Thursday, July 24, 2014

Swindlers Target Kin of Migrants, Scams at the border on the rise - NYTimes.com

Swindlers Target Kin of Migrants - NYTimes.com



Probably the biggest scam is on the US, and its people.  For instance Children around the age of two are being found with their names, DOB and USA phone number of someone to pick them up are being found. ICE is being used so much for babysitting that drug interdiction's for the past two months in the Rio Grande area are 18% of normal, not down 18% down 72%.



Drug Cartels are forgoing payments for transporting kids, in fact they are hiring local kids on the Mexico Border to make the last transfer across the river.  They set them up ahead of time, and then when the the Border Patrol (ICE as they are now known) are taking care of all the children and families (another scam on us) they run record loads of drugs across just down or up stream.



The shootings from the Mexico side near, not usually at, our Border Security Folks (I say this because they are shooting at Wild Life Management folks as well as Local Police, as well as the Border Patrol)  are also an effort to control where the border patrol folks pay attention too, once again so they can move their drugs across in other areas.



In just one park area near Mission and McAllen Texas, that is right across from a park on the Mexico side, you can watch folks hang out and even swim away from the shore of Mexico to test the response of our Security, not to find when they are not around like before, it is to get as many in the Border Security in the area as they can, since they know with all the Border Patrol, taking care of Kids, not that many are out there looking for them. Once again so they can transport drugs and people ( high priced people ) in other areas not being watched.



Let's back up to the families for a second, we keep hearing about the unaccompanied children, which are some pretty high numbers, but there is also a much larger number of families coming across, that also get close to the same treatment.  In other words they are taken in detained and then given court dates, and then moved out into the communities.  That is all those families with children you seen getting off planes in Detroit and other US Cities. the also get to stay until they face court dates that they 90 +% of the time do not show up for.   Estimates are those family numbers are five times those of the unaccompanied children, where is the push to send them back immediately?



The only people really getting hurt here appear to be the tax payers.  When the fog is lifted, we see the Cartels, saw an opening and exploited it.  Talks with people coming over find that the Cartels are paying for the posters in these central american countries, promising great lives, free from work in the US.   We find they the Cartels are paying a lot of the costs for getting the families and children up here, taking what they can from them on the way, exploiting them as much as they can on the way, prostituting the women and girls,  even the young males.  They have even had groups stop and help harvest crops on the way up, sometimes the drugs they want to transport as well.



It is a game of numbers and everyone is making out except the US Tax payer, this identity scam the NYT's is reporting, being used is just another game of numbers, keep playing the kids and families  as long as you can.  If it plays out like in the past it is not over for these people.  The exploitation will continue, every once in a while the family will be told that if they do not pay more, then they will tell the US Border Agents where they are, and deportation proceeding will start.  Most will pay, some will not, but all will face the extortion.  If a person gets caught he will offer up his list of locations of illegal immigrants to the authorities to get a reduced sentence,so in the end paying off the bad guys really never helps, but it will continue.   Illegal factory owners will buy names from the bad guys to exploit the illegal immigrants for labor.  They know the workers will take what ever pay they get in what ever conditions they have to work.



If you do not want to work the scam continues, illegal immigrants are taught all the ins and outs of our welfare systems, how to exploit each one, how do use any child's name on the welfare lists to get even more money.  Then to top it off the names are used again in Tax fraud scams, where a family claims to be taking care of children for tax deductions.  Most of the tax scam folks know just what will most likely get thru with out raising suspicions.  They normally charge a fee for each name provided on your tax form, what you do not know is they probably have used the name before, so when you go back next year, it maybe a new firm you are dealing with, same folks just a different firm.  But your chances of getting caught keep going up.



There are no good numbers on how many illegal immigrants can or have transitioned into lives better than what they had, but guesses from groups that take care of them, are not encouraging.   Most never will make a real life and yet they still are required to send money back to their home countries, where the scam there continues. Everything from taking 50% of a check sent back by the check cashing scam artists, to out right extortion by criminal actors.  The countries are happy, it is all money coming home, no matter who gets it.  This money coming back is a major part of the economy of all four of the countries involved to include Mexico.  When it comes from you the tax payer, Mexico can laugh even harder.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Industrial espionage: Cyberspies and mincing rascals | The Economist

Industrial espionage: Cyberspies and mincing rascals | The Economist



Is your Thermostat Spying on you, quite possibly,

 If these guy get involved, it could already be happening.  These are Chinese hackers part of a team that has been charged with Espionage in a US Federal Court.




They are many reasons for Espionage and China really has gotten on board with it, in a big way. Espionage for a Country is a big thing, but also a fact of life.  It blurs the bounds when it is Cyber espionage, we can not hold a press conference and put some parts of a electronic eavesdropping device.  We rarely can entice a cyber agent into a meeting so he or she can be arrested and we can parade them for a photo shot.  Putting these Cyber Espionage Teams up for a federal court is not producing the results we the US had perhaps.  But we are facing a brave new world, I am sure the CIA is saying, we need to keep this hushed up, that would be for a number of reasons.  One is the CIA has dealt with Espionage Agents for ever and has ways to take it's retribution.  Two China like other countries know full well that the US has some of the, if not the greatest spies in the world.  I often laugh when I read how the great Spy's of the Soviet Union had been so effective.  Our spies have done some of the most amazing things, things that would make people watching TV shows blink.



The biggest difference between the US and them, mainly China is that there are no bounds, as our US Chamber of Commerce found out, when they where hit so bad, that months later when they thought all of it had been found and neutralized, it was discovered that a simple smart thermometer and a fairly cheap printer in their offices was sending information directly to China still.  By the way both had been made in China, in fact if the product is not, the chips inside it probably will be.  China has been making back doors and out right espionage devices into their micro chips they supply to the world, one expert recently chose a bogus corrupted chip as the good one over two that had nothing wrong.   Looking into a chip with thousands of micro, no, below micro circuits on them, finding a few circuit changes is close to impossible.



Then add the software end of the Chinese attack and you have a very tough and tenacious full out Espionage attack.



 Mandiant a very good software cyber security firm has recently written a extremely good report on the state of State Cyber Espionage.  They have recently released the report via a downloadable link.  https://dl.mandiant.com/EE/library/WP_M-Trends2014_140409.pdf  if is well worth the read.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage | World news | The Guardian

Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage | World news | The Guardian



Espionage has been around a long time, and continually evolved with the new technology.  It is kind of interesting to see the Russians and the Germans going back to typewriters.  All three of us Germany, Soviets, and the US, as well as Japan, France, England, almost any countries Intel could read what was being typed on a typewriter from a distance.  In fact if the target was important enough a system would be fine tuned to actually type out what the person was typing in real time.  One of the nice things about Governments is they tended to standardize on a typewriter, and the best typewriters would always go to the important folks, all the important folks.  You could actually get an idea of how important a target was at times by the sound the typewriter made.



I remember running around the White House and the rest of the 18 acres looking for typewriters that could be easily compromised.  Every Govt. Agency and the DOD was doing the same.  The reason we knew to do this is because we had so much success in these espionage attacks.  Even ones that are not electric could be hit with some fairly easy sound sensors.



I would imagine a lot of the intel agencies out there around the world are dusting off some old sound sensors, if fact some are probably checking to see if some of the old ones are still in place.  That is the nice thing about microphones, they last for ever, the biggest issue would be have they been painted over to many times to still work.



As always nothing I am talking about is new to the world at large, in this case an old book called Spooks, and two others including the Puzzle Palace have all gone quite deeply into these exploit's. Snowden is not one of my sources, but I will say it is irritating that he is telling the Russians and Chinese things when they are doing the same to us, his biggest naivety is that he seems to think only the US does this, when in actuality the Chinese and former Soviets had, have and are developing systems of their own.    It is like telling Merkle that we had her phone, if the Germans do not have Obama's phone, it is only because they have not succeeded yet.



The key is you do not talk about it, but Snowden thinks he is helping, helping who, the Soviets had folks in our State Department, CIA, FBI, in fact have had people in our NSA before.  Most of my espionage work in the government was more criminal than espionage, like wire taps and hidden microphones, tape recorders, cameras and  the needed alarm bypass and lock picking.  But it was all good background for my critical work of Counter Espionage.  If you ever want to know the business find an old Gene Hackman film called The Conversation.  A little dry, but you will never listen to a lonely saxophone the same way again.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Palestine Rocket Attacks, limited effectiveness, but do what they are made for, they cause terror to Israel

First this graphic was provided by Stratfor, but it does represent the best description of the threat Palestine rockets are to Israel.   At this point only 15 large rockets have been fired,  But lots of the smaller built in Gaza rockets.  I personally have never seen the larger rockets fired, but Stratfor has posted some of the specifications of them.  They can handle a payload of around 200 pounds, which would or could do a lot of damage.  Stratfor reports Palestine sometimes fires them with out a payload, to get distance and thus increase the scare and terror factor.

I have been around the smaller rockets, which have a limited range, most barely make it out of Gaza if they do.  But they have made it to a good sized city to the north of Gaza along the sea.  There are a number of smaller cities, ones that where started as settlements many years ago.that are also in range.  When Gaza was occupied by Israel settlers, the rockets where the most effective. It usually carries less than 5 pounds of explosive, and the detonators are a bit iffy.  I have been driving along the outside of Gaza, which is mainly farm land on both sides.  These rockets are very visible and somewhat loud. So you can see them coming for the most part.  I have seen them land in fields being cultivated, and the children would stop with everyone else and listen and if possible watch them fly thru the air.  When they land in fields children will often run up to them, which is very dangerous due to the iffy detonators.

They are dangerous, and very scary for the children at times, but are not all that effective in anything more than a chance hit of a building.  People playing outside are in the most danger, and makeshift shelters are around most outside play areas like parks and playgrounds.  At night they are a cause for fear since they are harder to see, but people do hear them.

I am not sure if the Iron dome is used that much against the smaller rockets, but they are used against the larger ones.  They are large enough that if Israel makes a ground assault, they will probably find most of them. Knowing the Israel intel capabilities, I would not have a hard time believing they pretty much know where most if not all of them are.

When you study the graphic, please remember the thousands number often reported are the smaller rockets, and you need to look at the smaller foot print to see what they can hit.

The smaller rockets are often shot off stands made of re bar, and are fired in multiples.  One that just missed me as I was driving in Gaza, apparently with the third of three, and one of the first two,when going off knocked the stand over so it was skimming over the ground and over the hood of our car. ,

On the other side of the issue, you learn to know what an attack team of Helo's or fighter jets look and sound like.  You make turns as soon as you see or hear them coming, I have been near two cars blowing up by attacks, and have seen quite a few more.  Israel also tend to blow up roads at times, which made driving to work for me a bit of a challenge at times.. .

The great hope and my prayers is all the violence stops as soon as possible.  The number of actual active terrorists in Gaza is quite small, but there is a lot of inactive support, but even that number is pretty small.  Still Hamas runs Gaza now, I still worked there for a while after they gained control, but was limited to areas not under direct control of Hamas.  They are a threat to Israel, and can go active at anytime. They must be stopped, either by the vote or attacks, it may even take both.