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[ISN] HACKERS, MEDIA HYPE, AND DISINFORMATION
From: John Smith (jii10HOTMAIL.COM)
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 09:38:45 CST
[Note: Anyone remember the threats Clinton made to have NSA hack
EU bank accounts and destroy any money that Milosevic had on them?
The statement was quickly withdrawn, but clearly they had the capability do
it, and Clinton had spilled the beans..
Someone should start a similar information threat assessment
campaign from the perspective of the EU and the rest of the
world. Stop viewing these things only from the US perspective.
Why is it that we never read assessments for the damages of
espionage and economic cyber-terrorism that the US practices
on it's "allies"? Why is it that all the most popular computer
hardware and software used in EU is made in US? Trojan back-doors
in both hardware and software are the American spies' favorite
way to do things.
The stupid sheep suffer in silence.]
17 February 2000. Thanks to Wayne Madsen.
February 17, 2000
HACKERS, MEDIA HYPE, AND
For what it is worth, I am a 20-year veteran of the computer security
community. I have served in the Navy, National Security Agency, State
Department, Computer Sciences Corporation, RCA, and have
consulted on computer security with the National Institute of Standards
and Technology, international banks, telecom companies and even
firms that manufacture candy.
While working for the FBI and Naval Investigative Service, I put one US
Navy official in Federal prison for espionage and other crimes, and I
was involved in U.S. counter-terrorism work in Greece and the
Philippines. I think I know how the "spook" community operates and,
more importantly, how it thinks.
The hype associated with the recent Internet flooding is outrageous and
serves the agendas of the military and intelligence communities
regarding new vistas for bloated Pentagon and espionage budgets.
On 17 February, National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show had a
round table discussion featuring James Adams, a former London
Sunday Times reporter in Washington who is now a drum beater for
information warfare, and Jeffrey Hunker, the former head of the White
House Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office. Adams suggested that
for critical infrastructure protection certain civil liberties must be
forfeited. He also stated that Internet transactions should not be afforded
the same degree of privacy as the U.S. mail.
Hunker was uncomfortable that some people think that scare mongering
has been at the center of the recent packet flooding of the Internet.
Adams supported the CIA's creation of IN-Q-IT, a CIA Trojan Horse in
the Silicon Valley. According to Adams, Science Applications
International Corporation (SAIC), a virtual CIA proprietary firm, is
funding, through IN-Q-IT, a program called Net Eraser. None of the
participants in the Rehm Show were willing to talk about Net Eraser and
some seemed very nervous about discussing it in detail.
This radio program is highly indicative of the current hype surrounding
the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks on DOT COM sites on
the Internet. Even the use of the acronym DDOS is amazing. Here they
are, twenty-something DOT COM executives, who probably never
thought about computer security except for watching re-runs of
"Hackers" and "Sneakers," using Pentagon-originated terms like
"Distributed Denial of Service" attacks.
Why? Who told them to use those terms?
Then Clinton manages to take 90 minutes to attend an Internet security
summit on February 15. Northern Ireland's peace agreement is falling
apart, the Israeli-Palestine agreement is unraveling, and Russia's new
President is putting ex-KGB agents in his government, but Clinton has
enough time to talk with a group of e-commerce barons, computer
security geeks, and even one hacker. The whole thing appeared to be
staged and scheduled way in advance.
The whole so-called Internet "hack" smells of a perception
management campaign by the intelligence community. Perhaps the
system flooding was coordinated by one group -- however, those
types of attacks probably occur on a daily basis without being reported
by the world's media. It is important to note that one of the key
components of information warfare -- according to the Pentagon's own
seminal documents -- is perception management -- psychological
operations to whip up public support for a policy or program. The early
Defense Science Board reports on Critical Infrastructure Protection
actually call for a campaign to change the public's attitude about
information system and network security.
The Pentagon is a master at deception campaigns aimed at the news
media. They constantly broadcast disinformation to television and radio
audiences in Haiti, Serbia, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere. They are
now extending this to cyber space. Critical infrastructure protection is a
masterful ruse aimed at creating the myth of impeding cyber-peril.
The major domo is a weird chap named Richard Clarke, a Dr.
Strangelove-type character who is Clinton's counter-terrorism czar. He
always talks about defensive cyber-warfare but clams up when it
comes to offensive US cyber-operations. That is classified.
However, it is certain that the US Government has already done more
to disrupt the Internet than any other actor -- state-sponsored or
freelance. For the past few years, US government hackers have
penetrated networks at the European Parliament, Australian Stock
Exchange, and banks in Athens, Nicosia, Moscow, Johannesburg,
Beirut, Tel Aviv, Zurich, and Vaduz. The US also engaged in network
penetrations in Yugoslavia during the NATO war against that country.
Why doesn't NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC and the others focus on what the
US is doing to disrupt the Internet? They are instead falling into a
familiar Pentagon trap of deception and diversion.
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