Monday Morning: Fair of Face

Eh. Not so much. I can’t think of many working folks who greet Monday morning with joy, finding it a beautiful thing. But according to old English folk tales, a Monday birthday was supposed to bring better luck.

What good luck will today bring?

Dripping blood tips off discovery of dead body and millions in currency on plane
Reads like a murder-mystery novel, right? Except that this happened Sunday in Zimbabwe at Harare International Airport. Airport staff noticed blood leaking from the plane during refueling, after which an investigation began, revealing a dead body inside the plane and millions in South African rand on board. The plane was registered to Western Global Airlines of Florida and had been flying from Germany to South Africa. What are the odds we never hear of this plane, the body, or the currency again?

Volkswagen chief knew in 2014 U.S. would investigate; Germany wants spot checks
From scandals like Watergate, the U.S. knows the coverup is often worse than the crime. Looks like Volkswagen will learn this, too. Martin Winterkorn, VW’s former CEO, knew in May 2014 that U.S. officials suspected emissions controls defeat devices in VW’s diesel passenger vehicles. BUT…this is not quite news, as the study revealing VW’s non-compliant emissions were reported in May 2014, in a public forum, where VW asked about the results. What did Winterkorn know, and when did he know it?

Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said yesterday, “There will be controls on vehicles in the style of doping tests (for athletes), …Unannounced and every year.” Dude. Come on. The defeat device evaded random tests in U.S. states like California. Random spot checks will NOT ensure emissions controls work. Only random road tests capturing real world driving outputs will do that. Dobrindt said a draft proposal outlining the test measures would be submitted to the Bundestag on Thursday. Will the lower parliament get wise to this problem?

British teen arrested for the hack on FBI, DHS, CIA director’s email, more
“I am innocent until proven guilty so I have nothing to be worried about…They are trying to ruin my life,” the 16-year-old said after his arrest last week. The most recent hack the teen is accused of included the “leak” of 30,000 FBI and DHS personnel contact information. He’s accused of being a member of Crackas With Attitude (CWA); CWA has said the hacking of CIA director Brennan’s email was “so easy to hack Brennan that ‘a 5-year old’ could have done it.” Doesn’t sound like mad hacking skillz required to pose a threat to law enforcement.

UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal said hacking devices by intelligence doesn’t violate human rights
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond believes the IPT’s ruling last week is fair, but of course, he would. The case pressed by Privacy International forced the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ to reveal the use of mass surveillance using computer network exploits (CNE). The case can’t go any further in the UK, but could be reviewed in the EU. Wonder if these same CNE were deployed to identify the 16-year-old teenager charged with hacking Brennan?

From Department of Creepy Spouses: Man + Wife’s FitBit Data + Reddit = PG
A man asked a Reddit forum about wife’s unusual FitBit data and learned she’s pregnant. I would kick this butthead to the curb so fast if he’d been my spouse. Talk about a violation of privacy, let alone a breach of intimacy between married partners. I can only imagine how this discovery will influence hackers snooping wearable devices.

Not looking like good luck today after all. Perhaps better luck tomorrow?

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.
18 replies
  1. martin says:

    quote”I can’t think of many working folks who greet Monday morning with joy, finding it a beautiful thing. But according to old English folk tales, a Monday birthday was supposed to bring better luck.

    What good luck will today bring?”unquote

    I’ll take that as today is your birthday, no? If so…Happy Monday Birthday!

    Tell your boss I said you can have the day off. I’m sure he’ll oblige.

    But just in case it isn’t your birthday.. nevermind. Go to work.

  2. martin says:

    “From Department of Creepy Spouses: Man + Wife’s FitBit Data + Reddit = PG”

    From Department of Creepy Spouses: What if he isn’t the father?

  3. martin says:

    quote”Wonder if these same CNE were deployed to identify the 16-year-old teenager charged with hacking Brennan?”unquote

    I wonder how this works as he hacked an American…ie…will he be extradited to the US for prosecution?

  4. orionATL says:

    rayne –

    there was a breakin in an empty gov building in flint sometime in the last few months.

    documents stored there may have been taken.

    i looked thru your chronology but couldn’t find a reference (which of course does not mean it wasn’t there) .

    documents stored in an unused building could be documents intended to be “overlooked” in any request for documents. if then stolen, they might have been making somebody very nervous.

  5. Rayne says:

    martin — Not my birthday, just an old English proverb supposed to apply to anyone with a Monday birth date. In my case, I’m a Saturday. But thanks anyhow.

    And yeah, what if the prospective father didn’t actually father the child? Yeesh. Even creepier.

    orionATL — Oh, thanks for that, completely forgot about that break-in. Had hoped Anon was watching for records slipping away virtually at the same time. Still worried that might happen with electronic records dd. 2013 and earlier.

    • orionATL says:

      a parallell chronology (lkely much smaller) of questionable legal activity might be revealing, e. g. refusals or delays or incompletes in foi’s, calls for investigations, sudden retirements/transfers of individuals (many of which are already included, though not in a parallel “possible illegal conduct” type of chronolgy. i’m being vague because i really dont know the flint problem, but i have seen chronologies like this reveal amazing connections/relationships not otherwise apparent.

    • martin says:

      quote”And yeah, what if the prospective father didn’t actually father the child? Yeesh. Even creepier.”unquote

      The only reason I suggested the possibility is, what kind of wife keeps her pregnancy secret from her husband? Or why couldn’t he just ask her? I mean, they’re married for christ sake. The fact he had to ask online about her FITBIT data tells me something.

  6. scribe says:

    From Department of Creepy Spouses: Man + Wife’s FitBit Data + Reddit = PG
    A man asked a Reddit forum about wife’s unusual FitBit data and learned she’s pregnant. I would kick this butthead to the curb so fast if he’d been my spouse. Talk about a violation of privacy, let alone a breach of intimacy between married partners. I can only imagine how this discovery will influence hackers snooping wearable devices.

    So that’s why Oral Roberts U ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/11/oklahoma-university-requires-freshmen-to-wear-fitb/ ) is requiring all students to wear FitBits: they want to know who’s been getting laid, pregnant, and un-pregnant. That gtracking 10k steps per day thing is just a way to ensure their breeders are in good shape: keeps the medical bills down and makes for healthier babies, too.

  7. scribe says:

    Re VW: part of the proposal, as reported last week in German media, was that there would be road-testing in addition to stationary “lab”/inspection-station testing.

    • greengiant says:

      Re VW: The car testing DEQ says the state inspection stations just asked the VW computer whether the NOX control was working. So did VW software have two different hacks, hack 1, fool the FEDs, hack 2, Lie whenever asked if the NOX control is working or lie by omission by only reporting if NOX controls had error codes. Statistical analysis of VW failure causes at DEQ was 23 failures in 666 tests in one year in this state. Nationwide, ( well Ca, Or, Wa and ? ) was the lack of VW NOX control failure codes during DEQ checks symptomatic of VWs cheat?
      Failure rate of 3.45 percent for VW diesels versus 4.92 percent for similar vehicles.
      Has anyone looked to see if VW was spoofing the annual inspections as well as the Fed test? even having a lower than expected rate of NOX control component failures.

  8. Mitt Rumsey says:

     
    Mr. Brennan should take upon himself all the blame for having been hacked & insist that the 16-year-old not be legally harassed therefor.  Why even publicize this?  It only makes Mr. Brennan look like a buffoon.
     
    & what of the DMCA & its proscription on circumventing encryption?  I’ve always wondered how that holds up.  It beggars the question:  What if the encryption is lame?  What if it’s so lame that a Norwegian high school kid could crack it?  Does not contributory negligence enter into the reckoning?
     
    Shifting gears a bit, Why do folks put an h in “woops”?  Shouldn’t it just be an “oops” with a w in front?
     
    AnyHOO, whenever I see that, it puts me in mind of a silly old song from Boy Scout camp (an eternity ago):
     
    There was a desperado from the wild & wooly West
    He rode into Chicago just to give the West a rest
    He wore a big sombrero & two guns across his chest
    & everywhere he goes he gives his war whoop
     
    He went to Coney Island just to take in all the sights
    He saw the hoochie-coochies & the girls all dressed in tights
    It got him so excited that he shot out all the lights
    & everywhere he goes he gives his war whoop
     
    Oh, the big bad man was a desperado
    From Cripple Creek way out in Colorado
    & he walks around like a squashed tomato
    & everywhere he goes he gives his war whoop

  9. ad says:

    The Fitbit guy was trying to fix the device for his wife, so he shared some data with enthusiasts. The couple discovered the pregnancy together. They were delighted. What’s the problem?

  10. Rayne says:

    greengiant (7:25) — Excellent question. I had wondered if there was a second defeat, maybe a hack of the testing software. Seems really odd that multiple states did not notice any problem, but surely cannot use the same test methodology.

    ad (9:53) — Oh, no problem for the prospective parents, apparently. Just for their future kid, whose parents are utterly clueless about pregnancy (or birth control?) and about privacy in digital age.

    • greengiant says:

      The states’ test stations just ask the VW computer using OBD on board diagnotic, whether the emissions controls are working or not. They only test tailpipe emissions on really old cars.
      Googling around the best statement found so far is from California air resources board.
      http://arb.ca.gov/msprog/vw_info/nov_vw.pdf
      Still looking for exactly what VW did to the OBD data beyond the software spoof when the car was being dyno tested with a tailpipe monitor.

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