Tag: Hacking

Getting Myself Phished, a Quick Yakking about Hacking

 

Phishing is the email version of pretending to be someone you’re not. The end goal is to talk some dupe into clicking on your link, to either steal their information or otherwise break into their computer. I know a thing or two about what this is and how it works, and yet I clicked on the link last night. Let’s go straight to story mode, shall we?

I see an email in my inbox, from Admin PayPal. Subject line “Your account has been limited. (Code: E8 -s0me-malarky)” I open the email. I’ll screenshot the message for you to see it for yourself.

Ayatollah Air Power

 

If push comes to shove, could American air power lay waste to the Iranian regime in a cake walk, a turkey shoot? Consider what we know, publicly, of Iranian military capabilities in the air. They have aircraft from the pre-stealth era, drones, and extensive surface-to-air missile defenses. Perhaps, however, their best “air” assets are computer coding and diplomatic shuttle flights.

RQ-170

Photo by Gene Blevins/LA DailyNews

It was not big news when fairly rag-tag forces shot down a low and slow flying armed MQ-9 Reaper drone. After all, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has a wing dedicated to advising foreign forces, including the Yemeni forces fighting other Yemeni forces backed by Saudi Arabia. This is not secret, so the U.S. Central Command was willing to claim Iranian participation in the June 2019 shoot-down:

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This past week, two Florida counties experienced cyber-attacks. It was just on the news that Florida City experienced a ransomware attack, then this evening, it was announced that Mexico Beach was also attacked by ransomware, demanding $600,000 to be paid in Bitcoin, the untraceable way to pay and preferred choice of criminals, thugs and lowlifes […]

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The Democrat-Deep State-Media Cover-Up that Protected the Russiagate Narrative — Revisiting the Awan Cybersecurity Scandal with Luke Rosiak Luke Rosiak is an investigative reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation where he broke arguably one of the biggest scandals in the history of the federal government — one the media refused to cover and the […]

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How to Crack Excel Files

 

This all starts with Mike Mahoney. Mahoney was the Excel guy, two Excel guys ago. To his credit, he wrote pretty good stuff. His macros don’t break often. Everything would have been cool except he was writing these things when Excel 2003 was the hot new thing. Mahoney was also excellent about locking things down from accidental damage. Trouble is, nobody remembers his passwords. Breaking through his protections makes an excellent case study on how to secure and how to bypass the security on an excel workbook.

Not even swordfish works.

How ’bout that Mirai Botnet

 

Do you remember that thing? It was the panic of the week last fall. Some jerks took large portions of the internet down for a couple hours. Everyone was in a tizzy for a bit. Well, the problem is still there. At least now nobody’s in a flail-your-arms panic over it, so maybe it’s worth discussing solutions.

Since there’s very little reason to remember the panic of the day even a week later, let me remind you how this works. A couple years back “Internet of Things” became the fashionable buzzword, so we all went out and bought WiFi enabled toasters. Now you can start toasting automatically when your alarm clock goes off. The fact that your toast will be ice cold by your seventh snooze is a small price to pay for living in The Future! But when you got your FutureToast, you didn’t bother to change the default password (it’s a hassle and if you did you’d forget the new one and what’s the worst that could happen anyway?) Mr. Nefarious Hacker sees that you’ve got a FutureToast, and he can log into it too. With your toaster and the 13,000 other ones that nobody’s changed the passwords on (and the 3300 GarageNoMores, and 4200 BlindsWithScience, and 132 HubCapConnects) he’s got access to a massive number internet connected devices. Mr. Nefarious Hacker can then use them to form punishing denial of service attacks, making the internet useless to the rest of us.

Hacked Macron Emails Dumped on Eve of French Election

 

An election draws near, and thousands of campaign emails are dumped online. Sound familiar?

This time the victim is French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron whose En Marche! Movement was apparently hacked less than two days before French voters decide between him and Marine Le Pen. Nine gigabytes of data were posted anonymously to document-sharing site Pastebin. Macron’s campaign confirmed the breach:

“The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and co-ordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information,” the statement said.

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I saw the below story regarding yet another hacking scam through your email. Then my sister called a few minutes ago and said her state agency was hacked. They use Gmail throughout the state. Apparently, according to their IT Department, it is worldwide. Even though Google has taken down the Gmail accounts of the perpetrators, it […]

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Recently, John Deere has been loading firmware into the various computers used in their farming equipment that prevents a non-Deere dealer mechanic from fixing their brand of equipment.  This article has more detailed information. Naturally, farmers are upset and are trying to find a work-around.  Enter the computer hacking underground.  For about the cost of […]

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The Election Was Not Hacked

 

Between jeremiads decrying “fake news,” the mainstream media has created and advanced the biggest fake news story of 2016: That the presidential election was hacked.

  • “Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking” New York Times
  • “Obama administration unveils retribution for Russia over election hacking allegations” CNBC
  • “U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Russia For Election Hacking, Expels 35 Diplomats” CBS
  • “Obama sanctions Russian officials over election hacking” USA Today
  • “U.S. Sanctions Russia Over Election Hacking; Russia Threatens to Retaliate” Wall Street Journal

Despite the histrionic claims of the press, the election was not hacked. The Democratic National Committee’s lousy IT security allowed someone to access their emails which were then leaked. Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta fell for an age-old phishing scam that was as believable as getting millions of dollars from a Nigerian prince. Using the spotty media understanding of cybersecurity, they can claim that the DNC and Hillary’s campaign were “hacked,” but the election decisively was not. And the press knows it.

In order to “hack” an election, a nefarious group would have to infiltrate the voting systems of 50 states, plus DC and territories. All of these systems are unique, with completely different architecture, ballot formats, tabulation processes, etc., etc. This did not happen. In fact, some hackers tried breaking into a few different states’ systems weeks before the election, were quickly identified, and prevented from doing so. Likewise, someone attempted to gain illegal access to the Republican National Committee, but since they had a competent IT staff, this too was thwarted.

Obama Press Conference Crushes Progressive Fantasies

 

The fever swamps of the left were eager for Obama’s final press conference of the year. Would the CIA’s leaks about Russian hacking force the President to disrupt the transition? The Electoral College meets Monday — could Obama give them all the intelligence? Would Obama refuse to relinquish power to that borscht-slurping Putin stooge tweeting at 4 a.m. from Trump Tower?

Victor Davis Hanson looks at the controversies around Donald Trump’s relationship with the Russian government and analyzes the trajectory of Washington’s relationship with Moscow.

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Georgia says someone in U.S. Government tried to hack the state’s computers that house voter data An attempted hack into Georgia’s voter registration database was traced back to the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Preview Open

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The recent, highly charged US Presidential election brought out a new word – Fake News. We were bombarded by information on both sides of the aisle, via social media, cable news, and other avenues. There were charges that Russian propaganda was influencing our elections by elevating unflattering stories about Hillary Clinton, therefore creating an unbalanced view. […]

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Echoes from the Digital Frontier

 

Two interesting, semi-related items caught my eye this week.

The Rehabilitation of Julian Assange
Just a few short years ago, he was despised and rejected of men and women on the conservative side of the aisle for revealing information about Guantanamo and the NSA’s efforts to spy on friend and foe alike. The same people on social media who called him a traitor and demanded he be shot for damaging our intelligence-gathering abilities are now praising him for revealing the true depth and breadth of Clinton’s corruption.

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Not sure if winners or losers matter at this point, so I ask a different question. What did you learn tonight (other than what wine goes best with a debate. Thanks @docjay). I learned that the Russians hacked darn near every server in the country, except for the Clinton’s private email server, as there is […]

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Russians Hack DNC, Get Trump Opposition Research

 

shutterstock_295517744From the WaPo, here’s one of the most potentially interesting stories of this cycle:

Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some GOP political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.