Nov 13

- America and Israel Created a Monster Computer Virus Which Now Threatens Nuclear Reactors Worldwide (Washington’s Blog, Nov 12, 2013):

Even Threatens the International Space Station

In their obsession to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Israel created a computer virus (called “Stuxnet”) to take out Iran’s nuclear enrichment machinery.

The virus appears to have spread to other countries.

One of the world’s top computer security experts – Eugene Kaspersky – said this week that the virus has attacked a Russian nuclear reactor.   As The Register notes: Continue reading »

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Nov 12

- Stuxnet infected Russian nuclear plant (SC Magazine, Nov 8, 2013):

Jumped airgap, Kaspersky boss says.

Stuxnet had ‘badly infected’ the internal network of a Russian nuclear plant after the sophisticated malware caused chaos in Iran’s uranium facilities in Natanz.

The malware, widely considered to have been developed by the US Government as a means to disrupt Iran’s uranium enrichment plans, had crossed a physically separated ‘air-gapped’ network in the Russian plant after it was carried across on a USB device.

Eugene Kaspersky, the charismatic boss of the Russian antivirus company bearing his name, said a staffer at the unnamed nuclear plant informed him of the infection.

Continue reading »

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Aug 03

Flashback.


- Meet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army (In Which ‘Bonesaw’ Makes A Mockery Of PRISM):

Inside Fort Meade, Maryland, a top-secret city bustles. Tens of thousands of people move through more than 50 buildings—the city has its own post office, fire department, and police force. But as if designed by Kafka, it sits among a forest of trees, surrounded by electrified fences and heavily armed guards, protected by antitank barriers, monitored by sensitive motion detectors, and watched by rotating cameras. To block any telltale electromagnetic signals from escaping, the inner walls of the buildings are wrapped in protective copper shielding and the one-way windows are embedded with a fine copper mesh.

This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army.

Schematically, Alexander’s empire consists of the following: virtually every piece in America’s information intelligence arsenal.

 

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Jun 23

- Meet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army (In Which “Bonesaw” Makes A Mockery Of PRISM)

With his revelations exposing the extent of potential, and actual, pervasive NSA surveillance over the American population, Edward Snowden has done a great service for the public by finally forcing it to answer the question: is having Big Brother peek at every private communication and electronic information, a fair exchange for the alleged benefit of the state’s security. Alas, without further action form a population that appears largely numb and apathetic to disclosures that until recently would have sparked mass protests and toppled presidents, the best we can hope for within a political regime that has hijacked the democratic process, is some intense introspection as to what the concept of “America” truly means.

However, and more importantly, what Snowden’s revelations have confirmed, is that behind the scenes, America is now actively engaged in a new kind of war: an unprecedented cyber war, where collecting, deciphering, intercepting, and abusing information is the only thing that matters and leads to unprecedented power, and where enemies both foreign and domestic may be targeted without due process based on a lowly analyst’s “whim.”

It has also put spotlight on the man, who until recently deep in the shadows, has been responsible for building America’s secret, absolutely massive cyber army, and which according to a just released Wired profile is “capable of launching devastating cyberattacks. Now it’s ready to unleash hell.”

Meet General Keith Alexander, “a man few even in Washington would likely recognize”, which is troubling because Alexander is now quite possibly the most powerful person in the world, that nobody talks about. Which is just the way he likes it. Continue reading »

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Apr 15

- Pentagon calls off new medal for drone, cyber warriors (AFP, Aproil 15, 2013):

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday cancelled a new combat medal for US troops who launch drone strikes or cyber attacks after a torrent of criticism from veterans and lawmakers.

Hagel opted to scrap the new “Distinguished Warfare Medal” for a pin or device that could be added to existing medals to recognize service members operating unmanned aircraft or cyber weapons, Hagel said in a statement.

The now cancelled medal had provoked outrage among active duty and retired troops, who called it insulting due to its high ranking in the military’s hierarchy of traditional combat medals — above the prestigious Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart.

Continue reading »

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Mar 14


National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander

- Pentagon creates 13 offensive cyber teams for worldwide attacks (RT, March 13, 2013):

The head of the United States Cyber Command says the US is developing 40 new teams of cyber-agents that will both protect America’s critical infrastructure from hackers and as well as launch attacks against the country’s adversaries.

Gen. Keith Alexander, who leads both the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the 40 online support teams should be ready for action by 2015, with 13 of those units existing specifically to attack other countries.

Alexander has been reluctant to go into detail about how the newly-designed teams will engage in cyber battle with America’s enemies, but he did say that the 13 squads of offensive fighters won’t be sitting around waiting for hackers from abroad to strike first. The NSA chief described the groups as ‘‘defend-the-nation’’ teams but also stressed that their role will be one that puts them on both sides of the action. Continue reading »

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Mar 09

- US considering pre-emptive cyberattacks (DW, Feb 2, 2013):

Media reports claim that the US is secretly claiming the right to launch pre-emptive cyberattacks in “credible threat” scenarios, in the wake of the attacks on US media outlets. But how credible are those threats?

The damage done by cyberattacks is not always immediately apparent, even after they have been carried out. Many were surprised when the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post announced recently that they had been hit for over four months by cyberattacks, in part coming from China. Perhaps more alarmingly, the US Department of Homeland Security said that one power station had been knocked out for weeks by a cyberattack, though it declined to say which.

The US has of course launched a number of digital onslaughts of its own, most notably on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. And that attack was not risk-free, as the so-called Stuxnet virus injected into Iranian systems ended up being leaked onto the Internet and copied millions of times.

Continue reading »

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Feb 21

- Cyber-assault HQ: how US is under attack from this office in Shanghai (Independent, Feb 19, 2013):

A barrage of malicious cyber-attacks against computer networks in the United States and other countries over several years has been sourced by a private US security firm to a single building on the fringes of Shanghai, which, it says, is occupied by the Chinese military.

A 60-page report released by Mandiant, a Virginia-based firm that specialises in cyber-espionage, concludes that hundreds or perhaps thousands of English-speaking Chinese computer experts toil daily inside the anonymous-looking 12-storey building in the Pudong district of Shanghai. ‘Unit 61398’, as it is known, hacks into foreign networks on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Mandiant alleges.

“The nature of Unit 61398’s work is considered by China to be a state secret; however, we believe it engages in harmful computer network operations,” the security firm said in the report, which drew instant rebukes from the Chinese government. “It is time to acknowledge the threat that is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat effectively.”

The company asserted that the unit, one of several in China believed to be involved in invading overseas computer systems, had “stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organisations across a diverse set of industries beginning as early as 2006”.  While most of the activity targeted corporations in the United States are smaller number is located in Canada and Britain, it said.

- US ready to strike back against China cyberattacks (AP, Feb 19, 2013):

WASHINGTON (AP) – As public evidence mounts that the Chinese military is responsible for stealing massive amounts of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets, the Obama administration is eyeing fines and other trade actions it may take against Beijing or any other country guilty of cyberespionage.

According to officials familiar with the plans, the White House will lay out a new report Wednesday that suggests initial, more-aggressive steps the U.S. would take in response to what top authorities say has been an unrelenting campaign of cyberstealing linked to the Chinese government. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the threatened action.

The White House plans come after a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm released a torrent of details Monday that tied a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai to years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies. After analyzing breaches that compromised more than 140 companies, Mandiant has concluded that they can be linked to the People’s Liberation Army’s Unit 61398.

- China denies cyber attack allegations (BBC News, Feb 20, 2013)

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Feb 09

- Obama Declares Global Cyberwar (Veterans Today, Feb 8, 2013):

Throughout his tenure, Obama governed lawlessly for the monied interests that own him. He’s waged no-holds-barred war on humanity.

Strategy includes homeland tyranny, fear-mongering, saber rattling, hot wars, proxy ones, drone ones, domestic political ones, geopolitical ones, financial ones, anti-populist ones, sanctions, subversion, sabotage, targeted assassinations, mass murder, cyberwar, and more.

In May 2009, Obama prioritized cybersecurity. He called cyber-threats “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation.”

“America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity.”

Continue reading »

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Feb 05

- Pre-Emptive Cyber-Wars Begun They Have (ZeroHedge, Feb 4, 2013):

As the world’s economic powers squabble over the intricacies of cause and effect in a vicious cycle of currency devaluation and domestic economic defense; it appears, NYTimes reports, that the US is leading the way in another direction. A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad – i.e. if we ‘suspect’ someone is going to hack us, we can hack them. In what appears to be Stuxnet’s bigger (and scarier) brother,one official noted, “there are levels of cyberwarfare that are far more aggressive than anything that has been used or recommended to be done.” New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code – even if there is no declared war. Cyberweaponry is the newest and perhaps most complex arms race under way, based in Cyber Command at The Pentagon, with the unspoken question being, ‘What are we going to do about China?’

Via NY Times
,

A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review. Continue reading »

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Feb 05

- Secret rules to let Obama order ‘pre-emptive’ cyber attacks (PressTV, Feb 4, 2013):

A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review.

That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack.

New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code – even if there is no declared war.

Continue reading »

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Feb 01

- Who’s Faking It? Pentagon “Cyber-Warriors” Planting “False Information on Facebook” (Global Research, Jan 26, 2013):

On November 22, 2012, the Los Angeles Times published an alarming piece of news entitled “Cyber Corps program trains spies for the digital age”. The “cyber-warriors” who are headed for organizations such as the CIA, NSC, FBI, the Pentagon and so on, are trained to stalk, “rifle through trash, sneak a tracking device on cars and plant false information on Facebook [emphasis added]. They also are taught to write computer viruses, hack digital networks, crack passwords, plant listening devices and mine data from broken cellphones and flash drives.”

Not surprisingly, less than a month later, it was rumored that Iran ’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei had started a Facebook page. The style and content of the site ruled out its authenticity, but the State Department was amused. In spite of the potential for alarm, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland jokingly expressed Washington ’s curiosity to see how many “likes’ Khamenei would receive. This is no joking matter. Any message on this page would be attributed to Khamenei with a potential for dangerous ramifications.

Continue reading »

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Nov 22

- NSA Refuses To Release Secret Obama Directive On Cybersecurity (Infowars, Nov 21, 2012):

Order may allow military takeover of internet

The National Security Agency has refused to release details of a secret presidential directive which experts believe could allow the military and intelligence agencies to operate on the networks of private companies, such as Google and Facebook.

As we reported last week, an article in the Washington Post, cited several US officials saying that Obama signed off on the secret cybersecurity order, believed to widely expand NSA’s spying authorities, in mid-October.

“The new directive is the most extensive White House effort to date to wrestle with what constitutes an “offensive” and a “defensive” action in the rapidly evolving world of cyberwar and cyberterrorism.” the report states.

In response to the move, lawyers with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (PDF) demanding that the Obama administration make public the text of the directive.

Continue reading »

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Nov 20

- Anonymous leaks personal information of 5,000 Israeli officials (RT, Nov 18, 2012):

Internet hacktivist group Anonymous has declared cyberwar on Israel, posting personal data of five thousand Israeli officials online.

­The group used their Anonpaste.me site to address a message to the Israeli government before linking to the page with names, ID numbers and personal emails of 5,000 officials.

The message said: “It has come to our attention that the Israeli government has ignored repeated warnings about the abuse of human rights, shutting down the internet in Israel and mistreating its own citizens and those of its neighboring countries.”


(Screenshot from anonpaste.me)

The group also said “Israeli Gov. this is/will turn into a cyberwar.”

Earlier, the group hacked over 700 hundred Israeli websites, including the Bank of Jerusalem, the Israeli Defence Ministry, the IDF blog, the President’s official website and many others.

Most of the sites remain down. Continue reading »

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Aug 03

From the article:

Their (AC/DC) songs were among the loud music played to detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility in preparation for interrogations, the Associated Press reported in October 20009, citing the National Security Archive in Washington.

Let’s just say the US or Israel is really behind this cyber attack.

What would happen if Iran would do the same to us or Israel?


- Iran Nuclear Plants Hit By Virus Playing AC/DC, Website Says (Bloomberg, July 25, 2012)

Iran’s nuclear facilities have suffered a cyber attack that shut down computers and played music from the rock band AC/DC, the F-Secure Security Labs website said.

A new worm targeted Iran’s nuclear program, closing down the “automation network” at the Natanz and Fordo facilities, the Internet security site reported, citing an e-mail it said was sent by a scientist inside Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

The virus also prompted several of the computers on site to play the song “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC at full volume in the middle of the night, according to the e-mail, part of which is published in English on the website.

Continue reading »

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Jun 20

See also:

- Flame Steals Data Even When Computers Are Not Connected To The Internet

- Flame Virus Developed By U.S. Government

- Kaspersky At Cyber Security Conference: ‘It’s Not Cyber War, It’s Cyber Terrorism And I’m Afraid It’s Just The Beginning Of The Game … I’m Afraid It Will Be The End Of The World As We Know It’

- Kaspersky Lab: Flame And Stuxnet Virus Share Common Origin

- Obama Ordered The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Facilities – And Yes: This Is An Act Of War!

- President Obama Ordered Stuxnet Attacks On Iran Nuclear Facilities

- US And Israel Created Stuxnet, Lost Control Of It

- Flame Super-Virus Threatening To Cripple Entire Nations Has ‘Hallmarks Of The NSA’



- Israel, US collaborated in creation of ‘Flame’ virus to slow Iran’s nuke efforts, report says (FOX News, June 19, 2012):

Israel and the United States collaborated in the development of the powerful computer virus dubbed the “Flame,” which briefly affected Iran’s key oil industry, an official with knowledge of the effort said.

The Washington Post reports that the massive piece of malware, which collected critical intelligence information from Iran, was created with the aim of slowing the country’s suspected nuclear weapon development.

The Worm.Win32.Flame threat, or “Flame” for short, was likely built by the same nation-state responsible for the Stuxnet virus that targeted Iran’s nuclear power plant in 2010. Many suspect Stuxnet was the work of Israeli intelligence.

Continue reading »

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Jun 12

Related info:

- Kaspersky Lab: Flame And Stuxnet Virus Share Common Origin

- Kaspersky At Cyber Security Conference: ‘It’s Not Cyber War, It’s Cyber Terrorism And I’m Afraid It’s Just The Beginning Of The Game … I’m Afraid It Will Be The End Of The World As We Know It’

- Obama Ordered The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Facilities – And Yes: This Is An Act Of War!

- President Obama Ordered Stuxnet Attacks On Iran Nuclear Facilities

- US And Israel Created Stuxnet, Lost Control Of It

- Flame Super-Virus Threatening To Cripple Entire Nations Has ‘Hallmarks Of The NSA’


- Flame virus, most sophisticated malicious code ever seen, was developed by U.S. government (Natural News, June 12, 2012):

Anyone who has spent longer than a day on a computer knows how dangerous to your hard drive malware and other malicious code can be. Most of us have fallen victim to one or the other and have cursed the day the hacker who developed it was born.

Now, according to reports, some of the most sophisticated malicious code ever developed is a product of the United States government, leaving more than a few tech experts and analysts concerned that maybe now, Washington has become a bigger info-terrorist than some of the country’s worst enemies.

Continue reading »

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Jun 12

Related info:

- Flame Virus Developed By U.S. Government

- Kaspersky Lab: Flame And Stuxnet Virus Share Common Origin

- Obama Ordered The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Facilities – And Yes: This Is An Act Of War!

- President Obama Ordered Stuxnet Attacks On Iran Nuclear Facilities

- US And Israel Created Stuxnet, Lost Control Of It

- Flame Super-Virus Threatening To Cripple Entire Nations Has ‘Hallmarks Of The NSA’


- Nations must talk to halt “cyber terrorism”: Kaspersky (Reuters, June 6, 2012):

Eugene Kaspersky, whose lab discovered the Flame virus that has attacked computers in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, said on Wednesday only a global effort could stop a new era of “cyber terrorism”.

It’s not cyber war, it’s cyber terrorism and I’m afraid it’s just the beginning of the game … I’m afraid it will be the end of the world as we know it,” Kaspersky told reporters at a cyber security conference in Tel Aviv.

“I’m scared, believe me,” he said.

News of the Flame virus surfaced last week. Researchers said technical evidence suggests it was built for the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010.

In recent months U.S. officials have become more open about the work of the United States and Israel on Stuxnet, which targeted Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.

Continue reading »

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Jun 12

Related info:

- Flame Virus Developed By U.S. Government

- Kaspersky At Cyber Security Conference: ‘It’s Not Cyber War, It’s Cyber Terrorism And I’m Afraid It’s Just The Beginning Of The Game … I’m Afraid It Will Be The End Of The World As We Know It’

- Obama Ordered The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Facilities – And Yes: This Is An Act Of War!

- President Obama Ordered Stuxnet Attacks On Iran Nuclear Facilities

- US And Israel Created Stuxnet, Lost Control Of It

- Flame Super-Virus Threatening To Cripple Entire Nations Has ‘Hallmarks Of The NSA’


- Diving Into Flame, Researchers Find A Link To Stuxnet (threatpost, June 11, 2012):

Researchers digging through the code of the recently discovered Flame worm say they have come across a wealth of evidence that suggests Flame and the now-famous Stuxnet worm share a common origin.

Researchers from Kaspersky Lab say that a critical module that the Flame worm used to spread is identical to a module used by Stuxnet.a, an early variant of the Stuxnet worm that began circulating in 2009, more than a year before a later variant of the worm was discovered by antivirus researchers at the Belarussian firm VirusBlokAda. The claims are the most direct, to date, that link the Flame malware, which attacked Iranian oil facilities, with Stuxnet, which is believed to have targeted Iran’s uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. If true, they suggest a widespread and multi-year campaign of offensive cyber attacks against multiple targets within that country.

According to the Kaspersky researchers, early versions of Stuxnet were, in fact, created out of components that were part of what they refer to as the “Flame platform”. But they believe development of the two malicious programs diverged after 2009, suggesting that two different development teams may have been working independently for a single entity to create malware with specific objectives, according to Kaspersky researchers, writing on the company’s blog, Securelist.

Continue reading »

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Jun 02

See also:

- US To Classify Major Cyber-Attacks As Acts Of War


- Obama Ordered The “Code Stux” (ZeroHedge, May 31, 2012):

When Iran’s nuclear facilities were publicly crippled in 2011 by what then was considered a revolutionary computer virus which destroys physical equipment, many immediately assumed the virus originated in Israel for obvious reasons. They were wrong. In what can be described as the first presidentially-mandated and condoned act of cyberwarfare, one circumventing the War Powers Act of course, the NYT informs us that the order to physically impair Iranian sovereignty came from none other than the Nobel Peace prize winning president: Barack Obama.

From the NYT:

From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks – begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games – even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s “escape,” Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.

“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.

Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.

This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

For those confused – yes: this is an act of war. A New Normal war.

It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country’s infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives. The code itself is 50 times as big as the typical computer worm, Carey Nachenberg, a vice president of Symantec, one of the many groups that have dissected the code, said at a symposium at Stanford University in April. Those forensic investigations into the inner workings of the code, while picking apart how it worked, came to no conclusions about who was responsible.

And still America continues to wage war, subverting the constitution, without any Congressional approval, and without even telling the population what is really happening. Because it is “for its own good.

A similar process is now under way to figure out the origins of another cyberweapon called Flame that was recently discovered to have attacked the computers of Iranian officials, sweeping up information from those machines. But the computer code appears to be at least five years old, and American officials say that it was not part of Olympic Games. They have declined to say whether the United States was responsible for the Flame attack.

The “New Normal Gulf of Tonkin“: Continue reading »

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Jun 02

Don’t miss (Flashback)!!!:

- US To Classify Major Cyber-Attacks As Acts Of War:

The Wall Street Journal, citing three officials who said they had seen the document, reported Tuesday that the strategy would classify major cyber-attacks as acts of war, paving the way for possible military retaliation.

The newspaper said that the strategy was intended in part as a warning to foes that may try to sabotage the US electricity grid, subways or pipelines.

“If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” it quoted a military official as saying.


- Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran (New York Times, May 1, 2012):

WASHINGTON — From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

Continue reading »

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Jun 02

- Confirmed: US and Israel created Stuxnet, lost control of it (Ars Technica, June 1, 2012):

In 2011, the US government rolled out its “International Strategy for Cyberspace,” which reminded us that “interconnected networks link nations more closely, so an attack on one nation’s networks may have impact far beyond its borders.” An in-depth report today from the New York Times confirms the truth of that statement as it finally lays bare the history and development of the Stuxnet virus—and how it accidentally escaped from the Iranian nuclear facility that was its target.

The article is adapted from journalist David Sanger’s forthcoming book, Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, and it confirms that both the US and Israeli governments developed and deployed Stuxnet. The goal of the worm was to break Iranian nuclear centrifuge equipment by issuing specific commands to the industrial control hardware responsible for their spin rate. By doing so, both governments hoped to set back the Iranian research program—and the US hoped to keep Israel from launching a pre-emptive military attack.

Continue reading »

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May 31

Related info:

- Flame Super-Virus Threatening To Cripple Entire Nations Has ‘Hallmarks Of The NSA’


- Iran claims to have beaten ‘Flame’ computer virus (Telegraph, May 30, 2012):

Iran claims it has defeated a powerful computer virus that has boasted unprecedented data-snatching capabilities and could eavesdrop on computer users, a senior official said.

Ali Hakim Javadi, Iran’s deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told the official IRNA news agency that Iranian experts have already produced an antivirus capable of identifying and removing “Flame” from computers.

Continue reading »

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May 31

- Was Flame super-virus created in the US? Cyber weapon threatening to cripple entire nations has ‘hallmarks of the NSA’ (Daily Mail, May 31, 2012):

  • Cyber experts: Spyware too sophisticated to have come from anywhere else

The Flame computer virus which is threatening to bring countries to a standstill is too sophisticated to have been created anywhere other than the U.S., it was claimed today.

As the United Nations prepares to issue its ‘most serious warning’ to guard against the superbug, cyber experts said it carried all the markings of a U.S. espionage operation.

Specifically, they have pointed the finger at the highly secretive National Security Agency.

Continue reading »

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May 31

See also:

- US: House Passes Authority for Worldwide War (ACLU)

- Rep. Ron Paul: ‘The Fate Of The American Republic Is Now Sealed’


- Pentagon: All options on table in cyber-attack (AFP, May 31, 2011):

The Pentagon said Tuesday that it would consider all options if the United States were hit by a cyber-attack as it develops the first military guidelines for the age of Internet warfare.

President Barack Obama’s administration has been formalizing rules on cyberspace amid growing concern about the reach of hackers. Major defense contractor Lockheed Martin said it repelled a major cyber-assault a week ago.

The White House on May 16 unveiled an international strategy on cyber-security which said the United States “will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country.”

“We reserve the right to use all necessary means — diplomatic, informational, military, and economic — as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests,” the strategy said.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said Tuesday that the White House policy did not rule out a military response to a cyber-attack.

“A response to a cyber incident or attack on the US would not necessarily be a cyber response,” Lapan told reporters. “All appropriate options would be on the table if we were attacked, be it cyber.”

Lapan said that the Pentagon was drawing up an accompanying cyber defense strategy which would be ready in two to three weeks.

The Wall Street Journal, citing three officials who said they had seen the document, reported Tuesday that the strategy would classify major cyber-attacks as acts of war, paving the way for possible military retaliation.

Continue reading »

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Oct 01

See also:

- Anti-Iran computer bug had powerful backers

- Has the West declared cyber war on Iran?


An antivirus expert said the virus has infected over 6 million computer accounts

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The Stuxnet computer worm has wreaked havoc in China, infecting millions of computers around the country, state media have reported.

A computer virus dubbed the world’s “first cyber superweapon” by experts and which may have been designed to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities has found a new target — China.

The Stuxnet computer worm has wreaked havoc in China, infecting millions of computers around the country, state media reported this week.

Stuxnet is feared by experts around the globe as it can break into computers that control machinery at the heart of industry, allowing an attacker to assume control of critical systems like pumps, motors, alarms and valves.

It could, technically, make factory boilers explode, destroy gas pipelines or even cause a nuclear plant to malfunction.

The virus targets control systems made by German industrial giant Siemens commonly used to manage water supplies, oil rigs, power plants and other industrial facilities.

“This malware is specially designed to sabotage plants and damage industrial systems, instead of stealing personal data,” an engineer surnamed Wang at antivirus service provider Rising International Software told the Global Times.

“Once Stuxnet successfully penetrates factory computers in China, those industries may collapse, which would damage China’s national security,” he added.

Another unnamed expert at Rising International said the attacks had so far infected more than six million individual accounts and nearly 1,000 corporate accounts around the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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Feb 19

cyber-war
“Cyber war!” flashes on the screen at an Internet security conference

(AFP) WASHINGTON — Former top US officials staged a digital doomsday simulation on Tuesday in which a huge cyberattack crashes cellphone networks, slows Web traffic to a crawl and plunges major cities into darkness.

Dubbed “Cyber ShockWave,” the elaborate exercise was held in a Washington hotel room transformed for the day into the White House Situation Room, where the president and his advisers typically meet to address national emergencies.

Former president George W. Bush’s Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff played the role of National Security Advisor as the “cabinet” sought to respond to a nightmare scenario drawn up by former CIA director Michael Hayden.

As the “crisis” escalated, the officials discussed various actions including calling out the National Guard, nationalizing the utility companies and staging a retaliatory strike if the authors of the cyberattack become known.

“If this is an attack on the United States the president, as commander in chief, has the authority to use the full powers at his disposal,” said former deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick, in her role as attorney general. Continue reading »

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Jul 01

Related article and video:Air Force Aims for ‘Full Control’ of ‘Any and All’ Computers

WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) — The U.S. military is looking for a contractor to patrol cyberspace, watching for warning signs of forthcoming terrorist attacks or other hostile activity on the Web.

“If someone wants to blow us up, we want to know about it,” Robert Hembrook, the deputy intelligence chief of the U.S. Army’s Fifth Signal Command in Mannheim, Germany, told United Press International.

(…and the place where you can read about any planned terrorist attack is the Internet, of course!)

In a solicitation posted on the Web last week, the command said it was looking for a contractor to provide “Internet awareness services” to support “force protection” — the term of art for the security of U.S. military installations and personnel.

“The purpose of the services will be to identify and assess stated and implied threat, antipathy, unrest and other contextual data relating to selected Internet domains,” says the solicitation.

Hembrook was tight-lipped about the proposal. “The more we talk about it, the less effective it will be,” he said. “If we didn’t have to put it out in public (to make the contract award), we wouldn’t have.”

He would not comment on the kinds of Internet sites the contractor would be directed to look at but acknowledged it would “not (be) far off” to assume violent Islamic extremists would be at the top of the list.

The solicitation says the successful contractor will “analyze various Web pages, chat rooms, blogs and other Internet domains to aggregate and assess data of interest,” adding, “The contractor will prioritize foreign-language domains that relate to specific areas of concern … (and) will also identify new Internet domains” that might relate to “specific local requirements” of the command.

Officials were keen to stress the contract covered only information that could be found by anyone with a computer and Internet connection.

“We’re not interested in being Big Brother,” said LeAnne MacAllister, chief spokeswoman for the command, which runs communications in Europe for the U.S. Army and the military’s joint commands there.

“I would not characterize it as monitoring,” added Hembrook. “This is a research tool gathering information that is already in the public domain.”

Experts say Islamic extremist groups like al-Qaida use the Web for propaganda and fundraising purposes.

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And these are the real terrorists:

- Government Insider: Bush Authorized 9/11 Attacks:
“This (9/11) was all planned. This was a government-ordered operation. Bush personally signed the order. He personally authorized the attacks. He is guilty of treason and mass murder.” -Stanley Hilton

- Rumsfeld: Why not another 9/11?:
In a newly-released tape of a 2006 neocon luncheon meeting featuring former War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, attended by ex-military “message force multiplier” propaganda shills Lt. General Michael DeLong, David L. Grange, Donald W. Sheppard, James Marks, Rick Francona, Wayne Downing, Robert H. Scales and others, Rumsfeld declared that the American people lack “the maturity to recognize the seriousness of the ‘threats’” — and need another 9/11.

- USA Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11

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Although the extent to which it is employed in operational planning is less clear, most agree that important information about targeting and tactics can be gleaned from extremists’ public pronouncements.

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May 31

Chinese hackers pose a clear and present danger to U.S. government and private-sector computer networks and may be responsible for two major U.S. power blackouts.

Computer hackers in China, including those working on behalf of the Chinese government and military, have penetrated deeply into the information systems of U.S. companies and government agencies, stolen proprietary information from American executives in advance of their business meetings in China, and, in a few cases, gained access to electric power plants in the United States, possibly triggering two recent and widespread blackouts in Florida and the Northeast, according to U.S. government officials and computer-security experts.

One prominent expert told National Journal he believes that China’s People’s Liberation Army played a role in the power outages. Tim Bennett, the former president of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a leading trade group, said that U.S. intelligence officials have told him that the PLA in 2003 gained access to a network that controlled electric power systems serving the northeastern United States. The intelligence officials said that forensic analysis had confirmed the source, Bennett said. “They said that, with confidence, it had been traced back to the PLA.” These officials believe that the intrusion may have precipitated the largest blackout in North American history, which occurred in August of that year. A 9,300-square-mile area, touching Michigan, Ohio, New York, and parts of Canada, lost power; an estimated 50 million people were affected.

Officially, the blackout was attributed to a variety of factors, none of which involved foreign intervention. Investigators blamed “overgrown trees” that came into contact with strained high-voltage lines near facilities in Ohio owned by FirstEnergy Corp. More than 100 power plants were shut down during the cascading failure. A computer virus, then in wide circulation, disrupted the communications lines that utility companies use to manage the power grid, and this exacerbated the problem. The blackout prompted President Bush to address the nation the day it happened. Power was mostly restored within 24 hours.

There has never been an official U.S. government assertion of Chinese involvement in the outage, but intelligence and other government officials contacted for this story did not explicitly rule out a Chinese role. One security analyst in the private sector with close ties to the intelligence community said that some senior intelligence officials believe that China played a role in the 2003 blackout that is still not fully understood. Continue reading »

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May 14

The Air Force wants a suite of hacker tools, to give it “access” to — and “full control” of — any kind of computer there is. And once the info warriors are in, the Air Force wants them to keep tabs on their “adversaries’ information infrastructure completely undetected.”

The government is growing increasingly interested in waging war online. The Air Force recently put together a “Cyberspace Command,” with a charter to rule networks the way its fighter jets rule the skies. The Department of Homeland Security, Darpa, and other agencies are teaming up for a five-year, $30 billion “national cybersecurity initiative.” That includes an electronic test range, where federally-funded hackers can test out the latest electronic attacks. “You used to need an army to wage a war,” a recent Air Force commercial notes. “Now, all you need is an Internet connection.” Continue reading »

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