Archive for Cyber Security

Big Brother plan calls for more scanning of private Web traffic, email

Posted in Big Brother, cyber security with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2013 by saynsumthn

The U.S. government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.

As a result, more private sector employees than ever before, including those at big banks, utilities and key transportation companies, will have their emails and Web surfing scanned as a precaution against cyber attacks.

Under last month’s White House executive order on cybersecurity, the scans will be driven by classified information provided by U.S. intelligence agencies — including data from the National Security Agency (NSA) — on new or especially serious espionage threats and other hacking attempts. U.S. spy chiefs said on March 12 that cyber attacks have supplanted terrorism as the top threat to the country.

The Department of Homeland Security will gather the secret data and pass it to a small group of telecommunication companies and cyber security providers that have employees holding security clearances, government and industry officials said. Those companies will then offer to process email and other Internet transmissions for critical infrastructure customers that choose to participate in the program.

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Cyber attacks on the rise from rogue nations could have devastating effects on US

Posted in cyber security, terrorism with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by saynsumthn

From the Washington Guardian:

In a blunt admission designed to prod action, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Thursday night told business executives there has been a sudden escalation of cyber terrorism and that attackers have managed to gain access to control systems for critical infrastructure.

In a speech in New York City, Panetta said the recent activities have raised concerns inside the U.S. intelligence community that cyber terrorism might be combined with other attacks to create massive panic and destruction on par with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“These attacks mark a significant escalation of the cyber threat. And they have renewed concerns about still more destructive scenarios that could unfold,” he said. “For example, we know that foreign cyber actors are probing America’s critical infrastructure networks.

“They are targeting the computer control systems that operate chemical, electricity and water plants, and those that guide transportation throughout the country,” he added. “We know of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to these control systems. We also know they are seeking to create advanced tools to attack these systems and cause panic, destruction, and even the loss of life.”

Current and former U.S. officials tell the Washington Guardian that U.S. investigators have growing evidence that Iran was behind a recent wave of cyber attacks, particularly those that temporarily paralyzed energy interests in two Middle East countries that are key U.S. allies.

Panetta stopped short in his speech of formally accusing Iran but left no doubt America has strong suspicions about Tehran. “Iran has also undertaken a concerted effort to use cyberspace to its advantage,” he declared.

Panetta’s speech came as the Obama administration is pressing ahead with its own cyber security measures using executive powers after reaching a stalemate with congressional Republicans and their business allies over sweeping legislation to change the nation’s cybersecurity posture.

“This is a pre-9/11 moment,” Panetta told the business executives, referring to the period before the terror attacks 11 years ago when signs of a mounting threat were overlooked. “The attackers are plotting. Our systems will never be impenetrable, just like our physical defenses are not perfect. But more can be done to improve them. We need Congress, and we need all of you, to help in that effort.”

Panetta, who has been sounding alarm for month about the potential for a “Cyber Pearl Habor”, gave unusually blunt description of three recent attacks — one against U.S. financial interests and two against Middle East energy interests – that have raised the alarm. Defense officials said classified information was declassified so Panetta could give specific details about the nature of the attacks.

The defense secretary, who previously served as President Obama’s CIA director, said consecutive attacks on Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO oil company and Qatar’s Ras Gas known launched by a virus known as Shamoon were “probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date. “

“Shamoon included a routine called a ‘wiper,’ coded to self-execute. This routine replaced crucial system files with an image of a burning U.S. flag. It also put additional “garbage” data that overwrote all the real data on the machine. The more than 30,000 computers it infected were rendered useless, and had to be replaced,” Panetta explained.

The defense secretary offered an assessment of possible future doomsday scenarios feared by U.S. intelligence in which cyber terrorism could be combined with waves of attacks.

“An aggressor nation or extremist group could gain control of critical switches and derail passenger trains, or trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.,” he said.

“The most destructive scenarios involve cyber actors launching several attacks on our critical infrastructure at once, in combination with a physical attack on our country,” he added. “Attackers could also seek to disable or degrade critical military systems and communications networks.”

CISPA: (Cyber Security Snoops) Say Hello To Big Brother

Posted in Alex Jones, Constitution, cyber security, free speech, Internet with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by saynsumthn

According to Techland Time: CISPA, a bill that would essentially nullify current privacy laws and set companies up to share data about users with the government without the need for court orders. CISPA would amend the National Security Act of 1947 — responsible for merging the Department of Navy and War, splitting the Air Force from the Army and creating both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Council (NSC) — by adding provisions that would apply to cybercrime. It aims “[to] provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities,” as well as “other purposes.”

What qualifies as a “cyber threat” according to the latest draft of the bill?

…information in the possession of an element of the intelligence community directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from (A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or (B) efforts to gain unauthorized access to a system or network, including efforts to gain such unauthorized access to steal or misappropriate private or government information.

Congress has attempted to sneak legislation that could change the face of the Internet as we know it, and all in the name of national security. First there was SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, but now CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act) is threatening the privacy and freedom of US citizens. No online activity will be safe when it comes to these bills because as of now what’s considered a cyber security threat is a large grey area, but David Seaman, journalist and host of The DL Show, joins us to take a closer look at CISPA.

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CISPA: (Cyber Security Snoops) Say Hello To Big…, posted with vodpod

TEXT OF BILL: HR3523

Official Summary
11/30/2011–Introduced.Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 – Amends the National Security Act of 1947 to add provisions concerning cyber threat intelligence and information sharing. Defines “cyber threat intelligence” as information in the possession of an element of the intelligence community directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from:
(1) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or
(2) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information. Requires the Director of National Intelligence to:
(1) establish procedures to allow intelligence community elements to share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities, and
(2) encourage the sharing of such intelligence. Requires the procedures established to ensure that such intelligence is only:
(1) shared with certified entities or a person with an appropriate security clearance,
(2) shared consistent with the need to protect U.S. national security, and
(3) used in a manner that protects such intelligence from unauthorized disclosure. Provides for guidelines for the granting of security clearance approvals to certified entities or officers or employees of such entities. Authorizes a cybersecurity provider (a non-governmental entity that provides goods or services intended to be used for cybersecurity purposes), with the express consent of a protected entity (an entity that contracts with a cybersecurity provider) to:
(1) use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information in order to protect the rights and property of the protected entity; and
(2) share cyber threat information with any other entity designated by the protected entity, including the federal government. Regulates the use and protection of shared information, including prohibiting the use of such information to gain a competitive advantage and, if shared with the federal government, exempts such information from public disclosure. Prohibits a civil or criminal cause of action against a protected entity, a self-protected entity (an entity that provides goods or services for cybersecurity purposes to itself), or a cybersecurity provider acting in good faith under the above circumstances. Directs the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to submit annually to Congress a review of the sharing and use of such information by the federal government, as well as recommendations for improvements and modifications to address privacy and civil liberties concerns. Preempts any state statute that restricts or otherwise regulates an activity authorized by the Act.

Google censors “Alex Jones” for speaking against President Obama

Posted in Alex Jones, Censorship, Internet, Media Bias, Net Neutrality, New World Order with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by saynsumthn

Alex Jones exposes Google ban on ‘hate’ merchants
Aaron Dykes & Alex Jones
Infowars.com
February 18, 2010

Google and other powerful forces are testing the limits of Internet censorship on all conceivable fronts. Not only is content filtering taking place at a national and regional level, first in places like China, and now Australia, but policies limiting individual speech agreed upon at the corporate level and above are placed upon individuals, who have no say in the matter.
Thus web participation is subject to a set of criteria. Google’s merchant policies have blacklisted Alex Jones and other outlets like him for unjustified reasons and selectively blocked his DVDs from being sold through their venue.

Vague terms like “anti” and “violence” have been used to block Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com, The Obama Deception, the Fall of the Republic, and other entities critical of policies on the part of governments, NGOs, world institutions, etc. Yet no specific complaint or ‘charge’ has been declared.

Its abuses may be partially cloaked behind its distinctions as a private business, but Google, expanding its domination of the web every day, has spread out and now controls many actions of individuals. Watch the video, and join Alex in fighting back against the incremental approach to control and censor the Internet. Keep the Internet free, and support the websites dedicated to exposing abuses and working towards free access, privacy and the uncontrolled flow of information, alternative news and communication.

Control freaks want web licences to end bloggers’ anonymity – be very afraid

Posted in Alex Jones, Censorship, Internet, Obama with tags , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by saynsumthn

Posted in the UK Telegraph

By Gerald Warner February 12th, 2010

The American blogosphere is going increasingly “viral” about a proposal advanced at the recent meeting of the Davos Economic Forum by Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, that an equivalent of a “driver’s licence” should be introduced for access to the web. This totalitarian call has been backed by articles and blogs in Time magazine and the New York Times.

As bloggers have not been slow to point out, the system being proposed is very similar to one that the government of Red China reluctantly abandoned as too repressive. It was inevitable that, sooner or later, the usual unholy alliance of government totalitarians and big business would attempt to end the democratic free-for-all that is the blogosphere. The United Nations is showing similar interest in moving to eliminate free speech.

The recent uprising in the blogosphere that resulted in the overturning of the Global Warming consensus can only have focused our rulers’ attention more acutely on this infuriating challenge to their totalitarian control. “What will go next?” they must be asking themselves. Unrestricted immigration? Punitive taxation? Even the European Union? With the helots exploiting a loophole in the PC Curtain that has otherwise been so remorselessly drawn down over freedom of expression, the internet represents a dangerously subversive force, fulfilling the role in the West that was formerly performed by samizdat publications inside the Soviet Union.

American protesters are most vociferous in defence of their rights because that is their culture. Some of them claim that British people are being dangerously indifferent to the long-term potential for censorship of the so-called Digital Economy Bill being slithered through Parliament by Lord Mandelson. The inference they draw is that, just as Britons supinely submitted to firearms legislation that has led to a situation where “only the bad guys have guns”, we may be sleepwalking into internet slavery.

The technique is familiar. The powers-that-be allow a scandalous situation to develop whereby no serious attempt is made to police paedophile, pornographic and criminal activity on the web. Then the authorities use the excuse of public concern to overreact and impose Draconian controls that police ordinary citizens but are usually circumvented by criminals. It is a familiar scenario, offline as well as in cyberspace.

A “driver’s license” for the web would be Christmas every day of the year for the control freaks. One can all too easily imagine the criteria applied to license applications. (“Name? Delingpole…? You wot! ’Ere, I’ve got your number, mate – you’re that bloke wot feeds polar-bear steaks to kids innit. Internet license? I should coco! On yer bike, mate, it’s more than my job’s worth to be seen talking to you…”)

Without the internet, the completely fictitious global warming “consensus” would still be unchallenged, state power massively enlarged, $54 trillion of Western taxpayers’ money flooding into the coffers of carbon companies and people’s lives made miserable by totalitarian restrictions imposed to counter a non-existent threat. I forecast that the right to anonymity on the internet will become one of the most fiercely contested issues over the coming decade. Be very afraid…

Gerald Warner is an author, broadcaster, columnist and polemical commentator who writes about politics, religion, history, culture and society in general.

More on this topic here: Time Magazine Pushes Draconian Internet Licensing Plan