Sunday, November 4, 2012

State-Sponsored Hackers Disrupt Networks and Justify DHS New Digital Militia

Susanne Posel, Contributor
Activist Post

Last month Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that unspecified reports coming from US financial institutions assert that hackers are “actively” attacking them. Napolitano said:
Right now, financial institutions are actively under attack. We know that. I’m not giving you any classified information… I will say this has involved some of our nation’s largest institutions. We’ve also had our stock exchanges attacked over the last [few] years, so we know… there are vulnerabilities.
Being mysterious, Napolitano said that an unverified $400,000 had been stolen by hackers from Bank of America. The DHS is responsible for securing computer networks that are deemed unclassified for the benefit of civilian agencies, private sector corporations and individuals.

Napolitano confirmed that hackers are infiltrating banking networks but said:
I really don’t want to go into that per se. All I want to say is that there are active matters going on with financial institutions.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has begun a comprehensive program to make our schools into scouting grounds for a team of American-grown hackers. The NSA is focusing on colleges and universities within the United States. Four schools have already been singled out as official Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations.

The NSA wants an elite team of “computer geniuses” that are trained in hacking before they obtain their college degree. The students selected to train under this program will not be privy to the impact their work will have on cyber intelligence, military capabilities and law enforcement’s expansion of spying on Americans.


The DHS is planning on combining resources to create a digital militia that will come to the aid of the US government to protect against cyberthreats. Their focus will be all digital government infrastructure, industry, academia and any cyber “emergencies” that may manifest without warning.

By increasing their cyber workforce by 600%, the DHS is arming themselves with analysts, IT specialists, and civilians versed in computer language and writing digital code. Thanks to S.2105 and Senators Joseph Leiberman, Susan Collins, and Jay Rockefeller, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) will imbue DHS with the authority to recruit experts to work for various federal agencies in cybersecurity.

According to S.2105:
The section also authorizes the Secretary to exercise, with respect to cybersecurity employees, the same authorities as the Secretary of Defense to establish a scholarship program to enable employees to pursue an associate, baccalaureate, or advanced degree, or a certification in an information assurance discipline. The section requires the Secretary to report to Congress annually on the process used to hire individuals for cybersecurity positions and how the Secretary plans to fill the critical need of DHS to recruit and retain skilled cybersecurity employees.
DHS has begun accepting applications for IT technicians, policy, management, emergency management, attorneys and cybersecurity.

The banking institutions have decided to join forces to fight the cyber-attacks, along with the federal government, so that technological vulnerabilities are identified and eliminated. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are discussing converging on a shared data center where secret banking information can be kept under wraps so that hackers cannot steal information, as well as to sound an alarm when other banks are under attack.

This new network of technocrats will privatize customer banking information in the name of security while allowing the banksters to further hide their questionable dealings.

Banks across America will be able to communicate in covert means that will never be released to the general public. The days of banking scandals are over because their network will prevent them for being caught.

The leaked version of Obama’s cybersecurity Executive Order is a compromise by the administration offered to those concerned about Big Brother controls invading US citizens' privacy on the Web.

One concession outlined is the sharing of Internet traffic information by the US government and private sector corporations involving critical infrastructure and electrical grid. Social media companies would not be held under the same mandate.

The DHS, specifically Secretary Janet Napolitano, will be given the sole power of oversight to reference top-secret intelligence reports only known to her upon which to base identification of cyberthreats and individual targets.

Napolitano conveyed concern about the possibility of “attacks on our nation’s control systems — the control systems that operate our utilities, our water plants, our pipelines, our financial institutions.”

In March, to convince Congress to vote for legislation (that was subsequently voted down) that would empower the DHS to protect the US government against cyber-attacks, Obama staged hacker attack to US infrastructure with the intention “to provide all senators with an appreciation for new legislative authorities that would help the U.S. government prevent and more quickly respond to cyber-attacks.”

A classified briefing on the “hypothetical cyber-attack against United States critical infrastructure networks” was held as well.

The focus of attack was:
  • U.S. banks
  • Power grids
  • Telecommunications systems


The blame for the lack of cohesive cybersecurity is placed on public and private corporations because of their lack of cooperation with the federal government, according to Mark Weatherford, deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity of DHS. At a Security Innovation Network conference Weatherford asserts: “It’s not a technical issue. The governance of security is equally as important as the technology.”

Combined with inadequate laws, Weatherford believes that litigation is also keeping cyber incidents occurring without the ability of the DHS to stop them.

Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.

RELATED ACTIVIST POST ARTICLE: 
How Long After the Election Will Obama Sign Executive Order to Control the Internet?


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