SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Today, we focus on the recent ASUS Software Update Hack.
A 21st Century Preparedness Reading List
D.B. recommended this article over at Zero Hedge: Pre-Reading for War in America. This is from the introduction to his reading list:
“…I have been doing some reading, specifically about the backside of the curve for Pax Americana, and I thought I would share with you my list: Pre-Reading for War in America. I have tried to order it from the easiest reading level to most difficult, for lack of a better order. I am sure some will argue this sequence. Not all of the titles are great works of literature, certainly, although I count some of them among the very greatest.”
More Midwest Flooding?
Reader H.L. spotted this, over at AccuWeather: Flood disaster likely just beginning over central US with troublesome season expected
Tasks for the ‘Designated Commo’ Guy
The latest from NCScout, over at Brushbeater: Tasks for the ‘Designated Commo’ Guy. One snippet that shows the author is fully clued in:
“In addition, I’d strongly suggest having a large stockpile of Anderson Power Pole connectors on hand. They make standardizing power cables quick and simple.”
Second Amendment Sanctuary Cities, Counties, and States
And in related news: Missouri Becoming a Gun Law Sanctuary State.
Incredible Duplicity: Jussie Walks
Here is more evidence that the Rule of Law in our nation has become politicized, corrupted, ridden with double standards, and outright differing application of the law for “special” people: Empire actor Jussie Smollett insists he has been truthful about his ‘race hate attack’ from the start as he faces cameras after all 16 felony charges against him are sensationally dropped. It was reported that the Illinois state prosecutor said that his 12 felony charges were dropped because Smollett was not deemed a ‘violent threat’. So that is their new standard? Well, gosh! Then perhaps I ought to bring several pads of blank checks on a trip to Illinois, and spend like a sailor. If I became a serial check-kiter, then I certainly would be any ‘violent threat’ to the good people of Illinois. Case closed.
Common Core Math is Useless
Frequent contributor DSV suggested this interesting piece over at RealClearEducation: National Academic Standards Have Produced a Lot of Nothing. Here is an illustrative passage:
“First, supporters of the Common Core national academic standards have some explaining to do. As early as 2012, some said national standards could “potentially improve the performance of U.S. students” in math. Others said the standards would “help narrow the achievement gaps.”
Neither has happened. Indeed, the latest results show a widening achievement gap. Students at the top end of the scale are scoring higher and those at the bottom are scoring lower than when the Common Core standards were first adopted.
A more rigorous evaluation is needed to say the Common Core is the reason for the disappointing results. But the lofty claims about national standards have not been realized.
Notably, between 2003 to 2011, almost every state showed improvement in math scores on the Nation’s Report Card. Some states even recorded double-digit gains. Reading test results evidenced similar gains, although not quite as pronounced.
Scores stalled and then took a turn after that. Between 2013 and 2017, only five jurisdictions logged improvements in 4th grade math, and just three in 8th grade math.”
Hackers Hijacked ASUS Software to Install Backdoors
G.P. recommended this at Motherboard: Hackers Hijacked ASUS Software Updates to Install Backdoors on Thousands of Computers. Here is how the detailed article begins:
Researchers at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab say that ASUS, one of the world’s largest computer makers, was used to unwittingly install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers’ computers last year after attackers compromised a server for the company’s live software update tool. The malicious file was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company, Kaspersky Lab says.
ASUS, a multi-billion dollar computer hardware company based in Taiwan that manufactures desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, smart home systems, and other electronics, was pushing the backdoor to customers for at least five months last year before it was discovered, according to new research from the Moscow-based security firm.
The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 of those systems. The malware searched for targeted systems through their unique MAC addresses. Once on a system, if it found one of these targeted addresses, the malware reached out to a command-and-control server the attackers operated, which then installed additional malware on those machines.