It should come as no suprise, that in this modern world, technology is not just a tool, but a weapon. For ages we hear the identity threats, malware intrusions, backdoors, worms, rootkits, that can infect us all, and society has decided to use it as a method to sell "security" rather than defeat the ones writing the same apps and programs. It's a way of "patching" a problem temporarily (and make money doing it) rather than eliminate the problem all together. Yet little does anyone question, why this assumption of rule is chosen, and whether or not there is more behind the scenes. The knowledge some possess, is being used daily, in attacks not just on unsuspecting web browsers, but also, in worldwide affairs, from intelligence agencies across the globe.
Certain "Democratic" governments, believe they have an "obligation" to enforce their laws online, as well as in public. With today's modern technology, its more than capable for them to do exactly that, according to many global security experts. Apparently (although not surprising to some) intelligence agencies, have been using hacking methods online for many years, and in many branches of heavy level government authorities, such as the NSA, this is assumed as an instrument which can be wielded in order to control the rule of law. It is simply another standard, such as "interrogation" that is allowed to protect national security, in a post 9/11 world, as they claim.
The Chinese governement is no newcomer to the imposed restrictions on the web, being dubbed "The Great Firewall of China" by many. Chinese hackers have some of the most exclusive and challenging tools available to them, equally being used a a force for deterrance on behalf of the Chinese rule of "law". Most notably, in 1999 (a time where the US was incapable of defending their systems from the Chinese) the Chinese found their way into the US White House emails. The White House has said that the the penetration cracked the unclassified branch of the network temporarily, but the classified network remained secure.
As recent as late 2007, since the EU has become a powerful financial force in the world market, hackers with links to China's military were accused of waging a long-term campaign to penetrate the computer networks of British government departments. Alex Neill, China expert and head of the Asia Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute, said cyber attacks by the Chinese reflected a new doctrine of the PLA described as "pressure point warfare" - the attacking of specific nodes to leave the adversary paralysed. The Chinese disputed the claims of both the West and Eastern powers, as "groundless". Jiang Yu, a spokesman for the foreign ministry in Beijing, said: "China has all along been opposed to, and forbids, criminal activities undermining computer networks, including hacking.'' China is ready to strengthen co-operation with other countries, including the US, in countering internet crimes."
It seems to most of us, that this is a cyber war simulation, that is going on between multiple nations. Only that the agenda remains truly unknown, as most of the reports that are coming out, are only what your media provides you with, that is already de-classified from the government. Interestingly enough, we know that cyber warfare is not new, but the defense mechanisms involved, are constantly manipulating themselves to deter new threats. With so little information on why this happens behind the scenes, other than the obvious, the ability to access defense records, the ability to access financial records, and the ability to use both to compete with your nation on an economic strategy, there has to be more of a movtive to this. Let's take a look further.
Although "unofficial", there exists a splinter cell of operatives working on behalf of the United Nations, a team of unwilling counter-intelligence experts, majoring in international cyber defense. This team, is called the "Red Team", a branch of the National Security Agency (NSA), unknown and off record. You can compare them to "mercenaries" of the security industry, very good at what they do, and for the right price, clients pay them to beak into the clients own networks, for example, governments. They find the security flaws, defense failures, and intrusion levels, and the said client can then remove all threats from their systems, or at least deter them. In a world where cyber "death panels" exist to annihalate your governments competition, one cannot be surprised by the fact that these modern government hired free agents to exist. One of the primary functions of the NSA is to protect and secure the computer networks of the military of the United States, NATO, and United Nations security forces.
Some will say, what civilian can possibly understand this? Well that's easy to relate in your daily lives. Consider, warrantless wiretapping, massive data-mining (spam) on the internet, and when you just couldn't get onto certain sites because they were "down for maintenence"
at times. This is what Red Team and other government lead hacking teams do, they provide the “adversarial network services to the rest of the Department Of Defense". This is not kid shit folks, the professionalism and stealth that exists here, is existant. These guys must conduct their work without doing damage to or otherwise compromising the security of the networks they are tasked to analyze—that means no denial-of-service attacks, malicious Trojans or viruses. Get in, get out, and do what you were hired to do. That is the ultimate goal for a team like this.
Let's view the North Korean aspect. In recent years, the supposed funneling of money and technology between Russia and North Korea, have also been attatched claims of a co-op cyber warfare proposition between the two powers. A report in South Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily claims that the North Korean People’s Army has built a new unit comprising 100 hackers. The hackers are said to be the biggest source of international attacks on US military web sites. The attacks, are only able to display to you, a minor percentage of what North Korea is capable of. In 2006, a UN research study concluded that North Korea's special operations, would be "significant enough shut down the Pacific Command and cause significant damage to mainland computer networks". One expert says that the DPRK’s hacking abilities now rivals that of the CIA.
The internet is now the new standard of waging unconventional warfare by adversaries of the United States. Russia has been extremely offensive and aggressive. Cyber attacks last year were traced and directed to Russian government servers, which had infiltrated Estonian websites, including that of the presidency, almost every government agency, banks, and top news websites for three weeks in April 2007. Previously Russia had expressed its anger over a decision by the Estonian government to redirect a memorial in which was to be dedicated to fallen Soviet soldiers who perished during World War II. Russia also infiltrated, and then later militarily invaded the Georgian government, including that of the Foreign Ministry during their war in August 2008.
Iran remains a powerhouse in the cyber games, stating that it remains in the top five of all worldwide nations with cyber warfare capabilities, with a reported budget of $76 million annually and a crew of 2,400 people. DefenseTech.org states that “Iran has fairly advanced cyber-warfare weapons and offensive plans that include cyber attacks against specific government websites and infrastructure. Iran’s cyber ambitions are ambitious and troubling. We know their strategic message to rally their base, and allies, at the cost of the destruction of "imperial" nations such as the US backed State of Israel. This is forever another endless battle in some eyes as a "biblical" prophecy, as the forces of "Persia" supplied by the old U.S.S.R. allies, invaded the "Holy Land" to control. It is by no means unexpected for the "Persian" wing of the world to be involved in the cyber game.
Such threats, intrusions, and learning experiences of the new millenium, have led the United States Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, to creat the first ever Pentagon Cyber Command, to be headed by the director of the ultra secretive National Securtiy Agency. (NSA Red Team) Although this also brings about the calls from privacy advocates, whom worry that the role of the NSA will further force the "militarization" of the Internet. Removing rights, stripping the ability of private sharing networks, p2p, file sharing, and other methods, because they could further become a loophole or a ticking time bomb, where information was allowed or stored or a database remained, that would be unnoticed to even the NSA. This type of fear is a doomsday scenario, where an elite operative from an enemy military, has set something in place, which would disable the communications and interface of all television, broadcast, and cellular networks. Imagine if that happened in your nation, no phones, no tv, no mobile, no internet... All communications cut off. Many fear this is a factor that will assume a role during an armageddon-like world war in the new millenium. A completely new beginning to a devastating war. Current modern societies are not believed to be able to survive without all the communications they take for granted, as we are all living in a modern world, using these tools as a lifestyle.
Special assistant to the secretary of the United States Air Force, John Wheeler, was given the assignment to strategize the cyberwarfare plans, says the U.S. been the recipient of many major cyberspace attacks and we are viewed as a potential adversary to most nations. "There's a lot of things that could be done to break down the will of a nation by undermining and, so to speak, throwing sand in the gears of processes that the people depend on," he says. "It's a form of bombing or even fire-bombing populations to destroy their will." This fear from the new game of chess nations are playing, has lead the current Obama administration in the United States, to appoint the Cybersecurity "Czar".
The president said with so much at stake, the status quo was no longer acceptable. He said his administration will pursue a new comprehensive approach to secure the nation's digital infrastructure. "This new approach starts at the top with this commitment from me. From now on, our digital infrastructure, the networks and computers we depend on every day, will be treated as they should be as a strategic national asset. Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority." stated President Obama. Mr. Obama promised to no quick fixes to the cybersecurity challenges, saying it would be a long difficult struggle, demanding patience and persistence over many years. The main question that remains, is "how much time do we have?"
I guess that's the question that will remain unanswered, as many nation's agencies all compete to have as much knowledge about each other, as they possibly can. We have no choice but to accept the strategies each nation assigns itself. As they work in the shadows, we only dream of the true intentions, and remain unaware, of the world that is within.
Thursday, September 24th, 2009Posted by: Date:
Thursday, September 24th, 2009
|damn bastards always ruining the fun great read as always obs|
|Free America (maybe) a private one most definitely not|
|props to Atari for coming at me with the original idea for this... Took some research for facts, and further explored the issue.|
|posted by (2009-09-24 15:28:51)|
|A Briton accused of hacking into secret military computers has lost his appeal against extradition to the US.|
Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon was said to be "distraught" after losing the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. He faces extradition within two weeks.
The unemployed man could face life in jail if convicted of accessing 97 US military and Nasa computers.
The 42-year-old admitted breaking into the computers from his London home but said he sought information on UFOs.
Mr McKinnon asked the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to delay his extradition pending a full appeal to the court against his extradition but his application was refused.
He claimed the extradition would breach his human rights.
Our client now faces the prospect of prosecution and imprisonment thousands of miles away from his family in a country in which he has never set foot
Solicitor Karen Todner
"He is absolutely devastated by the decision," she said. "He and his family are distraught.
"They are completely beside themselves. He is terrified by the prospect of going to America."
She added Mr McKinnon had recently been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and would ask for the case to be tried in this country.
"Our client now faces the prospect of prosecution and imprisonment thousands of miles away from his family in a country in which he has never set foot."
Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, north London, was arrested in 2002 but never charged in the UK.
The US government claims he committed a malicious crime - the biggest military computer hack ever.
The authorities have warned that without his co-operation and a guilty plea the case could be treated as terrorism and he could face a long jail sentence.
The former systems analyst is accused of hacking into the computers with the intention of intimidating the US government.
It alleges that between February 2001 and March 2002, he hacked into dozens of US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense computers, as well as 16 Nasa computers.
Prosecutors say he altered and deleted files at a naval air station not long after the 11 September attacks in 2001, rendering critical systems inoperable.
However, Mr McKinnon has said his motives were harmless and innocent. He denies any attempts at sabotage.
He said he wanted to find evidence of UFOs he thought was being held by the US authorities, and to expose what he believed was a cover-up.
|posted by (2009-09-24 18:15:11)|
|I think my avatar says it all|
|posted by (2009-09-24 20:26:20)|
|Thank you for giving me props on that OBS, I am an avid follower on topics such as this. Congrats on your efforts.|
|posted by (2009-09-24 21:17:47)|
|very nice article OBS|
|Great read. TY much OBS.|
|posted by (2009-09-25 03:29:58)|
|good article...great research and information from you guys...thanks OB and atari : )|
|A great read, thanks|
|posted by (2009-09-27 13:36:24)|
|thanks obs and atari for the info|