Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for December 2010

Addressing the Post-Stuxnet Future

Hi folks,

This is a short article I wrote for InfoSecIsland. Normally I wouldn’t post something like this on a political blog, but the conversations here on Stuxnet were as intelligent as any other. This was written with my Day Job hat on but is not a pitch for AlienVault specifically – any SIEM will do – but since AlienVault has the Open Source SIEM the topic cannot be discussed without bringing them up anyway.


Control System networks are electronic systems for controlling the physical world. These systems are deployed in virtually every aspect of modern life from power grids to transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, building control and more. Since 1979 these systems have been becoming increasingly similar to the Information Technology (IT) networks which have developed over that time. Today, most Control System networks are based on the same TCP/IP protocols that run on the Internet and use computer systems which are vulnerable to the same attacks which plague business and home users.

In June of 2010, the first malware specifically designed to attack Control System networks was found in the wild. Stuxnet, a complex worm that targets Siemens’ WinCC Control System server software, uses a vulnerability involving USB thumb drives to compromise the Windows operating system of WinCC servers. Once installed, Stuxnet subverts the WinCC software itself and then pushes altered software to the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) that control very high speed motors. Since the motors Stuxnet is designed to target operate at between 807 Hz and 1210 Hz the popular conclusion that this worm was targeted at the nuclear centrifuge installation at Natanz, Iran, is generally supportable (the United States restricts exports of similar motors above 600Hz due to their use in refining nuclear fuel).  

Local Community Radio Act

The Senate passes another big win for the progressive movement.  The Local Community Radio Act will allow for Low Power FM stations across the country for non-commercial uses.

Think NPR – just locally.

Dream Killers:Hagan, Pryor, Baucus, Nelson and Tester


Colorlines had this story:

The DREAM Act would put young undocumented immigrants with a clean criminal record on a long path to citizenship if they commit two years to the military or higher education. In order to qualify, young people must have lived in the country for at least five years, entered the country before the age of 16 and still be under 30 years old. The bill passed the House earlier this month.

In the end, the bill, which has always enjoyed bipartisan support, actually got enough Republican votes to secure its passage. But the Democratic caucus disintegrated when North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Arkansas’ Jon Pryor, Montana’s Max Baucus and Jon Tester, and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson all voted against ending debate on the bill. Meanwhile, some key Republicans voted for the DREAM Act: Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Richard Lugar from Indiana and outgoing Sen. Bob Bennett from Utah.

It’s Personal ~ DADT repeal signed with video x2

The Senate today voted 63-33 to move forward with the bill to repeal DADT.  With the House already having passed the same bill and the Senate now only needing a simple majority (51) for the bill to pass it looks like DADT will soon be history.


Response from Senator Durbin UPDATED

I had signed a petition for my Senators and my House member to back the President’s tax deal.  I did get a response that is pretty interesting.  

This is my first diary here, so if I’m missing some common protocol let me know.

Analyzing Swing States: Virginia, Part 5

This is the fifth part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Virginia. It focuses on the traditional Democratic base and its decline. The last part can be found here.

In the days of the Solid South, Democrats worried more about primary elections than Republican challengers. The party, under the sway of the Byrd machine, dominated almost every part of the state – as it did throughout the South.

Civil rights and suburban growth broke the back of this coalition. In 1952 Virginia voted for Republican candidate Dwight Eisenhower. By the 1970s Virginia had elected its first Republican governor, senator, and attorney general in nearly a century.

More below.

Enough is Enough

Ok I have just about had it with our Democratic Senators and Representatives.

Look I get you are upset with this tax deal. I get it is not what you would have preferred. It is not what I wanted either, it is a bitter pill.

What I do not get is unadulterated BS like this from Al Franken:

“A lot of people are unhappy that the President punted on first down, and I’m one of them,” Franken wrote in the message to supporters. “Extending the Bush tax breaks for the super-wealthy will explode our deficit over the next two years without doing anything to help our economy.”


Losing My Religion

(or My War on Christmas)

I’ve never been a particularly religious person but I’ve never questioned that Jesus was the son of God or that God existed.

I’ve gone to church a few times after some significant event in my life ~ but never quite felt that I belonged.  Maybe it was the songs that I didn’t know or the sermon that didn’t quite relate to me or the people with whom I didn’t feel a connection.  Maybe it was all of the above or none.  Maybe it’s me, though, not those external trappings of religion.

Things I read this AM / Afternoon Update

Will these cause another pie fight?

The Notorious Pie Fight Scene Cut From Dr Strangelove

From 3 Quarks Daily – a message to the Pundit class…

At the risk of sounding unappreciative of your daily service to American democracy, we ask: Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves? You profess to know so much about how the country ought to be run. You claim to know how to save America. Isn’t it immoral of you to decline to serve the American public in an official capacity? Given the principles you embrace concerning power and accountability, it would seem that you should take yourself to be morally required to seek public office. So why don’t you?

Anything from John Cole over at Balloon Juice who seems to be on a tear of late. If you think Obama is dissing Progressives. He looks like a piker compared to Cole.

But this one gives you a hint –…