Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Under the radar….a quiet Cyberwar goes on……

There are countries and people out to steal what they can’t buy, learn or want to work for…..Believe it……

The Google thing wasn’t an isolated incident…….

From a Wall Street Journal piece.….

Hackers in Europe and China successfully broke into computers at nearly 2,500 companies and government agencies over the last 18 months in a coordinated global attack that exposed vast amounts of personal and corporate secrets to theft, according to a computer-security company that discovered the breach.

[HackPromo]

The damage from the latest cyberattack is still being assessed, and affected companies are still being notified. But data compiled by NetWitness, the closely held firm that discovered the breaches, showed that hackers gained access to a wide array of data at 2,411 companies, from credit-card transactions to intellectual property.

The hacking operation, the latest of several major hacks that have raised alarms for companies and government officials, is still running and it isn’t clear to what extent it has been contained, NetWitness said. Also unclear is the full amount of data stolen and how it was used. Two companies that were infiltrated, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. and Cardinal Health Inc., said they had isolated and contained the problem.

Starting in late 2008, hackers operating a command center in Germany got into corporate networks by enticing employees to click on contaminated Web sites, email attachments or ads purporting to clean up viruses, NetWitness found.

In more than 100 cases, the hackers gained access to corporate servers that store large quantities of business data, such as company files, databases and email.

They also broke into computers at 10 U.S. government agencies. In one case, they obtained the user name and password of a soldier’s military email account, NetWitness found. A Pentagon spokesman said the military didn’t comment on specific threats or intrusions.

At one company, the hackers gained access to a corporate server used for processing online credit-card payments. At others, stolen passwords provided access to computers used to store and swap proprietary corporate documents, presentations, contracts and even upcoming versions of software products, NetWitness said.

Data stolen from another U.S. company pointed to an employee’s apparent involvement in criminal activities; authorities have been called in to investigate, NetWitness said. Criminal groups have used such information to extort sensitive information from employees in the past.

The spyware used in this attack allows hackers to control computers remotely, said Amit Yoran, chief executive of NetWitness. NetWitness engineer Alex Cox said he uncovered the scheme Jan. 26 while installing technology for a large corporation to hunt for cyberattacks.

That discovery points to the growing number of attacks in recent years that have drafted computers into cyber armies known as botnets—intrusions not blocked by standard antivirus software. Researchers estimate millions of computers are conscripted into these armies.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Computers, Government, Law, Media, Military, Other Things, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Man burns his house down…then flys his plane into a building with IRS and FBI offices…..

Small planes crashes in tax office in Austin, Texas

Here’s the CNN link ……….

Here\’s the Story from ABC…….

A single engine plane smashed into the side of an Austin office buildling today and authorities are investigating reports that the pilot may have burned down his house down and then steered the plane into the building in a suicidal attack on the IRS, sources told ABC News.

The pilot was identified as Andrew Stack. The IRS has offices in the building complex that was struck.

Eyewitnesses who saw the plane slam into the building said the pilot appeared to be in control of the plane in the moments before the crash.

“It hit it and the strange thing was the engine seemed to me to running at full power. It didn’t seem like the plane was in trouble. It was going full blast. It’s not a very fast airplane, but this thing was really moving fast,” pilot Jerry Cullen told ABC’s Austin affiliate KVUE.

Beth Jones told ABCNews.com that she was headed downtown on Highway 183 when she spotted the plane overhead and immediately noticed how low it was flying.

“The plane was just coming down,” she said. “He was so low you could actually see him in the plane.”

Jones said that in the brief glimpse she got of the pilot he looked to be awake and not struggling. As her car passed under the plane’s path she heard a “large explosion” and immediately pulled over to see the building in flames.

She said the plane flew “just straight, right in” to the complex. “You think, did he go in there on purpose?” Jones asked.

ederal officials said shortly after the crash into the Austin office complex that houses FBI and IRS offices that they had no reason to suspect the incident was terrorism related.

A spokesman for the IRS said 190 people work in that office. “We are still in the process of accounting for all of our employees,” the spokesman said.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was promptly briefed on the crash, DHS spokesman Matt Chandler told ABC News.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Crime, Government, Health, Media, Men, Other Things, Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment

The War in Afghanistan…on different fronts…….

While the Marines have launched a strong military push and media push into Marja , Afghanista…..the CIA has launched another front in Pakistan and Afghansan……by snatching up the heads of the Taliban operations ……..

The Marines are pushing on after a quiet entrance and fierce fighting for the last couple of days….The CIA capture count is up to three and rising…….

The long-term objective will be to hold the ground retaken and try to keep pace with the replacement leadership that filling the vacuum caused by the snatched leaders…..

But the Taliban have been here before and this is their response…….

The full fury of a U.S. military air-ground task force is being unleashed on a small town in southern Afghanistan. Strike jets, helicopter gunships and armed robot drones directed by airborne and satellite sensors tracking enemy movements, and thousands of heavily armed infantrymen are advancing (with a heavy media presence) behind armored trucks and ground-penetrating radar sweeping for IEDs, while rapid-fire artillery rockets whoosh overhead.

Ever since U.S. combat troops descended on Afghanistan in October 2001, the Taliban fighters have been flaunting their ability to fade away when facing this kind of combat power. It seems childishly petulant even to repeat it: insurgents simply don’t fight big modern armies head-on. They disappear, only to pop up later at a time and place of their own choosing.

Now, just 48 hours after the battle for the southern Afghanistan market town of Marja was launched, military commanders are confirming that many of the Taliban fighters who had made Marja a base of operations had slipped away during the weeks that U.S. forces were loudly preparing the assault and freely broadcasting its location and purpose. A senior officer told me this morning that the Taliban leadership had “bugged out,” leaving behind 100 to 150 fighters with orders to fight and die in place. “And they are,” this officer reported. As in previous battles, the Taliban are fighting from compounds jammed with families, and there have been resultant civilian casualties. Given all this, it was odd to hear a British military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Gordon Messenger, assert that the goal of “surprising the Taliban” seemed to have been met. His evidence: “The Taliban have not been able to put up a coherent response. They appear confused and disorientated.”

The CIA front has been sucessful in two ways…..tracking down and making caputures…and working both governmenets to do so…..

The reported capture of Mullah Abdul Salam follows word of the recent arrest, also in Pakistan, of the Taliban’s No. 2 leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, whose influence was described as second only to the movement’s spiritual leader and supreme commander, Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Salam, the shadow governor of Kunduz province in Afghanistan’s north, was arrested earlier this month, according to the officially appointed governor of Kunduz, Mohammed Omar. He said he was informed of the capture by intelligence officials.

“This is a big blow for the Taliban here,” Omar said.

It was not immediately known whether Salam’s arrest was related to that of Baradar, but Taliban shadow governors, who are usually senior commanders, are thought to travel regularly to Pakistan for consultations with the movement’s leadership, known as the Quetta shura.

Omar said he was told that a deputy of Salam’s, Mullah Mohammed, was arrested along with him. Some previous reports have identified Mullah Mohammed as the shadow governor of neighboring Baghlan province.

Taliban shadow governments sprang up across Afghanistan after the movement was driven from power in 2001 by a U.S.-led invasion. By late last year, according to a Western intelligence official, there were shadow governments in all but two of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

One would think that these actions are no coincidence coming from the CIA…… after the Taliban attack on the CIA info  center last month ……that resulted in seven of their members being taken out……

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

First Indiana Senate Poll after Evan Bayh drops out of the Running……

With Evan Bayh gone…. it’s gonna be a ‘free for all’ in the state….The good thing is the fears that Democrats would have a no-name candidate are unfounded…..Ellsworth polls within 14 points of Dan Coats ……who is well known….. but has a lot of heavy baggage …….

[ Ellsworth, Hostettler and Coats ]

From Rasmussen.….

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Indiana voters shows former GOP Congressman John Hostettler leading Baron Hill 49% to 31% and Brad Ellsworth 46% to 27%.

Former Senator Dan Coats, whose entry in the race has the blessing of the GOP establishment but has angered some Indiana Republicans, runs ahead of Hill 48% to 32% and ahead of Ellsworth 46% to 32%.

Another announced Republican hopeful, freshman state Senator Marlin Stutzman, leads Hill 41% to 33% and Ellsworth by a 40% to 30% margin.

In the six match-ups, five (5%) to nine percent (9%) prefer another candidate and anywhere from 14% to 21% are undecided.

Update:…..

U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth will run for Senate, and state Rep. Trent Van Haaften will seek his seat in Congress, multiple Democratic sources said Thursday morning.

More…………..

Rep. Trent Van Haaften

Rep. Trent Van Haaften

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Politics, Polls, Updates | , , | 11 Comments

Politicians don't do the Colbert Show…..But Obama would do the Jon Stewart Show……

Obama Fine to Face Jon Stewart, Will Avoid Stephen Colbert

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs–who recently joined Twitter–told Time‘s Swampland blog that putting President Obama on Letterman and Leno last year were “two of the easiest decisions” he and David Axelrod ever had to make.

So what about “The Daily Show”?

“I think the President would love to, just maybe not Colbert.” He went on to explain:”I have yet to see a politician best Stephen Colbert in an interview on his show,” Gibbs said, laughing. “I mean, he’s really, really good.”

Perhaps someone should have told Harold Ford Jr. that.

Yep…..

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, Political Satire, Politics, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Politicians don’t do the Colbert Show…..But Obama would do the Jon Stewart Show……

Obama Fine to Face Jon Stewart, Will Avoid Stephen Colbert

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs–who recently joined Twitter–told Time‘s Swampland blog that putting President Obama on Letterman and Leno last year were “two of the easiest decisions” he and David Axelrod ever had to make.

So what about “The Daily Show”?

“I think the President would love to, just maybe not Colbert.” He went on to explain:”I have yet to see a politician best Stephen Colbert in an interview on his show,” Gibbs said, laughing. “I mean, he’s really, really good.”

Perhaps someone should have told Harold Ford Jr. that.

Yep…..

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, Political Satire, Politics, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wanna Know Wednesday 2.17.10….from Up 4 Discussion…..

From JSIn…..

It’s Wanna Know Wednesday!

This week we are going to do things a little bit differently.  Instead of posting a poll, we will be relying heavily on reader participation this week.  In essence, this weeks Wanna Know Wednesday is going to be very engaging and entertaining (which is what we desire) or it’s going to lack substance due to a lack of reader participation.

Now we understand that everyone who stops by isn’t going to comment and honestly that’s fine.  But for the sake of making this new style a success if you are willing, please comment and share with us.

With that out of the way lets turn our focus towards today’s topic.  This week we wanna know all about the WORST date(s) you have ever been on.

It could be traditional dates, blind dates, double dates…whatever!  If you have a crazy, traumatic or entertaining date experience please share!

Thank YOU in advance for you participation!

*J

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Media, Men, Other Things, Up 4 Discussion, Updates, Women | , | Leave a comment

Senator's Collins and Snowe are happy with the year old Stimulus Bill…..

Proving that all politics is local…..the Moderate Republican Senators are bucking the GOP party line and heaping praise on the Bill which they signed on to…..

[Senator’s Snowe and Collins of Maine]

This from USAToday…..

While many congressional Republicans were lining up yesterday to call the year-old economic stimulus a failure, two GOP lawmakers who supported the $862 billion package were signing its praises — not in Washington, but in their home state of Maine.

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Maine Republicans, issued a joint statement touting the Transportation Department’s decision to award $14 million in stimulus funds to the state’s ports, according to the Bangor Daily News. “Given that our great nation is recovering from the deepest recession since World War II, this funding is a step forward that will assist in the expansion and rehabilitation of these vital ports,” the statement said, according to the newspaper.

The story — headlined Stimulus dollars headed to Eastport, Searsport — can be found here.

The pair of Maine moderates are the only Republicans in the Senate who supported the stimulus package. (Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was a Republican when he voted for the stimulus last year but has since switched to the Democratic party.)

Unlike many of their GOP colleagues, Snowe and Collins didn’t make any comments yesterday about how they think the stimulus package is working overall. Spokesmen for Snowe and Collins didn’t return phone messages seeking comment yesterday.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , , | Leave a comment

Senator’s Collins and Snowe are happy with the year old Stimulus Bill…..

Proving that all politics is local…..the Moderate Republican Senators are bucking the GOP party line and heaping praise on the Bill which they signed on to…..

[Senator’s Snowe and Collins of Maine]

This from USAToday…..

While many congressional Republicans were lining up yesterday to call the year-old economic stimulus a failure, two GOP lawmakers who supported the $862 billion package were signing its praises — not in Washington, but in their home state of Maine.

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Maine Republicans, issued a joint statement touting the Transportation Department’s decision to award $14 million in stimulus funds to the state’s ports, according to the Bangor Daily News. “Given that our great nation is recovering from the deepest recession since World War II, this funding is a step forward that will assist in the expansion and rehabilitation of these vital ports,” the statement said, according to the newspaper.

The story — headlined Stimulus dollars headed to Eastport, Searsport — can be found here.

The pair of Maine moderates are the only Republicans in the Senate who supported the stimulus package. (Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was a Republican when he voted for the stimulus last year but has since switched to the Democratic party.)

Unlike many of their GOP colleagues, Snowe and Collins didn’t make any comments yesterday about how they think the stimulus package is working overall. Spokesmen for Snowe and Collins didn’t return phone messages seeking comment yesterday.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , , | Leave a comment

Poll News…….for Nevada and Vermont Governor races…….

Nevada……

A new Grove Insight poll in Nevada finds Brian Sandoval (R) leading Rory Reid (D) in the gubernatorial race, 44% to 35%.

However, Reid would beat Gov. Jim Gibbons (R), 49% to 33%.

Vermont……

Deb Markowitz/Brian Dubie

A new WCAX-TV/Research 2000 poll in Vermont finds Deb Markowtiz (D) edging Brian Dubie (R) in the governor’r race, 43% to 41%.

Dubie, however, beats every other Democrat tested and leads Doug Racine (D), 43% to 38%, beats Peter Shumlin (D), 45% to 35%, and tops Matt Dunne (R), 44% to 36%.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Politics, Polls, Updates, Women | , , | 10 Comments