Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for February 2010

Al-Ansar Jihadist Site: Mapping Jihad

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Seeing the traffic lately on Twitter between @allthingsct and Jokey, I thought it prudent to once again put some perspective on jokey’s little venture and how futile it really is. So, I bring to you this report I have generated on “Ansar-AlJihad”, a consortium of sites that are run by the same “persons” of interest and serve up jihadi content and links.

The picture above is a stealth mirror site of Ansar. The site is located in the US on a server that I assume the owners do not know has been compromised. This is just one of twelve sites that Ansar has stood up on varying servers and domains. Several of these sites all reside on IP addresses out of the US but being registered domains whose owner claims to be in Brussels.

The stealth site is physically located in Provo UT:

While the other sites primarily reside in Washington State:

The last site is physically located in Malaysia, which interestingly enough is a very active area for jihadi activity these last few years. All of these sites though, mirror the data that is updated consistently over all sites. Thus, should any site be taken down or denied service, one can just go to the next in line located on the main page, and get your jihadi content.

The addition of the stealth site proves the point that even IF all of the sites were to be taken down, they would indeed back up to the stealth site strategy and just keep popping sites to upload to. So, jokey’s little idea that just annoying them offline forever and they will just go away is a fallacy at best and half baked logic at worst.

Meanwhile, let’s consider the other way to deal with these sites. By tracking them, their users, and their data.

By looking at the domains, the home IP addresses, and the links as well as the data on these sites you can get a pretty good picture of who may be setting up these sites and who may be using them. In the case of Al Ansar, I was able to use Maltego to get a line on one site of interest that gave up a solid name and email address.

Maltego’s here:

The Maltego made the connection between the Ansar site and three Blogspot accounts. The one that was the most of interest was pathtomartyrdom.blogspot.com:

The owner of this site actually used a hotmail address and a name to set up the blog.

hassankhalid025@hotmail.com

This address was used in a few posts on Yahoo and not much else. However, I am sure that the authorities would be able to talk to M$ about opening that one up and seeing who said what to whom. Of course given the recent flap with Cryptome and the M$ guide for LEO’s I am quite sure they have all the logged traffic and can provide it when asked.

So, as you can see, with a little footprinting, a little digging, and some patience, you can do a lot more than just DDoS a site offline. You can in fact provide the authorities with the data needed to maybe catch these guys instead of drive them under the digital carpet.

My hope is that these sites are already in the hands of the authorities here in the states and their traffic being logged. It would be great to see that the server had been set up to have all the captures taken so even if the jihadists were using proxies they could at least track those too. It’s all links in a chain that can be followed to the source.

It may also be a key practice that these sites are not only watched, but also being actively added to by the authorities here. One would hope that they would be members on these sites also, adding content to “disinform” the jihadi’s and catch them in the act.

Ahh well.. One can hope huh?

Needless to say, I have posted the findings report to the feds and will wait to see what they do…

CoB

Someone’s Being Naughty…

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1    2010-02-25 21:59:03    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    66.66.191.237
2    2010-02-25 21:59:01    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    69.21.89.162
3    2010-02-25 21:58:59    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    87.60.167.183
4    2010-02-25 21:58:58    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    89.109.78.29
5    2010-02-25 21:58:57    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.96.169
6    2010-02-25 21:58:56    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
7    2010-02-25 21:58:54    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
8    2010-02-25 21:58:52    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.96.169
9    2010-02-25 21:58:51    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.68.179
10    2010-02-25 21:58:50    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.68.179
11    2010-02-25 21:58:48    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
12    2010-02-25 21:58:46    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
13    2010-02-25 21:58:44    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.68.179
14    2010-02-25 21:58:42    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    66.66.191.237
15    2010-02-25 21:58:41    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    78.83.80.54
16    2010-02-25 21:58:40    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
17    2010-02-25 21:58:39    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    89.109.78.29
18    2010-02-25 21:58:37    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    66.169.202.177
19    2010-02-25 21:58:35    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
20    2010-02-25 21:58:33    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    66.169.202.177
21    2010-02-25 21:58:32    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    142.167.126.182
22    2010-02-25 21:58:31    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    93.139.48.130
23    2010-02-25 21:58:30    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
24    2010-02-25 21:58:29    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    66.66.191.237
25    2010-02-25 21:58:28    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
26    2010-02-25 21:58:27    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    90.197.242.180
27    2010-02-25 21:58:26    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    72.202.143.111
28    2010-02-25 21:58:25    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    80.203.53.196
29    2010-02-25 21:58:24    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    80.203.53.196
30    2010-02-25 21:58:23    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.96.169
31    2010-02-25 21:58:21    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.199.96.169
32    2010-02-25 21:58:19    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    80.203.53.196
33    2010-02-25 21:58:17    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    69.21.89.162
34    2010-02-25 21:58:16    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    80.203.53.196
35    2010-02-25 21:58:14    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    81.152.113.148
36    2010-02-25 21:58:13    DDOS_TYPE_UDP_FLOOD    74.129.196.183

So someone’s been naughty. This is the second time I have seen a DDoS against the system lately. Of course the site was not affected nor were my systems as the IPS caught and blocked the traffic. However, one has to wonder if Jokey’s little toy is not out there being field tested eh?

On another note… Who the hell names their  Anti Jihadi product after the “Persian” invader that ends up re-building Athens after he invades and then loses the biggest sea battle of his life?

Jokey.

One would think that perhaps he might read a little history and name it “Spartan” instead? Might be a bit more logical.. Hell for that matter he may as well have named it Ephialtes instead. At least that would have more meaning. Of course I assume the naming comes from watching a movie based on a graphic novel inspired by the battle of Thermopylae.

Just goes to show the forward thinking here… Heh, naming it after a 7 foot gay Goa’uld…

CoB


Written by Krypt3ia

2010/02/26 at 03:13

Posted in DD0S, IPS

Movie Review Triptych: Red Riding 1974, 1980, 1983

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“To the North, where we do what we bloody want!” a phrase that makes an appearance in all three of these films that comprise the whole piece that is “Red Riding” This is an adaptation of the novel by David Peace and was inspired by the “Yorkshire Ripper” case that raged in the 70’s through to 1981 with the capture of the “Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe.

The film, actually three films, by different directors and originally aired as BBC specials. The films were later put out here in the states as standard movie theater fair.

1974:

A cub reporter gets a tip on the killings of young girls in the Yorkshire area. He goes to the North to investigate the story. He finds a gypsy village that has been utterly destroyed by locals who hate them.

He follows the story and finds himself the target of the local constabulary and a powerful man. Men all, who seem to be a part of the missing girls case.

This story is the first in the series and lays out much of what will be needed/revealed in the final tale in 1983. The imagery is dark and the serial homicides center around the girls being laid out with swan wings attached to them in some kind of mystical tableaux.

The acting is great but the dialog can be hard to understand with the Northern accents though. If you are not good with dialects, you may find yourself turning on the subtitles or rewinding now and then.

Ultimately the story is layered and may leave you confused, but that I think is part of the appeal. After all this is a mystery genre movie.

1980:

The second of the films takes place post the “capture” of the alleged “Ripper” Evidence and a disappearance of a new girl have cast a pall on the local constabulary’s conclusion of the case however. Thus this film starts out with the drafting of a new DCI from another office to take over and re-investigate the killings.

The man for the job is an honest man with one chink in his armor, an affair with a subordinate detective in his chain of command. The detective notes right away that things are not right in Yorkshire but can’t seem to get close to the real killer because the locals are running interference.

As the tension builds we see more and more clearly into the events and the players surrounding the investigation of the killings and their tactics. In the end the detective comes to the conclusion needed to re-open the case and perhaps locate the killer, but betrayal succeeds in the end.

This was the film that was the less image laden of the lot. However, the tension from the acting and story is key to the overall arc that will have you depressed and enthralled.

1983:

In this final installment of “Red Riding” you get the final perspective on the whole case and the stories of the people involved. This was the most violent and uncomfortable of the films for visual and story content but the context that the images provide lend to the power of all of the films collectively.

A power that culminates in the final scenes that make you stand up, pump your fist in the air and say YES! when the killer gets his due. Much of this feeling comes from seeing the many broken people who have been destroyed in various ways by the cabal that the killer is protected by for their own reasons. A cabal that treats the populace around them as cattle for their “We do what we want” mantra.

It is in this end that you get the multiple movies story lines finally intersecting with the perspective of one man central to the case and the events surrounding the investigation. The deeply twisted virulence that lives in the small ghetto in the north, the corruption of the authorities, and the bigger picture that centers on the one twisted soul you would not suspect to be the cause of it all.

This is a dark film as they all are, but this one ends at least in light.

Over all, I say see these films. If you are lucky enough to have them playing at the theater nearby see them there. If not, rent the DVD’s and watch them over a day or three. You will not be disappointed.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/02/24 at 17:27

Posted in Movie Reviews

Speaking Truth To Stupid

with 2 comments

“If the nation went to war today, in a cyberwar, we would lose,” Mike McConnell told a U.S. Senate committee. “We’re the most vulnerable. We’re the most connected. We have the most to lose.”

McConnell, director of national intelligence from 2007 to 2009, predicted that the U.S. government would eventually get heavily involved in protecting cybersecurity and in regulating private approaches to cybersecurity. Testifying before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, McConnell also predicted that the U.S. would make little improvements in its cybersecurity before a “catastrophic” attack will cause the government to get involved.

“We will not mitigate this risk,” said McConnell, now executive vice president for the national security business at Booz Allen Hamilton. “We will talk about it, we will wave our hands, we’ll have a bill, but we will not mitigate this risk.”

Full story HERE

Exactly what I have been saying!! McConnell and I seem to be on the same wavelength here. Of course it was rather painfully obvious to anyone watching that CNN pos, but, being in the business I know from experience.

I will say it again: We will not really take this seriously until we get hit hard. Lets just hope we come through that attack ok and learn from it.

CoB

CyberShockwave = CyberFAIL Difference of Opinons

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From TaoSecurity

I just finished watching Cyber Shockwave, in the form of a two hour CNN rendition of the 16 February 2010 simulation organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). The event simulated, in real time, a meeting of the US National Security Council, with former government, military, and security officials role-playing various NSC participants. The simulation was created by former CIA Director General Michael Hayden and the BPC’s National Security Preparedness Group, led by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Governor Thomas Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton.

The fake NSC meeting was held in response to a fictitious “cyber attack” against US mobile phones, primarily caused by a malicious program called “March Madness.” For more details, read the press releases here, or tune into CNN at 1 am, 8 pm, or 11 pm EST on Sunday, or 1 am EST on Monday.

The Rest HERE

So, I already see lots of comments on Twitter and elsewhere claiming Cyber Shockwave was lame or a waste of time. As you can see it raised a lot of issues that I consider very important. I’m glad BPC organized this event and that CNN televised it. At the very least people are talking about digital security. Posted by Richard Bejtlich at 22:11 7 comments

Bejtlich and I differ in opinions on a few things but I think he has some good points. I was reactive that night at the superciliousness of the exercise as presented by CNN. Now that I have had time to think a bit, let me put some more words around what I spewed out on Saturday in hopefully a more cogent way.

Tao’s thoughts will be followed by my own.

  • Others have already criticized the technical realism of this exercise. I think that is short-sighted. If you have a problem with the scenario, insert your own version of a major technical problem that affects millions of people.

I still feel that this was no real exercise. One would hope that in such meetings today, we would have technically savvy people there on hand to talk to the technical aspects of what was happening and what course to take.  If we do not have someone technical in the SITROOM then we are hosed from the get go. You need to have SME’s there to explain the situation technically.

  • I think the real value of the exercise was revealing the planning deficiencies when cyber events are involved. Since this exercise supposedly occurred in the future, I was disappointed to not hear mention of the National Cyber Incident Response Plan, currently in draft.

I agree here. It would have been nice if they had talked about this response plan, but I am not so sure that this will get off the ground. Never mind the fact that were this type of attack to happen within say, the next 5 years, I am sure we would still not have the infrastructure to handle it properly as a country.

The turf wars that have started now likely will still be being fought and there will likely be no clear direction to follow. I really think that this country has yet to really hit by an attack from which it will learn and change. Until then, we will have talking heads in bunkers making bad decisions while the outside world goes to shit.

  • I was disturbed but not surprised to see the tension between preserving the Constitution, individual liberties, and property rights, vs “aggressive” action which is “ratified” following Presidential order. I was impressed by the simulated Attorney General’s defense of the law despite intimations by some of her colleagues that the President could pretty much do whatever he wanted.
  • This is classic talking head NSC blather. It was exacerbated by the fact that there were no technical SME’s on the panel to help the talking heads understand the complexities of the problem. When they started talking about the constitutionality of pulling cell phones offline as well as taking over telcos, I was just beyond rational thought.

    Were they to start doing these things it would only lend to the pandemonium that this attack and the press chatter about it would have caused. This would only amp it up and make the nation go into panic mode.

    Additionally, you could see as is pointed out above, that they seem to think that the president has carte blanche here to “protect the nation” but in doing these things, or even advocating them, they are doing this country a dis-service.

  • To complicate the situation, after the first hour news came of a bomb attack on two power stations, leading to or aggravating electrical grid failures on the east coast. I thought this was unnecessary. In the scenario wrap-up, the participants focused mainly on the cyber elements. I thought the exercise could have stayed focused on 100% cyber without bringing in a traditional terrorism angle.
  • Here I diverge again from Tao’s opinion. The cyber attack in question was a part of a larger attack that culminated with the explosion and taking down of the grid. Of course in the future this may not be necessary because the grid will be “smart” technology that is likely to be easily hacked and taken down in a massively larger plot. This would work even better because of the connectivity planned for these systems.

    In this case though, if this were a nation state actor they likely would take out the northeast grid at a sensitive location to make things worse. Of course the NE has the economic center of NY, so you can see where I am going here. Tao seems to miss that point. It’s not all about the cyber. In fact, I am more worried about a blended attack than I am a straight cyber one simply because, as the panel said, the systems are disparate and segregated. You couldn’t take them all down at once. Unless that is, you have invested a lot of time hacking and back door-ing them all before the attack goes live.

    This is another thing that was not talked about on the panel and may not have been apparent to many in the audience.

  • I thought the role of the simulated Cyber Coordinator revealed the weakness of the position. Most of the other participants relied on one, two, or three forms of authority when providing advice. They 1) offered specific expertise, e.g., the AG talking about the law; and/or 2) specific news, e.g., word from the Intel Community, and/or 3) explanations of what their agencies were doing, e.g., State describing interactions with other governments. The simulated Cyber Coordinator didn’t do much of those, and when he tried to apply expertise, he was wrong or wrong-headed. I cringed when he mentioned having ISPs require user PCs to be “secure” or to force them to apply patches. Just how would that happen? I could see a useful Cyber Coordinator be the person who knows the technology and its limitations, but outside of that role I have a lot of doubts.
  • Yes, there is no authority nor was there comprehension of the issues at hand by the one in charge. I think that we have much more to learn from episodes like this and yes, this was a learning experience, however, it need not have been on CNN. Unless this little event was a chance for the counterintel folks to pass out a healthy helping of “disinformation” we just let the world know pretty well how fubar we are where this attack type is concerned.

    On the issue of Tao’s cringing at the desire for ISP’s etc to enforce secure practices online, I don’t agree fully. I think that we need to get educated, but do stop at forcing people to be secure. However, I do agree that forcing corporations, military, contractors, etc that interface with the “infrastructure” should be forced to practice security. By law we already have rules about securing credit card and personal data, why not go further and audit companies to such standards around INFOSEC in general?

    After all, its all of these places that are the weak spots and getting hacked lately by the likes of China right? How about more legislation, oversight, and action here?

    In closing, I just want to re-iterate that this CNN show was poorly thought out. The whole “War of the Worlds This is a simulation” crap was almost not necessary because it was so patently useless. So yes, it may have brought up some questions that may be usefull to those in power, but mostly, it just led to more FUD for the public.

    CoB


    Jihadi Propaganda Machines: Statement of the Declaration of unity between the Young Mujahideen Movement Camp and Ras Kamboni.

    with 2 comments

    Over the weekend I began some consolidation of data and links from my research into Jihadi sites. I began a new methodology for searches with Google and other tools and hit a mother-load of sites. Unfortunately, many of the sites were older (circa 2008) but, many of them still had working links to sites that either have fallen by the wayside or still harbor useful intelligence.

    One of the hits that I found was an active vb BB that contained a recent post from a “Muslim Youth Movement”

    Statement of the Declaration of unity between the Young Mujahideen Movement Camp and Ras Kamboni.

    This statement is another sign in the road on how much “youth” recruiting the Jihadists are doing. There seems to be a full out campaign to indoctrinate as well as coordinate them within differing regions or tribal areas. This seems to be one of the Jihad movement’s attempts to re-invigorate the movements as well as perhaps collapse all of the disparate entities into a cohesive whole.

    Another interesting find was the amount of WordPress and Blogspot blogs out there now that are stealth Jihadi sites. One in particular mojahidmouslim.blogspot.com is a bit on the older side, but packed with links to other sites offering soup to nuts Jihad training as well as indoctrination. One has to wonder whether or not Google knows that they are also harboring terrorist sites?

    Of course they should now as I have reported the site to the authorities… But we shall see what happens with that. What I would really love to see is Google identifying those who put this site up and other connections to it for the Feds to use in prosecuting anti-terror cases.

    These are of course just a few of the numerous sites I located with Google searches. One has to wonder if there are any other people within the government and military doing the same?

    Finally, on the same forum as the announcement by the Mujahideen movement, there was a section on “internet security” that piqued my interest.

    Security tips for diners Discussion forums

    In which the jihadis are admonished to be careful in their communications online. The writer claims that the CIA has set up jihadist sites for them to connect to and communicate so that they “CIA” can track and capture them.

    Frankly that’s a good idea I think. I have to wonder if this is the case at all in some places. Of course this post is also telling the Jihadis to use TOR or other proxies to connect to the internet sites at all times. Prudent advise, but I have to wonder just how many TOR nodes are owned by government entities or have connections to governments. Lets hope that they don’t think that laterally shall we?

    The post however is pretty much on the money on how to be careful when posting on these boards. This though will not stop them from being caught… Eventually.

    Finally, another post from the same BB has a statement from the Yemeni APAQ group:

    URGENT £ al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula / false statement to clarify information tyrants and crusaders

    This is a statement refuting that any of the Yemeni government operations working with the US have been fruitful.

    Methinks they doth protest too much.

    In the end there is much more to wade through out there. I will post the interesting bits.

    CoB

    Written by Krypt3ia

    2010/02/22 at 15:58

    U.S. Fails Test In Simulated Cyberattack

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    U.S. Fails Test In Simulated Cyberattack

    Organizers, observers of “Cyber Shockwave” conclude that nation is not ready for the real thing

    Feb 17, 2010 | 06:48 PM

    By TimWilson
    DarkReading

    A large-scale simulated cyberattack on the U.S. yesterday proved one thing, according to organizers: the country isn’t prepared for a real attack.

    In a press release issued today, the Bipartisan Policy Center — which organized “Cyber Shockwave” using a group of former government officials and computer simulations — concluded that the U.S is “unprepared for cyber threats.”

    Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, who chaired the simulated National Security Council, said cyber-terrorism “ought to be treated as a threat of sufficient seriousness that we give it the priority attention we’ve given weapons of mass destruction.” Cyber-terrorism is “more complicated by the fact that it involves every individual,” Chertoff said. “Anybody who has a smart phone, who downloads an app or gets on their PC is engaged in this process.”

    Reports from those who witnessed the simulation indicate that the U.S. defenders had difficulty identifying the source of the simulated attack, which in turn made it difficult to take action.

    “During the exercise, a server hosting the attack appeared to be based in Russia,” said one report. “However, the developer of the malware program was actually in the Sudan. Ultimately, the source of the attack remained unclear during the event.”

    The simulation envisioned an attack that unfolds over a single day in July 2011. When the Cabinet convenes to face this crisis, 20 million of the nation’s smart phones have already stopped working. The attack, the result of a malware program that had been planted in phones months earlier through a popular “March Madness” basketball bracket application, disrupts mobile service for millions. The attack escalates, shutting down an electronic energy trading platform and crippling the power grid on the Eastern seaboard.

    “A useful aspect of something like this simulation is it helps people visualize what is realistic and possible in some circumstances,” said John McLaughlin, who played the role of Director of National Intelligence. “The smart thing is to prepare now, to do the legislation now, to do the bipartisan work now, to do the intelligence work now, the foreign policy work. These are all very complicated things and we need to get started on them.”

    Stephen Friedman, who played the role of Secretary of the Treasury, said of a potential cyber attack on the U.S.: “There is no question in my mind that this is a predictable surprise and we need to get our act together.””

    The panel of government officials agreed that cyber-terrorism is a national security issue that needs to be addressed quickly in a bipartisan manner. “It raises an issue of the system’s responsibility to be able to come together in a nonpartisan way and figure out the answer to questions as opposed to kicking the can down the road until we’re in an emergency,” said Chertoff.

    During the exercise, legal questions were raised regarding personal privacy versus national security. “We have to come to grips with the implications for our personal privacy and the relationship between the federal government and the private sector,” said Jamie Gorelick, who played the role of Attorney General.

    Cyber ShockWave demonstrated the tremendous challenges the government has in dealing with potential cyber attacks,” said Jason Grumet, founder and president of the BPC. “Our goal for Cyber Shockwave was to identify real policy and preparedness issues that need to be addressed in order to combat an attack of this magnitude that escalates rapidly and is of unknown origin.”

    So, I have been lamenting this outcome for years now and the one thing that really is running through my mind right now is

    “Umm where was Tsar Schmidt?”

    Was he involved? Was he watching? Has he a clue? So far I have heard dick out of him in the way of saying anything of meaning about his job. Perhaps he is not sure what is job is as yet anyway… Meh. In any case, this should be an interesting report to read.

    Now on the “predictable surprise” comment.. Uhh What? What the hell does that mean? How is anything predictable a surprise? Is this the calibre of the people working on this problem? Ugh.

    Lastly, the whole issue of the legal right to privacy seeming to be at risk to “solve” these issues really is a load of crap. FIND ways to take care of the problems without having to invade all our privacy please!

    Time to start my plans for a big Faraday cage…

    Daniel Pipes: In Mideast, Bet on a Strong Horse

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    Daniel Pipes, 16 Feb 2010: The violence and cruelty of Arabs often perplexes Westerners. Not only does the leader of Hizbullah proclaim “We love death,” but so too does, for example, a 24-year-old man who last month yelled “We love death more than you love life” as he crashed his car on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in New York City. As two parents in St. Louis honor-killed their teenage daughter with thirteen stabs of a butcher’s knife, the Palestinian father shouted “Die! Die quickly! Die quickly! . . . Quiet, little one! Die, my daughter, die!” – and the local Arab community supported them against murder charges. A prince from Abu Dhabi recently tortured a grain dealer whom he accused of fraud; despite a video of the atrocity appearing on television internationally, the prince was acquitted while his accusers were convicted.

    “The Strong Man” Something we should be used to seeing in the affairs of the Middle east as well as the long and storied history of Russia and the Soviet state. However, these ideals where the Muslim/Arab communities come to play are ingrained in their society fully.

    The peoples of the Middle east are a tribal people. Your family, tribe, religion, like all places on the earth can mean many things. In this case, these traits of birth can get you beheaded in the wrong area of town or just by the fact that you are not the right kind of Muslim. Of course this is not the case with all the peoples of the area, but, this is the case for many of them.

    Where the “Strong Man” comes to play here is the obvious one of virility and strength as well as the ability to carry out one’s will with violence to subjugate those around them. A case in point that is easy to pick out was Saddam Hussein. He had the complex down to a science with the violence, the self aggrandisement, and his control of his people. In short, the reality was he was a mad man of sorts and someone the US thought could control.

    We were wrong.

    Perhaps it is the rigours of living in the desert that makes these peoples so insular and territorial as well as their religion. After all, water was prized more than many other things and a wadi or a well was essential to survival. For many generations this has been the way of life for these people and even with all of the modernity that oil profits have brought, still cling to those old wasy as if it were a genetic trait asserting itself.

    Smith takes as his prooftext Osama bin Laden’s comment in 2001, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.” What Smith calls the strong-horse principle contains two banal elements: Seize power and then maintain it. This principle predominates because Arab public life has “no mechanism for peaceful transitions of authority or power sharing, and therefore [it] sees political conflict as a fight to the death between strong horses.”

    Violence, Smith observes is “central to the politics, society, and culture of the Arabic-speaking Middle East.” It also, more subtly, implies keeping a wary eye on the next strong horse, triangulating, and hedging bets.

    As you can see, Osama believes this way too. On the one hand the aphorism holds true from the standpoint of nature. We all as a species crave strength. We want our leaders to be strong and capable. We want our homes to be the same, our lives, etc. We need that comfort of being protected. Just look at the presidency as one of these things. We need a strong decisive president who does not think but acts (ala GWB) but then, by the time we learn that often times “no think” leads to bad decisions, its too late and we wind up in the shit.

    Sociologists must be employed by the world to understand the people of varying regions. In the case of the Middle East, too many in our society have no clue as to what’s going on and why. Unfortunately I believe that the last administration had no idea really of the history there nor the mindset. This administration is trying to understand and be placative, but that is not the way to go either. Most of all, the “people” need to understand the playing field and the players to make informed decisions on our state actions and this is not happening.

    I guess the ultimate question is asked by the statement made in the article:

    More broadly, when the U.S. government flinches, others (e.g., the Iranian leadership) have an opportunity to “force their own order on the region.” Walid Jumblatt, a Lebanese leader, has half-seriously suggested that Washington “send car bombs to Damascus” to get its message across and signal its understanding of Arab ways.

    On the gross generality term here this may be the best way to get through to those in power, and those squabbling over it. However, we have tried and failed numerous times by trying a “proxy strong horse” in theatre. Saddam being the last of these in recent “history” showing us how bad that can be. Not so historical is the current Pakistani, Afghani, and Iraqi “strong men” who we are fronting to hold the region together. All of who are dogged by allegations of crime and duplicity if not outright despotism.

    Can you say Iran?

    So the question becomes how do we gain their respect? Because control of the strong man certainly has failed us over and over again. Then again, how do we break this cycle of strong man, Muslim sectarian hate, and tribal behaviour?

    I don’t have the answers, but I beg you to ponder the puzzle.

    Full Article:

    CoB

    Written by Krypt3ia

    2010/02/17 at 15:48

    Is The U.S. Ready For A Cyberwar?

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     Cyberwar

    The U.S. government is in the dark when it comes to cyber attacks. (iStock.com)

    By Bryce Baschuk

    Imagine waking up in the morning and your electricity is out. No lights, no heat and no computers. You try to turn on your cell phone but the network is down and so is your access to the Internet. You suddenly feel alone and afraid.

    An army of foreign computer hackers has brought down America’s power grid and government operations.

    According to cyber security advisors this kind of scenario is very real and the U.S. is unprepared to defend itself.

    Cyber sieges do happen and can have a crippling effect on national defense. In August of 2008, Russia launched a cyber attack on the national websites of Georgia, its neighboring country. These attacks coincided with Russia’s military campaign in the South Ossetia region. The attacks debilitated Georgian news and government websites and marked one of the first cyber/military wars in modern history.

    The U.S. is anticipating the cyber wars of the future and is gearing up to respond and retaliate to the looming threats of both rogue states and powerful nations.

    Today, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC, an independent group of former DHS, CIA and national security advisors launched a three hour cyber attack simulation.

    The “Cyber ShockWave” event and was hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington based nonprofit organization. Their mission was to test the U.S. response to a coordinated, international attack on America’s technological infrastructure.

    The group hired experts in cyber warfare to compose a simulated scenario where a virus attaches itself to a “March Madness” college basketball phone application. In the simulation, the virus replicated and spread through smart phone contact lists until it eventually brought down cellular service for most Americans. Included in the exercise were a number of private companies, such as PayPal and General Dynamics, which have a vested interest in bolstering U.S. cyber defense capabilities.

    So how did America fare against a such a strike?

    Fail.

    Yeahhh, that’s what I have been talking about for some time now…

    Full article here:

    THIS is what you have to worry about with the APT. If they can get in and out as easily as has been proven out.. Then just how hard would it be for them to lay the groundwork to take our systems out?

    Yeah.

    Time for the Tsar and his minions to do some shit.

    Written by Krypt3ia

    2010/02/17 at 00:22

    Generation Jihad

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    The above photo is the Time Magazine article of the same name as the BBC production that I am linking to. The link is for part 1 and I will post links for parts two and three once they are out there on the Internet.

    This series is rather prescient given what I have been seeing these last couple years particularly on the internet where Jihad is concerned. Once the command and control underbelly for AQ to make connections has gone web 2.0 and has grown immensely. This growth has also been in the form of a tool for propaganda and recruitment for Jihad.

    The younger set have taken the reigns and created bulletin boards, upload sites, and encrypted channels for their trafficking of data such as videos, pdf’s, and even power point presentations. These files are uploaded to the likes of Rapidshare and other sites like it to propagate all over the net for easy access. There is however a lesser known series of sites and connections that are more protected. These areas offer more directed material from AQ.

    What this report really shows pretty well is that the jihadis have begun to work on the youth of today who have easy access to the ineternet, often feel confused and angry, and all to often can be turned into shahid fairly easily. Of course many of these kids are of Muslim heritage, but, some like Adam “Azzam Amriki” Ghadan decide on their own to seek the Muslim faith and then get brought into Jihad.

    I assume that in the upcoming parts of this report you will also see the “Muslima” movement online being profiled too. This is a rather important point to cover today as the movement has been active in recruiting women as well as American or Anglo recruits for the next wave of attacks. This is something I have been seeing on the boards out there. Many sites have added English sections that mirror “most” of the content within the boards.

    Another interesting point is the idea that just posessing the videos and other media make the owner available to prosecution for terrorism, at least in the UK. I am not sure how that will play out here in the US, but, I can see the same kind of ideas being put out as law and allowing the Feds to charge a person who simply “posesses” the data as a co conspirator to terrorism. Something that is kind of scary really given our first amendment rights and others granted to us in the Constitution.

    Its a slippery slope really..

    In any case, I suggest you view this video and see what is happening. Understanding the problem is the first step in solving it.

    CoB

    Written by Krypt3ia

    2010/02/16 at 22:56