Russia, China, North Korea able to Launch Catastrophic Cyber Attacks on U.S. Infrastructure for Next 10 Years

Defense Science Board calls for new cyber deterrence plan targeting foreign leaders.

 U.S. Infrastructure

A report by a Defense Science Board task force concludes that the decade-long cyber vulnerabilities must be mitigated while the Pentagon quickly creates new cyber deterrence capabilities, including offensive cyber weapons designed to inflict damage on adversaries and their leaders. Critical American infrastructure like the electric grid will remain vulnerable to catastrophic cyber attacks from Russia and China for at least 10 years, according to a Pentagon study.

The 44-page report, “Task Force on Cyber Deterrence” was made public Feb. 8. It is based on a two-year study by a panel of military and defense experts. The report presents a dire picture of weaknesses in both military and civilian information and control systems that are being exploited by advanced cyber warfare states such as China and Russia, along with second-tier cyber threats from states such as North Korea and Iran.

“The United States, as well as our allies and partners, are at serious and increasing risk of severe cyber attack and increasingly costly cyber intrusions,” the report concludes. “The requirement for enhanced deterrence is, in our view, not debatable. Nor is the need to accelerate the implementation of deterrence measures.”

Russia and China pose the greatest cyber attack dangers. Both governments are increasing their already substantial capabilities for cyber attacks on U.S. industrial control systems that operate critical infrastructure.

Even if U.S. networks are hardened, “such progress will not be adequate to deny Russia and China the ability to unleash catastrophic cyber attacks on the United States,

This Is How North Korea Would Start a War (And How Bad It Could Get)

North Korea Would Start a War The most intense period of fighting in Korea ended some 62 years ago, but the divide across the Peninsula remains the world’s most visible legacy of the Cold War. While the Republic of Korea (ROK – South Korea) has become economically successful and democratic, North Korea has become a punchline.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea) has continued to increase the sophistication of its ballistic missiles, has developed nuclear weapons, and maintains the world’s largest garrison state. Pyongyang has also made clear that it isn’t afraid to provoke Seoul (and Seoul’s biggest supporter, the United States) with aggressive moves such as the sinking of the corvette Cheonan, and the bombardment of South Korean islands.

The general peace on the peninsula has more or less held since the 1950s. Still, while North Korea’s power has declined substantially relative to that of South Korea, the idea that Pyongyang might come to the conclusion that war could solve its problems still worries U.S. and South Korean planners.

If North Korea faced a situation in which it determined that war was the only solution, how might it seek to crush the ROK, and deter the United States and Japan?

Timing is Everything. North Korea’s best hope for success in peace hinges, as it has for the past seventy years, on the potential collapse of the global capitalist system. This sounds… optimistic, but consider that South Korea suffered badly during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, that the capitalist world continues to suffer from the fallout from the 2008 Financial Crisis, and that Japan faces what appear to be insurmountable economic difficulties.

Even if a world economic collapse does not bring capitalism to its knees, another such crisis could put stress on the relationship between South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

North Korean prospects in the war depend utterly on sidelining the United States in some fashion,

Here's What A Top Intel Chief Says Is The Biggest Internal Threat To Us National Security

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDirector of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, outlining a series of rising global and cyber threats the United States faces from adversaries including North Korea, Russia, Iran, and China.

Coats told lawmakers Tuesday that the growing national debt is the biggest internal threat to US national security. He urged Congress to take action “before a fiscal crisis occurs that truly undermines our ability to ensure our national security.”

The US national debt is currently more than $20.63 trillion. The recently implemented GOP tax law and last Friday's budget proposal are projected to add to it. But he also warned against an internal threat that he says could undermine US economic and national security: the national debt.

“I'm concerned that our increasing fractious political process, particularly with respect to federal spending, is threatening our ability to properly defend our nation both in the short term and especially in the long term,” Coats said alongside five other top intelligence chiefs. “The failure to address our longterm fiscal situation has increased the national debt to over $20 trillion and growing.”

“I would urge all of us to recognize the need to address this challenge and to take action as soon as possible before a fiscal crisis occurs that truly undermines our ability to ensure our national security,” added Coats, who served as a Republican senator from Indiana for 16 years.

As of Tuesday, the national debt stood at $20.63 trillion. Coats also cited Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told Fortune in 2012 that the national debt was “the single biggest threat to our national security.”

In Tuesday's hearing, Coats said former secretaries of state Madeline Albright and Henry Kissinger, former secretaries of defense Bob Gates and Leon Panetta, and current defense secretary James Mattis agree with Mullen's assessment.

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyber attacks With Nuclear Arms

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms“So if cyber can cause physical malfunction of major infrastructure resulting in deaths,the Pentagon has now found a way “to establish a deterrent dynamic.”

A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

For decades, American presidents have threatened “first use” of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the United States. But the new document is the first to expand that to include attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country’s power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons.

The draft document, called the Nuclear Posture Review, was written at the Pentagon and is being reviewed by the White House. Its final release is expected in the coming weeks and represents a new look at the United States’ nuclear strategy. The draft was first published last week by HuffPost.

It called the strategic picture facing the United States quite bleak, citing not only Russian and Chinese nuclear advances but advances made by North Korea and, potentially, Iran.

“We must look reality in the eye and see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be,” the draft document said. The Trump administration’s new initiative, it continued, “realigns our nuclear policy with a realistic assessment of the threats we face today and the uncertainties regarding the future security environment.”

The Pentagon declined to comment on the draft assessment because Mr. Trump has not yet approved it. The White House also declined to comment.

But three current and former senior government officials said

Winter Olympics Cyber-Attack: 'Olympic Destroyer' Virus Targeted Opening Ceremony

opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter OlympicsUnknown hackers targeted the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a computer virus nicknamed the “Olympic Destroyer,” according to multiple U.S. cybersecurity firms.

Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) Talos Intelligence detailed the “Olympic Destroyer” computer virus in a blog post Opens a New Window. Monday. Cybersecurity firms FireEye Inc. (FEYE) and Crowdstrike also confirmed details of cyberattack, Reuters Opens a New Window. reported.

“Disruption is the clear objective in this type of attack and it leaves us confident in thinking that the actors behind this were after embarrassment of the Olympic committee during the opening ceremony,” Talos Intelligence said in the blog post.

The cyber-attack, which Olympic organizers confirmed on Sunday, damaged digital infrastructure and television systems tied to the Winter Games, interrupting Wi-Fi services at the opening ceremony venue in Pyeongchang and knocking the Olympic website offline for roughly 12 hours, which blocked attendees from printing their tickets. Officials have not publicly identified suspected culprits in the attack.

None of the three firms identified the source of the attack. Reuters reported that cybersecurity firms warned in January that Russian-based hackers may have been plotting operations targeting the Olympics as retaliation after the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Games due to a state-sponsored athletic doping program. IOC spokesman Mark Adams confirmed earlier this week that Olympic computer systems are “secure.”

Al-Arian Calls U.S. 'Our Enemy' At Turkish Conference

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IPT ReportDeported Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) board member Sami Al-Arian denounced the United States as “our enemy” last Tuesday at an Istanbul conference on Jerusalem sponsored by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs.

Ali Erbas, president of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, denounced President Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognize it as Israel's capital in December.

“The Presidency of Religious Affairs is with the suffering Palestinian Muslims who have been serving as the guardians of al-Aqsa for years despite any kind of invasion and violence, and will continue to be by their side and provide any kind of support for them,” Erbas said in his message.

Al-Arian kept his role as a PIJ official secret while working as a University of South Florida (USF) professor and Palestinian nationalist. He founded a charity called the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP) that raised money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and featured PIJ officials as speakers. He also formed a Tampa–based think tank called the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), which provided cover in the early 1990s for Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who would later become the PIJ secretary general, as director of the think tank. Shallah taught at USF as an instructor through a cooperative agreement. WISE made it possible for Shallah to get an entry visa into the U.S.

The ICP served as PIJ's “active arm,” a 1991 videotaped fundraiser shows. Called “a master manipulator” by the federal judge presiding over his case, Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Specially Designated Terrorist.”

He was deported to Turkey in 2015 as part of …

Tillerson Says U.S. and Argentina Will Cooperate to Fight Hezbollah's Illicit Activities in Latin America

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Argentinian counterpart Foreign Minister Jorge FaurieThe United States and Argentina announced on Sunday that they will be working together to tackle Hezbollah’s financial networks in Latin America.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Argentinian counterpart Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie confirmed during a news conference that they will cooperate to drain the Iranian-backed terror organization’s financial resources, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.

Tillerson said that the two countries agreed to “attack and eliminate” the presence of Hezbollah in the region as well as its illicit activities which include money laundering and drug trafficking that serve as a means to finance their terror activities.

Iranian intelligence has been operating in Latin America since at least the 1980s, soon followed by Hezbollah. The networks these two established helped carry out the 1992 bombing at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA, a Jewish community center in the country’s capital.

Hezbollah has used Latin America as a base for its terror-financing network for years, taking advantage of

US Ambassador Accuses Palestinians Of 'Praising' Ben-Gal Murder

US Ambassador Accuses Palestinians Of ‘Praising’ Ben-Gal MurderThe US ambassador to Israel on Monday lambasted Palestinian leaders, accusing them of praising the killer of Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, who was stabbed to death in a terror attack on Monday outside the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

Without specifying to whom he was referring, David Friedman charged on Twitter, “Palestinian ‘leaders’ (sic) have praised the killer.”

After the stabbing, a spokesman for the Hamas terror organization, which rules the Gaza strip, lauded the attack as “a continuation of the resistance to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.”

That was in reference to the US president’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcement that the US would move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

On Tuesday, Friedman wrote, “20 years ago, I gave an ambulance to Har Bracha, hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies. Instead, a man from Har Bracha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children.”

Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, who was stabbed to death in a terror attack Ben-Gal, 29, was stabbed three times in the chest by his assailant, named by security forces on Monday as Abed al-Karim Assi, a resident of Jaffa on the central Israeli coast.

Assi, who is still at large, had received social service assistance, including at the Shanti Home in Tel Aviv for at-risk youth.

He has Israeli citizenship, which he has used to spend time on both sides of the Green Line. His father lives in Nablus and his mother in Haifa.

Several other ambassadors to Israel also took to Twitter to condemn the attack, …

The 20th Century Cleric Behind the 21st Century Hate

The 20th Century Cleric Behind the 21st Century HateAgainst the backdrop of spiking anti-Semitism on both sides of the Atlantic, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its annual Top Ten anti-Semitic/Anti-Israel list.

#1 – the Nazi March in Charlottesville, which thrust the new generation of homegrown US extremists of the alt-Right into the living rooms of millions of Americans,most of the others trace their hate directly or indirectly to a man who died in 1974: Amin al-Husseini, aka the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Until his appointment as Grand Mufti of Palestine by the British nearly 100 years ago, there were Palestinian Arabs who were open to a political compromise with their Jewish neighbors.

Beginning in 1921, al-Husseini put an end to any such talk. He promoted a fanatical brand of Islamic nationalism that quickly turned a political dispute into an endless religious war.

He stirred bloody terrorist attacks against Jews by concocting the big lie that Jews were planning to invade and take over al Aqsa and the Temple Mount.

His brand of Islam demanded that the Arab masses not leave a single Jews in the Holy Land; that no compromise with the Jews was ever acceptable.

His was a genocidal hatred for the Jewish people that knew no geographical boundaries.

He stirred deadly riots against the Jews of Iraq in 1941, and in Egypt and Libya on November 2, 1945, the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

He was an enthusiastic ally of Hitler who spent WWII in Berlin and an eyewitness to the genocide perpetrated against European Jewry when he visited Auschwitz. He rallied thousands of Muslims to join the Nazi SS.

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