Source: Wired unless specified.


A Wall Street Journal report claims that spies have planted malware in America’s power grid systems with the possible intent of mass disruption of key infrastructures like electricity and communications. The timing couldn’t be better with a recent introduction of a bill that would allow President Barack Obama the “authority” to kill the Internet.


An electrical botnet?

(Wall Street Journal) - Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

That’s the claim made in today’s (08-Apr-09) Wall Street Journal, but events going at least one month back is casting some serious doubts on those claims, IMO anyway. While it’s possible for foreign malware to be present in key systems, it seems more like the real threat is domestic.

Here’s the timeline so far. Take it with a grain of salt if you must, and accept the hypertension:


Department of Homeland Security Cyber Chief quits due to NSA hostile takeover (09-Mar-09)

Wired - Rod Beckstrom was head of National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), but quit over what he felt was pressure from the NSA to take over US cybersecurity. More information can be found here and here.

Beckstrom also expressed a concern over the NSA’s attempt to consolidate its power:

In his resignation letter, Beckstrom said the NSA is trying to move the NCSC to its base at Ft. Meade in Maryland, a move he opposes on grounds that it would concentrate too much authority in one place.

“The issue is that we have a federated government, decentralized for a reason,” Beckstrom told Forbes. “Our founding fathers never believed that power should be concentrated in one place. And what today is more powerful than information?”


Fat Cat Rockefeller says “The Internet Should Never Have Existed” (20-Mar-09)

YouTube via Prison Planet via C-Span 2.

WARNING: The contents of this video may make you want to vomit, laugh until you shit bricks, or shoot Rockefeller. Cyberpunk Review will not be held responsible for your physical and mental state of mind if you watch. Viewer discretion is advised:

Actually, Rockefeller doesn’t say the net should have never existed; Another congress-critter makes that implication.

“Cybersecurity Bill” would allow President Obama to shut down the Internet (02-Apr-09)

NetworkWorld - On April 1, a proposal legislation was introduced to the Senate that would allow Obama wide powers to shut down the Internet, or at least take control over it during times of “cybersecurity emergency.” Here’s the direct link to the PDF of the proposed legislation if you want to read it. The bill was introduced by none other than Senator John Rockefeller (see video above).


Salute the False Flag. A year ago, the CIA claimed hackers hacked foreign utilities. Those “claims” have yet to be backed up by actual press reports. But that claim was probably forged to get additional powers to spy.

Wired’s Kevin Poulsen puts the screws to the Wall Street Journal and the NSA in this brief op-ed piece.

Sadly, this new installment doesn’t contain the kind of juicy details that made the previous one so easy to debunk. In fact, it contains almost no details at all. The attacks are “pervasive,” and yet not a single utility company is named as a victim. Even better, the blackout-triggering malware hasn’t been spotted by the companies — which explains perfectly why this is the first we’ve heard of it. Only America’s intelligence community has seen the code. They could show us, but then they’d have to kill us.

It’s an unusually opportune time for this revelation, since the NSA is at this very moment jockeying to take over cyber security from DHS, which lacks the wholesale warrantless-wiretapping capabilities needed to detect Chinese hackers. What a lucky coincidence of timing that this exciting, if uncheckable, story should emerge now.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.


UPDATE: Fiber Cables Cut in Silicon Valley, Reward Being Offered. (10-Apr-09)

San Francisco Gate - Sometime in the early hours of April 9, a person or group cut AT&T’s fiber optic lines serving the Silicon Valley area, leaving thousands without phone and net services including critical 911. Sabotage is suspected and AT&T is offering a reward of $250K US for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the saboteurs.

There’s already speculation that the work was done by the Communications Workers of America, a union that’s negotiating a new contract with AT&T:

Special News Bureau - AT&T is in the middle of acrimonious negotiations with the Communications Workers of America, whose members have been working without a contract since just before midnight Saturday and are on standby mode for a potential strike.

A new website, is already calling the sabotage a false-flag attack; AT&T cut the cables to frame the union. They may have the right idea, but name the wrong targets.

This post has been filed under War for the Nets, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.

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