From China, With Sprinkles

Gee, you’d think there’s be some type of common sense rule about not buying critical electronic components for your military hardware from your enemy, but I guess not.

Fake electronics becoming military danger

“Sprinkling” sounds like a fairly harmless practice, but in the hands of sophisticated counterfeiters it could deceive a major weapons manufacturer and possibly endanger the lives of U.S. troops.

It is a process of mixing authentic electronic parts with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. It was just one of the brazen steps described Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining the national security and economic implications of suspect counterfeit electronics — mostly from China — inundating the Defense Department’s supply chain.

See also:
U.S. defense equipment has been outfitted with counterfeit parts from China
Senate Homes in on China’s Role in Counterfeit Parts Entering DOD’s Supply Chain
Senators to Take on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD
US Senators Demand China Crack Down on Suppliers of Fake Military Parts
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Opening Statement at SASC Hearing on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD Supply Chain
Fake Chinese weapons costs US millions
Lawmakers says counterfeits flood Pentagon supply
Chinese counterfeit parts found in U.S. weapons
Officials: Fake weapon parts hit Pentagon supplies
Lawmakers describe counterfeit electronic parts flooding into military’s supply chain
Probe traces bogus military parts to China
Report: US military supply chain riddled with shanzhai parts from China
China rejects U.S. charges of bogus weapons parts

It’s bad enough that China steals our intellectual property at will and that we owe them over a trillion dollars, but now they’re deliberately sabotaging our military equipment with fake electronics that, upon failure, could cost the lives of our military service members?

/it’s not a hot war, but it’s not a cold war either and we seem to be losing

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

Obama Versus Gitmo, Gitmo Wins

Remember this solemn, hyped to the hilt promise from over two years ago?

How’s that working out? Oops.

Obama creates indefinite detention system for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay

President Obama signed an executive order Monday that will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security. The administration also said it will start new military commission trials for detainees there.

The announcements, coming more than two years after Obama vowed in another executive order to close the detention center, all but cements Guantanamo Bay’s continuing role in U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Guantanamo Bay trials to resume

President Barack Obama has ordered a resumption of military trials for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, in an acknowledgement the prison camp for terror suspect in Cuba is unlikely to close any time soon.

See also:
Decision to Resume Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions Muddies the Water
Obama delays closing Gauntanamo Bay
Obama’s new Gitmo policy is a lot like Bush’s old policy
Obama agenda: Gitmo reversal
Obama approves Guantanamo prosecutions, reversing vow
Guantanamo military trials back
Mired in Guantanamo
Guantanamo Bay Switch
Obama savaged over U-turn to resume trials for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo: Barack Obama’s greatest failure
Under New Order, Guantanamo Lives on, For Now
Obama signs off on indefinite detention for Guantanamo detainees
Obama lifts freeze on Guantanamo trials

Obama’s 180 degree u-turn on closing Guantanamo is yet another embarassing policy failure, ranking right up there with such whoppers as he wouldn’t hire any lobbyists in his administration, he wouldn’t issue signing statements, passing the “stimulus” would keep unemployment under 8%, and Obamacare will lower health care costs and reduce the deficit.

/it’s more than obvious by now that you can’t trust one word that spews out of Obama’s mouth

The Mask Falls Off

It’s official. Obama hates the military and he’s not even trying to hide it anymore.

Obama’s War With the Pentagon

James Jones is out as national security adviser; Tom Donilon is in. What does it mean? Among other things, that we may be headed for one of the greatest civilian-military showdowns in decades.

If you haven’t read Bob Woodward or Jonathan Alter’s accounts of Obama administration Afghan policy, here are the CliffsNotes: Since the moment Obama took office, the military, led by David Petraeus, has been pushing for a full-on counterinsurgency effort. In other words, a lot of troops for a very long time. Obama, from the start, has resisted, raising awkward questions about why we’re expending massive amounts of blood and treasure in Afghanistan when Pakistan is the country that really matters. Vice President Biden has gone further, warning that given the mind-boggling corruption of Hamid Karzai’s regime, committing to an Afghan counterinsurgency war would be lunacy.

This policy struggle has not been waged according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules. The White House believes the military brass is blind to America’s crushing financial constraints and the public’s eroding support for the war. The military believes the White House cares more about domestic politics than national security. The White House believes the military keeps screwing the president by telling reporters and Republicans that we need more troops for a longer time, thus forcing Obama’s hand.

General Jones was chosen, in part, because Obama knew this fight was coming. He wanted someone who could communicate with the generals and keep them from knifing him in the back. Jones didn’t entirely succeed in that effort, which is one reason people in the White House never embraced him as one of their own. But if Jones was unable or unwilling to extinguish the flames of civil-military conflict, Donilon is the political equivalent of dousing them with gasoline.

See also:
Commander-in-Chief Obama Fights Pentagon
Tom Donilon’s Revolving Door
Departing National Security Adviser Leaves Mixed Reviews
A Political Hack and Fannie Mae Democrat
Hope is not a strategy: James Jones
10 reasons to be worried as Tom Donilon, Afghan war sceptic & desk-bound foe of US military, gets top foreign policy job
The declinists win
Gates in 2010: Donilon Would Be a “disaster” as National Security Adviser; Jones: Donilon Has “No Credibility With the Military”
Woodward: Gates Thinks Donilon A “Disaster”
Gates downplays quoted objection to Obama adviser

This move proves that if Obama could snap his fingers and eliminate the U.S. military, he would do so without hesitation.

/this does not bode well for our brave troops in harm’s way, fighting the Taliban is hard enough, they shouldn’t also have to fight their commander in chief

Keeping Up With The Bad Guys

I don’t see any problem with this at all. Law enforcement is still going to need a search warrant and if they have enough evidence to get a warrant, they should be able to listen in. Why should criminals and terrorists be given an advantage just because they’re smart enough to communicate using the internet?

U.S. seeks ways to wiretap the Internet

The Obama administration is planning to seek legislation that would require social networking companies and voice-over-Internet service providers to adapt their technology so law enforcement agents can monitor users’ communications during criminal and terrorism investigations.

The proposal arises out of a concern that technology and social customs have outpaced the law and that authorities lack the means to monitor new methods of communication, administration officials said. But the initiative has also revived a more than 15-year-old debate over the proper balance between national security and personal privacy as well as what industry can reasonably be asked to do without stifling innovation.

“This is about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said Valerie E. Caproni, FBI general counsel. “This is not about expanding authority, but about preserving the ability to carry out existing authorities in order to protect the national security and public safety.”

See also:
FBI Drive for Encryption Backdoors Is Déjà Vu for Security Experts
Report: Feds to push for Net encryption backdoors
Feds want backdoors built into VoIP and email
Obama Administration Internet Wiretap Plans Dredge Up Old Debate
White House, FBI Seek Legislation to Expedite Online Wiretapping
Internet Wiretapping: Snoop or Safety Tool?
U.S. Wants to Wiretap the Internet
Internet Privacy Advocates Concerned Over Wiretap Plans
US rights group concerned by Web wiretap plans
Wiretap Law & Internet Freedom

I think the best rule of thumb is to just assume that a government, U.S. or otherwise, is monitoring all your communications, across the technology spectrum, and behave accordingly.

/if you’re not engaged in anything illegal, you shouldn’t get into any trouble

Pushing The Cyberwarfare Envelope

A computer worm so sophisticated that it attacks specific targets in specific countries, gee I wonder who would be capable of developing something that advanced?

Stuxnet Compromise at Iranian Nuclear Plant May Be By Design

Iran has confirmed that more than 30,000 PCs have been infected by the Stuxnet worm in that country, including some at the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The nature of the Stuxnet worm and the infiltration of Iranian nuclear facilities has led to speculation about whether the worm was developed by the United States or its allies expressly for that purpose.

The Pentagon response to the implication is the standard cagey reply given for just about anything related to national security or military engagements. Fox News reports that, “Pentagon Spokesman Col. David Lapan said Monday the Department of Defense can “neither confirm nor deny” reports that it launched this attack.”

McAfee AVERT Labs has a thorough analysis of the Stuxnet worm which explains the threat in detail. “Stuxnet is a highly complex virus targeting Siemens’ SCADA software. The threat exploits a previously unpatched vulnerability in Siemens SIMATIC WinCC/STEP 7 (CVE-2010-2772) and four vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, two of which have been patched at this time (CVE-2010-2568, CVE-2010-2729). It also utilizes a rootkit to conceal its presence, as well as 2 different stolen digital certificates.”

Another interesting tidbit from McAfee supporting the speculation that Iran may have been the intended target of Stuxnet is that the initial discovery seemed to be primarily focused in the Middle East.

Speaking on the subject of whether the threat may have been specifically crafted for Iran, Randy Abrams, director of technical education at ESET said, “It appears that it is possible that Stuxnet may have been responsible for problems in Iran’s nuclear program over the past year, however that is speculation and it is unlikely that the Iranian government is going to say if that was the case. It is even possible that it was the case and they don’t know it.”

Abrams added, “It is entirely possible that Stuxnet was created by the United States working alone or in conjunction with allies. The fact that it is possible does not indicate it is true however. There have been a number of recent defections in Iran. It is also possible that this was an internal attack. There is still a legitimate question as to whether or not Iran was actually the target.”

See also:
Stuxnet Update
Iranian power plant infected by Stuxnet, allegedly undamaged
Iran admits Stuxnet worm infected PCs at nuclear reactor
Pentagon Silent on Iranian Nuke Virus
Stuxnet Worm Affects 30,000 Computers in Iran
Stuxnet worm assault on Iranian nuclear facilities’ computers may be Western cyber attack: experts
Computer worm infects Iran’s nuclear station
Stuxnet: Future of warfare? Or just lax security?
Stuxnet – a new age in cyber warfare says Eugene Kaspersky
Has the West declared cyber war on Iran?
Web virus aimed at nuclear work, says Tehran
Report: Stuxnet Worm Attacks Iran, Who is Behind It?
US, Israel behind cyber-attack on Iran?

Well, diplomacy sure as hell isn’t working and no one really wants to launch airstrikes against the Iranian nuclear facilities, especially fraidy cat Obama. So, maybe this is a third option, use the Iranians’ own computers to remotely destroy their nuclear related equipment, perfect, if it actually works. I know I’ve got my fingers crossed. Go U.S. or go Israel or go whoever is responsible for this brilliant plan!

/all your nuclear related computers are belong to us!

It’s Official, Sharia Law Is A Threat To American Democracy

Muslims are trying to subvert America from within under the guise of creeping Sharia law? Tell me something I don’t already know.

America Exposed to ‘Stealth Jihad’ Threat, Security Report Warns

America is “under attack” by a non-violent “stealth jihad,” a panel of national security analysts warned in a new report that claimed fundamentalists are trying to bring Islamic law known as “Shariah” to the United States.

The report, sponsored by the Center for Security Policy and touted by a handful of conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday, said that the violent threat posed by Al Qaeda and other terror groups is outmatched by the threat from jihadists allegedly trying to change American society from within.

“This form of warfare includes multi-layered cultural subversion, the co-opting of senior leaders, influence operations and propaganda and other means of insinuating Shariah into Western societies,” the study said.

The report cited the Muslim Brotherhood as the most influential organization trying to achieve that goal, but expressed concern more about America’s vulnerability than any marquee successes by the so-called “stealth” jihadists.

“Just as we cannot say all Muslims hold a certain view based on the actions of a radical fringe … it would be unwise to discount the malicious intentions of those that wish to subvert American law,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said at a press conference Wednesday.

Read the report:

Shariah: The Threat to America

 

See also:
Shariah: The Threat to America
Shariah a danger to U.S., security pros say
Security panel links radical Islam, terror
Al-Qaeda on Capitol Hill
Shariah Threat Report Annoying All the Right People
Al-Awlaki Led Prayer Services for Congressional Muslim Staffers Association After 9/11
The Shariah Threat to America
The Shariah Threat
That Sharia Report
Shariah Law Exposed as Threat
Shariah, the Threat to America
Center for Security Policy
My Brush With Sharia

Wake up America, before it’s too late. Don’t be the proverbial frog in the slowly warming pot of water. This report spells the threat of creeping Sharia out clearly. If you’re still unable to understand what the threat is and how it works, either you can’t read or you’re in denial.

/just don’t say you haven’t been clearly and explicitly warned

Should Be Dead Man Still Walking And Talking

Why is Julian Assange still even alive at this point, let alone walking around free and giving interviews?

Pentagon pleads with Wikileaks not to release more files

The Pentagon is trying to persuade the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks to abandon its planned release of 15,000 more classified files on the Afghan war.

Intelligence analysts have now identified which files are involved and Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell says their release will be even more damaging to national security and the war effort than the thousands already published.

“We are concerned the additional documents they have may cause even greater risks than the ones they released previously,” said Mr Morrell.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned that the release will put American and allied soldiers at risk with “potentially very severe” consequences.

He says that the documents “convey a huge amount of information about our tactics, techniques and procedures” and may be of great help to both the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Last month WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – a former computer hacker – released 76,000 secret military files that the US government claims threaten the lives of Afghan civilians who have co-operated with US and Nato forces.

Joining a growing chorus of condemnation, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that any new release of files would help the enemy.

A new poll shows that 61 per cent of Americans consider the release to be an act of treason.

Reporters Without Borders – guardians of international press freedom – have accused Mr Assange of “incredible irresponsibility.”

Clothilde Le Coz, the group’s spokesperson, said Mr Assange and WikiLeaks were “going way too far” and putting lives in danger.

See also:
WikiLeaks says it won’t be threatened by Pentagon
Wikleaks will release 15,000 more secret documents about war in Afghanistan, despite Pentagon orders
WikiLeaks Says More Afghan War Documents To Be Released Soon
WikiLeaks: Rest of war documents to be released in a few weeks
Pentagon: Undisclosed Wikileaks documents ‘potentially more explosive’
Support for WikiLeaks Evaporates as New Release of War Documents Looms
Time for Obama to shut down WikiLeaks’ Assange
Reporters Without Borders: WikiLeaks Was Reckless
Reporters Without Borders Blasts Wikileaks
WikiLeaks to Publish More Secrets With Some Data Removed
Wikileaks
Wikileaks

Are you seriously telling me that all the combined resources of the United States military and intelligence services can’t hunt down Julian Assange and his co-conspirators, recover the stolen information, and shut down their internet presence?

/Assange has clearly demonstrated that he’s an enemy of the United States with fresh blood on his hands, he has the right to be disappeared and remain permanently silent

National Security Policy In Wonderland

Jihad, what jihad?

EDITORIAL: Obama’s jihad on ‘jihad’

President Obama’s latest strategic innovation in the war on terrorism is to ignore jihad and maybe it will go away.

The Obama administration is removing terms such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism” from the U.S. National Security Strategy in an attempt to convince Muslim countries that America doesn’t view them solely through the lens of counterterrorism. It’s reasonable to look beyond terrorism in developing relationships with Islamic states. Our assistance programs are based on humanitarian motives, for example, so they need not explicitly draw links between promoting good will and hopefully making it less likely that people will fly aircraft into our buildings.

But the National Security Strategy is not some kind of outreach initiative, it is the framing document for America’s global safety. The United States cannot effectively combat the root causes of Islamic extremism by ignoring them. The war on terror – rather, the “overseas contingency operation,” in O Force terminology – won’t be effective if this country overlooks the nature of the enemy and his motives. The U.S. strategic blueprint is not the proper place for a public-relations stunt.

Even the Muslim majority states in question understand the religious component of terrorism as a motivator, recruiting tool and strategic road map. They are threatened by Islamic extremism even more than the United States and have no problem describing the threat by its true nature, which must be understood if it is to be defeated.

The most troubling signal is the one being sent through the bureaucracy that any thoughtful discussion of Islamic radicalism and the global threat it poses will be hazardous to one’s career. Analyses of the extremist Muslim threat will be increasingly deleted from briefing papers, assessments and planning documents. Those who continue to spread the alarm will be marginalized and ignored. Such sanitizing may please the White House, but it’s likely to put the United States in more danger as threats that should have been detected in advance slip by because officials have been trained not to look for them.

See also:
Obama administration removing terms like ‘Islamic extremism’ from national security document
World must not ignore terrorism’s religious aspect
Will White House Tone Down Terror Terminology?
Obama moves to de-link terrorism from Islam
Obama talks less of terror in outreach to Muslims
Mush From the Wimp: Obama, Orwell and National-Security Psychobabble
War By Euphemism
Obama Administration Declares Victory In War On Semantics

Yeah, just ignore reality and it’ll just go away. We’re through the looking glass on national defense here people.

/gee, what could Obama possibly do to make America any more vulnerable to a catastrophic attack?

Peek A Boo, China Is Waging Undeclared War On You

Is your computer acting squirrelly, your internet connection spotty? It might not be Microsoft after all, it could be Chinese military sponsored hackers.

Congressional commission focuses on China’s cyberwar capability

In war and possibly in peace, China will wage cyberwar to control the information flow and dominate the battle space, according to a new report compiled for a congressional commission.

Chinese military strategists see information dominance as the key to overall success in future conflicts and will continue to expand the country’s computer network exploitation capabilities, according to the report, titled “Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation.” The report was prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission under contract by Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems Sector.

In a conflict, China will likely target the U.S. government and private industry with long-term, sophisticated computer network exploitation and intelligence collection campaigns, the report concludes. U.S. security agencies can expect to face disciplined, standardized operations; sophisticated techniques; high-end software; and a deep knowledge of the U.S. networks, according to the report (PDF).

The strategy employed by the People’s Liberation Army–China’s military organization–is to consolidate computer network attacks with electronic warfare and kinetic strikes, creating “blind spots” in enemy systems to be exploited later as the tactical situation warrants, according to the report. The strategy, which has been adopted by the world’s other technologically inclined armies, is referred to by the PLA as “Integrated Network Electronic Warfare,” the report stated.

The emphasis on information warfare has forced the PLA to recruit from a wide swath of the civilian sector, according to the report. As is the case with the U.S. military and its new Cyber Command, the PLA looks to commercial industry and academia for people possessing the requisite specialized skills and pasty pallor to man the keyboards. And although it hints broadly at it, the report offers no evidence of ties between the PLA and China’s hacker community.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission reports and provides recommendations to Congress on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

China Expands Cyberspying in U.S., Report Says

The Chinese government is ratcheting up its cyberspying operations against the U.S., a congressional advisory panel found, citing an example of a carefully orchestrated campaign against one U.S. company that appears to have been sponsored by Beijing.

The unnamed company was just one of several successfully penetrated by a campaign of cyberespionage, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report to be released Thursday. Chinese espionage operations are “straining the U.S. capacity to respond,” the report concludes.

See also:
Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation
Evidence Points To China In Cyber Attacks
Report: China building cyberwarfare capabilities
Security report finds Chinese cyberspying threat growing
U.S. report says China engages in cyber warfare
China fingered in cyberattack on mystery high tech co.
‘Huawei continues to receive preferential funding from China’s army’, says US Commission
United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission

/I sure hope Obama and company are putting at least as much time and energy into fighting this undeclared cyberwar with China as they are prosecuting their childish, whiny, crybaby media war against Fox News