Krypt3ia

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

Archive for the ‘CYBER CYBER CYBER’ Category

Prosecuting The Russian Cyber War: Beyond The Hyperbole

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screenshot-from-2016-12-19-13-42-28

This weekend my father actually asked me what I thought Big O was gonna do to respond to the hacking of our elections. He continued in the same breath to ask if we were going to take out Russia’s grid or something like that. My first thought was to say “Noooo” and to then explain to him how that might go all kinetic real quick like on us if we did. My response to him yesterday will be the genesis of this blog post today for you all. Since everyone seems all hot and bothered as to how we will respond and not giving Big O the benefit of the doubt that he actually reads the PDB’s and thinks about them, I will boil it all down to what I would do against Russia and Pooty to thread the needle and not cause an escalation.

First:

I would undertake the review on what exactly happened with the IW/DISINFO/PSYOP/Hack that took place for the election. This is important to not only understand what happened, but to understand just how much damage was done and what actions it took to set that into motion. From this you can assess the response level you need and in this case it has been rather speculative as to what really went down. This I also really point at the whole argument that the election machines in key states may or may not have had some supply chain tampering going on. So far I personally have seen no evidence that there was enough of an investigation to rule this out.

Second:

I would look at the capabilities we have and the intelligence we have collected on Putin. Intel such as a good psych profile and anything on his wealth/business structure. With both of these I would seek to discern what would hurt him personally, not so much the country. I would also use the psych profile to determine in red teaming out what his responses would be to certain scenarios. In essence I would perform a game scenario simulation to get the best results for us and start to build a plan(s) on those.

Third:

I would, knowing that this attack was personal for Pooty, and given his nature (much like Trumps really) I would perform the following actions;

  1. Attack his finances. All of the dirty ones first.
  2. Attack him with whatever kompromat we have (CIA/NSA) in the same leaks style that we saw from the elections (See news today about Tillerson for a cue)
  3. IF we have the assets in place both digital and “other” I would work to counter ongoing efforts in Germany and France as well as other places where we know he wants to do the same thing politically

These are the things I would do in parallel to assessing the damage to our forward capacities regarding the ShadowBrokers recent tease. IF all of those exploits on there are real, then all of them have been compromised and burned. Any operations that may have used those tools are burned and any future use of them has been burned. It is my opinion that the new events with the ersatz “Boceefus” account is just Pooty and the GRU saying “Try anything and you will fail” but that is only one dimensional thinking frankly. It is time to go beyond bits and bytes and also use HUMINT.

Just this guys take…

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2016/12/19 at 19:05

EquationGroup, ShadowBrokers, and Loving The Cyber Pathogen Bomb

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We all knew that this shit was going on but now it’s reaching epic cyber douchery levels kids…

Monday:

Hey someone posted some shit on the Github and the everywhere! LOOK!

DOWNLOAD

DOWNLOAD

DOWNLOAD

Tuesday:

Shiiiit this stuff looks kinda real!

FUCK THEY TOOK DOWN ALL THE LINKS!

…EXCEPT MEGA OF COURSE…

LOOK! RC5 and RC6 Implementations match EQUATION GROUP!

ERMEGERD!

LOOK ODAYS!

SNOWMAN SAYS LAY OFF RUSSIA BECAUSE YOU WAKE DA BEAR! (Uhh hey, can I have my dacha now? I have been a good comrade)

ASS-ANGE FROM HIS EVITA BALCONY: WE HAVE ALL THE SHIT AND WE WILL BE POSTING IT BECAUSE FUCK YOU ALL!

Wednesday:

SECRET SQUIRRELS FORMERLY AT NSA SAY HOLY SHIT!

SECRET SQUIRRELS AT TAO SAY OOPS!

SECRET SQUIRRELS AT TAO SAY THIS IS RUSSIA BY GOD!

Fuckery. It’s all fuckery kids. The world is at war already and the populace never got a vote on this one. These scripts and exploits are just the tip of the 2013 iceberg and the reality is that knowing what the likes of  J-39 and their ilk were hoping for back in the day we are well and truly fucked if they decide to go all out cyberdouche. Now we have this almost parity with this leak by who? The 2016 cyber equivalent of the Rosenbergs? I haven’t a fucking clue and no one else does as to who did this and why. No really, fuck you if you say you do. And if you attempt to “treat intelligence cyber attribute” this shit you are only trying to get clicks for ads.

But seriously, the biggest issue I have with all of this is that while we are all slobbering over the dump and the potential one to come no one seems to be talking about how fucked up this is. While these guys are making and buying 0days and pwning foreign nations our own infrastructure lays like a burned out whore in the missionary position. We are prosecuting the war but we are not securing the “homeland” for shit and we see it every day. See, the rub of it all is that corporations are the ones that hold the infrastructure and fuck all trying to make them become secure through legislation or any kinds of rules. So here we are with all our shit in the wind to start with, no mass movements to secure the nations everything, and now a dump of just some of our cyber weapons has been spilled online as a big fat fuck you.

Yeah, I feel good about where we are.

Still, the shit is three years old.. Who’s to say that those sploits still work on systems in China let’s say. Anyone checked by the way? Anyone?… Well in any case either someone fucked up and left this shit on a server in 2013 to now OR as some have intoned, this was an insider. Either case still leads to the inevitable fuckery the nations have all been up to and we are not alone, not by a long shot. Some have said that the NSA should be securing things and I just laugh and laugh at that. What the fuck do you think their operational aegis is anyway? It’s to break all the things and own them! So all you who look to Ft. Meade for any solutions are just deluded. Nope, the war is on, it is hot, and it is all under cover. When someone finally decides to go batshit they will unleash all the sploits in tandem with kinetic operations and that will be it. A real hot war will erupt.

It’s still true.. We are the reason we can’t have anything nice.

Oh well, at the end of the day there’s fuck all we can do. The shit is in the wind and now everyone has it. It will be used as a platform of attack until all the things are patched but in between they will be used for whatever ends lone actors or nation states feel like using them for.

Yay.

Move on.

K.

 

Written by Krypt3ia

2016/08/17 at 17:00

DNC Hack: The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate and Intelligence Analysis

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I had some Tweet conversations this morning that led me to a need to make yet another post on the DNC hack debacle. @Viss and @mr0x20wednesday both struck up a conversation after I posted a link to the NYT article on the consensus that is growing within the government that Russia carried out the hack. The consensus building is coming from assessment by the CIA while the FBI has initiated an investigation into the hack and the subsequent dump of data to Wikileaks and to the web via the wordpress account for Guccifer2.0. It is important to take note of the previous statement I make here about who is “assessing” and who is “investigating” and that is something people in the general population do not quite grok much of the time. The FBI attempts to prove things in court and the CIA generates analysis and assessment to help leaders make decisions. These are two different things and I want you all in INFOSEC to understand this when you start to have conversations about spooky things like the hack on the DNC and the subsequent possible propaganda, psyops, and disinformation campaigns that may ensue.

I recently wrote a more irreverent post while I was in a more Hunter S. Thompson state of mind concerning American politiks and the mess we are in, but the core idea that Russia carried off this hack and the actions after it still hold true for me. Many of you out there are reacting more like how I reacted when the Sony attack happened and once again I also find myself asking the same questions and having the same concerns over attribution versus solid evidence. There are many issues at play here though that you have to take into account when dealing with an action like the Sony or DNC hacks where information warfare or “cyber war” are concerned. Most of the considerations you have to make surround the classification of much of what you might get in the way of evidence to start with never mind about the circumspect nature of attribution that is being released to the media. At the end of the day my question to the FBI was “Show me proof” which is their job right? FBI is part of the DOJ and should be leading to charges right? Well, none were proffered by the Obama administration, some sanctions were laid on DPRK but no charges, unlike the wanted posters for the Chinese agents that the FBI laid out for hacks and thefts of data. There is a distinct difference here and that is evidence that can be presented in a court versus attribution and analysis by companies like FireEye and Crowdstrike. True, both those firms can prove certain things but primarily, as you all know out there, attribution is hard to prove so it really stops at analysis, more like the intelligence agencies content and mission.

So where does that leave us with regard to the DNC hack? Well, the attribution data presented first off may only be a portion of what Crowdstrike may have. Other portions may in fact have been classified or asked to be held back by the government (I’d say pretty likely here) and may some day be revealed. If the Sony hack is any indication though of this process, not so much. I am still unaware of any real conclusive evidence of Sony’s hack being DPRK but like I said, the US government sanctioned DPRK over it. It is not likely the government and the president would do so without some more solid evidence but one must consider “sources and methods” when dealing with international intrigue like this right? Don’t like that? Well, get used to it because you are going to see more and more of this as we move into the golden age of nation state hacking and covert action. There will be things you John Q. Public, will never know and will be classified for a good long time. Just take a stroll through the Spy Museum in the cyber war section and look at some of those code names. I bet you haven’t heard of some of them and at least one of them, some of us, were VERY surprised to see on that wall already.

But I digress…

At the end of the day though I have to go with previous experience, Occams Razor, and a sense of Cui Bono concerning the DNC hack/dump/manipulation. Some may argue that the GRU and KGB (yes, once again old agencies don’t die, they just change names 😉 ) would not be as sloppy as to leave the breadcrumbs that are being found by Crowdstrike and others. I would remind you to look at at the last big operation that we busted in the US by the KGB as well as the recent posting of selfies by a KGB graduating class as examples of “everyone fucks up” For that matter, shall we mention our own CIA’s debacle with the Pizza Hut? Every agency screws up and every hacker does too. Humans and human nature insure that things will get messed up, there are no perfect operations. In this case the assets involved likely had access to the DNC as well as the RNC but decided to use this data to influence the elections in a manner that they could get away with it easily. This is the nature of spying, politics, and geopolitics, take a look at the history of the CIA and dirty tricks in the politics of South America and then picture it if they were doing the same (hint, they are) today in the cyber age.

That’s right kids, there have been other dumps and hacks. Perhaps some of those too were the US? Think about it.

Russia and Putin have been gerrymandering elsewhere, money and influence operations have always been around. Now consider yourself to be Putin and you have an operation that gave you easily funnelled information to the likes of Julian Assange and Wikileaks! Even more enticing, the fact that you all know that attribution is hard to prove in hacking! What do you have to lose if you are Putin or anyone else? So, if you look at how this plays out, and what more may play out come October, who, what nation, would have the most to benefit if we actually had trump in office?

Think… The answer is ANYONE who would like to take America down a peg and have more possible influence on world politics.

If you look though at the rhetoric by Trump you can in fact see that the big dog in the room would be Putin though. Just think about it! How much more power and sway would Putin have if Trump were in office and dismembers NATO? Come on now kids, think about it. Ask yourselves “Cui Bono?” here. So stop the quibbling about the attribution and the finger pointing. Take the analysis by the CIA and others as well as the eventual data the FBI comes up with and start looking to how can we fix the problems here? There are so many problems though that I too get disheartened. The political system is broken, the information systems are not properly protected, and we run headlong into creating more weaponized code? It is enough to make a man drink.

Ooh good idea…

Dr. K.

Cyber Jihad Marketing: Yelling FIRE! In A Crowded Theater

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Screenshot from 2016-06-20 07:37:15

 

Recently, a reporter that I know came to me asking if I would look at this ICIT-Brief-The-Anatomy-of-Cyber-Jihad1 and give input on it. They wanted to have my opinion because the firm that wrote it was seeking a reporter to flog it on their news site. I told the reporter after looking at the “analysis” this exact quote; “This report is the marketing equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater” Well, it seems that CNBC bought it though and my hand has been forced to write about this travesty. ( CNBC Report that forced my hand ) I told the reporter to back away slowly and to their credit they did. CNBC not so much. So here I am going to outline how this report is full of marketing and cognitive bias and wild assumptions. Oh, and that is if you can get past the hyperbolic language in the first graph…

Screenshot from 2016-06-20 08:47:58

I shit you not..

Cyber Caliphate & Junaid Hussain:

The report goes on a long time talking about Da’esh and their origins. While much of that data is right on the report starts to go off the rails once they begin talking about the “cyber” part of the picture. They start off by talking about Juny and his cybering, the defacements out there, and the propaganda war that is still ongoing by the likes of Da’esh, AQAP, Boko Haram, etc. Which is all fine, mostly accurate, but then they start to talk about “possible capabilities” after they just pretty much said “They aren’t that capable” Cognitive dissonance much there guys? The truth of the matter is that to date, the propaganda war is the biggest and most dangerous war here, not the so called cyber war that this “analysis” is pimping. I have been following this stuff since 2001 and Juny is the new Younis Tsouli really, both were/are moderately skilled in hacking but not much more than that. Both were much more a propaganda figures, and more dangerous in that capacity than any of their hacking skills. In fact, in the case of Younis, he got the heat and popped for that very reason, he was making a splash and attracting followers. Juny had that very same skill set and became much bigger a deal because he caught the zeitgeist for the jihobbyists out there with his mouth on Twitter. This is why he was killed with a hellfire, not because he hacked any big databases or got the real dope from some hack. In short, both were a danger because they had followers, and those followers were radicalising off of their jihadi bluster online and caches of propaganda from the main marketing teams of their respective terrorism groups. (AQ for Younis and Da’esh for Juny)

Screenshot from 2016-06-20 07:45:48

Of course the report would not be scary enough without the “Cyber Caliphate” an operation that Juny lamented was just him, no one else, before he got whacked on Telegram. That’s right kids, Juny was pimping something and making shit up. Once Juny got whacked you know what happened? Groups of guys like Team Fallaga took up the mantle and went on to deface pages like the dickens! “OOH SCARY DEFACEMENT BRO” While the report states this, and some of the other information I just mentioned, they then go on to analyse and say that these guys aren’t capable now but someday… SOMEDAY they could be. Oh really? You don’t say! Sure it is possible but it is not likely. Given that most APT activity takes money, time, and cohesion, the jihadi’s are all over the place and usually small disparate groups of skiddies, not solid hackers. So, the scare tactic of analysis is way off the mark in this report and this is why I told the reporter to step back slowly from their pitch. If this group had left it at that, it could happen but it is not likely I would have had some respect for them. Instead they chose the other scare the client into buying shit route. As for Cyber Caliphate and all their other silly acronyms, none have shown that they are a credible threat to much else than an insecure web page. No real data has been hacked and their “data drops” of enemies to kill have all come from open sources on the internet. Sure, is it problematic that they are doing this? Sure. Is it a clear and present danger of cyber capabilities that they could strike the grid next?

No.

Just stop.

Jihadi Helpdesk

PSSSST hey morons.. There is no Helpdesk

Screenshot from 2016-06-20 07:46:05

I need not say more right?

… But I will.

DO YOUR GOD DAMNED HOMEWORK AND QUITE THE FEAR MONGERING FOR MONEY!

CYBER JIHADI DARKNETS

Of course these guys could not miss an opportunity to scare and of course they had to use the scary “Dark Net” or “Deep Web” I have been on the dark net for a long time and I will tell you I have found a few sites but nothing there is that scary. In fact, to date, the sites either have been hacked soon after and taken down, or just sit unused. So really, the dark net is no threat here. Sure, the jihadi’s are using technology to obfuscate their chats now and trying to hide in the “deep web” of un-spidered content but the reality is most of this stuff is non operational. What the jihad today (Da’esh) wants mostly is to radicalize and activate those in the US like Omar Mateen without even really having contact with them.

Screenshot from 2016-04-29 13:12:15

So, the darknet… Not so much a terrorist haven kids. Sorry

https://krypt3ia.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/the-first-official-daesh-darknet-bulletin-board-has-arrived/

https://krypt3ia.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/daesh-darknet-under-the-hood/

Overall Analysis of Scare Marketing and Cognitive Bias

This report is a travesty of a tissue of what if’s that really is just a pulp thriller wannabe disguised thinly as a marketing piece cum serious analysis of Jihad online.

Please believe none of it.

Dr. K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2016/06/20 at 12:50

All Those Derpy APT Code Names Got You Confused?

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Screenshot from 2016-06-01 13:16:58

THANK THE FUCKING GODS someone took the time to get these all collated into a spread sheet! After all, WHO KNOWS what derpily named actor is attacking you!! YOU COULD //HAVE HELSING HURRCAINE DRAGON PANDA// and you would be unable to respond unless you have a primer!

My. God.

While this may be helpful to many of you out there it is for me just another symptom of a larger malaise that is attribution fever. Yes, attribution fever, much like a good Malarial bout gives one chills and flop sweat when you are looking at your SIEM/IDS/IPS/LOGS and you see… Well something happening. Something you really don’t understand but you know it’s OBVIOUSLY some bad actor from a foreign land trying to steal your IP!

NOW YOU TOO CAN PLAY THE NAME THAT ACTOR GAME!

With this handy sheet you can attempt to maybe sorta kinda know who may be exfil’ing your data and laughing in some obviously Mandarin tinted accent! Seriously though, ummm fuck if I care really. If you don’t have the infrastructure and the defenses in depth to handle even understanding your traffic this really means fuck all to you. Well, unless you are a marketing wanker or an upper echelon exec amiright?

On a more serious note though, if you are playing the game and you have some sense of what is going on, then perhaps this excel sheet will help you some. I am really really really * a gogolplex unimpressed with all the secret sauce attribution fuckery we see in all the marketing bullshit blasts from the vendors out there on this shit. Know what? I remember when I saw BaitLick say that basically his company would come in, do their thing, and then six months later they’d be back again because they could not keep the APT out. So what the fuck with all the super secret code names and IP fuckery that you guys pull on “actors huh?

Cut it the fuck out.

Share the intel with EVERYONE

STOP THE FUCKERY

That will be the only way that we can make a unified effort here.

I will say it again… It’s not about the who… It’s about the how.

Link to excel

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2016/06/01 at 17:53

Posted in APT, CYBER CYBER CYBER

The QNB Hack: Cui Bono?

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Screenshot from 2016-05-02 11:14:51

The Dump

The recent dump of data from the Qatari National Bank was of interest to me and many others because it was purporting to have the accounts and identities of spies within it’s csv and text files. I downloaded the files from Cryptome thanks to someone pointing me in their direction and took a nice long look. As the story has unfolded it has come to light that the bank itself says the data is real and that they are now “completely secure” which is amusing given that this was an ols SQLi attack that netted this Turkish hacker group the jewels of QNB.

The dump consists of the oracle database files, the passwords, and the banking information of all the users therein. I have to say that most of it is really quite pedestrian but then the hackers, or the bank management,  created file folders (as seen above) that marked people as spies, Mukhabarat, Security, Gov, and other tantalizing names. I first had thought that the file folders and their speculative names had been created by the hackers to sex up their dump but it has come to light that if you look within the database dump itself you see the directories and names have headings like intelligence and defence. So it seems that the bank itself may in point of fact created these tags in the belief or inside knowledge that the people in the data were in fact what they claimed, or at least thought they were.

The Spies

I looked at all the interesting folders and the data all the while wondering about the validity of the idea that these names were in fact corresponding to real assets, NOC’s or just functionaries in Qatari space that had just been quite well blown by this hack and subsequent data dump. On the whole I would call into question all of the names being linked directly to espionage organs. I really have to wonder if the bank would in fact be that “in the know” about spooks in their country and really have to be circumspect about their putting that in the users bank records. I mean even the Mukhabarat would at least demand that it be obfuscated one would hope by a code of some sort and not just in the headers/directories themselves.

It really kind of feels like the natural tendencies of the Arab nature had gotten the best of the database admin and the managers of the bank and they believed that these people were spies without there being any real proof. In any case, if these people, especially those who are FORN and in country, now may have some trouble with people thinking that they are really spies and subject to attacks. Imagine if you will any jihadi types who might take this data as gospel and go after these people for da’esh or AQ. This could be bad. I have yet to hear of anyone leaving their positions or the country. If I were one of them I would at least be looking over my shoulder henceforth.

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The other data I can see perhaps the military accounts and names being totally on the money because they are their own Ministry of Defence and really, that is not top secret stuff. Likely the bank see’s where these people get their pay from (Qatari funds from the gov) but even these people could now be targets because this hack was motivated by political means it seems after all.

Cui Bono?

Screenshot from 2016-05-02 16:10:09

It seems that the Bozkurtlar (Grey Wolves) a Turkish political group and their hackers were the perpetrators of this hack. There is a long history between Turkey and Qatar and most of it seems kind of benign but when you scratch the surface a bit you can see that there are some issues between them as well as some synergies in their support of certain terrorist groups like da’esh. (click linked image below)

Screenshot from 2016-05-02 16:13:47

Screenshot from 2016-05-02 16:12:09So, “Cui Bono?” Well, certainly the Grey Wolves, to what end I am not completely sure. They did post their video before the hack hit the pastebins out on the net so it was pretty much their gig but I still don’t quite understand why. Perhaps these hackers are quasi wolves and or it is some other entity using the wolves as a cover for their activities. Given that there has been no real perceived fire coming out of Qatar over this nor in other areas of the world that we are aware of, I kind of doubt all these people were in fact assets of foreign powers.

At the end of the day, this just turns out to be yet another derpy easy hack using SQLi on an entity that wasn’t performing any due diligence but it had the sexy sexy for the masses with the idea that some great hack exposing spies had occurred. In my opinion not so much really. So hey Grey Wolves, gimme some more context would you than some poos British shmucks MySpace page in the future would you?

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2016/05/03 at 00:08

Lights Out: A Modern Tragicomedy

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I had heard that Ted Koppel was making the rounds on TV trying to pimp his book on the end of the world as well know it through cyber. Of course I instantly knew it would be utter trash, a tissue of assertions and half ass reporting relying on government and beltway bandit quotes that likely would enrage me. How little did I know about the true scope of fuckery and rage that would ensue from reading its breathlessly penned pages about our coming Armageddon. Once again we have a reporter who does not really do his homework and takes the word of people with interests over the realities of those who work in the industry at the scene of the crime.

From the first pages we are being told that the grid is vulnerable to attack. Not just physical attack, no, worse, more scary, the dreaded CYBER attack. Of course as you delve deeper in to the book you do not get any kind of technical interviews with white hat hackers or security experts other than those bottom feeders such as former NSA directors and Richard Clarke. All of these players who worked (past tense) in the government that failed to secure all the things and who now offer services as board members and pitch men. You see, no one interviewed in this book actually has hacked anything.

But trust us.. The grid will go down if attacked by the CYBER.

I will not bore you with recalling the rest of this awful book. Truly, do not buy it and certainly do not read it if you want to know anything about the potential for the power going out more permanently. Instead, I would like to give you a primer on how hard it would be to actually take the whole grid down. I would also like to show you just how hard it would be to take great sections of it out as well. Neither of these scenarios is easy and neither of them is something we will not recover from. All of the bullshit around the bugaboo that the grid could be taken out by Da’esh is fantasy for the most part and a tool to scare the public by halfwits looking for clicks or book sales.

Are there issues with the grid? Yes, there are. Could damage be done that could cause a lot of consternation and perhaps even deaths? Yes this could happen in pockets of our society. These things are true but a systemic outage across the whole of the country that would cause severe, unrecoverable damage to the grid as a whole is not probable. In fact, it may not even be possible and I plan on telling you here why. By going through the internet and seeking out data from experts, governmental files, and papers by doctoral candidates as well as those who own and operate the power systems I can give you the data you need to see what the truth of the matter is.

However, let me break this down into small consumable bullet points for you.

  • Even a nation state with capable hackers could not own every system effectively enough to take them all down simultaneously
  • Even if systems are hacked and malware like stuxnet implanted, it still takes a kinetic attack to damage many of the systems out there that transmit the power as well as generate it. Malware alone will not kill the grid.
  • Current activities in gridsec and grid technologies are making these scenarios even harder to implement due to the nature of the diaspora that is power generation and transmission
  • Certainly sections of the grid could be taken down and have in the past. All you need do is Google Squirrel+blackout and you will see how their kinetic attacks caused systemic failures that caused outages.
  • Frankly, an X-Flare has a higher probability of taking out the grid as a whole should one hit the US. This should be a real concern and the companies and government should be looking to shield against EMP but they aren’t.

So all the bleak punditry about how the grid could be taken down by hackers using Shodan is really just sensationalistic bunkem. Of course there have been a couple of interesting theories, one that made some news back in 2008 I believe was a paper by a student on a cascade effect that could black out the grid. This possible attack might be the only one that would work but the control over the disparate systems involved to make it happen is almost impossible really. Another theory was one put forth by the government itself when they performed the AURORA experiment. This particularly relies on attacking nine points on the grid (power gen and transfer) that could be the genesis of a cascade attack.

Screenshot from 2015-11-06 14:27:18

It is the cascade attack that should trouble people but this is not really explained by most of the purveyors of FUD like Koppel. The real scary point about the cascade effect though is that the attack, if successful would take out the LPT’s and those by their nature are costly and take years to build. They are also on backorder so there is that too. If you take these out, and there are no replacements then you are pretty much stuck in the 19th century in certain areas until you get one replaced. Now once again I will tell you that to take them all out at one time is damn near impossible unless you have an X-Flare that covers the whole grid with an EMP.

Screenshot from 2015-11-02 11:15:47

So where does that leave us? Well, that leaves us with scary scary ideas but little follow through on actual means to that end. Of course now the big scary scary is over the CYBER right? And when they say CYBER they really mean SCADA, ICS, and HMI technologies that monitor and control the big hardware that generates and transfers the power from the generation plant to you. Now consider that there were as of 1996, 3,195 electric companies in the US that handle generation and transmission of power. That is a lot of targets to get into and control effectively, in tandem, to create a super grid blackout. All of this is going to be done by attacking their SCADA? Are there really that many of these things that are internet rout-able anyway? This means that the adversary would have to really hack the majority of them and have major footholds in all to access the networks to get at the systems that may not be networked to their non air gapped networks.

Think this through people.

Screenshot from 2015-11-02 11:08:50

Screenshot from 2015-11-02 11:08:26

This is just not a real tenable plan to start with and then you have to consider just who would try to pull this off and why. If you take out the grid in the US sure you cause mayhem but we have military bases all over the globe. We have ships and subs at sea. We have the capacity to bomb the shit out of anyone we think carried off such an attack. So really, unless you attempt this a la some scenario like “Red Dawn” with planes in the air and boots on the ground, you pretty much don’t win. Many of these scare pieces don’t go into the semantics of attack and counter attack, they only cry havoc about how we are CYBER doomed and the grid is a scary scary thing. It makes my ass tired even thinking about all these idiots out there talking to the likes of Richard “Dr. Cyberlove” Clark and believing them.

Stop the madness.

In the end yes, sections of the grid could go down and yes, they could be down for a while because of the nature of the hardware and it’s replacement. It would be inconvenient but it would not be the end of the world. It also would likely be more the action of Squirrels or tree limbs rather than a clandestine hacker attack on our SCADA systems. So everyone needs to just calm the fuck down and breathe. What you really should worry about is some form of EMP that melts everything and puts the whole of the country down, and really once again, that is the only scenario I buy into on this matter. If we have another Carrington Event, we are well and truly fucked.

Anyway, don’t give Koppel any money…

K.

READING MATERIALS

UPDATE: I left a review of this book on Amazon and the one response back was this:

Screenshot from 2015-11-09 11:07:53

I guess I am no Dick Clarke so meh, nevermind.

Written by Krypt3ia

2015/11/06 at 19:51