When Steve Bannon & co spent $1,000 on booze at Mar-a-Lago, taxpayers picked up the tab

On April 7th, 2017, a group of Trump advisors and co-conspirators converged on Mar-a-Lago (one of Trump's properties) for a night of drinking and dining, while Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping were having dinner in a separate room at the hotel. In attendance were Steve Bannon, Joe Hagin (then Trump's deputy chief-of-staff) and others. Read the rest

Secret Service learns why you don't plug strange USB drives into computers

After collaring a woman who got past security at Mar-a-Lago (described by Chris Hayes as President Donald Trump's "bribery palace") the Secret Service found a USB drive in her possession. So they stuck it in a computer to see what was on it.

From the Miami Herald:

Secret Service agent Samuel Ivanovich, who interviewed Zhang on the day of her arrest, testified at the hearing. He stated that when another agent put Zhang’s thumb-drive into his computer, it immediately began to install files, a “very out-of-the-ordinary” event that he had never seen happen before during this kind of analysis. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich said. The analysis is ongoing but still inconclusive, he testified.

Experts say don't do that.

Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec and former NSA hacker, criticized the agent’s actions “threatened his own computing system and possibly the rest of the Secret Service network." ...

Williams said the best way to forensically examine a suspect USB drive is by plugging the device into an isolated Linux-based computer that doesn’t automatically mount the drive to the operating system.

“We would then create a forensic image of the USB and extract any malware for analysis in the lab,” he said. “While there is still a very small risk that the malware targets Linux, that’s not the normal case.”

Read the rest

Mar-a-Lago mystery Chinese malware lady to stay in jail for another week

COURT SKETCH: WILLIAM HENNESSY. Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman who was arrested for illegally entering the president's Mar-a-Lago resort, appeared in court Monday.

Yujing Zhang was arrested in March for lying to Secret Service agents at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, to gain access to the private club. According to investigators, the 32-year-old Chinese national had malware on her person, and behaved more like a bumbling spy than anything else. So who is she? Read the rest

Malware-packing Chinese lady who hacked her way into Trump's Florida Mar-a-Lago now faces federal charges

Yujing Zhang hacked her way into Donald Trump's private Florida club Mar-A-Lago with social engineering skills any self-respecting DEFCON or HOPE attendee would recognize. Read the rest

Trump's restaurants -- cockroaches and "slimy/mold-like build-up"

Do you like restaurants with "live and dead cockroaches" in the kitchen and “slimy/mold-like build-up” in coolers and freezers? Try one of Trump's fine dining establishments, then. From The Daily Beast:

The president’s Mar-a-Lago resort has been faulted with 51 health-code violations since 2013. Health inspectors have also found an additional 30 at Mar-a-Lago’s beach club.

Trump’s Doral golf club outside Miami has fared even worse: Between its main kitchen, banquet hall, café, patio grill, and bungalows, inspectors have found 524 health-code violations since 2013, including a number that resulted in fines. Among inspectors’ findings were multiple spottings of live and dead cockroaches (they noted 20-25 live ones visibly present in the main kitchen during one 2015 visit), “slimy/mold-like build-up” in coolers and freezers, and holes in kitchen walls.

During that same time, Virginia health authorities have found just three violations at the Red Hen. Last year, they observed a number of jars containing pickles and jams that had not come from an approved food processor. The restaurant said they were simply decorative, but agreed to remove them. In 2014, inspectors noted that its grits were not properly dated, and that raw beef was being stored above ready-to-eat food. A follow-up visit showed that those violations had been corrected.

Read the rest

The Trump family's holidays and business trips have used up the entire Secret Service budget

By the end of the year, Trump and his family will have spent more of the Secret Service's budget than the Obama administration spent in eight years -- enough to exhaust the Secret Service's entire budget for the year and drive 500 Secret Security agents to quit their jobs in disgust. Read the rest

Mar-a-Lago kitchen inspectors: potentially dangerous fish, meat too warm, and other violations

If you're about to order a fine meal at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's fancy club-turned-winter-White-House, make sure to steer clear of the fish. And the meat. And you might want to offer the server some hand sanitizer while you're at it.

Restaurant inspectors recently found 13 violations at the private Palm Beach, FL club. Among them, according to Miami Herald:

▪ Fish designed to be served raw or undercooked, the inspection report reads, had not undergone proper parasite destruction. Kitchen staffers were ordered to cook the fish immediately or throw it out.

▪ In two of the club’s coolers, inspectors found that raw meats that should be stored at 41 degrees were much too warm and potentially dangerous: chicken was 49 degrees, duck clocked in a 50 degrees and raw beef was 50 degrees. The winner? Ham at 57 degrees.

▪ The club was cited for not maintaining the coolers in proper working order and was ordered to have them emptied immediately and repaired.

The other violations weren’t so serious. Water at the sink where employees wash their hands was too cold to sanitize hands. And Mar-a-Lago was also written up for keeping rusted shelves inside walk-in coolers.

This is the most violations the kitchen has ever received. In the past, Trump used to check in on the kitchen to make sure things were running smoothly, and inspections came out pretty clean. But since he turned Mar-a-Lago into his political office (ethics conflict, but save that for another story), inspection results have soured. Read the rest