Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sony Pictures Hack: The FBI Investigation


On December 2nd, 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched its investigation into the Sony Pictures hack.  The FBI also issued a flash alert the day before warning organizations of malware that has the ability to destroy data.

The following Friday, December 5th, 2014, the FBI is called in to examine threatening emails that Sony Pictures employees, and their families, received . [Source: CNET 12/2014].  The full email from #GOP, found at Variety, says:

"I am the head of GOP who made you worry.

Removing Sony Pictures on earth is a very tiny work for our group which is a worldwide organization. And what we have done so far is only a small part of our further plan. It’s your false if you think this crisis will be over after some time. All hope will leave you and Sony Pictures will collapse. This situation is only due to Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures is responsible for whatever the result is. Sony Pictures clings to what is good to nobody from the beginning. It’s silly to expect in Sony Pictures to take off us. Sony Pictures makes only useless efforts. One beside you can be our member.

Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agents find themselves act in necessary places. Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don’t want to suffer damage. If you don’t, not only you but your family will be in danger.

Nobody can prevent us, but the only way is to follow our demand. If you want to prevent us, make your company behave wisely."

To add to the severity of this compromise, the FBI released a statement Saturday the 6th,regarding the malware used.  The Bureau said "This incident appears to have been conducted using techniques that went undetected by industry standard antivirus software."[Source: USA Today 12/2014]

As of December 9th, FBI Director James Comey stated that the Bureau still has not identified who is responsible for the Sony Pictures compromise. [Source NBC 12/2014 ]  This was amid speculations that North Korea was involved with the hack in retaliation to the upcoming release of the movie "The Interview."

The ongoing investigation led assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's cyberdivision Joe Demarest to say
 "[T]he malware that was used would have gotten past 90 percent of the Net defenses that are out there today in private industry and [would have been] likely to challenge even state government," [Source CNET 12/2014]
It still remains uncertain who is responsible for this hack.

Update #1
On December 19th, 2014, the FBI officially concludes that North Korea is indeed responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures that occurred almost a month ago  However, Steve Ragan of CSO's column Salted Hash offers up some interesting commentary and critique on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe into the attack.  To briefly summarize Ragan's view, he states that while the FBI says that code found in the malware used for the attack, criminals often recycle code, so this shouldn't be a sole indicator that North Korea is responsible.  [CSO 12/2014]  The FBI saying that the IPs used are also indicative of North Korea's involvement, according to Ragan is also no smoking gun, as attackers can use proxies or other means to mask where they're really coming from [Source CSO 12/2014]

The truth of the matter is that for us laypeople we aren't privy to the investigation and can only speculate what is happening until authoritative sources reveal what is happening.

[Check back for updates]

Have something to say about the investigation or have updates to this article?  Feel free to comment.  Corrections to inaccuracies are welcome too.  You may also email dcde[dot]transmission[at]gmail[dot]com


Related articles
Sony Pictures hack time line
Sony Pictures Hack: The Malware

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sony Pictures Hack: The Malware

The Sony Pictures hack that surfaced on November 24th, 2014, has several fascinating aspects to it.  This entry will look at the malware associated with the attack.

The malware class associated with the Sony Pictures hack would be classified as a wiper.  This type of malware destroys data and itself, according to Wikipedia.

Destover, the wiper malware analyzed by Kaspersky, as well as Symantec, executes in three stages
  • Overwrite the Master Boot Record (MBR)
  • Overwrite data
  • Connect to command and control web server which loads the now infamous skeleton image
Source
For those wanting a more technical look at the malware, visit the Kaspersky and Symantec analysis.

Regarding this malware, things get interesting, according to darkreading.
"Security researchers have discovered that the wiper malware -- called Destover by some, WIPALL by others -- contained hard-coded names of servers inside Sony's network and the credentials to access them. Further, the attackers themselves released a new set of 11,000 files last night that include, as one reporter explained it, "everything needed to manage the day-to-day [IT] operations at Sony."
USA Today also has a good article on the discovered malware.  According to Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant, "the malware was undetectable by industry standard antivirus software and was damaging and unique enough to cause the FBI to release a flash alert to warn other organizations of this critical threat."  [Source: USA Today, 12/2014]

Poking around, this appears to be the FBI flash alert that was released http://www.scribd.com/doc/249069192/DHS-NCIC-spread-of-FBI-Flash-warning

In the FBI flash alert it details the technical aspects of the threat Mandia speaks of.  It includes MD5 hashes of the files as well as Snort signatures for detection.  Snort is an open source IPS (Intrusion Prevention System)

Mandia continues to say "this was an unparalleled and well planned crime, carried out by an organized group, for which neither SPE nor other companies could have been fully prepared."

The USA Today also received comment from a former NSA employee who states, to paraphrase, that this attack/malware is a game changing event.  [Source: USA Today, 12/2014]

In the article, Tom Kellermann, CSO of Trend Micro mentions "This is totally different, this is literally the equivalent of burning the building down — it's a wake-up call about how bad it can get"

Felt this best summed things up.  Source: Flickr
Update December 8th, 2014
In the most recent leak reported by arstechnica, along with sensitive files
"...download pages for .torrent files and full .rar downloads on sites such as FileNuke and TurboBit hosted a number of other things as well. They were laden with a variety of “malvertising”—including an ad from a Swedish “adrotator” that attempted to download malware and a variety of layered frames over buttons that were positioned to fool visitors into launching hordes of fraudulent advertising pages."

Update December 9th, 2014
arstechnica adds a new piece to the malware story.  Kaspersky Labs has found another variant of Destover that is using a valid cert stolen from Sony Pictures [Source: arstechnica 12/2014].  It was signed on December 5th and attempts to connect to two C&C servers in Thailand and Champlain, New York [Source: arstechnica 12/2014].
Source

 This new variant, according to ars, is a more generic version that might be part of a botnet kit used to spread the malware and "be installed without being stopped by corporate system management measures such as application whitelisting—especially if it was intended to re-target Sony Pictures’ network for another attack." [Source: arstechnica 12/2014]

For a more technical look, visit the Kaspersky analysis.  Pertaining to the new variant of Destover, the MD5 is e904bf93403c0fb08b9683a9e858c73e and, again, visit the analysis for the IP addresses for the C&C servers

Update on Kaspersky analysis
The digitally signed malware was a joke between security researchers.  The new malware variant has not been seen in the wild.  Kaspersky does say "However, the existence of this sample demonstrated that the private key was in the public domain.

Update
On December 19th, according to Bloomberg, the company Trend Micro has also analyzed the malware involved with the Sony Pictures hack.  Trend's findings indicate that the Guardians Of Peace were in Sony Pictures' networks for months.  During the minutes leading up to the breach, the attacker's payload had a ten minute timer and once it hit zero, the payload executed its instructions. [Source: Bloomberg 12/2014] This is what is called a time bomb.

It is unknown if the other major anti-virus vendors Kaspersky, Symantec and McAfee have also verified Trend Micro's claims.

[Stay tuned for more updates]

It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.

If anyone has more information on the, or any, malware used, or if you see inaccuracies, or if you want to share your thoughts of what's going on, drop a comment.  You can also send email to
dcde [dot] transmission [at] gmail [dot] com

Also check out the time line of the Sony Pictures attack if you need catching up or are curious as to what's going on.  You can find it here

Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sony Pictures: Timeline of the 2014 hack

It's certainly been a while since the last post, but the Sony Pictures hack has brought the blog to life because this compromise is absolutely fascinating.  This entry will recap the ongoing events of the breach.  There is so much happening with this, it's like a new surprise everyday.  It's the hack that keeps on giving.  Future posts on this topic will hopefully be a little more in depth and focused, but for now, to bring everyone up to speed, who hasn't been following this incredible hack, here is the quick and dirty of the events that have transpired.

November 24th, 2014
On November 24th, 2014, Steve Ragan of CSO's Salted Hash column reported that Sony Pictures was in the "middle of a security incident" (Regan, 11/2014).  One of the alleged hackers of the group calling themselves #GOP or (Guardians of Peace) claimed responsibility and the following image appeared on Sony Pictures employees' monitors.

Source core0.staticworld.net
The group alleges that, as a result of their attack, Sony Pictures brought down their corporate network.  #GOP also released a threat that if their demands weren't met by 11PM GMT on November 24th, they would release the data they were in possession of.  The deadline passed and the group did not make good on their threat.

Mean while, the members of r/hacking on reddit were trying to piece together and make sense of the preview of the trove #GOP had.  You can follow the r/hacking thread here, which still appears to have some activity.

Ragan then released another update stating that "After notification, employees were told to turn their computers off, disable Wi-Fi on their mobile devices, and to refrain from accessing the corporate VPN" (Ragan, 11/2014).  He was unable to confirm, at the time, but there were claims that some employees were sent home for the day, while others were told to sit tight (Ragan 11/2014)

Still yet another update, Ragan said that Sony Pictures issued a statement stating "We are investigating an IT matter."

Another plot thickening moment is when several twitter feeds were allegedly hijacked by #GOP calling out CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Michael Lynton as a criminal. This was reported by business2community.com

November 25th, 2014
Steve Ragan drops a bombshell that takes the Sony Pictures hack to a whole other level.

While there still isn't verifiable evidence at this point in the time line of the compromise,  Ragan, as well as Jacob Kastrenakes and Russell Brandom at The Verge report of someone calling themselves "lena" as saying "I've already contacted the UK register with details," wrote 'Lena' – the name associated with the GOP account that responded to Salted Hash on Tuesday morning.
"However I'll tell you this. We don't want money. We want equality. Sony left their doors unlocked, and it bit them. They don't do physical security anymore." (Ragan 11/2014)

November 26th, 2014
Ars technica reports that Sony Pictures corporate network is still down.  The tech site also gives a rundown of the purported treasure trove of data in #GOP's possession thanks to the analysis of those at r/hacking.  Some of the files that #GOP claimed to have were passports of stars Jonah Hill and Cameron Diaz, among others.  The leak also has documents containing passwords, Outlook .pst files and other sensitive data.

November 27th, 2014
Website re/code mentions that North Korea may be responsible for the hack in retaliation to Sony Pictures upcoming release "The Interview" which stars actors Seth Rogan and James Franco.  The duo play characters who are approached by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-Un.  [Arik Hesseldahl re/code  11/2014].  As of this date, the North Korean connection is unsubstantiated.

November 28th, 2014
Reporter James Dean from The Times (London) posts image on Twitter of a notice from Sony Pictures telling employees to not connect to the network or WiFi
Source @JamesDeansTimes
November 29th, 2014
Several sources are still speculating if North Korea is the culprit of the attack.  Also several movies, including "Annie", which isn't in theatres yet and "Fury" which stars Brad Pitt were found available online.

The hits kept coming as Ragan of CSO reported that sales and contract information was published by #GOP.  This appears to be when the hacker(s) made good on their threat to release data.

November 30th, 2014 - December 1st, 2014
Sony Pictures hires Mandiant to investigate and the FBI begins their probe into the compromise 

Deadline reports that information on executive salaries are leaked online by #GOP

FBI releases flash alert warning of malware discovered that may be linked to Sony Pictures compromise.  The malware has the potential to wipe data from drives.

December 2nd, 2014
Brian Krebs mentions that employee healthcare and salary data was leaked by #GOP.  This could lead to a very interesting discussion on HIPAA and PII in the wake of the hack.

Again, Ragan has a very thought provoking article discussing issues related to the breach.  In it he states that the Guardians of Peace were in Sony Pictures for a year gathering data.


December 3rd, 2014
The Wall Street Journal reports that top executives at Sony Pictures confirm that salary information leaked to the internet is authentic.


December 4th, 2014
Internal IT infrastructure is leaked online, further adding to the difficulties of managing the breach.

CNET writes that "An analysis of 33,000 leaked Sony Pictures documents by data security software firm Identity Finder showed that the leaked files included the personal information, salaries and home addresses for employees and freelancers who worked at the studio."  The article mentions that 47,000 Social Security Numbers were among the items leaked.

December 5th, 2014
CNET and Variety report that Sony Pictures employees are receiving threatening emails and that the FBI is investigating.  A snippet of the email says
"Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world... Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don't want to suffer damage. If you don't, not only you but your family will be in danger."

Time line update #1
December 7th, 2014
Bloomberg reports that Sony Pictures has traced the source of the leaks to the St. Regis hotel in Bangkok.  There are still no leads as to who is the responsible party is and the reason for the attack.

Time line update #2
December 8th, 2014
#GOP posts demands on github Wants Sony Pictures to not release "The Interview." #GOP claims the were not responsible for the threatening e-mails that Sony Pictures employees received.  Malware is also served up in the latest leak.  

Time line update #3
December 9th, 2014
The FBI investigation that is under way has not yet identified anyone who is responsible for the Sony Pictures hack.

December 10th, 2014
Kaspersky labs finds Destover malware digitally signed with stolen Sony Pictures certificate.  It was later discovered that is was part of joke between a some security researchers who uploaded their find to virustotal 

December 11th, 2014
TheWrap reports that the #GOP  sent another message on the computer screens of employees.  If anyone reading this happened to snag a picture of it please send it to the email at the bottom of this post.

December 12th, 2014
It's alleged that Sony Pictures is suspending movie shoots because it can't process payments.

Time line update #4
December 13th, 2014
re/code reports that the latest leaks are of Sony Pictures' asset Crackle and that the #GOP is preparing a Christmas gift

December 14th, 2014
Sony Pictures begins taking legal action against media organizations demanding that the delete "stolen" data. [Source: New York Times, 2/2014]

December 16th, 2014
The #GOP releases the first part of their "Christmas Present"   It includes a a terror threat to those considering going to see "The Interview" on Christmas Day.

Sony Pictures employees are now filing lawsuits for failing to protect their data.  [Source: TheVerge 12/2014]

Time line update #5
December 17th, 2014
Sony Pictures caves in "The Interview"  Theaters will not be showing the movie this Christmas.   [Source: CBS 12/2014]

According to the New York Times, US officials have "concluded that North Korea ordered the attacks on Sony Pictures’s computers" [Source New York TImes, 12/2014]  The Times also states "It is not clear how the United States came to its determination that the North Korean regime played a central role in the Sony attacks" [Source New York TImes, 12/2014] If anyone happens to find more details on this part of the Sony Pictures saga, please drop a comment or send an email.

Time line update #6
December 18th, 2014
Anonymous kicks off #OpRIPNK

December 19th, 2014
The FBI "formally accused North Korea of attacking Sony Pictures" [Source: CSO 12/2014]


President Obama vows a response to the alleged North Korean cyber attack against Sony Pictures [Source: Yahoo! News 12/2014]  The US President is quoted as saying "We'll respond proportionally, and we'll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose." [Source: Yahoo! News 12/2014]

December 20th, 2014
The 2600 is attempting to coordinate with Sony Pictures to stream The Interview on their site on Christmas Day.  The link http://www.2600.com/?q=content%2Foffer-sony-2600



[More updates coming soon.  Check back for more information]

This breach seems so massive, that it might just well be the worst cyber attacks on US soil.  As the fallout continues, it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

If you see anything inaccurate about the events in the time line, post in the comment section and I can update the entry.  Also if you have something to say about the breach, or have more information to add, drop a comment.

You can also send email to dcde [dot] transmission [at] gmail [dot] com.



Related Articles
Sony Pictures Hack: The Malware
Sony Pictures Hack: The FBI Investigation  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What about Competition? The Case of AT&T vs the US Justice Department


Hello everyone!  It's been a while since I posted, so I thought I'd share a paper I wrote a few weeks ago about AT&T's bid to buy out T-Mobile. 


Earlier this past week the US Justice Department sued the telecommunications giant AT&T in an effort to block their purchase of T-Mobile USA, which is currently owned by parent company Deutsche Telekom.[1] AT&T’s plan to buy T-Mobile raises interesting questions that must be examined; the biggest one being would this buyout cause a loss of competition with only three mobile carriers instead of four?

Currently the four largest mobile carriers in the United States are AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.[2]  Had the Justice Department not blocked AT&T’s bid for T-Mobile, the elimination of a competitor would potentially harm consumers and other interested parties, such as developers and VoIP carriers.  The Justice Department argues that “…the proposed deal, which would join the nation’s second- and fourth-largest wireless phone carriers, would result in higher prices and give consumers fewer innovative products.”[3]  Consumer advocacy groups also echoed the argument by saying that because of T-Mobile’s low cost strategy, they are the key to keeping affordable mobile packages across the board.[4] By taking T-Mobile out of competition, says the consumer advocacy groups, AT&T will cause prices to rise and provide customers with fewer choices[5]and “thereby turn the cellular market into a duopoly controlled by AT&T and Verizon.”[6]

In an analysis of AT&T’s proposal to buy T-Mobile, Yankee Group backs the Justice Department’s argument that the buyout does indeed hurt consumers. The group states that “in several major markets AT&T’s share of overall subscribers would exceed 50%, creating concentration levels among the remaining providers that would drive prices higher for all consumers.”[7]  As a result of this higher market concentration, Yankee Group says there “would be an increase in the average bill in many major markets, in some cases in excess of $5 a month by 2015.”[8]

To answer the question if competition is good for the customer, the evidence is pointing to an answer of yes.  It appears that the more competition there is in the market, the better the price and choice that are available for customers.  AT&T’s plans bring up another interesting point about how their purchase would affect third party developers and VoIP providers.

To put things in perspective, James Stewart, of the New York Times, examined AT&T’s market share across major markets using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI).[9]  This index is “derived from the common-sense principle that the more competitors in a market, the lower the prices and the greater the innovation. In short, more competitors means more competition, which benefits consumers.”[10]  With this being said, Stewart found that AT&T would have close to, if not more, than the majority of the markets in their grasp; Seattle being a 53.2 percent concentration for the company.[11]  

With AT&T having the potential to further dominate the market, they could theoretically develop new technology in-house or acquire third party developers.  This would, again, limit consumers and businesses with choices.  One could argue that third party developers would have to comply with AT&T standards when developing new technologies.  If third parties have to implement AT&T standards for their technologies, compatibility issues could force T-Mobile customers into buying new mobile devices, or services, at higher prices.  Since AT&T also provides internet services, pricing, again, will increase, but an even more important issue arises and it’s that of net neutrality, which could affect not only customers, but VoIP providers as well.

According to PC Magazine, net neutrality is a “level playing field for Internet transport. It refers to the absence of restrictions or priorities placed on the type of content carried over the Internet by the carriers and ISPs that run the major backbones. It states that all traffic be treated equally; that packets are delivered on a first-come, first-served basis regardless from where they originated or to where they are destined.”[12] With AT&T eliminating T-Mobile as a competitor, T-Mobile would not have a chance to further develop its internet services.  Currently, if you look at AT&T’s website, att.com, and T-Mobile’s website, t-mobile.com, their internet offerings appear to be in various stages of development.  AT&T’s UVerse offers high speed internet, cable and voice[13] while T-Mobile’s internet package is fairly non-existent with the exception of their Wi-Fi network.[14] What this means for AT&T is that they have the potential to further erode net neutrality with one less competitor to worry about.  This sentiment is mirrored by Erik Sherman of BNET when he states, “…carriers have already effectively killed the idea of net neutrality by getting the FCC to agree that it shouldn’t apply to wireless because it was a growing industry.”[15]  This leads to VoIP carriers.

VoIP, or Voice over IP, converts “analog audio signals, like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turning them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.”[16] By using VoIP, a person can effectively make free phone calls using the internet and cut telecommunication companies, like AT&T, out of the loop.[17] Now, if AT&T bought T-Mobile, they would have the ability to further compete with VoIP carriers, such as Vonage.  The interesting twist to this is, with fewer competitors in the market, AT&T could impose restrictions on their internet framework by decreasing the access speed to VoIP providers, forcing customers to switch over if they want better quality VoIP services at higher prices.

In closing, the Justice Department made the correct choice of blocking AT&T’s plan to buy T-Mobile.




References
Going deep on AT&T-T-Mobile merger: How will it really impact wireless competition? (2011). TMCnet.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/08/22/5722088.htm

Net Neutrality. (2011). PCMAG.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=Net+neutrality&i=55962,00.asp

Stewart, J. (2011).  Antitrust Suit Is Simple Calculus.  New York Times.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/10/business/att-and-t-mobile-merger-is-a-textbook-case.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&t&sq=at&st=cse&scp=5

UVerse High Speed Internet. (2011) AT&T.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.att.com/shop/internet/#fbid=vpI-Lb-cdIc

Sherman, E. (2011).  AT&T Wants Ma Bell Back, but It’s Not Happening… and That’s a Good Thing.  BNET.com. Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-business/at-t-wants-ma-bell-back-but-its-not-happening-8230-and-thats-a-good-thing/12616

T-Mobile Hot Spot. (2011). T-Mobile.com. Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.tmobile.com/shop/addons/services/information.aspx?PAsset=InternetEmail&tp=Svc_Tab_HotSpot

United States v AT&T INC., T-Mobile USA INC., and Deutsche Telekom AG Case 1:11-cv-01560 August 31, 2011

Valdez, R. & Roos D. (2001). How VoIP Works. How Stuff Works.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://communication.howstuffworks.com/ip-telephony.htm

Wyatt, R. (2011).  U.S. Moves to Block Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile.  New York Times.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/technology/us-moves-to-block-merger-between-att-and-t-mobile.html?pagewanted=1&t&sq=at&st=cse&scp=9


[1] Wyatt, R. (2011).  U.S. Moves to Block Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile.  New York Times.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/technology/us-moves-to-block-merger-between-att-and-t-mobile.html?pagewanted=1&t&sq=at&st=cse&scp=9
[2] United States v AT&T INC., T-Mobile USA INC., and Deutsche Telekom AG Case 1:11-cv-01560 August 31, 2011, P.3
[3] Wyatt, R. (2011).  U.S. Moves to Block Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile.  New York Times.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/technology/us-moves-to-block-merger-between-att-and-t-mobile.html?pagewanted=1&t&sq=at&st=cse&scp=9
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid
[6] Ibid
[7]Going deep on AT&T-T-Mobile merger: How will it really impact wireless competition? (2011). TMCnet.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/08/22/5722088.htm
[8] Going deep on AT&T-T-Mobile merger: How will it really impact wireless competition? (2011). TMCnet.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/08/22/5722088.htm
[9]Stewart, J. (2011).  Antitrust Suit Is Simple Calculus.  New York Times.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/10/business/att-and-t-mobile-merger-is-a-textbook-case.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&t&sq=at&st=cse&scp=5
[10] Ibid
[11] Ibid
[12] Net Neutrality. (2011). PCMAG.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=Net+neutrality&i=55962,00.asp
[13] UVerse High Speed Internet. (2011) AT&T.com.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.att.com/shop/internet/#fbid=vpI-Lb-cdIc
[14] T-Mobile Hot Spot. (2011). T-Mobile.com. Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.tmobile.com/shop/addons/services/information.aspx?PAsset=InternetEmail&tp=Svc_Tab_HotS
[15] Sherman, E. (2011).  AT&T Wants Ma Bell Back, but It’s Not Happening… and That’s a Good Thing.  BNET.com. Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-business/at-t-wants-ma-bell-back-but-its-not-happening-8230-and-thats-a-good-thing/12616
[16] Valdez, R. & Roos D. (2001). How VoIP Works. How Stuff Works.  Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://communication.howstuffworks.com/ip-telephony.htm
[17] Ibid

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Who Really Owns Your Mortgage?

After hearing the news the other day about the Federal Housing Finance Agency preparing lawsuits against some of the country's largest banks, which you can read here and here. I was perusing the interwebs and came across this segment on YouTube about a family who was foreclosed on, evicted, and then broke into their house as a result of the practices of mortgage lenders/originators.   Below is the video and it makes me really wonder, who really owns your home?  With what is discussed in the clip, could this also hold true for other types of loans?  What's your two cents?

Friday, August 19, 2011

What I'm Currently Listening To: end.user "Keep Telling"

I first came across end.user a few months ago and have been a fan ever since. When I first started to get into the electronica scene there have been an extremely small amount of artists that have wow'd and influenced me.  Those being Massive Attack, DJ Krush, The Starseeds, Thievery Corporation, and Scorn (another recent favorite).  And if you're wondering, yes I'm a downtempo/trip-hop fan.

Name dropping aside, the artists just mentioned are those that I just can't stop listening to.  They're unique and, for the most part, keep raising the bar.  This is how I also feel about end.user.  His music is so diverse that I can't wait for the next song to come along just so I can hear what he's created.  I really dislike having to pigeonhole what genre an artist is, but the only way I can describe end.user's sound is a mix of d'n'b, jungle, dubstep, and downtempo all with an industrial flavor added here and there.  It's engaging stuff and the track I can't stop listening to at the moment is "Keep Telling" off of the release "Form without Function"



For more end.user goodies, check out these links:
http://sonicterror.pressplatform.com/
http://www.facebook.com/sonicterror
http://www.last.fm/music/enduser
http://www.myspace.com/enduser

If you like it, pass it along and help support end.user.

Don't forget to bookmark, subscribe and follow.

Until next post...

Monday, August 1, 2011

What you Might Not Know About Your Copying Machine.

OK, I'm going to admit, I'm about a year late on this, but thanks to a friend that shared this clip on copying machines, my interest is piqued.  Rule of thumb, if you're getting rid of any technology, make sure hard drives are wiped, removed and destroyed before selling/donating/junking.



I'm curious as to what the free forensic software is that's mentioned in the video.  Anyone out there know?