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Showing posts from February 17, 2016

Security breaches at MoD up 40% in 2015, says UK defence minister


Don't panic! Don't panic!

The UK's Ministry of Defence saw a significant spike in security breaches last year, the government has confirmed.

Figures released in Parliament on Friday revealed that security incidents—including "cyber attacks"—had rocketed almost 40 percent in 2015. Defence minister Mark Lancaster said that the MoD had recorded 2,145 breaches last year, compared with 1,547 in 2014.

Enlarge / Table shows number of security breaches at the UK's Ministry of Defence, sans breakout figures for "cyber attacks."
MoDLabour MP Kevan Jones asked the under-secretary of state, in a written parliamentary question, to disclose unauthorised entries to military bases, thefts or losses of classified material, other security breaches, and successful Internet-based attacks on the Whitehall department.

However, on that final request, the minister declined to offer a breakdown. "I am withholding the information on successful cyber attack…

The NSA Has Been Using An Algorithm To Decide Who Gets Killed With Drone Strikes

By Dan Seitz

It’s popular, in media, to depict governments as vast machines that know exactly what they’re doing. The truth, though, is a government is just a group of people, with the same weaknesses and fallacies of people. The NSA is no different, whether it’s making AT&T do all the work or blatantly violating your privacy for laughs. And that would be fine if one of the NSA’s methods of blowing off work wasn’t using what amounts to a marketing algorithm to decide who’s getting killed by drone strikes. And it’s a badly engineered one, to boot.

Ars Technica has a detailed breakdown of the NSA’s SKYNET program. Which is an apt name, because SKYNET is a “big data” application that pulls metadata from cell phones, like where you called and who you talked to, and puts it to a machine-learning algorithm. It’s built on some questionable assumptions, as well: If you turn off your phone or let your buddy borrow it, the algorithm marks it as an attempt to avoid surveillance.

Based on th…

Russian Diplomat Drops a Bombshell: US Expected ISIS to Seize Damascus by October

In an article in a British newspaper Russia's ambassador to the UK reveals the Russians were told by the Western powers that after the US proclaimed a no-fly zone ISIS would capture Damascus

By Alexander Mercouris

Alexander Yakovenko, Russia’s ambassador to Britain, dropped something of a bombshell on Monday, though one that has gone completely unnoticed.

In a piece in the print edition of the London Evening Standard defending Russian policy in Syria he made the following extraordinary disclosure:

“Last summer we were told by our Western partners that in October Damascus would fall to IS (ie. the Islamic State - AM).

What they were planning to do next we don’t know. Probably, they would have ended up painting the extremists white and accepting them as a Sunni state straddling Iraq and Syria”.

The summer - when these conversations between the Western powers and the Russians allegedly took place - was the time when the US was in discussions with Turkey and Jordan about setting up a no-…