Tag Archives | Cyberwar

What Goes Around Comes Around: The Karma Of Political Deception

Politicians follow laws or make their own but often don’t think that one of the oldest moral admonitions applies to them: the law of karma. That’s the one, seeped in Buddhist philosophy, but accepted by other religious traditions, that says ‘what goes around comes around.’

It’s a variant of the biblical injunction to do unto others what you want others to do unto you and the notion that for every action there’s a reaction.

The concept has many interpreters including this one: “Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. Karma means ‘deed’ or ‘act’ and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, that governs all life.”

Here’s President Obama committed to high tech warfare turning the skies into a shooting gallery. The idea of course is to precisely find and target enemies using super computers and image enhancement technologies to neutralize (i.e.… Read the rest

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United States And Israel Confirmed As Behind Stuxnet Virus

imagesIt’s official — Barack Obama covertly made history by engaging in cyberwarfare against Iran. New York Times breaks the news:

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. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

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.

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Israel Attacked From Saudi Arabia

Photo: Oren Rozen (CC)

Photo: Oren Rozen (CC)

A cyber attack that is, and it looks like a very successful first strike. From USA Today:

A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel’s stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country.

Neither website contains sensitive information and trading and flights were not affected. But the ongoing salvos by hackers who use anti-Israel language in their posts has revealed how vulnerable Israel is to cyber warfare, despite its sophisticated computer security units in the military and advanced high-tech sector.

The attacks began earlier this month when hackers identifying themselves as group-xp, a known Saudi hacking group, claimed on an Israeli sports website to have gained access to 400,000 Israeli credit card accounts. The group called it a “gift to the world for the New Year” designed to “hurt the Zionist pocket.”…

[continues at USA Today]… Read the rest

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DARPA Waxes Poetic at Cyber Colloquium

DARPAAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

The Defense Department plans to ratchet up cyber security over the next five years, say chatter from a conference its research arm, DARPA, held on Monday. DARPA is seeking $208 million in funding to “prepare for hostile cyber acts that threaten our military capabilities,” an increase in $83 million reports Information Week. At the “cyber colloquium” in Virginia on Monday, talking heads for the DoD waxed poetic about the issues the Pentagon faces with cyber security.

“It is the makings of novels and poetry from Dickens to Gibran that the best and the worst occupy the same time, that wisdom and foolishness appear in the same age, light and darkness in the same season,” said DARPA’s director Regina Dugan, Wired reports. Former White House Security chief Richard Clarke was more blunt, saying current networks are as “porous as a colande.” Meanwhile, Wired reports DARPA also tacitly reached out to hackers at the colloquium, looking to enlist “the efforts of technical experts at unprecedented levels, including at the development of policy and legal frameworks.”

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Chinese Military Suspected in Hacker Attacks on U.S. Satellites

MUOSTony Capaccio and Jeff Bliss report in Bloomberg:

Computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway, according to a congressional commission.

The intrusions on the satellites, used for earth climate and terrain observation, underscore the potential danger posed by hackers, according to excerpts from the final draft of the annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The report is scheduled to be released next month.

“Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions,” according to the draft. “Access to a satellite‘s controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite. An attacker could also deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite’s transmission.”

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The 404 Attacks – Meme or Scheme?

Nothing Is True

Photo: Mr.Bigg23 (CC)

[UPDATE: the Wikipedia page has been deleted.]

A Wikipedia article that’s been the subject of some internal argument there (based on the fact that much associated with this meme is by its nature unverifiable) was brought to my attention by one of the readers of my books. I can’t say I’m entirely enthusiastic about the possible uses that this thing might be put to in the hands of a group like Anon — though it seems to already be “their” M.O. anyway, and the dis-organization is structured along the same lines as the fictitious (?) “Mother Hive Brain” in a way that’s always amused me more than a little. In a world teetering on the brink, and in the midst of issues such as “NymWars,” this topic at the least seems finally ripe for discussion as well as action. From Wikipedia:

In practice, the 404 Attacks are a technique for disseminating disinformation through various networks.

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MI6 Hacks Online Al-Qaeda Magazine Swapping Bomb Recipes For Cupcake Recipes

Photo: Joy (CC)

Photo: Joy (CC)

This is quite a sweet hack. The Telegraph reports:

The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.

When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.

The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.

Written by Dulcy Israel and produced by Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio, it said “the little cupcake is big again” adding: “Self-contained and satisfying, it summons memories of childhood even as it’s updated for today’s sweet-toothed hipsters.”

It included a recipe for the Mojito Cupcake – “made of white rum cake and draped in vanilla buttercream”- and the Rocky Road Cupcake – “warning: sugar rush ahead!”

[Continues at The Telegraph]… Read the rest

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Pentagon To Consider Cyberattacks As Act Of War

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ryan Allshouse uses the intrusion detection system to monitor unclassified network activity from the automated data processing workspace aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). IDS is part of the integrated shipboard network system and serves as an important computer network defense enabler protecting the unclassified shipboard network from cyber attack.

David E. Sanger and Elisabeth Bumiller write in the New York Times reports:

The Pentagon, trying to create a formal strategy to deter cyberattacks on the United States, plans to issue a new strategy soon declaring that a computer attack from a foreign nation can be considered an act of war that may result in a military response.

Several administration officials, in comments over the past two years, have suggested publicly that any American president could consider a variety of responses — economic sanctions, retaliatory cyberattacks or a military strike — if critical American computer systems were ever attacked.

The new military strategy, which emerged from several years of debate modeled on the 1950s effort in Washington to come up with a plan for deterring nuclear attacks, makes explicit that a cyberattack could be considered equivalent to a more traditional act of war. The Pentagon is declaring that any computer attack that threatens widespread civilian casualties — for example, by cutting off power supplies or bringing down hospitals and emergency-responder networks — could be treated as an act of aggression.

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Computer Virus Targets Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructure

Flag of IranIt was only a matter of time before governments started using viruses to attack other nations’ computers. I wonder which agency was behind this one, reported by the BBC:

One of the most sophisticated pieces of malware ever detected was probably targeting “high value” infrastructure in Iran, experts have told the BBC.

Stuxnet’s complexity suggests it could only have been written by a “nation state”, some researchers have claimed.

It is believed to be the first-known worm designed to target real-world infrastructure such as power stations, water plants and industrial units. It was first detected in June and has been intensely studied ever since.

“The fact that we see so many more infections in Iran than anywhere else in the world makes us think this threat was targeted at Iran and that there was something in Iran that was of very, very high value to whomever wrote it,” Liam O’Murchu of security firm Symantec, who has tracked the worm since it was first detected, told BBC News.

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