5GW and Norwegian Terrorism

The atrocities committed against innocent civilians in the recent terrorist attacks in Norway shows how much harm and disruption one person can do against an unprepared society. Is the attack a precursor for a general transformation and individualization of terrorism?

According to the evolution of military theory advanced surveillance, intelligence and sophisticated weaponry is useless against terrorists like Anders Behring Breivik (ABB). This was confirmed by the chief of the Norwegian chief of internal security (PST) admitting that even the STASI secret police couldn’t have stopped the attack.

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Space cannon to shoot payloads into orbit

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IXYsDdPvbo]

John Hunter, from the company Quicklaunch, which was set up by himself and two other scientists, bases its plans on previous work they carried out at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. In 1992 Hunter and his colleagues fired a 130 m (425 ft) cannon built to test launch hypersonic engines. Its piston, driven by methane, compressed  that expanded up the barrel of the over-sized gun to shoot the .

Source: PhysOrg.

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Chinese hackers attack Google, US companies

Hackers seeking source code from Google, Adobe and dozens of other high-profile companies used unprecedented tactics that combined encryption, stealth programming and an unknown hole in Internet Explorer, according to new details released by researchers at anti-virus firm McAfee.

“We have never ever, outside of the defense industry, seen commercial industrial companies come under that level of sophisticated attack,” says Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research for McAfee. “It’s totally changing the threat model.”

Source: Wired.

Reuters has some interesting scenarios of what could happen in the Google-China standoff. The history of cyberwar has only just begun, learn about its beginning in “Onward Cyber Soldiers” from Time Magazine, 1995.

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Putin: U.S. missile shield holding up nuclear deal

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday U.S. plans for a missile defense system were the main obstacle to reaching a new deal on reducing Cold War arsenals of nuclear weapons.

Russia’s leaders have remained wary about Obama’s revised missile defense plans, which are based on sea- and land-based missile interceptors in Europe.

“If we are not developing an anti-missile shield, then there is a danger that our partners, by creating such ‘an umbrella,’ will feel completely secure and thus can allow themselves to do what they want, disrupting the balance, and aggressiveness will rise immediately,” Putin said.

“In order to preserve balance … we need to develop offensive weapons systems,” Putin said, echoing a pledge by Medvedev last week to develop a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons.

Putin said Moscow wanted more information about the U.S. plans in exchange for details about Russia’s deployed nuclear offensive missiles.

“The problems of anti-missile defense and offensive weapons are very tightly linked to each other,” he said, adding that talks on a new treaty were moving in a generally positive direction.

The State Department’s Kelly said the new START agreement would “break no new ground” on defensive weapons systems.

Source: Reuters.

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Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTlvpj7VGsY]

Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.

Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes’ systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.

Source: Wall Street Journal.

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Bullets and Blogs: New Media and the Warfighter

5GW operations: Twitterrorism?

From the US Army War College’s Center for Strategic Leadership and The SecDev Group comes “Bullets and Blogs: New Media and the Warfighter” (2.7mb PDF). The report is based on a three-day workshop that took place at Carlisle Barracks in January 2008, one of the best events I have attended. It is required reading for anyone (e.g. more then than the Defense community) involved in the modern information environment.

Source: MountainRunner.

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UK leak warns of growing Chinese tech spying

A document recently leaked by the website Wikileaks has revealed the concerns of British intelligence agencies about the focus of Chinese spies increasing in scope from stealing technology and reverse-engineering it to include the understanding of production techniques and methodologies in order to reproduce them cheaply and also warns of the military implications of such an increased focus.

The 2,389 page document, in its estimate of Chinese intelligence aims, says, “Chinese intelligence activity is widespread and has a voracious appetite for all kinds of information; political, military,commercial, scientific and technical. It is on this area that the Chinese place their highest priority and where we assess that the greatest risk lies.”

The document elaborates, “The Chinese have realized that it is not productive to simply steal technology and then try to `reverse engineer it’. Through intelligence activity they now attempt to acquire an in-depth understanding of production techniques and methodologies. There is an obvious economic risk to the UK. Our hard earned processes at very little cost and then reproduce them with cheap labor. ”

Source: StratPost.

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Halted ’03 Iraq Plan Illustrates U.S. Fear of Cyberwar Risk

John Arquilla

It would have been the most far-reaching case of computer sabotage in history. In 2003, the Pentagon and American intelligence agencies made plans for a cyberattack to freeze billions of dollars in the bank accounts of Saddam Hussein and cripple his government’s financial system before the United States invaded Iraq. He would have no money for war supplies. No money to pay troops.

“We knew we could pull it off — we had the tools,” said one senior official who worked at the Pentagon when the highly classified plan was developed.

Source: New York Times.

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