As Sarao faces charges for crashing the US market for "spoofing" stocks, there is another seemingly much graver 'hack' that is now publicly available for all to utilize (and has been). As SputnikNews reports, the information necessary to hack a military drone is freely available to the public via a simple Google search that explains how to successfully "spoof" GPS signals. NATO has admitted this is possible in a 2013 report, and as we have previously noted Iran has already allegedly brought down and reverse-engineered a US drone.
Less than four months into his reign, Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is consolidating power with a major reshuffle of succession lines and government officials. "The new king has proved consistent in his determination to elevate members of his close family to key positions," noted one analyst. As the world’s top oil exporter plays a more prominent role in the region’s power struggles, it apears Salman wants family close. Oil policy is unlikely to change, notes Bloomberg's Julian Lee, as this brings younger men into top government positions, paving way for transfer of power to new generation of princes.
The airline has been working with its banks and the relevant authorities and understands that the funds – less than $5 million – have now been frozen. Although the sum stolen was relatively small in corporate terms and appears to have been tracked and frozen quite quickly, the incident - yet again - highlights the threat posed by cybercrime to today’s banking and financial systems.
Today we get a two-for-one algo kneejerk special, first with the Q1 GDP release due out at 8:30 am which will confirm that for the second year in a row the US economy barely grew (or maybe contracted depending on the Obamacare contribution) in the first quarter, followed by the last pre-June FOMC statement, in which we will find out whether Janet Yellen and her entourage of central planning academics will blame the recent weakness on the weather and West Coast port strikes and proceed with their plan of hiking rates in June (or September, though unclear which year), just so they can push the economy into a full blown recession and launch QE4.
Warfare today (and in the future) is (and will be) fought differently. In the 1950’s with the creation of more destructive bombs and weaponry, the idea was ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ (MAD). The movie War Games helped us learn that there are no winners. The warfare ideology today is ‘Multilateral Unconstrained Disruption’ (MUD). This unrestrictive warfare is meant to disrupt societal functioning; to ‘poison’ information to elevate distrust of all computer information. Cyber-activity is the new ‘cold war’.
US equity markets have v-shape-recovered this morning after plunging on a combination of good housing data (that's bad news), weak manufacturing data and dismal consumer confidence which then was accelerated as Iran headlines smashed oil higher. All that was quickly forgiven and stocks have soared... Small Caps are now 1.5% as 'investors' panic-buy back to the highs of the day... VIX was monkey-hammered from 14.25 to back under 13.
Those curious can track the ship alleged confiscated ship, the Tigris, in real time courtesy of Marine Traffic.
Update 2: Curiously, while we were confident Iran would deny the report first, it was in fact the US: US NAVY DENIES CONFRONTATION WITH IRANIAN MILITARY: CNBC
Update: WHITE HOUSE REFERS COMMENT ON IRAN SHIP CAPTURE TO DEFENSE DEPT
Moments ago according to Saudi-owned Arabiya news, Iranian forces have seized a US cargo ship, which has some 34 American sailors, which they have taken to the port of Bandar Abbas. Iran's Farsnews confirms the Arabiya report, stating that "a US cargo ship with 34 crew was stopped and seized by Iranian Navy warships on Tuesday. The Iranian Navy has confiscated the American trade vessel with all its 34 crew for trespassing on Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf."
Following The Guardian's report that ISIS leadder Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi had received serious "life-threatening" injuries during a US-led airstrike in March; in what could deal a severe jolt to the extremist organization, Radio Iran has claimed that the ISIS caliph has died.
In what appears to be an effort to ensure that James Franco and Seth Rogen are never again sabotaged by evil North Korean hackers, the Pentagon is out with a new plan that explains when it may be necessary to take the cyber fight to the “aggressors” in order to “mitigate potential cyberrisk to the US homeland.” Unsurprisingly, the list of cyber adversaries is indistinguishable from what might fairly be called Washington’s “usual suspects.” The villains are: Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea.
USA USA USA #15? Despite aerial bombardment, growing tensions with every neighbor, and the almost ubiquitous daily car-bombs, Israelis are "happier" than Americans according to Bloomberg's world happiness index. Happiness, it appears, is most abundant a long way from the equator with Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Canada all topping the list; whereas the unhappiest nations are all in Saharan or sub-Saharan Africa (apart from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan).
- Obama’s Drone-Strike Rules to Be Reviewed (WSJ)
- Hostage locations difficult to track - and may be getting harder (Reuters)
- Varoufakis Said to Take Hammering From Riled EU Ministers (BBG)
- EU Frustration Mounts as Greeks Try to Bypass Aid Process (BBG)
- Kleiner Perkins seeks almost $1 million in costs in Pao case (Reuters)
- Google Misses, Caps Costs as Growth Slows (WSJ)... stock surges
- Oil prices trade near 2015 highs on Yemen worries (Reuters)
- Pentagon Announces New Strategy for Cyberwarfare (NYT)
- Bloomberg Oil at $65 Seen Freeing 500,000 Barrels From Shale Fracklog (BBG)
- ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao: It Was Wits, Not Bits (WSJ)
There is mounting evidence that oil prices are poised to rebound from a historic bust. But what if the bust is not over yet? Despite the signs of a rebound, ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson has a much more bearish take on oil prices. Speaking at the IHS CeraWeek conference in Houston, Tillerson predicted that oil prices would remain subdued for the next several years.
The Saudi bombing of Yemen is another flash point and will deepen tensions between the U.S., NATO allies and Russia and indeed China. Geopolitical risk remains high and the region remains a powder keg that is likely to explode as has already been seen in Syria and much of North Africa.