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WARNING FROM FORBES MAGAZINE: THE CYBER-CHICKENS MAY COME HOME TO ...

Years ago, during the first Reagan Administration, a work of fiction appeared called Soft War. It was a novel on how very clever American computer experts could sneak a few lines of code into computer software, code that would allow cyber-spying on the Soviet Union, or, optimally, even allow technocrats in the USA to "push a button" and shut down some aspect of the Russian infrastructure, government, military, or economy.

Of course, those familiar with the history of the allegations surrounding the INSLAW scandal will be familiar with the fact that that is apparently what actually happened. Now, with that in mind, there is this recent article in Forbes that caught my eye:

U.S. Administration's Reckless Cyber Policy Puts Nation at Risk

Of course, the historical context of my 1980s cyber-war fiction novel, and the very real contemporaneous INSLAW scandal, means that it isn't simply the Obama Administration's policy that has led to this risk, it is a policy that has been in place for decades. And shutting down part of the Soviet Union through cyber attacks wasn't so far fetched as it may at first seem, as the article itself points out:

"If in fact the Administration did authorize targeting Iranian nuclear systems with Stuxnet and/or Flame, it was a dangerous and reckless decision, especially since the U.S. Government has no idea how many computers in America may be infected with malware capable of being activated by Iran or one of its allies in retaliation.  Such “backdoor” malware is capable of having enormous consequences to life and property.  A similar CIA covert operation successfully destroyed a Soviet pipeline.  In 1982, President Reagan approved a plan to transfer software used to run pipeline pumps, turbines, and valves to the Soviet Union that had embedded features designed to cause pump speeds and valve settings to malfunction.  The plot was revealed in a 2004 Washington Post article by David Hoffman in advance of its discussion in former Air Force Secretary Thomas C. Reed’s book, At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War.  Reed recalled to Hoffman that, “The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.”  Unlike Stuxnet, however, the program remained classified for 22 years until the CIA authorized Reed to discuss it in his book.  Sanger’s information came from loose-lipped persons involved with the Stuxnet operation. "

A pipeline explosion seen from space... and now, other countries are developing similar cyber-war capabilities such that it may not be necessary to smuggle this or that technology into a western country, one need only press a button to disable a factory, to inject chemicals in a robotized assembly line in proportions that do not exist, to move a satellite from its proper orbit, even something so simple as modifying a newspaper story or television teleprompter during a newscast (and thereby altering both the story and its perception)...well....you get the idea. And the best part is, as they say in "the trade", such approaches mean real covert warfare, and real plausible deniability...

See you on the flip side.

9 thoughts on “ WARNING FROM FORBES MAGAZINE: THE CYBER-CHICKENS MAY COME HOME TO ...”

  1. That’s crazy, I read about that 1982 CIA op for the first time a few hours ago in a Damn Interesting piece from 2007 I stumbled over (I was looking for another story) and I’m reading about it for a second time here.
    http://www.damninteresting.com/the-farewell-dossier/

    That 22 year time lag does give you pause. Imagine all the stuff going on now we’ll only learn about two decades from now.

  2. Robert Barricklow

    This is an endemic internationalist strategy to dide & conquer. Manufacturing the whole through parts ditribrituted through the world. The only commonality being the currencies run by the BIS through their subsidiaries like the FED.
    A computer chip implanted in the manufacture of weapons, power plants, safety devises, ect. all instituted/implanted by various agencies, of whose allegiances are global & infiltrated.
    In other words an internationalist agenda.
    The nation state is the enemy.

  3. Mary linderman

    Thanks for the post Joseph. Very interesting. Well, Stuxnet and backdoor malware are two different things. I believe that is was said by many in the past that the Stixnet “Virus” or malware code had to be delivered by a thumb drive at the actual site. Programers are always putting their own code into software. It’s just sorta a “thing” that they do.It’s also very easy to spot some bad code if you just look for it.One of the reasons I have a mac is that it’s not windows and a PC.Windows is terrible and guess what. Gates got to be a millionaire by the fact that the military uses windows and PCs for all it’s secure data. What a joke. It’s like they said, “Hey come on over and infect my computer” Now that everything is computerized we are all sitting ducks ready for an incredible amount of computer software malfunction to take out our water, food and power.

    1. Hi Mary,

      I think it’s just so wonderful that a woman is commenting on this website- wish there were more-

      “Now that everything is computerized we are all sitting ducks ready for an incredible amount of computer software malfunction to take out our water, food and power”-

      honey, this is just the beginning until more people wake up- we are truly in crux times- just start with the hideous machinations of the new (?) health care bill

      1. LSM
        The first sentence is nice, but true and for real females
        usually don’t like being addressed as “honey,”
        a back slap to the woman-is-inferior-pet-for-men-to-with
        idea.
        We are NOT your taste-good, feel-good “honey!”

        1. no offence whatsoever was intended- anything but- by the way, as a gay man I sometimes tend to address both sexes as such so please don’t do a Gloria Steinem trip on me- you’d be doing yourself a dis-service-

          “We are NOT your taste-good, feel-good “honey!”- I’ve known that for a long time-

          thanks for letting us all know you’re female-

          many regards,

          Larry

          1. Oh, all the regulars from awhile back have known.
            I don’t intentionally hide it.
            My “avatar/moniker/nicname” was kind of given to me.

            My email addy that I submitted for this blog is my full name,
            so Joseph has always known.

            Hey,
            no personal offense taken………..
            honey 🙂

            BTW
            Gloria and her movement
            made nothing but trouble for women as it was meant to,
            and further degraded women, as it was intended to do
            by her New World Order bosses.
            After all, it was Glooorriiaa who let wives and
            mothers know how useless they were as wives and mothers !

  4. “how very clever American computer experts could sneak a few lines of code into computer software, code that would allow cyber-spying on…”

    …I think just about everyone if the minions of the elites find any of us important enough to spy upon-

    and it was thrown right in our faces by stating it on the packaging of our home PCs: “Intel Inside”

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