Leon Panetta announces that “Cyber Pearl Harbor” is near
October 22, 2012
By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 22, 2012
The cyber war against Iran began under President Bush with a series of attacks commanded by the governments of the United States and Israel. Their first known product, the Stuxnet virus, severely disrupted the Iranian nuclear facilities a couple of years ago. When it was discovered in the summer of 2010, the virus had escaped to the Internet from the Iranian Natanz nuclear plant. Obama made clear his concern and said he was weary about the U.S. turning into a “hacker” which could be a justification for other countries to launch attacks against the U.S.. But that is precisely what the cyber war is all about: seeking an external attack by provoking American foes so the military industrial complex can justify the takeover of the internet. Obama himself has approved internet censorship legislation that enables him and his government to block large portions of the internet or even to switch the net off.
Although officially the Iranians are the villains, they were not the first to push the button. It was Obama himself, who during his first presidential term, decided to carry out this less futile kind of war. He and his government developed cyber spying and cyber sabotage procedures that are now applied against the American people themselves as well as foreign governments. The plans to launch spying and cyber war games includes the use of drones to attack targets in countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The cyber war is usually kept quiet, so not many people learn about it unless it is found out that the U.S. and Israel are behind the attacks launched against Iran, as it has happened lately. Meanwhile, Leon Panetta, who has just declared that his country is on the brink of a “cyber Pearl Harbor”, does not say absolutely anything about the provocations carried out by the U.S. and its ally Israel. What is causing Panetta’s concerns? The Defense Secretary of the United States is referring to recent attacks on computer systems that belong to Saudi oil companies and U.S. financial institutions, which the U.S. attributes to Iran; more specifically, a cyber war operation put together by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The existence of Iranian cyber warriors is not new, but the US has not shown any convincing proof that Iran was the one that attacked the Saudis or American banks. Since 2011 and in response to a previous cyber attacks that sought to hack its nuclear program — conducted by Israel and the US — Iran began working on a program to not only defend itself from such attacks, but to carry out offensives against its aggressors. But the United States has not demonstrated that the attacks carried out in August that affected the national oil company Saudi Aramco and some US banks, were of Iranian making.
Obama’s doubts about having the US work as a cyber terrorists state ended quickly and the White House along with the Pentagon and the CIA began a program known as Olimpic Games. Through this and other programs, Obama approved the escalation of cyber attacks against Iran. back in early July, The New York Times published an extensive report that explained how Obama “secretly ordered increased attacks against sophisticated computer systems inside Iranian factories that worked in the enrichment of uranium.” The report detailed how this plan expanded significantly the use of cyber terror tools from the part of the US government.
After launching the attacks, Obama also called on American civil and military intelligence services to work closer together and to cooperate on this front with the Israelis. After initially denying it, so that it did not have to recognize its weakness, the Iranian regime ended up recognizing that trojans, viruses and malware coming from outside Iran had infiltrated its nuclear energy programs.
In 2010, Richard A. Clarke, who was head of U.S. counterterrorism services with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, published an essay entitled Cyber War. Clarke talked about World War III in cyberspace for which states like U.S., Israel, Russia and China were already preparing to fight.
Some people believe that Flame, one of the viruses that got inside Iranian computers may have been the first of many trojan horses to come. In late May, the Iranian government agency dedicated to the fight against piracy (its acronym CERT) announced that it had located the virus, the most malignant ever invented. Flame had been infecting computers for two years without being detected by any antivirus software.
Flame is a set of programs that performs multiple tasks of espionage and sabotage: records conversations, allows the computer to be controlled remotely, has Bluetooth and takes over upcoming mobile phones near the computers, copies and transmits data remotely and is undetectable by any existing antivirus program today.
Of course, the U.S. does not officially recognize any of these viruses that have undermined Iran’s nuclear program. Neither does Israel. But it is well known that the U.S. Air Force already has 7000 cyber warriors in bases located in Texas and Georgia. It is unknown to the public how many more of these the US has in other departments of the Pentagon, the CIA and other U.S. federal government agencies.
The effort to turn the US into a cyber terrorist state began in 2009 under President Obama. After approving various pieces of legislation, the US government created the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) which is the organ that manages all special operations of the U.S. Air Force.
USCYBERCOM was not the only creature of its kind and now it seems to have found a serious rival in the Iranian specialized units.
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