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Leon Panetta announces that “Cyber Pearl Harbor” is near

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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U.S. Congress requests ban on Chinese Tech Companies

Despite the warning from Congress, the United States allows Chinese companies to manufacture military and computer technologies which are equipped with back doors for spying purposes.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 8, 2012

Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE are a threat to American security. That’s the conclusion of a report completed by the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. Congress after a year of research.

According to the commission, it is impossible to ensure that the two groups are independent of the Chinese government and therefore can be used to undermine U.S. security. “On the basis of classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE can not guarantee their independence from the influence of a foreign state, so it poses a threat to U.S. security,” says the report.

The commission believes that the Chinese government could use these two groups for the rapid growth of economic and military espionage, or cyber attacks. Huawei has answered that 70% of its business is in China. The company works in 150 countries and in none of those it has had any problems. Of course, the United States is not any country and the behind the stage war between these two foes has not stopped.

According to U.S. research commission, the two groups did not provide satisfactory answers to parliamentary questions on their relations with the Chinese government. “China has the means, the opportunity and the motivation to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes,” according to the report to be released Monday.

In conclusion, the commission said that the U.S. “should block acquisitions and mergers involving Huawei and ZTE because they would pose a threat to the national security interests of the United States. “U.S. government systems of communication,” the commission concludes , “especially in sensitive areas should not include equipment or components from Huawei and ZTE.”

But the Backdoor is left Open

Whether the commission’s concern is legitimate or not, the truth is that the report comes too late and too short about the way the Chinese have been able to infiltrate the U.S. Huawei and ZTE are not the only two companies manufacturing equipment for the U.S. government and its military. According to current and former intelligence sources in the United States, the Chinese have now have the capacity to access much of the equipment produced in China and that is being used on American territory.

The Chinese do so by utilizing previously installed components that allow them to remotely access the equipment from abroad. This revelation was first presented by Lignet, an intelligence company that detailed how communications equipment can potentially be disabled by the Chinese. The devices installed in the machines are popularly knows as backdoors because they provide hidden access to anyone who knows how to use them.

Mundane technologies fabricated in China and other Asian countries have already been demonstrated to have secret access points which can be used by technology companies, at the request of government agencies to spy on users. The same situation occurs with military grade equipment, for example, which is manufactured abroad for the United States government. Both hardware and software can be set up to enable outsiders to get into communication and weapons systems just as government agencies use the cameras built in computers and cellphones or GPS technology to monitor people’s every move.

Backdoors installed in communication devices for consumers or government use can be exploited for spying purposes to gain control of information, movement and habits, for example. Both Huawei and ZTE have been informally accused of installing microchips and stealth circuitry to enable remote control of devices manufactured in their factories. Huawei is a Chinese corporation that occupies its resources to offer networking and communication equipment and services. This company is only second to technology giant Ericsson as a provider of mobile telecommunications equipment and software.

But Huawei’s reach goes beyond American territory. It is a key provider of equipment and services that have to do with almost everything to other developed nations. It is similar to what USAID represents for the United States. The organization is an American funded front to infiltrate other countries under the auspices of humanitarian aid. Suspicion about USAID’s activities in several countries had gotten it kicked out of several countries. The most recent one is Russia.

Well known technology companies such as Symantec held partnerships with Huawei in the past, but the security software enterprise apparently ended that relationship due to the security concerns posed by the U.S. government. Another notable client of the Chinese company is the government of Iran, which has prompted some people to think that the Iranians themselves could use the backdoors to infiltrate American infrastructure. So far, however, it’s been the Americans and Israelis who have attacked Iran in several occasions with computer bugs known as Trapwire, Stuxnet and others.

Given this scenario, it sounds logical to hear the American government talking about strengthening internet security for the sake of protecting its infrastructure. The part that is not so logical is that the U.S. government allows the same technology companies to continue manufacturing sensible portions of that infrastructure, which is what opens the door to internet insecurity. Another issue is that the Americans also intend to clamp down on internet freedom by using cyber threats as a justification to ban certain portions of the world wide web.

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