President Obama’s dreadful policies toward Russia allowed Vladimir Putin to regard the United States as an impotent power.

The misguided approach started at the beginning of Obama’s regime. For example, he surreptitiously sent a letter to the Russians just after taking office, offering to cancel plans to install a missile defense site in Poland and corresponding radar in the Czech Republic.

According to The National Review, these systems would have provided a layer of protection for the United States and its allies from Iranian long-range missiles. All Russia had to do for Obama to cancel the plans was to agree to help pressure Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program.

This exchange started the road down the ill-advised treaty with Iran and showed Russia the weakness of Obama because he couldn’t force the Islamic Republic to do his will.

The Obama administration ended up canceling the missile-defense system, and the United States to this day remains ill-equipped to combat Iranian ballistic missiles.

Obama also negotiated a new arms control treaty with the Russians even though Putin and the gang were violating the previous one. It took constant congressional pressure to get Obama to admit that Russia had been disregarding the previous agreement since he took office.

Fast forward to Obama’s statement on an open microphone telling then–Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to pass along a message to then–Prime Minister Putin. “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space…. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility,” Obama said.

In other words, Obama promised to do a lot more than anyone in the current administration has.

Obama’s response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea in March 2014 and Moscow’s subsequent support of pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine was economic sanctions. Although the measures had an impact on the Russian economy, they were seen as woefully inadequate.

Finally, the United States has become so irrelevant in Syria and Russia so important that the Obama administration didn’t even get an invitation to the last conference to discuss the civil war.

Only after all these signs of weakness did Russian hacking occur. But it wasn’t just the DNC. Russian entities hacked private companies, Nasdaq and banks, as well as government agencies, including the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon. The Obama administration apparently was incapable of mounting any significant defense against the hacking.

An investigation into Obama’s dreadful record of dealing with Russia might be useful before looking at anything else.

 

Christopher Harper teaches media law.

I remember back in the 80’s I was talking to a friend who thought I was being an alarmist when I said that the same internet connection that allows a person on the net could be used by someone else to either read or control your home machine.  Well time for me to be an alarmist again.

There is an update to the story concerning that car hack I wrote about a few days
ago

Chrysler said Friday it was recalling roughly 1.4 million vehicles after security researchers exposed a flaw that allowed hackers to kill transmissions remotely.

The recall affects several models of Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler cars.

The company maintained it was conducting the recall “out of an abundance of caution” and not because of any reports that hackers had actually exploited the security defects.

I don’t think people realize just how bad this is and what it’s going to mean consider:

As any person who owns a computer know, systems are constantly being updated to close hacking hole that are discovered. While some are discovered by the companies internal security systems others are discovered after there are actual victims of a vulnerability.

Are manufacturers going to recall cars every time they need to install a security patch?

Furthermore as anyone who has either upgraded or had a system update there is occasion when said update crashes.  And while losing data you need might seem like a matter of life and death due to a software crash, if such said software crash takes place in a moving vehicle it may become an actual matter of life and death for those in said car and those around them.

And such hacks don’t have to come direct from the net, consider as more cars are setup to sync with various devices it’ entirely probable that malicious code on said devices could be designed to migrate to the purpose of

1. Hacking a car’s software

2. using the car’s net interface to notify said hacker of the specific vehicle is hacked.

Can you imagine a ransomeware on a car?  Pay me or pay the dealer who has to re-initialize all the software.  Or even worse.  Your son or daughter is driving and you get an email  pay or their car swerves into traffic.  You’re given a few minutes to approve what are you going to do?

There in one obvious solution.  There is absolutely no reason why an open system of convenience can not be completely independent of any critical systems.  That should be the case, that way any hack would only have the effect of inconvenience.

Personally I’d just as soon keep all of a car’s computers closed systems.

Expect to see a lot more of this.

 

I’m called DaTechGuy. My major in college back in 1985 was computer science, my first job was in the computer field and my last pre-national blogging job was in the computer field. I use computers, I like computer I respect how computers have made life easier.

However when I see a story like this there Is a moral worth repeating

A new vulnerability in the Uconnect system gives attackers frightening remote powers over Chrysler vehicles, revealed in a Wired exclusive report. In a live demo, attackers used the vulnerability to cut out a Jeep Cherokee’s transmission and brakes and, when the car is in reverse, commandeer the steering wheel — all without physical access to the vehicle. “This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone,” said Charlie Miller, one of the researchers behind the exploit. The full vulnerability will be presented next month at Defcon,

Now given the modern lifestyle it’s not so odd that a car that you are paying tens of thousands of dollars for is going to have a computer with wi-fi access, but remember this.

Everything that is a computer on the internet is hackable.

Or lets put it another way, if I was a terrorist or someone at war with the US how much trouble can you make if you have guys hacking cars on US highways?

Or even worse how many bright kids who don’t know better might decide to crash a car because it’s cool?

Now if you want a car controlled by computer that’s your call, for myself I’d just as soon have a car that’s a car and a phone that’s a phone.

I suspect thousands of unemployed law grads are punching the air while taking a quick refresher on divorce law:

Cybercriminals hacked the online dating site for cheaters — and its two-timing subscribers could soon be exposed.

A hacking group swiped mounds of data from Ashley Madison, the hookup service for adulterers, and is threating [sic] to leak users’ personal data, according to cybersecurity expert Bryan Krebs.   

The intruders, who call themselves “The Impact Team,” claim to have completely compromised all of Ashley Madison’s records, stealing the information of 37 million affair-seeking subscribers.

I don’t like hacking but may I suggest that if you are someone who is giving your personal information to a company that’s sole purpose is to aid people in breaking their promises to their  spouses then one doesn’t have a lot to complain about  if said company isn’t all that efficient in keeping their promises of discretion to their customers.

A piece of scripture instantly come to mind:

You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.  2 Samuel 12:12

…that Barrett Brown is not of Sicilian ancestry:

All it took was for one member of the group to be identified as such by law enforcement, at which point they could get a warrant that would permit them to monitor every communication — e-mail, chat, phone, whatever — in which that person engaged, and . . .

BARRETT BROWN IDENTIFIED HIMSELF!

How stupid do you have to be not to see what that meant?

Like I said, not a Sicilian.

Hey stuff like this happens when you declare war on the US.

Actually every time of year is scam time but with tax time approaching and various stimulus programs being talked about its a good time to think about the many online scams out there to nail you One example:

Economic Stimulus Payment Scams
Perpetrated via a phishy email or a fraudulent phone call, these scams capitalize on confusion surrounding the federal government’s economic stimulus package. By now you probably know that you may be getting a stimulus payment in the coming months but may not know how or when the payment will arrive. Potential victims of this scam are told that they’ve qualified for their stimulus “rebate” and are asked to provide their bank account number to receive the payment electronically. In reality, you won’t have to do anything more than file a federal tax return to receive your payment, and the IRS will never call or email you about the economic stimulus payment.

The Cyberstreetsmart site is a good one. Go there and read the whole thing. If you are a person with a kid about to enter college check out their phony scholarship section here.

Don’t forget to take their IQ quiz to see how much you already know.

An Important announcement for all people like me who have embedded and or posted Monty Python clips over the years direct from the Pythons itself:

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! I’m in favor of anything that leads to new original python stuff such as the clip above..

The page is here.

And the Pythons are right it is a much higher quality video. So if you are going to buy ringtones or videos etc you might as well buy it direct from them.

In case I haven’t made my opinion clear I think that Monty Python will (and has) stand the test of time as good or better than any other comedy team in history.

There has been a lot of loose talk over the years of civil liberties being eroded but this looks like the real thing:

THE Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people’s personal computers without a warrant.

The quietly part really bothers me almost as much as the without a warrant

The strategy will allow French, German and other EU forces to ask British officers to hack into someone’s UK computer and pass over any material gleaned.

That is an incredible surrender of sovereignty.

Police might also send an e-mail to a suspect’s computer. The message would include an attachment that contained a virus or “malware”. If the attachment was opened, the remote search facility would be covertly activated. Alternatively, police could park outside a suspect’s home and hack into his or her hard drive using the wireless network.

That is interesting, would it be made illegal for makers of anti-spyware software to block or stop this stuff?

The idea that this can be done without an explicit vote in Parliament is disgusting. Regardless of your opinion of the patriot act in the US the Congress passed it out of both houses and the president did sign it. This is being done without the consent of the people at all.

The actual story is here. Via insty & samizdata.net