Below Gotham Labs, May 7, 2016
A graphic interpretation of a book written by a former minion of Carl Byoir. Byoir, like Bernays, is a founding father of modern American propaganda.
New York Times, April 25, 2016
Recall that Apple originally offered to help the FBI had they only submitted their request under seal. Also keep in mind that bugs offer the benefit of plausible deniability. Allowing companies like Apple to have their cake and eat it too.
Counterpunch, February 22, 2016
The narrative that Apple is trying to convey gently sidesteps this fact. Be very careful where you place your trust.
Counterpunch, November 30, 2015
Greenwald: the "paramount" mission of the NSA and CIA is "find and stop people who are plotting terrorist attacks"? The government wants to "depict Silicon Valley as terrorist-helpers" to "force those companies to give the U.S. government 'backdoor' access"?
Greenwald shows his colors. History tells a different story. The paramount mission of American spies is to further the economic interests of the power elite. The debate over backdoors is a diversion, to boost share prices by downplaying secret complicity. Silicon Valley CEOs betrayed us in the past on numerous occasions, they'll do so again.
Counterpunch, November 17, 2015
This is a review of Scott Noble's recently released documentary Plutocracy: Divide et Impera. Most people have no idea just how bloody the clashes were between labour and capital. It's a part of American history that's often whitewashed out.
Dissident Voice, October 30, 2015
This is almost too good to be true, the Pentagon deconstructs its own power grid cybergeddon meme. FYI: the damage claim phone number is 410-278-9849.
Counterpunch, October 1, 2015
The whole VW scandal just scratches the surface. Hidden code is control, it's power. It's a pillar of the NSA's mass surveillance apparatus.
Truthout, September 13, 2015
The basic game plan for many Chinese oligarchs is to make as much money as possible and then get the hell out of Dodge before they become the next political bullseye.
Cryptome, August 12, 2015
The exact nature of the events surrounding the death of Michael Hastings may remain elusive. But it's definitely a reminder for journalists to leave a trail for others to follow as a contingency.
Counterpunch, July 29, 2015
A number of very serious people have gone into a frenzy as the two Michaels (Hayden and Chertoff) denounce key escrow encryption. But the focus on overt cryptographic back doors intentionally avoids the topic of covert back doors based on zero-day exploits, so that the tech industry can bolster it's public image.
AlterNet, July 28, 2015
Here are some conspiracy facts for the 9/11 crowd. I can't believe this was just the result of garden variety negligence on behalf of the NSA. The attacks were allowed to happen.
Truthout, July 18, 2015
"Top-secret intercepts prove that economic spying by the United States is pervasive, that not even allies are safe and that it's wielded to benefit powerful corporate interests."
AlterNet, June 16, 2015
Snowden has given what's essentially a public endorsement for Apple in a New York Times op-ed. This should give one pause. From here on out it will be interesting to see who pays Snowden for his speaking engagements. "Ed Snowden Fights the Man" claims the billboard (brought to you by the billionaires of Silicon Valley).
AlterNet, May 30, 2015
On the surface this may seem like a novel way to deal with the anxiety and isolation of long-term unemployment. But there's more to this than meets the eye.
Counterpunch, May 8, 2015
Don't crack open the champagne bottle just yet...
AlterNet, May 4, 2015
Lawmakers claim that this bill "ends bulk collection." A brazen lie. They're gambling on public ignorance about Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 and Executive Order 12333.
Counterpunch, April 23, 2015
Looking at who builds, operates, and profits from mass surveillance technology offers insight into the nature of the global panopticon.
AlterNet, April 3, 2015
I wonder if Admiral Rogers plans on paying restitution? After all, the NSA is one of the Internet's most prolific "actors". No doubt Henry Kissinger would comment that sanctions are for lesser powers.
AlterNet, March 19, 2015
The Cult of Cyberwar can eat crow. Even the American IC admits that their dire predictions of doomsday are bunk.
Counterpunch, March 13-15, 2015
The far right would prefer to blame everything on the government.
AlterNet, March 6, 2015
The New York Times advises that nations engage in treaties to limit the proliferation of cyber arms. Wishful thinking at best.
AlterNet, February 26, 2015
Security tools have been known to fail. That's why OPSEC is so important.
AlterNet, February 18, 2015
Poor cyber security is official policy: companies are allowed to get away with selling substandard products and spies actively work to make hi-tech insecure. Hence a $300 million cyber heist should come as no surprise.
AlterNet, February 9, 2015
Don't expect the political class to tear down Big Brother, lawmakers are largely beholden to deep sources of private wealth that benefit from the global panopticon.
Cryptome, January 17, 2015
MI5 chief Andrew Parker and Prime Minister David Cameron have appealed for greater authority with regard to mass surveillance. These requests are drawn from the same playbook that was employed in the United States after 9/11. The political operatives of the 1 percent never let a disaster go to waste.
AlterNet, January 17, 2015
After all of the lies it's our civic duty to question what officials like FBI Director Comey tell us.
WhoWhatWhy, January 4, 2015
Another more focused synopsis of Glennon's Double Government meme. The intel agencies obey the executive, and the executive in turn caters primarily to corporate factions. I argue that there are actually three layers interacting...
Alternet, December 17, 2014
Just taking orders, sir! Rebukes Michael Glennon's concept of Double Government.
TruthOut, December 6, 2014
Another formal response to Glenn Greenwald.
Truthout, November 21, 2014
Staff writer John Tamny in his review of Citizenfour called Ed Snowden a "paranoid crank." Then again, what would you expect from an outlet that celebrates corporate leaders? Here I explain why he's mistaken.
Counterpunch, September 29, 2014
Why is Turkey dragging its feet while Obama dives head first into military engagement? There's a lot more to it than just fear of arming Kurdish separatists. Look closely and you'll see that the two deep states are signaling to each other.
New York Times, September 4, 2014
A response to news of NATO ratifying a joint defense pledge against cyber attacks.
Below Gotham Labs, August 29, 2014
It's the zero-sum game of perpetual war married to the failed state model for neocolonialism.
Counterpunch, August 15-17, 2014
Posted in the wake of Ed Snowden's interview with James Bamford. This picture is too much...
Below Gotham Labs, August 7, 2014
My response to Dan Geer's suggestion, at Black Hat USA 2014, that the United States government should own the market for zero-day bugs.
Counterpunch, Weekend Edition August 1-3, 2014
After all of the lies and subterfuge is it constructive to give voice to the talking points of intelligence officials? What does this say about the venues that provide them with a platform?
Counterpunch, July 30, 2014
The corporate media is failing to recognize U.S. intervention while depicting Russia as the sole instigator of conflict.
Dissident Voice, July 22, 2014
In response to comments made by Shava Nerad.
Dissident Voice, July 16, 2014
Internet users are being given a false sense of security. People are depicting Tor as the digital equivalent a reinforced concrete barrier when in practice it can often be little more than a speed bump against trained spies.
Counterpunch, July 03, 2014
Micro$oft has opened what the company is referring to as "Transparency Centers" so that a select group of governments can inspect its source code. This is a propaganda stunt and herein I explain why.
Counterpunch, June 25, 2014
An essay that explores the links between events taking place now and those which transpired during the Cold War.
Counterpunch, June 19, 2014
This query, and my subsequent commentary, is posed in response to a presentation that Glenn Greenwald gave at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco on June 18, 2014, 7-8pm.
Counterpunch, June 10, 2014
Mass subversion trumps strong encryption, never mind the corporate panopitcon...
Below Gotham Labs, June 2, 2014
This is the presentation that DEFCON didn't want you to see: Mike Rogers on parade with a litany of hyperbolic misstatements. The transcript for this presentation is here.
Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, May 9-11, 2014
For the big multinationals too much money is at stake to let something like civil liberties get in the way.
RIA Novosti, April 25, 2014
Commentary on U.S. clandestine programs that I offered to Nikita Alentyev.
Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, April 4-6, 2014
An essay that examines the CIA's role in global mass interception and the underlying forces that drive the agency.
Below Gotham, February 27, 2014
With homage to Peter Dale Scott, political observers in Turkey, and a recent essay posted at Bill Moyers, I've created a diagram that depicts where power lies in modern American politics. As John Dewey concluded, it resides in the private sector. The Deep State is the political membrane, the structural layer, through which elite decisions are imposed.
Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex
To Purchase a Copy: send a shipping address and a U.S. Postal Money Order for $15 per copy ($11 for the book itself + $4 for standard 3-10 day shipping) to Bill Blunden at P.O. Box 22093, San Francisco, CA, 94122. NOTE: We cannot accept check or credit card orders. Also, no orders outside the United States will be processed.
Copies remaining: 95
280 pages, Trine Day, April 2014, ISBN-13: 978-1937584801
Behold a cavalcade of legislators, government officials, and think tank fellows. They claim that the United States waivers perilously at the brink of catastrophe, that foreign powers are poised to cripple the U.S. power grid and decimate the banking system. They warn that if we fail to implement the measures which they endorse, we risk a Cyber Armageddon.
Yet this End Times narrative is a farce, and a pale one at that. These doomsday scenarios serve only to benefit the military-industrial complex. Cyberwar propaganda is an instance of threat inflation. Much like during the run-up to the disastrous global War on Terror. The message of cyberwar elicits a crisis mentality. The end result is an anxious public that's susceptible to ill-conceived, but highly profitable, solutions.
Once more, while the apparatchiks sound the alarm about external threats, there are genuine threats emanating from within. America's Deep State is busy executing campaigns of espionage and sabotage in foreign networks. U.S. intelligence agencies are embroiled in covert operations at home and abroad which have been instrumental in the emergence of a sprawling underground industry that develops weaponized malware and Orwellian mass interception tools. Proponents explain that these developments are necessary to ensure our 'national security.' The reality is that this decidedly offensive approach is seriously undermining our collective security.
In these pages you'll see who is stirring the cyberwar pot, the real threats that we're being distracted from, and the often unacknowledged root causes of our growing cyber insecurity.
Author Note: The original publisher of this book got cold feet and backed off. The chief editor in particular voiced deep concern about "push back," coverage of former DNI Mike McConnell, and the onset of the 2012 Presidential election. Kris Millegan at TrineDay has proven that he's not so easily bullied.
The book's front material (Title page, Dedication, Opening Quote, Table of Contents, Prologue and Preface) can be viewed here.
Book Review: George Smith has written a detailed and illuminating retrospective on the folly of the cyberwar narrative which mentions this book.
Below Gotham, January 16, 2014
Technology empowers, but it can also enslave. In TransEvolution author Daniel Estulin focuses on the latter, a sort of Ray Kurzweil meets Karl Marx affair. The moneyed elite wish to "end history" as Emmanuel Goldstein described in 1984 using scientific innovation to amplify their control. In an effort to organize my thoughts while I processed the book I've created an infographic that hits most of the major ideas.
Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, August 2-4, 2013
A formal response to Keith Alexander's keynote speech at Black Hat USA 2013.
Counterpunch, Weekend Edition, June 8-10, 2012
Commentary on state-sponsored malware and American foreign policy.
800 pages, Jones & Bartlett, February 2012, ISBN-13: 9781449626365
Below Gotham Labs, December 2011
This is content originally intended for the 2nd edition of the Rootkit Arsenal.
Below Gotham Labs, October 2010
These are materials that I'll present at SFSU's National Cybersecurity Awareness Event. It's an updated rendition of my Lockdown 2010 slide deck.
Below Gotham Labs, July 2010
These are materials that I presented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Lockdown 2010 Event.
Below Gotham Labs, February 2010
These are materials that I presented at Black Hat DC 2010.
Below Gotham Labs, July 2009
These are materials that I presented at Black Hat USA 2009.
Below Gotham Labs, April 2009
These are slides from a presentation that I gave at Sonoma State University.
916 pages, Wordware Publishing, April 2009, ISBN-10: 1598220616
"One of the first things I noticed while flipping through this hefty book is the sheer number of topics covered. Perhaps this is a necessity. As the author puts it, rootkits lie 'at the intersection of several related disciplines: computer security, forensics, reverse-engineering, system internals, and device drivers.' Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that great pains have been taken to cover each subject in sufficient depth and to present ideas in a manner that's both articulate and well organized" -- Nicola Hahn, Slashdot Review
For more information (overview and table of contents) see this page
176 pages, Apress, August 2004, ISBN-10: 1590594037
Bill Blunden recounts his three years in Minnesota, performing research and development for Lawson Software. Riddled with intrigue, duplicity and collusion, this story offers a trench-level view of a company in the throes of internal rivalry and suffering from a string of failed projects.
"Cube Farm should be required reading for young people considering careers as computer programmers." -- Philip Greenspun, MIT Computer Science Researcher
152 pages, Apress, July 2004, ISBN-10: 1590593960
In addition to presenting the pro-globalization stance of Corporate America, this book gives voice to dissenting opinions that have largely been ignored by the media. The author offers an enlightening, detailed analysis of the offshore outsourcing phenomenon, and exposes the underlying core values of America's economic and political system. Ultimately, the trend of knowledge jobs heading overseas is a dangerous one. The United States is setting themselves up for long-term pain when we don't have the skills to lead the world's economy any more. It doesn't matter how much a multinational company saves with cheap labor if the US job market is made up of low wage jobs that can't buy anything but the essentials.
"Offshoring IT is compelling and technologically well-informed. It's well-researched, and heavily annotated with tons of third-party references and government data." -- Bruce Hadley, softwareCEO.com
376 pages, Apress, September 2003, ISBN-10: 1590592344
Takes an unflinching, no bullsh*t look at behavioral problems in the software engineering industry, shedding much-needed light on the social forces that make it difficult for programmers to do their job. Do you have a co-worker who perpetually writes bad code that you are forced to clean up? This is your book. While there are plenty of books on the market that cover debugging and short-term workarounds for bad code, Reverend Bill Blunden takes a revolutionary step beyond them by bringing our attention to the underlying illnesses that plague the software industry as a whole.
"I think the following quote from the introduction sums up the tone of the book nicely: 'Rather than shield your eyes from the sordid realities of the software industry, I am going to dust off my old 8mm films and let you take a good look at the uncensored truth for yourself. You may want to keep a paper bag handy in case you get sick.'" -- Mark Burroughs, Slashdot Review
368 pages, McGraw-Hill Professional, May 2003, ISBN-10: 0071416382
With short, step-by-step tutorials, this book moves smoothly from explaining basic theory to designing and implementing high-level subsystems. Background material is presented in a way that will appeal to novice engineers, but the sophisticated approach will make advanced developers feel right at home. The companion CD contains source code for original implementation, in addition to system management utilities.
360 pages, Wordware Publishing, October 2002, ISBN-10: 1556223471
Presents several concrete implementations of garbage collection and explicit memory management algorithms. Every implementation is complemented by an in-depth presentation of theory, followed by benchmark tests, a complete listing of C/C++ source code, and a discussion of each implementation's trade-offs.
668 pages, Wordware Publishing, February 2002, ISBN-10: 1556229038
The book begins with a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of the author's HEC virtual machine and its fundamental design goals, and continues with a section on the implementation of the virtual machine and its debugger. The final section focuses on the HEC assembler, including its interface to the native operating system, interrupts, the assembly language, and how to implement object-oriented constructs. There is also an extended discussion of porting the HEC virtual machine to other platforms. To assist in accomplishing this goal, the author offers a critical path analysis of the development process so that readers can build both their own virtual machine.