Sunday, August 6, 2017

Slow Saturday Special: Games Globe Plays

"Bannon’s role in gaming firm rarely looked at" by Shawn Boburg Washington Post  August 04, 2017

WASHINGTON — Stephen Bannon had already been successful in Hollywood and on Wall Street when he flew to Hong Kong in mid-2005 to learn more about a promising new opportunity.

A startup called Internet Gaming Entertainment, or IGE, had found a novel way to make millions of dollars each month in the exploding online video game industry.

Working from the 19th floor of a skyscraper in Hong Kong, the company sold virtual goods — magical swords and capes and other items that gave video game players power in more than a dozen online role-playing games.

There was one problem, though: The companies that owned and operated these fantasy games prohibited what IGE was doing, and even considered it illegal. Several IGE executives said they thought Bannon could help change that. Bannon agreed to become the company’s vice chairman.

‘‘The whole reason Bannon came on was to try to legitimize the business,’’ said David Christensen, who was hired as the company’s vice president of business development about the same time as Bannon.

In the end, it didn’t work.

The story of Bannon’s six years with IGE and its successor companies has remained largely unexplored, even as Bannon has become one of the most influential political figures in the White House.

His affiliation with the company cuts against his current image as a crusading champion of blue-collar manufacturing jobs and as a fierce opponent of globalism. It also shows Bannon’s willingness to be part of a company that operated in what one legal expert called ‘‘a classic gray market.’’

Bannon helped persuade private equity firms, including his former employer Goldman Sachs, to invest tens of millions of dollars in the venture, which relied partly on labor from low-wage video game players in China to earn the credits that IGE then sold to gamers around the world.

In 2007, however, IGE faced pressure from gaming companies, a class action lawsuit, an investigation by authorities in Florida, and financial stress. Bannon soon steered IGE away from its virtual goods business.

Interviews with a half a dozen former employees and executives of IGE, and hundreds of internal company documents, reveal for the first time how the company worked to avoid detection by gaming operators.

It is not clear how much Bannon knew about these tactics, which were in place before he started and continued afterward. He did not respond to requests for comment or an e-mail with detailed questions.

IGE was the brainchild of Brock Pierce, a former child actor in Hollywood who had roles in the 1990s family films ‘‘The Mighty Ducks’’ and ‘‘First Kid.’’ As a teenager, Pierce was a video game player who had an entrepreneurial streak.

In 2003, at 22, he and a partner opened an office in an industrial district of Hong Kong. The small office was a round-the-clock operation, its 15 employees taking orders from gamers around the world, former employees said.

Pierce, reached by phone, asked a reporter to e-mail questions to him but did not respond to subsequent e-mails or multiple phone messages.

In a separate development disclosed Friday, the Campaign Legal Center complained in a letter to the White House that Bannon may be illegally accepting outside professional services.

Bannon has worked with publicist Alexandra Preate since he was head of Breitbart News. Preate has continued to work with reporters on Bannon’s behalf even though she is not a government employee. A recent article by the Center for Public Integrity quotes an associate of Preate’s saying she doesn’t receive pay from Bannon.

The Campaign Legal Center says that appears to be a violation of what’s called the Antideficiency Act. The law says government employees ‘‘may not accept voluntary services for [the] government or employ personal services exceeding that authorized by law.’’

The White House says it is permissible for Bannon to seek personal representation for personal matters. Preate did not immediately comment.....


Did the games come with music?

As for Bannon, I don't know what to think. He's for taxes on the rich and the one most in touch with Trump voters, but is an Islamaphobic clash of civilizations crusader. 

I guess I'm just tired of the game of grabbing a position here, position there, cutting it towards the "politically realistic" framing as the whole system and those running it are basically rotten and as it careens in the opposite direction of where I and the vast majority of people on the planet want it going. 

The game sucks.

"Man called cyberattack hero faces charges he created malware" by Kartikay Mehrotra and Jordan Robertson Bloomberg News  August 04, 2017

WASHINGTON — A self-taught computer-security researcher credited with stopping a devastating cyberattack that crippled British hospitals in May was arrested on charges that he created malware used to hack banking systems in Canada and Europe, US officials said.

That's what you get for helping out, kid. You shut down their false flag operation and they weren't too happy about it.

Marcus Hutchins, who started blogging under the pseudonym MalwareTech when he was a teenager, was arrested Wednesday in Las Vegas, the Justice Department said.

Court documents unsealed Thursday show he was indicted in July on several charges of computer misconduct relating to the creation and distribution of the Kronos banking Trojan, a type of malicious program that steals user names and passwords for banking websites from infected machines.

‘‘We are aware of the situation. This is a law enforcement matter and it would be inappropriate to comment further,’’ the UK National Cyber Security Center said.

Are you aware of this?

First thing I thought of was the NSO group, but that was patched. They just changed their name and scrubbed things clean.

Hutchins’s arrest came as a shock to the cybersecurity industry, which was coming off its biggest week of the year at the Black Hat and Def Con conferences in Las Vegas, which Hutchins had attended. 

First (and last) I have seen of it in the Globe.

Among white-hat security researchers, who hack technologies to find ways to fix them, Hutchins was a hero. They hailed his quick thinking in neutralizing the WannaCry ransomware just hours into a fast-spreading attack in May that threatened not just computer systems but also potentially lives.

White hats, black hats -- they are ALL GRAY HATS working BOTH $IDES! 

Think never-ending, unwindable drug war.

WannaCry infected about 300,000 computers in 150 countries, locking users out unless they paid a ransom in bitcoin.


New York Times Makes Me WannaCry
WannaCry Wednesday
WannaCry Thursday 

All cried out by Saturday.

Yeah, request a bitcoin ransom so the Five Eyes spying apparatus can track your every move. 

Victims included the UK’s National Health Service, whose hospitals were disrupted, as well as FedEx Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Renault.

Hutchins found a clever way to stop the attack by registering an Internet domain that served as a “kill switch’’ for the malware, a secret that was hidden in its code.

Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the San Francisco-based legal advocacy group is trying to reach out to Hutchins. 

I'm sure he needs all the help he can get. I'm sure he was blindsided by all this.

So the intel agencies going to put him to work under the cover of a trial and prison?

‘‘The EFF is deeply concerned about the arrest of Marcus Hutchins,’’ said Jeanne Carstensen, a spokeswoman for the group.

According to federal investigators, in 2014 and 2015, more than a year before the WannaCry outbreak, Hutchins wrote the Kronos malware, advertised it for sale in online hacker forums, and split thousands of dollars in profits with at least one other defendant, whose name was redacted in the indictment.

OMG, then he is either Jewish, the government instigator that set him up, or both!

Hutchins is accused of being a supplier, not installing the malware. He faces six felony charges, carrying up to 40 years in jail.

The arrest appears linked to the FBI’s shutdown of a notorious online criminal marketplace called AlphaBay, where Hutchins is accused of selling the Kronos malware.

Ooooh, that is how they caught him!


Also see:

Shadow Broker Bull$h**

CIA and NSA hacking tools are enough to make you cry yourself to sleep.

Night of the Iguana

It's from where the nuclear attack will come.