Cyber Attacks Will Target Physical Infrastructure, Commerce, Transportation Systems

by | Sep 14, 2011 | Headline News | 138 comments

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    In May of 2010 we reported that a well coordinated cyber attack could cripple the entire country in a matter of 15 minutes. We are totally dependent on inter-networks to perform even the most mundane of day-to-day tasks. Our enemies know this, and they have been actively testing our defense capabilities for years. Over the last couple of decades foreign governments, namely China and Russia, as well as loosely organized hacker groups, have been taking advantage of malware, trojans, trapdoors and backdoors in public and private networks as they map our strengths and vulnerabilities.

    According to General Keith Alexander, commander of U.S. cyber command, the threat to the national security of the United States is only getting worse, and a massive cyber attack could strike at anytime:

    The general in charge of U.S. cyberwarfare forces said Tuesday that future computer-based combat likely will involve electronic strikes that cause widespread power outages and even physical destruction of thousand-ton machines.

    Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the new U.S. Cyber Command, also said that massive losses of private and public data in recent years to computer criminals and spies represent the largest theft in history.

    Threats posed by cyber-attacks on computer networks and the Internet are escalating from large-scale theft of data and strikes designed to disrupt computer operations to more lethal attacks that destroy entire systems and physical equipment.

    Source: Washington Post

    You may remember the story of the Stuxnet worm that wrecked havoc in Iranian nuclear facilities recently. This particular worm did not attack computer software like a normal personal computer virus does. Stuxnet is far from anything we have ever experienced in a typical virus or hacking attack, with officials calling it, “the most sophisticated cyber weapon ever deployed.” What Stuxnet did was to target the physical centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium. In short, the attackers (and we won’t name any names) were able to exploit physical hardware and software holes within the Siemens equipment that was being used in Iran. The worm essentially bypassed software and hardware warning systems, so while operators at the nuclear plants saw green lights indicating normal activity, the centrifuges were destroying themselves.

    Stuxnet was the first of these advanced cyberweapons – but it certainly won’t be the last.

    A new report from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance reioterates what we’ve been warning about for several years; that U.S. cyberspace is woefully unsecure and poses a significant threat to life in America as we know it:

    The sophistication of attacks means the danger to government and businesses has moved beyond ‘acceptable’ losses that simply threaten finances or intellectual property.

    ‘The impact has increased in magnitude, and the potential for catastrophic collapse of a company has grown,’ said the report, which is slated to be released later this month.

    It adds that it is not clear that the business community understands or accepts that.

    ‘The present situation is as dangerous as if the United States decided to outsource the design of bridges, electrical grids, and other physical infrastructure to the Soviet Union during the Cold War,’ said INSA, which is headed by Frances Townsend, who was homeland security adviser in the Bush administration.

    With the openness of the U.S. internet, access to our water, electrical and phone infrastructures are already widely available for perusal and analysis, making it fairly easy to determine where we’re vulnerable. On top of that, most of these necessary infrastructure nodes are operated by private companies or small local governments – which means their network security is nowhere near the level of the military. The Pentagon is under constant attack from hackers and has been for years, and they are having a difficult time keeping their networks secure, which suggests that non-military systems are even more susceptible.

    Like Stuxnet did in Iran, an enemy of the people of the United States could launch an attack on our electrical infrastructure, water utilities and even nuclear power plants in coordinated manner. In the North East several years ago, a single transformer being knocked out took down power for 8 million people for several days. Recently, San Diego lost power to millions of people due to what was reported as an error by a single employee of the electric company. This is proof enough that the system is ill-equipped to handle a serious emergency, especially one that is not an accident, but rather, an attack which targets multiple nodes across the entire country all at once. Mapping of our infrastructure systems has been detected by U.S. intelligence sources already – and there can be only one reason why a foreign nation would need such information:

    Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

    The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

    “The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”

    Source: WSJ

    Like an EMP attack, if physical equipment is rendered inoperable, the end result could be weeks and months without power to entire regions before replacements can be manufactured and installed. The result of such an outage on our electriciy infrastructure for an extended period of time could have disastrous consequences.

    Like utility infrastructure, the country’s transportation infrastructure may fall victim to attack. Subway systems, air traffic control, GPS controlled delivery systems – they are all potential targets for cyber attack. On September 11th, 2001 there was mass confusion in public air traffic control towers as well as military air defense. And according to the official report, no one was attacking these systems. Now consider a scenario where those systems actually come under enemy attack. The confusion, panic and inability to respond for several hours could lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

    The public and quasi-public sectors may be vulnerable, but private companies have even more problems, because they simply don’t have the same funding available for advanced computer security research and deployment as do government entities. Yes, security exists, but is it enough? In America we utilize electronic debt transactions, digital banking and networked delivery systems. Within each of these critical segments of the internet are hundreds of nodes, and if just one of them is taken down, it could have a cascading effect similar to that of our electrical grid.

    What would happen if, for example, a cyber attack was focused on the merchant processing systems of the United States – you know, those systems that go out and verify if you have enough money on your debit card to pay for your groceries? These attacks have happened in the past, and they have affected processing systems before, but the issues are generally resolved in a matter of hours. But in a focused cyber attack, foreign government sponsored hacking groups could continue attacking multiple nodes repeatedly, for weeks or months at a time, hitting all of the different pieces, significantly impacting commerce around the country. If done in conjunction with an attack on the banking system, no one would be able to buy anything or even withdraw cash – and even if they could, just in time transporation and inventory systems wouldn’t know what needs to be delivered and where products need to go, because they may be under attack too.

    Attacks on computer systems are nothing new. But as we’ve become more dependent on network management, control and consolidation, we’ve also opened ourselves up to serious security threats. If a large-scale war between super powers were to ever come to fruition, the first battles will be fought in cyberspace, with chaos and panic being the objectives.


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      1. Well, yeah, this and matches…seriously.

        • I think this much is certain, “they” do not like us having all of this online contrary news and other sources of accurate information that proves them to be the lying scum that they are, so my guess is that they will pull the plug on the net by blaming it on some “cyber terror”.
          In the meantime, they will have made some major adjustments to our government and how the cattle are handled, housed, caged, exterminated, whatever.

      2. Can you think of a better way to wipe out $15 trillion in debt……” poof”

      3. Our entire system can be hacked, and those who think otherwise are kidding themselves. Technology is great and I enjoy a lot about it, but I’m sure glad for local bartering and some “old fashioned” ways of conducting my life.

      4. I’m not a big fan of most electronics. There is to much room for:

        ~ spying and invading privacy
        ~ wreaking financial havoc
        ~ causing damage like fires or electrical malfunctions

        I love my laptop, although I wish I didn’t. Aside from that, I don’t even have a cellphone!

        • Electronics are fine. It’s computers and computer-like devices that are the problem.

          • Yes, and don’t forget all of those “customer loyalty” cards, “membership” cards, debit cards and credit cards that all track where you spend your money and what you purchase. Cold hard cash is the ONLY way to prep. I only keep enough in the bank for my bills.

          • no contradiction here right?

          • Bill your contradicting yourself

        • And I thought I was the last cell phone holdout! Actually, I have a pay-per-call trac phone that I keep in my purse for emergencies (hubby insisted) but hardly ever use it. I tell people to call me at home. “What if you’re not there?” “Leave a message and I’ll call you back.” “Well, what if I want to talk you right NOW?” “I guess you won’t be able to.” Have had this same conversation over and over. Result is always the same: person pouts and frumps, I just smile.

          • That Great ….. You sure have the program down perfectly…. BTW …. can i borrow some flint rock and kindling the lights went out in my cave..

            • 🙂

          • I tell them, “I don’t even like to talk on the phone when I’m at home. I’ll be darned if I take the stupid thing with me!”

          • You are not alone WVF! But I do have AAA.

        • “I don’t even have a cellphone!”

          What!!!? No leash?

          How dare you be free!?

          I like it 🙂 Used to be pagers. I live alone and just take off and leave the phone at home sometimes. The kids know I’ll call ’em back and the company gives me an email at least a week before they need me.

      5. Mac, over the past few years, have you noticed places of businesses where they can’t take credit cards, wic, or food stamp cards because the line is down or the machine isn’t working? Small examples of cyber/technology failures. The powers to be wanted a cashless society, making it easier to control and monitor the everyday activities of people and transactions. Many have followed the trap. Now we have the very good possibility of a couple of generations that can’t navigate their lives without cell phones and other electronic (high speed) devices, much less read a map.
        Giving directions and/or following them has become a, simple, lost form of communications. Map reading? Not even in todays military are there enough personnel able to read a map. GPS anyone? There are so many things (we the older generations) take for granted that the younger populace will become lost. After reading yesterdays topic, I was thinking of todays topic and how so many will have it even worse than those that came through the great depression. Why? The years leading up to the great depression, most were having a hard time just making it by. They were use to perservering and making do with what they had with few comforts of life. Today; Way too many comforts, entertainment avenues, and dependancy on consumer products. Reading is a lost form of self education with the majority.
        Keep up the great influx of topics and ideas, they are needed and appreciated.

        • Great post, DRD. I like to cook, knit, crochet, garden, read, play the piano. Hubby enjoys his workshop, Civil War books, old movies, crossword puzzles and a good steak dinner once in a while. Not a lot of high-tech stuff with this over-50 couple. We don’t need to be entertained 24/7; in fact, both of us enjoy “quiet evenings at home.” Trite but true.

          • Well said; here’s to the simple & satisfying things in life! Keep praying & prepping all.

      6. This is another example of how society could go from normal to a collapse in a very short time. Our economy is in bad enough shape already. It wouldn’t take much to give it a final shove. This is reason #308 why you should be prepping and already have 90% of what you’re going to need for at least a year.

      7. Lets see, on the eve of when S well HTF, I predict there will be a cybor attack which will force the G to shut down the net.

        • Gore?

          • Is Plastic Man STILL HERE????

          • The government

      8. EMP can really ruin your day. What effects would EMP have on the average modern automobile? Can the family car be defended against EMP? Motorcycles? Imagine an EMP attack when Daddy is miles away at work, the kids are miles away at different schools and Mommy is caught at the store. Do you have a plan for getting your family together after an attack? Are you having a panic attack right now?

      9. I’m in the “biz” and believe me; THIS is not a story to Poo-poo. It is very, VERY real. I get close to 100 attacks on my computer per day.. sometimes a bit more.
        Like the story above reports, most are from China, Russia and former soviet era states..

        • SNS

          Don’t know what “biz” you’re in, but how do you know Russian sites hitting yours are attacks? I have several web sites and some customers from Russia.

          Small time thieves attacking a PC trying to steal your corporate debt slave information is no threat to anyone.

          The best this story can do is condition people to accept the official story of a terrorist hacker that brings down the internet.

          EMP’s, well that another story.

          • Agreed about the EMP.. and this further proves my post below. To answer your question; we have our methods and we know where the attacks are originating.

          • When we speak of EMPs …. “Remember the Reichstadt” and those evil communists who blew it up …. The reality is we must examine the beneficiaries of such an attach and dispense with the nievity of the russians are coming or the chinese for that matter …. the primary operating systems in both these countries is microsoft…DUH !!!

        • I get 5 spyware hits a day and every now and then a visit from Chantilly Virginia.

          Too bad for them I keep all of my anti-government files on the “F” Drive.

          • You shouldn’t keep any files …. once the gate is open any platform vunerable … computing takes on a life of its own once you enter the network..

            • The “F” drive is a storage stick.

      10. This is off topic so please ignore, this however is related to a recent post. Durango Kidd it is with sincere regrets of my comments directed at you yesterday. I was extremely agitated before posting. I regret my comments and realize they were unacceptable, please accept my apologies, and to those here I may have also offended, Copout

        • I wasn’t involved in this but I just want to say, it takes a very big person to apologize like that.

        • No harm, no foul brother!

        • Wow. Is it just me or have we developed a little “family type” bond here? Honestly, this is one of the first sites I have ever seen where a poster would actually care about what he/she said to another.

          I disagree with some of the beliefs / attitudes here but I do have respect for all.

          Copout, thank you. Little things like this make me believe that despite our differences we will make it thru to the other side.

          Much respect, POA

          • DK has thick bark on him!

      11. Russia and China are no threat. Hackers serve a good purpose in the computer world and for the most part are just doing it for a thrill. Being a hacker is not always a bad thing. Many actually work with industry to build better security.

        I could care less if different departments of the corp hack each other. When the plugged is pulled, it will not be the result of a terrorist hacker. It will only be portrayed that way to deflect the anger away from the enemy, which of course is the bankers and the corp itself.

        Weaning yourself from these things should be a part of your preps. Most of the technology available to day is new. I didn’t have it growing up and I don’t need it getting old.

        I don’t think the corp will pull the plug on it just yet. I got an email from Paypal saying they need tax numbers and are now REQUIRED to report some things to the IRS by 1099 Form. They are looking for billions in additional revenues from the sheep that have Ebay businesses and the like. Fortunately, the solution is simple.

        No hackers will ever bring down the internet. It will be done by the same clowns that are printing debt and calling it money.

        I say again, there is only ONE enemy in this war. Unless people wake up to that fact, the war is lost.

        • No offense intended.. but GC, on THIS subject, you are a DOPE. I’m not going to argue the point, I am right and you are not only wrong, but amazingly, astoundingly and absolutely wrong.

        • You really think China is no threat?

          How will they feed their growing population, or will they be content to watch them starve? An EMP attack here, blamed on Iran, NK and Hugo and the US retaliation eliminates three fanatical governments the world doesn’t have to feed. 90% of our population dies and they come in as saviors ( occupiers ) to restore power and get our kibble production back on line to feed their masses.

          • SNS, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it so long as the corp decides you are. The corp has undoubtedly filled you with fear of every shadow, and of everything else. You are as you are supposed to be and all is well in your world.

            Jim, there are no foreign threats other than the international bankers who own and run the corp. The same ones that you are enslaved by and send your hard earned dollars VOLUNTARILY.

            There is only one answer. Put the power of money back into the hands of the people and remove it from private corporations. It is the law, after all.

            Too many people fighting the wrong battle and fearing the wrong things.

            • That is quite a head in the sand approach to survival. I suppose 6 million people were not wiped out by the Germans either? All just a figment of the ‘corp’ that you fear? So we shouldn’t fear radical islam, Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, or any other viable threats as those aren’t real but some mythical “corp” is? Okydokythen

            • GC: China and Russia and EVERY other nation in the world are a cyber threat, as all nations are collecting all the intelligence they can, whether that be military or industrial espionage.

              Everyone is spying on everyone else for whatever intelligence they can gather. That is what the corp does too. The problem is that the corp is spying on American citizens now, when it is their job to spy on everyone other than US, for US.

              But no one should believe that China and Russia are not serious threats to OUR cyber security. To believe otherwise is totally irrational.

        • GC you are 100% right. More and more ppl are realizing this but probably too late.

        • yeah and there are aliens in area 51.

          • 84% of Nevada in owned by Gov. No aliens here!

            • Senor’ ….. coo ju ta anoter lookaround…I been here a long tienge

        • Exactly why people need to listen to Ron Paul and register republican for the primaries.

      12. the ultimate false flag. hit our own systems, claim it was terrorist, invade Iran for the oil.

        • Rachel: WE already have the excuse WE need to invade Iran, its called, nuclear weapons. WE don’t need to destroy OUR own capabilities when WE can destroy theirs with the consent and approval of the United Nations, and the blessing of both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

          • We do not need to invade anybody ….. In Iran all we need to do is empower the masses,they will do the rest… There is nothing but corruption in these theocratic governments with a little bit of inteligence and logistical no how on behalf of our leadership the job of overthrowing would be done by the very people who yearn to be free…. Sorry …no boots on the ground needed… it is just this kind of, might makes right mantality, that got us into this mess and, I don’t mind saying if there should be boots anywhere it should be up the asses of those who think that way…

            • What you’re advocating requires leadership. Unfortunately there is none available in Washington DC right now. The next partial shipment may arrive Jan. 2013.

      13. What better way to saves the lives of our men/women in the service, then to attack through another countrys internet system and bring them down?

        Why do we send our people to foreign lands to put them in physical harm to concure and control?

        I realize that a lot of the countrys we are fighting in do not have an extensive internet system that supports daily lives in their country.

        That is why our society (and many others) are so vulnerable to cyber attacks. We depend on a system that we find it increasingly more difficult to defend.

        That is our culture. Go ahead and implament the new technologys and we will worry about protecting it later. We could even get more money out of the sheeple to add new defense systems.

        God bless and keep on prepping.

      14. This would be the perfect “false flag” to give the fed gov control of the people, declare martial law and keep BHO in office forever – of course just one of many scenarios…

        Part of prepping is keeping cash on hand so when the cards go down and cash is still accepted we can continue on for awhile. Next is silver!

      15. The U.S. military is playing some serious catch-up in the cyber realm.

        A few day ago North Korea forced a U.S. spy plane down all because they were able to jam the GPS. This is pretty weak on the part those relying on a functional GPS. Once upon a time not too long ago it did not matter how smooth and skilled a pilot was at manipulating the flight controls, if a pilot could not navigate s/he was pretty worthless. Now any dummy who can plug in the numbers is good to go… Until technology fails.

        Technology is a great enhancement to many things, but when anyone with crucial tasks rely solely on the technology without a good backup contingency they are being foolish. Unfortunately modern technology with its overall robust reliability can easily lull us into complacency. It is not much different from the just-in-time stocking of our store shelves with the goods we count on day in and day out for easily sustaining our lives, while the old ways are forgotten by most.

        The article portrays the threat as primarily coming from major enemies, however in the cyber realm all it takes is a very small handful of creative and highly talented individuals to cause paradigm changing havoc.

        The way Americans fought the British in the revolutionary war was a classic game changer for how to engage in battle. Cyber warfare changes the game too, and the possibilities are endless.

        • Sorry WG but it wasn’t a couple of days ago, it was back in March and the story has several holes in it.

          The rest of your post, agreed.

          • Thank you AZ. My attention to detail is not what it used to be. You are correct, back in March.

        • I don’t believe that WG. I think the US is at least out front on cyber offensive capabilities, and defense is always a constant updating process.

          As for that particular incident (the date not withstanding) OUR aircraft make those fly-bys to deliberately engage the electronics of NK and other like minded nations to take their electronic signature.

          Then kaboom! When the time is right.

      16. Technology is great. WHILE IT WORKS.

        • Did somebody here unplug the Bunn coffee pot?

          • ANON: Not me man, I drink wal mart all arabica instant. Its the best and always hot as long as you use hot water.

          • There’s no coffee? THERE’S NO COFFEE? EEEYYYAAAAAAAA!!!

      17. I swear, you could drive yourself looney worrying about every single thing. Sometimes I wonder if the element of surprise is better. At least you could live your life without fretting about every single thing that COULD happen.

        Since none of us seem to be able to do that (hence the reason we are here):

        Store cash.
        Store precious metals.
        Store food.
        Store ammo.
        Store medication, etc.
        Speak to your loved ones about what to do if you can’t communicate with them (like I have done with my child who is at college)

        This is much more plausible than an EMP. And it would be much more sudden than our looming economic collapse.

        • Other than an EMP to take out vehicles, communication…if there is a disaster and need sure to have a meeting place and quiz family often.

      18. Government induced for sure, they have no credibility.

      19. Shallow 6.1 earthquake near Attu, Alaska. No further info.

      20. I wish this website had a chat room.

        • We should have a forum up and running within the next week…it won’t be live chat, but user driven, so that’s a step in the right direction… We’ll look into the chat room thing to …interesting idea…thx

          • That’s awesome to hear! I’m really looking forward to it!

          • That would be cool Mac. Now if you could only figure out how to filter the shills!

      21. During the Russian/Georgian conflict a few years ago, the Rooskies did cyber attack Georgia. Knocked out their computer operations. The Georgians switched their operations to a location in the US. The question at the time was, would the Russians then go after the target in the US?

        • Why Not ??? Georgia was a power play that was tacitly condoned by the Bush administration in exchange for Oil and Uranium … BTW … most folks do not realize that our nuclear energy industry has been fueled largly by spent uranium bought from the Russian defense system and the treaty that provided for that expires in 2012…

          • Actually, I figured that the Russians were not too out of line. They could have done a lot more to the Georgians. The globalists (US) would have done much worse. I also thought the Russians would have figured out a way to stop the missile defense system the US is putting all around them.

      22. “Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the new U.S. Cyber Command, also said that massive losses of private and public data in recent years to computer criminals and spies represent the largest theft in history.”

        Apparently he doesn’t consider his bosses thefts. If it gets on the internet, it is no longer private data. A legitimate government would have no “public data” that would need to be hidden or protected, and no right to hide data protecting criminals in office.

        The corp does not fear someone will steal from you, but instead is afraid someone will find plain evidence of it’s own crimes and send it to you.

        The people are generally safe, but the corp is danger. No need to fear that if you are not a part of the corp.

        • You should look for the lid to your jar.. I think you lost a couple of marbles..

        • What about Paypal.

      23. I still dont know why terrorists never target power lines. jeeze knock out the power for a couple weeks in any major city and the people will turn on one another.

        • Shhhh! Stop giving them ideas!!!

          • what about water, gas, etc in remote areas? take it out and cause terror and panic and problems.. sabotage can be lethal.

          • You mean like matches can do serious damage when bombs aren’t available??
            They know these things already.

          • It’s already been done by Earth Firsters. Not very well, since those types tend to be technological ignoramuses, but they tried.

        • @ Havok: look up “SCADA” in wikipedia, and the associated security concerns.

          Here’s the issue though – Under Title 10 USC, USCYBERCOM (a sub-unified command under US Strategic Command, which has the UCP cyber mission) is only charged with operation and defense of the Global Information Grid (GIG)…the military networks ONLY. Go outside the GIG, and the defense of those Fed/civ systems and networks (like SCADA systems, for example) is under the Department of Homeland Security. There is some overlap, but Title 10 legal authorities prohibit CYBERCOM from going outside the GIG to protect non-military systems.

      24. Just in on drudge report taxes on soup kitchens churchs and other charities that help the needy, guess who?

        • Its in the community organizer’s nifty new jobs bill.

          Here’s the skinny. He wants big government. He’ll stop at NOTHING to get it. So, if he makes things harder on the charities then people will naturally turn to who for help? The Government!

          It’s all part of the master plan. Screw us. Reel us in. And feast on the aftermath.

          • That 10-4 Mr. B

        • How can a non-profit be taxed? Are they actually changing the tax laws to consider donations to be taxable income?

          • Daisy: They want every nickel and dime they can get, you know for Michelle!

            • Lol! Can we go back to common law now?

        • Does anyone remember the photo op of Moochelle in the soup kitchen where the “poor” folks were taking pics of her with their $400 phones?

          She needs another vacation. Heck, it’s been weeks…..

      25. Wouldn’t break my heart if they hit the IRS computers and wiped out their information systems!

      26. I simply do not beleive this will happen, did not say it cant, but consider this:
        China depends on Europe and US to consume their cheap products
        US-CAN/Europe depend on China to manufacture cheap goods
        Russia depends on Europe to consume Petrol
        China depends on Russia for natural resources in general.

        We’re dependent on one another. An attack on one Eco-zone is suicide to the major world economies in whole.
        (I left out S. America, Latin America, Africa and Australia for a reason).

        I think this proxy war shit will continue for decades

      27. it wouldnt take much anymore these days to cripple the entire USA..if a CA took place on the banks, the government and a hand full of large companies (i mean large)..and maybe throw in a Crime Street hit (wall street)
        we would be upside down inside of a week, or days, hell maybe even hours.

        this dependancy on the internet and the computer systems is so fucking ignorant it blows my mind, and another thing that blows my mind as to how many fools have no clue as to the range of distruction it could cause, due to the dependancy of this very fragile system, and the blind sheeple clueless as to its ever reaching abilities

      28. ATMs, finances and the like appear to be a real weakness being criminals presently have the capacity to exploit them. Having cash around is a good idea.

        • If yer gonna keep cash on hand – keep a .45 also, so you can keep yer cash.

      29. you know…..we can function without computers…we’ve done it before….it might be on a more hand-on and local scale but it can be done…

        • I completely agree… Millions of people in tens of countries are just fine with minimal computer integration… Our problem here in the US would be the transition phase… If our inter and intra nets were attacked militarily it would pose a serious problem. Taking down our electrical grid, for example, would, in my opinion, lead to something similar to an EMP attack…total societal meltdown, albeit it could probably be resolved much faster as not all of our electronics would be fried.

      30. and EMP will short-circut every person’s pacemaker within its vast range immediately putting them all on the deck within seconds of death.

        we’re talking over a million people this pulse would instantly kill in addition to rendering much of our un-hardened infrastructure paralyzed…no responders will be able to save them since their engines, radios, first aid gear, defibrilators etc. will be rendered useless…

        I’ll take a cyber attack over an EMP any day of the week thank you very much. They can freeze my ATM card and knock my cable TV offline to their heart’s content; just don’t kill my neighbor.

        • Interesting observation DNT, never ever thought about pacemakers and an EMP attack.

      31. You people are highly over reacting over a statement for the federal government. Luckily how networks really are something to wipe them all out would prove a very daunting feet. Standards aren’t the same, configurations are different, there is a wall of common sense to why these supposed “end of the world” cyber attacks could never happen. Then again you are probably the same people that can’t plug in a printer.

        • If it was just one statement then it would be an overreaction… But I think it’s safe to say we can cite hundreds of differen t studies and reports that deal specifically with national-scale vulnerabilities to cyber attacks…. There’s a reason the pentagon regularly war games economic collapse scenarios that threaten to bring down our financial system via direct attacks on trading systems and banks… Our entire infrastructure from water utilities to the physical missiles that we would be launching in the event of war have been compromised… If a fore gn power wanted to, I believe they could cause serious damage in the opening salvos of a military engagement

          • An attack could even come from a group of politically motivated hackers. There seems to be no shortage of these groups today. And, to loosebit, it’s not highly overreacting to engage in discussion.

            • Your right the Pentagon does do wargames with their new CyberCom. And there is no shortage of cyber attacks these days. But. Look at these attacks that get publicized all over the media. They are very basic and do not take much technical experience to carry them out. SQLi and buffer overflows have been around. None of the reported cyber attacks in the last 12 months had any real ingenuity, they all targeted emails, and logons and passwords.

              Then look at stuxnet, that attacked the Iranian nuclear enrichment plant. Clearly stuxnet was done by the top of the top in cyber warfare.. AKA U.S.A.

              So again in my closing I am not disagreeing that these attacks happen all the time, but don’t take them out of context as the main stream media does. Gunfire is rarely reported on, why should it be any different in cyber space?

      32. Aircraft?

        • You mean those stalled in cars…no big deal…in the sky???…another picture and not a pretty one.

          • JJ: Probably another reason to carry a b.o.b. in your vehicle, problem is I worry about someone breaking into the vehicle overnight!

            • I have my SUV crammed…full army foot locker, full huge duffel bag, 2 huge water jugs, bucket of food…and 6 bags in the pantry right beside my car door in the garage—2 minutes and they are all in the SUV.
              weddy ta go!

              And I won’t miss GPS, Tammy the Tam…Tam…she gets on my nerves and we fight all the time.

          • One Second After mentions this same situation. I just worry about the nuclear meltdowns.

        • Aircraft with fly-by-wire systems could become totally uncontrollable in an EMP scenario. Traditional aircraft with manual controls would lose radio communication, electronic navigation, e.g. GPS, etc., but would still be controllable by the pilot.

      33. This is a serious article. There are senior military types that see no difference between a cyber attack and a physical attack on the nation.

        It’s possible that a serious cyber attack could start WW III.

        BTW, the US might be a tad bit behind, but don’t think for a minute that the Chinese and Russian computers aren’t compromised too. And rumor is we fried Saddam’s air defense grid right before ‘shock and awe’ with some sort of cyber attack or computer virus.

        It’s a new battlefield in a new era. Nothing else.


        • Agreed… No one is really talking about US Cyber Command’s OFFENSIVE capabilities… The cyber battlefield, given the dependence the industrialized nations have on computer systems, is, as you said, no different than a physical battlefield…they are one in the same now.

        • Nothing that a little graphite grease or impregnated threads can’t take care of across the power circuts.

      34. Anyone reasonably knowledgable on EMP? What would the effects be, if any, on cars, refrigerators etc.

        • HS: Keep your sensitive electronic items in a galvanized garbage can with lid, while you check the archives here! 🙂

          • Should I renew my membership in the Luddite Society?

            • Do they serve tea and crimpets?

          • Where do I put the chicken feed?

            • Someplace where even a blind chicken can find some corn.

      35. Well, I guess Bo is not a business man on pv solar panels but he IS a politician. What’s 500 million $’s, I have a Zimbabwe note.

      36. Anything with a microchip will be fried. Any computer control function at all will be rendered junk. Fuel injection systems, radios, digital displays, phones, etc will crash. Now solid state electronics like relays, motors, generators, windings in transformers and the like will be ok. Most newer generators use computerized boards for voltage regulation and will be killed but if you are handy with a soldering iron you can make one fairly easily with a couple hours study and cobbed parts or keep things to do it. Fridges and freezers just use old relays and temperature switches and solid windings on the compressor motors so they should be ok. Just look at the owners manual for a list of parts and schematics to see if there is any computerized components.
        Just remember computer chips and circuit boards will crash unless shielded in a faraday cage. Google it and emp effects. I worked in nuclear field and wargamed this crap out for the navy. Luck all

        • Thank you.

      37. Long day, nighty-night ya’ll.

      38. Wouldn’t this be a kick in the pants. We spend all our time preparing (mostly) for natural disasters and all it takes is some snot-nosed kid to send us over the edge!

        • ROFLOL!

        • We’ve got one those in the WH right now trying to do just exactly that.

      39. A good place to start is the book One Second After by forschen, they get the effects and consequences pretty close to reality. I got my instruction on emp from other sources aka “classified” but still the same information just more in depth. If you want to get more into it Kosta Tipsis wrote a book on the effects of nuclear war during the 80’s, I read it in high school for a physics class project on faraday cages. Warning though its heavy in geek speech and calculus.

        • Thank you, too.

          • Your welcome, I’m new here and have only recently started posting. The worst case scenario is an EMP! Instant chaos and we figured 20% survivors after 6 months nation wide average.
            Oh and if you get thise books don’t loan them out you’ll never see them again!

      40. Is there another website like this?

        • Sorry Iowa, this is the one and only SHTFplan 🙂

          But check out the “Web Destinations” on the left side of the screen for some excellent resources covering topics that range from prepping to alternative news and everything in between. thanks for visiting!

      41. Anecdotal:

        I got called into work this evening because the internet server went down. After reading this article, it kinda got me thinking about how reliant we are on the system at my particular workplace.

        The workplace computer program relies on the internet to function. It’s a large company so all bulk messages are sent through the system. When repair orders are written (on the computer) a requisition for the necessary parts is sent out. Once those parts are applied to the repair order, the person in that department is able to locate all the itty bitty little components in boxes by the location printed on the requisition (by the computer). Without that location, it could take hours to find the necessary bolt or fastener. Then the necessary equipment is reserved(by the computer) so the repair can take place. Settings are input into the equipment (via the computer) to allow the technician to more easily calculate the angles necessary for the repair.

        Take away the internet and every bit of that stuff is done manually. Customers cannot pay their bills because the debit machines down’t work without internet. Even worse, take away the power and then stuff shuts down completely. The last time we had a power outage we had equipment raised in the air on hoists that could not be brought back down until the power came back on.

        Today it just took wiggling some wires and kicking the mainframe (so to speak) and then all was right with the world. What about tomorrow?

        • Daisy: I have been too optimistic. We’re fried!

          • 🙂

      42. America created this beast – it’s called Microsoft! That’s why my next pc will be an Apple!

      43. Just a heads up. Anybody paying attention to the hostlities between Israel and Turkey? The Israelis and Greeks just implemented parts of a military defense pact. The Turks say they will attack any Israeli navy ships outside of Israeli territorial waters in the eastern Mediteranean.

        • The great thing about the new MAC book is that the letters are lit in the dark.

          HS: I have been following it and have been surprised at the turn of events ….. hmmmmmm interesting.

      44. One interesting thing about Turkey is Erdogan (the leader), has been arresting quite a few of the military officers. Getting any potential opposition out of the way before he makes his move? He also threatened to move against Syria.

      45. Some of this is scare-mongreing. I used to maintain a multi-faceted water purification and processing system. Many are run by SCADA software-hardware. This entire utility network had zero links or capability to access the internet. Most utility systems (if the IT analysts have any clue) are isoloated. With all the media attention, I’m suremore now that there used to be.

      46. We might be better off without the telecommunications networks. They have all been taken over in every country on Earth to serve as the surveillance apparatus of governments. Not a single word passes from point A to point B on the internet without being intercepted by someone using some system they’d jail you for talking about.

        The technology itself has wonderful potential, but it has been corrupted by power mad tyrants in government. What could be the greatest information sharing system ever is slowly being cordoned off, disrupted, controlled, and owned for the sake of government and corporate power. Anti-file sharing laws, constant surveillance, etc.

        I lived through the golden age of the internet. It has all been down hill since the .com bubble burst. These days it’s just more consolidation, censorship, monitoring, etc.

      47. Less than 3% of the “money” in the US exists in the form of paper currency. ALL of the rest of it is just little 1s and 0s in computers. Coordinated EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attacks (low-altitude air bursts from small planes) against the regional Federal Reserve HQs, the locations of which are all well-known, would vaporize a significant % of the “wealth” of this nation in an instant. And no way of proving who was responsible. This gets my vote for what will happen when TPTB decide to finally set up their NWO.

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