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This may come as a shock to you, but there are other crises going on in the world that don’t necessarily involve Trump and Russia (at least not in the conventional sense). Unfortunately, this particular crisis doesn’t have pee hookers, missile launches over the desert, or Paul Manafort’s Ukranian murder money. Don’t worry though, there’s still a catastrophe, deep state espionage, and shadowy figures.

You probably heard about the WanaCry hack that crippled computers all over Not America last weekend. It’s ok if you didn’t notice the inarticulate screams from that nerdy friend or coworker because you were shrieking about Comey getting “You’re Fired.” After all, who has time to think about computer problems when the president is simultaneously colluding with hostile adversaries, capitalizing on elected office, destroying the freedom of the press, obstructing justice, etc.?

First, let’s summarize the jargony-bits into something more digestible: Last month a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers announced they were taking some stolen documents and dumping them online like some common Wikileaks. Inside that data dump were fancy tools for computer spying, malware and a backdoor key that only works on computers running Windows XP. Once the backdoor is opened, the malware loads itself onto the computer where it can do one of three things, say “Hi,” kill itself, or execute a command. It’s important to note that this program was originally designed by a collective known as “The Equation Group,” a skunkworks nerdery thought to be a codename for the NSA, and that Windows XP is still one of the most widely used operating systems in the world.

WannaCry is the bastard child of that original code. Somebody stole the NSA’s super-duper spy software and stapled on ransomware, malware that holds your computer hostage until you transfer some money (usually in Bitcoin) to an account, otherwise your computer locks itself down and dies. If you’re confused, here’s an overly dramatic and sexxy teevee example of how ransomware works.

In total, WannaCry infected at least 150 countries and 200,000 computers, making it one of worst cyber attacks.  It affected the U.K.’s National Health Service, forcing hospitals to reroute ambulances and disabling patient record systems, it hit a Spanish telecom operator, Russia’s interior ministry, German railway stations, Chinese schools and universities, ATMs in India and a few car manufacturers. For better or worse, the attackers gained about $90,000 in ransom payments, which seems small, though the goal was to get frustrated people to just pay up.

Geeks have been warning about these kinds of attacks for years. Hospitals are especially vulnerable because they run equipment that is increasingly reliant on computers for complex surgeries and general logistics. Since our healthcare system is a hot mess, hospitals have become prime targets — they can’t allow any of their equipment to get knocked offline as they kind of need it to, you know, save lives. This threat becomes compounded as the Internet of Things connects implanted medical devices like pacemakers to your computer, your front door, your toaster oven, and kinky sex toys.

It really is astonishing how insecure some places are. Coffee shops, bars, and Trump properties are actually some of the least secure places. An investigation from Pro-Publica found that several of Trump’s trash palaces are so horribly insecure that any mediocre hacker could easily break in with minimal effort in minutes, to say nothing of the the physical security.

“We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and pointed a 2-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club. Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes…A few days later, we drove through the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with the same antenna and aimed it at the clubhouse. We identified two open Wi-Fi networks that anyone could join without a password.”
-Pro Publica

Sure, that all sounds kind of funny, but the ramifications for such severe lapses in basic network security at Trump resorts (monuments to greed though they may be) are serious. Trump hosts state dinners at Mar-a-Lago and encourages foreign dignitaries to stay at the Trump properties; it’s not a stretch to think of half a dozen scenarios where someone proficient in keyboard kung-fu could break in and steal classified material, upload a virus, or gain access to Trump’s unsecured twitter phone.

Without encryption, spies could eavesdrop on the network until a club employee logs in, and then steal his or her username and password. They then could download a database that appears to include sensitive information on the club’s members and their families, according to videos posted by the club’s software provider.

Trump won because Russian hackers stole information from the DNC, so it’s a little ironic that his garbage castles are so poorly guarded in “the cyber” and meatspace. You’d think that at least one of Trump’s Internet troll army would offer their services to Make Mar-a-Lago Great Again, but they must all be busy using conversion therapy on gay frogs or praying to President Bannon to notice that Trump’s left his back door wide open.

[Gizmodo / WaPo / NYTimes / Ars Technica / Wired / Forbes / Pro Publica / FireEye / BBC]

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  • memzilla Ω

    One wonders if our own NSA knows this about Twitlerland and is using it as honeypot to see who attempts to hack in, what they do, and how they do it. This could be a whole wheels-within-wheels deal.

    • Wee Mousie

      Sounds more like a Gyro Gearloose kind of thing to me.

    • C4TWOMAN

      I have dubious faith in the alphabet agencies to keep current with technology.
      In an FBI tip I sent a couple years back, in our first exchange their response was: “Please resubmit your tip without attachments. We can’t open attachments”.

      Are you fucking kidding me? You’re the fricking FBI and you don’t have a secure system to open emails safely? I know how to do that!

      It’s a good thing my tip wasn’t a ticking time bomb thing about a bio terrorist attack in the drinking water or something, and that was the only email I could send or we’d all be dead.

      *cross and annoyed*

      • Ω cynmac will never surrender

        Per McCabe, the acting FBI Director, stated that the work has been parceled out to different field offices with specific expertise. The example given was cyber analysis in Pittsburgh. Comey had wanted to consolidate the resources in DC, hence his trial balloon about more money. Which was one of the reasons Dolt 45 decided that Come had to go. In the same hearing, McCabe indicated that the FBI would continue to investigate, the staff would remain decentralized and more additional resources would be needed. That’s probably safer for the agents too.

  • mrFawkes

    I hacked into the system at trump’s National Golf Club in Bedminster and changed his golf handicapp from 8 to Putin.

  • VirginiaLady

    Why can’t we get Microsoft to make patches and updates for XP again? Think of the moniez they could make. Think of the people who still love XP. But nooooo, try Vista! EEEEK

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      there is a way to trick your computer into continuing XP updates/patches. I don’t have the link handy, but a Lifehacker article from years ago showed how to do it. But the obvious answer is- get Win 7. It’s cheap nowadays and far more secure and stable than XP will ever be

      • Win7 is the true successor to XP. Personally, I rather like Windows 10, but I also used my fancy college boy money to get a Surface and run naked Windows 10 w/o bloatware.

        • Indivisible Snark Tank

          I also used my fancy college boy money to … run naked

          Pics or GTFO.

          (Selective editing can be fun!)

          • proudgrampa

            All college boys run naked whether they have any money or not…

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          We’ve got 7 and 10 on the office machines- I made the boss spring to update everything a year or two ago. I’ve personally gone over to the dark side and use a MBP

          • C4TWOMAN

            It’s okay. I’m seeing Linux behind my primary machine’s back. Don’t tell it.

          • gedjcj

            Once you go Mac…

        • C4TWOMAN

          I hate Windows 10 with a burning passion. I became one of not a small group of computer proficient people responding to friends cries of help and being made to feel like idiots while we hunted for the start menu.
          *flames emit from eyes*
          Of course once one understands the concept is based on android, accessing the start menu made perfect sense.

          I doubt I will be over this anytime soon. Rationally, I recognize the coolness of the system . But sticking it in androidy mode for a new user was dumb(we also too found the fix my view thingy). You might think everyone using phones found it intuitive, but I am here to tell you they. did. not.

          My emotions are driving this thing for a while. I’ll probably be over it in time for Windows 11 or whatever.

          • Rags

            There will never be a Windows 11, according to Windows.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            How bad was Windows 9, that it was never released?

        • Windows 10 Pro has some fantastic “power user” features. I use the right click start menu features 3-4x as often as I use the actual start menu.

    • It’s old, and Microsoft DID issue a patch/update to close the hole left Eternal Blue/DoublePulsar vulnerability, but ala carte updates are a bad business model and IMO, dangerous. XP is popular because it runs on old, shitty computers that are prominent in other parts of the world (Hell, you can run XP on a smartphone); it’s fairly easy to bootleg. But you pay for an OS so you get regular patches and updates for free in return.

    • The UK government was doing just that, until they decided to “cut costs”, which was a fantastic move from them. Real “strong and stable leasdership”.

      • VirginiaLady

        Bloody hell.

  • jesuswasablack

    If it don’t involve Russian pee Hookers why should I waste my valuable time reading this?

    http://thepeoplescube.com/images/various_uploads/Russian_Prostitutes_Celebrate.jpg

    • *yet

    • proudgrampa

      “Swimwear. Very nice!”

      • TheBoatDude

        Is next, evening wear!

        **Extra fists for referencing a 30-year old Wendy’s ad…

        • proudgrampa

          Thank you. I was wondering if anybody caught that…

          • TheBoatDude

            Only us olds.

          • proudgrampa

            Indeed.

  • Mary Sandoras

    Tell me more about these internet connected sex toys. I’m asking for a friend.

  • beingreleased

    Back in the day, there was a UNIX virus. It worked on the honor system. You had to delete random files off your computer and then send it on to someone else.

  • WotsAllThisThen

    Relax, it’s not like Trump’s top aides are pointing their cell phones at top secret documents in the middle of the clubhouse. Sheesh, how dumb do you think he is?

    http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/i/MSNBC/Components/Video/201702/2017-02-13T23-37-33-566Z–1280×720.jpg

  • Riley Whodat Venable

    Thanks Mr. Gwinn. My friends in the UK were FREAKED when this happened. The only way I know was because I read The Guardian every day.
    I’m glad Becca has you doing some reporting.

  • efoveks

    “Doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door”

    • Riley Whodat Venable

      “Won’t you take a ride on the flying spoon?”

      • “Statues doin’ cartwheels!”

        • Cogswell

          Giants wearin’ high heels!

      • efoveks

        HA! :)

      • Yr. Gma

        Tangerines and elephants?

  • MynameisBlarney
    • Oblios_Cap

      Hopefully the FBI will be there to greet Trump when he returns home – if he hasn’t already started WWIII – with a new shiny set of bracelets.

      • Cogswell

        Or if he doesn’t divert Air Force One to Moscow for asylum.

  • Internet Hitler

    Pfft. Why would spies waste time hacking Trump when he’s already handing over secrets to Russia. As the Steele dossier explained, Trump has been “very cooperative.”

  • elviouslyqueer

    Trump’s left his back door wide open

    Wait. I thought only Ivanka did back door. Or was that Tiffany?

    • wide_stance_hubby

      He has no clue why women he bags always want doggy style (psst, Dolt 45, it’s because they can’t see your face).

  • Chadwells
    • Oblios_Cap

      Who let him out of the basement?

    • efoveks

      He’s talking to his kitty, who is just shaking its head.

      • Chadwells

        That poor kitty!

    • C4TWOMAN

      There’s the guy Trump was talking about! It wasn’t the Russians after all!1

      • Indivisible Snark Tank

        This may be more disturbing than the gun nut on the bed.

        No, no, it’s not. Close, though.

        • Bobathonic

          Perhaps they were separated at birth?

        • C4TWOMAN

          Oh you mean that hirsute guy with the pot belly, lounging on the bed with Ak-47s like he’s a playboy model? Except he’s so not a playboy -or playgirl for that matter–model?
          Yeah not that bad.
          No, no one needs to imbed a pic. We’re good.

          • TheBoatDude

            I think that guy was just screwing around, though.

  • Koch Blockula

    “… to notice that Trump’s left his back door wide open.”

    Oh, Dominic, you naughty boy!

  • Alexander Stallwitz

    Something, Hillary something something “But her emails”

  • C4TWOMAN

    Good computer security–or any security–costs money. Doesn’t surprise me Trump is too cheap. Besides he’s invincible dontcha know?

    Any computer in hospital running life saving programs, etc. should be operating with an Air Gap. Annoying to update/ transfer date? Sure. But better than the thing being hacked or compromised.

    The Internet of things is simply dumb dumb dumb–at least in it’s current iteration. Anytime you computerize something, security–and easy manual override–should be a priority.

    This attack is why I’ve been switching Internet access off before I put the computer to sleep for the last week. As in there is a physical sliding button that creates an Air Gap.

    Good luck hacking that, bitches.

    • Rags

      Prob is so many medical instruments are effing expensive, use embedded windows xp,vista, etc., and the electronic records world leaves users with no recourse but live with the vendor’s vulnerabilities.

  • proudgrampa

    What Luddites are running Windows XP, fercryinoutloud?

    • Lots of Not America

    • BosGrl

      Ugh, lots of hospitals are. Some of my clients couldn’t upgrade to our software from even 3 versions back because they weren’t running at least 7.

      • proudgrampa

        Wow. I did not know that…

        • BosGrl

          It’s expensive for big hospital systems to upgrade everyone – hundreds of clinics, dozens of hospitals…

          • Oblios_Cap

            The Federal government uses a lot of outdated applications, too.

          • BosGrl

            Don’t air traffic controllers still use computers from the ’60s and ’70s?

          • Oblios_Cap

            Not sure, I just know that agencies’ systems generally can’t interact with each other.

          • C4TWOMAN

            I’m not sure about that. I would think the apps would require more advaced systems. But then if what they’re using is mostly analog, they wouldn’t need them.

          • Bobathonic

            That sort of operational stuff is generally more modern. Safety of flight/life and all that.

          • proudgrampa
          • True Story: Nuclear Missiles are run on similar systems. There’s rumors of a Battlestar scenario – keep them old and shitty so that bugs can’t get in. Frackin’ toasters.

          • Indivisible Snark Tank

            Wish I could find my meme of one of my favorite lines from Airplane!: “Check the radar range!” “Looks like another 2 minutes.”

          • OH MY GOD I KNOW! I used to know a certain agency the DC-Metro Area that was still using command prompts and MS-DOS.

            DOS! MOTHER FUCKING. DOS.

          • Oblios_Cap

            Not to mention that some still use COBOL.

          • marxalot

            Airports, for one thing.
            It’s stable.
            You really don’t want downtime on air traffic control.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            FORTRAN and PASCAL Libelz!!11!11

          • Yr. Gma

            DOS. I still miss my command line.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            You can still get to the command line.

          • Yr. Gma

            I know. But life was simpler then.

          • THIS!

            Lots of things still run XP because it’s easy to bootleg, and most of the hospital admins haven’t really seen any reason to invest in proper cyber security measures or updates, especially after seeing the cost.

          • jesterpunk

            You also have the testing and certification that goes with it. If you kept current all you would be doing is testing and certifying everything to work with what it needs to work with and replacing machines non stop. That MRI machine may only also work with certain operating systems too.

          • Yep. Legacy systems are one of the problems, and there’s serious talk not about people patching legacy software for this exact reason. It’s much easier to code new software than it is to buy a fancy brain-lookin’ machine

    • BreakingDeadMen

      Lots of government, I’m sure. The “We can’t have nice things crowd” make government at all levels buy the cheapest shit possible and keep it until it is well and truly irrelevant. Fiscal responsibility is a fancy way of saying “Doing it on the cheap.”

    • C4TWOMAN

      Government organizations buy in bulk for entire states. By the time everything’s installed and tested, they’d already half way to obsolete. In the current model few peeps can afford to upgrade like the individual user.
      That said, WIN XP was a solid stable system. Better than Vista or—gasp 95. So I can see not feeling the urgency if it’s a budgetary issue.

    • beingreleased

      Where I work, we just upgraded a lot of our systems from Red Hat 5 to Red Hat 7. It was a long and difficult process. Every component of the system needed to be tested and often updated to work properly.

      I’ve observed at telescopes built during the 60’s that still basically use their original guiding computers. There was a computer that translated new commands into a virtual punchcard that the old computer could understand. A lot of times, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • So much proprietary software… Fortunately we don’t have many XP machines at my work, but we do have an alarming number of 2003 servers, which I loathe, but can’t replace due to software requirements…

    • Yr. Gma

      Lots of Oldz. I forced Gpa to go to Windows 10 (which is a whole nother issue.)

    • natoslug

      I’m still maintaining three Ubuntu 10 servers at my place of work, thanks to libraries that will break if I ever have to upgrade either the servers or the python install. I guess not quite as bad as still running XP, but I can see how companies can be stuck with old servers.

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    I thought Trump put Barron in charge of “the cyber”?

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

      Giuliani, who is also representing an Iranian-Turk citizen who made billions skirting US sanctions on Iran.

      • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

        I am amused that Giuliani got stopped at a TSA checkpoint in Newark because he had a lighter and cigar cutters in his carry-on.
        https://twitter.com/kim_crawley/status/865612925645373442

        • Ω cynmac will never surrender

          Retweeted and Shared. My posse likes to laugh at Ghouliani.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Don’t be silly. He went to Jared, obvs.

    • UnsaltedSinner

      This nice Russian man set up the wifi at Mar-a-Lago for free. Trump gets the best deals.

  • Jenny

    Don’t worry, Barron will fix it.

  • Certified Green Bastard

    Pussburglar ain’t worried. He doesn’t even use a computer, he’s got a neat little phone.

  • dslindc

    Trump’s networks have the best vulnerabilities. Simply yooooogue, believe me! So vulnerable, you’ll get tired of how vulnerable they are!

  • Carpe Vagenda

    OT: ahem.

    LOOKIT DOMINICK ALL GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE AND PROFESSIONAL REPORTERING AND STUFF.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ad15b1b0d669eb94c77bef44aa3eea273b1930124a53adff336dac3b019096a7.jpg

    • dslindc

      Hooray! Congrats, Dominick!

    • Chadwells

      For reals?! SWEET!! Congrats, Dom!!!

    • Oblios_Cap

      Coolio. I’m in a Communications program and lots of my classmates are journos. We need more!

    • Mary Sandoras

      So we have to get our own coffee now that he’s not an intern? Congrats Dominic.

    • Nockular cavity

      Congrats! Now, maybe in six months or so, they’ll start paying you!

    • Yr. Gma

      Where’s that GoPro thingy or whatever from the ceremony? I have been waiting.

      • Carpe Vagenda

        Chuck Schumer is about to speak at the kid’s.

  • SisterArtemis

    All I’m gonna say is, we shoulda listed to Commander Adama about those damn networked computers….

    • Anna Elizabeth

      Damn right. xD

      I do listen to him about “flashlights” and “faces”.

  • You can have the best security, but your security will only be as good as the idiot who answers the nice email from the ‘IT Password Security’ team asking for their credentials to make sure their password is secure.

    • jesterpunk

      Which is why social engineering is so popular. Its too easy to pretend to be important and just ask for what you want.

    • Shanzgood

      Yeah, a couple of years ago one of the owners at the company I was working for did something like that and managed to get the servers held for ransom. IT guy was not amused.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      My workplace did one of those “test” things to see how many staff would forward it to IT as malware (proper) or click on it (not proper).
      About 20% of the staff provided their login credentials. So we all got a tut-tutting from IT about never giving your bleedin’ password out, ya plonkers!

      • MizzMazz

        My work did that as well. They sent an invite for people to join a Pokemon Go team. It was pathetic how many clicked; you just play Pokemon Go by yourself. ;)

      • jesterpunk

        The best is when those tests catch the CIO’s credentials.

    • Fartknocker

      In case you ever wanted to know Donald’s password is a derivative of Sarah Palin’s original password. Since this website doesn’t allow comments it:

      6 5 4 3 2 1 Tundra

      Have fun.

      • chicken thief

        She changed it from vEEp2008?

      • theblackdog

        In a very small defense of Palin, her personal E-mail was only broken into because she had easy to discover answers to the password reset security questions. It was questions like “Where did you graduate from high school?”

        It’s why fake answers (that you can remember) are good answers.

        • merty

          Also why people should take ALL that info off of Facebook completely–not just change their privacy settings. It’s crazy how some people’s profiles are 100% public.

          • theblackdog

            Agreed! In a security class I took one of thr exercises was to craft a spear phishing E-mail. We used a fake facebook profile but it was amazing what one could gather and then use to trick someone.

    • theblackdog

      Also it’s only as good as the default password that the maker of your wi-fi coffee maker decided to leave on the embedded chip that you can’t access.

  • Chadwells

    As I said before….I can get us a boat…just throwing that out there!

  • Jenny

    My house is becoming more automated and I like it. I also have an uber nerd boyfriend who gets paid to make the internet secure, so maybe my house won’t murder me? Or at least, only murder me on his command, and not from the command of a 400 lb dude in Jersey.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Stay vigilant Wonky-Woos.
    I think I’ve posted some of these fake news stories myself. So I’m gonna be moar carefuller.

    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/19/15561842/trump-russia-louise-mensch

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Just go with The Onion or Duffle Blog. Inevitably, the parody they publish today will be actual news in a week.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      OK, after reading the story, Zach mentioned this, but tried to soft pedal it: there are actual things going on that Mensch and the others are playing off of.

      • Carpe Vagenda

        I’m sure there are too, but she’s sloppy sometimes, and she overpromises a lot. Which is risky, when the media is already predisposed to dismiss us.

    • Yeah, Mensch isn’t exactly a crank, but she’s certainly cranky.

      • Carpe Vagenda

        I think she believes what she’s saying, but I think she thinks she can fast-forward through the gut work to what she’s decided the conclusion is. Which I think makes her a solid target for the memo with the obscure kerning problems that discredits the investigation.

        • Lamashtar

          Yeah. Having watched her work, I think she’s a genius, but will cycle through things so fast she doesn’t check her work enough. Garbage in, garbage out.

          She’s said she gets thousands of pieces of info a day, but inevitably, some of those are nuts, attention whores, and the very disinformation assholes who got us here. Professional disinformation people will provide good intelligence long enough to make you trust them, then start sabotaging you.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Thanks, man! With all that’s going on, it helps to stay vigilant and makew sure our news is real.

    • Carpe Vagenda

      Liberal? Mensch? Murdoch funded Heat Street for her because she carried his water. She just hates Trump.

      • Lamashtar

        The anti-Trump twitter brigade is an unholy alliance between NeverTrumpers and liberals! Its common for Trumpies to insist that all NeverTrumpers and their fans are therefore liberals.

        That said, its fair to criticize Mensch’s writing ability and facts, but too often people act as if criticizing her politics or personality discredits her investigations.

        • Carpe Vagenda

          It’s not just her dodgy political connections that make me wary of her. Rick Wilson will never not be disgraced by what he did to Max Cleland, and Evan McMullin generally saves all this fervor for a fairly nasty agenda (note that he didn’t report the Russians pay Trump conversation before his team held the House on a platform of checking Hillary).

          What bothers me most about her is that she hypes a lot of bombshells which aren’t bombshells, and she has a backbencher’s tendency to throw shitbombs at her opponents in hopes that something will stick, and she’s not careful. tbh, I assume any story she doesn’t provide open sourcing on is at best hype, and at worst planted disinformation.

    • theblackdog

      I feel slightly vindicated because I was saying we can’t really trust Louise Mensche and people kept telling me “Yeah she supports Gamergate, but she’s been right on everything about Trump and Russia so far!” or “Yeah she’s right-wing but she has been breaking correct stories about Trump and Russia before the rest of the media!” or “Yes Palmer Report is a blog but they’ve been reporting true news stories!”

      Now if Louise would just go back to dangling red meat for the red staters instead.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      President Donald Trump is about to resign as a result of the Russia scandal. Bernie Sanders and Sean Hannity are Russian agents. The Russians have paid off House Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz to the tune of $10 million, using Trump as a go-between. Paul Ryan is a traitor for refusing to investigate Trump’s Russia ties. Libertarian heroine Ayn Rand was a secret Russian agent charged with discrediting the American conservative movement.

      I have not spread any of these stories because I treat them like tabloid news. But Paul Ryan is a traitor, as evidenced by his attitude on the tape.
      That is all.

      • Lamashtar

        Chaffetz DID get a $10 million donation from Trump.

    • SeeTrain65

      I tend to place Evan McMullin and Ana Navarro in the same bunch.

      My tank of trust for Republicans who’ve supposedly “seen the light” is empty.

  • Indivisible Snark Tank

    Once again, I can’t believe Dampnut has anything to worry about from WanaCry. He’ll only run Windows Me! on his computers.

    • Bobathonic

      He has GOT to be using some kind of “i” product.

      • jesterpunk

        He didnt like apple because they wouldnt unlock a phone they couldnt unlock.

        https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/700796528844103680?lang=en

        • Ω cynmac will never surrender

          Oh, they’ve figured out how to unlock iPhones. Apple just wouldn’t do it for them.

          • jesterpunk

            IIRC wasnt that only possible because it was running older software and they made a mistake they wanted to fix later?

            https://www.wired.com/2016/02/apples-fbi-battle-is-complicated-heres-whats-really-going-on/

            Apple specifically altered its software in 2014 to ensure that it would
            not be able to unlock customer phones and decrypt any of the most
            important data on them; but it turns out it overlooked a loophole in
            doing this that the government is now trying to exploit. The loophole is
            not about Apple unlocking the phone but about making it easier for the
            FBI to attempt to unlock it on its own. If the controversy over the San
            Bernardino phone causes Apple to take further steps to close that
            loophole so that it can’t assist the FBI in this way in the future, it
            could be seen as excessive obstinance and obstruction by Capitol Hill.
            And that could be the thing that causes lawmakers to finally step in with federal legislation that prevents Apple and other companies from locking the government out of devices.

          • Lamashtar

            The FBI said somewhere they’re making progress with the tech companies toward some kind of fix with future iterations where they could get them to unlock the phones if they have physical access and a court order.

      • Ω cynmac will never surrender

        Nope. He has an old crappy Samsung 3. And knows how to Twitter and make calls. A pox on the house of whoever showed that man Twitter.

    • Rags
  • Anna Elizabeth

    OT – back from the store, and the first time I’ve been out of the house since Tuesday. It’s raining a bit, and you’d think people had never seen a tall Redhead with a red umbrella before. :)

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Anna! I was just thinking about you. Have you seen Nightbreed? If not, I really think you’d like it.

      • MizzMazz

        I liked it. It also inspired one of my favorite albums ever (I know this does not appeal to too many people) Midian

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qcL34LqDEQ

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          Can we become family, mizz! I think I like just about everything about you.

          • MizzMazz

            Someone else likes Cof?! Yes, we can become family!

      • Anna Elizabeth

        I haven’t yet, but I loved the Hellraiser series. :)

        • MizzMazz

          Until they did Hellraiser in Space, or was that one of my fever dreams?

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            Sadly, not a fever dream. That was Hellraiser: Bloodline. It’s always bad when a franchise resorts to an “in space” story line.

          • MizzMazz

            It seems like all you have to do for a pitch is go into a producer’s office, grind out an old idea, then say, “IN SPACE!”

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            “So we do Charlie’s Angels. . . IN SPACE!”

            Wait, no, “James Bond. . . IN SPACE!” (Moonraker)

          • MizzMazz

            “He’s attempting re-entry” Groans.

          • Querolous

            “Wagon Train to the Stars”

          • Anna Elizabeth

            I skipped that one too. xD

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            I, sadly, did not. Too many hours in the day, too few horror movies to watch.

            In my defense, though, I have not seen a single Transformers movie, so I have that going for me.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            Smart man. My friends dragged to the first 2 Transformers. The second one is so awful that I said, out loud – “This is worse than Star Trek V!”

          • MizzMazz

            I would watch ST5 over any Transformers movie. That’s just me.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            Oh, me too. It was simply a reference I knew the whole theater would get.

            For the life of me, I cannot understand why “Battleship” flopped and “Transformers” are still going. “Battleship” was like “Lawrence of Arabia” compared to “Revenge of the Fallen”.

          • MizzMazz

            Johnny loves Battleship. when he puts it on, he calls me in and says, “Your boyfriend is on!” Alexander Skaarsgard. Okay, I got a stupid grinning pic of me with him, he’s not my boyfriend!” XD

          • Anna Elizabeth

            xD Skaarsgard is awesome, but I *love* Taylor Kitsch. Plus Rihanna. That movies has Hotties of both sexes and US Navy warships, you know I love it! :D

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            I remember you saying something about that before. Damn, worse than “Kirk vs. God”?

            In my heart, there will only ever be one Transformers movie. I think you know the one I mean.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A52–FKUQgU&list=PLgA_QpnjZQyyliLvqowQiSwfRvhoKJ_IT&index=25

            Indeed.

            I was marathoning Star Trek The Animated Series episodes the last few days. If you’ve never seen them, there is an episode where the Big E goes to the center of the Galaxy and meets a satyr whom was the actual Lucifer in human history. I shit you not.

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            YAY!!!! First female Transformer as well. Sharkticons really creeped me out.

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          Well, this has all of the outsider feel of the X-men and it flips the narrative on it’s head. Humans are the monsters, Nightbreed are the heroes. I really think you’d get it.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            Ooh, I’ll look for it. :)

    • MizzMazz

      How are you doing? Imma thinking about copying you and making penne for dinner tonight.

      • Anna Elizabeth

        Ima good Darlin’. Making fried chicken and Peas & Carrots as I type.

        Also too sweeping up flour and Panko. xD

        • MizzMazz

          No matter how hard you try, it gets everywhere. ;)

  • msanthropesmr

    Perhaps if we had better nutrition in schools we wouldn’t have all of these 490 pound hackers hacking things and stuff.

  • Serai 1

    I am flabbergasted at the unbelievable naivete that runs all through the tech sector, and always have been. Security seems to be something the designers of this whole reality really didn’t give a shit about. What fucking IDIOT thinks it’s a good idea to connect everyone in the entire world up to each other, and include all the… well, EVERYTHING, to boot? What fucking idiot would think that would work without MAJOR disasters? And what fucking idiot thinks it’s a good idea to develop these things and RELEASE THEM WITHOUT FIXING ALL THE PROBLEMS? It’s like they WANT to crash the world.

    And I’m starting to wonder if that was the whole point all along.

    • jesterpunk

      Securing things is expensive, the bean counters and sales promised this shiny new feature that will be available in 3 weeks instead.

      • Serai 1

        Yep, that’s always been the excuse. Except this time, it’s not a matter of a burglar alarm on somebody’s house or business. It’s the functioning of our entire society that’s at risk because some dumb-ass dweebs who couldn’t get girls decided the world would be better off if THEY told everyone how to live. Fuck me, if I had a time machine and a phaser, Jobs, Gates, and Zuckerberg would be the FIRST on my list.

        • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

          WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT.

          What about actual literal glass window companies?!1 Those are massive fragile security holes in all of our homes, cars, and businesses!!!!111 BANKS HAVE THEM TOOO!!!

          THEY ARE PUTTING EVERYTHING AT RISK BY BEING EASILY BREAKABLE!!!11

          You should use your time machine to take out Milgard, Andersen and Pella!!!111

          THE WINDOW THREAT IS BIGGER THAN THE WINDOWS THREAT!!!111 PANIC FREAK OUT GARGLEFART!!

        • Ω cynmac will never surrender

          What? This seems irrational to me. No one is forced to plug into the Internet. No one is saying that you have to use social media. Many people don’t. They may have a cellphone, but it’s not a smart phone. They may have a computer but they only use email and a browser. They function perfectly well, just slowly.
          As someone who has rode the wave of computer tech since 1979, the trip has been fascinating.
          BUT I do have concerns. The Internet of Things has some really stupid applications. No I don’t need to access my refrigerator from my phone. But I installed a Simply Safe alarm system at my home and it’s been useful. When I was Galveston in February, I got a text alert that someone had disabled the alarm with the master code. So I called the three people with keys to find out WTF. My brother wanted to borrow some tools and didn’t realize that I would find out. Could someone hack the alarm system? Maybe but they’d have to crack my router to disable the base unit.

          • Serai 1

            If you can point me to how to find jobs without the internet, or where I can get a fucking PHONE BOOK that isn’t only ten pages long, I’d be real happy. There are many things for which one does indeed need the internet, and every day it’s getting worse.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            But the Internet isn’t the problem. The way it is used is the problem, especially social media. Which was more my point. Most of your complaints seem to be about the trivial use and generate of spurious data.
            My major complaint is about the Internet are expectations that people have of speed. Yeah, you can reach me more easily, but I am not obligated to be constantly available or at your beck and call. And give me the time to do my job well, please. And take the time to review and validate as well.

          • Serai 1

            No, I don’t agree that the internet isn’t the problem . I think it’s the CENTRAL problem. The very concept is a bad one. On top of that, it’s horribly designed, rife with security issues, is far too connected to everything. It’s a bad idea implemented badly. Sure, it’s here now, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a shit job patched together because everyone involved was too fucking impatient or just didn’t give a shit that they were building something more or less guaranteed to cause serious trouble.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            I agree that there is a “bleeding edge” to technology, but there always has been. That is why I am not an “early adopter”, even though I have worked in IT my whole career. My especiality was risk assessment and mitigation. I have seen enough go wrong in implementing change in telecommunication networks to be wary in my real life. Now that I am retired, I can’t be concerned about everybody else’s malfunctions.

    • HorseChestnut

      If tech was run by programmers, this shit wouldn’t happen. But the important decisions are made by The Suits From Corporate, who only see dollar signs, and can’t be persuaded to give a fuck about what could happen a year from now.

      • Serai 1

        Nice image, but nope. The very purpose of a lot of this stuff IN ITSELF is dangerous. Look what happened with fucking Zuckerberg, the little weasel, who somehow managed to convince half the world that it’s perfectly okay to spill all your secrets on the internet because LOL WE IZ CONNECT NOW. Nope. It was always a bad idea, no matter who came up with it or how it’s implemented.

        • Steve Cole

          This is a social issue, not a technical problem. There are plenty of other social sites where people do stoopid stuff (looking at you, Ashley Madison). If you not like it, nobody makes you use it.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            True. Most N00bs do not avail themselves of the security and privacy settings available in the social media apps. They think that having a metric ton of friends and followers is a good thing. Dummies.

          • Serai 1

            Wow, just refusing to get the point at all, aren’t you? Whatever, dude.

      • calliecallie

        Guilfoyle? Is that you?

      • theblackdog

        BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

        Any programmer can screw up and unintentionally introduce a security hole.

        • Don’t forget, Asimov’s three laws of robotics are stacked rules, so tweaking one thing requires additional parameters in the other things.

    • george gonzalez

      Because, many reasons:

      (1) Security is always an afterthought.
      (2) The marketeers have a long list of features that need to be added yesterday.
      (3) Security is harder than you can imagine.
      (4) If they’d waited for perfect security in 1975 we still would not have an Internet.
      (5) MS Windows has been constantly worked on, since 1985, that’s 32 years, and they are still finding major security holes like this wanna cry one.

      • Serai 1

        Considering the shit that’s gone down and will CONTINUE to go down, without end, I’ll take #4, thanks.

        • Steve Cole

          I am curious what you are reacting to. No evil robots at my door. Perhaps they haven’t made it to California yet?

          • Serai 1

            It’s not my job to hold your hand and point out all the shit that’s gone down in the last year, Sparky.

      • Yep. In all fairness, (after they noticed the exploit and tools were stolen) the NSA notified Microsoft, and MS whipped up a patch.

      • Steve Cole

        Good list. Item 4: IPv4 performs as promised. Was not designed to be for wanker consumers. Item 5: They keep adding new bugs. Windows will never be “fixed”, but refuses to die.

    • Carpe Vagenda

      It boggles my mind that I had to turn off a default setting which essentially invited anybody whose page I viewed to put me on a botnet.

  • msanthropesmr

    So our IT department sez, never give out your password. Ok. So my laptop breaks, and I go over to it service on campus to get it fixed. They tell me, here write down your login information on this sticky note for us to be able to fix the computer…..I don’t really taken the seriously after that. However, I think because I’m on the secure network, they did shut down one of my processes that was scraping 100000 records off a server in Texas. That project was totes legit though.

    • Saxo the Grammarian

      One time I was doing remote support for a client in Washington state. I started a data dump but miskeyed the date range for which I wanted the data. I aborted the process when my target file got to be over a gig. Then I got a call from the client asking “what were you doing just now?” Lots of tap dancing ensued.

      • msanthropesmr

        I was scraping public email records for a research project. Their data schema was open so that I could just go in and pull records sequentially. Which is what I did. I set the pulls to occur at random intervals from a couple of different IP addresses so it looked like some poor idiot was downloading the info manually.

  • Saxo the Grammarian
    • MizzMazz

      “It’s warm in here!”

    • calliecallie

      Cutest techs ever!

    • Yr. Gma

      I used to have an office in a basement. (When I was an adjunct before that word was invented to make part timers sound more important.) The IT guy found a mouse nest in my computer housing. I felt mildly guilty when he removed it.

      • H0mer0

        “I call the big one ‘Bitey’.”

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    “Trump’s back door wide open”

    Oh thanks for that image.

    • Serai 1

      DAMN YOU NOW I CAN’T UNSEE THAT

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      The mind can vomit. It’s confirmed.

    • h4rr4r

      wow, with that phrasing even a goat see that image.

      • MizzMazz

        ISWYDT

    • Carpe Vagenda

      Cough?

    • marxalot

      Just gonna leave this here.

  • h4rr4r

    Anyone who does not have backups to go back to should simply be firing their entire IT dept.

    • jesterpunk

      Fire the bean counters who wont sign off on purchasing a anything to back up to. They are the same people who just consider IT a worthless money sink at the company.

      • h4rr4r

        Fire the IT manager/director who can’t explain why he needs the money.

        Fire the sysadmins who refuse to repurpose old hardware to backup use.

        • jesterpunk

          The old hardware that is still in production years after the manufacturer stopped supporting it because they cant get a budget to get newer hardware?

          • h4rr4r

            Come off it.
            OEM support is only 3 years. Servers can be in production 7+ years. Your backup hardware can be 10 years or more old. All you need is a bunch of drives.

          • jesterpunk

            No , you need more then a bunch of drives for a good backup system. You need backups to at least 2 different physical locations and need to test your backups regularly. You also need to be able to switch over to the second site with no loss of service. What works for home users for backups doesnt work for enterprises and there is a lot more that goes into enterprise backups.

          • h4rr4r

            Spoken like someone who gets hit by wanna cry and whines as he loses his job.

            You need to have some backups, you don’t have to have the ideal. You are trying to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

            Bacula + a bunch of cheap drives at least prevents wanna cry. If you want failover to another site, you can add that later. Those are nice to have. I am talking about keeping the data safe.

          • marxalot

            You also need to be able to access and read those backups.
            As I discovered when a faculty member ruined his research data and it turned out that we couldn’t write back from the tape backup.

          • jesterpunk

            Which is why just throwing whatever old drives you happen to have laying around does not work for enterprise backups.

        • Ω cynmac will never surrender

          ^^THIS. I have my Mac Tower from 2004 as my graphic design station ~ no internet connection, running OS 10.5 . I have an iMac for guests to use with just basic software, running OS 10.4. I have a Dell Notebook with Windows 7, just in case I take a freelance where I have to test on multiple platforms. And my main machine, my Macbook Pro bought in 2014, that is fully up-to-date and as hardened as I can easily make it. I do have one completely dead Macbook Pro from 2007, but I haven’t recycled it because I just haven’t bothered to remove the hard drive.
          True Story ~ my dad is barely computer literate and when the 2007 Macbook Pro died, it was just before a tax-free weekend. I asked to borrow $1500 to completely kit out the replacement machine (it takes 10 days to get money from my investment account) and he balked. How many computers do you have? 5. Why do you need so many? Because each of them has been assigned a special task, but I need a laptop that I can take to meetings, etc. It was fucking painful.

          • Serai 1

            I’d really like to buy a laptop to keep in my bedroom for reading, writing, watching media, and playing games, unconnected to the internet at all. I have an older desktop that needs a new hard drive, so it’ll probably end up being that.

      • Ω cynmac will never surrender

        Until the IT doesn’t work. Then they freak the fuck out.

        • jesterpunk

          I take it you have worked in IT in a big company before?

    • I just bought a 2nd back-up to back-up my OG back-up. It’s also an excuse to clean up and archive my files.

      • h4rr4r

        Online backups are not backups.

        This stuff tries to encrypt any connected drives.

        • No, I have an unconnected Ext. that I use as a back-up specifically for worst case scenarios.

          • jesterpunk

            How often do you test your backups? Backing data up by itself is useless if you never test a restore.

          • every few months or so.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            I only worry about my data. If I have to reinstall the OS and the applications, no biggie. I don’t have a lot. But my music, gifs, docs, diagrams, spreadsheets are all duplicated. Some on hardware (150GB Western Digital flash that is a copy of all my stuff from my 2007 Macbook when it died). Some is on various clouds (Google Drive, iCloud and Dropbox) and smaller flash drives.

          • jesterpunk

            That is how my backups are too, I have 2 USB drives, google drive, icloud and dropbox plus an old pc as a server So my backups are in 6 different places. But that is only personal data not business data.

          • Serai 1

            I keep ALL my files on an external drive. Too many times losing shit to let that happen again. Also, I absolutely DO NOT TRUST any web-based storage. Too many times seeing people shriek because their stuff got deleted without them being told. NOPE.

          • H0mer0

            It’s on my to do list, along with take the pets to the vet, take my kids to the orthodontist and the DMV….

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      No shit! Yeah, I’m still using a PC, but between flash drives, cdroms and such, I make regular backup of everything. That’s how I learned to do it twenty years ago, and that’s how I still do it.

      • Serai 1

        I can’t believe there are people who don’t back up their shit. And then they whine when it disappears off the “cloud”.

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          Especially now that it’s so damned cheap to do it. I mean, I have more flashdrives than I can count. I don’t horde them, I just keep getting them given to me (friends and such). When I had a zip drive, that thing cost me seven hundred bucks. Last flash drive I actually bought cost me five bucks. It’s painted up like Deadpool.

    • zerosumgame0005

      normal back-up are every 24 hours, can be longer or shorter. however in the middle of a surgery and all your machines go down there really isn’t enough time to do a complete server re-boot and re-install of the OS then loading in the data…that is if you are lucky enough to not have the malware sitting in your last couple weeks of back-ups!

      • h4rr4r

        If you need computers for surgery those should be air gapped.

        • zerosumgame0005

          should be yes, but then again they also need real time drug interaction and allergy info RIGHT NOW

          • h4rr4r

            Which does not preclude an airgap. Not in the least bit. That stuff should be loaded from some source once each day, month, year. Back in the olden days LANs were not even connected to WANs!

          • zerosumgame0005

            and then there are emergency services no to mention EMT’s that need access when arriving on a scene. all i am saying is that yes, ideally all that should be air gapped, in practical terms given budget issues and waiting on apps to “go Gold” delaying upgrades/refreshes as well as complex cases rolling in the door all through the day and night, the complexities and difficulties of a hospital situation seems way beyond your experience. having done projects in a couple I know about enforcing HIPPA rules and how slippery data can be and how stupid people can be with phishing emails. so where exactly do you put in the gap? do you have an exact spot or not?

          • h4rr4r

            You can’t have a machine on the air gapped LAN in the ER?

            I know exactly where the air gap goes. Around the building/campus. You put two computers on desks that need them.One on the air gap network and one not. Just like we do with SCADA systems.

            HIPPA is a joke. Sorry, but it is. If I have the backup tapes and the crypto keys…… The only thing sadder than HIPPA is PCI.

            Nice passive aggressive bullshit remark though. I am sure it made you feel better.

      • h4rr4r

        You don’t reinstall, you restore a total system image. Then load the incrementals.

        • zerosumgame0005

          it kind of depends on if you can tell when the infection happened, and where it lurks and how long until activated.

          • h4rr4r

            If you can’t tell that then you can’t restore anything. Since it could be in any of your files

          • zerosumgame0005

            well, DUH

          • zerosumgame0005

            what you do is set up a sandbox and test where the difference is which can take weeks or months, meanwhile tons of data will be lost

          • h4rr4r

            So that sounds way more expensive than that air gap.

          • zerosumgame0005

            sheesh, that is for the forensic follow-up. why are you playing dumb?

          • h4rr4r

            Which doesn’t have to happen if you can avoid the infection.

  • msanthropesmr

    Dear Dominic Gwinn:. I sneezed on my computer. Is it now infected?

      • msanthropesmr
      • h4rr4r

        Yeah I mean you can only do 10Gbps over a wire, vs 300Mbps over wifi with way more lag.

        Cables are always better.

        • Arguably safer too.

          • MizzMazz

            I like everything wired. My son is the computer wizard who showed me how easy it is to get into other people’s shit. Call me old fashioned, but that’s how I like it.

        • Doug Langley

          Tell me about it. Last year my modem croaked, so the tech guy took a look. Had to be replaced. He tried hooking it to my PC with ethernet, which is how I had it before, but no could do. He had to set up a wireless connection. Now my stupid machine is constantly loosing the connection and I have to reset it. Why does everything break when they new and improve it?

          • Serai 1

            Because then you have to keep replacing it.

          • Doug Langley

            They techie actually told me those modems are only expected to last 2 years and he was impressed mine made it twice as long. Can we say planned obsolescence, children?

          • Serai 1

            That’s what Windows is all about. Don’t perfect the system you’ve got – force people to keep buying new ones, forever and ever.

          • Serai 1

            Actually, all operating systems. Apple is pretty fucking rapacious about that crap, too. ANOTHER four hundred dollar phone? Really? Why exactly does anyone need that a year after the last one? Oh, because it’s NEW. Right.

      • Cat Cafe for the Investigation

        Last week’s episode, when Erlich starts admonishing Jian-Yang in “Chinese”? I died.

  • Carpe Vagenda
  • Serai 1
    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      Fascinating.

  • calliecallie

    Mar-a-lago. It’s an acronym! Make American Russian And Lets All Grab On.

    • SeeTrain65

      Or “glom on.” Take your pick.

  • DainBramage

    I think I’ll go live in a cave now.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      It’s not that bad.

  • La forza del resistino

    The Secret Service loads Donald on AF1 for his field trip to Araby. After in flight for 2 hours, he keeps asking Jared ‘are we at Mar-a-Lago yet?

  • Stulexington

    I am reminded of one of Snowden’s little tidbits of NSA fuckery: creating fake internet cafe’s near embassies and international functions to fish diplomatic communications. You know what outraged me about this? The fact that it worked.

    This is the 21st goddamned century, how the fuck are diplomats still sending unencrypted classified communications over an unsecured WiFi line???!!!Eleventybillion? Back in WWII the Brits cut the dedicated underwater cable that linked the German embassy directly to Germany. That’s right, 100 years ago they knew enough about security to run a dedicated line (and probably encrypted every message to boot because Germans invented anal retentive) but you can’t even be bothered dragging and dropping your document on the encryptioninator that was no doubt installed by someone competent and waiting the mere seconds it takes to run before you shoot off that sensitive eyes only contract with your personal recommendations over e-mail on a random cafe’s WiFi???!

    How does it even still have WiFi enabled? If I was running cyber security for a bunch of moronic old diplomats I’d rip the transceiver out, then replace the standard Ethernet port with one that’s custom designed to only work with the custom cords and matching port in the custom, locked down and auto-encrypting router at the embassy.

    • MizzMazz

      Your last paragraph. It makes sense. too bad no one would go that route.

    • Steve Cole

      WiFi honeypots are common, especially in airports, etc. For example, google “WiFi Pineapple”.

      • h4rr4r

        I ran one in college. We replaced all the images in http traffic with Goatse.

        The SSID was GOATSENET.

        • mailman27

          Horrifying!!

      • jesterpunk

        Its so easy to do too, I may have heard of someone doing that 15 years ago in train stations and getting people to connect to it and give up their passwords. Hell there are even free programs that can automate that for you.

      • Stulexington

        IKR, this was suppose to be some huge scandalous thing that the NSA was doing but seriously it’s nothing new, every cafe near embassy row is probably owned by or at least bugged by a foreign agency and yet it still works!

        • Lamashtar

          A spy person pointed out recently that all the horrid things we were told to be afraid that the NSA was doing to us ARE being done to us, by other nations.

      • alpacapunchbowl

        You mean that’s not the portal to the secret swingers’ layover party?

    • h4rr4r

      Why are they not using VPNs? Easy enough to force.

      • Steve Cole

        Exactly right.

      • Marla

        VPN is the only way to go.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      Blackberries generally suck, but with their proprietary operating system and hardware, it is easy to harden them. Anyone that uses devices based on open software standards has to be diligent to protect their information safe.
      I have an Android phone ~ started way back with the Galaxy Note 2. I learned really quick to be very careful about which apps I use. 90% of the time, I use the Google browser to go directly to sites.
      For example, I do have the Target app, Cartwheel because it has added features that you can’t access from the website. I don’t have the Kroger or CVS apps because they are simply presentation. If I need to check my shopping list or see whether a prescription is ready, I got to Google and access the website from my phone.
      And don’t get me started on The Internet of Things. Do. Not. Want.

      • Lamashtar

        Just wait til the hackers go after your pacemaker!

    • Cat Cafe for the Investigation

      I know! It’s too bad we didn’t have a candidate who understood that well enough to insist that State use a private server that couldn’t be hacked, and still hasn’t been hacked–oh wait.

      • 🛶🗣️ Mr Canoehead 🛶🗣️

        All the upfists!

      • Stulexington

        Oh I’m sure the RNC server they’re using is perfectly safe, it can only be hacked by Russia and they’re our friends now right?

    • merty

      What’s funny is all around the NSA in MD there are spies trying to do the same thing to them. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2008-12-23/news/0812220122_1_iraqi-intelligence-service-saddam-hussein-iraqi-spy

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    I assume that this is how we will finally get the pee hooker tapes?

  • mancityRed6

    “We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and pointed a 2-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club.”

    Either the secret service doesn’t care, or that’s just too far away to be in the danger zone.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      The Secret Service does care, but Trump properties are not their normal set-ups. Their MO is to buy the house next to the protectee’s and maintain a small perimeter.
      Personally, I’m not surprised that this is a clusterfuck. Trump’s private security interferes with the Secret Service agents also too.

    • Me not sure

      I believe that Mar-A-Loco faces the Atlantic and backs up to the Intracoastal Waterway which is heavily used for both personal boat traffic, and some barge traffic. The USCG patrols and polices that, along with the Florida state authorities that have jurisdiction. It must be a security nightmare.

    • Rick Hill

      They didn’t specify that they were present when trump was visiting.

    • SeeTrain65

      OT: When I saw this, here’s what I thought of.

      https://www.ispot.tv/ad/ASpT/nu-finish-auto-graveyard

      “We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and ran it through 52 car washes. Despite all the harsh detergents and scrubbing, the water still beads!”

  • Ω cynmac will never surrender

    The Troll Army is not highly skilled. They can use the apps and tools, but don’t design them. Notice that these thieves didn’t create the virus – they stole it too and used it like a hammer.

    That said, anyone who is still using XP and/or Internet Explorer is st00pid.

    Per Wiki:

    Mainstream support for Windows XP ended on April 14, 2009. Extended support ended on April 8, 2014.

    Even back in 2014 when my Dell Netbook borked, I had to raise bloody hell with Microsoft to get a boot disk to fix it. Windows 8 had come out and they wanted me to pay for an upgrade. Bullshit. the only reason I had the Dell was because I needed a Windows machine to support a Department of Education project. What were a lot of the DoE computers running, and a lot of school systems?
    You guessed it – Windows XP.

    • h4rr4r

      Not a virus, and these kids aren’t but the same community has the folks that make the exploits. I bet the NSA bought it.

      The government has real trouble hiring computer folks, drug tests tend to do that.

      • Stulexington

        The problem with trying to hire Whitehats is you have to not be evil first.

        • Oh have good salaries and benefits. I’ve been cataloging the GOP/administrations moves against federal workers for a few months under the tag, “federal workers.”

      • Ω cynmac will never surrender

        The tool behaves like a virus, is what I mean.
        As an IT manager before I retired, I would much rather hire a stoner than a drunk. All you have to do with a stoner is keep them on topic and schedule and keep clients from messing with them. A drunk is unmanageable.
        IT is both a science and an art.

    • Gigglesnort

      Actually, my understanding is that most victims of WannaCry have been running unpatched Windows 7. Which is still old, and bad on you if you are not updating it, but not as old as XP.

    • A number of finger pointing is at North Korea.

      • Lamashtar

        This dude thinks Shadow Brokers is just the latest mask for the Russians.
        https://www.byline.com/column/67/article/1655

        Since the Brokers literally sell their shit the Wannacry hackers could be North Koreans who bought it. Although IT people at the time said whoever was running the ransomware didn’t understand it fully, so possibly not exactly the same group who pulled off the Sony hack. One backhanded compliment was that the NSA tools were so superbly designed, an idiot could point and shoot them.. :/

    • Serai 1

      I use Internet Explorer as third-tier browser for when I want to test if a problem is web-based or my usual browser’s fucked up.

      Also, eBay is a great place to get boot discs for XP.

      • Ω cynmac will never surrender

        Yeah, I could see testing, but it’s too buggy and insecure for anything else.

  • Saxo the Grammarian

    Short, shameful confession: one of my favorite guilty pleasures is fucking with the guys with foreign accents who call me claiming to be from “Windows Technical Support”. These encounters invariably end with a barrage of obscenities from the caller(s).

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      I don’t get those calls.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        Lucky you.

    • Dudleydidwrong

      There are a number of sites on the Internet that have some of the filthiest words and labels for people in Hindi, one of the main languages of the “Windows Technical Support” folks who used to call my phones on a regular basis. I started keeping those lists beside my computers and when I’d get one of those calls I’d practice my Hindi cussing. It made for some very angry folks across the seas. I dumped my land lines entirely and haven’t gotten one of those calls for some time. I don’t miss ’em but my Hindi cussing is getting stale.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        I like that.

        As it happens, I have a kind of freak ability to imitate accents, so it would be fun to guy them along as the Dumb American and, at the last second, cuss them out roundly.

        I guess it’s time to learn Hindi obscenities. (Not a sentence I ever expected to write.)

    • timpundit

      I did too and they responded by making fun of 9/11 deaths. Seriously.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        Making fun of 9/11 deaths. Like a common Anne Coulter?

    • Serai 1

      I’ve gotten those a time or two. Definitely a lot of fun. I’m sitting there smoking a joint and saying “oh yes” to everything they tell me to do. Then they can’t get why they don’t get the results they want.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        That sounds promising. Perhaps and “oh no” once in a while would keep them off-balance.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      What’s your favorite way to fuck with these guys?

      Pretend to have an even more incomprehensible foreign accent?

      Express concern and then diddle around pretending to give them your access codes but never giving the (made up) numbers in the same order?

      Pretending extreme deafness? (Not so much of a stretch for me these days, I’m sorry to say.)

      Trying to sell them goods and services (such as malware-detecting voles) asking for their credit card numbers?

      When these assholes call, I am usually busy and only have time to ask them if they know what a glass bottle is. “Break it off, shove it up your ass and rotate,” I’ll say (with votes.)

      But I’d love to learn new techniques for fucking with them.

    • sgt. jmk of the résistance

      I get those calls from time to time, and I put on my momliest voice and tell them they should be shamed before their mothers for making a living by cheating people.

      They get a little upset at that.

      My favorite ones are the guys with heavy accents who call to tell me that they’re from the “Internal Revenue Services” and they’re sending law enforcement to my door. I’ve had about 4 or 5 of those.

      I listen and string them along and act horrified… and then say “okey-dokey… a few things, cupcake. Having worked for the IRS myself, I know that’s not how they collect money…and the name of the agency is not Internal Revenue Services, you twit.” Sometimes, they stay on the line long enough to curse me before hanging up. Only one tried to convince me that he was telling the truth… it must have been his first day.

  • CindyinEncinitas

    I remember the days, so long ago now, when we had the time to wonder and worry, repeatedly, for days at a time sometimes, about what this guy was up to. *drags back of hand across cheek, tear escapes and falls* https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d38b2302d46b648eda18d9892a3ce14aadac306a103797a939acba25a8c6bfa.jpg *

    • rubikcube

      That man has now been chosen to run Homeland Security. Good luck to him. He seems awesome.

      • CindyinEncinitas

        I thought they tapped him to lead ATF…

    • Mike Steele

      Lady MS here, Cindy. Please let us know what you were into when you stumbled across this gem so that we may avoid it. Thanks everso.

      • CindyinEncinitas

        OMG he’s a famois mall cop.

        • Mike Steele

          Mercifully missed his 15 minutes, but thanks for sharing!

  • Viktor DoKaren

    The fool-in-chief and friends don’t care because they have ‘Russia’ backing them. And they think that’s where all hackers come from.

    • timpundit

      Well, Russia, and 500 lb guys living in their Mom’s basement.

      • irishdave3

        Morth Korean hackers too. also!

  • witsended

    For anyone that gets infected this article maybe of some use.
    It describes 2 free tools that have just been released, that might be able to get your information back.
    Just a quick note the XP only claim is false, WannaCry can infect all versions of Windows up to Windows 7.
    The XP infections were more numerous because of security patches released with updates for Windows 7.
    https://blog.comae.io/wannacry-decrypting-files-with-wanakiwi-demo-86bafb81112d

    • zerosumgame0005

      Microsoft gave folks plenty of warning they were not going to support XP forever…

      • Serai 1

        Which was a HUGE dick move, since most of the world still uses XP. But hey, when has Microsoft ever given a shit about what their users want?

        • zerosumgame0005

          at a certain point ho long does a company have to support old out-dated products? forever? do you expect the Acme Buggy Whip company to keep supporting buggy whips? and if you want to talk about a company that hates it’s customers and considers them a nuisance let’s talk Crapple

          • Incoming Ham
          • zerosumgame0005

            HA! true dat :)

          • Serai 1

            Oh, FFS. Give me a break with that shit. These are not products that MUST BE MADE OMG. If they were, there wouldn’t BE millions of people still using XP. Just because developers need to justify their existence by constantly coming up with new shit nobody asked for doesn’t mean WE should have to keep shelling out for new shit every other fucking month. And YES, if that many people are still using it, THEY SHOULD BE SUPPORTING IT.

          • mfp

            yup…i’m pretty sure i can still buy parts for an ’86 volvo, so….

          • Gregory Brown

            Fuck! You had me scared there for a minute and I had to race to the Google, but … whew! It’s all OK.
            https://www.amazon.com/Intrepid-International-Driving-Whip-53-Inch/dp/B000FFDVLU

          • Querolous

            Only 19 left in stock – order soon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XHK463Q?psc=1

          • Alan

            Outdated?

          • zerosumgame0005

            I will admit I know of at least one IBM XT running MSDOS 3.1 not far from Livingston, CA just counting eggs that has been running for decades now, but XP? really? do you think Microsoft should support DOS 3.1 as well?

          • Alan

            Nice straw man, has nothing to do with the discussion.

          • zerosumgame0005

            so you are to dumb to have an answer. got ya

          • Alan

            Well aren’t you precious.

          • Mehmeisterjr

            Actually, yes.

            They should.

            They sold it. For money.

            I have an old car. Should I not be able to buy a carburetor?

        • Gregory Brown

          Microsoft has gone back and released patches for XP and 7. They had them, or the capability of making them, all along.
          Just didn’t think they needed to do anything until the collapse of civilization began.

          • Mehmeisterjr

            Yep.

            It’s all about new products for no good reason except they want to nail down the sales.

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    In America, “WanaCry” is how we respond to most news about our So-called President.

  • timpundit

    Windows 10 barged into my computer one day and installed itself over my shrieking objections…so did that turn out to be a good thing, hack victim-wise for me being stuck with Windows 10?

    • Serai 1

      That’s why I always turn off Windows Update. I don’t want them forcing shit on me without asking.

      • Duke

        Windows 10 don’t play that. It updates constantly and senses when you really need yoru box to install it.

      • phoenix00

        Good sentiment, but MS patched the vulnerabilities that enabled WannaCrypt so disabling WU means you’re wide open.

    • jowgajen

      I’ve moved two machines over to Win10 and haven’t had reason to regret it yet. There are a number of privacy settings, dig in there and set them up and you’re fine imo. Going forward you will be better protected from threats than if you did not migrate, for sure.

    • Alex Grey

      Windows 10 fixed about 130% of the problems I had with Win 8, so I for one, welcomed it.

    • Alan

      When I can no longer use windows 7 I’ll buy a mac.

    • phoenix00

      I mostly like Win10, but don’t forget a good anti-virus and make sure it updates itself properly.

      • sgt. jmk of the résistance

        That’s something that drives me absolutely bats… the number of people who think that because they installed Norton or some other paid anti-virus application 3 years ago, they’re covered even though they let the subscription lapse.

        Viruses can be developed fast, but they generally share some known characteristics. Anti-malware software makers (even the free products) typically release new virus signature files – files that teach the software what the latest viruses look like to help catch them – at least every 8-12 hours. Paid companies release these signature files only to subscribers.

        If you’re not getting signature files, your computer can’t recognize new viruses. Period.

        Install a decent product (even a free one), ensure that it updates regularly and frequently, run a full scan every day, and ensure that heuristic scanning is enabled.

        • phoenix00

          This this this all of this!

          Except applies to the OS as well – Windows Updates breaks when you look at it funny! Drives me nuts.

    • sgt. jmk of the résistance

      As a rule of thumb, remember that the older the software, the more time hackers and malware guys have had to mess around with it and find holes, and the less likely users are to have kept their software properly patched and updated.

  • ThunderCat

    As much as it pains me to say this: if someone is still running Win XP, they almost invite problems. If you have mission critical “stuff” (hospitals, I’m looking at you!), then you need to NOT skimp on IT (both personnel and hardware/software). And I would also suggest evaluating if you really need every fucking system and device to be connected to the internet — perhaps consider air-gapping (yeah, I know, those can be exfiltrated as well, but it’s HARD!) some of your important ones…

    From what I’ve seen with regard to how many companies handle IT … sloppy, careless, and “oh, it’ll be o.k.” thinking coupled with the insanity of cutting back funds just when you need to invest in better security pretty much invites disaster.

    What we have seen with WannaCry makes me wanna cry. This is kiddie stuff so far … maybe the opening salvo. The next wave won’t be so easily shut down.

    • Andrew Rheinheimer

      It’s amazing how many businesses are willing to use XP because “It’s good enough”; which just means their cheap enough and why bother.

      Every factory I’ve ever worked in I’ve always made sure to suggest they keep their software up to date. Usually the shitty ones roll their eyes and say sure thing nerd.

    • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

      Yes but. I understand from the IT side why Win10 is a ‘good’ thing; but from the consumer side, clearly MANY thousands did think XP was good enough. It worked, it did what they needed, it was familiar – and more to the point, it didn’t INSIST on installing itself. I think microsoft made a tactical blunder in that; people don’t want to be told they have to change something they don’t want to, even if it’s good for them (especially if its good for them). Win10 may have necessary protections, but between the big brother overtones and the forced design changes, it remains a poison pill. Seems to me there’s a lesson to be learned on the marketing side there.

      • ThunderCat

        I agree with your objection to the way Win10 was rolled out. I’m not a fan of MS/windows strong-arming tactics either (hence the “as much as it pains me” lead-in to my post).

        However, if that objection stands between you (general you) and upgrading to better security, then you (general you) can’t complain when hackers exploit unpatched vulnerabilities.

        To make a stand against Win10 on the basis of “I don’t want to be told what to do” is sort like taking up smoking or driving drunk and without a seat belt because “the ‘man’ can’t tell me how to live healthier / drive safer” … that’s shooting yourself (general you) in the foot to signal your libertarian bona fides.

        And beyond all that, at some point, it becomes simply unworkable for MS to support an ancient OS.

        • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

          I think I was trying to argue that forcing XP onto the ash heap was a bad publicity move at the least. Sure, systems need to evolve and grow, but do you really need to force people to change *how* they use a computer in order to do that? Thinking of the Start menu specifically, but also replacing Search with the semi-useless Cortana etc. Why couldn’t we have an XP for the 21st century?

          • ThunderCat

            Like I said, I agree that from a PR standpoint, this was badly done. However, now that it IS done, if you have important systems to protect, you need to get on with it.

            BTW: you can get your “old” start menu back if you installing something like this: http://www.classicshell.net/

      • Mehmeisterjr

        I wish that Microsoft could admit that their problem, from Win7 onward, has not been with their programming but with their interface.

        They decided, in their wisdom, to force everybody into an interface that only kind-of works if you have a touch screen or habitually work off a smart phone.

        They continue to back off of this in a crabwise fashion without actually making it significantly better but what would be so goddam tough for them to create a button that says “XP Interface?”

        In the event, assorted independent sources provide the answer. I have been using the free Classic Shell for years and it has preserved my sanity. (Or so I would like to think.)

        Their developers are great but their marketing department is clueless.

      • bettycat

        It’s called Apple. And no, I’m no computer geek at all, but I log on, do emails, use Paypal, read out my credit card number to ESL people in foreign lands and no virus, no frozen blue screen, no forced updates, or if there are & I’m just too dense to notice, they don’t change the look or function of the thing and that my computer selling friends is what people want.

    • Strepsi

      The other factor I remember reading is that the VAST majority of security breaches are from top level executives themselves, plugging laptops or USBs into their company system against protocol (I imagine while yelling to an underling “I don’t CARE Ashleigh, we have to see the deck I made, so plug it in!!!”)

      • ThunderCat

        Yeah, there’s that, too. Some of those folks’ knowledge of how computers/internet/security works is slim to none. I sorta got drafted into being our department’s go-to cat for all things digital. The first thing I did, in order to maintain sanity, is to revoke admin privileges for anyone who didn’t need them — no more downloading virus riddled programs from skeevy sites (I’m looking at YOU, Dr. RS!).

  • Ωbjectifier

    War driving FTW!

  • Kooolest G

    “I vould be more than happy to update your computer for you at your very very luxurious properties comrade Trump”
    love,
    Sergei oh wait I meant steve, yeah steve

  • Boojum

    If Trump’s back door is open, I don’t want to know.

    • thebeatgoeson

      My thoughts exactly.

    • irishdave3

      When it’s open, can he see Russia?

  • FreeCandyVanDriver

    >Trump won because Russian hackers stole information from the DNC, so it’s a little ironic that his garbage castles are so poorly guarded in “the cyber” and meatspace.

    The DNC and Trump Garbage Castles aren’t any more insecure than your regular big, medium, or small business. IOW, awful.

    *anybody* can hack these things.

    There was a WEP encrypted network in my connection list the last time I was in boston, the other day. It took all my self control to not crack the password and log into it.

    “Who uses WEP anymore?”

    More people than you’d expect.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      It is inefficient for the Russians to hack Trump when they can just get him to hand him the info on a plate.

  • SeeTrain65

    Trump and the GOP are the same as they every were.

    “Nothing can happen to me because I’m special. It only happens to people who deserve it.”

    Illness, poverty, ransonware. It’s all the same to them.

  • Lucas Foxx

    I wonder if all of those cameras are on the same network. I wonder if they’ve set all the White House passwords to TRUMP yet. I should probably stop wondering.

  • Keith Taylor

    Donald Trump has made it completely plain that he doesn’t understand what security means, except as something to accuse other people of breaking when he wants to discredit them.

  • CatDog

    This is wrong (Dominic is usually wrong about something) Xp was more vulnerable because it was no longer updated by MS, but wannacry can any attack any windows computer. This stuff matters.

    • Jerry Noneofyourbizz

      Are you always so pleasant or is today special?

    • notanncoulter

      “but wannacry can any attack any UNPATCHED windows computer.”
      there – fixed it for you.

  • Jerry Noneofyourbizz

    The gay frogs will be the death of us all. Wasn’t that one of the plagues?

  • uniquename72

    “Hospitals are especially vulnerable because they run equipment that is increasingly reliant on computers for complex surgeries and general logistics. ”

    This is only half the reason hospitals are vulnerable. The other half is that they’re still running XP and unpatched Windows 7, because hospital administrators are morons who can’t be bothered to spend money on a decent IT staff.

  • Incoming Ham

    We have a POTUS who: Doesn’t understand technology, doesn’t understand diplomacy, cultural variance and how all of the above can be taken advantage to take advantage of him. Also a big fan of autocracies and is always trying to learn from them.

    Huzzah, we* have elected the most smartest of the mouth breathers.

    *The minority, not necessarily us.

    • Slinger

      If technology was a pussy he might show some interest.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    I used to worry about nuclear war, then for a long time I was focused on global environmental catastrophe. I am still convinced we will go the way of the dinosaurs but I am starting to think it will be cyber Armageddon that is our undoing as a species.

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