Duqu Shoots, It Scores!

Duqu goes in where Stuxnet has been . . .

Iran claims defence computer systems hit by another ‘supervirus’

Anti-virus experts last month identified a virus called “Duqu” that they said shared properties with the now famous “Stuxnet” worm, which spread across the world but is thought to have been successfully targeted at the nuclear programme’s centrifuges, the devices that enrich uranium to create nuclear fuel.

It was not clear on Monday from the Iranian statement whether Duqu had also struck nuclear facilities, but it was the first admission of damage.

“We are in the initial phase of fighting the Duqu virus,” Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s civil defence programme, said. “The final report which says which organisations the virus has spread to and what its impacts are has not been completed yet.

See also:
Iran Working to Control Duqu Virus Attack
Iran detects Duqu virus in system
Duqu Virus Detected in Iran
Iran says has detected Duqu computer virus
Iran finds Duqu-infected systems
Duqu infiltrates Iranian networks
Iran admits Duqu attack; denies report its nukes are for war, not power
Iran detects Duqu infections
Iran wrestles Duqu malware infestation
Security researcher says Iran to blame for its own Duqu infections
Iran claims Duqu virus aimed at sabotaging its nuclear sites
‘Duqu virus aiming at Iran’s nuclear sites’
Iranians say nuke project hit by new computer virus
Iran produces antivirus software against new worm
Iran Develops Software to Thwart Duqu Virus Attack
‘Iran can thwart Duqu spyware’
Iran says Duqu malware under ‘control’
Iran says it has ‘controlled’ Duqu malware attack
Beyond Stuxnet

Duqu is the, arguably more sophisticated, follow on to Stuxnet, which took control of Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges and spun them at speeds well beyond their design capability until they failed. Stuxnet was an offensive weapon. Unlike Stuxnet, Duqu is, at least so far, strictly a reconnaissance tool, gathering and reporting back information on systems related to Iran’s nuclear program, preparing the battlespace as a prelude to a future attack if you will. Whether the next attack will be another
Stuxnet like cyberstrike or physically digging in the Iranian dirt is a layman’s guess. One thing’s for sure, the next attack on Iran’s nuclear program is coming and Iran won’t be able to stop it.

Iran claims to have thwarted Duqu but, then again, they said the same thing about Stuxnet and Stuxnet blew out their centrifuges. Anyway, if Iran is just now admitting that they’ve been infected by Duqu, Duqu may have already accomplished its reconnaissance mission and gone dormant. Whatever information Iran releases publicly is pretty much a lie, propaganda, you can safely assume that whenever they acknowledge their nuclear program has been compromised, the damage is much worse than they’re letting on.

And remember, whether it’s another cyberattack or airstrikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, all it does is buy us time. Stuxnet set the Iranians back, but it didn’t deter them. Destroying some of their nuclear facilities won’t deter them either, in fact, it’ll probably make them even more defiant. The only endgame that will bring closure is regime change. And think about it, if we do that, we’ve just resolved 70+% of the world’s instability problems.

/my vote is for a comprehensive, all hands on deck, leave no stone unturned, decapitation campaign, Mullahs and the Republican Guard gots to live and work somewhere and I bet we have the GPS coordinates

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Can You Hack It?

Calling all hackers, do you pack what it takes?

NSA is looking for a few good hackers

The National Security Agency has a challenge for hackers who think they’re hot stuff: Prove it by working on the “hardest problems on Earth.”

Computer hacker skills are in great demand in the U.S. government to fight the cyberwars that pose a growing national security threat — and they are in short supply.

For that reason an alphabet soup of federal agencies — DOD, DHS, NASA, NSA — are descending on Las Vegas this week for Defcon, an annual hacker convention where the $150 entrance fee is cash only — no registration, no credit cards, no names taken. Attendance is expected to top 10,000.

The NSA is among the keen suitors. The spy agency plays offense and defense in the cyberwars. It conducts electronic eavesdropping on adversaries, and it protects U.S. computer networks that hold super-secret material — a prime target for America’s enemies.

See also:
NSA Wants to Hire Hackers at DefCon
US gov’t building hacker army for cyber war
U.S. government hankers for hackers
U.S. Federal Agencies Look to Hire Hackers at Defcon; Cyber Criminals Offer Services to the Public
US government agencies scouting for computer hackers: report
Federal Agencies to Recruit Hackers at Defcon
R u h4X0R? n33d @ jo8? NSA wants you (locked up in a cubicle, not a cell)
The NSA Wants More Hackers for Their ‘Collection of Geeks’
Welcome to the National Security Agency – NSA/CSS
National Security Agency
Defcon
DEF CON

Would you rather work for them or be hunted down by them? If you’re good enough, it probably pays pretty well and beats sitting in a prison cell.

/don’t forget to bring your white hat

Read It And Weep For America’s Future

Obama gets bad numbers from Congressional Budget Office

Jobs and the deficits are going to be big themes of President Obama’s big speech tomorrow — and he got some bad numbers on both topics today from the Congressional Budget Office.

Oval colleague Richard Wolf breaks it down for us:

Here’s more bad news on the budget front for President Obama: A new report by the Congressional Budget Office says the nation’s $1.4 trillion deficit is likely to stay in that range for the next two years.

The 2010 deficit should be about $1.35 trillion, and if Obama keeps President Bush’s tax cuts in place and extends other expiring tax breaks, the 2011 deficit would be about the same, the report says. Over the next decade, the nation would rack up another $12 trillion in deficits, thereby doubling the size of the $12 trillion national debt.

“Daunting” and “bleak” were just some of the adjectives used by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf on Tuesday to describe the 10-year budget picture. Spending is projected to outpace revenue, and the debt would soon be two-thirds the size of the overall economy. By 2020, interest payments on that debt would be more than $700 billion, about four times the size of the current amount.

The report shows the unemployment rate rising slightly above 10% before declining slowly. Not until 2014 would the rate drop back to 5%.

“In sum, the outlook for the federal budget is bleak,” Elmendorf said. “U.S. fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering.”

But don’t worry, it’s Obama to the rescue.

Obama’s federal spending freeze

The White House has been cranking out initiatives daily in an effort to regain the public’s confidence, and on Tuesday, its target was the enormous federal deficit. Aides to President Obama disclosed that his forthcoming budget will call for a three-year freeze on “non-security discretionary funding.” That’s bureaucratese for capping everything but defense, homeland security, veterans, international affairs and entitlements (for example, Medicare and welfare), with no adjustments for inflation. That would result in $250 billion less being spent over the coming decade than currently projected, said Rob Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Although it’s merely a gesture, it’s a good one that sends the right signals to Congress and the public.

Skeptics were quick to note how little of the budget actually would be affected — about 17% — and how small the savings seem in comparison to the $6 trillion in total deficits expected over the coming decade. And presidential budgets are just proposals; Congress controls the purse strings. It’s hard to say how well received Obama’s latest offering will be, given how few details have been released. The official line is simply that the administration’s budget for fiscal 2010 (which runs from October 2010 through September 2011) will call for cutting some programs and increasing others.

So, in case you’re still confused, the National Debt is projected to double to over $20 trillion in the next ten years and Obama’s answer is to save $250 billion over the next decade. It’s like trying to put out a five alarm fire with a squirt gun, it’s a joke.

Oh, and remember that useless “stimulus” that we borrowed almost a trillion dollars for, the Democrat porkfest that had to be passed immediately to keep the unemployment rate below 8%? Well, four million jobs lost and a 10% unemployment rate later, guess what?

Officials Say Stimulus Bill to Cost $75B More

Last year’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill is going to be even more expensive — $75 billion more.

The new Congressional Budget Office estimate, released Tuesday, provides more ammunition for Republicans who say the stimulus has been long on spending and short on creating promised jobs. The additional cost also eats into the savings forecast from the budget freeze President Barack Obama is expected to propose Wednesday night during his State of the Union address.

Almost half of the additional cost, $34 billion, is because the food stamp program won’t be able to take advantage of lower-than-expected inflation rates and will instead have benefits set by the stimulus bill.

Higher unemployment insurance costs added $21 billion to the bill, and stimulus-subsidized bonds to pay for infrastructure projects have proven more popular than expected with state and local governments.

The $75 billion increase would erase one-third of the $250 billion in 10-year savings that would come from the partial domestic spending freeze being proposed by Obama. The boost in unemployment payments alone would more than erase the $10 billion to $15 billion in first-year savings from such a freeze.

And don’t forget that we borrowed the “stimulus” money so the debt service over time is going to make it cost more.

Read the whole depressing, frightening, and sobering CBO report:

The Budget and Economic Outlook:
Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020

See also:
Bleak Economic Projections as Obama Prepares for State of the Union Address
The CBO’s Economic Outlook Is Bleak
US Congressional Budget Office Chief Sees ‘Bleak’ Outlook
CBO Chief: “The Outlook For The Federal Budget Is Bleak”
Budget Office: The government’s finances on ‘unsustainable path’
CBO: Federal Deficit Projected at $1.35T
The Obama Fisc
Budget sanity
A ‘Bleak’ Budget but Slightly Better
Obama Seeks Partial Three-Year Spending Freeze
Broad range of programs targeted by proposed spending freeze
How much would Obama’s spending freeze trim US deficits? Not a lot.
The “spending freeze” in context
Tepid Reception for Obama Spending Freeze
Obama faces backlash on spending freeze
The Obama Spending Freeze is Simply Not Credible
Spending Freeze Won’t Melt Partisan Divide
Stimulus is now $75 billion more expensive
Stimulus Bill to Cost $75 Billion More Than Expected, CBO Says
Congressional Budget Office says stimulus bill to cost $75 billion more
CBO: Stimulus $75 Bln More Expensive Than Estimated
Stimulus price tag soars as jobless rate rises

/no matter what Obama sys tomorrow night, the State of the Union, is not strong