Our reinforced concrete infrastructure sends a dire warning
The sorts of predicaments the world faces — ranging from over $200 trillion in debt, to our unsustainable addiction to fossil fuels, to our over-stressed ecosystems — all require that we get deadly serious about confronting them ASAP, and make difficult decisions and trade-offs.
However, our global leaders always seem to opt to kick the can down the road if at all possible. Short-term thinking and near-term priorities dependably get precedence over doing the right thing for the future. Tomorrow’s generations are thrown under the bus by selfishly motivated actors today. Continue reading
Tag Archives: U.S. infrastructure
The Cyber Threat: Cybercom Trains for Infrastructure Attack as Power Companies Play Down Threat to Grid
Cyber Guard war games simulate major cyber attack
The U.S. Cyber Command will conduct large-scale military exercises this week simulating cyber attacks against critical U.S. infrastructure, and the war games will highlight the growing threat posed by foreign states capable of crippling the electrical grid and financial networks through digital attacks.
The exercise, known as Cyber Guard 16, is the latest annual war game involving scores of military personnel and civilians at the Fort Meade-based command. Other players will include officials from the Pentagon, FBI, Homeland Security Department, and private industry. Continue reading
China Is Buying the Chicago Stock Exchange. A Dangerous Signal for the Global Economy
Capital flight or capitol fight: Why is so much money fleeing China, and what is the biggest ramification?
An obscure Chinese company is buying the Chicago Stock Exchange. The February 5 announcement stirred a tumult on Capitol Hill. Members of both parties of Congress denounced the takeover, calling for the Treasury Department to investigate the proposed sale.
Yet the founder of the Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group (Casin Group), which is buying the Chicago Exchange, assured regulators that his intentions were purely financial in nature. He planned on keeping the United States management team in place and said he would use information learned from the Chicago Exchange “to help develop financial markets in China over the longer term and to bring exciting Chinese growth companies to U.S. investors.”
So what’s the problem?
Are We Now Buying the Rope On Which We Will Hang?
The idea was that America was so corrupted and so greedy that we would eventually disregard our own national security in pursuit of a short-term profit. Ironically, it turned out that the Soviet system died under the weight of its own corruption. Communists, at least in practice rather than theory, tend to be just as greedy (if not more so) than capitalists. The Soviet Union is gone and America remains.
What Lenin may have missed is that America’s sin of greed is perhaps overshadowed by our gluttony. Yes, greed was at work in the last downturn but so was overconsumption. As a nation, we are at least as guilty in our buying habits as we are in our selling. One example is that the nation has about $19 trillion in Federal government debt, not to mention unfunded liabilities valued in the $100s of trillions, or private debt which is much greater than GDP already. From one view, this enormous quantity of debt could be the rope with which we hang. We buy goods and services from China and they claim the debt we incur to them is a weapon they can use against us. But that is just one example. Continue reading
Clapper: US Must Prepare for ‘A Large, Armageddon-Scale’ Cyber Attack
Maybe one day after all these decades the government will stop saying “we must prepare” and start saying “we are preparing” or, better yet, “we are prepared.”
Every year it’s the same parroted line in a differing word order. Everyone wants to warn, and consequently tricking themselves into thinking they made an actual effort, but no one wants to take action. Action is key, not the lights and cameras.
But maybe one day, after all these decades, it’ll change — maybe.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the U.S. must be prepared for a “large, Armageddon-scale” cyber attack during remarks Thursday at an annual conference of U.S. intelligence community members, but he said that was not likely. Continue reading
America: In the Cybercrosshairs
There’s absolutely nothing more surreal than watching this live map of cyber attacks world wide, updated by the second in real-time.
It shows you who truly is the victim (United States) and who the aggressors are (Russia and China). You might even be surprised to see the amount of attacks originating in Germany.
You’re highly encouraged to click on the link and see for yourself how much of a barrage the United States is taking. As the article states, the only question remaining is how long America can hold on.
America’s utilities, refineries, military systems, water treatment plants and other facilities’ manual switches, gauges and knobs have been heavily replaced by digital switches, computer programs and monitors—all accessible via network. This makes it possible for foreign aggressors to enter U.S. infrastructure and wreak havoc. America’s great leap forward in innovation has also become one of its greatest weaknesses.The Trumpet and others have repeatedly warned of the danger of such dependence. But many people push the warnings aside due to the intangible nature of the threat. People normally can’t actually see enemies hacking into American facilities or business, so it remains out of mind.
Cyber war intensifies between China and US
An intensifying cyber security war between the United States and China highlights mutual strategic suspicion between the two countries, according to a research paper recently published the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank on China’s cyber security strategy.
The paper said that while the internet has caused an unprecedented impact on China’s traditional financial and media sectors, the biggest task for Beijing is taking innovation and cyber security into consideration while mapping out regulations for internet supervision and governance. Continue reading
Russia Infiltrates Vital U.S. Computer Networks
Hundreds of thousands of Americans may be at the mercy of Russia.
Hackers successfully breached the unclassified Executive Office of the President (eop) network in October.
“Any such activity is something we take very seriously. In this case, we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity,” a White House official said. “Our actions are ongoing, and some have resulted in some temporary outages and loss of connectivity for our users.” Continue reading
Report: 4 in 10 Government Security Breaches Go Undetected
DHS, DOJ, DOD, EPA, NASA, Energy, State routinely hacked
A new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) details widespread cybersecurity breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation’s most sensitive information.
The report, released on Tuesday, found that approximately 40 percent of breaches go undetected, and highlighted “serious vulnerabilities in the government’s efforts to protect its own civilian computers and networks.” Continue reading
DoD: U.S. War Machine Vulnerable to EMP Event
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Defense will be hard-pressed to respond in any meaningful way to a catastrophic failure of the civilian electric grid infrastructure due to an electromagnetic pulse event, whether natural or man-made, according to a little publicized study.
“Preparing for months without a commercial source of clean water (city water pressure is often dependent on electric pumping to storage towers) and stoppage of sewage treatment facilities will require net methods of survival particularly in populated areas,” according to the little known May 2011 military study put out by the U.S. Army War College. Continue reading
Securing Command — Strategic commander worried about cyber attacks on nuclear command and control
At times, news like this makes one wonder if it’s a strong case of déjà vu that was probably never fully admitted.
U.S. strategic nuclear weapons and the command systems that control them are vulnerable to cyber attacks although most are hardened against many types of electronic attacks, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said on Tuesday.
Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that nuclear weapons and the communications used to control them are older and thus less vulnerable to disruption by computer network attacks.
“However, we are very concerned with the potential of a cyber related attack on our nuclear command and control and on the weapons systems themselves,” Kehler said. “We do evaluate that.” Continue reading