21st Century Wire
In the wake of the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that targeted many online companies and news agencies last week such as CNN and The New York Times, it was revealed that the threat intelligence firm Flashpoint took a prominent public relations role in the media after the event – just as they did following the highly suspicious Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando over the summer.
Flashpoint is investigating the nature of the DDoS attacks against the networks of the internet traffic management company Dyn and many others just days ago.
Later in this report, we’ll focus our attention on the uncanny ties between the firm Flashpoint, the Orlando shooting and the massive internet related outage this past week.
But first things first, let’s review elements of the recent DDoS attack in America…
On October 21st, the technology blog Engadget discussed the cyber attacks that led to an internet outage across America and other parts of the world:
“Today’s nation-wide internet outage was enabled thanks to a Mirai botnet that hacked into connected home devices, according to security intelligence company Flashpoint. The distributed denial of service attack targeted Dyn, a large domain name server, and took down Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, The New York Times, Pinterest, PayPal and other major websites.
“Flashpoint has observed Mirai attack commands issued against Dyn infrastructure,” Flashpoint writes. “Analysts are still investigating the potential impact of this activity and it is not yet clear if other botnets are involved.”
The Engadget article mentioned above, further explained that security experts had been prepping the public for an eventual Mirai malware attack since its code open-source was leaked:
“The author of the Mirai malware made its code open-source, and security experts have been warning of a possible large-scale attack since this information came to light.”
In another media supplied back story building the coming ‘launch’ of Mirai discussed through the security based website managed by Brian Krebs, KrebsOnSecurity – who ironically, has twice been the victim of cyber attacks over the years:
“The source code that powers the “Internet of Things” (IoT) botnet responsible for launching the historically large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against KrebsOnSecurity last month has been publicly released.”
Interestingly, according to Bradley Barth, a senior reporter for the IT security online magazine SC, the Mirai (supposedly leaked on September 30th) contains a very unique subset of characteristics that will not attack certain IP addresses such as the Department of Defense (DoD), the US Postal Service and consumer giant General Electric (GE) due to its coding:
“An Imperva analysis of the source code revealed several unique traits, including a hardcoded blacklist of IPs that the adversary did not want to attack, perhaps in order to keep a low profile. Some of these IPs belonged to the Department of Defense, the U.S. Postal Service and General Electric.”
Though SC claims that the makers of Mirai may have been trying to keep a low profile, the recent DDoS attack attributed to the malware was as high-profile as you can get – so this begs the question, what was the real reason the malware creators put an IP blockade on the DoD, the Postal Service and GE?
Is it possible the malware originated from whitehat hackers associated with the US government?
Politico disclosed that the hacktivist avatar known as the ‘New World Hackers‘ and Anonymous (state-sanctioned hackers?) were responsible for the DDoS attack over Twitter, adding that “U.S. officials preached caution, arguing there is still scant evidence to determine who is behind the attack, warning that both groups have falsely taken credit for high-profile attacks in the past.” Flashpoint then stated the group were “imposters,” as the article then referenced Obama’s recent far-fetched claims that Russia is somehow ‘meddling’ with US elections through proxy hackers – once again, without any definitive proof.
Less than 24 hours after the nationwide DDoS cyberattack, former Homeland Security Advisor to United States President George W. Bush, Fran Townsend, (left photo) reignited the blame Russia meme (as we predicted) in a CBS article:
“CBS News homeland security consultant Fran Townsend pointed to Russia as a possible instigator.
“Is this sort of a brushback pitch from the Russians sending us a message that we should be pretty careful about engaging in this sort of cyberactivity with them because they are very capable,” she said.”
Townsend, also made the rounds on media after the bizarre anomaly ridden Nice attack, pushing the mainstream narrative.
In our first report regarding the alleged hack on America, we discussed the DDoS event and how it would be politicized by the media and US officials to blame Russia, feeding into the false claims that the Kremlin is somehow tampering with the 2016 US elections. We also talked about how the incident might be used to push a newer and more restrictive Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate doppelgänger, the PROTECT IP Act aka PIPA – dual provisions aimed at restricting the use of copyrighted material on the internet, which could have vast implications on free speech. It is also important to reiterate that one of the main issues concerning the US government as the cyberspshere grows is ISP governance.
Last week’s choreographed cyber attack on popular websites and companies that allegedly spread through the Mirai botnet malware via the Internet of Things (IoT), has opened up another aspect of the story. This part of the narrative, appears to prey on the fears of the general public as IoT devices have become increasingly connected, setting the stage for new security protocols and new cyber security products to be conveniently rolled out at any future date following a cyber crisis.
It should be mentioned that the security firm Flashpoint was front and center (along with the internet performance company DYN) – weighing in on the situation prior to any US intelligence agency making an official statement.
Flashpoint operates as an intelligence watchdog, as well as an intelligence asset, in addition to playing a PR role for some recent large-scale incidents – but who are they really?
‘PUZZLE PIECE’ – The security firm Flashpoint delves into the deep dark web for its clients. Screen Shot Image Source: (flashpoint-intel.com)
According to Flashpoint’s own website, they are a private cybersecurity firm that is composed of a “…diverse crew of white-hat hackers, engineers, analysts, salespeople, marketers, and operations specialists [who] are fearlessly problem-solving as we change the way organizations evaluate risk.”
The clandestine firm adds that their “premium Business Risk Intelligence solutions afford superlative access and visibility into opaque areas of the Internet, empowering our clients to defend themselves against various cyber and physical threats.”
While looking into Flashpoint’s investor section, we learn that the American venture capital firm Greycroft Partners is listed among those contributing to the security firm. It turns out that Greycroft is also a large campaign contributor to the Clinton campaign, as discussed by Huffinton Post:
“At least eight hedge funders are listed as Clinton fundraisers, collecting more than $100,000 each for the campaign. These include Blair Effron of Centerview Partners, Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital Group, Orin Kramer of Boston Provident, Charles Myers of Evercore, Deven Parekh of Insight Venture Partners, Alan Patricof of Greycroft Partners, and Lisa Perry, who is married to Perry Capital CEO Richard Perry.
‘FLARE UP’ – Here’s Flashpoint’s mission statement. (Screen Shot Image Source: (flashpoint-intel.com)
While Greycroft‘s contributions to the Clinton campaign are somewhat of a sidebar to the recent internet outage attack, it does represent another uncanny business and political connection that links a secretive firm (Flashpoint) that appears to be taking a large role in steering the public’s perception over certain incidents occurring in America. You have to wonder if this is really just a coincidence?
From America’s largest mass shooting to America’s largest Internet outage?
On June 24th, less than two weeks after the Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub, Flashpoint was said to have acted as a ‘translator’ for al Qaeda’s terror publication Inspire, which according to the security-based firm, appeared to be ‘claiming some responsibility’ for the shooting even though the purported shooter Omar Mateen was allegedly linked to ISIS.
The NBC report stated the following on June 24th:
“Flashpoint co-founder Evan Kohlmann, an NBC terrorism analyst pointed out that even though Mateen cited ISIS as the inspiration for the attack, al Qaeda seemed to be claiming some responsibility because it has called for “lone wolf” attacks against the West.”
“Kohlmann said the statement — which lauded Mateen as a heroic “lone jihad” holy warrior — appears to be an official Inspire release. But he said it was far less professional than others, including one after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that went to great lengths to praise the Tsarnaev brothers, who said they learned to make their explosive devices from another Inspire publication.”
The purported terror publication Inspire has come under fire in recent years as some critics charge that the magazine may actually be a CIA creation, something which is echoed through its ties to the dubious AQAP terror operation.
During our summertime investigation into the suspicious events at the Orlando Pulse nightclub, we found evidence that Omar Mateen’s worldwide security firm G4S was a client of the crisis staging company called Crisis Cast. The following is a passage from that report:
“Truth is often stranger than fiction when looking at the bizarre phenomena surrounding many mass casualty incidents – and the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting was no exception.
It was recently revealed that the world’s largest security firm G4S, who had employed the man named in the Orlando pulse nightclub shooting, Omar Mateen – is a client of the mass casualty staging company called CrisisCast.”
‘STAGING REALITY’ – CrisisCast specializes in replicating mass casualty events. (Screen Shot Image Source crisiscast)
Casting Crisis & Training for Disaster
“The heavily-stylized company CrisisCast, appears to be a revamped version of the Visionbox Crisis Actors project (a crisis actor production emerging after Sandy Hook), with a professional team of actors, elaborate film crews, expert producers and theatrical effects makeup squads mimicking real-life injuries (additional prosthetics) – all focused to deliver a simulated crisis-likereality to the public, later to be managed accordingly through their public relations division via various forms of social media.”
Interestingly, another client listed on the Crisis Cast website appeared to be another company named Flashpoint, apparently unrelated to the internet based security firm…
‘MILITARIZED’ – Another company also called Flashpoint, was tacitly connected to the Orlando shooting via Crisis Cast. (Screen Shot Image Source crisiscast)
There is nothing concrete linking the two Flashpoint companies but the very fact that both are tied to the Orlando shooting, albeit in an opaque way, suggests there could be some deeper connection.
Is Flashpoint – Reality Based Training, the militarized counterpart to the cybersecurity firm Flashpoint?
Here’s Flashpoint – Reality Based Training describing the reality they construct for their clients, which appears to fall in line with the internet based Flashpoint:
“Environments will need to become more realistic – the sights, sounds and smells will increase in fidelity. We believe the requirement for combined live and virtual events will increase and that these will be networked geographically by governments, military and NGOs. We also anticipate an increase in the requirement for us to track trainees and deliver accurate after-action reviews as part of our Reality Based Training.”
What’s next in a world with designed outcomes, false narratives, uncanny connections and staged crises?
READ MORE INTERNET NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Internet Files
READ MORE ORLANDO SHOOTING NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Orlando Files
21st Century Wire is an alternative news agency designed to enlighten, inform and educate readers about world events which are not always covered in the mainstream media.