Posts Tagged ‘technology’

LinkSwarm for January 5, 2018

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Happy New Year!

  • How Donald Trump is restoring the S-curve.
  • What it’s like to be a New York Times reporter during the war on terror:

    Success as a reporter on the CIA beat inevitably meant finding out government secrets, and that meant plunging headlong into the classified side of Washington, which had its own strange dynamics.

    I discovered that there was, in effect, a marketplace of secrets in Washington, in which White House officials and other current and former bureaucrats, contractors, members of Congress, their staffers, and journalists all traded information. This informal black market helped keep the national security apparatus running smoothly, limiting nasty surprises for all involved. The revelation that this secretive subculture existed, and that it allowed a reporter to glimpse the government’s dark side, was jarring. It felt a bit like being in the Matrix.

    It’s a long and informative piece, even if you don’t accept all of reporter James Risen’s analysis. And it really does show how badly our national security agencies leak…

  • The recently discovered vulnerability in Intel chips is really, really bad. And fixing it requires about a 5-30% performance hit on every OS that runs atop Intel processors. (Here’s a nice layman description).
  • More on the same topic from Borepatch.
  • “Crazy” like a fox: “The tougher the sanctions and rhetoric from the United States, the more flexible North Korea is becoming.”
  • 40 companies offer Trump Tax Cut bonuses. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Germany outsources censorship. Evidently you’re not allowed to say anything critical of Muslims or “Muslim refugees,” ever. “How the Germans can’t see that such a law, in the hands of the wrong party, could be devastating is a mystery. I can only conclude such occurrences have no precedent in their country from which they could draw obvious lessons.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Scott Adams enumerates all the things President Donald Trump broke that needed breaking.
  • DACA isn’t what Democrats say it is.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds Obama-era memorandums on state-level legalized marijuana. Popehat thinks this is, at present, mostly cosmetic due to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. I oppose federal marijuana prohibition on constitutional grounds: Regulating marijuana is not an enumerated power of the federal government, regulation is neither necessary nor proper (thus no 9th Amendment justification), and thus a matter entirely for the states absent any interstate commerce under the 10th Amendment.
  • “Mayor Sylvester Turner’s press secretary was suspended for two weeks without pay after she failed to turn over thousands of documents required to be released under Texas law. Darian Ward was asked to turn over emails relating to her work on non-city related projects, including a private side business called ‘Joy in Motion Productions.'” She must have gone to the Hillary Clinton School of Email FOIA compliance…
  • Dave Chappelle has a point. As gross, disgusting and socially unacceptable as having Louis C.K. masturbate on the phone with you is, if you let that dissuade you from pursuing a career in a field as hotly competitive as standup comedy, that’s on you. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • “Genetic Study Supports Carbohydrate-Insulin Model of Obesity.”
  • Perfect season.
  • Dibs.
  • battleswarmblog.com: Now With Added https

    Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

    I finally got off my lazy butt and got an SSL certificate for this blog.

    So the official address is now https://www.battleswarmblog.com (note the new all important “s” after “http”).

    FYI, my SSL certificate was free through WordPress and the Bluehost folks made the change for me.

    Update your bookmarks and blogrolls accordingly, since Google and Firefox are starting to get all pissy about http connections (not that I really blame them).

    LinkSwarm for December 1, 2017

    Friday, December 1st, 2017

    Welcome to another LinkSwarm! December already! I didn’t do enough to get ahead in 2017, because I was working hard merely to survive 2017…

    Think I’m going to do a separate “Democrats Behaving Badly” roundup tomorrow, by which time there should be another half-dozen accusations…

  • Donald Trump, champion deregulator?
  • The Al Franken scandal is hitting Democrats right where it hurts most: in their pocketbooks.
  • Harry Reid kills the judicial filibuster. Result? “Trump will get to fill the most federal judiciary vacancies in 40 year.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “WaPo reporter to Project Veritas: There may be no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia.” Now you tell us… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The welfare state should be abolished.
  • “McDonald’s Bun-Supplier Loses 35% Of Staff To Immigration Raids.”
  • He was just a Dreamer, dreaming of coming to America and stabbing someone in their chest 100 times and ripping out their heart.
  • John Hindraker: “Roy Moore for Senate! Enthusiastically.”
  • Professor: the fewer competitive congressional districts, the better.
  • China To Deploy Elite Troops In Syria To Fight Alongside Assad’s Army.”
  • Once again, liberals are outraged at a compact to cut down on voter fraud.
  • Philadelphia city councilwoman wants to see more constituents murdered.
  • ESPN lays off 150 people. How is that “All Social Justice Warrior, All the Time” format working out for you?
  • 100 Buzzfeed employees laid off. What happened next will shock you! (Hat tip: NolteNC’s Twitter feed.)
  • And the hits keep coming! “Music Mogul Russell Simmons Accused of Rape by Model, Then 17 Years Old; Now Accused by Second Woman.”
  • Time Inc. will be sold to Meredith Corporation for $2.8 billion in deal partly funded by Koch brothers.” Can the Koch Brothers make it suck less? Probably not, since they evidently won’t have any influence. I think Meredith overpaid by about $2.8 billion…
  • Croatian war criminal R. Bud Dwyers himself in court, albeit less dramatically.
  • Let colleges die.
  • Imagine being so unhinged and so geeky that you issue death threats to congressmen and their families over the “net neutrality” debate. Hope the 10 years in prison and the $250,000 fine were worth it for knocking $5 off your Netflix bill…
  • Social Justice has now reached the point in Olympia, Washington that police won’t even evict trespassers from railroad tracks. (Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit.)
  • Philly officer sold drugs stolen by corrupt Baltimore police squad.” Remind me again which party has controlled those two cities the last half century…
  • Feminist satire website to shutdown because it can’t out-crazy actual feminists.
  • Dogs > Cats.
  • Germany’s top 10 most surreal sites to visit.” (Last photo is NSFW.)
  • How hippies put on the worst music festival in history.
  • Prototype Laser Weapon Shoots Down Drones

    Sunday, September 24th, 2017

    Lockheed Martin has developed a battlefield laser weapon to shoot down drones. Here’s video of it in action.

    Keep in mind all the caveats of corporate-produced weapon test videos (if a test run was a failure, you wouldn’t be seeing that video), and don’t expect these to be deployed in the battlefield anytime soon. But it’s still promising.

    Another Bluehost Phishing Email

    Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

    Remember the previous Bluehost phishing attack I mentioned?

    Today I got another one.

    Here’s the raw source (with a few inserted line breaks to keep it from running into the righthand column).

    Headers:

    Message ID
    Created at: Sat, Sep 2, 2017 at 12:50 AM (Delivered after 3 seconds)
    From: Bluehost
    To: lawrencepersonXXXXX@gmail.com
    Subject: Request to reset your domain associated with this e-mail address
    SPF: PASS with IP 74.220.222.232 Learn more

    (XXXXX added to email address here and below to defeat spambot scrappers.)

    Payload

    Delivered-To: lawrencepersonXXXXX@gmail.com
    Received: by 10.129.53.151 with SMTP id c145csp343693ywa;
    Fri, 1 Sep 2017 22:54:47 -0700 (PDT)
    X-Received: by 10.99.120.71 with SMTP id t68mr4941018pgc.177.1504331447706;
    Fri, 01 Sep 2017 22:50:47 -0700 (PDT)
    X-Google-Smtp-Source: ADKCNb5s73v956ds860PK1kR3YVGj/j+bLV2uYQNDDlbJ/kZIPjlLkqlSdvnwz3d/dZQs6C8Ug2m
    X-Received: by 10.99.120.71 with SMTP id t68mr4941001pgc.177.1504331446972;
    Fri, 01 Sep 2017 22:50:46 -0700 (PDT)
    ARC-Seal: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; t=1504331446; cv=none;
    d=google.com; s=arc-20160816;
    b=QOjWmOjsvjB9+8HswySoFQOQ4lsCvpPME27NN9zJfx8
    gZofrql3IwevgfSp0e1Btxg
    aIL8DmnXCGllyd8AvPrBrN/Ly3+iKtBxdbk3oua+d9vYBYOgYWcLW
    +kMvQAcV81hB1El
    PXLWVLUV78BXenGJMUIs0voePL345QIlDhjigRRvOYs4/cOFXhr/
    0nE0A+F45lneFaUx
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    1IwL7GWDtmI/ab
    pdU/Dh9cvT3lR2bDOFQaSje0NQuibGyFY3ouNGDdRygJIJKjldi
    EoUsqxE1zCoCrfZU1
    l+Dw==
    ARC-Message-Signature: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=google.com; s=arc-20160816;
    h=date:message-id:cc:from:content-transfer-encoding:mime-version
    :subject:to:arc-authentication-results;
    bh=pAtFnsm7hK/sCRTeHL/WZ2Afvt74elEbNil2YQ/rHSk=;
    b=t9vALxsoLpH2sKGGjbqvx/KAJOGJQaT/2qVFWCaNXJOybuHwoMGmaRh1
    eP62jnkD5s
    nQXOsgK3wQfj/l2Nq1tuA05l+FfQgRlLFSFs/4YKSjcrIveLp/ht/ergUZGv1ydawsDk
    PdNYonJnmlykTW7HQxAhtRbbFP5dohfLGcGcdUmOsV6XjUZQK+
    9agN78MxBBfFj33V7j
    aUCkZ/BINSFb2Jt4IzOaQdnnVzoBwY8R1aLg0+GdVf26wZuYLBiN
    hAXOJY1SVCjGrrwd
    GiGw2eMbMyG5V1VjGlhJPx8Wan7eA/lXr+hrwnuEalFaGk66Ni8lV7
    nADN9StIh7AyMp
    aY7Q==
    ARC-Authentication-Results: i=1; mx.google.com;
    spf=pass (google.com: domain of doorsofv@box1175.bluehost.com designates 74.220.222.232 as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=doorsofv@box1175.bluehost.com
    Return-Path:
    Received: from outbound-ss-1849.hostmonster.com ([74.220.222.232])
    by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id a2si1461087pll.210.2017.09.01.22.50.46
    for
    (version=TLS1_2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 bits=128/128);
    Fri, 01 Sep 2017 22:50:46 -0700 (PDT)
    Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of doorsofv@box1175.bluehost.com designates 74.220.222.232 as permitted sender) client-ip=74.220.222.232;
    Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
    spf=pass (google.com: domain of doorsofv@box1175.bluehost.com designates 74.220.222.232 as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=doorsofv@box1175.bluehost.com
    Received: from cmgw2 (cmgw2.unifiedlayer.com [67.20.127.202]) by soproxy7.mail.unifiedlayer.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 84A09215C39 for ; Fri,
    1 Sep 2017 23:50:46 -0600 (MDT)
    Received: from box1175.bluehost.com ([50.87.248.175]) by cmgw2 with id 4Vqj1w00l3no00q01Vqmx1; Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:50:46 -0600
    X-Authority-Analysis: v=2.2 cv=IspuSP3g c=1 sm=1 tr=0 a=ZGpYF3R9av1KVggUQYjyig==:117 a=ZGpYF3R9av1KVggUQYjyig==:17 a=IkcTkHD0fZMA:10 a=2JCJgTwv5E4A:10 a=eLEXLPMnAAAA:8 a=cNaOj0WVAAAA:8 a=3gznCMWBZ5u3K-Cr9X4A:9 a=8jPl8b1L-dkswZAf:21 a=7g7r5GJnjx26k2DO:21 a=L4Rp5h-_gRjJhvEI:21 a=QEXdDO2ut3YA:10 a=TnA9z4vs7e96t_Vj_DNd:22
    Received: from doorsofv by box1175.bluehost.com with local (Exim 4.87) (envelope-from ) id 1do1KN-003TIa-D2 for lawrencepersonXXXXX@gmail.com; Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:50:43 -0600
    To: lawrencepersonXXXXX@gmail.com
    Subject: Request to reset your domain associated with this e-mail address
    X-PHP-Originating-Script: 1982:mail.php
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    From: Bluehost
    Cc:
    Message-Id:
    Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:50:43 -0600
    X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
    X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname - box1175.bluehost.com
    X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain - gmail.com
    X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID - [1982 1982] / [47 12]
    X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain - box1175.bluehost.com
    X-BWhitelist: no
    X-Source-IP:
    X-Exim-ID: 1do1KN-003TIa-D2
    X-Source:
    X-Source-Args:
    X-Source-Dir:
    X-Source-Sender:
    X-Source-Auth: doorsofv
    X-Email-Count: 38
    X-Source-Cap: ZG9vcnNvZnY7ZG9vcnNvZnY7Ym94MTE3NS5ibHVlaG9zdC5jb20=
    X-Local-Domain: yes


    =09

    =09=09

    =09=09=09

    =09=09

    =09=09

    =09=09=09

    =09=09

    =09

    3D'Bluehost'
    =09=09=20
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09We received a request to reset your domain associated with this=
    e-mail address.

    =09=09=09=09This request was generated by a user clicking the 'Domain Reset=
    ' link. If you want it to be reset, then you can safely ignore this message=
    .
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09If you did not request to have your domain reset, or do not wan=
    t it to be reset, please protect your domain. You can refuse this request a=
    nd securely reset your password by clicking the link below:=20
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09=20
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09https://my.bluehost.com/web-hosting/password/
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09=20
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09Alternatively, you can copy and paste the link into your browse=
    r's address window, or retype it there.
    =09=09=09=09

    =09=09=09=09=20
    =09=09=09=09Thank you,
    =09=09=09=09Bluehost Support
    =09=09=09=09http://w=
    ww.bluehost.com/

    =09=09=09=09For support go to http://bluehost.com/help
    =09=09=09


    Interestingly, even though all of that is in a code tag, part of it (including the link) is still rendered. (I don’t need to tell you not to click that, do I?) I wonder if the 3D class stuff bypasses standard rendering layers.

    Here’s the important segment (opening and closing greater than and less than signs omitted):

    a href=3D'http://my.bluehost.pazencore.com/web-hosting/?q=3DbG=
    F3cmVuY2VwZXJzb25AZ21haWwuY29tDQ=3D=3D' target=3D'_blank'>https://my.bluehost.com/web-hosting/password/

    Here’s the whois registrant and admin contact for pazencore.com domain:

    Name: EDOUARD VAN DE VELDE
    Organization: EDOUARDVDV
    Mailing Address: BAKKUMMERSTRAAT 37, CASTRICUM 1901 HJ NL
    Phone: +31.0615954306
    Ext:
    Fax:
    Fax Ext:
    Email:EDOUARDVDV@HOTMAIL.COM

    More interestingly, here’s the tech contact:

    Tech Contact
    Name: BLUEHOST INC
    Organization: BLUEHOST.COM
    Mailing Address: 550 E TIMPANOGOS PKWY, OREM UTAH 84097 US
    Phone: +1.8017659400
    Ext:
    Fax: +1.8017651992
    Fax Ext:
    Email:WHOIS@BLUEHOST.COM

    So here we have a Bluehost phishing scam being run from a Bluehost domain.

    I think it’s time to have an interesting discussion with BlueHost support…

    More On Google’s Ritual Heretic Burning

    Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

    There’s more news on the memo that got Google engineer James Damore fired.

    Now that I’ve read it, while I don’t agree with everything, there’s nothing in it that a rational person would regard as “crazy” or a “hate crime.”

    Of course, Social justice Warriors are not rational, and there’s plenty in the memo that offends their holy dogma. Like this:

    Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.

    Or this:

    “On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed.”

    Or this:

    “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”

    Or this:

    The harm of Google’s biases
    I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:

    • Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race
    • A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
    • Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
    • Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
    • Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination

    Or this (from a footnote):

    Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”

    And from his concluding recommendations:

    • De-moralize diversity: As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”
    • Stop alienating conservatives.
      • Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
      • In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
      • Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is required for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

    Also this: “Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn’t backed by evidence.”

    Be nice to conservatives? Speech isn’t violence? For Social Justice Warriors that’s like someone in Saudi Arabia declaring that Mohammed is not the prophet of God. No wonder they had to purge him for his heresy.

    The Damore affair proves yet again that no matter how many ritual nods towards liberalism and diversity you make, the moment you go against their sacred dogma, all the good intentions and prior good works in the world won’t save you from a ritual witch burning.

    Now comes word that Damore intends to file a lawsuit against Google. “He filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board before publishing his memo, and the NLRB protects people against firing once they’ve lodged a complaint.” I’m sure an Obama Administration NLRB would be only too happy to bury that lawsuit. But a Trump Administration NLRB is an entirely different kettle of fish. Stay tuned…

    Also: Stephen Green on how to how to de-Google your life.

    Attempted BlueHost Phishing Attack

    Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

    Just got this phishing attempt purporting to be a domain change notification.

    Raw source (slightly edited to remove my email address, and with added line breaks to keep the block from spilling into my righthand links column):


    Delivered-To: [my email address]
    Received: by 10.129.168.138 with SMTP id f132csp137359ywh;
    Tue, 16 May 2017 04:25:08 -0700 (PDT)
    X-Received: by 10.25.145.78 with SMTP id y14mr3013524lfj.182.1494933668196;
    Tue, 16 May 2017 04:21:08 -0700 (PDT)
    X-Received: by 10.25.145.78 with SMTP id y14mr3013498lfj.182.1494933666719;
    Tue, 16 May 2017 04:21:06 -0700 (PDT)
    ARC-Seal: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; t=1494933666; cv=none;
    d=google.com; s=arc-20160816;
    b=EkN54HW9eTyfd0jOfsRVNR0X/FcZbGItIa0uZOBR4HJp7/98oZ6n1B7FLmwrWmZrv4

    5dDu5xxwEZUzXOGnickvxjN/j4xeYRwg4QRKcl1oGU/sN1/28cbmMhz+cPm/9IiocabJ

    lbM3KY9yS06l8Tqks6NqCjYu37tBecVsdXCIDs97H8jlGMftPJtfHwSjp4NB8

    Atmse85rgzAUDI3VQ0heJUNaej7eJ3iQZUoO4WUrE2a83+zL1RFIxhMy

    xwuntOSRaMWqjkjUb0z pwB6DYLaFL6I4OBemO2fQ9KPAVSArN+W6yiD/

    WTdHOH80EG6taU55R0BSe3v0Cm/JSjA

    tGng==
    ARC-Message-Signature: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=google.com; s=arc-20160816;
    h=date:message-id:content-transfer-encoding:mime-version:from:subject
    :to:delivery-date:arc-authentication-results;

    bh=3vPc/J8rnDJTfIYUKavWvnMr/

    efHU9EsfJ+Vu6fidbs=;b=fgaxPBNn1/vQIC45obi02J30mqqvoJ8yrp

    N9bGIHG2rvWt1Qmtxt4ik7dyARWJDqzvOQnNMHX+

    4bC1fVD1qcmjntpe0fkMR8HbYywI8r3k3rZArnj79fVoWJX

    wzb0akib3zyGGSFLS+nZ1fkCdPfmU96JmPYevKmB3l0v86yU/

    aj2WqNE+Olvc6s14wuBXia8rzGtWtsLHIlm2zmqS2NFLNTv

    CapcNPx8ZQvOQEA37pv6oRmlnz/XOg7Rwi4dIrzaAbtY8wv0sI/29

    EjXFkxsVgvXKHIRVc685xWXYuYKATJGIzfccUNJaP/

    TBuhLI7uS8uo7QBkm+B21jhl0x

    AnNw==
    ARC-Authentication-Results: i=1; mx.google.com;
    spf=pass (google.com: domain of cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru designates 2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru
    Return-Path:
    Received: from annika.timeweb.ru (annika.timeweb.ru. [2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f])
    by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id p5si688773lfp.49.2017.05.16.04.21.06
    for
    (version=TLS1_2 cipher=AES128-SHA bits=128/128);
    Tue, 16 May 2017 04:21:06 -0700 (PDT)
    Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru designates 2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f as permitted sender) client-ip=2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f;
    Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
    spf=pass (google.com: domain of cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru designates 2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru
    Delivery-date: Tue, 16 May 2017 14:21:06 +0300
    To: lawrenceperson@gmail.com
    Subject: Domain: BATTLESWARMBLOG.COM. Warning 5946
    From: Bluehost
    X-Priority: 4 (Low)
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    X-Mailer: Php_libMail_v_2.0(webi.ru)
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
    Message-Id:
    Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 14:21:06 +0300

    RGVhciBCbHVlaG9zdCBjdXN0b21lciBMQVdSRU5DRSBQRVJTT04s
    DQoNClRoaXMgbm90aWZpY2F0aW9uIGlzIGdlbmVyYXRlZCBhdXRvb
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    HJlY2VpdmVkIGEgcmVxdWVzdCB0aGF0IHRoZSBuYW1lIHNlcnZlcn
    MgYmUgY2hhbmdlZCBmb3IgdGhlIGZvbGxvd2luZyBkb21haW4gbm
    FtZShzKToNCg0KQkFUVExFU1dBUk1CTE9HLkNPTQ0KDQpJZiB5b3U
    gYXJlIG1vbml0b3JpbmcgdGhpcyBuYW1lIHdpdGggRG9tYWluIEJh
    Y2tvcmRlcnMsIHRoZSBhYm92ZSBjaGFuZ2UgaXMgYWxzbyBkaXNwb
    GF5ZWQgaW4gdGhlICJNb25pdG9yaW5nIGFuZCBCYWNrb3JkZXJpbm
    ciIHNlY3Rpb24gb2YgeW91ciBBY2NvdW50IE1hbmFnZXIuDQoNCmh
    0dHA6Ly9teS5ibHVlaG9zdC5jb20uNjczMjcxY2M0N2MxYTRlNzdm
    NTdlMjM5ZWQ0ZDI4YTcuZm9vb3BlcnRvLmNsaWVudC5jb29wZXJ0a
    W5vLXRlc3QucnUvZG9tYWluL2x4eHZrbWhtem8uaHRtDQoNClRo
    YW5rIHlvdSwNCkJsdWVob3N0DQpUb2xsIEZyZWU6ICg4ODgpIDQw
    MS00Njg4DQpPdXRzaWRlIFVTOiAxKyg4MDEpIDc1Ni05NTAw


    And here’s the non-encoded message payload:


    Dear Bluehost customer LAWRENCE PERSON,

    This notification is generated automatically as a service to you.
    We have received a request that the name servers be changed for the following domain name(s):

    BATTLESWARMBLOG.COM

    If you are monitoring this name with Domain Backorders, the above change is also displayed in the “Monitoring and Backordering” section of your Account Manager.

    http://my.bluehost.com.673271cc47c1a4e77f57e239ed4d28a7.foooperto.
    client.coopertino-test.ru/domain/lxxvkmhmzo.htm

    Thank you,
    Bluehost
    Toll Free: (888) 401-4688
    Outside US: 1+(801) 756-9500


    Note the .ru address in the phishing link, and the phishing URL suggests this attempt is geared at Mac users.

    I don’t think I was personally targeted, I think this was probably sent out to every BlueHost domain contact email address the spammers could target.

    I’m posting this as a warning to other BlueHost domain owners (and, in fact, anyone else that has a hosted domain): 1. Don’t click suspicious email links. 2. When in doubt, every email link is suspicious. Log into your domain hosting control panel directly like your normally would and contact your hosting company that way.

    This was a clumsy attempt. Additional phising attacks are likely to be more sophisticated. Let the blogger beware…

    A Few Points on Yesterday’s Big DDos Attack

    Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

    If you had trouble getting to a various websites yesterday it was probably fallout from a huge distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack:

    Criminals this morning massively attacked Dyn, a company that provides core Internet services for Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Reddit and a host of other sites, causing outages and slowness for many of Dyn’s customers.

    In a statement, Dyn said that this morning, October 21, Dyn received a global distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on its DNS infrastructure on the east coast starting at around 7:10 a.m. ET (11:10 UTC).

    More coverage of the attack here. “At the peak of the attack, average DNS connect times for 2,000 websites monitored by Dynatrace went to about 16 seconds from 500 milliseconds normally.”

    Internet-of-Things-enabled devices appear to be at the heart of the DDoS attack:

    According to Dan Drew, the chief security officer at Level 3 Communications, the attack is at least in part being mounted from a “botnet” of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

    Drew explained the attack in a Periscope briefing this afternoon. “We’re seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations,” Drew said. “An Internet of Things botnet called Mirai that we identified is also involved in the attack.”

    The botnet, made up of devices like home Wi-Fi routers and Internet protocol video cameras, is sending massive numbers of requests to Dyn’s DNS service. Those requests look legitimate, so it’s difficult for Dyn’s systems to screen them out from normal domain name lookup requests.

    Earlier this month, the code for the Marai botnet was released publicly. It may have been used in the massive DDoS attack against security reporter Brian Krebs. Marai and another IoT botnet called Bashlight exploit a common vulnerability in BusyBox, a pared-down version of the Linux operating system used in embedded devices. Marai and Bashlight have recently been responsible for attacks of massive scale, including the attack on Krebs, which at one point reached a traffic volume of 620 gigabits per second.

    Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of the content delivery and DDoS protection service provider CloudFlare, said that the attack being used against Dyn is an increasingly common one. The attacks append random strings of text to the front of domain names, making them appear like new, legitimate requests for the addresses of systems with a domain. Caching the results to speed up responses is impossible.

    At least some commenters have pointed to a possible connection between DDoS attacks and web services firm BackConnect Inc.:

    The latest comes the day after Doug Madory, director of Internet Analysis at Dyn, gave a presentation at an industry conference about research he had done on questionable practices at BackConnect Inc., a firm that offers web services, including helping clients manage DDoS attacks. According to Madory, BackConnect had regularly spoofed Internet addresses through a technique known as a BGP hijack, an aggressive tactic that pushes the bounds of industry.

    Madory’s research was conducted with Brian Krebs, a well-known writer on computer-security issues. Krebs also published an article based on the research last month. Within hours, his website was hit by a “extremely large and unusual” DDoS attack, he wrote.

    Perhaps someone with more computer security knowledge than I (Dwight? Borepatch?) might comment on how best to defend from these attacks in the future. Spin up big on-demand cloud clustered DNS VMs when a DDoS attack is detected?

    GTA 5 Mod Let’s You Use Samsung Galaxy Note 7s as Grenades

    Thursday, October 20th, 2016

    You’ve probably heard that Samsung has recalled and cancelled the Galaxy Note 7 phone after numerous incidents where the battery exploded.

    You may not have heard that someone did a mod for the video game Grand Theft Auto 5 that lets you use Samsung Galaxy Note 7s as grenades.

    Since Samsung has evidently forced YouTube to take down video of the mod in “arguably the worst misuse of the DMCA we have ever come across,” I thought I would share two other videos.

    LinkSwarm for September 30, 2016

    Friday, September 30th, 2016

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. On a personal note, I am once again looking for a Senior Technical Writing position in the greater Austin area. If you have any leads in that direction, please let me know.

  • Polls show Hillary losing ground after debate.
  • Likewise, LA Times poll shows a slight bump for Trump.
  • Professor says there are 13 keys for an incumbent to lose the White House. By my count, Democrats suffer from just about all of them.
  • Minnesota, the only state to vote for Walter Mondale in 1984, is now a battleground state. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Democrats give up on Ohio. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Nineteen dead people registered to vote in Virginia. Yet more of that voting fraud Democrats swear up and down doesn’t exist… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Republicans cave on everything and leave town. But somehow it’s Trump that’s going to sully the spotless reputation of the Grand Old Party…
  • But at least congress overrode Obama’s veto of bill allowing 9/11 survivors to sue the Saudis 97-1. One wonders why Obama even bothered vetoing the bill, given how he had already stabbed the Saudis in the back with the Iran deal.
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield drops out of ObamaCare exchange in Nebraska.
  • More illegal aliens on the way. (Hat tip: Praire Pundit.)
  • Two Maryland Democrats fight over which is more responsible over making Baltimore burn.
  • Chicago schools are boned. (Hat tip: The American Interest.)
  • Taxis vs. Uber.
  • Will Franklin of WILLisms put a lot of work into this school choice video:

  • Texas among four states to sue to stop the transfer of ICANN to an international governing body.
  • “Target Corporation’s transgender bathroom pander costing its shareholders billions.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Scott Adams think that the Middle East is just building a wall around the Islamic State.
  • Ace of Spades declares war on the Republican leadership:

    Apparently, some in this party really do think they’re going to hand the election to Hillary, and, bizarrely, they think this will bully the rest of us into knuckling under to their agenda in 2020.

    Rather than simply getting payback and tanking their candidate in return.

    This party is on the verge of self-destructing. The upper class of the party is upset that the lower class has finally had its say, and they’re determined that should never be permitted to happen again.

    Why then would anyone of the lower class ever vote for the GOP again? Are they required to sign a piece of paper confirming that they are Lessers who should know their place in order to have the privilege of voting against their own interests?

    He’s also turns his fire on #NeverTrump:

    we have a hundred people who claim to be #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary but, strangely enough, never talk about the downsides of a Hillary presidency. Oh, they’ll talk up how much of an authoritarian Trump is, but not Hillary’s sense of entitlement, grievance, vengeance, and her own history of authoritarianism and lawlessness in covering up her crimes.

    They talk all day about “Principles,” but discard the most basic principles — such as keeping a proven lawbreaker out of the White House, or just honestly admitting which candidate they’re actually supporting to their readers — as convenience may recommend.

    In fact, right now they’re howling about Ted Cruz’ “calculations” in endorsing Trump, while not admitting their own pose of “Being Against Both Equally” is in fact a completely contrived lie they’ve calculated will permit them to agitate for their candidate (Hillary) while not compromising their career prospects within Conservatism, Inc. too much.

    How much can I agitate for Hillary while still retaining plausible deniability?

    How much can I agitate for Hillary to appease my anti-Trump donors while still keeping enough pro-Trump readers that my anti-Trump donors will feel they’re getting enough eyeballs per dollar of their patronage?

    The party — not just the party;the writers who are supposed to have telling the truth as their first mission, but instead of become nonstop liars all the time decrying Trump as a liar himself — has declared war on all of the Lessers beneath their station, those not in The Media and who should, therefore, not have quite as much of a say in things as they themselves have.

    They’ve made themselves into exactly what they pretend to oppose — and exactly what I do in fact oppose.

  • Canada launches prescription smack. Part of me wants to see how the experiment turns out. And part of me wants to start offering junkies one-way bus tickets to the Great (China) White North.
  • Other Canadian craziness: Montreal to euthanize all non-owned pit bulls. Way to jerk those knees, French Canadians.
  • Navy changes the way it categorizes sailors.
  • Burning Man camp vandalized.
  • More of that vaunted liberal tolerance we hear so much about these days. “Kill yourself bitch.” (Hat tip: Will Shetterly.)
  • There’s a proper and an improper way to turn down an orgy. Proper: “No thank you.” Improper: Getting stabby. Don’t they teach kids basic manners these days?
  • I picked up some signed William F. Buckley, Jr. books cheap.