Streetwise Professor

May 21, 2021

Media Delenda Est

Filed under: Energy,Politics — cpirrong @ 6:13 pm

Last week CNN ran a story on the Colonial Pipeline shutdown that claimed that Colonial had not paid a ransom to the ransomware attackers. According to CNN, based on four anonymous sources, the hackers had exfiltrated data from Colonial’s billing system, but that the cyber response team had located the data on a server in the US, and prevented the data being sent outside the US, thereby eliminating the need to pay ransom.

I called bullshit immediately after reading the story:

There’s a thread if you’re interested, but I will summarize it. First, the incident was described as a ransomware attack from the first. But ransomware does not involve exfiltration of data. Instead, the attacker encrypts the target’s computers, and demands ransom in exchange for the decryption key or tool. Exfiltration of data is more commonly described as a “leakware” attack. But leakware wouldn’t explain all the facts. Notably, just exfiltrating data would not have prevented Colonial from operating its system: thus, leakware can’t explain the shutdown, though ransomware could.

And lo and behold, the very next day:

And yes, it was ransomware:

Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company’s efforts said.

Ransomware would explain a shutdown. Colonial couldn’t use its computers. (Supposedly the computers in question related to billing rather than pipeline operations. But a pipeline ain’t going to operate if it can’t bill properly for tens of millions of dollars of product.)

You’ll note I have not quoted from the 12 May CNN article. That’s because after the revelation that the original story was bullshit, CNN replaced it with this drivel (which is where you are directed if you click the link in my first tweet).

Although CNN admits its original story that no ransom was paid was wrong, the schmucks still can’t fully admit how wrong they were:

CNN was previously told by multiple sources that Colonial Pipeline had not yet paid the ransom, but two sources said on Thursday that the company did pay as it sought to retrieve the stolen information. It is not clear when the payment was made.

The information was NOT STOLEN, losers.

CNN was lied to. Obviously. Which raises two questions.

First, given that the story was obviously fishy, why didn’t CNN figure that out? I saw through it immediately. Meaning that CNN reporters are either complete morons, or they deliberately went with a story that they knew was bilge.

Second, and more importantly, why hasn’t CNN named the liars? The four liars.

Oh, but journalists can’t burn their sources dontcha know. Well, if your sources screw you, screw them back. If you don’t, then you have revealed an ugly reality: journalists would rather maintain access to liars in powerful places, and be accessories in spreading their lies, than to call out the liars and lose access to them. Access to lying liars trumps truth. Every time.

This perpetuates the cycle of lies. There is NO accountability for lying. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Or maybe CNN doesn’t think its sources screwed them. Maybe they were in on it all along.

So the lying goes on and on and on and journalists at CNN and every other major media outlet knowingly spread the lies day after day after day.

Word to the wise: do not believe a single word in a story that relies on anonymous sources. Not. A. Single. Word. Anonymous sources can lie with impunity. And given that, you know that they will, and do.

The media is just one American institution that needs to be torn up, root and branch. It is too corrupt, and its relationship with political (and bureaucratic) power too incestuous, to be reformed. CNN’s Colonial Pipeline story glaringly reveals that truth, and the truth that the modern media is built on lies.

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  1. “What is truth?” asked Pilate. The answer is “that which you will find none of in the media”.

    But should we trust the reporter of Pilate’s words?

    I have half persuaded myself that however tricky it is to define truth it’s much easier to define untruth.

    Comment by dearieme — May 22, 2021 @ 8:24 am

  2. Kudos for having been able to discern a lie and to see into the future with this one.

    Remember when ABC News used footage of ordinary weapons-firing training to ‘salt’ a story about ‘Slaughter in Syria’?

    Accumulated experience with these shenanigans shifts the question to one of, ‘Well, when AREN’T they lying to us? And if they are always lying to us – what and where is the truth, and what can one believe?’

    Ain’t that a red pill. You can never see the world the same way after that.

    Have a look for Grant Williams’ interview with Anthony Deden. The whole thing is well worth watching, but the relevant section is from the 18 minute mark to the 21:30 minute mark, paying special attention from 20:30 onwards. Rinse and repeat until Deden’s words are imprinted in their own dedicated neural circuit, for ease of recall.

    ‘We try to be cynical, but it’s hard to keep up.’

    And I note you’re still on Twitter. Not trying hard enough, are you! Put your back into it you wuss!

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — May 22, 2021 @ 7:12 pm

  3. Were you aware of this, Craig?

    COVID Fraud – Legal proceedings begin against W.H.O and World Leaders for ‘Crimes against Humanity’

    “A team of over 1,000 lawyers and over 10,000 medical experts led by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich have begun legal proceedings against the CDC, WHO & the Davos Group for crimes against humanity. …”

    It looks like they have the people to do it. I can only wish them luck.

    Comment by Pat Frank — May 23, 2021 @ 8:58 am

  4. @Pat Frank. No I hadn’t. Thanks for passing it along.

    Unless China is added to the list, it’s not truly serious though.

    Comment by cpirrong — May 23, 2021 @ 3:34 pm

  5. @Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break. Yes. I’m trying to get banned and am disappointed that I’m not! I need to redouble my efforts.

    Comment by cpirrong — May 23, 2021 @ 3:35 pm

  6. @Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break. Twitter is really hurting my feelings 😛

    Comment by cpirrong — May 23, 2021 @ 3:52 pm

  7. Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch BreakThis?

    Comment by cpirrong — May 23, 2021 @ 3:59 pm

  8. “Unless China is added to the list, it’s not truly serious though.”

    Litigating against China, while knowing full well that the political will to enforce any potential ruling against China will ultimately be nowhere to be found, does not seem like the best use of limited resources. Thus one could argue that adding China to the list would not be truly serious.

    Comment by Ivan — May 23, 2021 @ 5:25 pm

  9. @Prof Yep that’s the one. Quite long but interesting anecdotes about markets and investing from an intelligent and reflective man.

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — May 23, 2021 @ 6:22 pm

  10. CNN are liars. But I repeat myself.

    Comment by Michael Cosgrove — May 24, 2021 @ 9:32 am

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