Friday Squid Blogging: On the Ugliness of Squid Fishing

And seafood in general:

A squid ship is a bustling, bright, messy place. The scene on deck looks like a mechanic’s garage where an oil change has gone terribly wrong. Scores of fishing lines extend into the water, each bearing specialized hooks operated by automated reels. When they pull a squid on board, it squirts warm, viscous ink, which coats the walls and floors. Deep-sea squid have high levels of ammonia, which they use for buoyancy, and a smell hangs in the air. The hardest labor generally happens at night, from 5 P.M. until 7 A.M. Hundreds of bowling-ball-size light bulbs hang on racks on both sides of the vessel, enticing the squid up from the depths. The blinding glow of the bulbs, visible more than a hundred miles away, makes the surrounding blackness feel otherworldly.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on October 27, 2023 at 5:13 PM71 Comments


vas pup October 27, 2023 7:24 PM

“The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been testing the chemical bombs, which contain no explosives but are used to seal off gaps or tunnel entrances from which fighters may emerge.

The “sponge bomb” would prevent soldiers being ambushed as they move further into the network, sealing off gaps through which Hamas could attack.

!!!Contained in a plastic container, the specialist devices have a metal partition separating two liquids. Once this barrier is extracted, the compounds mix as the soldier positions the “bomb” or throws it further ahead.

Specialised teams in the IDF’s engineering corps have been grouped into tunnel reconnaissance units and equipped with ground and aerial sensors, ground
penetrating radar and special drilling systems to locate tunnels.

They have also been issued with special equipment to see when underground.
Standard issue night vision goggles need an element of ambient light to work
effectively, but with all natural light blocked out when moving underground, troops will rely on thermal technology to see in the total darkness.

Novel radios, optimised for working in the extreme conditions experienced underground, have also been developed.

Israel may also use robots and drones to help when navigating the tunnels – but so far, there have been difficulties operating these underground.

Some of the robots will be controlled by wires spooling out of the rear of the device. Others will rely on standard radio waves, but will need a series of repeater nodes to be dropped off en route as radio signals degrade quickly underground.

Micro-drones for reconnaissance, capable of being held in the palm of a hand,
may also be used but will similarly suffer as the radio signal weakens.

The Israel-based Roboteam technology company has developed IRIS, a small,
throwable drone that can be driven on large wheels via remote control. Known by special forces as a “throwbot”, it relays images back to a controller, operating the device from a position of safety.

Some devices can have weapons attached so that if enemy combatants are seen,
the controller can detonate explosives.

!!!Alongside the IRIS, it has developed the MTGR, a “micro tactical ground robot” that can climb stairs and is designed to be operated by soldiers in buildings and caves.

Tunnels, some started decades ago, are no longer just places of refuge or
concealment, but are integral parts of a wider plan to prepare the ground for
ambushing Israeli forces above.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Many stretch under civilian structures, with entry and exit points in dwellings and other non-military buildings, making it extremely difficult for Israel to attack them without inviting international condemnation.”

My nickel: can US DHS south border security utilized same technology – sponge bomb and other for tunnels? I guess all instructions are in English not in Hebrew only – so just political will required to do that. We finally need more statesmen (thinking about next generation) than politicians (thinking about next election) in Congress to secure OUR borders.

Clive Robinson October 27, 2023 9:52 PM

@ Mr. Peed Off,

Re : POTS wired phones.

“No report if they used dial or touch-tone technology.”

That would usually imply the use of a PABX.

Older photos from inside one of the command centers showed the use of what appeared to be a “field telephone” or “Engineers Phone” which work on any “pair of wires” and even just a single wire and earth system and a low voltage dry cell battery.

If you have an old POTS dial/tone phone that was desined for the “two wire interface” “local loop” just connecting them to a pair of wires will not work. You need to use a DC voltage above 9V via a transformer that has around a 300 to 1200 ohm impedence. You can use any voltage upto around 60V but you are just wasting power unless you are using wire pairs of several miles (I’ve had it work over 10miles of twisted pair).

The problem that “realy bites” is not the dialing or voice, but the AC Ring Voltage that can be upto 180V RMS at 20Hz but is normally 80V. Even though it’s low current it’s way more than enough to shock.

To the telephone line the phone looks like it has three circuits in parallel, the first is a flash switch that shorts the line. The second is the capacitor isolated ring circuit. And the third is the hook switch that goes into a bridge rectifier, across which is the “instrument” circuit which at it’s simplest is a carbon granual microphone in series with a moving metal diaphram ear piece across which is the pulse dial switch.

The impedence of this circuit depends on which country it was for… Back prior to the 1980’s most nations quite deliberately had different impedences and line levels “To protect the home market” it did not work because the cheap Taiwanese and Japanese manufacturers had “designed around” the issue. In effect the “equivalent test circuit” looks like ~250R with 120nf. To get the signal the carbon granule microphone changed impedence and thus formed “one arm of a bridge” at the “Central Office” / Local Exchange.

If you just have two phones you can put a 9V battery in series with a 220 1/2W resistor that goes in series with the two phones as a crude “current source” to give a “talk current”.

If you want to put several phones in parallel then you need to “choke feed” in a telephone exchange the choke was actually the coil of a relay the contacts of which activated the exchange. Getting such relays is not that easy these days. However you can still get “110 to 12 volt” transformers and the primary winding works as a choke providing you do not connect the secondary.

You then use a 12V or higher DC power supply or “motorbike battery” in series with the choke ane this goes in parallel with the phones.

However if cables get damaged then you have a risk of fire from the PSU or battery…

To solve this you need a 47R 5W resistor (or use three 150R 2W resistors in parellel). Put this in series with the PSU/battery. Across this series circuit add a 35v 4700uF cap to give AC audio bypass. You can have around five phones in parellel depending on their “Ringer Equivelence Number”(REN).

How you rig up a “ring signal” is beyond a simple text description as you need to add not just a generator but a “lockout circuit” using relays or equivalent.

But… From other information it appears they now have wired networking to carry CCTV images from “up above” so they have early warning of approaching soldiers etc and can thus put various counter measures into action. So they could be using VoIP phones now and a low power server like a linux based SBC running Asterix or similar, or a PC and anologue phone cards (which you can still get relatively inexpensively).

Aquiring VoIP phones with high level encryption on is not that difficult in Europe, but they are not inexpensive.

Winter October 28, 2023 3:42 AM

@Cyber Hodz

Has anyone every wandered how it was possible for Hamas to launch such a high scale attack

Good Opsec? What Else? Oh, a conspiracy!

Claiming that terrorists are conspiring is like claiming bankrobbers are criminals.

Maybe, just maybe, Hamas is conspiring together with Iran? Would that be possible?

Cyber Hodza October 28, 2023 5:19 AM

I think you are missing the point here as Israel is the one completely controlling the Gaza’s perimeter and has been doing so for a very long time

Clive Robinson October 28, 2023 8:41 AM

@ Winter, Cyber Hodza,

Re : Failure or conspiracy.

Let’s assume it is as I’ve already noted a massive “inteligence failure” way way worse than 9/11.

Or earlier failures the US made when they thought ElInt, SigInt, etc technological “methods” could replace the likes of HumInt and “Boots on the ground” “sources”, so suffered and still do humiliating events to long to list.

As I’ve indicated some already are talking about Putin, Wagner troops, and US artilary munitions stocks held in that area as potential causes.

But others have noted that the Israeli Defence Minister is a “right wing zelot” of strongly Zionist beliefs about the ethnic cleansing of Palistinians. Likewise similar has been intimated about the Israeli premier.

But also of the Premier his “do nothing” nonsense had reached the end of the road and even the ordinary Israli citizen was fed up and sick of him, thus his position had become precarious.

Now they have a war in which we already know they have slaughtered over six and a half thousand un-involved people who were just trying to live like ordinary people. The IDF have been caught lying atleast three times with made up evidence and based on history of actions the intent is to destroy the northern half of Gaza and ethnically cleanse it.

So the conspiracy stories are starting, it’s hardly surprising. But the intent of certain parties is all to clear by their actions.

Oh and note the original meaning of “Terrorist” it was reserved for those running nations who chose to use it to drive out and take from people who were citizens in every way possible.

But you have to ask an important question,

“What do you expect people to do when you’ve taken nearly everything from them?”

It’s what you are seeing play out, and why there was a rising sympathy for Palastinians in the wider Jewish population and Zionizm was loosing credibility.

W.Miles October 28, 2023 3:13 PM

No report if they used dial or touch-tone technology.

Call directory assistance and pay the extra dollar or whatever to have them connect the call. Nobody expects it, and since “operator” is no longer a local full-time job, there’s probably nobody to notice you doing this repeatedly.

Or run Fucking Hacker to war-dial yourself some corporate calling card numbers. I have no idea whether such services still exist, but if they do, the security people who know about this threat are probably long gone.

Ismar October 28, 2023 4:25 PM

@Clive, the whole Gaza nightmare reminds me of the situation of the last phase of events between Native Americans and the land grabbing ‘pioneers’ that played out in the so called Wild West.
It is, now, clear that Israel’s intention is to make Gaza uninhabitable for a long time, hence completing one of the major steps of its expansion into the rest of the Palestine.
What I can’t comprehend is that, no country is even contemplating trying to get the Gazans out of the harms way by means of simply allowing them to leave the area!
Would not that be much cheaper solution in every respect including economic as smart bombs and Iron Dome systems do not come cheap these days !
Dynamics of the current situation are simply sickening and unfortunately many more thousands of Gazans are likely to be killed to satisfy psychopathic minds of the men in power.
Finally, One question i could never completely answer to myself is why the Israeli government enjoys such an unconditional support of the United States in its quest of wiping out a whole people from the face of the Earth?

vas pup October 28, 2023 6:58 PM

Check this article – too long but interesting

“he [Chalmers] offered a different assessment. Yes, large language models—systems that have been trained on enormous corpora of text in order to mimic human writing as accurately as possible—are impressive. But, he said, they lack too many of the potential requisites for consciousness for us to believe that they actually experience the world.

!!!If an AI were conscious, they argued—if it could look out at the world from its own personal perspective, not simply processing inputs but also experiencing them—then, perhaps, it could suffer.”

Follow the link and enjoy it!

ResearcherZero October 29, 2023 3:37 AM

authentication bypass and eventual RCE (Apache JServ Protocol)

AJP “Transfer-Encoding” can’t distinguish between command data and “data” data types.

“Inconsistent Interpretation of HTTP Requests (‘HTTP Request Smuggling’) vulnerability in mod_proxy_ajp of Apache HTTP Server allows an attacker to smuggle requests to the AJP server it forwards requests to. This issue affects Apache HTTP Server 2.4 version 2.4.53 and prior versions.”

When Apache receives both a “Transfer-Encoding” and “Content-Length” header, it removes the “Content-Length” header from the request it sends to the backend AJP server.
Because of this, the request sent to the Apache mod_proxy_ajp for forwarding does not contain a “Content-Length” header.


hotfix and mitigation


An old vulnerability with a lot of exploits.


ResearcherZero October 29, 2023 6:14 AM

“Documents detailing the proposal show that the beleaguered consultancy PwC will be given a critical role in the scheme’s operation. PwC will have the power to determine which percentage of abuse payouts would be covered by CCI and what would be left up to individual church bodies.”


No money left…


…will file for bankruptcy before new law on abuse lawsuits takes effect.

Employees of government agencies have immunity from contributing to a settlement or judgment if named in a lawsuit. In instances where a government employee is ordered to contribute to a payout, the amount is very small.

“Qualified immunity is not immunity from having to pay money damages, but rather immunity from having to go through the costs of a trial at all. Accordingly, courts must resolve qualified immunity issues as early in a case as possible, preferably before discovery. Courts conducting this analysis apply the law that was in force at the time of the alleged violation, not the law in effect when the court considers the case.”


Visitor October 29, 2023 2:36 PM

@ vas pup et al

“a “micro tactical ground robot” that can climb stairs”

They’re using Daleks to ExTerMiNate! their enemies.

Davros would be proud of their efforts at Purity.

lurker October 29, 2023 3:00 PM

@vas pup

A fascinating but elusive phenomenon. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.

One might almost suspect the eponymous Dr.Johnson wrote that entry in the International Dictionary of Psychology

lurker October 29, 2023 3:21 PM

@Ismar, Others

There is a purportedly historical record written by a dominant Middle East tribe, which shows that these people have repeatedly departed from, abandoned, their “homeland”, then returned a generation or two later and commited genocide to evict the squatters. We are currently witnessing the latest in this series of failures to learn from history.

Your final question might be answered by examining immigration to the US from the 1880s to 1940s.

Ismar October 29, 2023 5:06 PM

@lurker – if I am reading them correctly, you’re comments are Anti-Semitic ,and, since you have introduced them in the conversation as a response to mine ones, I feel obliged to call them out as such.
In addition, and to make myself crystal clear here, I don’t think for a moment to blame the whole of the Jewish People for the actions of their right wing government and indeed there are many Jews who openly oppose it at this hard time for all of them.

Brodie October 29, 2023 9:17 PM

Hamas Militants Behind Israel Attack Raised Millions in Crypto.

Digital currency transactions highlight how U.S. and Israel have struggled to sever the access of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah to foreign funding.


JonKnowsNothing October 30, 2023 12:14 AM

@Ismar, @lurker, All

re: replacement, reclaiming, rescinding, returning

This is function of every place on the planet, when multiple groups of people claim ownership of a particular hunk of dirt. It’s eons old and it continues regularly around the globe. Fairly predictable in outbreaks and fairly predictable in outcomes.

It also occurs when multiple groups of living organisms claim the same environmental niche. “One niche per species” and “find your own niche” are the standards.

These are generational and millennial conflicts and the outcomes flow back and forth like the tides.

It’s also sad, pathetic, and devastating waste of human efforts and life. Try not to get caught up in the FOTM.


FOTM = Flavor of the month

ResearcherZero October 30, 2023 12:54 AM

signing certificate abuse


ResearcherZero October 30, 2023 1:18 AM

rapid production of garbage


Hot Soil

VPD is a measure of the difference between the actual amount of moisture in the air, and the maximum amount possible at a given temperature. High VPD also causes the moisture of dead fuels to decline, because these fuels are generally in equilibrium with the environment.

“When VPD is high, moisture in live fuels declines either because of transpiration, or during drought, because there’s not enough moisture in the soil.”


During dry and warm conditions, the energy absorbed by the soil is used to warm the soil, increasing the release of sensible heat flux and surface air temperatures. This increase in surface air temperature leads to a higher atmospheric demand for water, increasing soil evaporation, which may further dry and warm the soil.

relative humidity – (how much water vapour the air contains compared to the maximum it could contain)

Most of the water vapour over land actually originates from evaporation over oceans. This moist air is moved around the globe thanks to the atmospheric circulation and some then flows over land. The slower warming of the oceans means that there has not been enough moisture evaporated into – and then held in – the air above the oceans to keep pace with the rising temperatures over land. This means that the air is not as saturated as it was and relative humidity has decreased.

“Here we show that soil hot extremes are increasing faster than air hot extremes by 0.7 °C per decade in intensity and twice as fast in frequency on average over Central Europe. Furthermore, we identify soil temperature as a key factor in the soil moisture–temperature feedback.”


ResearcherZero October 30, 2023 2:25 AM

On not setting oneself on fire…

“In a contested and alarming information environment, even cautious beliefs about escalation control would be rendered academic while mushroom clouds rise over a battlefield. Far better would be to drive up the threshold for nuclear use at any level and communicate that intention clearly through both policy and force posture decisions. …This less confrontational approach would greatly help identify risk-reduction opportunities or at least create clearer communication channels besides weapon deployments and posture signaling.”

Accepting the uncomfortable reality of a perceived vulnerability was the foundation of almost all stabilizing US-Soviet arms control steps during the Cold War.


Deployment of tactical nuclear weapons both lowered the threshold for nuclear use and gave legitimacy to battlefield plans which increased escalation risk.

An often-discussed issue is the fear that if used, radioactivity would affect U.S. and allied forces, not just their opponents. Equally worrisome: the command and control of these weapons would reside in-theater. The danger was that frontline troops could accidentally (or intentionally) launch one of these weapons and trigger nuclear escalation without a clear decision from top leaders.

In one especially harrowing moment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Soviet submarine captain nearly launched a nuclear-tipped torpedo against the U.S. Naval vessels enforcing the blockade of Cuba. This case exemplifies a specific danger of tactical nuclear weapons: when nuclear command and control gets delegated to individual commanders, who may be isolated and not able to effectively communicate with their chain of command, the likelihood of use increases.


crisis “offramps”

Winter October 30, 2023 2:55 AM

Re: militants-behind-israel-attack-raised-millions-in-crypto

They didn’t. WSJ was wrong.[1]


[1] Journalists are people and can make errors. Nothing special. Politicians should not base laws on single news articles without fact checking. That is incompetence.

JonKnowsNothing October 30, 2023 4:05 AM

@Winter, @Brodie, All

re: news articles without fact

As the proverbial saying goes:

  • It is well known that…

In the USA and by parallel other countries, it is well known that government propaganda of all types infiltrates the news media. It is often done as “a campaign” and it is generally clever enough to tip people into believing what they already want to believe.

Papers like the WSJ, NYT, LAT, and loads of others, regularly publish “vetted” articles under the by line of a Well Respected Journalist, that presents a particular view that is

  • Not In Fact True

The point is not that the article is going to be found out later to be inaccurate in many or all details, it’s that, like fast moving social media, the message got out and seen and nudged a particular set of ideas. These ideas get embedded long before the retraction(s) make any dent, if any, in exposing the false narrative.

This process is not “incompetence” but “complicit” in action.

There are loads of examples of such publications and retractions and apologies and even a few restitution payments. It does not stop the program cycle or even put it on pause.

  • There are journalists that have close ties with LEAs, FBI, CIA. They co-write their papers with the agencies. Then the article is presented to the news editor for publication. The normal procedure continues with a few “winks and nods”, where the article is sent by regular journal channels to the agencies for comment. Their standard boiler plate response is appended to the article and it is published. That it is fully untruthful makes no difference. It can take decades to clear up the falsehoods.
  • There are cases where the agencies were forced to admit to wrongful information was published, when it was exposed and the agency made a new pronouncement. The new version was also untruthful. More time to uncover the falsehoods and a new exposure and another apology and another payment and a newer version was given. Not too surprising that with two false narratives and two false promises and two false payoffs that a third round took place. These even involved two formal apologies by the President of the USA, at the White House, with a Ceremony and a Public Address that Promised No More False Narratives on the Topic.

In the above cases, all the public printed, government vetted, authorized and sanitized versions were printed across every major news media at the time.

fwiw: Do not think Wikipedia is any safer when it comes to incendiary topics. Edit Wars are infamous when it comes to duking it out over competing narratives.

The new “no false information” laws-rules on social media is going to be VERY INTERESTING to see which “false narratives” get removed and which ones do not.

A good tip off of which way an article is going to roll, is the lede photograph for the story. You really do not have to go much farther than that. One halo photo worth 1,000 words.

Winter October 30, 2023 7:22 AM


This process is not “incompetence” but “complicit” in action.

I want to find bad faith as dearly as the next internet user, but in this case I think we should not atribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Brodie October 30, 2023 8:06 AM

How North Korea became a mastermind of crypto cyber crime

Cryptocurrency theft has become one of the regime’s main sources of revenue and underlines the lack of regulation of digital assets


Clive Robinson October 30, 2023 11:35 AM

@ Winter, JonKnowsNothing,

Re : Press Baron’s and Propaganda, and damn lies.

“I want to find bad faith as dearly as the next internet user, but in this case I think we should not atribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Well that’s kind of what they want you to think, and on any individual story it might appear that way.

But you have to look at things in a larger scope for trends etc…

It’s why I say of News International and Sky controling individual he is Rupert “the bare faced lier” Murdoch.

For many decades he has poluted the news with propaganda, so much so many assume he is the model for the “Evil Bond Villain” Elliot Carver in the film “Tommorow Never Dies” who tries to start a war with China because they would not let his Satellite News Service be available there.

Apparently “in reality” the model was another UK Press Baron Robert Maxwell, who had conveniently died half a decade before. He is believed by others to have been an agent of both Mossad and far right Zionists of Israeli politics. He repeatedly pushed Israeli Government and Zionist propaganda into the UK press as well as Russian. He was later also known to have had connections to “Moscow and Trump” and pushed Russian interests. It’s known he flew to Moscow from the US shortly before his suspicious death the day he was due to appear to explain his finances to financial authorities[2].

For reasons that never became clear after Maxwell’s “very odd” and officially “Suspicious Death” the “Jumped, fell or pushed” demise of the back of a boat is still unanswered. He was entombed in the oldest, holiest, historical, thus most important Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem “The Mount of Olives” which is claimed to be a very rare privilege, and the list of those attending will raise many an eyebrow.

[1] Two of,Robert Maxwell’s sons speak but say nothing about his 1991 death in suspicious circumstances,

But his youngest daughter has always said she believed he was murdered.

[2] As has been previously noted on this blog quite a few Russian’s and others have been “suicided” in the UK that have upset Russian interests. One of whom was “suicided” also prior just before giving financial evidence against “Russian Interests” that would include Putin.

Brodie October 30, 2023 11:49 AM

Crypto Is a Small Slice of Hamas’ Funding — But It’s Deadly

Regulators are rightly cracking down on virtual currency.


Winter October 30, 2023 12:43 PM


It’s why I say of News International and Sky controling individual he is Rupert “the bare faced lier” Murdoch.

This story ran in the WSJ.

JonKnowsNothing October 30, 2023 12:44 PM

@ Winter, @Clive, All

re: should not attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

In the scope of propaganda reporting, regardless of the topic, because the nature of such reporting is incendiary by intent, have you really thought through that initial assumption that that

  • WSJ News Organization is STUPID??
  • All reporters in the WSJ News Organization are STUPID?
  • That all staffers, runners or minions are STUPID?

Sure, we can asses that a SWAG percentage of people at the WSJ are STUPID but to the extent of reporting an incendiary article?

The key hallmark of such reporting is that it evokes a gut-response. Your BP will rise, your ire will rise, your sense of outrage will rise, you will be NUDGED into a more radical position that you would otherwise have had, and that position remains dominant even after the article is retracted.

  • Once exposed you cannot forget what you read, saw, analyzed or determined.


Early on before open hostilities broke out in UKR-RU, there was a series of exchange here about photographs that appeared in the news media. I made a number of posts about the purpose and origin of these images. I did not link any URLs because they were propaganda images with click trackers on them.

There was a good exchange about which pictures appeared where. What sort of pictures they were. How they were shot, composed and placed.

As the open war began, those pictures had already NUDGED a lot of people into one view or another. They did what they were intended to do.

It is a powerful tool used to manipulate people into a more extreme view. It works very well by anyone pushing a particular agenda.

HAIL Warning MSM reports are that oil prices will sky rocket, that munitions sales are up and going higher, that war driven economics will yield higher profits to both publicly traded companies and private corporations. Along with the increased global food insecurity driving prices of basic staples even higher.

Those folks doing the NUDGE are anything but STUPID.

Winter October 30, 2023 12:47 PM

Re: Is a Small Slice

Which is another way of saying the original story was bogus but we still want to use it to kill crypto.

It was bogus, period! And the current attacks could take place not because of magic crypto funding but because the opposing government was too busy killing democracy to care about some Arabs behind a fence.

Brodie October 30, 2023 3:13 PM

Hamas’ Bitcoin Fundraising Increasingly Complex, Researchers Say

Group’s military wing is now using a website that generates a new digital wallet with every transaction, making it harder for companies around the world to keep tabs, according to researchers


Mr. Peed Off October 30, 2023 4:01 PM

Nightshade exploits a security vulnerability in generative AI models, one arising from the fact that they are trained on vast amounts of data—in this case, images that have been hoovered from the internet. Nightshade messes with those images.

Poisoned data samples can manipulate models into learning, for example, that images of hats are cakes, and images of handbags are toasters. The poisoned data is very difficult to remove, as it requires tech companies to painstakingly find and delete each corrupted sample.

I am going to hazard a guess that most image hosting sites and search engines are going to take a very dim view of artists who include malware in their images.

Clive Robinson October 30, 2023 7:09 PM

@ Brodie,

Re : Hamas and Crypto story is fake news.

You keep trying to make a point that has been not just rebutted but disproved.

It’s only got legs because it is a US politics story about a particular politician who has a wasp in her undies about crypto…

Have a read of,

As for Bloomberg, lets just say they’ve pushed one or two too many “fake-news” stories in the Tech and Security areas to have any real credibility any longer especially when they “double down” on them.

So I’d give up re-posting the same US-Politics story over and over, it’s nothing to do with “security” just “party politics” and as such it’s frowned on here (go see the blog posting rules).

Meanwhile, vocoders... October 30, 2023 7:18 PM

^ In case anybody ever wonders how some of us “Veterans” who compose music with computers get drafted into the centre of the Information Wars:

They are asking us to upload our photo ID’s of ourselves, including passport or similar…
and credit card info, and street address of ourselves, and online personal info, and other data info that they claim they use to give us back access to the stuff we bought from them.

But it smells like a set up these days.
First they plan to steal from us, then they sell us something, then they steal from us, then we ask for it back, then they ask us for too much information, and then, if we give it to them, then they ravage us and our banks and families and friends and coworkers and allies and associates and fellow passengers, online companions, etcetera.

Meanwhile, vocoders…

Happy Thankstaking

Brodie October 30, 2023 8:51 PM


I thank you for your assessment, though the security implications of cryptocurrency are clear.

Israel Seized $1.7M in Crypto From Iranian Military and Hezbollah With Chainalysis’ Aid

The Israeli government seized the crypto wallets after an order from Defense Minister Yoav Gallant earlier this week.


It’s also worth considering the role of crypto in the “non-crypto” finance of militant groups (i.e., Iran, NK to Hamas.)

Crypto exchange Binance helped Iranian firms trade $8 billion despite sanctions


North Korea denies its weapons used by Hamas against Israel


SpaceLifeForm October 31, 2023 1:01 AM


SEC Charges SolarWinds and Chief Information Security Officer with Fraud, Internal Control Failures

Complaint alleges software company misled investors about its cybersecurity practices and known risks

Winter October 31, 2023 2:15 AM


making it harder for companies around the world to keep tabs,

Bitcoin is neither anonymous nor untraceable. And the whole cryptoterror link is fake Halloween horror.

My personal opinion is simple [1]. Cryptocurrencies are a threat for traditional banks. Banks run the USA. US power stands on global military and financial domination. Hence, cryptocurrencies must be destroyed.

[1] Simple opinions tend to be wrong. So feel free to educate me. The fact that cryptocurrencies are mostly Ponzi schemes and fraud is irrelevant here. US banks have never objected to a Ponzi scheme or fraud that benefited them.

Clive Robinson October 31, 2023 2:51 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : SolarWinds.

“Complaint alleges software company misled investors about its cybersecurity practices and known risks”

Some will say “about time” but what concerns me is, the charging of the “Chief Information Security Officer”(CISO).

It appears as they say,

“There is a new game in town”

And they are going after those who for various reasons are not the “Directing Mind” in the situation.

That is the CISO’s are not picking either the course or destination of the journey just “charting it” for the helmsman to stear.

Thus those who are the “Directing Minds” walk away to do it all again another day.

Clive Robinson October 31, 2023 3:04 AM

@ Guippy

“The issue is the exact amount.”

Actually it’s not.

Whilst the amount is a tiny tiny fraction of that which was originally claimed and still is by US Politicians.

The analysis is fundementally flawed as to attribution and what was going on in the region with regards civilian banking or more correctly lack of banking facilities.

It’s going to take a lot more analysis than has been done to sort it out. As they do you will find that tiny tiny fraction will probably get smaller and smaller.

But at the moment if you compare those figures to crypto usage in other regions you will find that it’s not what a US Politician is claiming because she has a wasp in her undies.

Brodie October 31, 2023 9:08 AM


making it harder for companies around the world to keep tabs

Bitcoin is neither anonymous nor untraceable.

Nor are other types of payment — not even cash — hence it’s “harder” and not impossible. That’s why they’re laundered. Crypto make payments possible, not anonymous.

Cryptocurrencies are a threat for traditional banks. Banks run the USA.

Traditional banks, like Goldman, endorse crypto. Their opponents — like Clive’s favorite, Liz Warren — are against it.

Jen House October 31, 2023 9:02 PM

Crypto make payments possible, not anonymous.

Crypto can also be used to make payments anonymous. See, for example, David Chaum’s 1983 paper “Blind Signatures for Untraceable Payments”, which uses RSA as its cryptographic primitive; or the much more recent Zcash, which uses non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs. (Neither is very popular right now.)

Clive Robinson October 31, 2023 10:58 PM

@ Jen House, ALL,

“Crypto can also be used to make payments anonymous.”

All things can be made anonymous by cryptography, the question is what else can happen when you do.

In the case of using “special integers” as “uniquely owned” tokens, you loose the tracability to stop “double use” or in the case of crypto-coins “double spend”.

Hence the use of not just the blockchain but proof of work, as a tracable ledger and method of ensuring the special nature of the integers respectively.

In theory the blockchaon is anonymous as it records only the electronic wallet identifier. However there are ways that this can be deanonymised to a certain extent one of which is the US push for “Know your customer regulation” and more recently the SEC claiming that all blockchain type systems that hold any kind of value fiscal or not are “securities” even when they are not (see SEC v. LBRY).

The ruling means that if you purchase software from me and I issue you a provably unique digital recipt on a blockchain that alows you to use an instance of the software and obtain upgrades for a period of time, but also alows you to “sell it on” to another individual then rather than being a provably unique “licence” it is now magically an unlicenced “security”…

Yet print out the licence “key” which can be used and traded in the same way, apparently it is not a security…

Jen House November 1, 2023 1:18 AM

Clive, the system you’re describing is basically Bitcoin (and its near-clones). For “shielded Zcash” transactions, the blockchain doesn’t expose “electronic wallet identifiers”, wallet balances, or transaction amounts. Chaum’s system doesn’t have a public blockchain, but has a bank that creates and redeems “notes”—and can’t link redeemed and created notes. Both systems are nevertheless able to prevent double-spending, even with no ability to “follow the money”.

Winter November 1, 2023 2:35 AM


Crypto can also be used to make payments anonymous.

A payment is nothing but a message. Zcash et al. can indeed do anonymous, untraceable payments. They are also rather “non-intuitive” to use and as such does not have a large user base.

The point is the on- and off-ramps. There have to be points where money “enters” and “exits” the system to be able to use it. These exchange points are the weak links.

If there is no access to the global banking system and all “public” cryptocurrency transactions are blacklisted, these anonymous cryptocurrency systems will be of little use. In this respect they are akin to the underground banking systems that already exist.

Jen House November 1, 2023 12:43 PM

Clive, by that logic anonymity doesn’t exist and cryptography can’t provide privacy either: I could, for example, log all my TLS session keys and Tor circuits to later provide to a government during an “audit”. A repressive one might even require that I send such data to them before their “great firewall” will let a connection proceed, or that I use Dual_EC_DRBG with a key they know.

Chaum’s 1982 scheme only allows de-anonymization when the payer and bank co-operate to reveal the payer’s transaction(s). I can do the same with cash: by showing receipts, by photographing the serial numbers of banknotes, or by recording video of all transactions. The “exceptional condition” in the Chaum-Fiat-Naor 1988 scheme, under which the bank can unilaterally de-anonymize a user, is if the user spends the same coin twice; non-fraudulent users are not affected. If I’m correctly understanding the 2014 Zerocash paper (Ben-Sasson et al.), even would-be fraudsters can’t be de-anonymized, but will simply see their double-spending attempts fail.

Re: “There is already a legal requirment for US citizens to [keep receipts issued by payees] where ever they are in the world.” Either that’s not true, or is one of those unenforced laws everyone breaks every day. I don’t think anyone’s going to American prison because they bought a cup of coffee and discarded the receipt—unless, of course, they chose to claim some kind of tax credit based on it. Otherwise, when it comes to “citizens”, it’s the payees, not the payers, who need to keep receipts. Non-human payers such as banks and mutual funds do have additional requirements.

Markov November 1, 2023 2:29 PM

Some ideas about so called “security enveloping” here:

Isn’t is rather silly how “security envelopes” sold as postal supplies tend to lack any interior text for camouflaging text? There’s really absolutely no functional security feature at all for typical average “security envelopes” sold at most locations. Although, after thinking about it, maybe the security only protects mailed contents of fabric designs(!)

Proposed Solution(s):

1) printing of your own patterns on your own materials of choice

2) folding of your own envelopes:

Other Thoughts: (no worries; no crossword puzzles allowed)

That’s all for now.
Happy November, 2023.

JonKnowsNothing November 1, 2023 3:07 PM

@Jen, @Winter, All

re: Crypto can also be used to make payments anonymous.

As @Winter points out there is an OnRamp and an OffRamp. You might think that the road between them is secret but it is not.

Even the Cash Economy is not secret. All governments know about the extent of the Cash Economy. When the Cash Economy gets bigger then the Tax Economy gets smaller.

They also know what the funds are used for. For the majority of regular folks making a few dollars mowing the neighbors yards or doing handy-person work, the money does not go where the politicians like to point. They know what the money is used for. Within any group you can find exceptions to the rule but recent “social uplift open payments use it any way you want” resulted in improvements to the families, better nutrition, housing options, a long term benefit of better employment and far less despair driven activities.

In the USA, the IRS doesn’t even care about your OnRamp, they base their Big Whale Hunts on the Off Ramp activities. The IRS does not do too many Big Whale Hunts as it upsets the congressional donation streams.

When it comes to “the untouched but monitored” groups, it is does not take a PhD to know that you cannot buy a tank at the local Dollar Store. They know where the money is going, how much, what it is buying and where it is being shipped.

The useful things about generational and millennial wars is that they can be predicted to erupt on a regular basis. There is money to be made and the profit doesn’t matter which side you sell to.

JonKnowsNothing November 1, 2023 3:16 PM

@Jen, All

re: Keeping Receipts

What you need to keep is proof of income and that you paid taxes on that income. The receipt or pay stub is your proof.

Modern times, direct deposit means the bank statement holds your proof. The annual end of year tax forms show your earnings, work, stocks, dividends, house sales etc.

If you want to claim an exclusion to the Taxable Amount, you need proof that you made a payment that falls within the guidelines. Putting money into an approved retirement fund will get you a tax deferral.

The number of years you need to officially keep these receipts varies if it is a business or individual. The problem that can happen is there is no Look Back Time Limitation if the IRS decides there is suspicions of fraud.

It should be noted that in some other countries, UK and AU, they have required people to go back 30 years: pay stubs, school records and other forms of documentation.

Steve November 1, 2023 4:21 PM


“which is against the blog rules… Which of course you would know if you read them.”

“Assume good faith. Be polite. Minimize profanity. Argue facts, not personalities. Stay on topic.”

Of these, you’ve broken all but the third.

Clive Robinson November 1, 2023 5:37 PM

@ Jen House,

“by that logic anonymity doesn’t exist and cryptography can’t provide privacy either”

As I pointed out there are side effects of actions. There is an old saying,

“Nothing happens in a vacuum”

And whilst not actually true the more scientific,

“Every action has an equal and opposite action”

Does hold sway. Anonymity as,a function of privacy only works inside of a bounded set of conditions. If you “maintain the bubble” then you maintain privacy and thus Anonymity.

Break the bubble for arbitration or similar then the consequence is you loose privacy thus anonymity.

The old,

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

Attributed to Benjamin Franklin applies, likewise I have pointed out that as the first party in an action or communication the only way to stop second party beyrayal is by,

1, Sufficient deniability.
2, Being in a power position where the cost of betrayal to the second party is considerably higher than the gain.

I’m not aware of any currently fielded systems involving two or more parties that survive “betrayal” of privacy.

It’s something I’m working on with deniability for a two party only system when examined by a third party (you can get it under the rules of Claude Shannon’s “Perfect Secrecy” where there is no “‘distinquisher’ in the system” so you maintain the “equiprobable” rule [look up “unicity distance”]).

The problem with all tokenised money systems not just digital ones is that a lot more than two parties are involved and some are dishonest within the system. So to avoid fraud issues you have to have either a

1, No duplication function.
2, An arbitration system.

Since no one has come up with the right function to implicitly stop duplication, you have to have an arbitration system that has to have two parts,

1, A method to break the bubble.
2, An audit system to trace all behaviour.

This is one definition of a betrayal system needed to ensure the system remains honest to other parties.

If you can come up with a “No duplication function” that is sufficiently efficient, then it’s not just a PhD you are going to get.

What we currently do is try to make the audit system “multi-party” such that it takes two or more to tango on the betrayal aspect to reveal the dishonest party. We then try to make the beyrayal cost reputational to stop it being misused.

Unfortunately Government agencies with a “Might is Right” view point backed by legislation and guard labour care not a jot about reputation, just that people do as they are told.

I’ve been quietly pointing this out on this blog and other places for quite some time now.

The fact others have not sufficiently thought it through is unfortunate for them.

But also as @Winter has pointed out all financial transactions by token are tracable by their externalities. That is deniability within the bubble is of no use if it can be correlated with outside the bubble actions/activities that act as a distinquisher.

Clive Robinson November 1, 2023 9:58 PM

@ The sock puppet named Steve.

“Of these, you’ve broken all but the third.”

Are you realy that lacking, that you want to go there?

OK you were daft enough to ask for the truth, and in the process have revealed not just the fact that you can not tell the truth but the fact you were dumb enough to try it on having been repeatedly held up for a fool in the past.

So the points are,

1, Assume good faith.
2, Be polite.
3, Minimize profanity.
4, Argue facts, not personalities. 5, Stay on topic.

From this thread alone it can be seen from your “style” you are arguing falsely.

I have assumed “good faith” untill others have demonstrated otherwise.

I’ve not been rude or unpleasent but I have “stood my ground” and “defended myself”, without being impolite but I have certainly been factual as I am currently. Apparently it’s appropriate behaviour, held in high regard in the USA, to do so when you are being attacked by others. Who ironically are actually breaking all the rules they falsely claim are being broken.

As for rule 4 go to the start of this thread, you can clearly see some one was breaking it by trotting out the nonsense of a “Party Political Personality” who is patently wrong and it’s been demonstrated as such repeatedly.

Yet that some one has repeatedly trotted out what is anti-palistinian propaganda that lacks any verifiable evidence to support it. Such behaviour at this time would appear to be pro-zionist, and not at all desirable at any time.

Thus the question arises are you supporting their pro-zionist views, or just not very bright and entirely lacking in historical knowledge or think others are?

But in your ad hominem attacks on me you are very much breaking not just rule 1 and 2, but also rules 4 and 5. As for rule 3 some time ago someone with your style of commenting did use profanity as the failings they exhibited were pointed out.

But also as historical searchs on this blog show, your commenting style shows up repeatedly under different handles, but also when there is anti US interest behaviour in the news, specifically involving right-wing behaviours. Such as most recently the war that Putin started in the Ukraine and when Zionist behaviours happen in what were once the Palistine Mandates. And your style is to support such expressed right-wing politics. At best on a very misguided “enemy of my enemy is my friend” basis, but at worst?

This has been noticed not just currently but in the past by others, not just me. But as I noted a few hours back such harms effect rather more than myself, they effect others so your behaviour style will get called out no matter what sock puppet name is used. This falsely hiding, not just your real identity but, it will be guessed at the end of the day because for some reason you dare not.

So the question arises as to why, you don’t stand behind your behaviours and name honestly?.. some will just assume you are a coward, others will assume other things.

But one thing is for certain you always break rule 5. That is you have never yet contributed to anything discussed in this blogs threads in any way even tangentially…

Now some are realy going to wonder what is wrong with you and your stalkerish behaviours and the obvious waste of your life it is, and ask what reward you think you are getting out of it…

Winter November 2, 2023 2:27 AM


That is you have never yet contributed to anything discussed in this blogs threads in any way even tangentially…

In my long travels on the web, I have seen this as the defining aspect of all trolls:
A Troll never volunteers relevant information.

Whatever the writing style or language use, a Troll will never further the discourse. Which is no surprise as the goal of every Troll (or Trolldom itself) is to stop and derail the discourse in its track.

I use this aspect of trolls to diagnose pathological commenters. There are those with anger issues, but a genuine interest, versus Trolls without an interest in the discourse. The former I will carefully feed responses, the latter I will starve.

Winter November 2, 2023 2:41 AM

For those who think it is impossible to have sane politics and a sane judiciary:

Federal Court dismisses challenge of Trudeau’s 2020 firearms ban

The Federal Court today dismissed a legal challenge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s May 2020 regulations banning some 1,500 styles of firearms.

ResearcherZero November 2, 2023 2:43 AM



North Korea recently provided more than a million artillery shells to Russia.

(short-range ballistic missiles, anti-tank missiles and portable anti-air missiles, in addition to rifles, rocket launchers, mortars and shells.)


Use of laser and satellite guidance systems to improve accuracy. Deployment of a new type of “smart” gliding bomb that can destroy bunkers even deep underground.


“The thought is that this is a really dangerous time, and not a time when we want a [junior varsity] squad of military officers” temporarily filling key posts.


ResearcherZero November 2, 2023 2:51 AM

On bombing civilians/structures/objects when neutralizing targets…

“the overall goal of the State in resorting to war should not be outweighed by the harm that the war is expected to produce” – Defense Department Law of War Manual


Scorched earth against non-combatants has been banned under the 1977 Geneva Conventions.

Article 51 of Geneva Protocol I prohibits bombardment that treats a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located within a city as a single military target…

“It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.”

Clive Robinson November 2, 2023 4:03 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : Smart weapons that are not.

“Use of laser and satellite guidance systems to improve accuracy. Deployment of a new type of “smart” gliding bomb”

The dirty little secret of “Smart Weapons” made for existing bombs etc is mostly they don’t need any smarts and a high school kid with an interest in simple electronics can make them.

Because they use a technique some call “bang bang” after the noise the guidence system makes.

The way they work is actually quite simple for the laser based systems. An optical senser not any more sophisticated than four light sensitive diodes in a square has the light from a single lense focused on them. If the top diode has more light than the bottom then the bomb tail fin gets “hard slaped” over to correct, when the bottom diode gets more light the tail fin gets “hard slaped” back to correct. You can make such a circuit with OpAmps.

The difference with the “glider bomb” is range. An ordinary “iron bomb” has to be dropped reaaonably close to the target, a glider on the other hand can be dropped from way further back. So a glider bomb is almost a “stand off” style weapon, but still using the same primitive circuit to guide it onto the target.

So calling such weapons “smart” is more than a country mile away from the truth.

Clive Robinson November 2, 2023 4:07 AM

@ Winter,

“Whatever the writing style or language use, a Troll will never further the discourse.”

Sounds like a fair appraisal 😉

ResearcherZero November 2, 2023 4:42 AM

anti-jam technology


The Russian R-330Zh Zhitel jammer can reportedly shut down—within a radius of tens of kilometers—GPS, satellite communications, and cellphone networks in the VHF and UHF bands. The R-330Zh detects and attacks radio signals across wavebands from 100 MHz to 2 GHz and can transmit jamming signals with 10 kW of power.


But if soldiers are purchasing their own communications equipment then jamming these frequencies may be problematic.

(Military radios use cryptographic techniques to generate the channel sequence by implementing a secret transmission security key that the sender and receiver share in advance. By itself, frequency hopping provides only limited protection against eavesdropping and jamming. Most modern military frequency hopping radios also employ separate encryption devices.)


The R-187-P1E is a multimode voice and data dual band V/UHF radio operating in the 27-520 MHz frequency band with a frequency hopping speed of a claimed 20,000 hops per second. The radio has a claimed range of at least 4 km. In fixed-frequency mode it has a data transfer rate of 256 kbps and in frequency hopping mode a data rate of 28.8 kbps. It is also equipped with an embedded global positioning system (GPS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).


The R-168 Akveduk is not as flash…


The standard radio on most frontline Russian tanks is the R-168 radio complex.

The converse of electronic attack is electronic support (ES), which is used to passively detect and analyze an opponent’s transmissions.

Once the jamming signal is detected and identified as such, the jammer’s latitude and longitude could then be determined.

Moskva-1 is a precision HF/VHF receiver that can use the reflections of TV and radio signals to conduct passive coherent location or passive radar operations.


ResearcherZero November 2, 2023 4:59 AM

@Clive Robinson

Eventually I would like to see a system that can avoid plumbum, or even numbum.
These new “cognitive” systems in development might accomplish a degree of “smart”. At least if all the lead-in time eventually produces results which can avoid GPS jamming and other forms of interference.


ResearcherZero November 2, 2023 6:56 AM


Clive Robinson November 2, 2023 2:14 PM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : Jammer failings.

“The R-330Zh detects and attacks radio signals across wavebands from 100 MHz to 2 GHz and can transmit jamming signals with 10 kW of power.”

The GPS signals are Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum and above 2GHz in frequency and very much “line of sight” in operation.

Without going into all the details “jamming margin” can be approximated as based on the ratio of bandwidths, and the effective difference in distance as a ratio at the RX antenna between the jammer and the desired TX squared. That is a 12kHz NBFM signal v. 2GHz jamming sweep. Thus the jammer needs to be ~160000:1 or 52db more radiated power than the TX at the same distance. In the battlefield radio comms in a squad or platoon tends to be less than 0.1km whilst a jammer being exprnsive and rare tends to be out of range of infantry weapons which these days is 3-7km so lets say 5k/0.1k is a ratio of 50 and the power increase of the jammer needs to be the ratio squared or 2500 times or 34db to have equal power at the RX antenna. So in total 52+34db is 86db or 160,000 x 2500 or 400,000,000… Which is why jammers tend to use features of the modulation to jam rather than raw power difference and where possible “active intelligence” to cut the bandwidth ratio.

So fixed frequency hand held radios can be easy to jam as you can get the margin down to just the square of the distance ratio, a more reasonable 2500:1 which with VHF/UHF squad radios being around 0.1W “Effective Radiated Power”(ERP) due to inefficient “short antennas” and the jammer being able to use efficient directional antennas to get a 10db increase in ERP, means that the jammer may need to be only 25 times the TX power into the base of the antenna to have equivalent power at the RX antenna. Which is why rapid frequency hopping over a very wide band of 100Mhz or wide band spread spectrum or both is used in even squad level military radios (and why they cost ~5000USD a unit at the high end whilst cheap Chinese UV5 type HT’s cost only 25USD or less per unit at the low end, hence corruption in the Russian military costs the lives of their soldiers).

With digital radios they are frequently most susceptable to jamming at “the bit transitions” or “sample point” thus narrow pulses at the data clock rate can easily reduce the jam margin by stopping the handsets synchronising.

So having a CW jammer that “frequency sweeps” at the same rate as the handset data rate can be rather more effective than you might expect. Likewise swept at a rate that will produce a tone in parts of the human auditory response critical to speach recognition or that produces physical pain (think that metal screach of train wheels that makes you flinch). Even playing a few notes of annoying tune intros like “car wash” over and over will cause “operator fatigue” in the radio man, especially if the timing is irregular it can be like the Chinese Water Torture.

The ability to jam is in part both art and science.

But a 10kW jammer in the likes of an APC sized vehicle is far from new. I was involved with the development of such systems back in the 1980’s. And putting 1kW in a 2U 19″ rack whilst not trivial is now established commercial practice in VHF broadcast with 5kW in 3U also done with LDMOS devices designed to be efficient at the 2.5GHz ISM band to replace magnetrons in microwave ovens.

For those saying “but the generator…” the old UK Land Rover II-D from through to the late 1980’s and still in service in the 1990’s could source 70Hp, with 1 horsepower being 735.5W that gives ~52kW. A sizable chunk of that could be taken out of the “Center Power Take Off”(CPTO) and various generators were made to do just that (as were water pumps for fire fighting etc). It used to be joked with one particular winch unit, “sit back relax it can pull it’s self and you up a wall”. I never saw that particular trick performed, but when properly “staked down” I’d seen it pull four ton trucks fully loaded up very slipery mudded hill sides.

The “currently still in use” Defender Wolf 110 wheel base gives 111hp / 82kW and does get fitted out with radio equipment from “DC to Daylight” and those SC units use them not just for ElInt which includes jammers but working with the Skynet secure satellite system that is difficult to jam due to the antennas in use.

JonKnowsNothing November 2, 2023 2:41 PM


HAIL Warning STORM Warning

A MSM report of a serious HAIL STORM from the Google BARD AI Engine.

A submission made to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry by “academics” contained total a HAIL STORM of hallucinations and accusations of illegal activities by 4 major accounting firms in Australia.

  • the original submission relied on the Google Bard AI tool
  • The AI program generated several case studies about misconduct that were highlighted by the submission
  • The original submission falsely accused 4 major accounting firms of illegal actions
  • Emeritus Professor James Guthrie claimed responsibility for the error, excusing the other academics [co-authors of the study]

    What was rather eyebrow raising was the statement by Prof Guthrie on being exposed for presenting false data, false accusations, false references and false testimony based on the Google BARD AI tool was:

the entire authorship team sincerely apologizes to the committee and the named Big Four partnerships …

factual errors were “regrettable”

but insisted “our substantive arguments and our recommendations … remain ….


  • we lied 1, we lied 2, we lied 3, we lied 4, but we think our lies should still influence the outcome.


ht tps://www.theguardia n.c om/business/2023/nov/02/australian-academics-apologise-for-false-ai-generated-allegations-against-big-four-consultancy-firms

Clive Robinson November 2, 2023 7:02 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Re : Lying does not always negate a truth.

“we lied 1, we lied 2, we lied 3, we lied 4, but we think our lies should still influence the outcome.”

Is not quite accurate…

The actual lies were designed to be illustrative of an issue.

The fact they were lies that appeared to coroborate the issue was why they were used as examples.

It was I’m assuming the AI that did as it was asked to do but came up with lies rather than truths, such is the nature of “stochastic systems”.

Whilst the lies remain lies, they in no way mean that the “issue” is either false or not correctly formulated.

For every issue or test in nature you will find a spectrum of examples from bad to good. If you pick four bad examples it does not mean there are not four good examples. The only way to know is to realy understand the test and the properties of what you are testing as well as the properties of the methods of measure.

Look at it this way, children ask qurstions most parents can not truthfully answer because they don’t know, and even if they did could not meabingfully explain it.

Such questions are usually deceptively simple like,

“Why is the sky blue?”

To which a quick and vaguly truthfull answer would be, because the sun looks yellow…

Infact the sky is not realy blue it’s actually got no colour.

But parents will give an answer that sounds right and the child is happy and probably forgets it in a short time. It’s probably not for another two decades that one or two of the many children who asked the question finds out why “the sky appears blue” when infact it’s not.

I told my son that it appeard to be blue because of things without colour in the sky that the sun illuminates. I then showed him a before and after experiment to demonstrate the effect in a darkened room with a jam jar filled with water and a flash light shining into it. As you would expect the light remained white which was the before. I then added a couple of drops of milk and this time the water appeared to be blue when the flash light shone at right angles, but the flash light appeared yellow when shone through towards you and the water appeared slightly white when it was shone away from you. He appeared happy with the result, more so than with the three colour RGB spining top that goes white when spun fast enough, I’d shown him a month or so before that.

I’ve yet to tell him why things of no colour can appear to have colour, even though his knowledge of physics is probably up to it.

Oh one to think about is why is there no colour brown in the raindow or visual spectrum?

You will find several bad answers on the Intetnet and YouTube.

JonKnowsNothing November 2, 2023 8:11 PM

@Clive, All

re: Lying does not always negate a truth.

A broken watch is correct once or twice a day. It depends if you use 24hr or 12hr time format.

Deliberately presenting false data to a government authority is more than a Stochastic Parrot problem.

  • try that with a police inquiry
  • try that with a dissertation

There can certainly be claims that the End Justifies the Means, but that has a limited value if we want to retain any semblance of “real” actions.

In the end game, “real” is whatever the Parrot produces, but we are not quite there.

Clive Robinson November 2, 2023 9:25 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

“Deliberately presenting false data to a government authority is more than a Stochastic Parrot problem.”

The amount of “incorrect” data presented to Government Enquires is immense the problem and in part why Enquires take so long and cost so much is testing the data. Then if data is found to be of insufficient quality making decisions about the testimony and the presenting witness. Hence the “Bad Faith” tests.

In this case those presenting the data found it agreed with what they were expecting, and did not go on to check it further.

The question is why?

I suspect because from the witnesses point of view “it passed the duck test”.

Perhaps not realising that current AI ML systems based around LLMs will,

“Give you what you ask for”

Thus you have to be extreamly cautious about the questions you ask.

If your question is even slightly biased the chances are the AI ML system will “amplify the bias”. Because doing the “go round in circles to refin the enquiry” is actually a very bad idea as the bias will carry forward… With ML systems.

ResearcherZero November 3, 2023 3:59 AM

Data Integrity

According to recent research:

“feelings of confusion or frustration stimulate an individual’s curiosity while simultaneously reducing the scrutiny the person applies to new information”

(1) long-term preparation identifies targetable individuals and networks, (2) cyber attacks raise tensions and inflame emotions, and (3) tailored messaging attempts to influence targeted individuals.


Go back to basics and get those right

Australia’s lack of data science rigour is not unusual, “No one wants to talk about data validation, documenting processes, data privacy or about having a new policy mandating how an organisation will deal with data or incorporate it into decision making.”

A failure to understand the long-term, national-security implications of public education policy cripples our human capital.


Assumption – something that you accept as true without question or proof:

“Making assumptions and then taking them personally is the beginning of hell in this world. Almost all of our conflicts are based on this, and it’s easy to understand why.” – stolen quote

“It became rapidly evident that resilience was more aligned to supporting the protection of civilians from further harm rather than the military mission.”


Deciphering fact from opinion, truth from falsehood, and science from conjecture. Cognitive Warfare opposes the capacities to know and to produce, it actively thwarts knowledge.

Current and future antagonists are constantly learning from their own and others’ analyses and enhancing their performance…

Many life-sustaining functions of urban areas are becoming data-dependent, while connected urban systems also generate essential data.


Cyberattacks are Followed by Information Attacks.


Protecting civilians from the actions of others and mitigating harm coming from own operations will be the key to successful defence.

ResearcherZero November 3, 2023 4:05 AM

Don’t hack the homeless with our music please, say Wiggles.


ResearcherZero November 3, 2023 4:42 AM


People will begin hearing the ping of text messages on their phone “so they know we’ve paused recovery on their debts” from October 31…

“The agency maintains the new problem is separate to robodebt” It paused 13,000 debt reviews and another 87,000 files may also be affected.


100,000 unlawful debts(this number is entirely coincidental and has nothing to do with the above figures) one imagines 😉


“The duty to assist someone at risk of homelessness must be woven through the fabric of all government services.”

Housing stress is the fastest-growing cause of homelessness, with an astonishing 27 per cent increase from 2018 to 2022.👍

Under Homelessness Australia’s blueprint, Centrelink staff and other public officials would have a duty to help make sure no one leaves public services without a roof over their heads. Comparable countries such as Scotland and Wales already have a legislation-backed responsibility to prevent homelessness.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.