Trump's Private Security Weak

Newsletter: Prez Needs Better Security & Chinese Twitter Has More Users!

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.”  ~ Jodi Rell


THE PRESIDENT NEEDS TO AMP UP CYBER SECURITY ON PRIVATE PROPERTIES!

THE STORY

ProPublica and Gizmodo Investigators does a security evaluation of Trump’s properties and find them severely lacking in cybersecurity.

TELL ME MORE!

The President of the United States might be busy securing his nations from illegal immigrants and terrorists but his private properties are not so safe! ProPublica, the self-described nonprofit, investigative journalism organization conducted an operation along with technology website Gizmodo to evaluate security levels on 4 such properties including Mar-a-Lago. The results were far from satisfactory. The investigation in fact revealed that ‘any half decent hacker can get into Mar-a-Lago’.

WHAT DID THE INVESTIGATORS FIND OUT?

“Our inspections found weak and open Wi-Fi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software, and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information,” wrote the investigative team.

Specifically, in case of Mar-a- Lago, believed to be dubbed by Trump as his “second White House”, the team didn’t even need to enter the grounds to find out the lax. A boat was parked 800 feet away and an antenna pointed towards the club. The team surmised that “it would have been child’s play to slip past the feeble electronic defenses of the president’s home away from home”.

Two other properties that were found vulnerable by Pro Publica include two Trump National Golf Clubs in Bedminster, New Jersey and Sterling, Virginia, as well as Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

And it is not just ProPublica who have been ‘intruding’. According to Dave Aitel, CEO of digital security firm Immunity, Inc “Those networks all have to be crawling with foreign intruders, not just ProPublica.”

BUT RESORTS USUALLY DON’T HAVE HEAVY DUTY SECURITY…

While hotels, golf courses and resorts aren’t exactly known for their ironclad security systems, the situation shifts when they are places frequented by the president of the United States. Trump himself carries a portable set of secure communications equipment when he travels, but oodles of sensitive information flows through the public networks.

~Excerpt from Sputnik

The White House, however, takes its security very seriously. It has strictly limited Wi-Fi signals that can only be accessed from inside the building, meaning that someone hoping to glean the content of closed-door meetings would need to physically sneak into the White House. Pity, that is not the case of Mar-a-Lago, or the golf courses or hotel.

Mr. President sure needs to take his personal security a little more seriously!


 ‘CHINESE TWITTER’ HAS MORE USERS THAN ITS ORIGINAL COUNTERPART

THE STORY

Weibo, China’s very own microblogging site has more user count than the original Twitter.

WHEN WAS CHINESE TWITTER CREATED?

Weibo was launched in 2009. The idea was to create a microblogging site for China as Twitter is blocked in the country. As of March this year, Weibo had 340 million monthly active users as against Twitter’s 328 million total users!                A lot of other foreign platforms such as Facebook and Google too are banned from China. But this is probably the first time that a local version of such a platform has recorded more users than their original versions. For the curious cats, Baidu is China’s answer to Google.  And WeChat is the equivalent of WhatsApp.

HOW ACTIVELY DO THE CHINESE USE THE INTERNET?

According to CNet, “China has seen masses flocking to the internet in recent years, with the China Internet Network Information Centre reporting 731 million people — more than twice the US population — connected to the internet as of December last year. As the penetration number is only a little more than half of China’s population at 53.2 percent, it is expected to grow.”

The success of WeChat put a lot of pressure on Weibo to make the numbers matter. Weibo made clever strategic moves in the past by making partnerships that helped the platform in hosting several new functions. Many of these functionalities go beyond those of Twitter.

In 2014, e-commerce giant Alibaba, which owns a 31.4% stake of Weibo, helped boost the platform’s e-commerce capabilities with the introduction of “Weibo Payment”, enabling users to shop online using the service.

HOW IS THE ORIGINAL TWITTER FARING THEN?

TBH, not so good. The number of people actively using Twitter has continued to rise by about 6% each month, but in April it revealed that its revenue from advertising had fallen by almost 8% in the space of a year. Recently, Twitter had announced that it will be partnering with Bloomberg TV to host live video streaming to boost its chances of earning revenue.

For the time-being Weibo seems to be doing a lot better than its inspiration!

 

Gargi Sengupta

Gargi is working with Systweak Software as Content Editor and Strategist. She believes Technology laced with Pop Culture, makes for an interesting combination. Beyond her work space, she fancies herself as a left-brained, right leaning conscientious individual with a weakness for good food, films, and fiction.

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