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US Suspects Iran Was Behind a Wave of Cyberattacks 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
SternisheFan writes in with this Times article about more trouble brewing between the U.S. and Iran. "American intelligence officials are increasingly convinced that Iran was the origin of a serious wave of network attacks that crippled computers across the Saudi oil industry and breached financial institutions in the United States, episodes that contributed to a warning last week from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that the United States was at risk of a 'cyber-Pearl Harbor.' After Mr. Panetta's remarks on Thursday night, American officials described an emerging shadow war of attacks and counterattacks already under way between the United States and Iran in cyberspace. Among American officials, suspicion has focused on the 'cybercorps' that Iran's military created in 2011 — partly in response to American and Israeli cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz — though there is no hard evidence that the attacks were sanctioned by the Iranian government. The attacks emanating from Iran have inflicted only modest damage. Iran's cyberwarfare capabilities are considerably weaker than those in China and Russia, which intelligence officials believe are the sources of a significant number of probes, thefts of intellectual property and attacks on American companies and government agencies."
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US Suspects Iran Was Behind a Wave of Cyberattacks

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  • The Golden Rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:10PM (#41654099)

    The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

    • Then USA is Japan (Score:5, Informative)

      by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:36PM (#41654539)
      If there was ever a "cyber-Pearl Harbor", then Iran was Hawai, and USA were playing the role of Japan. Stuxnet was the first strike, you know...
      • by 1s44c (552956)

        If there was ever a "cyber-Pearl Harbor", then Iran was Hawai, and USA were playing the role of Japan. Stuxnet was the first strike, you know...

        The first widely reported strike. Stuxnet was only discovered by accident.

        The US has way more money to sink into researching and launching cyber attacks than Iran does, it's likely the US has been cyber-attacking everyone for some years now. Microsoft and the companies that hand over their SCADA information will have been their best friend.

      • Then USA is Japan . . . If there was ever a "cyber-Pearl Harbor", then Iran was Hawai, and USA were playing the role of Japan. Stuxnet was the first strike, you know...

        On the contrary, Stuxnet wasn't "Pearl Harbor", it was Kursk [wikipedia.org], where the US is the Russians and Iran is the Germans. Specifically Stuxnet is the counter-preparation fire to delay, disorganize, and confuse them, but it won't ultimately stop them. Stopping them would take wise leaders, and Iran has fanatics. Pearl Harbor was a strike on a nation at peace with the attacker, and the counter-preparation fire at Kursk was a strike against an adversary at war that is preparing a deadly move - in Iran's case, nuc

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

      The First Diamond Rule according to Uncle Sam: Always Blame Others.
      The Second Diamond Rule according to Uncle Sam: See Rule #1

  • Who started it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:11PM (#41654111)
    Stuxnet - It's called blow back. USA and Israel attack a country through software and then get pissed when that country retaliates.
    • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:22PM (#41654497) Journal

      Iran attacked Comodo before Stuxnet was even discovered

      Comodo DNS almost compromised [comodo.com]

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @12:13AM (#41654677)

        The US overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1954, and installed a bloody right wing dictator in an effort to control Iran's oil.

        We stole their freedom so members of our parasitic upper class could profit. Iranians have every reason to hate the US, and every justification for _any_ level of retaliation.

        • by donscarletti (569232) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:00AM (#41655787)

          We stole their freedom so members of our parasitic upper class could profit. Iranians have every reason to hate the US, and every justification for any level of retaliation.

          Given retaliation in the field of war has historically meant the killing of civilians and war-rape, you should be careful with your hyperbole.

          1954 was before the current leaders of the United States were born, I would say no retaliation is justifiable in any shape or form. I live in a country where it is fasionable to call for the death of all Japanese in retaliation for what happened Nanjing in the 1930s (truly a horrific event, even compared to what was happening in Europe at the time), but it's not healthy, it's not productive and it's not right. Byegones are bygones, if you're American, you may retaliate against yourself if you feel it is justified, but do not wish upon your largely innocent countrymen what the Revolutionary Guard would have done apon them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And Iraq had (ahem....) WMD. Until they didn't. After hundreds of thousands of lives lost, NADA. The US and Israel start this shit and then get upset when they get payback. The Iraq "adventure" turned out to be another Vietnam. To me it's even simpler - The US and Israel will blame Iran for anything and everything these days. I wouldn't believe the US or Israel if they said the sky is blue on a clear day. What I am happy to see is that the US is spending all it's money on wars and war equipment while other
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We act like typical bullies, we throw the first punch then when they fight back we burst into tears and claim to be the victim. If you can't take it don't dish it out.

    • by Xest (935314)

      I guess it depends on what arbitrary definition you use for "starting it".

      Iran has been funding, training, and arming groups like Hezbollah and Hamas to launch attacks in Israeli territory for a long time, and similar against US troops and interests in Iraq, and nowadays, Afghanistan.

      But of course, US conflict Iran goes back many decades, which is the reason they do this shit, so deciding "who started it" at this point is probably a largely meaningless metric of whether it's right.

      Despite this I agree, whet

  • Pearl Harbor???? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:12PM (#41654113)
    "Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that the United States was at risk of a "cyber-Pearl Harbor." "

    Durring Pearl Harbor, we were unprovakably attacked.

    It looks we already attacked Iran with cyber weapons and this is retaliation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We were already at war with the Japanese before they attacked Pearl Harbor via supporting China. It was a clandestine war, but as Shakespeare might say, a war by any other name would smell as rotten. As this article states, we were already moving chess pieces onto the Asian board before Pearl Harbor and who knows what really happened and the exact dates involved?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers

    • Re:Pearl Harbor???? (Score:5, Informative)

      by GPierce (123599) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:45PM (#41654323)

      Actually FDR provoked the Japanese into attacking. This does not mean that the Japanese were the good guys. There were a lot of reasons why FDR wanted a war - some of them valid, but as barbaric as the Rape of Nanking was, these were not things that directly affected the US. Most US citizens were strongly against any kind of war.

      Under Roosevelt, we seized Japanese bank accounts and placed a military blockade against oil shipments to Japan. We were shutting down their economy, and there is no way the Japanese were going to put up with this. There is no way that we were surprised - there had to be some kind of response.

      Once the Japanese attacked, in view of the damage at Pearl Harbor, there was no way the US was going to admit their responsibility for provoking the attack, so for seventy or so years it's been "Pearl Harbor" sneak attack..

      • by Mabhatter (126906)

        The Japanese also attacked our main base in the Philippines (taken from the Spanish-American war) at the same time hoping to knock us out of the game in the Pacific. They figured we'd take our ball home and go pick on Germany... One of the big Oops! Of the war. It was a calculated risk to "poke the bear" to keep our noses our of their business in the Pacific... It backfired.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        "Provoked" and "sneak attack" do not have to be mutually exclusive.

        But good luck trying to correct the historical record.
        Most Americans learn a very abbreviated version of history during their formative years.
        That version doesn't include 99% of the shitty things our country has done.

        • by mattr (78516)

          I learned this on a homestay program I was on when I was much younger, I went to a school called Haberdashers' Askes in Watford outside London for a month and lived with a kind family.
          One thing that remains engraved in my mind decades later, besides the epiphany of salt and vinegar crisps, was how history taught in England about what we call the Revolutionary War (which they call the American War of Independence) focused on their dashing generals, battles, etc. whereas U.S. education focused on ours. Sounds

      • Most US citizens were strongly against any kind of war.

        No they weren't, go read a history book sometime. You've been drinking the conspiracy coolaid.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:58PM (#41654377)

      Durring Pearl Harbor, we were unprovakably attacked.

      The Japanese would disagree. The United States and its allies at the time were shipping arms and providing war-time loans to China and other countries Japan was at war with. The situation was such a problem for the Japanese that they invaded French Indochina in 1940 in an attempt to cut off the supplies of airplanes, machine tools, etc. from the United States into the region. The United States was also staging troops and equipment in the Philippines ahead of Pearl Harbor. The final straw for them was when the entire fleet was moved from San Diego to Hawaii, which to the Japanese looked like a clear sign the United States was planning on moving into the area, and thus restoring the supply lines to China. Making matters worse, after France fell the United States restricted oil shipments to Japan (amongst other countries), forcing the Japanese to attack european-controlled southeast Asia to secure oil (amongst other things).

      Feeling backed into a corner, their military advisors decided that a pre-emptive strike on the fleet was the only way to prevent the United States from interfering with the war effort with its navy. So to say it was an unprovoked attack is stupid -- we'd recently cut off oil supplies, were supplying arms to their enemies, and had recently moved our entire navy to a staging area, with the clear aim of moving into the contested region. I hardly blame you though for believing it was unprovoked -- it's what all the (revised) history books tell us.

      Mr. Panetta is making the same mistake we made 80 years ago: Backing our enemies into a corner. Well, what happens when you back any animal (or person!) into a corner? They attack, of course. And the United States has a long tradition of setting traps just like this -- using economic manipulation and supplies to tip the balance of conflicts while claiming it's not involved... and then using the inevitable military response by its enemies as an excuse to enter said conflict.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by artor3 (1344997)

        Wait, so pre-emptive wars are okay, so long as it's not the US conducting them?

        • Re:Pearl Harbor???? (Score:5, Informative)

          by oji-sama (1151023) on Monday October 15, 2012 @01:13AM (#41654923)

          Wait, so pre-emptive wars are okay, so long as it's not the US conducting them?

          Hint: He did not say it was okay, he stated that it wasn't unprovoked.

          • by artor3 (1344997)

            Here is what he said, to refresh your memory:

            Mr. Panetta is making the same mistake we made 80 years ago: Backing our enemies into a corner. Well, what happens when you back any animal (or person!) into a corner? They attack, of course. And the United States has a long tradition of setting traps just like this -- using economic manipulation and supplies to tip the balance of conflicts while claiming it's not involved... and then using the inevitable military response by its enemies as an excuse to enter said conflict.

            He is claiming, in no uncertain terms, that the US is at fault for Pearl Harbor. That they created an "inevitable military response" so that they would have an "excuse" to go to war. So if the US declares war, we're evil. If we try to use non-violent methods, we're creating an "inevitable military response", and we're at fault there too. The only morally okay solution is, apparently, for the US to roll over and die whenever anyone asks nicely.

            I wonder if that

            • by oji-sama (1151023)

              While I do understand your point, and partially(!) agree with you, I was answering to

              "Wait, so pre-emptive wars are okay, so long as it's not the US conducting them?

              which seems to make two invalid assumptions.

              The only morally okay solution is, apparently, for the US to roll over and die whenever anyone asks nicely.

              Personally (and I hope relevantly), I wonder what kind of results we would have ended up with the whole Iraq thing if the UN WMD inspectors had been allowed to finish their job.

              I wonder if that works in the other direction? Let's say the US decides to invade Canada. The EU, shocked by this, stations fleets nearby, embargoes the US, and provides the Canadians with supplies. Would you guys claim that the US is backed into a corner and has no choice but to launch a pre-emptive war against the EU?

              No, but it wouldn't be a complete surprise. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that the "inevitable military response" was rather inevitable considering that the Japan seems to have been quite militarily

  • So? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:13PM (#41654123) Homepage

    This might be a problem if the US wasn't doing it in return.

    If you are actively trying to sabotage someone else's infrastructure, you have to expect them to do it back.
    I'd put money on who started it.

    I have no sympathy for the US in this regard..

    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:26PM (#41654219)

      You already fell for it.

      The US doesn't want sympathy, they want you to think Iran is actually a threat to anyone or anything. Expect lots of news about Iran did this bad thing and Iran is horrible in this way for quite some time. They want you to say 'So?' like it is common knowledge that Iran does all sorts of evils. They are setting it up to be 'Liberated'.

      • by Xest (935314)

        So are you saying Iran isn't a bad nation?

        Are you pretending that Neda Agha-Soltan, an innocent civilian wasn't shot dead by her own governments militia trying to put down protests?

        Are you pretending that Iranian revolutionary guards haven't actually been arrested in Kenya? Afghanistan?

        Are you pretending it didn't really detonate a bomb in Argentina?

        Are you pretending that just last week Hezbollah didn't really admit to launching and piloting an Iranian drone over Israel proper?

        Are you pretending that Iran

    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jamstar7 (694492) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:32PM (#41654263)

      This might be a problem if the US wasn't doing it in return.

      If you are actively trying to sabotage someone else's infrastructure, you have to expect them to do it back. I'd put money on who started it.

      I have no sympathy for the US in this regard..

      Thing is, this is getting reported like it was something Iran was doing out of the blue. Nobody's saying anything about the US's cyberattacks on Iran in an attempt to shut down their nuclear program, irregardless of whether it was a weapons development project like the US claims it is, or if it really was a peaceful power reactor program. It's looking to me like this is becoming a severe case of 'Look what you made me do NOW' just before the US sends in the drones, cruise missiles and tanks. I feel Yet Another Desert War coming on...

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I feel Yet Another Desert War coming on...

        Probably because you don't know anything about Iran except that they have a nuclear weapons program and have used aggressive language towards Israel.

        If you attack Iran, you will not just be fighting within the Iranian borders.
        Iranian funded groups will lash out, in all directions, at once. [wikimedia.org]
        People smarter than us know and understand this, which is why Iran has been managed with sanctions and computer viruses.

        You cannot plan to attack Iran without committing to a general war across the Middle East.
        The USA does

    • I suspect this isn't complaining about what happened, but rather part of a long process of turning public sentiment in the United States in favor of war with Iran. Not that war will certainly happen, but the political establishment has decided that if Iran doesn't capitulate on the nuclear issue soon (6 months to a year, from the sounds of it) a war is inevitable. In their minds, a war might as well happen before the bomb rather than after it, as Iran will almost certainly try its luck against Israel at s

  • ... There's no turning back now, this means war!

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:18PM (#41654167)

    Is this like how when they catch a guy breaking into someone's home, they charge him with breaking into every other home in the neighborhood too? Suspicion isn't evidence. It isn't proof. And guess what, there probably won't ever be any proof. Everything about "cyber" warfare (please, god, can we get a better name?) is centered around deception. But if we're going to play the "I have in my hands the names of members of congress known to be in the communist party" rhetoric game... Well, Stuxnet did recently come up from behind them and ruin a lot of very expensive equipment... which many people suspect Israel and the United States to have jointly produced. Are we going to sit here and cry about how two sovereign powers ganged up on a third and then (whine! boo hoo! oh noes!) the third decided to give the other two a bloody nose right back?

    Propaganda. That's all this is. Rumors, hints, allegations, and nothing of any substance. Whoopde-fuckin-do. Neither side can be believed -- all the players are lying, cheating bastards when it suits their own political purposes. Hell, everytime some terrorist blows himself up in a public square, dozens of groups come forward to claim responsibility... and governments are no different. Publicity whoring is nothing new...

  • Yeah right (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sean (422) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:28PM (#41654229)

    And they have weapons of mass destruction just like Iraq

    • Pretty much, yes. They have chemical weapons and missiles, and are trying for nuclear. They also threaten their neighbors, and Europe [israelnationalnews.com]. (Would have sent you to the old Copt news site that hosted that as well, but for some reason it seems to be off-line. Ideas [copts.co.uk]?)

      Iran’s Chemical Weapon Program [iranwatch.org]

      In April 1984, the Iranian delegate to the United Nations, Rajai Khorassani, admitted at a London news conference that Iran was “capable of manufacturing chemical weapons [and would] consider using them.” In 1987, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, Iran was able to deploy limited quantities of mustard gas and cyanide against Iraqi troops. The change in Iran’s policy with regard to chemical warfare was publicly announced in December 1987, when Iranian Prime Minister Hussein Musavi was reported to have told parliament that Iran was producing “sophisticated offensive chemical weapons.”

      As Iran’s chemical warfare capabilities grew, it became more difficult to determine which side was responsible for chemical attacks during the Iran-Iraq war. In March 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja in northern Iraq, sandwiched between Iranian and Iraqi forces, was caught in chemical weapon crossfire that left thousands of civilians dead. A 1990 U.S. Department of Defense reconstruction of the Halabja incident reportedly concluded that both Iran and Iraq used chemical weapons in Halabja. Iran allegedly attacked the town with cyanide gas bombs and artillery, and Iraqi forces allegedly used a mixture of mustard gas and nerve agents. In total, the Defense Department study estimated that Iranian forces used more than 50 chemical bombs and artillery shells during the offensive. The Pentagon analysis of the Halabja incident is corroborated by a 1990 report co-written by Stephen Pelletiere, the CIA’s senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. In his report, Pelletiere stated that there was “no evidence whatsoever that the Iraqis have ever employed blood gasses such as cyanogen chloride or hydrogen cyanide.” Because “blood agents were allegedly responsible forthe killing of Kurds at Halabjah,” Pelletiere concluded that “the Iranians perpetrated this attack.” . . .

      In an assessment of Iran’s chemical weapon development released in November 2004, the CIA concluded that Iran “may have already stockpiled blister, blood, choking, and possible nerve agents—and the bombs and artillery shells to deliver them.” Earlier assessments put Iran’s stockpile of chemical agents at anywhere from several hundred to several thousand metric tons. In March 2001, General Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central Command, testified before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that Iran was “the holder of the largest chemical weapons stockpile” in his area of responsibility.

      In September 2000, the CIA assessed that Iran’s chemical weapon program still relied upon external suppliers for technology, equipment and precursor chemicals, but that Tehran was “rapidly approaching self-sufficiency and could become a supplier of CW-related materials to other nations.” Since then, the CIA has reported that Iran was seeking “production technology, training and expertise” that could help it “achieve an indigenous capability to produce nerve agents.”

      One of the most recent assessments of Iran’s chemical weapon capabilities was revealed in a February 2005 report by the German news agency ddp, citing findings by Germany’s Customs Office of Criminal Investigations (ZKA). The ZKA reportedly believes that Iran has secretly carried out chemical weapon research and development in small, well-guarded university laboratories. The ZKA further alleges that Iran probably possesses sulfur mustard, tabun, and prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide), and may possess sarin and VX.

      More info: WMD Programs [iranwatch.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So let me get this straight...it's impossible to say with certainty who's behind the attacks...but it is possible to say with certainty who downloaded a song or movie?...seems like the government is acknowledging that an IP address doesn't equal a person (or even nation for that matter).

    I know it's an over simplification...call it hyperbole to make a point.

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      So let me get this straight...it's impossible to say with certainty who's behind the attacks...but it is possible to say with certainty who downloaded a song or movie?.

      Of course it's impossible to say who's behind the attacks. Even if you could pinpoint the source with absolute certaintly, there is no way to tell that a country had sanctioned it. That's the best kind of attacks - you can blame a cyber-attack on anyone you want!

      And, unlike with "weapons of mass destruction", you can't ever disprove it, no matter what you do.

  • Because "American Intelligence Officials" are always reliable. They've never lied about anything ever before.
  • The source is an "unnamed official." The evidence presented is this:

    The virus that hit Aramco is called Shamoon and spread through computers linked over a network to erase files on about 30,000 computers by overwriting them. Mr. Panetta, while not directly attributing the strike to Iran in his speech, called it "probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date."

    Until the attack on Aramco, most of the cybersabotage coming out of Iran appeared to be what the industry calls "denial of service" attacks

    This is hyperbole. Assuming the company had backups, it was definitely not the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen. It hasn't impacted their operations (oil deliveries are still being made on time). Pretty sure this one was worse [slashdot.org], and that there were even worse ones.

    I don't doubt that Iranians have the computer skills to hack into computers, but Leon Panetta is trying to play the fear card during an election to try to

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @10:34PM (#41654271)
    In a related Slashdot story yesterday we have this quote:

    'We would be much better served if we accepted that prevention eventually fails, so we need detection, response, and containment for the incidents that will occur.

    Really? Isn't that why DARPA created the internet in the first place, so our communication and command and control systems could survive a nuclear attack that we failed to prevent?

    So I guess we already DO accept the notion that prevention is going to fail and the worst possible thing may happen sooner or later.

    So what they're saying is we need to re-internetize the internet. In this I think they're probably right. To a degree we've de-interneted the internet by building inter-dependent applications which focused a lot on their utility to civil society and not what assholes could do with them.

    How hard can it be to integrate this into the smart grid? We have the a large part of the infrastructure. We have robust packet switched networks. This is doable and should be done.

    This is fundamentally the problem of modern society; it's what brought down the Twin Towers . We make something like a plane and never see it as a guided missile filled with explosive jet fuel. We build huge skyscrapers piling people on top of people and don't permit ourselves to think too much that this same arrangement of people represents a force multiplier to a determined enemy. Just an easy example from recent history; other possibilities abound.The more technologically advanced we become the more highly leveraged weapons we accidentally deliver into the hands of religionists and other madmen.

    There has to be a paradigm shift in ALL our thinking about the things, the structures of civil society upon which we depend, and not just in the thinking in intelligence circles because we need to vote "yes", even "hell yes" for the taxes which pay to make these things not just work, but secure.

    We are less secure today not because anyone is asleep at the switch or less concerned with security, but because we are not keeping up with ourselves technologically, in a certain sense.

    • by guisar (69737)

      Do you REALLY believe the modern, current government of the us or any country is the right, proper, and most capable place for "securing" anything? Do you believe a centralized, procedurized and standardized approach to security is the most effective one?

      I would argue the breaches, not the protections are mainly due to government action and inaction. The government should protect public sytems- eg those owned by the federal and state governments and critical to its operation. The private concerns should

      • I disagree.

        Proceduralization is very effective method of getting things done. There are many IT people who mistakenly believe that security is a sort of voodoo. It's not. It is strictly science.

        There is no push to make government the decider of what is secure, and what specific policies to implement. There is a big push to get government to require certain important private entities to have security policies, to enforce them, to submit the standards to standards bodies for review and comments, and to be

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      To be fair, we DID consider public safety in building the towers... Of 50k people in those buildings, the VAST majority were able to evacuate because we had proper building codes and evacuation plans in place.

      As far as Internet security, SOX has forced companies to separate financial data from manufacturing data... Meaning the vast majority of susceptible systems are off the Internet, or behind firewalls...

      In both cases, yes, damage can still be done... With the towers it was an act of war. With the Intern

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      So what they're saying is we need to re-internetize the internet. In this I think they're probably right. To a degree we've de-interneted the internet by building inter-dependent applications which focused a lot on their utility to civil society and not what assholes could do with them.

      How hard can it be to integrate this into the smart grid? We have the a large part of the infrastructure. We have robust packet switched networks.

      Oh fuck. The smart grid.
      The smart grid was designed by individuals who either "focused a lot on their utility to civil society and not what assholes could do with them"
      OR bootstrapped their "smart" on top of stupid old systems that no one ever imagined would require security,
      OR they were just to fucking cheap to bake security into their plans from day 0.

      This is doable and should be done.

      It's doable if the government is willing to pay private companies to rip out their old infrastructure and put in some brand new Made-In-China technology.
      It

    • We are less secure today not because anyone is asleep at the switch...

      With all the shenanigans that politicians get up to yet you can still say that with a straight face?

      Some days I think a retarded and crippled monkey would do better (and no that's not an obscure reference to GWB).

  • Now Osama Bin Laden is Dead and the cold war with Russia is over, they need a new enemy. Without an enemy, people might actually look at the state of the economy, freedom and other inconvenient things. So what if the Iranians have spawned a bunch of script kiddies? Pearl Harbor was an unprovoked massive attack at the whole of the only part of the USA's army that could threaten a country at once. These are pin pricks compared to that. I call cry wolf for the sake of distraction and black ops budget justifica
    • Pearl Harbor was totally provoked. Learn your history. Amazing how the old propaganda still lingers. FDR was provoking as much as he could because we NEEDED to get into WW2. When you mess with a nation's oil supply that is an actionable provocation Americans today should understand...

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      Now Osama Bin Laden is Dead and the cold war with Russia is over, they need a new enemy. Without an enemy, people might actually look at the state of the economy, freedom and other inconvenient things.

      I don't know what you mean
      It's hard to even count in how many places US is waging a war now. So these are not even our enemies?

      Afganistan, Pakisant, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, ...

    • Now Osama Bin Laden is Dead and the cold war with Russia is over, they need a new enemy.

      With all the savaging privacy and public rights have taken (in the US as much as elsewhere) I'd be inclined to say that The People have become the true Enemy Of The State.

  • by lightknight (213164) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:44PM (#41654563) Homepage

    I want off this planet, immediately. I can't...I can't facepalm hard enough when I hear shit like this.

    Morons weaponizing the internet. It's the idiot kid who needs to prove he's a hard ass to everyone else in the sandbox.

    • but this has been the human condition since day one, and will be the human condition long after you are gone, with any conceivable permutation on technology you can think of

      and yet we were still able to create civilization and all the benefits of that and we still possess all the good qualities you hold dear

    • by Aryden (1872756)
      The thing I worry about the most is not the U.S. govt using things like this to provoke us into war, it's what they try to do with our freedoms and the internet to "keep us safe" from everyone else. They'd turn "Think of the children" into "Think of our national security" and we'd be right fucked.
    • The 'internet' has been weaponized since people were using dialup....
  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @11:47PM (#41654571)

    Cyber war is like the war on drugs. Like the war on terror. Like all of the other 'wars' that are not wars at all. If this is Iran's idea of war then I say bring it on. It was idiotic of us to start this shit in the first place. When someone in Iran wants to buy something they go to a store. Disabling their internets would just slightly invonvenience them. For us it would be more than just a slight inconvenience. It would be a serious inconvenience.

    If the new idea of "war" is not to kill anyone, but instead to just disable some web sites well that's a new world order that I can back enthusiastically. Maybe the world will be civilized enough some day to fight wars completely in cyber-space through special video games approved by both sides.

    The idea of a cyber Pearl Harbor is one of the most idiotic things I've heard in a while. What these idiots don't seem to understand is that 'information super highway' is just a figure of speech. There is no actual highway or anything.

    "We won't succeed in preventing a cyber attack through improved defenses alone," Mr. Panetta said. "If we detect an imminent threat of attack that will cause significant, physical destruction in the United States or kill American citizens, we need to have the option to take action against those who would attack us to defend this nation when directed by the president. For these kinds of scenarios, the department has developed that capability to conduct effective operations to counter threats to our national interests in cyberspace."

    This statement is so clearly insane that I don't even know what to say in response except it's not the Iranians that scare me. It's my own fucking idiotic shit-for-brains government. I can just imagine these violent idiots starting a war based on some random Iranian dude taking down some e-commerce sites. Ooh, Americans are not able to complete their Amazon orders for a few hours. Boohoo. Let's go to war.

  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Monday October 15, 2012 @05:24AM (#41655867) Homepage
    "American intelligence officials are increasingly convinced that Iran was the origin of a serious wave of network attacks that crippled computers across the Saudi oil industry and breached financial institutions in the United States"

    Assuming such attacks took place then it would have consisted of phishing attacks against unsecured Windows desktops and there's no evidence it came from Iran. It isn't beyond the bounds of probability that US intelligence fakes cyber-attacks and then blamed Iran.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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