Aug 05 2008
Update: The patients have taken over the insane asylum at The Cult of The COLB:
Forensics specialist Techdude, who has been chipping away at the Obama Birth Certificate mystery for some time, has confirmed that the name on the original Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) which was used to forge the document presented by Barack Obama as his valid Birth Certificate IS:
Maya Kassandra Soetoro.
As I noted below there are no hidden names in the COLB. This repo-man, turned PI, who claims to know computers and imaging (though he has never investigated a case of image forgery) found random dots and jpg artifacts and connected them to see what he wanted. The only forgery I have seen is this cooked up evidence this guy Adam Fink has tried to produce. A real image analyst debunked this forgery quite nicely, showing how Fink conveniently ignored all dots and jpg image artifacts that did not support his con. And we both cannot find a hint of the hidden text this guy claims is there – none.
So why go after Obama and his sister? These cretins would do anything, even make up crap, to stop Obama. I am well on record as opposing Obama’s candidacy. I, however, trust the judgement of the American people to deal with the facts and make the right choice. I would never produce a knowingly false claim, like this Cult of The COLB is pushing.
Why is this all a big lie? Well, Maya Soetor-Ng was not born in Hawaii, she was born in Indonesia in 1970. So therefore the state of Hawaii would not be the place to issue a COLB for Maya since they are not the one’s who would have her vital records. This entire theory lies on the assumption Hawaii would issue a COLB for someone not born there. All this ridiculous effort to make up a smear based on ghost artifacts and these clowns don’t even realize you cannot get a COLB from just any state.
This is the act of a conspiracy of morons. - end update, myth busted again
You can always tell a novice by the way they cannot keep to simple facts and assessments in their ‘technical reports’, but instead go to the insults in a lame attempt to cover up their shortcomings. Techdude has become a classic example of a poseur, someone who wants to be technically savvy and respected, but cannot attain this credibility – so he goes for the juvenile jabs. Â BTW, I have never pretended to be producing a report of any kind. I blogged my reactions to the silliness that blows easily confused minds with no technical background.
You know I see this every day, people blown away by the fact mankind sends robots and landers to other planets. But to those who do it day in and day out, it is not all that special. Â So many have been done successfully by now that there is an expectation of minimal ability in the field which is an entry level test. Being able to repeat what has been done is not something worthy of soaring admiration and shock. Same thing with this COLB bunk, I expect to see a minimal level of ability and it keeps coming up way short. But folks with an emotionally vested interest and zero ability to grasp the technology keep grasping at the amateurs and their ridiculous (and ever shifting) claims.
When someone has been debunked four or five times, and has had to keep creating ever newer and more bizarre scenarios to keep hope of a conspiracy alive, you can tell there is a sad trend appearing. Prove them wrong, they run farther out on the limb of ridiculous and unproven speculation.
So we come to the latest lame attempt at playing Sherlock Holmes by someone who shows why “a fool with a tool is still a fool”. Let’s get to fisking Techdude’s latest dud.
I am going to begin with the lame insults Techdud throws out to try and bolster his technical standings. he is under the gun from a lot of us who have a lot more technical breadth and depth that he has mustered in his short career. Â So in a lame attempt to stop the next onslaught, he attempts to defame his challengers:
If anyone still believes the KOS COLB is legitimate after reading this article they should seriously think about seeking professional help.
Perhaps they have just been blinded by their own creative interpretations of what they want to see but I will simply put my money on them just being really stupid.
See, if we don’t agree with Sherlock Junior here we are stupid? Â LOL! Â Techdud, is this how you approach a jury in an investigation? Â Seems your professional standards are more gutter standards than technical. And sadly, there is more:
Now letâ€™s talk about that pesky â€œsecurity borderâ€ shall we? A few people chose to just ignore the obvious differences that can be seen between the March 2007, KOS â€œJune 2007â€, and June 2008 patterns and instead want to complain that I kept calling it a security border (that is twice I have used it already since some are counting). Yes, I know it is not secure and yes I know it has nothing to do with real security â€“ it is just a pretty pattern. I guess I could have just called it a multi-sectional vector based axonometric diamond graphic but for the sake of consistency and not using any of those â€œoh so hard to understand large wordsâ€ I decided to continue to call it a security border as others before me had already used that term. Just a warning â€“ I am going to keep calling it that just to annoy some people.
Nice use of the dictionary their slick. But ‘axonometric’ is not an accurate association to what is simply a crossed-hatched pattern. Not sure why he thinks making a fool of himself is annoying to the rest of us. But here is the crux of the issue with Techdud – he began his strange mental trip when he noticed the borders between the 2007 BHO COLB and the 2002 Decosta COLB were not the same – and it was a stunningly hilarious epiphany as I noted in many of my posts:Â
At this point I was beginning to believe the certificate was real until I resized and overlaid the Decosta certificate on top of the KOS version. â€¦ But upon manually stretching them to match edge to edge I caught a glimpse of what I and apparently everyone else had simply not noticed. The security borders do not match. Literally.
This is still a stunningly grandiose way to discover the newer Obama BC (circa Jun 2007) was printed on different paper or background than the Hawaiin BC of one Ms Decosta (circa Sep 2002). The man provided the images that demonstrated this searing moment of the oblivious:
Now I am pretty sure most of us would not have to resize the image, overlay it, measure the diamond patterns, etc to see that the two BCâ€™s were overlaid on different paper or backgrounds.Â
Like I said, this Junior Sherlock doesn’t miss anything. It was poor, stupid, NASA and DoD Computer Systems expert me who pointed out to Techdud that the reason there were different backgrounds was Hawaii was upgrading the vital records systems in accordance to Real ID and 9-11. Techdud had not, up until I helped set him on the right path, ever considered this reality. But he has a preconceived result in mind, so he doggedly keeps trying to salvage it from us idiots who can’t understand big words. Â So, back to the fisking:
Some have also tried to blur the issue by pulling facts out of their butts and claiming that all three documents must have been printed on different printers â€“ sorry, but all real certificates are printed and issued through the same office using the same printer. I could get all technical and confuse some people again and point out how to fingerprint a specific printer but as I said this is being written so that any 4th grade dropout can follow along so here is the simplest way I can write this explanation for them without using any words that they may not understand.
Oh please Techdud, get technical – and see if you can get past 12th grade (that would be a HS diploma Sherlock). Â What I love about Techdud is he proves the BHO COLB has to be authentic every time he comes out slinging his mud. Â He hopes the mud hides the truth so no one notices his oversight. He apparentlyÂ subconsciouslyÂ sees the problem, then his emotions take hold and he hides it under disdain for the challenges he knows he will get. Â For example, I highlighted some text above which says it all. Why is this important – because the BHO COLB lines up identically to the 2002 Decosta COLB – meaning they were printed on the same system (maybe??). The backgrounds line up too, but they are not the same pattern. When we get to the 2008 COLB the pattern is back – but it does not line up with the DeCosta COLB!
Say what? Yep, two COLBs considered authenticate DO NOT LINE UP with each other! Yep, Techdud does it again – he screws up in reverse. The BHO COLB and the Decosta COLB line up. Â Why is that? Well, the BHO COLB is in the period when Hawaii was upgrading their systems – and that is something a computer neophyte would not appreciate.
They have not changed their printer since the March 2007 COLB was printed and they only use one printer.Â
Dude, you just said only legitimate COLBS (like the 2002 Decosta) had to be from one printer? Â OK, whatever. Â What you proved was that I was correct when I said the state of Hawaii upgraded their systems in early 2007 – thanks for once again proving my case, as you have before. Before I get to how computer systems are deployed, let me note something else strange in this last gasp.
When I was sparring with Techdud early on he pointed to a series of analysis tools and methods which help identify when an image has been tampered with. Â He swore up and down that these tools would surface a forgery. Â But before he could find these telltales of a forgery, another true image analyst did the work using these methods and discovered there were no signs of manipulation. These are standard methods to detect subterfuge, yet now look at Techdud’s take on these tools:
Now letâ€™s get back to revealing that previously erased security border (oh dear, he said that phrase again). At various points on the full resolution (300ppi) uncropped KOS image there are over 100 individual flaws that can be seen with one of the greatest scientific instruments ever devised. The human eye. There is no need to use specialized forensic graphic reconstruction applications, no need for super expensive specialized PhotoShop filters, and no need for anything more than a basic graphic viewing application that can zoom in on parts of the image and change its hue values.Â
What happened here? Techdud now claims those tools don’t mean anything (since they failed to prove is deepest desires) and now he only wants to deal with what his delusional and biased eyes can create! Â And it is a real laugher what this guy ‘envisions':
To make this so easy that even a caveman can grasp it letâ€™s imagine you are at the library and want to scan a picture of an owl from a childrenâ€™s book. They have 3 different scanners on 3 different computers and you scanned the picture using the exact same scan settings on all three computers. Would one of your scan images magically have the head Michael Dukakis appear on the owlâ€™s body or would you have three of the exact same image? So lets again summarize for the slow people – since the COLBs are all printed on the same printers using the same software that sends the information to the printers and then they are all scanned using the same acquisition settings.
But we know the images were not scanned by the same scanners, on the same settings, and had identical handling in terms of jpeg conversions and editing. Â Not sure what Junior Sherlock is trying to get at here, but I am sure he could provide a little more technical depth than the silly “Dukakis head on an owl” statement.
Let me remind Junior Sherlock there are two SW systems here. Â First there is the printer firmware and its settings and font suites. Â That has not changed in all likelihood, but it is not a given. Â Ever get those ‘want to upgrade your SW” messages? Who knows, but I am sure Techdud doesn’t. Â The second SW resides in the computer where the vital record details are either filled in or extracted from a data base. Â We have no idea about theÂ genealogyÂ of this application SW code (hopefully Techdud won’t mind if I slip into theÂ vernacularÂ of real computer experts). In fact, I would wager that from March 2007 through at least 6 months beyond that the application code was going through many changes. Â Where – who knows, unless I see the SWÂ discrepancyÂ reports no one can tell you were there were changes. But there were – make no mistake about it.
When a new SW system is deployed and goes live there are always bugs found and changes made. Techdud clearly doesn’t understand this or he would never had made the ridiculous claim the systems that produced the HI COLBS were IDENTICAL across 2007 and 2008. Â They were not. His entire claim lies on the ridiculous myth that as the new system was deployed no changes were made that changed the paper, borders or lay out of the data fields.
Clearly there were changes since the Decosta and Michelle COLBs do not line up. I don’t need an abusive and juvenile pretend computer expert to prove that. And since the Obama COLB shares many features it simply means it was an interim version of these changes. There is no proof either way from what Techdud has produced as to whether these are artifacts of transitioning to a new system over 6-12 months (as is normal) or something sinister. Nothing Techdud has produced can show which of these alternative scenarios is the truth.Â
But one thing is known: newly deployed systems go through a lot of changes and roll backs. No one has proven BHO has a need to create a forged COLB. So on plausibility alone Techdud still falls way short – going down ugly the entire way.
But beyond that, Techdud has yet to understand that the border and the data fields are not necessarily produced at the same time. Â The border could be pre-printed, then the data fields layered on top. Â Or the paper could have the border preprinted. Â Until Techdud unravels this puzzle he has no clue what he is seeing! Could he be seeing some artifacts from the border printing and not the text? Anyway, onward for us poor cavemen trying to grasp the sheer genius of young Techdud.
Even though the scanners may be using different software to acquire the images, the scanned images would all still look the same. Sure the document might not have been perfectly straight in one of the scans but that would not make any difference when you compare paper edge to paper edge. Scan with the top open and you might even introduce a bit of length variation to the image if the paper was not flat but multiple scanners will not randomly place graphics around the page nor will they modify the page layout of the documents you are scanning and they certainly will not make the border or text shift from left to right without human interference.Â
Ugh – technically accurate to a point. Unless of course you have a scanner/printer system, where in the scanner prints electronically. Some printers actually build the document internally digitally. But that is a side note – scanners are not made equally (or else it would not matter which one you chose – right?). And we KNOW none of the COLBS in question went through the same scanner. Â All of sudden the scanner differences, the chain of custody, doesn’t matter. Techdud has to make this wild leap so his pet theory can hold up. Â Otherwise it fails and the BHO COLB is probably a legitimate image of a legitimate COLB of a US citizen.
We are heading into the section of this insulting diatribe that has images – low resolution crappy images. Conveniently these low quality crappy images make it impossible to check Techdud’s eyesight. Very convenient oversight in my mind. Anyway, Techdud selected a bunch of phantomÂ discrepanciesÂ he says he ‘saw’ in the KOS image (yet somehow don’t show up using the standard powerful tools of image analysis) and claims they line up with an overlay of the Michelle 2008 COLB. Â
My opinion is Techdud overlaid the images and started finding phantoms where he needed them. Â But who cares, it is sloppy work. I still have high resolution images of the BHO COLB and I cannot find any of the boxed anomalies Techdud claims are there. Â He has put boxes around the overlaid areas from the Michelle COLB and sees ghosts. Â Let’s get to the bottom line.
Those previously highlighted areas where the background was touched up on the KOS image are an exact match to the placement of the text on Michelleâ€™s certificate overlay further proving that the original COLB that was used to make the KOS image is a post-2006 COLB which also corresponds with the bleed through of the 2007 date stamp.
While multiple resaves have created some additional JPEG artifacts they are still visible by simply further adjusting the contrast and brightness of the image although you might have to squint or even try additional color correction to see them clearly depending on the quality of your monitor. We are not going to see a full ghost of the letters â€“ just small portions but there is more than enough left to accurately place the proper text.
What Techdud is saying in the highlighted text is he has lost his pristine sample by doing all these wild transformations. There are no clear indicators of anything there. Â In fact, if you look at where the ‘box’ for the ‘sex’ is on his master layout diagram, it is a good bit left of where the word “Female” would start if it was aligned to the field title.Â
If I can get my hands on the resolution versions of this junk (and I have the inclination to waste my time) I could give folks a better picture, but the reality is Techdud is seeing things that just are not there. For example, if this was a forgery using the older COLB layout then why erase the border, seal and data field headers? I am not even sure what Techdud is claiming happened here!
Did someone take another COLB, delete all the data, then the data fields, and then the border, but leave the seal on the front, the impression of the data stamp and seal on the back? Was this done with the image or a hard copy? Â Techdud doesn’t explain why his ghosts make an difference. Â What about all those printer dots and ghosts that don’t map to anything (in high contrast you can see a lot of splatter spots). Why delete a perfectly good border and data headers?Â
Techdud doesn’t explain at all a plausible scenario that explains how these supposed artifacts came about. Â Yet he ignores the possibility everything he is ‘seeing’ is really just a system in transition at the time the BHO COLB was produced. Â Until he can prove this is not the case, he has nothing. You know, some people just need to believe. And I am sorry Techdud’s inability to articulate anything technical (but man can his insecure ego throw out the insults) – but he is a novice. Â He may be certified, but we have tons of board certified doctors who are dangerous incompetent fools. Â Here is what I suggest Techdud do – go all in dude. Expose who you think is the source of the COLB, and press forward. If you have a smoking gun have at it!
And don’t mind those of us who will watch with interest as you crash and burn. LOL, there is no way to debunk someone seeing things that are just not there!
Update: Readers Patgund and RayInAus note the disgust levied at Techdud by a true researcher. Interestingly our true analyst has uncovered Techdud – and notes how his claims don’t make any sense.Â ApparentlyÂ Techdud is able to do more than one investigation a day – no wonder his results are so poor. Â If this is his capacity, why does he struggle so mightily with this ‘obvious’ forgery to get a disgraceful report out once a week? More interestingly it Techdud’s company is not an technical investigation company, but more more a repo man hangout. I tried to warn Adam Fink not to play in this game – but he would not listen. Now his company’s credibility is on the line.Â
One thing I must note is Dr. Neal Krawatz, who authored this fisking, was recently applauded by Adam Fink for beating him in a forensic challenge:
The results of the 2007 Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge are in. Unfortunately team COLLECTECH did not place in the top 5 but we do want to send out heartfelt congratulations to team Hacker Factor who placed 1st in the civilian category and 3rd overall. I’d think all of the participants would agree…this had to have been one of the toughest forensic challenges ever devised. We are looking forward to see what the good folks over at DC3 can come up with for next year.
For those not aware, Hacker Factor is run by Dr Krawetz. Â Small world, isn’t it Adam?
Update: It seems Techdude is more of a fraud than first guessed. Apparently Techdude is probably (but not for sure) impersonating the good Adam Fink (from Reader Patgund):
I have heard from the person that TechDude is impersonating. TechDude is impersonating Adam Fink’s background and credentials. I offer a sincere apology to Mr. Fink for associating his impersonation with TechDude.
I previously wrote that TechDude’s declared background was similar to Mr. Fink, but not a perfect alignment with Mr. Fink, suggesting that it could be an impersonation. That indeed is the case.
It is important to recognize that TechDude’s analysis is misleading and fraudulent. Moreover, TechDude is impersonating a respected investigator. People should not harass Mr. Fink since he is yet another victim of TechDude’s deception.
Now why am I not surprised?