09.07.17

The next cyberwar fantasy

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Cyberterrorism, Shoeshine at 2:59 pm by George Smith

From the New York Times, today, Bret Stephens writes about what he wishes:

A troubling thought for you: What if the Americans really did succeed in pressuring the Chinese to cut you off? Or what if somebody found a Stuxnet-type solution to cripple your only operational refinery or blow up the pipeline through which you import crude from China?

As with Tom Friedman a couple weeks ago, the opinion pages of the newspaper, trained to be receptive to the alleged magical power of the National Security Agency.

Consider, if left of launch works any better, the next thing you’ll see is a blinding flash of light.


The Shoeshine Machine runneth overtime.

08.11.17

Be Strategic, Not Impulsive, Make them Eat Potatoes

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 2:07 pm by George Smith

Tom Friedman invokes the power of American cyberwarriors to put North Korea to heel:

Don’t even think about lobbing one near us, or we might just shut off all the lights in your pathetic failing state. We can do that — just like we can make your rockets blow up or go off course. Have you noticed? And when your people get tired of eating potatoes every night, give us a call …

In a nation that’s undernourished and suffering from famines and shortages, they’d be happy for potatoes, perhaps.

And just HOW do our cyberwarriors attack food so that only potatoes are eaten? Send malware to plague the dirt farm? That’s a good trick.

This shows that Friedman reads only the stories he likes at the NY Times, like left of launch. But not the stuff about famine.

“North Korea’s production of staple crops for this year, including rice, corn, potatoes and soybeans, has been severely damaged by prolonged dry spells ‘threatening food security for a large part of its population’ ” reads the Times.

No potatoes. However, left of launch — a jingle, invisible … fake news.

Get the cream pie.

08.08.17

“Left of launch” — the big failure. So Big. Now, “fire and fury.”

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 5:14 pm by George Smith

Left of launch appears to have failed abysmally. Did it even exist except in the minds of a small set of weird American cyberwarriors?

So our leader promises “fire and fury.”

Basing reaction and strategy on the alleged impact or cleverness of internally rhyming triplets seems unsound, the constructions of cretins. (Heh — lil’ joke.)

Enough with the National Security Agency’s contract piecework cyberwarriors. They deliver nothing but unexpected dangers.

From the New York Times:

President Trump threatened on Tuesday to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangers the United States …

What does it even mean when the most powerful country on the planet allegedly feels endangered by one of the most isolated and poor?


Left of launch — the clever cyber-saying that worked so well.

Now, in the stupid phrases Hall of Fame, according to me, second to first place and all time winner, electronic Pearl Harbor.

07.28.17

America’s cyberwarriors lose another one

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:31 pm by George Smith

it appears our cybwewarriors tore down the goal posts and danced in the end zone in the first few minutes of the game only to find, [pause], they eventually lost. Again.

“Depending on how heavy a warhead it carries, this latest North Korean missile would easily reach the West Coast of the United States with a range of 9,000 to 10,000 kilometers,” or 5,600 to 6,200 miles, said Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul. “With this missile, North Korea leaves no doubt that its missile has a range that covers most of the United States.”

The United States has gone to extraordinary lengths to slow North Korea’s missile testing program — feeding flawed parts into the North Korean production system and attacking the missile program in cyberspace to cause test failures.

This cyberwar was that “left of launch” bit. Working good, we see.

That’s two or three wars in cyberspace the NSA has lost after dancing in the endzone early.

Iran/Stuxnet, this, WannaCry. My interpretation on Stuxnet, and that of arms control agencies, was that Iran wound up with the capability to produce more Highly Enriched Uranium than if Stuxnet hadn’t happened. Negotiations eventually worked.

How old fashioned.

Message to American cyberwarriors. Stop talking/leaking to journalists. Stop drinking own Kool-Aid. Stop making world accelerate to bad places more quickly by surreptitiously antagonizing and attacking the presumed bad people.

Update:

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no reason to believe American cyberwar is immune to any of the problems that plague its conventional war operation.

US cyberwar, then, just may be incapable of decisive action. On the other hand, since it generates news it may just stimulate the weapons programs it’s designed to hinder in adversaries, making them only more determined to proceed because they know they are under attack.

07.11.17

On the NSA & its malware

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 10:08 am by George Smith

The NSA leaking malware that comes back to bite everyone, in the news.

The Virus Creation Labs.

Been there. Done that. Seen it all.

At Good Reads.

Computer code changes with the times. The social behavioral code of human beings who do malware doesn’t.

People writing about the NSA’s ability to write malware should focus less on the fancy names — the Equation Group, Tailored Access — credited to the coders and more on how little they differ from those who walked the same ground many years earlier. The affection for special group names is a giveaway.


Selected quote from the New York Times…

In an email … Michael Anton, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, noted that the government “employs a disciplined, high-level interagency decision-making process for disclosure of known vulnerabilities” in software, “unlike any other country in the world.”

Mr. Anton said the administration “is committed to responsibly balancing national security interests and public safety and security,” but declined to comment “on the origin of any of the code making up this malware.”

What makes them so special? Who decides who the deciders are? In 1994 the idea that virus-writers, amateurs or professionals be consulted over such matters would have struck the anti-virus business as insanely funny.

Any system the believes this at the same time it has pressured old school anti-virus man Eugene Kaspersky into revealing his source code is seriously screwed up.

[The] government has blamed others. Two weeks ago, the United States — through the Department of Homeland Security — said it had evidence North Korea was responsible for a wave of attacks in May using ransomware called WannaCry that shut down hospitals, rail traffic and production lines. The attacks on Tuesday against targets in Ukraine, which spread worldwide, appeared more likely to be the work of Russian hackers …

Blame-shifting.

“I’m not sure we understand the full capability of what can happen, that these sophisticated viruses can suddenly mutate into other areas you didn’t intend, more and more,” Mr. Panetta said. “That’s the threat we’re going to face in the near future.”

Anyone with any sense knew this about computer viruses and malware back in the early Nineties, perhaps earlier. Viruses tended to get into the most unexpected places.

In the past two months, attackers have retrofitted …

Twenty some years ago this is what over half of The Virus Creation Labs was about.

Mr. Panetta was among the officials warning years ago of a “cyber Pearl Harbor” that could bring down the American power grid. But he and others never imagined that those same enemies might use the N.S.A.’s own cyberweapons.

That’s because Mr. Panetta never read The Virus Creation Labs. And he was always wrong about cyber-Pearl Harbor, too.

But armed with the N.S.A.’s own tools, the limits are gone.

“We now have actors, like North Korea and segments of the Islamic State, who have access to N.S.A. tools who don’t care about economic and other ties between nation states,” said Jon Wellinghoff, the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

American exceptionalism: The hubris that our malware writers are somehow better, self-restrained good-guys, superior to all others. Hilarious. Read The Virus Creation Labs.


Some other citations.

The original teaser in Computer underground Digest, 1994.

05.16.17

Infamous old words: The Nebulous Menace vs the NSA’s Ugly Conduct

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:20 pm by George Smith

In 2013:

While some recent estimates have more than 90 percent of cyberespionage in the United States originating in China, the accusations relayed in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military capabilities were remarkable in their directness. Until now the administration avoided directly accusing both the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army of using cyberweapons against the United States in a deliberate, government-developed strategy…

This from, The Nebulous Menace: Shoeshine at its Best, a piece onthe meme of the year, that US coporate intellectual property was being carted away en masse by Chinese cyberwarriors.

The passage of time always affords for the changing of boogeymen pointed out by the American national threat industry. Today it’s Russia and even fresher, maybe North Korea, as responsible for the now famous global ransomware attacks.

You might take North Korea as a convenient distraction for the root of the problem, the NSA’s malware industrial complex, ultimately responsible for the ETERNALBLUE vulnerability, a NOT NEBULOUS menace, at the heart of the problem.

Paradoxically, from the South China Post:

More than 4,300 Chinese educational institutions were infected by the WannaCry ransomware that spread across the globe last Friday, according to Chinese cybersecurity giant Qihoo 360’s Threat Intelligence Centre. Almost 30,000 organisations across the country were affected in all.

But the Ministry of Education’s China Education and Research Network (Cernet) said just 66 out of 1,600 Chinese universities were affected, rejecting reports of widespread damage in higher-education computer systems as “malicious” hype.

Cernet said the 66 universities were affected mainly because their operating systems were not regularly upgraded rather than any major security shortcomings …

Students in campuses affected by the ransomware, however, told of their horror finding their experiment data encrypted and half-completed theses files lost, which could affect their graduation, according to Chinese media reports.


Also from The Nebulous Menace, another wote illustrating why this blog was read:

American business ceded its property to the Chinese industrial base for immediate profit in pursuit of the very cheapest unprotected manpower. This was long before Chinese espionage became an issue the national security megaplex decided to exploit for the purpose of parasitic rent-seeking.

Who are you going to find on the street who cares if Chinese cyberwarriors from a building in Shanghai are into American businesses? They’ve already lost their jobs or much of their earning power. And their access to the Internet is a smartphone made in China.

Take a day off from the memes. Corporate America isn’t hiring, haven’t you heard? It’s not because of mass Chinese cyber-spying.

04.24.17

One year ago…

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 11:34 am by George Smith

First, we were bombing their cash money (videos made available on YouTube). You could see the money flying through the air. (BTW, if you want to make money fly through the air, how ’bout making it fly through Pasadena?!)

Then we sent in the B-52s to bomb ISIS in Syria. Just like in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Then we sent in the the special cyberforce. Over there, over there!

“We are dropping cyberbombs,” a man named Mr. Work, a deputy secretary of defense at the Pentagon, said. “We have never done that before.”

Actually, we have. We dropped cyberbombs on Iran.

But, anyway, A year or so ago: Cyberbombs! B-52 bombs! Bombs for cash money!

They’d surely need to quit amidst the rubble of Syria! V-ISIS Day was just around the corner.

The stuff really works, don’t it? What tactics and strategy, or lack of any, more likely. And recall the next time Trump orders a publicity stunt bombing, these were all the property of the Obama administration.

Apropos or not, here’s The Cyberwar Boogie which doesn’t sound much like cyberwar. The laughter is just right, though. Hee-hee-hee-h-h-hee-hee-hee-hee, oh yeah!


Would you help finance a custom run CD with this included?

01.06.17

Tweeting life in the rotting superpower

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 3:04 pm by George Smith

But while Americans feel justifiably angry at alleged interference with their political process, they have also been handed a mirror, and the reflection should disturb them …

Yeltsin relied on US political strategists – including a former aide to Bill Clinton – who had a direct line back to the White House. When Yeltsin eventually won, the cover of Time magazine was “Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win”.

Without the chaos and deprivations of the US-backed Yeltsin era, Putinism would surely not have established itself.



NSA director Mike Rogers, reacting to Donald Trump’s “disparagement” of the intelligence services …

12.28.16

Computer security for the 1 percent

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 2:07 pm by George Smith

From the wire:

Three Chinese citizens have been criminally charged in the United States with trading on confidential corporate information obtained by hacking into networks and servers of law firms working on mergers, U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Iat Hong of Macau, Bo Zheng of Changsha, China, and Chin Hung of Macau were charged in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court with conspiracy, insider trading, wire fraud and computer intrusion.

Prosecutors said the men made more than $4 million by placing trades in at least five company stocks based on inside information from unnamed law firms …


Computer security for the Super 1 Percent


Sad:

Today, I’m stunned to see signs of similar neuroses tainting the United States, the country to which my family fled. It’s not in the legitimate discussion over real national security threats, but in the relentless onslaught of helplessness being blared across the news and social media. I see it in groups calling for sanctions on vaguely defined pro-Russian media and peddling apps that block websites that allegedly benefit the Kremlin, like 21-century talismans to protect American minds from infection. I read it in columns that warn of Moscow’s unstoppable information war, the unraveling of democracy and the demise of truth. I see it in the constant assurance that we’re losing. Just as in the Soviet Union, it doesn’t matter how we’re losing or why, or to whom.

“The only relief came in the form of scathing, cynical satire called anekdoty, or anecdotes — anonymous jokes …” it reads.


Big Data uber alles!

12.19.16

Keep playing that good ol’ Russian roll

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 2:52 pm by George Smith

Chris Hedges, at TruthDig, one of the news sites labelled as a Russian tool in a story published by the Washington Post:

Is the Democratic establishment so clueless it believes its party lost the presidential election because of the leaked John Podesta emails and FBI Director James Comey’s decision, shortly before the vote, to send a letter to Congress related to Clinton’s private email server? Can’t the Democratic leadership see that the root cause of the defeat was that it abandoned workers in order to promote corporate interests? Doesn’t it understand that although its lies and propaganda worked for three decades, Democrats eventually lost credibility among those they had betrayed?

The best response? Jeering laughter, rude noises.

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