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11/18/20: Cyber Caliphate

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MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

Today, I was doing my weekly report on Channel Zero, making my case about how the media and Washington have us in this Mobius Strip tease where the same issues are always brought up to get people riled and distracted. Every election cycle, and every news report goes out of their way to push the focus on immigration, health care, abortion – issues that we are told are of the utmost concern.

Now, death tolls and Trump hate have dominated the 24 hour news cycle. Point counter point stances where CNN airs Fox news reports in order to rebut them and of course Fox airs CNN reports in sort of a media civil war.

There never has been to my memory, a news report or election cycle where concerns of the future are reported to outweigh the tired issues that media decides to over spin from at least 10 to 15 years ago.

What was of concern many years ago is still of concern only because the media continues to feed the ignorance of the people – the media believes that the general public wants some homogenized political echo chamber that can be a refuge for the rigid thinker.

The public needs to learn that governments around the world are using stealthy strategies to manipulate the media. The internet is the most powerful force disrupting the news media. The internet of course is becoming a liability to the media and so it has been the target for a scorched earth policy for some time now and a complete shutdown of all things independent is an easier task than you realize,

The internet is tolerating what can be called disinformation and they do not give people the benefit of their own discernment. However there is vital information that this toll gives us. The legacy media wishes that the internet be reduced to nothing but a platform to exchange pictures of kittens.

Censorship is flourishing in the information age. In theory, new technologies make it more difficult, and ultimately impossible, for governments to control the flow of information.

So the legacy media decides that the internet should not be an information market place that speculates or even indulges on parapolitical or conspiracy theory.

Conspiracy theories are now getting a bad reputation. To characterize a belief as a conspiracy theory is to imply it’s false. More than that, it implies people who accept that belief, or want to investigate whether it’s true, are irrational.

On the face of it, this is hard to understand. After all, people do conspire. That is, they engage in secretive or deceptive behavior that is illegal or morally dubious.

Conspiracy is a common form of human behavior across all cultures throughout recorded time, and it has always been particularly widespread in politics.

Virtually all of us conspire some of the time, and some people (such as spies) conspire virtually all of the time. Given people conspire, there can’t be anything wrong with believing they conspire. Hence there can’t be anything wrong with believing conspiracy theories or being a conspiracy theorist.

Conspiracy theories, like scientific theories, and virtually any other category of theory, are sometimes true, sometimes false, sometimes held on rational grounds, sometimes not.

Not everything is conspiracy and much of what is new and much of what can be seen or reported as a new threat on the horizon should not be dismisses as conspiracy theory –when there are many sources that are overlooked by a lazy and compliant mainstream media.

One year ago, most people probably wouldn’t have listed a global viral outbreak as one of the top geopolitical risks of 2020. Conspiracy theorists warned that there were table top exercises, gain of function experiments and other suspicious meetings like Event 201 that introduced the elite to the plot of a pandemic and how it would affect e the world. The plan was absolutely about power and a reboot of the globalist agenda.

But with so much stuff seemingly out of the individual’s control due to the coronavirus, many are hoping that the world will return to something more closely approximating normalcy next year. This is our hope but at the moment, we have been told that Dark Winter is upon us.

Now for most people Dark Winter sounds ominous and nebulous – the unknown is something that can keep people kept in flux.

Academics and analysts, many of whom have warned of the danger of a pandemic for years, have stated that our enemies will try to exploit a narrow window of opportunity to attack us which of course brings into play other neglected risks, such as nuclear terrorism, more seriously.

Ground Zero listeners, however, are well aware of some of the gain of function table top scenarios that have been carried out by our own defense department. While many of them have been war scenarios including asymmetrical attacks on the homeland – one of the most feared and rehearsed for the winter of 2020 is a cyber-attack by a bad actor who wishes to declare war from a keyboard.

On September 10th, 2020, we reported that there were concerns from Homeland Security about a possible massive cyber-attack on the United States and it was inferred that the attacks could happen in the Fall or the Winter.

The Department of Homeland Security called it the “Darkest Winter” if bad actors were to attack our infrastructure.

This leaves many systems vulnerable and we would have to deal with great losses that cannot be imagined.

In 2020, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of many technological behaviors, from video-conferencing and online shopping to remote working and distance learning. In 2021 the extent to which these changes will stick, or snap back, will become clearer.

What is most disconcerting is that the World Economic forum has cited a cyber-attack as another crisis that can be used as an effective way to ensure their great reset.

According to the World Economic Forum, that pandemic has been a great opportunity for world leaders to pitch their reboot of what they call the new global capitalism however what is constantly looming on the horizon is the third biggest threat to a country is a Malware or Ransomware cyber-attack.

Cyber attacks also include intermittent but continuous power outages, attacks on the financial infrastructure, and the transport and water infrastructure and food stuffs — Ransomware attacks are a valid war tactic that can be utilize to the point where it is significantly impacting the commercial and social activities of the citizens and damages any country’s functionality internationally and its economy — this would be a worst case scenario.

Cyber attack scenarios are redefining what constitutes war. Many times when we hear of war we think of big bombs going off, troops and artillery. In 2020 this is not as necessary to do damage – the United States is allowing itself to be vulnerable as they are conditioning people to allow the Internet of Things to literally change the way they live their lives.

What many nations in their cyber operations seem to be doing, including Russia and the U.S., is something that once would not have come under the definition of war. They along with the likes of North Korea are not using things that go ‘bang’ or cause physical harm and destruction.

Instead, they are using weapons which give them a greater advantage in this new multi-polar world which has made way for new forms of competing with one another.

In previous eras ‘war’ came about as a push for territory, now in this interconnected world, physical territory is easier to obtain once you have taken hold of the operating systems, the political system and even the minds of the electorate.

At the moment it is the mail in vote and the voting machines set the precedent for fraud. It is not proven fraud but it does set the precedent as these systems seem to be controlling us and not the other way around.

It has happened before and the issue has always been a part of the election process and is always a factor in questioning the validity and certifying of a vote.

In January of this year, well before anyone could have predicted the effect the “pandemic” would have on the world, legal scholars were War gaming the outcome of a disputed Presidential election based on postal ballots in Pennsylvania.

In August a group naming themselves the Transition Integrity Project published a document predicting a “disputed” election, that the counting would take much longer than usual and that it would not be certain who was President until January.

More generally, the outcome of the election was widely “predicted”, with multiple press outlets claiming there would be a “red mirage” and a “blue shift”. Meaning it would look like Trump would win, and then suddenly Biden would win at the last minute.

In the scenario it is discovered that both China and Iran manipulated the election using cyber espionage.

This is evidence of foreknowledge. This is evidence that cyber-attacks have already been in the planning for the darkest winter scenario.

Meanwhile, the media hides behind its lies and censorship. It refuses to acknowledge the dangers that North Korea, China and Iran pose as cyber warriors wishing to attack us at our most vulnerable time.

In fact, the media reported that Christopher Krebs, who led the federal government’s election cybersecurity efforts, has been fired by President Donald Trump via Twitter.

Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, has been the target of public criticism from Trump since the Nov. 3 election over his agency’s Rumor Control blog, which rebuts a list of false claims about election fraud and hacking — many of which Trump or his lawyers have touted as real after he lost the election.

Krebs made the claim that this has been the most cyber secure election in our nation’s history.

Trump has said repeatedly that the election was rigged, even though numerous state and federal agencies have said the election was legitimate.

Again I want to point out the war games scenario where the Transition Integrity project actually suspected that there would be an attempt at election tampering from China or Iran.

Coincidentally after the firing of Krebs and the rumors of a cyber-security breach – Iran is in the crosshairs of the United States.

With two months left in office, U.S. President Donald Trump asked top aides about options to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, media reports say.

During an Oval Office meeting on November 12, Trump asked several top aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, “whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks,” The New York Times reported on November 16.

The senior officials “dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike,” warning him that the move could ignite a broader conflict in the last weeks of his presidency, The Times wrote.

A U.S. official confirmed the report to Reuters on November 17.

“He asked for options. They gave him the scenarios, and he ultimately decided not to go forward,” the official said.

The White House declined comment.

The most likely target of an attack would have been Natanz, where the IAEA reported that Tehran’s “uranium stockpile was now 12 times larger” than allowed under a landmark 2015 deal between Iran and world powers that Trump withdrew from in 2018.

Trump, who has so far refused to concede and is challenging the results of the November 3 presidential election, is to hand over power to President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. Biden’s transition team declined comment on the issue.

The Trump administration has refused to begin the transition, barring Biden’s team from access to national security intelligence.

The latest warning from the research team at Check Point, published few days ago , is a timely reminder that the shifting sands of the cyber landscape will be a serious issue for president-elect Biden.

On the surface, this latest report is on the increasing scourge of ransomware—a primarily commercial threat. But dig a little deeper and what becomes clear is that this shines a light on enhanced capabilities in Iran, which is quickly honing its malicious skillset.

Iran may view cyber warfare as a means of overcoming its military disadvantage compared to the U.S. To that end, it will likely continue to improve its cyber capabilities.

Containing Iran’s cyber warfare program would likely be even more challenging than containing its nuclear program. Computer code is easy to conceal, copy and distribute, making it extremely difficult to enforce controls placed on cyber weapons. That leaves cybersecurity and cyber deterrence as America’s best options for defending against the Iranian cyber threat.

A week ago, Check Point reported on ransomware attacks against “an exceptional number” of Israeli companies. While some of those attacks used known tools— the likes of REvil and Ryuk, Check Point warned that “several large corporations experienced a full-blown attack with a previously unknown ransomware variant names Pay2Key.”

According to the research team, the campaign built around this new Pay2Key ransomware “presented an ability to make a rapid move of spreading the ransomware within an hour to the entire network.” Ransom demands were low—less than $150,000, but the fact a new and virulent threat had been launched onto the market needed to be taken seriously.

On presenting its findings, Check Point said that “the recent Pay2Key ransomware attacks indicate a new threat actor is joining the trend of targeted ransomware attacks—Iran.”

Check Point has now attributed the Pay2Key attacks to an Iranian threat actor. This was done by “tracing the Bitcoin transactions from the attackers’ ransom notes, all the way to an Iranian based Bitcoin exchange made possible by a joint effort with Whitestream, a block chain intelligence firm.

Intelligence operatives usually associate ransomware operators with Russian speaking hacking groups—this is very uncommon to see it related to Iranian hackers.

However, there has been the rumors of cyber war from Iran and establishing the Cyber Caliphate.

By 2012, Iranian cyber attacks had gone beyond simple web defacements and hijacks to ones that destroyed data and shut down access to critical websites. The attackers conceal their government connections by hiding behind monikers that resemble those used by independent hacktivists fighting for justice and human rights.

One such group called itself the Cutting Sword of Justice. In 2012, it launched cyberattacks against the Saudi Aramco oil company, claiming to protest Saudi oppression and corruption financed by oil. The attacks used “wiper” code that overwrote data on hard drives and spread through the company’s network via a virus dubbed Shamoon. More than 30,000 computers were rendered inoperable at Saudi Aramco and Qatar’s RasGas, which was also targeted. U.S. intelligence officials blamed Iran for the attacks.

Iran has deployed wiper malware in other acts of sabotage, most notably the 2014 attack against the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The attack was thought to be a response to remarks made by Sheldon Adelson, the company’s largest shareholder. Adelson suggested setting off a bomb in an Iranian desert to persuade the country to abandon nuclear weapons. And in 2016, the Shamoon malware resurfaced, wiping data from thousands of computers in Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation agency and other organizations.

Iranian hackers operating on behalf of the government have also conducted massive distributed denial-of-service attacks, which flood sites with so much traffic that they become inaccessible. From 2012 to 2013, a group calling itself the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam launched a series of relentless distributed denial-of-service attacks against major U.S. banks. The attackers claimed the banks were “properties of American-Zionist Capitalists.”

In 2016, the U.S. indicted seven Iranian hackers in absentia for working on behalf of the Revolutionary Guards to conduct those bank attacks, which were said to have caused tens of millions of dollars in losses. The motivation may have been retaliation for economic sanctions that had been imposed on Iran or the Stuxnet cyber attack on Iran’s centrifuges.

One of the seven indictments was of a man who allegedly obtained access to the computer control system for the Bowman Avenue Dam in New York state. The access would have allowed the intruder to “operate and manipulate” one of the dam’s gates had it not been offline for maintenance.

Iran also engages in cyberespionage. One group, which cybersecurity research firm FireEye named Advanced Persistent Threat 33, has invaded computers around the world, with targets in the petrochemical, defense and aviation industries. The group uses code linked to Iran’s wiper malware, possibly in preparation for more destructive attacks. Another group, called Advanced Persistent Threat 34, has been active since at least 2014, targeting companies in the financial, energy, telecom and chemical industries.

This is not the first time that I have talked about the growing threat of cyber terrorism. To many it is seen as scaremongering. A bit like nuclear war it seems to be something that is so far removed from our day to day lives that we cannot relate or appreciate the level to which a cyber-attack would disrupt our lives.

All I am doing is reporting on what is already out there regarding the risks of cyber war. Security and defense chiefs, global economic organizations and private companies, governments and independent journalists are all sitting up and paying attention to these threats.

The media is saying that it is all conspiracy theory.

When journalism is hijacked by activists—when they call themselves “the resistance” you have to be cautious over the information you are getting.

People go around saying ‘I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but .. but is it out of the question that there is a conspiracy to keep people in the dark and not follow up on very important topics that can materialize as 21st century threats.

It’s reasonable to suppose many of the views that are now dismissed or mocked as conspiracy theories will one day be recognized as having been true all along. Indeed, the net effect of terms such as “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracism” is to silence people who are the victims of conspiracy, or who (rightly or wrongly) suspect conspiracies may be occurring. These terms serve to herd respectable opinion in ways that suit the interests of the powerful.

As you can see, what is happening is not based on theory but is based on connected facts that point to our vulnerability to massive cyber warfare attacks.

The post 11/18/20: CYBER CALIPHATE appeared first on Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.

Text – Check out Ground Zero Radio with Clyde Lewis Live Nightly @ http://www.groundzeromedia.org



Source: https://groundzeromedia.org/11-18-20-cyber-caliphate/


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