The Muslim Brotherhood Goes To Washington

Less than two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt and now, after Obama affirmatively shoved Mubarak under the bus, they’re in control of Egypt, making the rounds in Washington D.C. on a diplomatic charm offensive. And we’re obligated by treaty to give them the time of day, not to mention billions of dollars. WTF happened here and where’s the outcry of international sanity?

Muslim Brotherhood officials aim to promote moderate image in Washington visit

Members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood began a week-long charm offensive in Washington on Tuesday, meeting with White House officials, policy experts and others to counter persistent fears about the group’s emergence as the country’s most powerful political force.

The revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak has rapidly transformed the Brotherhood from an opposition group that had been formally banned into a political juggernaut controlling nearly half the seats in Egypt’s newly elected parliament.

With its rise, however, have come concerns from Egypt’s secularists as well as U.S. officials that the Islamist group could remake the country, threatening the rights of women and religious minorities. Such fears were only exacerbated by the Brotherhood’s recent decision to field a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, despite previous pledges that it would not do so.

See also:
The Muslim Brotherhood courts Washington
The Muslim Brotherhood comes to Washington
Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood seeks ‘bridges of understanding’ with Washington
Egypt’s Brotherhood launches U.S. diplomatic push
Muslim Brotherhood envoys met with White House officials in DC
White House meets with Muslim Brotherhood in effort to engage Egypt’s political actors
White House downplays meeting with Muslim Brotherhood
White House Defends Meetings with Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood Attempts To Charm U.S. Skeptics
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington
Muslim Brotherhood US charm offensive belies domestic reality
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington
Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits D.C.
Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits Washington
Delegation from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Visits Washington

Moderate, charm offensive?

Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader.
Qur’an is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

/if you don’t see the problem here, you don’t know taqiyya like they know taqiyya

Sentinel Down

And yet again, after leaving behind a cutting edge stealth helicopter during the bin Laden raid, the U.S. conducts another, involuntary, state-of-the-art military technology transfer to the enemy.

Iran’s capture of US drone shines light on spy mission, but may reveal little

The Iranian capture of a high-tech, stealth U.S. drone shines a light on the American spying mission there, but probably doesn’t tell Tehran much that it didn’t already know, a senior U.S. official said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was providing surveillance over Iran and didn’t just accidentally wander away from the Afghanistan border region, as first suggested. The official said Wednesday that the Iranians will no doubt be able to tell where the aircraft flew. A bigger U.S. concern, the official said, was that the Iranians are likely to share or sell whatever they have recovered of the aircraft to the Chinese, Russians or others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the mission.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels — which are used both by the military and the CIA for classified surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.

. . .

U.S. officials said that while they have enough information to confirm that Iran does have the wreckage, they said they are not sure what the Iranians will be able to glean technologically from what they found. It is unlikely that Iran would be able to recover any surveillance data from the aircraft.

See also:
US admits downed drone spied on Iran
Iran says US spy drone was flying deep inside its airspace when it was downed
Malfunction likely put U.S. drone in Iranian hands
Iran Probably Did Capture a Secret U.S. Drone
U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone
Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone
Sentinel unmanned drone lost in Iran among US most valuable warfare assets
Drone belonged to CIA, officials say
Downed drone was on CIA mission
Officials: Drone downed in Iran on CIA mission
Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane
Iran’s downing of U.S. drone rattles Washington
US ‘concerned’ over drone lost near Iran border
Experts: Iran capture of stealth drone no worry
US considered missions to destroy RQ-170 Sentinel drone lost in Iran
Spy drone may provide little help to Iran
U.S. debated sending commandos into Iran to recover drone
U.S. Made Covert Plan to Retrieve Iran Drone
Iran: The Stealth War Continues
Drone Drama Proves Iran Is Ready to Rumble
Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran
U.S. drones have been spying on Iran for years

The good news is that we seem to be paying close attention to what Iran is up to, have been for years, and can penetrate Iranian airspace with near impunity. These past and, hopefully, ongoing intelligence gathering and surveillance activities should help provide a detailed blueprint for when push comes to shove and Iran has to be dealt with militarily, which is sure to eventually become a necessity.

/that said, it’s a total unforced strategic error to just let Iran have this advanced technology drone, to share with or sell to other potential enemies of the United States, would it have killed us, if we didn’t want to risk lives to recover the Sentinel, to at least launch an airstrike package to obliterate the wreckage?

Apocalypse Confirmed?

Believe it or not, the Mayans did.

End of the world speculation after new Mayan discovery

Archaeologists in Mexico have confirmed the discovery of a possible second Mayan reference to the date 2012, offering further ammunition for doom-mongers predicting an apocalypse next year.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History acknowledged the reference had been found in a 1,300-year-old inscription made on a carved brick fragment at a ruin at Comalcalco in the south of the country.

Most experts have previously cited only one surviving Mayan reference to the date, on a stone tablet from a nearby site at Tortuguero.

See also:
Mexico adds yet another brick to the 2012 Maya legend
Another Mayan Reference to 2012 Revealed
Mexico archaeologists acknowledge 2nd Mayan reference to 2012
Brace Yourself: The World Could End In 2012
Apocalypse 2012 Back On? Second Mayan Inscription Uncovered
Mexico acknowledges 2nd Mayan reference to 2012
Boffins find new 2012 glyph on ‘secret’ Mayan brick
Mexico Acknowledges a 2nd Mayan Reference to 2012 Date, But Insists Apocalyptic Predictions are Misinterpretations
Mexico Admits To Second Mayan 2012 End-of-World Reference
2012 Mayan Apocalypse Update – The Comalcalco Brick
Experts admit second Mayan prediction of 2012 as end of the world

Could the Mayans have been predicting Obama’s reelection?

/because that certainly would bring about end of the world as we know it

A Preview Of Coming Attractions

So much for Homeland Security. From Russia, without love, hitting us where it really hurts.

Foreign hackers targeted U.S. water plant in apparent malicious cyber attack, expert says

Foreign hackers caused a pump at an Illinois water plant to fail last week, according to a preliminary state report. Experts said the cyber-attack, if confirmed, would be the first known to have damaged one of the systems that supply Americans with water, electricity and other essentials of modern life.

Companies and government agencies that rely on the Internet have for years been routine targets of hackers, but most incidents have resulted from attempts to steal information or interrupt the functioning of Web sites. The incident in Springfield, Ill., would mark a departure because it apparently caused physical destruction.

See also:
Was U.S. water utility hacked last week?
Foreign cyber attack hits US infrastructure: expert
Illinois Water Utility Pump Destroyed After Hack
H(ackers)2O: Attack on City Water Station Destroys Pump
Cyberattack investigation centers on Curran-Gardner water pump
Feds investigating whether Illinois “pump failure” was cyber attack
Broken water pump in Illinois caused by cyber-attack from Russia, claims expert, but DOH denies terrorism
Cyberattack on Illinois water utility may confirm Stuxnet warnings
Water utility hackers destroy pump, expert says
UPDATE 3-U.S. probes cyber attack on water system

The SCADA vulnerabilities to a remote attack have been known for years. The solution is real simple, DON’T CONNECT YOUR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE INTERNET!

/how hard is that, is it going to take a disaster for us to learn this basic lesson?

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

Look Out Below!

As they say, what goes up, must come down. Round and round she goes, where she’ll hit, nobody knows.

Huge Defunct Satellite Falling to Earth Faster Than Expected, NASA Says

NASA space junk experts have refined the forecast for the anticipated death plunge of a giant satellite, with the U.S. space agency now predicting the 6 1/2-ton climate probe will plummet to Earth around Sept. 23, a day earlier than previously reported.

The defunct bus-size spacecraft is NASA’s Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS), which launched in 1991 and was shut down in 2005 after completing its mission. The satellite was expected to fall to Earth sometime this year, with experts initially pegging a weeks-long window between late September and early October, then narrowing it to the last week of this month.

. . .

NASA expects at least 26 large pieces of the massive satellite to survive the scorching temperatures of re-entry and reach Earth’s surface. Titanium pieces and onboard tanks could be among that debris, but the UARS satellite carries no toxic propellant (NASA used up all the fuel in 2005).

The debris is expected to fall over a swath of Earth about 500 miles (804 kilometers) long, NASA officials said.

There is a 1-in-3,200 chance of satellite debris hitting a person on the ground, odds that NASA says are extremely remote. Outside experts agree.

See also:
Dead NASA Satellite Falling From Space, But When & Where?
Space Satellite UARS Adrift and Heading for Earth
Nasa warns of fresh risk from £468m satellite falling from space
NASA Not Sure When, Where Falling Satellite Will Hit Earth
NASA Satellite Falling to Earth: Will You Be Hit?
Nasa satellite UARS nearing Earth ‘could land anywhere’
NASA is Deorbiting a Satellite, but They Don’t Know Exactly Where or When It’s Coming Down
The Sky is Falling As UARS Drops In
Keep Sept. 23 open: A satellite is heading our way
Six-ton NASA satellite to collide with Earth
NASA UARS satellite expected to crash to Earth

A 1 in 3,200 chance of a piece of debris hitting someone on the ground is extremely remote? Um, no, the chances of getting hit by lightening or winning the lottery are remote. 1 in 3,200 is like hey, don’t forget to duck.

/we have much larger satellites on orbit, let’s hope we never lose positive control of any of them, say as the result of a Chinese attack

When Chinese RATs Attack

Oh, hey, look what China did, again. Isn’t this supposed to be an act of war now?

Massive Global Cyberattack Targeting U.S., U.N. Discovered; Experts Blame China

The world’s most extensive case of cyber-espionage, including attacks on U.S. government and U.N. computers, was revealed Wednesday by online security firm McAfee, and analysts are speculating that China is behind the attacks.

The spying was dubbed “Operation Shady RAT,” or “remote access tool” by McAfee — and it led to a massive loss of information that poses a huge economic threat, wrote vice president of threat research Dmitri Alperovitch.

. . .

Analysts told The Washington Post that the finger of blame for the infiltration of the 72 networks — 49 of them in the U.S. — points firmly in the direction of China.

See also:
Revealed: Operation Shady RAT
McAfee’s Operation Shady RAT exposes national cybersecurity lapses
McAfee discovers massive series of cyber attacks
Hacking Campaign Targets U.S. Government, Signs Point to China
Operation Shady RAT: five-year hack attack hit 14 countries
China Suspected Of Shady RAT Attacks
Q+A: Massive cyber attack dubbed “Operation Shady RAT”
Operation Shady RAT: A frightening web of global cyber-espionage
Operation Shady RAT smells like Chinese hacking
All cursors point to China in global hack attack that threatens nations
China accused of biggest ever global cyber spying attacks
Hackers Based in China Attack UN, Olympic Networks, Security Firms Report
Operation Shady RAT and the cyberhacking
APT Attackers Used Chinese-Authored Hacker Tool To Hide Their Tracks

Why did it take a private security company to uncover the largest case of cyberspying in world history and why aren’t we doing something about it?

/does China have to steal every last piece of sensitive and secret computer data we possess before we start taking this threat seriously?

Tuesday Is The Time At Microsoft When We Patch

It’s a relatively small one this time, but critical.

Microsoft Fixes 22 Bugs in July Patch Tuesday

Microsoft addressed 22 security vulnerabilities across four security bulletins in July’s Patch Tuesday update. Three of the patches fix issues in the Windows operating system.

The four bulletins patched issues in all versions of the Windows operating system and in Microsoft Visio 2003 Service Pack 3, Microsoft said in its Patch Tuesday advisory, released July 12. Of the patches, only one has been rated “critical.” The remaining three are rated “important,” according to Microsoft.

“Today’s Patch Tuesday, though light, should not be ignored, as these patches address vulnerabilities that allow attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code on systems and use privilege escalation exploits,” said Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee Labs.

Security experts ranked Microsoft bulletin MS11-053, which addressed a critical vulnerability in the Windows Bluetooth stack on Windows Vista and Windows 7, as the highest priority. Attackers could exploit the vulnerability by crafting and sending specially crafted Bluetooth packets to the target system to remotely take control, Microsoft said in its bulletin advisory.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for July 2011
Microsoft fixes 22 security holes
Microsoft issues critical patch for Windows 7, Vista users
Microsoft Releases 4 Updates for Windows and Office
Microsoft warns of critical security hole in Bluetooth stack
Security Experts Warn of Microsoft Bluetooth Vulnerability
Patch Tuesday Fixes Critical Bluetooth Flaw in Windows 7
‘Bluetooth sniper’ Windows vuln fix in light Patch Tuesday
Microsoft Squashes Bluetooth Bug
Microsoft patches ‘sexy’ Bluetooth bug in Vista, Windows 7
Microsoft Fixes 22 Bugs in July Patch Tuesday
Businesses should not ignore critical Microsoft Patch Tuesday update, say experts
Microsoft Patch Tuesday: four security bulletins
Microsoft Patch Tuesday – 12th July 2011
Windows Update

This isn’t the first time you’ve had to update Windows, you know what to do, so get busy.

/until next time, same patch time, same patch channel

It Came From Central Asia

How it got here or why it’s suddenly all over the news this week, well, your guess is as good as mine. But apparently, whatever you do, if you see one, don’t touch it and run for your lives!

Giant Weed Can Cause Blisters, Even Blindness

Call it the import that nobody wants.

Experts are urging residents of several states to beware of the “giant hogweed,” a tall plant native to Central Asia with umbrella-size flowers containing toxic sap that can cause burns, blisters and, in some cases, even blindness.

“Avoid it at all cost,” Jodi Holt, a professor of plant physiology at University of California, Riverside, told ABC News.

“The sap causes something called phytophotodermatitis when it touches humans,” causing scars and potentially blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes, Holt said. Some cases of blindness occurred after children used the hollow stalks as telescopes.

Heracleum Mantegazzianum, as hogweed is botanically known, is already a concern in the Northeast and spreading fast. Patches of giant hogweed have also been sighted in the Pacific Northwest.

See also:
Summer Plant from Hell: Giant Hogweed Can Burn, Scar and Blind You
Look out for Giant Hogweed
Giant worries over hogweed
Avoid Giant Hogweed: Noxious plant can cause blindness
Blistering, blinding weed creeps toward a city near you
Beware giant hogweed and its burning, blinding sap
Hogweed poses serious threat to New York citizens
Giant Hogweed Invades NY! This Weed Can Burn You, But Probably Won’t Eat You
What’s going on here? DEC to address hogweed problem in Springwater
Giant hogweed gone wild along Thames
Giant hogweed: 8 facts you must know about the toxic plant

I must confess, up until this week’s out of nowhere media blitz, despite years of extensive Boy Scout training, I’d never even heard of this marauding botanical menace.

/except as an early Genesis song

Stuxnet Shoots, It Scores!

Gee, sounds like the pump was continuously running well outside its design parameters while indicating normal operation on its control instrumentation, which is is exactly what Stuxnet was designed to do, run machinery beyond tolerance limits while spoofing the performance display readouts with fake data.

IAEA says Iran’s Bushehr delays were caused by pump

Iran was believed to have told the UN atomic watchdog that a broken pump had made it necessary to remove fuel from its first nuclear power reactor, independent experts familiar with the issue said on Monday.

The experts, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, said it was a potentially serious problem likely to cause more delays for the Russian-built Bushehr plant, which has yet to start injecting power into Iran’s national grid.

“I think what happened is that the pump failed but it didn’t just fail, it broke up, so that … there are pieces of metal that are now circulated throughout the primary cooling system,” one of them said.

See also:
Breakage in Iranian Reactor Forced Fuel Removal: Russia
Iranian reactor stalled by damaged pump
New setback at Iran’s Bushehr plant
Iran blames broken pump for atom fuel removal-experts
Russia says why Iranian nuclear plant was unloaded
In setback, Iran to unload fuel from nuclear plant
Iran Pulls Fuel From Bushehr Plant Just Before Power Project Scheduled to Go Online
Iran removing nuclear fuel from plant
Iran to unload nuclear fuel from Bushehr plant
Bushehr plant fuel delayed
Bushehr reactor to be emptied
Iran: Removal of fuel rods has nothing to do with Stuxnet

Of course it’s just speculation and no one will actually admit that the pump disintegration was cased by Stuxnet. However, a pump like this would normally give some manner of warning to the operators that the pump was malfunctioning, this one didn’t, it continued to run until it “broke up”. Coincidentally, Stuxnet was designed to cause precisely this type of damage, with no warning, to industrial equipment. Believe it or not.

/in any case, with tiny pieces of metal strewn throughout the reactor’s cooling system and possibly contaminating the nuclear fuel rods, this mess is going to take quite some time to clean up and then it just might happen again