β€œKILL SWITCH” TEST? OR SOMETHING ELSE?

“KILL SWITCH” TEST? OR SOMETHING ELSE?

V.T. spotted this story: it appears that last Sunday google cloud went down. That sparked some speculation from Zero Hedge: was someone testing the alleged "internet kill switch"?

Did The Government Just Test The Internet Kill Switch?

As one can tell from the screen captures that accompanied the article, the outage took down google cloud and several other sites that use it, and the outage covered a significant portion the northeastern United States, a portion of southeastern Canada, and some of western Europe.

Doubtless we'll inevitably hear that this was caused by our good old friend, the glitch ex machina, that serve-all explain-nothing "explanation" usually resorted to by the powers that be to pretend like they're not alarmed, and have everything under control. Zero Hedge, however, is at least raising the issue, and it's the same issue I and others have been trying to warn people about: cyber systems simply are not secure; with enough expertise and know-how, they can be hacked.

What concerns me here is a very different question, and that's the assumption that is implicit in the title of the Zero Hedge article: "Did the government just test the internet kill switch?" But why need it be the US government? Virtually any government might sponsor cyber-warfare, and Russia and China are known to have large contingents of cyber-warfare experts in their intelligence "communities," and one may make a fair assumption that most other major powers do too. Nor should one rule out the possibility that major corporations and other extra-territorial and non-state actors are doing this type of work as well. This leads me to my next point and high octane speculation of the day:

I've entertained the idea in previous such "hacking events" that someone appeared to be reconnoitering the architecture of the internet, learning gateways, crucial nodal points, network connections, and so on, and that's the impression I get from this story. Almost any entity with a commercial or national security interest would be interested in known as much as possible about the exact structure and architecture of the internet, particularly is it was developing cyber warfare and counter-warfare capabilities; maximizing damage to a potential opponent, and minimizing blowback damage to oneself, would be a necessity of such a program, and that, in turn, would necessitate events such as this. Nor would this activity be limited merely to the standard image of cyber-warfare of a team of computer geeks sitting in front of their monitors, typing and wreaking chaos. Internet architecture includes the hardware: the cables, gateway computers, satellites, and so on. In this respect, I've speculated that the attacks on internet cable both in the San Francisco-Bay area, and in Arizona, a couple of years ago, may also have been a part of this effort.

All of this makes me suspect that it is not the US government testing things. And there's a final, all-important reason that I suspect one should cast suspicion on other actors: the up-coming JEDI contract. Last week I blogged about this important but little-talked about subject: the US military in effect wants to move a significant amount of its data and command-control functions to "the cloud." The contract will be worth billions to whomever is awarded it. But this recent attack on the googlecloud only exposes the vulnerabilty of cyber systems, the very last thing that one would think the US military would want to expose right now. Of course, it is possible that some such test of security was being conducted, but again, it would seem to defeat the purpose.

So, I'm left with yet another data-point in my (admittedly "out there") speculation that someone appears to be reconnoitering the architecture of the internet; literally creating a map of the structure.

The real question is who, and for what ultimate purpose?

That I'll leave up to you.

See you on the flip side...

 

27 thoughts on ““KILL SWITCH” TEST? OR SOMETHING ELSE?”

  1. I kind of like where Eliot is going with this. My very first thought when I saw this article was that it was related to the Fed’s investigation of Google. So, Google, oops!, shuts down the cloud to destroy (or invent) evidence.

    I do not think there is an internet kill switch because the elites need the internet as much as anybody, especially for finance. Yes, finance was conducted without internet in days gone by, but it’s cumborsome and slow.

    You could claim there’s an “alternate internet” used by the elite. This would not be the dark web, because that uses the same internet as anyone else, it’s just that the sites are hidden. The communication apparatus is the same. They would need a complete alternate telecommunications system.

    And remember, while almost all Google sites were down, everything else was functioning normally. Probably not a kill switch test (if there is even is one), but more likely Google hanky panky concerning the investigation.

    1. at what power and size do private intranetworks become big and powerful enough to replace the internet for all intents and purposes? and what internet websites who want paid subscribers not allow access by such large private users? granted, that might require some initially odd and separate routing issues. to be sure health care businesses are already working on this. my old employer used a separate wifi intranetwork while we worked on tablets with our healthcare clients in real time paperless. we could not allow any possible access to our hipaa protected records. I imagine most hedge funds and investment houses are way beyond this stage. they probably view the interwebs the way cellphone users today view old rotary phones.

  2. As much as I enjoy speculating about these matters there is one potential operational issue to consider.

    Weekends, particularly Saturday evenings, are a common target for serious technical upgrades to critical hardware and software infrastructure for upgrades to service. Forget about redundancy during these events, because the redundant hardware and software may require the same set of upgrades as well to maintain compatibility within the system. I examined the list of corporations involved and they were all potentially depend on a set of common technologies centralized to one vendor. If this was a scheduled event those institutions would have received notice, or the upgrade was not intended to disrupt service but there was a catastrophic failure on one of the components in the system. Not only is the weekend a signpost for this type of activity, but it’s also the first week in the month. The conjunction of this date and time falls with known corporate IT decision making practices. This smells like a planned event decided by a corporation for activity impacting all of these companies in particular. Granted, it’s not the only solution to the problem. But it is one that cannot be withdrawn from the table unless we can find any evidence to the contrary.

    1. When you mention one vendor; American Vanguard Corp came to mind. Granted, that is not the one vendor; but, it addresses another core “conceptual” problem in a broad stroke brush of “ownership as one”[so to speak].
      Vendor as one.
      Ownership as one.
      Science as one.
      Agriculture as one.
      Yet, all this One solution is…
      absolutely absurd.
      But, not in the context of control.

  3. The Cloud *IS* the kill switch.
    Its intended purpose.
    As I’ve said before, consider the enormous power you hand to the cloud providers (when you boil it down, there’s only very few of them, all controlled/funded by the same source) if entire IT systems (PaaS, Platform as a Service, meaning everything) are now located there.
    They could literally turn off any IT system (belonging to a private company, government department or just an individual website) with the click of a mouse button. No reason given or notice in advance. Take Rappoport’s blog as just one example, here one moment, gone the next.
    This was always the purpose of the whole cloud push (which was/is relentless). Not just instant access to all this data, but total control over the availability of the service/data.
    And sadly, the Pied Piper was/is followed blindly, eyes wide shut.

    Also, “Security” of this system is meaningless and only used as a pre-text for additional control.
    Security that is only as good as the next (cyber) False Flag.

    1. Who created Goggle: Nafeez Ahmed – How the CIA made Google
      Add to that Amazon AWS and just about any other cyberITtech mega-corp you can name.
      That makes the culprits easy to identify.
      “Security” concerns with as true purpose additional control.
      Oh, and “We need more money”.

    2. In addition to hacking concerns over any ‘kill switch’, I would be very surprised if there were not You Shall Obey letters in-place from alphabet agencies and such, akin to the ones they served the Telcos a couple of decades past. And note that those Telco letters required the firms not to disclose that they were contacted/controlled. I suspect that each important ‘node point’ has a “legal” letter or three in-place, so that one phone call can muzzle whatever the PTB wants muzzled. No need for fancy coding exploits…

  4. Whomever controls the DNS servers controls the Internet. You might still be able to access a website by it’s IP address, but who becauses ICANN has a directory of those?

    1. W,
      By IP address unfortunately won’t work in almost all cases since the Host header (that string you type into the browser’s URL bar) will be missing which is used to identify the specific site to the host server the site is running on.
      But yes, DNS is a critical component that is open to abuse, even with DNSSec in place (makes it harder, but still not impossible).

  5. I can’t find the link but, a poster claiming to be a Google employee said that his company was in the process of destroying “reams of files” when the blackout happened. He thinks someone “flipped the light switch” as if to say “we see you!”. As plausible as anything I suppose…

  6. from the land of it’s all related, got one for the honorable mentions list. john bergman brought it up in one of his videos recently.

    https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/gtpp/Documents/jse_14_3_bengston.pdf
    The Effect of the β€œLaying On of Hands” on
    Transplanted Breast Cancer in Mice

    makes me think how we’re going to survive and do well will be along the lines of predictive programming like in orson wells’ war of the worlds, where the aliens die off because of bacteria that humans are all cool with.

    1. The impact on all the dupes that bought into the “smart home” left me in tears of laughter!

      Locks, burglar alarms, etc. all in the dirt instead of the “cloud.”

    1. Now… I’ll read on…

      Of course, my usual suspect list has
      Nazi International at the apex of those fingers in the pie.

      Ah! Yes!
      It used to be industrial spying in the old industrialized capital/abiotic oil; but today it is financialized capitalism w/data greasing the new platform monopolies. That requires a new paradigm of spy vs spy playing field
      [or ionized playing field?]?

    1. Voltaire was correct when he stated If you desire to understand who rules over you, simply determine who you are not allowed to criticize.

    2. This is a great vid but didn’t 9/11 researchers reveal years ago (Zero Day is also a few yrs old) that a decade or two BEFORE 9/11 we enjoyed proliferation of hardware + software (e.g. Promis) backdoors particularly in .govs and financial institutions worldwide? IIRC Corbett Report did a good docu on this. Sibel Edmonds did some great whistleblowing although I think she got squeezed a yr or two ago and got a little nuts.

      There never has been “security”. I’ve always been more concerned how crappy Microsoft products and OS are and have used Apple for 20+ yrs. I still assume I have no privacy but I’ve never regretted the additional cost.

    3. Thanks for the tip. Brendan’s stuff is golden, but he went underground few months back, just pulled the plug. Glad he is back. Brendan’s ZioNazi revelations is the touchstone by which I measure “alt” “research.”

  7. I don’t understand why that would necessarily be a bad thing, no matter who does it?

    If it includes TV in the bundle, heck I’m all for it.

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