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Archive for June 22, 2011

FBI seizes servers in brute force raid

June 22, 2011 1 comment

tgdaily

The FBI seized a number of web servers during a recent data center raid in Reston, Virginia – a facility used by the Swiss-based hosting company Digital One.

The operation knocked several web sites offline, including those run by New York publisher Curbed Network.

FBI seizes servers in brute force raid“This problem is caused by the FBI, not our company. In the night FBI [took] 3 enclosures with equipment plugged into them, possibly including your server — we cannot check it,” DigitalOne CEO Sergej Ostroumow confirmed in an official email to clients.

“After [the] FBI’s unprofessional ‘work’ we can not restart our own servers, that’s why our Web site is offline and support doesn’t work.”

Unsurprisingly, the raid has been tentatively linked to an ongoing investigation of Lulz Security.

Indeed, an unnamed government official told the New York Times the FBI was “actively investigating” LulzSec  along with suspected “affiliated” hackers.

While most Americans probably don’t really care about a few downed sites, the brute force raid executed by the Feds surely doesn’t bode well for the future.

One can’t help but wonder what comes next: mass Gmail seizures, Amazon cloud server confiscations, or perhaps entire data centers carted off in FBI trucks?

Clearly, U.S. law enforcement officials must learn how to minimize “collateral damage” to neutral civilian infrastructure during cyber-related raids. 

If they don’t, such operations could potentially be as disruptive as those executed by hostile digital infiltrators.

Rather ironic, don’t you think?

Flood of US weapons in Afghanistan and Pakistan fueling militant groups, experts say

June 22, 2011 Comments off
Pakistan us weapons smuggling 2011 6 21

Local residents walk past a burning NATO supply truck after an attack by gunmen on the outskirts of Quetta on June 19, 2011. (Banaras Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Some of the U.S. weapons bound for U.S. and Afghan troops in Afghanistan are being stolen, landing instead in the hands of those they are meant to be used against, and fueling militant groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistani officials say.

These weapons — which are typically snatched from Afghan troops during raids or sold by them to the Pakistani Taliban after they defect, are easily available in black markets in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

Some weapons, along with other military-issue supplies, are also being seized by Taliban militants in attacks on NATO convoys passing through Pakistan on their way to resuply soldiers in Afghanistan. Although such raids have been taking place for years, the Pakistani Taliban appear to have widened the zone where they are willing to operate, attacking NATO trucks in major cities as well, including in the capital of Islamabad as recently as June 9.

An estimated one-third of the supplies bound for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan travel by land from Read more…

Solar Activity Intensifying

June 22, 2011 2 comments

Dr. Mark Sircus, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

On June 7th, Dr. C. Alex Young from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center woke to an email from a friend saying, “I have never seen anything like this before.”  There are many things happening around us that we have not seen before, but when it happens on the sun certain people take notice. On the 7th the sun produced a prominence eruption and Dr. Young had never seen such a spectacular event, which luckily did not affect the Read more…

N. Korea imports Chinese riot gear

June 22, 2011 Comments off

upi

PYONGYANG, North Korea, June 22 (UPI) — North Korea has imported large quantities of Chinese riot gear, apparently to put down uprisings similar to those in Arab nations, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

Separately, a South Korean ruling party lawmaker, quoting the country’s spy chief, said Wednesday various policy blunders have hurt North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s leadership and affected the prospects of his heir apparent son, Kim Jong Un, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Citing a source it did not identify, the Chosun Ilbo said the North’s riot gear imports included tear gas, shields and helmets from China. The Communist country also is trying to get bulletproof vests and barricade materials.

“The regime seems to be very afraid of popular riots after the botched currency reform and the Read more…

Sudan’s Bashir threatens to turn off oil pipelines

June 22, 2011 Comments off

sudantribune

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir on Tuesday threatened to shut down the pipelines that transfer oil from the landlocked South to Port Sudan on the Red Sea unless a revenue sharing deal is reached by next month.

JPEG - 30.9 kb
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir addresses supporters in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea State June 21, 2011 (Reuters)

South Sudan is a little over two weeks away from declaring its independence officially which came after the referendum held last January which resulted in an almost unanimous vote in favor of secession from the North.

But several contentious post-referendum arrangements have yet to be agreed on between the ex-foes mainly including border demarcation, citizenship, splitting national debt and oil sharing. The latter is a sensitive issue as both sides are largely dependent on oil proceeds to fund their budgets.

The ruling National Congress Parity (NCP) and Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) are negotiating a Read more…

Should We Label GMO Foods?

June 22, 2011 Comments off

stopagingnow

A hundred years ago, pretty much all of the food Americans ate was essentially organic and local – and not surprisingly, much more nutritious. But with the advent of Big Agra and industrialized food production, we moved towards a food supply heavily modified for higher yields and higher profits. First came pesticides, which U.S. farmers began using just after World War II. Then came genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The first genetically modified food crop was introduced in 1994, and since then, the introduction of new GMO crops has accelerated at an alarming rate.

Throughout these changes, very little consideration has been given to food labeling, and by and large, consumers have had no idea to what extent the food they buy is contaminated with pesticides or genetically modified. Ironically enough, we now label Read more…

Monster Chinese Telescope the Next ET Hunter?

June 22, 2011 Comments off

discovery

Fast-china-radio-telescope

In radio astronomy, the bigger the telescope, the better. And in 2016, the Chinese are expected to blow the international radio telescope competition out of the water with the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST).

Construction has begun in the Guizhou Province in southern China where the world’s largest single dish radio telescope will take up residency in a natural depression in the landscape, not dissimilar to the world-famous Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. However, FAST will be bigger, faster and Read more…

Chile’s Puyehue volcano spews lava

June 22, 2011 Comments off

news.smh.com

Lava has begun spilling from Chile’s Puyehue volcano, 18 days after it first erupted, but there’s no danger to nearby residents, according to the National Service of Geology and Mining.

But the ash cloud created by the eruption continues to wreak havoc on airlines around the world.

The Chilean airline LAN cancelled flights to Temuco and Valdivia in the south of the country, and a number of flights were suspended in Australia and New Zealand.

“Viscous lava has flowed slowly westward in a channel roughly 50 metres wide and 100 metres long,” the national geology service known as SERNAGEOMIN said in its latest report.

Last week, SERNAGEOMIN chief Enrique Valdivieso said the appearance of lava would signal Read more…

China’s inflation to accelerate as food costs rise

June 22, 2011 Comments off

smh

China’s top economic planning agency said inflation will accelerate this month, bolstering analysts’ forecasts for the rate to reach 6 percent, the highest level since July 2008.

“The overall level of prices remains high and inflation will remain elevated for some months although the overall situation is controllable,” the National Development and Reform Commission said on its website today.

China has raised interest rates four times since September, limited bank lending and boosted food supplies as rising prices threaten to fuel social unrest. The Shanghai Composite Index has fallen more than 13 per cent from this year’s April high on concern that tightening measures will drag down growth.

“Inflation is going to be stubbornly high in 2011 and it’s largely a food story,” said Tim Condon, head of Asia research at ING Groep NV in Singapore. Authorities may be reluctant to keep Read more…

Surprise! TSA Is Searching Your Car, Subway, Ferry, Bus, AND Plane

June 22, 2011 Comments off

motherjones

Scott Ableman/FlickrScott Ableman/FlickrThink you could avoid the TSA’s body scanners and pat-downs by taking Amtrak? Think again. Even your daily commute isn’t safe from TSA screenings. And because the TSA is working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol, you may have your immigration status examined along with your “junk“.

As part of the TSA’s request for FY 2012 funding, TSA Administrator John Pistole told Congress last week that the TSA conducts 8,000 unannounced security screenings every year. These screenings, conducted with local law enforcement agencies as well as immigration, can be as simple as checking out cargo at a busy seaport. But more and more, they seem to involve giving airport-style pat-downs and screenings of unsuspecting passengers at bus terminals, ferries, and even subways.

These surprise visits are part of the TSA’s VIPR program: Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response. The VIPR program first started doing searches in Read more…

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