Top o the Morn ta ya folks! Oh! My bad- I see some of you still wincing at loud noises a few wearing dark glasses indoors and several of our more dedicated readers might well be mistaken and shot for Zombies were it not for the lack of interest by the cadaver dogs we keep for protection against such an incursion showing no interest in them. Fill’s me with pride it does ta see such dedicated partying went on in the name of beloved St Patrick as you folks call him, misguided about that as ya are.
Now some of ya might be sober enough by now to be thinking that todays banner is an indication that I’m not Happy with Impish’s St Patrick’s Day Issue. In fact nothing could be further from the truth.
True enough he conned me into helping him with half the issue, but ‘twas an expert con the likes o’ which I never suspected Impish capable of. That makes what I have to say next that much easier for me. See I told Impish that if her achieved a minimum of five 5 star ratings for his issue I’d not only stop looking for a new Sidekick to try out as his replacement, I’d give him a 5 year renewal on his contract as my sidekick.
Well the scores are in from the Judges of the 5 Irish Provence’s and Impish scored a solid 7.5 with the True Sons o’ Erin in the St Patrick’s Day Tribute By an Non-Irish Entrant as well as getting not five but six 5 star ratings before today. As a result… (SIGH!)… I’ll still be suffering Impish as my sidekick for at least for 5 more years.
Now all that having been said there were a few areas that Impish alluded to but didn’t actually have time to touch on that I’ll be including this day to make up for it.
Oh…and that Fountain of Eternal Guinness he alluded to? Yeah, not so much. He made that one up as a wee bit o’ a joke. So if you bunch of cheap lushes would kindly stop ringin’ us up asking for is location I’d thank ya most kindly.
Now, grab yerself a mug o’ coffee and a scone, there’s Hair o’ the Dog, Baileys and Whipped Cream if you feel the need for an Irish Coffee to help ya back to peak health and let get started shall we?
A little boy gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
As he passes his parent’s bedroom he peeks in through the keyhole. He
watches for a moment, then continues on down the hallway, saying to
himself, “Boy, and she gets mad at me for sucking my thumb!”
WWII widow’s journey for reconciliation
The wife of a Texas World War II soldier waited for more than 68 years for solid proof that her husband is either dead or alive. Then she learned the stunning truth in Normandy, France.
Published On: Mar 14 2014 12:00:00 AM CDT
As Irish people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, learn about the legends and history surrounding the holiday.
Is Saint Patrick actually a saint?
It is true that St. Patrick was never canonized. The reason for that is St. Patrick lived in the 5th century and the process we now know as canonization did not exist until centuries later. Up until that time holy men and women were declared saints on the local level and the local Bishop would add them to the local liturgical calendar. By the time the formal canonization process we know today came about St. Patrick was already renown as a Saint so there was no need for the process. Since St. Patrick has a feast day (March 17) in today’s universal Church liturgical calendar you can rest easy that the Church truly considers him a saint.
“I can’t believe how boring my life has become,” remarked Jennie.
“What do you mean?” asked her friend. “The only time I hear myself
say, ‘I’m coming!’ is when I’m trying to tell my cat I’m getting his
Yup, that’s my legendary Corned Beef Impish was speaking of. Nope, no hints where I get it other than its more or less local (by which I mean Texas) and puts even Boar’s Head Corned Beef to shame..for about half the price too!
Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole
Your family will run to the dinner table when you make this delicious chicken Alfredo casserole topped with Parmesan-crusted biscuits.
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jar (16 oz) Alfredo pasta sauce
1/4 cup milk
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 can (7.5 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- In 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and onion in butter, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in Alfredo sauce, milk, chicken, broccoli and basil. Cook until mixture is thoroughly heated and bubbly, stirring constantly. Spoon into baking dish.
- Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit in half crosswise. Arrange around edge of baking dish, overlapping slightly. Drizzle biscuits with melted butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Calories 590 ( Calories from Fat 350), Total Fat 39g (Saturated Fat 22g, Trans Fat 1 1/2g ), Cholesterol 150mg Sodium 850mg Total Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 6g ), Protein 28g ; % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 30%;
Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 25%; Iron 15%;
2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 3 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 5 1/2 Fat;
As quick as kids jump off the bus after school, this marshmallowy dip mixes together in the microwave. All the great taste of real S’mores but without the campfire!
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 box (13 oz) graham cracker honey sticks
- In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chips are melted. Stir to mix well. Pour into 9-inch glass pie pan, spreading evenly.
- Drop marshmallow creme by tablespoonfuls randomly over chocolate mixture. Microwave on High about 30 seconds or until marshmallow creme is softened. Immediately with knife, make several small swirls through marshmallow and chocolate, creating a marbled appearance.
- Serve immediately with graham sticks for dipping.
Mug Coffee Cake Recipe
If you’ve never made a mug cake, you don’t know what you’re missing!
What could be better than a delicious, flavorful cake in a single-serve portion, that you can prepare and bake in minutes using the convenience of your microwave?
This mug cake is tender and moist, and the sweet, sugary coffee cake crumble on top really makes this mug-cake special.
Treat yourself to something special and try this delicious and easy mug-coffee-cake recipe.
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons white sugar
½ beaten egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 drops vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
1. Stir 1 tablespoon softened butter and white sugar together in a coffee mug until fluffy; stir egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract into the butter mixture. Add ¼ cup flour and baking powder into the mixture stir until smooth.
2. Mix 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Mash 1 tablespoon butter into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over the cake batter in mug.
3.Cook in a microwave oven on high for 1 minute. Continue cooking in 10 second intervals until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
How Do You Brainwash A Liberal?
[ Answer at the end of the issue and no cheat scrolling! ]
A young Irishman tells his mother he’s in love. Just for fun, he brings home three girls and asks his mother to guess which of the three he has chosen to be his bride.
After his mother interviews all three, she says, “Your fiancée is the one in the middle.”
“That’s amazing, ma. How did you know?”
“Because I don’t like her.”
One fine day, Jim and Bill are out golfing. Jim slices his ball deep into a wooded ravine. He grabs his 7-iron and proceeds down the embankment into the ravine in search of his ball.
The brush is quite thick, but Jim searches diligently and suddenly he spots something shiny. As he gets closer, he realizes that the shiny object is in
fact a 7-iron in the hands of a skeleton lying near an old golf ball.
Jim excitedly calls out to his golfing partner: “Hey Bill, come here; I’ve got some trouble down here.”
Bill comes running over to the edge of the ravine and calls out: “What’s the matter Jim? Everything OK?”
Jim shouts back in a nervous voice: “Throw me my 8-iron! Apparently, you can’t get out of here with a 7.”
St Patrick’s Day One-Liners Jokes
Q: Why can’t you borrow money from a leprechaun?
A: Because they’re always a little short.
Q: Why don’t you iron 4-Leaf clovers?
A: Because you don’t want to press your luck.
Q: What’s Irish and stays out all night?
A: Paddy O’furniture!
Q: How is a best friend like a 4-leaf clover?
A: Because they are hard to find and lucky to have.
Q: What do ghosts drink on St Patrick’s Day?
Q: How can you tell if an Irishman is having a good time?
A: He’s Dublin over with laughter!
Q: Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day?
A: Regular rocks are too heavy.
Q: How does every Irish joke start?
A: By looking over your shoulder.
Q: What has eight arms and an IQ of 60?
A: Four girlfriends drinking on St Patrick’s Day!
Q: How did the Irish Jig get started?
A: Too much to drink and not enough restrooms!
Q: Why did God invent Irish whiskey?
A: So the Irish would never rule the world.
Q: What do you call an Irishman who knows how to control his wife?
A: A bachelor.
Q: What would you get if you crossed Christmas with St. Patrick’s Day?
A: St. O’Claus!
Q: What would you get if you crossed Quasimodo with an Irish football player?
A: The Halfback of Notre Dame!
Q: What is Irish diplomacy?
A: It’s the ability to tell a man to go to hell. So that he will look forward to making the trip
Q: Why are leprechauns so hard to get along with?
A: Because they’re very short-tempered!
“I married an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day.” “Oh, really?” “No, O’Reilly!”
Q: What do you call a Cubic Zirconia in Ireland?
A: A sham rock
Welcome to Down Cathedral, close to which we believe the mortal remains of Patrick, our Patron Saint, lie buried.
Last week I tried to write about changes in Privacy Laws and developments/new revelations in the NSA Domestic Spying Fiasco. That Parting Shot mysteriously disappeared for no valid technical reason I can discern. Let’s see if it happens this week.
You know the old Ian Fleming quote/adage- ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action’.
Let’s see if it happenstance or coincidence this week shall we?
BY THE WAY BIG BROTHER- you have gotten me last week, but I’ve got a steep learning curve. A back up copy of this exists off my system & off line that you can’t get to.
IN OTHER WORDS- Can’t touch dis suckers!
All links (except for the ones starting ‘CLICK HERE’ are part of the original article highlighting and and coloring of text is mine done to call attention to particular important lines/points.
Finally, believe it or not, I have truncated the following article removing most of the High Geek speak which would prove a counter agent to your coffee. To see the article in its entirety follow the link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millions-computers-malware/
How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware
[ ‘Plans to’ nothing! From the way I read this its already been done!]
Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.
The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic.
In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.
The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.”
In a top-secret presentation, dated August 2009, the NSA describes a pre-programmed part of the covert infrastructure called the “Expert System,” which is designed to operate “like the brain.” The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and “decides” what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines.
Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware who serves as chief research officer at the Finnish security firm F-Secure, calls the revelations “disturbing.” The NSA’s surveillance techniques, he warns, could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.
“When they deploy malware on systems,” Hypponen says, “they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties.”
In the documents, the agency describes such techniques as “a more aggressive approach to SIGINT” and says that the TAO unit’s mission is to “aggressively scale” these operations.
But the NSA recognized that managing a massive network of implants is too big a job for humans alone.
“One of the greatest challenges for active SIGINT/attack is scale,” explains the top-secret presentation from 2009. “Human ‘drivers’ limit ability for large-scale exploitation (humans tend to operate within their own environment, not taking into account the bigger picture).”
The agency’s solution was TURBINE. Developed as part of TAO unit, it is described in the leaked documents as an “intelligent command and control capability” that enables “industrial-scale exploitation.”
TURBINE was designed to make deploying malware much easier for the NSA’s hackers by reducing their role in overseeing its functions. The system would “relieve the user from needing to know/care about the details,” the NSA’s Technology Directorate notes in one secret document from 2009. “For example, a user should be able to ask for ‘all details about application X’ and not need to know how and where the application keeps files, registry entries, user application data, etc.”
In practice, this meant that TURBINE would automate crucial processes that previously had to be performed manually – including the configuration of the implants as well as surveillance collection, or “tasking,” of data from infected systems. But automating these processes was about much more than a simple technicality. The move represented a major tactical shift within the NSA that was expected to have a profound impact – allowing the agency to push forward into a new frontier of surveillance operations.
The ramifications are starkly illustrated in one undated top-secret NSA document, which describes how the agency planned for TURBINE to “increase the current capability to deploy and manage hundreds of Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) and Computer Network Attack (CNA) implants to potentially millions of implants.” (CNE mines intelligence from computers and networks; CNA seeks to disrupt, damage or destroy them.)
Eventually, the secret files indicate, the NSA’s plans for TURBINE came to fruition. The system has been operational in some capacity since at least July 2010, and its role has become increasingly central to NSA hacking operations.
Earlier reports based on the Snowden files indicate that the NSA has already deployed between 85,000 and 100,000 of its implants against computers and networks across the world, with plans to keep on scaling up those numbers.
The NSA has a diverse arsenal of malware tools, each highly sophisticated and customizable for different purposes.
One implant, codenamed UNITEDRAKE, can be used with a variety of “plug-ins” that enable the agency to gain total control of an infected computer.
An implant plug-in named CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE, for example, is used to take over a targeted computer’s microphone and record conversations taking place near the device. Another, GUMFISH, can covertly take over a computer’s webcam and snap photographs. FOGGYBOTTOM records logs of Internet browsing histories and collects login details and passwords used to access websites and email accounts. GROK is used to log keystrokes. And SALVAGERABBIT exfiltrates data from removable flash drives that connect to an infected computer.
The implants can enable the NSA to circumvent privacy-enhancing encryption tools that are used to browse the Internet anonymously or scramble the contents of emails as they are being sent across networks. That’s because the NSA’s malware gives the agency unfettered access to a target’s computer before the user protects their communications with encryption.
It is unclear how many of the implants are being deployed on an annual basis or which variants of them are currently active in computer systems across the world.
Previous reports have alleged that the NSA worked with Israel to develop the Stuxnet malware, which was used to sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities. The agency also reportedly worked with Israel to deploy malware called Flame to infiltrate computers and spy on communications in countries across the Middle East.
According to the Snowden files, the technology has been used to seek out terror suspects as well as individuals regarded by the NSA as “extremist.” But the mandate of the NSA’s hackers is not limited to invading the systems of those who pose a threat to national security.
In one secret post on an internal message board, an operative from the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate describes using malware attacks against systems administrators who work at foreign phone and Internet service providers. By hacking an administrator’s computer, the agency can gain covert access to communications that are processed by his company. “Sys admins are a means to an end,” the NSA operative writes.
The internal post – titled “I hunt sys admins” – makes clear that terrorists aren’t the only targets of such NSA attacks. Compromising a systems administrator, the operative notes, makes it easier to get to other targets of interest, including any “government official that happens to be using the network some admin takes care of.”
Infiltrating cellphone networks, however, is not all that the malware can be used to accomplish. The NSA has specifically tailored some of its implants to infect large-scale network routers used by Internet service providers in foreign countries. By compromising routers – the devices that connect computer networks and transport data packets across the Internet – the agency can gain covert access to monitor Internet traffic, record the browsing sessions of users, and intercept communications.
Two implants the NSA injects into network routers, HAMMERCHANT and HAMMERSTEIN, help the agency to intercept and perform “exploitation attacks” against data that is sent through a Virtual Private Network, a tool that uses encrypted “tunnels” to enhance the security and privacy of an Internet session.
The implants also track phone calls sent across the network via Skype and other Voice Over IP software, revealing the username of the person making the call. If the audio of the VOIP conversation is sent over the Internet using unencrypted “Real-time Transport Protocol” packets, the implants can covertly record the audio data and then return it to the NSA for analysis.
But not all of the NSA’s implants are used to gather intelligence, the secret files show. Sometimes, the agency’s aim is disruption rather than surveillance. QUANTUMSKY, a piece of NSA malware developed in 2004, is used to block targets from accessing certain websites. QUANTUMCOPPER, first tested in 2008, corrupts a target’s file downloads. These two “attack” techniques are revealed on a classified list that features nine NSA hacking tools, six of which are used for intelligence gathering. Just one is used for “defensive” purposes – to protect U.S. government networks against intrusions.
Before it can extract data from an implant or use it to attack a system, the NSA must first install the malware on a targeted computer or network.
According to one top-secret document from 2012, the agency can deploy malware by sending out spam emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link. Once activated, a “back-door implant” infects their computers within eight seconds.
There’s only one problem with this tactic, codenamed WILLOWVIXEN: According to the documents, the spam method has become less successful in recent years, as Internet users have become wary of unsolicited emails and less likely to click on anything that looks suspicious.
Consequently, the NSA has turned to new and more advanced hacking techniques. These include performing so-called “man-in-the-middle” and “man-on-the-side” attacks, which covertly force a user’s internet browser to route to NSA computer servers that try to infect them with an implant.
To perform a man-on-the-side attack, the NSA observes a target’s Internet traffic using its global network of covert “accesses” to data as it flows over fiber optic cables or satellites. When the target visits a website that the NSA is able to exploit, the agency’s surveillance sensors alert the TURBINE system, which then “shoots” data packets at the targeted computer’s IP address within a fraction of a second.
In one man-on-the-side technique, codenamed QUANTUMHAND, the agency disguises itself as a fake Facebook server. When a target attempts to log in to the social media site, the NSA transmits malicious data packets that trick the target’s computer into thinking they are being sent from the real Facebook. By concealing its malware within what looks like an ordinary Facebook page, the NSA is able to hack into the targeted computer and covertly siphon out data from its hard drive.
The documents show that QUANTUMHAND became operational in October 2010, after being successfully tested by the NSA against about a dozen targets.
According to Matt Blaze, a surveillance and cryptography expert at the University of Pennsylvania, it appears that the QUANTUMHAND technique is aimed at targeting specific individuals. But he expresses concerns about how it has been covertly integrated within Internet networks as part of the NSA’s automated TURBINE system.
“As soon as you put this capability in the backbone infrastructure, the software and security engineer in me says that’s terrifying,” Blaze says.
“Forget about how the NSA is intending to use it. How do we know it is working correctly and only targeting who the NSA wants? And even if it does work correctly, which is itself a really dubious assumption, how is it controlled?”
In an email statement to The Intercept, Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said the company had “no evidence of this alleged activity.” He added that Facebook implemented HTTPS encryption for users last year, making browsing sessions less vulnerable to malware attacks.
Nancarrow also pointed out that other services besides Facebook could have been compromised by the NSA. “If government agencies indeed have privileged access to network service providers,” he said, “any site running only [unencrypted] HTTP could conceivably have its traffic misdirected.”
A man-in-the-middle attack is a similar but slightly more aggressive method that can be used by the NSA to deploy its malware. It refers to a hacking technique in which the agency covertly places itself between computers as they are communicating with each other.
This allows the NSA not only to observe and redirect browsing sessions, but to modify the content of data packets that are passing between computers.
The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party. The same technique is sometimes used by criminal hackers to defraud people.
A top-secret NSA presentation from 2012 reveals that the agency developed a man-in-the-middle capability called SECONDDATE to “influence real-time communications between client and server” and to “quietly redirect web-browsers” to NSA malware servers called FOXACID. In October, details about the FOXACID system were reported by the Guardian, which revealed its links to attacks against users of the Internet anonymity service Tor.
But SECONDDATE is tailored not only for “surgical” surveillance attacks on individual suspects. It can also be used to launch bulk malware attacks against computers.
According to the 2012 presentation, the tactic has “mass exploitation potential for clients passing through network choke points.”
Blaze, the University of Pennsylvania surveillance expert, says the potential use of man-in-the-middle attacks on such a scale “seems very disturbing.” Such an approach would involve indiscriminately monitoring entire networks as opposed to targeting individual suspects.
“The thing that raises a red flag for me is the reference to ‘network choke points,’” he says. “That’s the last place that we should be allowing intelligence agencies to compromise the infrastructure – because that is by definition a mass surveillance technique.”
To deploy some of its malware implants, the NSA exploits security vulnerabilities in commonly used Internet browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.
The agency’s hackers also exploit security weaknesses in network routers and in popular software plugins such as Flash and Java to deliver malicious code onto targeted machines.
The implants can circumvent anti-virus programs, and the NSA has gone to extreme lengths to ensure that its clandestine technology is extremely difficult to detect. An implant named VALIDATOR, used by the NSA to upload and download data to and from an infected machine, can be set to self-destruct – deleting itself from an infected computer after a set time expires.
In many cases, firewalls and other security measures do not appear to pose much of an obstacle to the NSA. Indeed, the agency’s hackers appear confident in their ability to circumvent any security mechanism that stands between them and compromising a computer or network. “If we can get the target to visit us in some sort of web browser, we can probably own them,” an agency hacker boasts in one secret document. “The only limitation is the ‘how.’”
The TURBINE implants system does not operate in isolation.
It is linked to, and relies upon, a large network of clandestine surveillance “sensors” that the agency has installed at locations across the world.
The NSA’s headquarters in Maryland are part of this network, as are eavesdropping bases used by the agency in Misawa, Japan and Menwith Hill, England.
The sensors, codenamed TURMOIL, operate as a sort of high-tech surveillance dragnet, monitoring packets of data as they are sent across the Internet.
When TURBINE implants exfiltrate data from infected computer systems, the TURMOIL sensors automatically identify the data and return it to the NSA for analysis. And when targets are communicating, the TURMOIL system can be used to send alerts or “tips” to TURBINE, enabling the initiation of a malware attack.
The NSA identifies surveillance targets based on a series of data “selectors” as they flow across Internet cables. These selectors, according to internal documents, can include email addresses, IP addresses, or the unique “cookies” containing a username or other identifying information that are sent to a user’s computer by websites such as Google, Facebook, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Twitter.
Other selectors the NSA uses can be gleaned from unique Google advertising cookies that track browsing habits, unique encryption key fingerprints that can be traced to a specific user, and computer IDs that are sent across the Internet when a Windows computer crashes or updates.
What’s more, the TURBINE system operates with the knowledge and support of other governments, some of which have participated in the malware attacks.
Classification markings on the Snowden documents indicate that NSA has shared many of its files on the use of implants with its counterparts in the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance – the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
GCHQ, the British agency, has taken on a particularly important role in helping to develop the malware tactics. The Menwith Hill satellite eavesdropping base that is part of the TURMOIL network, located in a rural part of Northern England, is operated by the NSA in close cooperation with GCHQ.
Top-secret documents show that the British base – referred to by the NSA as “MHS” for Menwith Hill Station – is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant “exploitation” attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail.
In one document dated 2010, at least five variants of the QUANTUM hacking method were listed as being “operational” at Menwith Hill. The same document also reveals that GCHQ helped integrate three of the QUANTUM malware capabilities – and test two others – as part of a surveillance system it operates codenamed INSENSER.
GCHQ cooperated with the hacking attacks despite having reservations about their legality. One of the Snowden files, previously disclosed by Swedish broadcaster SVT, revealed that as recently as April 2013, GCHQ was apparently reluctant to get involved in deploying the QUANTUM malware due to “legal/policy restrictions.” A representative from a unit of the British surveillance agency, meeting with an obscure telecommunications standards committee in 2010, separately voiced concerns that performing “active” hacking attacks for surveillance “may be illegal” under British law.
Whatever the legalities of the United Kingdom and United States infiltrating computer networks, the Snowden files bring into sharp focus the broader implications. Under cover of secrecy and without public debate, there has been an unprecedented proliferation of aggressive surveillance techniques. One of the NSA’s primary concerns, in fact, appears to be that its clandestine tactics are now being adopted by foreign rivals, too.
“Hacking routers has been good business for us and our 5-eyes partners for some time,” notes one NSA analyst in a top-secret document dated December 2012. “But it is becoming more apparent that other nation states are honing their skillz [sic] and joining the scene.”
First of all, don’t you hate it when black suit and dark glasses wearing government geek enforcer drones try talking cool or hip? ‘Skillz’? Seriously? FO’SHIZZLE dat be like my Cracker White Irish azz getting all Snoop Dogg/Lion up in your grill dog! You dig?
Ahem! Where wuz I be at? OK, I’m sorry, seriously now-
After reading that article I defy any of my detractors who have found fault with my Cyber Security Alerts or comments on Personal Privacy Infringement to tell me again I’m paranoid. It’s abundantly clear to me the virtual gene is out of the bottle and we can never hope to get him back in there. Once again the rate of our technological advances has far outstripped our advancement in morality, laws and our ability/commitment to protect ourselves from our own government. NO WONDER they want your guns when they are afraid of us finding out about crap like this!
How Do You Brainwash A Liberal?
With an Enema!