Tag: trump

Trump fans get cybersecurity CEO fired

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAZnAAAAJDk5YzljMTYwLWFjNGUtNGUxOS1iNDc2LTIxZjYxODgzY2Q3ZATrump fans demanded that the CEO of the cybersecurity firm PacketSled was fired or arrested for posting on his personal Facebook page that he would get a “sniper rifle” and kill the Donald Prince of Orange.

What is even more amazing is that his company PacketSled accepted Matt Harrigan’s resignation over the comments.

Harrigan made the statement on his personal Facebook page but the Trump supporters found the comments and contacted the cops.

“The PacketSled Board of Directors accepted the resignation of President and CEO Matthew Harrigan, effective immediately. We want to be very clear, PacketSled does not condone the comments made by Mr. Harrigan, which do not reflect the views or opinions of the company, its employees, investors or partners.”

In a previous statement, the company said it reported the information to the Secret Service and placed Harrigan on administrative leave.

Eh?  What?

Harrigan said the comments were meant to be a joke.

“My recent Facebook comment was intended to be a joke, in the context of a larger conversation, and only privately shared as such. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not engage in this form of rhetoric with any level of seriousness and the comment most certainly does not represent my real personal views in any regard. I apologise if anything that I said was either taken seriously, was offensive, or caused any legitimate concern.”

It was bloody obviously a joke, or frustration expressed on Facebook.  Since when did that require you to lose your job?  Suddenly the US has lost its sense of humour completely.

There are lots of reasons to be concerned by this. Firstly, that humourless Trump supporters could get someone fired by mounting campaigns on social media and secondly that PacketSled can’t tell when the bloke who is leading them that he is joking and grass him up to Homeland security? This is so 1984 it is not funny.

Has the world gone bonkers? [Yes. Ed]

Tech companies ask Trump to backtrack on encryption

orangeUS internet companies including Facebook and Amazon have penned a letter to president elect Donald “Prince of Orange” asking him to be a little more accommodating to their policy priorities – particularly strong encryption.

Trump took an anti-encryption stance during the election, demanding tech companies provide spooks with back-doors. While some tech-companies are visibly upset about Trumps election, it appears that Facebook and Amazon hope they can get him to change his mind with a nice letter.

The letter sent by the Internet Association, a trade group whose 40 members also include Alphabet’s Google, Uber and Twitter, represents an early effort to repair the relationship between the technology sector.

Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association said that the internet industry looks forward to engaging in an open and productive dialogue.

Some of the policy goals stated in the letter may align with Trump’s priorities, including easing regulation on the sharing economy, lowering taxes on profits made from intellectual property and applying pressure on Europe to not erect too many barriers that restrict U.S. internet companies from growing in that market.

The association seeks immigration reform to support more high-skilled workers staying in the United States. Trump made tougher immigration policies a central theme of his campaign, but he has shied away from arguing against more H-1B visas for skilled workers. In March, he said he was “softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country.”

Trump has also urged a boycott of Apple products over the company’s refusal to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California, shootings, threatened antitrust action against Amazon, and demanded Apple manufacture its products in the United States.

In a statement, Beckerman said the internet industry looked forward to working closely with Trump and lawmakers in Congress to “cement the internet’s role as a driver of economic and social progress for future generations.”

AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner in trouble

animal-memes-how-i-feel-when-i-have-waterproof-phoneIt is starting to look like AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner could fall foul of the White House [shurely Orange House.Ed].

During the election Donald  “Prince of Orange” Trump threatened to block the deal, even though Republicans would traditionally allow corp orates to do what they liked.  It is not clear if the US comedy candidate will follow through on that stance now he actually is in the White House, but there are some fears he might.

Wall Street braced for a drop in deals, with Goldman Sachs on Wednesday projecting a 20 to 30 percent downside for earnings of banks that focus on merger and acquisition advice, and Jefferies saying that uncertainty about Trump’s policy on trade, healthcare, taxes and energy could hamper underwriting activity and M&A globally.

Trump said in October that AT&T’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of the owner of HBO, CNN and the Warner Bros film studio was an example of a “power structure” rigged against him and voters, and that he would block a deal.

Still, some investors believed the man who considers himself business friendly would take a more moderate tone than in the campaign once he assumes office, as he did on Tuesday night in his acceptance speech..

The president does not directly decide if a merger is illegal under antitrust law and the job is done by the US Justice Department or Federal Trade Commission, which divide up the work of assessing mergers. If one of the agencies decides to stop a deal, it must convince a judge to agree.

AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens on Wednesday said his company was looking forward to working with Trump and “optimistic” regulators would approve the deal.

Trump’s policies and discussions “about infrastructure investment, economic development, and American innovation all fit right in with AT&T’s goals,” Stephens said at the Wells Fargo technology, media and telecoms conference in New York.

Trump’s protectionist stance also raises the risk that some foreign corporations, including from China, may face higher hurdles in trying to take over American companies, dealmakers said.


Trump’s cunning plan for technology

Donald-Trump-funnyUS comedy candidate Donald Trump’s surprise win has put the wind up Silicon Valley which is now starting to look seriously at his tech policies which could make their lives miserable.

First up, Trump said that he will force all those US companies who are making their goods overseas to come back to the US. He specifically singled out Apple he feels it should “start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries”.

Now this could be resolved if the companies in question moved their base out of the US and became a citizen of some other country. But Trump has also promised tariffs on imported products, especially from China, as part of a plan to ensure more companies manufacture in the USA.

To make life even harder for US tech, Trump will clamp down on H-1B visas, which will make it hard for US-based businesses to bring in skilled tech talent from abroad. This will mean that US companies will have to use more expensive US labour, which is not a bad thing. However tech companies say that they have a problem finding people with the skills they need. This is presumably because US universities and schools cost so much.

Where tech might win is in the cyber security area. Trump wants an “immediate review of all U.S. cyber defences and vulnerabilities, including critical infrastructure, by a Cyber Review Team of individuals from the military, law enforcement, and the private sector”.

He wants joint Federal, State, and local task forces to respond to cyber threats and a vision to

“Develop the offensive cyber capabilities we need to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately.”

It is not clear how that differs from previous initiatives, or from what is going on now. However, it could mean that monitoring which was abandoned under Snowden will become a thing again.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership with is copyright-enhancing provisions favoured by Big Content will probably be spiked.

Snowden squashes Trump’s conspiracy theory

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is pictured during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong KongEdward Snowden has squashed a Trump conspiracy theory which claimed the “dark forces that be” had stepped in to save Hillary Clinton from arrest in the latest email scandal.

Orange comedy candidate Donald Trump claimed that the FBI clearing Hillary Clinton in a last-minute email scandal was impossible because there was no way anyone could have reviewed 650,000 new emails in eight days.

However, Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistle-blower said that it is a doddle and can be done with database scanning software.

FBI Director James Comey’s said that a search through a laptop used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin turned up nothing to change “our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton”.

In other words, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails remains closed, with no charges sought.

The news was met with relief from the Clinton campaign, and disbelief from Trump’s advisers – including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency:

Trump said: “Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system,” he said. “I’ve been saying it for a long time. You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks.”

The FBI finished scanning the emails over the weekend. Many of the emails were personal messages or duplicates of messages that had been examined previously.

Snowden not only showed the code as to how it was done but also revealed a hack he had heard about which could game voting machines. To be honest it is pretty obvious. If the NSA is scanning billions of emails a day, then 650,000 over a weekend could probably be done on a laptop.

Trump server secretly communicated with Moscow

trumpuckerSecurity experts claim to have found that a server belonging to Donald Trump was secretly passing messages to a Russian bank with close ties to Putin.

In a rather long winded article the Slate spoke to a security expert who stumbled across  a bank in Moscow that kept irregularly pinging a server registered to the Trump Organisation on Fifth Avenue.

The expert kept logs of the Trump server’s DNS activity and circulatated to his mates in the cybersecurity world to see if they yielded any clues.

Initially they thought it was a malware attack on Trump, but the pattern seemed to fitted human conversation better. The chats seem to begin during office hours in New York and continued during office hours in Moscow.

The researchers worked out that this wasn’t an attack, but a sustained relationship between a server registered to the Trump Organization and two servers registered to an entity called Alfa Bank.

Trump’s server had been somewhat strangely configured and, although it was high powered, handled a tiny load of traffic.

When the researchers pinged the server, they received error messages. They concluded that the server was set to accept only incoming communication from a small handful of IP addresses. Some of the logs showed communication with a server belonging to Michigan-based Spectrum Health, but the company said that they had not conducted any communications with either Trump or Alfa Bank.

The security experts noticed that conversation between the Trump and Alfa servers appeared to follow the contours of political happenings in the United States. “At election-related moments, the traffic peaked,” according to Camp. There were considerably more DNS lookups, for instance, during the two conventions.

They passed their notes to DNS expert Paul Vixie, who concluded that the parties were communicating in a secretive fashion using a method like criminal syndicates do if they are putting together a project. In other words, this was a digital hotline connecting the two entities, shutting out the rest of the world, and designed to obscure its own existence.

Alfa Bank is run by a Ukrainian called Mikhail Fridman who is Russia’s second richest bloke and a friend of Putin. He has never been associated with dirty deeds and has a history as being philanthropist.

When the team contacted the bank in Russia, the New York server was suddenly shut down. The bank denied any connection to Trump.

Four days later, on 27 September, the Trump Organisation created a new host name, trump1.contact-client.com, which enabled communication to the very same server via a different route.

Yet the official statement from Trump was that the email server had been set up for marketing purposes and operated by a third-party, has not been used since 2010.

“The current traffic on the server from Alphabank’s [sic] IP address is regular DNS server traffic—not email traffic.  To be clear, The Trump Organization is not sending or receiving any communications from this email server. The Trump Organization has no communication or relationship with this entity or any Russian entity.”


Trump is just as insecure as Hillary

Donald-Trump-funnyWhile US presidential comedy candidate Donald Trump keeps huffing and puffing about how “crooked Hillary” operated insecure email servers it seems his own security is not up to snuff either.

UK Security researcher Kevin Beaumont discovered the Trump organisation has a comedy level of security and uses a hopelessly outdated and insecure internet setup.

TrumpOrg.com servers are using outdated software, Windows Server 2003 and the built-in Internet Information Server 6 web server. Vole cut off support for this technology in July 2015, leaving the systems unpatched for the last 15 months.

Trump Organisation emails don’t support two-factor authentication and its web-based email access page relies on an outdated March 2015 build of Microsoft Exchange 2007.

“Windows Server 2003, IIS 6 and Exchange 2003 went end of life years ago. There are no security fixes. They don’t have basics down,” Beaumont said.

Trump’s supporters have decided to resolve the problem by reporting Beaumont to the Feds, however his research is based on looking at publicly available information rather than actively scanning for vulnerabilities.

The Trump Organisation responded to Beaumont’s criticism by putting out a statement to the media saying that its web setup is shielded behind a firewall.

When he stopped laughing Beaumont tweated: “That’s a bit like saying it’s okay to install WordPress and leave it unpatched forever because there’s a firewall.”

In otherwords, Trump’s reply suggests that IT security is not a glass house he should be biffing boulders in.  However, if hacking Trump were that easy then why doesn’t Wikileaks have hackers who have done it?  Oh that is right the Russians are only interested in providing Clinton leaks.

Peter Thiel’s trumping is bad for business

Bad-smellPaypal billionaire Peter Thiel’s $1.25 million donation to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is driving away partners from Y Combinator.

Thiel is a part-time advisor for the Silicon Valley accelerator. But Project Include, which works to improve diversity at tech companies, said today that it would no longer work with YC startups.

The group’s co-founder, Ellen Pao, wrote that Thiel’s actions were in direct conflict with her outfit’s values. “Because of his continued connection to YC, we are compelled to break off our relationship with YC.”

Founded in 2005, Y Combinator has incubated some of the biggest tech companies of the past decade, including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe. But it refused to dissociate itself from Thiel, who took an advisory role with the organization in 2015.

In a series of tweets, YC’s president stood by Thiel. “Cutting off opposing viewpoints leads to extremism and will not get us the country we want. Diversity of opinion is painful but critical to the health of a democratic society. We can’t start purging people for political support.”

But  Pao rejected the idea that Thiel’s donation could be dismissed as political speech and said while she agreed that people shouldn’t be fired for their political views, but this isn’t a disagreement on tax policy, this is advocating hatred and violence.

“Giving more power to someone whose ascension and behaviour strike fear into so many people is unacceptable. His attacks on black, Mexican, Asian, Muslim, and Jewish people, on women, and on others are more than just political speech; fueled by hate and encouraging violence, they make each of us feel unsafe.”

Assange cancels anti-Clinton announcement

Julian AssangeJail bird Julian Assange has been telling the world+dog that he would announce to the world leaked emails that will finish Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign on Tuesday.

The leaked emails are believed to have come from the Russian disinformation unit and were given to Wikileaks as part of the Russian bid to get its tax-dodging Donald Trump into the White House. They prefer Trump to Clinton because he appears to owe rather a lot to Russian oligarchs.

However, Assange suddenly cancelled the announcement, which he was going to make from the balcony of London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, because of “security concerns”.  Assange is going to speak to a conference by a live link tomorrow but it does not look like the emails are on the agenda there either. Odd really how “security concerns” can stop a leak of information.  It might stop the presentation of information but not a leak. All Assange has to do is film a video and put it on the internet along with the documents.

Last month Assange appeared on Fox News repeating his assertion that Wikileaks has damaging documents on Clinton and suggested WikiLeaks may soon release “teasers.” However more than three weeks later, that release has yet to take place.

Wikileaks has not said when it will now make its “announcement.”  But word on the street is that the information does not really exist and it is starting to look like Assange was making the whole lot up to draw attention to him during the US election. After all Fox news would put him on air if he says he has dirt on Clinton. It now appears that he never had any emails at all, or his Russian overlords failed to deliver.

Hacker group offers bounty on Trump tax returns

Donald-Trump-funnyUS presidentual hopeful Donald Trump does not want the world to see his tax returns so a hacker magazine has offered a $10,000 bounty to anyone who can get them a copy.

The 2600 magazine announced the bounty in a tweet posted shortly after the conclusion of the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The magazine’s tweet also indicated that prospective participants could make use of PGP encryption to send files and that the source’s identity would be protected. Apparently 2600 was miffed that Trump’s comments about an overweight hacker is the cause of the bounty.

The editor of 2600, who goes by the name Emmanuel Goldstein said Trump has not released his tax returns, despite every presidential candidate having done that over the past however many decades, and somehow that’s just being swept under the rug. “Guccifer 3.0, if you’re out there, this is what we need: We need somebody to get in and get these returns,” he added.

Given that Guccifer  is most likely working for the Russian government who wants Trump elected and does not want his Russian business dealings revealed we don’t think he will be claiming the bounty any time soon.

Of course the chances of a hacker legally getting their paws on Trump’s mighty declarations are a little remote.  If Trump was short of cash he could also claim the bounty

The magazine claimed that the bounty would also be offered to Trump “or anyone in his campaign or family” in the event that his tax documents were provided to them. 2600 also indicated that it would welcome others to add to the initial amount offered as part of the Trump tax bounty. It also claimed to have received some interest from prospective contributors, interested in adding to the bounty. “This could easily become $100k or more. We can pay in dollars, bitcoin… or rubles,” the magazine wrote in a tweet.