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June 2017

Today, @POTUS signed an executive order reestablishing the National Space Council, to be chaired by @VP:…

Signed by @POTUS today, the National Space Council will help us achieve the many milestones we’re striving for:…

A Fake Supreme Court Ruling

Q: Did the Supreme Court rule that immigrants living in the U.S. illegally can’t sue anyone if they feel they’ve been mistreated?

A: No. That claim was made in a bogus story published on satirical and fake news websites.


The Supreme Court has not ruled that “illegal aliens … do not, in effect, possess the right to sue anyone in case they feel abused or mistreated.”

Versions of that bogus claim were made in posts on at least 12 websites in May and June. Facebook users flagged one of the posts, published on, as potentially fake news.

Daily Insider News, June 10: Today [the Supreme Court] came out with a major decision about the illegal aliens, ruling that they do not, in effect, possess the right to sue anyone in case they feel abused or mistreated. President Trump wins this decision by a simple 5-4 majority voting [sic] along partisan lines.

According to the The Politcal [sic] Tribune,  the right-leaning Court one more time showed the United States that those illegal immigrants are first and foremost, illegal, hence should not have the same rights as natural born, or naturalized U.S. citizens.

That implies if somebody’s arrested, and appears to be illegal, he does not have the right to a federal nor a private attorney, nor to a speedy trial in America.

Daily Insider News attributed the story to the Political Tribune, which picked it up from Conservative Nation, which sourced it to USA Politics Today.

It’s bogus. None of the Supreme Court’s rulings this term support the story’s claims. Many of the websites that ran the story are repeat fake news offenders.

We’ve previously debunked posts on, and, to name a few. And, which also posted the story, is a satirical website. Its “about us” page says, “Freedom Crossroads uses facts that don’t exist and relies more on imagination than the truth. In fact, there is likely no truth at all in what you will read here.”

Some believed the made-up story, but others saw through it. One commenter on — which ran the story under the headline “BREAKING: Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals! — wrote: “Notice that there is no case cited, a dead giveaway that the story is fake. When have you ever seen a legitimate story on a SCOTUS ruling that doesn’t name the case? Or at least touch on the points argued? The headline calls it a reversal. Reversal of what? We aren’t told. No sources are cited.” All good points that we have made in “How to Spot Fake News.”

A visitor on posted the fake story on the Ohio State University sports page and was challenged by another reader to produce evidence. That “evidence” turned out to be a Feb. 21 NPR article that said the Supreme Court will rule — not has ruled — on whether Mexican nationals have the right to sue a U.S. border agent who shot and killed an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican boy on Mexico’s side of the U.S. border fence.

And the Supreme Court still hasn’t issued a ruling. On June 26, the Supreme Court sent the case back to an appeals court, which made a mistake in its earlier decision, the high court ruled.

Immigrants in the U.S. illegally do have the right to file lawsuits if they feel they’ve been mistreated, legal experts told us.

In an email to, Sarah Paoletti, a practice professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Transnational Legal Clinic, wrote, “All immigrants, regardless of their legal status within the country, are entitled to equal access to the courts and the right to petition before the courts if their rights have been violated or are being threatened in any way. U.S. federal and state law does not grant the right to sue or the right to defend oneself in court based on citizenship status.”

In Zadvydas v. Davis, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in his 2001 majority opinion that “once an alien enters the country, the legal circumstance changes, for the Due Process Clause applies to all ‘persons’ within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent.”

Editor’s note: is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network.


Supreme Court Moves With Major Reversal On Illegal Immigrant ‘Rights’.” 10 Jun 2017.

Warren, Alexander. “BREAKING: Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals!” 3 May 2017.

Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals!” 2 May 2017.

Strouse, Aaron. “BREAKING: Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump An AMAZING Present And A Win Over Illegal Aliens.” 10 Jun 2017.

Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals!” 7 Jun 2017.

BREAKING: Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals.” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

Conservative Army. “Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals!” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

D.K. “Supreme Court Ruling Is Another Win For Trump.” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

A HUGE Win Over Illegals-Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump.” 13 Jun 2017.

Truth Dealer. “SCOTUS Strikes Down Liberal 9th Circuit Court In HUGE Trump Win.” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals!” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

Locke, John. “Supreme Court Moves With Major Reversal On Illegal Immigrant ‘Rights.‘” 10 Jun 2017.

Jmesser1982. “Supreme Court Reversal Gives Trump A HUGE Win Over Illegals!” 3 May 2017.

October Term 2016.” Accessed 29 Jun 2017.

Totenberg, Nina. “Supreme Court To Decide If Mexican Nationals May Sue For Border Shooting.” NPR. 21 Feb 2017.

Burnett, John, and Kennedy, Merrit. “Supreme Court Sends Cross-Border Shooting Case Back To Lower Court.” NPR. 26 Jun 2017.

Schaedel, Sydney. “Clinton Foundation Not Shutting Down.” 13 Jun 2017.

Schaedel, Sydney. “John McCain Still a Republican.” 10 Jun 2017.

About Us.” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

Disclaimer.” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

Paoletti, Sarah, practice law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Email sent to on 29 Jun 2017.

Legal Information Institute. “Zadvydas v. Davis.” Accessed 27 Jun 2017.

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Trump and the media at war: Who’s right? Part 2

Trump and the media at war: Who’s right? Part 2

July 3, 2017
White House cries foul over coverage as journalists accuse it of getting in their way.

US President Donald Trump talks to journalists, members of the travel pool, on board of Air Force One during his trip to Palm Beach, Florida on April 6, 2017. (REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA)


On Monday, July 3 at 19:30 GMT:

US President Donald Trump recently used Twitter to attack MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, labeling the show "fake news" and harshly insulting Brzezinski’s appearance.


The tweets were widely condemned in the US media but the White House press office defended the president’s remarks, arguing he had every right to "hit back" at the media when it so often attacks him.

Scarborough and Brzezinski have long been critical of Trump, even questioning his mental health. The contentious back and forth has continued on social media with both sides aiming barbs at one another.

It’s no secret the relationship between the press and the presidency can be a tumultuous one. But has the era of social media fueled that contempt? We ask that question to a group of journalists in part two of this discussion.

Read more:

White House spokeswoman unloads on media over CNN retraction – The Washington Post
White House-media relations at breaking point as Spicer searches for replacement – CNN

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Source:

Don’t you think heat waves suck? 20 photos show how old-timers beat the heat.

Lately it can feel like we’ve somehow accidentally opened a portal to the heart of the sun.

Pictured: Phoenix, Arizona. Image from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Wikimedia Commons.

Unfortunately, heat waves are getting stronger and more common today, thanks to climate change. According to this article by The Guardian, a third of the world is at risk of dangerous heat waves today. While heat waves are hitting us more frequently now than in the past, 100 years ago people still had to deal with the occasional temperature spike. How did they do it?

The pictures from then show how people coped in ways as surprising as they are relatable.

Here are 20 examples of what I mean:

1. Need ice? That’s going to require a little more muscle power than just walking over to your freezer.

Not going to lie, that looks incredibly refreshing. Photo from 1932. Photo from Francis M.R.Hudson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

2. Back then, ice didn’t come in plastic bags from a freezer outside 7-Eleven. You had to get it delivered.

August 1911. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

This photo’s from 1911, just a couple years before the first electrically-powered home refrigerators hit the scene. Before then, the ice box was literally that — a box kept cool by giant chunks of ice.

3. Of course, once you carry that load of ice in, you have to have a little sit. Sometimes on it. With an ice cream.

Damp shorts are a small price to pay for the most refreshing chair ever. Photo from Fox Photos/Getty Images.

4. At some point, you decide your fashion sense is less important than keeping cool.

It’s hard to keep a stiff upper lip when you have the funnies sitting on your head. July 1913. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

5. Wet pants are a small price to pay for a chance to go wading.

A group of girls goes wading into the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park. August 1911. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

6. And everybody’s gonna need a hat.

These men are so happy about their hats, it’s almost inappropriate. Circa 1928. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

7. Edwardian gentlemen know to act normally even if one is sweltering in a suit and bow tie. For comfort, one may remove one’s jacket only.

Aww, yeah. May 1914. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

8. If you’ve ever lived anywhere super dry, you know all about spraying the driveway to keep the dust down.

1925. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

9. Or taking an extra bath to cool off before bed.

August 1919. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

10. Summer is the perfect time to take a day off and hit the beach with your friends.

May 1925. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

11. And everyone else’s friends too, apparently.

A beach in Bognor Regis in 1933. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

12. At some point, it’s hot enough to ignore the signs and just jump in a public fountain.

1912. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

13. And live your whole life in the water.

Circa 1930.  Photo from Hulton Archive/Getty Images

14. Literally — your whole life.

Can’t imagine doing that with a Macbook. Circa 1937. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

15. Summer is the time when swimwear becomes daywear then eveningwear.

1929. Photo from Fox Photos/Getty Images.

16. No matter what you’re wearing, lounge around in general. It’s too damn hot to do anything else.

That is the slump of man who’s decided that it’s too hot to care anymore. Paris, 1929. Photo from Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

17. Get some sun.

1933. Photo from Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

18. Of course, in a heat wave, you’ve got to make sure to watch our for your animal friends too.

May 1936. Photo from E. Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

19. Especially if that means letting them join for a dip.

Horses in the Thames. 1935. Photo from David Savill/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

20. Or making sure they’ve got the right accessories.

1928. Photo from Fox Photos/Getty Images.

As the Earth gets warmer, heat waves are likely to increase in both frequency and strength, so take a page from these summer-sun veterans and play it safe.

Drink plenty of water. Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Try to do outside chores in the morning or evening, when it tends to be less hot, if you can.

And keep an eye out for tricky reporters and cameras because, who knows, in 100 years, you might end up on a list just like this one. Source:

President Trump: RT @realDonaldTrump: The era of strategic patience with the North Korea regime has failed. That patience is over. We are working closely…

Kris Kobach says he’s can’t comply with Kris Kobach’s voter data request

Donald Trump greeted  Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster Township, N.J., in November. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach co-chairs President Trump’s voter fraud commission, which is tasked with finding evidence to support the president’s unsubstantiated claim that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election.

Kobach recently sent letters to all 50 states asking them to provide the commission with their entire voter files. The request specifically spelled out sensitive pieces of information the commission wants to obtain, including voters names, party affiliations, military status and the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers.

As secretary of state, Kobach is tasked with supplying Kansas’s data to the Trump commission. There’s just one problem: He won’t be able to fully comply with his own request.

[Once again, California has thrown a wrench into Trump’s big plans]

Kobach told the Kansas City Star on Friday that he would not be providing any parts of Kansas voters’ Social Security numbers because that data is not publicly available under state law. "In Kansas, the Social Security number is not publicly available," he said. "Every state receives the same letter, but we’re not asking for it if it’s not publicly available."

Many states have balked at all of part of the commission’s request, citing legal and privacy concerns or an unwillingness to cooperate with a commission that elections experts worry is laying the groundwork for voter roll purges.

Another secretary of state who’s a member of the Trump commission also said Friday that she is unable to comply with the request. Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said in a statement that “Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach.” The only publicly available data, she said, were voters’ names and their congressional district assignments.

[How Trump’s nationwide voter data request could lead to voter suppression]

Elections experts have said that the scope and details of the request suggest that the commission hasn’t fully thought through the implications of what they’re asking. For instance, while voter rolls are technically public data, many states have privacy laws preventing the disclosure of things like Social Security numbers and military status.

Kobach’s letter also invited states to send the data by email, which is highly insecure. The federal privacy act may prevent the federal government from collecting information on voters’ party affiliation, which the commission requested. And the two-week time frame the letter lays out for compiling the database strikes many experts as unrealistic.

Kobach sent the letter to all 50 secretaries of state, even though some of those secretaries of state are not the stewards of state voter information.

“What a blunder,” political scientist and elections expert Rick Hasen said on Twitter. “Kobach can’t provide the information he himself requested in the letter. Oh my oh my.”

Kobach told the Kansas City Star that while his commission does not have the authority to compel states to hand over the data, he believes the U.S. Justice Department does have that power. He said he couldn’t say whether the Justice Department would be involved in the commission’s data request at a later date. Source:

From BlackEnergy to ExPetr

Much has been written about the recent ExPetr/NotPetya/Nyetya/Petya outbreak – you can read our findings here:Schroedinger’s Pet(ya) and ExPetr is a wiper, not ransomware.

As in the case of Wannacry, attribution is very difficult and finding links with previously known malware is challenging. In the case of Wannacry, Google’s Neel Mehta was able to identify a code fragment which became the most important clue in the story, and was later confirmed by further evidence, showing Wannacry as a pet project of the Lazarus group.

To date, nobody has been able to find any significant code sharing between ExPetr/Petya and older malware. Given our love for unsolved mysteries, we jumped right on it.

Analyzing the Similarities

At the beginning of the ExPetr outbreak, one of our team members pointed to the fact that the specific list of extensions used by ExPetr is very similar to the one used by BlackEnergy’s KillDisk  ransomware from 2015 and 2016 (Anton Cherepanov from ESET made the same observation on Twitter).

The BlackEnergy APT is a sophisticated threat actor that is known to have used at least one zero day, coupled with destructive tools, and code geared towards attacking ICS systems. They are widely confirmed as the entity behind the Ukraine power grid attack from 2015 as well as a chain of other destructive attacks that plagued that country over the past years.

If you are interested in reading more about the BlackEnergy APT, be sure to check our previous blogs on the topic:

Going back to the hunt for similarities, here’s how the targeted extensions lists looks in ExPetr and a version of a wiper used by the BE APT group in 2015:

ExPetr 2015 BlackEnergy wiper sample

3ds, .7z, .accdb, .ai, .asp, .aspx, .avhd, .back, .bak, .c, .cfg, .conf, .cpp, .cs, .ctl, .dbf, .disk, .djvu, .doc, .docx, .dwg, .eml, .fdb, .gz, .h, .hdd, .kdbx, .mail, .mdb, .msg, .nrg, .ora, .ost, .ova, .ovf, .pdf, .php, .pmf, .ppt, .pptx, .pst, .pvi, .py, .pyc, .rar, .rtf, .sln, .sql, .tar, .vbox, .vbs, .vcb, .vdi, .vfd, .vmc, .vmdk, .vmsd, .vmx, .vsdx, .vsv, .work, .xls

.3ds, .7z, .accdb, .accdc, .ai, .asp, .aspx, .avhd, .back, .bak, .bin, .bkf, .cer, .cfg, .conf, .crl, .crt, .csr, .csv, .dat, .db3, .db4, .dbc, .dbf, .dbx, .djvu, .doc, .docx, .dr, .dwg, .dxf, .edb, .eml, .fdb, .gdb, .git, .gz, .hdd, .ib, .ibz, .io, .jar, .jpeg, .jpg, .jrs, .js, .kdbx, .key, .mail, .max, .mdb, .mdbx, .mdf, .mkv, .mlk, .mp3, .msi, .my, .myd, .nsn, .oda, .ost, .ovf, .p7b, .p7c, .p7r, .pd, .pdf, .pem, .pfx, .php, .pio, .piz, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .ps, .ps1, .pst, .pvi, .pvk, .py, .pyc, .rar, .rb, .rtf, .sdb, .sdf, .sh, .sl3, .spc, .sql, .sqlite, .sqlite3, .tar, .tiff, .vbk, .vbm, .vbox, .vcb, .vdi, .vfd, .vhd, .vhdx, .vmc, .vmdk, .vmem, .vmfx, .vmsd, .vmx, .vmxf, .vsd, .vsdx, .vsv, .wav, .wdb, .xls, .xlsx, .xvd, .zip

Obviously, the lists are similar in composition and formatting, but not identical. Moreover, older versions of the BE destructive module have even longer lists. Here’s a snippet of an extensions list from a 2015 BE sample that is even longer:

Nevertheless, the lists were similar in the sense of being stored in the same dot-separated formats. Although this indicated a possible link, we wondered if we could find more similarities, especially in the code of older variants of BlackEnergy and ExPetr.

We continued to chase that hunch during the frenetic early analysis phase and shared this gut feeling of a similarity between ExPetr and BlackEnergy with our friends at Palo Alto Networks. Together, we tried to build a list of features that we could use to make a YARA rule to detect both ExPetr and BlackEnergy wipers.

During the analysis, we focused on the similar extensions list and the code responsible for parsing the file system for encryption or wiping. Here’s the code responsible for checking the extensions to target in the current version of ExPetr:

This works by going through the target file system in a recursive way, then checking if the extension for each file is included in the dot-separated list. Unfortunately for our theory, the way this is implemented in older BlackEnergy variants is quite different; the code is more generic and the list of extensions to target is initialized at the beginning, and passed down to the recursive disk listing function.

Instead, we took the results of automated code comparisons and paired them down to a signature that perfectly fit the mould of both in the hope of unearthing similarities. What we came up with is a combination of generic code and interesting strings that we put together into a cohesive rule to single out both BlackEnergy KillDisk components and ExPetr samples. The main example of this generic code is the inlined wcscmp function merged by the compiler’s optimization, meant to check if the filename is the current folder, which is named “.”.  Of course, this code is pretty generic and can appear in other programs that recursively list files. It’s inclusion alongside a similar extension list makes it of particular interest to us –but remains a low confidence indicator.

Looking further, we identified some other candidate strings which, although not unique, when combined together allow us to fingerprint the binaries from our case in a more precise way. These include:

  • exe /r /f
  • ComSpec
  • InitiateSystemShutdown

When put together with the wcscmp inlined code that checks on the filename, we get the following YARA rule:

rule blackenergy_and_petya_similarities {

	//shutdown.exe /r /f
	$bytes00 = { 73 00 68 00 75 00 74 00 64 00 6f 00 77 00 6e 00 2e 00 65 00 78 00 65 00 }

	$bytes01 = { 43 00 6f 00 6d 00 53 00 70 00 65 00 63 00 }

	$bytes02 = { 49 6e 69 74 69 61 74 65 53 79 73 74 65 6d 53 68 75 74 64 6f 77 6e 45 78 57}

	//68A4430110                     push         0100143A4 ;'ntdll.dll' 
	//FF151CD10010                   call         GetModuleHandleA
	//3BC7                           cmp          eax,edi
	//7420                           jz          ...
	$bytes03 = { 68 ?? ?? ?1 ?0 ff 15 ?? ?? ?? ?0 3b c7 74 ?? }

	// "/c"
	$bytes04 = { 2f 00 63 00 }

	$hex_string = { b9 ?? ?? ?1 ?0 8d 44 24 ?c 66 8b 10 66 3b 11 75 1e 66
                      85 d2 74 15 66 8b 50 02 66 3b 51 02 75 0f 83 c0 04 83 c1 04 66 85 d2 75
                      de 33 c0 eb 05 1b c0 83 d8 ff 85 c0 0f 84 ?? 0? 00 00 b9 ?? ?? ?1 ?0 8d
                      44 24 ?c 66 8b 10 66 3b 11 75 1e 66 85 d2 74 15 66 8b 50 02 66 3b 51 02
                      75 0f 83 c0 04 83 c1 04 66 85 d2 75 de 33 c0 eb 05 1b c0 83 d8 ff 85 c0
                      0f 84 ?? 0? 00 00 }


	((uint16(0) == 0x5A4D)) and (filesize < 5000000) and 
	(all of them)

When run on our extensive (read: very big) malware collection, the YARA rule above fires on BlackEnergy and ExPetr samples only. Unsurprisingly, when used alone, each string can generate false positives or catch other unrelated malware. However, when combined together in this fashion, they become very precise. The technique of grouping generic or popular strings together into unique combinations is one of the most effective methods for writing powerful Yara rules.

Of course, this should not be considered a sign of a definitive link, but it does point to certain code design similarities between these malware families.

This low confidence but persistent hunch is what motivates us to ask other researchers around the world to join us in investigating these similarities and attempt to discover more facts about the origin of ExPetr/Petya. Looking back at other high profile cases, such as the Bangladesh Bank Heist or Wannacry, there were few facts linking them to the Lazarus group. In time, more evidence appeared and allowed us, and others, to link them together with high confidence. Further research can be crucial to connecting the dots, or, disproving these theories.

We’d like to think of this ongoing research as an opportunity for an open invitation to the larger security community to help nail down (or disprove) the link between BlackEnergy and ExPetr/Petya. Our colleagues at ESET have published their own excellent analysis suggesting a possible link between ExPetr/Petya and TeleBots (BlackEnergy).  Be sure to check out their analysis. And as mentioned before, a special thanks to our friends at Palo Alto for their contributions on clustering BlackEnergy samples.











F9f3374d89baf1878854f1700c8d5a2e5cf40de36071d97c6b9ff6b55d837fca Source:

OXO Good Grips POP Cereal Dispensing Containers

OXO Good Grips POP Cereal Dispensing Containers

Suppose you come from a cereal-loving family with varying tastes and rates of speed when it comes to finishing a given box. Or, maybe you live a weird life where you bounce from campground to campground with the chance of being struck by an ant invasion at any time. (Not that I, uh, have any experience with that or anything…)

So how do you make sure your favorite quick breakfast food and/or late-night snack stays fresh? Well, you’d be well served by picking up this 3-piece set of cereal dispensing containers by OXO Good Grips. Each one has two silicone seals that close airtight with a single press to keep cereal fresher, longer. They also work well for granola, rice, flour, pet food, and more.

The full set is $50 on Amazon, or you can buy a single one in small ($18), medium ($20), or large ($23).

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