ATMs Open to Hacking
Submitted by Pivotfarm on 03/18/2014 19:47 -0400
Computer programs are obsolete before they even get put on the market and it’s been that way for years now. There’s also the added bonus of actually making sure that the buyers keep buying and always want the latest. Obsolescence has been part of our lives ever since we went digital, hasn’t it? Perhaps even before then. But, back then, things lasted longer than they do today. Or is that just the old folk that reminisce about the past and how good it actually was? Well maybe we will all be harking back to a better time in the next few weeks when Microsoft pulls the plug on the updates to banks’ ATMs around the world.
Most bank machines (95% of ATMs I the world) use Microsoft XP (OS) in their cash machines, wherever you are in the world. On April 8th 2014, Microsoft will no longer be providing those updates, leaving your and my ATM at the bank far more vulnerable than it was in the past. The software was originally installed in 2001.
But, that was when the banks had a lot of money to waste. Since the financial crisis, those updates have been thrown to the wayside. The banks are poor, so we are told. Although, it can’t be true when only in February it was announced that the USA’s six biggest banks ((JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) had all made more profit in 2013 than compared to prior to the financial crisis. Net income for the six rose by 21% and reached $74.1 billion. That was all thanks to the rise in the stock market, due to false hopes from the Federal Reserve and virtual booming of the economy. In 2006, when the housing bubble was raking in more money than ever before (right at the peak before it burst), those six earned $84.6 billion and that’s the last time those six earned more profits than for 2013. JPMorgan Chase, for example, is expected to make $23 billion in profit alone this year. Wells Fargo is expected to see an increase in profit for the fifth year in a row, hitting $21 billion in 2014.
But, ok, let’s surmise that the banks don’t have enough money to pay for the update in the software. Or they have had enough of being just another cash cow to Microsoft and they don’t want tugging on their udders and getting milked for a new software program.
There’s only one problem with that and that’s the fact that the software is like a firewall to your computer and will stop cyber-attacks (or at least, slow them down).
Apparently, the banks in the world have agreed to update to a different operating system at some undefined time in the future. Apparently, the banks may not be aware that in the meantime, while the old operating system is no longer being updated and when the brand spanking new (and thus very expensive) software program comes into operation, there will be an open door for cyber-attacks on ATMs.
Two thirds of banks in the world will not be upgrading to a newer operating system by the deadline of April 8th. Why would the two thirds worry? Simply because that means that customers’ bank details and accounts will be accessible.
You can bet your bottom dollar that you will be taking from that ATM down the block that it will be costing the account holder more and more. If banks upgrade or request support from Microsoft, it has been suggested that it will cost millions (passed on to the account holder).
20% of ATMs in the world are in the USA. There are some 2.2 million worldwide with most running on the Microsoft XP OS. Plus, as anyone knows, change the software and the hardware will stop running and that means banks will also be replacing them in coming months and years. More money that the banking sector will have to find in its apparent poverty-stricken state and that it will be more than likely to pass on to the account holder again.
ATM? Another Trick by Microsoft (…along with the banks).
Originally posted: ATMs Open to Hacking
Another Escalation: US Freezes Diplomatic Relations With Syria, Orders Non-US Personnel To Leave Country
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2014 11:28 -0400
And victory laps .....
Putin 2 - Obama 0, which means it is time to go back to the one place where it all started last year, and where Putin had his most resounding victory over the US foreign policy apparatus (at least until the Ukraine, where we trampled not only over Obama's red line... again... but where nobody quite explained the "costs" to the ex-KGB leader): Syria. Sure enough, with the US unable to respond in Crimea, has decided to take its fight back to where Europe's natgas reliance on Gazprom product was first truly exposed.
The US can order non-US personnel around? More from Reuters:
IMMEDIATELY SUSPENDS OPERATIONS OF SYRIAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON, AS
WELL AS HONORARY CONSULATES IN MICHIGAN AND TEXAS - STATE DEPARTMENT
SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SYRIA SAYS 'UNACCEPTABLE' FOR INDIVIDUALS APPOINTED
BY ASSAD REGIME TO CONDUCT DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR OPERATIONS IN U.S.
Regardless, if the bloodless Russian annexation of Crimea wasn't enough to push the S&P to new all time highs, this surely will.
Humiliation ? And more to come ......
The Next One: Moldova's Transnistria Region Said To Seek Russian Accession
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2014 10:35 -0400
Many had feared (or expected), fallout from Crimea's referendum and subsequent accession to Russia may embolden ethnic minorities in many bordering nations to seek self-determination. It appears that is taking place in Moldova where Vedomosti reports that Mikhail Burla, head of the Transnistria region's legislature, has asked Russia's Duma for draft laws on accession to Russia to be altered to allow the region to join. The timing of this move is surreal as headlines appeared this morning that Europe is looking to speed up its "association" with Moldova. In a 2006 referendum, over 97% of Transnistrians voted to join Russia...
Who is next?
Moscow-based newspaper cites letter from Mikhail Burla, head of Transnistria’s legislature, to the head of Russia’s State Duma.Letter asks for Russian draft law on accession to Russia to be altered to allow for Transnistria to join, says current draft bill would only allow for Crimea to join Russia2006 referendum in Transnistria saw 97.2% vote to join Russia, Burla cited as saying in letter
What is the problem in the U.S.? They talk about the weakness of Russia, but still afraid of competition on our part. They do not want a competitor. China - a rival, but not a competitor. And the U.S. is not interested in what system in Russia - monarchical, feudal, communist. Only interested in how to relax, but better - to split. Yeltsin they liked - when it broke up the country. Putin does not like it - he wants to save Russia...."It's been 60 years - not even changed a generation, if Crimea voted for reunification with Russia, the situation arises where any normal person would say, but what distinguishes the situation in Transnistria?- Says Leonid Reshetnikov. - The question becomes relevant than ever. Have to wait for the Americans attempt to deal with Transnistria. They have no other way to make a muck of Russia. They are afraid that gathered to fight with someone. Who will fight?...Russia, in my opinion, after the Crimea should recognize Transnistria Tiraspol and propose to hold another referendum on reunification with Russia. Differently protect Transnistria we can not....We must not make concessions when we openly say that Russian world should be destroyed. I urge the show will. We must not become the new Bulgaria, the new Serbia. These and other countries have become dependent on the United States. Travel to Bulgaria, look - no minister in Sofia not be appointed without the consent of the U.S. ambassador....Now we prepare for the dissemination of Russian legislation in Transnistria. It would be difficult without a strong methodological support. For this great help RISS - special thanks. Two years ago, our president assured the Russian expert community that we will conduct a Eurasian course. It took not much time to see all that we have taken the first steps in this direction. "
And then this...
- *EU MAY SPEED UP SIGNING OF MOLDOVA ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT: CANDU
- *EU ACCORD NEEDED ON UKRAINE, TRANSNISTRIA TENSIONS: MOLDOVA
Signing accord may be expedited because of situation in Transnistria, Crimea, Andrian Candu, Moldova parliament’s vice president, says in Bucharest.
- Accord was expected to be signed by end-Aug.: Candu
- Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean asked EU’s foreign affairs council yday to speed up signing of Moldova’s association agreement
- Transnistria is Moldova’s secessionist region that borders Ukraine and has Russian military presence
And the Moldovan President believes it would be an "erroneous step":
Transdniestria's accession to Russia would be "an erroneous step," Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti said at a press conference in Chisinau on Tuesday."I've been informed that the speaker of the Tiraspol parliament has addressed Moscow on the matter. Such actions are counterproductive, and they would not favor either the Republic of Moldova or the Russian Federation. If Russia resorted to such a step, this would be an erroneous decision and would not improve Russia's authority on the international arena," Timofti said.Timofti admitted that "there is a lot in common" between the situation in Ukraine and the events in Crimea and Transdniestria.
So to summarise - The EU is seeking a "close" association with Moldova and is attempting to speed up this process and a region of mostly-Russian-ethnicity (with 97% wishing to accede) is demanding that Russia draft a law allowing them to join Russia...
Ring any bells?
And victory laps .....
Putin: Crimea similar to Kosovo, West is rewriting its own rule book
Published time: March 18, 2014 11:08
Edited time: March 18, 2014 21:29
Edited time: March 18, 2014 21:29
Crimea’s secession from Ukraine was just like Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, and any arguments otherwise are just attempts to bend the West-advocated rules that were applied to the Kosovo case, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
The statements came as Putin was addressing the Russian parliament to convince lawmakers to ratify a treaty, which would make Crimea part of the Russian Federation.
In the speech he challenged Washington’s position, which says that Kosovo was a unique case and could not justify any other move towards independence in the world.
“Our western partners created the Kosovo precedent with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary,” Putin reminded, adding that the UN International Court of Justice agreed to those arguments.
“That’s what they wrote, that what they trumpeted all over the world, coerced everyone into it – and now they are complaining. Why is that?” he asked.
Putin dismissed the argument that Kosovo was unique due to the large number of victims during the Balkan wars and the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
“It’s beyond double standards,” Putin said. “It’s a kind of baffling, primitive and blatant cynicism. One can’t just twist things to fit his interests, to call something white on one day and black on the next one.”
The president dismissed the allegations that Russia is violating international law with its actions in Ukraine.
“Well’ it’s good that they at least recalled that there is international law. Thank you very much. Better late than never,” Putin said adding that in fact nothing of this kind happened.
Watch President Putin's speech in full
‘In Ukraine the West crossed the red line’
In fact, it was Russia that defended international law and its institutions, while western countries have been diminishing them. The situation in Crimea is just a reflection of this broader process, which has been happening for decades now.
“In the practical application of policies, our western partners – the United States first and foremost – prefer to be guided not by international law, but by the right of strength. They believe in their exceptionalism, that they are allowed to decide on the fate of the world, that they are always right,” Putin charged.
This disregard to rule of law was evident in Yugoslavia in 1999, when NATO bombed the country without a UN Security Council mandate, the Russian president said. There was Afghanistan, Iraq and the perversion of the UNSC resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing a no-fly zone NATO bombed the country into submission.
There were also orchestrated “colored revolutions” in Europe and the Arab World, which cynically used the feelings of people tired with corruption and poverty. The latest Ukrainian events are just the latest of such actions, and Russia’s willingness to seek dialogue and compromise was stonewalled again, Putin said.
“They were cheating us once more, took decisions behind our back, presented us with a fait accompli,” he said, adding that the patter is identical to that which accompanied NATO’s expansion to the east, the deployment of an anti-ballistic missile system, visa restrictions and numerous other issues.
“They are constantly trying to corner us in retaliation for our having an independent position, for defending it, for calling things by their names and not being hypocritical,” Putin accused.“Everything has its limits, and in Ukraine our western partners crossed the red line. They acted brutally, irresponsibly and unprofessionally.”
Putin said the West must stop being hysterical, restrain from the Cold War rhetoric and admit the obvious: “Russia is an independent and active participant of international relations. Just like any nation it has national interests that must be taken into consideration and respected.”
As for the Ukrainian red line, the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev voiced their desire to join NATO, and such a move would pose an imminent threat to Russia, Putin said.
“We stand against having a military organization meddling in our backyard, next to our homeland or in the territories that are historically ours. I just cannot imagine visiting NATO sailors in Sevastopol,” he stressed. “Most of them are fine lads, by the way. But rather let them visit us in Sevastopol than the other way around.”
At the end of his speech, Putin announced the submission to parliament of a draft federal law which would incorporate Crimea and the City of Sevastopol into Russian territory, as well as a request to ratify an international treaty with the government of Crimea to make this happen. He said he was sure of the legislature’s support for both documents.
( Can't say where this fits in but it does ... somehow. By the way , when does Malaysia pln to explain what was being carried in cargo ? Show the complete cargo manifest ! )