Lock down wireless access points with IoT protection

This weekend I’m in Seattle, and today I learned something new. I had realized that the verbal abuse that is the primary component of “surround-sound” real estate mobbing, at least that ordered up by the nasty neighborhood watch of NE Seattle and its speculator friends, takes advantage of speakers at the cashier’s stand. But it didn’t occur to me that the volume of those speakers could be controlled by customers.

Today I was at the local Fred Meyer grocery store, when at the cashier’s stand I heard the usual mobbing prattle. I have rarely said anything to a stranger about it when the mobbers pop up on devices made accessible through provisioning at in a public place. But today I complained about it to the clerk at the checkout stand, telling him that if the sound wasn’t required, it should be turned off because it is vulnerable to malicious use.

The clerk showed me how to mute the volume at my own self-check stand, and it worked. The mobbers then jumped over to some speaker nearby or perhaps, if the equipment is designed so that they must broadcast to all of them, they were audible from another checking stand that was not muted. But in that moment, the volume of their prattle became less audible, and in turn they became less able to affect me.

When after I pressed the down-volume control at my individual check stand, my experience of that transaction, in that moment, was changed. But how were the mobbers able to access the check stand speakers? To be sure, you’d have to know how sound is enabled at those self-check stands. Chances are, it involves an unsecured wireless network.

So after years of WiFi-enabled bullying, I learned something again today, and became a bit more able to not only protect myself, but to share a tip with others who might one day be victimized by the prevalence of unsecured wireless networks like the one at Fred Meyer. Grocery stores like Fred Meyer that by their use of unsecure wireless networks and store infrastructure expose their customers to harm at the hands of hacking criminals must begin to lock down their infrastructure, their public address, security and intercom systems, and to lock down their wireless networks.

It’s a truism that real estate mobbing begins at home, but it doesn’t stop at work. One of the the most brutal facets of mobbing, at least as performed by the real estate mobbers of northeast Seattle, is the merciless pursuit of the victim over the networks that overlay the public sphere.

Even when a victim of real estate mobbing realizes that a significant portion of the verbal abuse that is mobbing depends on the prevalence of wireless networks and smart phones, he may not be able to sort out the involvement of network and building infrastructure as he travels through the public square, infrastructure that is not within his control, and stands beyond the awareness of all of us. Yet it is this daisy-chain of mobber-infested WiFi networks, public announce systems and intercoms, these stacks of elevators with their canned muzak and always-on emergency communication systems, these in-store security systems and speaker-enabled access points, that allow the mobbers to stalk in a manner that confounds the victim and that those who should come to his aid refuse to believe.

No one expects to be addressed or ridiculed on a public announce system, no one expects to be berated over the intercom at the gas pump, and no one expects an access point to speak. But when you’re being mobbed, window panes howl, water lines burble, and air-conditioning whispers. When you’re being mobbed, you’re like Alice, and the vulnerabilities of unsecured networks, of an unsecured world of things, put you on the other side of the looking glass. And it is all very queer. After all, this is what the mobbers prepared you for as they familiarized you to the sound of their voices, and to the pattern of their prattle.

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I started working out-of-state contracts about a year after losing my Microsoft contract in the early months of the mobbing. The mobbing opened with a series of hoaxes that were effected based on the mobbers’ transmission of their voices into my home, onto my weekend NPR shows, over the nightly newscasts, through venting and onto the panes of the windows where I would sit and write, and where I write now, while looking at the deep waters of Lake Washington, the pillow of clouds above, the sunset and moon rise, the clattering crows and the night-tide sky. The mobbing house to the south has closer access to the my windows than does the north mobbing house; this is probably why numerous of the hoaxes that were a prominent feature of the mobbing in its earliest months, were effected using sound whose source lay just over the south border of my home.

In one that predated the obvious injection of sound into my house, the brat-pack owner of the south mobbing house stood in his driveway with his franchise family girlfriend, who would later say in court when I failed to move that they would not be able to have children if I continued to reside in the house next door. They spoke in stage whispers with the nasty neighborhood watch lady from across the street about how they were in the final stages of purchasing my rental home out from under me, and about how I would be “more comfortable” if I “moved on.” When their voices began to show up on my cordless phone whenever I attempted to make a call, they giggled about a “party line.” The accidental “party line” trickery was soon enough dropped while the babble and abuse continued in the background of calls from devices corded and cordless, smart and dumb. The phrase “move on” has been a constant theme during these years of real estate mobbing, an insult in a strategy of insults, by posers cum criminals attempting to speak in voices of authority as they forcibly evict a legal resident from a property that real estate speculators want. When I refused to leave, the mobbers upped their game, and to the extent they could, traveled with me. Mobbing is a real estate scam, and in a city of diminishing lots where racketeering appears to be routinized into acceptance, unethical speculators go to great lengths to “acquire” lots on which to build.

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One of my first contracts when I began working out of state as the victim of a Seattle real estate mobbing, was with a Bay Area endpoint security company. “Dev-sec-ops,” as this convergence of code with security and operations is termed, is a fascinating field and a never-ending battle of closing security holes while “probing” for intrusions and the “artifacts” they leave behind. The folks in dev-sec-ops come from multiple backgrounds, ranging from government service, even the FBI, to network administrator, to programmer and technical sales. Some companies build risk management into their service set, modeling the cost of the intrusions and data losses that companies may incur if the companies do not purchase the recommended security platform.

There is great irony in being stalked by real estate speculators while working in a network security company. And it was a shock when the voices of the mobbers began to crop up on nearby smart phones, conference room phones and over the speaker-enabled access points that dotted the building public address system. If I had understood mobbing then as I do now, as a deployment of the cyber-bullying (“mobbing”) of the virtual world to the physical landscape, perhaps I wouldn’t have expected to so easily escape.

Device management was a “rat hole,” one of the technical support guys flatly said, when I asked how smartphones factored into network security. When I asked about wireless access points, I learned that they, too, were often not taken into consideration in a company’s security strategy, and were instead considered building infrastructure. I learned that while they could be included in the contract as leased appliances or fixtures, they are often left within the control of building management. One wonders what the likelihood is of building management accustomed to viewing security one monitor of a closed circuit camera successfully competing with the exploits of hackers inside a brick-and-mortar structure whose antediluvian tangle of conduit and Cat 5 failed to anticipate the wireless network packet, much less the flood.

Along with lacking control over the building infrastructure that allows phone phreakers, hackers and other network intruders access to the corporate body, many companies offer wireless “guest” networks. These may be maintained separate from the network that hosts the servers and computers that guard intellectual property and corporate data, but a guest network is sourced from within the physical confines of an office and, as such, allows a way into the corporate sphere. Even if corporate WiFi that spills over the physical floor space does not allow probing for other points of vulnerability or access to resources such as wireless access points or security cameras—assets that could be used for corporate espionage—the personal devices of employees and guests can be mined for information used target them for social engineering attacks whose goal is the corporation. In mobbing, where real estate mobbers attempt to effect a “white glove” eviction by frightening their targets out of their homes and by making them think that their landlords, bosses and even their families have turned against them, the mobbers require some convincing detail that made it plausible that, as they claimed early on, they had “all the email [I’d] ever” written, or at least enough to mine it for names of past lovers and employers.

As I mentioned in a much earlier blog, there was a point in the opening hoaxes in the mobbing when one of the mobbers claimed to be someone I’d known more than 25 years back. Impersonation is a constant theme of cyber-bullying, another reason why the comparison of real estate mobbing with cyber-bullying is apt (“The Effects and Causes of Impersonation, https://nobullying.com/impersonation/). And also another reason why it would make sense if the same people who would mob for speculators and nasty neighborhood watches have mercilessly bullied victims over the Internet. This is why it’s important not to let even one case of mobbing go, not when mobbers move in around their victims and bully out of houses next door to them, not when this crime is committed in broad daylight, day-in and day-out for years, and with the apparent knowledge and involvement of real estate agents and builders, not when the so-called “neighbors” of the mobbing victim whose domiciles are used in the commission of felony crimes believe themselves to be so above the law that they attempt to convince the police and the courts, like Kellyanne Conway, that the victim’s reports are nothing more than “delusion.”

What’s a business to do? Don’t let the data, and the lives, of your customers and your employees be free for the taking. Secure wireless networks, or get rid of them. Let’s face it, most unsecured networks are provided for the sake of convenience. When businesses first started offering WiFi, you’d have to get a password from the cashier. Now many businesses just post a sign with the SSID and password and tell you to use it at your own risk. It doesn’t have to be that way. It can be argued that an ethical business that is looking out for the interests of its customers shouldn’t even offer WiFi. The collection of access point and IMSI information undermines not only personal security but the security of the next node, that woman or man standing next to you. When information about one person reveals the entirety of a social or business network, the information of every person must be guarded. Companies that provision unsecured guest networks for their employees to use onsite, aren’t doing anyone any favors. If cyber-bullies routinely harass one victim by using the open nodes around him, it’s not just the victim whose welfare is compromised.

Should the user be responsible for avoiding risks that he does not even understand? And what are the chances of a class action lawsuit against those who’ve equipped us with communications systems that make us sitting ducks for organized crime?

The least businesses that offer wireless networks should do, is to add an IoT firewall. Access points can be integrated into a network security plan by adding them to an IoT firewall such as Cujo, RATrap, Dojo or F-Secure SENSE. Wireless speakers, too, are part of the network and must be secured. Finally, IoT devices should also monitor not only traffic to and from the network, but traffic within the network, for potentially malicious activity. Black hats, mobbers and other criminals who use publicly accessible wireless networks to gain access to their victims should be forced to accept a certificate that enables suspicious activity to be traced and drops suspicious connections.

I have been living in a condition of being cyber-bullied inside my home and out, for more than three years now. One of the key factors that made this possible was the lack of care for personal security that has gone into network provisioning and device design. No one should be forced to go through what I have survived as a legal resident of a northeast neighborhood of Seattle run amok with speculators and speculation encouraged by a neighborhood watch that has lost whatever moral compass it might ever have had. Let’s expose these scumbags and ruin their scam. Let’s fix it now.

 

Next up: Put mobbers out of business by treating access points as IoT devices

I meant to get a blog on securing access points in commercial buildings done tonight, but this weekend I’m once again in Seattle, trying to catch up on gardening, maintaining the house that some scumbag speculators are trying to harass me out of, caring for my cat, and trying to enjoy this home for which I’ve had to sacrifice so much.

Anyway, the next blog is about securing those pesky access points and speaker-enabled access points to keep hackers and mobbers off of them. No promises on efficacy; I’m no network security expert, but I’ve learned a bit these last years and from time to time have a few ideas.

Stay tuned.

Mobbing: Mobility harassment (part 2), Harassment that begins at home

Real estate mobbing, as it is practiced in my own northeastern neighborhood of Seattle where the tricks are dirty and real estate speculators run free, is stalking with the intent to drive legal residents from their homes and turn them over for speculation. When a crime is committed to turn over a property, and when the goal is to punish the victim into keeping his or her mouth shut, mobbers stalk everywhere they can, and using every device.

Mobbing may begin at home, but it is mobility harassment that follows the victim everywhere, online and off. The strategy behind mobbing appears to be to make the victim believe that she is continually being watched, until she is terrorized to the point where she flees. Because the big bad wolf chasing her is not visible to authorities, a mobbing victim who reports is easily dismissed as paranoid or mentally unstable.

Mobbing is a real estate scam. It’s the kind of wet dream that a racketeering ring of lot-seeking real estate speculators would come up with. It’s the kind of crime in which the nasty and the greedy violate their neighbors’ civil and human rights, indemnifying themselves against their crimes by using defamation of their victims. The scum who pursue mobbing, this crime I’ve called a hoax inside a con inside a scam, use a kitchen sink of methods old and new, combining the techniques of surveillance with those of cyber-thugs, wreaking havoc in the lives of their victims as they straddle the physical and virtual worlds.

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Mobbing: Mobility harassment

A lot has been going on in the last few months and I haven’t had much of a chance to write. A contract that allowed me to work remotely from Seattle ended, and I’ve started a commitment working for a firm in San Francisco, much of the time onsite. As I have often done in the past, I’m staying in the San Francisco East Bay, as I mentioned in my last post How to catch an IMSI catcher, near the Albany-Berkeley border. The mobbing harassment continues to move with me, adapting and changing with the environment, but there are some notable differences.

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How to catch an IMSI catcher

I have a theory. If scumbag speculators indeed use drones with IMSI catchers, or IMSI catchers at all, to intercept victim phone calls, and perhaps even to cross those phone calls with “calls” of verbal abuse, how can we catch them?

What better way to catch an IMSI catcher than with anther IMSI catcher? Maybe there’s a use for police stingrays after all. An IMSI catcher, being a man-in-the-middle attack, intercepts calls by having greater proximity to the victim cellular phone than does the satellite (Ask Hackaday: Stopping the Stingray, http://hackaday.com/2014/12/23/ask-hackaday-stopping-the-stingray/). It intercepts the call but must handle it by connecting it to service. Maybe a bigger fish like a stingray can intercept an IMSI catcher. Perhaps a stingray with the right technology can intercept a satellite phone that makes it easy for criminals like real estate mobbers to hide their identity while they phreak your smart phone.

Both in northeast Seattle over the waters of Lake Washington, and near the Albany-Berkeley border in the East Bay where I have been staying as I work a new contract in San Francisco, I see lit objects hovering in the night sky, objects that appear to be a few drones scattered around. IMSI catchers are an invaluable tool for rogue drones whose purpose is surveillance, hacking, and harassment, using methods that are not well known or even recognized by their victims or by local police.

In the Bay Area there is greater concern about privacy invasions. Perhaps if suspicion on the part of East Bay denizens doesn’t lead to investigation into drones that hover over residential neighborhoods night after night, the scumbag speculators who harass people out of their homes by combining cell phone “mobbing” (bullying) with the methods of dirty private investigators (parabolic loudspeakers or LRADs), will be caught in the net of larger prey, maybe even a stingray. And if not an IMSI catcher, in lieu of drone radar and transponders, perhaps police forces that use drones should make a point of intercepting and photographing unknown drones to begin to study how they are being equipped, modified and used, and how they are becoming involved in digital crimes.

Perhaps it’s time that investigators like the FBI beat the mobbers at their own game.

$5,000 for turning in the Seattle real estate mobbers

TenantHarassment.com is offering a $5,000 reward for the real estate mobbers or “tenant relocators” who continue in their attempt to harass the author of this blog out of her home in northeast Seattle in order to force its sale to real estate speculators. The reward will likely be matched and will be given for the arrest and prosecution of the mobbers themselves, or those in the neighborhood watch or in business with them who were instrumental in installing the mobbers in the houses around the author of this blog. This is a serial crime and there may be a circle of people who “clear” residents for developers or for their own ventures, so it’s possible that if you’ve experienced something similar or heard of something similar, that some of the same people may be involved.

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Some people should not be involved in government

Just now, I was stopped at an intersection not far from my home when Sandra Motzer, crossing the street with her husband Tim, said loudly, “Oh god, there she is!” They passed in front of my car, Tim Motzer smirking.

Sandra Motzer, active in numerous neighborhood organizations including the councils, is someone who once wrote an email to other members of her neighborhood watch, several developers, and several apparent house flippers, talking about how parking strips could be marked and then the codes enforced to get renters in her neighborhood to move. Perhaps not so auspiciously for the homeless, she also chaired the Lake City neighborhood committee on Mayor Murray’s homelessness initiative. Tim Motzer is a former City of Seattle Parks and Recreation manager and, at least until Mayor Murray withdrew funding from the neighborhood council (I haven’t kept up on that; I hope  funding was not restored), was active in the neighborhood councils as well as a neighborhood watch member who attempted to intimidate renters in his neighborhood out of parking on public streets with a public display of anger and fist-shaking.

It’s hard to imagine that people like this exist, or that they would be welcome in local government in an increasingly diverse community of any egalitarian spirit. I’ve barely even met either of them and probably spoke with one briefly once or twice before their sentiments became clear. With behavior more fitting for high school than in community, it’s no wonder what has happened to me in my neighborhood; small-minded people are the spirit of mobbing. These are the people who would be enthralled by an old-fashioned shaming of those they cannot control.

Mean-spirited people who hide what they are in positions of supposed benevolence, small-minded people who drain city coffers with their nuisance complaints, their incessant and often bogus reports of civil code violations, their misuse of civil services including false reports to police, people like these who would try to run off those who rent or those they plain don’t like, should be excluded from leadership roles. This is the only way to create change for the better. The time for “leaders” like Tim and Sandra Motzer has long since passed.

 

Letter to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting that the drone registry be made public

I haven’t been able to blog much in the past few months, although I hope to put out a post on mobbing and television technologies later this week. In the interim, what follows is the draft of a letter I’ll be sending the FAA to request information on drone owners and to assert that drone operator and ownership information should be available to the public because of the near complete lack of regulation affecting drones in combination with the inability to track and identify them.

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The importance of the mobbers’ defamations in constructing a “white-glove” crime

A successful mobbing is a “white glove” forced eviction. And I use the term “white glove” because in the first weeks of the mobbing, among those voices heard in my house were the older voices that I was at least to presume belonged to the morally offended members of the neighborhood watch. Among their cries:

“There’s mold in the walls!”

“A white glove inspection!”

“You’ll be evicted!”

“Slatternly!”

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The Southern Poverty Law Center should consider real estate mobbing as a hate crime

What if the KKK had drones? What if the Stasi had IMSI catchers? What if right-wing haters hire hackers? What happens when haters arm themselves with technology?

Real estate mobbing is weaponized hate. And mobbing is like a hate group that comes to your neighborhood, the way gay bashers always seem to go hang out in the Castro in San Francisco or on Capitol Hill in Seattle. It’s so much easier to find victims where they live.

In recent posts I’ve written about how real estate mobbers—tenant relocators or criminal speculators who are more than happy to get the job done on their own—harness the channels and streams that flow through a house to get their harassment to you. But it’s not all about real estate. There’s a good chance that real estate mobbers, like those who were welcomed into my northeast Seattle neighborhood by the neighborhood watch, get in the door because the nasty neighborhood watch lady thrills at the thought of harassing her neighbors out of the neighborhood in just such a brutal and secretive manner. And judging from the mobbers’ narrative, filled with threats, insults, and the tormented invective of hate groups and childhood bullies, mobbing assumes the guise of being a revenge crime that gives the angry mob its due. Mobbing  is a haters’ platform from which to  verbally abuse and berate the victim.

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