03.29.13

Cyberwar shoeshine overdrive

Posted in Cyberterrorism, Shoeshine at 4:34 pm by George Smith

Fresh from the cyberattack that just about took down the Internet earlier in the week, Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times, along with David Sanger, who uncovered the administration’s deployment of the Stuxnet virus into Iranian networks, serve up still more fearmongering on Iranian and North Korean cyberwar capabilities.

From the Times:

The difficulty of deterring such [Iranian] attacks was also the focus of a White House meeting this month with Mr. Obama and business leaders, including the chief executives Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Brian T. Moynihan of Bank of America; Rex W. Tillerson of Exxon Mobil; Randall L. Stephenson of AT&T and others.

Mr. Obama’s goal was to erode the business community’s intense opposition to federal legislation that would give the government oversight of how companies protect “critical infrastructure,” like banking systems and energy and cellphone networks. That opposition killed a bill last year, prompting Mr. Obama to sign an executive order promoting increased information-sharing with businesses.

“But I think we heard a new tone at this latest meeting,” an Obama aide said later. “Six months of unrelenting attacks have changed some views.”

Keep in mind that Obama administration and the US Cult of Cyberwar have been fingering Iran in attacks that make US banking websites run slow for months. (Secondarily, for a virus that crashed hard drives belonging to Saudi oil company, Aramco.)

The recent history, free of propaganda, is that the Obama administration, defense contractors and leaders of the cyberwar lobby in the intelligence agencies took out a vigorous public relations campaign to get cyber-information sharing legislation passed last year.

In that campaign they established the narrative that continuing attacks on the United States, by China, Iran and others, have — in one famous quote issued by the head of the National Security Agency — constituted the greatest loss of wealth in history.

That very public dose of fear-mongering failed in its aim — which was to get the information sharing cyber-legislation passed.

The Obama administration then spent some time preparing an executive order recommending information sharing on cyberthreats.

It has no force of law.

This has been followed by a rising second and identical spin effort to identify cyberattacks on the United States as a catastrophic threat, one capable of more harm to the nation than natural disasters, and more costly than 9/11, and possibly the subsequent wars.

All this has played out methodically over the last couple of months. And all of it has been touched on at DD blog.

It’s a continuing effort to get bad legislation passed, law that would immunize corporate America from any legal retaliation that might result from malfeasance revealed in information sharing. Secondarily, it is to beat the drum regularly for more spending in cyber-defense. None of this is of any social value. The US of A will not now or soon fall to cyber-attackers. It is a ludicrous scenario to entertain.

Citing from a day or so ago:

[The] US is in a lousy position to make arguments, or even recommendations, on proper conduct in cyberspace. This is because it is an untrustworthy international partner, one which will not be held to standards of conduct it publicly demands from others. (The majority in American power find this of no consequence under the rationale that as the preeminent and transcendent world power, the United States can always act any way it wants and that hypocrisy or an establishment of untrustworthiness does not apply.)

Ours is a country that routinely uses feeble actors in cyberspace — like Iran — as bogeymen in public statements on the dangers of cyberwar without including in the narrative the fact that we provoked them …

This means anything to 99 percent of Americans. Nor should it. Pasadena, or the town where you live, will not cease to function in your lifetime because of cyberwar.

Mega US bank websites that run slow because they’re being hit by denial-of-service attacks are of no consequence in the astronomically bigger picture of the American economy.

The US government and the national security megaplex, which includes large private computer security players and arms manufacturers with expanding, grasping wings devoted to the same business, relentlessly peddle the script that cyber-attacks on the US financial system could bring the country to its knees.

Americans have experienced the opposite. The average family now earns seven percent less than it did at the start of the Great Recession, an economic downturn brought on by this country’s financial system.

And today, pointed to be Krugman, an essay by economist Brad DeLong that the United States is now on its way to matching the monetary consequences of the Great Depression.

This is not because of cyberwar, near cyberwar, Chinese cyber-espionage, or Iranian attacks on banking websites and corporate America.

The President cannot get the minimum wage raised. He cannot do anything to reverse the austerity policies the Republican Party, from its minority position, has imposed on the country. He cannot or will not enact any measures as chief executive that might begin to make economic life in the country better for the majority of its citizens.

So what is he doing? Partially busying himself meeting with Wall Street’s master bankers and ginning up news on the daggers of cyberwar, attributed to China, Iran and North Korea, aimed at America’s heart.

It is maddening and pathetic.


One of the named sources for the Times’ piece is James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of the major “think tanks,” the function of which is to furnish national enemies lists, affirmations that named enemies are up to no good, and what, in the way of war, ought to be done about them at once.

Lewis has always been a member of the Cult of Cyberwarand you can check the public record easily in DD blog’s inimitable archives.


The shoeshine of cyberwar — from the archives.


Good heavens! Can’t you see where Iran has attacked banking websites and threatened the very financial systems of our great country!?

2 Comments

  1. Dave Latchaw said,

    March 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

    My (very major) bank’s website runs a lot faster than it used to. Those Iranians are going to have to step it up.

  2. George Smith said,

    March 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    You just wait, the revenging fists of the Iran and NK cyberwar corps will pummel your body into lifelessness for that calumny.