The Mother-of-All Hacks

It appears that the US went from no-drama Obama for eight years to a president that thrives on and lives from one crisis to another, minute by minute.

We won’t regale you with everything that has gone on since January as that would take quite a few pages and most likely you would be left shaking your head in disbelief.

Let’s just deal from last week with the firing of James Comey, the FBI director to this week’s hysteria that Trump gave away sensitive state secrets to the Russians while they were in the Oval room of the White House.

The bigger issue in all of these dramas is the following: who does one believe? The Washington Post despises Trump, as does most of the media. The right is blinded by the fact that he got elected and beat Hillary, so they excuse everything he does.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster held a press conference today. He said that someone leaked what was said in the room with the Russians and that is the issue. The Washington Post said that Trump gave up not only valuable information, but because he also stated from where that information came from, he put an informer in danger.

It would do the United States well to batten down the hatches and hunker down to try to figure out what they are going to do for the next four years. Right now it’s very hard to know who to trust. Blanche, ya think we’re ever gonna come out from under the covers? Looks like not any time soon.

Seems Canada will soon ( in 2018), pass an airline passenger protection bill. Not a minute too soon, eh Blanche?

Under the bill, airlines won’t be allowed to bump passengers from a flight against their will. Seriously?

Right now flight attendants think they are not only above the law in their attempt to get you off the plane if it’s oversold (which itself is ridiculous), but entitled to your seat, even if you paid for it well in advance. Yup. If they need to get from one city to another and there aren’t enough seats on the plane, someone’s gotta go. Keeping your head down and pretending to be asleep won’t help. If they marked you to leave the plane, off ya go.

There will still be minimum levels of compensation for people who voluntarily agree to be bumped from a flight and if airlines can’t get a volunteer, they will have to decide if they want to up the ante to persuade someone to get off.

While we’re in a traveling mode, beware if you are flying to Europe. Seems governments fear the next terrorist attack will happen on planes with terrorists using laptops. So…trans-Atlantic flights will be what is termed gadget-free. Got that Blanche?

No kindle, no computer, nothing electronic. Guess what you’ll have to do? One of two things: talk to the person next to you – what?? Or if that’s too much to ask of you, bring a book.

What is not abundantly clear is if laptops will be allowed on the plane but not allowed to be opened, or banished completely and in the hold with your luggage. Either way, if your flight is a long one, you best find something to do with yourself for a few hours.

And now for the mega-hack. Now that was very special, eh? As we are somewhat challenged when it comes to understanding the inner workings of computers, we thought to make life easy for everyone we will ‘splain the whole deal in point form:

What does the attack do? Ransomware, known as WannaCry, is spread to computers around the world. It locks down all the files on an infected computer. The hackers then demand $300 in order to release control of your files. That’s why it’s called ransomware.

How it happened: WannaCry took advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The software tools to create the attack, most likely stolen, were revealed in April. The tools were made public by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers.

Microsoft released a security patch for the vulnerabilities in March. But many corporations don’t automatically update their systems, because Windows updates can screw up their legacy software programs. Can you say idiots?

How much damage was done? The attack has been found in 150 countries, affecting 200,000 computers. FedEx, Nissan, and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service were among the victims.

Who is vulnerable? Anyone who hasn’t updated their Windows PC recently is vulnerable. Apple’s Mac computers were not targeted by this ransomware attack so are clear.

How to prevent being attacked: 1. Disable your computer’s Server Message Block service. 2. Install Microsoft’s patch. 3. Back up your data on an offline hard drive. 4. Install all Windows updates. 5. Use a reputable security software to prevent attacks in the future.

Breaking News: The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House seems to have been provided by Israel. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode. Israeli officials would not confirm that they were the source of the information.

It also appears that Israel had a feeling something like this would happen so it would not be a surprise if the information leaked by Trump is not even true. Now that would be something, eh Blanche?

The Democrats are apoplectic. They best calm down and take a tranquillizer or six. Israel can take care of itself very well and is mostly likely ten steps ahead of the US intelligence agencies. There will not be any ‘far-reaching consequences’.

We’ll talk…

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