Good Friday

It seems as you grow older, Holidays creep up on your before you really notice.  Today is Good Friday, the day celebrates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The coming Sunday is Easter, the Celebration of His resurrection.

My eldest grandson and his sister have no school today. They attend a private Christian school in Kansas City. When I was growing up, our schools never took Good Friday off. We did have Lincoln’s Birthday off (I grew up in Illinois), but not Good Friday and I didn’t understand why.

Many schools are off today. Not because of Good Friday, but because it’s Teacher’s Day Off. Supposedly, that time is for teachers to complete their government required paperwork, update/create lesson plans, grade tests, homework and student papers—all the stuff my teacher mother and sister used to do at home in the evenings. It’s strange that when I pass those schools on Friday, there are few cars in the parking lots—some I know belong to the custodial staff.

I know my mother brought her work home because I helped her grade her 4-5 grade student’s homework when I was in high school. I know my grandson’s teachers take their work home, like my mother, and have school a full five days a week. The last time I checked, his school, K-12, has a 100% graduation rate. I wonder what the rate is for those schools whose prime purpose, it seems, is to support governmental edicts and union social programs instead of actually educating their students.

I congratulate those schools who are closed today to observe Good Friday. As for those others, who are regularly off on Friday…Phbbbbt!

No post today

I have a follow-up visit to the doc after last week’s visit. No post today. There are a number of like minded bloggers on the side-bar. Please drop by and give them a visit.

For veterans, I suggest Mellow Yellow and Nobody Asked Me. Mellow Yellow is a serving Naval officer about to deploy in a couple of months. OldNFO, the owner of Nobody Asked Me, is a retired Naval Officer, a Naval Flight Officer, hence the NFO.  Both are worth a visit.

Cyber Attack!

And it wasn’t from the NorKs nor the ChiComs. It originated from the territory of one of our NATO allies, the Netherlands.

I operate my own mail and web-servers. My systems are probed daily, usually from WesPac or North Korea. I was hit with a DoS attack Monday of this week. It wasn’t a strong attack. I did notice some slowdown of my servers but the real hit came from my Domain Servers. That was a direct attack. My firewalls resisted and foiled the attack as designed.

But there is another method that is popular by cyber-criminals that I cannot block. I don’t have a domain server. I contract with another company to host my domain names and to point callers to my home servers.

The larger attack occurred two weeks ago. It wasn’t to my systems but it affected the domain servers that I used—me and thousands of others. For a period of time, I couldn’t reach google.com, comcast.net, drudgereport.com and numerous other sites. When I tried to connect to them, my browser timed out. My query to the domain servers for the numerical address of those sites, was not returned.

The cyber-attack method used in the earlier attack was a DDoS attack against the primary site used to find spammers. SpamHaus, one of the sites I, and most email providers use to check for spam, was attacked by a spammer based in the Netherlands. It was a concentrated attack by one site, with hundreds of computers, against another single site—and it affected the entire internet, world-wide.

Web slows under ‘biggest attack ever’

Millions of people around the world have been affected by slow internet speeds after an unprecedented attack.

By Matt Warman and agencies, 1:41PM GMT 27 Mar 2013

A Dutch web-hosting company caused disruption and the global slowdown of the internet, according to a not-for-profit anti-spam organization.

The interruptions came after Spamhaus, a spam-fighting group based in Geneva, temporarily added the Dutch firm, CyberBunker, to a blacklist that is used by e-mail providers to weed out spam.

Cyberbunker is housed in a five-story former NATO bunker and famously offers its services to any website “except child porn and anything related to terrorism”. As such it has often been linked to behaviour that anti-spam blacklist compilers have condemend.

It retaliated with a huge ‘denial of service attack’. These work by trying to make a network unavailable to its intended users,overloading a server with coordinated requests to access it. At one point, 300 billion bits per second were being sent by a network of computers, making this the biggest attack ever.

The attack was particularly potent because it exploited the ‘domain name system’, which acts like the telephone directory of the internet and are used every time a web address is entered into a computer.

Patrick Gilmore, of digital content provider Akamai Networks told the New York Times that Cyberbunker did not believe spamming users was wrong. “These guys are just mad. To be frank, they got caught,” he alleged. “They think they should be allowed to spam.”

Calling the disruptions “one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet,” the New York Times reported today that millions of ordinary web users have experienced delays in services such as Netflix video-streaming service or couldn’t reach a certain website for a short time.

“The size of the attack hurt some very large networks and internet exchange points such as the London Internet Exchange,” John Reid, a spokesman for Spamhaus, said in an e-mailed response to questions by Bloomberg News. “It could be thousands, it could be millions. Due to our global infrastructure, the attackers target places all over the world.”

Spamhaus was targeted with a so-called distributed denial of service attack on the evening of March 15, Reid said.

Sven Olaf Kamphuis, an internet activist who told the New York Times he was a spokesman for the attackers, said that Cyberbunker was retaliating against Spamhaus for “abusing their influence” as the gatekeeper of lists of spammers. “Nobody ever deputized Spamhaus to determine what goes and does not go on the Internet,” he claimed. “They worked themselves into that position by pretending to fight spam.”

Such attacks are growing in quantity as well as scale, according to Vitaly Kamluk, chief malware expert of Kaspersky Lab’s global research and analysis team. The two main motives for the disruptions are money through cybercrime and political and social activism, he said.

“This is indeed the largest known DDoS operation,” Kamluk said by e-mail. “Such DDoS attack may affect regular users as well, with network slowdown or total unavailability of certain web resources as typical symptoms.”

Cyberbunker claims that it has resisted a number of ‘attacks’ by Dutch police attempting to make arrests.

Have no doubt, these people, the ones behind the name of Cyberbunker, are criminals and should be behind bars. Cyberbunker has been linked to wiki-Leaks and the Anonymous hacker group. A hundred years ago, they would be bomb-throwing anarchists. Today, they are cyber-anarchists throwing digital bombs.

What’s really going on?

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I believe many, who exhibit those symptoms, have their tin-foil beanies on too tight. On occasion, however, when multiple sources cite multiple instances of similar events, you really have to wonder what’s going on.

What am I talking about? The militarization of the Department of Homeland Security.

Their are credible reports, reports that present irrefutable facts that the DHS, and other federal agencies, too, is militarizing. They are buying obscene amount of ammunition, 1.6 billion rounds, small-arms, and IED resistant, armored vehicles—MRAPs.

Beginning several years ago, the DHS began stockpiling ammunition, most, but not all, in .40S&W, a favored pistol caliber of law enforcement and federal agencies. They also bought large amounts of 5.56mm rifle cartridges, and 12ga 00 shotgun shells. 

Add to that the 2,700 armored MRAPs transferred from the Army to DHS, and a newly announced purchase of 360,000 more rounds of ammunition, and any rational person begins to get suspicious.

Add one more item to all of the above. DHS is freeing illegal aliens, criminal illegal aliens because of “sequester.” What a farce! Let’s estimate the cost of all that ammunition. Conservatively, let’s say each round costs $1.00. (Current prices for .40S&W hollow-point ammunition is in excess of $25 for a box of 20.) DHS could have spend that $1.6 billion on prosecuting the illegals DHS has in custody. Instead, Janet Reno turned them loose.

Think what could happen when all those criminals hit the streets—another manufactured crises? Some of those conspiracy theorists claim the FedGov is preparing for a coup. I can’t subscribe to that. Not quite, but it certainly is suspicious.

I’ll leave you with Michael Ramirez’s latest cartoon…

ramiriz_03252013

Chauffeur Day

Today, I’m driving our duaghter, Mrs. Jennifer, to her doc for an appointment. She’s been afflicted with a neural condition that has been tentatively diagnosed as Cervical Dystonia, a neurological disorder causing muscles to move without permission. Her problem is that it affects her entire body to the extent that when it flairs, she has difficulty speaking and walking.

We know a lot of what it isn’t. It isn’t a TMI, nor is it palsy. Fortunately, there is a treatment—once she receives the final, official diagnosis.

In the mean time, we, Mrs. Crucis and I, will be chauffeurs from time to time. With the snow, more expected through the day, it’s my turn with my Tahoe.

Friday Follies for March 22, 2013

Ammunition has become scarce while news arrives of the DHS buying more ammo and armored vehicles—2,500 armored troop carriers. There is not direct proof that the DHS is cause of the scarity of ammo but many believe that is one reason, if not the main reason.

Personally, I don’t know. The shortage has caused problems for police and sheriff’s offices, especially those outside metro areas.

Police Departments Beg And Barter For Ammo While DHS Buys Up 1.6 Billion Rounds In Past Year

March 22, 2013, 

The nationwide shortage of ammunition has left many police departments scrambling to get their hands on the necessary rounds – with some even bartering among each other.

Meanwhile, Rep. Timothy Huelskamp (R-Kansas) says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to respond to multiple members of Congress asking why DHS bought more than 1.6 billion rounds in the past year.

Police Chief Cameron Arthur of Jenks, Oklahoma says, “Ammunition and assault weapons in general have skyrocketed…In addition to the fact, not only is it a lot more expensive, but the time to get it could be six months to a year, or in some cases even longer.”

Arthur says he is waiting on an order placed last October and that many departments have begun to trade and barter with each other because of the high demand.

“Most police departments are having a very difficult time even getting the necessary ammunition for handguns, shotguns and especially rifles,” Arthur said.

“With the delay in ammunition, some departments are limiting the number of rounds they carry in their handgun because of the shortage of ammunition. We get to the point where it is difficult to have enough ammo to train and also equip the officers.”

There is more information at the website. You can read all of it here. One of the really surprising shortages, contrary to all the previous shortages since Obama was elected, is .22s. My last trip to Walmart found they had no .22lr nor .22mag ammunition. Whenever they receive any, it’s gone within an hour. Across the country, ammo replenishment for store shelves is low and slow.

No one, conspiracy theorists aside, really knows why.

***

Secret Police—paid informants who spy on their neighbors, has come to New York state, thanks to their tyrant, Governor Andrew Cuomo. He has funded a corps of secret police to enforce his latest gun control scheme. What is more troubling is that he started his plan a year before he rammed his gun control laws through the New York legislature.

N.Y. gun-rights advocates upset over tipline

 

Visiting the vampire.

It’s that time again. I’m at the docs for my quarterly visit. No post today.