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.”

Steve Watson warns of false flag attacks in cyberspace that could take down the Internet, at InfoWars:

An increasing clamour to restrict and control the internet on behalf of the government, the Pentagon, the intelligence community and their private corporate arms, could result in a staged cyber attack being used as justification.

Over recent months we have seen a great increase in media coverage of inflated fears over a possible “electronic Pearl Harbor” event, with reports claiming that the U.S. could be “felled within 15 minutes”.

Vastly over-hyped (and in some cases completely asinine) claims that the power grids and other key infrastructure such as rail networks and water sources are wired up to the public internet have permeated such coverage.

Is the United States government or outside forces the real threat to cyber security? Alex Jones says that the government is trying to silence free speech in America by expanding their reach on the internet. He also says his own personal sites have been censored, even deleted.

Threats against computer networks in the United States are grossly exaggerated…

ASHER MOSES writes in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Groups opposing the government’s internet censorship plans have condemned attacks on government websites, saying it will do little to help their cause, while Communications Minister Stephen Conroy called them “totally irresponsible”.

Hackers connected with the group Anonymous, known for its war against Scientology, this morning launched a broad attack on government websites.

Surfdaddy Orca writes in h+ magazine:

Ever wonder how exactly the U.S. military would fight a cyber war? In August 2009, the U.S. Air Force activated its new cyberspace combat unit, the 24th Air Force, to “provide combat-ready forces trained and equipped to conduct sustained cyber operations.”

It’s commanded by former Minuteman missile and satellite-jamming specialist Major General Richard Webber. (And under his command are two wings, the 688th Information Operations Wing and the 67th Network Warfare Wing, plus a combat communications units.)

Meanwhile, to counter the threat of cyber warfare, DARPA is still deploying the National Cyber Range, a test bed of networked computers to test countermeasures against “cyberwar”. (According to one report, it provides “a virtual network world . to be populated by mirror computers and inhabited by myriad software sim-people ‘replicants,’ and used as a firing range in which to develop the art of cyber warfare.”)

And the Obama administration has even added a military cybersecurity coordinator to the National Security team.

I’m one of those strange non-senior citizens who watches 60 Minutes on a regular basis (having a TiVo helps). So due to the controversy over a 2007 electrical blackout in Brazil that affected over 3 million people, I was expecting an update from 60 Minutes this week. They are sticking with their original story, still calling it “cyberwar”, and no mention that it might be due to poorly-maintained infrastructure, as WIRED and other sources say. My favorite part of the WIRED story is that the Brazilian government says their electric control systems aren’t connected to the internet.

PowerOutageBrazilHere’s the counter-story from Marcelo Soares at WIRED:

A massive 2007 electrical blackout in Brazil has been newly blamed on computer hackers, but was actually the result of a utility company’s negligent maintenance of high voltage insulators on two transmission lines. That’s according to reports from government regulators and others who investigated the incident for more than a year.

In a broadcast Sunday night, the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes cited unnamed sources in making the extraordinary claim that a two-day outage in the Atlantic state of Espirito Santo was triggered by hackers targeting a utility company’s control systems. The blackout affected 3 million people. Hackers also caused another, smaller blackout north of Rio de Janeiro in January 2005, the network claimed…