Saturday, November 14, 2015

"See Something, Say Something" can result in bizarre findings on the Internet (like supposed Muslim body-shaving); maybe a bizarre DDOS side-effect?

I’ve encountered a very bizarre issue in Windows 10, that may or may not be content-related.

Following up on the news stories about the horrible events in France, I was looking at some old material on 9/11 late last night, and was curious about stories that the 9/11 hijackers had shaved their bodies in their motel rooms the night before.  (This may have been just in Boston.)  I found a Slate article that gave me a “forbidden” error 403.  Then Windows 10 hung, and I had to restart it with the power button.  When Windows came back up, I entered just “” and got the story and link.

Today, I got the error 403 again and the system seemed to slow down.  So I restarted it, this time “legally”.  I tried the link on an older Windows 7 machine and it worked fine.  But in the past, Slate (and a few other big news sites, especially Major League Baseball) could cause Windows to hesitate momentarily on Windows 7 (it doesn’t now).

It’s possible that the error happens because of Kaspersky, too.

It is possible for an Apache server to deny public access from a specific IP address, which is a tool used to control DDOS attacks.  Possibly the server thinks my address is compromised (if it has experienced a DDOS recently), but only in the Windows 10, Kaspersky environment.  This is rarely done with ordinary users.

Of course, the content of the article is provocative.  It is conceivable that another passenger (particularly a gay male) might have noticed this about the men who would turn out to be the hijackers while in the airport terminal.  Should he have said something?  Apparently the ritual has some religious significance, and could indicate that the practice expects to end his life.  That definitely fits into the “see something, say something” idea.

It is possible for “ordinary bloggers” to get tips on the Internet.  I got a few in the first few years after 9/11.  In fact, some people got a bizarre email on Sept. 1, 2001 that was thought to be spam or malware (I remember seeing it on my old Compaq laptop computer in a motel, as I was away in Canada Labor Day weekend that year, living in Minneapolis.)  I believe I got what looked like a warning about another Indonesia bar attack in the fall of 2002, and called authorities (and indeed there was a bust three days after I called).  The most recent such message came in 2005, concerning the history of OBL, and I did spend about 20 minutes talking (by cell phone) to an FBI agent in Philadelphia about the email.  These have become less common as social media has taken over, while emails like this are more likely to be just spam (or malware) than they used to be

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