Interesting & Important News & Analysis, September 11, 2019

Social engineering a factor in virtually all cyber attacks, report claims

The exploitation of human failings to attack enterprises using so-called social engineering attacks through cloud applications, email or social media, is a factor in up to 99% of cyber attacks, according to Proofpoint’s latest annual Human factor report.

Based on 18 months of data analysis collated from across Proofpoint’s global customer base, the report set out to highlight how bad actors target people by getting them to enable a macro, open a file or follow a link, rather than attacking systems and infrastructure, as they attempt to gain access to enterprises and other organisations.


The following link probably should have been entitled: “Phishing Page Uses Captcha to Block Automated Detection of Malware.”

Microsoft Phishing Page Uses Captcha to Bypass Automated Detection


Mozilla increases browser privacy with encrypted DNS

In Firefox:
Open about:preferences.
Enter “network” in the search box and return.
Click “Settings.”
At the bottom of the dialogue box, check the box “Enable DNS over HTTPS.”
Click “OK.”


So, Evo Morales is taking a great deal of heat for fires in Bolivia. What’s the source of those fires? Apparently, it’s a combination of factors. Farmers and ranchers burn fields, but fires spread from outside Bolivia. Why have ranchers been burning more? Beef.

Will exporting beef to China cause deforestation in Bolivia?

“You have to think about changing the production model to a more sustainable one with qualitatively different products and not similar to those that Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay produce, for example” says Miguel Ángel Crespo, who is concerned about the profitability of transporting meat from the interior to a port in the Pacific and then on to China.

Is Evo responsible? He doesn’t lead the country in a vacuum. He can’t simply do whatever he wants. Bolivia is poor and economically targeted by the same forces in the USA that target the rest of the region for money for US plutocrats.

Does Evo compromise too much? Does he not insist upon high enough environmental standards? I would say he does, but could he otherwise keep his job and not be replaced by someone far more compromising or even extremely bad for the environment? Reality mugs you, but do you cave? If you don’t, what happens? Is it the right decision in the end? It’s the question of the ages.


Pre-fab homes are coming to a city backyard near you

We must make cheaper homes, at scale, and fast to ease the cost of living for working- and middle-class residents being squeezed out of cities.
Pre-fab is one solution

In the popular imagination, pre-fabricated housing brings to mind trailer homes or catalog-ordered log cabins. Both suffer from quality, code and aesthetic issues that make them unsuitable for cities.

Seattle-based startup Node sees an urban future for housing built in a factory. Node wants to be the Ikea of the home industry. The modular homes it is making can be flat-packed—the ultra-efficient technique popularized by the Swedish retailer—and then assembled in a matter of days on site.


The status of the World Trade Center complex, 18 years later

This week marks 18 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, during which thousands of New Yorkers lost their lives, and the area surrounding the Twin Towers was all but destroyed.

Though it’s been a long road back for Lower Manhattan, the nearly two decades since the attacks have been transformative. One World Trade Center, the centerpiece of the rebuilt complex, opened in 2014; since then, many other elements—including the 9/11 Memorial, a somber tribute to victims of the attack, and most of the skyscrapers planned for the historic WTC campus—have come to fruition. While the complex isn’t quite finished, and some parts are still up in the air, it’s getting closer and closer to completion.


A giant marine heatwave has descended on Alaska

So far, this year’s “Blob” – officially known as the Northeast Pacific Marine Heatwave of 2019, or NEP19 – has had a warming effect of more than 2.7°C in the waters off the coast of Washington state.


Apartment Industry & Its Residents Contribute $3.4 Trillion to the National Economy

… we need to build an average of 328,000 apartments per year at a variety of price points to meet existing demand, which would bring continued economic activity. This number of multifamily completions has only been surpassed twice since 1989.


What it boils down to is that no leader has been sufficiently environmentalist. Environmentalism, though, has never been a top-down thing. The people must demand environmentalism. However, just look around at all the middle- and lower-economic class individuals who pollute like there’s no tomorrow.

Who’s responsible for the ecocide in the Amazon


Reject the ‘jobs versus environment’ narrative – we can do both

From what you hear in the media, you would probably expect union members would strongly oppose the Green New Deal. The actual response from union members? Sixty-two per cent support the Green New Deal ….


Best decision he’s ever made. Let’s hope Trump can now bring peace rather than war after war after war.

“War on every front was not what Trump ran on.”

“John has never seen a war he doesn’t like.”

Donald Trump ousts top adviser John Bolton: ‘I disagreed strongly with him’


Trump Makes the Right Call: Bolton Out

President Trump has done the right thing by firing John Bolton. In each of his positions in government, Bolton has made the world a more conflictual place and the United States a more isolated and despised country. This certainly has not made the country safer. One indication of how much Bolton’s policies have been at odds with U.S. national interests is that he still believes that the disastrous offensive war in Iraq was a good idea.


Interesting slant you won’t see in US media:

Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley vow: Harbinger of US support or indication of failure? | The Times of Israel