On Data gathering, life. hacking by CIA and Wikileaks.

A tweet can contain up to 140 characters, a limit that is now relaxed, but if each character takes up 8 bits of information (one byte), the it can be said, a tweet is 140 bytes.

The  Authorized version of the King James Bible contains 3,116,480 characters, or about 22,260 tweets. Some people have tweeted that much!

But all the information in the KJV pales compared to the information in every cell of the human body. The numbers will get large, so let us learn about large numbers

One kilobyte is 1000 bytes, Megabyte is 1000 Kb or 1000,000 bytes, Gigabyte is 1000 Mb or 1,000,000,000 bytes, Terabyte is 1000 Gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, Petabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, Exabyte is 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes,  Zettabyte is 1000 Exabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, —Yottabyte is 1000 Zettabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Back to how much data is in our body. We have about 3,2 billion DNA genome pairs in every cell in our body. there are 4 types, so each pair can be packed into 2 bits, which means every cell in our body contains 800 Megabytes of data, the information equivalent of 250 King James Bibles. Giving there are about 37 trillion cells in our body plus about one quadrillion bacteria in our gut the total amount of information in our body is about 30 Exabytes, most of it duplicated, but yet. In addition, all plants and animals contain DNA, so the total information in the world is staggering, far exceeding the term Yottabyte.

If you are an atheist or true believer in evolution that all this came about by chance plus time plus nothing, especially no sign of intelligent design, the math doesn’t add up.

In 2001 the New York City twin towers were destroyed through a terror attack, and the U.S. response was to collect data to capture terrorists before they could attack. The NSA started to monitor all electronic communication through a program called Prism, starting in earnest in 2007, see fig:

This is in part taking place in a large data center in Utah, housing, it is rumored up to one Yottabyte of collected data.  What type of data do they collect? Check this figure:

The question is this: How much of this is linked to terror?

Then, today I found out via Wikileaks that NSA is not alone is spying on us.

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs

CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).

The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.

The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.

Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA’s arsenal includes numerous local and remote “zero days” developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop. The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majority of the world’s smart phones (~85%) including Samsung, HTC and Sony. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA’s Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”.

Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA’s Network Devices Branch (NDB).

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB’s “HIVE” and the related “Cutthroat” and “Swindle” tools, which are described in the examples section below.

CIA ‘hoarded’ vulnerabilities (“zero days”)

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.

Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.

The U.S. government’s commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities. The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.

“Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities (“zero days”) possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability. As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.

The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers. By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone  at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.

‘Cyberwar’ programs are a serious proliferation risk

Cyber ‘weapons’ are not possible to keep under effective control.

While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain.

Cyber ‘weapons’ are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.

Securing such ‘weapons’ is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces — sometimes by using the very same ‘weapons’ against the organizations that contain them. There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global “vulnerability market” that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such ‘weapons’. Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such ‘weapons’ sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling ‘hacking’ services.

Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.

A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.

Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information. The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

This is where we are today.  On Saturday, President Trump found out that he had been spied upon in Trump Tower during the election. The Wikileaks revelation lends credibility to this accusation. And of course, CIA can make it appear that the hacking came from, say Russia and then put in some false software, framing the victim.

Yet, all this spyware, hacking and data gathering is simple compared to the wonder of life.

Death Valley rains lead to super bloom! A Limerick.

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:1-2)

living_prairieIt rained cats and dogs in Death Valley.

Find passable roads, Rand McNally!

See the desert in bloom;

not the feeling of doom,

a wish that is right up my alley!

In 1953 Walt Disney came out with a ground breaking movie. The name of it was “The living Desert” and showed time lapse photography of wild flowers bursting out from what looked like bare rock. My father took me as a little lad to see it in a movie theater in small town Sweden, and I was blown away. Ever since then I have wanted to see Death Valley in full bloom. Now it has happened. Death Valley is in full bloom. But, as with all blessings it comes with a price. Reading the park bulletin I see the following alerts:

Scotty’s Castle CLOSED until 2018 due to flood damage.  Alert 1 , Severity ,closure ,,Scotty’s Castle CLOSED until 2019 due to flood damage. Flooding in Grapevine Canyon from a severe thunderstorm has destroyed the road to Scotty’s Castle, damaged infrastructure and some out-buildings in the Castle complex. more

Closed Roads: Alert 1 , Severity ,closure ,,Closed Roads Titus Canyon, Emigrant Canyon, West Side, and Scotty’s Castle (also known as North Highway) Roads are closed due to snow and mud. Artists Drive is also closed. Please visit our Alerts & Conditions page by selecting “more.”  more

Weather conditions for 2/18 : Rain so far today in Death Valley, 0.66 inches, and more is expected.

For now I am reduced to admire the pictures some other people have taken:

600_447397036death-valley-super-bloom-california-03-blooms0316

 

 

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full, a song in Swedish and English.

As a little lad, my grandfather put me on his knees and sang this little lullaby. He was a skipper, having been both “on the Heat” and fishing on the banks of Iceland, so he sang it with emotions, slowly rocking as if we were sailing.

This is how I remember it.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där kommer tre vandringsmän på vägen,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där kommer tre vandringsmän på vägen.
Den ene, ack så halt,
den andre, o, så blind,
den tredje säger alls ingenting.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
på himmelen vandra tre stjärnor,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full.
på himmelen vandra tre stjärnor,
Den ene är så vit,
den andra är så röd,
den tredje är månen den gula.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där blåser tre vindar på haven,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där blåser tre vindar på haven.
På Stora Skagerack,
på lilla Kattegatt
och långt upp i Bottniska viken.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där segla tre skepp uppå vågen,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där segla tre skepp uppå vågen.
Den första är en bark,
den andra är en brigg,
den tredje har så trasiga segel.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
sjökistan har trenne figurer,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
sjökistan har trenne figurer.
Den första är vår tro,
den andra är vårt hopp,
den tredje är kärleken den röda.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
de tre äro heliga ena
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
de tre äro heliga ena.
Den förste är Gud Far,
den andre är Hans Son,
den tredje är den Helige Ande.

And now for the English translation:

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three wanderers are coming down the alley.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three wanderers are coming down the alley.
The first one, oh so limp,
the second, oh, so blind,
the third one is mute, saying nothing.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
in heaven three stars are a-wand’ring,
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
in heaven three stars are a-wand’ring,
The first one is so white,
the second is so red,
the third is the moon, bright and yellow.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three winds blowing over the oceans.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three winds blowing over the oceans.
On greater Skagerak,
on little Kattegat,
and far up in the Bothnian Bay.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three ships sailing over the ocean.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three ships sailing over the ocean.
The first one is a barque,
the second is a brigg,
the sails of the third are so tattered.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
the Seaman’s chest has triple engravings.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
the Seaman’s chest has triple engravings.
The cross is for our faith,
the anchor for our hope,
the heart is for charity the crimson.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
these three are in one that are holy.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
these three are in one and are holy.
The first is Father God,
the second is His Son,
the third is the Holy Spirit.

And here is the music score, as per Evert Taube.

ess_pastebitmap00102

Boy and girl scouting are missing their goal. How about Awana?

Many years ago I met a friend that had escaped East Germany after the war. He emigrated to U.S., met a delightful Southern Belle and fell in love. She was a faithful church goer, so before she would accept his advances she asked about his faith. He answered proudly “I am a Lutheran” to which she answered “Oh, is that’s like the Catholics?” This didn’t sit well with him, but he loved her very much, so he promised to go to church with her anyhow. He liked the people very much and felt welcome, so he became a faithful church-goer, but kept his faith to himself. They  married, got children, brought them to church, but when the church started an Awana program he drew the line. “No Awana for my children! It’s indoctrination! Their scarves reminds me of my childhood’s Hitler-youth“. This saddened his wife, but being a loyal wife, she submitted and let the children join the Boy and Girl Scouts. This went on for  years, but one time taking his daughter and two of her girl friends home after the scout meeting he happened to listen to what they were saying to each other about the meeting and many other things. The next Wednesday he came with his whole family and exclaimed “Awana, here we come” to the delight of his wife and children, since that’s where their real friends were, and this experience was also the catalyst for his salvation.

awanaThis was 35 years ago, and Awana is still going strong. The name Awana comes from 2 Timothy 2:15 Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed  and their mission statement is: God is changing the world through the ministry of Awana by equipping leaders to reach kids with the gospel and engaging them in long-term discipleship.

Meanwhile, the Boy scouts and Girl Scouts of America have taken a different route and are now even further removed from their original mission than they imageswere 35 years ago.

 

 

Scientists’ march on DC, a Limerick.

A scientists’ march on D.C. ?

It can’t apolitical be.

For they must get their grants

through political chants.

Conform or get cut, can’t you see?

Sometimes in the near future there will be yet another march on Washington. This time it is from “concerned scientists” that want to take politics out of science, be allowed to be true scientists with no biases or prejudices.  To prove the point they have laid down the ground rules for participation in the march and produced this manifesto: There are certain things that we accept as facts with no alternatives. The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action. The diversity of life arose by evolution. Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality and must be held accountable. An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world.

Let’s take a look at that manifesto. There are certain things that we accept as facts with no alternatives. What happened to scientific curiosity? Is science ever settled? Do they mean there is nothing new to discover?

The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action. Well, for once I agree. We are returning CO2 to the atmosphere in increasing amount, and that is good. If nothing else changed, the logarithmic temperature increase with increased CO2 levels would cause the earth to warm up by 0.9C for a doubling of CO2, more if there is a gain in the system, less if there is negative feedback. The gain factors are mostly due to increased evaporation from warmer oceans, the negative feedback is supplied mostly through increased clouds, coming from increased absolute humidity. (I realise there are many other factors affecting climate, but this is a start, science is by no means settled). What is observed is that the earth is getting greener, and the increased CO2 from 280 PPM to 405 PPM makes the earth able to feed another two billion people without starving, not to mention plants and animals, and also use less water in doing so. Check the figure:increaseThe growth without added fertilizers 11%, extrapolated from the beginning of burning fossil fuels to now the increase is about 42%. This is a transfer of wealth from areas burning the fuel to agricultural areas, mostly in developing countries.

The diversity of life arose by evolution. Now that is a limiting statement. While there is great evidence for adaption, a valid scientific explanation for evolution simply is not credible, apart from intelligent design. The math is not there for another explanation, the DNA code is too complicated and complete including repair codes, start and stop codes to induce aging, and with codes to allow for future adaption already built in!

Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality and must be held accountable. The number of guilty politicians are too numerous to count.

An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world. Agree. No government exemplified this more than the Obama Government.  The Trump administration will restore balance in science, no longer excel in nonsense like this from Charles Bolden  “When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he (Obama) charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering,”

Obama and Palin react to the Facebook torture of a special needs teen , a Limerick.

A special needs teen is attacked.

Obama and Palin react:

One has feelings, one not

to the evil it brought.

Dear God, we must pray, we must act!

There were two, very different reactions to the brutal Facebook video showing four African-Americans torturing a white teen with special needs in Chicago.

Obama denied that racial tensions have increased in the Windy City, his home town. He said that “smart phones and the Internet has just made such incidents more visible.

What we have seen as surfacing, I think, are a lot of the problems that have been there a long time,

President Obama Jan 5, 2017

Now contrast this with the article by Sarah Palin , January 6, 2017 in Breitbart:

“The child, yet unborn, spoke with the Father, ‘Lord, how will I survive in the world? I will not be like the other children. My walk may be slower, my speech hard to understand. I may look different. What is to become of me?’

“The Lord replied to the child, ‘My precious one, have no fear. I will give you protectors. They will love you because you are special, not in spite of it. Though your path through life will be difficult, your reward will be greater. You have been blessed with a special ability to love, and those whose lives you touch will be blessed because you are special.’”
– From an embroidered plaque sent anonymously to me when my son Trig was born

Trying to fathom what is shown in the Chicago torture video is just too much. I watched a mere few seconds of it and will watch no more. I cannot watch more. Perhaps my family and I see the torture of an innocent young man with special needs through different eyes and with a greater, undeniable sense of responsibility to help; but this story playing out today is proving unbearable.

It’s time for a screaming wake-up call, America.

My extended family discussed the tragedy last night. We concluded we do not care about arguing the legalities involved in categorizing this as a “hate crime” or not a “hate crime.” Obviously it is a hateful, hate-filled crime centering on politics and race. Proof is on tape. Debating the merits of categorizing the disgusting racist and political taunts vomited up by thugs during their brutal beating of a helpless young man is, to us, a media distraction. I leave it to others to focus on that.

My sister Heather has worked professionally in the public school system with older special needs students for decades. She and her husband have also been raising a beautiful son with autism and disabilities. My sister seems to have seen it all. Because of Heather’s years of experience in this tough arena, she could understandably have grown necessarily less emotionally reactive than others when seeing such a news report. But Heather and the family reacted with more explosive shock and disgust, mixed with such profound sadness, than perhaps expected.

She knows her precious students — and son and nephew — could never defend themselves against attacks from such evil people. That’s such common sense, though, that even the depraved creatures haughtily recording their recent brutality knew their victim was as defenseless.

Heather and family remind the public that this targeted beating by young adults is equivalent to torturing a small child. (And media: quit hiding the alleged perps, especially the reported 24-year-old, behind your deceptively descriptive term “teens”!) We’re curious to hear where our public leaders and influential pop icons are on this.

But President Obama… shush. Just shush with your reaction to this racist attack with claims that race relations have improved under your reign. That is BS. And why, even in this, do you have to make it all about you, all the time? Your suggestion yesterday that there’s some silver lining in this shows how completely out of touch you are. Attacks on the helpless and vulnerable — no matter skin color — are society’s cancer. You still don’t get it. A better reaction is to acknowledge, for one, that your pride and joy hometown of Chicago is a mess.

Further, acknowledge that you’ve helped perpetuate a culture that disrespects innocent life by pretending that babies aren’t really babies, so their lives don’t matter; by mocking special needs children on national television (as the President!); by promoting vile gangsta “artists” and their cultural depravity; and by wasting time and public resources instead of using them to better society by, for instance, creating jobs and expecting able-bodied persons to work for self-respect and responsibility instead of incentivizing a lawless, selfish, hard-hearted entitlement culture. You have no credibility when twisting this into somehow being about your “accomplishments.” You fail by making this about you.

And we all fail as protectors of the innocent when we ignore solutions to create a culture of life.

We fail when we accept the killing of defenseless babies.

We fail when we don’t properly budget public resources to afford obvious funding priorities to assist the disabled and elderly.

We fail when we allow the celebration of gangsta’ thuggery and the twisted media that always demonizes anyone with conservative values.

We fail when we retreat and capitulate to the elitist PC thought police who command that we sit down and shut up about their double standards.

We fail when we don’t hold statisticians and pundits accountable when they fake numbers and scenarios to make all cops — and all non-liberals — look like bullies and racists.

We fail when we don’t support law enforcement, and further burden them by wasting their limited time expecting them to respond and resolve every dispute that mature adults used to be able to handle themselves.

We further fail when we choose politicians in self-preservation mode who ignore basic social issues in favor of just the “safer” fiscal issues. Look, we can’t make America great again by focusing only on bureaucratic ideas to hopefully put more money in people’s pockets. Really, it’s more soul in the American life that will make us great again.

Is it politically incorrect to call on leaders — including black leaders — to proclaim this the wake-up call society needs? If so, so be it. I call on them.

Is it politically incorrect to challenge pop culture “heroes” to join in? If so, so be it. I challenge Colin Kaepernick to take a knee over this one, for this cause is based in reality.

May we all do our part to be protectors of the innocent — as God expects. Then our nation will be blessed, for our lives will be touched by special people with a special ability to love. We’ve missed that for too long.

One question: Which one cares?