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CYBER WARFARE


IN DIGITAL COMBAT, U.S. FINDS NO EASY DETERRENT


The New York Times reports: “On a Monday morning in early January, top Pentagon leaders gathered to simulate how they would respond to a sophisticated cyberattack aimed at paralyzing the nation’s power grids, its communications systems or its financial networks.

The results were dispiriting. The enemy had all the advantages: stealth, anonymity and unpredictability. No one could pinpoint the country from which the attack came, so there was no effective way to deter further damage by threatening retaliation. What’s more, the military commanders noted that they even lacked the legal authority to respond – especially because it was never clear if the attack was an act of vandalism, an attempt at commercial theft or a state-sponsored effort to cripple the United States, perhaps as a prelude to a conventional war.

What some participants in the simulation knew – and others did not – was that a version of their nightmare had just played out in real life, not at the Pentagon where they were meeting, but in the far less formal war rooms at Google Inc. Computers at Google and more than 30 other companies had been penetrated, and Google’s software engineers quickly tracked the source of the attack to seven servers in Taiwan, with footprints back to the Chinese mainland…” (“This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come” because “on the earth distress of nations” will be the rage of the age coming “from the kings of the East’” China and other nations united with additional nations in the East – II Timothy 3:1; Luke 21:25; Revelation 16:12; and Revelation 9:14 – 18. See also the next four articles.)


SENIOR GENERAL SAYS US NEEDS TO MOVE FASTER ON CYBER DEFENSE


Voice of America News reports: “In the wake of the cyber attack on the Internet company Google and more than a dozen other firms in December, the top officer responsible for the security of U.S. military computer systems says the United States needs to do more to stay ahead of those who could use malicious software to disable key American military and civilian capabilities.

The commander of U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force General Kevin Chilton says the United States should expect an attack on what he calls ‘critical infrastructure,’ such as the computer systems that are central to the U.S. financial industry and electric power grid. ‘I think we need to move faster, frankly, as a nation. And I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. I’m just saying I think as a nation we need to move faster. It’s a risk that we want to stay ahead of and not play catch-up on,’ he said.

Google says the attack on its network in December originated in China, and focused on Chinese email accounts on its servers, particularly those owned by political dissidents. General Chilton’s Strategic Command is not responsible for defending American networks in the dot-com domain, like Google, but he says when there are such attacks he asks his staff to ensure military networks do not have the same vulnerabilities.

‘I’m asking the same questions. So, what happened? How did they get in? What was the virus? What was the attack vector? How can we make sure we are not susceptible to that same sort of attack?,’ he said.

In addition to defensive measures, General Chilton says U.S. officials need to think a lot more about how to deter cyber attacks. Deterrence involves making it clear to an adversary that the consequences of an attack would out-weigh its advantages. The general says the deterrent will differ for different potential attackers.

‘You worry about North Korea doing bad things in the cyber domain, as well as you might worry about China potentially doing it, or some other country. So, you have to consider who it is you’re trying to deter, and what it is they fear and value,’ he said…” (“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” – Joel 3:9, 10.)


US ‘TROUBLED’ BY CHINA CYBERATTACKS


BBC News reports: “A senior US official has said the country is ‘troubled’ by recent cyberattacks, originating from China, that targeted human rights activists.

Internet giant Google has said it may end its operations in China following a spate of attacks on e-mail accounts.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said China must ensure a ‘secure’ commercial environment for Google and other firms.

However, a Google spokesman said that it was still filtering its search results for China.

Nonetheless, the widely-known photograph of a man standing in front of a line of tanks during the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown – a highly sensitive subject in China – was available via google.cn.

‘The recent cyber intrusion that Google attributes to China is troubling to the US government and American companies doing business in China,’ Mr. Locke said in a statement.

The commerce secretary said the incident should be just as troubling to the Chinese government and added that he had personally raised the issue with Chinese officials.

He said during these discussions he had emphasized the importance that US President Barack Obama placed on ‘the full and free flow of information on the internet’.

Google has said that closing its google.cn site could mean it would shut its Chinese offices.

Google said the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists were the primary target of the attack, which occurred in December…”


CHINA ACCUSES U.S. OF USING CYBERWARFARE


The Financial Times reports: “China raised the ante in an escalating war of words with the U.S. as the ruling Communist party’s mouthpiece accused Washington of employing cyberwarfare.

‘The U.S. was the first country in the world to introduce the concept of cyberwar; it has introduced and developed a new kind of army, a cyberarmy, and even set up a hacker brigade,’ People’s Daily said in a vitriolic editorial. ‘US intelligence agencies can, through technical means, fully monitor, follow and erase online information harmful to the US’ national interest. It is really ridiculous that under such circumstances, it demands other countries to allow the free flow of information on the net.’

The editorial, published on People’s Daily’s website under the name Wang Xiaoyang, is the latest shot in an exchange of remarks that were triggered by Google’s threat to pull out of China but are escalating into a full-scale dispute over the diverging values of China and the west.

It is also a rare example of Beijing handing back the accusation of cyberwarfare to Washington, which regularly lists cyberwarfare from China as one of the main security risks on the rise.

People’s Daily also accused Washington of stoking unrest in Iran. ‘Behind America’s so-called internet freedom is naked political scheming,’ it said. ‘How did the constant chaos after the election in Iran come about? That was a cyberwar initiated by the US, where on YouTube and Twitter, it spread rumors, created splits, provoked and sowed discord between the supporters of the conservative and the reformist factions, engaged in veiled infiltration and instigation which led to large-scale bloody conflict in Iran.’

The party newspaper’s more aggressive stance came as the White House weighed into the issue on Friday with a spokesman’s comment that Barack Obama, US president, was ‘troubled’ about cyberattacks on Google which the company alleged had come out of China…”


BAIDU HACKED BY ‘IRANIAN CYBER ARMY’


BBC News reports: “China’s most popular search engine, Baidu, has been targeted by the same hackers that took Twitter offline in December, according to reports.

A group claiming to be the Iranian Cyber Army redirected Baidu users to a site displaying a political message.

The site was down for at least four hours Chinese media said.

Last year’s attack on micro-blogging service Twitter had the same hallmarks, sending users to a page with an Iranian flag and message in Farsi.

‘This morning, Baidu’s domain name registration in the United States was tampered with, leading to inaccessibility,’ Baidu said in a statement.

Visitors to the site were greeted with the message: ‘This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army’.

The message was accompanied by a picture of the national flag of Iran.

‘In China, Baidu outranks Google as the search engine of choice, receiving millions of visits every day. That makes it an extremely attractive target for cybercriminals,’ said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos…” (Iran is one of the final warriors in upcoming battles – Ezekiel 38:5. In this text, Persia is Iran having changed its name in 1935 – – – to Iran.)



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