Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FLOGGING CYBERATTACK HITS HIGH GEAR


Unintentionally humorous truth-in-datamining.

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking at people with suspected links to al Qaeda who have shown an interest in mounting an attack on computer systems that control critical U.S. infrastructure, a senior official told Congress Tuesday," reported the Wall Street Journal on-line.

"While there is no evidence that terrorist groups have developed sophisticated cyber-attack capabilities, a lack of security protections in U.S. computer software increases the likelihood that terrorists could execute attacks in the future, the official warned."

DD calls this deployment of the threadbare 'Absence of proof is not proof of absence' aphorism beloved by those wishing to justify a war and/or a spending spree.

From a December 7, 1999 piece in a San Francisco newspaper, courtesy of the official DD 'electronic Pearl Harbor' archive:

"Alan B. Carroll, an FBI agent . . . urged those at the conference to imagine a computer or communications version of the World Trade Center bombing - a disaster that brings down, say, computer or telephone networks on which society depends . . . 'Referring to the alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden . . . Carroll said that 'given the resources of this man, you can imagine the kind of damage he could do.'"

Note: This was prior to 9/11.

"Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, shown here in Washington in September, says al Qaeda has some cyber-attack capability ... If terrorists were to amass such capabilities, they would be wielded with 'destructive and deadly intent,' Steven Chabinsky, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday," added the WSJ.

"It's only a matter of time," former HomeSec director Chertoff, is said to have said of al Qaeda's cyber-attack plans. "They're getting the capability to do some damage."

"These descriptions reinforced concerns that former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell raised publicly last month about the potential for a terrorist attack on the computer systems and data underpinning the U.S. financial sector.

"I am worried about some terrorist group [with] the capability to destroy the U.S. money supply," Mr. McConnell said. " 'The impact of such an attack would be "an order of magnitude greater" than the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."


The most useful cyberattack flogger in screenshot today, the perfect businessman. The impact of the coming cyberattack will be an order of magnitude greater than 9/11. Buy and lease our staffers, services, tactical and strategic advice. So the money supply isn't stolen and you're made poor and jobless, the economy destroyed.

In the past few days, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin have issued press releases related to the excellence of their cybersecurity business arms. And the need for employing them to protect the nation's infrastructure.

So far, the national discussion -- as it has unfolded in the mainstream news -- departs not one iota from the really old electronic Pearl Harbor script, minted over a decade ago. It is a script cyclically rolled out when a need is felt, or an opening perceived, to expand business through the efficient transfer of taxpayer money to the private sector.

Extraordinary claims are made. No commensurately extraordinary proof is offered in support. One famous man, a poorly disguised shill for his firm, is given a free ride by 60 Minutes for the announcement of approaching danger. Magically, the self-serving claim is transformed into proof, argument from authority, and used in everyone subsequent bit of coverage and advertising for protecting the infrastructure agains cyberattack.

An elaborate scare theatrical production is put on. Giant national security firms use their publicity arms to link their services to the cure for the approaching ills.

For Rolling Stone magazine, Matt Taibbi delivered the most famous sentence on investment bank Goldman Sachs: "The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

Think of the corporate defense contractor floggers of cyberattack as somewhat smaller vampire squid, all wrapped around the face of the country, now positioning to jam blood funnels into something that smells like money.

"They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again," wrote Taibbi of Goldman Sachs. You can apply it here as well.




The Cult of Cyberattack

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