Archive for April 19, 2009

Mac Zombie? Count me among the unsurprised

Posted: April 19, 2009 by datechguy in tech
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I really shouldn’t be smiling but I’ve been waiting for something like this:

Malware hunters at Symantec have discovered a direct link between a malicious file embedded in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork 09 software and what appears to be the first Mac OS X botnet launching denial-of-service attacks.

Writing in the current issue of Virus Bulletin (subscription required), researchers Mario Ballano Barcena and Alfredo Pesoli found two malware variants — OSX.Iservice and OSX.Iservice.B — using different techniques to obtain the user’s password and take control of the infected Mac machine.

Quite a few of the commentators are actually full of glee rather than my knowing smile but one commentator makes the same point that PC users should know as well:

While it’s notable to discover a zombie Mac infection, keep in mind that this wasn’t an OS exlpoit. It was an install virus like the ones you used to see back in 1990. People who download and install pirate software should expect their computers to be compromised by a virus.

The commentator is exactly right. Risky behavior is the root of a lot of trouble that people have with PC’s and those who go to a Mac and think they will be safe forever will have another think coming.

Via Glenn.

My opinion re-stated

Posted: April 19, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
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There is a lot of talk both about the memo concerning interrogation and the decision not to prosecute people involved during the last administration.

I’ve talked about both of these subject long before this stuff came out but I’ll repeat some of it.

As Legal Insurrection has pointed out the legal line was not crossed by the tactics used. The press and our friends on the left can be as angry as they want but the law says what it says.

Personally I think even if the line HAD been crossed the administration wouldn’t have gone to court. I explained it back in December but the key statements are worth repeating:

You can take this to the bank: Any successful attack on American soil during an Obama administration is going to be wholly owned by not only that administration but the Democratic party.

It won’t matter how diligent or responsible the administration has been. It won’t matter that they acted in good faith which any fair minded person must assume. It won’t matter if like Hornblower in Hornblower during the Crisis members of the current administration and people who understand how hard it is to be right every time rush to their defense. The public will remember who succeeded in protecting the country and who failed particularly if a major population center is successfully hit.

Any kind of trials will be drawn out affairs and would likely be still going on during a successful attack. How much worse will it be for those who failed to protect the country if those who succeeded in protecting the nation are on trial during their failure? Would they risk it? Would they even consider it? Considering the history of the president elect who has a history of avoiding risk I think not.

The moral case is more iffy. As I said before I think the legal standard has to be strict because any standard made will invariably be crossed, by keeping the rules tight and the punishments for crossing that line in place it assures the line will only be crossed in dire situations. The fact that only 3 subjects were waterboarded during the entire time of the debate suggests that the administration took the moral business seriously.

All of that being said I think the release of these memos are a security disaster. By spelling out what we were doing to a foe that we are currently at war with will not only allow our foes to counter train, but the comparison between our “harsh” tactics and our foes tactics will frankly re-assure our foes to hold out. This will make it much more likely that we will have to choose between:

Killing our foes outright, (no info)

Not using harsh techniques (no info)

Doing actual torture (info at a high cost)

I pray I’m wrong but between the release of this info, and the America was wrong tours all over the world I think we are going to embolden a lot of nasty people and cost lives. The narcissism of the “don’t blame me” business is also going to bite back.

An interesting omission

Posted: April 19, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
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Was watching Reliable Sources today and on the panel they brought up the sexual insults that were made about tea party protesters like myself. Anna Maria Cox defended herself saying that this is how she does things.

They hit MSNBC on this but he never brought up Anderson Cooper’s similar take.

I would be very interested in knowing if Mr. Kurtz was told not to or if he neglected it or if he actually didn’t know about it.

Regrets I’ve had a few…

Posted: April 19, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
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…ah Napolitano plays the “regrets” card:

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says she regrets that some people took offense over a report warning that right-wing extremist groups were trying to recruit disgruntled troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s a pretty game let me give you an example: I regret that some people take offense over my stand against Gay marriage.

Does that say I think that I’m wrong on Gay marriage? Nope. Does it say that I’m thinking of changing my opinion? Nope. All that says I wish people were not offended by my position, in other words I wish they thought like me.

I regret that people are foolish enough to fall for that nonsense.