The T in Tesla Stands for Trash: Owners Now Face Criminal Prosecution

Clearly I’m a huge fan of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and have a lot of respect for him. You can read all about it in my many posts on Tesla engineering practices.

Just kidding.

But seriously, I’ve just read a very bizarre article by an automotive automation expert (redundant, I know).

This industry luminary with oodles of experience and expertise starts off with saccharin and effusive framing of the Tesla CEO before absolutely TRASHING Tesla as garbage that nobody should buy and must be explicitly branded as inferior.

Does it help to promote an abject failure as deserving respect before rightfully calling their predominant work an obvious pile of trash?

This is evidence of someone throwing a juicy bone to disorient an obvious mindless attack dog; much like we see in totalitarian governments where you have to account for the dictator’s insecurity before you say anything honest.

Anyway on to the article itself

I have great respect and admiration for Elon Musk, so sorry to say this but … it’s terrible. I mean really bad. After all those videos I didn’t expect a lot, but I expected more than this. My first drive home after activating it was frightening. […] So I’m giving Tesla FSD an “F” when it comes to self-driving. In fact it clearly shouldn’t have that name, as many have pointed out. It should have a driver-assist name, so I will call it “Street Autopilot”. The problem is I have to give it a “D” as a driver assist product.

Sorry?

He is being too kind. Where does such respect and admiration for fraud come from? I suspect the author is worried about his position in the industry and doesn’t want to ruffle feathers, but at this point he seems to be growing a spine and no longer can deny water flooding his “unsinkable” Titanic.

That’s why it’s so remarkable to see someone come out waving peace and love flags of apology, while also warning everyone to stay away from Tesla because it’s a total scam.

He really should have used the warning that Tesla deserves:

That T on the car means pile of Trash such that if you insist on “going for a ride” that puts everyone at risk (including self), you could be cited under existing public safety laws (littering)?

Proud new Trash owner details it, arguing “I can do whatever I want and avoid accountability because it’s called my Trash can, not a trash can’t!”

I can’t take any credit for such obviously necessary rebranding as a means of safety awareness campaigns. Tesla rightfully has been called a pile of trash for a very long time by many other owners dealing with the fraud.

Will it ever stick or slow down ownership? It has been like going backwards in time and monitoring a fan club for the Titanic.

Perhaps no better example is a thread from three months ago, when an owner taking delivery of his new “top of the line” model groused how product management was awful and disappointing:

Tesla Model S Plaid build quality is trash

From there you will find comments about an absurdly priced “flagship” such as…

$13,000 car. $130,000 window sticker… same people who are fitting the panels are also fitting the suspension bits and important bolts… an old S’s subframe failed because the design had no margin of safety. It was really poorly designed.

And perhaps straight to the heart of the matter is this comment:

It’s bad: https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/model-s-plaid-lr-2021-refresh-issues-thread.232656/page-104. Keep in mind, this is a car they have built for years but keep making excuses for why they are shit piles.

Unfortunately as Sesame Street might say “shit piles” doesn’t start with the letter T.

My favorite comment from one of these pile of Trash owners is here:

Some manufacturers used to have a problem with so-called ‘Friday cars’. Tesla avoids that by making them all Friday quality.

Ha ha? It is funny except this is safety-related and thus actually criminal-level stuff. Think of all the people around in danger from neglect related to automotive safety quality failures.

It is an intentional race to the absolute bottom of quality and safety if I ever saw one. The CEO is to blame here, right?

So far it looks instead like customers will be the ones taking the heat for a product marred with gross negligence by executive management.

Los Angeles County prosecutors have filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla on autopilot who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people in Gardena in 2019. The defendant appears to be the first person to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system. Los Angeles County prosecutors filed the charges in October, but they came to light only last week. […] Criminal charging documents do not mention Autopilot. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sent investigators to the crash, confirmed last week that Autopilot was in use in the Tesla at the time of the crash.

Did you know when you buy a Tesla you may face criminal prosecution for operating false-autopilot exactly how the CEO has repeatedly and personally told you to do so?

In a related case a drunk driver in Norway was pulled by police from his car and he tried to escape blame by arguing Tesla’s CEO had instructed him it was ok to be unconscious at the wheel since he no longer believed he was the driver of the car he was driving.

For what it’s worth as a final thought the CEO, now known for mountains of Trash of his own making, has started a campaign in classic propagandist fashion to fling his mounting failures at his competitors.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Sunday: “[Our competitor’s] software is a pile of trash.” [Full self driving (FSD) software by Tesla] is controversial and critics say the name is deceptive… because it doesn’t make cars fully autonomous.

And thus I offer my dear readers an easy to remember security haiku:

Full is not true full.
Self driving is not true self.
T means pile of Trash.

Mixed Messages of Google Chrome 97: Worse Privacy, Better Security

Google pushed out a new Chrome version 97.0.4692.99 with much fanfare about a number of serious security fixes it brings.

A total of 22 vulnerabilities addressed with the latest Chrome refresh were reported by external researchers, including one critical-severity [CVE-2022-0289, a critical use-after-free flaw in Safe Browsing that can achieve arbitrary code execution], 16 high-severity, and five medium-severity issues.

Meanwhile, Google also intentionally reduced safety by including a well-known flaw in the same version; a collaboration effort with Microsoft.

Google Chrome 97 arrived on Tuesday, bringing with it a Microsoft-backed keyboard API rejected by Apple and Mozilla on privacy grounds. […] As Apple software engineer Ryosuke Niwa wrote in a GitHub Issues post in 2019, “the Keyboard Map API as proposed exposes a high entropy fingerprinting surface. This is not acceptable from [a] privacy perspective.”

And to the person in England reading this blog right now using Chrome 97 on macOS 10.15.7 (November 2020)… yes, I hear you (malicious audio file can lead to arbitrary code execution CVE-2021-30958), but what are you even doing?

Can You Trust COVIDtests.gov?

The COVIDtests.gov site has launched ahead of schedule and right at the top it has a “Here’s how you know” link to explain why you should trust this “official website“:

Does it seem safe? While they make a couple sound points, there’s more to it.

Do you also trust that a .gov was developed using a secure lifecycle, is operated safely and that it hasn’t been compromised by commercial motive? In other words, is there high integrity of the data on the pages as much as there may be integrity of the source identity?

I strongly recommend developing quality measures for the former (hard) much more than the latter (easy).

It reminds me of another .gov launch not so very long ago that was subjected to extreme partisan yet technical bickering…

The “healthcare.gov” website at the end of 2013 was ruthlessly attacked by Republican lobby groups and “experts” such as TrustedSec. Here’s a good example from headlines in early 2014:

Source: WFB, 2014

Someone barking that the healthcare.gov site is “100 percent insecure” and trending worse seems factually false, no? It was a gross misrepresentation for political gain if not an outright lie.

In fact, while TrustedSec used the press to spread a rumor that healthcare.gov was 100% unsafe they were actually telling congress in testimony

It is accurate that no system can ever remain one hundred percent protected against threats.

Could this kind of absolutism fallacy and obvious gaslighting be grounds for being disbarred from practicing security though?

No, because let’s be honest the security industry has no baseline of integrity for meaning being delivered in a message.

Sound harsh?

Consider that the TrustedSec CEO Dave Kennedy was on a highly-politicized PR campaign to discourage people from getting health insurance, mugging with Michele Bachmann (infamous religious extremist).

Kennedy’s obvious political self-promotion at this time went from hugging the extremist Bachmann back stage at FOX news to literally spreading “100 percent” nonsense and FUD… claiming even healthcare.gov would hack anyone who dared to use it for their life-saving healthcare needs.

…saying vulnerabilities remain on “everything from hacking someone’s computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names—first name, last name—[and] locations.”

“Actually tries to hack your computer back”?

This is nails-on-chalkboard stuff, only made worse by him saying the threat scale goes “all the way to being able” to know your name. So your name has been leaked proving that you’re in America and need healthcare insurance just like everyone else? That’s “all the way”?

And then there was the false claim made on FOX news that large numbers of probes of a .gov website indicates it already has been hacked or will be soon.

Source: Fox News, 19 Nov 2013 (via Utah’s Senator Mike Lee)

And this nonsense of course had the expected reaction putting people in a frothy partisan panic:

…you couldn’t pay me a million $ to go anywhere near that website #FullRepeal #ImpeachObama #MakeDCListen

That’s a 2014 reaction tweet from @livinbythelake. Today that same account is retweeting the wife of the Executive Editor for the Washington Examiner that COVID19 is a communist plot.

While clearly a “poison squad of whispering women” show they are coordinated in amplifying a fear narrative from TrustedSec as right-wing misinformation, the actual flaws were being misrepresented.

Probes ought not be directly correlated to breaches without some intelligence. That’s like saying evidence of water around a floating boat means you should guess it soon will spring a leak.

FUD.

Here was another clear sign TrustedSec’s Kennedy was speaking completely out of his mind on this issue.

His examples of “models” were sites later breached at FAR WORSE scale than healthcare.gov.

When it comes to securing personal information online, Kennedy cited Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter as models for the industry.

Facebook?! Are you FFFFFing kidding me.

FACEBOOK and AMAZON?

More than 540 million records about Facebook users were publicly exposed on Amazon’s cloud computing service…

Remember this was TrustedSec CEO testifying to Congress in November 2013 that Facebook should be held up as a model for the industry to protect privacy. This is literally what he said to Congress:

…the federal government isn’t known for having super secure web sites or even having adequate security to protect U.S. related sensitive data.

Oh really?

Facebook had just been breached in June 2013 leaking 6 MILLION records for over a year when this highly politicized testimony was filed alongside a poisonous PR campaign.

Does Facebook ever sound like any sort of real “model” for an industry to you? Facebook always has been known for failing at security and being a threat to U.S. data. It’s almost inconceivable that someone in 2013 was recommending them as a model, and it’s incredibly suspicious for anyone claiming the title “TrustedSec”.

Come on people, let’s look at this in context.

TrustedSec’s CEO was spreading on partisan news campaigns that the US government website is “100 percent insecure” and that everyone instead should carelessly put their data in Facebook (foreign adversary) hands?

Here’s how I described Facebook to everyone reading this blog in 2011 why I deleted my account in 2009:

…private company funded by Russians without any transparency that most likely hopes to profit from your loss (of privacy)… if Facebook is dependent on Zuckerberg their users are screwed.

That’s a full two years before the “TrustedSec” CEO was on TV telling Americans to hand their most sensitive data to the Russians instead of their own government.

Facebook’s massive unprecedented failures of safety (gross negligence if not incompetance) were never hard to find, and have only worsened over time:

Am I missing some? Surely this alleged “model” couldn’t have been any worse of a recommendation.

The icing on this history cake is that TrustedSec’s testimony gave milquetoast recommendations for fixing healthcare.gov that read like they were pulled directly from a 2-minute introduction to information security.

Fix the current security problems on the web site, which pose a high or critical risk… Develop a security operations center and ensure effective controls are in place… Perform end-to-end testing to benchmark the existing risk towards the healthcare.gov infrastructure and take appropriate action…

It’s so vague and generic as to be completely unhelpful.

Here’s what the TrustedSec guide to marine safety probably looks like: if you see or hear water you must be sinking, take appropriate action.

Let’s recount.

After five years healthcare.gov reported about 10 million people had received health-care coverage (essential to quality of life) while only as many as 75,000 people may have had sensitive information breached. Even that amount is disputed, so where’s the giant disaster predicted?

Headlines by 2017 were “Obamacare is working well” no thanks to TrustedSec doing its best to tell people to stay away.

Healthcare.gov popularity increased dramatically to 56%, no thanks to TrustedSec doing its best to tell people to stay away.

So, will the right-wing lobbyist “hackers” put on suits and ties to be wined-and-dined by FOX news again to spread FUD about this new health-oriented .gov site being a threat?

Facebook, the darling of the Republican lobbyists and extremists intent on destroying Obamacare, over the same time delivered the worst security practices and breaches in history (on top of destroying quality of life and being implicated in atrocity crimes).

Why so bad?

Basic American history offered us a good insight into “experts” like Dave Kennedy stumping in 2013 for the Confederate Party, even predicting escalation to the violence seen last year.

ObamaCare cannot be accepted. No matter that it was passed by Congress, signed by the President, found constitutional by the Supreme Court, and ratified by the people when they re-elected President Obama. It cannot be allowed to stand, and so the tactics for destroying it get ever more extreme. The point of violence has not yet been reached, but the resistance is still young.

How dangerous was it in 2013 for a security “expert” to tell people not to sign up for healthcare from a .gov site?

Very dangerous, made far worse by telling them to trust Facebook instead.

And how dangerous will it be in 2022 to tell people not to get test kits or vaccinations in a pandemic?

Read more 2014 analysis of history for the answer.

Our modern Confederates are quick to tell the rest of us that we don’t understand them because we don’t know our American history. And they’re right. If you knew more American history, you would realize just how dangerous these people are.

So it all begs the question who do you trust and what does it mean when you see that you are using a .gov site? History has the answers.

Related: Timeline of Amazon breaches and timeline of Twitter breaches, neither doing nearly as well in trust as healthcare.gov has this whole time.

Easy Firefox Fix of the Day: Disable HTTP3

If Firefox isn’t working for you right now (fails to load any site), try changing the ‘about:config’ key of ‘network.http.http3.enabled‘ to false (double-click).

If you want to verify whether HTTP3 is working, try this:

  1. Goto https://cloudflare-quic.com/
  2. Press F12 for the Developer Tools and open the Network tab.
  3. Right-click a column header and add a check to “Protocol” to add it.
  4. Click reload to see if HTTP3 is enabled.

Mozilla announced last year that HTTP3 would default to true.

Support for QUIC and HTTP/3 is now enabled by default in Firefox Nightly and Firefox Beta. We are planning to start rollout on the release in Firefox Stable Release 88. HTTP/3 will be available by default by the end of May [2021].

Early this morning a bug was investigated as users reported high CPU usage and pages not loading.

Our current suspicion is that a cloud provider or load balancer that fronts one of our own servers got an update that triggers an existing HTTP3 bug.

The Coming Transition from APIs to Data Integration

Ruben Verborgh’s recent blog post on technology for knowledge management is best captured in this paragraph.

The Web API ecosystem as we know it today has been designed for a very different Web than the Web we want for the future, as our analysis has revealed. Data will still be remote, but also decentralized: spread across multiple servers and different APIs.

The premise of a robust global semantic Web is that an application can use whatever ontology it wants, while pulling data in different formats. If that sounds both exciting and scary to you, let’s talk.

Such interoperability is a tip of the iceberg for the deeply complicated reality of big data security — an unavoidable core future challenge to the industry purporting to protect data from threats (unauthorized access). Who will be granted so much authority that they can assemble knowledge from data no matter the source or format?

the poetry of information security