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U.S. cybersecurity experts scrambling to thwart major attacks on power, water, gas infrastructure by “bolting on” fixes to old vulnerable systems

Image: U.S. cybersecurity experts scrambling to thwart major attacks on power, water, gas infrastructure by “bolting on” fixes to old vulnerable systems
(Natural News) Crammed into a small building in Idaho Falls, Idaho, a group of about 50 cyber security experts and researchers are working around the clock to protect American infrastructure from debilitating attacks.

As The Associated Press reports, much of what goes on at the Idaho National Laboratory, once known as the country’s primary nuclear research facility, isn’t discussed. But what is known is that those who fill the dimmed rooms full of wires, cables, computers, and detection gear are diligently trying to guard against the unthinkable: Attacks on power grids, water treatment facilities, financial institutions, and even traffic lights that could bring large sections of the country to a standstill.

Followed by chaos.

The lab’s director of cybersecurity, Scott Cramer, admits that the task at hand is a difficult one and that the United States is playing catch-up, of sorts. He describes the cybersecurity work as “bolting on” protections for infrastructure control systems that are decades old with the belief that many of them have already been infiltrated by malicious actors — nation-states and non-state actors alike — who are waiting for the time to launch attacks.

“This is no joke — there are vulnerabilities out there,” Cramer told the AP. “We’re pretty much in reaction mode right now.”

That’s not hyperbole. A recently released report from the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council lays out a similarly dire warning. After interviewing “dozens of senior leaders and experts” as well as conducting an in-depth review of existing studies and statues, the NIAC “found that existing national plans, response resources, and coordination strategies would be outmatched by a catastrophic power outage,” the report noted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How UK Spies Hacked a European Ally and Got Away With It

The Belgacom Group is the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, headquartered in Brussels.Belgacom flag, Belgian national flag hang together at the entrance mirrored in the windows. (Photo by Sander de Wilde/Corbis via Getty Images)
Photo: Sander de Wilde/Corbis/Getty Images

HOW UK SPIES HACKED A EUROPEAN ALLY AND GOT AWAY WITH IT

FOR A MOMENT, it seemed the hackers had slipped up and exposed their identities. It was the summer of 2013, and European investigators were looking into an unprecedented breach of Belgium’s telecommunications infrastructure. They believed they were on the trail of the people responsible. But it would soon become clear that they were chasing ghosts – fake names that had been invented by British spies.

The hack had targeted Belgacom, Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider, which serves millions of people across Europe. The company’s employees had noticed their email accounts were not receiving messages. On closer inspection, they made a startling discovery: Belgacom’s internal computer systems had been infected with one of the most advanced pieces of malware security experts had ever seen.

As The Intercept reported in 2014, the hack turned out to have been perpetrated by U.K. surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters, better known as GCHQ. The British spies hacked into Belgacom employees’ computers and then penetrated the company’s internal systems. In an eavesdropping mission called “Operation Socialist,” GCHQ planted bugs inside the most sensitive parts of Belgacom’s networks and tapped into communications processed by the company.

GCHQ Computer Network Exploitation presentation22 pages

The covert operation was the first known example of a European Union member state hacking the critical infrastructure of another. The malware infection triggered a massive cleanup operation within Belgacom, which has since renamed itself Proximus. The company – of which the Belgian government is the majority owner – was forced to replace thousands of its computers at a cost of several million Euros. Elio di Rupo, Belgium’s then-prime minister, was furious, calling the hack a “violation.” Meanwhile, one of the country’s top federal prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into the intrusion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Clinton Emails Reveal Google’s Role in Attempting to Oust Syria’s Assad

Clinton Emails Reveal Google’s Role in Attempting to Oust Syria’s Assad

Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, will head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Carter unveiled the new Defense Innovation Advisory Board with Schmidt during the annual RSA cyber security conference in San Francisco, saying it would give the Pentagon access to “the brightest technical minds focused on innovation.”

– From the Reuters article: Former Google CEO Schmidt to Head New Pentagon Innovation Board

It’s been observed for quite some time that Google isn’t just a private corporate behemoth, but that its executives are often times more intricately involved in U.S. foreign policy than most people would find appropriate.

It’d be one thing if this support was for a sane and humanitarian foreign policy, but we all know it’s precisely the opposite. In fact, certain Google executives have demonstrated a particular interest in overthrowing governments throughout the Middle East, which has achieved nothing but sow chaos and result in the creation of powerful new terrorists groups such as ISIS.

Two days ago, Wikileaks announced the following to the world via Twitter:


Hillary Emails: Google tried to boost Assad defections https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12166#efmAMoAbj More: https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/ 

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