Muratov also told Al Jazeera that disinformation was a significant and growing threat. “Manipulation leads to war,” he said. “We are in the middle of a post-truth period. Now, everyone is concerned about their own ideas and not the facts,” Muratov said” I feel an involuntary giggle coming up. It is correct what he states, but the part of ‘Manipulation leads to war’, was this communicated to the morning breakfast shows? Was this communicated to newspapers who do this way too often? 

Yes there are problems and they are all over the place, yet the press is part of the problem, it stopped being part of the solution when shareholders needed to see more money from news outlets. A plate for pigs and there are too many pigs and the plate is seemingly getting smaller. 

So it needs to be clear, I am not opposing the person who achieved the standing of winning a Nobel price, I am however pointing towards the wannabe’s behind these people maximising digital coins at the expense of clear reporting. In case of the ICIJ, has anyone seen a clear dashboard giving us numbers of people per nation, nations with government people involved and non-government people? No, you haven’t. More importantly when we see the stage of those in zero tax nations (and their right to be there), what is left? In that stage we see the ICIJ speak like parrots, repeating the same thing over and over without any real revelations, any real criminal activities. So when you see “The new data reveals confidential information about the owners of offshore entities mostly registered in the British Virgin Islands, a notoriously secretive jurisdiction, between 1980 and 2018.” You get no real information, merely some silly essay person waving his dick. The problem is that this so called “confidential information about the owners of offshore entities”, is absent of criminal activities. It is about tax laws and these clowns have not achieved anything, merely made you all angry that some people get LEGALLY away with avoiding taxation. So Boo Hoo flipping Hoo. 

So I get it that some journalists should receive protection, but in my personal view, we could do without those 600 at the ICIJ brilliantly. The term of “when lies become facts” sounds really nice, but that means that we hold journalists and what they write accountable, an act that hasn’t been the case for the longest of times, should you doubt that, read the Leveson report. The stage is changing and to some degree journalists and news outlets are responsible for that mess. Consider that the big papers which include the Wall Street Journal, The Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Boston globe and the NY Times. How many did a real piece on how tax laws have failed a nation? None as fr as I can tell, they are all screaming ‘Tax the Rich’ but it were these tax laws that got them in that setting. The disregarded acts by Iran are visible all over by the bulk of these papers seemingly disregard these parts, just like the assaults by Houthi’s but they are all eager to slam the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one sided reporting is disinformation, I hope that this is clear? Filtered information (like morning shows) is also a form of disinformation and they all serve some stakeholder (as I personally see it).

A stage that has to change and it should start with those calling themselves journalists. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

Six of one

Six of one, or half a dozen of the other. You will have heard the expression. It is widely used, yet the meaning has changed. This reminds me of an old WW2 movie. A sergeant tells the soldier, we kill them, they murder us. It is more than semantics and weirdly enough there is a chance that this was on the back of my mind when I wrote ‘Jump into the deep part’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/12/06/jump-into-the-deep-part/), yet the CBC (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csis-trudeau-china-media-1.6270750) just drove it to the forefront of my mind. You see the article gives us in the article ‘Spy agency warned Trudeau China’s tactics becoming more ‘sophisticated … insidious’’ and here we see “As Canada’s spy agency warns that China’s efforts to distort the news and influence media outlets in Canada “have become normalised,” critics are renewing calls for Ottawa to take a far tougher approach to foreign media interference”. I am not debating the events in Canada, but the field is actually a lot larger. The media with (as I personally see it) unsubstantiated accusations towards the NSO group by the Guardian. Attacks without supporting evidence towards Saudi Arabia, the papers are drenched in that mess and it is not merely ‘foreign media interference’. You see if these people are serious they will take a hard look at media stakeholders, but they will not, will they? 

So as we see “One way foreign states — including the People’s Republic of China (PRC) — try to exert pressure on other countries is through media outlets, say the documents, obtained through an access to information request.” Do they realise that it is not merely ‘foreign states’, in this ‘corporations’ are equally to blame, they all have other goals and they use the same channels, the problem is that the media has become too unreliable, people do not know what or who to believe. In this the CSIS has equally a role to play, and for the most they are all about the safety and security of Canada (as it should be), yet in all this I wrote a few days ago about Saad bin Khalid Al Jabri. So as some might remember “Aljabri gained worldwide attention last year when he filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging he had been the target of a failed assassination plot orchestrated by Mohammed bin Salman”, an assassination attempt? In Canada? So why is the US courts involved? Why is this not set in Canada? Then we get “Sakab Saudi Holding Company, “had no operational business” despite receiving $8 billion US in government funding and was used “almost exclusively” as a vehicle to funnel money to the other companies”. My issue here is not merely whether this is on the up and up, it is happening under the noses (optionally with blessing) of the CSIS, this is an Unites States setting (with $8,000,000,000) and it is happening in Canada. Now, the point is not merely on what the CSIS is doing, because they care for their nation (Canada), yet the media gives us a different view and the Human Rights Watch is joining them with “(Beirut) – Saudi authorities should immediately release the imprisoned children of a former Saudi official following an unfair trial that took place in an apparent effort to coerce him to return to Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said today. Omar Al-Jabri, 23, and Sarah Al-Jabri, 21, the children of Saad Al-Jabri, a former top Saudi intelligence official, were arrested in March 2020 and held incommunicado until January 2021.” Yes, the thousands of children of Yemen are casually forgotten (for that moment) but the children of a multimillionaire, in the eyes of the government of Saudi Arabia a traitor and a thief. The man walks into Canada with $385,000,000 and what we get is “he made at least $385M — and says there’s ‘nothing unusual’ about it”, really? Last time most people made a mere few millions, close to every tax agent within 50 miles came calling for a cup of coffee, but then I must have forgotten about the US and their $8,000,000,000 investment opportunity

So I digressed, but it was important. You see, I am not opposing “Chinese-language media outlets operating in Canada and members of the Chinese-Canadian community are primary targets of PRC-directed foreign influenced activities.” But the problem is larger, PRC is a paid engine, and in this that scammers, Iran and a few other players also use it. I do not think that I am telling director David Vigneault anything he does not know, but the stage is that PRC is used by stakeholders, marketeers, media outlets ho need some ‘casual’ link of evidence, the list goes on. The problem is not that China is involved, they probably are. Yet in that same light Russia is optionally using PRC media pages to make China look bad, Iran uses it to set misinformation onto other streams. In this Forbes gave us in April ‘China-Iran $400 Billion Accord: A Power Shift Threatens Western Energy’, we get to see the references towards Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and a few other matters, yet what is kept in the dark (not intentionally) is how Iran and Turkey are using PRC for marketing politics, a marketing engine devoted to the ‘headlines only people’. And in that stage there are also the corporations. They merely pursue their need for green (dollar bills), but the ploys they use are larger and taint all parties and in this the global media does close to nothing, because corporations represent advertisement dollars and they are all desperate (like a crack whore for a fix) to get those dollars. A little like the Sony 2012 Q3 advertisements needs, yet now a lot larger and many corporations that are a little shy of the limelight. 

This gives us the one part I do not fully agree with, it is given in “Mainstream news outlets, as well as community sources, may also be targeted by foreign states who attempt to shape public opinion, debate, and covertly influence participation in the democratic process,”, my issue with this is “may also be targeted by foreign states who attempt to shape public opinion”, it is not wrong, but I think it should state “Mainstream news outlets, as well as community sources, need to be more proactive to stop outside influences from state players and corporations who attempt to shape public opinion, debate, and covertly influence participation in the democratic process,” because corporations have everything to gain and they are trying to do just that, on a global scale no less.

As such six of one or half a dozen of the other is not the same, the two elements tend to represent a very different currency. Consider the alternative six apples or half a dozen bananas, that might make more sense. As such I tend to ‘alter’ another expression to make sense: You say tomato, I say potato. My approach to the setting we see here on a global scale.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Military, Politics

It is difficult

One one hand, thee was a reason to be joyful. There was another article by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, so let the bashing begin. On the other hand, this is actually a good article. It is also an important article. And there is a stage where we need to consider what is and what could be. The article ‘Rights groups urge EU to ban NSO over clients’ use of Pegasus spyware’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware). This is interesting in two ways. We see no such ban on Remington, Fabrique national, Glock and a few other firms. And I would like to add that the NSA has done worse, much worse, so why is it now onto the NSO because their clients are skating on the edge of what some people might seem as ‘unacceptable’?

We see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm, alleging governments used its software to abuse rights”, we see it, but do we realise what is going on? We are holding the publisher of a law book accountable for criminals using those books to stay out of prison. And it is not mere criminals using the books, it is governments using the books. 

This is a slippery slope and as Stephanie Kirchgaessner illuminates this, we are left with questions. I personally want to see a list of these 86 organisations. I am not saying that the Guardian is lying, I am stating that the NSO and us have a right to see these accusers. Yes, we see Access Now, Amnesty International and the Digital Rights Foundation. But where are the others? We also see “the EU’s sanctions regime gave it the power to target entities that were responsible for “violations or abuses that are of serious concern as regards to the objectives of the common foreign and security policy, including violations or abuses of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, or of freedom of opinion and expression””, it is here that the problem starts. We see “freedom of opinion and expression”, but who allows for that? Who allows for ‘peaceful assembly’? Consider the US and their ‘Black Lives Matter’ setting. We see “Some states have recently increased the severity of criminal penalties for protesters along political lines”, so where is your freedom of expression and opinion now? 

There is an issue, there is and in this Stephanie is right, but is there any kind of stage where the NSO can be held responsible for the actions of their clients? What do you think will happen when the NSO sells what they have to China and/or Russia? Do you think these 86 organisations will have anything to say then? 

And there is a larger stage, the stage everyone is silent about, the stage we all know but no one is willing to look there. We are so willing to blame the NSO group, but no one is wondering why Apple and Google didn’t have better protection? We can understand that there are always, but they do not seem to work and for some reason, Apple and Google have a massive problem. So when we consider Forbes ‘Apple Starts Sending NSO Hack Warnings To iPhone Users’, why was this not done earlier, and more important why was the problem not fixed 5 years ago? Apple is playing the cautious game, leaving the NSO group out of the debate with “State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete. It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.” So why are new phones not more secure? Why are cyber locks a problem? Because Apple (Google too) caters to people who need automation to get better and more revenue and that crosses with the needs of some players who need access. 

In all this, the simplest solution was that no one gets access to your mobile, and it is not a new concept. The Blackberry started that idea and was quickly pushed out of the market (they were not the cheapest either). I saw this come up a few times when I was considering the evolution of a console (name xxxxxxxx redacted) , but the premise is larger and it is all linked to the simple setting that Facebook opened a door and EVERYONE wants to get through. In this case the NSO group saw that as a great idea to collect information and they are not alone, let that be clear, they might be the most visible player, but they are not the only player, but the article does not give that part, do they? You see there were a few nations on the list (that everyone ignores) and they are not NSO group clients, but they have certain abilities, so they are a client of someone and these 86 organisations are about to give that one player (with no scruples) the entire market.

Did you consider that?

Moreover, the accusations from some against the NSO group are still absent of evidence. Several newspapers gave light that the list of 10,000 was bogus and it was from 2017. In addition, I found the financial link missing, 10,000 hacks implied that the NSO group had received in excess of $600,000,000 and they have not. Some give us specifically worded accusations. Like the Citizens Lab giving us that 36 phones might (emphasis on might) have been transgressed upon, 36 out of 76, and we seemingly delete the word ‘might’ with our minds, but I did not. I am not opposing the Citizens Lab, but 36 might out of a debatable list of 10,000 is a long stretch and so far none of the media have given us any clear evidence, but these 86 organisations see there limelight moment, so they are all crying foul (or is that fowl). 

I for one want to see the media become responsible and hand over a dashboard of alleged victims. 10,000 numbers, that would be a massive list, but a dashboard stating how many are government, how many are journalists (which was in one article no more than 180, I think) making that a mere 1.8%. How many infections per nation? The list goes on and the media over all these months presented ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But now we see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm”, all whilst no clear evidence has been presented EVER. This is ab out something else and it has nothing to do with the NSO group, it has everything to do with a group of journalists who have become obsolete and as we see event after even (like that running Joke called the ICIJ), how much evidence have we see on their so called 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data, and zero (none) dashboard giving a summary, even with all that time and 600 journalists no one had time to give us a run down, that is how pathetic the media has become. Oh and they promised not to investigate the source, interesting is it not?

All flaming for digital revenue and presenting close to nothing, flames and way too little  substance. So when we ask these media players for clarity, their most likely answer will be ‘It is difficult’

Leave a comment

Filed under Law, Media

Worry lines

We all worry. You, me and the people around us. We all worry. The trick is to not be hindered by it, but worry breeds doubt. It does for nearly all of us. At this I wonder about what I see, what I hear and what I read. You see the biggest creator of doubt is the worry on who or what to trust. No matter hat the intended party was, the party creator is behind the doubt that is being created, that is until the matter in the brain is settled. When that is done there will be a backlash, either right or wrong when you stand by that position the doubt comes back, it always does. It is almost the same when you buy something expensive, and for a few days afterwards you still check sources if there was another cheaper one. We all tend to do this, it is in our nature. So this is what was in the back of my mind when I saw (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/nov/16/israeli-firm-candiru-spyware-linked-to-attacks-on-websites-uk-middle-east) by none other than what I personally consider than any politicians favourite tool Stephanie Kirchgaessner. To understand where I stand I need to take you through the article. I gave my displeasure on what she considers journalism a few times, so I am taking you by the hand in the article ‘Israeli firm’s spyware linked to attacks on websites in UK and Middle East’. The article starts with “Canada-based researchers say new evidence suggests Candiru’s software used to target critics of autocratic regimes” immediately followed by “Researchers have found new evidence that suggests spyware made by an Israeli company that was recently blacklisted in the US has been used to target critics of Saudi Arabia and other autocratic regimes” this first part indicates that this involves the NSO Group, the link in the first paragraph also links to the NSO Group blacklisting. The linked article only mention of Candiru is “and another Israeli surveillance company called Candiru had developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments”. We then get “In such attacks, spyware users launch malware against ordinary websites that are known to attract readers or users who are considered “targets of interest” by the user of the malware”, the writer then covers her back by giving us “Unlike NSO Group’s signature spyware, which is called Pegasus and infects mobile phones”. Here we get the first part of what was setting me off. The NSO Group was made part of this to paint them a specific colour of black, just like some politicians wanted to. There is no real comparison as there is a lot of useless mentions of the NSO Group. The only part that mattered in the article was “Citizen Lab said it was able to identify a computer that had been hacked by Candiru’s malware, and then used that hard drive to extract a copy of the firm’s Windows spyware. The owner of the computer was a “politically active” individual in western Europe, it said” Yet the article is massively absent of evidence, and a repetitive “Candiru declined to comment”. The article is absent of a large chunk of information on Candiru, it is absent to support “Microsoft reported that it had found victims of the spyware in Israel and Iran”, she does not say “victims of the Candiru spyware”, there are a few other parts, but these are the parts that mattered. The Guardian is playing a dangerous game by not properly informing, or deceptively informing their audience. Even as the article ends with “the commerce department said it had evidence that Candiru developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used it to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics and embassy workers. The tools also helped to enable foreign governments to conduct “transnational repression”, the department said”, the last part does not state “evidence that Candiru allegedly developed” even as we do not see a list and an explanation of what the evidence is, an explanation of what makes it evidence, not the exact parts, but some form of an explanation and in all this why was the NSO group mentioned so abundantly?

No comparison list, no header of numbers on what kind and how many were shown to be hit, all absent. A mere “Candiru may have deals with Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Forbes has reported”, so when you consider “Candiru, which was founded in 2014 and has undergone several name changes. In 2017 the company was selling its malware to clients in the Gulf, western Europe and Asia”, time was not the problem, the approach is (as I personally see it) nothing less than a farce. And if a newspaper like the Guardian will use its investigative journalists to this degree, what exactly are the others doing? I should give you worry lines, it does me. If certain sources are starting to be absent of credibility and optionally less regarded as trustworthy, what can we trust?

Oh and it just dawned on me, espionage is a tool, a universal governmental tool. So was it “supplied spyware to foreign governments”, or should it be “supplied spyware to governments”?

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics

There is doubt

We have doubt, we all do and there is no denying it. I have had my reservations from the press for the longest of time. Today we see another article and this time by Al Jazeera. They give us ‘Palestinian activists hacked by Israeli firm NSO spyware’, I will agree that there are people that we should monitor, this happens. So what makes these Palestinians so special? Consider that in the past we were given that the price of a hack is $100,000. This means that someone lashed out $600,000 on these six Palestinian rights activists. They are not called terrorists (whether they are or not), they are labeled as rights activists. Then Al Jazeera (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/11/8/palestinian-rights-activists-hacked-by-israeli-firm-nso-group) gives us “Spyware from the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group was detected on the mobile phones of six Palestinian human rights activists, in the first known instance of Palestinian activists being targeted by the military-grade Pegasus spyware”, so the paragraph mentions Israel, then the ‘NSO group’, ‘Military-grade’ and ‘Pegasus spyware’. With the added settings that matter. The first is “It is not clear who placed the NSO spyware” which is fair enough, so what gives certainty that it was Pegasus? It is a fair enough question and where is that report? Then we get “Three of the hacked Palestinians work for civil society groups. The others do not, and wish to remain anonymous, Frontline Defenders says” which countermands the earlier statement of ‘six Palestinian human rights activists’, just three and what are the other ones? Terrorists? Yes, I’ll bet they want THEIR anonymity. It is the odd setting we get next “Frontline Defenders is “not absolutely alleging that Israel is behind this,” but that the “timing of all this is very interesting””, yes so is the IRA coming to the rescue of Hezbollah, but I will not judge. Wasn’t it the Times who gave us on September 13th 2020 that gave us ‘New IRA forges links with Hezbollah’, also interesting isn’t it?

So where is the evidence? And whilst we give Andrew Anderson, executive director at Frontline Defenders the benefit of the doubt with “the NSO Group cannot be trusted to ensure its spyware is not used illegally by its customers and says Israel should face international reproach if it does not bring the company to heel”, well, one could argue that no one is bringing Hezbollah to heel, the other part is that the reports have not been given the visibility that they deserve. When did a media outlet like the verge get that full report? Why is that report not out in the open for scrutiny? In my mind the girl stating that that she is the greatest whore in the world whilst we cannot find any man substantiating that, is nothing more than a wannabe women hoping to get rid of her virginity. 

Any equation can be turned on its head and whatever falls out either supports the claim or accelerates the doubt we have. In this case I have doubt, I have way too much doubt. For one it is the lack of a timeline. 

When we see “The non-profit Frontline Defenders disclosed its findings on Monday in a joint technical report together with Amnesty International and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which independently confirmed the results” It is the only date I see, so when were they infected, when were the suspicions voiced? How long did either party investigate? All parts that are missing and no one hands over the report to any of us. I have doubts, I have a lot of doubts and they are growing. The entire setting of the media being the whoring little chihuahua against the NSO group, optionally on American orders. The US does not need to spy on us, they have the media doing it for them. And as far as I can tell, no one is asking real questions, why is that?

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, Politics, Science

As Credit Cards run dry

That was pretty much the first thing that went through my mind as Reuters gave me ‘UK could speed up criminal sanctions for big tech, minister says’ an hour ago. The article (at https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-could-speed-up-criminal-sanctions-big-tech-minister-says-2021-11-04/) gives us the first dangerous setting ““It will not be two years, we are looking at truncating that to a shorter time frame,” she told lawmakers. “I’m looking at three to six months for criminal liability”” in the first I have all kinds of emotional outbursts as to the uselessness of certain political players. Then there are a few more chapters, yet it is not yet the moment for that (it will come soon enough). When we see “Powers to make executives liable have been proposed as a “last resort” to be introduced at least two years after the rules have been set, the government has said”, we see the first part that it is a timeline change of almost 75%, then there is the statement ‘as a “last resort”’ and I personally believe that none of it will hold up to scrutiny. There is of course the ‘old’ setting of “In general, Facebook may not be held liable for slanderous or defamatory posts due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 protects internet service providers, like Facebook, from liability for content posted to their platform by third-party users” Yet it also means that a demand could be made to hold Journalists up to those same standards, and that is where the shoe stops fitting and the dance ends real quick.

Consider Stephanie Kirchgaessner, someone at the Guardian. On July 19th 2021 she gives us “A phone infected with NSO malware, as Kanimba’s has been, not only gives users of the spyware access to phone calls and messages, but it can also turn a mobile phone into a portable tracking and listening device. In the period before she was alerted to her phone being hacked, Kanimba said she had contacts with the US special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, British MPs, and the UK high commission office in Rwanda – all of which could have been monitored

We now see:
A. ‘A phone infected with NSO malware, as Kanimba’s has been’
So where is that evidence? As such the guardian could be just as liable and hiding behind ‘big tech’ optionally constitutes a case for discrimination and the Guardian is also on Facebook, Twitter and so on, so what gives there?
B. When was the phone infected? Can the moment of infection be proven?

The Daily Mail reported on October 25th 2021 “The alarm was raised after an online harms issue known only to a few people at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was raised by a senior executive at Facebook in a recent meeting” So we see “I’m looking at three to six months for criminal liability”, basically Facebook would be prosecuted for events that the employees of that government leak on Facebook? How insane is that train? Who would be the conductor of that crazy brain train and with that in sight, when we consider that some of these messages come from all over the globe. And in plenty of those cases the so called trolls are to blame for some messages. When we consider that the track record in the US, UK, EU and larger commonwealth fails to deal with trolls, can we demand more from Facebook? Consider that the Council on Foreign Relations reported on June 7th 2021 “Chinese trolls are beginning to pose serious threats to economic security, political stability, and personal safety worldwide”. So how long until not so intelligent politicians see a larger string of attacks and fine Facebook whilst the business shifts to China where the US, UK and EU have no say in the matter? How stupid does one need to get to consider their stretched credit cards to get fines whilst losing billions in taxable revenue and optionally global revenue? When it all shifts to China (as well as the Russian equivalent) people like Britain’s Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries were too close to clueless to understand the digital media? Yes, we get it, Zuckerberg created a Behemoth, one a lot larger then even he thought was possible, but the rest had no idea whatsoever (I used to work for a few of them). So in all this we see lofty words like ‘criminal liability’, yet that same government (as the BBC reported) gives its population just 1.6% of rape allegations in England and Wales result in someone being charged, something the government has said it is “deeply ashamed” about. Charged, not convicted, that is a mere 80%, leaving 98% of the assailants free to do it again. That government who failed its population for well over three decades thinks it can judge “big tech firms already had the capability to make their platforms safer”, how is that insight gotten? Because as I see it in too many places the people have no clue on digital media issues, especially in social media. 

I believe that this is another ‘tax the wealthy’ stage, this time it is on what I regard as ‘false grounds’. And in that light, lets take a gander into another stage (adjusted stage in this case) of ‘flawed reasoning’

6 Most Common Causes of Wrongful Convictions

Eyewitness misinterpretation.
The stage where the observer does not comprehend all the elements of a digital track and uses his or her status as expert witness, or witness to the event all whilst the stage cannot be seen as a lot of the variables involved are not visible to that witness.

Misinterpretation.
Misinterpretation is set to what is seen, the data behind it and the stage on why and who placed it. In many cases (especially with flamers and trolls) several of these elements are faked and wrong values are captured mainly because flamers and trolls know what to change. This is similar to all the scam calls showing a UK/US number whilst the scammer is in India. YouTube is filled with those examples.

Incorrect forensics.
Is slightly the wrong term, it is incomplete forensics, because governments listened to self righteous pinko’s who demanded privacy and as such digital platforms cannot capture what needed to be captured to do more, so first (overly graphically stated) the government cuts off the hands of the media giant and then tells the media giant to pick up the right ‘pick-a-stick’, how lame is that part of the equation?

False confessions.
There is the cry-baby (hoping to get freebee’s), the trolls and flamers and those with a natural aversion to one side (abortion, politics, vegans), take a subject and there will always be a crying opponent and they are willing to embellish their side and optionally lie on what they feel, all sides that goes straight into social media and often several times over.

Official misconduct.
Basically is is seen on both sides and always will be, I used the government staff leaking lists, but the opposite side is also there (like Amazon staff greasing personal (family) needs. Several options and these things happen and time is the only way to get there, yet the issues mentioned earlier drains close to all resources.

Use of informants.
That is the larger problem, who is a real informant, and who is there to play some political game? The data will not reveal either but it also constitute a wrongful case.  A seemingly small but growing issue on a stage where size is the least visible element of all.

Inadequate defense.
The largest problem issue. It overlaps with technical abilities, privacy abilities and false confessions, they all impact the defence that is offered and as such is the easiest overrun in court or in a hearing. This also is a stage with documentation and as we see with some players at the ICIJ (Pandora papers) as well as the NSO group. There is no adequate defence as the presented attacks are too often absent of evidence, yet still there is a conviction against the players and the media became part of that problem. A stage where defense was not possible because some players were allegedly tainting the field. 

Six elements and they are out in the open, so when we see “Britain’s Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who was appointed to the job in September, said she wanted the powers brought forward” I personally wonder whether she is clueless on what is involved, or is this a mere ruse to get fines so the governmental Credit Card is not cut into pieces by too many banks? And if the UK is in that stage, how deep is the EU and the US at present?

Before we leap to rush to the small minded people, lets make sure that they do not end up driving business to players like WeChat. A site that will not adhere to anything that is seemingly non-Chinese.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics, Science

Tools of convenience

It is 01:39, I thought it was going to be a boring Thursday. Yet, there she is, everyones favourite tool Stephanie Kirchgaessner is making another run for it. She gives us ‘Israeli spyware company NSO Group placed on US blacklist’. The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/03/nso-group-pegasus-spyware-us-blacklist) comes with all posturing, yet no evidence. She gives us “It comes three months after a consortium of journalists working with the French non-profit group Forbidden Stories, including the Guardian, revealed multiple cases of journalists and activists who were hacked by foreign governments using the spyware” yet there are a few sides to consider. This so called ‘consortium of essay writers’ working with the clowns calling themselves the ‘non-profit group Forbidden Stories’ came with insinuations and no evidence. On July 23rd 2021 I wrote ‘From horse to course’, there I gave the readers “but consider that if the media has not released a dashboard of these 50,000 numbers, I believe that my case is rather clear, I would personally consider that list is nothing more than the fabrication of a stakeholder who needs the revenue that the NSO Group currently has”, in addition to that, the BBC gives us (the link is in the same story) “Of the people whose numbers are on the list, 67 agreed to give Forbidden Stories their phones for forensic analysis. And this research, by Amnesty International Security Labs, reportedly found evidence of potential targeting by Pegasus on 37 of those”, so basically they could prove it in no more then 60% of the cases which they call ‘evidence of potential targeting’, I am not debating it, but this setting where we saw a few mentions that the NSO Group pleaded innocence, we need to have evidence, and the whatever you wanna call it pointlessly blaming people without presenting evidence constitutes in my humble opinion a person too useless to consider a valid source of information.

She goes on giving us “The Guardian and others also revealed that the mobile numbers of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and nearly his entire cabinet were contained on a leaked list of individuals who were selected as possible targets of surveillance”, a leaked list that was opposed by the Verge and a few other sources which I dealt with again in ‘The same gramophone’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/16/the-same-gramophone/) We see several issues with what is stated from a few articles, but the part was that the leaked number list was from 2016, and there were other considerations too, in part that 50,000 numbers represent $600,000,000 in the cheapest configuration and so far, no evidence was ever shown that the NSO Group had made THAT much money. We also get the show of a party line “NSO has said that its spyware is used by foreign government clients to target serious criminals. It has denied that any of its clients ever targeted Macron or any French government officials”, I get that. It does not make the NSO group innocent, but so far the confused tool Stephanie Kirchgaessner and whatever master she barks to are not presenting ANYONE clear evidence. I stated it 6 months ago there too. A top line of what was available and optionally evidence would have been presented and in 6 months none of them did any of that. 

Have we stopped being nations of laws? There is a second side to all this it is seen in the headline  ‘Israeli spyware company NSO Group placed on US blacklist’, we get “Decision against company at heart of Pegasus project reflects deep concern about impact of spyware on US national security interests”, OK that is fair, the US has national interests and as such they have the right to push for their national interests, I cannot and will not debate that, it is their right. I just wished the Guardian had actually done their homework and not hide behind “It comes three months after a consortium of journalists working with the French non-profit group Forbidden Stories, including the Guardian, revealed multiple cases of journalists and activists who were hacked by foreign governments using the spyware”, that and unsubstantiated mentions makes for a shoddy article, one that is debatable on too many sides and degrades the Guardian from their AAA status to a mere B-. Feel free to oppose this, you only have to get actual evidence and so far none of them presented any and several sources debated what some presented, a mess and this is the third time I personally see the name Stephanie Kirchgaessner towards something that I personally regard to be shoddy. Once happens, twice perhaps if the career is long enough, but three times? As I personally see it, the average journalism intern is better than that. 

And no matter how we slice it, Shalev Hulio, NSO’s founder has a larger issue and optionally new avenues to explore. I wonder if that was the content of the meeting that is given to us as “But in the weeks that followed the publication of the Pegasus project, Israeli officials met with counterparts in the US and France to discuss allegations of abuse of the technology.” I think the current administration is shitting bricks, they are scared. The NSO group is the first time in history that a private company had a better grasp of technology then the NSA EVER had. And the next credit ceiling conversations are a mere 7 weeks away, I reckon that the democrats are afraid that any deal towards that comes out into the open from any non-US source. It must be awful to rely on tools you owe big time, but that is merely my take on the matter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics, Science