Virus Warning: Web cams hijacked by “The Mary Pwankstas”

Stop right now if you’re doing something in front of your web cam that you’d be embarrassed by, because it could be recording your every move and feeding it to a private network of northern European hackers known as the “The Mary Pwankstas.” Computer security experts have discovered a hijacking program that activates web cams and streams the video to servers in Russia, which in turn make it available to subscribers. Word of the service first leaked when an Oslo, Norway teenager accompanied his older brother to a secret underground wine & cheese party and blogged about watching twenty feeds at a time on an array of wall-size flat screen monitors while enjoying a $10 bite of Nokkelost. The post quickly disappeared from the Internet, but news circulated of the sordid acts witnessed, leading experts to investigate.

What they found is a small program that installs when visitors view streaming video at certain pornographic and explicit web sites. Using a flaw in popular software, the program coops the camera for viewers on the other end, in some cases even able zoom and use other features of unsuspecting computer user’s web cams. Victims’ only hope of knowing their computer is infected, at this point, is activating their cameras and getting an error message that “the device is already in use.” The malicious program does not appear as a process running in Windows Task Manager or as installed software under “add/remove programs”.

As computer security experts race to create a patch, computer users are advised to unplug their cameras. Authorities are monitoring the Internet for sites selling access to the feeds but so far have come up empty, and are unlikely to be successful. “The Mary Pwankstas” are an underground network of hackers who have a private computer network that’s part of the “dark Internet” where search engines cannot go and membership is invitation only. The Pwankstas began in northern Europe as a sort of rental service for rich socialites with exotic tastes who wanted easy access to their perversions without the risk of being caught. Soon, kiddie porn and live S&M shows weren’t enough to satisfy the lascivious hungers of the elite; they demanded ever more audacious acts like mutilation, castration and extreme bestiality involving the sacrifice of the animal. One rumor claims that the Pwankstas arranged for a mass viewing of a zero-g sex on the Russian space station, and while that salacious sip can’t be confirmed, Pwankstas members have been known to brag about arranging well-known and ironic pranks like porn clips slipped into children’s programming and sound effects of vomiting and diarrhea mixed over religious broadcasts.

Groovywriter will keep you updated.

The ultimate porn name: your “former” best friend’s

One can only imagine the level of high school feud that leads to cooping a name to use in making porn films. Remember that friend you fucked over way back when, your former bestest best friend ever? Yeah, well, payback’s a bitch, so says Vivid entertainment star Tara Madden, aka Syvette Wimberly of “Anal Camera 19” and “Big Cocks 5” fame. Madden’s friend in early high school back in Texas was Kristen Syvette Wimberly. The lawsuit Wimberly filed against Madden doesn’t reveal the nature or details of the conflict that tore the two asunder, but the “red-handed” evidence of her revenge is available for public viewing. Wimberly claims the besmirching of her name is deliberate, and we can only hope this case goes to trial to find out the dirt. We know she must have done something Top Ten List like screw Madden’s boyfriend ’cause Syvette Wimberly isn’t the first name I’d think of for a porn starlet. Sounds more like a tennis player, and not one of pretty Russian ones either. Sounds to me like Madden made the punishment fit the crime, so I bet the feud has something to do with a boy. If anyone has ideas about what Wimberly did to incur Madden’s wrath, leave a comment.

Scooting Justice

It’s the hypocrisy that’s most upsetting about the commuting of Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s 30 month prison sentence for lying and obstruction of justice:

The hypocrisy of a president who rose to power as a law & order conservative who promised to restore integrity to the White House. Bush appointed the judge who handed down Scooter’s harsh sentence. Bush appointed the judge because he hangsá ’em high, Texas style justice. Do the crime, get walloped with time, no mercy. That’s Bush’s mantra.

Yet when the same standards that he applies to everyone else are applied to him or someone close to him, well now, all of a sudden a few new words are added to Bush’s vocabulary, such as fairness, leniency and justice. Bush claims his bottom-line best quality is consistency, but I’m afraid that like nearly everything else Bush has claimed as noble and worthy about himself, this is another fallacy for the cameras. Another myth fed us by the image makers in Rove’s office.

Scooter’s original sentence was too harsh, in my opinion.á Thirty months in prison is too much for a first time offender with an exemplary record of public service. I don’t like the guy’s politics and despise the evil coward he worked for, but I think a short prison sentence with a hefty fine would have been punishment enough to fit the crime. For a truly fitting punishment the judge should have sentenced Libby to 30 months of manning a .50 cal in the back of a Humvee in Iraq, but that option is unfortunately not available.

Compare the time to the crime. Scooter lied to federal investigators to protect the source of the CIA agent leak, his boss Dick.á But something has bothered me from the beginning about what exactly happened. To me it seems like the enormity of the crime that Libby was convicted of falls short of what Libby was supposed to be covering up. If he concocted a story to hide himself as source of the leak, it seems to me that Libby is not a very good lawyer. You save the big lies for the big crimes, not to cover up for something that was legal — albeit dubious and underhanded — like the leak.

If the leaking itself was illegal and it was shown that Libby obstructed investigators to hide a deeper crime, then hell yeah, send the weasel away. But the original crime investigated by the prosecutor — leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame — turned out not to be a crime. No one got accused, charged or prosecuted. So then what exactly was Scooter trying to hide?

There are many possible answers to that question which I won’t go into. Let’s get back to the original point. Going by the evidence presented in court and the circumstances of the case that are known and proven, Scooter got a harsh sentence. Personally, it doesn’t bother me that the man was spared a harsh jail sentence, because I think prison is reserved for those who truly deserve it, a last resort, and a first-time convict should be given every opportunity for leniency.

However….Scooter should also serve every day of his sentence, because the president he worked for would have wanted it that way. Scooter should tell Bush, thank you, but when I signed up for the job that got me into trouble I knew I was working for a presidentá who spares no one. No one on death row was spared by Bush during his eight years of governor of Texas. No one on Federal Death Row has been spared. Bush convicted Saddam of having WMD and lying about it, and sent in the executioners. This is a president who says the world is black and white, good or evil, with us or against us, and his administration should be held to that standard.

A crime is a crime, and as they say in the joint: Do the crime, be prepared to do the time.

GrooveCast for July 1 07

Hello GroovyNation and welcome to July 2007. It’s summer time and the sun here at GroovyHQ is a menacing yellow ball threatening to turn up the temperature even more; the moon a mysterious orange orb baking like a big pumpkin pie in the sky.

Casting a groovy eye around our flying ball of rock, we find our boy George, “I can see into his soul” Bush enjoying a summer breeze with Mr. Fun Pants, our Judo-loving president Putin of Russia, at the ol’ family compound in Kennebunk-something. Like Bush, Vlad counts the days until evacuating, but unlike our boy president, his people want him to stay. No one knows who wins the Kremlin until it happens; smart money avoids the pundits’ choices. Suckers are always wrong.

Georgie boy is trying to make nice after snubbing Vlad like an abandoned prom date. From the moment our president-in-thief took office, he and the Cold War cadre he marched in with circa 2001 have said to hell negotiating. Expecting some love for taking everything in stride, Putin instead got more cold shoulder — dissed even. Vlad sees George as the Bush League amateur he really is, this after Bush treated Putin like a 4th grade idiot for opposing the Iraq war. The cowboy routine after 9-11 got real old real fast for Vlad. All the while he’s been silencing dissenters one way or another (Pollonium with your tea?) and rolling back democratic reforms to an autocratic state, even took over the oil industry with hardly a peep from the Texans in the White House. America had vital interest in maintaining free markets and especially open political dialogue and opportunity in Russia, but those days are gone like summer love-ins. What the hell, Russians seem to prefer their country run by strong hands. Bottom line: Junior missed a choice chance to deepen a strategic relationship with a country we’d rather be for us than against us, because the clowns who replaced the Clintons treated the inheritors of the old Soviet Union like losers. Bummer dude.

Meanwhile, Dr. Evil aka big Dick Cheney continues to prove that his undisclosed location is another planet with the assertion that his office is sometimes in the Executive Branch and sometimes the Legislative as Speaker of the Senate, therefore is accountable to no one. Think of it as the sort of time share arrangement Dick grew out of when he cashed in at Halliburton. Does anyone still believe anything this guy says after his closest aide is sentenced to prison, Iraq has sunk to depths of Hell beyond words, and the wheels flew off his master plan to dominate the world? Ironically, the guy whom Dick told to go fuck himself now runs a committee in the Senate with subpoena power, insisting on the right to Constitutionally mandated oversight. Time to drag more rats into the light of day.

The Daily Show delivered the best take on Cheney-mania last week.

I think we’ll find out some day that Dick actually died from his third heart attack years ago, and, like Peter on Family Guy, took over the Grim Reaper’s job. Dick is certainly responsible for enough parting souls.

This Fourth of July season GroovyWriter wonders about public enemy number one, our old nemesis Osama on the lam for 9,000 days and counting. His head Bush would love to stake on the White House lawn, but don’t be so quick to wish his imminent demise: his disciples have a big funeral planned that might include fireworks. Rumor is that The Base (al-Qaeda) infiltrated American soil with a nuclear scientist and a bomb acquired off the black market before 9-11, and the date to use it is predetermined. Don’t ask about the little bird that whispered this chilling information, just know that the terrorists aren’t done yet.

Speaking of unresolved crimes, whatever happened to catching the Anthrax killer(s) of fall 2001? What are the odds after almost six years of getting a needle into them? Little bird says the FBI should be looking at white supremacist groups with virulently antisemitic views who hooked up with The Base during the late ’90s and exchanged knowledge, brought together by common cause against Israel. Knowledge might not be all they exchanged: the Ames strain of Anthrax used in the attacks is known to have slipped out of the U.S. to…ta da…Iraq, but hush hush ’cause poppa Bush’s signature is on the order. Back then our old buddy Saddam fought a proxy war against the Ayatollah. Imagine if inspectors found Ames buried in the Iraqi desert after the U.S. invasion. Bush would be a hero. No questions about pressuring the CIA or leaking an agent’s identity or lying to cover up the leak. No war at 30 percent approval and dropping. No condemnation as a breathtaking bungle of a presidency. Junior rides into the sunset with a rock-solid case for justifying the invasion to be judged by history as less of a failure, his reputation and dignity intact. But that fantasy is all but dead now that the inspectors have stopped looking.

On the topic of dead fantasies, this week marks the funeral of K. Rove’s plan to attract Hispanic voters to the red side post-immigration reform failure. Talk radio stakes claim to the killing, a fork in the side of Bush’s lame duck presidency. Around the time of the 2004 election, DJ Brain claimed that he’d set into motion a paradigm shift in the political landscape initiating an era of Republican dominance. Thirty years, he haughtily predicted, it would take before someone figured out how to beat him. Less than three years later he clings to polling that says his boss is considered by a majority of the public to be a decent fella — but otherwise an incompetent shit head. Those two talk a lot about historical justification in 20 years. Hopefully it won’t take that long to run them out of town in disgrace for their smug duplicity, blatant crony-ism, obscene pandering, sham politics, comically obtuse evasion and cynical manipulation of the public.

Not just the public but evangelicals who are realizing more every day that they’ve been duped. They wanted a fair deal for immigrants who, afraid of being unceremoniously deported, clamor to the charitable services offered by church organizations. The evangelicals take seriously the Bible’s command to be kind to strangers in your land and extend to them the same courtesy and accommodations of a native. Religious conservatives woke up in bed married to the other half of the Bush coalition: law and order Nascar lovin’ gun nuts — ahem, enthusiasts — hoppin’ mad about Jose on the other side of town sucking on the underbelly of American society. Never mind that Jose works hard night and day for his family at a job most Americans would describe as crappy, dangerous and/or arduous, and that his people are vital to large sectors of the economy like agriculture, housing and hospitality. He pays his bills and his taxes, obeys the law and might even attend a local church filled with people who extend the welcoming arms this nation is known for, a mythos ingrained into America’s self concept that apparently exists only as a fallacy. Not only is immigration souring some religious conservatives on Bush, so is his cavalier and short sighted treatment of the environment. Evangelicals want to be good stewards. They realize the threat and accept the duty, and they want a president whose idea of a green thumb is more than an ink stain (from counting money.).

Groove-eCast extends a shout out to Eric Sommer, who breezed through the neighborhood and rocked out on six different guitars. Eric claims to have met George Thoroughgood and the Delaware Destroyers in Harvard Square back in the day and did a damn fine tribute to power slide guitar. Now that’s groovy.

Groove-eCast will return next Sunday with the grooviest news of the week.