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Cyberwar: US and Israel Created Stuxnet, Lost Control of It

US embassy wall in Iran
© David Holt
Stuxnet was never meant to propagate in the wild.

In 2011, the US government rolled out its "International Strategy for Cyberspace," which reminded us that "interconnected networks link nations more closely, so an attack on one nation's networks may have impact far beyond its borders." An in-depth report today from the New York Times confirms the truth of that statement as it finally lays bare the history and development of the Stuxnet virus - and how it accidentally escaped from the Iranian nuclear facility that was its target.

The article is adapted from journalist David Sanger's forthcoming book, Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, and it confirms that both the US and Israeli governments developed and deployed Stuxnet. The goal of the worm was to break Iranian nuclear centrifuge equipment by issuing specific commands to the industrial control hardware responsible for their spin rate. By doing so, both governments hoped to set back the Iranian research program - and the US hoped to keep Israel from launching a pre-emptive military attack.

The code was only supposed to work within Iran's Natanz refining facility, which was air-gapped from outside networks and thus difficult to penetrate. But computers and memory cards could be carried between the public Internet and the private Natanz network, and a preliminary bit of "beacon" code was used to map out all the network connections within the plant and report them back to the NSA.

Comment: They didn't lose control of it - they deliberately set it loose in cyberspace in an act of cyber-terrorism. Sabotaging Iran's nuclear program was just the cover. This is why Russia, China and the other BRICS nations want to wrestle control of the Internet from the US - the only real cyber-terrorists are those in the Pentagon and the Mossad.

By the way, the Iranian double agent they used to hit Iran with the original version of Stuxnet was an MEK cult member.


Satellite

"Terminator Planet": A Drone-Eat-Drone World

drone
© n/a
U.S. military documents tell the story vividly. In the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa, an unmanned mini-submarine deployed from the USS Freedom detects an "anomaly": another small remotely-operated sub with welding capabilities tampering with a major undersea oil pipeline. The American submarine's "smart software" classifies the action as a possible threat and transmits the information to an unmanned drone flying overhead. The robot plane begins collecting intelligence data and is soon circling over a nearby vessel, a possible mother ship, suspected of being involved with the "remote welder."

At a hush-hush "joint maritime operations center" onshore, analysts pour over digital images captured by the unmanned sub and, according to a Pentagon report, recognize the welding robot "as one recently stolen and acquired by rebel antigovernment forces." An elite quick-reaction force is assembled at a nearby airfield and dispatched to the scene, while a second unmanned drone is deployed to provide persistent surveillance of the area of operations.

And with that, the drone war is on.

At the joint maritime operations center, signals intelligence analysts detect the mother ship launching a Russian Tipchak -- a medium-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft with "U.S.-derived systems and avionics" and outfitted with air-to-air as well as air-to-surface missiles. It's decision time for U.S. commanders. Special Operations Forces are already en route and, with an armed enemy drone in the skies ahead of them, possibly in peril.

But the Americans have an ace up their sleeve: an advanced Air Force MQ-1000. Unlike the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper, the MQ-1000 is capable of completely autonomous action, right down to targeting and combat.

HAL9000

America's Spy State: How the Telecoms Sell Out Your Privacy

digital privacy graphic
© n/a
Your seemingly private information is a public commodity, subject to the dictates of the security state and market opportunists.

You need to know one simple truth: you have no privacy with regard to your electronic communications.

Nothing you do online, via a wireline telephone or over a wireless device is outside the reach of government security agencies and private corporations. Your ostensible personal communication -- whether a phone call, an email, a search, visiting a website, a credit card purchase, a 140 character Tweet, a movie download or a Facebook friending -- is a public commodity, subject to the dictates of the security state and market opportunists.

Corporate surveillance has begun to raise consumer, Congressional and regulatory concerns - a major case, Amnesty v. Clapper, is now before the Supreme Court. One can only wonder why it is not an issue in this year's election?

Corporate spying takes a variety of forms. GPS tracking over a wireless device is widespread. Google's efforts to commercialize its users' keystrokes resulted in a $25,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Potentially more consequential, a growing chorus of criticism over its recently introduced data-harvesting program seems to have contributed to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation of Google; the FTC retained Beth Wilkinson, a high-powered outside counsel, to oversee a possible anti-trust prosecution of the company. On March 1st, Google introduced a new program that collects user data from its 60 services. Google stores "cookies" (i.e., code that compiles a record of an individual's web browsing history) on a growing number of communications devices, whether a home PC, tablet, smartphone and a growing number of TV sets. These cookies track every website a person visits or function s/he uses. As the New York Times wrote, "The case has the potential to be the biggest showdown between regulators and Silicon Valley since the government took on Microsoft 14 years ago."

Laptop

Russia calls for internet revolution: Is BRICS call for UN regulation of Internet a preemptive strike against US full-spectrum dominance?

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Is this a counter-move against US government cyber-terrorism?
Russia backed by China and India is pushing through a takeover of the internet by a UN supranational agency to make the web truly universal. The aim of the plan is to standardize the behavior of countries concerning information and cyberspace.

­Leading emerging economies supported by other United Nations members initiated the discussion around handing over internet regulation to a UN agency. At present it is controlled by private shareholders.

BRICS countries China, Brazil, India and Russia share the belief that the Geneva-based UN agency the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) would do a better job if put in charge of international cyber security, data privacy, technical standards and the global web address system.

Comment: It's hard to imagine that the UN, in its current set-up, where the US and allies dominate proceedings, would be in a position to regulate truly democratic Internet access and content. Nevertheless, such a move might actually be in ordinary people's best interest. Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that this is an attempt to institute a 'globalist takeover of the Internet', it could be that Russia, China and the BRICS countries want to protect Internet freedom from an American cyber-coup and the Pentagon's planned "full-spectrum dominance". Because make no mistake about it, the US military has declared war on people everywhere, including in cyberspace.


Wall Street

US Corporate Media ratings plummet as Americans turn away from lies

The U.S. mainstream media "sell lies on a daily basis", according to Niall Bradley, an editor and columnist in Paris.

Speaking to Press TV's U.S. Desk on Thursday, Bradley said that the CIA, since its creation in 1947, has had a grip on the American media, including its content and the people running it.

"Americans have by and large believed in the myth that they have the freest press in the world."

The recent significant drop in the number of audiences watching the corporate media in the U.S. may be a sign of the "demise of the propaganda military complex's grip on the American public's mind," Bradley said.

The latest figures in the United States show a major drop in America's mainstream news networks viewers.

CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC were all down from May 2011, but CNN was down much more than its rivals, falling 51 percent in total primetime viewers compared to 9 percent for top-rated Fox News and 19 percent for MSNBC.


Attention

UK Guardian on Bilderberg 2012: the technocrats are rising at this year's annual conference

Dutch Queen Beatrix
© Nero AngeloDutch Queen Beatrix arrives at the 2010 Bilderberg conference in Sitges, Spain.
Our man at Bilderberg is back for a fourth year and has touched down in Chantilly for the 2012 gathering. The shadowy elite leaders' conference starts tomorrow, so what's on the agenda?

It's all change at Bilderberg this year, with a new chairman, new media and Occupy Bilderberg knocking at the gates.

Everything's set. The hotel is being primped and hoovered, the security is arriving, the press is nowhere to be seen, and I just had a really boring crab salad. It's shaping up to be a vintage Bilderberg.

We were lunching in the Palm Court restaurant of the Westfields Marriott hotel, in Chantilly, Virginia. A few days from now, this hotel will be dripping with billionaires and bankers, industry CEOs and finance ministers, here for the annual Bilderberg summit. "The leaders of the world are coming to our hotel", beams one member of staff. "Are you here for the brunch?"

Arrow Down

CNN Founder Ted Turner Supports Population Reduction To 2 Billion

This is one of the 12 videos you will see released on May 31st during our 12 hour Donation Drive broadcast at Bilderberg. Help WeAreChange reach our goal @ http://wearechange.org/donate watch live here http://ustream.tv/wearechange


Black Cat

War Criminal Henry Kissinger confronted on Bilderberg and Mass Murder

This is one of the 12 videos you will see released on May 31st during our 12 hour Donation Drive broadcast at Bilderberg. Help WeAreChange reach our goal @ http://wearechange.org/donate watch live here http://ustream.tv/wearechange


Wall Street

Who Decides? Wall Street! Fitch downgrades credit ratings of 8 Spanish regions

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Private Wall Street firms such as Fitch are responsible for making worthless subprime mortgages have triple-A ratings... today they have the power to squeeze the money supply of regional governments in other continents.
Fitch Ratings downgraded the credit rating of eight deficit-laden Spanish regions including Madrid on Thursday as a recession bites and they struggle to access long-term financing.

Spain's powerful regions, which fund education and health, are pivotal to the country's efforts to slash annual public deficits and rein in mushrooming sovereign debt.

"The rating actions reflect the negative economic and market environment in Spain, which has resulted in depressed fiscal revenues," Fitch said in a statement.

It cited, too, "structural fiscal deficits of the regional administrations, which will require considerable additional efforts to be reduced, and also the difficulties in accessing long-term funding."

Downgraded regions were Madrid, Catalonia, Andalusia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Canary Islands, Cantabria and Murcia.

Among the hardest hit, the northeastern Catalonia region's long-term credit rating was slashed by two notches and left on BBB-minus, one notch above junk-bond status.

Wall Street

Who Decides? Wall Street! Moody's cuts ratings for 9 Danish banks

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Because private Wall Street firms know best who is creditworthy and who isn't
Moody's Investors Service has cut its credit ratings for nine Danish banks, citing the impact of the ongoing eurozone crisis on bank loan quality and on their fund-raising capacity.

The ratings agency lowered the debt ratings of the banks, along with the Finnish subsidiary of one of the banks, by up to three notches on Wednesday, AFP reported.

The banks are Danske Bank, Jyske Bank, Sydbank, Spar Nord Bank, Ringkjobing Landbobank, Nykredit, Realkredit, DLR Kredit, and Danmarks Skibskredit. Moody's also downgraded Danske Bank's Finnish arm Sampo Bank.

"Danish financial institutions face sluggish domestic economic growth, weakening real estate prices, and higher levels of unemployment, as well as the risk of external shocks from the ongoing euro area debt crisis," Moody's said.

"Asset quality is deteriorating, and these pressures are expected to continue," it added.

The agency also noted that the significant reliance of most of the financial institutions on market funding has enhanced their vulnerability to the eurozone crisis.