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02 Mar 2012 20:16


Tech: NASA skimps on cyber security, China hacks us regularly as a result

  • 3.9% of NASA’s IT budget is allocated to cyber security
  • 13 successful hacking attempts were carried out against NASA last year source
  • » You get what you pay for: Really, guys? Thirteen times in a year? This means NASA gets hacked more often than I pay my phone bill. But maybe that’s to be expected when you spend so little on cyber security. This is all based on testimony from the agency’s inspector general, Paul Martin, and the rest of his testimony is quite terrifying. For example, Martin says that hackers working through Chinese IP addresses were able to gain full system access to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, steal user credentials from over 150 NASA employees, and modify system logs to cover up their tracks. Let’s hope it was just a couple of bored middle schoolers.

03 Dec 2011 18:14


World: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki: We’re ready for U.S. troop pullout

  • Nothing has changed with the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq on the security level because basically it has been in our hands.
  • Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki • Emphasizing that the country can handle the forthcoming departure of U.S. troops, as an eight-year war dies down. Al-Maliki says he has “no concerns whatsoever” about the ability of his troops to maintain security in the region, and says the sectarian violence that broke out immediately in the wake of the downfall of the Saddam Hussein government is a thing of the past. “I assure the world that the Iraqi forces and the general situation in the country hasn’t changed and will not change,” he emphasizes. source

15 Oct 2011 21:55


World: Iraq War: Conflicting reports on forthcoming troop departures

  • claim Both the Associated Press and the New York Times report that, despite prior reports to the contrary, the U.S. will not keep troops in Iraq past 2011 due to significant security concerns.
  • rebuttal However, a Reuters article says that both the White House and Pentagon deny this fact, claiming that no decision has been made. Which major news outlet do you believe on this issue? source

06 Jul 2011 17:04


U.S.: TSA warns of implant-based bomb concealment

  • The new normal in airport security? It was announced today by the TSA that terrorists might try to surgically implant bombs into themselves to bypass airport checkpoints, a warning which seems to imply further heightening of security could be coming. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explicitly said that the warning “does not relate to an imminent or specific threat.” That said, that a terrorist could hide a bomb in their body is fairly obvious, so whatever intelligence they’ve gleaned must be enough to drag this out of the realm of the hypothetical. The TSA has also advised international airports to tighten their security. source

30 Jun 2011 17:27


World: Nicolas Sarkozy grabbed during public appearance

  • The dangers of the rope-line: French President Nicolas Sarkozy was grabbed and pulled by a man while walking past a rope-line at a public event today. What we find most interesting about this: “Sarkozy says he will take no action against the man.” Now, we’d be shocked if this guy isn’t in a world of legal trouble right now, but for Sarkozy to openly state he’ll take no action against him sort of surprised us. If this happened to President Obama, we bet there would be a lot more emphasis and on this, both from the administration and the media. source

14 Jun 2011 14:50


Tech, U.S.: Hackers break into, nothing of value is lost

  • A certain hacker group that’s been making headlines lately hacked the Senate’s website. However, they stole nothing of value — they only obtained information about to go on the site itself. The firewall protecting the Senate’s important documents kept them away from the data that could have been potentially harmful if released. Investigators traced the weakness in the system back to one senator’s office, but the senator hasn’t been named. In a press release about the incident, the hackers made it sound like this wouldn’t be the last time they targeted a government site, either. One thing is for sure — the White House should really look into cyber security if some amateur hackers are breaking into government websites this regularly. source

03 Jun 2011 17:20


Tech: Dear LulzSec: How about we blame you instead of Sony?

  • OK, LulzSec, we get your point — Sony should take its user security seriously. But that’s a lesson they’ve been learning repeatedly for a month — they didn’t need another group to teach it. Meanwhile, when you write tweets like, “I hear there’s been some funny scamming with jacked Sony accounts. That’s what you get for using the same password everywhere,” you earn no respect from anyone. End users — especially the elderly ones that made up the bulk of your Sony release — have something to lose with these hacks. You, however, act without respect or care for anyone. You know, say what you will about Anonymous, but they appear to at least have strong social/political reasons for what they do. (The comment above, from Dutch Anonymous, sums it up for us.) You’re just in it for the “Lulz,” as if nobody gets hurt while you guys have your fun. source

04 May 2011 16:17


World: Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation deal to Israel’s chagrin

  • Signed on the dotted line: Hamas and Fatah made official their surprising reconciliation deal today, which calls for a new interim government and for elections within one year. This has sparked a lot of angst from Israel, who are fearful of the a unified Palestinian authority that includes Hamas  — they’re also opposed to a Palestinian attempt to get statehood recognition from the United Nations, expected to take place this September. source

27 Apr 2011 14:46


Tech: Sony in hotter water as stolen debits begin to surface

  • breach In a much publicized incident, hackers crippled the Playstation Network and made off with personal info for 77 million gamers; Sony admitted credit card numbers may have been stolen, but said they saw no certain evidence of it.
  • swipe The reports are beginning to flow in about fraudulent charges being racked up; two users have claimed fraudulent debits of a few hundred dollars (that they’re using debit card numbers to draw directly from accounts is significant). source

14 Apr 2011 12:44


Politics: FBI releases files on Tupac Shakur, Jewish Defense League

  • Rap and Jewish nationalism: The FBI released some files yesterday, ostensibly about the Tupac Shakur murder, that showed no illuminating “smoking gun.” However, the report surprisingly suggests Jewish Defense League (a Jewish nationalist group with terrorism cred; they once tried to bomb Rep. Darrel Issa’s office, to give a domestic example) ran an extortion scheme. The report says that the JDL would contact rappers and convince them their lives were in danger, then suggest they could offer paid protection services. The files show records of calls between Tupac and the JDL before his 1996 death, but the FBI was unable to coherently link the group to any involvement in the murder, though it seems like their primary suspicion. source