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2019-08-05 10:03 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 214 references
[Comments enabled]  

I'm literally speechless reading this.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Nearly the same thing happened on 8chan before the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. The El Paso shooter specifically referenced the Christchurch incident and appears to have been inspired by the largely unmoderated discussions on 8chan which glorified the previous massacre. In a separate tragedy, the suspected killer in the Poway, California synagogue shooting also posted a hate-filled “open letter” on 8chan. 8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate.

8chan is among the more than 19 million Internet properties that use Cloudflare's service. We just sent notice that we are terminating 8chan as a customer effective at midnight tonight Pacific Time. The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit.

....

We reluctantly tolerate content that we find reprehensible, but we draw the line at platforms that have demonstrated they directly inspire tragic events and are lawless by design. 

....

Cloudflare's mission is to help build a better Internet. At some level firing 8chan as a customer is easy. They are uniquely lawless and that lawlessness has contributed to multiple horrific tragedies. Enough is enough.

In other words despite the fact that publishing a manifesto is not illegal in the United States and the site in question is based in the United States, despite the fact that "hate speech" is protected by the First Amendment according to the Supreme Court (multiple decisions on same have been rendered) and despite the fact that as a platform there is no mandate to proactively moderate content these folks have declared this specific site, and others, to be "lawless."

But the fact is that they're not lawless.  They in fact are fully within the boundaries of the law.

Nobody has alleged that 8Chan, or Daily Stormer, has refused legal process or tried to evade it.  Indeed, in order to avail yourself of the protections under Section 230 you can't evade it and you must publish, in a Library of Congress mandated format, contact information and act on take down notices in a reasonably-expeditious fashion.  If you don't you can get tagged for liability, and in the case of something like this, that liability could be criminal.

In other words what Cloudflare has done is declare what the law is on their own as a corporation.  They have declared multiple web properties lawless when in fact they are not.  That's knowingly false, it's actionable and it's the action of a firm that by its own statements claims market power standing alone, along with going even further and claiming to be efforting to work with others in collusion to effectuate and enhance that market power and enforce its corporate viewpoint upon others.

I remind you that 15 USC Chapter 1 makes any such attempt to monopolize or restrain trade, especially when it infringes on a Constitutionally-guaranteed protection, felonious.  It does not matter if you succeed; the mere attempt is a criminal felony.

Yet in today's world everything is, indeed, backward.  Those calling other people "lawless" appear, on their face, to arguably be engaged in collusive action intended to violate Constitutional rights, despite claiming otherwise.  Indeed, Cloudflare admits they have no ability to set actual laws, yet they wish to dance on the head of a pin -- on the one hand claiming the common business right to "refuse service to anyone" and at the same time claiming to be directly involved in trying to change the political landscape to what they want it to be.

Corporations do not have the ability to vote for a very good reason.  And hate, whether online or otherwise, is a serious issue.  However, hate speech is not illegal nor can any legitimate government make it so as hate speech is really nothing more than an extension of hate thought, which is exactly where this goes next: Into the gulag you go if you don't agree with a position that some political leader adopts.

They're doing that right now in China, but China is hardly the first nor shall it be the last.  Stalin "purged" a huge number of people because..... they disagreed with him.  Hitler murdered 6 million Jews because.... he disagreed with them.  Right now, today, you can be criminally punished in some nations for using a pronoun that someone finds disagreeable yet is factually accurate.  We had a declared candidate for President in the present cycle (he has since withdrawn for lack of support) who threatened to nuke anyone who opposed his gun control proposals.  We have an active candidate who threw 1,500 people in prison for a crime she herself committed and has admitted to (consumption of marijuana) and she laughed about it on national television.  We have a cadre of media organizations who have tried to cover that up and a government office that has conspired with them to remove those arrest statistical records from easy, public view.  We have another batch of candidates (Democrats) who have all promised to violate the Constitution, intentionally, upon election in multiple forms and fashions, including but not limited to the right to keep and bear arms.  And we have corporate media who have engaged in the most-outrageous of hate speech themselves.

These are dangerous times, but the real debate here ought not be over "hate speech", which virtually everyone finds reprehensible -- but nonetheless protected under the 1st Amendment.  The debate ought to be over the real lawless entities -- those business firms that think they have a right to intrude into setting political policy, to conspire with others to take opposing viewpoints and remove them from the public, to monopolize huge swaths of our economy in direct contravention of 100+ year old law and to lie, intentionally, with impunity.

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2019-07-30 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 275 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh here we are....

Capital One Financial Corp. said data from about 100 million people in the U.S. was illegally accessed after prosecutors accused a Seattle woman identified by Amazon.com Inc. as one of its former cloud service employees of breaking into the bank’s server.

While the complaint doesn’t identify the cloud provider that stored the allegedly stolen data, the charging papers mention information stored in S3, a reference to Simple Storage Service, Amazon Web Services’ popular data storage software.

smiley

There you have it.  The bank had data that was highly confidential and let another company with thousands of people who could access it, none of whom the bank knew by name or could vet, have said data by intentionally putting it on that other firm's computer systems in the name of "cloud computing."

One of those people did allegedly access and steal it.  It doesn't matter how they did so; the fact that the data was there provided the "honeypot" and a large base of people who knew it was there instead of said data being on your own corporate infrastructure behind access controls that you, and only you, are responsible for.

Gee, how dumb are you?

How many times have I pointed this out?  Dozens.  Has anyone given a crap?  Not so far!  Did Amazon see its stock price (which is all a consequence of AWS having the only reasonable profit margin among its business interests) instantly collapse by 90%?  Nope.  Why not?  Because you're stupid.

Once you use a "cloud provider" it's not your data anymore despite your claims otherwise.  The data is, in fact, accessible by anyone who has administrative access at the cloud company and they don't work for you nor can you vet them.  Further, those people working there now know the data is there which gives them a big fat "target list" to take a crack at.  Those people with that knowledge and at least some expertise in getting in, including perhaps even direct credentialed access through ordinary administrative procedures number in the thousands at large firms like Amazon or Microsoft if not tens of thousands and you not only can you as the "customer" not vet them you have no idea who the hell they are.  Some of them probably aren't even American citizens! H1b (not this time, but you can bet in general) for the win!

[[Update 7/30 6:50 AM: It appears that the person who did the "hacking" not only was employed by Spamazon the individual claims to be here in the US illegally.  So how'd they get the job?  Spamazon, for its part, disclaims responsibility and says "it wasn't hacked."  Disclaim whatever you want Amazon; the fact is the data was on your box and was stolen by what appears to be an ex Amazon employee.  Such a wonderful job of vetting you do eh, never mind all the SJW/insanity connections allegedly present with this individual too.]]

Congratulations Capital Zero, 100 million records stolen because you were ****ing stupid and put saving a buck in front of data security.  This should be treated by banking regulators as criminal negligence; ditto for any other firm that has its data stolen after employing such a "cloud" environment where there was any expectation of privacy or protection of said data.

This is why you don't use cloud computing for anything you give a crap about and has to be kept secure.

EVER.

**** you Corporate America who have "rushed" to this for the sole purpose of trying to "save a buck" and **** all the media companies who should have smashed these firms -- including most-specifically Spamazon and Microsuck, years ago for exactly this reason.  You bought into this bullcrap and deserve to be asset-stripped to your underwear for doing so.

Never mind the government and anything it has put into these systems.

I've been screaming about this for years.

Unless you own the computer in your building and you have vetted every single person who can get into said machine either administratively or physically and who understands the configuration thereof the data is no longer under your control and you cannot claim it is -- not legally, ethically or otherwise.  Period.

Welcome to Hell; you bought the ticket, now enjoy the ride *******s.

Many more are right behind you.

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2018-12-03 09:43 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 233 references
[Comments enabled]  

Someone -- or more like a few someones -- have screwed the pooch.

IPv6, which is the "new" generation of Internet protocol, is an undeniable good thing.  Among other things it almost-certainly resolves any issues about address exhaustion, since it's a 128 bit space, with 64 bits being "local" and the other 64 bits (by convention, but not necessity) being "global."

This literally collapses the routing table for the Internet to "one entry per internet provider" in terms of address space, which is an undeniable good thing.

However, this presumes it all works as designed. And it's not.

About a month ago there began an intermittent issue where connections over IPv6, but not IPv4, to the same place would often wind up extremely slow or time out entirely.  My first-blush belief was that I had uncovered a bug somewhere in the routing stack of my gateway or local gear, and I spent quite a bit of time chasing that premise.  I got nowhere.

The issue was persistent with both Windows 10 and Unix clients -- and indeed, also with Android phones.  That's three operating systems of varying vintages and patch levels.  Hmmmm.....

Having more or less eliminated that I thought perhaps my ISP at home was responsible -- Cox.

But then, just today, I ran into the exact same connection lockup on ToS's "Trader TV" streaming video while on XFinity in Michigan.  Different provider, different brand cable modem, different brand and model of WiFi gateway.

Uhhhhhh.....

Now I'm starting to think there's something else afoot -- maybe some intentional pollution in the ICMP space, along with inadequate (or no!) filtering in the provider space and inter-provider space to control malicious nonsense.

See, IPv6 requires a whole host of ICMP messages that flow between points in the normal course of operation.  Filter them all out at your gateway and bad things happen --- like terrible performance, or worse, no addressing at all.  But one has to wonder whether the ISP folks have appropriately filtered their networks at the edges to prevent malicious injection of these frames from hackers.

If not you could quite-easily "target" exchange points and routers inside an ISP infrastructure and severely constrict the pipes on an intermittent and damn hard to isolate basis.  

Which, incidentally, matches exactly the behavior I've been seeing.

I can't prove this is what's going on because I have no means to see "inside" a provider's network and the frames in question don't appear to be getting all the way to my end on either end.  But the lockups that it produces, specifically on ToS' "Trader TV", are nasty -- you not only lose the video but if you try to close and re-open the stream you lose the entire application streaming data feed too and are forced to go to the OS, kill the process and restart it.

The latter behavior may be a Windows 10 thing, as when I run into this on my Unix machines it tends to produce an aborted connection eventually, and my software retries that and recovers.  Slowly.

In any event on IPv4 it never happens, but then again IPv4 doesn't use ICMP for the sort of control functionality that IPv6 does.  One therefore has to wonder..... is there a little global game going on here and there that amounts to moderately low-level harassment in the ISP infrastructure -- but which has as its root a lack of appropriate edge-level -- and interchange level -- filtering to prevent it?

Years ago ports 138 and 139 were abused mightily to hack into people's Windows machines, since SMB and Netbios run on them and the original protocol -- which, incidentally, even modern Windows machines will answer to unless turned off -- were notoriously insecure.  Microsoft, for its part, dumped a deuce in the upper tank on this in that turning off V1 will also turn off the "network browse" functionality, which they never reimplemented "cleanly" on V2 and V3 (which are both more-secure.)  Thus many home users and more than a few business ones have it on because it's nice to be able to "see" resources like file storage in a "browser" format.

But in turn nearly all consumer ISPs block those ports from end users because if they're open it can be trivially easy to break into user's computers.

One has to wonder -- is something similar in the IPv6 space going on now, but instead of stealing things the outcome is basically harassment and severe degradation of performance?

Hmmmm....

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2018-06-06 16:23 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 103 references
[Comments enabled]  

Nope, nope and nope.

Quick demo of the lock support in the HomeDaemon-MCP app including immediate notification of all changes (and why/how) along with a demonstration of the 100% effective prevention of the so-called Z-Shave hack from working.

Simply put it is entirely under the controller's choice whether it permits high-power keying for S0 nodes.  For those controllers that have no batteries and no detachable RF stick, which is a design choice, there's not a lot of option.

But for those who follow best practice that has been in place since the very first Z-Wave networks you're 100% immune to this attack unless you insist and intentionally shut off the protection -- even in a world where S2 adoption becomes commonplace (which certainly isn't today but will become more-so over time.)

HomeDaemon-MCP is available for the entity that wishes to make a huge dent in the market with a highly-secure, very fast and fully-capable automation, security and monitoring appliance, whether for embedded sale (e.g. in the homebuilding industry) or as a stand-alone offering.  Look to the right and email me for more information.

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2018-05-31 13:27 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 148 references
[Comments enabled]  

There's a story making the rounds that appears to have some corroboration at this point, but my sourcing is too thin (and specific to people) to document.

Apparently if you bought an "Alexa" and activated it you can wind up with an un-asked for Prime subscription and it can wind up linked to some other card you have out there that Amazon managed to get their claws on.

Of course some people won't care because their entire point of buying one of these "Smart speaker" things is to link it with Prime for their "shopping" purposes.  Well, ok, but whatever happened to informed consent?

There might well be, somewhere, one of those "buying this will subscribe you to X at price Y" deals somewhere in the fine print on the startup or registration page.  In fact I wouldn't doubt it if it's there somewhere, maybe in the "click-through" terms and conditions that nobody actually clicks through and reads the entirety of.

My question is why is this sort of thing happening at all?

Let's be real here: These so-called "smart speakers" are anything but.  They aren't "smart", they're pattern-recognition devices and you're the pattern.  They're linked to "the cloud" because the CPU, RAM and similar requirement to run voice recognition is quite high but extremely bursty since you only give the unit a command once in a long while; the rest of the time it is either idle or (and you hope it's not!) simply recording what it hears.  Putting the capability for fast, decently-accurate response in the unit when it would be active 0.1% of the time at most is why these devices are all "cloud-powered"; they would be stupid-expensive if not.

But these things don't exist for your benefit, they exist for someone else's benefit.  If you want to know what sort of imagery gets conjured in my mind when I hear of people installing and using them it's from the first part of WALL-E..... you know, this one.

Yeah.

That looks appealing.

Not.

Heh, I get it.  You like convenience.  So do I.  I like being able to see what's going on in my house, even if I'm not there, especially if I get alerted to something sketchy going on.  After all that video evidence is useful for the cops to prosecute someone with if they try stealing my stereo.  I like sitting in the bar, pushing a button, and having the hottub ready for me when I get home a half-hour later.  That's convenient.  And I like knowing with hard confirmation that I really did remember to close the damned garage door on the way out.  Peace of mind and all that.

But all of this nonsense in today's world seems to be centered around not your convenience and security, but rather someone else mining your data for profit, not telling you what they're doing with it, or even lying about when they collect it, for what purpose they use it, and who gets access to it.

In our world of today we don't jail executives for that sort of crap.  We should, but we don't.

I get the limitations as well. But what I don't get is the insane price ripoffs that come with it, never mind the privacy and data security implications, especially when you bring something like this into your house or, even worse, your bedroom.

For an example price out a "NEST" thermostat.  You'll blanch.  For half the price I can buy a Z-wave enabled thermostat from Trane.  You probably heard of them -- they make air conditioners and heating systems and have a decades-long history of building high-quality, reliable gear.  It doesn't need "connectivity" to work; it's a thermostat.  Indeed, the one on the left at that link is the one I have in my house.  Oh, and it monitors service intervals too (e.g. for your filters), which is nice -- and you can set them to suit the level of general dust and such in your environment.  But, you can talk to it over Z-Wave and both see what's going on and control it if you want to.

Like, for example, right here:

 

That's real-time, right now, and if I tap it I can change the temperature it's set for.  HomeDaemon-MCP has an outdoor temperature sensor and switches its mode automatically; there's no need to be in "auto" or "heat" mode around here for half the year or more; if it's 70+F outside you won't want heat!  But in the "middle seasons" it's nice to have it automatically switch between the two because there might actually be a reason for that, and in many other parts of the country (especially at higher elevations) where temperature swings of 30-40F are not uncommon during a single 24 hour period it's very useful.

Someone who buys HomeDaemon-MCP and stands up the business to retail it could easily sell the entire package including the controller, a software license and the thermostat for the same sort of money as one "Nest."  But what you'd get is not just a thermostat in that case -- it can run your entire house at the cost of simply adding more modules that are reasonably priced.

Want a camera too?  Nest wants $200 for them.  What?

Amcrest wants $81 for an indoor camera with double the resolution!  If you're happy with the same 1080p that Nest offers and shop around you can get 'em for about $60, or less than a third of the price.

Instead of demanding you use a "cloud" service which inherently means no security as the data is not yours and is being stored and transmitted to a big company that might use it for "whatever" (good luck proving it if they do and you'll need an act of God to hold them accountable if you catch them either doing so or someone hacks it and uses it to target your house for a break-inwith HomeDaemon-MCP only you ever have the data, your cameras can be 100% firewalled from the outside so they cannot speak in or out beyond the perimeter of your network directly and yet you can have access to both snapshots (which you can have it take when it sees movement, etc) and real-time, streaming video any time you'd like over a high-grade encrypted connection from anywhere.

Oh, and the second camera isn't another $200+ either -- or $300 if you want one in an outside-rated enclosure!

With a couple of motion sensors and a garage door sensor (magnetic) you can set it up so that the camera automatically points at the wall when you're home (for the paranoid), when you leave it "arms" itself and points at the room, and if there's motion seen without the "authorized" path being taken (e.g. opening your legitimate garage door with the button in your car) you get alerted immediately so you can grab a video or screen shot for the police. 

What the hell is wrong with people?  Do you really want a copy of video of your house to be in someone's cloud machine ever?  Think about it folks -- we're talking about data that if some malefactor gets ahold of it and pattern-matches it they can figure out if you're home, when you're home, when you go to work and when you're on vacation!

Why the hell would you want that data anywhere except on your premise and on your personal device on demand only and delivered only over a secure connection if it ever leaves your home at all?

Never mind that it's better, faster and cheaper to do it that way.

So who wants to make a billion dollars?  The ask for the entire package will never be lower than it is now; there is exactly one thing needed to deploy it commercially and that's a customer-facing web interface to automate the certificate keying the license system uses.  The code to actually use those certificates and enforce them is already in the package as is the server side which can hit a Postgres instance (in other words nearly-infinitely scaleable and easily extended as you may wish.)

Is there actually a desire to sell products and services to people any longer that are theirs, that deliver value to the customer, or has everything turned into a scheme to data-mine you, get you to pay two, three, five or ten times as much for less functionality and try to stick you with a recurring bill you can't opt out of without turning your investment into dust?  Adobe anyone?

If you want to be that guy or gal that disrupts this space, look to the right and email me.

The answer to the problem is ready to go -- right here, right now.

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