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Pentagon moves to classify cyber-attacks (which it launches) as 'acts of war'

Pentagon has concluded that the laws of armed conflict can be widened to embrace cyberwarfare

The US government is rewriting its military rule book to make cyber-attacks a possible act of war, giving commanders the option of launching retaliatory military strikes against hackers backed by hostile foreign powers.

The Pentagon has concluded that the laws of armed conflict can be widened to embrace cyberwarfare in order to allow the US to respond with the use of force against aggressive assaults on its computer and IT infrastructure.

The move, to be unveiled in a US department of defence strategy document next month, is a significant step towards the militarisation of cyberspace, with huge implications for international law.

Pentagon officials disclosed the decision to the Wall Street Journal, saying it was designed to send a warning to any hacker threatening US security by attacking its nuclear reactors, pipelines or public networks such as mass transport systems. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," an official said.

Comment: Yes, the Cyber War on Cyber Terror is brought to you by... the Pentagon:

Stuxnet Worm is the "Work of a National Government Agency"

We explained how it works in Connecting the Dots two years ago:
By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do CyberWar

Set against a background of media hystrionics about cybercrime and claims of multimillion-fold increases in 'cyberattacks' against American government and corporate websites, Team Obama announced the introduction of a new CyberSecurity Office within the White House, complete with Cyber Czar to coordinate policy. With its emphasis on 'defensive' strategy to counter the threat posed by those cybercriminals 'out there', we naturally wonder if the timing relates to the announcement earlier this summer of the Pentagon's new CyberCommand (CYBERCOM) unit, whose definition of the concept of 'defensive strategy' is somewhat more plastic. If past activities are anything to go by, we can expect the Pentagon to preemptively launch cyberwarfare against cyberterrorists by engaging in . . . cyberterrorism.

Never wanting to feel left out of imperial projects for total world domination, the UK followed up with an announcement of its own: "this [cyber security] work was previously handled by an office related to the security services, and it will now be widened out." In other words; we are making overt what we've been doing covertly for some time because the conditions are now suitable for us to come out and tell you that we hate you and seek to watch everything you do, say, buy and think in order to control you.

Every cyberwar needs good cyberwarriors. If soldiers are hired killers, then the Pentagon's virtual warfare requires hired hackers. Profiteers in death like Raytheon are only too happy to step up to the plate and announce its recruitment drive:
"President Obama recently announced that cyber security is one of our country's most urgent national security priorities," reads the ad. "Raytheon is answering that call by hiring more cyber warriors this year to help fight the digital cyber war."

Raytheon also has positions available for something called "media sanitation specialists."

The latter probably refers to workers skilled at erasing data from hard drives and other storage.
Lest there be any doubt as to the 'defensive' nature of these new weapons of mass disruption, the military makes it quite clear that it will be 'taking the battlefield to the enemy':
The Pentagon plan calls for an offensive capacity, one that will deploy cyber weapons against imperialism's adversaries [...] designating CYBERCOM a STRATCOM branch all but guarantees an aggressive posture.

© Unknown
NSA: Meet the new boss, even worse than the old
Others within the defense bureaucracy are far more enthusiastic, and forthright, when it comes to recommending that cyber armaments be fielded as offensive weapons of war. Indeed,

Armed Forces Journal
featured a lengthy analysis advocating precisely that:
The world has abandoned a fortress mentality in the real world, and we need to move beyond it in cyberspace. America needs a network that can project power by building an af.mil robot network (botnet) that can direct such massive amounts of traffic to target computers that they can no longer communicate and become no more useful to our adversaries than hunks of metal and plastic. America needs the ability to carpet bomb in cyberspace to create the deterrent we lack. (Col. Charles W. Williamson III, "Carpet Bombing in Cyberspace," Armed Forces Journal, May 2008)
Infected computers are referred to as "zombies" that can be controlled remotely from any point on the planet by "master" machines. Unwary users are often "spoofed" by hackers through counterfeit e-mails replete with embedded hyperlinks into "cooperating" with the installation of malicious code.

While criminals employ botnets to generate spam or commit fraudulent transactions, draining a savings account or running-up credit card debt through multiple purchases for example, botnets also have the capacity to launch devastating distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against inadequately defended computers or indeed, entire networks.

In other words, should an "individual theatre commander" desire to suddenly darken a city or wreck havoc on a nation's electrical infrastructure at the behest of his political masters then by all means, go right ahead!
These operations will deny, degrade, disrupt, destroy, or deceive an adversary. We will enhance our capabilities to conduct electronic systems attack, electromagnetic systems interdiction and attack, network attack, and infrastructure attack operations.
Simply put, the Pentagon intends to build an infrastructure fully-capable of committing high-tech war crimes.
And the best part about it is. . . CyberCommand will be placed in the capable hands of the NSA, that same ubiquitous behemoth super-spy agency responsible for spying on millions of American citizens during the Bush years. It becomes apparent that Obama's Cyber Czar office for cyber crimes is really political cover for the entrenchment of everything illegal the media created a false hoopla over towards the end of Bush's reign.

'Cyberterrorists' conveniently christened the new regime by hacking websites in a Denial of Service (DoS) attack we are told continued for several days. Sites affected were located in South Korea and the US, the most high-profile of which was the White House website, hit on July 4th no less. While a US government spokesman reassured us on the one hand "that these types of Internet attacks happen everyday on government networks", that government sites were unaffected and that it was premature to say whodunnit, South Korea's intelligence agency immediately fingered North Korea as the source.

As we noted at the time,
© Unknown
Kim Jong Il as the bad guy marionette puppet in the movie Team America, World Police
the nature of global IT systems are such that 'cyber attacks' can be made to appear to come from any source. Given the benign effects this attack produced, we think it more probable that this was an 'in-house' test of operational capabilities, especially coming so soon after the White House announcement that CYBERCOM is operational and will soon be interfering with internal affairs in a country near you.

Furthermore, framing North Korea conveniently fits its current role as useful bogeyman and deflects attention from certain other countries currently deploying cyber attacks in geo-political hotspots.
Well the Americans got one thing right when they said it was premature to identify the source of the attacks, because an investigation later found the source to be the UK:
We found a master server located in UK which controls all of the 8 C&C servers to make a series of cyber-attack last week. So the source of the attacks has been identified to be in UK. The existence of master server has never been reported before.

there have been 166,908 zombies from 74 countries around the world that have been used for the attacks.
Remember what was said above:
Infected computers are referred to as "zombies" that can be controlled remotely from any point on the planet by "master" machines. Unwary users are often "spoofed" by hackers through counterfeit e-mails replete with embedded hyperlinks into "cooperating" with the installation of malicious code.
This appears to be how this 'false-flag cyber operation' was executed.

Given that it was South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) which jumped the gun to lay the blame at North Korea's feet, we should perhaps bear in mind that the NIS was
"trained-up fierce" by the CIA and the Pentagon, the South Korean intelligence service has been involved in some of the worst human rights abuses in East Asia.

In 1980, the Army's feared "Black Beret" Special Forces and the KCIA were given a 'green light' by Washington to suppress a pro-democracy uprising in the southern city of Kwangju in which some 2,000 students and workers were massacred; hundreds more were "disappeared," tortured and imprisoned.
Cyberwarfare takes many forms, ranging from Israel's round-the-clock "internet warfare team", a veritable army of paid liars trolling internet websites to ward off any criticism of Israel's slow genocide of Palestine . . .
"To all intents and purposes the internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose," said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project.
. . . to sabotaging a counterpart's systems through botnet or DoS attacks of varying sophistication:
In the late 1990s, a computer specialist from Israel's Shin Bet internal security service hacked into the mainframe of the Pi Glilot fuel depot north of Tel Aviv. It was meant to be a routine test of safeguards at the strategic site. But it also tipped off the Israelis to the potential such hi-tech infiltrations offered for real sabotage.

"Once inside the Pi Glilot system, we suddenly realised that, aside from accessing secret data, we could also set off deliberate explosions, just by programming a re-route of the pipelines," said a veteran of the Shin Bet drill." So began a cyberwarfare project which, a decade on, is seen by independent experts as the likely new vanguard of Israel's efforts to foil the nuclear ambitions of its arch-foe Iran.

"Cyberwar has the advantage of being clandestine and deniable," Scott Borg, director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, which advises various Washington agencies on cyber security.
We naturally wonder if Israel and the US are already targeting Iran's systems with "real sabotage"? Think of the pivotal role new media played in "amplifying the effect of (and the impression of) internal protests" following the presidential election and the two airplane 'accidents' in quick succession this month, resulting in the deaths of 185 people. US psychopaths-in-power have even called for precisely the scenario outlined above by the Shin Bet officer:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a leading Republican hawk, called Sunday for the United States to "sabotage" Iran's oil and gas industry to trigger an economic crisis that would bring about regime change.
While the corporate media gently breaks this 'new' sphere of cyberwarfare to the public mind by making the whole concept seem 'a-ways-off', in reality . . . it's not. Cyberwarfare is here and now, and it offers unlimited potential for clandestine activities that are difficult to trace or which can easily be made to appear to originate from designated third-party nation-states or 'terrorists'.

James Corbett has written an excellent report examining the potential, even probable, misuse of technology that may have played a crucial role in destabilising US defense systems on 9/11 - a parallel "Cyber 9/11" that explains the radar jamming, NORAD standing down and general systems confusion that took place on that fateful day. FBI agents were blocked from pursuing this thread from on high:
What the cyber security establishment does not want you to know is that the most incredible cyber terrorist story of all time began 15 years ago. And it centers on 9/11. The establishment is interested in suppressing this story because it demonstrates that the very investigative bodies that are clamoring for more power on the pretext of the "cyber terror" hysteria are the exact same bodies that failed to investigate the documentable links between government-designated terrorists and a software company with direct access to some of the most sensitive computer systems in the United States. FBI agents whose investigation into this story were suppressed have even said that these investigations could have prevented 9/11.

"Enterprise architecture software" refers to a computer program that allows someone to look at all of the data produced throughout an organization's structure in real time. This effectively gives the program user a god's-eye view of an enterprise, allowing for the mapping, visualization and analysis of all transactions, interactions, systems, processes and personnel in the entirety of a business or agency.

The utility of such software for organizations of all stripes should be obvious enough. It is unsurprising, then, that numerous government agencies and powerful corporations were hungry for this software in the 1990s.

© CorbettReport.com
For two years prior to 9/11, Ptech [an IT firm contracted through DARPA to use enterprise architecture software] was working to identify potential problems or weaknesses in the FAA's response plans to events like a terrorist hijacking of a plane over U.S. airspace. Ptech had free reign to examine every FAA system and process for dealing with the exact type of event that was to occur on 9/11. Even more incredible, researcher Indira Singh points out that Ptech was specifically analyzing the potential interoperability problems between the FAA, NORAD and the Pentagon in the event of an emergency over U.S. airspace.

Ptech also presumably had operational information about the systems that the FAA, NORAD and others employed during crisis response exercises like Vigilant Guardian, the NORAD exercise that was taking place on 9/11 and included simulations of hijacked jets being flown into New York and hijacked jets being flown into government buildings. This is significant because there is every indication that just such drills were confusing NORAD's response to the real hijackings that were taking place that day.

In short, Ptech's software was running on the critical systems responding to the attacks of 9/11 on 9/11 itself. The software was designed for the express purpose of giving its users a complete overview of all the data flowing through an organization in real time. The father of enterprise architecture himself, John Zachman, explained that with Ptech-type software installed on a sensitive server "You would know where the access points are, you'd know how to get in, you would know where the weaknesses are, you'd know how to destroy it."
Going back to the early 1980s similarly valuable software-turned-spyware, called PROMIS, designed to extract data from the systems of both enemy and ally, left a trail of destruction linking the CIA and Mossad to clandestine activities. You can watch a three-part video of the forerunner to today's brand of cyberwarfare here. There's nothing new under the sun it seems . . .

2 + 2 = 4

Goldman Sachs 'lost' (stole) 98% of Gaddafi's $1.3bn investment

© Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York. The bank invested Gadddafi's money to buy options in currencies and shares amid turmoil in the markets.
As compensation Goldman Sachs offered to turn Gaddafi into one of its top investors, the Wall Street Journal reports

A bitter rift has opened up between the world's most powerful bank and one of its most fearsome dictators after Goldman Sachs invested $1.3bn (£790m) of Colonel Gaddafi's money - and lost virtually all of it.

According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, Goldman offered to make Gaddafi one of its biggest investors as compensation for losing 98% of the money the Wall Street firm invested on behalf of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). This left the $53bn Gaddifi-controlled sovereign wealth fund, which elsewhere has stakes in companies such as Financial Times-owner Pearson and BP, with just $25.1m of the money it entrusted to Goldman.

The fund, which has soared in value in recent years on the back of Libya's growing oil wealth, was frozen by the EU and United Nations in February because of its close links with the Gaddafi family.

War Whore

NATO's Summer of War: US-EU Death Machine expands its war of terror against Libyan civilians

NATO has declared its extending its operation in Libya by another three months. The alliance chief says this decision is meant to prove to Muammar Gaddafi that the alliance is determined to fulfil the UN mandate. Let's cross live to James Corbett an editor of an independent news website to discuss the latest developments.

Top Secret

The Federal Reserve Cartel: The Eight Families

© Unknown
(Part one of a four-part series)

The Four Horsemen of Banking (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) own the Four Horsemen of Oil (Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP Amoco and Chevron Texaco); in tandem with Deutsche Bank, BNP, Barclays and other European old money behemoths. But their monopoly over the global economy does not end at the edge of the oil patch.

According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.[1]

So who then are the stockholders in these money center banks?

This information is guarded much more closely. My queries to bank regulatory agencies regarding stock ownership in the top 25 US bank holding companies were given Freedom of Information Act status, before being denied on "national security" grounds. This is rather ironic, since many of the bank's stockholders reside in Europe.

One important repository for the wealth of the global oligarchy that owns these bank holding companies is US Trust Corporation - founded in 1853 and now owned by Bank of America. A recent US Trust Corporate Director and Honorary Trustee was Walter Rothschild. Other directors included Daniel Davison of JP Morgan Chase, Richard Tucker of Exxon Mobil, Daniel Roberts of Citigroup and Marshall Schwartz of Morgan Stanley. [2]

J. W. McCallister, an oil industry insider with House of Saud connections, wrote in The Grim Reaper that information he acquired from Saudi bankers cited 80% ownership of the New York Federal Reserve Bank- by far the most powerful Fed branch - by just eight families, four of which reside in the US. They are the Goldman Sachs, Rockefellers, Lehmans and Kuhn Loebs of New York; the Rothschilds of Paris and London; the Warburgs of Hamburg; the Lazards of Paris; and the Israel Moses Seifs of Rome.


Foreign power and arrogance run amuck in alleged atttacks on New York City hotel maids

© Unknown
On the heels of the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund last week who is accused of forcing himself on a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan we now have another alleged attack by Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 74, the former head of Bank of Alexandria and current chairman of a leading Middle Eastern salt company. Mr. Omar, is accused of locking a 44-year-old maid inside his $900-a-night room at The Pierre on Sunday and sexually groping her.

Allegedly Omar called for room service requesting tissues and answered the door in his pajamas. When the maid - whom he had not specifically asked for - arrived at his 10th-floor room, he asked her to put the box of tissues on a table. As she moved toward the table, he locked the door. "He locked her in the room and had her trapped," a police source said. "He grabbed her breasts, groped her. He was grinding against her." Omar then asked the maid for her phone number, a police source said. After she gave him a made-up number he let go, and she fled the room. Omar was arrested at the hotel Monday afternoon and charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment, officials said.


US: Democrats blast cuts to tax credit

© Joel Pett
Profit and Loss in America
Republicans on the Legislature's budget committee drew fire Tuesday night for approving cuts to a tax credit for low-income families, while also expanding tax breaks for businesses.

The Joint Finance Committee approved reductions to the Earned Income Tax Credit, trimming the state benefit for low-income families with multiple children. The provision in the proposed biennial budget would also increase the benefit for single child households.

Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) called the changes a tax increase on the working poor. He says it creates a "caste system" where the tax code benefits those who make the most when combined with other proposals the budget panel also approved Tuesday. The additional measures allow the deferral of taxes on capital gains that are reinvested in the state and also make changes to Wisconsin's combined reporting law.

Republican co-chair Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) says those measures are a major part of efforts to restart the economic engine of the state and to create new jobs.

The Legislature is expected to vote on the complete budget later this month.

Comment: So taking money from poor people so they have no money to spend will somehow stimulate the economy and "restart the economic engine"?

As Mr. Carlin explains, the poor and middle class are people of modest means. Taking money from the poor does not help the economy.


Spirit Of Rachel Corrie Still Unable To Berth

While the Malaysian and Egyptian governments had publicly agreed on May 16 that the humanitarian aid ship MV Finch, also known as the Spirit of Rachel Corrie, could berth at the El-Arish Port, this has not taken place as yet.

Matthias Chang, the mission leader on board the Spirit of Rachel Corrie, said in an e-mail from the vessel today that the Egyptian government had yet to allow the ship to berth and the crew to disembark and unload the PVC pipes needed for restoring the sewerage system in Gaza, which is now home to 1.5 million Palestinians living in an area measuring 360 sq km in all.

Chang, who is perplexed by the foot-dragging by the Egyptians, said since May 17, the Spirit of Rachel Corrie had been turned into "a prison ship for all intents and purposes".

Bad Guys

U.S. Files New Charges Against September 11 Accused

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
© AFP/Getty Images
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
U.S. military prosecutors have filed new charges against the self-described mastermind of the September 11 attacks in 2001, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four alleged co-conspirators held at the Guantanamo detention camp.

The conspiracy and mass murder charges were expected to be announced later on Tuesday, according to sources involved in the war crimes tribunals at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

During President George W. Bush's administration, all five defendants had been charged in the tribunals with plotting the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.

Bizarro Earth

Egyptians Decry 'Virginity Tests' on Detained Protesters, Urge Military Rulers to Investigate

© unknown
Virginity Test Protests
Activists and bloggers are pressing Egypt's military rulers to investigate accusations of serious abuses against protesters, including claims that soldiers subjected female detainees to so-called "virginity tests."

Bloggers say they will hold a day of online protest Wednesday to voice their outrage, adding to criticism of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control of the country from ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

In the face of the criticism, four journalists along with a prominent blogger were summoned for questioning by the military prosecutor, according to a rights group. They were released without charges.

Hossam al-Hamalawy, the blogger, tweeted: "The visit to the military prosecutor became a chat, where they wanted clarifications for my accusations."

The virginity test allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters and the army intervened forcefully to clear the square.

One woman who was arrested spoke out about her treatment, and Amnesty International further documented the abuse allegations in a report that found 18 female detainees were threatened with prostitution charges and forced to undergo virginity tests. They were also beaten up and given electric shocks, the report said.


Canada: Royal Newlyweds Called 'Parasites' by Quebec MNA

© Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
The royal couple's planned visit to Montreal and Quebec City is already ruffling some feathers.
Quebec's Liberal government demands an apology

Quebec politician Amir Khadir is not pleased the royal newlyweds will be visiting Montreal and Quebec City during their upcoming 9-day Canadian tour.

Khadir, who is a member of Quebec's national assembly (MNA) and co-leader of Quebec Solidaire, referred to the royals as "parasites" in an interview with the Journal de Québec newspaper.

"What a waste of public money. All this to welcome those parasites," Khadir is quoted as saying in the article.

A portion of the trip's cost will be covered by Quebec taxpayers.