The UK is practicing cyberattacks that could black out Moscow

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Cyber warfare is considered preferable to nuclear warfare.

 

British defense officials say they have practiced cyber war games that could shut off electricity in Russia’s capital, the Sunday Times (paywall) reports.

The measures are part of a wider range of strategies to hit back at an increasingly assertive Russia—accused of interfering with US elections, cyberattacks on Western targets, and poisoning a former spy on UK soil—without resorting to a full-blown nuclear attack. Continue reading

Obama Cyber Chief Confirms ‘Stand Down’ Order Against Russian Cyberattacks

 

Former Obama administration National Security Council cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel confirmed on Wednesday that a “stand down” order was given to counter Russian cyberattacks during the 2016 election.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sen. James Risch (R., Idaho) asked Daniel about a passage in the book Russian Roluette. The passage was about a staffer from Daniel’s team, Daniel Prieto, retelling the time that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice told Daniel and his team to halt their efforts and to “stand down” in countering Russia’s cyberattacks. Continue reading

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign states that sponsor malicious hacking groups.

Until now, the Cyber Command has assumed a largely defensive posture, trying to counter attackers as they enter American networks. In the relatively few instances when it has gone on the offensive, particularly in trying to disrupt the online activities of the Islamic State and its recruiters in the past several years, the results have been mixed at best. Continue reading

U.S. Warns: Iran Enhancing Espionage, Cyber Attacks on America

President Hassan Rouhani in front of a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

President Hassan Rouhani in front of a portrait of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / Getty Images

 

Iran is putting a greater focus on espionage and cyber operations targeting American and U.S. ally networks in a bid to lay the groundwork for devastating hack attacks on sensitive American networks, according to a new warning from the U.S. intelligence community. Continue reading

Military building for info warfare

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency will take greater control of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system from Boeing at the end of this year, according a spokesman. This is a major shift in oversight. (Department of Defense)

 

Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate this week that the military is taking steps to improve its capabilities for countering and conducting information warfare — the use of cyberattacks and influence operations.

The Pentagon “must continue to improve its ability to exploit cyberspace as a pathway for information operations to affect adversary perceptions, decisions and actions in support of strategic ends,” Gen. Selva said in written policy statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The four-star general testified at a nomination hearing for a second term as vice chairman. Continue reading

Foreign States Preparing Cyber Attacks on Infrastructure in Future War

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers / Getty Images

 

Rogers awaiting new Trump cyber policy

Foreign nations’ cyber intrusions into key infrastructure network are preparation for damaging attacks in a future conflict, the commander of Cyber Command told Congress Tuesday.

Adm. Mike Rogers, the commander who is also director of the National Security Agency, said one of his major concerns is cyber attacks on critical infrastructures used to run the electric grid, financial systems, communications networks, the transportation systems, and others. Continue reading

U.S. Ill-Prepared to Stop Widespread Russian Information Warfare

Was there Russian influence during the 2016 election process? Sure. However, not as people think.

Moscow is engaged in what’s called the “scissor strategy”. In America’s case, both sides of the scissor blades represent the right-wing and left-wing of America. When the blades meet (conflict), America (material being cut) is destroyed. You can plainly see this in today’s media where CNN/MSNBC/ABC et al represent the left-wing of society, whereas (although it’s a false right) Fox News represents the right-wing base.

It’s interesting to note that Fox is a false right in the sense that it may represent the second side of the same coin in an information warfare campaign against the American people. Some of the anchors, hosts and reporters may be genuine, but the owners of Fox News are not. They consistently undermined Trump, the outside and anti-establishment candidate and constantly favored the progressive-socialists (aka RINOs) in the Republican party.

This is where it gets complicated, but for those with discernment, they see right through it.

 

Clint Watts testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee March 30 / Getty Images

 

Experts reveal methods, motivations behind Moscow’s cyber attacks

Russia is engaged in wide-ranging information warfare operations aimed at undermining the United States, and the federal government has few defenses against the attacks, information specialists told a Senate hearing last week.

Moscow’s large-scale operations include the covert attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election and dissemination of false news reports to sow confusion and weaken American democracy, according to testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday.

The committee hearing was called as part of an investigation into the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election. Continue reading

Airlines Can’t Wing It Anymore Against Hackers

‘We have to get the budget out there to stay ahead of this because otherwise it’s gonna have a major impact’

The Israeli military made (air)waves last week when it announced that it was installing cyber defenses on its F-35 jets. While this may seem like a futuristic concept, it’s actually long overdue from an online security standpoint.

“Bad actors were already doing bad things on the internet before the military caught up with technology,” Richard Blech, founder and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Secure Channels, told the Observer. Continue reading

US state officials worry about their ability to respond to cyberattacks

States are having trouble recruiting top cybersecurity workers, lawmakers are told

Many states aren’t confident of their ability to respond to cyberattacks on physical infrastructure such as water and electric systems, U.S. emergency response officials say.

The U.S. government could do several things to help states improve their response to cyberattacks, including increased funding for technology training programs, cybersecurity experts told a House of Representatives committee Tuesday.

Continue reading

Russian hacker group targetting largest EU banks

Russia’s central bank and the government are working together to fight banking hacker group Buhtrap.

An official spokesman of Xenia Yudaeva, the first Deputy Chairman of the Russian Central Bank, told SCMagazineUK.com that the hacker group uses sophisticated cyber-attacks, the most recent of which allowed it to steal about RUB 600 million £6.3 million) from Metallinvestbank, one of Russia’s largest banks.   Continue reading

Cybercom sounds alarm on infrastructure attacks

The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command warned Congress this week that Russia and China now can launch crippling cyberattacks on the electric grid and other critical infrastructures.

“We remain vigilant in preparing for future threats, as cyberattacks could cause catastrophic damage to portions of our power grid, communications networks and vital services,” Adm. Mike Rogers, the Cyber Command chief, told a Senate hearing. “Damaging attacks have already occurred in Europe,” he stated, noting suspected Russian cyberattacks that temporarily turned out the lights in portions of Ukraine.

Adm. Rogers said that unlike other areas of military competition, Russia is equal to the United States in terms its cyberwarfare capabilities, with China a close second.

Continue reading

Iran at war

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The Islamic Republic of Iran has been at war with the United States since 1979. It wages war through terrorist surrogates and main forces such as the IRGC. Michael Rubin lists a few markers along the warpath in “Imaginary Iran.” Continue reading

Shifting Tides of Military Power in the South China Sea

A 2010 article that foretold what was to come and now is here:

 

Is U.S. naval power in the South China Sea the unstoppable force it once was?

Thirsting for the oil in the waters that break upon China’s shores, Beijing has recently intensified its claim to the entire 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea. Since China’s assertion competes with claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, it has prompted a pledge from the U.S. for increased involvement in the disputes to guarantee free trade and navigation throughout the region. But a Wall Street Journal article about recent military trends in the South Pacific region suggests that Washington’s pledge is insufficiently backed, and more so every month.

Continue reading

What It Would Really Take to Knock Out the Power Grid

The American homeland is one attack on only nine substations away from going in the dark. A critical portion also doesn’t even need to be hacked, as sniper rifle fire was enough to already get the job done on one power station in April of 2013. If the bad guys only wanted to wreak havoc instead of 100% destruction, they would take advantage of the vulnerable SCADA system, where medication dosages for example, could be manipulated.

Sadly, the most of what’s being done to mitigate such threats are only warnings written in articles like this. There’s a lot of lights and cameras, but no action.

 

 

As our electrical system lifts itself out of the stone age, the defense built around it will require added vigilance.

My favorite joke when I was 5 years old was, “Where will you be when the lights go out?” The answer, of course, is “in the dark,” though I used to make my very patient sister guess a bunch of other places first, which I used to think was absolutely hilarious.

We are fortunate that in this country having the lights unexpectedly go out is actually a pretty big deal, and quite rare. You don’t have to wonder whether the light will come on when you throw the switch, or if your computer will have enough power to boot up. The sodas in the fridge are always cold and our showers are always warm. It always just happens, so we more or less take it for granted. Continue reading

U.S., China Agree Not to Conduct, Support Cyber Theft

The only reason that the U.S. would make a deal with China is that China now does a better job at cyberwarfare and has the upper hand, thanks to years of Obama’s dismantling of America. What’s more, everyone knows China isn’t going to stick to the agreement and continue operations. This capitulation signals America is losing its edge.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed that neither country’s government will conduct or “knowingly” support cyber theft of intellectual property or commercial trade secrets, an issue that has been a source of tensions.

“I indicated it [cyber theft] has to stop.” Obama said at a joint news conference after private talks with Xi at the White House Friday. “This is progress, but I have to insist that our work is not yet done.” Continue reading