A DISTURBING GPS HACK

A DISTURBING GPS HACK…

(This blog was supposed to post on Tuesday, but technical difficulties again interfered, so I'm trying to get it to post again today.)

This very unusual article isn't so unusual, at least, from one perspective. But it is big, and given the context of my speculations lately, i.e., that there's some sort of massive covert war going on, it may be another data point to consider. I don't know, and therefore, this is one for the "You Tell Me" category. It was spotted and shared by M.H., and it's a doozie:

Garmin hit with massive outage in suspected ransomware attack

As the article notes, Garmin, and major GPS firm, was hacked and their system actually went down (and I'm citing the entire article, composed by CNN business reporter Oliver Effron):

Garmin (GRMN), the GPS and wearable device company, says a widespread blackout has left its fitness devices, website and call centers offline for more than 24 hours in what may be a ransomware attack.

"We are currently experiencing an outage that affects Garmin.com and Garmin Connect," the company announced on Twitter and the Garmin Connect website. "This outage also affects our call centers, and we are currently unable to receive any calls, emails or online chats."
Garmin Connect allows users to track and analyze their fitness activities using the Garmin website and app. Since Thursday, however, the outage has prevented new downloads of the app, and the website was still shut down as of midday Friday Eastern Time.
Aviation also appears to have been affected. The tech news website ZDNet reports that pilots were unable to download the newest version of Garmin's GPS software, flyGarmin, which the FAA requires to be up-to-date. The Garmin Pilot app, which pilots use to plan flight paths, was also down.
Some Garmin employees say the outage is connected to a new strain of ransomware called WastedLocker, according to ZDNet. Garmin did not immediately respond to a request for comment, however, and CNN Business has not been able to independently verify that a virus caused the outage. (emphasis added)
Most regular readers here know that I'm skeptical - no, very skeptical - of the security of cyber systems. To be succinct, I don't think any cyber system is secure, and hence, my difficulties with digital "currency" and "titles online" and so on. After all, if a young Briton named Gary McKinnon can hack into the US Department of Defense and pull up lists of ships of the "secret space fleet" and their captains and crews, one can pretty much hack into anything. Of course, there's always the possibility he was allowed to find what he found, in order to send a "message" to foreign powers. The technique is as old as disinformation itself.
But when we're talking about applications in widespread use for civil aviation, we're into some dangerous territory, the more so since Mr. Effron's article indicates that he was unable to confirm that it was a computer virus at all. Even so, on it's own, the story may not be that significant; it's just another hacking story.
Or is it? I have to wonder, because in the last few years we've seen Sony, Wells Fargo, Chase, JP Morgan, and a host of other companies, hacked. Additionally, we've seen some odd physical attacks on the internet and other infrastructure, which I've blogged about on this website, from the attack on the electrical substation at the southern tip of Silicon Valley a few years ago, to the actual physical severing of internet cables in San Francisco and Arizona, and all three attacks according to authorities were described as being very professional. People knew exactly where and when and how to strike. Similarly, we've also seen attacks on air traffic control (remember the Salt Lake Utah ATC outage?)
All of this has led me to entertain the high octane speculation that "someone" has been "mapping the internet."
In Garmin's case, with both civil aviation and individual tracking involved, it could be argued that, again, there was a very strategic calculation in the selection of the target. And it's that strategic calculation implication, here, that disturbs me. Could it be just a simple hack? Of course. But it's the wider context that bothers me, especially now, with so much strange activity, and apparent covert warfare taking place.
See you on the flip side...

27 thoughts on “A DISTURBING GPS HACK…”

  1. Here’s the question I ask…..How many competing A.I.s are operational at this point in time on this Planet???

    Has “humanity” already been taken over by A.I. & we Normies haven’t a clue?! 😉 Our Redneck guns will give us NO protection whatsoever against the Cyber Wars that are going on!!

    Check out “Artificial Intelligence Dangers to Humanity” by Cyrus A. Parsa. His website is The A.I. Organization.com

  2. I have a SkyScan Atomic Clock which gets its time from some satellite. Had it since 2012.
    In the last two nights, it jumped ahead 3 hrs each night so I have to reset it each morn!
    I too figured there is some “war” going on and many systems are under attack.

  3. One has lost the position of skeptical observer and user of safe networks back in the 90’s. They’re NOT. User beware. The best home user’s can do whilst surfing, blogging, viewing, or creating content is to limit their online footprint. There are quite a few things one can do when using browser’s, email services, and operating systems that like to make the new OS operator provide open access. Then there’s those tricky applications (free / premium). Computer repair and PC gaming sites with advice and tutorials can be helpful but like anything else, buyer / user beware, final settings can be very final.

    Stealing a cheap means to track (in general not only fitness practitioners) seems written all over that denial of service tactic as if a reboot is required to insert a nefarious app for the criminally bent. There is, of course, software along with hardware that seems targeted. For a while some suggested that those massive auto recalls were similar operations that thwarted designed functions into malfunctions. Follow up investigations might be revealing but probably should not be too telling for the nefarious as they could use investigative outcomes to tweak their trial tactics to verify their hacks.

    The cloud remains a big prize for the one who gets there first. Watch your own online activity for subtle unusual delays and how the mouse and finger track pad behave for starters. On the phone screens those thumbs might be the blame but do not account for instantaneous tweaks. The thumbs user’s might be talented but not the thumbs themselves. Reshuffled apps at high speeds often look like a flutter or two. Perhaps. Those communication hubs are as much a target as the cloud and blade centers. Sure wish they’d do something about that periodic lag times. After all they’re the ones with the big bucks and resources. Or maybe, stop pounding code with their elbows.

  4. I wouldn’t trust paying my utility bills via the internet that’s how much I trust it. I use a century and a half technology the telephone other than going to their offices. This is like using credit-debit cards at least with money you know how much you are paying up front. I couldn’t access the article to read it.

  5. It can all still be hacked. Can those hackers get away ? (rabbit hole after rabbit hole) That becomes the question. Packets fly in every direction. No-one knows the true state of the art. Calculate the infinity. The problem is the public is so dumbed down that even if you hack and then leak photos that reach 2 million people it’s still not enough (I bet). How many people need to see before it becomes big enough to end up on Facebook or Wikipedia ? Is it 50 million, 100 million ? It needs to be stenagraphically encoded into a picture of Celine Dion’s butt for later revealing.

    1. Feels like there is a much longer list of incidents that fit in this hacked category as well. I think it pays to be more rather than less inclusive. My link above regarding censorship is just the above the waterline part of the iceberg that the rulers think they can defend (at least after the fact if they ever admit they were wrong). Boeing’s software woes? Malaysian Airlines much? Didn’t Lufthansa get a plane drilled into a mountain? Fukushima had mysterious software issues. Misguided commercial and military ships?

      That list seems to encompass most if not all tech issues. I think BOC was the first to give me pause enough on my disbelief that it really is possible for an individual or small group to have a back door and a kill switch on virtually every system on the planet. His paradigm is that this is the purpose of Talpiot and 8200. I am still trying to poke holes in that narrative.

      Are we watching a slow motion DieHard4 plot?
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Free_or_Die_Hard

      BOC attributes it to a different plot line.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_America:_The_Winter_Soldier

      As ever, I advocate a combination of both.

      1. First they murder him, then they try to erase him completely. When will truly evil people be “taken out” of this beautiful world and relegated to a million years in purgatory?

  6. Composed by wordsmith propagandist[s] and perhaps Clown graduate[s], See No News, agent. The narrative frame, a clue in and of itself.
    Ah! The infamous “fibits”; the ambitions to ‘democratize” knowledge about our own bodies by means of smartphones and freely accessible, digital measuring instruments. Just another “framing” tendency or constellation of the: Policeman inside all our heads; who has been brought to life by the self-trackers uncurbed desire to be recorded. The question remains to what extent these views of the self-the emancipatory, the other from the perspective of the police-supplement each other, or come into conflict?
    An advertising attention merchant may tell you/Mobile self-tracking devices are meant to be carried on the body at all times. Every moment matters and every bit makes a big impact. Because fitness is the sum of your life.

    White Rabbit

    1. Do Acts of God include unfathomable breaches into cyberspace? Also; remember this “internet” was made and by, a designed by the military[albeit by good hearted scientist/engineers].
      No doubt: it’s been weaponized since it’s inception.
      [IMO]
      But have “others” seen the blueprint.
      How deep inside the machine does this “knowledge” go? Has AI penetrated it; and is now able to usurp it? Has the military’s steering wheel been hacked?
      No telling?
      Trust it?
      Hell, do “they” even trust it?

      All the while; against this backdrop/
      Freedom is a transgression against power,
      a physical, mental, social, or political space
      “we” claim: it is the spirit in us to resist.

  7. As Laura mentioned, there was quite a flap over “fitbit” tracks in Antarctica and elsewhere – one of the few times the public got a certified glimpse into weird goings-on. Is it just a coincidence that more they try to orient this tech towards the panopticon, the more “glitches”, accidental AND induced, are turning up?

    1. Whenever I feel the urge to exercise I put my fitbit in the refrigerator, and lie down until it passes. Sometimes with a gin and tonic.

  8. speculating: after foreign adversaries extracted as much intelligence as possible from individual and collective fitness data collections, and the intelligence waned due to the banning of fitness trackers in sensitive locations, it was time for the commercial hit.

    “A covert military outpost is identified by a consistent pattern of exercise activity in a remote area, or an area where there are few other users of fitness trackers.”

    https://citizenlab.ca/2018/01/fit-leaking-citizen-lab-research-fitness-tracker-privacy/#:~:text=In%20Fit%20Leaking%3A%20When%20a,of%20secret%20and%20private%20information.

    1. Quinn Micheals as far as I can tell was the guy who dug that out. His yt (might not be available now) showed similar circles all over the planet. Antarctica, under oceans, Texas (at the old site of the cancelled first LHC).

      1. ZDB, it has always been in the back of my mind why the “cancelled first LHC” was REALLY cancelled, and what its subsequent use was. (Much of the tunnel excavation was completed…)

        1. Aaron and Melissa Dy kes (ridiculous mod – it’s a wonder they don’t cut of on words like ri dic ulous) on Truthstream Media did a drive by video and noticed a tower very similar to Wardenclyffe right nearby. And it’s on a private company’s site. If memory serves it’s a company contracting with the federal govt.

          I worked for the chairman of the Republican party in the wealthiest county in the US at the time and remember how angry everyone (in the party) in this neighborhood got when GHWB pulled the LHC from Fermilab and took it to Texas. The infrastructure was already there and the engineering force was already there (western suburbs Chicago). We were all ready to go. Then they got halfway through a few billion in budget and shut it down? because of difficulties of rock being too hard? and fire ants being to firey?

          Sure they chewed up that money and walked away. Sure.

          1. Yep. Assuming that the ‘plan’ encompassed building something physical (in addition to the research on magnets, instruments, etc.), what would the PTB want to accomplish? They would know in advance when/where they would ‘pull the plug’, so I would guess that it was taken to a convenient (for them) handover point. I wonder if published excavation progress could give a sense of what technologies would be later ‘inserted’?

  9. WastedLocker only is effecive in windows systems, per https://research.nccgroup.com/2020/06/23/wastedlocker-a-new-ransomware-variant-developed-by-the-evil-corp-group/

    The interesting note is that Windows 10 is not affected, a fascinating oversight on behalf of Evil Corp and co. Time for these affected companies to upgrade their licensing to a later, safer version, I expect. I hope these awful hackers don’t ever figure out how to exploit Windows 10 by changing that single line in their code to recognise the Windows 10 equivalent of the KUSER_SHARED_DATA plain text value.

    You might be wondering who these ransom-ware attackers are. They are so shadowy, undetectable and elusive, no-one knows. Even the best people in the IT industry, military and government can’t track them down. I mean, they can scry into your life in minute detail, extrapolate on a fragmented data set to determine who and what you are, determine the future of the universe and string theory and run a (con)Cern and so on, but finding the return address of the payload and delivery source of a system on the “dark” (wooo!) net is somehow beyond their grasp, even with the most powerful computational systems in the world, is apparently too impossible.

    Gosh, there are some crafty criminals out there!

    1. Good points.
      Theorem: There’s no such thing as a secure cyber system.
      Corollary: There’s no such thing as hack that can’t be traced.

    2. Whether they know or don’t know I cannot tell. But I’m willing to bet that if they did know they are purposefully letting them alone. This is technology–and the intelligence community is deeply wedded to acquiring that.

    3. Nailed it.
      I go back to Scarmoge’s (?) note in the last vidchat – could all geopolitics be a distraction?

  10. The original “GPS” is two coordinates, and a vector, that is provided by a bonfire, the lodestar, and a spear. Being born straight under a star, is the same nautical information, that constructs the Megalithic sundial – Jacob’s Ladder – that papacy fears.

    WEATHER REPORT 3

    When weather man rules sky supreme,
    creepy-crawlies hide unseen,
    with snowflakes blown
    into unknown,
    for high heaven to redeem.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/omu6hses9xbusnl/weather-man.jpg

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