Internet Dictatorship Begins in Singapore

A “new” system that records every move, stores all passwords and homogenizes software and that will control the net from 3 major hubs.

by John Markoff
NYTimes
June 25, 2011

A small group of Internet security specialists gathered in Singapore this week to start up a global system to make e-mail and e-commerce more secure, end the proliferation of passwords and raise the bar significantly for Internet scam artists, spies and troublemakers.

“It won’t matter where you are in the world or who you are in the world, you’re going to be able to authenticate everyone and everything,” said Dan Kaminsky, an independent network security researcher who is one of the engineers involved in the project.

The Singapore event included an elaborate technical ceremony to create and then securely store numerical keys that will be kept in three hardened data centers there, in Zurich and in San Jose, Calif. The keys and data centers are working parts of a technology known as Secure DNS, or DNSSEC. DNS refers to the Domain Name System, which is a directory that connects names to numerical Internet addresses. Preliminary work on the security system had been going on for more than a year, but this was the first time the system went into operation, even though it is not quite complete.

The three centers are fortresses made up of five layers of physical, electronic and cryptographic security, making it virtually impossible to tamper with the system. Four layers are active now. The fifth, a physical barrier, is being built inside the data center.

The technology is viewed by many computer security specialists as a ray of hope amid the recent cascade of data thefts, attacks, disruptions and scandals, including break-ins at Citibank, Sony, Lockheed Martin, RSA Security and elsewhere. It allows users to communicate via the Internet with high confidence that the identity of the person or organization they are communicating with is not being spoofed or forged.

Internet engineers like Mr. Kaminsky want to counteract three major deficiencies in today’s Internet. There is no mechanism for ensuring trust, the quality of software is uneven, and it is difficult to track down bad actors.

One reason for these flaws is that from the 1960s through the 1980s the engineers who designed the network’s underlying technology were concerned about reliable, rather than secure, communications. That is starting to change with the introduction of Secure DNS by governments and other organizations.

The event in Singapore capped a process that began more than a year ago and is expected to be complete after 300 so-called top-level domains have been digitally signed, around the end of the year. Before the Singapore event, 70 countries had adopted the technology, and 14 more were added as part of the event. While large countries are generally doing the technical work to include their own domains in the system, the consortium of Internet security specialists is helping smaller countries and organizations with the process.

The United States government was initially divided over the technology. The Department of Homeland Security included the .gov domain early in 2009, while the Department of Commerce initially resisted including the .us domain because some large Internet corporations opposed the deployment of the technology, which is incompatible with some older security protocols.

Internet security specialists said the new security protocol would initially affect Web traffic and e-mail. Most users should be mostly protected by the end of the year, but the effectiveness for a user depends on the participation of the government, Internet providers and organizations and businesses visited online. Eventually the system is expected to have a broad effect on all kinds of communications, including voice calls that travel over the Internet, known as voice-over-Internet protocol.

“In the very long term it will be voice-over-I.P. that will benefit the most,” said Bill Woodcock, research director at the Packet Clearing House, a group based in Berkeley, Calif., that is assisting Icann, the Internet governance organization, in deploying Secure DNS.

Secure DNS makes it possible to make phone calls over the Internet secure from eavesdropping and other kinds of snooping, he said.

Security specialists are hopeful that the new Secure DNS system will enable a global authentication scheme that will be more impenetrable and less expensive than an earlier system of commercial digital certificates that proved vulnerable in a series of prominent compromises.

The first notable case of a compromise of the digital certificates — electronic documents that establish a user’s credentials in business or other transactions on the Web — occurred a decade ago when VeriSign, a prominent vendor of the certificates, mistakenly issued two of them to a person who falsely claimed to represent Microsoft.

Last year, the authors of the Stuxnet computer worm that was used to attack the Iranian uranium processing facility at Natanz were able to steal authentic digital certificates from Taiwanese technology companies. The certificates were used to help the worm evade digital defenses intended to block malware.

In March, Comodo, a firm that markets digital certificates, said it had been attacked by a hacker based in Iran who was trying to use the stolen documents to masquerade as companies like Google, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo.

“At some point the trust gets diluted, and it’s just not as good as it used to be,” said Rick Lamb, the manager of Icann’s Secure DNS program.

The deployment of Secure DNS will significantly lower the cost of adding a layer of security, making it more likely that services built on the technology will be widely available, according to computer network security specialists. It will also potentially serve as a foundation technology for an ambitious United States government effort begun this spring to create a system to ensure “trusted identities” in cyberspace.

Coronal Mass Ejection is the Issue in Europe, not Volcanic Ash

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
April 19, 2010

It is of everyone’s knowledge the kind of disruptions the volcanic eruption in Iceland caused to international travel in Europe. Due to this eruption and the huge amount of ash reported to be coming out of the volcano, it is understandable that air space is closed for the safety of the people who intended to make their ways around the continent and across the Atlantic Ocean. However, some information has come to my attention that I think is important to share with the public, since the authorities are not doing it.

Although, as I mentioned before, air travel is banned for the moment, there are some facts that do not follow the same trend. For example, why is the Keflavic International Airport in Iceland still open? Is the real disruptor of air transport really volcanic ash or a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)? Is European airspace being kept clear to prevent people seeing something significant out of aircraft windows? Is European airspace being kept clear for military defensive purposes or for military offensive purposes? Whose military?

Volcanic eruptions are nothing rare nowadays. Volcanic activity is seen daily around the world, and there are volcanoes erupting daily around the globe. So why is this particular eruption so special? Maybe it’s not. There is another event happening at the same time this eruption is taking place. A large NATO Live Exercise originated out of Germany on April 12 and running up until April 22 is also taking place in European airspace. The exercise includes participants like the U.S. Air Force stationed in Germany and other places in the old continent.

Reports from Germany, Austria and other locations in Europe reported clear and blue skies up to April 17, as it can be seen in this image dated April 17, 2010. Enter the following report from rumormillnews.com.

“In Germany we experienced the most beautiful day of the year. No clouds, clear sky, not the slightest sign of dust or ash in the  atmosphere. To confirm my own observation I checked the www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/ 1200 UTC satellite picture with the same result: A large high pressure area stretching from England and France via the North Sea, Germany, the Alps all the way across Poland to the Russian border with winds from the east in central Germany. You can see the Sat Pic via the link below.”

This information contradicts the ash cloud forecast to engulf all European airspace. Air space over Ramstein Airforce Base in Germany has also remained opened throughout the emergency. Ramstein is the main location from which operations in the Middle East are coordinated. There have not been any interruptions in the operations conducted at Ramstein, as military airplanes seem to be able to cope with volcanic ash. German Airline Lufthansa conducted several flights in order to test the possibility of restarting normal transportation activity. The result of those tests were no damage or any other problems for the aircraft.

“In addition to air assets, tactical employment of Theater Missile Defense and Ground Based Air Defense assets will be extensively exercised.” Missile defense is a system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defense against nuclear-armed Intercontinental ballistic missiles, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged non-nuclear tactical and theater missiles”, continues the report.

May these military exercises be related to a Coronal Mass Ejections? Well, one has to say it is just coincidental that three significant events occurred at the same time. The volcanic eruption, the military exercise and the coronal mass ejections. See Coronal Mass Ejection from April 13, 2010. According to the Solar Influences Data Center, significant solar activity is expected to occur between 2010 and 2012 and some of it was expected to happen beginning April 14. Find the report here.

“A Coronal Mass Ejection or CME linked to the eruption of a polar crown filament was detected on April 13 by LASCO and other coronagraphs. It is partially halo, with a main propagation direction to the North of the ecliptic plane. There is a risk that the southern flank of the CME crosses the Earth, triggering enhanced geomagnetic activity, not before late April 16 or more likely on April 17.”

Although air travel is supposed to be interrupted for several more days, reports issued as late as Sunday expressed the possibility that some flight activity would resume on Monday April 17. Is this also a coincidence? The solar activity was supposed to end on April 17, was it not? Also, note that although the volcanic eruption is real and the ash is real too, no image shown anywhere has confirmed the massive cloud of ash all over Europe as it has been reported by the main stream media. Vasts areas of the continent have remained clear throughout the emergency. So why close most European Air Space? Please stay tuned for more details.

Sources:

NASA. Coronal Mass Ejections
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/CMEs.shtml

Operation Brilliant Ardent 10
https://realagenda.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/massive-military-exercise-in-europe-as-volcano-erupts/

Europe Satellite Image April 17, 2010

Dundee Satellite Receiving Station
http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/

Ash Cloud Forecast over Europe
http://www.eurad.uni-koeln.de/index.html

Coronal Mass Ejection April 13, 2010
http://www.spaceweather3.com/images2010/13apr10/cme_c3_anim360.gif?PHPSESSID=ifbmesp6a7oc507tt90elfoc45

Solar Influences Data Analysis Center
http://www.sidc.be/products/presto/