Archive for August 2013
Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed by the United States and Israel that destroyed Iranian nuclear centrifuges in attacks in 2009 and 2010, is often cited as the most dramatic use of a cyberweapon. Experts said no other known cyberattacks carried out by the United States match the physical damage inflicted in that case.
Of the 231 offensive operations conducted in 2011, the budget said, nearly three-quarters were against top-priority targets, which former officials say includes adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea and activities such as nuclear proliferation. The document provided few other details about the operations.
U.S. intelligence services are making routine use around the world of government-built malware that differs little in function from the “advanced persistent threats” that U.S. officials attribute to China.
“To the NSA as a whole, the ROC is where the hackers live,” said a former operator from another section who has worked closely with the exploitation teams. “It’s basically the one-stop shop for any kind of active operation that’s not defensive.”
Once the hackers find a hole in an adversary’s defense, “[t]argeted systems are compromised electronically, typically providing access to system functions as well as data. System logs and processes are modified to cloak the intrusion, facilitate future access, and accomplish other operational goals,” according to a 570-page budget blueprint for what the government calls its Consolidated Cryptologic Program, which includes the NSA.
Teams from the FBI, the CIA and U.S. Cyber Command work alongside the ROC, with overlapping missions and legal authorities. So do the operators from the NSA’s National Threat Operations Center, whose mission is focused primarily on cyberdefense. That was Snowden’s job as a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor, and it required him to learn the NSA’s best hacking techniques.
According to one key document, the ROC teams give Cyber Command “specific target related technical and operational material (identification/recognition), tools and techniques that allow the employment of U.S. national and tactical specific computer network attack mechanisms.”
Most GENIE operations aim for “exploitation” of foreign systems, a term defined in the intelligence budget summary as “surreptitious virtual or physical access to create and sustain a presence inside targeted systems or facilities.” The document adds: “System logs and processes are modified to cloak the intrusion, facilitate future access, and accomplish other operational goals.”
The NSA designs most of its own implants, but it devoted $25.1 million this year to “additional covert purchases of software vulnerabilities” from private malware vendors, a growing gray-market industry based largely in Europe.
The budget documents cast U.S. attacks as integral to cyberdefense — describing them in some cases as “active defense.”
“If you’re neutralizing someone’s nuclear command and control, that’s a huge attack,” said one former defense official. The greater the physical effect, officials said, the less likely it is that an intrusion can remain hidden.
China and Russia are regarded as the most formidable cyberthreats, and it is not always easy to tell who works for whom. China’s offensive operations are centered in the Technical Reconnaissance Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army, but U.S. intelligence has come to believe that those state-employed hackers by day return to work at night for personal profit, stealing valuable U.S. defense industry secrets and selling them.
Iran is a distant third in capability but is thought to be more strongly motivated to retaliate for Stuxnet with an operation that would not only steal information but erase it and attempt to damage U.S. hardware.
The “most challenging targets” to penetrate are the same in cyber-operations as for all other forms of data collection described in the intelligence budget: Iran, North Korea, China and Russia. GENIE and ROC operators place special focus on locating suspected terrorists “in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, and other extremist safe havens,” according to one list of priorities.
The growth of Tailored Access Operations at the NSA has been accompanied by a major expansion of the CIA’s Information Operations Center, or IOC.
Remember when you played games of dare when you were a child, where you dared a friend to eat something nasty or jump over a certain impossible line? Well President Obama’s carefully scripted “red line” dare to Syria. But any savvy consumer of news should realize this red line was not aimed at the Syrian government, but was actually a green light for the West-backed, Al-Qaeda infiltrated Syrian rebel group to prepare a false flag operation against Assad’s government. So with Obama’s red line giving the rebels a green light, the U.S. and its allies implemented the first phase of the false flag operation by supplying all kinds of weapons – conventional AND chemical – to the rebels, and training them on the use of such weapons. It is already documented that the West supplied weapons and training.
What was not detailed was exactly what kind of weapons were supplied as this info was both classified and misreported to the public.
Nevertheless, once the weapons, training and carefully scripted propaganda were firmly in place – and the rebels gave off the false appearance that they are a rag-tag group of unsophisticated and barely trained fighting force, the drug-crazed rebels turned the chemical weapons on average Syrians and had high-def video cameras already on the scene, streaming video of their false flag victims (and possibly crisis actors mixed in) to the West.
The West then takes their fresh propaganda piece, and goes into the next phase: packaging the info as classified “military investigation” and having Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Hagel, VP Joe Biden, and propaganda homerun hitter President Obama tell the world that “everyone knows Assad did this to his own people and we can’t stand by and let this violation of international law go unpunished!”
Such is the false flag operation in detail. And for those who follow the Book of Revelation in the Bible, you know that this is how the Harlot Babylon the Great maintains her Mystery: By using deceptive operations like false flags to hide from the public.
The Iranian military’s top brass blames Washington for its siding with al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria, warning of consequences in the event of a possible US strike on the Arab country.
“The US, which has invaded countries in the region under the big lie of battling al-Qaeda following the September 11 [2001 attacks], is now fighting in favor of al-Qaeda in Syria,” Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi stated on Friday.
Firouzabadi said the US war threats against Syria are aimed to compensate for the recurrent losses of al-Qaeda-linked Takfiri militants, who have been receiving military training from the US, in their struggle against the Syrian Army, and to weaken Syria by forming anti-Damascus alliances.
“American people will realize that the White House’s warmongering pretext called al-Qaeda was a big lie the US rulers told the American nation,” he stressed.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country seeks a regime change in Syria rather than limited strikes on the Arab state.
Erdogan said at a reception in the presidential palace in the capital Ankara on Friday that what matters to Turkey is “weakening the regime to the point where it gives up.”
The Lebanese army says Israeli military aircraft have once again violated the airspace of the country.
“Six Israeli warplanes and three reconnaissance planes violated Lebanon’s airspace in the past two days,” Lebanese newspaper Daily Star quoted the military as saying in a Friday statement.
It said that an Israeli reconnaissance plane entered the country’s airspace above the village of al-Naqoura at 11 a.m. Friday and left at 1:10 p.m. above the southern village of Alma Al-Shaab after conducting “aerial maneuvers over the Chouf and the southern region.”
“At 10:50 a.m. two Israeli warplanes entered Lebanon above Aytaroun (village) and left at 1:30 p.m. after conducting similar maneuvers over all Lebanese areas,” the statement added.
The army said that three reconnaissance planes infiltrated the airspace of the country from Naqoura around 6:30 a.m. Thursday and “conducted aerial maneuvers above various Lebanese regions before returning to Israel at 1:15 a.m. Friday.”
The statement added that six Israeli warplanes entered Lebanese airspace above Shebaa Farms and the border village of Aytaroun at 9 p.m. Thursday and left the airspace nine hours later at 6 a.m. Friday.
Israel violates Lebanon’s airspace on an almost daily basis, claiming the flights serve surveillance purposes.