Home' Greymouth Star : June 12th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, June 12, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1897 - Swiss cutlery maker Carl Elsener
patents his penknife, later to become known as
the Swiss army knife.
1957 - Death of US band leader and
saxophonist Jimmy Dorsey.
1963 - US civil rights leader Medgar Evers
is fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson,
1964 - Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and
other anti-apartheid leaders are
sentenced to life in prison.
1978 - David Berkowitz is
sentenced to 25 years to life in prison
for each of the six “Son of Sam”
killings that terrified New Yorkers.
1991 - Boris Yeltsin is elected
president of the Russian republic.
1994 - Nicole Brown Simpson and
Ronald Goldman are found stabbed to death in
Brentwood, California; her ex-husband, former
American football star OJ Simpson, is later
acquitted of their murder.
2003 - Gregory Peck, one of the last great stars
from Hollywood’s golden era and a man who
embodied on-screen heroism and dignity, dies.
He was 87.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles Kingsley, English author-social
reformer (1819-1875); George Bush, former
US president (1924-); Anne Frank, German-
born diarist (1929-1945); Jim Nabors, US
actor-singer (1930-); Chick Corea,
US jazz musician (1941-); Reg
Presley, US singer of The Troggs
fame (1943-); Rocky Burnette,
US singer-songwriter (1953-);
John Linnell, US musician of They
Might Be Giants fame (1959-);
Grandmaster Dee, US rapper
(1962-); Paula Marshall, US actress (1964-);
Robyn, Swedish musician (1979-); Adriana
Lima, Brazilian supermodel (1981-).
“Don’t use the conduct of a fool as a
precedent.” — The Jewish Talmud.
“But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though
I were writing you a new commandment, but
one we have had from the beginning, let us
love one another. “ — (2 John 1.5).
A young Karamea
girl died as the result
of serious injuries
received in a road
accident at 3.10pm yesterday. The girl was Dale
Marie Hendrickson, aged eight, the daughter
of Karamea mill manager Mr H Hendrickson.
The girl’s mother is a patient in the Buller
Hospital at present.
The child was riding a cycle which was struck
on the Karamea straight by a motorcar driven
by Mrs I Livingstone, of Corby Vale. Dr J R
Gilmore rushed to the scene but the girl was
too gravely injured for medical treatment and
died almost immediately.
Mr Steffan James Conradson, of Greymouth,
an inspector of works for the Ministry of
Works, died suddenly yesterday while on
business at Haast. Mr Conradson who was
65, was born at Inangahua. He joined the
Public Works Department in the Buller Gorge
area more than 40 years ago and had been
on the staff of the department since. He was
scheduled to have retired at the end of this
He was foreman in charge during the
reopening of the upper Buller Gorge road
after the Murchison earthquake in 1929. He
was an overseer for the Ministry of Works at
Fox Glacier for a number of years, and was
transferred to his post in Greymouth in 1948.
As a young man he was a keen rugby player.
He was the current president of the Marist
Rugby Club, Greymouth.
Predeceased by his wife Molly seven years
ago, Mr Conradson is sur vived by two sons,
James (Dunedin) and Bernard (Greymouth);
and two sisters, Miss Dorothy Conradson and
Mrs Delany (Nelson).
uFood for thought
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03 755 8422
Getting elected has always been the
number one priority of parliamentary
democracy. It follows, therefore, that the
role of a parliamentary leader is to identify
and remove every obstacle to his or her
party becoming the government. Partly,
that is a matter of opinion polls, focus
groups and communication strategies but,
mostly, it is about a leader’s instinctive feel
for the hopes and aspirations, the gripes
and disappointments, of the people who
have the power to make him or her Prime
It is John Key ’s indisputable ability to
divine what is eating the average New
Zealand voter that makes him such a
formidable political figure. Yes, he may
slip up from time-to-time, say foolish
(or downright offensive) things, but
always the needle of his political compass
recovers the location of electoral north and
he is back on track.
Much as I hate to admit it, David
Cunliffe simply does not have Key ’s
knack for staying on course. The Labour
leader has many intelligent advisers, a
good polling agency, pages and pages
of focus group reports and (allegedly)
a speechwriter. What he does not have,
however, is Key’s feel for where the voters’
heads are at; that unerring ability to find
true electoral north.
What makes me even more depressed
is I do not believe that ability can be
instilled. You either have it, or you do not.
Consider the case of Norman Kirk and
what he understood about the lives of
the people who could make him Prime
Minister. Read these lines from the first
chapter of the autobiography he began
but never finished. The place described is
the street in working-class Linwood, in
Christchurch, where he grew up.
“It did not brood. It had no character.
Instead it conformed. The people were
drab. The street was drab. The people were
poor. The street was poor. It was there
because it had to be. It had nowhere else
to go. Neither did the people. It did not
inspire. It was a sponge. It soaked up hope.
And at night it counted its people like a
warder counts his prisoners.”
Kirk understood that there were
hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders
who had been raised on identical streets
and, like him, yearned to escape the
confinement of such hope-consuming
suburbs. In these lines you will find no
romantic celebration of working-class
existence, only a visceral longing for
something better; for somewhere else to
Kirk’s contemporary, Gough Whitlam,
understood a very different kind of
suburb. The bare, amenity-star ved, post-
war subdivisions that had sprung up
on the outskirts of Sydney in the 1950s
and 60s. They were a step-up from the
inner-city tenements of the 1930s but the
people who lived in them felt almost as
constrained as they had in Sydney’s slums.
Even in the years of Menzies and the
Great Boom there was still so much that
was denied to them.
Whitlam, alone of all his colleagues
in the near-moribund Australian Labor
Party, grasped the progressive political
potential of the “Hill’s Hoist ” suburbs.
But first he had to clear all the obstacles
to getting elected, and in the Australia of
the late-1960s that included the proudly
proletarian and staunchly left-wing
Victorian Labor Party. On June 9, 1967, as
the ALP’s new leader, Whitlam bearded
these socialist lions in their den. In what
many Aussie historians consider the best
speech of his career, Whitlam addressed
directly the defeatist political mindset that
had produced eight consecutive Labor
“ We construct a philosophy of
failure, which finds in defeat a form of
justification and a proof of the purity of
our principles. Certainly, the impotent
are pure. This party was not conceived
in failure, brought forth by failure or
consecrated to failure. Let us have none of
this nonsense that defeat is in some way
more moral than victory.”
That killer line: “Certainly, the impotent
are pure”, provoked an uproar — but
it was a necessary uproar. Because, as
Whitlam reminded them: “ We are in the
business to ser ve and preser ve democracy.
Kirk and Whitlam understood
instinctively the intense dissatisfaction
building up beneath the National-Liberal
status quo. Both men’s political intestines
told them that the Hill’s Hoist generation
— a nd their increasingly restive children
— w ould not remain prisoners of their
own streets forever.
So, Mr Cunliffe, which obstacles to
“getting elected” will you remove? What is
your gut telling you to do?
Chris Trotter is an independent left-
wing political commentator.
David Cunliffe’s uphill battle
is FBI “most wanted”
page shows a grinning,
accused of a string of
very grand thefts across
America. With a total
haul estimated at more than $117 million,
and tricks that ran rings around the police,
the case against Evgeniy Bogachev could
form yet another sequel to the Oceans 11
But the man named last week as the
biggest new threat to America’s banking
system has never needed a gun, nor is
he even thought to have set foot in the
United States. Instead, under the code
name “Lucky 12345”, he carried out his
entire operation via strokes of a keyboard
from his house on Russia’s Black Sea coast,
masterminding what is thought to be the
most sophisticated cybercrime network the
world has seen.
Using so-called “malware” — malicious
software that “enslaves” computers and
steals user names and passwords, the
30-year-old and his gang allegedly hacked
into hundreds of thousands of bank
accounts, emptying up to $7 million at
a time from unsuspecting firms across
Most were unaware that the attacks, from
a programme called Game O ver Zeus, or
GOZ, had even happened.
A second programme, known as
ransomware, would freeze victims’
computer files and threaten to destroy
them unless an on-line ransom was paid.
It targeted not just businesses, but home
computer users — freezing precious
on-line family photo albums and even
children’s school projects. To United
States law enforcement ’s considerable
embarrassment, one victim was a police
station in Massachusetts, which had to pay
up to retrieve its database of mug shots.
Yet, even after a massive global operation
to dismantle his network last weekend,
in which a dozen national police forces,
including Britain’s, shut down hijacked
ser vers and “freed” up to 300,000
computers, the malware remains a threat.
For one, Bogachev still appears to be at
large in Russia, where officials have shown
little interest in helping the FBI in the
wake of the sanctions slapped on Moscow
over its annexation of Crimea. And for
another, it is only a matter of time before
the network is up and running again,
hitting not just the US, but Britain as well.
On Monday, police said that some
15,000 British computer users had already
been infected with the GOZ virus, and
gave warning that within a fortnight it
would have hijacked new servers. Having
identified victims from one infected ser ver,
police urged them to install anti-virus
software before it was too late.
“Nobody wants their personal
financial details, business information or
photographs of loved ones to be stolen or
held to ransom by criminals,” said Andy
Archibald, the deputy director of the
National Crime Agency ’s cybercrime unit.
Most victims would not be happy either
at the way Bogachev was hailed as a hero
last week by fellow Russians in his home
town of Anapa, a balmy beach resort
112km from Crimea. Using details in the
US indictment unsealed against him last
week, The Sunday Telegraph visited his last
known address at Lermontova, a skyscraper
of $294,765 a-time flats.
There, neighbours remembered a quiet,
affable figure, who sailed a yacht at the
local marina, and whose only involvement
in cyber-activity was the bumper sticker on
his ageing Volvo sedan, which advertised
his ser vices for “computer repairs”. When
told, though, of how he was now a public
enemy No 1 in the US, many were
“ What a talented guy,” said Mikhail, 23,
who recognised Bogachev ’s FBI photo as
the man he would see in the lobby with his
wife and nine-year-old daughter. “Sitting
at his computer at home, he broke into our
enemies’ camp, but did not harm his fellow
“ What a great dude,” added Vazgen
Atanasov, a taxi driver. “Judging by what
Americans do to other people, what
Bogachev is said to have done to them
ser ves them right.”
While not voiced by all of Bogachev ’s
neighbours, such comments show how the
anti-Americanism that has lain dormant in
Russia since the end of the Cold War has
re-erupted since the confrontation with the
west over Ukraine. As lone agents exposing
holes in US cyber-defences, Russian
cyberhackers are seen as combining the
cunning of a KGB spy with the brains of a
Whether the Kremlin shares that view of
Bogachev is unclear. But right now, there
seems little sign of him facing a court.
And while Washington said last week
that it had sought Russia’s help in tracking
Bogachev down, the fact that the FBI
simultaneously issued a “wanted” poster
of him suggests that help has not been
forthcoming. Asked for clarification a US
Department of Justice spokesman declined
to comment, as did Russia’s interior
However, neighbours said they had seen
no police activity at Bogachev ’s home. And
from the attitude of officers at Anapa’s
central police station, just 200m down the
road, it seems likely to remain that way.
Refusing to say whether they had been
asked to arrest Bogachev, one policeman
added: “I’d pin a medal on the guy.”
So, too, did the FBI in a backhanded way,
describing GOZ last week as “the most
sophisticated” cyberscam that it had ever
seen. “Bogachev and his criminal network
implemented the kind of cybercrimes that
you might not believe if you saw them in a
science fiction movie,” said Leslie Caldwell,
a lawyer on the case.
Like many computer scams, GOZ works
by sending unsolicited e-mails containing
an infected file, often a receipt or shipping
confirmation. Clicking on it allows the
user’s computer to be accessed remotely
by the hackers. They then wait until the
user logs into on-line banking systems
and other sensitive websites, stealing their
passwords to empty their accounts.
The scam’s particular genius was that if a
user logged on to a website requiring just a
password, the hackers could add additional
security questions asking for social security
numbers, credit cards, and all manner of
The FBI believes that a million computers
worldwide are now infected with the
GOZ virus, with losses of about $100m
in America alone. While the victims’ full
identities have not been revealed, they
include a Florida bank that lost nearly $7m,
and a plastics firm in Pennsylvania that lost
$375,000 in a single day.
Arguably crueller still, was the
ransomware, which confounds the notion
of hackers as Robin Hoods who only target
big institutions. “ The criminals effectively
held for ransom every private e-mail,
business plan, child’s science project, or
family photograph,” said Mr Caldwell.
The ransomware, known as Crypto
Locker, would encrypt all data on the
victims’ computer and demand a ransom
of around $750 to decrypt it. It would be
payable in Bitcoins, the internet currency.
While the ransoms themselves were
relatively small, vast numbers of people
paid up, told that their data would be
destroyed if they did not meet a deadline.
United States officials believe Crypto
Locker earned nearly $15m a month.
Bogachev faces multiple charges of
computer hacking, bank fraud, and
money laundering, along with several
other accomplices still only known
by pseudonyms, such as Chingiz 911
(Ghengis 911), and Mr Kykyprky.
But with no chance of him being handed
over to the FBI, the real question now
is what Russia will do with him. “ The
former Soviet Union has long been fertile
ground for cybercrime due to a volatile
mixture of technical expertise, a tough job
market, and tensions with the west,” said
Kenneth Geers, a US military computer
expert now at internet security firm Fire
Eye. “It is unlikely that there has been no
collaboration between the state and non-
state cyber attacks, especially if the attacks
favour Russian national interests.”
So does Mr Geers think that
Bogachev will remain free? That, he says
diplomatically, will be a “cost-benefit
calculation for Russia”. Which, given
relations with America, may mean “Lucky
12345” stays lucky for some time yet.
— New Zealand Herald
Grand theft cyber
Cobden identity Norm Tvrdeic’s
death recently leaves behind
memories of a man who was loyal
to his community and his fellow
As a former national president of
the United Mine Workers of New
Zealand, Norm was rigid at the
coalface, fighting for miners’ rights,
wages and conditions during a long
and colourful career in the West
Coast mining industry.
He was the only son of
Yugoslavian immigrant Visko
Tvrdeic and followed his father in
a long career underground, firstly
at the Wallsend Mine before
transferring to the Liverpool
No 2 and 3 mines, before
eventually finishing up at
Norm held most positions in the
Runanga State Miners’ Union,
from truckers delegate to chief
inspector and then president from
1977 to 1982.
In 1981 he was elected and ser ved
two terms as national president of
the United Mine Workers of New
Zealand and as such he represented
New Zealand at the World Energy
Congress in Moscow in 1983.
At the old Liverpool Mine, up at
Rewanui, Norm was a workman’s
safety inspector and also a national
safety inspector for the United
Mine Workers, as well as being
appointed New Zealand Miners
representative on the Coal Mining
Districts Welfare Council.
In 1983 he was made a Justice
of the Peace and in 1995 his
contribution to local body and
community affairs was recognised
when he was awarded the
A Greymouth Borough councillor
for nine years, Norm also served on
the Cobden School committee for
17 years, 11 of those as chairman,
was past president and life member
of the Cobden Home and School
Association, and along with his
wife Angela he ran the school
housie nights in Cobden for 30
years as a school fundraiser.
An honest and hard working
man, Norm Tvrdeic ser ved his
community well and lived for
his family. He is survived by his
wife Angela, and their three sons
Steve, Geoff and Craig, and three
daughters Sonya, Marlene and
Norman (Norm) Tvrdeic
1924 - 2014
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