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

Don’t Get Caught In The Crossfire

The Duqu virus is squarely aimed at Iran’s nuclear program. Unless you’re connected with Iran’s nuclear program, your chances of being directly targeted are extremely low. However, Microsoft was freaked out enough to issue a security bulletin for Windows users. So, better safe than sorry, protect yourself against the possibility of becoming collateral damage in an epic, upcoming attack.

Microsoft issues Duqu virus workaround for Windows

Microsoft has issued a temporary fix to the pernicious Duqu virus — also known as “Son of Stuxnet” — which could affect users of Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 as well as Windows Server 2008.

The company promised the security update earlier this week as it races to deal with the virus, which targets victims via email with a Microsoft Word attachment. The virus is not in the email, but in the attachment itself. A Symantec researcher said if a user opens the Word document, the attacker could take control of the PC, and nose around in an organization’s network to look for data, and the virus could propagate itself.

See also:
Microsoft Security Advisory (2639658)
Microsoft software bug linked to ‘Duqu’ virus
Microsoft Provides Workaround Patch for Duqu Malware
Microsoft announces workaround for the Duqu exploit
Microsoft Issues Temporary Duqu Workaround, Plans 4 Patch Tuesday Fixes
Six Ways to Protect Yourself from Duqu
Microsoft Airs Temporary Fix to Defeat Duqu Worm
Microsoft Releases Temporary Plug For Duqu
Duqu exploits same Windows font engine patched last month, Microsoft confirms
5 Things To Do To Defend Against Duqu
Microsoft issues temporary ‘fix-it’ for Duqu zero-day
Patch Tuesday: Fix for ‘Duqu’ zero-day not likely this month

Is it just me or doesn’t it seem a bit more than odd that Microsoft, a company with close ties to and a past history of working with U.S. intelligence agencies, would publicly issue a workaround to defend against a specific piece of malware that, by many accounts, is being actively and currently used by U.S. intelligence agencies to set up and facilitate an upcoming attack, in cyberspace or otherwise, against Iran’s nuclear program? I mean, it’s not like the Iranians can’t read English, why help them defend against Duqu? Hmmm, something’s not quite right here.

/whatever’s going on, and something is going on, it’s way above my pay grade, but when the endgame comes, don’t forget to duck

Keeping Up With The Jetsons

You want a flying car? We got your flying car right here, almost, maybe in a few years.

‘Flying Humvee’ moves ahead

A flying car that’s rugged enough for hardcore off-road driving, able to survive small-arms fire and can quickly take off and land is potentially just a few years shy of reality, according to reports sourced from DARPA, the U.S. military’s future-oriented research arm.

Aerospace companies Lockheed Martin and AAI Corporation have presented “feasible designs” to the military’s Transformer program, reports Aviation Week’s Ares blog, and have advanced to the next phase, which is to begin work on prototypes of the contraptions.




See also:
Is Darpa’s Fly-Drive Transformer on the Right Road?
The ‘flying Humvee’ gets off the ground as U.S. military plans first all-terrain, bullet-proof warcraft by next year
Flying humvee inches closer to reality
DARPA sets target date for testing ‘flying Humvee’
Coming soon: US army four-seater vehicle that can take off and land vertically
Progress to the Flying Humvee and enabling a revolution if door to door air travel up to 400 mile ranges
What’s The Point of Darpa’s ‘Flying Humvee,’ Exactly?
Military Developing Transformer To Solve Problems That Don’t Exist
Pentagon Wants Flying Humvee, For Some Reason
Transformer (TX)
Transformer (flying car)

I’m all for flying cars, but do we really need them for combat? The concept drawings of the Transformer TX makes it look like a huge ordnance magnet that, if it wasn’t blown up transitioning from ground to sky or vice versa, it would have so many complex moving parts that it would be undergoing maintenance for many more hours than it would be available for field use. Look at the trouble we already have keeping the V-22 Osprey in service.

/at a time when budget cutting and deficit reduction is the new national pastime, the Transformer TX would seem to be, in my opinion, a military toy too far

CLASS Dismissed

But, but, but, how can this be, Obamacare was such a well thought out and carefully crafted 2700 page piece of legislation?

Obama drops long-term health care program

Citing cost concerns, the Obama administration said Friday it has halted a long-term care insurance program that was part of the massive health care law passed in 2010.

Called the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports), the program was canceled by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after a 19-month effort to find a way to make it financially viable.

In a letter to Congress, Sebelius wrote, “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”

See also:
Long-Term Care Gets the Ax
U.S. Won’t Start Long-Term Care Insurance
Obama administration drops part of healthcare law
White House kills CLASS
Obama Pulls Plug on New Long-Term Care Insurance Program in Health Care Law
U.S. Drops Controversial Long-Term Care Program
Sebelius On The CLASS Act: ‘I Do Not See A Viable Path Forward’
Administration Drops Long-Term Care Provision Of Overhaul
Kathleen Sebelius declares end to CLASS Act
Nixing of health law’s ‘unsustainable’ CLASS Act prompts GOP inquiry
What the CLASS Act says about health-care reform

And remember, the CLASS Act was supposed to generate revenue that would offset the cost of other parts of Obamacare. So, even if you believed the absurd fiction that Obamacare paid for itself and wasn’t another massively underfunded government social entitlement, that will add trillions to the national debt, that fairy tale is obviously no longer within the realm of reality. Eliminating the CLASS Act is like kicking out a leg of the three legged Obamacare stool. The thread is being pulled and the Obamacare sweater is starting to unravel.

/between the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the individual mandate and the 2012 elections,, hopefully Obamacare will become just an unpleasant memory within the next few years

Space Monkey Fail

One small misstep for Iran, one giant bummer for the monkey. Next time, send Ahmadinejad.

Report: Iran Attempt to Launch Monkey Into Space Fails

An attempt by Iran to launch a rocket carrying a live monkey into space in September has met with failure, stalling the country’s program to pursue a human spaceflight capability, according to press reports.

The Iranian Space Agency reportedly attempted to launch a Rhesus monkey into space atop a Kavoshgar-5 rocket (Kavoshgar means “Explorer” in Farsi) during the Iranian month of Shahrivar, a period that ran between Aug. 23 and Sept. 22, according to an Agence-France Press report.

“The Kavoshgar-5 rocket carrying a capsule with a live animal (a monkey) was launched during Shahrivar,” Iran’s Deputy Science Minister Mohammad Mehdinejad-Nouri told the ISNA news agency, according to AFP. “However, the launch was not publicized as all of its anticipated objectives were not accomplished.”

See also:
Iran fails with space monkey launch
Iran Space monkey launch failed
Iran’s attempt to launch a monkey into space ends in failure
We Have Some Bad News About Iran’s Space Monkey
Iran Space Monkey Launch Attempt Fails
Iran tries, fails, to launch monkey into space
Iran’s space monkey failed
Iran “failed” to launch monkey into space
Iran space program confirms attempt to send live monkey into orbit failed
Iran’s attempt to launch monkey into space fails
Iran Fails to Send Monkey Into Space
Scott Hollifield: Space monkey breaking news — Iranian launch fails

The good news is that a nuclear warhead weighs more than a Rhesus monkey so, if Iran can’t put a monkey in space, they probably can’t lift a warhead that far either.

/they should have consulted Patti Smith, the Space Monkey expert

Picking Up Where We Left Off

NASA may be grounded, but the Chinese are just getting warmed up.

Rocket launches Chinese space lab

A rocket carrying China’s first space laboratory, Tiangong-1, has launched from the north of the country.

The Long March vehicle lifted clear from the Jiuquan spaceport in the Gobi Desert at 21:16 local time (13:16 GMT).

The rocket’s ascent took the lab out over the Pacific, and on a path to an orbit some 350km above the Earth.

The 10.5m-long, cylindrical module will be unmanned for the time being, but the country’s astronauts, or yuhangyuans, are expected to visit it next year.

Tiangong means “heavenly palace” in Chinese.

See also:
“Heavenly Palace:” China’s dream home in space
Space flight in service of science
Tiangong-1 blasts off
China’s Space Launch Closes Gap With U.S.
China launches Heavenly Palace space station module
China launches module for space station
China launches 1st space station module
China Launches Spacecraft, Eyes Space Station
China Launches ‘Heavenly Palace-1’ Into Space; Takes Step Toward Station
China Set to Launch Its Own Space Station; Mission: Unknown
China Launches Space Lab; An Insider Look Into China Space Program
Rocket’s red glaring error: China sets space launch to America the Beautiful
Tiangong 1

Okay, so the Chinese are still quite a ways behind the U.S. space program.

/but hey, at least they have an active space program

Ghost Of The Sea

Is this the U.S. Nay’s follow on to the $195 million Sea Shadow program, the Sea Shadow that’s currently floating on the scrap heap, waiting to be dismantled?

New Stealth Boat Glides Over Gas Layer

A new kind of boat is designed to move quickly and stealthily through water by generating a layer of gas around its underwater surfaces.

The design reduces friction by a factor of 900, according to the New Hampshire company that produced the boat. Its smooth speed makes it ideal for special operations. It could also revolutionize shipping.

Juliet Marine recently unveiled the Ghost, a ship it says can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The shape of the craft is similar to earlier attempts at making watercraft less visible to radar — notably the Navy’s “Sea Shadow” project of the 1980s.

The phenomenon is called supercavitation. Supercavitation occurs when a projectile moving through water generates a low-pressure zone around its surface. Go fast enough and the low-pressure zone becomes a layer of gas. In that respect the Ghost is similar to a Russian-made torpedo (called the “Shkval,” or squall), though the underwater portion of the boat’s twin hulls are a new design.

See also:
Juliet Marine Systems, Inc. Announces the First Super-Cavitating Ship, GHOST
Stealth Boat Glides Over Gas Layer
‘Ghost’ craft comes into view
Ghost ship unveiled: Stealth vessel is ‘virtually unstoppable
GHOST Boats Will Prey on Pirates
Pirate-fighter vessel revealed by Juliet Marine
Juliet Marine Develops Offshore Anti-Piracy Platform
“Stealth” Boat Could Revolutionize Naval Warfare
Juliet Marine Systems

Given the massive debt hole the U.S. is already in and that the Sea Shadow ended up being scrapped, I’m not sure the Navy really needs a new “stealth boat” like the Ghost, especially if it’s primary purpose would be to combat pirates. Pirates, for the most part, don’t have radar. The problem isn’t sneaking up on them, the problem is finding them in the first place and we don’t need a “stealth boat” for that.

/the supercavitation technology does, however, appear to be extremely promising in terms of possible commercial shipping applications where time and fuel are money

Another One Bites The Dust

Yet another government entitlement program looks to be about to go belly up.

Social Security Disability Payments Could End in 2017

Aging baby boomers and laid-off workers are inundating Social Security’s disability program with benefit claims, a financial strain that new congressional estimates report could leave the program bankrupt by 2017.

Applications have increased by 50 percent over the past decade, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as more people with disabilities lost their jobs — and often remain unemployed for months or even years — in an economy that has been hemorrhaging jobs.

See also:
Social Security Disability and SSI going broke
Social Security Disability Payments May Cease in 2017
Social Security disability on verge of insolvency
Report: Disability fund losing cash
A look at Social Security’s disability program
Old And In The Way: The Politics, Policies and Poverty Of Aging
Soc. Sec. disabilities claims up by 50%
U.S. Trust Funds
Social Security Disability Payments In Peril by 2017
Another Looming Entitlement Crisis
Social Security Disability Fund In Trouble
Government Running Out of Funds for Social Security
Social Security disability payments could end in 2017

Medicare, Social Security, and now Social Security Disability are all well down the road toward insolvency and the politicians, particularly the Democrats, don’t have the guts to do a damn thing about it. So, if you’re under say, 50, I wouldn’t be counting on any of these entitlement programs to be there for you when you might need them in the future.

/it’s the Age of Obama economy and you’re just going to have to learn to fend for yourself

Enriching Uranium Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Someone’s sending a pretty clear message. Do you want to work on Iran’s nuclear program or do you want to live?

Analysts believe Iran scientist death was a foreign hit

Western security agencies were most likely behind the killing of an Iranian scientist in an operation that underlines the myriad complications in the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, analysts say.

Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university lecturer, was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran Saturday, the third murder of a scientist since 2009. One was killed in a car bomb, the second by a device detonated remotely.

See also:
Third Iranian nuclear scientist shot dead
Western intelligence killed Iran scientist: Analysts
Iranian Nuclear Scientist ‘Assassinated’
Iranian nuclear scientist killed
Iran blamed US, Israel for killing of scientist
Iran accuses U.S., Israel of being involved in assassinating academic
US rejects Iran accusations in scientist’s death
US denies killing scientist, presses Iran
‘West’s involvement in hit on scientist uncertain’
Report: Iran denies Darioush Rezaie was a nuclear scientist

Granted, killing Iran’s nuclear scientists isn’t the most effective or efficient way to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons but, then again, it may be one of the only viable options left to the West at this point. That is, if Western intelligence agencies were responsible for the assassinations, which they deny.

/in any case, at least someone is doing something to try and hamstring Iran’s nefarious nuclear ambitions

Meanwhile, Back At The Nuclear Clown Rodeo

The IAEA sends Iran a strongly worded letter and, predictably, like clockwork, Iran tells the IAEA to shove their letter up their collective ass.

Iran to move its most sensitive nuclear equipment to bunker

Iran is moving production of higher enriched uranium to a mountain bunker where it aims to triple output by using more advanced centrifuges, state television reported Wednesday.

Iran says the announcement is a response to a letter by Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Friday, which reiterated “concerns about the possible military dimensions” of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

“Our answer is increased work in the sphere of nuclear technology and know-how,” Iran’s nuclear chief Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

See also:
Iran to Triple Higher-Enriched Uranium Production
Iran To Enrich Triple Uranium Enrichment Capacity
Defiant Iran plans big rise in nuclear enrichment
IAEA should end political disputes over Iran’s nuclear program: Soltanieh
Iran Said to Plan Nuclear Fuel Production Increase
Iran’s Nuclear Program, Charging Ahead
Goodspeed: Iran may be two months from bomb, two new studies say
RAND: Deterring Iran unlikely, but opportunities exist
France labels Iran’s further uranium enrichment “provocation”
Iran Swiftly Dismissed Amano’s Latest Whistle Blowing Report
Iran urges IAEA to meet commitments

Okay, we’ve waited and waited and waited and done nothing concrete or effective to stop Iran’s nuclear program and now it’s too late. At this point, not even military action can likely stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

/Obama was too busy golfing and couldn’t be reached for comment