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Old 08-19-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
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Shutting down the power grid?

I noticed in the video Bushi posted last week that summarised Jim Rickards currency wars, that Jim mentions a cyber attack from China culminating in the power grid being shut off. (After of course the Chinese have brought down the Comex & the Stock Market )


Quote :
Their hackers unleash a cyber warfare attack on the US to disrupt our financial exchanges, bank transactions, the power grid and the internet backbone.
Now in the last week there have been a swathe of high profile 'unexplained' internet shutdowns etc.

Quote :
Amazon.com has become the latest high-profile website to go offline in recent days. It follows Google's two-minute downtime on Friday. Microsoft's Outlook.com and the New York Times website have also faced problems. "It's very unusual to see such a number of high-profile websites all suffering peak-time outages within the course of a few days of each other."People are going to be very interested to know exactly what the reasons were for the incidents that are still unexplained because the implications are huge.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23762526

Then this is the interesting part, on Sunday, BBC Click (A technology program that goes out to their world-wide audience and usually covers puff pieces on the latest gadgets) suddenly does a program that covers stuff similar to Jim Rickards scenario. If you watch it, I think you can see the intelligence services played a big role in making it. Bear in mind that this was shot and edited prior to the recent high profile internet events.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ck_17_08_2013/

Quote :
This week on Click, the rise of cyber-warfare. We'll ask which countries are on the attack. What they're after. How they succeed and why many security experts now believe we can't stop them. Dan Simmons reports on this highly secretive global war...
"As we've seen more and more infrastructure connected to networks, the armageddon moment certainly could look like water systems being turned off or electricity plants across a nation being shut down. I'll probably be expecting some country will face an attack in the next three years that will be successful in shutting down the power grid, that is highly likely."
If this really was the case, I think our guys would just work very hard putting systems in place that would prevent this from happening. But the fact that both countries are putting these 'highly secretive' things into the public domain, advertising the outcomes, establishing who the enemy is, & combined with events in the last week, makes me think they could be starting to run the Jim Rickards playbook...

So if it suddenly gets announced that China are to blame this week, it might be a good time to be long solar panels and generators, though I currently have neither.


(I've had quite a few 'theories' in my short time here at PMBug, including predicting $100 silver in 60 days a few weeks after the Cyprus thing. None have been true so far ) but just thought I'd put this one out there.)
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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Well, if we're going to consider nefarious and purposeful reasons for the outages, it could just as easily be that the NSA needed the downtime to upgrade their systems on the various corporate networks. It's rolling along like a typical IT migration project.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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Yes that probably makes more sense as a nefarious and purposeful reason for the outages

The only thing is that it seems maybe a bit too conspicuous/clustered.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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There is a very limited way to do this kind of thing efficiently, no matter who is doing it.
I'm guessing (but it's a scientific wild assed guess) that it was DNS poisoning of some sort, anything else other than a deliberate shutdown (easy for google or amazon to do themselves) is too much work for even the Chinese and back country Russians together. Now, since both google and amazon run their own DNS servers near the root....hmmmm. DNSSEC hasn't been fully implemented yet, you know. I'd know about that one since I once pointed it out to .gov myself, a couple years before it was "discovered and fixed" by someone else given credit (fine with me, it got me out of a legal jam at the time). But it's not really fixed yet - or some forms of DNS-amplified DDOS attacks wouldn't work, and obviously, they still do.

Could have been a test of the "internet kill switch" too - see the effect of just one thing (at a time) going totally dark.

We know with all this NSA crap going on - they know how many of us are really angry and talking about it on the net - it's everywhere, even really non-political sites (even science sites who don't look out the window to see the weather, much less worry politics).

There are two main fears from this. NSA shuts it all down so we can't organize - or nips in the bud any attempts while leaving it up so they can detect any new actors.

Meanwhile, again, see the effect so they can tune their models for the real deal.

The other is more sinister - as Cardinal Richelieu said "Give me 6 lines written by the purest of men, and I can find a way to hang him under existing law". More or less...
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:34 AM   #5
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It's an interesting scenario but really, the Chinese have been conducting cyber attacks against the west for years now. It would be nice to see some real rules or laws classifying such incidents as actual physical attacks. Though as nice as is it may seem to introduce legislation stopping these incidents, it probably would not make much of a difference.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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What if the Internet has grown so large and complex that it has evolved into a rudimentary consciousness that is self aware and childlike and is now playing practical jokes on Amazon and Google to try to get their attention because it's hungry and wants more cookies?
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Last edited by Aubuy; 08-20-2013 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Humor
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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& now the Nasdaq is halted...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-0...ng-nasdaq-halt


Quote :
With US equity market trading basically halted, the world has turned to Chicago and is 'hedging' stocks.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Unbeatable View Post:
& now the Nasdaq is halted...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-0...ng-nasdaq-halt
My guess is that somebody's wife plugged in a blow dryer.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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I watched some of the cable financial news channels during the "freeze" and it was comical how no one knew anything. One day the exchange might just "freeze" indefinitely.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #10
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The internet has become a gigantic domino toppling game for anyone with an agenda and at some point there is going to be too many dominos and not enough people to stand them all back up again.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:48 AM   #11
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"My guess is that somebody's wife plugged in a blow dryer."
Some of us are "off the grid", ever-increasing numbers. We're more worried about the fallout the grid produces, whether from burning coal or uranium. All nasty stuff.

The internet is indeed a composite, living, sentient organism, composed of computers, routers, and *human beings*. I doubt sentience lives in just the electronics, but we humans provide that part - the 'net just amplifies and modifies it, and makes it easier for we humans to exhibit herd behaviour - and faster than before. See HFT.

From Men in Black - "A person is smart. A mob is stupid"

Many of the PLC's used in most industrial plants, from power to water purification to ethanol to whatever, are programmed by people who don't actually program in the sense we old school guys do, you know, typing in code, code reviews, test suites, and so on.
They use GUI drag-drop tools, don't understand the underlying code, and essentially use a system that allows monkeys to program, and you therefore get monkey-code results. It saves someone money in the short run - they don't have to pay monkeys as much.

Since these guys don't understand, they often cave to the C suite in hooking this all to the inet so some guy in the corner office can watch his expensive capex in action.
(perhaps from the golf course on his ibling)

The guys who design PLC's didn't come up with a read-only interface for that, and the C suite is allergic to anything that costs money without immediate bottom line benefit, therefore security is not a priority (yet) - and further, they just don't understand the issue, even Bruce Schneier didn't get it. Back in the day, this was all done over pretty secure leased lines, but now the internet brings every malefactor who is interested right to your doorstep, their opportunity cost went to zero - before they'd have had to tap a leased line - not impossible, the FBI did it all the time, but you need physical presence along that line to do it. An internet connection is so incredibly cheaper than a dedicated line, that's the way everybody went. Stupid.

Virtually none of this is encrypted other than by using obscure command/responses that are published in books on "how to work with PLC model X".

Further, due to being done by people who care more about the phase diagram of water vs pressure/temperature or whatever, and who don't care or understand security, there are exploits in the code of the PLC itself that interprets this "drag drop monkey code" created by the site "engineers" (damn people who can't even read a book now have that title, those of us who really are engineers don't think much of that). So you have a rather large attack surface with these - you can fake out either the underlying opsys in the PLC, or the crap code on top.

Someone did a 'net survey to see what's online that has little to no security, and found tons of PLC's (programmable logic controllers) out there, no firewall, and with the well known default usernames and passwords - the "monkeys" didn't know how to change, or just didn't care, or wanted to leave them all the same to make their part of the job easier.

This stuff is so easy to "crack" it's one of the justifications for the "internet kill switch" since while some are now paying attention to this, there's a long way to go.

My background on this comes largely from a friend (credit where it is due) John Bain, who is perhaps the guy you'd make a deal with and write a huge check to, in order to have him build you an ethanol plant, a hazmat handling plant, a sulfuric acid plant, oil reclamation, or other similar thing. He did me a little system for my fusor - I no longer use it, it's too antiquated, hard to control in the detail I require, slow... At least I learned the ins and outs during that process. I've taught him some security, but it's pulling teeth to get the execs to allow much of it. It's very hard to accomplish without complex middleware somewhere on a PC, and these guys don't know that or how to do it - much less make it secure.

To see, say, a boiler temperature, you have to send a certain command to a certain PLC, meaning it's a request-response interface - that you have to write to in order to get anything back, they don't just spew out all the data they know all the time, which would be a different kind of nightmare with bandwidth.

So to see that pretty diagram in the C suite, the PLC's have to allow write acces to them so the C suite guy's program can request the info, and only the info he can handle/needs. But this allows remote writes to the PLC's, and there's your risk, someone else writes some nasty command to one...

Even with an air-gap, there's always some idiot surfing facebook or whatever who plugs in a USB drive and that's all the vector you need to do harm - Stuxnet...

The government's reaction to this is to add yet another layer of regulation of something they themselves have a massive fail (Snowden) on. We all pay.

Don't take me wrong - for real or a plant, Snowden is good - now it's fact for those who only guessed, people are angry for the right reasons, and that's gotta be good, even if it's really just an attempt to get us all used to them watching everything.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:50 AM   #12
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/us...nted=all&_r=5&

This subject seems to be gaining some attention. The government is going to be running a large grid down scenario.

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Old 11-07-2013, 08:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by benjamen View Post:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/us...nted=all&_r=5&

This subject seems to be gaining some attention. The government is going to be running a large grid down scenario.

so the internet tin foil chatter is that, although this is a tabletop exercise between US, Canada and Mexico, that there will be a real grid shutdown ala government drills at Sandy Hoax, Boston Bombing, Aurora, etc. Which would justify the 150,000 tear gas launchers that the DHS admitted and then denied they bought today. The entire country has gone schizophrenic...
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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I assume y'all will let me know if *your* power goes out. Oh, wait...
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #15
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Chinese troops will have boots on the ground in Hawaii on Tuesday.
The New York Times reported on GridEx 2’s massive, Nov. 13-14 drill on August 16, but never mentioned the participation of the Peoples Republic of China’s Army.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php...3xWCgc.twitter

edited to add what I find interesting comment afterwards:
I can't help but wonder if those mysterious Google barges have anything to do with this upcoming "simulation". Also, should something go wrong with this simulation, what better way to get all the negative Obamacare coverage out of the news? Just speculating as I think back on what Obama did after the "release" of his fraudulent BC, why he killed the already dead Osama bin Laden, and that sure eliminated any further coverage of that proven fraudulent BC, didn't it? Pure evil.

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Old 11-19-2013, 05:04 PM   #16
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well, we're still here (so are the Chinese troops...)
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:20 AM   #17
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Another way the power grid could go down:
http://blogs.wsj.com/riskandcomplian.../?mod=yahoo_hs

"Lloyd’s last year reported that a major solar storm is “almost inevitable”, estimating the frequency at one every 150 years, and said that 20 million-40 million people in the U.S. are at risk of power outages lasting from two weeks to two years."

Imagine being without electricity for a year!
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:13 AM   #18
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After Hurricane Ike, there were sections of Houston that were without power for over a month. That was rough stuff and made bearable only because surrounding areas had power (and thus provided access to gas, ice, groceries, etc.). I can't even imagine what society would devolve into if the entire country was without the power grid for a whole year.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:16 AM   #19
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We got run out of JSC because of Ike, although the winds and flooding gave me the parasitic opportunity to salvage 20 3' X 3' solar panels. I will second the utility thing, because I've been through so many hurricanes that I now have my own source of power that if I am stingy enough, will last me for months, and that's without using any solar panels.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:12 AM   #20
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While I am highly doubtful that a man made EMP knocking out our power grid, especially nation wide, that doesn't mean the grid couldn't get shut down other ways. Solar EMP, flares. Not to mention man made problems. It's been in the main stream news lately.


Judge Jeanine Pirro had an hour long special on the vulnerability of the grid on Fox news.

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/02/21...r-grid-dangers
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