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Biggus Dickus

Jeff Bezos, aka “The Richest Man in the World” and owner of The Washington Post, struck a blow against AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer yesterday. He outted the tabloid for trying to blackmail him with intercepted sext pics between himself and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff was having none of it. If the title of The World’s Richest Man doesn’t guard you from personal exposure, I don’t know what does. I mean seriously, Bezos is going to actually get so embarrassed by some dick pics and hot chicky baby shots that he’s going to become a broken man and do whatever David Pecker tells him to do? Does he look like Lindsay Graham?? No. He does not. Jeff can just buy his own country and live out the rest of his life in luxury. It’s not like courtiers are suddenly going to stop sucking up to him.

This extortion move is so stupid, kludgy and short sighted that it almost feels like Donald Trump’s sticky little fingers are all over it.

But the reason that AMI threatened Jeff is much more troubling and could have serious implications. The thing that got Jeff on AMI’s extortion list is that Jeff and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, started to investigate how AMI got the texts in the first place. His phone wasn’t hacked. That means that whoever got the texts was an entity sophisticated enough to intercept the transmissions. Or penetrate the cloud. It is suspected that a foreign country did this. Possibly it was Mossad from Israel or Britain’s MI6. That last one seems improbable though. Why would Britain want to intercept Jeff Bezos? Was it the Prime membership increase? I only ask.

Here’s the really big deal. No one knows how the intercept happened. What freaks me out in an indirect way is that Amazon is one of the world’s biggest cloud service providers. Now, I’m not saying that anything bad is going to happen to your data or your zillion compound library that is busily docking into all of the receptor sites in the pdb. But the possibility that someone who can intercept Jeff Bezos’ iPhone transmissions and get away with it is very frightening when it comes to what else could be intercepted. Should we all be concerned?

Back when I was in R&D, oh those many years ago, I looked into cloud computing on behalf of my comp chem group. I sat in on a seminar by a security expert at a proteins conference. A company like a pharma doesn’t always want to upgrade its hardware to run simulations and docking experiments but it could put billions of dollars worth of data at risk by running calculations in an insecure cloud environment. Could the R&D community trust that the data would be safe? According to the speaker, Amazon was supposed to have the gold standard in terms of data security. Its security specialists rivaled or exceeded our own government national security experts.

But now we see that even Bezos’ dick pics aren’t safe. Yes, a phone intercept is one thing. The interception of thousands of businesses data is something much much bigger. I’m not suggesting that such a thing has happened or is possible. I’m just extremely troubled by the proximity of this breach of privacy to Amazon’s cloud service.

I hope de Becker and Bezos knows who did it and I’m betting dollars to donuts that Donald Trump knows too.

We are headed into uncharted territory, oh best beloveds. All the ugly things are about to hatch out and there are some desperate parties who will try just about anything to keep from being exposed. It feels like anything can happen. Scary.


8 Responses

  1. As a 40+ year veteran of what is now called IT I wouldn’t use the cloud voluntarily for anything I didn’t want to be public. The lengths Fortune 100 companies went to even 20 years ago to keep things private are no longer the norm, they have been caught up now in the silliness where the technical no longer matters… it’s the marketing departments that rule everything. It’s too bad things have gone this way, but profits over everything else have been the rule for too long now to do anything about it. Luckily I am old :).

    • I know what you mean. But the specialist I heard was pretty confident about amazon. He wasn’t paid for his endorsement. Just that amazon had put a lot of effort and hired the best in the country in terms of security. I was laid off two weeks after that as was the rest of the site so it was a moot point anyway.
      Still, I’d like to believe that amazon has its shit together and I find this incident very disturbing.

      • In the 80’s I did a lot of work at Warner Lambert (the only pharmaceutical I ever had as a client) and I can assure you that the keepers of the data at the time would have been horrified at the prospect of “cloud data”.

        Today, in my opinion, the only way to keep something completely safe is to use an “air gap”… the internet is just too porous to keep anything secure. There is just so much code out there that is full of holes that you can always find a backdoor somehow; this is just another ‘feature’ of the marketing department making the rules, there is no time for proper testing, you have to get the next version out the door no matter what.

        • Omg, I know. The lawyers got all apoplectic about publishing. Most of my work will never see the light of day.
          But then those companies did really stupid things like allowing flash drives and CDROM. And they laid us off but gave us 4 months to wrap up our data before they shoved us out the door. With no extra security. So, clearly, the MBAs and legals have selective attention. Someone could have downloaded a good chunk of activitybase and taken it home to China with them. What was going to stop them?

  2. The most unsettling part to me, is it becomes ever more obvious that there is this evil cabal around the world, composed of dictators, oligarchs, and criminals, which are trying to shape the globe to their wishes. This country’s leaders are now in league with all of them. They have immense amounts of money, and long reach. The entire 2016 campaign was their desperate effort to defeat the person who was a threat to them, Hillary Clinton, and install one of their own as President. They had no compunction about anything they did, and they would do anything in terms of hacking, inundating with false stories, buying the media. Quid pro quos abounded; you did this for them, they would give you billions of dollars. Now we have the President selling influence all over, turning the government into a profit-making scheme. If they can destroy the entire American system, all the guardrails, that is fine with them, as long as they all get what they want.

    Here is AMI, which I always thought about as a classless, tawdry enterprise, but which is now seen as much worse: a bunch of exortionists who are working for the American puppet president. Of all the many people and organizations, which had any single one of them not existed, Hillary would have won, now we add the National Enquirer. Buying harmful Trump stories and killing them. Printing horrendous lies about Hillary’s health and background. Not a supermarket joke any longer.Now they go after the owner of the WAPO, which Trump hates. What we are going to see, if the story does not just go away, is at least a good part of his unholy cabal, and how it works. A long time ago, Hillary talked about “a vast right-wing conspiracy,” and of course the media laughed at her, as if she were paranoid or making excuses. And of course, as always, she was far ahead of anyone else in perceiving what was going on. The whole Lewinsky thing, the whole five years of Starr investigations, were part of their efforts to remove the man who took away the presidency which they thought they owned. They couldn’t do that, but they managed to character assassinate Hillary. They’re still out there, working to keep Trump in power, destroy all the possible Democratic nominees, except perhaps the one they see as the weakest; stick a few Russian assets in the mix, to siphon votes. They all work together, and revel in it. Maybe Bezos can do something about it, but they will use all their efforts to thwart him. They are under every rock, and they work tirelessly in pursuit of their ends, which is something that most normal people do not do, having a more balanced view of existence.

    • Your last sentence sums it all up perfectly.

      I often find myself attempting to understand motivations of those with whom I disagree. IRL, it’s a useful approach however, on occasion, I still run across an intractable view in which I must acknowledge the futility of achieving that understanding.
      And those for whom their single minded pursuit is holding power and money and destroying all which/whom might create difficulties in maintaining or growing their control or wealth are beyond comprehension to most of us.

  3. “…dictators, oligarchs, and criminals..”

    But you repeat yourself. 😉

  4. I await RD’s post which will be titled “Incontinentia Buttocks”. 😛

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