(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for April 30th, 2010

2 held on terror charges in New York

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New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday that the NYPD Terror Task Force assisted federal agencies with the investigation. He said the suspects are accused of “material support” for al Qaeda, including sending watches to terrorists abroad from New York, but declined to provide further details.

The indictment says El-Hanafi purchased seven Casio digital watches online and had them delivered to his Brooklyn home in April 2009 but does not specify who the watches were for or why he ordered them.

Full story here

Hmmm can you say Barometer? or maybe depth meter? or maybe more to the point altimeter? I think you can. I can guess as to why they would be buying those and shipping them off to jihadi bomb makers. I should think that perhaps Al Qaeda’s favorite target is back on their menu….

It would be interesting to have their computers for a little forensic… That though gives me an idea.. Off to “The Google”

Lets see what plays out.


Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/30 at 20:09

Movie Review: Ninja Assassin

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Ninja Assassin, perhaps a title that is a bit repetitive as a “Ninja” is pretty much always an “Assassin, but, title semantics aside (and play on words as you will see below) I liked this film. So, ith that said up front, lets talk a bit about the actual history of the Ninja, or as they are more properly called “Shinobi no mono” in Japan. The Shinobi were taught these skills in  “Ryu” or schools of martial art forms that rely more on stealth and trickery than the standard forms of the Samurai period. This type of martial study or form is called “Ninjutsu”  and much of its early history surrounded actually being spies for certain Daimyo’s. Some time after this, the ryu’s went underground in the Iga province around 1184.

With the history out of the way, I can now review the film and you may have a better understanding of the Shinobi. Now, I had kind of expected the usual bad ninja movie that I am accustomed to. You may indeed know the style I am talking about, the kind that comes from the likes of “American Ninja” or some of the other chop soki films that have been made over the years for teen boys looking to dose themselves in marital arts without actually walking into a dojo… And well, I did get some of that, but to my surprise there was a bit of a story to the film. Mind you, it was a thin one.. But still a story just the same.

The protagonist of the film is Raizo, a man who as a boy was taken by the ryu sensei and forced to become a ninja. Though Raizo is one of the best students the sensei has a very strict and brutal method to his teaching and abuses Raizo as well as kills a girl he likes. This, as is pretty predictable, makes Raizo hate the sensei, but he feels he cannot escape. That is until one day he attempts to kill the sensei and takes on his whole clan on a rooftop. Raizo escapes and turns the tables on the clan, hunting them as they assassinate people for 100 pounds of gold per hit.

Into this walks an INTERPOL librarian who improbably begins looking into the ninja clans as being a real thing. You see, no one really believes that they are still in business today, but she puts it together that if you are a world leader, and you want a hit carried out, you call the “Black Sand” clan… Oh, yeah, it’s kinda cheese-tastic… But hey, what can I say, I am a classic martial arts movie kind of guy.

Well, one thing leads to another and the hit is on for the INTERPOL librarian, but, Raizo saves her… And makes his stand. A series of improbable fights ensue and much of the mythos surrounding the ninja and their magic are brought to bear here. There are flights of shuriken as well as Kusari-gama scenes that are well choreographed. Much of the blood in these scenes is CG, but the actual fx for the wounds on Raizo and others look really really painful, so good job by the makeup artists.

In the final fight scene you have something akin to Darth Vader fighting Luke Skywalker in pathos, but the way the scene is set in a burning dojo is great. The effect that I liked the most was the slashing blood spatter patterns (CG) on the rice paper panels as the fight progresses. It was like watching a sumi-e painting being created in large swaths of blood on beautiful rice paper squares. It had a certain rough and austere bushido beauty to it.

I was also surprised to note that in the credits this was co written by J. Michael Straczynski who did Babylon 5 back in the day. I always liked the writing on that show if not the CG all of the time.. But back then CG was pretty darn new, so I give em props for what they did have in a weekly television show. I believe that it was Straczynski’s  touches on the writing that made this more than just the usual bad Ninja romp.

Overall, I am glad I did not pay for the film at the theater as todays prices are the suck, however, if you have Netflix do rent it. Just be sure that you don’t eat as you watch, the blood and body parts that fly off of people here are a bit gory.


Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/30 at 19:24

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies, Ninja, Shinobi no mono

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McAfee: “Al-Qaeda Engaged in Online Military Training” You don’t say!….

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Thus along with real-world activities, the jihadists use the Internet to pursue a psychological war, communicate and coordinate, finalize their strategies, and obtain financing. With structures such as the GIMF, they also distribute the necessary tools to see the jihad through to the end. They wish to create a “jihad virtual university” with the creation of a worldwide caliphate as its ultimate objective. Through the Internet they attempt to indoctrinate and encourage people to commit themselves to violent activities against their enemies.

One activity the GIMF is working on is the Caliphate Voice Channel (CVC) for video distribution. Another is the development and distribution of their own VPN and encryption software. The jihadist movements are reluctant to use standard encryption software such as PGP because they fear a backdoor within the implementation.

Evidently while not actually making sure that their product wasn’t going to hose the svchost.exe file, someone was attending a conference on Jihadist activities on the internet and their threat. Though I am glad that they are getting a rudimentary knowledge base on how the Jihadi’s are working online, I really wish McAfee would just stick to trying to not crash all our systems out there with a false positive on a known good file.

Anyway, the McAfee post does have some interest for me because I rarely see this kind of attention being given to the MO for these guys online. The only times I really see this is if you are at a conference or reading in specific LEO type journals as to how to find and combat “Internet Jihad” This information though is not new, the jihadists have been doing this since about 2003 with more reliance on the internet because their lines of communications have been scattered locally.

With the onset of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the impetus to not only communicate via the interent but to also recruit by it has become more a necessity for the likes of Al Qaeda. By making their reach more global with easy access from any point in the world that has an internet connection, they are able to proselytize, propagandize, and have a new form of C&C to pull the strings of jihad from anywhere, even that alleged cave in Tora Bora potentially.

Where the Jihadi’s have been doing new things is with the media. They have become very adept at creating not only phone cam videos of their shahid blowing up trucks etc, but now have full editing software packages and mobile editing rooms to create all kinds of propaganda videos like the recent Gadhan video dawa. They then propigate the videos to the internet via their own sites as well as stealth uploads to other legitimate sites unbeknownst to their admins.

What is more interesting though to me is the talk of using their own home grown VPN software. This would make it rather hard for anyone on the opposing team to see their traffic on the wire unless they had some man in the middle attack or had broken their particular version of crypto for a replay attack. The use of a VPN though, if they had set up an analogous TOR type of session that is an encrypted tunnel, then this would make things a bit more difficult to track.

The only thing I had heard them talk about of late was PalTalk, which indeed may be somewhat the same thing. PalTalk is a chat/voip product that they use to talk to one another securely.. Well as secure as it is.. I have not looked into that as yet. However, imagine then if they had set up stealth servers on popped boxes and are only using SSH sessions to shell in and chat? Perhaps super stealth sites or bulletin boards that are web headless but would serve a purpose as a meeting place as well as dead drop?

… But that would be for the tech savvy… Have no doubt that there are more than a few who are… But it’s certainly not mainstream for them as yet.

No, for the jihadi’s purposes, they want to have some security but also great accessibility to their content. They want to get the word out and to lure in the weak minded to their cause. Just as BVD bomber was posting on chat groups, these sites, like the ones I have been posting about, are advertised if you know where to look. Many of them are invite only and you have to know someone to get in anyway. This doesn’t stop them though from using YouTube and other sites to post videos of jihadi songs (nasheeds) to sing the praises of their comrades who have fallen as well as dawa’s and other recruitment materials. Just take a surf through there and you can see all the videos that go up daily.

Oh well, I am sure now that McAfee is on the case we are all safe….