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EMV- CHIP & Choice..not Chip & PIN…Start Moving! March 23, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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platinum11chip_fr_h_1987After deviating from my ‘security’ theme, I am back to talk about InfoSec.  Last week I had the opportunity to attend Visa Accredited EMV Consultant Training at Visa’s Headquarters in Foster City, CA.  As always, Visa put on a top tier program with numerous experts in Payment Card ‘chip’ technology.  Since the topic was EMV most of the experts were from Across the Pond.  Thanks to Mark, Chris and the others for great training!

For those who are new, EMV or “Europay, MasterCard, Visa” is a technology where a microprocessor ‘chip’ is embedded in a payment card (credit card, debit card, etc.).  It is often erroneously referred too as “Chip & PIN” but EMV really only applies to the Chip technology.  If a region or issuer wants to prefer PIN, they are able.  Visa has a “Chip and Choice” model where they allow Chip with signature, no signature, or PIN depending upon the issuer, the risk and type of transaction (ie. Debit for Cash or ATM require a PIN).  There was too much information over 2 days to talk about in this post but there was one point I learned and wanted to pass on..

In October 2015, Visa is offering a ‘liability shift’ for merchants who adopt EMV.  My belief (it was wrong) until I attended the training was that the EMV liability shift only affected those merchants who 1) accepted a ‘chip’ card and on ‘chip’ transactions.  These are known as ‘chip on chip’.  It is critical that Merchants understand that the liability shift occurs for merchants who accept transacitons over a dual interface terminal (Chip and NFC) who accept transactions of ANY form.  As an example, if you accept 99% mag stripe transactions but you have dual interface terminals…the fraudulent transacion due to counterfeit have liability shifted to the issuer!  It does NOT have to be a Chip on Chip transaction.

The Second important point to remember is that Visa is offering a Technology Incentive Program (TIP) that states if a Level 1 Merchant accepts 75% of transactions over a Dual Interface terminal, they do not have to validate compliance with an onsite assessment.  There are some caveats to this so make sure you read the rules!

To get ready for implementation, ensure you download the Visa Merchant Readiness Acceptance Guide here.

RHIP- Sgt. Major of Marines (3/2) Embellishes his Record.. SgtMaj. Kenneth C. Lovell III March 19, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Lovell2UPDATED:  The USMC has changed the bio and the original BIO has been cleansed from the Google Cache.  I have updated the post with a link to the original Bio.. In the Marine Corps the phrase “RHIP” or “Rank Has Its Privileges” is common. Along with privileges comes responsibilities…This post is one of the most difficult I have ever had to write.  I had reflect on whether to write this post but I have written similar posts on civilians and veterans who have Stolen Valor and felt it only fair to address one of ‘our own’ brothers (a sniper) who, in my opinion, has stolen the valor of other brave Marines. I don’t feel it is equitable to take civilians to task for something I am unwilling to take my own brother to task for…

In this case a Marine Corps Sgt Major Kenneth C. Lovell III (the HIGHEST enlisted rank in the Military) has embellished his record for reasons that he will not or cannot explain.  It is frustrating, infuriating and tragic.  When we consider why the Lance Corporal at the neighborhood watering hole feels compelled to embellish his record to pick up girls, we need look no further than this Sgt Major’s actions.  Shameful is too polite a word to use for his actions.  As the senior Enlisted Marine in the Battalion and one of less than 2,000 E9s in the entire Marine Corps, it is his job to carry the standard for enlisted actions.  Sgt Major Lovell was not just a Scout Sniper but was also a Drill Instructor and on the President’s Detail at 8/I.  This Marine, more than any, knows the regulations and responsibilities associated with being a leader.  His actions are inexcusable.

Sgt. Major Kenneth C. Lovell III came to my attention quite by accident.  His original biography was posted when he was assigned as the (not promoted…thank you Msgt. Miller for the correction) Battalion Sgt Major (THE senior Enlisted Marine in the entire Battalion) of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines (3/2).  Some Snipers noticed his claims of being a Scout Sniper PineSchool Honor Graduate. His original bio stated he: “…attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course in which he was an Honor Graduate.” You can read his bio (the original) here.  Not only was Sgt Major Lovell NOT the honor graduate of his class, but the actual honor graduate, Sgt. Aaron Pine (picture to left) is a Marine Sniper who passed away after his service in the USMC.  It is disturbing that a Sgt. Major Lovell would steal the honor from such a valiant Marine.  It is shameful and disgraceful on many levels.  Sgt Major Lovell has since changed his bio to read “Distinguished graduate”.  Let me be clear for those who are not familiar with Marine Corps Scout Sniper School.  For those few Marines who manage to graduate from Scout Sniper School and transition from PIG to HOG there are only two types of honors in the course….there is THE Class Honor Graduate (I finished about 12 out of 15..so not me) and the Class High Shooter …everyone else is simply a HOG and honored to have passed such a rigorous training course.  There is NO ‘distinguished’ graduate…that is, to be polite, complete bullshit and the Sgt Major knows this. Even his ‘distinguished’ graduate description is still wrong and disingenuous, at best.

Sgt. Major Lovell also claimed to have 3 Combat Action Ribbons (CAR) (see pic to left).  His original bio stated that he had : “…CAR3the Combat Action Ribbon with two gold stars in lieu of third award.” For those who are no in the Navy or Marine Corps, the CAR is a defining decoration. It is a ‘by name’ award that indicates that a Marine has been in combat.  Only 1 CAR per theater can be earned.  For any Marine, having 3 CARS would be an accomplishment.  This raised some flags.  When confronted, Sgt. Major Lovell amended his bio to include only 2 Combat Action Ribbon awards yet his picture shows him wearing 3.  This is not a simple oversight or mistake.  A CAR is a personal decoration and is coveted by Marines.  This was clearly an attempt to assume an honor that was not awarded.

I work with various groups that see stolen valor on a daily basis.  Often it is a coach telling his young players he was a “Green Beret” etc.  Often it is some young veteran who is telling his girlfriend he was a SEAL.  These are unfortunate and frustrating but relatively harmless.  When we have a senior enlisted Marine embellishing his record, it not only hurts other Marines who may be competing for promotions but it sends a very dangerous message that lying about military service is acceptable.  Sgt Major Lovell has disgraced not only the Marine Corps but the rank of Sergeant Major.  He should be ashamed yet something tells me he is not.   Sgt. Major…in the words of a Master Gunnery Sergeant that I highly respect…..”Square yourself away!”

BREAK! BREAK! Please Donate to help the 7 MARSOC Marines’ families! March 11, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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MARSOCRIPIf you have not heard a Helo crash claimed the lives of 7 MARSOC Marines and 4 Army Soldiers last night.  I received the message below today in a private FB group.  Many of our members are/were MARSOC members and we are all brothers in arms….I know John (PayPal administrator) and can assure all of the funds will go directly to our Brother’s family to help them through this time of need.  If you can give anything (even $1), please think about helping.  Thank you in advance!!

“As many of you already know, we have just lost 7 MARSOC operators in a helo crash off the coast of Eglin AFB in Florida. Names are not being released until all next of kin have been notified. I’m told by one of the operators that was on the adjacent helo that most of the team members had wives and kids. I’m setting this hasty post up so we can quickly start generating funds to help support the families in any way we possibly can. I would do a gofundme but they get a 10% cut and I want every penny to go to our Brother’s loved ones who needless to say will be very devastated. Please give whatever you can and just remember, no matter how large or small the donation is, every penny helps. The funds will be going to JJ Brown‘s paypal which is johnbrown691@gmail.com and every cent of the donations will be dispersed to the families on behalf of BDC in a to be determined method.”

Fair Winds and Following Seas Brothers. Always Beside You”

Robin Paul- Indianapolis VA Program Manager Mocks Veteran Suicides March 9, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Robin_Paul_smCORRECTION.  I received a very polite email today from the folks who own Elf on a Shelf.  They corrected my post and clarified that the ‘elves’ that Ms. Paul used in her post were not the Elf on a Shelf. The email contained the following.  “The Elf on the Shelf is in no way affiliated with these emails, nor does it condone judgment or mockery of the men and women of our military, or anyone for that matter. We hope you understand our concern that The Elf on the Shelf brand, which is built around creating family moments and joy at the holidays, would be incorrectly linked to this story.”  My apologies to the folks at Elf on a Shelf for incorrectly identifying the character.

On the heels of the VA Secretary lying about his services as a “Special Forces” soldier, we now have a program manager from the VA in Indianapolis apparently mocking veteran suicides.  Maybe Ms. Paul needs a reminder that 22 Veterans per DAY commit suicide in this country.  Many of these veterans are scarred from their time in combat while in service to their nation.  They do not deserve derision and mockery rather they need and deserve our support.  This wonderful representative of the Indianapolis Veterans Administration (yes that is sarcasm) wrote an email with a series of off color Christmas Jokes. In the email below, Ms. Paul jokes that the elf was: “…caught in the act of suicidal behavior (trying to hang himself with an electrical cord)”  The picture has a note that says “Out of Xanax, please help!”.  While Ms. Paul may think this is amusing, to those of us who are in the community of combat arms veterans, it is no laughing matter.  In one of the Facebook groups of which I am a member, I can name two veterans who have committed suicide since the start of 2015.  If the VA wants to know why there is a problem with veteran suicides maybe they should look no farther than their own incompetent, indifferent program manager who believes it is funny to mock veterans who are suicidal over Christmas.   It should be noted that the statement on the Indianapolis VAs website says: “Honoring America’s Veterans with quality health care services, part of the largest integrated health care system in the U.S.”  Mocking America’s Veterans is not ‘Honoring” them. While I cannot find a direct email for Mr. Richard Roudebush, you can contact him via Facebook message here.  He is Ms. Pauls supervisor.

Suicide2 Suicide3

Director of VA Robert McDonald Lies About Military Service (Shame on Him!) February 24, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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McDonaldAdding to my latest post about Sniper Posers…we have a new addition to the Stolen Valor club.  New Veterans Affairs Secretary (and former Proctor & Gamble CEO) Robert McDonald today admitted to lying about being a Special Forces Soldier (Green Beret).  This is the same person who confronted Iraq War Veteran  (both Iraq wars) and Republican Congressman Mike Coffman (R. Colorado) and pointedly asked “What have you done?”  McDonald then talked about how he had “…run a major company..”

It is bad enough when a civilian who has never served lies about their service.  It is more egregious when a military member who served honorably lies about their service. It is absolutely not acceptable when the Secretary of the VA lies about his service.  Let’s be clear, the VA is one of the most incompetent, corrupt organizations in the entire US Government.  Shame on him!  He belongs on the Stolen Valor Wall of Shame!

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