FACEBOOK; Data Breaches UNHACKED

Data Breaches are the new norm, we have just either forgotten the past cases, or didn’t care. Class Action lawsuits are a joke, the lawyers typically get millions while the clients get minimal cash and sometimes simply a coupon to buy more goods from the defendant.   The Facebook class action is already pooling with lawyers and an “Executive Legal Committee” which will be paid to monitor the merits, fees, billings etc… That’s right, a committee has already been appointed to get part payment of the fees that are likely to implode!

So how many Data Breach class actions are there?   Well there was/is Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Adobe, Snapchat, Kaiser, Boston Medical, Ashley Madison, Equifax, Aetna, Anthem… etc. You get the point.   Hackers are everywhere and our information is constantly hacked.

So you are upset because Facebook used or sold or gave all the information you posted on your ‘About’ page and it was used to – gasp – determine your political bents. Really?   Did you know your Voter ID Card is visible to anyone on Google?   Or howabout the fact that the State and County where you reside posts all your property information and public record data – for anyone to view?   Or howabout Spokeo?   Or the dozens of organizations that, for a fee, will give you information on just about anyone you want to stalk?

Howabout the numerous companies that provide data details for corporations to use for marketing purposes or for sales purposes that were never ‘authorized’?   We used to buy lists at my firm!   Costs varied by the number of targets – 5000, 10,000, 100,000… How do you think you get on phone scam lists? Or junk mail lists?

Did Facebook release your medical records? Your Social Security Number? Your bank account information?   Your credit card data?

Forbes posted an article about the true nature of a class action lawsuit: 

  • In re Heartland Payment Systems Data Security Breach: Out of a purported class of 130 million customers injured by a data breach, 11 claims were paid for a total of $110,000. Lawyers’ take: $641,000.
  • DirectBuy litigation: Class members receive discounts on membership renewals from business that supposedly ripped them off; lawyers get as much as $1 million in fees.

Out of 148 cases that the RAND Corporation researched, the data for four gave the actual settlement statistics.   Lawyers and courts are NOT required to provide this information for the public.   Because in so doing, we might learn what a true ‘Joke’ the process really is.

Cyber attacks are big business, but not necessarily in the way we perceive.   The Veterans Administration alone has reported thwarting 1 billion cyber attacks.   The government has been hacked thousands of times.   Information is rampant.   In 2014, a single U.S. government agency was hit with a blizzard of more than 1,370 external attacks on its most vital computer systems, with three out of every eight incidents resulting in a loss of data, according to a new report by the watchdog Government Accountability Office.” The name of the Agency was not released.   The data was not discussed.

In the ADT Data Breach class action settlement of $16 million each client was awarded ‘up to $45’, while the remainder went to the attorneys.   When Anthem was hacked the lawsuit fetched $115 million – and the clients received ‘free credit monitoring for two years’, and, any provable out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the breach…

In the Target class action attorneys fees amounted to 67.5% of the award.   The stock initially sank 33.33%.   Someone shorted well.   Maybe that is a bigger Legal Issue!   Attorneys and Fund Managers are the winners.

What the lawsuits do is provide a venue for stock manipulation and shorting as the alleged breach is ‘leaked’ by an unknown person as in the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica case.    

APPLE vs The FBI

The Apple vs FBI controversy is gaining momentum and deserves a better overview. It’s implications are not nearly as simplistic as the media is framing:

The San Bernardino case is being used as the catalyst to require that Apple provide a backdoor for the FBI on all iphones in order to combat terrorism. Apple is refusing, claiming that it would be a violation of privacy laws. The media is divided.

The iphone in question is ‘encrypted’. That means that unless you have the key or code you cannot access the data. The encryption protects your personal data, it protects you in the event of theft, and it protects the data on your phone from being hacked. Just as your computer has security features for hacking protection.

There is also available a security feature that erases the data on the phone if the password attempt is incorrect after so many tries. The FBI is demanding that Apple create software that will allow them to correctly guess the password within the range of tries before the security feature erases the data. This software would thus work on any and every iphone – everywhere.

What is interesting is the notion that this feature would only be available to the FBI when in fact, software hackers around the world would be then able to then duplicate – replicate the backdoor and have access to CIA agents, FBI agents, police, civilians and governments…

Given the NSA, cyberwarfare and a technology future, why wouldn’t the FBI simply write the software program themselves? Have other countries already developed the software themselves? While the FBI claims that it is only interested in this one specific iphone (the San Bernardino terrorist’s), Apple has offered to hack the phone for the FBI for free – and still the FBI refuses, because in reality, what they want is access to all.

While Apple continues to state that it will personally hack this one particular phone and the FBI continues to state that it doesn’t want an all inclusive ‘backdoor’, no one seems to be moving forward. If in fact the FBI is not looking for a backdoor then why wouldn’t they accept Apple’s compromise to specifically hack this one phone?

Because words are being played.

According to CEO, Tim Cook, Apple does not have the capability to hack the erase feature of its security. Thus, in essence the FBI is asking for Apple to create a new piece of software that would disable this feature. While the FBI adamantly denies that is their intent, it would be the outcome.

This is not the first time the FBI has requested greater access to privacy. Currently, the FBI is required to obtain a warrant to hack a computer, but they have been attempting to steamroll that security as well.

The argument being misapplied is, “if you don’t have anything to hide, why would you care?”.

I care because it is a violation of our Constitutional right to privacy… The IV Amendment to the Bill of Rights states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This is the basis for obtaining and issuing a warrant. Apple has stated it will hack into this one phone on behalf of the FBI to the best of their ability, but abridging the rights of all persons could actually subject Apple to lawsuits as being in violation of the IV Amendment.

Software is like an A-bomb – once created, it can be used for good – and it can be used for evil.

Giving the government unprotected access to everyone’s privacy without a warrant, or probable cause, is Big Brother, and I already have one, his name is Bobby.

HACK ATTACK – Coincidences – no such thing

China’s market is realizing a ginormous correction – is it the end of the world?

Nah.

Put in perspective, their market had risen 150% over the last year. To NOT expect a correction would have been rather naive. However, to see the correction happen so quickly… that’s looking a bit manipulative.

Over 45% of Chinese stocks are currently ‘frozen’, no trading allowed. What precipitated the bear? It could be similar to what happened in the US ie, – margin calls. As stocks began their correction, computer algorithms kicked in and forced margin calls to go out which tanked the market more which created more margin calls… a domino effect when computers are at the helm.

Of course the investor holdings who have profited from the 150% ramp in China’s market would see this as an opportunity to sell, recognize their profit and wait for the full correction to bottom out before going back in. Plausible.  Typically, the losers in these corrections are the smaller investors who follow band-wagon buying.

Is it a manipulation? Yes and No. Yes in that markets are manipulated and no in that algorithms and opportunity helped it along.

Today the NY Stock Exchange experienced ‘a technical glitch’ and shut down for four hours. Glitch?  Really?  That’s the technical terminology?  I don’t buy it.  Hacking is soon going to overtake porn and human trafficking as a business model.  Just wanted to see if you were awake...  The media is terming the hack as a glitch, but then the media states what it is told to state – that’s called censorship.  Maybe the hack was a test.  Maybe the next ‘glitch’ will be our electrical grid.  Who really knows in a world where the truth is whispered and the falsehoods are glaringly mediatized.

Coincidentally, hackers and glitches also made waves for the Wall Street Journal and United Airlines today. Do we really believe that three major economic conglomerates all happened to have major glitches within hours of each other that were completely unrelated and had no commonality? If the media says so – we believe. Some of us…

Given China stated that they were not ruling out manipulation in their markets, vengeance is a potential scenario in hacking US conglomerates. Tit-for-tat. But while the recent hacking of the 4 million + US military records was blamed on China – there was never any definitive proof or follow-up to the accusation, it simply became the media go-to despite China’s government denying the claim. In addition, the hack actually took place December 2014 but our transparent government didn’t decide to tell us until June 2015 – 6 months later…why? Their proof that it was China was not proof at all by any legal definition, but a ‘deduction’ based on ‘gee, who else would have’? Not exactly the sort of proof lawyers and courts win cases with.

North Korea was found to have not been the source of the Hollywood hack and yet no other country or group was ever identified in the press.

A Syrian organization claimed responsibility in another US Army hack that occurred earlier in June. Where are they, these hacker Syrians? Hiding in caves?  Buried in rubble?  That seems a bit of a stretch to me given that Syria is completely, hideously ravaged – there is no infrastrusture left! Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that a bunch of rebel Syrians in a wore torn country with little to no electricity, no satellites, few computers and even fewer intelligencia could hack thru the US Army? What does that say for us?  Not very logical.

So what did Obama say about this? He said the US has outdated computer systems and is vulnerable to attacks. Well then, take some of that holiday in Hawaii money and UPGRADE! Good Grief Charley Brown. How absurd is this? How much does Wall Street make that they can’t have hack-proof computers and software? Or maybe we should train those 40,000 military personnel that are going to get laid off in the next two years to be computer hackers, IT systems analysts and engineers. Hello?

The US is the victim of more hacking than any other country in the world!  Hackers for hire on the shadow network can be had for as little as $8 per hour. So what is our grand government doing about it? For one thing they are pounding the world pavement claiming that global warming is the Chicken Little that will destroy us all while hacking has the potential to grind everything to a screeching halt – tomorrow, including; electricity, the IRS, Hospitals, airplanes, trains, hydro dams, nuclear facilities, Wall Street, defense weapons, pipelines, shopping…(well it is important to some folks)!

What should we do?

What we shouldn’t do is shuffle our feet complaining at how antique our computer systems are! If Syria can bring us down – then we are just pathetic.