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Babies laughing at dogs

Trojan attack warning

Update your browsers!

An international gang of cyber crooks is plotting a major campaign to steal money from the online accounts of thousands of consumers at 30 or more major US banks, security firm RSA warned.


In an advisory Thursday, RSA said it has information suggesting the gang plans to unleash a little-known Trojan program to infiltrate computers belonging to US banking customers and to use the hijacked machines to initiate fraudulent wire transfers from their accounts.


If successful, the effort could turn out to be one of the largest organized banking-Trojan operations to date, Mor Ahuvia, cybercrime communications specialist with RSA’s FraudAction team, said today. The gang is now recruiting about 100 botmasters, each of whom would be responsible for carrying out Trojan attacks against US banking customers in return for a share of the loot, she said.


[...] The latest discussion suggests that they now have individual consumer accounts in their crosshairs, Ahuvia said, warning that the gang plans to attempt to infiltrate computers in the US with a little known Trojan malware program called Gozi Prinimalka.


The malware is an updated version of a much older banking Trojan, Gozi, which was used by cyber criminals to steal millions of dollars from US banks. The group’s plan apparently is to plant the Trojan program on numerous websites and to infect computers when users visit those sites.


The Trojan is triggered when the user of an infected computer types out certain words — such as the name of a specific bank — into a URL string.


Unlike the original Gozi, the new version is capable not only of communicating with a central command-and-control server but also of duplicating the victim’s PC settings. The Trojan essentially supports a virtual machine cloning feature that can duplicate the infected PC’s screen resolutions, cookies, time zone, browser type and version and other settings. That allow the attacker to access a victim’s bank website using a computer that appears to have the infected PC’s real IP address and other settings, Ahuvia said.

Uh oh

Better stuck up on the disposable diapers!

Family values, pro life

This happens so consistently that it hardly falls under the category of news, but if you enjoy this sort of thing, here it is.

Smackdown

This is great:

Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard is one badass motherfucker. In an impassioned 15-minute smackdown in front of the house of Representatives, the country’s first female leader gave a scathing speech calling out opposition leader Tony Abbott’s extremely misogynistic comments, actions, views on abortion and single women, all while pointing in his face. She basically ripped him a new asshole.


Here’s some history: Abbott demanded that Peter Slipper, the Speaker of the House, step down for allegedly sexually harassing an openly gay male staff member in a series of text messages, one of which apparently compared female genitalia to mussels. I know. Juicy already. Abbott then implied that if Gillard defended Slipper, she would be just as sexist as a gay man who talks shit on vaginas. Abbott said, “And every day the prime minister stands in this parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame.”


(Inside baseball: The line about “dying of shame” was a dig at Gillard’s recently deceased father, whom a shock jock said “died of shame” over his daughter’s policies.)


So Gillard let him have it. Here are some choice quotes:

I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. Not now, not ever. What i won’t stand for, what I will never stand for is the leader of the opposition peddling a double standard, a standard he has not set for members of his own front bench.


If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn’t need a motion in the house of Representatives, he needs a mirror.


I was very offended personally the Leader of the Opposition said abortion is the easy way out.


I was offended by the sexism, by the misogyny of the Leader of the Opposition cat calling across this table at me as I sit here as prime minister , ‘If the prime minister wants to make an honest woman of herself…’ something that would never have been said to any man sitting in this chair.


I was offended when he stood next to a sign that described me as a ‘man’s bitch.’

So what else is new with our neocon president?

Liberals often tend to overstate conservative electoral achievements. Of the five most recent presidential elections, Republicans have won the popular vote in one, and their congressional majorities have never been large enough to pass legislation without Democratic cooperation.


But if there’s one place where conservatives have had great success, it’s the federal judiciary. Beginning with Ronald Reagan and continuing to George W. Bush, there’s been a concerted effort to bring reliable conservatives to the federal bench. The hope is that they will stand as a bulwark against activist government, and for the most part, that’s been the case: The individual mandate, for example, would have never become a constitutional issue if it weren’t for the influence of conservative judges. The last three GOP presidents appointed more than 150 judges to federal appellate courts.


After Barack Obama won the White House in 2008, there was hope that he would reverse this trend. Instead — to the potential detriment of his policies and priorities — he’s done little to make a mark on the federal judiciary. When staffing the nation’s most powerful courts, Reuters reports, Obama leans towards established moderates — not the younger liberals who would have a lasting influence on the direction of American law: “Obama’s 30 appointees have generally been moderates who mainly served on lower courts and were often selected in consultation with Republican senators.”


Some of this is a product of unprecedented obstruction by those same Republican senators. But a large portion of the blame falls on Obama’s shoulders. Reuters notes the three-person vacancy on the 11-member D.C. Court of Appeals, which — in terms of power — is second only to the Supreme Court. If this were a priority for Obama, it would almost certainly be the subject of complaint from the White House. As it stands, the administration is silent.

[...] It’s not an overstatement to say that by neglecting the judiciary, Obama has placed the future of liberalism in doubt. His loss wouldn’t just lead to the repeal of Obamacare or Dodd-Frank — the promises of a President Romney. It would jeopardize the constitutional status quo that made those laws possible.

Big shocker there, huh? [Via Whowhatwhy.com]

Touchdown

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe fires back At Archbishop Nienstadt’s advice that they should reject their gay children:

Dear Archbishop Nienstedt and Pope Benedict XVI,

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

I read your views on gay marriage in the Star Tribune, Archbishop Nienstedt, and it fills me with great sadness and regret that a steward of the Catholic Church on this Earth feels the need to take a stance of oppression, intolerance, and fear. Surely, is this not what Jesus spoke of when he said, “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by his fruit”?

How can we reconcile our version of the Catholic Church as salvation to the sick, the needy, the poor, when we must also bear witness to the Catholic Church as oppressor, tormentor, and executioner? Where, in all of Jesus’ teachings, did he ever say to deny the humanity of other human beings; where did the Son of God proclaim that mortal Man knew God’s will; where, pray tell, did Jesus ever say to harden your heart against those who may not be exactly the same as you?

I say to you – nowhere. Nowhere does Jesus preach hate, or intolerance, or loathing. Nowhere does Jesus say, “You shall deny the humanity of gay people because it makes you feel uncomfortable”. Nowhere does Jesus say, “And the mortal men of the Church shall be the sole conduits of the Word of God, for they are perfect and infallible.” Nowhere, in all of the recorded teachings of Jesus, does it say anything about discrimination or prejudice.

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
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The wisdom of crowds

I need some advice. I have never picked an avocado that wasn’t either unripe when I cut it, or was a moldy mess by the time I sliced it open.

I love them, but I have never pulled off the timing thing. Help!

Hand slap for Wells Fargo

Since we’re never going to see the criminal indictments these weasels deserve, would it be too much, in light of current developments, that the president and other administration officials stop throwing in little digs at homeowners for their miniscule role in the massive and systemic mortgage fraud that crashed the economy? I can’t tell you how that makes my blood boil in light on the ongoing rape and pillaging of those unfortunate enough to be holding mortgages with these bastards:

Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) — Wells Fargo & Co. was sued by the U.S., which alleged the bank made reckless mortgage loans that defaulted and forced the federal government to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims.


The government seeks damages and civil penalties under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 for alleged misconduct spanning more than a decade related to the bank’s participation in a Federal Housing Administration program, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said in a statement. The complaint was filed today in New York federal court.


“As the complaint alleges, yet another major bank has engaged in a longstanding and reckless trifecta of deficient training, deficient underwriting and deficient disclosure, all while relying on the convenient backstop of government insurance,” Bharara said in the statement.


The suit undermines San Francisco-based Wells Fargo’s reputation as a lender that avoided some of the industry’s worst underwriting practices and threatens to compound the bank’s costs as the government completes probes of the housing bubble’s collapse.

Where does the Post get such lousy, lazy reporters? Just a few months ago (see video), Wells was fined $175 million for steering qualified minority buyers to subprime mortgages. And in 2008, a Louisiana bankruptcy court hit Wells with $3.1 million in punitive damages – for one bad loan. As Yves Smith wrote then:

Wells, as we have pointed out repeatedly, has an annoying habit of piously claiming it is better than other servicers when it engages in the same indefensible conduct as its peers. So if you were to take Wells at its word, the conduct of other servicers is at least as bad as what has taken place in this jurisdiction, if not worse. Remember, servicers are highly routinized operations, so if something, it is almost certain to be standard practice. And Wells has admitted that in this case.


[...] The latest example of Wells bad behavior in Magner’s courtroom that has come to a resolution of sorts is another case of Wells overcharging a borrower. In this suit, Jones v. Wells Fargo, filed in 2007, involved a borrower having to sue Wells to recoup overcharges by Wells plus actual damages, plus a request for punitive damages. The ruling sets forth the sorry history in some detail and I strongly suggest you read it in full.


[...] The word “predatory” is not adequate to describe Wells’ conduct. The bank is not simply willing to steal from consumers, via blatant, institutionalized violations of its own agreements on mortgages and later on bankruptcy plans. It has absolutely no respect for the law, whether it be contracts or court procedures. It’s a band of marauders that our society treats as legitimate because the perpetrators wear suits and can afford to hire lobbyists. And the Federal government and state attorneys general are certain to have emboldened Wells and its brethren by rewarding them rather than treating them like the criminals they are.

Amen!

In Re Jones

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