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Why I am still voting for Trump…and you should, as well. October 10, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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tomiThe last 48 hours has been tough for me.  I have waffled in my already reluctant support of Trump and I have even gone so far as to claim I will “not vote for either idiot”!  This is only half true.  I want to thank those Recondos and Snipers, and numerous others who passionately debated with me on the topic over the past day.  In particular JJ Brown of the Recon and Sniper Foundation who had particularly insightful comments.

Let me be clear.  I do not like Trump.  I am quite sure I would not like him as a person.  I was initially angered by his latest comments.  In reflection, I was angered by the fact that he allowed yet another comment to get out of control.  Have I said vulgar things in private? Of course.  Name a Marine who hasn’t and I would say you have not met a Marine.  As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”.  So why am I still voting for Trump?  Easy.  It is all about what economist and Nobel Prize recipient Herbert Simon called Satisficing.  In this election we only have 2 real choices.  Granted I feel like the options are akin to being ask whether you prefer stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night or hitting your little toe on a table as you walk to the bathroom at night…but those are our options.  We have to select the best of the two available options.

I have been reminded (often in no so polite terms) Hillary Clinton is simply an untrustworthy person who has allowed Americans to die under her watch in Benghazi and has supported groups by selling them weapons that have killed Americans. This was further supported in recently disclosed documentation around her support of Libyan and Syrian rebels.  In addition to TravelGate, her laughingly defending a child rapist, her compromise of national security, and numerous other transgressions, I simply cannot and will not ever vote for her. As I have said before, I would vote for my Rottweiller Bo before I would vote for Hillary Clinton.  She represents the worst of politics.

Is Donald Trump a perfect human? No.  Is he likable?  Probably not to a lot of people.  Is he crass and vulgar? Yes.  Has he said stupid things?  Of course.  All of these things describe me and my own friends.  Putting emotion aside, I am willing to overlook personal flaws but cannot overlook calculated actions that result in the destruction of Constitutional rights, the compromise of national security, and the death of Americans.  This particular election has greater implications than simply bragging rights.  The next president will get to nominate at least 1 Supreme Court Justice.  This Justice is going to likely be the ‘tie breaker’ on numerous Constitutional issues to include the 2nd Amendment.  For these reasons, I must put aside my personal feelings and vote for the party that represents the platform I support as opposed to not supporting a person that I do not like.

This election will likely be one of the most important in our lifetimes.  We have two intensely flawed candidates.  One is personally flawed, the other is personally and professionally flawed.  One has said rude and crass things while the other has allowed Americans to die under her watch and compromised national security for her own purposes.  To me, the answer is now clear.  While I do not ‘support Trump’, I support the Republican party platform and I will NEVER support Hillary Clinton who has allowed my own brothers to die on her watch.  Thanks for reading!

Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server Confirmed Hacked by the Chinese! (yes that was clickbait) September 30, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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HackedUPDATE– Yesterday I posted this “article” to demonstrate just how easy it is to convince people to click on malicious links.  Even with the end of the article saying that it was a spoof, there were still ~25% of readers (24 out of the first 95) who clicked on the link.   The point was simply to demonstrate that social engineering is alive and well and very easy to conduct.  The idea that Hillary’s private email was ‘secure’ is a preposterous claim.  Thanks for everyone who read this.

While denying that there is any evidence of her private email server being hacked…The Secret Service just released a report that proves Hillary Clinton’s private email server was hacked repeatedly by China, Russia and Iran using a common “spear fishing method’ known as a ‘drive by infection’. This is a common method used by the Chinese, Russians, Iranians and others to initiate an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack. Click here to read the official government report! (more…)

Email, Meta Data and Non Repudation (“It wasn’t me!”…Shaggy) January 9, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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SilverStarThis is a simple primer on email, authentication and ‘non repudiation.  To understand ‘non repudation’ as it applies to information security, it is important to understand repudiation. Repudiation is simply the act of denying or renouncing something.  A suspect stating that they did not commit a crime is repudiating the crime.  Non-repudiation is a concept in which a “..a party in a dispute cannot repudiate, or refute the validity of a statement or contract”  Within information security this means that a person cannot dispute that he or she was the origin of an action.  We will use email as an example.

Suppose a person (person A) sends an email to another person (person B) in 2011 in which they attach a document including claims to military heroics which resulted in the awarding of some honor..say a Bronze Star.  Later, after it was discovered that person A was not awarded the bronze star and people began to question them Person A decided to disavow any association with said email or reference to the Bronze Star. In short, they have repudiated the claim that they sent the email and created the document.  Person A goes a step further and claims that the document and the email were “forgeries” intended to sully their (Person’ A’s) good name.  Is it possible to demonstrate with a high degree of confidence (or even certainty) that Person A was indeed the originator of the email and the author of the document? YES!  This is where ‘non repudiation’ or the ability to prevent someone from disputing the action is important.

To understand how this can be achieved, there are a few concepts related to email that should be discussed.

1) Authentication– Authentication is is described on wikipedia as:the act of establishing or confirming something (or someone) as authentic, that is, that claims made by or about the subject are true”.  You can read more in an earlier blog post titled Security 101; Authentication.  Authentication is an important part of access control and email.  Email access control is managed by two components.  1) the user who is assigned a username and 2) the password or other authentication mechanism used to ‘authenticate’ to the system.  By using the correct password that is only known to the user, the system ‘authenticates’ their access and allows them to access the email. The rigor of the authentication provides greater confidence that the person is the originator of the email.  While ‘multi factor’ authentication provides the greatest confidence, a password also provides very strong non-repudiation for most purposes.  (more…)

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