Tag Archives: Cyberattacks

The American intelligence community has no accountability — so how can it keep us safe? By James Bamford

The intelligence community has done a miserable job of protecting against cyber warfare or in keeping itself free of infiltration by foreign spies. From James Bamford at nypost.com:

James Bamford, author of the new book "Spyfail," says the US intelligence community has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to the loss of top-secret documents, cyberweapons and more.

James Bamford, author of the new book “Spyfail,” says the US intelligence community has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to the loss of top-secret documents, cyberweapons and more.

The revelation that President Biden had stacks of classified documents stashed in his garage — alongside jugs of anti-freeze and piles of cleaning rags — comes as little surprise.  For several years I have been working on a new book, “SpyFail,” that examines the collapse of the country’s counterintelligence and security operations. And by far, no administration has had a more disastrous record than those of Barack Obama and Biden. For years, insiders at the hyper-secret National Security Agency were able to walk out the door with more than half a billion pages of documents classified higher than top secret, some dealing with nuclear weapons and many of which ended up in Russia. And that was after the supposed crackdown following the million or so documents removed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also on Obama and Biden’s watch.

Still another NSA insider was able to steal nearly all of the agency’s highly dangerous cyberweapons — the tech equivalent of loose nukes — and put them up for auction on the internet in 2016. Eventually, the weapons ended up in Russia and North Korea, where they were used to cause a worldwide cyber pandemic that shut down hospitals and medical facilities all over the world, including in the US, thus turning our own weapons against us.

Kim Jong Un and family
North Korean intelligence secretly attacked Sony Pictures at the behest of Kim Jong Un, stealing millions of confidential documents and unreleased films.
KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image

It was the worst cyberattack in world history, yet the NSA didn’t have a clue as to how to stop it.

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Cyberattack Forces Shutdown Of Largest Gasoline Pipeline In United States, by Tyler Durden

The headlines of the future have arrived. These kind of cyyberattacks are going to become more frequent. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The largest gasoline pipeline on the East Coast, and the US in general, was shut down on Friday after its operator struggled to contain a cyberattack which threatened its systems. The 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline, which is the single largest refined-products pipeline in the United States, halted transit as the company was forced to take “certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations,” according to The Wall Street Journal on Saturday. It’s reportedly still offline into early Saturday.

Colonial Pipeline System

Colonial’s network is responsible for supplying fuel that originates with refiners on the Gulf Coast to most of the eastern and southern US, accounting for over 2.5 million barrels per day in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, or other refined products transferred, making up 45% of all the East Coast’s fuel supply. It spans from Texas through southern states and up to New Jersey.

“At this time, our primary focus is the safe and efficient restoration of our service and our efforts to return to normal operation,” the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company stated. “This process is already underway, and we are working diligently to address this matter and to minimize disruption to our customers.

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Trump Blasts Exaggerated Media Claims Of “Russia, Russia, Russia” In Cyberattack After Seeing Intel, by Tyler Durden

It is impossible to believe intelligence agency attributions of where hacking attacks originate because Wikileaks revealed over three years ago that the CIA has programs which will mimic other nations’ hacking capabilities. Nevertheless, “Russia, Russia, Russia” remains the go-to villain for hacking and most every other form of covert skulduggery. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

update: Contradicting Pompeo’s earlier Friday statement during a conservative talk radio interview wherein the Secretary of State alleged Russia was “pretty clearly” behind the cyberattack of multiple US federal agencies, Trump lambasted the prematurely emerging narrative in a Saturday morning tweet.

“Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens” he said, while calling the cyber hack “far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality” after being thoroughly briefed by US intelligence officials on the matter.

We noted earlier that this increasingly looks more like a last-ditch effort to revive the previously failed Russiagate narrative.

Trump continued in a follow-up tweet to slam mainstream media’s attempt to flip the script away from China.

Though Pompeo had earlier pointed the finger at Russia in what was the first high level administration explicit blaming of the Kremlin, it will be interesting to see if that’s walked back when the State Department formally weighs in on the alleged major cyberattack.

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A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For’ by Nicole Perlroth

Remember the WannaCry cyberattack last month? There is another cyberattack lurking out there that’s worse. From Nicole Perlroth at nytimes.com:

NEWARK — There have been times over the last two months when Golan Ben-Oni has felt like a voice in the wilderness.

On April 29, someone hit his employer, IDT Corporation, with two cyberweapons that had been stolen from the National Security Agency. Mr. Ben-Oni, the global chief information officer at IDT, was able to fend them off, but the attack left him distraught.

In 22 years of dealing with hackers of every sort, he had never seen anything like it. Who was behind it? How did they evade all of his defenses? How many others had been attacked but did not know it?

Since then, Mr. Ben-Oni has been sounding alarm bells, calling anyone who will listen at the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey attorney general’s office and the top cybersecurity companies in the country to warn them about an attack that may still be invisibly striking victims undetected around the world.

And he is determined to track down whoever did it.

“I don’t pursue every attacker, just the ones that piss me off,” Mr. Ben-Oni told me recently over lentils in his office, which was strewn with empty Red Bull cans. “This pissed me off and, more importantly, it pissed my wife off, which is the real litmus test.”

Two weeks after IDT was hit, the cyberattack known as WannaCry ravaged computers at hospitals in England, universities in China, rail systems in Germany, even auto plants in Japan. No doubt it was destructive. But what Mr. Ben-Oni had witnessed was much worse, and with all eyes on the WannaCry destruction, few seemed to be paying attention to the attack on IDT’s systems — and most likely others around the world.

The strike on IDT, a conglomerate with headquarters in a nondescript gray building here with views of the Manhattan skyline 15 miles away, was similar to WannaCry in one way: Hackers locked up IDT data and demanded a ransom to unlock it.

But the ransom demand was just a smoke screen for a far more invasive attack that stole employee credentials. With those credentials in hand, hackers could have run free through the company’s computer network, taking confidential information or destroying machines.

To continue reading: A Cyberattack ‘the World Isn’t Ready For’