Thursday: Thunder Much

[image: Thor's Battle Against the Jötnar by Mårten Eskil Winge, c. 1872, via Wikimedia]

[image: Thor’s Battle Against the Jötnar by Mårten Eskil Winge, c. 1872, via Wikimedia]

It’s Thor’s Day, the Norse god of thunder’s day. This dude has a really poor selection of images available until the 20th century, and most are commercial. Doesn’t say much about his powers, does it.

Speaking of powers, mine are tapped out. I have a massive, partially-completed timeline on the Flint water crisis scheduled to post at 9:00 a.m. EST. When you see it, you’ll understand why my thunder’s depleted. I’ll throw a couple eye-catching items here for now; use this as an open thread.

In case I forget: Skål!

North Korean military chief executed for corruption
NK’s execution of Army General Ri Yong-Gil seems really oddly timed within a week of NK’s satellite launch. Makes one wonder if the launch and the execution were related. The termination is attributed to Kim Jong-Un’s continued efforts at retaining power.

Hundreds of thousands of stolen Social Security numbers used to attack IRS
Where the heck did hackers get 464,000 Social Security numbers? And how the heck did they use 101,000 of them to hammer away at the IRS to obtain e-pin number for filings? The IRS says no one’s personal taxpayer data has been compromised, nor were any filings messed up in this automated mass attack last month.

Comcast pleads with ISP customers in Atlanta
Looks like somebody’s nervous about Google Fiber coming to Atlanta, cutting into their broadband market. A pity, that, should have offered better customer service and more competitive pricing. If Comcast had already delivered these, there’d be no reason for Google to bother in that market.

Absolut-ly profitable year ahead for Pernod Ricard
Huh. I guess it makes sense, with the world in such upheaval that booze would be profitable. Pernod Ricard’s projections of one to three percent growth this year remain unchanged as the second-largest distiller in the world names a new leader for its North American business.

By Thor’s hammer…it’s tequila time somewhere. What’s the old Norse word for booze?

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
10 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    464k SS numbers? Maybe it’s the first batch from the 20 million plus gone from the OPM hack. This could just be a test run using that data.
    .
    They ran an automated bot using 464k SS numbers and succeeded in getting 101k epins. If Thor had a bot with that kind of success rate he wouldn’t have needed no damn hammer.

  2. Rayne says:

    lefty665 (8:37) — Yeah, 1-in-4.64 is much better odds than playing the lottery. But if the Chinese were behind the OPM hack, would they hack the IRS? Or has the OPM database been hacked by somebody else — assuming these SSNs were from that database?

    • lefty665 says:

      Rayne @2 Dunno, just the OPM hack was the biggest one we know about. There are several others that could provide big quantities of numbers. Plus of course the Rumsfeldian unknown unknowns that we don’t know about that are likely bleeding SS#s even as we speak.

  3. bevin says:

    Great tip on the Polish pastries on Tuesday. The local supermarket was selling them at a $1 each. Very good, especially when eaten with properly made coffee.

  4. Rayne says:

    bevin (10:11) — Aw, I haz paczki envy! Glad you enjoyed one. This was the first year in a long time I didn’t have one. By the time I got to the bakery they only had a single box of prune-filled paczki left. I like them, they’re very traditional, but my kid won’t touch prune. So I had beignets instead. ;-)

    Your next pastry mission: malasadas. Found in communities with higher percentage of Portuguese-heritage. Yum.

  5. bloopie2 says:

    “The IRS also is taking immediate steps to notify affected taxpayers by mail that their personal information was used in an attempt to access the IRS application. The IRS is also protecting their accounts by marking them to protect against tax-related identity theft.” If IRS is spending so much time and effort on ancillary matters, does that mean it won’t have time to audit tax returns any more, or to initiate enforcement proceedings? That would be a fun situation. Or will our taxes go up to pay for all the extra administrative work needed — in this and every other federal agency that stores personal information? That would not be a fun situation.

  6. Rayne says:

    lefty665 (6:51) — Nah, the JPMorgan hack was bigger, like 76M user accounts compromised. I don’t think I buy the story about who did it, either; they did too fricking little with the info available. Where we expect nation-states to be more reserved, use hacking for intelligence, individuals hacking criminally don’t have to be restrained. They’re better off pulling a big, smart heist and getting clear of the debris field. But JPM’s alleged hackers didn’t. ~shrug~

    Thanks for the ZDNet link; I’d seen that earlier today, not certain I’ll tackle as Marcy might have something to say about it.

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