Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Terrorist Plots and Worms

From several news sources there is increased "chatter" (whatever that means) among terrorists and there are a number of predictions of coordinated actions in both Europe and the U.S. We've heard this one before, but it is always something to watch.

Additionally, there are a few items on an otherwise slow news day:

"Analysis: Could Iran retaliate for cyber attack?"

Security experts say they believe the release of the Stuxnet computer worm may have been a state-backed attack on Iran's nuclear program, most likely originating in the United States or Israel. But they say the truth may never be known.

Some analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage aimed at slowing down its nuclear ambitions, and point to unexplained technical problems that have cut the number of working centrifuges in its uranium enrichment program.

Some analysts suggest Iran might like to retaliate with a cyber attack against Israel or the West -- although there are question marks over its capability to do so.

The risk, some worry, is that Iran might be tempted to either intensify its own nuclear program or target the West's own nuclear installations in return.

"How prepared are we all for this and could this set in motion a deadly game that catalyses a nuclear program no one intended to engage in?" said Mark Fitt, managing director of N49 Intelligence, a firm that advises businesses in the Middle East.

"An alarmed Iran asks for outside help to stop rampaging Stuxnet malworm"

Tehran this week secretly appealed to a number of computer security experts in West and East Europe with offers of handsome fees for consultations on ways to exorcize the Stuxnet worm spreading havoc through the computer networks and administrative software of its most important industrial complexes and military command centers.

The impression DEBKAfile sources gained Wednesday, Sept. 29 from talking to European computer experts approached for aid was that the Iranians are getting desperate. Not only have their own attempts to defeat the invading worm failed, but they made matters worse: The malworm became more aggressive and returned to the attack on parts of the systems damaged in the initial attack.

As it is, the Iranian officials who turned outside for help were described by another of the experts they approached as alarmed and frustrated. It has dawned on them that the trouble cannot be waved away overnight but is around for the long haul. Finding a credible specialist with the magic code for ridding them of the cyber enemy could take several months. After their own attempts to defeat Stuxnet backfired, all the Iranians can do now is to sit back and hope for the best, helpless to predict the worm's next target and which other of their strategic industries will go down or be robbed of its secrets next.

This situation is getting very interesting to say the least. We'll see what happens from this point on and where this could lead.

In some other news:

"Terrorist plot uncovered in Europe"

Intelligence agencies disrupt plans for multiple attacks on cities in Britain, France and Germany by group of militants based in Pakistan thought to be linked to al-Qaeda, Sky News reports.

Militants based in Pakistan were planning simultaneous strikes in London, as well as cities in France and Germany, the channel's foreign affairs editor, Tim Marshall, said.

US counter-terrorism agencies are poring over intelligence reports suggesting a major attack plot is currently in the works against unspecified targets in Western Europe or possibly the United States, they said.

"Credible but not specific" Threat of New Terrorist Attack

"IDF Kills Three Rocket-Launching Terrorists in Gaza"


hartdawg said...

do you think the "peace talks" have finally reaches the final impasse? nothing more to talk about we`re done?

Scott said...

Thats a good question. Almost every news source that I read from the ME is making that statement. Plus, Abbas has retreated back into the arms of Hamas, and the west bank building is continuing and believe it or not, its starting to look like the conservative coalition in Israel is having an effect on Bibi.

I think its a done deal from everything that I have read - excepting that last ditch effort by france to regather the talks, but no one has even agreed (well, I believe israel may have by now) - certainly Abbas hasn't agreed to France talks.

Either way, its all a sham - that was the case in the beginning IMO - a sham.

hartdawg said...

i can almost see talks occuring in france and netanyahu caving the very last second and giving huge concessions....unlikely i know but i`m a little skeptical.

Expected imminently said...

France is presently getting it in the neck with a huge EU fine. They have forcibly ejected the Romanies from their soil, yet expect to persuede Israel to be even more long suffering with Hamass and co!

Blooming cheek!

Sue :-/

DrNofog said...

Sorry to nit-pick, but Hamas only has one 's', otherwise it would look similar to a hyphenated word used to describe our so-called 'diplomats'...