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In New Cold War – Putin’s Bitch Sells Out America

Evidence that Russian State Hackers interfered in the US Elections of 2016 is irrefutable. The only real question left is whether the collusion between Chumph Campaign leadership and Putin’s FSB/KGB rises to the level of being a crime. At some point, probably later this year, Independent Counsel Robert Meuller will hopefully provide answers to that with detailed evidence on whatever conclusion his office makes as a result of that information. With the evidence that has been made public so far – there is little doubt that conclusion will be Treason, which is why Putin’s Bitch is so actively researching if he can pardon himself and his kids from criminal prosecution and jail.

The US is under constant attack by the Russians, most recently in Vermont where Russian FSB/KGB penetrated the power grid, and two weeks ago while Chumph and Putin palled around affectionately at the G20, Russian hackers went after US Nuclear Plants.

The US Government response to this? Not much, other than to bunker-up against the security flaws identified by the Russian attacks. Patch and defend. Chumph won’t allow any sort of retaliation and or crackdown against his Russian allies. Leaving America vulnerable and at the mercy of Russian spies and agents.

So what is left?

Shutting down Russian Cyber-spy operations by responsible American corporations. And yes, that option is limited by laws which Putin’s FSB/KGB doesn’t have to follow. So it is a bit like a one-armed boxer entering the ring.

Microsoft has taken the lead, and since December has been busily chopping away at the apparatus of one of the most egregious Russian Government spy operations – Fancy Bear.

Here is hoping other companies join the fight, because at this point our National Security infrastructure largely has their hands tied by politics in the New Cold War.

One would hope some patriotic corporation or entity would assist in developing an organization or effort by our non-governmental Black Hats to take these Putin fuckers down.

Putin’s Hackers Now Under Attack—From Microsoft

Microsoft is going after Fancy Bear, the Russian hacking group that targeted the DNC, by wresting control of domain names controlled by the foreign spies.

A new offensive by Microsoft has been making inroads against the Russian government hackers behind last year’s election meddling, identifying over 120 new targets of the Kremlin’s cyber spying, and control-alt-deleting segments of Putin’s hacking apparatus.

How are they doing it? It turns out Microsoft has something even more formidable than Moscow’s malware: Lawyers.

Last year attorneys for the software maker quietly sued the hacker group known as Fancy Bear in a federal court outside Washington DC, accusing it of computer intrusion, cybersquatting, and infringing on Microsoft’s trademarks.  The action, though, is not about dragging the hackers into court. The lawsuit is a tool for Microsoft to target what it calls “the most vulnerable point” in Fancy Bear’s espionage operations: the command-and-control servers the hackers use to covertly direct malware on victim computers.  These servers can be thought of as the spymasters in Russia’s cyber espionage, waiting patiently for contact from their malware agents in the field, then issuing encrypted instructions and accepting stolen documents.

Since August, Microsoft has used the lawsuit to wrest control of 70 different command-and-control points from Fancy Bear. The company’s approach is indirect, but effective. Rather than getting physical custody of the servers, which Fancy Bear rents from data centers around the world, Microsoft has been taking over the Internet domain names that route to them. These are addresses like “livemicrosoft[.]net” or “rsshotmail[.]com” that Fancy Bear registers under aliases for about $10 each.  Once under Microsoft’s control, the domains get redirected from Russia’s servers to the company’s, cutting off the hackers from their victims, and giving Microsoft a omniscient view of that servers’ network of automated spies.

“In other words,” Microsoft outside counsel Sten Jenson explained in a court filing last year,  “any time an infected computer attempts to contact a command-and-control server through one of the domains, it will instead be connected to a Microsoft-controlled, secure server.”

Historically, Fancy Bear has mostly targeted Windows with its malware, and has leaned heavily on Microsoft products when choosing domain names—thus giving Microsoft standing in the lawsuit.  On Friday, after months of litigation and thousands of pages of filings, a judge in Alexandria, Virginia is scheduled to hear Microsoft’s motion for a final default judgment and permanent injunction against Fancy Bear.

Also known as APT28, Sofacy, Pawn Strorm and Strontium—Microsoft’s preferred moniker—Fancy Bear has been conducting cyber espionage since at least 2007, breaching NATO, Obama’s White House, a French television station, the World Anti-Doping Agency and countless NGOs, and militaries and civilian agencies in Europe, Central Asia  and the Caucasus.  Fancy Bear’s most notorious intrusions targeted the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign last year, as part of Moscow’s efforts to help Donald Trump win the White House, according to U.S. intelligence findings.

 

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HP Bails on Donating to RNC Convention for Trump

HP joins Coca Cola and Microsoft in either massively reducing their support or bailing out entirely. It is unknown at this point how many smaller companies may have bailed out as well in protest.

HP Inc. Joins Companies Declining to Contribute to G.O.P. Convention

Hewlett Packard Inc. has joined a growing list of major corporations that are declining to help pay for the Republican National Convention, aspressure builds on the business community to repudiate Donald J. Trump.

Before it split into two last year, Hewlett-Packard had been a generous contributor to Republican causes in the past. Meg Whitman, the company’s chief executive before the split and now the leader of HP Enterprises, is a former Republican nominee for governor in California. She has forcefully denounced Mr. Trump in the past, calling him a “dishonest demagogue” and condemning his statements on women, Muslims and others as “repugnant.”

The African-American activist group Color of Change, which has been one of the leaders of the campaign to get companies to cut their donations to the convention, said it had received word from Hewlett Packard last week that it would not be making any cash donations to the Republican or Democratic conventions this year. A company spokeswoman confirmed the decision.

HP Inc. joins Coca-Cola and Microsoft in deciding to either significantly curtail or eliminate its monetary support to the Republican convention.

Coca-Cola has declined to match the $660,000 it gave for the 2012 Republican convention, donating only $75,000 for this year and indicating that it does not plan to provide more.

Microsoft will provide only software and technical assistance to the Republicans’ event, while it plans to give that and monetary support to Democrats.

Political conventions and the cities that host them rely tremendously on corporate donations to fund their expenses, which can exceed $100 million when security costs are included. But companies have been wary of committing to the Republican National Convention this year given Mr. Trump’s provocative and offensive statements on women and minorities.

A Color for Change spokesman, Rashad Robinson, said Tuesday that it planned to keep the pressure on companies that have not yet said whether they would fund the convention, which starts July 18.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Smart Phone Demographics

Turns out different ethic groups have different affinities in terms of the Cell Phone purchasing habits. This may be a reflection of network cost, usage type, or affinity…

For Phone Manufacturers this is both good and bad news. Asians purchase iPhones as a larger percentage of any group, Black folks purchase RIM Blackberrys. However, recent purchasing trends indicate a strong movement by both Black folks and Hispanics to Android platform phones – which is bad news for RIM.

Android, BlackBerry & iOS Tied for U.S. Market Share [STATS]

Thirty-one percent of mobile consumers in the U.S. now own a smartphone, according to a the Nielson Company’s December 2010 U.S. smartphone market survey released Tuesday…

The report indicates that 45% of mobile Hispanic users in the U.S. have a smartphone. Likewise, 45% of Asian/Pacific Islanders also have a smartphone. Nielsen estimates that 33% of African-American mobile phone users have a smartphone. In contrast, only 27% of white/non-Hispanic mobile users have a smartphone.

The differences in ownership percentages may have to do with age. Nielsen notes that Asian, Hispanic and African-American populations tend to skew younger.

I think it has to do with economics, as poorer folks only have the budget for one Internet Access methodology. Coughing up $100-200 a month for a Smart Phone, and an additional $100-200 a month for home internet access strains the budget. So the choices typically are a cheap “dumb phone” (prepaid), and home internet the family can share, or for more mobile or single folks – a Smartphone as the only connectivity to the Internet.

When it comes to future market share predictors, however, Android is the big winner. Nielsen estimates that 43% of users who purchased a smartphone in the past six months chose an Android device. In comparison, 26% of new purchasers chose an iOS device and 20% chose a BlackBerry.

From a demographic perspective, Hispanic users seem evenly split across the three smartphone OS platforms, whereas 36% of Asian smartphone owners have an iPhone. The BlackBerry is the most popular smartphone amongst African-Americans, at least according to this study.

It is going to be interesting to see after the initial euphoria, if Verizon offering the iPhone is going to drive market share significantly.  The one thing Apple has going for it is consistency of use across platforms. If you have an iPhone, you can pick up and use an iPad in seconds. The iPad is essentially an iPhone with a screen big enough so someone over 20 can read it.  A lot of the features also transition over to their PC line. That is where the “IBM/Microsoft” platforms have historically failed – and one of the reasons a lot of technophiles wouldn’t buy a Windows based phone. I don’t want to wake up tomorrow to find my phone has downloaded the newest operating system, which has changed where every button and feature on the phone is, charged my account $100 for the upgrade…

And moved the “call” button to somewhere ergonomically impossible to reach for someone without 3 hands. And furthermore, I will need to buy a memory upgrade for $150 just to make all the new “features” no human outside of the Microsoft development center will ever use but are “required” to make the new OS work. Which is what they (Microsoft) do constantly with Operating Systems and Office Products.

It will be interesting to see if Android manufacturers copy that “look and feel” which tends to tie users to their product lines due to familiarity. It worked for RIM, and their loyal Blackberry following…

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Great American Rip-Off, News

 

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