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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Moscow Accuses Ukraine of Electronic Attack on Satellite

Russia is accusing Ukraine of conducting an electronic attack on an orbiting communications satellite and is threatening unspecified retaliation as cyber warfare between the two states heats up over the crisis in Crimea.

Russia’s Ministry of Communications and Mass Media revealed Saturday that an electronic attack against a Russian television satellite was traced to Ukraine.

“Appropriate services have detected the exact location of the source in Ukraine’s territory,” the ministry said, according to state-run ITAR-TASS news agency.

The Russian ministry said the attempt to use “radio-electronic war means against a Russian relay satellite” violated the 1992 International Telecommunication Union charter.

A second Russian state-controlled news agency, Interfax, reported that the Ukrainians attempted to “decay” the orbit of the communications satellite. No details were provided. Some communications satellites can maneuver based on ground signals and apparently the unidentified source of the electronic attack sought to command the satellite to lower its orbit in an attempt to have it reenter the atmosphere and burn up.

‪James Oberg, a specialist on space issues, said there have been reports in the past of satellites being pirated by non-government groups for political purposes.

‪“Taking over a satellite to fire its engine and alter its orbit is an entirely different challenge and I know of no examples, nor do I expect any,” Oberg said in an email.

‪Oberg said one explanation for the Russian government statement about the satellite disruption is that it may have been an attempt by someone to fool the Russians into thinking the satellite’s orbit had changed and thus create confusion and mistrust of the data it is relaying.

‪“But here, as in all effective tactics, the target is the enemy’s decision loop, not his hardware,” he said.

“The people behind this decision should consider the consequences,” the Russian ministry warned Ukraine.

Disclosure of the satellite attack comes as both nations reported cyber attacks against government and non-government websites as the first phase of a new Cold War between Russia and Ukraine. The countries are currently embroiled in a conflict over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and Russia’s announced annexation of Crimea following a controversial independence referendum.

Ukrainian government spokesmen and cyber security analysts reported that Ukrainian websites in recent days were subject of sophisticated cyber attacks using malicious software called Snake. The software appears to originate from a nation state, leading to suspicions that Russia was behind the attack.

Snake software gives users covert capabilities to conduct cyber espionage in foreign computers and also can be used to conduct sabotage ranging from disabling networks to destroying data and hardware.

NATO’s Brussels headquarters reported experiencing a distributed denial of service attack on several public websites that was believed to be related to the Ukraine crisis. A NATO spokesman said the cyber attack did not disrupt operations of the military alliance. Distributed denial of service cyber attacks are sophisticated strikes that flood websites with requests using pirated computers that force systems to shut down.

Vice Adm. Mike Rogers, the nominee to be next commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, told Congress last week that Russia was conducting cyber attacks against Ukraine. “We clearly see that there’s an ongoing cyber element to the challenges in the Ukraine at the moment,” the three-star admiral told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Rogers declined to provide specifics of the Russian cyber attacks but acknowledged that Moscow had developed very sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities and could inflict significant damage on Ukraine’s critical infrastructures, such as government and military communications networks and telecommunications networks.

He warned that “clearly cyber will be an element of almost any crisis we’re going to see in the future,” Ukraine’s government reported last week that several websites were affected by the cyber attacks, including the website of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council that was shut down March 4.

Apparent retaliatory attacks were launched against Russia on Friday. Reports in state-run media described the attacks as “powerful” and affecting the operations of the presidential administration website and Russia’s central bank.

A senior Air Force commander warned Congress last week of the growing threat to satellites from an array of attacks, including electronic jamming, cyber attacks, and anti-satellite missiles.

China demonstrated an anti-satellite missile in January 2007, destroying an orbiting weather satellite that left tens of thousands of pieces of debris floating in space.

Air Force Gen. William Shelton, commander of the Air Force Space Command, told a Senate hearing Wednesday that space warfare threats are increasing.

“Counterspace developments by potential adversaries are varied and include everything from jamming to kinetic kill anti-satellite weapons,” Shelton said in prepared remarks.

Electronic jammers capable of disrupting Global Positioning Satellites used in navigation and precision guidance for weapons are “widely available” as are satellite communications jammers.

“Also, some nations have developed and successfully demonstrated anti-satellite weapon capabilities which could threaten our satellites in times of conflict,” Shelton said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. “Unfortunately, all projections indicate these threatening capabilities will become more robust and proliferated, and they will be operational on a shorter than predicted timeline.”

Under questioning, Shelton said U.S. missiles and spacecraft are vulnerable to attack.

“Yes, sir. We are going system by system, looking at our cyber vulnerabilities. And we have a large information assurance program that gets into those vulnerabilities and patches them and tries to prevent access. In many cases, these are closed systems. That doesn’t mean there aren’t vulnerabilities, but they are closed systems, not accessible through the Internet. So it would take insiders, special access, those kinds of things, to get to these closed networks. But nevertheless, we’re addressing all those touch points, if you will, in closing off those vulnerabilities best we can.”

Shelton said in January that satellite jammers are a “cheap and effective way of blocking our signals from space” and lasers “can blind our imaging systems, and in the future, they could prove destructive to our satellites.”

“Direct attack weapons, like the Chinese anti-satellite system, can destroy our space systems,” Shelton said.

Credit to Washington Free Beacon

Sodom and Gomorrah 2.0

The human race is going for the third strike.....

Genesis 6... STRIKE ONE

Then the Lord[b] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and thatevery intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So theLord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Genesis 13... Strike TWO

13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord.

TODAY... Strike Three

Celente: Sanctions against Russia over Crimea are toothless

What Would YOU Tell a 22 Year Old About the New World Order?

question authority 2
This morning I received an email that got my attention from a 22 year old named Frank. Frank is trying to get his mind wrapped around the New World Order and what it means to his family and himself. He expressed a real sense of foreboding.
Getting an email of this type is not common as I usually hear from people who are over 40. Therefore, I think this is a real opportunity to reach out and touch this young person whose world is crumbling before his very eyes along with any future opportunities.
 I wrote Frank back a short response. I would like to follow up with a longer response based upon the best pieces of advice that I can solicit from the over 40 crowd. Please read Frank’s email and get back to me with what you would tell Frank and I will write to him again with a composite of the most salient suggestions on what a 22 year old can do in order to proactively participate in the fight.
On 3/17/2014 9:47 AM, Frank ____  wrote:
My name is Frank ___,

I read your article today, and I have been trying for the 
last couple of months to deny the conspiracy theories, but 
the more I ignore it, the more I see stuff, the more I get drawn back in. 
I'm 22 years old, and a tad bit terrified, haha, to say the least of the world 
and where it's headed.I'm scared for my family, Mr. Hodges. 

My question is, should we be preparing for martial law? A revolution? 
With  their technology, is it even worth it? I'd like to discuss these 
matters more,if that's alright with you. I've never heard of you before, 
but you are a brother to the human race, who is trying to make a difference, 
all the more reason
 to trust you. Thanks. Frank

                         My Response

Hi Frank,

Thanks for your note. We need the young people to develop an awareness
 of what is going on in the world, so they can  work towards a solution. After  
all, it is your world that is being destroyed. 

Make no mistake about it, the NWO means you harm. To do nothing is to
give in! Turn your fear into action!

The destruction of your world has been planned for a long time. See the 
book cover below of HG Wells and his prophecies for the NWO. They are 
frighteningly accurate. 

   new world order hg wells\
Getting your guns, ammo, food, water and developing neighborhood 
alliances are all essential. If you can move out of the city, even better.  

The NWO technology is daunting, as you pointed out, so we will need help
from the military. Here is where you come in, Frank. You need to wake up 
every  20 something year-old to what you know. We are getting to fight a war 
and I believe there is going to be a draft. Your generation will be used by
the bankers to fatten their wallets while young people like you are 
slaughtered by the millions.  I do not want to frighten you, but time is of 
the essence and I suspect that you know this, or you would not have 
contacted  me. 

Start with things that you know are a person's hot buttons. Show them how 
they are being impacted by the NWO. For every 20 people you speak with, 
you will probably reach one, maybe two. Be prepared that some will make 
fun of you. Some will not want anything to do with you. You have to be 
prepared to deal with this. 

question authority

In your efforts to wake up other young people. Get them to subscribe to 
twitter feeds, most activists have them, because this is the communication
tool of most 20 something year-olds. But, then again, you already knew that!

Go lightly in your presentation, and get them to read some of the
columnists that you trust and that are easy reads that make it simple to 
understand the issues. 

Chances are, your family will be the last ones to believe you. 

Stay away from political parties because they are all compromised as are 
most churches, especially the tax exempt churches. 

Once you have that one person convinced as to the dangers we all face, let 
them know they have a responsibility to do the same as you are in waking 
people up to the dangers that we face. 

You asked about a civil war or revolution. It could happen. However, the 
military is hesitant to act because if they do not feel they have the support 
of the people, they will not act.  No civil war can succeed without the people. 
The more you convince people, the more likely the military is to help us and 
offset the technological advantage of the NWO.

I think it is better to die on your feet than bent over on your knees. This 
is something that we have control over. And if we wake up enough people, 
it may not come down to that. 

Above all else, get right with Jesus. God can work miracles if we are of the
right spirit. We are falling far short on that point at the present moment. 

If I can assist you in your journey towards liberty, do not hesitate to contact 
me again. I am certain that we will communicate with each other in the 
near future. 

Until then....

God Bless,

Dave Hodges
The Common Sense Show

Ukraine and Syria Will Both Fall to Putin

russian paratroopers 2
Why has Russia agreed to a cease fire until March 21st, just three days from now? Why has Putin been so audacious as to threaten to turn the United States into radioactive ash? The latter fact was reported by Dmitri Kiselyov, a television news broadcaster on state-owned station Russia One television. This can only be considered a direct warning, or threat, by Russia to the US.
I have firsthand experience with the Russian media (i.e. Voice of Russia) and I can accurately state that nothing of a controversial nature goes out over the Russian media without state-sanctioned approval. Putin probably wrote the press release himself.

Sizing Up the Combatants

Russia has a minimum of 80,000 troops and 285 tanks poised off of Ukraine’s eastern border ready to cross and seize Ukraine. Meanwhile, Poland has mobilized its forces, but that move is merely defensive. Nearby Belarus is hoping not to get caught in the crossfire and they will stay out of the coming conflict.
Ukraine has called up 40,000 reservists to supplement its 120,000 man army. This is just enough of a military force to increase business for Ukrainian mortuaries.
Russia has the support of another 100,000 troops in Crimea. An estimated 20,000 can participate in the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian naval aircraft coverage, in Crimea, can offer cover for an invasion.  Russian paratroopers can be deployed in 30-60 minutes after takeoff from Crimea’s seized the previously seized airports. Ukraine has no defense for the Russian paratrooper forces poised to attack from Crimea.
The Russians are already engaging in a series of probing maneuvers into Ukraine. It looks more like the Russians are trying to provoke a Ukrainian military reaction by a frightened military battlefield commander and then the Russians will have their pretext to invade. Most military analysts that I know state that Russia will carve up Ukraine in a three pronged attack which will take about three days to complete, with isolated pockets of Ukrainian resistant lasting a bit longer if Ukraine has the stomach for the fight, which many analysts question.
The Ukrainians also have private armies totaling and estimated 20-30,000 troops which protect Ukrainian oligarchs. Reportedly, the Russians are already working at bribing these troops to lay down their arms and the oligarchs will be left alone.
If the oligarchs knew their Russian history, they would not think about laying down their arms. Former Russian officers, in Moscow, were told by the Bolshevik revolutionaries to turn in their guns and they would be left alone during the Red Revolution. All of the officers who did so, were executed on the spot. This is a consistent theme in world history with regard to gun confiscation (are you listening residents of America?). If the oligarchs decided to fight a guerrilla war similar to the Mujahedeen (al CIA-aeda) did in Afghanistan, the Russian consolidation of its holdings in Ukraine, particularly it natural gas shipments through the country would be imperiled with nearly 6-8 weeks of winter of left in Europe. This insurgency force is the ONLY hope that Obama has in mounting any kind of meaningful resistance.
Putin cannot allow an oligarchy guerrilla force to be established and fully-equipped by the CIA as we saw in Afghanistan, Libya and later Syria. Putin is going to act quickly and decisively. It is likely that this three day truce window contains a negotiation process between the FSB and the oligarchs who could be offered a piece of the natural gas pipeline pie in exchange for standing down.
Could such a force hold out until NATO forces could invade an already occupied Ukraine? Maybe, but it is a moot point. Putin will never allow time for an insurgency force to be readied. Again, this is why Putin has promised only 3 more days of cease fire. In these three days, the Russians are determining their most likely pockets of resistance and are planning accordingly.
The time is growing near, the Russians are taking off their proverbial gloves and the fight is about to commence, perhaps as early as this weekend.

Putin Employs JFK’s Cuban Missile Crisis Strategy

Do you remember your 1962 history as Russian naval forces were sailing towards Cuba after JFK had established a naval blockade around Cuba? As the Russians approached the firing line, JFK contracted the circle of the blockade and gave the Russians time to think about their options. ICBM nuclear missiles lie in wait in the silos as American forces were on the highest alert. After the Americans contracted their blockade line, the Russians had a political decision to make. Did they really want to trigger World War III?
Ironically, Putin is taking a page out of the American playbook from 1962. Putin has given the Americans a little more time to think about their course of action. Similar to JFK, he has contracted his “blockade line” so to speak. He has extended Obama, or whatever bankster is pulling his strings, 72 more hours to make a decision on far the Americans are willing to go to try and coerce Ukraine into joining the European Union (EU). All the signs are there which suggest that Putin is not going to allow the Ukrainians more time to prepare a Taliban type of defense. He is not going to allow the massing of NATO ships off of Crimea before invading.
ukraine will be overwhelmedPutin is an ex-KGB Colonel, that subsequently morphed into the brutal Russian mafia, and he will not posture. It is not in his nature. Unlike Obama, he is determined and focused. Putin knows exactly what he is doing. Compromise is not Putin’s nature. He is willing to go to war in order to build his Eurasian empire out of the ashes of the former Soviet Union. By this time next week, the military control over the Ukraine could be all but over.

What About the American Rapid Response Forces?

After 9/11, President Bush did put 10,000 boots on the ground, relatively quickly in Afghanistan. He forced capitulation from Pakistan in support of the Afghan mission. The Americans could and did establish a foothold in the country. So, why can’t the same be done in Ukraine? When I raised this question with my military sources, they all scoffed at the question.
In 2001, the enemy in Afghanistan was a bunch of armed drug dealers who were not as powerful as a national guard unit in Montana. The Americans had control of the air and the Americans faced no mechanized forces in Afghanistan. The Russians, at this point in time control the air, the nearby sea adjacent to Crimea and they have a powerful mechanized force. Any rapid deployment force inserted into Ukraine, without the support of tactical nuclear weapons, would not sizeable enough to oppose the Russians and would be crushed in less than a week.

NATO’s Response Window

Just how soon could the Americans and their NATO allies be able to successfully oppose the Russians in Ukraine with resorting to nuclear weapons?  The earliest it is estimated that the Americans could be deployed in a meaningful manner would be in late June/early July. The Russian military is not the Taliban. Deployment of hostile forces in Ukraine would be opposed by Putin.
My military sources claims that NATO cannot be ready to meaningfully oppose the Russians in Ukraine until as late as July is bolstered by the following information.

Operation Trident

Operation Rapid Trident (2014) is a very large, USAREUR-led multinational military exercise scheduled for July and according to my military sources is still very much alive.   
The Trident exercise is to be headquartered in Lviv, Ukraine, near the Polish border. The exercise is a cooperative endeavor between Ukraine and other NATO nations. No doubt that the mere existence of this military exercise pushed Putin to act when he did. Again, Obama and the CIA’s triggering of the coup in Ukraine which led to the ouster of the Russian friendly government, happened to quickly and it gave Putin time to act to prevent NATO any meaningful opportunity to consolidate its forces.

Putin’s Timetable 

Ex- KGB Colonel Putin needs less than a week to subdue Ukraine
First, Russian commandos will take down the power grid of airports and and surrounding towns and villages. This will cause mass confusion among Ukraine’s military. Ukrainian military communications will be immediately taken out. Almost immediately, Russian paratroopers and helicopters will be deployed to Ukraine’s airports and seize the runways under the cover of early morning darkness. Subsequently, Ukrainian military forces will scarcely know what has hit them. Two of the military strategists that I spoke with think the airports will be seized with a minimal amount of fighting. The seizing of the airports will mark a quick end for Ukraine’s military resistance.
By the morning of the first day, heavy mechanized equipment will be landed in the seized airports, under the protection of the Russian Air Force, and will link up with the Russian paratroopers holding the airports. Simultaneously, the Russian mechanized forces will cross Ukraine’s eastern border and fan out in three directions and immediately seize the major cities. Russians will invade Ukraine’s southern underbelly, from Crimea from two directions to prevent retreat and consolidation of Ukraine’s forces.
It is likely Ukraine will be overwhelmed and fighting will be kept at a minimum. And what about the potential insurgency forces coming from the ranks of the private armies? The chances are is that they have already been bribed by Putin. Ukraine is about to be carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey and there is not a thing that Obama can do about it. Any Ukrainian military defense against a Russian invasion will make Obamacare look well-organized by comparison. Game over!
An invasion of the Eastern third of Ukraine could provoke a missile response from NATO because of the proximity to NATO member nations. This could trigger WW III.
An invasion of the Eastern third of Ukraine could provoke a missile response from NATO because of the proximity to NATO member nations. This could trigger WW III.

The Loss of Ukraine Is the Least of America’s Problems

The only viable option left to Obama is to invade Syria when Russia invades Ukraine.
The loss of Ukraine as a potential member of the EU is the least of Obama’s worries. My sources tell me that the Russians are showing signs of planning to make Syria, America’s next Vietnam. The Russians have been stepping up their support for Assad. The Russians expect the Americans to attack Syria as the result a contrived false flag event in which Syria is blamed and American military intervention is called for (the missing Malaysian airliner?). The Russians probably expect this event take place when they invade Ukraine.
In a case of Obama playing a bad game of checkers when Putin is playing chess, Putin will take steps to collapse the dollar if America invades Syria. This will be subject of the next installment on this topic. Russia’s strategy may actually have been revealed in a recent Hollywood movie and in one of the Call of Duty games.  
I have said this many times before my fellow Americans, if you do not have guns, ammunition, food and water, you needed to start gathering, yesterday. All signs point to the time being very short with regard to waltzing down to your supermarket to buy eggs and milk.

Ukraine IMF Inside Job

Sen. McCain: Ukraine Needs U.S. Military Aid After Crimea Vote
The Crimean referendum on joining Russia is a “done deal,” and the U.S. should focus on pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin and providing military assistance to Ukraine, Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

Mr. McCain, after returning from a visit to Ukraine, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the U.S. needs a “fundamental reassessment of our relationship with Vladimir Putin.”

The Arizona Republican said economic sanctions against Russia are important, as well as “military assistance to Ukrainians at least so they can defend themselves.” Military assistance should take the form of humanitarian supplies for Kiev and other forms of aid, but not American boots on the ground, he said.

“We need to give long-term military assistance … because god knows what Vladimir Putin will do next,” Mr. McCain said. Credit to WSJ

Credit to Nunez Report

The evolution of biometrics on campus

A wide variety of identification and authentication technologies are well entrenched at universities nationwide, and it seems biometrics is starting to make noise on campuses where speed and security are both needed.

Hand geometry readers have been fairly common on campus for years but more recent deployments are leveraging fingerprint and even iris biometrics to link students with transactions. Physical access is the hallmark biometric application but the technology has been gaining popularity in food service and other sectors to expedite transactions.

The social stigma attached to biometrics is also being lifted, as students are becoming more comfortable with the technology, says Brian Adoff, executive vice president at NuVision. The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner on the latest iPhone is just one indication that the younger generation is comfortable with biometrics.

“Administrators have a greater fear of the technology than students,” says Bob Lemley, director of software development at the CBORD Group. “Students are growing up with the technology so they don’t think about it as much as the older generations.”


Georgia Southern University can attest to that fact. The school deployed iris biometrics at its dining hall and only two students out of 5,400 refused to enroll, says Richard Wynn, director of the university’s Eagle Card Program.

The impetus for deploying iris at Georgia Southern was the construction of a new dining hall and the addition of a new meal plan structure, Wynn explains. When the new facility opened in the fall, the meal plans became all access, enabling students to go into the dining hall as many times as they wanted. The previous plan required students purchase a set number of meals per week, and cashiers swiped student IDs to grant or deny access.

“With the new meal plan, Georgia Southern wanted a self-service system for students that would also be hygienic,” Wynn says. Biometrics seemed an obvious solution, specifically the iris modality because students simply look at a specific spot and do not touch anything.

Wynn identified a number of solutions with the desired sub-second response time, but most were too expensive. Readers from Iris ID, however, were in line with campus expectations. It cost the school $35,000 to outfit five lanes in two facilities, where comparable solutions could have cost $40,000 per lane, Wynn says.

Next, Wynn had to figure out how to integrate the iris system with the Blackboard Transact campus card system. After different attempts at a workaround, the school decided to use the Wiegand output from the iris cameras to instruct a physical access door controller to signal a red light or green light.

The next issue Georgia Southern had to conquer was enrolling the students in the system without disrupting current processes, Wynn says. The school issues campus IDs during orientation, distributing as many as 350 cards in just two hours. That time frame was already tight so the iris enrollment had to be squeezed in to an already compressed period.

“After taking photos there’s a 20 to 30 second window while the card is printing and the student is waiting,” Wynn explains. “Now we use that time to enroll them into the iris system before the card falls into the hopper.”

As for using the system on a day-to-day basis, it’s gone well, Wynn says. Students walk up to the camera, look at a spot on the device from a foot or two away and are verified in less than two seconds. Since its deployment in August, the iris system has successfully processed more than 375,000 transactions.

For the most part the system has worked very well with one of the only issues being students with dirty glasses, Wynn says. “Spots on the glasses and strong prescriptions can interfere with authentication,” he adds.

Other campus entities are considering the iris system as well. The student rec center has a fingerprint system for access and is considering a switch so students won’t have to enroll in more than one system. The data center and other high-security facilities are also considering iris for physical access.

Georgia Southern’s ID card already supported prox and mag stripe so why didn’t the school use one of those existing technologies for access to the dining halls instead of adding another technology? The university wanted to tie the identifier to the student rather than simply to the card, Wynn says. “You know it’s that person with the biometric,” he adds.
Boston University goes with fingerprints

At Boston University’s Marciano Commons, fingerprint scanners are used in conjunction with the school’s contactless ID cards. Serving more than 5,000 meals daily, the new location’s six points of entry are controlled by turnstiles that combine the campus card and biometric fingerprint technologies.

University officials say that the inspiration behind the use of biometrics was the prevention of meal plan sharing between students. Boston University uses CBORD’s CS Gold campus card system and HID Global’s iCLASS contactless cards for functions including meal plan management, access control, payments and privilege verification.

The biometric data is stored exclusively on the cards and is never logged in a backend database. The use of the biometric is an opt-in function so students who wish to forgo the fingerprint capture–an uncommon choice thus far–can simply present their card to the cashier at the gate for further verification.

The new turnstiles are simple to operate. Students first present their card to the turnstile reader and are then prompted to present their finger for biometric authentication.

The bioCLASS reader from HID Global then interacts with CS Gold’s access control module to determine that the card’s biometric template matches the presented sample and that the user has enough meals remaining on their plan to complete the transaction. Provided the above conditions are met, the turnstile opens and grants access to the hungry student–a process that takes just seconds.

“Students love the biometric solution and they know it is cutting edge,” says Marc Robillard, BU’s Executive Director of Auxiliary Services. “We had very little pushback, especially since all the biometric data is stored on the card rather than in a database. By and large, they love the speed and convenience of biometrics.”
Winthrop trials biometrics for variety of applications
Winthrop University rolled out iris biometrics in the fall and is capturing the data from all incoming students as it contemplates expanding use of the security technology. The university’s 6,170 students will begin testing the iris scanners at an on-campus pre-school where the university’s education majors are trained, says John Hammond, associate vice president for information technology at Winthrop.

The identities of parents and guardians will be verified using the technology when they pick up their children. Winthrop officials did review other options before going with iris, Hammond says. ID cards were dismissed because there were concerns about parents and guardians having to carry them all the time.

The system is also deployed for access at the Carroll Capital Markets Training & Trading Center, a mock high-tech trading floor on campus. Students can use their iris to scan into the facility.

Fingerprint was considered but the university had previous experience with the modality and wasn’t pleased with the results. There were also hygiene concerns with a fingerprint modality. Iris had always intrigued Hammond but he had assumed it was too expensive. “But then we saw the price went down,” he says.

Winthrop found positive results with iris readers from Iris ID, but there was integration required to make it work with the existing campus card and physical access control systems. The Weigand output didn’t integrate with Winthrop’s systems so a programmer on staff had to work to make it match up, says Hammond.

Another programmer worked to ensure the information housed in the database was the same format as the card access system. “The card access system thinks you’re using a card but it’s actually using the iris,” he explains.

Enrollment stations are operational in the card office, Hammond says. Parents and guardians are enrolling so when the system goes live in the fall, it can be used right away. Winthrop is also enrolling anyone that comes into the card office for any type of maintenance as well as all incoming freshmen to prepare for future uses.

To enroll, individuals stand 12 to 14-inches away from the scanner and look into a mirror. An LED inside let’s the subject know when they’re in the correct position and the scanner captures the image to create the template, Hammond says.

While the scanners will initially be in the lab school only, Hammond envisions other uses including residence hall and rec center access where it is inconvenient to carry an ID card to work out or swim.

The Chemistry Department has also approached Hammond about using the scanner for physical access in some of their areas. This application would be a combination of security–making sure the unauthorized don’t have access to chemicals–and convenience because students would be wearing gloves and often have their hands full when trying to access a door.

Winthrop isn’t mandating that everyone enroll in the system. There have been about 10 people who haven’t wanted to participate because of personal beliefs. “For people who decline to participate we’re telling them that access to some services might not be as convenient,” Hammond explains. “They might have to be buzzed in or wait a little longer.”

The main criticism of the system has been cost, Hammond notes. The iris cameras are around $2,500 per door whereas a magnetic stripe reader is a fraction of that. “We believe it’s justified with the added security and convenience,” he adds.
Biometrics expanding on campus
Biometrics in high-security areas using multi-factor authentication for physical access is not new on campus; nor is the technology’s deployment for niche applications like rec center access. But additional everyday uses are being considered more often, says Kent Pawlak, director of product strategy at Blackboard. “In the last few years the use of biometrics for convenience has taken off and I think we’ll see more of that,” he adds.

The recreation center is a prime example of a convenient use of biometrics, an example that is being followed by some major fitness chains that have also deployed fingerprint sensors for access to their facilities. The use of identification technology in the food service arena, however, is less about convenience than protecting a valuable asset, Pawlak says. “There are more unlimited meal plans out there and greater concern for sharing ID cards,” he explains.

Classroom attendance is another application that could leverage biometrics, says NuVision’s Adoff. Trade schools that have hourly requirements are using biometrics to keep track of attendance rather than requiring students to swipe an ID. It also prevents a fellow student from swiping another student’s ID card.

There are also the high-security areas, where biometrics has long been used. Some campuses have labs that may store nuclear materials and the Department of Energy requires three-factor authentication for those facilities, says CBORD’s Lemley.

Also bolstering adoption is the increased reliability and accuracy of biometrics. “Biometrics is mature enough and you can get the speed you need with the reliability and low false rejection rates,” Pawlak says.

The algorithms that run the system are also faster, says Lemley. The systems can perform checks on larger databases quicker so students aren’t waiting for the system to respond.
Privacy and biometrics
Not storing an image but a template

It is a common refrain that biometrics are well received on campus because students are comfortable with new technology.

It also helps, however, to explain that systems aren’t storing images of a fingerprint, iris or other body part. Rather mathematical representations, or templates, are created and the actual image is never stored in the system. When an individual is enrolled into a biometric system–no matter the modality–the algorithm picks out a select number of points and then translates that into a mathematical template.

That information is typically encrypted and rechecked when a user attempts to authenticate to the system at the time of service delivery.

There are several advantages to using a biometric template instead of an image. For one, they are smaller in size and make it easier to store biometric information on a smart card or other memory-restricted system. Additionally, it ensures that an actual image could not be reverse-engineered from a compromised or stolen template.
Combating biometric spoofing
Spoofing is an attempt to defeat a biometric system through the introduction of fake biometric samples. Common spoofs include photos of face or iris, latent fingerprints, artificial fingers, and voice recordings. There are several categories of anti-spoofing approaches commonly used in biometric deployments.

Attended, supervised sample collection
By placing a human watcher at the point of biometric sample collection–such as a border control agent at an entry point–spoofing attempts can be made more complicated. In most cases, however, this is an unpractical and cost prohibitive approach.

Challenge and response procedures
With certain modalities, the specifics of the sample can be customized and changed at the collection point. Facial recognition systems can randomly ask for changes in face characteristics, for example smile and alter gaze or direction.

Liveness detection
Making sure a biometric sample is from a living, breathing human being is a key tool in the prevention of spoofing. Techniques for liveness detection vary from modality to modality and vendor to vendor. Iris and face vendors look for subtle, often involuntary movements that occur in human samples.

There are a number of different approaches fingerprint vendors take to ensure that the biometric is not coming from a plastic mold or other spoof. Some look below the surface of the skin to detect the presence of tissue, veins or other features. Others look for the naturally occurring pulsation, electric conductivity, radio waves, perspiration, heat or other byproducts of live tissue.
Iris biometrics: A primer
Iris biometric systems have typically been deployed in high-security environments, such as airports, data centers and border control areas. Early iris systems required the user to be just inches from the camera in order to authenticate.

The technology has since improved, enabling users to authenticate from as much as six feet away. These systems are deployed at airports across the Middle East to spot individuals who may not be welcome in certain countries. The technology is also catching on in the U.S. and other Western countries where military bases, corporate centers and government offices are utilizing iris for secure, convenient authentication.

One issue with iris has been it’s high cost, especially compared to fingerprint scanners. When comparing iris systems, with the greater distance comes increased cost. Typically, devices with shorter reach are less costly and thus more likely to be the choice of universities and convenience-focused applications.

Credit to CR80

Ukraine moves troops to the Russian border

Ukraine Crisis Leading To Global Economic Reset

Putin Formally Annexes Crimea, City Of Sevastopol To Russian Federation

And there it is:

And the inevitable conclusion:
The Kremlin's official statement, google translated:
Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the adoption of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea and the formation of the Russian Federation signed new subjects March 18, 2014 in the Kremlin.

The document bears the signature of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin , President of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov , Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea Sergey Aksenov and chairman of the Coordinating Council on the organization of the Sevastopol city administration for Life Sevastopol Alexey Chaly .


Contract based on the freely expressed will of the peoples and voluntary obschekrymskom Crimea on a referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city March 16, 2014 , during which the people of Crimea decided to reunite with Russia.

Republic of Crimea is considered to be adopted in the Russian Federation from the date of signing the Agreement . Since the adoption of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea, the Russian Federation formed new entities - Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.

The text of the Agreement includes a preamble and ten articles which set out provisions relating to the adoption of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea and education in the Russian Federation new subjects , including provisions for the new territories of the Russian Federation , the citizenship of the population , public authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

Under the Treaty, since the adoption of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea education in the Russian Federation and new subjects to January 1, 2015 the transitional period during which resolved the issues of integration of new subjects of the Russian Federation in the economic, financial , credit and legal system of the Russian Federation , in the system of state authorities of the Russian Federation , as well as issues of military duty and military service in the territories of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city of federal significance.

Legislative and other normative legal acts of the Russian Federation within the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city of federal importance of the adoption of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea and education in the Russian Federation new subjects , unless otherwise provided by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Normative legal acts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol , Republic of Crimea and the city with special status of Sevastopol operate in the territories respectively of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city of federal significance until the end of the transition period or until the adoption of the relevant normative legal act of the Russian Federation and (or) the normative legal acts of the Republic Crimea, a normative legal act of the Russian Federation and (or) a normative legal act federal city of Sevastopol.

Normative legal acts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol , Republic of Crimea and the city with special status of Sevastopol, contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation shall not apply.

Treaty shall be ratified in accordance with Article 15 of the Federal Law "On International Treaties of the Russian Federation" and in accordance with Article 10 of the Treaty.
And the English version, notably shorter:
Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Executing the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the Admission of the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation and the Creation of New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation.

The document reads:

1. To approve the draft Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the Admission of the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation and the Creation of New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation.

2. To consider it expedient to sign the Agreement envisaged hereunder at the highest level.
And futures, stocks, and risk in general is soaring, sending the Kremlin precisely the message it needs to know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Perhaps if Russia had annexed all of Ukraine, or the Baltics, or maybe even Poland, the S&P would have soared over 2000 already?

Credit to Zero Hedge

Putin to Address Russian Parliament on Crimea Accession

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday will address an assembly of both houses of parliament, as well as heads of regions and representatives of public organizations about the request by Ukraine’s Crimea to become part of Russia, the Kremlin said Monday.

The referendum in the autonomous republic within Ukraine, which was held on Sunday amid an ongoing political crisis in the country, is at the center of the most serious geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

With 100 percent of the ballots counted, some 96.7 percent of voters in Crimea backed reunification with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine.

Crimea’s regional assembly, which ignored an order to dissolve itself by the Ukrainian parliament Saturday, plans to send a formal request to Moscow to join Russia on Monday.

The Russian parliament is expected to announce its decision on Crimea’s fate in the near future, the deputy speaker of the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said Monday.

Credit to RIA Novosti

Putin Strikes Back: Russia's Sanctions List Said To Include US Senators, High Ranking Administration Officials

Ever since the theatrical announcement of asset freezes and other related sanctions of various Putin aides, Russian military and pro-Russia Ukrainian leaders earlier today by both the US president and the EU, the nagging question was when and how would Vladimir Vladimirovich retaliate, with tomorrow's Putin address to the joint session of Parliament seeming as a probable time and place. It now appears that Putin's personal retaliation has been leaked in advance, and according to the Daily Beast's Josh Rogin, it will involve an in kind response where various US senators and highly placed officials will be banned from visiting Russia, and likely also see their particular assets - if any- in Russian custody promptly frozen.
From the Beast:
U.S. senators, congressmen and top Obama administration officials are sure to be on Vladimir Putin’s sanctions list; a response to the Obama Administration’s announcement on Monday that 7 Russian officials and 4 Ukrainian officials would be barred from holding assets or traveling to the United States.

Putin is expected to release his retaliation list as early as Tuesday and while the final list is still being crafted, it will include top Obama administration officials and high profile U.S. senators, in an effort to roughly mirror the U.S. sanctions against Russian officials and lawmakers, according to diplomatic sources. At the top of the list in Congress is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Durbin’s inclusion on Putin’s list would mirror Obama’s naming of Valentina Matvienko, the head of the upper chamber of the Russian Duma. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not expected to be on the Russian sanctions list.
Another person who will most certainly appears on the list is perpetual war hawk, and the person who responded to Putin's own Syrian near-war Op-Ed, John McCain.
"You think I’m not going to be on it?” McCain said. “I would be honored to be on that list.” McCain said he would not be impacted financially by being subject to a visa ban and asset freeze in the Russian Federation. "I guess I’m going to have to try to withdraw my money from my secret account in St. Petersburg,” he joked.
His sentiment mirrors that of Putin aide Surkov who earlier claimed to "being proud to be on U.S. black list" according to Interfax. Paradoxically, it is rapidly becoming a badge of honor to be named on the opposing nation's sanctions list, which instead of hurting those politicians - and as McCain said he hardly has a St. Petersburg account - it will raise their status in the eyes of the general public.
Of course, if and when the sanctions expand to include various oligarchs and/or mega corporations on either side of the border, the fallout would be far more dramatic should Russian billionaire owners of New York City penthouses or Los Angeles mansions be forced to liquidate their holdings, or if E&P companies in Russia suddenly find their assets partially nationalized. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.
Who else.
Other names that could be on the Russian sanctions list, although not confirmed, include Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who are leading the sanctions drive in the Senate, and Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, who has been heavily involved in working with the Ukrainian opposition that ousted the Yanokovich government.
Where it gets far more surreal is that the Beast reports that "one U.S. official who can rest easy is White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who will not be on Putin’s sanctions list. It's been an ongoing rumor in administration circles that Carney is quietly lobbying to replace former Ambassador Mike McFaul as the next U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, who will also not be on the list." Well if the US really wants to accelerate WWIII, it would indeed be best served by sending Carney to Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8.
To be sure, the initial round of escalations achieves nothing besides merely antagonizing the two sides further. In this case the Beast is correct when it says that "the tit for tat sanctions are not likely to convince either side to back down from their position over the Russian invasion of Crimea, McCain said.“If we acquiesced to that, that would be a green light for him to go for Moldova, where there are also Russian troops,” said McCain. “That’s the problem with this appeasement policy.”
So what could next steps look like?
McCain is advocating for a series of more serious steps, which include the immediate arming of the Ukrainian military, which the administration has rejected for now, promising to help the Ukrainian military develop over the long term, rethinking U.S. approaches to Putin, and restarting U.S. missile defense projects in Eastern Europe.

There are signs that Putin is preparing a scenario ahead of a possible invasion of Eastern Ukraine, including sending Russian intelligence agents inside Ukraine to stir up unrest as a pretext for a possible expansion of the invasion.

“I’m not sure about Eastern Ukraine, but Putin has put everything in place for a de facto partition of Eastern Ukraine,” he said. “Will he do it? I don’t know. But I don’t think he can be discouraged from that by these limited actions by the United States… We must commit to the ultimate return of Crimea to Ukraine, just as we promised to the so called captive that they would eventually be free of Soviet domination.”
Short of the nuclear option, literally, which would be to plant more anti-ballistic missiles in NATO countries bordering the former USSR states, there is one almost as serious alternative:
“Our actions today demonstrate our firm commitment to holding those responsible accountable for undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement. “We are thoroughly prepared to take increasing and responsive steps that would impose further political and economic costs.  At the same time, we want to be clear that a path of de-escalation remains available to the Russians, should they choose to use it."
And just as likely is Russia willing to take steps which would result in the complete liquidation of its $130 or so billion in US Treasurys and announcing it would transact in all currencies but the dollar going forward. Up to and including gold of course.
One thing is certain: while the Crimea referendum's outcome was priced in well in advance, we are now in completely uncharted waters, and the only question is which side will push the other just that extra inch too far, forcing disproportionate retaliation. Because if one thing has been made clear by now, it is that a crash in foreigner-owned Russian stocks, and not to mention the S&P, will hurt Obama far more than his Russian opponent.
Credit to Zero Hedge