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  2. Strategy Page April 4, 2020: The Microsoft recently announced another successful operation against hackers by taking down the Necurs botnet. This was an international effort involving governments and computer security firms in 35 countries. Microsoft has, since the 1990s, become the major international computer security operation. That has led to working with the U.S. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and similar organizations worldwide. The effort to take down Necurs is a good example of the central role Microsoft plays because it took nearly a decade to figure out what Necurs consisted of, how it worked and what it would take to destroy the botnet, rather than just damage it. While that effort was underway Necurs grew from under a million PCs controlled to over nine million. The botnet operators knew they were being scrutinized by Microsoft, Internet security forms and police organizations and kept improving their defenses and survivability. Necurs was dangerous not because of its durability but because it was largely a utility for cyber criminals and even some intelligence agencies. You rent various services requiring a botnet and Necurs was the best available for that in terms of price and reputation. Moreover Necurs had a track record of reliability and keeping its secrets. Like most major botnet operations the Necurs botnet command and control system was well protected and the botnet itself had numerous fall back systems to use if someone managed to penetrate the first level (or levels) of security. Figuring out how that security worked was the major reason it took so long to bring down Necurs. This effort was complicated by the Necurs operators constantly upgrading their security and robustness. Every time they did that Microsoft had to revise its plan to taking down the botnet. (Snip) To avoid the FBI and other international police efforts, many botherders seek sanctuary in countries without an extradition treaty with the United States. Criminal gangs are increasingly active in this area, and, in the case of China, so are government Cyber War operations. But even China has been hit by the hackers, and recently enacted laws against computer crimes. The most powerful Internet weapons on the planet are botnets. And many of them are getting into uniform. In wartime, many of these botnets would be turned into weapons. A botnet can be used to shut down essential military networks, or infect military computers with destructive (to the computer) software. This is one of the major security threats Russia, China, Iran and North Korea pose to other nations. ______________________________________________________________________________
  3. Real Clear Politics Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country, the namesake of Washington’s preeminent performing arts center once said. Half a century after its dedication, the professional staff of the Kennedy Center seem to have it the other way around. They recently sought and received $25 million from Congress. But besides the custodial staff deep-cleaning the red carpet and polishing the marble columns, the so-called super bunker on the east bank of the Potomac is unoccupied. As “social distancing” becomes the law of the land and the federal government races to build emergency hospitals around the country, all of the more than 6,000 seats in the arts complex remain empty.
  4. Today
  5. From The Comments That Capt did something much worse. He bought into the hype the media is spreading and simply committed the act of PANIC. I am friends with a now retired Navy Capt that was in one of the Squadrons of the Enterprise, Served as a CAG on a Nimitz Class carrier and later the XO on another. Panic! That was the word this guy used to describe this skippers actions. The TR is the flagship of a one star admiral who should have been consulted first! That entire strike group was put in danger as well as most of the ships in the pacific fleet. It might well be time for a GCM.
  6. American Thinker Everyone is up in arms about the fact that the Navy brass fired Captain Brett Crozier, of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, after Crozier complained about people on his ship being infected with COVID-19. To many people, he was a lone man fighting a hardened bureaucracy on behalf of the men and women in his care. To others, though, he was a dangerous malcontent who placed his entire ship at risk by ignoring rules that exist for a reason.
  7. @Geee It wasn't That Long Ago when for *many on the Right Mitch McConnell was the embodiment of all that was wrong with the conservative movement. * TOS
  8. Yesterday
  9. Washington Examiner U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation is putting increased scrutiny on former CIA Director John Brennan, searching for any undue influence he may have had during 2017’s intelligence community assessment of Russian interference. Durham, selected by Attorney General William Barr last year to lead this inquiry, drove to Washington, D.C., in March to ensure the investigation stayed on track during the coronavirus outbreak. The top Connecticut federal prosecutor is looking into highly sensitive issues, including whether Brennan took politicized actions to pressure the rest of the intelligence community to match his conclusions about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. Officials said Durham has been interviewing CIA officials this year, zeroing in on those at the National Intelligence Council, a center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which oversaw the collaboration between the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency in putting together the 2017 assessment, and looking at how the work product was finalized.
  10. Red State If Democrats thought that Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was going to stop filling judicial vacancies in the middle of the government’s efforts to combat the Wuhan coronavirus, they were sadly mistaken. In an interview he did with the Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim this week, McConnell confirmed the Senate was on track to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit:
  11. Mortgage Defaults Expected to Dwarf Anything We've Seen Before Bloomberg reports that mortgage lenders are hunkering down for the biggest wave of defaults in history in the wake of coronavirus, making 2008 look like a walk in the park: THIRTY PERCENT. In a matter of months. That number is astronomical.
  12. Free Beacon Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has been dinged several times by fact-checkers over claims he has made during the coronavirus crisis, including a total of 11 "Pinocchios" from the Washington Post. Over the course of three weeks between March 13 and April 3, Biden was fact-checked five separate times for making false or misleading claims concerning the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic. A Washington Post fact check on March 13 awarded Biden four Pinocchios, the fact-checker's most severe rating, for two manipulated videos the Biden campaign circulated. The first video claimed to show Trump at a Feb. 28 rally saying Democrats were turning the coronavirus into "their new hoax" after they failed to bring Trump down through impeachment. Biden's video was edited to make it appear that Trump was calling the coronavirus a hoax. Trump, however, was referring to the Democrats' attempts to blame him for the virus, not the virus itself. The second Biden campaign video showed Trump saying the phrase "the American Dream is dead," which the Post found was taken out of context and missing the second part of Trump's statement where he promised to "bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before."
  13. Small oil producers struggle to survive coronavirus price drop
  14. Free Beacon WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced plans to nominate a vocal ally of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to an influential federal appeals court in Washington. Justin Walker, 37, who has served as a federal district court judge in Kentucky since October, would replace Republican appointee Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit if approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Griffith, appointed by former President George W. Bush, had previously announced his plans to retire. After Trump nominated conservative judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, Walker frequently appeared on cable TV, including Fox News, talking up the nominee’s conservative credentials. "He is a warrior with a backbone of iron," Walker told Fox at the time. He also called Kavanaugh "a fighter for conservative legal principles" who would not "go wobbly" if appointed to the Supreme Court.
  15. Daily Caller One of the largest shale drillers in the country filed for bankruptcy recently as the natural gas industry deals with a one-two punch of coronavirus fears and Russia’s continued war against U.S. energy producers. Whiting Petroleum became the first giant natural gas company to slide into bankruptcy Wednesday as many energy producers meet debt obligations and an oil war between the world’s largest energy producers. Whiting sought chapter 11 protection in Texas amid the strife. Prices fell into the $30s as the Saudis pushed for a cut in output to prop up prices, while Russia is working to infuse the market with hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil. Moscow is worried that the U.S. will use shale oil to take advantage if Saudi Arabia ease off production. Bankruptcies are expected to increase as crude production increases while demand plummets, according to Buddy Clark, a co-chair at international corporate law firm Haynes & Boone.
  16. My pleasure, as ever, Callindril!
  17. Related............. Apr. 3 2020
  18. Thanks for a great way to start the weekend!! Will miss ya till Monday rolls around again...
  19. Go: http://rdoughty.net/Rowdy/fullbadges.wav -Ron
  20. You're welcome, as always & the same to you, mass55th!
  21. Thanks Pookie!! Stay well, and have a great weekend!!
  22. This sounds like the Washington Compost article about which Rush was just talking...
  23. My pleasure, DrPatReads! Who keeps me sane? My wife, the psychologist!
  24. Experts, Trump’s advisers doubt White House’s 240,000 coronavirus deaths estimate At a task force meeting this week, according to two officials with direct knowledge of it, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told others that there are too many variables at play in the pandemic to make the models reliable: "I've looked at all the models. I've spent a lot of time on the models. They don't tell you anything. You can't really rely upon models." Dr. Fauci, he don' need no stinking models!
  25. CBS News Legendary soul artist Bill Withers has died from heart complications, his family confirmed in a statement to The Associated Press. He was 81. "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other," the statement read. "As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones." Withers, who enjoyed a string of hits that include "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Ain't No Sunshine," "Grandma's Hands" and "Just The Two of Us," died on Monday in Los Angeles the family said.
  26. <gasp> <wheeze> It's not Wuhan Flu that has me choking, it's the cartoon! (Fat Jerry and his improvised face mask.) And then Fauci's mask that will save thousands of lives! Not funny, but true: social distancing, Communist China-style (6 feet under). Thanks for all you do to keep us sane, Pookie!
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