Joy to the world, hacked again

Joy to the world, hacked again

Joy to the World Hacked again

In the run up to Christmas there are always incidents that bring joy, bring concern and bring worry.  We are reminded of Santa’s vulnerability given the amount of data he has in his databases. He knows the name and address of every child across the globe. He has details of who has been good and who has been naughty, his naughty list is one of the most comprehensive global databases, and it was hacked, but his cyber elves were able to decrypt the database so all is saved!

Now there are a few things that we need to know about Santa and the Grey Hare intelligence team have been hunting to bring them to you. He has 31 hours of Christmas to work with thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth and according to observations from the International Space Station he travels east to west.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)have a special SANTA tracking facility that is made ready once a year to ensure that SANTA is kept safe and should there be any mishaps, then the right help can be provided quickly.

This joint US/ Canadian facility will not be affected by global politics. It is a vital global service ensuring the safety of happiness and joy.

What NORAD have conferment is that Santa makes 822.6 visits per second allowing him 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house….. phew…..

So, the chances of children seeing him are very remote, however, he has specialist stealth technologies that keep him invisible, but that seems to have been compromised.

Santa’s sleigh moves at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. This makes Rudolf a very special type of reindeer as a conventional reindeer can run at a maximum of about 15 miles per hour. His defining feature is his red nose but at 650 miles per second and with special stealth technologies, only Santa and the other reindeers should be able to see it.

However, the Grey Hare intelligence team have been informed that Santa’s stealth technology was hacked at the same time his naughty list was. This has only just come to light when Gatwick Airport was brought to a standstill over drone incursion incidents.  What people don’t realise is that just before Christmas each year Santa has a series of practice runs to let his reindeers stretch their legs and confirm they still remember where to go. Part of their emergency plans are landing (covertly) for quick repairs so present delivery can continue.

This is not widely publicised as at 650 miles per second, using Santa and Rudolf’s specialist anti-collision device (the red Nose) he is usually in and out between flights without being noticed. This year was different, something clearly blocked the red nose stealth tech making it visible and concerned staff will have reported it as a possible anti air attack, after all there are too many wars going on. Santa’s security team believe this may have been a deliberate act by some of the nasty people to say “Bah Humbug” to joy for all.

Severely embarrassed at disrupting flights for his adoring fans coming to the North Pole to visit him, as well as those off on holiday, Santa has refused to comment on this latest embarrassment.  Luckily, under his beard, and with his red suit, no one had noticed the gentle flush of his face going red.

What is critical is that his operations on 24thDec delivering presents goes ahead – He also appeals to all those at war to give him free passage and says “catch me if you can suckers, just  let him get on with my job and deliver joy not angst.”

Follow his progress using NORAD’s live tracker here: https://www.noradsanta.org/en/map

The Cyber Security and Geopolitical Discussion – Crypto Cubed

The Cyber Security and Geopolitical Discussion – Crypto Cubed

Crypto Cubed

It’s enigmatic and potential problematic. Lisa Forte, Partner at Red Goat Security , Phil Ingram MBE of Greyhare Media and Ian Thornton-Trump CD, CISO for Cyjax go around the table on Cryptocurrencies and the wide-ranging impact they are having on geopolitical conflict and economic conflict. The panel covers a lot of ground. The sensational trial of Sam Bankman-Fried who was found guilty on all seven counts related to the collapse of FTX could land him 115 years in jail depending on how much momentum there is for an appeal – his attorney Mark Cohen said Bankman-Fried respects the jury’s decision but maintains his innocence and will continue to “vigorously fight the charges.” So, yet another chapter in the saga may yet unfold.

The background to the trial was straight forward. The FTX exchange fell into bankruptcy after users found they could no longer withdraw their funds, worth billions of dollars in aggregate. The money was funnelled it into a sibling company, called Alameda Research, and used it for risky stock trades, political donations, and funding his extravagant lifestyle. He also flamboyantly ignored his lawyer’s advice and prior to the trial he conducted many media interviews as well as written testimony to Congress and then as part of the final trial preceding’s appeared on the witness stand to defend himself. It’s safe to say the jury was unimpressed as he crumbled against all the evidence, he himself had provided to government prosecutors due to his public statements.

The fundraising efforts and overt Iranian funding of the Hamas terrorist organization came under discussion. Eleven days after the Terrorist attack in Israel the “U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on ten key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives, and financial facilitators in Gaza and elsewhere including Sudan, Türkiye, Algeria, and Qatar. This action targets members managing assets in a secret Hamas investment portfolio, a Qatar-based financial facilitator with close ties to the Iranian regime, a key Hamas commander, and a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange and its operator.” Digging deeper into this it was soon realised crypto currency and exchanges had played a massive part in providing the funds to conduct the sinister attack into southern Israel. It appears financial sanctions against terrorist organizations were easily bypassed by cryptocurrencies exchanges despite intelligence of digital-currency wallets connected to Hamas receiving about $41 million over the past two years according to Tel Aviv-based crypto analytics and software firm BitOK and information on Palestinian Islamic Jihad receiving $93 million in crypto during the same period, based on crypto researcher Elliptic’s data.

Zooming out of these specific revelations the panel examined the wider implications of both nation state sanction avoidance, the ability to effectively bypass the American financial system and the role of crypto currencies in funding global political movements – somewhat anonymously. There are rather chilling revelations as cryptocurrencies are found at the very centre of political agendas, disinformation campaigns and financial transactions between countries subject to economic sanctions by both US and EU/UK governments. Despite analysis proclaiming that far more legitimate and legal transactions are occurring on crypto currency blockchains than illegitimate and illegal transactions the simple conclusion is we don’t know how bad the problem is until the damage has already been done.