Tag Archives: hackers

The Biggest Story They Aren’t Telling You

I got up today expecting all the pundits to be buzzing about last night’s news in the New York Times, informing the nation that the Russians can now hack into our power grid at will, shutting at least some of it down, should they feel politically motivated to do so.   So far, not a word.  Just crickets.  MSNBC was talking about Stormy Daniels and the Miami bridge collapse, but nothing about what appeared to be a blockbuster story in the Times, America’s newspaper of record.

Maybe it’s just me?  Maybe I don’t get it anymore, thinking the fact that the Russians hacked our election in 2016 and can now turn off our nuclear power plants at will while our alleged president refuses to utter a bad word about Vladimir Putin just isn’t that much of a story?

It’s not like the Russian hacking story is a rumor.  It’s coming directly from the FBI and Homeland Security.  I dunno, maybe some of the folks inside those two agencies felt a need to take what was happening to the Times, because they have no confidence that the White House will act in America’s best interest?  Shouldn’t the networks, CNN, MSNBC and the rest, be all over this?    And where in the world is our do-nothing Republican controlled Congress?

Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I just don’t get it.  If they hacked our election and now our power system, then we should be on a war footing, shouldn’t we?   Or maybe that’s what the Russians really want, a declaration that there is a “clear and present danger,” so that Trump can set aside at least portions of the Constitution?

I admit to being a little paranoid right now.   Feeling otherwise wouldn’t be normal.   Whoa, gotta go now.   CNN has another big breaking story about Stormy Daniels.    I guess maybe they don’t read the paper.

Okay, MSNBC just got to it, 22 minutes into the hour.   They gave it a couple of minutes and then moved on to something else.

The Feds Can’t Crack An iPhone?

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And now comes the big iPhone hacking controversy.   I find it terribly curious and even funny that the FBI and presumably even the recently formed NSA can’t get into an iPhone without Apple’s help.   It would be funny, except that – according to our newest unimpeachable source, Wikipedia – the monolithic National Securty Agency, which that brilliant tactician and critical thinker, George W. Bush put together in his big push for smaller government,  has an estimated annual budget of $10.8 billion.

And they can’t get into an iPhone?    Or maybe they’re unhappy with the FBI and just don’t want to share their resources?   Or maybe hacking into terrorist’s cellphones isn’t their thing?   Or pherhaps Apple is just that good and the federal government is really that bad?

If the United States Government can’t get into an iPhone,  if their radar-equipped blimps, which apparently don’t work anyway despite costing billions,  float away and need to be shot down by local law enforcement before they crash into houses, just how safe are we?

According to one report, local cops used shotguns to bring down the wayward JLENS blimp before it floated away and did any more damage.   How analogue is that?    The Baltimore Sun reports that “After 17 years of research and $2.7 billion in funding, the system has been hobbled by defective software, poor reliability and vulnerability to bad weather.”

It seems strange that with all the technology at our command, be it satellites and ground-based or naval radar, the best our government can do to protect the east coast from incoming threats is to revert to putting blimps in the air, a defense technique that dates back to at least 1908?   A system that failed to detect a protester flying into DC airspace on a gyrocopter?

Is it possible that some things simply cannot be anticipated and therefore defended against, unless we all go live in a cave?

The problem now you see, is that the government had better get those blimps back up in the air, because if they don’t, and if there’s another attack on the east coast, those who supported the program will surely condemn those who did not, and will cry out loudly that “if only we had our blimps up there this woudn’t have happened!” 

So go ahead honorable members of Congress, cover your  backsides and  provide more funding for the failed blimps.   While you’re at it, maybe you can come up with enough money to build a better biplane?