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Pre-Emptive Cyber-Wars Begun They Have

Tyler Durden's picture


As the world's economic powers squabble over the intricacies of cause and effect in a vicious cycle of currency devaluation and domestic economic defense; it appears, NYTimes reports, that the US is leading the way in another direction. A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad - i.e. if we 'suspect' someone is going to hack us, we can hack them. In what appears to be Stuxnet's bigger (and scarier) brother,one official noted, "there are levels of cyberwarfare that are far more aggressive than anything that has been used or recommended to be done." New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code - even if there is no declared war. Cyberweaponry is the newest and perhaps most complex arms race under way, based in Cyber Command at The Pentagon, with the unspoken question being, ‘What are we going to do about China?’

Via NY Times

A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review. 


That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack. New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code — even if there is no declared war.




Cyberweaponry is the newest and perhaps most complex arms race under way. The Pentagon has created a new Cyber Command, and computer network warfare is one of the few parts of the military budget that is expected to grow.




Mr. Obama is known to have approved the use of cyberweapons only once, early in his presidency, when he ordered an escalating series of cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities.




As the process of defining the rules of engagement began more than a year ago, one senior administration official emphasized that the United States had restrained its use of cyberweapons. “There are levels of cyberwarfare that are far more aggressive than anything that has been used or recommended to be done,” the official said.


The attacks on Iran illustrated that a nation’s infrastructure can be destroyed without bombing it or sending in saboteurs.


While many potential targets are military, a country’s power grids, financial systems and communications networks can also be crippled. Even more complex, nonstate actors, like terrorists or criminal groups, can mount attacks, and it is often difficult to tell who is responsible. Some critics have said the cyberthreat is being exaggerated by contractors and consultants who see billions in potential earnings.


One senior American official said that officials quickly determined that the cyberweapons were so powerful that — like nuclear weapons — they should be unleashed only on the direct orders of the commander in chief.




While the rules have been in development for more than two years, they are coming out at a time of greatly increased cyberattacks on American companies and critical infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that an American power station, which it did not name, was crippled for weeks by cyberattacks. The New York Times reported last week that it had been struck, for more than four months, by a cyberattack emanating from China. The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post have reported similar attacks on their systems.


“While this is all described in neutral terms — what are we going to do about cyberattacks — the underlying question is, ‘What are we going to do about China?’ ” said Richard Falkenrath, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “There’s a lot of signaling going on between the two countries on this subject.”


International law allows any nation to defend itself from threats, and the United States has applied that concept to conduct pre-emptive attacks.


Pre-emption always has been a disputed legal concept. Most recently Mr. Bush made it a central justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, based on faulty intelligence about that country’s weapons of mass destruction. Pre-emption in the context of cyberwar raises a potentially bigger quandary, because a country hit by a pre-emptive cyberstrike could easily claim that it was innocent, undermining the justification for the attack. “It would be very hard to provide evidence to the world that you hit some deadly dangerous computer code,” one senior official said.




During the attacks on Iran’s facilities, which the United States never acknowledged, Mr. Obama insisted that cyberweapons be targeted narrowly, so that they did not affect hospitals or power supplies. Mr. Obama frequently voiced concerns that America’s use of cyberweapons could be used by others as justification for attacks on the United States. The American effort was exposed when the cyberweapon leaked out of the Iranian enrichment center that was attacked, and the “Stuxnet” code replicated millions of times on the Internet.




But the military, barred from actions within the United States without a presidential order, would become involved in cases of a major cyberattack within the United States. To maintain ambiguity in an adversary’s mind, officials have kept secret what that threshold would be; so far, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has only described the “red line” in the vaguest of terms — as a “cyber 9/11.”


The Obama administration has urged stronger firewalls and other systems to provide a first line of defense, and then “resiliency” in the face of cyberattacks. It failed to get Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation that would have allowed the government to mandate standards. 


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Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:05 | 3213741 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Maybe they just shut it down and claim it was a cyber attack.  That will be a little rough on the economy though . . .

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:06 | 3213746 redpill
redpill's picture

It's all fun and games until Skynet becomes self aware...

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:11 | 3213747 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:23 | 3213778 knukles
knukles's picture

It was fun until somebody's avatar had their virtual eyeball poked out

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:33 | 3213837 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

With all due respect to our elected congressmen, I have to point out that the primary cyber-threat is domestic, and not from abroad. The number of fringe bloggers from conspiracy theorists to right-wing extremists is on the rise, and their influence is only growing, Conspiracy theorists and systematically undermining our government and Federal Reserve in America by spreading lies to the most gullible and mentally challenged readers on the internet. Right-wing extremism is also on the rise, appealing mostly to angry young men with little to no dating success and dismal career prospects due to their lack of engagement with society. Many of the commenters on this site show signs of all these characteristics and are a clear threat to our way of life in America. The internet needs to be heavily regulated, before the number of extreme ideas will becomes simply unmanageable.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:45 | 3213870 Looney
Looney's picture

Just wondering... If the gubermint officially calls it cyber-arms and cyber-weapons, do those fall under the protection of the Second Amendment for us, peasants? ;-)

Do I need a concealed carry permit to pack cyber-heat?  ;-)



Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:56 | 3213912 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Stop, Serf!

Do you have a permit for that "smart Phone?"

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:00 | 3213929 Looney
Looney's picture

You startled me! (iThink iJust iPooped iMyself)   ;-)


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:03 | 3213938 redpill
redpill's picture

Ew, time to change your iPad.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:50 | 3215180 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Fsck! All I got's an Android. There an app for that?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:59 | 3213917 CH1
CH1's picture

Do I need a concealed carry permit to pack cyber-heat?  ;-)


Look up PGP and Phil Zimmerman. Encryption was classafied as a munition, prior to the cryptowars of the 90s. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 18:57 | 3214646 RebelDevil
RebelDevil's picture

The man was a genius! - that is until his company servers were taken.
You can still find his masterpiece "Zfone" on the torrents.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:45 | 3213881 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

MDB - you are always good for a chuckle.

Yes, that dangerous independent thought.

Clearly, we must get rid of the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution to protect this glorious land, is that it?

Once you start finding your enemies from within based on their calls for freedom of information and transparency you know you have crossed the Rubicon.

Pack your lunch MDB.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:55 | 3213909 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

I suspect you are up to something, MDB.

My cohort of hackers will soon DOS you along with 10000 pizzas sent to your house.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:13 | 3213984 Colonial Intent
Mon, 02/04/2013 - 18:35 | 3214607 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, DOS (for it's time), was pretty destructive to lots of programmers. :>D

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:56 | 3213911 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture


Could you elucidate that pls as I'm feeling suitably gullible but some of your wordage seemed unable to protocol obfuscate itself to my side of my firewall.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:57 | 3213918 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Tyler, you've been infiltrated. Better renew your spam protection to delete Fellow Traveler noise.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:11 | 3213976 Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

IF you're trolling -- well done.  


If you actually believe this stuff -- you should be shot. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:20 | 3214212 knukles
knukles's picture

My oh my, we're Mr Tolerance toady aren't we?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:28 | 3214020 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

"Many of the commenters on this site show signs of all these characteristics and are a clear threat to our way of life in America."



Many people in America see a serious decline in our way of life by an ever encroaching government that uses the name of security to take away our liberty. Most of the people here are into the conversation and anything that is considered minatory is merely rhetorical. Did you know that most of the recent major shootings were done at the hands of extreme leftist liberals? Fact. At what point do we forego all of our freedoms for the privelege of checking our hevily scoured emails? It is a farce trumped up for influence and more funding to these "defense" contractors that spin this into perpetuity. For every enemy we stop, we disenfranchise tenfold and this is beginning to bleed over into our own population as people are sick of ubiquitous war. We need serious fundamental changes, or we will no longer be a world power. At that point, we could see the world's largest arsenal in the hands of a unitary evil. Things are obviously not getting better so at what point do we stop and formulate a different course?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:13 | 3214193 stant
stant's picture

just because your paranoid dosent mean we are not out to get you. we are

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:25 | 3214235 Skyprince
Skyprince's picture

MDB, you lost me at "with all due respect to our elected congressmen,..."

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 20:23 | 3214933 Ctrl_P
Ctrl_P's picture

I have to agree with you on the fact that "Conspiracy theorists and (are) systematically undermining our government and Federal Reserve in America by spreading lies to the most gullible and mentally challenged readers on the internet." 

It seems that some of the information is even reaching the ordinary middle class and we are rapidly approaching the unmanageable situation where the middle class is becoming a threat to America's way of life.

Thanks, great laugh this morning.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 23:17 | 3215344 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

MDB_, don't complain when your asset claims are extinguished, alrighty?

"Well, what’s been happening, over the last very long period of time, during our 30 years of credit expansion,we have expanded credit enormously so that it is some 99% of the money supply.  Inflation is money + credit relative to available goods and services.  We didn’t print money, we increased credit.  In other words, what we did is we increased excess claims to underlying real wealth.  So, we’ve been playing a giant game of musical chairs.  There is about one chair for every 100 people playing the game.  While we are all up and dancing to the music, we don’t notice how few chairs there are.  But, when the music stops, the people best positioned to understand the rules of the game will reach for a chair.  Everybody else is out of the game.  So the crashing of credit, which is what that is, you eliminate the excess claims to the underlying real wealth by crashing the credit system, that is deflation by definition,  Because money plus credit  relative to available goods and services collapses.  It is important to note that my definitions of inflation and deflation are not the same as you would see in more mainstream analysis.  So I’m not looking at rising and falling prices.  So that is part of the distinction between when I’m talking about inflation and when other people are…  Kunstler adds comment about stagflation…  What happens is that prices follow changes in the money supply.  So rising prices are a lagging indicator of the inflation we have already had – the Ponzi credit expansion.  But, as credit expansion starts to move very sharply in the opposite direction, we will undercut prices, but prices will follow to the downside.  They always follow changes in the money supply, complicated by a few other factors.  When we talk about “money printing,” we’re not talking about real money printing we’re talking about attempts to keep the credit Ponzi going. This is all central banks ever do, they attempt to midwife credit.  That critically relies on the supply of willing borrows and lenders.  When you do not have that anymore, because the borrowers  are maxed out, the lenders are starting to have to the risk on their own books so they get a lot pickier about who they lend money to, you break the engines of credit expansion, including fractional reserve banking, securitization.  So whatever you put in the banking system is not getting out in the real economy.  It is having no real stimulus effect, it is not going to feed through into rising prices and that is inherently deflation because the contraction proceeds much more quickly than any kind of debt monetization and the amount we are monetizing is absolutely trivial in comparison to the outstanding the debt.  The numbers only look large until you realize A that they are virtual so there is no reality to what we’re putting into that system anyway, and B that it is being completely outweighed bycontraction we are experiencing in the value of credit instruments and the value in comparison to the outstanding debt.  So its not going to cause a hyperinflation.  Now it could, when you get to the point where you finish that reset, then you’ve probably had enough financial upheaval to break the international debt financing model.  If countries are then cut off, debt junky countries used to borrowing all the time, if they can’t do that anymore and the only way they can try and meet their obligations is by printing money, you will have lost the  bond market constraint against the printing of real physical currency. At that point countries will print like there is no tomorrow and then the risk is a currency hyperinflation.

But the risk in the US is probably at least 10 years away.  If you are Greece, its much, much closer.  Anywhere in the European periphery where the risk of currency re-issue is huge the gap between the deflationary collapse of the value of credit instrument and the risk of currency hyperinflation is probably really short, time wise.

But in places where you are not looking at currency re-issue, it is going to be quite a long time… many, many years.  So the US, Canada, perhaps the UK, Sweden Switzerland…  these are not places that are looking at hyperinflation anytime soon.  Deflation, then a long period of depression, then maybe hyperinflation coming out of it."

- Nicole Foss

Nicole's podcast can be found at the bottom of the following article (but above the comments)...

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:09 | 3213750 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

So the article claims Obummer launched Stuxnet, then claims the administration has never mentioned it.

So, is this the official confirmation leak?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:24 | 3213783 knukles
knukles's picture

No, it's not official on the basis that whoever the senior government muckety-muck who posted it on a chat board wishes to remain anonymous.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:52 | 3213898 Looney
Looney's picture

So, lemme get it straight… If THEY hack us, it is an act of war. But, if we attack them preemptively or otherwise, he doesn’t need the Congress’ “declaration of war”.

All this cyber-shit is very confusing – I need some cyber-toiletpaper.


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:57 | 3214122 Bandit und Buster
Bandit und Buster's picture

Yeah, We hack THEM with no provocation, NOW we're calling "them" aggressors when they've not done anything yet.

Soundds like the guilty running and looking over their shoulder, knowing blow-back is coming! What criminals!

"mommy mommy, Billies going to hit me!"

"What did you do to him?"

"I didn't do nuthing mommy!!" (just fucked up his computers)

"I need to hit him mommy, so he doesen't get me back!"

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:05 | 3214153 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Seems to me China has an advantage here, as all of their internet traffic comes through just nine switches. They could shut down pretty quick, US could not. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:21 | 3214216 knukles
knukles's picture

I suspect so...

Fuck...good enough for government work...

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 17:05 | 3214357 espirit
espirit's picture

China's been stealing technology for like decades (i.e. Los Alamos), and it's well known for hacking (i.e. CyberWarfare) U.S. interest here and abroad.  So... let's attack them. Or not.

Just sayin'.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 17:18 | 3214388 tonyw
tonyw's picture

we spend as much as the rest of the world on weapons and topple regimes but

They're the aggressors and terrorists

whilst we are freedom fighters bringing democracy

i think that's the right way round isn't it??????


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:51 | 3215183 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:25 | 3213812 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

Dear Leader believes he solves problems by showing up for a few photo ops. We will know Dear Leader is serious about cyber security when you see pictures of him taken at some data center.

Until then... Forward!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:28 | 3213823 knukles
knukles's picture

With an Etch-a-Sketch

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:03 | 3213943 Looney
Looney's picture



Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:12 | 3213760 trav777
trav777's picture

well, the US is saying ok, if we think you're going to attack us, we can cyber attack you.  We said we don't want Iran to have a nuclear capability of any kind, so we will sabotage it with malicious code.

So at what point does someone say "United States, we think you are going to attack us and we don't like your aggressive nature and we don't want to be attacked and we don't think you should have a nuclear capability either," and decides to attack us?

I mean, if you're a random nation, do you fear...a) Iran...b) the USA?  I mean who is more likely to attack you on any given day?

we have spec ops guys in a dozen countries at least, drones all over the place.  A threat of attack is pretty realistic.  Same with from Israel.  So it would seem that this preemption doctrine would justify an attack against the US.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:16 | 3213782 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"So it would seem that this preemption doctrine would justify an attack against the US."

Trav you're forgetting something very important. It's okay when "we" do it, because "we're" the good guys. And "they're" the bad guys. See, isn't that simple?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:19 | 3213795 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

These are not the drones you are looking for.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 17:07 | 3214363 espirit
espirit's picture

...and your money is...3...2...1... GONE!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:42 | 3213873 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

When? Fairly soon, if not now, I would suspect.

Neocons know no bounds and they are instilling this in all of their perpetual adversaries.


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:11 | 3213978 chdwlch1
chdwlch1's picture

At least we haven't "granted" (as in caved to their demands) China access to our US Treasury auctions...DOH!!!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:53 | 3215187 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

But we are exceptional. Manifest Density and all that shit.

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 01:08 | 3215552 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Yeah, a very dense people.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:14 | 3213771 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

If my neighbor around the block threatens me or my family, that means i can go take his ass out " pre-emptively ".


Got it..

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:16 | 3213781 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Oh wait, i just have to "suspect" now huh??


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:18 | 3214001 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

That's what "Hold Your Ground" laws are all about. If you think he/she might be a bad guy, blast away.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 17:22 | 3214397 thewhitelion
thewhitelion's picture

Only now it seems that "Hold Their Ground" is also OK--as long as we do it.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:27 | 3213819 unrulian
unrulian's picture

Arnold will save us

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:52 | 3214322 onthesquare
onthesquare's picture

I am going to wait until the movie comes out.  There will have to be cybersex.  Ahhh!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:06 | 3213744 djsmps
djsmps's picture

There sure are a lot of secret panels out there. I'm glad they share their data.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:09 | 3213748 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

And what about the unintended consequences?

Never mind! Immaterial it is.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:13 | 3213766 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Can I get a "meh"?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:10 | 3213975 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:55 | 3215188 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

I hope you will settle for a "hic!"

The bar is open.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:15 | 3213780 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Are there really unintended consequences when you engage in the war racket?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:19 | 3213792 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Good point.

Guess not. Just more intended war.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 17:21 | 3214396 tonyw
tonyw's picture

more intended war,

exactly the aim is to have permanent war, seems to have succeeded so far.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 23:03 | 3215315 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

The unintended consequences must be the motivation to action  of the counter parties and their friends who feel themselves the aggreved party, and as such, they are clear in their purpose, no ambiguity or cognitive Dissonance over there, they feel their cause is just, we know they are wrong because our Government wouldn't War with them without reason, they don't know our reasons, and the Preacher said; "That crazy religion they have over there has blinded them to their errors" so they can't be talked to, Right?  Still, just because they haven't revealed any of their cards yet doesn't mean they don't have any, the've known we were coming for a long time!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:19 | 3213794 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Your team losing.

(Not the war, silly, we know that's fine cause it increased agg. debt, MIC profits, etc., it's losing control of the racket that would be unintended and bad. Well not bad for the brown people you're killing. But they don't count anyway. Terrrism and such.)

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:00 | 3213925 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

I believe there are.  The control freaks truly believe they are a 'global force for good' and that the perfect tinkering will lead to near perfect results.  Ever they try to tinker....

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 19:09 | 3214705 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The only thing they believe is that they are the global force for turning people upside down and shaking out their pockets...  war was last seen as a noble gesture in the age of unicorns.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 21:16 | 3215008 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Most of them behave as sociopaths, and sociopaths have very esteemed, albeit warped, self-image.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:09 | 3213749 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Wake me when these "wars" actually result in some serious supply line disruptions.  Who gives a shit about the "virtual" world.  Get out of the basement kids and actually do something.  Oh no, the power went out in sim city, of course no one gives a fuck.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:12 | 3213762 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Umm... we won't be able to wake you, since we're all out here in your "virtual" world.

And if you believe that the net isn't an important part of our supply lines, well, your awakening will take care of itself some day.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:25 | 3213814 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Right, grow a pair.  In the meantime, we will keeping shit done.

the world awaits...

and waits...

and waits...


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:32 | 3213832 Proofreder
Proofreder's picture

Anyone else notice the "now that we have your attention" language?

And of course the power outage at the Big Game means nothing

except, except ...

What if it was a demonstration of the advancing capabilities of Anonymous ???

Wouldn't that throw a panic into TPTB ! And we might never know, at least not right away.

> Logon denied   re-enter your password.  

>  * All of your network are belong to us *

> Would you like to play a game ?



Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:42 | 3213874 knowless
knowless's picture

I think you got it backwards, someone else deserves the credit, as in "who keeps your lights on"

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:52 | 3213901 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Depends how much you rely on "the grid" and whether any of your essential operations are even on the fucking internet to begin with now doesn't it?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:54 | 3214116 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

All my essential operations are on the internet along with millions of others.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:58 | 3214124 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Well, that's not good.  What' that first law of investing again?  Something about diversification...

Good luck.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:38 | 3213855 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Long; cans, and tight strings.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:13 | 3213767 trav777
trav777's picture

thank goodness our infrastructure is so decrepit and ancient, huh?  You have to actually come here and sneeze on it to black out the east coast.  Like that Onion article about terrists attacking our high speed rail

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:19 | 3213793 knukles
knukles's picture

Trav, that was the Virtual High Speed Rail Line.
Sorta like the old Radio Shack Realistic brand CB radios.
Golly, Knukles, that radio sure looks realistic!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:21 | 3213800 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Rise of the robots.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:02 | 3213941 IridiumRebel
Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:26 | 3213817 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

+1 for you sir.  I still keep a machinist on retainer.  

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:10 | 3213756 rlouis
rlouis's picture

OK, so the World Wide Web has found its own form of M.A.D. - and the risk that economies based on the web are at extreme risk.  What would happen to Amazon in the event of this 'cyber war'? How about government revenues - no stock trades, no e-commerce, no ebt transfers; the ramifications are disturbing.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:25 | 3213813 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Amazon? No telling. You'll have to find a reality-based company to make any sort of rational predictions. CIA slush-funded companies such as Amazon might actually end up being an attack vector, given the amount of customers their cloud has within. As evidenced by past outages, they are a weak link, even though the cloud structure is promoted as a safer alternative.

As always, any redundant, distributed system has to have a control layer higher up, which serves as a single point of entry. This can be minimized by making the control layer itself redundant, and distributed, but even then the communication between the control servers can be compromised.

Perhaps someday, this system will become infinitely recursive (folding the hierarchy of layers back into themselves), and only then can it be securable. Thing is, the highest level to create this will be the system's own self-awareness. Only once a system can recognize the whole of itself, can it manage it fully.

That will be an interesting day.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:14 | 3213769 Mercury
Mercury's picture

A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review. 


Whew! For a second there I thought they just claimed this power out of thin air! But if actual legal issues were reviewed in secret who could possibly have a problem with the chief executive determining who and under what circumstances someone will be punished for a pre-crime?

Does the NYT think that the office of the POTUS has this wonderful new power or just "President Obama" (who will of course only bring it to bear "abroad") ??

I’m sure Zero Hedge is confident about where the bright line is between “cyber terrorism” and plain old exposing information about systemically important financial institutions.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:14 | 3213770 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Speaking of ctber war, it would seem the PPT is hard at work attacking the falling DJIA.   Bet they'll get it ramped up to green by the close.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:30 | 3213827 unrulian
unrulian's picture

Kevin must be sick two many light beer yesterday i presume

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:16 | 3213784 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Articles such as these make me even more confident that TV shows such as "Revolution" and "The Walking Dead" aren't fiction.

They're our future.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:17 | 3213786 sitenine
sitenine's picture

I've thought for a long time now that the internet has become a proxy for the actual economy in many ways. The wheels of commerce seemed to move faster and faster along with increases in bandwidth year after year. Entire systems went 'online' (SAP accounting systems as an example) without thought of what an extended Internet outage might mean - in fact, the vast majority of IT experts will laugh in your face for even suggesting that the internet could go down for any meaningful amount of time. Doesn't the possibility warrant at least a discussion though? Even backup systems rely heavily on at least some portion of the internet being 'up'. The implications are HUGE, but the subject remains taboo. Why?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:22 | 3213788 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Just add it to our long list of pre-emptive strikes we take throughout the world on a daily basis. At some point in time one of these nations are going to put two and two together and think "hhhmmmthe United states sure does a lot of pre-emptive strikes. Maybe there is something more to this".

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:24 | 3213807 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

No they won't, they already know, and have already either joined America's global neocolonial client states team or ... or they're fucking terrrists/communists/evildoers who need righteous killing.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:00 | 3213927 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

We'll figure out a way to kill some more kids with pre-emptive cyberattacks. Physical or virtual, a drone's a drone.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:04 | 3213949 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture


Just wait until you got a "family drone" buzzing around your kitchen. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3214171 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Long tennis rackets...

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:21 | 3213798 knukles
knukles's picture

So HFT is OK with this?
If somebody Really wants to fuck with ....

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:21 | 3213799 BattlegroundEur...
BattlegroundEurope2011's picture

The CIA/NSA are already using Google's "secret" options.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:23 | 3213806 waterwitch
waterwitch's picture

Did they test it last night when the lights went out at the Superdome?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:37 | 3213846 Proofreder
Proofreder's picture

Which side is 'they'?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:28 | 3213821 resurger
resurger's picture

Norton and Mcafee


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:31 | 3213830 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Unplug them.  Our e-mail inboxes will thank you.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:33 | 3213839 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

The DHLS advises citizens that in the case of a cyber attack, they can protect themselves using the ctrl+x (virtual scissors).

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:35 | 3213841 dbTX
dbTX's picture

"What are we going to do about China?" For starters we could stop buying all that plastic crap they send over here, and tell Wal Mart to find a few other suppliers.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:39 | 3213863 dadichris
dadichris's picture

Everything is fabricated these days: enemies of the state, financial markets, government statistics, court rulings, etc.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:40 | 3213865 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Virtual war - so cool, so transformational. Maybe Facebook will host it.

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 01:16 | 3215569 mkhs
mkhs's picture

I refuse to open a facebook account so that I can comment on the virtual war.  Have it without me.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:42 | 3213866 Canucklehead
Canucklehead's picture

Leave it to the Government to deem what is an administrative error or Cyberterrorism.  As Jean Claude Trichet once said... When it is important, sometimes you lie.

Lets look at government performance in another area of national security... tracking illegal/unlawful aliens.

Page 17 of this 2011 report shows the composition of the background check database.  The FBI has determined there are 4,802,154 Illegal/Unlawful Aliens in the United States.

This 2010 DHS Office of Immigration Statistics paper estimates there are 10,800,000 Illegal/Unlawful Aliens in the United States.,0210-meyer.shtm
In 2010, the State of Illinois had no desire to use the E-Verify system as it was grossly inaccurate and could not be counted on to provide timely/accurate information.

... Oh, by the way, read that FBI report on background checks.  If their database is that bad, how can they be expected to ensure criminals don't get guns?  They have a list of some illegal aliens, some convicted criminals who have served their time, and a few others.  I expect the O&M costs of maintain and operating this background check database is in the order of hundreds of millions to billions per year.

Here is the 2008 report on the success of e-verify:

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:04 | 3213948 rlouis
rlouis's picture

The decay rate of database value in marketing is pretty high, but since our government has little concern about accurracy or cost, it doesn't matter.  And when accurracy doesn't matter and cost doesn't matter one can presume the systemic fail point is approaching.   

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:42 | 3213871 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The Chinese government (People's Liberation Army or P.L.A.) have been in our computer networks and infrastructure for so long it isn't funny. 

They now have hardware level back doors because they make all the hardware.

This is about oppressing citizens, not protecting the country - which was already sold out to China.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:59 | 3213922 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

After reviewing the casualty numbers of WWII, I thought the thing to do with China was foment a war with India and let the two slaughter each other.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:07 | 3213960 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

All powers reside with the TOTUS, they are inherent in his office.  According to Holder it is not unconstitutional to set aside the Constitiution.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:07 | 3213962 epwpixieq-1
epwpixieq-1's picture

"‘What are we going to do about China?’"

Answer: Get out of Windows and move to Linux ( in all its diversity ), this would the the first fundamental step. In such a way with one creates diversity and information knowledge distribution, as well as more resilient networked infrastructure.

Of course such a wise, and extremely important, decision, is not politically popular as it is against Microsoft,

But hey, there are things that have to be done right, and as most of people know, the more concentrated the control one system is, the higher the risks for its failures, and in this case penetration.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:17 | 3213996 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Once upon a time the Lap Gochi would patrol the streets of the Welsh highlands like gaily-dressed Samurai - their colorful costumes believing the terrible carnage that could be unleashed with a simple flick of their brochfael (the preferred weapon of the Lap Goch masters that resembles an innocuous oversized handkerchief).

Even then, practitioners who shared the deadly techniques with outsiders were forced to pull their own heads off in front of the entire village as a form of punishment. Nowadays the secrets of Rhyddfedd and Freckleddll are passed on only to those select few who are invited into the remote villages where the remaining Lap Goch masters meet to mentor a new generation of Welsh warriors.

Even so, the fundamental principles of Lap Goch are well known. There are two:

1. That the best form of defense is attack

2. That the most important element in a successful attack is surprise

The Lap Goch practitioner is therefore taught to surprise his opponent by attacking him before he is himself attacked. Indeed, he will attack his opponent, not only before he is actually attacked, but before his opponent has even considered attacking him. Indeed, to be safe, he will launch attacks on a variety of people who have never even so much as thought about attacking him because they have never had any reason to.  

Critics of the ancient art have suggested that this makes Lap Goch a simple form of thuggery, as it generally involves assaulting complete strangers in the street, long before they might form any notion of attacking the Lap Goch exponent.

The criticism is valid, so far as it goes, but it illustrates too how the Lap Goch master always stays one move ahead in the game. He attacks not only his enemies, but also those who may one day become his enemies. And indeed, amongst the Lap Goch masters, their premonitions are rarely found to be at fault. Over time, almost all of those whom they attack do become their enemies!

There is no doubt that the recent resurgence of interest in the ancient Welsh art has been laregely due to the rumours that the current American President, Barry Soetoro, is himself a master of the art! Certainly the principles of Lap Goch seem to be at the heart of the President's foreign policy, though this in itself is not conclusive.

Certainly the Oblamma-Lap Goch link would help explain the President's otherwise incomprehensible strategy in the Middle East. It may also help to identity those odd figures, dressed in braces and tall black hats, which have been seen frequently amongst the President's group of advisors.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:21 | 3214024 W74
W74's picture

So THAT'S what happened last night in New Orleans.  Good work Anons.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:24 | 3214232 Venerability
Venerability's picture

Personally, I like China way better than I like AmDocs at this point.

Possibly, that's why I'm a Closet Canadian.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:29 | 3214250 Venerability
Venerability's picture

As for the various Cyberattacks on The Bird the past three days - Well, some silly DOGs may be gloating. But The Bird's many fans believe it's pure heavy-handed and very childish revenge for her successful attacks on both Tiny Terror - discredited now in any number of ways - and The Devil, aka Jon Nadler.   

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 17:40 | 3214446 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

You all realize cyber wars are just preludes right?  There's really no winning until you act out the final play.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 22:13 | 3215223 ironmace
ironmace's picture

strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 22:46 | 3215277 monad
monad's picture

What makes you think they'll point this at their Chinese investment comrades? We 'the mob' are the targets. "If you aren't one of us, you're nothing." Said the orphan molesting RDNC terrorists.

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