Archive for the ‘hackers’ tag
Military theorist John Arqilla offers a provocative piece in Foreign Policy.
….How the new pattern will unfold is still unclear, but just as the first nation-states were often tempted to become empires, there may be a pattern in which nations and networks somehow seek to fuse rather than fight. Iran, in its relations with Hezbollah, provides perhaps the best example of a nation embracing and nurturing a network. So much so that, in parsing the 2006 Lebanon war between Israel and Hezbollah, most of the world — and most Israelis — counted it as a win for the network. China, too, has shown a skill and a proclivity for involving itself with networks, whether of hackers, high-sea pirates, or operatives who flow along the many tendrils of the Asian triads’ criminal enterprises. The attraction may be mutual, as nations may feel more empowered with networks in their arsenals and networks may be far more vibrant and resilient when backed by a nation. All this sets the stage for a world that may have 10 al Qaedas operating 10 years from now — many of them in dark alliances with nations — a sure sign that the Cold War–era arms race has given way to a new “organizational race” to build or align with networks.
Can’t say that I disagree with that in big picture terms. Looking long term to 2100, I wrote in Threats in the Age of Obama that the geopolitical position of nation-states would undergo a transformation.
….Nation-states in the 21st century will face a complex international ecosystem of players rather than just the society of states envisioned by traditional Realpolitik. If the predictions offered by serious thinkers such as Ray Kurzweill, Fred Ikle or John Robb prove true, then technological breakthroughs will ensure the emergence of “Superempowered Individuals” on a sizable scale in the near future. At that moment, the reliance of the State on its’ punitive powers as a weapon of first resort comes to an end. Superemepowered individuals, separatist groups, insurgents and an “opting-out” citizenry will nibble recalcitrant and unpopular states to death, hollowing them out and transferring their allegiance elsewhere.
While successful states will retain punitive powers, their primary focus will become attracting followers and clients in whom they can generate intense or at least dependable, loyalty and leverage as a networked system to pursue national interests. This represents a shift from worldview of enforcement to one of empowerment, coordination and collaboration. States will be forced to narrow their scope of activity from trying to supervise everything to flexibly providing or facilitating core services, platforms, rule-sets and opportunities – critical public goods – that the private sector or social groups cannot easily replicate or replace. Outside of a vital core of activity, the state becomes an arbiter among the lesser, interdependent, quasi-autonomous, powers to which it is connected..
States and their oligarchic elites seem to be attempting to counter this trend of eroding omnipotence by increasing omniscience by building panopticon societies of 24 hour surveillence. Rulers will (theoretically) have the awareness to strike first and break up opposition movements or dissent before they can crystallize and gain the critical mass to overthrow a regime or accumulate enough countervailing power to force concessions or honest negotiation in place of stage-managed, political kabuki theater.
Mike blows open the “lesbian Syrian Blogger”, aka 40 year old Tom MacMaster Georgia USA.
China dumping US treasuries, and who’d be dumb enough to buy these? The FED of course, those printing presses hard at work enslaving the grandchildren to the spectre of compound interest . . .
Common Sense People, we need more of it. What really happened, news without the corporate/political interests and their compliant media-whores.
Posted without any claim to copyright under the “fair use” doctrine for non-profit and educational purposes only. Any valid claim to take down, please just message me first and I’ll take it down myself, though I hope they don’t.
The hacker collective Anonymous Operations may not be the most organized but they sure are passionate. Following the latest disinformation campaign of a Greek bailout, the hackers, which had previously expressed their solidarity with the Greek people (see below) have no made it clear that the latest target of their wrath (which a few months ago was the Federal Reserve) is now the IMF. Or at least its website. As of a few minutes ago, “Anonymous” tweeted that the target of its imminent DDOS attack will be www.imf.org. Alas, since the IMF has always been merely a figurehead for global bailout efforts, in this particular case spearheaded by various banking interests, we give Anonymous a few days before they realize that the target of their “anti oppression” move has a website with a .com suffix, not .org. And regardless of how (in)effective this action is, at least it sends the message that someone is willing to do something to at least protests against the rape that will soon occur in Greece, hidden by the very polite word: “privatization.”
Dear World Citizens and Members of the Media
This is a message from Anonymous Operation Want in solidarity with our brothers and sisters with Anonymous Greece Moneyback. Operation Want are Anonymous researchers, writers and others that use the proven method of Follow the Money to seek out and expose the people and politicians that are corrupt. Operation Want brings the Truth to light in support of Whistleblowers, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech and Internet Freedom. Anonymous Greece wants the banksters to give the People their Moneyback.
Information is Free. Please Distribute Globally. The Greek government and media are censoring the people of the world from viewing the massive protests and r-evolution occurring in the streets.
The People of Greece have united and taken to the street once again today, in opposition to the corrupt Austerity Plans of the Greek Government leaders and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Without allowing the Greek citizens to vote, government leaders have accepted approximately $157 billion dollars (€110 billion) from 2010 – 2013 In “rescue loans” from European Union countries (EU) and the IMF. Such Austerity Plans have been met by the successful opposition of the people of Iceland who have insisted on their right to vote. Currently the people of Spain have taken up the banner of the Iceland protests and Anonymous united. Greece must also uphold their constitution and let the people vote.
The people of Greece are faced with prolonged poverty and a dramatic decrease in their standards of living, as their corrupt government attempts to push through further austerity measures of debts. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that those elites in control of the IMF continue to profit from the misery of the Greek people. The overreaching powers of the European Union (EU) and the IMF will not go unnoticed or unopposed by the global community who stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters of Greece.
Thus, the people of Greece have been left with no other option than to take to the streets in a peaceful revolution against the economic tyrants that are the IMF. The good Greek People have been beaten by the police that are supposed to be protecting them. The Greek government is using the police, allowing the brutality that had even caused death of citizens, to protect the greedy international banking industry led by the elitists of the IMF.
Anonymous demands the following;
- The Greek governments allow their people to vote and decide their own future. The Greek government must uphold their constitution and not allow the EU and IMF dictate and rule the People of Greece.
- The Greek government and corporate media must immediately stop their censorship of coverage of the protests. Let there be transparency so the world can watch the power of the People and hear their voices.
- That the Greek government support non-violence against the People by immediately calling off the police and state sponsored terrorism which the citizens of Greece have been subjected unfairly to for simply exercising their human right to peaceful assembly.
Anonymous wants the economic noose of the IMF is removed from around the necks of the Greek citizens immediately and that the citizens of Greece are granted the right to vote on the outcome of their future.
Aristotle has proclaimed that “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime!”
The hand of the Greek people has been forced. Their voice will be heard! We Are Anonymous, Anonymous is everyone. We are everywhere. We Do Not Forget. We Do Not Forgive. Anonymous is Legion. Expect Us!
IT security firm Mcafee’s recent protection report In the Dark: Crucial Industries Confront Cyberattacks [PDF] highlights the ever growing threat of digital attacks on the nation’s core infrastructure systems.
At one time, proprietary and locally controlled computers were responsible for monitoring and maintaining everything from electricity distribution to water treatment. But, as companies look to reduce costs and simplify command and control operations, critical infrastructure systems are being connected directly to the internet, making it much easier and much more likely that they could be attacked by foreign governments, hackers, or criminals.
This year, in a sequel report, we focused on the critical civilian infrastructure that depends most heavily on industrial control systems. As with the first report, we used survey data, research, and interviews to obtain a detailed picture of cyber risks in these sectors. The sectors on which this report focuses — power, oil, gas, and water — may well be the first targets for a serious cyberattack.
What we found is that they are not ready. The professionals charged with protecting these systems report that the threat has accelerated — but the response has not. Cyberexploits and attacks are already widespread. Whether it is cybercriminals engaged in theft or extortion, or foreign governments preparing sophisticated exploits like Stuxnet, cyberattackers have targeted critical infrastructure.
We found accelerating threats and vulnerabilities. For the second year in a row, IT executives in the critical infrastructure sector told us that they perceive a real and growing cyberthreat. Denialof- service attacks on energy networks increased. Extortion attempts were also more frequent in the CIP sectors. And hostile government infiltration of their networks achieved staggering levels of success.
Despite these vulnerabilities, many power companies are doubling down on the danger; they are implementing “smart grid” technologies that give their IT systems more control over the delivery of power to individual customers — or even to individual appliances in customers’ homes. Without better security, this increased control can fall into the hands of criminals or “hacktivists,” giving them the ability to modify billing information and perhaps even control which customers or appliances get electricity. But security is not a priority for smart grid designers; according to Woolsey, who two years ago chaired a group that published a report for the Department of Defense on grid vulnerabilities. Ninety to ninety-five percent of the people working on the smart grid are not concerned about security and only see it as a last box they have to check.
One of the more startling results of our research is the discovery of the constant probing and assault faced by these crucial utility networks. Some electric companies report thousands of probes every month. Our survey data lend support to anecdotal reporting that militaries in several countries have done reconnaissance and planning for cyberattacks on other nations’ power grids, mapping the underlying network infrastructure and locating vulnerabilities for future attack.
More than 40 percent of the executives we interviewed expect a major cyberattack within 12 months — an attack, that is, that causes severe loss of services for at least 24 hours, a loss of life or personal injury, or the failure of a company.
Up until a couple years ago, the threat of total infrastructure failure existed only in the sphere of science fiction. Recently, however, the vulnerabilities of the physical hardware on power grids, water utility grids and other important infrastructure elements were made perfectly clear with the spread of the Stuxnet virus, which wrecked havoc on Iranian nuclear facilities. The virus, often referred to as malware, literally destroyed the physical centrifuges responsible for the enrichment of uranium by forcing them to spin out of control. All the while monitoring stations reported perfectly normal conditions.
The scary thing? Stuxnet isn’t isolated to just Iranian nuclear facilities:
Our data indicates that the Stuxnet virus did indeed have a global reach. Around 40 percent of respondents found Stuxnet on their computer systems. Stuxnet was more likely to appear in the electricity sector, where 46 percent of respondents found the malware.
Stuxnet was an extraordinary advance in sophistication over the kinds of malware used by the criminal underground. The Belarusian security firm that initially identified Stuxnet at first believed it to be a backdoor for hackers. But closer inspection revealed the complex nature of the virus. It features multiple exploits that were previously unknown, has Microsoft Windows driver modules that had been signed using genuine cryptographic certificates stolen from respectable companies, contains about 4,000 functions, and uses advanced anti-analysis techniques to render reverse engineering difficult. It is almost certainly the work of a government, not a criminal gang.
In fact, Stuxnet was the work of a government – reportedly two of them. It is believed that intelligence agencies within the United States and Israel are responsible for its conception.
What this shows is that advanced computer scripts and malware target not just personal computers, but highly advanced, purportedly secure critical systems. Those who would attack the nation’s infrastructure could bring these systems down for not just 24 hours using traditional denial-of-service attacks, but potentially weeks and months by executing programs that directly attack the grid’s hardware .
Imagine, for a moment, what such an attack on our water utility plants might look like. While water safety conditions monitored by engineers on remote computer systems attached to the internet might look perfectly normal on the surface, a malicious virus may be at work behind the scenes, controlling the delivery (or lack thereof) of water treatment chemicals into an entire city or region’s water supply.
A similar attack could occur on the electrical grid, sending surges to vital transformers across the nation. Because many of our systems are decades’ old, they could be overwhelmed, much like Iran’s Siemens-built centrifuges. In such a scenario, because of the lack of availability of the damaged equipment and the sheer size of such a widespread attack, it could take weeks or months to repair.
There are roughly 150 oil refineries in the United States, and most of them are likely running on similar hardware, from well known industry manufacturers. Is it that much of a stretch to consider the possibility that a coordinated attack on these systems could send pressure and a host of other control mechanisms in our refineries out of control – all the while engineers monitoring the systems notice nothing out of the ordinary? Such an attack, even if partially successful, could cripple the entire country.
As infrastructure is further centralized, our exposure to potentially catastrophic events continues to increase. Not only is much of our nation’s infrastructure hardware outdated, but the security on newly integrated 21st century smart-grids is lax at best.
We’ve seen coordinated attacks on our stock trading systems. We’ve seen that high security nuclear control systems can be compromised. We know that governments, cyber criminal extortion gangs, hackers and shadow intelligence agencies are actively working on viruses, malware and gaming scenarios designed specifically to crush utility infrastructures on a national scale.
The threat is real. It is present. If such an attack were ever executed there will be nothing emergency responders could do, especially in the case of a widespread, coordinated onslaught of the grid.
Hacker Group Anonymous – “We Demand That The Federal Reserve Banking System Be Broken Up Immediately”
“We demand that the primary dealers within the Federal Reserve banking system be broken up and held accountable for rigging markets and destroying the global economy, effective immediately.”
Well now, there’s a group that has squarely landed on the root of the matter – the WHO in question. I do not know anything first hand about this group, but they are purported to be the best hackers in the world. If they do carry out acts against the “Federal Reserve,” then I am certain they will be branded “Domestic Terrorists” immediately.
Your “Domestic Terrorist” is someone else’s rebel leader fighting against the evil powers who seek to dominate the globe and control its people. Regardless of how this is spun by the government, it is an important development that will undoubtedly help to ignite those “other events” which I’ve been saying all along would come due to the impossible math created by the “Fed.”
Remember that this group has promised to leak information and emails about Bank of America tomorrow that purportedly prove FRAUD – not that fraud hasn’t already been proven time and time again, it has. Gee, that must be the breakdown of the rule-of-law to which they refer?
We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class.
One-tenth of one percent of the population has consolidated wealth in unprecedented fashion and launched an all-out economic war against 99.9% of the population.
We are not affiliated with either wing of the two-party oligarchy. We seek an end to the corrupted two-party system by ending the campaign finance and lobbying racket.
Above all, we aim to break up the global banking cartel centered at the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlement and World Bank.
We demand that the primary dealers within the Federal Reserve banking system be broken up and held accountable for rigging markets and destroying the global economy, effective immediately.
As a first sign of good faith we demand Ben Bernanke step down as Federal Reserve chairman.
Until our demands are met and a rule of law is restored, we will engage in a relentless campaign of non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience.
In our next communication we will announce Operation Empire State Rebellion.
Personally, I would have waited for the Japanese situation to settle down. Still, this is a very interesting development, the first act of civil disobedience directed squarely at the “Fed.”
I want to point out that unlike Wikileaks, Anonymous is a headless organization, and thus has better odds of survival. I’ve talked about this before with the Swarm – that headless organizations become movements and are impossible to stop. Compare that to what is currently happening to the head of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and there you have an excellent example of what happens to individual leaders who are operating on their own and using their name in a leadership position… the head gets removed.
More on Anonymous:
Hacker Collective Anonymous To Release Documents Proving Bank of America Committed Fraud This Monday
After Julian Assange crashed and burned in his threat to release documents that expose fraud at Bank of America, many thought he had been only bluffing, and that BofA is actually clean. Not so fast. A member of the hacker collective Anonymous, which singlehandedly destroyed “hacker defense” firm HB Gary, who goes under the handle OperationLeakS “is claiming to be have emails and documents which prove “fraud” was committed by Bank of America employees, and the group says it’ll release them on Monday” reports Gawker. As to the contents of the possible disclosure: “”He Just told me he have GMAC emails showing BoA order to mix loan numbers to not match it’s Documents. to foreclose on Americans.. Shame.” If indeed this makes the case against BofA’ foreclosure practices stronger, it certainly explains why the banking consortium is scrambling to arrange a settlement, and also why Bank of America recently split off its $2 trillion in mortgages into “good bank” and “bad bank” entities.
As a “teaser”, the Anonymous member released a November 1, 2010 email between two Balboa Insurance (a BAC subsidiary) employees, which while not proving any fraud, indicates he/she does indeed have access. The timeline on the email makes sense as it is a few weeks prior to the original disclosure that Wikileaks would expose BofA. Perhaps the Assange team merely handed off its materials to Anonymous, which has previously demonstrated its solidarity with the Australian on various occasions.
The full letter is below.
Gawker with more on why Brian Moynihan may not sleep too soundly overnight:
OperationLeaks, which runs the anti-Bank of America site BankofAmericasuck.com, says the employee contacted the group to blow the whistle on Bank of America’s shady business practices. “I seen some of the emails… I can tell you Grade A Fraud in its purest form…” read one tweet. “He Just told me he have GMAC emails showing BoA order to mix loan numbers to not match it’s Documents.. to foreclose on Americans.. Shame.”
An Anonymous insider told us he believes the leak is real. “From what I know and have been told, it’s legit,” he said. “Should be a round of emails, then some files, possible some more emails to follow that.” The documents should be released Monday on Anonleaks.ch, the same site where Anonymous posted thousands of internal emails from hacked security company HBGary last month. That leak exposed a legally-questionable plot to attack Wikileaks and ultimately led to the resignation of HBGary CEO Aaron Barr.
It is unclear whether this will be yet another climax-free build up, but Anonymous has certainly proven their mettle by putting HBGary effectively out of business with one masterful hack.
Those I’ve spoken to in Anonymous are convinced there’s something to this. Anonymous has a proven track record with leaks, and Bank of America has been in their crosshairs since they cut off payments to Wikileaks in December. If it’s real, it could be big. Keep your eye on anonleaks.ch: It should hit Monday.
We urge readers to check into http://hbgary.anonleaks.ch/ first thing Monday – after all this is the portal that released the original damning HBGary evidence, and brought down the firm within weeks. If it can do the same with Bank of America, Monday may just soon be a national holiday.