Death In The Future

"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them." Kahlil Gibran

Today, as we blithely go about our lives, the U.S. government is planning for future death and destruction.  It saddens me to no end that the war machine is grinding ever onward, planning for wars that don’t exist today.  These men have too much time on their hands and too little respect for life.  The claim is that it is better to stop a war with a few key strokes than to blow up a building or a block of buildings but how can we know?  Are we to trust those who have already proven themselves liars, incompetent information gatherers, and bullies?  I don’t think so.

Computers don’t feel, they only know what we tell them and at that it is only ones and zeros.  There is no humanity in them and never can be.  At the heart of this new cyber system will be one man or woman, will s/he have a heart?  Will s/he have the capacity to feel as other human beings feel?  Will they remember what freedom is supposed to be?  Or will s/he simply be a button pusher, taking orders from men who care not what happens to the rest of us?  The consequences of this are terrifying.  Imagine the sense of Godhood this person will feel?  I fear greatly for the future.  Did you read this article from the BBC News?

Meet USCybercom: Why the US is fielding a cyber army

Patrick Jackson
BBC News

Precision disruption’There will be “one guy in charge of cyber defence and offense“, says Mr Kuehl, who helped plan the air campaign for the first Gulf War before becoming the professor of information operations at the National Defense University in Washington.

Amit Yoran, a former cyber security director at the Department of Homeland Security, and now head of Netwitness Corp, defines cyber war as “the use of information technologies for the purposes of conducting warfare”.

There will be no net neutrality if this happens, no computer will be safe from the Pentagon’s spying and you will be just a series of ones and zeros, not real at all to any of them. Is this what life will come to?  It seems that people, any people of any country, will be at risk from these fallible men or women who sit behind a keyboard and control the future of war.  Is this the future our children will live with?  How do we stop these madmen?

Is the U.S. government trying to tell us that this will be a much more humane way to die?  Imagine, if you will, what will happen if this group of individuals decides to stop food shipments from one country to another, stop power grids from sending out crucial energy to cities, or disrupts a damn’s control systems which regulate water flow.  This and much, much more is not only possible, but probable with this group of individuals.  Certainly a moral compass will be a burden and handicap they cannot afford.

With this “Cyber Army” come concerns from Russia and China.  Their fears are that the U.S. will seek to become as powerful in the cyber air waves as they are perceived to be in the physical world.  Notice the word PERCEIVED.  Our penchant for future planning may cause a war with these two countries on our home turf instead of preventing one.  How will that protect American Citizens?

With the governments disastrous repose to 9-11, (they botched all the intelligence gathering that was available to them), they want us to believe they have it together now?  That all that information they missed, (on purpose to get the pres the war he wanted), we should trust them now?  After all, this cyber army is geared to snooping out threats.  Will the 1st Amendment be the cause of this cyber army attacking Citizens?  Look at what they are doing now, here, today with the proposed S.3081.

I decided to check out NetWitness to see what their “security” systems were capable of.  From what I could find there isn’t all that much there.  They have big claims, but the reality is that only 25% of the trojan botnets were stopped and the thing is still running.  Let’s look at the claims of NetWitness concerning this trojan.

NetWitness Discovers Massive ZeuS Compromise

While other security vendors just talk about the need for network forensics, NetWitness customers actually are finding advanced threats such as Aurora and way beyond. Read about real-time network forensics in ACTION in this Wall Street Journal article and NetWitness White Paper detailing the NetWitness discovery of the massive “Kneber” ZeuS BotNet compromise.

I decided NOT to register and grab the white paper from this site. I don’t know them and I have no reason to trust them with my information. So I looked around for an article about this very episode and here is what I found:

Zeus botnet shaken by ISP cutoffs

This disconnection resulted in the shutdown of 25 percent of the Zeus botnet,said security company ScanSafe, which is part of Cisco.

Cisco is pleased to see that this network has been crippled,” said the company in a Wednesday statement. “Even though the thousands of victims of these gangs are still infected with Zeus, the malware running on their PCs is unable to communicate with its controller and no new data can be stolen from them.”

Active Zeus domains dropped from 249 on Monday to 149 on Wednesday, according to the Zeus Tracker site, a Swiss security research site. However, on Thursday, the number of active domains bounced back again to 194.

Pardon my being blonde here for a moment, but stopping 25% of anything means that 75% still exist, stealing the information of transactions all around the world. How does that make this a crippling victory for Cisco or NetWitness?  I’m certainly not feeling the confidence that Cisco is.

But back to war games…

Did you know there was a yearly conference going on concerning cyber warfare?  Well there is.  The military cyber geeks get together and show off their muscles with the latest and greatest war making programs.  My, something to be proud of don’t you think?  If these men and women put half their energy into making this world work THEN I would nod and tell them Great Job!

Welcome to Cyber Warfare 2010…

Event History

Cyber Warfare 2009

Who attended?

BAE Systems, Barclays, Belgian Armed Forces, British Defence Staff, Cypress Book Co. UK Ltd., Defence Command Denmark, Defence Science Technology Laboratory, Department of Defence (Austria), Detica, DSTL, EADS, Electronic Warfare Company (Danish Army), European Defence Agency, FFI Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, FRA, GCSC, Haut-Commissaire à la Protection Nationale, HMGCC, Insta DefSec Oy, Italian Joint Forces, Logos Technologies, Military Security-Intelligence Agency (MSIA), Ministere de la Defense, MoD Netherlands, National Air & Space Intelligence Center (USAF), National Security Cyberspace Institute, NATO / SACT, Naval Postgraduate School, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Europe Ltd., Norwegian National Security Authority, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pericom base-camp IT-Security GmbH, Raytheon, Romanian MoD, Singapore Armed Forces, Swedish Emergency Management Agency, Swedish FMV, Swedish National Defence College, Swiss Armed Forces’ Joint Staff, Swisscom Ltd., Thales Nederland BV, The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence, UK MoD – DCDC, US Army – USAG Benelux, Wipro Technologies, Xpertise Training.

There is no real information available about this CyberWarfare 2010.  There are downloadable files of the speakers, but doing this by individual would make this article way too long.  Nor can you just browse the information on the site, you have to register.  They want your information just to view anything.  Seeing as this is a who’s who of the military of the world, I’m not interested in registering.  Then again, they have probably already grabbed my information just from browsing the site.

(I’ve already noticed since about a year ago that my tags are not being picked up by google or any other article grabber out there.  I find that highly suspicious.  It isn’t that I think I’m the greatest writer out there, that couldn’t be farther from the truth, it is just that my articles used to get picked up on places like Technorati and Google.  Now, nothing.)

According to Wikipedia the term cyberwarefare is defined as:

Cyberwarfare, (also known as cyberwar and Cyber Warfare), is the use of computers and the Internet in conducting warfare in cyberspace.

As I was reading the Wikipedia article about cyber warefare I found it intriguing that the federal government would admit there was a weakness in the power grid here in the U.S. The federal government NEVER admits to any weakness unless they are caught red-handed. Here, read this snippet:

Electrical power grid

The federal government of the United States admits that the electric power transmission is susceptible to cyberwarfare. The United States Department of Homeland Security works with industry to identify vulnerabilities and to help industry enhance the security of control system networks, the federal government is also working to ensure that security is built in as the next generation of “smart grid” networks are developed. In April 2009, reports surfaced that China and Russia had infiltrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national security officials. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has issued a public notice that warns that the electrical grid is not adequately protected from cyber attack. China denies intruding into the U.S. electrical grid. One counter measure would be to disconnect the power grid from the Internet and run the net with droop speed control only. Massive power outages caused by a cyber attack, could disrupt the economy, distract from a simultaneous military attack, or create a national trauma.

Yup, they were caught and so had to admit there was a problem. Did that make the news? I found the NewYork Times article which covered the story but found it odd that no other media covered it. Only the blogosphere covered it. I’m very tired of media censorship of news. Here is the story from the Times:

Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies

WASHINGTON — Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”

Of course it was the Russians and China… Who else would be interested in taking down the power grid? And what better way for the military to excuse planning for cyber warfare… This is unthinkable… RIIIIGGGHHHTTT…  Sorry, my cynicism is showing badly.  It is articles like this which gives the military ammunition to justify their plans for future war.  I have a saying for justifications, if you have to justify something you already know you are wrong.

Popular Mechanics did a great job of fearmongering.  Their article was all about cyber terrorism and its consequences.

How Vulnerable is U.S. Infrastructure to a Major Cyber Attack?

The next world war might not start with a bang, but with a blackout. An enemy could send a few lines of code to control computers at key power plants, causing equipment to overheat and melt down, plunging sectors of the U.S. and Canadian grid into darkness. Trains could roll to a stop on their tracks, while airport landing lights wink out and the few traffic lights that remain active blink at random.

In the silence and darkness, citizens may panic, or they may just sit tight and wait for it all to reboot. Either way, much of the country would be blind and unresponsive to outside events. And that might be the enemy’s objective: Divert America’s attention while mounting an offensive against another country.

Scare the shite out of people and they will do anything you tell them to do to be protected, including giving up their right to privacy, freedom, and their ability to gather information.  It is pathetic how far the media goes to make sure that the military gets what it wants.  And they talk about cyber propaganda!  What was this article if NOT propaganda?

For myself, I would much rather keep my freedoms and deal with a possible blackout than have it all stripped away from me in the name of military might and security.  I’m not willing to give an inch on this.

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~ by justmytruth on March 16, 2010.

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