Bangladesh’s central bank became more vulnerable to hackers when technicians from SWIFT, the global financial network, connected a new bank transaction system to SWIFT messaging three months before a $81 million cyber heist, Bangladeshi police and a bank official alleged.
The technicians introduced the vulnerabilities when they connected SWIFT to Bangladesh’s first real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system, said Mohammad Shah Alam, the head of the criminal investigation department of the Bangladesh police who is leading the probe into one of the biggest cyber-heists in the world.
“We found a lot of loopholes,” Alam said in an interview in Dhaka. “The changes caused much more risk for Bangladesh Bank.”
He and a senior central bank official said the SWIFT employees made missteps in connecting the RTGS to the central bank’s messaging platform.
The technicians did not appear to have followed their own procedures to ensure the system was secure, according to the Bangladesh Bank official, who said he was not authorized to publicly comment because of the ongoing investigation.
It’s not exactly great filmmaking, but it does show how he has to give up his electronics and sign a document before entering the room (quickly, so as not to allow anyone to see what’s in there). And then he comes back out after being handed a document saying that it’s also against the law for him to copy down anything from the draft text verbatim. He expresses his concern about how ridiculous this is and is told to take it up with someone else, who then tells him that he should be happy that MEPs can even view the document at all within the EU Parliament, and that this is a “great achievement.”
This is, of course, already pretty ridiculous. And then it got more ridiculous because the European Parliament demanded that Flanagan take down the video, something he is refusing to do:
— Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (@lukeming) May 4, 2016
According to a news report, the EU Parliament claims it wants the video taken down to protect the name of a staffer, but Flanagan points out that staffer names are already public.
(video mirrored from youtube)
Trump correctly says that Putin respects strength. But of course Putin prefers weakness, which is what Trump offers. As Putin understands perfectly well, the president of the United States has standing in Russia, and enjoys far superior power to the president of Russia, only insofar as he or she mobilizes the moral and political resources of a rule-of-law state. It is precisely Trump’s pose of strength that reveals his crucial vulnerability. As anyone familiar with Russian politics understands, an American president who shuns alliances with fellow democracies, praises dictators, and prefers “deals” to the rule of law would be a very easy mark in Moscow. It is unclear how much money Trump has, but it is not enough to matter in Russia. If he keeps up his pose as the tough billionaire, he will be flattered by the Russian media, scorned by those who matter in Russia, and then easily crushed by men far richer and smarter than he.
Putin has been accordingly circumspect in his return of Trump’s wooing. For him Trump is a small man who might gain great power. The trick is to manipulate the small man and thereby neutralize the great power. In his annual press conference last December, after hearing six months of praise from Trump, Putin said that he welcomed Trump’s idea of placing US-Russian relations on a more solid basis, and characterized Trump as “flamboyant, talented, without a doubt”. It is hard to miss the ambiguity of “flamboyant”, but Trump chose to miss it.
The next day Trump seemed pleased. Perhaps having been misadvised about what Putin actually said, Trump said that, “When people call you brilliant it’s always good”. After suggesting that killing journalists was normal, he concluded warmly that “I’ve always felt fine about Putin, I think that, you know, he’s a strong leader, he’s a powerful leader, he’s represented his country”. Not long after that, Trump defended Putin from the official British inquiry into the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko. Trump’s reasoning was that Putin “said he didn’t do it”. In March Trump said that Putin was a stronger leader than the president of the United States. For a crumb of praise from Putin, Trump has presented criminality as normal and sold out his own head of state.
Intriguingly, the source hinted that prominent media outlets were approached and offered the trove of data before Süddeutsche Zeitung and the ICIJ, but turned it down. (We’ve written here about how the leak to Süddeutsche Zeitung happened.) Wikileaks, too, apparently showed no interest.
“The media has failed,” the source said. “Many news networks are cartoonish parodies of their former selves, individual billionaires appear to have taken up newspaper ownership as a hobby, limiting coverage of serious matters concerning the wealthy, and serious investigative journalists lack funding.”
“The impact is real: in addition to Süddeutsche Zeitung and ICIJ, and despite explicit claims to the contrary, several major media outlets did have editors review documents from the Panama Papers. They chose not to cover them.
“The sad truth is that among the most prominent and capable media organizations in the world there was not a single one interested in reporting on the story. Even Wikileaks didn’t answer its tip line repeatedly.”
On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked her outright: “Have you been contacted — or your representatives contacted — by the FBI to set up an interview” over her e-mail mess?
Clinton gave a flat “no.”
Two days later, news broke that the FBI has already interviewed Clinton’s closest confidant, Huma Abedin, and other top aides. And officials close to the probe say Hillary’s to be interviewed in the next few weeks — which means she’s surely been contacted.
Not technically a lie, because they contacted her team of lawyers, and not her representatives. Nita Lowey (D) is the Representative for New York’s 17th district. I highly doubt the FBI is contacting her. And Huma is more like a close friend than a representative, so she doesn’t count. Or the FBI didn’t contact anyone, just a person working with the FBI.
Or maybe it depends upon what the meaning of the word “is” is.
Think of the gear you can’t live without: The smartphone you constantly check. The camera that goes with you on every vacation. The TV that serves as a portal to binge-watching and -gaming. Each owes its influence to one model that changed the course of technology for good.
It’s those devices we’re recognizing in this list of the 50 most influential gadgets of all time.
A good list to have long arguments over with a pint of beer in hand…
So be warned.
Under ordinary circumstances, naming a polar research ship after the naturalist David Attenborough would have made perfect sense.
But these were not ordinary circumstances, because in announcing on Friday that the vessel would carry Mr. Attenborough’s name, the Science Ministry in Britain chose to disregard the opinion of the 124,000 people who voted for a different name in an online poll: Boaty McBoatface.
If the people’s will was ignored, their voice was heard: The name Boaty McBoatface will live on as a high-tech remotely operated submarine that will collect data and samples.
“We’re ensuring that the Boaty name lives on through the sub-sea vehicle that will support the research crew,” Mr. Johnson said.
And it’s a mindset that believes that less government is the highest good no matter what. It’s a mindset that says environmental rules designed to keep your water clean or your air clean are optional, or not that important, or unnecessarily burden businesses or taxpayers. It’s an ideology that undervalues the common good, says we’re all on our own and what’s in it for me, and how do I do well, but I’m not going to invest in what we need as a community. And, as a consequence, you end up seeing an underinvestment in the things that we all share that make us safe, that make us whole, that give us the ability to pursue our own individual dreams. So we underinvest in pipes underground. We underinvest in bridges that we drive on, and the roads that connect us, and the schools that move us forward.
And this is part of the attitude, this is part of the mindset: We especially underinvest when the communities that are put at risk are poor, or don’t have a lot of political clout and so are not as often heard in the corridors of power.
And this kind of thinking — this myth that government is always the enemy; that forgets that our government is us — it’s us; that it’s an extension of us, ourselves — that attitude is as corrosive to our democracy as the stuff that resulted in lead in your water. Because what happens is it leads to systematic neglect. It leads to carelessness and callousness. It leads to a lot of hidden disasters that you don’t always read about and aren’t as flashy, but that over time diminish the life of a community and make it harder for our young people to succeed.
For the first time in a federal case, a suspect has been ordered to use her fingerprint to unlock her iPhone using Touch ID. The LA Times reports that a federal judge signed a warrant allowing the FBI to compel a suspect in an identity theft case to to unlock the phone just 45 minutes after her arrest.
Next up: a “distress” fingerprint – unlock it with the “wrong” finger and the device wipes itself.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t even begin to learn programming until he got a tutor at 11 years old – so he may have met his match in a 10-year-old Finnish schoolboy who has received a $10,000 bounty from Facebook after finding a vulnerability in Instagram’s code.
A poorly-named Wi-Fi hotspot sparked a security scare on a Qantas flight and prompted about 50 terrified passengers to refuse to fly.
The hotspot name – Mobile Detonation Device — was spotted by a female passenger who saw it on her phone’s Wi-Fi menu before the plane left Melbourne airport.
‘Airbus A330 Navigation’ or ‘Airbus A330 Maintenance’ would have scared me more..
German media say 240 pages of text from secret transatlantic free trade talks obtained by Greenpeace show that the US is pressuring the EU.
Washington was blocking European car exports into the US to force the 508-million-population EU to buy more environmentally risky US farm produce, claimed the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (SZ) newspaper and two German public television channels.
Greenpeace said it would publish the material later on Monday, contrary to strict secrecy maintained by US and EU negotiating teams during three years of talks on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Greenpeace on Sunday said it was in possession of leaked documents showing that a planned huge free trade deal between the United States and the European Union poses “major risks for climate, environment and consumer safety”.
The campaign group said it would on Monday publish 248 pages of classified documents to “shine a light” on negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an ambitious treaty both sides want completed by year-end but which is facing mounting opposition.
The leaked pages will be published online at 0900 GMT, Greenpeace said in a statement.
It says the cache—obtained by Greenpeace Netherlands—represents two-thirds of the TTIP draft text as of the latest round of talks in April, and covers a range of issues from telecoms to food and agriculture and trade barriers.
“These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the centre of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health,” said Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss.
A South African pastor allegedly took several selfies while “visiting heaven” on Easter Sunday, but claims his phone was stolen after a public outcry for proof.
According to Patheos, Paseka Motsoeneng, or “Pastor Mboro,” said he “ascended to heaven “ for two weeks and took photos with his Samsung Galaxy S5. Upon returning to Earth, he promised to share the pictures, but for a price.
Mboro said to anyone who wanted to see the images, they must make a “pledge” of about $340 or 5,000 rand to his church. Following backlash from the public, he promoted the photos on Facebook and offered them up for free.
However on Tuesday, he said the phone was stolen at a local car wash.
Next up he will claim to be translating golden plates in a hat.
Most of you will have heard of Nyan Cat before. A similar number will know that there is a ten-hour version on YouTube. What you probably didn’t know is that there is a ten-hour video of someone watching that ten-hour version. What you almost definitely didn’t know is that there’s a ten-hour video of someone watching someone else watch ten hours of Nyan Cat.
Using modern technology, political scientists at UCLA and Vanderbilt University, are running an experiment to see how ads focusing on gender affect people. Every week they send 1,000 people ads to watch and rate in real time on their computers using tools from several tech companies. A few weeks ago they tested the now-famous “Quotes” ad, which simply consists of women quoting Donald Trump’s statements on women. The ad made 83% of the people who saw it angry and decreased Trump’s net favorability by a massive 22 points. Expect Hillary Clinton to be running variants of this ad until November.
The other side of the coin is positive ads by Clinton showing that she is a strong woman. It had much less impact and many people didn’t like the ads. It lowered her unfavorability by 10 points but raised her favorability by only one point.
Imagine you are Hillary Clinton’s media director and you have absorbed the message: negative ads against Trump are very effective; positive ads for your candidate have much less effect. What would you do? Trump doesn’t need a study by two professors to tell him to go negative. That’s all he knows. Be sure you have your mud goggles on before turning on the TV this fall. (V)
I get 20 sales calls a day at least, as our organization is relatively large. All of them are unsolicited, and they use shady tactics to make it past the receptionist.
So yesterday, in the middle of a team meeting, an emergency call came through the IT support hotline, interrupting our meeting. One of our help desk guys picks up and it’s a sales guy claiming that he had just been chatting with me, the IT Director, and wanted to be transferred through so he could “finish the conversation.”
This was obviously untrue, as I had just arrived in the office, and I don’t take sales calls. The help desk guy asked if I wanted him passed through to my voicemail, and I said: “I’d prefer that you transfer them straight to hell instead. In fact, we should have a special queue called Hell, playing the most obnoxious music over and over again.” The guys start joking: “It could be playing Barney.” “It could be playing ‘The Song that Never Ends’.” “It could be playing a detuned or desynchronized version of a Smash Mouth song.”
Our seasoned help desk vet says: “I have just the thing!” and plays the most god-awful song I’ve heard in my life. Everything in the department stops, and then everyone busts out laughing. We are actually a well-oiled IT team – we’ve worked together for years. My background is in film soundtracks and audio production, and my senior network admin’s is in broadcast radio audio engineering.
With a 520 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, the Apple Watch packs a lot of computing horsepower into a very small package. On paper, its processor alone is about twenty-five times faster than the average 386, and 512 MB was the size of a hard drive in the mid nineties, not memory. As a result, I was feeling confident that the Apple Watch had the ability to run one of the most revered desktop operating systems Redmond has ever produced.
A PowerPoint presentation was prepared by a top technology executive at Volkswagen in 2006, laying out in detail how the automaker could cheat on emissions tests in the United States.
The presentation has been discovered as part of the continuing investigations into Volkswagen, according to two people who have seen the document and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the legal action against the company. It provides the most direct link yet to the genesis of the deception at Volkswagen, which admitted late last year that 11 million vehicles worldwide were equipped with software to cheat on tests that measured pollution in emissions.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is looking for a “secure messaging and transaction platform” that would use the standard encryption and security features of current messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, or Ricochet, but also use a decentralized Blockchain-like backbone structure that would be more resilient to surveillance and cyberattacks.
DARPA’s goal is to have “a secure messaging system that can provide repudiation or deniability, perfect forward and backward secrecy, time to live/self delete for messages, one time eyes only messages, a decentralized infrastructure to be resilient to cyber-attacks, and ease of use for individuals in less than ideal situations,”
DARPA and DoD and most other government agencies need strong encryption. Law Enforcement does not.
On Thursday, the US Supreme Court approved a change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. It sounds innocuous, but the effects will be felt around the world.
Under today’s rules, US cops and FBI agents need to know where a computer is before they can get a warrant to directly hack the machine – because they have to ensure the judge and court they approach for the warrant has jurisdiction over the physical location of the computer. In other words, a district judge can’t issue a search warrant against someone or something outside her district.
Under the proposed rule change [PDF] this geographical information won’t be needed and a single search warrant can be used to authorize American crimefighters to infiltrate any PC, Mac or other device anywhere in the world.
Father Joseph Jeyapaul is a priest from India who admitted to raping two adolescent girls in Minnesota when he served the Crookston diocese from 2004 to 2005.
After being charged with the abuse, which included rape and forcing at least one of the girls to perform fellatio on him, he fled home to India, where he was eventually arrested on an Interpol warrant. He was then extradited back to Minnesota, where he admitted his heinous crimes and entered a plea bargain in which, in exchange for a lighter sentence, he copped to molestation of one of the girls.
Jeyapaul was suspended from the priesthood and served a year and a day in prison in Minnesota, then was deported back to India after his release last July.
Apparently, Jeyapaul’s rap sheet is not enough to kick him out of the priesthood for good. In February, the Vatican approved lifting his suspension from the priesthood and agreed that he could be reassigned to a new parish in India. That parish even made him the diocesan head of its commission for education.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will have “few or no benefits to the UK”, according to the only official assessment of the deal commissioned by the UK Government.
The stark warning was disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request by anti-TTIP campaigners Global Justice Now.
Campaigners filed a request to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to ask what risk assessments had been made about the treaty.
BIS said it had carried out only one such review in 2013, when the London School of Economics was commissioned to conduct a study.
The study found that TTIP would have limited political and economic benefits and may result on “meaningful economic costs in the UK”.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported accounts of unusually candid comments by an oil and natural gas industry executive, Terry Bossert, at a Pennsylvania Bar Institute gathering in Harrisburg this April.
“We heard Range Resources say it sites its shale gas wells away from large homes where wealthy people live and who might have the money to fight such drilling and fracking operations,” stated an attendee.
Terry Bossert is vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs at Range Resources, a natural gas exploration and production company. Range Resources was the first to tap into Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, in 2004, kicking off the state’s current fracking boom. Some scientists and environmentalists warn that chemicals used in fracking may contaminate the groundwater in surrounding areas, potentially harming residents.