Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘computer’

Russians Hacked Into Election Software

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The ONLY FAILSAFE means to electronically count ballots is by using an Optical Scanning system. Votes can be counted manually, and Voter Intent can be determined by examining ballots. I write from experience as an Election Official in numerous elections. Can any electronic device be hacked? Yes. But physical ballots are the “backup” which can be examined to check against any suspicious machine, or software.

—//—

Russians Hacked Into Election Software, Databases In 39 States

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they complained directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.”

By Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON – Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.

“They’re coming after America. They will be back.”

– Former FBI Director James Comey testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington declined to comment on the agency’s probe.

Russian officials have publicly denied any role in cyberattacks connected to the U.S. elections, including a massive “spear phishing” effort that compromised Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, among hundreds of other groups. President Vladimir Putin said in recent comments to reporters that criminals inside the country could have been involved without having been sanctioned by the Russian government.

One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.

Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.

One former senior U.S. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U.S. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.

As the first test of a communication system designed to de-escalate cyber conflict between the two countries, the cyber “red phone” — not a phone, in fact, but a secure messaging channel for sending urgent messages and documents — didn’t quite work as the White House had hoped. NBC News first reported that use of the red phone by the White House last December.

The White House provided evidence gathered on Russia’s hacking efforts and reasons why the U.S. considered it dangerously aggressive. Russia responded by asking for more information and providing assurances that it would look into the matter even as the hacking continued, according to the two people familiar with the response.

“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama. “Given that our election systems are so decentralized, that effort meant working with Democratic and Republican election administrators from all across the country to bolster their cyber defenses.”

Illinois, which was among the states that gave the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security almost full access to investigate its systems, provides a window into the hackers’ successes and failures.

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to Read the rest of this entry »

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All Trumped Up Over The FISA Court

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 6, 2017

Imagine, or pretend for a moment that you were President of the United States.

You would be literally be “the boss of” and have access to a vast trove of over 14 different American Intelligence & National Security agencies.

If so desired, you could watch video of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, see photographs of his corpse and burial at sea, and examine the report made of his DNA following his death and capture. By virtue of the Office of the President, there would be virtually nothing to which you would not entitled to know, or view in the agencies of the United States government. You would be able to see the code-named TOP SECRETS of our government. You would have full and unfettered access to the highest levels of secret information… including Nuclear Access Codes.

The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, State, and Justice, along with all their myriad divisions and offices – ALL Executive level agencies – which includes the FBI, US Marshals Service, Secret Service, DEA, ATF, Coast Guard, and more – would ALL be under your ultimate control, and you would be their Boss.

The CIA is an independent agency.

Because the FBI and the NSA are Executive level offices/agencies, it is NOT a stretch to imagine that the President ~COULD~ Read the rest of this entry »

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Google Announces $600,000,000 Data Center Investment in Jackson County, Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This is THE biggest news for Alabama since development of NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville!

JACKPOT!
Google Announces $600,000,000 data center investment in Jackson County, AL
https://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/locations/jackson-county/

100% powered by Renewable Energy
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-power-plant-for-internet-our-newest.html

A power plant for the Internet: our newest data center in Alabama

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Every time you check your Gmail, search on Google for a nearby restaurant, or watch a YouTube video, a server whirs to life in one of our data centers. Data centers are the engines of the Internet, bringing the power of the web to millions of people around the world. And as millions more people come online, our data centers are growing, too.

We’ve recently expanded our data centers in Iowa, Georgia, Singapore and Belgium. And today we’re announcing a new data center in Alabama—our 14th site globally.

This time, we’re doing something we’ve never done before: we’ll be building on the grounds of the Widows Creek coal power plant in Jackson County, which has been scheduled for shutdown. Data centers need a lot of infrastructure to run 24/7, and there’s a lot of potential in redeveloping large industrial sites like former coal power plants. Decades of investment shouldn’t go to waste just because a site has closed; we can repurpose existing electric and other infrastructure to make sure our data centers are reliably serving our users around the world.

TVA Widow's Creek fossil plant will be the site for Google's 14th, and newest Data Center, and represents a $600,000,000 investment in Alabama.

TVA Widow’s Creek fossil plant will be the site for Google’s 14th, and newest Data Center, and represents a $600,000,000 investment in Alabama.

At Widows Creek, we can use the plants’ many electric transmission lines to bring in lots of renewable energy to power our new data center. Thanks to an arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority, our electric utility, we’ll be able to scout new renewable energy projects and work with TVA to bring the power onto their electrical grid. Ultimately, this contributes to our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy.

In 2010, we were one of the first companies outside of the utility industry to Read the rest of this entry »

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Is God an Abortionist?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 1, 2015

The Bible never mentions abortion.

It doesn’t suggest it, nor does it even hint at it.

The Bible doesn’t forbid prostitution.

In fact, there are many things the Bible doesn’t even mention.

But it does forbid eating pork, shrimp, oysters, mussels, clams, cheeseburgers, wearing clothing made with cotton/polyester blended  fabric, that a man should marry his brother’s wife if the brother dies before impregnating her, and several hundred other nonsensical rules, regulations and laws – almost all of which were religiously based upon ignorance.

At the time the Bible was written (approximately 4000 BC/BCE), there was no understanding of Germ Theory (1864). No one understood Bernoulli’s Principle (1783). In fact Bernoulli wasn’t even born then. No one understood the physics and principles of lift, low pressure, high pressure, or how weather systems occurred. Even the beer and wine that was made then was thought to have been made magically – as if it were some kind of mystical gift from the gods, a god, or the God. They had no idea – were literally clueless – that it was through fermentation, because Read the rest of this entry »

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What does Unified Info mean on iPhone?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 20, 2013

Among the standard WordPress offerings are statistics on each blog, and corresponding search terms that were used to discover any particular entry. Those are very powerful tools, and in the proper hands, can be effectively utilized.

It’s interesting to read the search terms that often lead to this blog, and to this point, though I have considered opining on some of the more “fascinating” or “peculiar” entries, I shall share something a wee bit less salacious.

In fact, it’s not salacious at all.

One such entry was “what does unified info mean on iPhone“?

First, consider what the word “unified” means.

“Unified” means “to make, or become united, uniform or whole.”

The prefix “uni” means “one.”

By implication, unity, unification, or unified means that exactness is present. There is no variation, or difference.

Things are as one. They are made into one. To unify is to make into one.

afasdfasf

New Contact on iPhone – Note the data fields.

Note the data fields.

New Contact in “Contacts” address book on OSX
Note the data fields.

Sample Contact entry in "Contact" address book on OSX.

Sample Contact entry in “Contacts” address book on OSX.

Quite simply put, “Unified Info” on the iPhone means Read the rest of this entry »

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More evidence that Government $pending boo$t$ economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recollect the brouhaha over Vice President Joe Biden‘s remark Thursday, July 16, 2009 in Alexandria, Virginia?

He was speaking at an AARP-sponsored town hall meeting also attended by AARP CEO A. Barry Rand, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

Vice President Biden said, “Now people, when I say that, look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ that’s what I’m telling you.”

{ref: http://cnsnews.com/node/51162}

“And folks look, AARP knows – and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know – that the status quo is simply not acceptable. Its totally unacceptable. And its completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially, Were going to go bankrupt as a nation. Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ I’m telling you.”

Of course, Vice President Biden was speaking in context of the Affordable Care Act – also commonly known as “ObamaCare” – which the Government Accountability Office has shown has already demonstrated significant cost savings and proven to be business-stimulating legislation, and that to eliminate it’s protections would cost the federal government even more in the long-term.

Analogously, it’d be like having a fuel inefficient automobile – one that only got about 5 miles/gallon, or less. If you were to purchase even a used vehicle with twice the fuel economy – 10mpg – you could realize significant overall long-term savings. Simply ceasing driving will not solve any problem, but would rather create more problems.

Similarly, could you imagine having an inefficient Heating/Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system? You gotta’ stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter – there’s no way around it. And to lower your average monthly utility bills by even 1/3 would be beneficial.

So, here’s a shocker for armchair philosophers, political pundits, amateur economists, Radical Republicans, TEA Party types and more: Government spending – in part – is a significant driver of our nation’s economy. And, spending on economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a most wise investment.

Why?

Because 1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the PRIVATE SECTOR, and; Read the rest of this entry »

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iPhone security

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 29, 2012

iPhone security - ss1167

iPhone security – ss1167

Originally uploaded by SouthernBreeze

Via Flickr:
The 4our digit passkey is the one with which most may be familiar. Yet some iPhone owners may not be aware that there is another, more secure method of protecting their investment in that wonderfully powerful tool.

A more complex (and therefore secure) combination – one of the user’s own choosing – is able to be used. Not only is the creation of that passkey cAsE sEnSiTiVe, but numbers (0-9) and characters (such as # , $ ) @ + } ~ ? <, etc.) are able to be employed in the creation of the passkey.

There are several benefits to using such a system, not the least of which means that Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple confesses: iPhone Signal Strength Indicator “totally wrong”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 5, 2010

Apple Computer (NYSE: AAPL), stunned the world today by announcing a critical error in the design of their iPhones, which has been present since the devices were first manufactured and sold in 2007.

It seems that the “bars” indicator – which has been used as a signal strength indicator, albeit an inaccurate and faulty one – is even more faulty than previously thought! In fact, it’s AFU – All Fouled Up. (That’s nice parlance.)

For those of you who do not know how to read radio signal strength indicators (and that’s very likely most folks), they’re expressed in negative numbers. The higher the negative number, e.g., -108, the weaker the signal. Conversely, the opposite is true: The lower the negative number, e.g., -16, the stronger the signal.

My iPhone 3GS is jailbroken, and one feature I have employed on it is a numerical signal strength indicator for the Cellular and WiFi signals. Here are two screenshots to illustrate.

UPPER LEFT CORNER: Cellular signal strength indicator using "Bars" - Note also, the WiFi signal (on the RIGHT of the AT&T) is much stronger than the cellular signal.

UPPER LEFT CORNER: Cellular strength indicator using the accepted numerical standard - Note also, the WiFi signal (on the RIGHT of the AT&T) is much stronger than the cellular signal.

Oh!

And if you’re looking for a job…

Apple Computer is looking for Antenna Engineers, too!

Read on to see their mea culpa and want ad. …Continue…

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SECURITY-MakingThingsEasyToReadToPreventAdvertisingSniffers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 6, 2010

R ec ent l yI sen t am ess a ge toa f ri end o fm ine w ho mwo r ks ina c ad emi a in com p ut ern e tw ork i ng ser v ic es. I nt hem e ss age I wr ote t oh imI e xp lai n ed tha t Iw asu s in gse …Continue…

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iPhone 3G[S]

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 29, 2010

Perhaps the story of the iPhone could appear as a feature on the teevee show “Modern Marvels.”

My tenor is somewhat sarcastic, for as I am writing, my iPhone is, and for very nearly the past month, has been nothing more than a chic lovely paperweight.

I have a 32GB iPhone 3G[S] which I purchased at a “race horse” price – $150. It was refurbished. It had not even one scratch on it, and was brand-spanking, shiny new when I peeled the protective plastic off the screen.

In short order, I unlocked and jailbroke the 3.1.2 OS phone using blackra1n, which is a free/no-cost tethered jailbreak – meaning it must be attached to the computer during the process. The baseband is 5.11.07.

To clarify, “unlock” refers to …Continue…

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Spam the Spammer

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 28, 2010

If you keep a blog, or if you have an e-mail account, you know what a headache it is to get such garbage in your inbox, or on your site.

I’m referring to spam… not the tasty mixed-meat-in-a-can which is apparently popular with Hawaiians, but to the automatically-computer-generated gobblydegook that purports to promote everything from …Continue…

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Wings on my ass – a cause of blindness? My iPhone story in Lent.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 19, 2010

This is the season of Lent. It’s a strictly Christian observance… well, it actually has its roots in the Jewish Passover.

Oh well.

Christians are the “new Jews.” Oy vey!

I started out thinking I’d share about my iPhone troubles – I have an unlocked and jailbroken 32G 3G[S] iPhone.

Yeah. Top of the line.

iResisted doing that – purchasing an iPhone – for quite some time. I used  – and still do – use a Palm Treo 650, and have never had moment’s trouble with it. NEVER!

I used it to surf the web, and sent e-mail from about four accounts, three of them associated with my work, all from different organizations. One day, several years ago, at a family reunion in MS, someone told me something had fallen out of my pocket. Looking down, I saw the stubby antenna lying on the floor. Loathing to pay the very-nearly $40 for a screw and tiny piece of plastic, I reverted to using two devices – as I had done previously with a Nokia “candybar” style phone, and Palm Pilot.

Back to Square One… right? Two devices… one phone, and one computer/calendar/appointment/memo/address/contact gizmo.

A few months back, I bought the iPhone for …iContinue…

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FAIL: RFCU President’s response

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 15, 2010

Is John Newberry, President/CEO of Redstone Federal Credit Union, out of touch with reality?

After a virtual media black-out which essentially denied that Redstone Federal Credit Union members accounts had been emptied because of computer hacks, this is how the RFCU President/CEO responds:  …Continue…

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Redstone Federal Credit Union President: “Members hardly said anything.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 14, 2010

Huntsville, AL-based Redstone Federal Credit Union President Joe Newberry was characteristically tight-lipped about security when he spoke recently about their new computer system being hacked.

Saying only that …Continue…

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Redstone Federal Credit Union Computers Hacked

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 13, 2010

Huntsville-based Redstone Federal Credit Union announced Friday that members’ employee payroll checks had disappeared Friday, shortly after posting.

With more than 320,000 members, RFCU is one of Alabama’s largest CUs.

Denying that RFCU was hacked, Senior Assistant Vice President Ken Jost said, …Continue…

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We promised to pay your retirement pension, but now, we won’t. Sosumi… you bastards!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 11, 2010

For those “in the know,” “Sosumi” is the name of a computer sound which Apple Computer of Cupertino, CA created and has used for quite some time.

I love Apple Computer, well, not genuinely “love,” but have always believed them to be the best – bar none – computer operating system, superior in every way to Microsoft’s Windows OS. Folks used to say, “Oh, the Mac is good for graphics,” and other such nonsense, even when the Mac OS was in v7.x.

Today, I ask folks, “What’s the Internet all about?” Graphics, graphics, graphics, and media, media, media.

And still, some folks continue to use the infection-prone Windows. Oh well. Some folks never learn.

On to Sosumi.

If you’ve ever heard of the “Beatles,” (and who hasn’t?) you should be aware that …Continue…

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