Life Hacked

December 18, 2014

f264be62c56fb5f5bbc3bea2ac7b5e18Fuzzy, high clouds this early Thursday on California’s north coast, a star can be seen every-little-bit, and the moon, now a misty-white fingernail, creeps low in the eastern sky.
We’re forecast for some ‘heavy rain‘ in the afternoon, pretty-much through tomorrow morning — another rainstorm-front moving across the state, seemingly now a gray, repetitive cycle, yet we’re so desperate for the water.

Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture this morning might have been commenting on financial affairs, but he could’ve also been citing the age: ‘Those of you who continue to insist you can even remotely forecast what might happen next continue to reveal incredibly foolish, thoroughly disproved beliefs, despite an overwhelming avalanche of evidence that you haven’t the slightest idea what the fuck is going on now, much less what is going to happen next.’

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Tragedy,’ found here).

Current events appear to have taken an even-more odd, and even-more horrific angle the last couple of weeks, or so — this morning President Obama’s Cuban deal getting big play, along with the Sony hacking story.
Further down, below the fold, some real ugly shit continues, a lot of barbaric, weird-o shit taking place.
And with freakish-nefarious outcomes — like war equipment from a world away (via USAToday):

A plumber’s traded-in truck has landed in Syria, and the man’s friends at home think he’s been aiding terrorists.
It’s all because of a photo posted on an Islamic militant group’s Twitter feed. It shows one of Mark-1 Plumbing’s old work trucks with its logo on the side, turned into an anti-aircraft firing weapon on the front lines of Syria’s civil war.

He traded the truck in himself in November 2013 at an AutoNation Ford dealership about 20 miles away in Houston.
The truck immediately went to auction and likely traded owners over and over before apparently winding up in the hands of a Chechen group named Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, a dealership spokesman said.

“To think something we would use to pull trailers now is being used for terror, it’s crazy,” Oberholtzer said. “Never in my lifetime would think something like that.”
He’s had to take his phone off the hook because of the fallout of angry, even threatening, phone calls from across the USA.
“We have a secretary here. She’s scared to death,” he said.
“We all have families. We don’t want no problems.”

As Oberholtzer quipped, “it’s crazy,” though, seemingly all of us “don’t want no problems.”  Yet we all got problems. Horrible, too, how people react in the worse way to any fucking thing, threat or not.

Obama, at least, knew how to end torturous debate — drop a news bomb. He said this morning a visit to Cuba is a possibility, ‘“…but let’s see how things evolve”‘ within the scope of the rolling-thunder pronouncement yesterday of the major shift in US Cuban policy. The story was top-tier all day, and the lede for most of TV news programs, MSM sites, political blogs and all related matter.
And political nitro, even for a divided GOP: ‘Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who flew from Cuba with Alan Gross, an American held in Cuba for five years who was released Wednesday, said, “The policy we’ve had in the last 50 years has done more to keep the Castros in power.”
The embargo, however, stays in place for now, but is expected to be lifted in the so-called evolution of the deal.

The Sony hacker deal is really bizarre.
And turned strange — at CBS News this morning, an interview with  Hector Monsegur, who working under the code name Sabu, had committed some heavy hacking himself. After getting caught by the FBI, he cooperated with authorities and is now a security researcher.
Monsegue doubts the hack came from North Korea:

“For something like this to happen, it had to happen over a long period of time. You cannot just exfiltrate one terabyte or 100 terabytes of data in a matter of weeks,” Monsegur said.
“It’s not possible. It would have taken months, maybe even years, to exfiltrate something like 100 terabytes of data without anyone noticing.”
Administration officials believe North Korea was behind the hack.
“It could be. In my personal opinion, it’s not,” Monsegur said.
“Look at the bandwidth going into North Korea. I mean, the pipelines, the pipes going in, handling data, they only have one major ISP across their entire nation.
“That kind of information flowing at one time would have shut down North Korean Internet completely.”

“They don’t have the technical capabilities,” he said.
“They do have state-sponsored hackers very similar to China, very similar to Russia and very similar to our good old USA.”
But he said there’s a chance the hack could have originated from China.
“I mean, it’s possible,” he said.
“It might be a North Korean inside China.”

“Well, it doesn’t tell me much. I’ve seen Russian hackers pretending to be Indian.
“I’ve seen Ukrainian hackers pretending to be Peruvian. There’s hackers that pretend they’re little girls.
They do this for misinformation, disinformation, covering their tracks,” he said.
“Do you really think a bunch of nerds from North Korea are going to fly to New York and start blowing up movie theaters?
“No. It’s not realistic. It’s not about ‘The interview.’
“It’s about money. It’s a professional job.”
Monsegur thinks it’s also possible this was an inside job, that an employee or consultant downloaded all the information from Sony’s servers and then sold it to someone else.

The last option as if lifted from a movie script — the narrative unexpected, as nobody knows what the fuck is going to happen next.

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