SCADA Security – 07/29/2011

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20083906-245/expert-hacks-car-system-says-problems-reach-to-scada-systems/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCADA

“Many vendors of SCADA and control products have begun to address the risks posed by unauthorized access by developing lines of specialized industrial firewall and VPN solutions for TCP/IP-based SCADA networks as well as external SCADA monitoring and recording equipment. Additionally, application whitelisting solutions are being implemented because of their ability to prevent malware and unauthorized application changes without the performance impacts of traditional antivirus scans.Also, the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) is emerging to formalize SCADA security testing starting as soon as 2009. ISCI is conceptually similar to private testing and certification that has been performed by vendors since 2007. Eventually, standards being defined by ISA99 WG4 will supersede the initial industry consortia efforts, but probably not before 2011.”

“The increased interest in SCADA vulnerabilities has resulted in vulnerability researchers discovering vulnerabilities in commercial SCADA software and more general offensive SCADA techniques presented to the general security community.In electric and gas utility SCADA systems, the vulnerability of the large installed base of wired and wireless serial communications links is addressed in some cases by applying bump-in-the-wire devices that employ authentication and Advanced Encryption Standard encryption rather than replacing all existing nodes.

Big Hugs and Kisses to All!;+)

Does the Norway Massacre Poses the Question:” Is a New “Reconquista” the Future of Europe”? – 07/29/11

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconquista
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Roncevaux_Pass
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Song_of_Roland

  • 711: The Muslim conquest of Iberia begins.
  • 718: Moorish Islamic rule is at its widest extent, conquering almost all of the Iberian Peninsula, the Pyrenees, and part of today’s southern France.
  • 722:Battle of Covadonga in the north-west of Iberia. The Christian Reconquista begins.
  • 739: Moorish garrison driven out of Galicia by Asturian-Galician forces.
  • 800: The Franks complete the reconquest of all of today’s southern French territory and the Pyrenees and establish the Spanish March.
  • 801: The Franks reconquer Barcelona.
  • 914: Completion of the reconquest of the north-west. Muslims briefly retook Barcelona.
  • 1085: Toledo reconquered by Castilian forces.
  • 1236: Half of Iberia has been reconquered by the Christians. Cadiz seized by Castilian forces attacking from the sea.
  • 1249: King Afonso III of Portugal takes Faro (in the Algarve), ending the Portuguese part of the Reconquista in 1250.[4] The Emirate of Granada remains the only Muslim state in Iberia.
  • 1300s and 1400s: Marinid Muslims seize control of some towns on the southern coast but are soon driven out.
  • 1492: Treaty of Granada completes the Reconquista. “

Arian Christianity, a sect which had been condemned as heretical by the Catholic Church and largely been eliminated in Europe, found a safe haven in the Iberian peninsula. The Visigoths had traditionally been Arian Christians, and it was the official religion of the Spanish Visigothic Kingdom until the conversion of Visigothic King Reccared I in 587 nominally eliminated it. However, because the Visigothic Monarchy (now Catholic) was detached from the public (Arian), the Arian undercurrent remained.”

“From 711 to 756, the Moors (mainly North African Berber warriors) swept over the Iberian Peninsula coming mostly from Morocco across the straights of Gibraltar, conquering nearly all of it and establishing a foothold north of the Pyrenees in Narbonne. They put down local rebellions and established the Emirate of Córdoba. At no point did the Islamic armies exceed 60,000 men. This launched 800 years of Islamic rule.”

“The many advances and retreats created several social types:

  • The Muladi: Christians who converted to Islam after the arrival of the Moors.
  • The Renegades: Christian individuals who embraced Islam and often fought against their former compatriots.
  • The Mozarabs: Christians in Muslim-held lands. Some of them migrated to the north of the peninsula in times of persecution bringing elements of the styles, food and agricultural practices learned from the Moors, while they continued practicing their Christianity with older forms of Catholic worship and their own versions of the Latin language.
  • The Marranos: Jewish conversos. Jews who either voluntarily or compulsorily converted to Catholicism. Some were Crypto-Jews who continued practicing Judaism secretly. All remaining Jews were expelled from Spain in Treaty of Granada of 1491, and Portugal also. Converso Jews often became victims of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions.
  • The Mudéjar and Moriscos: Muslim conversos. Muslims who were compulsorily converted to Catholicism. Most were Crypto-Muslims who continued practicing Islam secretly. They ranged from successful skilled artisans, valued and protected in Aragon, to impoverished peasants in Castile. After the Alhambra Decree the entire Islamic population was forced to convert or leave, and within a century most, if not all, were expelled. “

“The Reconquista was a war with long periods of respite between the adversaries, partly for pragmatic reasons, and also due to infighting among the Christian kingdoms of the North spanning over seven centuries. Some populations practiced Islam or Christianity as their own religion during these centuries, so the identity of contenders changed over time.”

“The Battle of Roncevaux Pass (French and English spelling, Roncesvallesin Spanish, Orreaga in Basque) was a battle in 778 in which Roland, prefect of the BretonMarch and commander of the rear guard of Charlemagne‘s army, was defeated by the Basques. It was fought at Roncevaux Pass, a high mountain pass in the Pyrenees on the border between France and Spain.
Over the years, the battle was romanticized by oral tradition into a major conflict between Christians and Muslims, when in fact both sides in the battle were Christian. The legend is recounted in 11th century The Song of Roland, which is the oldest surviving major work of French literature, and in Orlando Furioso, which is one of the most celebrated works of Italian literature.”

The Song of Roland (French: La Chanson de Roland) is the oldest surviving major work of French literature.”

No wonder why Westerners and Muslims are traumatized when they talk about each others. :+(

Talk about a bloody history, even though it was a very rich time artistically and scientifically…….

In those days the Middle East and Europe educated each other!

Could we skip the massacres and go right ahead to learning from each other again?…….;+)

Big Hugs and Kisses to all! ;+)

What happens if the US is Downgraded – 07/29/2011

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43909706?slide=1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times

In fact, we do NOT know and can only speculate, as there is NO precedent, ever……..

“”It’s better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period” (寧為太平犬,不做亂世人; pinyin: níng wéi tàipíng quǎn, bú zuò luànshì rén”

Big Hugs and Kisses to All! ;+)

Hubris and the End of Bretton Woods leading to New Balkanization? – 07/27/11

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkanization
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protracted_social_conflict
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarian_violence
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_exclusion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_multiculturalism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Salter

EthologistFrank Salterwrites:

“Relatively homogeneous societies invest more in public goods, indicating a higher level of public altruism. For example, the degree of ethnic homogeneity correlates with the government’s share of gross domestic product as well as the average wealth of citizens. Case studies of the United States…find that multi-ethnic societies are less charitable and less able to cooperate to develop public infrastructure….. A recent multi-city study of municipal spending on public goods in the United States found that ethnically or racially diverse cities spend a smaller portion of their budgets and less per capita on public services than do the more homogenous cities.

“In the mid 1990s, Salter began applying behavioral biology to other social and political phenomena that involve interpersonal relationships and manipulative strategies, including interpersonal attractiveness, crowds and riots, indoctrination, begging, Edward Westermarck’s naturalistic ethics, training suicide terrorists, the connection between class mobility and reproductive strategies, and ethnic solidarity. These diversity studies resulted in three books: Risky Transactions (2002) on the interpersonal bonds and trust that facilitate high-risk enterprises; On Genetic Interests on the implications of ethnic kinship for political theory; and Welfare, Ethnicity, & Altruism (2004) on the impact of ethnic similarity on public altruism. Salter’s most recent (unpublished) research connects the themes of hierarchy and ethnicity by developing a method for comparing ethnic group power.”

Emotions in Command represents one of Salter’s most fundamental non-diversity research books, which is of use for people in business, economics and politics. It has as its premise “a quest for a general theory of organizations valid in all cultures.” The book is described as “… a quest for a general theory of organizations valid in all cultures. Central to Frank Salter’s investigation is the question of social power: why people obey their superiors. His approach is to locate the nature of organizational power in the behavioral details of hierarchical interactions in the institutional settings in which they occur. Salter begins by noting the extensive research that points to hierarchy as being a necessary component of organization and proceeds to an analysis rendered in universals of primary emotions and behaviors of dominance and affiliation. ”

Big Hugs and Kisses to All! ;+)

Welcome to the New World Emerging Economy – 07/25/11

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43874934

“Debt default. A ratings downgrade. Political deadlock. Such terms, once associated primarily with the developing world, now abound in the mighty United States.”

“”We attend a lot of meetings with Latin Americans and we used to complain to them about the problems they had, and now they like to say to us: ‘That sounds just like the U.S.’,” said Peter Hakim, head of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy group in Washington.”

“Haag Sherman, managing partner at Salient Partners, an investment firm in Houston, Texas, said the angry tone of U.S. politics harked back to the early days of the Republic, when the United States really was a developing nation.”
“”We were an emerging market then, and you have some of the hallmarks of an emerging economy today: increasing concentration of wealth, an entrenchment of the political class,” he said.”

 

I am afraid, it needs to get a lot worse, before it gets better, unfortunately……..:+(
Big Hugs and Kisses to All! ;+)

The First Three Legs of my French Education Stool – 07/19/11

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Your Entertainment (FYE)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_de_Montaigne

  • To forbid us anything is to make us have a mind for it.
  • Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness.
  • Everyone calls barbarity what he is not accustomed to.
  • If you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved
  • When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not playing with me rather than I with her?
  • Life in itself is neither good nor evil, it is the place of good and evil, according to what you make it.
  • The continuous work of our life is to build death.
  • If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because it was he, because it was I.
  • Kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies.
  • I enter into discussion and argument with great freedom and ease, inasmuch as opinion finds me in a bad soil to penetrate and take deep root in. No propositions astonish me, no belief offends me, whatever contrast it offers to my own. There is no fancy so frivolous and so extravagant that it does not seem to me quite suitable to the production of the human mind.
  • Our religion is made to eradicate vices, instead it encourages them, covers them, and nurtures them.
  • Human understanding is marvellously enlightened by daily conversation with men, for we are, otherwise, compressed and heaped up in ourselves, and have our sight limited to the length of our own noses.
  • Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.
  • The clatter of arms drowns the voice of law.
  • No matter that we may mount on stilts, we still must walk on our own legs. And on the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.
  • Montaigne’s axiom: “Nothing is so firmly believed as that which least is known.”
  • Man cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen.
  • I have gathered a garland of other men’s flowers, and nothing is mine but the cord that binds them.
  • No man is a hero to his own valet.
  • The only thing certain is nothing is certain.
  • The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.
  • Whether the events in our life are good or bad greatly depends on the way we perceive them.
  • I believe it to be true that dreams are the true interpreters of our inclinations; but there is art required to sort and understand them. “

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephardic_Jewish

“The term essentially means “Spanish”. It comes from Sepharad (Hebrew: ספרד, Modern Səfarád Tiberian Səp̄aráḏ / Səp̄āraḏ ; Turkish: Sefarad), a Biblical location. This location is disputed, but “Sepharad” was identified by later Jews as the Iberian Peninsula, and still means “Spain” in modern Hebrew “

“The Jews of Hispania had been utterly embittered and alienated by Catholic rule by the time of the Muslim invasion. To them, the Moors were perceived as, and indeed were, a liberating force. Wherever they went, the Muslims were greeted by Jews eager to aid them in administering the country. In many conquered towns the garrison was left in the hands of the Jews before the Muslims proceeded further north. Thus were initiated the two centuries of Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula which became known as the “Golden Age” of Sephardi Jewry.”

Americans and Europeans are much more Middle Easterners (Jews, Muslims, Early Middle Eastern Christians) than they want to admit today………..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Descartes

In Descartes’s system, knowledge takes the form of ideas, and philosophical investigation is the contemplation of these ideas. This concept would influence subsequent internalist movements as Descartes’s epistemology requires that a connection made by conscious awareness will distinguish knowledge from falsity. As a result of his Cartesian doubt, he viewed rational knowledge as being “incapable of being destroyed” and sought to construct an unshakable ground upon which all other knowledge can be based. The first item of unshakable knowledge that Descartes argues for is the aforementioned cogito, or thinking thing.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche

“Nietzsche’s influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism, nihilism and postmodernism. His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition. His key ideas include the death of God, perspectivism, the Übermensch, the eternal recurrence, and the will to power. Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation”, which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life’s expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be.”

Big Hugs and Kisses to All! ;+)

New Middle Ages Going Into Dark Ages Potential Solutions – 07/18/11

SUMMARY

Security and stability in the 21st century have little

to do with traditional power politics, military conflict

between states, and issues of grand strategy. Instead,

they revolve around governance, public safety,

inequality, urbanization, violent nonstate actors, and

the disruptive consequences of globalization. This

monograph seeks to explore the implications of these

issues for the future U.S. role in the world, as well as

for its military posture and strategy.

Underlying the change from traditional geopolitics

to security as a governance issue is the long-term decline

of the state. Despite state resilience, this trend could

prove unstoppable. If so, it will be essential to replace

dominant state-centric perceptions and assessments

(what the author terms “stateocentrism”) with alternative

judgments acknowledging the reduced role

and diminished effectiveness of states. This alternative

assessment has been articulated most effectively in the

notion of the New Middle Ages in which the state is

only one of many actors, and the forces of disorder

loom large. The concept of the New Middle Ages is

discussed in Section II, which suggests that global

politics are now characterized by fragmented political

authority, overlapping jurisdictions, no-go zones,

identity politics, and contested property rights.

Failure to manage the forces of global disorder,

however, could lead to something even more forbidding—

a New Dark Age. Accordingly, Section III

identifies and elucidates key developments that are not

only feeding into the long-term decline of the state but

seem likely to create a major crisis of governance that

could tip into the chaos of a New Dark Age. Particular

attention is given to the inability of states to meet the

 

needs of their citizens, the persistence of alternative

loyalties, the rise of transnational actors, urbanization

and the emergence of alternatively governed spaces,

and porous borders. These factors are likely to interact

in ways that could lead to an abrupt, nonlinear shift

from the New Middle Ages to the New Dark Age. This

will be characterized by the spread of disorder from the

zone of weak states and feral cities in the developing

world to the countries of the developed world. When

one adds the strains coming from global warming and

environmental degradation, the diminution of cheaply

available natural resources, and the proliferation of

weapons of mass destruction, the challenges will be

formidable and perhaps overwhelming.

These challenges will also have profound implications

for U.S. security policy and military strategy. Reflecting

this, Section IV considers the extent to which

these trends and challenges have been incorporated

into official thinking about U.S. national security

policy, military posture, and strategy. Although there

is considerable sensitivity to the need to adapt to a more

complex, dynamic, and unpredictable environment,

the continued focus on defeating enemies rather than

managing conditions of complexity and even chaos is

overly narrow. At best, the official assessments remain

linear in terms of projections about states—and even

when the focus is on state weakness, the emphasis

remains on adversaries rather than the environment

itself.

Consequently, Section V considers how—in the

event the prognosis of state decline and emerging

chaos is correct—the United States might seek to

adapt its policies and strategies. Several different

options are explored. These range from the adoption of

vigorous preventive measures at one extreme to global

 

disengagement at the other. The first option seeks

to quarantine and contain disorder and chaos as far

from the United States as possible. The second option

seeks to quarantine the United States itself, thereby

protecting it from the most serious consequences of

an inexorable trend. A third option, lying somewhere

between these extremes, offers a more selective and

differentiated strategy. For both the first and the third

options, the United States would need a far more

holistic approach to the exercise of power and a far

more coherent organizational structure than currently

exist. In responding to security challenges, the United

States develops several strands of distinct and often

independent activities rather than a sustained strategic

approach that integrates multiple activities and directs

them towards a common purpose.

In a world where the United States seeks to

combat extensive disorder and restore stability,

military, economic, and diplomatic power have to

be targeted in ways that create synergies rather than

seams, that reinforce rather than undercut, and that

provide maximum efficiency and effectiveness. U.S.

interventions would have to be smarter, not harder.

The problem is that effective strategies of intervention

and reconstruction require more than the coordination

of disparate elements. Strategy cannot be patched

together. At the very least, it requires going beyond

interagency collaboration to develop what might be

termed transagency organizational structures. Based

on but extending the task force concept, a transagency

structure would be a central core of U.S. interventionist

capabilities. It would include military forces, diplomats,

reconstruction specialists, and legal experts

integrated into one organization designed to assist a

target state in reestablishing its authority, legitimacy,

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR

PHIL WILLIAMS is currently Visiting Research

Professor, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War

College, and Professor of International Security in the

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at

the University of Pittsburgh. From 1992 to 2001, Dr.

Williams was the Director of the University’s Matthew

B. Ridgeway Center for International Security Studies.

His research has focused primarily on transnational

organized crime, and he was founding editor of the

journal, Transnational Organized Crime (now Global

Crime). He has published on alliances among criminal

organizations, global and national efforts to combat

money laundering, and trends in cyber crime. Dr.

Williams has been a consultant to both the United

Nations and various U.S. Government agencies.

He has edited or co-authored books on the Carter,

Reagan, and Bush Presidencies, Russian Organized

Crime, Illegal Immigration and Commercial Sex: The New

Slave Trade, and Combating Transnational Crime. He

recently published book chapters on the financing of

terrorism, the relationship between organized crime

and terrorism, trafficking in women, complexity theory

and intelligence analysis, and intelligence and nuclear

proliferation. He has also conducted research on how

to attack terrorist networks. At the Strategic Studies

Institute, Dr. Williams is working on monographs on

organized crime in Iraq and the Madrid bombings. Dr

Williams is a National Intelligence Council Associate

and works closely with the Office for Warning.