Krypt3ia

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

Archive for the ‘CBRN’ Category

Rumblings On Stuxnet’s Potential for A Chernobyl Style Incident at Bushehr

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A source called me over the weekend and alluded to some intel concerning the Bushehr nuclear plant with regard to Stuxnet. Of course you all out there are probably sick of hearing about Stuxnet (especially the infosec/IW community) but, I thought this was interesting and should drop a post. My source says that certain people in the know are worried about the whole stuxnet operation from the point of view that it was released into systems that, to the creators of the operation, were not completely understood. That is to say that Iran, being as hard to get intel on, may have had configurations or issues that the creators and implementors of Stuxnet did not account for and could indeed have caused a larger catastrophe with the malware.

This is now making the rounds quietly in certain areas of the media, but, I want to call your attention to this article that I found on payvand.com. In it, a nuclear expert speaks about the potential for a nuclear accident due to the design specs of the reactor at Bushehr and the fact that the Russians reported that they were removing the nuclear material from the reactor recently.

From: Dr. Sadeq Rabbani, Former Deputy of the Nuclear Energy Organization

The Russians claim that they were obliged to remove the fuel from the Bushehr nuclear reactor in order to replace a part that was installed during the time the Germans were managing the construction of the plant. It should be noted that according to the contract with Russia for construction of the Bushehr plant, the Russians replaced all inner parts of the reactor and presented a new design. In the German model, a vertical design was used, but the Russians adopted the horizontal model. This means that the created problem was not related to the inner parts of the German-designed reactor.

So the Russians were paid for the construction of the Bushehr reactor and have also changed the design. Now the problem is whether the Russians were wrong in their design. It is unlikely that the Russians were wrong in their design, because this is not the first plant that they have constructed, and their experience is valuable.

There remains only the Stuxnet virus that Iran denies has been able to affect the Bushehr facilitates. So, if we assume that the Iranian authorities are right, the Russians are playing with us by delaying the launch of the Bushehr plant, and want to continue to delay launching it.

My source, who has connections with various people in the know, says that there is a higher potential that since the German design and build was overtaken by the Russians, that they may in fact have introduced flaws within the system that “could” lead to a Chernobyl style event if something like Stuxnet had infected other PLC systems. Of course this is a blanket concern with malware on the level of Stuxnet anyway is it not? Of course, Stuxnet was particularly targeted to the Siemens systems for enrichment but, there is always a chance of undesired effects to potentially other systems.

This is not to say that there have been or are other systems that have been compromised by Stuxnet… That we know of.

Ostensibly, Stuxnet was aimed at the weapons facilities but, one must not think that the weapons facilities and the nuclear power program were kept apart by a firewall, for the lack of a better term. I am willing to bet that the two are connected both semantically as well as functionally, and in that, the systems that play a key role may have too. IF Stuxnet travelled to the Bushehr systems, what ‘could’ be the import here? Just as well, what would the design of the reactor play as a part to hastening a large nuclear accident?

The article above goes on to say that Dr. Rabbani does not believe that the design and implementation of the Bushehr reactor is likely to cause an issue. Others though have been saying the opposite. Including my source. All that is really known at this point are the following things;

  • When Stuxnet hit Iran claimed that they were just fine! However, reports internally at the nuclear facilities and universities proved otherwise. That the malware was running rampant and they were trying and failing to exterminate it.
  • The design and implementation of the nuclear reactor had been started by the Germans (Siemens) and then stopped for many years. Then the Russians picked up where the Germans left off. It is possible that the design changes and or builds on to previous versions could have flaws in them that might make for vulnerabilities.
  • The Russians have removed the nuclear materials and the program is steadily losing ground to delay.

All in all, the unforeseen circumstances of malware like Stuxnet may indeed have caused issues at Bushehr, or, they could have been a calculated thing. Perhaps this is just Iran being careful out of paranoia as fallout from the incident. In either scenario, we win out in that the programs are being delayed. However, the worry that my source intoned was that they may not have considered the possibilities of collateral damage and just how bad they could be if the reactor had gone online and melted down. Of course, this is after seeing everything that is happening in Fukushima, so it’s on many minds.

My source went on to ask the question; “This would have to have a presidential order wouldn’t it as an operation?” The answer to that is yes. It is also quite likely that this operation was set forth by the previous administration (Bush) and, well, we know just how well thought out that presidency was huh? To my source, I say be careful in speaking about this. To all of you out there reading this I say keep your eyes peeled, there’s bound to be more fallout.

K.

What’s the ISI’s Interest in Aafia Siddiqui?

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ABC News reported today that Pakistan attempted to exchange CIA contractor Raymond Davis for convicted al Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui. This should come as no surprise, as speculation about a possible prisoner exchange first appeared in the Pakistani press just days after Davis’ arrest. ABC News reports:

The government of Pakistan offered to trade a CIA contractor currently jailed in that country for a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected by U.S. intelligence to be an al Qaeda operative.According to a senior American administration official and a Pakistani official involved in the negotiations to free CIA contractor Raymond Davis, the Pakistani government proposed trading Davis for Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-educated Pakistani neuroscientist currently serving 86 years in federal prison for attempted murder.

The offer was immediately dismissed by the U.S. government. “The Pakistanis have raised it,” the U.S. official said. “We are not going to pursue it.”

Keep in mind that Aafia Siddiqui, who has been dubbed “Lady al Qaeda” by the press, was sentenced to 86 years in prison by a US jury in September 2010 for attempting to kill US troops in Afghanistan after being captured in Ghazni province. Siddiqi had close links to al Qaeda operational commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and was involved in several plots to attack the US homeland. From Thomas Joscelyn’s report on Siddiqui:

According to an indictment prepared by US prosecutors, Siddiqui had “various documents, various chemicals, and a computer thumb drive, among other things” in her possession when she was arrested. Handwritten notes she was carrying referred to a “mass casualty attack” and listed “various locations in the United States, including Plum Island, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge.”In addition, according to the indictment, “certain notes referred to the construction of ‘dirty bombs,’ chemical and biological weapons, and other explosives.” The notes “discussed mortality rates associated with certain of these weapons and explosives.”

Still other notes “referred to various ways to attack ‘enemies,’ including by destroying reconnaissance drones, using underwater bombs, and using gliders.”

Siddiqui’s computer thumb drive contained contained “correspondence that referred to specific ‘cells’ and ‘attacks’ by certain ‘cells’,” as well as documents discussing “recruitment and training.”

The notes and documents in Siddiqui’s possession reveal that she was most likely still involved in al Qaeda’s plotting against the US Homeland at the time of her capture. She apparently did not give up, even though many of her co-conspirators had been rolled up following KSM’s detention.

So what’s the interest for Pakistan to obtain Aafia Siddiqui in exchange for Mr. Devis? Could this be seen as an exchange of spies? I wonder if the ISI would like to get hold of Aafia to keep her from perhaps giving up data on their connections to AQ. After all, she is related to KSM through an uncle and it would seem, through her allegiance to AQ and Jihad. It would also seem that she may have been a key player in AQ from her having a usb thumbdrive with all kinds of technical goodies on it.

That Aafia was not sent to Gitmo is also an interesting turn, her attack on the interrogators, however, 5 years of her life cannot be accounted for, and this should be of great interest to the FBI and other anti terror entities. What was she up to and where was she post her 2003 disappearance? Why would she not be sent to Gitmo as opposed to the 86 year term she got for assault with intent?

Can one maybe say cooperation?

All I know is that Aafia had plans on that little thumbdrive for Plum Island. She had the schooling and the know how to put together a weapon of mass destruction and plans for Plum Island… And she is serving 86 years for assault.

Things that make you go “hmmmm”

K

 

Written by Krypt3ia

2011/03/01 at 12:02

Political firm fears sheikh’s files were hacked

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In a mysterious case of cyber-espionage, a leading California political consulting firm has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate what it says appears to be computer hacking involving a high-profile client, an ousted Middle Eastern sheikh, which the firm says could compromise “sensitive information relating to U.S. and Iranian security issues.”

Jason Kinney, who heads California Strategies, made the request to Holder and the U.S. attorney’s office last week after it appeared hackers had accessed the Sacramento consulting firm’s computer files relating to their client, Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

Kinney and two other leading Democratic strategists, former White House spokesman Chris Lehane and Peter Ragone, the former spokesman for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, represent the royal client.

The sheikh – the legally recognized deputy ruler and crown prince of Ras al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates – was deposed from power in 2003 by more conservative factions, including his brother, after being criticized as too friendly to the United States.

The crown prince, who considers himself an ally of the White House, was an overnight guest there during the Clinton administration and attended the inauguration of President Obama last year. News reports said he was ousted for expressing strident opposition to Iran and was considered too supportive of efforts to allow women to participate more fully in his country’s society.

His more conservative brother, Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, assumed power. Dubbed the “perfumed prince” by some tabloids, Sheikh Saud was arrested in 2005 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female housekeeper while on a medical stay at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; charges were later dropped.

Saud later made headlines when his bid to host the 2010 America’s Cup in Ras al Khaimah was rebuffed after reports suggested the emirate was a “hot spot” of trouble for terrorists and smugglers suspected of moving illegal weapons and components for Iran’s nuclear weapons programs.

Sheikh Khalid, who lives in the Middle East and hopes to return to power, hired the California firm, which mounted a campaign that has included full-page ads in the New York Times, Washington Post and other newspapers; banner ads on Web sites including Politico and the Drudge Report; and bus ads in the U.S. capital, as well as a Web site, RAKforthepeople.com.

The rest HERE

So my obvious choice for who might be behind the hack would be the Sheikh’s brother in power. I mean, wouldn’t it be your choice given the history and situation? After all, he is all pal’ed up Iran and all the unsavory types as well as has that stellar reputation of maybe being a rapist.

Now I have not heard so much on the street as to the capabilities of Iran in the world of hacking or cyber warfare, but I assume there must be some capability there if not the funds to hire some hackers to do the job. I guess my biggest question though is exactly what this “data” was that is so important. What dirty laundry is there left that that kid who was leaking to Wikileaks didn’t already release?

I should think though, that perhaps a more appropriate agency to look into this might be CIA or more to the point NSA. Sure, FBI can look into it, but, the machinations here might be more along the geopolitical lines of some folks with higher pay grades…

Keep an eye out on this one…

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/06/10 at 17:48

CBRN: Protective Steps

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Given all the talk lately about Nantaz and the new secret facility that, well, ain’t so secret, I thought this was an appropriate heads up.

How To Survive A Dirty Bomb

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/11/18 at 01:10

Posted in CBRN, SURVIVAL

Nuclear OPSEC FAIL

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While surfing the intertubes today I came across this little piece of OPSEC FAIL on the DOE.gov site. I believe it is a planned site per the document, but, this is rather detailed even for a plan to just be out there for any Jihadist to download.

This brings up the whole OPSEC issue. Too many places just fail to understand the precepts of OPESEC even within the rarefied air of the DOE where super mental genius’s work on the next generation transwarp drive. It seems especially these folks fail to understand the needs for secrecy.

Of course looking toward the private sector, I see way too many places that fail to comprehend OPSEC never mind try to implement and enforce the rules surrounding it to protect their data.

Even defense contractors… Now there’s a scary thought huh?

Oh well.. Lets just hope the next wave of homegrown jihadi’s can’t read or use Google.

… Now where is that zombie apocalypse we were promised?

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/10/30 at 01:21

The Virus and the Swine

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The Virus and the Swine

Influenza A viruses have segmented, negative-sense RNA genomes that encode up to 11 proteins. These include the surface glycoproteins hemagglutinin and neuraminidase and the virulence factors NS1 (host interferon antagonist)and PB1-F2 (proapoptotic factor). The viruses are grouped according to theexpression of 1 of 16 hemagglutinin subtypes and 1 of 9 neuraminidase subtypes (Palese and Shaw, 2007).

The elusive nature of influenza viruses as targets of adaptive immunity is mostlya function of the hemagglutinin molecule, the major surface antigen eliciting protectiveantibodies. The hemagglutinin is a remarkable structure, accommodatingsignificant morphological changes while maintaining its crucial functions in attachingthe virus to the host cell and mediating fusion of the viral and host membranes.Entry of influenza viruses into cells depends on the presence of a functional hemagglutinin molecule and expression of the host cell receptor for hemagglutinin, sialic acid.

Humans and avian species differ in the expression of sialyltransferases in mucosal and respiratory tissues resulting in N-glycans with either α2,6 (human) or α2,3 (avian) linked sialic acids. The ability of a particular virus to bind to either of these two conformations of terminal sialic acid is thought to be the basis for the host restriction that is characteristic of influenza viruses.

An avian virus that acquires the ability, via mutation or reassortment, to bind to α2,6-linked sialic acids may cross the species barrier and become infectious in humans. Infections in swine are thought to mediate virus reassortment because swine tissues express both forms of sialic acid, enabling cells to be coinfected with avian and human viruses (Olsen, 2002).

Viruses adapted to swine can also combine with human and avian viruses to produce triple reassortants that may have the ability to infect humans. The 2009 H1N1 swine influenza virus is an example of a triple reassortant

Influenza viruses demonstrate variations in their ability to be transmitted between humans. Molecular markers predicting the ability of a virus to be transmitted have not yet been determined. However, low temperature and low humidity are known to be environmental conditions that favor aerosol transmission, explaining the seasonal nature of normal influenza

(Lowen et al.,2007).

This morning I finished watching “The Time Is Now” Season 2 of MillenniuM and got to thinking about the swine, avian, and other pandemics out there that might happen. As we are in the midst of the H1N1 pandemic I thought it appropriate to give it a closer look.

Turns out that the H1N1 is a close relative of the 1918 H1N1 that only lack a couple of protein sectors to make its lethality and transmissibility nastier. Sure, you think “whew we’re good!” but the reality is that these two proteins could easily pop up because of the nature of the swine flu and the nature of the swine themselves that allow for easy re-assortant.

Simply, this bug, because it is from swine, and swine express both the vectors of avian protease areas as well as human.

Thus the likelihood of another shift to allow for these proteins to be installed within the virus is much higher a probability than one might think. It’s just a matter of time really before this happens and really, I think that the avian portion of the picture will re-assert itself and we will see the full effect of a triple reassortant virus.

This week the President declared an emergency, the WHO declared pandemic a while ago, and the press ran away with the ball like chicken little. The populace though, seem to be rather lax about the whole thing because they fail to understand the dangers I think. The following things make you more likely to have real problems should you contract this virus.

  1. Asthma
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Pulmonary diseases
  4. Immunocompromised individuals
  5. Obesity
  6. Pregnancy

Never mind that this virus has been striking people in their teens and 20’s who do not have any of these problems with their health. Because this is a respiratory illness that causes pneumonia, it is more likely to actually kill you than the average flu, and yes, the average flu kills about 200K people a year. H1N1 thus far has killed 246K people. It’s a bit more virulent. And yet, it is not 1918 virulent yet. In 1918 in 25 weeks approximately 25 million died from its effects. Swine flu is it’s tamer but mutation friendly cousin.

And you wonder why officials get spooked about this one?

So, yeah, I am kinda worried about this bug. I have the asthma and have to wonder about getting the shot or nasal swab to hopefully prevent getting sick. I also have to wonder about the CDC’s page that says that CT has “widespread” cases of Swine. Not pockets, its just all the hell over the place. Of course people are not dropping dead of it as I have heard… But, I don’t want to be in ICU with acute respiratory issues because I got it and have asthma. That would be bad. Guess I will have to talk to the doctor.

This all got me thinking though about BW and just what’s been going on since our last episode with the Anthrax that was sent to Tom Delay and others. Which, whatever happened to that case huh? Is it closed now because that guy committed suicide after they hounded him? Last I had heard there was no concrete evidence that he had in fact manufactured the Anthrax to the BW level and sent it. This got me thinking though about the old Sov program in BW.

I took a stroll though Google and came up with an interesting story back in 2004 by the CBC on Biopreparat and VEKTOR. Evidently even in 04 there was monkey business going on in the old Sov state. They had allegedly moved their BW programs to the military area and went completely black.  To give you perspective, the defection of two high ranking doctors back in the late 80’s pretty much put a crimp in the Sov’s bioweapons programs… But, evidently not enough of one to stop them.

Nope, they have kept on making new and improved weapons. In fact, they came out back in 2001 with a report that they had “accidentally” created a vaccine resistant strain of anthrax. A strain they refused to give any data or samples about when asked by the rest of the world to assure that it was indeed resistant to not only the Sov vaccine, but also the US and others.

They just said nyet. So who knows what they have now.

But Putin is our friend! W looked into his soul!

Right.

Oh well, I have dug up a bunch of docs for you to peruse. I guess the real thing for me here:

What’s your labile swine flu pandemic plan?

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/10/28 at 23:46

Big Bang scientist ‘planned to blow up oil refinery in terror attack that would wipe out city the size of London’

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By Peter Allen and Nabila Ramdani
Last updated at 5:54 PM on 13th October 2009

A nuclear scientist turned Al Qaeda agent was targeting a Total Oil refinery in a bid to cause an explosion which would have destroyed a city ‘the size of London’, it emerged today.

Adlene Hicheur , 32, also compiled a ‘wish list’ of senior European politicians as ‘assassination targets’ including French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the country’s interior minister Brice Hortefeux.

Hicheur is currently on remand in Paris after being charged on Monday afternoon with ‘criminal activities related to a terrorist group’.

The Rest

Well, finally the Hollywood ideal has become the real scenario where terrorism is concerned. A scientist who worked at the LHC was evidently planning on bombing large oil facilities etc in a plot that would rival 9/11… In the EU that is. The alleged plan he had in mind would devastate an area the size of London one claim makes.

In any case, we are starting to see the paradigm shift here and people should be paying attention. No longer are we just dealing with unschooled madrassa  programmed kids and wanna be’s. We are starting to see more and more guys who are like Mohammad Atta. Educated and completely and utterly bent on doing destruction to others for their God.

Today details of the ‘brilliant and solitary’ physician’s sinister plans were made public by security sources who have been collecting evidence against him for the past year-and-a-half during a surveillance operation.

During that time he was using a pseudonym on the Internet as he corresponded with leading members of Al Qaeda’s notorious North African unit.

Money transfers had already taken place between the two, as a plan was concocted to target Total, the multinational oil company which operates in most European countries including Britain and France.

There had also been an exchange of ‘technical expertise’, with the young boffin offering his considerable scientific know-how.

However, Adlene had ruled out any possibility of acting as a suicide bomber, insisting that a kamikaze attack would be less effective than a more conventional one.

So there you have it. Scientific know how that could have potentially really made for a big bang (no pun intended.. Ok, maybe a little) This guy was definitely smarter than the average shaheed though. He had no plans to do himself in just yet with a bomb vest. Instead he wanted to remote det something big.

Of course all of the headlines make him out to be a nuclear scientist. Really, he may know about nuclear theory but he was at CERN looking for the Higgs Boson! C’mon! Nope, he certainly could have planned and carried out a big attack, but he was caught. Caught mind you even though he was using a pseudonym online etc. Likely he was not a master mind enough to be using TOR for his transmissions….

It’s also interesting to note that he was in contact with the Algerian Maghreb. These are the same guys who had that little incident with the plague last year. These guys are on the edge and of all the Qaida out there, seem to be the ones on the move where bigger attacks using CBRN are concerned.

Keep your wits about you kids…

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/10/14 at 01:25