Monday, July 14, 2008

RE: Chinese EMP Weaponry Hackers Can Shut Down USA

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: A-Bomb
Date: Jul 4, 2008 5:27 PM


Chinese EMP Weaponry Hackers Can Shut Down USA

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Eddie NWO Censored
Date: 04 Jul 2008, 02:06 PM














Power outage hits Washington, White House - Friday June 13th 2008 - Official explanation? Metro fire

China speeds pace of military buildup - Washington Times March 3, 2008

Chinese suspected in Capitol hacking cases - LA Times June 12, 2008






EMP weaponry - Discovery Future Weapons pt 1






EMP pt 2

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China EMP Arms (Electromagnetic Pulse Weaponry
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Washington Times
Thursday, June 26, 2008

http://www. washtimes. com/news/2008/jun/26/inside-the-ring-61437820/

China's significant military buildup includes strategic weapons designed to counter US military advantages, including electric pulse weapons, a senior Pentagon official told Congress Wednesday

James J.



Shinn, assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs also said during House testimony that China's arms buildup is increasing the danger of a future conflict over Taiwan

Mr.



Shinn warned that one troubling aspect of the large-scale buildup is what he termed a "deliberate and well-thought-through Chinese strategy to invest in asymmetric warfare - cyber-warfare, counterspace capability, a very sophisticated ballistic and cruise missile program and, of course, undersea warfare"

He disclosed that China's military is working on exotic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons that can devastate electronic systems using a burst of energy similar to that produced by a nuclear blast

Chinese EMP weaponry "is one of several examples of asymmetric warfare that we need to deal with," Mr.



Shinn told the House Armed Services Committee

"The consequence of EMP is that you destroy the communications network," Mr. Shin said. "And we are, as you know, and as the Chinese also know, heavily dependent on sophisticated communications, satellite communications, in the conduct of our forces.



And so, whether it's from an EMP or it's some kind of a coordinated [anti-satellite] effort, we could be in a very bad place if the Chinese enhanced their capability in this area"

"In terms of the danger associated with the military balance across the straits, I think we'd have to conclude that as the balance has shifted toward the mainland, it has materially increased the danger across the straits," he stated

The recent election of Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwan's president and the renewal of China-Taiwan discussions "at least, appears to have reduced the threat and the probability of the use of force"

Air Force Maj. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, vice director of the Joint Staff for strategic plans and policy, said he agreed with Mr.



Shinn and warned that the increase in Chinese air defense and other war-fighting capabilities in the strait "make it militarily a more challenging area"

Read The Rest Here

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China denies hacking congressional computers
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Lacks the necessary technology, claims China's Foreign Ministry

June 12, 2008 (Computerworld)

http://www. computerworld. com/action/article. do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyId=13&articleId=9097358&intsrc=hm_topic

China on Thursday denied charges by two UScongressmen that it had hacked their offices' computers, claiming that it doesn't have technology capable of launching such attacks

"Is there any evidence? Do we have such advanced technology? Even I don't believe it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in today's regularly scheduled news conference, according to the Associated Press Translations of the Foreign Ministry's Chinese-language transcript confirmed the AP account

Qin was responding to allegations yesterday by Rep.



Frank Wolf, (R-Va), who said that four computers in his office were hacked in August 2006, and that subsequent investigations by both the House and the FBI determined that the attacks originated in the People's Republic of China "My suspicion is that I was targeted by Chinese sources because of my long history of speaking out about China's abysmal human rights record," Wolf said in a speech from the House floor on Wednesday

According to other AP reports, computers used by Rep.



Chris Smith, (R-NJ), and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs -- Smith is a member -- were also hacked two years ago

Both Wolf and Smith are frequent critics of China's human rights policies

In his remarks today, Qin downplayed the charges "I'd like to urge some people in the USnot to be paranoid They should do more to contribute to mutual understanding, trust and friendship between the USand China," he said

China regularly denies allegations that it conducts state-support hacking Last month, for example, Qin characterized reports that the contents of a USgovernment laptop may have been copied during a visit to China by USSecretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, as "totally groundless"

Last September, another Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jiang Yu, dismissed claims that Chinese military personnel hacked computers in the Pentagon earlier last year Like Qin, Jiang dubbed the charges "totally groundless," and said they "reflect a Cold War mentality"

Qin's claim that China doesn't have hacking capability, however, has been disputed by the USDepartment of Defense In its annual report to Congress on China's military power last year, the Pentagon said China's military has created a cyberwarfare first-strike capability and has units dedicated to developing viruses for attacking enemy computer networks

Then, too, Jiang blasted back, saying that the USwas "exaggerating China's military strength and expenses out of ulterior motives"

Wolf introduced a resolution Wednesday that called for stronger antihacking defenses to protect congressional computers and networks

"Members need to know how best to protect themselves, their staff and their official business from these threats," said Wolf "I have experienced this threat first hand, as have others in Congress, and am deeply worried that this institution is not adequately protected"

I am just quoting from Dr William Deagle, China does have the capability to strike USA with powerful EMP (Electo-Magnetic Pulse) weapons and an army of government-financed computer hackers home and abroad that can knock US back into stone ages

China EMP weapons can compromise US nuclear first strike


The great US-Canada northeast blackout Aug 2003







CNN - 2003 New York Blackout







US authorities are investigating whether Chinese officials secretly copied the contents of a government laptop during a visit to China by Commerce Secretary Carlos M Gutierrez - Associated Press May 29, 2008







CNN investigates Chinese hackers who hacked into Pentagon - March 8, 2008







Chinese Military Hacks Pentagon's computer system - Fox Sept 2007







CNN - HACKING THE PENTAGON: IS CHINA BEHIND THIS CYBERATTACK?
Sep 2007



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China’s Cyber-Militia
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Chinese hackers pose a clear and present danger to USgovernment and private-sector computer networks and may be responsible for two major US power blackouts

National Journal Magazine
by Shane Harris
Sat May 31, 2008

http://www. nationaljournal. com/njmagazine/cs_20080531_6948. php

Computer hackers in China, including those working on behalf of the Chinese government and military, have penetrated deeply into the information systems of UScompanies 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 US 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 USintelligence 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 USgovernment 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

Bennett, whose former trade association includes some of the nation’s largest computer-security companies and who has testified before Congress on the vulnerability of information networks, also said that a blackout in February, which affected 3 million customers in South Florida, was precipitated by a cyber-hacker That outage cut off electricity along Florida’s east coast, from Daytona Beach to Monroe County, and affected eight power-generating stations Bennett said that the chief executive officer of a security firm that belonged to Bennett’s trade group told him that federal officials had hired the CEO’s company to investigate the blackout for evidence of a network intrusion, and to “reverse engineer” the incident to see if China had played a role

Bennett, who now works as a private consultant, said he decided to speak publicly about these incidents to point out that security for the nation’s critical electronic infrastructures remains intolerably weak and to emphasize that government and company officials haven’t sufficiently acknowledged these vulnerabilities

The Florida Blackout

A second information-security expert independently corroborated Bennett’s account of the Florida blackout.



According to this individual, who cited sources with direct knowledge of the investigation, a Chinese PLA hacker attempting to map Florida Power & Light’s computer infrastructure apparently made a mistake “The hacker was probably supposed to be mapping the system for his bosses and just got carried away and had a ‘what happens if I pull on this’ moment” The hacker triggered a cascade effect, shutting down large portions of the Florida power grid, the security expert said “I suspect, as the system went down, the PLA hacker said something like, ‘Oops, my bad,’ in Chinese”

The power company has blamed “human error” for the incident, specifically an engineer who improperly disabled safety backups while working on a faulty switch. But federal officials are still investigating the matter and have not issued a final report, a spokeswoman for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said.



The industry source, who conducts security research for government and corporate clients, said that hackers in China have devoted considerable time and resources to mapping the technology infrastructure of other UScompanies That assertion has been backed up by the current vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said last year that Chinese sources are probing US government and commercial networks

Asked whether Washington knew of hacker involvement in the two blackouts, Joel Brenner, the government’s senior counterintelligence official, told National Journal, “I can’t comment on that” But he added, “It’s certainly possible that sort of thing could happen The kinds of network exploitation one does to explore a network and map it and learn one’s way around it has to be done whether you are going to … steal information, bring [the network] down, or corrupt it… The possible consequences of this behavior are profound”

Brenner, who works for Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, looks for vulnerabilities in the government’s information networks. He pointed to China as a source of attacks against USinterests.



“Some [attacks], we have high confidence, are coming from government-sponsored sites,” Brenner said “The Chinese operate both through government agencies, as we do, but they also operate through sponsoring other organizations that are engaging in this kind of international hacking, whether or not under specific direction It’s a kind of cyber-militia… It’s coming in volumes that are just staggering”

The Central Intelligence Agency’s chief cyber-security officer, Tom Donahue, said that hackers had breached the computer systems of utility companies outside the United States and that they had even demanded ransom Donahue spoke at a January gathering in New Orleans of security executives from government agencies and some of the nation’s largest utility and energy companies He said he suspected that some of the hackers had inside knowledge of the utility systems and that in at least one case, an intrusion caused a power outage that affected multiple cities The CIA didn’t know who launched the attacks or why, Donahue said, “but all involved intrusions through the Internet”

Donahue’s public remarks, which were unprecedented at the time, prompted questions about whether power plants in the United States had been hacked Many computer-security experts, including Bennett, believe that his admission about foreign incidents was intended to warn American companies that if intrusions hadn’t already happened stateside, they certainly could A CIA spokesman at the time said that Donahue’s comments were “designed to highlight to the audience the challenges posed by potential cyber intrusions” The CIA declined National Journal’s request to interview Donahue

Cyber-Espionage

In addition to disruptive attacks on networks, officials are worried about the Chinese using long-established computer-hacking techniques to steal sensitive information from government agencies and US corporations

Brenner, the UScounterintelligence chief, said he knows of “a large American company” whose strategic information was obtained by its Chinese counterparts in advance of a business negotiation As Brenner recounted the story, “The delegation gets to China and realizes, ‘These guys on the other side of the table know every bottom line on every significant negotiating point’ They had to have got this by hacking into [the company’s] systems”

Bennett told a similar story about a large, well-known American company (Both he and Brenner declined to provide the names of the companies) According to Bennett, the Chinese based their starting points for negotiation on the Americans’ end points

Two sources also alleged that the hacking extends to high-level administration officials

During a trip to Beijing in December 2007, spyware programs designed to clandestinely remove information from personal computers and other electronic equipment were discovered on devices used by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and possibly other members of a UStrade delegation, according to a computer-security expert with firsthand knowledge of the spyware used. Gutierrez was in China with the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, a high-level delegation that includes the UStrade representative and that meets with Chinese officials to discuss such matters as intellectual-property rights, market access, and consumer product safety.



According to the computer-security expert, the spyware programs were designed to open communications channels to an outside system, and to download the contents of the infected devices at regular intervals The source said that the computer codes were identical to those found in the laptop computers and other devices of several senior executives of UScorporations who also had their electronics “slurped” while on business in China The source said he believes, based on conversations with USofficials, that the Gutierrez compromise was a source of considerable concern in the Bush administration Another source with knowledge of the incident corroborated the computer-security expert’s account

National Journal had a series of conversations with Rich Mills, a Commerce Department spokesman Asked whether spyware or other malicious software code was found on any electronic devices used by Gutierrez or people traveling with him in China in December 2007, Mills said he “could not confirm or deny” the computer-security expert’s allegations “I cannot comment on specific [information-technology] issues, but the Department of Commerce is actively working to safeguard sensitive information” Mills added that the source had provided some inaccurate information, but he did not address the veracity of the source’s claim that the delegation was electronically compromised

“China is indeed a counterintelligence threat, and specifically a cyber-counterintelligence threat,” said Brenner, who served for four years as inspector general of the National Security Agency, the intelligence organization that electronically steals other countries’ secrets Brenner said that the American company’s experience “is an example of how hard the Chinese will work at this, and how much more seriously the American corporate sector has to take the information-security issue” He called economic espionage a national security risk and said that it makes little difference to a foreign power whether it steals sensitive information from a government-operated computer or from one owned by a contractor “If you travel abroad and are the director of research or the chief executive of a large company, you’re a target,” he said

“Cyber-networks are the new frontier of counterintelligence,” Brenner emphasized “If you can steal information or disrupt an organization by attacking its networks remotely, why go to the trouble of running a spy?”

Stephen Spoonamore, CEO of Cybrinth, a cyber-security firm that works for government and corporate clients, said that Chinese hackers attempt to map the IT networks of his clients on a daily basis He said that executives from three Fortune 500 companies, all clients, had document-stealing code planted in their computers while traveling in China, the same fate that befell Gutierrez

Spoonamore challenged USofficials to be more forthcoming about the breaches that have occurred on their systems. “By not talking openly about this, they are making a truly dangerous national security problem worse,” Spoonamore said. “Secrecy in this matter benefits no one.



Our nation’s intellectual capital, industrial secrets, and economic security are under daily and withering attack The oceans that surround us are no protection from sophisticated hackers, working at the speed of light on behalf of nation-states and mafias We must cease denying the scope, scale, and risks of the issue I, and a growing number of my peers believe our nation is in grave and growing danger” (continued below)







2003 New York - Canada North East blackout

A Growing Threat

Brenner said that Chinese hackers are “very good and getting better all the time… What makes the Chinese stand out is the pervasive and relentless nature of the attacks that are coming from China”

The issue has caught Congress’s attention. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who chairs the Homeland Security panel’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, said that his staff has examined a range of hacker networks, from criminal syndicates to nationally supported groups.



“China has been a primary concern,” he said The deepest penetrations into US systems have been traced back to sources within China, Langevin noted

(At a hearing last week, Langevin said that the private sector, which owns the vast majority of USinformation networks, including those that operate power plants, dams, and other critical infrastructure, had taken a “halfhearted approach” to improving security He cited a new report by the Government Accountability Office, which found that the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest power generator, “has not fully implemented appropriate security practices to secure the control systems and networks used to operate its critical infrastructures” Langevin said that the TVA “risks a disruption of its operations as the result of a cyber-incident, which could impact its customers,” and he expressed “little confidence that industry is taking the appropriate actions”)

The Chinese make little distinction between hackers who work for the government and those who undertake cyber-adventures on its behalf.



“There’s a huge pool of Chinese individuals, students, academics, unemployed, whatever it may be, who are, at minimum, not discouraged from trying this out,” said Rodger Baker, a senior China analyst for Stratfor, a private intelligence firm So-called patriotic-hacker groups have launched attacks from inside China, usually aimed at people they think have offended the country or pose a threat to its strategic interests At a minimum the Chinese government has done little to shut down these groups, which are typically composed of technologically skilled and highly nationalistic young men Officially, Chinese military and diplomatic officials say they have no policy of attacking other governments’ systems

“This has been a growing wave in recent years,” Brenner said, attributing China’s cyber-tactics to its global economic and political ambitions.



“The Chinese are out to develop a modern economy and society in one generation… There is much about their determination that is admirable But they’re also willing to steal a lot of proprietary information to do it, and that’s not admirable And we’ve got to stop it as best we can”

High-profile penetrations of government systems have been occurring for several years.



In 2007, an unidentified hacker broke into the e-mail system for Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s office, and the Pentagon shut down about 1,500 computers in response But officials said that the intrusion caused no harm In 2006, a State Department employee opened an e-mail containing a Trojan horse, a program designed to install itself on a host machine to give a hacker covert access As a result, officials cut off Internet access to the department’s East Asia and Pacific region, but the department suffered no long-term problems

The Homeland Security Department, which is responsible for protecting civilian computer systems, suffered nearly 850 attacks over a two-year period beginning in 2005, officials have said.



In one instance, they found that a program designed to steal passwords had been installed on two of the department’s network servers In these and other incidents, there is considerable debate about whether the intruders stole truly valuable information that could compromise US strategy or ongoing operations

“The penetrations we’ve seen are on unclassified systems, which are obviously less protected than classified systems,” Brenner said

Private Sector Foot-Dragging

There is little indication that cyber-intrusions, however menacing, have severely impaired government operations for very long So why are so many officials increasingly sounding the alarm about network attacks, Chinese hacking and espionage, and the advent of cyberwar?

Part of the answer lies in officials’ most recent appraisals of the cyber-threat They cite evidence that attacks are increasing in volume and appear engineered more to cause real harm than sporadic inconvenience Without naming China, Robert Jamison, the top cyber-security official at DHS, told reporters at a March briefing, “We’re concerned that the intrusions are more frequent, and they’re more targeted, and they’re more sophisticated”

“In terms of breaches within government systems, it’s something that has happened quite a bit over the last six, seven years,” says Shannon Kellogg, the director of information-security policy for EMC Corp, which owns RSA, a top cyber-security research firm “But the scale of these types of breaches and attacks seems to have increased substantially”

Government officials are more concerned now than in recent years about the private sector’s inability, or unwillingness, to stop these pervasive attacks When Donahue, the CIA cyber-security officer, warned the gathering in New Orleans about foreign hackings of power plants, some saw it as a direct challenge to American companies

“Donahue wouldn’t have said it publicly if he didn’t think the threat was very large and that companies needed to fix things right now,” Alan Paller, the highly regarded director of research at the SANS Institute, told The Washington Post at the time (SANS, a cyber-security research and education group, sponsored the January meeting in New Orleans) Another security expert noted that in the previous 18 months, there had been “a huge increase in focused attacks on our national infrastructure networks … and they have been coming from outside the United States”

In comments posted on Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog, which is trafficked by many techno-elites who are skeptical of the administration’s more boisterous public warnings, Donahue’s remarks about power plants drew support.



Michael Tanji, a former intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, said that the comments weren’t part of a government plot to hype the threat “Having worked with [Donahue] on these and related issues in the past, I regret to inform conspiracy theorists that he is virulently allergic to hyperbole,” Tanji said “I’ve long been a skeptic of claims about being able to shut down the world from the Net… But after today, I’m starting to come around to the idea that the ignorance or intransigence of utility system owners just might merit a more robust response than has been undertaken to date”

Tanji’s remarks pointed to one of the most nettlesome realities of cyber-security policy. Because most of the infrastructure in the United States is privately owned, the government finds it exceptionally difficult to compel utility operators to better monitor their systems. The FBI and DHS have established formal groups where business operators can disclose their known vulnerabilities privately. (Companies fear that public exposure will decrease shareholder confidence or incite more hackings.) But membership in these organizations isn’t compulsory. Furthermore, many of the systems that utility operators use were designed by others.



Intelligence officials now worry that software developed overseas poses another layer of risk because malicious codes or backdoors can be embedded in the software at its creation US officials have singled out software manufacturers in emerging markets such as, not surprisingly, China

Military Response

The intelligence community’s and private sector’s vocal warnings and dire suspicions of Chinese hackers join a chorus of concern emanating from the Defense Department in recent months In the most recent annual report on China’s military power, the Defense Department declared publicly for the first time that attacks against government and commercial computer networks in 2007 appear to have emanated from China “Numerous computer networks around the world, including those owned by the USgovernment, were subject to intrusions that appear to have originated within” the People’s Republic of China Although not claiming that the attacks were conducted by the Chinese government, or officially endorsed, the declaration built upon the previous year’s warning that the People’s Liberation Army is “building capabilities for information warfare” for possible use in “pre-emptive attacks”

The military is not waiting for China, or any other nation or hacker group, to strike a lethal cyber-blow.



In March, Air Force Gen Kevin Chilton, the chief of USStrategic Command, said that the Pentagon has its own cyberwar plans “Our challenge is to define, shape, develop, deliver, and sustain a cyber-force second to none,” Chilton told the Senate Armed Services Committee He asked appropriators for an “increased emphasis” on the Defense Department’s cyber-capabilities to help train personnel to “conduct network warfare”

The Air Force is in the process of setting up a Cyberspace Command, headed by a two-star general and comprising about 160 individuals assigned to a handful of bases.



As Wired noted in a recent profile, Cyberspace Command “is dedicated to the proposition that the next war will be fought in the electromagnetic spectrum and that computers are military weapons” The Air Force has launched a TV ad campaign to drum up support for the new command, and to call attention to cyberwar “You used to need an army to wage a war,” a narrator in the TV spot declares “Now all you need is an Internet connection”

“It’s a kind of cyber-militia… It’s coming in volumes that are just staggering”
--Joel Brenner

Defense and intelligence officials have been surprised by China’s cyber-advances, according to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. In November, the commission reported that “Chinese military strategists have embraced … cyberattacks” as a weapon in their military arsenal.



Gen James Cartwright, the former head of USStrategic Command and now the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told the commission that China was engaged in cyber-reconnaissance, probing computer networks of USagencies and corporations He was particularly concerned about China’s ability to conduct “denial-of-service” attacks, which overwhelm a computer system with massive amounts of automatically generated message traffic Cartwright provocatively asserted that the consequences of a cyberattack “could, in fact, be in the magnitude of a weapon of mass destruction”

A former CIA official cast the cyber-threat in a similarly dire terms. “We are currently in a cyberwar, and war is going on today,” Andrew Palowitch, who’s now a consultant to USStrategic Command, told an audience at Georgetown University in November.



STRATCOM, headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, oversees the Defense Department’s Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, which defends military systems against cyber-attack Palowitch cited statistics, provided by Cartwright, that 37,000 reported breaches of government and private systems occured in fiscal 2007 The Defense Department experienced almost 80,000 computer attacks, he said Some of these assaults “reduced” the military’s “operational capabilities,” Palowitch noted

Presidential Attention

President Bush has personally devoted more high-level attention to the cyberattack issue in the last year or so than he did in the first six years of his tenure combined Many security experts are surprised that the administration is only now moving to take dramatic measures to improve the security of government networks, because some Cabinet-level and White House officials have been warning about the threat for years to just about anyone who will listen

Until McConnell, the national intelligence director, personally drove the point home to Bush in an Oval Office meeting in 2006, there was little top-level support for a comprehensive government cyber-security plan “They ignored it,” one former senior administration official said flatly “McConnell has the president’s ear”

McConnell, a former director of the National Security Agency, whose main job is to intercept foreign communications intelligence but which is also responsible for protecting USclassified information and systems, takes the computer-security issue as seriously as his counter-terrorism mission After McConnell left the NSA, in 1996, he took over the intelligence practice at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he again turned to security problems, particularly within the nation’s financial infrastructure Working with officials from the New York Stock Exchange, McConnell developed a report for the government on network vulnerabilities; he has said that it was so revealing, the administration decided to classify it

Lawrence Wright of The New Yorker reported earlier this year that McConnell told Bush during the 2006 Oval Office meeting, “If the 9/11 perpetrators had focused on a single USbank through cyberattack and it had been successful, it would have had an order-of-magnitude greater impact on the USeconomy” According to Wright, the president was disturbed, and then asked Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr, who was at the meeting, if McConnell was correct; Paulson assured the president that he was

Brenner confirmed Wright’s account as “a true story” And separately, a former senior administration official told National Journal of another dimension In that meeting, McConnell also told the president that White House communications systems could be targeted for attack just as other USgovernment systems had been targeted The intelligence chief was telling the president, “If the capability to exploit a communications device exists, we have to assume that our enemies either have it, or are trying to develop it,” the former official said

This meeting compelled the White House to craft an executive order laying out a broad and ambitious plan to shore up government-network defenses.



Known internally as “the cyber-initiative,” it was formally issued in January The details remain classified, but it has been reported that the order authorizes the National Security Agency to monitor federal computer networks It also requires that the government dramatically scale back the number of points at which federal networks connect to the public Internet The Office of Management and Budget has directed agencies to limit the total number of Internet “points of presence” to 50 by June

Limiting connection points is analogous to pulling up drawbridges in order to defend the government’s cyber-infrastructure Security experts interviewed for this story said that it shows how little the government can do, at least for now, to ward off intrusions if the first line of defense is to “unplug”

Mixed Reactions

Under the president’s cyber-initiative, the Homeland Security Department will be responsible for monitoring government agencies apart from the Defense Department In March, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told National Journal that the first step is “to survey all the points” of presence “We have no final number yet”

“The agencies’ networks have grown very haphazardly No one really knows where [the connections to the Internet] are,” said Bruce McConnell, who was the chief of information technology and policy in the Office of Management and Budget He left government in 2000 “Trying to catalogue where things are so you could turn them off is a daunting task in and of itself,” said McConnell, who is not related to the intelligence chief

Bush’s cyber-initiative has received mixed reviews Generally, cyber-experts favor a comprehensive approach, and they are relieved that the issue finally has the president’s full attention But some question how the program is being implemented—under a cloak of secrecy and with a heavy reliance on the intelligence community

“Our nation’s intellectual capital, industrial secrets, and economic security are under daily and withering attack”
--Stephen Spoonamore

The sharpest criticisms are directed at the NSA, an intelligence agency whose traditional mandate is to collect information coming from outside the United States; it has no customary role monitoring networks inside the country, although this has changed in the years following the 9/11 attacks. It’s not clear just how far the government’s monitoring of computer networks will extend into the private sector and precisely what role the NSA will play tracking networks inside the United States, but lawmakers have already raised concerns that the cyber-initiative will creep into domestic intelligence-gathering. The same kinds of technologies that are used to monitor networks for viruses and other malicious threats could be used to track domestic communications. On May 2, DHS’s top overseers sent a letter to Chertoff questioning “the secrecy of the project.” Sens. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn.



, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, respectively, noted that the department had requested an additional $83 million for its National Cyber Security Division; DHS had already been allocated $115 million for the cyber-initiative in the 2008 omnibus appropriations bill “This would be a nearly $200 million increase, tripling the amount of money spent on cyber-security in DHS since 2007,” the senators wrote The full cost of implementing the president’s cyber-initiative is estimated to be $30 billion The entire 2009 budget request for the Homeland Security Department is about $50 billion

Marc Sachs, who was the director for communication infrastructure protection in the White House Office of Cyberspace Security in 2002, praised the administration for taking a bold initial step But he said that the level of attention is 10 years overdue Sachs noted that in 1998, President Clinton issued a directive that set ambitious infrastructure-protection goals “I intend that the United States will take all necessary measures to swiftly eliminate any significant vulnerability to both physical and cyber attacks on our critical infrastructures, including especially our cyber-systems,” Clinton wrote

Without pointing to particular policies, Brenner, the counterintelligence chief, said, “We need to take these policy declarations that we’ve had for 10 years and turn them into practical reality.” He said the job of securing cyberspace is hardly as simple as “put two padlocks on the door.



… This is an incredibly open and porous and, in many cases, wireless system Controlling cyber-security is like controlling the air flow in a large, segmented building complex in a noxious neighborhood You cannot be sure you are keeping all the noxious stuff out What you’ve got to say is, gee, in the infirmary, we’ve really got to deal differently than we do in the lobby”

False Accusations?

Given the political fallout that could stem from a proven Chinese attack on power plants or theft of government secrets—not to mention the pressure to launch some sort of military response—skeptics have asked whether the Chinese really are behind so many high-profile incidents

Brenner affirmed the widely held view that it’s technologically difficult to attribute the exact source of any cyberattack and that the government needs better technologies to do so But despite his assurances that the government has indeed sourced cyber-intrusions to China, others urge caution

“We want to find a natural enemy, so we’re looking everywhere,” Sachs said He noted that some hackers launch their attacks through computers based in other countries, and that China is an easy mask “I think all of us should remember that not everything you see online is truthful”

Another former administration official echoed those sentiments “I think it’s a little bit naive to suggest that everything that says it comes from China comes from China,” said Amit Yoran, the first director of DHS’s National Cyber Security Division, who left the post in 2004

But there is little to no doubt, including among skeptics, that China is vigorously pursuing offensive cyber-capabilities.



Military analysts say that the Chinese know their armed forces cannot match America’s in a head-on confrontation, and they realize their nuclear arsenal pales in comparison These imbalances have forced Chinese military planners to adopt what the Pentagon calls “asymmetric” techniques—tactics that aim at a foe’s vulnerabilities—in order to counter, or at least deter, US military power

“There has been much writing on information warfare among China’s military thinkers, who indicate a strong conceptual understanding of its methods and uses,” according to the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military power The report stated that “there is no evidence of a formal Chinese … doctrine” but noted that the People’s Liberation Army has “established information-warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks”

USmilitary officials see cyber-warfare as one arrow in a quiver of asymmetric techniques to disrupt an enemy’s command-and-control systems The Chinese strategy, according to this line of thinking, is not to defeat US military forces but to make it harder for them to operate

China’s military history has been defined by asymmetric warfare, said Harry Harding, an expert on Chinese domestic politics and US-China relations, who teaches at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs Cyber-warfare is just one of the more recent tactics If the USgovernment tries to protect its systems, the Chinese will simply attack the private sector; he cited the financial services industry as an obvious target “I have no doubt that China is doing this,” Harding said

Bennett, the former head of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, said that if China has penetrated power plants and the power grid, it serves as a show of force to the United States and is likely meant to deter any USmilitary intervention on behalf of Taiwan He noted that the Florida blackout occurred only a few days after the Navy shot down a failing USsatellite with a missile designed to intercept inbound ballistic missiles A year earlier, the Chinese had downed one of their own satellites in orbit The Bush administration has pursued ballistic missile defense systems, and Taiwan has sought that technology from the United States

Cyberwar

The Chinese are not alone, of course, in their pursuit of cyber-warfare The Air Force is setting up the Cyberspace Command, the 10th command in the service’s history

“The next kind of warfare will be asymmetric warfare,” Gen William Lord, the provisional commander, said during a roundtable discussion at the Council of Foreign Relations in March “Who is going to take on the United States Army, Marine Corps, USAir Force, and US Navy as probably the most powerful force on the face of the planet?”

Lord didn’t limit his remarks to China.



He said that cyber-criminals and other “bad guys” were as much a concern for the military He also pointed to a massive cyberattack launched last year against computers in Estonia, in which Russian hackers—perhaps operating at Moscow’s behest—tried to take down the country’s systems in retaliation for Estonia’s decision to move a statue commemorating fallen Soviet troops, a statue that Russians living in Estonia love but that native-born Estonians don’t The attack has been billed as the first “cyberwar” because of the overwhelming electronic force brought to bear on the tiny country of 13 million people

“I had an opportunity to speak with the minister of defense from Estonia,” Lord said “He was attacked by 1 million computers”

The Estonia attack probably shook nerves more than it caused long-term damage But it served as a potent example of how determined, coordinated hackers could gang up on a foreign government It has also created profound policy questions about what qualifies as war in cyberspace

“The problem with this kind of warfare,” Lord said, “is determining who is the enemy, what is their intent, and where are they, and then what can you do about it?”

Brenner, the senior UScounterintelligence official, said, “Another country knows that if it starts taking out our satellites, that would be an act of war” But “if they were to take out certain parts of our infrastructure, electronically, that could be regarded as an act of war,” he said “It’s not my job to say that”

NATO officials are reluctantly struggling with that question, too At a ministerial meeting last June, Defense Secretary Gates asked the allied members to consider defining cyberattacks in the context of traditional warfare Cyberwar is still abstract, and there are no international conventions that govern military conduct on a digital battlefield

“The USgovernment doesn’t really have a policy on the use of these techniques,” said Michael Vatis, a former director of the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center.



“The closest analogy is to covert actions,” he said, meaning spy operations undertaken by intelligence agencies against foreign governments “They take place, and people have strong suspicions about [who’s responsible] But as long as they’re not able to prove it, there’s very little that they can do about it And so there’s often not as much outrage expressed”

Staff Correspondent Bruce Stokes contributed to this article. The author can be reached at sharris@nationaljournal.com



********************************
The Power Failure From Hell
********************************
By Ted Twietmeyer
2-26-8
http://www. rense. com/general80/pwrff. htm

There you are, sitting fat and happy watching your favorite ball game It's the bottom of the ninth when WHAMO! A blackout hits and off goes everything powered by AC The first thing you do instinctively is to look outside for bad weather But as the sun sets, it's quite clear that it's still the same blue sky you saw all day today We'll just wait a while and it the power will come back on It always does

You call your friend on the other side of town using your cell phone. His power is out too.



But you are alerted that your battery is running low, and decide to hang up to conserve it You ask your family where the flashlight is and put it to work as it begins to get dark A quick call to the power company yields a soft, melodic voice telling you "Crews are working on the problem No estimated time of repair is given Thank you for your patience" Your past experience tells you to forbid anyone to open the fridge, because you want it to retain all the cold you can and keep food in the freezer from melting

It's getting near midnight and still there is no power. Six hours have passed since it went off. When you try your friend across town, your cell phone shows no signal.



That's because the mandatory four hours of backup for the cell tower has long expired You toss your cell phone down in disgust Groping around with your flashlight you help your family get to bed Computers, phones and everything AC powered just isn't working Everyone might as well go to bed, and so everyone does just that Things will be better in the morning

In the morning, you unplug the wireless phone from the wall and plug in your old 70's old faithful telephone from the closet that doesn't need power to work When you pick it up, there still isn't any dial tone Then it hits you ­ you and your family are cut off from the world! Out to your vehicle you wander half-dressed, thinking about the food in the fridge starting to melt away into slop Turning on the car radio yields something you never, ever thought you'd ever hear ­"There was an attack or something happened to the power grid, it's still unclear Power will not be restored for at least several MONTHS Stay tuned for more on this emergency radio station for as long as we can still transmit"

Panic starts to set in Missing last night's ball game suddenly becomes totally irrelevant to you and your family Your wife hears the broadcast and instinctively looks to you for answers Her tough, modern-independent-woman persona has suddenly vanished and now she says, "Honey, I'm scared to death - what are we going to do?" The children begin to cry because they too, know this is all bad

You quickly assess the situation. Fuel is needed to run the generator which you bought right after the last power failure.



But five gallons of gas only runs it about 12 hours, so you decide to head up to the gas station with all the empty containers you have At least you'll be able to bring home enough fuel to run it for a couple days You begin to drive around, only to find gas stations are closed everywhere Then you find one, which is apparently still open by the line of cars you see a half-mile long You look down at your gas gauge as you get in line ­ you've got a half tank of gas There's no way to tell your wife where you are and that you won't be home for hours

As you sit in that painful line waiting for your turn, you find that at least you have enough cash to fill the cans and jugs you brought along. While you're waiting, you start seeing National Guard vehicles going by and other vehicles with Canadian flags. "What are they doing here?" you ask yourself.



And then there are the super-mad people, who waited in line only to find out they cannot use their bank cards to buy gasoline because the banking networks are down These people storm off like angry hornets Finally, two hours later it's your turn to fill up everything you have including your car And you realize the price has been jacked up to scalp you by more than a dollar a gallon This simple fuel stop has cost you more than $10000 - in fact all the cash you had except for the fifty cents left

Driving back home you turn up the radio again.



Why are they talking about condition red? What's that all about? Two hours left to get off the streets? Here and there on major highways you see soldiers starting to set up what look like road blocks, with nearby areas surrounded by Concertina wire These look like they are for detaining people Why would they be doing this? "Do they know something I don't?" you ask yourself You spot a big grocery store, but the sign says "Closed ­ sold out" And there's an army vehicle nearby with two men openly brandishing machine guns and red Maple-leaf flags on their arms, staring right at you Guess it's time to head home

As you pull into your driveway you see military Hum-Vs driving around your neighborhood warning everyone that "Martial law has been declared and you are to stay inside your home - or you will be arrested or shot on sight" And they aren't American either! Oh God, they just MIGHT shoot if I go out again! Now it's REALLY getting scary Your mind races with questions ­ "What about my wife's medications she must take every day to prevent stroke, and my son's Asthma medicine? They can die without these medicines! What about food?"

Suddenly, you feel a terror like you never felt before How could this happen in America of all places?

Unfortunately, the above scenario is just the beginning of what will happen No gasoline can be pumped out of storage tanks at gas stations without power, no bank cards will work anymore and very few gas stations have backup generators Public water will stop working, as generators for the water supply plants, pumping stations and wells run out of fuel

Los Angeles alone has several giant one thousand horsepower pumps that pump water from the Colorado River over a mountain to LA This IS their main water supply, and these pumps require so much power to run the facility that it has its own high voltage substation connected to cross-country high tension lines Food and fuel cannot be delivered to gas stations anywhere because martial law will prohibit the truckers from driving If a fire breaks out, an entire city or neighborhood can burn to the ground because there will no way to put out the fire without water from the public water supply

Natural gas pipelines use compressors along their routes, which are actually fueled by the very natural gas they are pumping.



These require no AC power to pump natural gas However, loss of AC power will cause instrumentation to shut down as a needed safety measure, and this could shut down the entire gas pipeline High pressures are involved, and without instrumentation, metering and computers pipeline operators would be running blind which is too dangerous No more natural gas for cooking, hot water or heating And the operators will immediately return home to their families After all, what do they have to gain by staying at their jobs? There will not be any further paychecks
Water treatment plants require massive pumps to filter and pressurize water mains When AC power fails so will the water supply fail, when generators run out of diesel fuel Water company workers will also head straight home to be with their families when condition red takes place rather than have to live for years at a water treatment plant, eventually starving to death

Sewer systems today all require massive pumps to process sewage, grind up solids, power rakes that constantly skim and scrape tanks to clear debris and filter the effluent. Gravity filtered sewage treatment plants are a thing of the past. Many neighborhoods in cities across America have pumping stations installed deep below street level.



These pumps grind up and pump sewage under pressure up to a sewer line This is required because the "lay of the land" puts people's basements below the level of the gravity-powered main sewer line When these pumps go down from lack of power, entire neighborhoods will have toilets back up Sinks, showers, bathtubs etc will no longer work, and will become serious health hazards It was sewage material carried by rats that started the Plague of Europe Cholera is yet another serious hazard, and so is Staphylococcus among others

Though newer homes have sewer and water main check valves, there is no guaranty they will always work properly when needed Imagine sewage backing up into your home, and you can't even go outside to get away from it without being shot or arrested And even worse, there won't be any running water available to flush the filth out of your home You'll either have to live with it - along with the flies and disease that go with it, or go outside and be arrested or shot

Now, you think this is as bad as it gets? No it isn't Without food, tens or even hundreds of millions of people will literally starve to death Some will resort to cannibalism, as the pain of hunger is beyond comprehension to ordinary people This is what happened when a group of people in a plane crashed high in the Andes mountains many years ago - they survived by resorting to cannibalism That is, if you don't literally die of thirst before hand

Though the water no longer flows from the tap in an extended power failure and toilets no longer can flush, human beings will continue to create excrement of two kinds, as well material from women who menstruate All this waste must be put somewhere

Is this the end of it? No, because winter will come sooner or later That brings on an entire new set of problems if you live in cold areas of America, including the added risk of hypothermia and pneumonia And through all this you remember some of the last words you heard on your car radio in the garage before it finally stopped working as the result of a dead car battery and no gasoline "Those who can't deal with the stress are to go out to the curb, lay face down with their hands over their head and wait for a patrol to pick them up They will be taken to a government camp where their needs will be taken care of"

Other final words informed you that "All bank funds and stocks have been confiscated during martial law to pay for the tremendous costs the government incurred enforcing martial law This was necessary because revenue from all forms of taxes had ceased during martial law" You suddenly realize that you're penniless and without a job

But then, what good would your money do you? Without the banking network operational you will have no way to access that money anyway And even if you had all th

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

why does Americas power supply run on the internet, what they need to email people..
There is no need to have computer hooked up to a internet line,, if they use the internet, have a different computer on its own, and all the computers that run it together, with out a internet connection..
But I don’t know how it work, but there is a way to stop them,, like if a out side connection is made it gives them a vires, and so on.
If power stations need to communicate, run cables to each power grid, no internet.

7/15/08, 3:48 AM  

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