US Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Rant Attacking Trump

Government websites, many of them in Ohio, were hacked Sunday with a message that purports to be supportive of the Islamic State terrorist group.

A message posted on the website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.”

The message, left by “Team System Dz,” also ended, “I love the Islamic state.”

The same message also infiltrated government websites in the town of Brookhaven, New York, according to news reports in that state, as well as the website for Howard County, Maryland. In the past, the group also claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.

Several other government websites were hacked in Ohio, including that of first lady Karen Kasich, Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Casino Control Commission.

Tom Hoyt, chief communications officer for Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services, was among Ohio officials who confirmed the hack.

“All affected servers have been taken offline and we are investigating how these hackers were able to deface these websites,” he said. “We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened.”

US Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Rant Attacking Trump
He said the hacking in Ohio happened at about 11am EDT (8:30pm IST). He hoped the websites would be up and running sometime Monday.

The websites in Brookhaven and Howard County also remained down on Sunday. When asked about the outage on the Brookhaven site, a spokeswoman who answered the phone at the New York town’s police department simply offered a “no comment.”

The hack is part of ongoing cyber-terrorism that has impacted governments and corporations across the globe.

Some see these types of hacks – sometimes called “defacement” – as simply a nuisance, though in some instances, they have been disruptive to work and government life.

But others see cause for alarm. “Wake up freedom-loving Americans. Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland,” Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and a Republican candidate for US Senate, said in a tweet Sunday.

Authors of the website Cryptosphere, which tracks hackers worldwide, have detailed dozens, if not hundreds, of similar hacks in recent years by the so-called Team System DZ, which they called a “pro-ISIS hacker crew” and claim are based in Algeria.

Impacted websites, they said, have included those for a synagogue in Florida, the student union at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, for UK Rugby and a number of websites on WordPress.

 

Trump Calls For Removal Of Barriers For US Exports To India

Washington: US President Donald Trump said he is keen to work with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on creating a “fair and reciprocal” trading relationship between the two nations and called for the removal of “barriers” for the export of US goods into Indian markets.

“I look forward to working with you to create jobs in our countries, to grow our economies and to create a trading relationship that is fair and reciprocal,” Trump said in his remarks at the White House Rose Garden following his meeting with Modi.

Trump said it was “important” that barriers be removed to export US goods into Indian markets, “and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country.

“Referring to the GST reform to be implemented across India starting next month, Trump said it was “the largest tax overhaul in your country’s history”.

Trump Calls For Removal Of Barriers For US Exports To India

“We’re doing that also, by the way. Creating great new opportunities for your citizens. You have a big vision for improving infrastructure, and you are fighting government corruption, which is always a grave threat to democracy,” he said.

Trump expressed pleasure about an order by an Indian airline company for 100 new American planes, calling it one of the largest orders of it is kind, which will support thousands and thousands of American jobs.

“We’re also looking forward to exporting more American energy to India as your economy grows, including major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas, which are right now being negotiated, and we will sign them. Trying to get the price up a little bit,” he said.

Trump Urges PM Modi To Fix Deficit, But Stresses Strong Ties

Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do more to relax Indian trade barriers on Monday during talks in which both leaders took great pains to stress the importance of a strong U.S.-Indian relationship.

At a closely watched first meeting between the two, Trump and PM Modi appeared to get along well. Modi pulled in Trump for a bear hug on the stage as the cameras rolled in the Rose Garden.

“I deeply appreciate your strong commitment to the enhancement of our bilateral relations,” PM Modi told him. “I am sure that under your leadership a mutually beneficial strategic partnership will gain new strength, new positivity, and will reach new heights.”

Trump was also warm but made clear he sees a need for more balance in the U.S.-India trade relationship in keeping with his campaign promise to expand American exports and create more jobs at home. Last year the U.S. trade deficit with India neared $31 billion.

Trump said he would like a trading relationship that is “fair and reciprocal.”

“It is important that barriers be removed to the export of U.S. goods into your markets and that we reduce our trade deficit with your country,” he said.

Trump said he was pleased about an Indian airline’s recent order of 100 new American planes and that the United States looked forward to exporting more energy, including major long-term contracts to purchase American natural gas.

These energy contracts “are being negotiated and we will sign – trying to get the price up a little bit,” Trump said.

PM Modi came to Washington looking to revitalize a relationship that thrived under former President Barack Obama but has appeared to flag as Trump courted India’s rival China in an effort to persuade Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea.

PM Modi effusively praised Trump, hailing his “vast and successful experience in the business world” and “great leadership” for U.S.-India ties, which he said should “lend an aggressive and forward looking agenda to our relations.”

Trump accepted PM Modi’s invitation to visit India, the White House said in a statement, but no time frame was given for the trip.

Trump Urges PM Modi To Fix Deficit, But Stresses Strong Ties

PM Modi harked back to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan to stress that his agenda for his country was little different than Trump’s.

“I am sure that the convergence of my vision for “New India” and President Trump’s vision for making America great again will add new dimensions to our cooperation,” he said.

Trump did not mention U.S. differences with India on immigration and the Paris climate accord.

“The future of our partnership has never looked brighter,” Trump said as both leaders underscored the importance of the defense and security relationship.

Aviation Deals

As they met, a Pentagon agency said the U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale to India of a Boeing C-17 transport aircraft with an estimated cost of $366 million.

The United States also has offered to sell a naval variant of the Predator drone made by U.S. defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, the White House said in a statement, a deal that would be worth more than $2 billion.

The United States has become the leading supplier of defense equipment to India, signing contracts worth more than $15 billion since 2008.

On Monday evening, Trump and PM Modi had a working dinner, the first time Trump has played host to a foreign dignitary at a White House dinner.

Trump administration officials have pointed to both leaders’ impact on social media – each has more than 30 million Twitter followers – as proof they are cut from the same cloth.

“If the chemistry is good, everything else gets sorted,” said an Indian official. “The only way is up. How much up we go depends on the leaders. If they click, we go up higher.”

Trade, however, remains an irritant, and on Saturday, leading U.S. congressmen complained in a letter to Trump that high-level engagement had failed to eliminate major barriers to U.S. imports and investment and had not deterred India from imposing new ones.

Indian officials reject suggestions that PM Modi’s “Make in India” platform is protectionist and complain about the U.S. regulatory process for generic pharmaceuticals and rules on fruit imports.

They stress the future importance of the huge Indian market to U.S. firms and major growth in areas such as aviation which will offer significant opportunities for U.S. manufacturers.

Among the Indian business executives in Washington for PM Modi’s visit was Ajay Singh, chairman of Indian budget airline SpiceJet, which in January announced a deal to buy up to 205 aircraft from Boeing, worth up to $22 billion at list prices.

Singh told Reuters that according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the deal would sustain up to 132,000 jobs.

“The market is growing 20-25 percent a year. Even at today’s pace you need 100 more planes a year just to keep pace with the market and we are not getting anywhere close to that number.”

“As our economy grows … we can potentially create a lot of jobs for Americans in the United States,” he said.

Boeing has estimated India will need 1,850 new aircraft worth $265 billion by 2036 to meet demand for air travel.

Trump administration business-friendly, offers tremendous opportunities: Infosys CEO

The Trump Administration is business-friendly and entrepreneurial, and the new American government offers tremendous opportunities to do innovative work, says Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to do innovative work. The (Trump) administration is a very business administration, a very entrepreneurial administration,” Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka told PTI in an interview as he refuted reports that the Indian IT companies are facing challenges under the Trump Administration.

“I don’t feel that way,” he said in response to the question during a wide-ranging interview.

“As long as we can continue to focus on innovation, on value delivery in the new areas, I think things will be okay. So IT is more and more as that. The underlying skills issue, the…Making sure that the workforce is something that is frontier of the future,” he said.

Sikka said the Trump Administration is taking steps to improve the atmosphere of doing business in the US.

“If you look at the, some of the regulated industries like banking or pharma, the emphasis has clearly shifted from valuably compliant towards innovative areas, new R&D, new adoption of financial services, new adoption of technologies for faster trading, better trading, better derivative analysis,” he said.

“Areas like that, rather than a lot of spending that used to go into regulatory compliance…In the US we notice a shift in these priorities towards innovative areas and so on,” said the Infosys CEO.

According to Sikka, Indian IT companies have a bright future in the US. “Definitely (Indian IT companies have a bright future). We have to be aligned to the future, we have to be aware of the changes that are happening around us. We have to sense and understand and respond to those by building in the software, the services, the capabilities for the future,” he said.

Infosys

“And if we do that, then I am confident that we will be relevant, we will able to thrive and this is precisely what Infosys is doing,” Sikka said.

Indian IT companies, he noted, have made extraordinary progress in the last three and half decades.

“What has got us here has worked extraordinarily well. It has created an enormous success in the last three and a half decades. But this is not what is going to get us forward. We need to continue our core values of education, of learning, of what the future is,” he said.

“What I find after my three years of experience (in Infosys), is that the youth in India is ready for that (change). It is ready to embrace that. It is ready to be entrepreneurial, to be innovative.

“I find that one of the big challenges is to make sure that the people in senior management and so forth also understand what needs to be done and that the transformation of our processes the transformation of our mechanics, our systems, to support that future reality. That has to also happen,” Sikka said.

And that is not easy, he acknowledged.

“That is a very challenging thing to do. I mean, transformation in general is a very challenging thing to do. And especially in our case, where our core business is under a margin pressure. It is exceedingly important to get that right,” he said.

 

Trump beats Republican debate partners on social media (again) Donald Trump not only fares well during the GOP debate

“The Donald” has yet again Trumped the GOP competition on social media.

The front-runner in the race to become the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump was the most talked about candidate on Twitter during Tuesday’s debate in Las Vegas, with 35 percent of all mentions.

Twitter users sent more than 1.6 million debate-related tweets during the event, according to Crimson Hexagon, a company that specializes in social-media data. More than 268,106 tweets focused on Trump, while Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio got the spotlight about half as much, the firm said.

The most discussed moment on Twitter during the two-hour debate, which featured nine candidates in their fifth face-off this election season, involved Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush trading fusillades about Trump’s proposal to ban noncitizen Muslims from entering the US.

“Donald, you’re never going to be able to insult your way to the presidency,” Bush said at one point. He also called Trump a “chaos candidate.”

Trump complained about how he’s being treated, to which Bush responded, “If you think this is tough the way you’re being treated…this is a tough business.”

“Oh, you’re a tough guy, Jeb, I know,” said Trump, which became the top tweeted moment.

The Twitter chatter underscores the increasingly vital role social media plays for candidates seeking attention in the presidential race. The candidates are using social media to spread their messages and lure voters, particularly voters who often turn to Facebook and Twitter to get their political news. Voters themselves are using the services to cheer on their favorite candidate.

“Trump continues to dominate overall buzz,” said Chris Kerns, vice president of research and analytics for Spredfast. He said activity was particularly high when Trump mentioned shutting down certain parts of the Internet to stop terrorists, and when he discussed killing their families.

It wasn’t all good for Trump though. Kellan Terry, a data analyst with Brandwatch, said Trump finished the debate with the highest percentage of negative mentions online. Meanwhile, sentiment toward Bush was evenly split between positive and negative mentions.

“Bush’s mentions had been faltering in previous debates,” Terry said. “He may not have clearly won the debate, but he certainly improved the most upon the last debate.”

Trump’s Twitter showing on Tuesday is consistent with his performance in previous GOP debates. He’s always been the focus of most debate-related tweets, and his 35 percent share Tuesday was the highest since he garnered a 37 percent chunk in September.

A nonparticipant in the debate also made a strong showing on social media during the event. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ tweet about combating anti-Muslim bigotry has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.

“Repeat after me: We must combat anti-Muslim bigotry and all forms of discrimination in our country and in our world. #GOPDebate,” he wrote.

Sanders has picked up more than 5,000 Twitter followers since the tweet. Nevertheless, he still trails Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by a more than a 2-to-1 margin among likely voters, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.

Floppy Candidate is Flappy Bird with Clinton and Trump

Perhaps the US presidential race would be more fun to follow if the candidates could fly?

The Washington Post on Monday released a mobile game called Floppy Candidate that essentially mimics the gameplay elements from the hit game Flappy Bird by replacing the airborne bird with 2016 presidential hopefuls.

“A team of in-house engineers, designers and producers came together to build an app that helps you play along this election season — quite literally,” the publication says in a post about the game.

Don’t remember Flappy Bird? The addictive mobile game soared to 50 million downloads on the App Store between its debut in 2013 and its abrupt removal by the creator in February 2014.

Like Flappy Bird, the 8-bit-style Floppy Candidate has players controlling a character as they navigate through obstacles while feverishly tapping the screen to keep their candidate in the air. Players can choose from one of six presidential candidates to start — Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — with an update supposed to come soon that will add the rest.

The gameplay for Floppy Candidate is pretty much identical to Flappy Bird and the scores of other clones that cropped up after the original was taken off the market, but it adds an educational twist.

In addition to navigating through obstacles from giant old-school tape recorders to the Washington Monument, Floppy Candidate players collect question-mark coins that challenge them to answer a multiple-choice trivia question about the candidate. Yes, it will tell you the correct answer if you get it wrong. And players can catch up on the latest news from the campaign trail by clicking news from the app’s main screen.

Things get fun when you inevitably crash your character into an obstacle and the game spits out a quote specific to that candidate and that obstacle. When Donald Trump hits a US-Mexico border wall, for example, the game plays an audio clip of Trump saying, “I will build a great, great wall.” Hillary, meanwhile, says, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas” when she crashes into her email servers or the Department of State.

Floppy Candidate went from vague idea to functioning game in just a few weeks, says the Post, and no one from the team had ever built a game before. “The Post is pushing the limits on how to deliver content,” the publication says. “That means experimenting, concocting, scheming and debating new and creative ways to help users engage with the news.”

Floppy Candidate can be downloaded for free on the App Store for iOS and on Google Play or theAmazon App Store for Android devices.