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First Contact - Part Sixty-One (Kark)

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Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.299
Arrived at Starbase-4973 with the Dakota and our crew. Turned over information to the local Starfleet representative as well as SUDS data for the other ship's crews. Spoke to Commodore Dunsten of Starfleet who requested a template for what changes the Dakota has undergone. Was counseled that my point totals will not count toward any ladder rankings due to 'extreme non-canon changes' to the Dakota as well as my crew personal armaments and shuttle modifications.
In shocking news, the Battlestar Fleet and the Cylon Collection have arrived. Talk about the big guns. Those guys carry the big Creation Engines that can pump out a Viper or Cylon fighters in roughly 10 seconds with only a 30 second cooldown/slushdown feature.
Met with the Space Force representative and turned over my battle logs. He, in particular, wanted the in-depth scans we performed on the various Precursor ships. Our practice of boarding the ships is, at this time, the most common strategy.
We discussed the fact that Space Force considers forcing the Precursor vessels out of the system to by a phyrric victory and that the system will require a heavy metal posting. Was also informed that the fact that the Precursor fleet retreated from the planets and then from the system was a 'statistical oddity' and he wanted more scans. He also inquired as to whether or not I ran an in-depth scan on the gas giants, which is where the Goliaths were spawning from. I regret I had not, merely a scan for a Goliath.
He appears quite concerned with the actions undertaken but did congratulate me on defending the system.
Transphasic Photon Torpedoes are considered standard armaments for all Starfleet vessels from here on out. There is talk of smaller planet-crackers being put in use among the crew, but planet crackers rely on the mantle to core interaction. Quantum torpedoes are nothing option that I am seriously considering. Phased plasma torpedoes are largely considered in the OP-Class of weaponry but I am seriously considering just loading everything up and going for broke. Tricobalt missiles might be another option but the last time anyone used that was during the Fifth Dominion War. The Dakota is so far out of specifications that mounting such weapons is not as far fetched as it may have sounded a month ago.
It isn't like anything we're going to do is going to count for the leaderboads.
On a personal note, some of the crew members have reported headaches from their SUDS interfaces. McCoy is working on it, but he also warned that the transporter may have to be reconfigured after the discovery that the Precursors can hijack the signal and capture crew members that way.
Starfleet transporters are much more carefully aligned than the earlier 'mat-trans' and 'teleporter' systems used by the 40K LARPers. Safety interlocks prevent our transporters from being used in many cases that a teleporter could be used, require more power, and have a triple-feedback redunancy check.
An amusing point: Teleporter systems seem to go straight through the shields. McCoy and Spock both believe that lengthened amount of time for buffer checking allows the Precursor shielding to be adjusted for the algorythm used by Starfleet vessels.
Another amusing point: During my LFG call, the Wesleys were lined up around the station core. Nobody is taking them on these, despite the class advantages because, outside of structured missions for Starfleet Games, nobody is going to suddenly have Wesley Weaknesses just because.
On a personal note: My Riker has grown out his beard and has been socializing with his Space Force peers in order to get us more information on this threat.'
--Picard 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.304
One thing they don't mention in the sheer amount of time you spend moving from place to place. Warp drive is highly efficient and safe compared to stringdrive, slipstream, gates, and jumpspace. Unlike hyperspace, AI's are able to remain conscious in warp. Still, I feel the urge to yell "GO FASTER" at the warp nacelles.
My Spock took me to the side and warned me that Starfleet vessels may be making a serious mistake. Often, the Precursors take damage and flee the system, using Hellspace to jump out. He has noticed that after roughly 8% of their structure is damaged they then flee. He also had checked Starfleet records.
I'm the only vessel, at this time, running transphasic photon torpedoes.
He has suggested an experiment. Utilize transphasic torpedoes, phased plasma torpedoes, but leave one out of every barrage of 10, with the phased plasma torpedoes, with a subspace beacon. In that manner, we can discover where they are running off to.
My Spock has put forward the theory, and my Scotty and LaForge, as well as my Riker, all agree.
They have refitting, repair, and construction bases somewhere.
Perhaps our plan to put a phased subspace beacon aboard one of the larger vessels will pan out.
I do feel concern about what my crew and I might find in a Precursor shipyward.
--Picard 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.306
We have returned to the system that myself and the others had cleared. In particular, we are running long range sensor scans of the gas giants. My Chekov has suggested, and I concur, that getting in close and running more detailed but shorter range scans might put us too close.
I would really like to avoid a barrage of nCv shells.
Our Uhura (She's extremely qualified and did not object to me doublechecking her bonafides) is keeping a careful ear out for any Precursor transmissions.
I have left orders that at the faintest whisper of Precursor code the Dakota is to move to red alert.
The system looks empty, but there is something that makes me think that there are only four lights.
--Picard 8873
ADDENDUM: There is apparently no structures or other masses in the gas giant at the depths our long range passive scanners can reach.
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.307
Our Uhura spotted it first. Subspace whispers. Complex and shifting binary, barely audible. While others suggested we move in, trying to get a lock in on what was whispering across subspace in such a manner I ordered the ship to immediately go to silent running, no emissions.
We observed a Goliath exit Hellspace near the larger gas giant, streaming vapor and metal, its attendant vessels exiting with it. As we watched it allowed the attendant vessels to board through the massive docking ports.
Sidenote: Some of those docking bays are the size of the real San Francisco Ultraplex.
The 'whispers' picked up and the massive Goliath sank into the gas giant.
My crew's estimation that the three initially engaged Goliaths of our last action had repaired themselves was confirmation bias.
For a bare moment the whisper got louder and the Goliath that had sunk into the gas giant was in plain view on our passive long range scanners then it simply vanished.
The belief of my Spock and Scotty is that the Precursors have some kind of shielded refit structure inside the gas giant beyond the scanner horizon. LaForge has stated that the pressures at such depth would make any construction or repairs inordinately difficult.
My Riker reminded LaForge that the Precursors were engaged in a war when they vanished and these bases are not only war-time bases, but that there are no living crews to worry about.
I ordered my crew to remain on silent running. There is enough debris on that planet to cover a probe approach. My LaForge has suggested putting a probe data relay in the Oort Cloud to give the signals a few 'bounces' and to use only phased tachyon streams with reversed polarity.
Sometimes I wish we didn't have all our own names for technology. Why could he have just said paired quark communications?
--Picard 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.309
The probe was moved into place carefully, following a piece of debris from the previous battle. During this time our Uhura caught another scrap of what she has come to call "Precursor Whispers" from the other gas giant.
My Spock reminded me that the intense pressures inside a massive gas giant could make foundry work easier, allowing the creation of hyperalloys that we need massive foundries for to utilize the inherent pressures of a massive gas giant to create 'alloy farms' inside the gas giant.
A disturbing thought indeed.
Another ship type has arrived, which I have labeled the Enki class Precursor, has arrived and taken to carefully going over the debris fields of the Starfleet battle.
Thankfully the Klingon and Romulan officers routinely utilize anti-matter charges to clear any debris from the destruction of our ships.
It moved to the wreckage of the mining ship and has been spending time there. It is at extreme range and I am becoming nervous about what it is doing.
The Precursor attitudes within this star system are concerning.
Have you ever looked at an inanimate machine, with no living characterization like a Data possesses, and thought to yourself "What are you up to?" as you watched it?
I have that unique experience.
They are up to something.
--Picard 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.310
The probe provided us with valuable information that is critical to disseminate.
We are now, to use my Riker's phrase: running like a bat out of hell.
Passive scans can only penetrate to a certain depth within a gas giant. Starfleet has been largely worried about planetary scans as well as deep space and intrasystem scans. Combine it with the fact we use a lot of gamification in our systems, gas giants were largely used as "spawn points" for crafts. This meant that, naturally, our scanners largely could not penetrate deeply into gas giants.
My Scotty and LaForge re-calibrated the sensor arrays to get a good look inside the gas giant.
My Spock was right. The Precursor was 'growing' large alloy fields down there. There was a repair and manufacturing base the size a continent down inside the gas giant with massive 'alloy farms' around it. Before the scale would have shocked me until my Spock pointed out that the Great Eye of Jupiter is twice the size of Terra itself. Nearly two dozen Precursor vessels were 'docked' at the facility.
Discussions on how to 'deal with' this massive repair and refit base were discussed at a closed meeting of my command crew. It ranged from using a Genesis Device on the gas giant (Not recommended. My LaForge stated that the Precursor ships we are facing here are more adept at 'learning' than previously encountered Precursor types and the last thing we should do is provide them with planet killers that create more resources) to attempting to use a modified planet cracker on the gas giant (Again, tabled due to concerns the Precursors would imitate it).
We settled on phasic trans-phasic photon torpedoes mixed with tricobat missiles.
Out attack was dual: Destroy the debris field of the Romulus class mining vessel, which was being thoroughly combed over by Enki class Precursor vessels, damage or perhaps even destroy the facility and the 'alloy farms' inside the gas giants.
We came in from above the stellar plane, at a high velocity angle. When facing Precursor vessels your speed and maneuverability are key to staying alive. We fired probes while still 25 million miles above the stellar plane. We came in with only debris shields at full power.
The probes reported back that while there were life signs on the planets in the Green and Amber zones the Precursor vessels around those planets and upon the surface were not engaged in wholesale slaughter or destruction. We practically turned the sensors inside out getting deep scans of everything.
Once in range (Starfleet weaponry is somewhat, to use my Riker's term: short legged compared to Space Force line weaponry) I ordered a full scan at maximum power and resolution. Normally this is avoided to prevent damage to sentient beings and xeno-species but the Precursors aren't a foe that one should concern themselves with scanner-burn.
Percursor vessels were not rising from the gas giants. While some immediately launched or moved to engage us from various points in the system, sheer distance and geometry prevented any attacks. At 30 million miles even nCv weapons or phaser beams move too slowly to engage a ship the size of the Dakota. We launched weapons and immediately began accelerating to be able to put enough distance between any Precursor vehicles and our own vessel.
We got our scan data back and immediately realized that engaging the Precursor vessels was now a secondary, if not tertiary, mission.
All four of the gas giants contained refit facilities of a size that is best described as 'geological'.
That was not the key data.
Our Uhura was able to isolate the 'Precursor Whisper' and while unable to decode it, was able to confirm what it is.
FTL data-streams.
Their battle, strategic, and tactical network.
The planets, while full of life and possessing several species known to be "Unified Civilized Races", were all at Stone Age technology. Precursor vessels were moving to protect the planets and their inhabitants for an unknown reason.
This information is vital to Starfleet, Space Force, and all other Confederacy organizations.
--Picard 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.311
The Dakota has now had its very own AbramsKhan moment.
We were fired on in warp drive.
The Precursor vessel mounted one of the Galaxy class Starfleet vessel's engines and pursued us. With a lighter frame, higher energy output, and not having to concern itself with warp drive effects upon living beings, it was not only able to catch up to us, but fire upon us.
My Riker has stated that anyone who mocks up for having such thick armor after this will be starting a brawl.
We are alive only because of my insistence on heavy armor, structural integrity fields running the same type of shield frequency algorithms as our main deflector shields, with dual structural fields layered between armor and structural layers.
Immediately upon being fired upon we dropped out of warp drive to engage the small Precursor vessel. Chekov stated it would be between stellar bodies and it should have been a bare battlefield with not even gas wisps.
Instead, we dropped into a half dozen Jotun class vessels waiting for us.
We are currently undergoing evasive warp maneuvering as estimated by my Spock and my LaForge.
--Picard 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.313
They're attempting to "drive" us deeper into the Dead Zone.
This gives us a fairly unusual opportunity. We can see what they are attempting to push us into or we can attempt to escape.
Spock and Scotty believe that it is imperative we discover what it is that the Precursors believe can take us out compared to the Jotuns following us.
Riker and LaForge maintain our goal should be reaching Federation/Confederate Space.
I believe I have a better idea.
--Picard 8873
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.315
Rather than allow us to be pushed further into the Dead Zone I ordered the ship to move at a right angle to the galactic plane at full warp 9.3. While this can interfere with SUDS uploads and storage I have decided that the risk is necessary.
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.317
The Precursor machines are still in close pursuit. They are arranging for attempted ambushes. LaForge has theorized that the one following us, which is a warp capable photon-torpedo launcher welded to the the Galaxy class engine and wrapped in neutronium armor, sends out a "whisper" as soon as it sees the 'warp flare' from our engines. That enables the Precursor vessels to Helljump to where we will be exiting.
Scotty has a plan.
Luckily, I did not dump my old class data, so I have a Kirk knowledge database.
Spock is overriding the interlocks to allow me to access that knowledge.
It is risky, but acceptable.
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.317 - Supplmental
By utilizing the holodeck, a blank SUDS, and carefully aligned emitters, Spock believes I will be able to load the data from the Kirk character class into my memories despite being a Picard. He will attempt to use his Mind Meld ability to keep me from collapsing under a dual class.
The Precursor Pursuer will be in range inside of 30 minutes.
I have no choice.
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.317.7
The melding was somewhat successful. I have conflicting emotions and desires regarding many subjects but thankfully both my knowledge and personality templates are Starfleet officers. By use of the Mind Meld my Spock was able to use an older exploit involving class rank and player knowledge.
Contrary to popular opinion, Kirk classes are not womanizing hot-heads (Despite AbramsEra semi-canon) but rather highly innovative early Starfleet officers. It is just that the mission files force Kirk to use half-experimental technology in innovative ways in order to overcome unknown experiences and foes. One of the things often overlooked is Kirk made the rank of Admiral and was quite cautious in many ways.
Still, the dissonance between a Picard and a Kirk class is quite intense.
I am suffering nosebleeds. McCoy says it is from intercranial pressure as my brain attempts to sort through the information.
I have not informed him of the fact I have a severe SUDS hangover.
--Picark 8873
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.318
After examining old scans of the Galaxy class ship that was defeated I was able to ascertain its hull number. Using that number, and knowledge possessed by an Admiral Level Kirk Class, when the Precursor Pursuer came close enough to fire I was able to drop its warp-shields. The Precursor Pursuer was exposed to raw warp energy at that time, inhibiting its ability to see the Dakota, specifically causing us to appear much further ahead in the warp conduit.
The Precursor Pursuer fell back and I ordered the Dakota to move to Emergency Warp Speed.
9.998 Okuda Scale
The Precursor Pursuer immediately went to maximum speed of the Galaxy class engine attached to little more than armor, bare shields, and a torpedo launcher.
Warp 10.
Without Transwarp shielding or any other technology, the Precursor Pursuer achieved infinite velocity and infinite mass.
The explosion damaged the Dakota and left us drifting in normal space.
Scotty and LaForce estimate repair times of 3 weeks.
--Picark 8873
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.325
We are again underway after our successful destruction of the Precursor Pursuit vessel.
Maximum warp is limited to Warp 5.4.
Estimated time of arrival at Starbase 4973 is 11 days.
--Picark 8873
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.332
My SUDS has been scrambled and bad. I'm no longer Jeffery van Leedle, born on Rigel, but instead and curious combination of the character neural templates and my old personality.
Scotty, McCoy, and LaForge are examining me. Not in any hopes of untwining the personalities, but rather to forward the information to SoulNet in hopes that it can be prevented for occurring to others, no matter how unusual the circumstances.
The 'Gamed' memories no longer have the distinguishable overlay that Starfleet uses for safety measures. Instead, all of my memories feel the same.
Which is... confusing.
I remember racing a motorcycle in the wheat fields of Oklahoma, outside of Paris, under a Rigellian red sky.
My gestalt personality agrees that it is worth it for the information we have and to save my ship and my crew.
--Jeff Picark 8873
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.334
Pro-term Acting Captain Riker-2173 commanding. Previous Captain suffering the effects of the SUDS/Template merger needed to access information to allow the destruction of the Precursor Pursuer.
Captain Jeff Picark was relieved of command, with acceptance and willingly, two hours ago.
Bridge and Command Officers are in agreement with this action.
We are two days out of Starbase 4973.
--Riker 2173
Captain's Personal Log - Stardate 8532.335
Would I have done it, knowing what I do now?
Yes.
My SUDS cannot update. The neural template recordings fragment and unravel.
I am no longer immortal.
But there is no such thing as only human. Humans, without the SUDS, accomplished incredible feats with just grit and determination.
However, I can no longer participate in active combat Starfleet games. Two hundred years of LARP down the tubes.
I made a good choice with my Riker. The hardest thing to do is relieve your Captain for cause.
He had good cause.
--Jeff Picark 8873
Captain's Log - Stardate 8532.336
I have docked the Dakota and am granting shore leave to crew. Captain Picark was taken to the Space Force infirmary via stretcher with McCoy in attendance.
Our mission is complete. Space Force has our data in their possession.
For some reason, the Precursors keep entire worlds of roughly half the xeno-sapients of the Unified Civilized Races.
Gas Giants must now be treated as Precursor base risks.
I am hoping "Jeff" recovers. The fact that he remembered an ancient piece of lore from OldTrekKhan is, honestly, impressive. Undergoing an in-mission partial respec was risky.
Will report to Starfleet and see what happens.
--Riker 2173
---------------------------
STARFLEET GAMING CENTRAL NOTICE
Jeffery van Leedle, player number 7c345a7e1-8873, is hereby promoted to Starfleet Admiral and is hereby recalled to Earth-42 to Starfleet Headquarters in New-SanFran.
In accordance to his wishes the Dakota a non-canon America class ship, is hereby given to Riker 56a817c38f2-2173, including all templates and player rewards.
-----NOTHING FOLLOWS-------
SPACE FORCE MEMO
ALL CAPTAINS
Initial estimations of 30-50 Goliath class total forces in is error.
New ship types encountered, new facilities discovered (See Attached File).
-----NOTHING FOLLOWS---------
CONFED MEMO
Mantid, any idea what this is about?
----NOTHING FOLLOWS-------
MANTID FREE WORLDS
Beyond "cattle worlds" we cannot estimate why Precursors, of all things, would have the older races, reduced to primitive, on worlds just being observed.
-----NOTHING FOLLOWS--------
BLACK CRUSADE
Experimentation, idiots. That Balor Hellship should have made you think of that.
They're trying to figure out a way to counter us.
------NOTHING FOLLOWS------
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Respect Thanos, the Mad Titan (Marvel: Earth-616)

Respect Thanos, the Mad Titan

Fools taking up arms against omnipotence. They rush head-on into Armageddon. So I shall provide them with a most glorious doomsday! The heavens will run red with blood. But in the end, as always, Thanos will stand triumphant.
 
Thanos was born on Saturn's moon Titan as the son of Eternals A'lars and Sui-San; his brother is Eros of Titan. Thanos carries the Deviants gene, and as such, shares the physical appearance of the Eternals' cousin race. Shocked by his appearance and the belief that he would destroy all life in the universe, Sui-San attempted to kill him, but she was stopped by A'lars. During his school years, Thanos was a pacifist and would only play with his brother Eros and pets. By adolescence, Thanos had become fascinated with nihilism and death, worshiping and eventually falling in love with the physical embodiment of death, Mistress Death. As an adult, Thanos augmented his physical strength and powers through his superior scientific knowledge. He also attempted to create a new life for himself by siring many children as well as becoming a pirate. He finds no fulfillment in either until he is visited again by Mistress Death, for whom he murders his offspring and his pirate captain. Wishing to impress Mistress Death, Thanos gathers an army of villainous aliens and begins a nuclear bombardment of Titan that kills millions of his race, and then begins search of more power in order to fulfill his goal of spreading death and destruction through the universe for his love.
Note: Thanos while he was amped with the God Quarry can be found here, though some notable feats with the amp can be found marked within this thread.

Strength

Durability

Blunt Force/Impact
Energy
Extreme Temperature
Esoteric Resistances
Force Fields

Speed

Energy Projection

MatteEnergy Manipulation

Telepathy

Intellect

Technological
Trickery
Preparation
Other

Misc.

Teleportation/Portal Creation
Healing/Energy Transfer
Cosmic Placement and Awareness
Magical Capability
Other

Fights

Sanctuary

Sanctuary is Thanos' signature starship, one of the most powerful starships in the universe. It comes equipped with a variety of features, including a teleportation system that can be used anywhere throughout the universe, powerful force fields, and advanced weapon systems

Space Throne

Gear and Equipment

Spaceships

Weaponry

Synthetic Gem

Other

Weaknesses

Thanos' most consistent weakness is his ego and tendency for self-sabotage. He lets his opponents live when he could easily disable them and frequently weakens himself while fighting weaker foes. As said by Adam Warlock, Thanos always subconsciously supplied the means for his own defeat, such as letting Nebula grab the Gauntlet from his physical body.

The Cosmic Cube

God Thanos

The Infinity Gauntlet

For I am transformed! I have left the mortal plane behind me! In truth I have risen above the mantle of godhood! Even celestial status is now below me! The Infinity Gems have given me the power of Supreme Being!
Reality Warping/Alteration
Power
Space Manipulation
Time Manipulation
Soul Manipulation
Durability
Strength
Other

Heart of the Universe

Note: The canonical status of Marvel Universe: The End is questionable and up for debate.
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Mission Concept: Terminal Departure (Airport, Alaska)

Briefing
Lucas Grey: Change of plans, 47. We've acquired intel that two more key members of Providence are currently holed up at a private airstrip in Alaska, planning to board an un-chartered flight to who knows where. Unfortunately for them, their plane seems to have been severely delayed due to a massive snow storm. This twist of fate provides us with a window of opportunity, so we're diverting your flight and you will now land in Anchorage, where an associate of mine will be waiting to take you the rest of the way by car. You should be arriving at the private air strip nearly the same time as the storm. Poetic.
Diana: Your first target is CEO of the Prescott Media Group, Graham Prescott. Mr. Prescott is known for using his News Media Empire to manipulate news coverage of world events in order to influence everything from ground level small town policy, to international relations and sparking revolutions, by way of promoting contrarian, alternative versions of otherwise straight-forward world news. The Prescott Media Group is directly responsible for civil unrest in multiple small countries, as well as a number of outbreaks of once-eradicated diseases due to his promotion of illegitimate "scientific" studies. Mr. Prescott has managed to avoid any real consequence of his actions by hiding behind a highly skilled team of lawyers who keep Prescott Media Group's actions just within the bounds of free speech and freedom of the press.
Your second target is Carrie Prescott, Graham Prescott's wife- or more accurately, his business partner. According to our intel, Graham and Carrie participate in a loveless marriage solely for the public image and societal benefits. Mrs. Prescott is the brains behind most of the Prescott Media Group's nefariously purposed media spin. A former political strategist, she uses her education and knowledge to design the perfect deployment of false or misleading narratives in order to illicit a particular reaction from the public, nearly always achieving her desired results. Mrs. Prescott is romantically involved with her personal Body Guard, Kase Bolinger, an affair that Mr. Prescott denies exists although he is both fully aware and in support of it. As far as we have been able to determine, Bolinger is blissfully ignorant of the truth behind the Prescotts and the Prescott Media Group, and seems to genuinely care for Mrs. Prescott. He is seemingly blinded by love. I know you're not the romantic type, 47, but I think it would be best to leave Bolinger out of this.
All flights are currently grounded until the storm has passed so you may be able to find your targets milling about, but given Mr. Prescott's reputation for being obsessed with his work, there's a good chance he will be attempting to conduct business.
Lucas Grey: The Airport is a former military base that was converted into a civilian airfield sometime in the mid 1990's and was secretly purchased by Providence in 2012, at which point they secretly ceased commercial flights and began using the airstrip as a transportation hub mainly for Providence Members, their families, as well as shipping product and artifacts around the world. The airport is not open to the public, and while there are civilians at the airport, they are all related to Providence in some way - although it is a safe bet that many of them are totally unaware.
Olivia broke into the airport's network and was able to hack the passenger manifest, providing you with the necessary credentials in order to gain access to the terminal. The rest is up to you.
Diana: Enter the Airport, find your targets, and take them off the air - for good. Good luck, 47.

Objective Synopsis
  1. Eliminate Graham Prescott- Graham will be mostly in restricted areas, attempting to contact associates and continue to operate several different media spin campaigns he currently has in the works.
  2. Eliminate Carrie Prescott- Carrie will be using the down time as an opportunity to spend time with her lover, Kase, exploring the concourse, visiting shops etc. While in public, they will appear professional - but they will sneak off to be alone from time to time.
  3. (Optional) Do Not Harm Kase Bolinger- Kase is an unwitting participant in the Prescott's devious agenda. He doesn't appear to know anything about the lies spun by the Prescott Media Group. It's possible that he actually believes them. It will not fail the mission if you kill Kase, but in order to achieve Silent Assassin, he must be left alive. (You can knock him out and hide him in a closet or something, though).

Map Layout
A former Military Airstrip converted into a civilian airport will have a unique utilitarian design with a more cozy, guest-friendly aesthetic layered over top. Several out-buildings are unused and rundown, along with numerous aircraft hangars - They are not accessible, only viewable through the windows. There is one runway that stretches out far into the distance. The entire airstrip is surrounded by snowy mountains.
The main three-floor concourse has the general appearance of a mall, with tile flooring, various shops and vendors, people milling about eating food, buying merchandise, etc. Security to enter the Concourse is relatively light, requiring only a display of a boarding pass and ID, but entering either terminal wing requires a full pat-down. Weapons, tools, fluid containers, food, or other items are not allowed past these checkpoints. Illegal items such as weapons will prevent pat down as usual. Banned items such as fluid containers or food will cause Security to reject you until you discard/dispose of the items.
The administration wing consists of mostly rudimentary offices, but is undergoing renovations to bring it up to a more modern standard of style and comfort. There is a VIP Suite where various high ranking members of Providence are welcomed to stay.
There are two Terminal wings that stretch out on either side of the main concourse, each consisting of 4 individual airplane terminals.
A well-secured tower contains Air Traffic Control.
A basement runs the entire footprint of the building, containing utilities, steam pipe/electrical conduit tunnels, storage, and an abandoned section that contains rusted, long disused holding cells for insubordinate soldiers - Agent Smith can be found trapped here. There is also a locked, secured storage room containing weapons and other dangerous items seized from passengers during the airport's public days.
There is a small outdoor section between the concourse building and a large aircraft hangar. The outdoor section is fenced off from the runways and contains mostly stored equipment, but has a roadway meant for a passenger cart to transport individuals from the main building to the hangar.
The hangar itself stores a charter jet meant for short continental flights for prominent Providence members only.

Weapons/Items (common items such as Fire Axe, shovel, etc are not listed)
  1. Marshaling Wand- An orange, glowing baton with which ground crews guide taxiing aircraft. Can be used as a non-lethal melee or thrown weapon, or as a distraction item. Found on ground crew or in areas where ground crew work. Legal for ground crew or security.
  2. Rebar- A long, thin steel rod used to provide tensile integrity to concrete structures. Can be used as a lethal, piercing-melee or thrown weapon, or as a distraction item. Legal for ground crew/construction or higher disguises.
  3. Foil Padded Briefcase- A distinct briefcase with a carbon fiber casing and thick foil interior lining to obscure its contents from x-ray scanners. This is a legacy item from 47's career that Diana had retrieved from a secret stash unit and provided to 47 by Lucas Grey's associate. Will not pass visual inspection if containing an illegal item.
  4. Ink Pen Knife- A ballpoint ink pen casing that conceals a 4 inch long hard plastic blade meant for stabbing. This item was nearly smuggled onto an airplane before it was discovered through x-ray imaging, back before Providence took over and stopped allowing public traffic through the airport. It can be found in storage among numerous other confiscated, dangerous items.
  5. Umbrella Gun- A .22 caliber single-shot firearm designed into the construction of a large umbrella. The barrel acts as a suppressor and the cartridge is subsonic, allowing it to be fired without drawing attention. It can also be used as a non-lethal melee weapon by default - select the weapon in your inventory and press Square to activate it as a firearm (similar to retrieving an item from a briefcase). Another inconspicuous but deadly weapon seized by airport security thanks to x-ray imaging, found in the secured basement storage. Will pass pat-downs and is a legal, non-suspicious item... but you only have one shot and have to be at relatively close range, so make it count.
  6. Binary Explosive Compound A- An inert solid compound interwoven into a Cigar that, when combined with a secondary compound, will become a volatile explosive. Totally inconspicuous and will pass all security checks. Another item collected from a passenger that was arrested for other illegal items. The singular compound in the Cigar is undetectable by all means, including bomb-sniffing dogs, which is why it is separate from the secondary compound.
  7. Binary Explosive Compound B- An inert liquid compound inside an eye-drop bottle. Combine with Binary Explosive A to create an explosion. (best method for this is to poison someone's drink or food with the eye-dropper, then get them to smoke the cigar. The vapors from the chemical in the cigar will react with the chemical in the drink and cause the cigar to explode)
  8. FUSIL M1- Variant of the FUSIL automatic rifle that includes a carrying handle affixed to the upper mount.
Disguises
  1. Airport Security- Pale green security uniforms with utility belts. Airport security is normally armed with a HACKL 9S pistol and sometimes a FUSIL M1.
  2. Ground Crew- Orange Reflective Vest, Hard Hat, Ear Protection, Work Gloves, shoulder-mounted two-way radio. Similar in appearance to the Race Marshals in Miami.
  3. Air Traffic Control- Business Casual attire.
  4. Vendor- Different variations of concourse vendors.
  5. Janitor- A Janitor.
  6. VIP Security- Black suit and tie, guards administration areas and VIP hangar. VIP Security carries SMG's.
  7. Aircraft Mechanic- Jumpsuits of various colors, hard hat, sometimes ear protection.
  8. Saboteur- Tan trench coat, black fedora, dark sunglasses and black leather gloves - outfit confiscated from an ill-intended passenger decades ago, found in storage.
  9. Sheikh Salman al-Ghazali- A VIP with clearance to come and go as he pleases.
  10. Pilot- Allowed most places, but don't get too close to the mechanics, air traffic control, or various other airport staff.
  11. Lounge Crew- Servers/Bartenders that work in the various lounges.
  12. New Suit- 47's Signature Suit w/Gloves, Buttoned - ET Unlock
  13. New Suit- Winter Tactical Suit- A white version of the Snow Fest Suit with the hood up and a pair of ski goggles - Mastery Unlock

Opportunities/Mission Stories/Kill Challenges
  1. Jet Fuel- Pose as a Pilot and inform Mr. Prescott that you have approval to fly him and Mrs. Prescott out on the VIP Jet. Inform the mechanic crew to do begin the pre-flight process of warming up the engines. Switch to a Mechanic disguise (or sneak), and when Mr. Prescott nears the plane for boarding, use a Wrench to increase the fuel pressure to one of the engines to cause it to accelerate and suck him in. You can choose to do this to Mrs. Prescott instead. Whomever you choose, the other will go into lockdown.
  2. Mixing Business and Pleasure- Attend an impromptu private meeting with Mr. Prescott while disguised as The Sheikh. Use the binary explosive compounds to sabotage Mr. Prescott's stay in the VIP Lounge. You'll need to pose as Lounge Crew to gain access to the VIP Lounge and plant the compounds.
  3. Ex-Ray- Mrs. Prescott, in her endless flirting with Kase, will get the idea to walk through the full body X-Ray scanner to display her undergarments to him. As a Janitor, sabotage the machine by exposing a wire. When Mrs. Prescott enters the machine, knock over the nearby mop bucket, causing her to be electrocuted.
  4. 7 Minutes in Heaven, Eternity Elsewhere- Separate Kase from Mrs. Prescott, then subdue him and hide his body. Use his phone to text Mrs. Prescott, inviting her into a well hidden closet. Eliminate her by any means once she's inside.

Mission Entrances
  1. Main Concourse - 47's Signature Suit w/Gloves, Buttoned - 47 Will enter through the main entrance and provide his counterfeit boarding pass and false ID for clearance.
  2. In the Basement as a Janitor
  3. In the Hangar as a Mechanic
  4. At the Smoothie Stand as a Vendor
  5. In the Administration Building as a Pilot
  6. Inside the Perimeter Fence - Winter Tac Suit - 47 begins just inside a fence that he climbed over in the outdoor space between the Hangar and the Main Building.
Mission Exits
  1. Through the main entrance where Grey's associate is waiting in the car
  2. With the VIP Jet
  3. Through the underground steam tunnel
  4. Through the airfield gate with a Pushback Tug as Ground Crew
submitted by Left4DayZ1 to HiTMAN [link] [comments]

Beneath - Part 15: The Choice

Commander Pell wore forlorn determination like a mask.
His strong face was sunken and sallow. He had not slept in earnest for two weeks. He had not been so tired for decades, not since his Ranger training.
It was not lost on Pell that the future of the human race now rested on his sleep-deprived shoulders. All that weight bore down upon him. Had the weight gotten heavier or were his shoulder's beginning to buckle beneath it?
Both, he imagined.
"Commander, NATO is green on their end. Land and sea." The corporal looked as bad or worse as Pell. A thick cloud of exhaustion hovered over the entire war-room. Every man and woman inhaled its vapors and floated on the edge of consciousness.
"And sir," the corporal added, locking his tired eyes with Pell's, "the Chinese are a go, sir."
Pell did not know he had any adrenaline left in his body, but the news from China drew out whatever remained. Pell's heavy eyes, rheumy with sleepfulness, widened.
"Understood corporal." Pell knew what he needed to do, but he was so tired that every act required careful volition. Pell lifted his arm - left arm he reminded himself - and checked his watch. Five after five. Only three hours and twenty-five minutes remained.
No time to waste.
Forcing his hoarse voice to command volume, Pell addressed the room.
"Ladies and gentlemen. 'Thunderclap' is green. Each of you knows your role." Pell paused, uncertain what to say. "I know it has been difficult, but for better or for worse, this will all be over soon. What we do today we do for the sake of the entire human race."
Pell turned toward the tactical screen without another word, filled with dissatisfaction over his speech.
With the slow, determined energy of a group of ground sloths, the room oozed to life. Each officer pressed on through a haze of weariness, but this was not all that slowed their pace. Beyond their fatigue, each was oppressed by the terrible responsibility of what they were about to be a part of.
For decades the concept of mutually assured destruction had kept the human race from starting a nuclear war. But the nature of the present upheaval pushed the precepts of M.A.D. past their breaking point. The binary possibilities of the current emergency - eternal Russian dominance or, ostensibly, a free world - raised questions beyond anyone's ability to answer or prognosticate. There were, even within the American military, certain factions who believed it best to simply allow the Russians to make contact, rather than risk nuclear annihilation.
Ultimately, the decision fell to the White House, and the White House's position had been unequivocal: Get an American to that landing sight. At all costs.
It was clear to everyone that there were no good options. The Russians knew that perfectly well. Their hyper-aggressive, multi-pronged invasion was just one part of a spider web of complex, overlapping tactical impossibilities.
It was apparent within the first few days of the conflict that no ground force could possibly beat the Russian army in time to make the meeting. Similarly, no air-based attack, no amount of conventional bombs and paratroopers, was going to be able to shortcut their way to the meeting point. Let alone hold that position long enough to complete the meeting safely.
Given enough time, of course, the Russian's stood no chance against the combined might of the rest of the world. Only there wasn't enough time. There were only three hours and, now, twenty minutes before they arrived. No time at all. No choices left.
Enter Thunderclap.
The plan was frightening in its stark, unfeeling simplicity. The Russian military would be bombarded, from all sides, by allied nuclear weapons - utterly destroyed in the course of an hour. This would include multiple payload strikes on the meeting area itself. Immediately after detonation, several aircraft, already in the air, would deposit a unit of 200 specially trained soldiers in the fresh, smoldering nuclear pit that would be the meeting site. These soldiers would be equipped with radiation protective suits - suits which would do almost nothing against such large amounts of radiation. Their mission would be to survive long enough to finish the meeting.
Of course, the Russians would reciprocate with a nuclear volley of their own. Major cities around the world had been unofficially evacuating for days already, uncertain of whether, or when, the nuclear seal would be broken. But even with half the world's population dispersed in fear, the results of the Russian counter-attack would be appalling. Hundreds of millions dead, and, perhaps, nuclear winter.
The Executive was presented with the full prospectus for Thunderclap. The terrible loss of life was deemed acceptable collateral damage. Anything to avoid Russian supremacy, which the President and his military advisors believed to be a death sentence in and of itself. The hope was that whatever knowledge the aliens imbued humanity with would be sufficient to repair the damage caused by the war. The subsequent ascendance of the human race would make the casualties well worthwhile.
For his part, Pell felt a certain relief. To be sure, the plan horrified him. He did not, on a personal level, agree with it. Better to allow the Russians to "win" - to the extent winning and losing were applicable to this situation.
However, Pell had become very good, in his decades of military service, at separating the personal from the professional. Standing there in that command center, there was no Christopher Pell, son of Herman Pell, both born and raised in Nebraska.
There was only Commander Pell of the Joint Strategic Armed Forces. For Commander Pell, as with all military leaders, nothing was more burdensome than uncertainty. The moment he heard the Chinese were on board, all uncertainty had been banished. There was a plan - it may entail awesome risk and unspeakable destruction - but it was, finally, a plan. And, as far as Pell could see, it was the only way "victory" could be achieved.
One by one word came back from the various officers sending out their global communications. One by one the nuclear submarines, airplanes, and silos pinpointed their individual targets and signalled their readiness to fire.
As the final, far-flung nuclear assets took their time in responding, the young, tired corporal ran up to Pell once again. This time he had a phone in his hand.
"Sir, someone's on the line using a call sign I don't recognize, " the corporal wobbled briefly in place, and steadied himself, "'Academia?'"
Pell looked up from his reverie and reached out for the phone. "I'll take it." The corporal handed the phone over and walked back to his station.
Pell hesitated a moment and put the phone up to his head.
"How is he?"
Merriman's trusted guard sounded strained. "He's conscious sir. Very conscious." The soldier hesitated for a moment. "Sir, I apologize, the Professor insisted I make the call. He has something urgent to tell you."
Something urgent? Pell thought. More urgent than the impending nuclear holocaust?
Pell sighed. "Put him on."
The line went silent for a moment and then Professor Merriman's unequivocal voice came over the line.
"Pell, you need to end this war."
Pell blinked. "Professor," Pell responded by means of hello.
Merriman's voice was taut and urgent. He pressed on. "I mistranslated."
Pell's pupils dilated. "What?"
"I mistranslated the Book."
It felt to Pell as though a flaming stone had spontaneously appeared in his stomach. All around him the final officers awaited targeting confirmation. Pell turned away from them all and faced the far wall so as to hide his worry.
"Mistranslated how?" Pell growled into the receiver.
There was a moment of silence on the other side of the line. Then Merriman began.
"Originally the second and third phase of the Path appeared almost identical. I thought the differences were purely technological." Merriman spoke quickly now, at the frenetic pace of his fully rested genius. "Both phases utilized the same symbol in their title, which I translated as 'society' or 'culture.' But I didn't consider ordering - in certain written languages the location of a symbol in a given phrase can change its meaning entirely. It's similar to syllabic stress changing the meaning of a word - like contest versus contest for instance, where one means...."
Pell's interruption was abrupt. "Spare me the lecture, what does this mean?"
Merriman's throaty swallow could be heard over the phone. "The second phase is 'Society.' The third phase is 'Community.' That's the word I got wrong - 'community.'"
Pell rubbed at his temple where a fierce headache was taking hold. "I don't understand. What's the difference?"
"Each step of the Path represents an evolutionary plateau. Awakening is the baseline of intelligence. Society is the baseline of technological and cultural development." Merriman took a breath, "Community is the next logical step - not just a measure of one subgroup's power, but a measure of the species' power as a whole."
Pell was out of patience. He almost screamed into the receiver out of frustration but managed to keep his voice low, though his tone was severe. "Professor, I am about fifteen seconds away from irradiating a quarter of the planet. Get to the point."
Merriman blurted out the point. "Community means working together, Commander. We need to work together, as a species."
Pell tried to wrap his head around what Merriman was saying. As he did so he caught a glimpse of the corporal returning from the other side of the room. "What does that mean?"
"It means unless the human race meets these beings as a cohesive whole, we lose."
Pell stared at a spot on the wall. "We lose?"
"Eradication," Merriman said simply. "Those who stray from the Path face eradication." Merriman let that sit for half a second. "Pell, you need to reach out to the Russians. You need to stop this. I have no doubt they're operating under the same misconceptions I was."
Right then the corporal approached from behind Pell. "Sir," he said, causing Pell to twitch around anxiously.
His commander's sudden, nervous demeanor threw the Corporal for a loop. The young man's confidence visibly faded. "Sir," he said again, "all assets are green. We are ready to begin on your command."
Pell stood hunched over, the phone still held tight to his face. Instinct brought up his watch. Fifteen after five, three hours and 15 minutes left. No time at all.
"Pell! Pell, listen to me. Unless we meet them together, we're done. Do you understand? Pell?"
The hand in which Pell held the receiver slowly fell away from his head. As the phone lowered to Pell's side, Merriman's tinny voice could still be heard. "Call the Russians Pell. Stop the war! Pell! Pell?!"
The entire room turned to look at Pell. They all had their orders from on high. They all knew what the White House wanted them to do. But to a person, they also knew where their true loyalties lay. If their Commander ordered them to kill tens or hundreds of millions of people, they would not hesitate. If their Commander told them to abort, they would abort.
While his officers looked to him for an answer, and Merriman's distant voice yelled through the receiver, Pell's mind turned inward for a moment that felt like an eternity.
Time dilated and a moment that felt like an eternity. For the first time in forty years, Pell found himself wishing he could turn to his father for advice. Standing there in his wrinkled uniform, Pell felt once again like a lost child - in over his head. If only his dad was there, adult and certain, infallible.
Except he was not. Herman Pell was a decrepit invalid, lost inside his own home. Herman's mind was as empty now as the 30 foot deep pit in his front yard. In the last two years of chaos, Pell had not seen his father more than a handful of times. The last time was six months ago, and the old man didn't even recognize Pell's face.
No, if Pell's father ever had the answers, like Herman himself, they were well and truly gone.
How am I supposed to choose? Pell thought. How is anyone supposed to choose?
"Sir?" The Corporal stood by, confused and worried. "What is your order?"
Pell's grip on the receiver tightened until the blood blanched from his knuckles and they turned white.
Commander Christopher Pell ordered himself to make a decision.
Choose, he commanded himself.
And then he did.
You can now subscribe to LFTM and get a notification whenever I post a new story or story update! Just comment on this or any other post with the comment !subscribeme or subscribeme!
submitted by Gasdark to LFTM [link] [comments]

Erich’s “What in the (cyber security) world is going on?” 03-09-17 edition

Another crazy week in the Cyberz. This is my recap of the last week worth of fun (and not) related to the world of cyber. To get updates more often, subscribe to my blog or follow me on twitter.
This has been formatted in Reddit markdown so inline images are gone. To see it in all it's glory, CLICK HERE
I'll be down by Ft. Lauderdale Thursday and Friday while speaking at the South Florida ISSA Conference. If you are around and want to meet up for a cold one, let me know.
 
I'm just going to start with Vault 7
I mean, really, how could I not? On Tuesday WikiLeaks dropped a bomb on the infosec world (perhaps the world in general) when they published roughly eleventy-trillion pages of data related to CIA offensive cyber capabilities. It's full of 0-days and different vulnerabilities/hack with fun little names like "SnowyOwl" and "Weeping Angel". For example, Weeping Angel can use Samsung Smart TVs to covertly record audio conversations. If/when it's confirmed that this is really a legit CIA info dump (which it appears to be), it won't be pleasant. As it is, a lot of people int he US Government are probably creating new grey hair and ulcers at this very moment. I am not going to try to analyze the whole dump, but I will say that some of this stuff is a bit spooky. Just remember, Don't Blink!
 
Over 1 Biiiiiiiiilion email addresses exposed by spammers misconfigured backups
Karma is a bitch. River City Media screwed up their Rsync configs and accidentally backed up their data to an internet-facing server, exposing all of the data where it was discovered by Chris Vickery, a security researcher for MacKeeper. He contacted the authorities and relevant orgs to help shut down the infrastructure. Hopefully that 1.3 billion records, some containing home addresses and IP's, don't drop in to the hands of other spamming orgs. Time will tell
 
TorrentLocker (aka Cryptolocker) is back and farming credentials as well.
After taking some time off, Cryptolocker appears to be back in a very aggressive campaign, and it has some new 'features'. It's sent via Word docs with a PowerShell script, infects and spreads via shared files, and it's also grabbing credentials as well. Right now it appears to be targeting Europe, especially Italy, but we need to keep our eyes open regardless of where we live.
 
16 Senators and Staff In Pennsylvania Locked Out Of Their Systems By Ransomware
This happened to the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus on Friday and the website is still down as of the time of this post on Wednesday evening. This can't be a fun day over there. As of Friday, Pennsylvania Democrats spokeswoman Stacey Witalec said, “At this point we are working with Microsoft to see where we’re at.”
Odds are, it was a phishing email some poor unsuspecting staffer clicked on. This is a good time to take them from unsuspecting, to a healthy level of paranoia by training them about the threat.
 
Dot ransomware - Coming soon to a network near you
I've mentioned Raas (Ransomware as a Service) before, but it's really starting to show some growth potential. The "Dot" RaaS strain is currently being advertised on the dark web, so we can expect to see it hitting pretty soon. This one is a zero money down, profit-sharing strain with a 50/50 split. Expect more of this sort of thing to start rolling out in the near future. If it remains profitable, it will continue to grow.
 
Eyes Open Aussies - ASIC phishing email is spreading Cryptolocker
It looks like it's hitting folks this morning (Monday), so keep an eye open for it. Cryptolocker attacks have been on the rise lately and are wreaking some havoc with new "features". Stay sharp out there!
 
Shamoon 2 May Get a Ransomware Feature and StoneDrill Hides in Memory
This is a good read from DarkReading. In summary, Shamoon was Sha-sleep for quite Shum time (You see what I did there, right?) but returned last year to harass some folks in the Middle East. It is typically deployed as data wiping malware, but it seems as if the developer realized that there can be money in adding a ransomware feature in version 2. While it's not in the wild yet, it's a lesson that malware devs are starting to see the value in coding a ransomware option in to what they are already distributing.
Also, StoneDrill is injecting itself into the memory process of the user's browser and doing a good job of ducking under sandbox radars. It appears to share code with NewsBeef and/or Charming Kitten APTs which are generally affiliated with Iranian State-Sanctioned options. Currently these are still focused on the Middle East, but it appears at least one European org has been infected with it.
 
Mystery Shopper Email Scams - Yeah, They Still Happen
It's important that we help educate others that these scams do still happen. Lower income, unemployed and retired people are especially prone to this sort of scam. It sounds like easy money, and even appeals to the undercover 007 type in most of us, but it can do a number on your bank account.
Key thing to remember is, if someone sends you a check and asks you to send the change, it's a scam. This doesn't matter if it's a car purchase on ebay or craigslist, or anything else, don't do it. Checks can take a long time to clear, or be found to be fake, and you are held holding the bag.
Mystery shopping is the SCAM OF THE WEEK here at KnowBe4, and there is some good info on what to look for, and something you can copy/paste for friends and family. Check it out.
 
W2 Scams are off the charts right now
This week was just stupid, so I'm going to just group them together
 
Yet Another W2 Breach - 2,400 at Autoneum North America Inc.
Sadly the Swiss company disclosed about 2,400 employees W2's to scammers. The employees were in Jeffersonville, Indiana; Oregon, Ohio; Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania; and Aiken, South Carolina; and at its North American headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan. At least 1 employee already found their taxes having been filed by the scammers.
 
Daytona State College W2 Breach
Hundreds of current and former employees could be affected by the breach, although they are being very vague on how it happened. Gee, I wonder, could it possibly be a W2 phishing scam? Go figure.
 
Yukon Public Schools Hit With Data Breach
And again I find myself reporting on a W2 scam. This time, It's Yukon Public Schools that fell for a phishing scam and emailed W2's to scammers. Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said the email looked like it was sent from him, then later in the story it was mentioned that it was spoofed from an AOL email address. Really? AOL in this day and age? This is twice today I have heard of people using AOL email. I really thought it was dead.
Kids, today's lesson is, if you are handling sensitive information or transferring money, you might want to pick up the phone BEFORE you hit send. Just sayin.
 
Groton Public Schools - Yet Another W2 Scam Victim
This is really getting stupid. School after school are sending the teacher's W2 to scammers. Groton Public Schools in Connecticut is the focus of this post. You know, because teachers don't have enough to deal with, what with miniature humans eating the all of the paste and creating mayhem by the truckload.
 
Glastonbury, CT Public Schools Hit By W2 Scam
Another day, another district reporting a breach. This time it was Glastonbury Public Schools who did it. It was everyone but the food service personnel (the district appears to know enough NOT to mess with the folks that handle their food). How does anyone in the school systems not know about this scam already? Sheesh!
 
Tyler Independent School District Falls For W2 Scam
From Tyler, TX. They found out about it on Wednesday. I like that they are taking steps though, as the district said they will "continue and improve upon our information security awareness and training programs for all employees." Good, comprehensive awareness training IS how you combat this
 
1 Bitcoin is worth more than an ounce of gold
Pretty crazy that this unregulated vapor-currency is worth more than gold isn't it? AWESOME PICTURE
 
Gas Pump Tamper Alarm May Have Foiled Skimmer Install
I am glad to see the new pumps have tamper alarms and that they may actually work. This one was an issue pretty close to home in Ocala, FL.
The tamper alarm went off and the clerk checked it out, possibly spooking a few guys that were acting weird. We need more of this sort of thing happening.
 
#MHN, #kippo and #Dionaea still cooking along. Now to capture binaries...
So, I've been playing with Kippo and Dionaea using the Modern Honey Network (MHN) tool and having some fun with it. At this point, I'm going to reload my Kippo box at home and deploy it with Dionaea as well rather than WordPot. I like being able to see the different types of attacks on FTP and HTTP, but I'm having some trouble with the config.
Currently, FTP will make a connection, but fails to send a directory listing. Likewise, I am not capturing any binaries right now. I tried making the folder wide open (777 & nobody:nogroup) but still no luck. If you have any ideas, let me know please. I want to start playing with captures. In the meantime, my pew pew map is about done collecting sources now. Few of the attacks come from a new place now.
Pew pew map
Attacks on various services
submitted by MadSecuritySquirrel to security [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: We are NASA Scientists Looking for Habitable Planets Around other Stars. Ask Us Anything!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2015-10-22
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
In theory, is there any way to determine the types of elements found on exoplanets. If so, how do we do this? There are actually a few ways. The simplest to to measure the mass and the radius of the planet. If it is big and light, it must be mostly hydrogen and helium. If it is small and dense, it must have a lot of iron. Right now we work out the details by comparing the mass and radius with models. But sometimes we can get spectra to use to test and refine the models (The models usually turn out to be pretty good though). -SJW.
Yes it is possible to detect the types of elements and molecules found on exoplanets. This is called Exoplanet characterisation and is a currently evolving field in exoplanet science. What we are able to do is look at the planets atmospheres using the transit technique. As the planet passes in front of the star some of the starlight passes through the planets atmosphere before reaching our telescopes. There are certain elements and molecules in a planets atmosphere, like water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere, which absorb light at specific wavelengths. This makes the planet appear to be blocking out more of the starlight over lots of wavelengths (or colors). We can measure this change in the amount of light, the equivalent of a mosquito flying in infant of a street lamp at 10km away, using telescopes from the ground and from space.
We are currently using the Hubble Space Telescope in the optical and near-infrared to look for Sodium and Potassium elements in hot Jupiter atmospheres as well as water vapor in their upper atmospheres. JWST is going to allow us to go to even longer wavelengths and many different molecules.
We are also able to directly image some of the youngest and hottest exoplanets using sophisticated imaging techniques which are improving every day. A famous system HR 8799 has been directly imaged and we have been able to get full spectra from the optical into the IR for the planets in that system. There we are getting a direct detection from the planets, without it being from filtered starlight like with the transit technique.
The difference between these two techniques is the types of planets they look at. The transit technique is best for the close-in planets with short orbits these are normally evolved and slightly older systems. While direct imaging is good at detecting planets far from their stars which are still young enough to be emitting their own flux. Both techniques are getting better and better and the gap between the two types of planets we can look at with these techniques is getting smaller. Watch this space. - HWakeford.
What are the plans for the near future (2020's, 2030's etc.) regarding the search for exoplanets? Are there new telescopes with new detection abilities that are being planned to launch soon? The James Webb Space Telescope will be able to directly image young gas giant planets orbiting at large distances from their parent stars. It will also be a powerful telescope for studying the atmospheres of bright transiting planets, especially those found by the TESS mission. MC.
Smoking-Krills—I expect the next 20 or so years is going to be a very busy time for NASA’s search for exoplanets.
In 2017, we will launch the TESS (Link to tess.gsfc.nasa.gov) a mission that will use the transit technique to conduct an all-sky survey for planets around the nearest and brightest stars to the Earth.
Close on its heels, in 2018, will come JWST (Link to www.jwst.nasa.gov) NASA’s next Great Observatory. JWST will be a 6.5-m infrared space telescope that will be able to follow-up on many of the planets that TESS discovers to figure out what their atmospheres are made up of and what their temperatures are.
A little further out, say in the mid-2020s, we are starting to plan a mission called WFIRST (Link to wfirst.gsfc.nasa.gov) Part of the WFIRST mission will be to use a technique called gravitational microlensing (Link to en.wikipedia.org to discover planets—even free-floating planets that are not in orbit around a star! WFIRST will also have a coronagraph—an instrument that will block out the light from a star and let us see Jupiter- and Neptune- sized planets directly. Of course, the ultimate goal of NASA’s (and humanity’s) search for exoplanets is to find other worlds capable of supporting life—Earth 2.0. Beyond WFIRST, perhaps as soon as the 2030’s, we would like to fly a mission that would enable us to directly image truly Earth-sized rocky planets in the solar neighborhood (within perhaps 50-100 light years of the Earth. That mission will be able to measure the composition of those planets’ atmosphere’s, the temperature distribution on their surfaces, and search for evidence that they have life. It is exciting to think that in the next 20-30 years, we may realistically be able to answer one of the oldest questions of humankind—Are we alone? - DMH
What's it like to work on NASA? There is never a dull day here in the the JPL newsroom! In the span of one morning (say, this morning), I got to try and wrap my brain around the alien ocean of Enceladus, emerging robotic technology like Robosimian, and the search for planets around other stars. NASA missions rely on collaboration between different NASA centers, and partner institutions like universities and federally-funded research and development centers. I get to work with smart, creative people who aren't afraid to tackle big questions, and that's a pretty great thing to have in a job. -- SLS.
NASA's the best place to work if you are driven by curiosity and challenges. Everything scientists do here is cutting edge and pushes the boundaries of our technologies, our understanding of science, and the limits of our imagination. You need to be able to lake the long view: most of our missions take many years to come to fruition, and science rarely has quick discoveries made by lone researchers. People work in large teams for many years to make these discoveries. -- DjB.
It is a lot of fun! My job is to run a camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope and deliver the best possible images to the astronomers around the world. Every day is different and the work keeps my brain active! We are constantly learning new things about exoplanets, the most distant galaxies and near-Earth asteroids. -- SJC.
It's GREAT! I'm the social media team lead here at NASA Goddard and so I get to post about all the astounding science and technology our people are discovering and developing. Please follow our social media accounts: NASAGoddard: Twitter Link to twitter.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC & Instagram: Link to instagram.com
Remember Sharing is Caring! - AK.
Hello NASA I'm currently a student weighing my options on what path to go down with my life and am looking at a science related field as an option. I am very interested in working with projects dealing with space and am curious on what you guys studied and got your degrees in. What are some options in which I can participate in furthering human knowledge and understanding surrounding topics dealing with space? BS in physics, MS in Geology, PhD in Geosciences and Astrobiology - sddg.
Well, a career in science is great ! Personally I studied, and got good grades, in math, physics and astronomy. My degrees in college and graduate school are in physics and astrophysics. Hope to see you in the field ... SH.
It takes a village to run a space program! We hire all different types of specialists. Check out current openings here: Link to www.jpl.nasa.gov
Link to nasajobs.nasa.gov
I started out in biochemistry and ended up with a degree in history. If someone had told me that science communication was a career path, I might have taken a more direct path to where I am now, but I had a lot of adventures in print and online journalism, software, and travel writing before landing in the JPL newsroom. -- SLS.
I'm a science writer in the media office at JPL. I studied biochemistry as an undergrad and later earned a masters in science journalism. -WC.
I got my BS in Physics, MS and PhD in Astronomy, and held two postdoctoral positions at universities before coming to work on the K2 mission. What helped fuel my interest in astronomy (and helped me learn a lot at the same time) was getting involved in an Astronomy Club in college, working at my college observatory, and participating in summer research programs. -- KC.
Answering strictly personally, I have a bachelor's degree in Physics and in Applied Maths, a master's degree in Physics, and a Ph.D. in astrophysics. I never took a single astronomy course in college, but that hasn't held me back too much. My advice for future scientists? Follow your curiosity. People do change fields successfully between college and graduate school, so you're not locked in at the beginning. -- DjB.
My undergraduate degree is in Journalism/Science Writing from Lehigh University (Go Mountain Hawks!) which was fantastic because it combined journalism with doing a lot of work in the lab and taking science classes. - AK.
I want to say that I get so excited every time I read about the updates to the work you guys are doing. It's astounding how we've gone from knowing about maybe ONE exoplanet back in the 1990s to knowing about THOUSANDS. It's an exciting time to be alive for astronomy and cosmology nuts. Not everyone is all that excited, of course - especially people who can't see the value of scientific discovery like this if it doesn't have dollar signs attached. What other scientific advancements and benefits can come from the search of exoplanets (financial or otherwise) aside from "contacting E.T." and "finding a new Earth"? The search for exoplanets with missions like Kepler, K2, and TESS involves observations of stars to determine whether they display periodic dimming due to the presence of a planet transiting in front of the star. This type of monitoring also reveals stars that eclipse other stars (binary star systems) and can be used to study stars in clusters (which helps us understand their ages and other properties). Stellar astrophysics benefits greatly from searches for exoplanets. -- KC One of the HUGE lessons from exoplanet science thus far has come from unexpected discoveries. These have had a profound impact on how we think about the planets in our home Solar System. When we look for life on exoplanets, we're going to be doing that be looking at the climates and atmospheric compositions of other planets. I'm really looking forward to the surprises we find on planetary climate, and if we find life... the surprises we find on the interactions between life and its host planet. When we get those surprises, it could have a huge impact on how we view the climate of our home world. -sddg.
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