Krypt3ia

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

Archive for January 2018

Industrial Society and Its Future (1995) & Our Socio-Technology Woes Today

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With Manhunt Unabomber on TV recently which I binged, I have been thinking about old Ted and his ideals behind the madness he was pushing. I would like to state up front that I do believe that Ted is clinically mentally ill and that manifested itself when he finally went into seclusion. What happened over the years that followed was an unbalanced reaction to ideas that have a core of truth though and many people actually see the same kernels of insight that I am going to talk about here. I have just finished re-reading the manifesto that he got the papers to publish under threat in 1995 and clipped some passages for you to see here without having to read the tome yourselves.

Where I want to direct this post though is about the problems we have today with technology that Ted seemed to foresee and also to extend a little further into the social issues that we have seen played out in our recent election cycle and the probable attacks on the one upcoming in 2018. Ted touched on some of the sociological and more human issues of technologies and systems in his manifesto but for the most part he was taking a very rigid stance that all technology is bad for human beings and the environment. He had some interesting ideas on sociology specifically on left wing and right wing personalities and ideals that, well, he get’s all wrong frankly, but I feel it is important to mention. Though he got it wrong and his opinions on motivations was, well, very 1950’s, you can see some of what he is talking about in what has been playing out with the alt-right movement.

Ted is misdiagnosing people’s motivations likely tinged with his own issues psychologically so his assessment is flawed. However, if you read above you can see something there if you align it to the alt-right today. They feel inferior in that they lack the power, or, lacked the power until Trump was put into power by their minority of thirty odd percent of the vote. Anyway, Ted goes on for a fair bit on this and I will not bore you with it as it is not overly germane to this post, but I thought you should at least get a glimpse here. Ted, you got leftists and right wing all wrong dude. Of course this was within the first pages of his manifesto and he really does not get to the technology part until section 114 or so where we want to be.

In 114 Ted starts to talk about “the system” which means all technologies to him I think, but if you look at it from the perspective of a political system as well, you can see something that maybe we all have felt. How many of you have thought about voting and come to the conclusion that your vote doesn’t count? I have, in fact in the last election I almost did not vote because I just felt that the system was rigged. In rigged I mean districts were gerrymandered, back door deals are all in play, and possibly even the election machines had been hacked because, as we all know in the security circle here, they are so weak in security mechanisms to be laughable to hack. In effect, these systems, both technological and rule based were inherently made untrustworthy by the system of politics. We have had our real autonomy and ability of action removed from us through the system and it’s rules …So why bother voting if it’s a foregone conclusion and there is no foreseeable change right?

Another area of thought that Ted writes about that seems to be a companion to the above section is once again your power is taken from you because the government or the system. In Ted’s mind it is the technology at the bottom of all this but here again he is making what I would consider more a political or societal argument. In that conservatives really want states rights over big government, I for one cannot extricate this paragraph from the notion today that the right wing would like to take away the power of the people locally as well as nation wide even with “small government” Honestly some of their thought processes are rife with cognitive dissonance but the goals seem to be “we are in control because we have the money and the power and you should just do what we say” Anyway, it is just another system and technology today only enhances the control as far as I can see. Of course we are also seeing that with things like Anonymous and the internet, the power can be interrupted with the application of the right technologies as well huh?

Here Ted is talking about the system taking over the individual to perpetuate the “system” and if you read this with an eye to today’s concerns over jobs and the rise of the Trumpists, you can see a parallel right? If the systems are now creating supply chains that are automated enough to not need human intervention for function, then we lose jobs right? Of course Trump really doesn’t cover this notion completely in favor of jingoism over borders and immigrants taking over our jobs but the real reality is that automation is doing this as well as tax games that move companies overseas. I sometimes wonder how the future will look if we do not educate our people better and these systems just function without the need for under educated workers, will we see more of this unrest that leads to another Trump?

 

If you have seen Manhunt Unabomber, then you will recognize the imagery that they used at the end concerning free will and systems of control. Ted takes it to the nth degree but the reality is that systems do control our actions but once again you have to accept that control and accede to it to be controlled. The very core of hackers and hacking is the notion that we can subvert the systems to make them do things they were not meant to do right? In the case of the stop light and the philosophical questions over being part of a system or controlled by one is very interesting. You all should ponder this as hackers and persons within a series of systems both technical and logical and consider your position here as well. I think we are at a cross roads here post 2016 and the use of technologies and systems of governance where one might feel like Ted a bit. What control do we really have when you could opt out of the system but the masses don’t? Look at what has happened when a small percentage of people in this country gamed the electoral system to elect Trump over the clear popular vote. The system has control over the lot of us and there isn’t very much we can do as we have seen if those in power, a small group, is in control of all our fates.

It makes one have thoughts about hacking systems… What does it mean? Can it be done? Should it?

In 130 and 147 here we have an important point from 1995 kids about the uses of technology as a form of control. Take that paragraph in and think about where we are today and what we have seen since 2001. We have fetishized technology in the name of freedom today. We have autonomous drones, cameras, NSA systems that monitor everything, and lest we forget our own abdication of our personal information and privacy for the new shiny phone or application. Collectively we have allowed our own security and privacy to be degraded for shiny things. What’s even more interesting is that those in the know, the one’s who have the capabilities to secure their private information may never really be able to completely do so because the systems are so prevalent that our data is out there anyway, just one breach away from being publicly available for sale on the darknet. I have often had thoughts about just backing away from the technology, but then my lizard brain just says “you can do this, you can secure your shit with crypto and all the things”

That’s delusional thinking.

Look at what played out in 2016 and then try to convince yourself that you can control the system enough to be immune.

Geez I am starting to sound like Neo.

Anyway, all of this manifesto reading has given me perspective on things in 2018. Ted had some ideas that are valid but he was unstable and decided to act on them to save humanity in the wrong way. Frankly he should have just lived in that cabin and kept to himself and paid no attention to the outside world. This is the crux of the problem though, could he? It seems like he lived on the fringes of society and he knew he could not go full mountain man and live off the land so he did what he did. Herein lies the problem though for us all. Unless you have the wherewithal to live fully off the land then you have to deal with technology and society right? So here we are, how many of you out there could just walk into the woods and live? I find it funny that a lot of our zombie shows pretty much deal with this issue and we are eating it up. Deep down we all know that if society broke down and technology stopped, we would have to fight for everything to survive. Many of us wouldn’t be able to handle it and there would be a lot of attrition.

As we move forward with AI and more technologies that are supposed to make our lives easier, we are also infantilizing ourselves, separating ourselves from communities, and giving away certain aspects of ourselves to the machine. So I can understand some of what Ted was saying …I am just not mentally unstable enough to want to live in a shack and make little packages of explosives. I do however have my moments when I as; “What are we doing here?” I have written posts on Stratfor about hybrid warfare counter programs and honestly between the pervasiveness of the technology and the cognitive dissonance of those who use it I can see no good options for countering it. Is the answer then to just leave Twitter and Facebook? Is the answer to just not surf the net and read a book from a library? Or do you double down and work the system like a hacker and try to get some sanity?

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2018/01/31 at 14:12

The Post Conspiracy Age

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In last weeks episode of The X-Files, the whole notion of conspiracy theories, truth, and reality were amusingly deconstructed. The premise of the episode was put into one of the more amusing funny X-Files over the years but the core observations it made were something to think about outside of satire. The story line follows the idea that Mulder and Scully had a partner that neither can remember because he has been collectively erased from their memories by a “Dr. They” a hypnotist spooky doctor of some kind. The plot line slides along greased by all the conspiracies over the decades of the show concerning belief in cryptozoology and aliens while making the case that the human memory is not only fallible, but it is also highly manipulatable.

Throughout the story line the notion that people remember things differently per experience also is at play with the idea that forces are at possibly at work shaping the collective memory. One of the ideas they drag up is that of the Mandela effect, where people have varying memories of Mandela dying in prison as opposed to him being released in 2013. Of course Mulder offers the theory that these are often explained by parallel universes, but that is shot down by Scully and “Reggie” the alleged partner they cannot remember. I for one have heard of the Mandela effect but then Reggie says it is not the Mandela effect, it’s the Mengele effect. The Mengele effect as far as I can tell is just a plot device for this episode of the X-Files but the Mandela effect is another matter. It seems many who misremember go on to substantiate their own inability to remember things properly as an “effect” to save face.

“It’s the Mandela effect. When someone has a memory of something that’s not shared by the majority or the factual record. For instance, there are some people that have a memory of seeing a movie called Shazam starring Sinbad as an irrepressible genie. Even after it’s pointed out to them they’re probably thinking of a movie called Kazaam starring Shaquille O’Neil as an irrepressible genie. Especially because a movie named Shazam was never made.”
“But what if I don’t remember either movie?”
“You win!” – Mulder and Scully

Aside from the idea that there are Mandela effects, aliens, squatches, and government conspiracies, this episode focuses not on them for me as much as the methods these ideas are spread and the nature of just what is truth anymore. In a meeting near the end of the episode, Mulder meets the mysterious Dr. They, who is seen standing by a sculpture making the “tsk tsk” or naughty hand gesture that you see above. He starts off talking to Mulder about how the kids today have no idea what this means anymore and that we are living in a “Post conspiracy age” where nothing is real anymore anyway so conspiracies just mean nothing.

“They don’t care if the truth gets out. Because the public no longer knows what is meant by the truth.” – Dr. They

Basically They tells Mulder that none of his truth seeking matters anymore because we are in a post truth society. In effect, nothing can be true anymore because everyone just believes what they want to paying no never mind to facts and things that are known to have been truths. It was this scene of the episode that just hit home for me. In a time where social media has given rise to the common man’s ability to leverage their own cognitive dissonance as part of a larger machine of propaganda and psyops by nation states and corporate entities, nothing is real anymore. Even if you present people with facts and data, they can just discount it because of they now have an arcology of communities that they belong to which re-assure and amplify their own ideas whether or not they are patently wrong and provably so.

….In essence an arcology of echo chambers.

“Believe what you want to believe. That’s what everybody does nowadays anyways.” – Dr. They

As I watched that scene over again a few times it all hit home in a way that I had not overtly thought about in a while. We are living in an age of subtle Nihilism where nothing really exists or matters on a factual or truthful level. It’s all “Truthiness” as it was coined by Stephen Colbert. You choose the level of the truthiness and it’s content per your belief system and no one will be able to assail your notions because they are just wrong. In the X-Files episode the quote by Orwell was brought up twice of “He who controls the past controls the future.” which is then re-stated by They in the meeting scene with Mulder where he says that it was Orson Welles who said it. He is corrected by Mulder that it was Orwell, but basically They then says “for now” as if he is about to manipulate everyone’s memory to change that. It’s amusing as a scene but the reality is that with the facile minded and the misinformation of the internet and manipulative media, it is a possibility that it could become a reality where the masses believe it was in fact Orson instead of Orwell, and then it will be come de facto fact as someone edits the Wiki page and commits.

“We’re living in a post-cover-up, post-conspiracy age.” The “poco”

I was left thinking after this episode about the problems I had been mulling over concerning counter narratives and programs to fight active measures campaigns like the one that Russia carried out and is still carrying out on us. One could just buy into the idea that there is no real way to fight this because we have a system now that allows and perpetuates these echo chambers. Twitter is a steaming pile of minis-information and food pictures. Facebook, well, Facebook is another animal altogether and Zuck has recently doubled down on the problem by saying they plan on only having more inter-networked news being passed on by it’s users instead of real news service feeds. This will only lead to amplification of misinformation as those groups only echo those “truths” they want to believe as opposed to facts. It all makes one want to embrace Nihilism all the more and really believe in nothing at all because what can you believe in when everything is just opinion as fact?

Today we are bombarded with information that has been created, ,managed, or manipulated by the unseen hand of corporations, people, governments, and cabals if you want to believe that. It is up to the consumer to do the leg work and discover what is truth, but unfortunately for the masses it seems, the truth is just subject to their own cognitive dissonance. In 2018 we are about to embark on a new roller coaster of disinformation and active measures not only perpetrated by Russia and other actors, but ourselves. How do we really fight that power?

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2018/01/29 at 14:58

Pyongyang Radio 6400khZ V15: Numbers Broadcast May Have Been Book Code

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On April 27th 2017, just as a nuclear test was about to be performed in the hermit kingdom, the default numbers station in Pyongyang broadcast a series of numbers under the guise of it all being lesson plans for students in what they called their “remote education university for No. 27 expedition agents” This broadcast differed from other numbers broadcasts by DPRK but also by other countries that tend to use just discreet series of numbers and what most likely are one time pads. In the case of the April broadcast from DPRK though it would seem that they are maybe using what is called a “Book Code” method to send secret messages to their operatives in the field.

Now this would be an interesting turn of events if the North was using book code instead of randomly generated one time pads. The most important point of this is that if in fact they are using book code, then you could possibly get a copy of the book and follow along to decode the messages. As this so far, was a one time event, you have to wonder was this just something in a pinch, an emergency out of band broadcast? If it was this could be a fall back on coded messages and with the preamble by the announcer, it could have been. This is the first time I have heard a numbers station broadcast like this and my first thought was book code, but, others seem to think that this is just a re-mastering of the normal coded number sequences that you would usually hear out of a numbers station.

Screen Shot care of numbers-stations.com

As you can see from the screen shot above, the numbers stations site re-configured the numbers into just sequences. What if though, these were actual numbers of pages along with the words or letters (kanji in this case perhaps) within the text that could be taken down to form words? I have been looking at the number series and it is possible yet I cannot confirm this is the case. I mean after all, what book would this be? Would it be in Hanglo? Kanji characters or English text? For that matter any range of languages could comprise the text of the book used. Also, if you look at the page numbers and problem numbers, could this in fact be some IT problem book that has been turned into a code system?

From now, we will send IT Basic Practice problems for Agents No. 27. Now, we will tell the number of problems. 823 pg No. 69 467 pg No. 92 957 pg No. 100 830 pg No. 07 694 pg No. 89 429 pg No. 95 916 pg No. 39 347 pg No. 48 684 pg No. 42 917 pg No. 41 754 pg No. 70 146 pg No. 23 883 pg No. 98 980 pg No. 43 672 pg No. 61 075 pg No. 25 2242 pg No. 47 412 pg No. 66 455 pg No. 39 813 pg No. 49 661 pg No. 89 582 pg No. 97 111 pg No. 75 470 pg No. 43 512 pg No. 49 287 pg No. 90 880 pg No. 64 044 pg No. 83 519 pg No. 56 907 pg No. 95 112 pg No. 11 275 pg No. 25 686 pg No. 72 086 pg No. 91 948 pg No. 21 173 pg No. 24 845 pg No. 31 844 pg No. 89 750 pg No. 08 611 pg No. 97 284 pg No. 02 190 pg No. 04 372 pg No. 53 116 pg No. 23 710 pg No. 17 339 pg No. 45 411 pg No. 78 775 pg No. 21 797 pg No. 51 378 pg No. 13 021 pg No. 55 812 pg No. 61 639 pg No. 43 926 pg No. 81 971 pg No. 100 763 pg No. 50 058 pg No. 92 662 pg No. 28 717 pg No. 94 339 pg No. 54 518 pg No. 68 167 pg No. 20 121 pg No. 92 220 pg No. 16 558 pg No. 95 738 pg No. 04 723 pg No. 87 599 pg No. 33 719 pg No. 19 862 pg No. 73 412 pg No. 57 166 pg No. 93 064 pg No. 85 971 pg No. 20 856 pg No. 90 581 pg No. 36 101 pg No. 82 477 pg No. 95 112 pg No. 89 132 pg No. 45 939 pg No. 64. We will repeat. (Same Numbers). That is all.

By looking at the colored text of the broadcast one has to wonder if this is a book with regular text or a math book as stated. So in the first it would be the 823rd letter? Or would it be the 823rd word? Even more mind bending could it be letters 8 and 23 on page 69? You see where I am going with that right? All of this came back to me as I was watching a recent Amazon prime video on Shakespeare’s folio and Kabbalah codes and word play that seem to exist within it that may have been a work of Francis Bacon and a second person. Either way, this is an interesting broadcast out of DPRK and I for one would like to ponder just what book this might be if indeed it is a book code…

Unless it is just a math problem set…

One of the other interesting tidbits here is that in the preamble they say these are IT (Information Technology) problems. Does this mean it is something along the lines of a book on CISSP? (in joke there folks!) but yeah, could be that or it could be something like a book on MCSE for all we know. The issue is to match the numbers of letters or words to pages in a book that each agent would be able to get in country and use for this purpose. If this is a book code, did the agents receive a book when the left? Was it sent to them later? Also, each book would have to be the EXACT copy, not iterations of a book in order for the code to work. There are a lot of questions still as usual with North Korea so one could just sit and ponder this for quite some time.

I went and started looking for books printed in DPRK but got no love. That it’s said to be IT, well, I have several boat anchors I can look at but in the end, without some more insight into the hermit kingdom’s methods here, you likely will just lose your mind trying to figure it out. So, if you have some time to waste, this could be a nice distraction but certainly stop before you get to the cliffs of insanity here.

Enjoy,

K.

UPDATE: I got a comment on this post from mrpnkt informing me of text books found on Red Star/DPRK Android tablets available in North Korea. The presentation at 34C3 can be seen here:

Basically they discovered that there are a metric ton of almost PDF files on the systems that the end users in DPRK can use to learn. These seem to be uniformly available and as such, they may in fact the the IT manuals discussed in the V15 broadcast last April. These guys actually have the files on a torrent to download and actually are asking for any help in discovering more about them. Thanks to Will Scott Gabe Edwards for this data. I am currently downloading the 4 gig of files to play with myself.

You can too now.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2018/01/22 at 21:39

Posted in DPRK