04.24.14

Security for the 1 percent

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 2:32 pm by George Smith

Illustrating that global cybersecurity policy and action in the US is purely for the benefit of the 1 percent, Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post wrote a story on leaked details of a concerted Iranian attack on American banks in 2012 a couple weeks ago.

Keep in mind while reading anything from the linked Post piece, the Iranian response, if it was that country’s clandestine effort, came after the US/Israeli launching of the 2010-2011 Stuxnet malware campaign into the networks and controlling machinery of its nuclear program.

From me, now semi-famously:

Nobody in the great mass that is not the 1 percent or in the service of the same cares about attacks on the American financial system. They do, on the other hand, wish our financial system would stop attacking them.

From the Washington Post:

In the spring of 2012, some of the largest banks in the United States were coming under attack, with hackers commandeering servers around the world to direct a barrage of Internet traffic toward the banks’ Web sites.

The assaults, believed to have been launched by Iran, were bringing the sites down for hours at a time and disrupting customer business — the first significant digital assault of its kind undertaken against American industry’s computers by a foreign adversary.

It “was a wake-up call,” recalled an official from a large Internet service provider for the banks …

With regards to bad stuff alleged to have happened, or be happening, to the United States, in national security speak, it’s always “a wake-up call.” It works like this. You secretly and persistently kick your smaller, less resourceful and poorer enemy in the nuts and no one complains. When he strikes back by hurling a couple bags of dog excrement at you, it’s “a wake-up call.”

One supposes your position depends on where you stood, with regards to the bank assault.

The Post:

The attacks on the banks were launched shortly after the expansion of U.S. sanctions against Iran, and whoever was behind them was impressively skilled …

By September 2012, financial institutions including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were grappling with waves of electronic traffic that had crept up from 20 gigabits per second to 40, 80 and ultimately 120 gigabits per second. It was at least three times the volume of traffic that most large banks’ Web sites were initially equipped to handle.

Banks were spending tens of millions of dollars to mitigate the problem.

In the Nakashima/Post piece there is not a single mention of the Stuxnet virus and its offspring, or any discussion by administration officials and sources in the real context of the time, that Iranian attacks on bank websites were seen as retaliation for an escalating American/Israeli malware campaign against that country.

That’s your standard garden-variety journalistic malfeasance, right there, partners.

Instead, an anonymous official describes the American response to Iran as “gentle and precise.” In contrast to Stuxnet, which was designed to wreck an Iranian uranium separation centrifuge operation.

This week, with review posts on Bill Blunden and Violet Cheung’s Behold a Pale Farce book on cyberwar and the malware industrial complex, the roots of the national security complex’s propaganda campaign in this area were outlined.

Nakashima’s Post story is another in kind, a piece to revive imaginary characteristics of reason and restraint on the part of US cyberwar/cyberdefense operations through the issue of a new load of fresh clean laundry.

Instead of striking into Iran’s networks directly in retaliation, because, as the story reads, our cyberwar capabilities are so much stronger than Iran’s, a response was concocted to be “gentle and precise.”

Thank you, former NSA director Keith Alexander. In one stroke, his image redeemed. That horrid Edward Snowden mess can be left behind.

American officials and workers in cybersecurity at a variety of agencies “reached out” to 120 foreign countries, allies, and enlisted their aid in squelching the Iranian assaults in a group effort that disarmed the botnet networks used in the distributed denial of service attacks against American banks.

Grand and stirring stuff! American mega-banking websites were saved! Victory was ours in the Battle of BofA!

You, national security dudes and Post editors, thought rigging publishing a story about how US megabanks were bailed out by the government (again), from website attacks, by little Iran is something to pat yourself on the back over? Seriously?

Oh me, oh my, “the banks were spending tens of millions of dollars to mitigate the problem.”

To repeat, your position on the Battle of BofA depended on where you stood.

I’m a big bank client. So are friends. I didn’t notice any problems with my bank’s website during the great cyber-assault.

However, I also didn’t notice any slow down or change in how quickly and efficiently my bank went into my account for the usual administrative and other miscellaneous fee collections during the same time period. That’s digital and software-mediated, too.

The vast majority of Americans didn’t know of, and wouldn’t have given a shit if they did, about the attacks on bank websites and how they were staunched by US and allied cyberdefense.

As a story, the Post’s is entirely in the genre of computer security for the 1 percent. A great story of doings of no benefit to anyone but those at the top of pyramid.

Almost seems a shame the newspaper won that Pulitzer for Edward Snowden’s material last week, doesn’t it?

1 Comment

  1. Ted Jr. said,

    April 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    >That’s your standard garden-variety journalistic malfeasance, right there, >partners.

    I’m liking a fellow named Greg Hunter more and more. He’s about 50-50 on the agreement scale but he used to work for Gannet and he has said multiple times the USA main stream media lies by omission.

    Can’t argue with him on that point.