“American officials have not offered any technical evidence to back up their assertions of Iranian authorship of the latest attacks.” – The New York Times
The New York Times ran a story Friday from an unnamed source about an unconfirmed story with unnamed victims. Why would the paper of record run such a story? Propaganda of course.
Any chance the officialdom can demonize Iran while simultaneously inflating the fear of cyber attacks, they’ll take it, even if it’s completely fabricated.
The NYT article New Computer Attacks Traced to Iran, Officials Say is pure propaganda. Take a look at some of the excerpts to determine what is supposed to be news.
American officials and corporate security experts examining a new wave of potentially destructive computer attacks striking American corporations, especially energy firms, say they have tracked the attacks back to Iran.
The targets have included several American oil, gas and electricity companies, which government officials have refused to identify. The goal is not espionage, they say, but sabotage. Government officials describe the attacks as probes looking for ways to seize control of critical processing systems.
Investigators began looking at the attacks several months ago, and when the Department of Homeland Security issued a vaguely worded warning this month, a government official told The New York Times that “most everything we have seen is coming from the Middle East.”
They said the evidence was not specific enough to conclude with confidence that the attacks were state-sponsored, but control over the Internet is so centralized in Iran that they said it was hard to imagine the attacks being done without government knowledge. (emphasis added)
As always, no evidence was provided: “American officials have not offered any technical evidence to back up their assertions of Iranian authorship of the latest attacks,” and “The White House would not confirm that Iran was the source.”
The official White House stance is:
“mitigating threats in cyberspace, whether theft of intellectual property or intrusions against our critical infrastructure” was a governmentwide initiative and that the United States would consider “all of the measures at its disposal — from diplomatic to law enforcement to economic — when determining how to protect our nation, allies, partners, and interests in cyberspace.”
The only news in the story is that the New York Times unequivocally confirms that the Stuxnet attack on an Iranian nuclear enrichment plant was indeed a joint Israeli-American operation, and they admit this alleged attack by Iran may be blowback.
The Obama administration has been focused on Iran because the attacks have given the Iranian government a way to retaliate for tightened economic sanctions against it, and for the American and Israeli program that aimed similar attacks, using a virus known as Stuxnet, on the Natanz nuclear enrichment plant.
That effort, code-named Olympic Games, slowed Iran’s progress for months, but also prompted it to create what Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps calls a cyber corps to defend the country.
Iran emphatically denies any such attacks. When accused of cyber attacking a Saudi oil company earlier this year, Iran U.N. spokesman said Iran “never engaged in such attacks against its Persian Gulf neighbors” but added, “Unfortunately, wrongful acts such as authorizing the 2010 Stuxnet attack against Iran have set a bad, and dangerous, precedent in breach of certain principles of international law.”
Jumping the gun to accuse state-sponsors of cyber attacks by unnamed sources, and with no evidence, seems to be a trend by the establishment to compile uncorroborated data points to reinforce future propaganda and justify taking possible action.
“Government officials also say Iran was the source of a separate continuing campaign of attacks on American financial institutions that began last September and has since taken dozens of American banks intermittently offline, costing millions of dollars,” writes the NYT. Of course, that alleged denial of service attack on banks by Iran never had any evidence either.
Also, in November 2011, the DHS and the media got caught inflating a supposed cyber attack on a U.S. water plant. According to the Washington Post, “Foreign hackers targeted U.S. water plant in apparent malicious cyber attack, expert says.” The “expert” said it was a “big deal” that foreign hackers were involved because other plants could be affected; the expert called it “unconscionable” that America wasn’t prepared. Oh, and this “expert” happens to run a cyber security company that is salivating over potential government contracts.
That fear-mongering story also had no “credible corroborated data” and the “original source of the information was unknown and impossible to immediately verify.” Yet, it was still force-fed through the mainstream media. Finally, after intense alternative media scrutiny, the Feds were forced to admit that it was not a cyber attack that caused the water pumps to fail after all.
This new non-story is just a drip-drip reminder that CISPA must be passed so that the U.S. government can hijack the Internet to combat the shadowy hacker threat from Iran and China. The establishment creating the problem-reaction-solution story-line has never been clearer.
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