Showing posts with label Computers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computers. Show all posts

August 30, 2016

FBI Alert on Cyber Attack! States Worry About Attacks on Voting Systems










The FBI’s decision to issue a nationwide alert about the possible hacking of state election offices after breaches in Illinois and Arizona is raising concerns that a nationwide attack could be afoot, with the potential for creating havoc on Election Day.
It’s possible that the motivation behind the two state hacks was less about the political system and more about cash. Voter registration data sets include valuable information — such as names, birth dates, phone numbers and physical and email addresses — that criminal hackers can bundle and flip on the black-market “dark web” for thousands of dollars.
Story Continued Below

But some cyber experts said the FBI’s alert, first revealed by Yahoo News on Monday, could be a sign that investigators are worried that foreign actors are attempting a wide-scale digital onslaught.
A former lead agent in the FBI’s Cyber Division said the hackers’ use of a particular attack tool and the level of the FBI’s alert “more than likely means nation-state attackers.” The alert was coded “Amber,” designating messages with sensitive information that “should not be widely distributed and should not be made public,” the ex-official said.

One person who works with state election officials called the FBI’s memo “completely unprecedented.”
“There’s never been an alert like that before that we know of,” said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive intergovernmental conversations.
Multiple former officials and security researchers said the cyberattacks on Arizona’s and Illinois’ voter databases could be part of a suspected Russian attempt to meddle in the U.S. election, a campaign that has already included successful intrusions at major Democratic Party organizations and the selective leaking of documents embarrassing to Democrats. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has alleged that the digital attacks on her party are an effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime to sway the election to GOP nominee Donald Trump. Moscow has denied any involvement.
Hacking state election offices could offer new tools for affecting the outcome of the vote.
Having access to voter rolls, for example, could allow hackers to digitally alter or delete registration information, potentially denying people a chance to vote on Election Day. Or news of the attack could simply fuel further distrust in the U.S. election system, which Trump has repeatedly alleged is “rigged.”

“I think he’s just unleashed the hounds,” said Tom Kellermann, head of Strategic Cyber Ventures, referring to Putin. Kellermann said the intrusions fit the “modus operandi and the ultimate goal” of a long-standing Russian digital intelligence campaign targeting foreign government officials in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere that Kellermann has been tracking for years, which researchers believe has turned its sights on the American electoral process.

The FBI’s investigations of the Arizona and Illinois attacks have been public knowledge since July, when both states took their voter registration databases offline following detection of the intrusions. But the bureau’s Cyber Division broadened its sweep in an Aug. 18 “flash” alert that warned top election officials in every state about potential foreign intrusions of their election systems. The alert advised officials to look for a series of specific hallmarks of cyberattacks.

In Illinois, officials told Yahoo News that hackers pilfered personal data on up to 200,000 voters. The Arizona digital intruders did not make off with any information, said the news service.
Some cyber experts are skeptical that the attacks on the elections offices had any political motive, noting that hackers often rifle through government databases looking for personal information they can sell.

“It’s got the hallmark signs of any criminal actors, whether it be Russia or Eastern Europe,” said Milan Patel, a former chief technology officer of the FBI’s Cyber Division who is now at the security firm K2 Intelligence. However, he added, “the question of getting into these databases and what it means is certainly not outside the purview of state-sponsored activity.”

Still, little public digital forensic evidence has come to light so far that would link the Illinois and Arizona hackers to a Russian-backed group that researchers say broke into the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“No robust evidence as of yet,” respected cybersecurity consultant Matt Tait said on Twitter.
The FBI’s alert asked state officials to check whether their networks had seen any activity coming from eight specific Internet Protocol addresses, at least one of which was tied to a Russian cyber gang, according to Yahoo News.

The FBI sent the alert to the Election Assistance Commission, the federal agency that offers help to states in improving the management of their elections. The commission then sent it to state officials, spokesman Bryan Whitener told POLITICO.
The FBI declined to comment on the alert but said in a statement that it “routinely advises private industry of various cyberthreat indicators observed during the course of our investigations.”
Leo Taddeo, a former head of the cyber division in the FBI’s New York office, said such a widespread alert “indicates that this could be a systematic attack, rather than an isolated targeting of a particular database.”
Sending out the memo is the only way for officials to do a complete review of all state election systems and determine whether a “dedicated attack” is taking place on multiple networks, Taddeo added. Elections have always been run at the state and local level, and few if any federal laws govern how local officials manage and secure voter data.

At most, several federal agencies provide voluntary guidelines for local officials. In some states, voter registration information is a public record, meaning data security rules governing the handling of personal information — such as names and home addresses — don’t apply.
The FBI’s alert reflects growing government awareness of the cyberthreat to election systems.
The Department of Homeland Security had held no conversations with states about election cybersecurity until a conference call that Secretary Jeh Johnson held with state officials on Aug. 15, a person involved in state election work said.

That call came together after Johnson publicly floated the idea of classifying elections as “critical infrastructure,” a designation that grants special security assistance to vital facilities such as banks and the power grid. “We hastily reached out to DHS to try to organize a call that would at least give state officials some information on what was going on with DHS,” the person said.

On the call, DHS officials urged states to coordinate with their local FBI offices if they weren’t already doing so. The department also agreed to provide resources to states, including vulnerability-detection software. But the DHS has not provided those resources yet, and some states, such as Georgia, have balked at the offers of assistance, fearful of federal meddling.
DHS plans to announce an election cybersecurity awareness campaign soon, the person said.
A DHS spokesman declined to comment on the FBI alert.

In the meantime, digital voter registration systems appear to be functioning — mostly. Of 42 state databases that POLITICO accessed on Monday, 41 were available, although the entire website of California’s secretary of state was down.
"It is down right now," said Sam Maood, spokesman for the California secretary of state. "There’s no evidence that it’s due to hacking or any kind of data breach."
All but one of the other states either required more extensive measures to check registration or had no evident online system. The one exception, North Dakota, is the only state that doesn’t require voters to register, according to its secretary of state.

But devastating consequences could ensue if these databases fell into the hands of motivated digital attackers, election security specialists said.
“An attacker could potentially remove registered voters from the registration list in areas that are expected to vote against the attacker’s preferred candidate, creating challenges and delays when the voters show up and the polls to vote,” said Jason Straight, chief privacy officer for UnitedLex, which advises corporations on cybersecurity practices.
By ERIC GELLER

Straight called such manipulation a “much greater threat” than the possibility of hackers tampering with electronic voting machines, which election watchdog groups and researchers say are insecure and often lack proper auditing mechanisms.
Tilting elections through voting machines hacks “would require extensive use of on-the-ground operatives with social engineering and technical skills to pull off,” Straight said.
In recent years, voter rolls have become an increasingly attractive target for both cyber gangs, as well as government-backed digital spies, appearing for sale on underground web forums, or simply being found sitting unprotected online.

Hundreds of millions of voters in the U.S., the Philippines, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Mexico have been affected.
The big windfall came last October, when hackers — “probably based in Russia” — started selling a set of Americans' voter data “containing personal information on approximately 190 million persons,” said Christopher Porter, manager of FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence, a leading cybersecurity firm that examined the leak. The information exposed included full names, genders, dates of birth, physical addresses, email address and phone numbers.
The presence of the Russian cyber gang-linked IP address in the FBI alert is a possible indication that these digital thieves were at it again in Illinois and Arizona, said several researchers and a former FBI official.

While such thefts could be the work of ordinary criminals, these same experts explained that Russian cyber gangs often act at the behest of the Kremlin, either directly or indirectly. In exchange, these groups receive immunity from prosecution and “maintain their untouchable status,” said Kellermann, of Cybersecurity Strategic Ventures.
If this is indeed the case with the recent intrusions of state voter registration databases, Kellermann believes the suspected campaign to undermine the U.S. election process is “reaching a tipping point.”
“It’s high time that the U.S. government took off its own gloves,” he said.

 @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

April 14, 2014

15 Life Saving Tips for On line Dating





Like it or not this is the age we live in. Everything is impersonal. You don’t even have a banker or a grocer anymore. For the task of finding someone is become the same, impersonal and it can be complicated. If you are not a church going person, you are private and not into bars and constant get togethers like you were on AA or visit to your probation class and to top it off you like to shop quickly because you only buy for one; My friend that means you are going to spend the rest of your life alone or you will learn online dating. It can work but you will need help to come out alive with two balls in their sac or the ovaries where they belong if you are a he or.she.  This is advice on getting the task of not finding the wrong guy which is more important than finding the right guy in my opinion. These tips are from my experience and from reading what current experts in dating are saying
Adam Gonzalez, Publisher, Editor




1.  If he has no photo up.  How Serious is he to meet someone?  Most everyone has a picture of themselves.

2.  Look at his profile carefully. If all they speak about is hooking up and sex, they might not be for you. Chances are is a “wang bang thank you man.”

3. If his profile is messy and misspelled then it was not written for you but for someone like them that they don’t give a damn.

3.Texting at the very beginning but ASAP “Phone” You will get an instant hit if they are not for you. If they don’t want tot all on the phone for so called security reasons, then what are they doing in online dating? It probably means they are closeted and do you want that. Even if you have not come out yourself, a secretive guy will make live a triple life. Yours, his and the closet.

4. If the initial contact is purely sexual is ok if you a re into that. Wether you want to reserve your cherry which probably is been popped more than once to play that game is fine as long as both are willing to play the same game and are tuned to the same station. Be plain and straight forward about that without sounding forceful either way.  This might be an opportunity for someone to try to win you over with romance. Don’t expect too much but keep expectations in check.

5. If he doesn’t want to meet for the first time in public but insists in private, watch out. It is ok to meet at his or your place for the first time, but the pressure will be higher and there might be an expectation of sex. But if you are comfortable of for it. 

6. This is one of the most important ones “ No chemistry” Like a dead pnis there is no CPR for that.

7. If it seems he never read your profile just saw your photo. Be attentive how he ask you questions that are on your profile. He might be verifying information you have and judging to see if you have the same answers. You will know if hasn’t read it.

8. If  he is reluctant to talk about themselves on the phone.Even if they ware shy they should know themselves and only he can testify in his favor here.

9. If they are separated  is ok as long as there is no connection. If not eventually he might miss his old flame and leave you burt out and tossed away.

10;  The profile should match what is being said in words

11.  Some people lie about their age. The important thing is to judge the person when you see him. A few years don’t matter and eventually if there was a little playing with numbers there should be a reason. For instance he wrote 30 but is 25 but explains that explains that he looks 30 and he does. Brought his age up or down to match his looks not to be a wise ass and be something he is not and doesn’t look like he is. This should be the only white lie that should be tolerated. Everything else should be the truth. The relationship should be based in  truth because honesty is going to be the cornerstone that at times might be called to hold the whole package together.

12.If they don’t write anything on their profile, then they are as empty as the profile. You are being led into a a dark house without lights. 

13.On a site people pay sometimes you find more serious people, but that is not guarantee by me.

14. You need to know the date of the main photo in the profile! Also all the other ones but the one that says how he loos like should not be older that 24 months. That is pushing it and if he has a pic 2 yrs old as his profile but then he has one within the year is ok. 5, 10 20 is silly and very wrong, but people sometimes put their baby pics in there like if that was supposed to say something particular about them. All babies are cute and most people have better skiing when younger unless they had a case of acne.

15.A good sense of humor is cool but making fun of you or anything of your is a big no-no. It’s a matter of the respect he has for you and wether he is a jerk off.

16. Your inner voice and intuition is going to help you. Let it also guide you. If you are getting a bad feeling there is a reason for it and is not a reason on your side.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher
adamfoxie blog International


ps: If this helps you in anyways, please come back and buy something from one of the commercials in adamfoxie’s site. We are squeeze by the times in which you pay(we) for news, names, etc.

September 6, 2013

Protect Your Self from the Government’s ( Not Ours) NSA


A patron works on his laptop during the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, California, September 11.
'Trust the math. Encryption is your friend. That's how you can remain secure even in the face of the NSA.' Photograph: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters
Now that we have enough details about how the NSA eavesdrops on theinternet, including today's disclosures of the NSA's deliberate weakening of cryptographic systems, we can finally start to figure out how to protect ourselves.
For the past two weeks, I have been working with the Guardian on NSAstories, and have read hundreds of top-secret NSA documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. I wasn't part of today's story – it was in process well before I showed up – but everything I read confirms what the Guardian is reporting.
At this point, I feel I can provide some advice for keeping secure against such an adversary.
The primary way the NSA eavesdrops on internet communications is in the network. That's where their capabilities best scale. They have invested in enormous programs to automatically collect and analyze network traffic. Anything that requires them to attack individual endpoint computers is significantly more costly and risky for them, and they will do those things carefully and sparingly.
Leveraging its secret agreements with telecommunications companies – all the US and UK ones, and many other "partners" around the world – the NSA gets access to the communications trunks that move internet traffic. In cases where it doesn't have that sort of friendly access, it does its best to surreptitiously monitor communications channels: tapping undersea cables, intercepting satellite communications, and so on.
That's an enormous amount of data, and the NSA has equivalentlyenormous capabilities to quickly sift through it all, looking for interesting traffic. "Interesting" can be defined in many ways: by the source, the destination, the content, the individuals involved, and so on. This data is funneled into the vast NSA system for future analysis.
The NSA collects much more metadata about internet traffic: who is talking to whom, when, how much, and by what mode of communication.Metadata is a lot easier to store and analyze than content. It can be extremely personal to the individual, and is enormously valuable intelligence.
The Systems Intelligence Directorate is in charge of data collection, and the resources it devotes to this is staggering. I read status report after status report about these programs, discussing capabilities, operational details, planned upgrades, and so on. Each individual problem – recovering electronic signals from fiber, keeping up with the terabyte streams as they go by, filtering out the interesting stuff – has its own group dedicated to solving it. Its reach is global.
The NSA also attacks network devices directly: routers, switches, firewalls, etc. Most of these devices have surveillance capabilitiesalready built in; the trick is to surreptitiously turn them on. This is an especially fruitful avenue of attack; routers are updated less frequently, tend not to have security software installed on them, and are generally ignored as a vulnerability.
The NSA also devotes considerable resources to attacking endpoint computers. This kind of thing is done by its TAO – Tailored Access Operations – group. TAO has a menu of exploits it can serve up against your computer – whether you're running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, or something else – and a variety of tricks to get them on to your computer. Your anti-virus software won't detect them, and you'd have trouble finding them even if you knew where to look. These are hacker tools designed by hackers with an essentially unlimited budget. What I took away from reading the Snowden documents was that if the NSA wants in to your computer, it's in. Period.
The NSA deals with any encrypted data it encounters more by subverting the underlying cryptography than by leveraging any secret mathematical breakthroughs. First, there's a lot of bad cryptography out there. If it finds an internet connection protected by MS-CHAP, for example, that's easy to break and recover the key. It exploits poorly chosen user passwords, using the same dictionary attacks hackers use in the unclassified world.
As was revealed today, the NSA also works with security product vendors to ensure that commercial encryption products are broken in secret ways that only it knows about. We know this has happened historically: CryptoAG and Lotus Notes are the most public examples, and there is evidence of a back door in Windows. A few people have told me some recent stories about their experiences, and I plan to write about them soon. Basically, the NSA asks companies to subtly change their products in undetectable ways: making the random number generator less random, leaking the key somehow, adding a common exponent to a public-key exchange protocol, and so on. If the back door is discovered, it's explained away as a mistake. And as we now know, the NSA has enjoyed enormous success from this program.
TAO also hacks into computers to recover long-term keys. So if you're running a VPN that uses a complex shared secret to protect your data and the NSA decides it cares, it might try to steal that secret. This kind of thing is only done against high-value targets.
How do you communicate securely against such an adversary? Snowden said it in an online Q&A soon after he made his first document public: "Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on."
I believe this is true, despite today's revelations and tantalizing hints of "groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities" made by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence in another top-secret document. Those capabilities involve deliberately weakening the cryptography.
Snowden's follow-on sentence is equally important: "Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it."
Endpoint means the software you're using, the computer you're using it on, and the local network you're using it in. If the NSA can modify the encryption algorithm or drop a Trojan on your computer, all the cryptography in the world doesn't matter at all. If you want to remain secure against the NSA, you need to do your best to ensure that the encryption can operate unimpeded.
With all this in mind, I have five pieces of advice:
1) Hide in the network. Implement hidden services. Use Tor to anonymize yourself. Yes, the NSA targets Tor users, but it's work for them. The less obvious you are, the safer you are.
2) Encrypt your communications. Use TLS. Use IPsec. Again, while it's true that the NSA targets encrypted connections – and it may have explicit exploits against these protocols – you're much better protected than if you communicate in the clear.
3) Assume that while your computer can be compromised, it would take work and risk on the part of the NSA – so it probably isn't. If you have something really important, use an air gap. Since I started working with the Snowden documents, I bought a new computer that hasnever been connected to the internet. If I want to transfer a file, I encrypt the file on the secure computer and walk it over to my internet computer, using a USB stick. To decrypt something, I reverse the process. This might not be bulletproof, but it's pretty good.
4) Be suspicious of commercial encryption software, especially from large vendors. My guess is that most encryption products from large US companies have NSA-friendly back doors, and many foreign ones probably do as well. It's prudent to assume that foreign products also have foreign-installed backdoors. Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to backdoor than open-source software. Systems relying on master secrets are vulnerable to the NSA, through either legal or more clandestine means.
5) Try to use public-domain encryption that has to be compatible with other implementations. For example, it's harder for the NSA to backdoor TLS than BitLocker, because any vendor's TLS has to be compatible with every other vendor's TLS, while BitLocker only has to be compatible with itself, giving the NSA a lot more freedom to make changes. And because BitLocker is proprietary, it's far less likely those changes will be discovered. Prefer symmetric cryptography over public-key cryptography. Prefer conventional discrete-log-based systems over elliptic-curve systems; the latter have constants that the NSA influences when they can.
Since I started working with Snowden's documents, I have been usingGPGSilent CircleTailsOTRTrueCryptBleachBit, and a few other things I'm not going to write about. There's an undocumented encryption feature in my Password Safe program from the command line); I've been using that as well.
I understand that most of this is impossible for the typical internet user. Even I don't use all these tools for most everything I am working on. And I'm still primarily on Windows, unfortunately. Linux would be safer.
The NSA has turned the fabric of the internet into a vast surveillance platform, but they are not magical. They're limited by the same economic realities as the rest of us, and our best defense is to make surveillance of us as expensive as possible.
Trust the math. Encryption is your friend. Use it well, and do your best to ensure that nothing can compromise it. That's how you can remain secure even in the face of the NSA
The Guardian

April 3, 2013

Is Your Computer Running Slow? World Internet Attack

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

Is Your Computer running slower, particularly yesterday? Is not your computer but blockage on the road or in the internet language a 'denial of service assault’.

CNN REports that Internet users around the globe are facing slowed-down service, thanks to what's being called the biggest cyberattack in history.
The prolonged denial-of-service assault is targeting The Spamhaus Project, a European spam-fighting group that has gone after CyberBunker, a data-storage company that offers to host any content "except child porn and anything related to terrorism."
The organization has been in a long-running feud with CyberBunker and claims spammers use it as a host from which to spray junk mail across the Web.
Internet security firm CloudFlare said Spamhaus contacted it last week, saying it had been hit with an attack big enough to knock its site offline.
Security experts say the attack uses more sophisticated techniques than most DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks and targets the Web's infrastructure, which has led to other sites performing slowly.

"It's the biggest attack we've seen," Matthew Prince, CloudFlare's CEO, told CNN.
The FBI is involved in the investigation into the cyberattack on Spamhaus, though a bureau spokesman didn't provide any details on the FBI's role or the scope of the probe.
The Spamhaus Project is a nonprofit organization that patrols the Internet for spammers and publishes a list of Web servers those spammers use. According to Prince, the group may be responsible for up to 80% of all spam that gets blocked. This month, the group added CyberBunker to its blacklist.
"While we don't know who was behind this attack, Spamhaus has made plenty of enemies over the years," Prince wrote in a blog post. "Spammers aren't always the most lovable of individuals, and Spamhaus has been threatened, sued and DDoSed regularly."
In a DDoS attack, computers flood a website with requests, overwhelming its servers and causing it to crash or become inaccessible for many users.
One way to defend against those attacks, Prince said, is to deflect some of the traffic targeted at a single server onto a bunch of other servers at different locations. That's what happened in this case, and why Web users experienced some slowdowns on other sites.
He told CNN the last big wave of the attack hit Tuesday morning, but that he doesn't "live under the illusion" that there won't be more.
For its part, CyberBunker isn't taking credit for the attack. But the Dutch company, housed in a former NATO nuclear bunker, isn't shying away, either.
"This here is the internet community puking out SpamHaus," CyberBunker founder Sven Olaf Kamphuis told CNN. "We've had it with the guys ... . What we see right here is the internet puking out a cancer."
He said the owners of various websites got together on a Skype chat and hatched the plans for the attack. He says that StopHaus, a group organized to support CyberBunker in the dispute, ceased the attack after three days but that other hackers and activists kept it up after that.
Kamphuis and other critics say that Spamhaus oversteps its bounds and has essentially destroyed innocent websites in its spam-fighting efforts.
"Spamhaus itself is a more urgent danger" than spam, Kamphuis told CNN. "Pointing at websites and saying they want it shut down and then they get it shut down without any court order. That is a significantly larger threat to internet and freedom of speech and net neutrality than anything else."
Vincent Hanna, a researcher with The Spamhaus Project, said the group's record speaks for itself. He said the project has existed for over 12 years and its data is used to protect more than 1.7 billion e-mail accounts worldwide.
"We have 1.7 billion people looking over our shoulders to make sure we do our job right," he said. "If we start blocking things they want, they won't use our data any more."
He emphasized that Spamhaus doesn't have the power to block e-mail from anyone -- it merely makes its data available for service providers and other Web companies to use.
Hanna said Spamhaus experienced its first denial-of-service attack in 2003.
"This has been the biggest for us," he said, "but certainly not the first one."
Cloudflare's Prince said denying access to a website through cyberattacks is the truest assault on Web freedom.
"Our role is to allow the internet to achieve what it aspires to -- that anyone, anywhere can publish any piece of information and make it accessible to anyone, anywhere else in the world," he said. "It's blatant censorship.
"Whether Spamhaus is a good organization or a bad organization is irrelevant to me. We protect American financial institutions, which some people think are evil, and we protect WikiLeaks, which some people think are evil."

June 23, 2012

Gay Hero Alan Turning (Enigma) Did Not Commit Suicide

 This is something I followed since I was a young man, without knowing at the time that he was gay, because heroes could not be gay.  I’ve also blogged about him here.  I am glad to find out that on further investigation since now he has become the celebrity he was not when he was alive. This investigation points to the conclusion that he did not commit suicide. This story I am Posting here as it appeared on the BBC.
By Roland PeaseBBC Radio Science Unit   

  


Alan Turing, the British mathematical genius and codebreaker born 100 years ago on 23 June, may not have committed suicide, as is widely believed.
At a conference in Oxford on Saturday, Turing expert Prof Jack Copeland will question the evidence that was presented at the 1954 inquest.
He believes the evidence would not today be accepted as sufficient to establish a suicide verdict.
Indeed, he argues, Turing's death may equally probably have been an accident.
What is well known and accepted is that Alan Turing died of cyanide poisoning.
His housekeeper famously found the 41-year-old mathematician dead in his bed, with a half-eaten apple on his bedside table.
It is widely said that Turing had been haunted by the story of the poisoned apple in the fairy tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and had resorted to the same desperate measure to end the persecution he was suffering as a result of his homosexuality.
Bombe machine replicaBut according to Prof Copeland, it was Turing's habit to take an apple at bedtime, and that it was quite usual for him not to finish it; the half-eaten remains found near his body cannot be seen as an indication of a deliberate act.
Indeed, the police never tested the apple for the presence of cyanide.
Moreover, Prof Copeland emphasises, a coroner these days would demand evidence of pre-meditation before announcing a verdict of suicide, yet nothing in the accounts of Turing's last days suggest he was in anything but a cheerful mood.

 He had left a note on his office desk, as was his practice, the previous Friday to remind himself of the tasks to be done on his return after the Bank Holiday weekend. 
Nevertheless, at the inquest, the coroner, Mr JAK Ferns declared: "In a man of his type, one never knows what his mental processes are going to do next." What he meant by "of this type" is unclear.
The motive for suicide is easy to imagine. In 1952, after he had reported a petty burglary, Turing found himself being investigated for "acts of gross indecency" after he revealed he had had a male lover in his house.
Faced with the prospect of imprisonment, and perhaps with it the loss of the mathematics post he held at Manchester University, which gave him access to one of the world's only computers, Turing accepted the alternative of "chemical castration" - hormone treatment that was supposed to suppress his sexual urges.
It is often repeated that the chemicals caused him to grow breasts, though Turing is only known to have mentioned this once.
The authorities' continuing interest in Turing became apparent in 1953 when a gay Norwegian acquaintance, Kjell, announced by postcard his intention to visit him at his Wilmslow home, but mysteriously never arrived.

Turing told a friend, by way of explanation: "At one stage, the police over the north of England were out searching for him."
With six decades of hindsight, these oppressive attentions, the nation's failure to appreciate his wartime contributions, his apparent sidelining at the Manchester computer department, have led to a tragic picture of Turing being hounded during his last years, and suicide being a natural outcome.
But Prof Copeland argues that on the contrary, Turing's career was at an intellectual high, and that he had borne his treatment "with good humour".
Of the Kjell affair, Turing had written that "for sheer incident, it rivalled the Arnold [gross-indecency] story"; and immediately after his conviction had told a friend: "The day of the trial was by no means disagreeable.
"Whilst in custody with the other criminals, I had a very agreeable sense of irresponsibility, rather like being back at school."
On the face of it, these are not the expressions of someone ground down by adversity.

What is more, Turing had tolerated the year-long hormone treatment and the terms of his probation ("my shining virtue was terrific") with amused fortitude, and another year had since passed seemingly without incident.
In statements to the coroner, friends had attested to his good humour in the days before his death.
His neighbour described him throwing "such a jolly [tea] party" for her and her son four days before he died.
His close friend Robin Gandy, who had stayed with him the weekend before, said that Turing "seemed, if anything, happier than usual".
Yet the coroner recorded a verdict of suicide "while the balance of his mind was disturbed".
Prof Copeland believes the alternative explanation made at the time by Turing's mother is equally likely.
Turing had cyanide in his house for chemical experiments he conducted in his tiny spare room - the nightmare room he had dubbed it.

Bombe decryption machine: We should focus on Turing's genius, says Prof Copeland
He had been electrolysing solutions of the poison, and electroplating spoons with gold, a process that requires potassium cyanide. Although famed for his cerebral powers, Turing had also always shown an experimental bent, and these activities were not unusual for him.
But Turing was careless, Prof Copeland argues.
The electrolysis experiment was wired into the ceiling light socket.
On another occasion, an experiment had resulted in severe electric shocks.
And he was known for tasting chemicals to identify them.
Perhaps he had accidentally put his apple into a puddle of cyanide.
Or perhaps, more likely, he had accidentally inhaled cyanide vapours from the bubbling liquid.
Prof Copeland notes that the nightmare room had a "strong smell" of cyanide after Turing's death; that inhalation leads to a slower death than ingestion; and that the distribution of the poison in Turing's organs was more consistent with inhalation than with ingestion.
In his authoritative biography, Andrew Hodges suggests that the experiment was a ruse to disguise suicide, a scenario Turing had apparently mentioned to a friend in the past.

Turing was injected with Stilboestrol - a synthesised form of oestrogen
But Jack Copeland argues the evidence should be taken at face value - that an accidental death is certainly consistent with all the currently known circumstances.
The problem, he complains, is that the investigation was conducted so poorly that even murder cannot be ruled out. An "open verdict", recognising this degree of ignorance, would be his preferred position.
None of this excuses the treatment of Turing during his final years, says Prof Copeland.
"Turing was hounded," he told the BBC, adding: "Yet he remained cheerful and humorous."
"The thing is to tell the truth in so far as we know it, and not to speculate.
"In a way we have in modern times been recreating the narrative of Turing's life, and we have recreated him as an unhappy young man who committed suicide. But the evidence is not there.
"The exact circumstances of Turing's death will probably always be unclear," Prof Copeland concludes.
"Perhaps we should just shrug our shoulders, and focus on Turing's life and extraordinary work."

 Rory Cellan-Jones visits the exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Alan Turing. 

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