Sunday, February 17, 2013

Technics: 2/3 banks in USA: bear brunt of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacls

Can you imagine the panic in a bank when it realizes that it is under attack from a hi-ly organized crew of cyberattack hactivists who are onto the fact that the bank is using its firewalls as the first line of defense against them?  The worst of the attacks are of two kinds:  Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) where the bank can't perform its functions over its internet technology system to service customers, government obligations, or inter-bank operations; and Zero-Day attacks which bring into action a previously unknown vulnerablilty of its system, a latent vulnerablity that the attacker has located and is exploiting.  Altho the article below is an infomercial, it provides strong visualization of its argument with mention of endorsements and awards, etc, at Corero Network Security.  Many businesses have to be aware that not only free-lance IT anarchists are at work on these mess-you-up projects, but also sophisticated competitive businesses who want to bring you down and keep you down as competitors, even tho your products may be superior to theirs.  Their hired mischief-making hactivists are superior to your outdated cyberdefenses (which are probably based on firewalls, which the hacktivists know how to circumnavigate).

Technowlb, refWrite Backpage technics newspotter, analyst, columnist

Dark Reading (Feb17,2k13) Protect the business, Enable access

Two-Thirds of Banks Hit By Cyberattack In Past 12 Months

Inadequate technology and insufficient personnel cited as the key obstacles to preventing attacks
Jan 22, 2013 | 02:46 PM |  0 Comments

Hudson, Massachusetts, USA, January 22, 2013 - More than two thirds (64%) of IT & IT security practitioners reported that their banks have suffered at least one Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in the last 12 months, according to independent research commissioned by Corero Network Security (CNS: LN), a leading provider of network and application layer DDoS defense products. The research of 650 IT and IT security practioners at 351 banks, including from some of the largest in the world, also revealed that 78% of those surveyed believed that DDoS attacks will continue or significantly increase in 2013, leaving them vulnerable to cyber attacks that could lead to downtime and compromised data.
Conducted by the Ponemon Institute, almost half of respondents (48%) said their banks had suffered multiple DDoS attacks in the past 12 months. They stated that along with DDoS attacks, Zero-Day attacks, an attack that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability, are considered to be the most severe security threats. Among the key barriers impacting banks ability to deal with DDoS attacks, 50% cited insufficient personnel and expertise and a lack of effective security technology as the most serious concerns, followed by insufficient budget resources.
Despite the recognition that the threat of DDoS attacks is not abating, the survey revealed that banks are still predominately relying on previously deployed traditional technology, in particular firewalls (35%) to protect their organisation from today's sophisticated attacks.
"The belief that traditional perimeter security technologies such as firewalls are able to protect against today's DDoS attacks is lulling not only financial institutions but organizations across every sector into a false sense of security," said Marty Meyer, President of Corero. "Many Organizations assume traditional firewalls can provide protection against DDoS and Zero-Day exploits at the perimeter, yet this is not what they were designed to do and therefore attacks are still getting through. Organizations need to add First Line of Defense solutions that can provide this protection and are able to remove all of the 'noise' at the perimeter before it hits the network so that firewalls and servers can optimally work on the functions they were originally designed for. "
The findings add further support to the trend that hacktivist groups proactively target banks with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Capital One and others again allegedly being actively targeted with DDoS attacks since the end of 2012.
"It really comes as no surprise that DDoS attacks are one of the most severe security risks cited by the banking industry and these results clearly demonstrate the level to which they are being targeted on a continued basis" said Dr. Larry Ponemon, Chairman and Founder of the Ponemon Institute. "When such an attack occurs, the time and efforts of IT staff are devoted to dealing with the problem instead of managing other IT operational and security priorities. This leaves financial institutions open to more dangerous attacks that further compromise their infrastructure"
To download the full report, please go HERE
About Corero Network Security:
Corero Network Security (CNS:LN), an organization's First Line of Defence, is an international network security company and the leading provider of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) defense and next generation security solutions. As the First Line of Defense, Corero's products and services stop DDoS and server targeted attacks, protect IT infrastructure and eliminate downtime. Customers include enterprises, service providers and government organizations worldwide. Corero's solutions are dynamic and automatically respond to evolving cyber attacks, known and unknown, allowing existing IT infrastructure -- such as firewalls -- to perform their intended purposes. Corero's products are transparent, highly scalable and feature the lowest latency and highest reliability in the industry. Corero is headquartered in Hudson, Massachusetts with offices around the world. For more information on Corero's First Line of Defense products, visit:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PoliticsUSA: Navy Seal who shot Bin Laden: Now can't earn a living

The Obama administration apparently has thrown its assassin to the dogs after a successful mission.  It's hard to think of a government leadership that can be so calloused.  But that seems to be just what Americans have got.

Politicarp, refWrite Frontpage politics newspotter, analyst, columnist

Esquire (Feb12,2k13)

February 11, 2013, 6:00 AM

The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed

For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced and skilled warriors carry on with their lives.
The Shooter
Published in the March 2013 issue
Phil Bronstein is the former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and currently serves as executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting. This piece was reported in cooperation with CIR.

The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care.
It was a mild spring day, April 2012, and our small group, including a few of his friends and family, was shielded from the sun by the patchwork shadows of maple trees. But the Shooter was sweating as he talked about his uncertain future, his plans to leave the Navy and SEAL Team 6.
He stood up several times with an apologetic gripe about the heat, leaving a perspiration stain on the seat-back cushion. He paced. I didn't know him well enough then to tell whether a glass of his favorite single malt, Lagavulin, was making him less or more edgy.
We would end up intimately familiar with each other's lives. We'd have dinners, lots of Scotch. He's played with my kids and my dogs and been a hilarious, engaging gentleman around my wife.
In my yard, the Shooter told his story about joining the Navy at nineteen, after a girl broke his heart. To escape, he almost by accident found himself in a Navy recruiter's office. "He asked me what I was going to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be a sniper.
"He said, 'Hey, we have snipers.'
"I said, 'Seriously, dude. You do not have snipers in the Navy.' But he brought me into his office and it was a pretty sweet deal. I signed up on a whim."
"That's the reason Al Qaeda has been decimated," he joked, "because she broke my fucking heart."
I would come to know about the Shooter's hundreds of combat missions, his twelve long-term SEAL-team deployments, his thirty-plus kills of enemy combatants, often eyeball to eyeball. And we would talk for hours about the mission to get bin Laden and about how, over the celebrated corpse in front of them on a tarp in a hangar in Jalalabad, he had given the magazine from his rifle with all but three lethally spent bullets left in it to the female CIA analyst whose dogged intel work and intuition led the fighters into that night.
When I was first around him, as he talked I would always try to imagine the Shooter geared up and a foot away from bin Laden, whose life ended in the next moment with three shots to the center of his forehead. But my mind insisted on rendering the picture like a bad Photoshop job — Mao's head superimposed on the Yangtze, or tourists taking photos with cardboard presidents outside the White House.
Bin Laden was, after all, the man CIA director Leon Panetta called "the most infamous terrorist in our time," who devoured inordinate amounts of our collective cultural imagery for more than a decade. The number-one celebrity of evil. And the man in my backyard blew his lights out.
ST6 in particular is an enterprise requiring extraordinary teamwork, combined with more kinds of support in the field than any other unit in the history of the U.S. military.
Similarly, NASA marshaled thousands of people to put a man on the moon, and history records that Neil Armstrong first set his foot there, not the equally talented Buzz Aldrin.
Enough people connected to the SEALs and the bin Laden mission have confirmed for me that the Shooter was the "number two" behind the raid's point man going up the stairs to bin Laden's third-floor residence, and that he is the one who rolled through the bedroom door solo and confronted the surprisingly tall terrorist pushing his youngest wife, Amal, in front of him through the pitch-black room. The Shooter had to raise his gun higher than he expected.
Read more ...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Music: Justin Timberlake: Live performance at Hollywood Palladium sizzles

This very opinionated report leans long to the "celebrity" side of Roger Freidman's mandate, not to the showbiz side -- at least not to the musical showbiz at hand.  We get no intimation as to the musical qualities of Timberlake's singing last nite.  And that's, obviously, what JT was most focussed on.  But regarding which JT didn't get a break from the apparently tone-deaf RF.  Too bad for the reporter.  Hey, Mr Timberlake you're pissin' 'em off, just like you planned.  (8-)

Musikos, refWrite Backpage music newspotter, analyst, columnist

Justin Timberlake sizzles in hi energy show, 

but insults the media in comeback

by Roger Freidman

Showbiz * 411 (Feb11,2k13)

I  like Justin Timberlake and I enjoyed his big comeback show at the Hollywood Palladium last night. So I was a little shocked when at the end of almost two hours, Timberlake at last spoke to the audience. He said: “I love you Los Angeles, I love each and every one of you. And don’t let the stupid fucking media tell you otherwise.”
Through almost two hours of energetic dance music, Timberlake had not spoken to the wildly happy crowd of 4,000-plus fans–most of whom were jammed like sardines onto the floor of the Palladium. Some, like yours truly, were up in the balcony where there were leather benches to sit on. The bass was so overdone that the benches shook as if they were vibrating furniture from the Sharper Image.
But the audience didn’t seem to mind the lack of modulation or communication. They loved everything Timberlake did, whether it was a hit like “Cry Me a River” or “Rock Your Body,” faithful covers of the Jacksons’ “Shake Your Body,” or INXS’s “I Need You Tonight.” Timberlake, dressed in a sharp suit and untied bowtie, very Rat Pack, channeled Michael Jackson, Prince and Robin Thicke, as well as a little Daryl Hall. He avoided doing any ballads, which is too bad, because it would be nice now to hear his voice challenged. He can do it. He has the chops.
Timberlake also failed to show his sense of humor, or any of the wit that we’ve seen on “Saturday Night Live” [TV humour show] Again, this was a surprise. He just delivered the songs, one after another, without comment. He also makes a near fatal mistake by using a guitar and a piano as props he’s supposedly playing. He’d be better off sticking to singing. Elton John or Billy Joel, he clearly isn’t. And just as he did years ago, he insists on playing his guitar with his back to the audience. I would just drop all this aritifice and stick to what he does best.
Jay Z and Timbaland were special guests last night. Justin will announce a tour starting in late summer of arenas, with Jay Z. I’m already buying earplugs. Jay Z is the guest star on Timberlake’s soulful single, “Suit and Tie,” which I think is a terrific record. Unfortunately, Justin performed it last night at twice its regular speed. Please, let’s hope he can that back to its proper, delicious pace. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he and Jay Z like each other. They have a natural rapport. That ticket will be very hot this summer.
I have no doubt Timberlake’s album, “The 20/20 Experience,” is going to be good. And the tour, from Live Nation, should be a huge hit after some tweaking. (How about clips from those Andy Samberg videos? Or Timberlake in skits?)
But the “stupid f—ing media” would like not to be insulted if Timberlake is going to achieve these goals. We’ve always liked him. I had no idea he hated us so much.  [Hey, Roger, don't lose your flimflam, don't take it so personally.  You may not be someone JT has in mind. -- Musikos] Where is all this anger coming from?  Maybe it’s time for a new publicist. Justin, no one thinks you don’t like your audience.
PS Seen at the show: Selena Gomez, Hunter Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris, Beyonce (Mrs, Jay Z). Mrs. T, Jessica Biel, must have been down front or backstage. Selena Gomez– I spoke with her. What a nice girl. She’s working on a new album. Her “Love You Like a Love Song” was a great single. There’s a lot to come from Selena…

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Publishing a book: From time of conception to shippping of the product: Seth Godin's graph of flashpoints

A graph with write-ups for 9 flashpoints.  In the title, "shipping" refers to an author's experience with the possiblity of her/his book being published and shipped to bookstores, beginning with the moment of conception or arrival of an "idea for a book."

-- LitCritikos, refWrite Backpage literary matters -- newspotter, analyst, columnist

Hat Tip to Byron Borger.

Seth Godin's blog (Feb9,2k13)

The roller coaster of shipping

Perhaps something like this has happened to you. Here's an annotated graph of what it's like to make a book, with 'joy' being the Y axis with time along the bottom (click to enlarge)...
1. The manic joy of invention. The idea arrives, it's shiny and perfect. I can't wait to share it.
2. The first trough of reality. Now that I've pitched the idea to someone (and I'm on the hook), the reality of what has to be done sets in precisely as the manic joy of invention disappears.
3. WaitThe epic pause of reality. It's not quite as bad as I feared. I can see a path here, maybe. I'm still in trouble, sure, but perhaps...
4. The horrible trough of stuckness. The path didn't work. The data isn't here. Critical people have said no. People in critical roles have said no. I can't find any magic. Sigh.
5. Flow. This is why we do it. The promises made as a result of #1 pushed me through the horrible trough, and the lights are coming on and my forward motion, my relentless forward motion, may just be contagious. Let's not talk about this, because I don't want it to dissipate.
6. The pre-publication lizard-brain second-guess. I see the notes that have come back to me, all that red pen, the not-quite-ebullient look on the face of a trusted reader. I am sniffing everywhere for clues of impending doom, and yes, there they are.
7. The realization that it's good enough. This is the local max, but not the universal one. Optimists welcome. It's not perfect, but it's going to ship, and good luck to it.
8. Post-partum ennui. "Why haven't you read my book yet?"
9. Life. And this is the long haul, the book in the world, the hearing about a book you wrote ten years ago that's still impacting people. The crepe paper grand opening bunting has been taken down and there is no one left to write a snarky review, because the book is on its own, touching, spreading and being.
And then, sometimes, #1 happens again. Or not. 

History: Annah Arendt: A glimpse thru the lens of Danish filmaker Margarethe von Trotta

Hannah Arendt was a sociopolitical philosopher who became involved, as a reporter for the New Yorker magazine, in the famous Eichman trial.  I most appreciated this glimpse of her as an historical personage, and of her own most famous moment -- whether the also-famous and controversial film director Margarethe von Trotta's interpretation is the best or no.  The movie appears in this video as very good work.

-- Videoviewer, refWrite Backpage video newspotter, analyst, and columnist

YouTube (Feb9,2k13)