maxomai: dog (dog)
(Bruce Schneier is the author of Applied Cryptography and the inventor of several military-grade cryptographic algorithms, including Blowfish and Twofish.)

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] bruce_schneier at Terrorist Risks by City, According to Actual Data

I don't know enough about the methodology to judge it, but it's interesting:



In total, 64 cities are categorised as 'extreme risk' in Verisk Maplecroft's new Global Alerts Dashboard (GAD), an online mapping and data portal that logs and analyses every reported terrorism incident down to levels of 100m² worldwide. Based on the intensity and frequency of attacks in the 12 months following February 2014, combined with the number and severity of incidents in the previous five years, six cities in Iraq top the ranking. Over this period, the country's capital, Baghdad, suffered 380 terrorist attacks resulting in 1141 deaths and 3654 wounded, making it the world's highest risk urban centre, followed by Mosul, Al Ramadi, Ba'qubah, Kirkuk and Al Hillah.

Outside of Iraq, other capital cities rated 'extreme risk' include Kabul, Afghanistan (13th most at risk), Mogadishu, Somalia (14th), Sana'a, Yemen (19th) and Tripoli, Libya (48th). However, with investment limited in conflict and post-conflict locations, it is the risk posed by terrorism in the primary cities of strategic economies, such as Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan that has the potential to threaten business and supply chain continuity.



A news article:



According to the index, which ranks world cities by the likelihood of a terror attack based on historic trends, 64 cities around the world are at "extreme risk" of a terror attack.

Of these, the majority are in the Middle East (27) or Asia (19).

Some 14 are in Africa, where the rise of Boko Haram and al-Shabaab as well as political instability have increased risk.



Three are in Europe -- Luhansk (46) and Donetsk (56) in Ukraine, and Grozy (54) in Russia -- while Colombia's Cali (59) is the only South American city on the list.



No US city makes the list.

maxomai: dog (dog)
Editorial: Bruce Schneier is one of the most trusted names in computer security. He literally wrote the book on Applied Cryptography. Until recently, he was the Chief Security Officer at British Telecom, and he recently joined as Chief Technology Officer for a startup, Co3Systems. His opinion carries a lot of weight in the security world, which is part of the reason why his critiques of the US National Security effort after 9/11 has been so damning.

Below, we are shown an example of how the NSA has exploited a commonly used firewall appliance.

By the way - if the NSA has this exploit, so does everyone to whom the NSA has divulged the details of this exploit, willingly or unwillingly, officially or unofficially.

--maxomai

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] bruce_schneier at HALLUXWATER: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's implant from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:



HALLUXWATER

(TS//SI//REL) The HALLUXWATER Persistence Back Door implant is installed on a target Huawei Eudemon firewall as a boot ROM upgrade. When the target reboots, the PBD installer software will find the needed patch points and install the back door in the inbound packet processing routine.



Once installed, HALLUXWATER communicates with an NSA operator via the TURBOPANDA Insertion Tool (PIT), giving the operator covert access to read and write memory, execute an address, or execute a packet.



HALLUXWATER provides a persistence capability on the Eudemon 200, 500, and 1000 series firewalls. The HALLUXWATER back door survives OS upgrades and automatic bootROM upgrades.



Status: (U//FOUO) On the shelf, and has been deployed.



Page, with graphics, is here. General information about TAO and the catalog is here.



In the comments, feel free to discuss how the exploit works, how we might detect it, how it has probably been improved since the catalog entry in 2008, and so on.



This one is a big deal politically. For years we have been telling the Chinese not to install hardware back doors into Hauwei switches. Meanwhile, we have been doing exactly that. I wouldn't want to have been the State Department employee to receive that phone call.

maxomai: dog (Default)
So, it's been eleven years.

Are we ready to have that adult conversation about why our former MENA allies might be pissed off enough to do something like 9/11 to us?

No? Not yet?

Didn't think so.
maxomai: dog (Default)
So, it's been eleven years.

Are we ready to have that adult conversation about why our former MENA allies might be pissed off enough to do something like 9/11 to us?

No? Not yet?

Didn't think so.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Today the Washington Post has a story about how we missed a golden opportunity to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden because of politics. You won't see it tonight on ABC because of political pressure, but it's important to know the facts.

Quoting the story:

On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.

But because of political factors, the White Hosue made a crucial decision not to go after Bin Laden. They had other priorities.

"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."

This decision was made by a White House that wasn't serious about pursuing OBL and shutting down Al Qaeda, because they didn't see the importance. But this didn't happen in 1996 or 1998; this happened in 2002. They weren't distracted by Monica's blue dress, but by making the case for war with Iraq.

"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you." -- GWB, White House Press Conference, March 13, 2002

Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2002. -- Washington Post story, September 10, 2006

Tonight, ABC is going to air a story about the events leading up to 9/11. ABC says they're going to "edit it" so that it won't slander Madaline Albright, Bill Clinton, and others in the Clinton administration. As it turns out, however, this slander is pivotal to the plot. It is, in fact, the defining, cliffhanger moment of the first night of the film. So, no, they can't edit it out. They either need to scrap the film or let it run with the slander intact -- an act that constitutes libel in several nations where the mini series is scheduled to be shown, and arguably the United States as well.

Meanwhile, you'll hear nothing about W's own complicity in the events leading up to 9/11 and his non-response on 9/11. That's not to say there isn't any evidence of such complicity; only to say that the same bias that has this mini lying about the Clinton adminstration also has the mini lying about the Bush administration. The film was, after all, written by a right-wing hack, and sponsored by Christian supremacists who find allies in the GOP. ABC doesn't dare drop this mini -- which is essentially a five-hour advocacy ad for the GOP -- because in doing so they would run the risk of being denied a voice in Congress. (cf. The K Street Project.)

Meanwhile, W has flooded Afghanistan with troops in an election-year attempt to find OBL via a cold trail. I wish him luck; if he can find OBL, then he'll earn his renewed popularity. If he can't, then he'll send a message to the terrorists that they're an election issue to him, and that he won't make a really serious effort to hunt them down. It's a message we should be heeding right now when we're having a new discussion about how to respond to terrorists.

We need to heed it quickly folks. OBL has gotten religious sanction to strike the US with an attack that could kill 10 million. Ask yourself this: would OBL have gotten even to this point if he wasn't so dead-set on invading Iraq?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Today the Washington Post has a story about how we missed a golden opportunity to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden because of politics. You won't see it tonight on ABC because of political pressure, but it's important to know the facts.

Quoting the story:

On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.

But because of political factors, the White Hosue made a crucial decision not to go after Bin Laden. They had other priorities.

"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."

This decision was made by a White House that wasn't serious about pursuing OBL and shutting down Al Qaeda, because they didn't see the importance. But this didn't happen in 1996 or 1998; this happened in 2002. They weren't distracted by Monica's blue dress, but by making the case for war with Iraq.

"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you." -- GWB, White House Press Conference, March 13, 2002

Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2002. -- Washington Post story, September 10, 2006

Tonight, ABC is going to air a story about the events leading up to 9/11. ABC says they're going to "edit it" so that it won't slander Madaline Albright, Bill Clinton, and others in the Clinton administration. As it turns out, however, this slander is pivotal to the plot. It is, in fact, the defining, cliffhanger moment of the first night of the film. So, no, they can't edit it out. They either need to scrap the film or let it run with the slander intact -- an act that constitutes libel in several nations where the mini series is scheduled to be shown, and arguably the United States as well.

Meanwhile, you'll hear nothing about W's own complicity in the events leading up to 9/11 and his non-response on 9/11. That's not to say there isn't any evidence of such complicity; only to say that the same bias that has this mini lying about the Clinton adminstration also has the mini lying about the Bush administration. The film was, after all, written by a right-wing hack, and sponsored by Christian supremacists who find allies in the GOP. ABC doesn't dare drop this mini -- which is essentially a five-hour advocacy ad for the GOP -- because in doing so they would run the risk of being denied a voice in Congress. (cf. The K Street Project.)

Meanwhile, W has flooded Afghanistan with troops in an election-year attempt to find OBL via a cold trail. I wish him luck; if he can find OBL, then he'll earn his renewed popularity. If he can't, then he'll send a message to the terrorists that they're an election issue to him, and that he won't make a really serious effort to hunt them down. It's a message we should be heeding right now when we're having a new discussion about how to respond to terrorists.

We need to heed it quickly folks. OBL has gotten religious sanction to strike the US with an attack that could kill 10 million. Ask yourself this: would OBL have gotten even to this point if he wasn't so dead-set on invading Iraq?
maxomai: dog (Default)
The leader of Islamic Jihad is dead.

So?

I've come to the realization that killing OBL early on would have been a good symbolic gesture, but now it's pretty much useless. We've let the genie out of the bottle by screwing things up, and putting it back in gets exponentially harder with each passing day. Democracy is impossible because we keep bombing the shit out of any country that doesn't vote the way we like it, a la Lebanon. Pretty much the only way to "win" this is to conquer everything from Israel to Iraq and establish a brutal protectorate, with Israel running the show on our behalf. Ironically, this is what the folks at Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda have been predicting all along.
maxomai: dog (Default)
The leader of Islamic Jihad is dead.

So?

I've come to the realization that killing OBL early on would have been a good symbolic gesture, but now it's pretty much useless. We've let the genie out of the bottle by screwing things up, and putting it back in gets exponentially harder with each passing day. Democracy is impossible because we keep bombing the shit out of any country that doesn't vote the way we like it, a la Lebanon. Pretty much the only way to "win" this is to conquer everything from Israel to Iraq and establish a brutal protectorate, with Israel running the show on our behalf. Ironically, this is what the folks at Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda have been predicting all along.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I have my doubts about this Sears Tower plot, but this guy raises a very interesting point:

Whether these guys are loser wannabes or real bad guys, this incident shoots a wide, gaping hole in the theory that fighting them in Iraq means we don't have to fight them here. After all, we fought them here just two days ago.

Frankly, I think this point will escape most folks, because the implications for us are really horrifying.
maxomai: dog (Default)
I have my doubts about this Sears Tower plot, but this guy raises a very interesting point:

Whether these guys are loser wannabes or real bad guys, this incident shoots a wide, gaping hole in the theory that fighting them in Iraq means we don't have to fight them here. After all, we fought them here just two days ago.

Frankly, I think this point will escape most folks, because the implications for us are really horrifying.

Uh, no.

May. 31st, 2006 01:39 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
Rush Limbaugh is blaming Bush's abyssmal poll numbers on victory in the WOT. Which is pretty funny, considering that Bush hasn't really done jack to make us safer in the last five years.

Uh, no.

May. 31st, 2006 01:39 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
Rush Limbaugh is blaming Bush's abyssmal poll numbers on victory in the WOT. Which is pretty funny, considering that Bush hasn't really done jack to make us safer in the last five years.

Ugh

Mar. 27th, 2006 12:58 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
This morning, Moussoui declared in open court that his intention was to fly an airplane into the White House with shoe bomber Richard Reid.

The thing is, this guy goes from claiming he had no 9/11 involvement at all to claiming that he was practically Osama Bin Laden's love slave. Anything he says has all the credibility of a pronouncement from a randomly selected meth head. So why is CNN giving this so much play?

Because it benefits the President, of course.

Ugh

Mar. 27th, 2006 12:58 pm
maxomai: dog (Default)
This morning, Moussoui declared in open court that his intention was to fly an airplane into the White House with shoe bomber Richard Reid.

The thing is, this guy goes from claiming he had no 9/11 involvement at all to claiming that he was practically Osama Bin Laden's love slave. Anything he says has all the credibility of a pronouncement from a randomly selected meth head. So why is CNN giving this so much play?

Because it benefits the President, of course.
maxomai: dog (Default)
In this thread I asked [livejournal.com profile] dondodson what metric he would use to measure progress in Iraq. His response can be distilled down to one point:

The metric I propose is to compare the progress in Iraq with the progress which the UN has achieved in the places where it is in charge.


Alright then, let's go with that metric.

It's not all its cracked up to be. )

The point is this: it's clear to everyone, I think, that putting the UN in charge wouldn't have done anything except for continue the UN's corruption and leave Saddam in charge. From where I'm sitting, that result, while not good for anyone, would have been far preferable to the disaster we have on our hands presently.
maxomai: dog (Default)
In this thread I asked [livejournal.com profile] dondodson what metric he would use to measure progress in Iraq. His response can be distilled down to one point:

The metric I propose is to compare the progress in Iraq with the progress which the UN has achieved in the places where it is in charge.


Alright then, let's go with that metric.

It's not all its cracked up to be. )

The point is this: it's clear to everyone, I think, that putting the UN in charge wouldn't have done anything except for continue the UN's corruption and leave Saddam in charge. From where I'm sitting, that result, while not good for anyone, would have been far preferable to the disaster we have on our hands presently.
maxomai: dog (Default)
You'd think this headline was five years old, but sadly, it isn't:

An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday.


This is the kind of crap we expect from the Taliban, except that it's taking place in Bush's shiny and hopeful "democracy""freedom."

Is the Bush administration going to do something to stop this attrocity? Maybe -- but there's a steep price for doing so, mostly because we went to Iraq before finishing the job in Afghanistan.

Muslim clerics still hold considerable power in Afghanistan, especially in rural areas where most women wear all-encompassing burqas and are dominated by men.

Hakim said that if Rahman was acquitted, it would be a propaganda win for the Taliban rebels, who have stepped up their insurgency in the past year.


This comes on the heels, by the way, of Bush repeating the same stupid lies in commemoration of the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq invasion. Does he think we can't put two and two together? Do his supporters?

Edit OK, I was wrong about this, so let me clear something up: I have no doubt that this is legitimate democracy in action. On the other hand, it sure as heck isn't anything even remotely resembling freedom.
maxomai: dog (Default)
You'd think this headline was five years old, but sadly, it isn't:

An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday.


This is the kind of crap we expect from the Taliban, except that it's taking place in Bush's shiny and hopeful "democracy""freedom."

Is the Bush administration going to do something to stop this attrocity? Maybe -- but there's a steep price for doing so, mostly because we went to Iraq before finishing the job in Afghanistan.

Muslim clerics still hold considerable power in Afghanistan, especially in rural areas where most women wear all-encompassing burqas and are dominated by men.

Hakim said that if Rahman was acquitted, it would be a propaganda win for the Taliban rebels, who have stepped up their insurgency in the past year.


This comes on the heels, by the way, of Bush repeating the same stupid lies in commemoration of the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq invasion. Does he think we can't put two and two together? Do his supporters?

Edit OK, I was wrong about this, so let me clear something up: I have no doubt that this is legitimate democracy in action. On the other hand, it sure as heck isn't anything even remotely resembling freedom.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Condi Rice says that the US faces "no greater challenge" than Iran.

Because, you see, energy independence is going to be a cakewalk. And North Korea is no problem at all.

I'd love to know what these people are smoking.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Condi Rice says that the US faces "no greater challenge" than Iran.

Because, you see, energy independence is going to be a cakewalk. And North Korea is no problem at all.

I'd love to know what these people are smoking.

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