Tremble in fear America after the latest cyber-attack

Summary: Tremble in fear, America before yet another devastating cyberattack. Perhaps as bad or even worse than the ones in the past that we’ve forgotten. We can’t be strong if we don’t learn from experience.

By zephyr_p. AdobeStock-243500425.

America’s people are again experiencing a sustained bombardment of scary stories to create fear, or even mass panic. Only obedience to our elites and massive funding to the Military-Industrial Complex (aka the Deep State) can save us. A stream of ominous press releases and speeches describe our peril.

“Over the course of the past several days, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have become aware of a significant and ongoing cybersecurity campaign. Pursuant to Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 41, the FBI, CISA, and ODNI have formed a Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) to coordinate a whole-of-government response to this significant cyber incident.”
A Joint Statement by those agencies.

“CISA has determined that this threat poses a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.”
CISA press release.

Our leaders leap at the opportunity to show leadership by using lies to encourage panic.

“We can’t be buddies with Vladimir Putin and have him at the same time making this kind of cyberattack on America. This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously.”
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on CNN. The US has already imposed severe sanctions on Russia (calling us “buddies” is insane). The government has provided no evidence that Russia is responsible, other than claims by anonymous sources. Attribution of cyberattacks ranges from difficult to impossible.

How nice of the Russians to make a massive cyberattack on the US while the mind-blowingly large defense Bill was being debated in Congress. Just like Syria’s tiny chemical weapons attacks when they were winning their civil war. In the response to this incident, we see fruits of the Democrats’ alliance with the Deep State (aka Military-Industrial complex). It will pay big dividends to the defense agencies and vendors – and give the Left greater power. Enough spoils for all. All of them, not us.

Our highly credentialed journalists let their imaginations loose, providing wild doomster guesses in pursuit of clicks. Not a skeptical word to be seen.

“Some of America’s most deeply held secrets may have been stolen in a disciplined, monthslong operation being blamed on elite Russian government hackers. The possibilities of what might have been purloined are mind-boggling. Could hackers have obtained nuclear secrets? COVID-19 vaccine data? Blueprints for next-generation weapons systems?”
— Opening of AP story by Frank Bajah.

Before another orgy of national pants-wetting, remember the many previous stories like this. Such as the May 2014 hack of Federal personnel records at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) {see Wikipedia}. It was, like the others, “far worse than you imagine” (Lawfare). Best described by this from a June 2015 post at John Robb’s Global Guerillas.

“Chinese hackers were able to steal records on 18 m current and former government employees + sensitive background information submitted by people applying for security clearances. I believe this infobomb has done catastrophic damage to US security.  How?  Big data + bots (made smarter via AI) will be able to turn this data into a decisive instrument of warfare. For example:  want that guy on the button to stand down? Call him up with a threat to his family. Threaten to release information on him. …Worse, through automation this can be done on a scale and with a speed far, far greater than what old school spooks are capable of. “Mark my words:  This infobomb is a catastrophe.”

It was a horrific blow to Ameria’s national security, like the many others during the past 60 years. So severe was this that six years later it has been mostly forgotten. Follow-up reports about the damage give vague unprovable mentions of “damage to the government’s reputation.” For a sensible perspective from that time, see Fight the hysteria about the hack of OPM’s files. It’s probably not a big threat.

Is this latest incident as serious as described? Who knows? This is the “boy who cried wolf” problem. They have like so often, why should we believe without evidence? We have believed their lies so often without evidence that they see no need to provide evidence. The problem is much more serious than the consequences of this incident, no matter how severe.

We love to read the news!

Sheep-AdobeStock-316851466
By Gill. AdobeStock-316851466.

America’s greatest weakness

This points to our greatest weakness: our inability to learn from experience. Our government’s leaders lie to us repeatedly, exaggerating threats (or just creating them from thin air), not bothering with evidence. Like hicks visiting Time Square and playing Three-Card Monte, they often lie – but we always believe them. See the Big (but partial) List of Lies. Without skepticism we can become only pleasant peasants, justly despised as fools by our leaders.

We can whine about the ways our elites exploit us, but being sheep is a choice. This is the essential harsh truth that we refuse to see, and click-hungry reporters and analysts will not tell us.

“Every nation has the government it deserves.”
— By Joseph de Maistre (lawyer, diplomat, philosopher). From Letter 76 dated 13 August 1811, published in Lettres et Opuscules.

A Contest

I will send a copy of Rome’s Last Citizen (rich with insights to our time) to those who post the best comments to this series of posts. I have ten copies. One book per winner. Decisions are purely subjective by the judges, based on the originality and quality of insights, plus supporting facts and analysis, of the comment.

A copy also goes to whoever suggests a new mission for this website. “Helping to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold” shows a hopeful spirit I no longer have.

For More Information

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon. For something different, see “The Swallow – a story of the WWII Night Witches.”

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about cybersecurity and cyberwar, about our many fears, and especially these about bouts of hysteria in America…

To learn more about this vital subject, here are some useful sources…

Propaganda rules America! Read all about it!

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1936). “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in a democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky (2002). “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

"Propaganda" by Edward Bernays.
Available at Amazon.
"Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda" by Noam Chomsky.
Available at Amazon.

 

45 thoughts on “Tremble in fear America after the latest cyber-attack”

    1. Karelda,

      Thank you for that! It’s been difficult to restart. My theme since I began writing in 2003 was to warn and to inspire. I no longer have faith that we can still reform and regain self-government. More precisely, I no longer have faith that we are willing to pay the price to do so.

      But I’ll try again, for lack of anything else useful to do.

  1. Chinese were inside in 2012, took the US Government ‘cyber security’? experts THREE YEARS to find it… : a beacon-like signal pinging to a site called opmsecurity.org. But the agency owned no such domain. The OPM-related name suggested it had been created to deceive. When Saulsbury and his colleagues used a security program called Cylance V to dig a little deeper, they located the signal’s source: a file called mcutil.dll, a standard component of software sold by security giant McAfee. But that didn’t make sense; OPM doesn’t use McAfee products. Saulsbury and the other engineers soon realized that mcutil.dll was hiding a piece of malware designed to give a hacker access to the agency’s servers.

    1. Mike,

      Anyone reading the cybersecurity literature quickly learns that most systems are vulnerable due to a combination of human and technological errors.

      Anyone reading the literature for a long time realizes that the consequences of hacks are sometimes expensive, but seldom as great as the headlines predict.

      Anyone thinking about the geopolitical “cyberwars” wonders about the US attacks on other nations. After all, in almost every such arena we outspend all our foes collectively by a factor of 10x. The vast US military cyber-complex is probably not playing like angels. Also, the only devastating attack we know of was by the US and Israel against Iran. As with nukes, America did first use.

      1. Larry-This ‘anyone’ is a victim of the OPM HACK, and do not salute the CCP/3PLA/DEEP PANDA…What did the 3PLA/ DEEP PANDA do with our SF-86 information?

        Why the Obama, Susan Rice, Jeh Johnson, Loretta Lynch, Guo Shengkun cover up?

        Why the Trump administration continuing the cover up?
        Pay & Benefits
        Trump Administration Seeks to Quash Lawsuit Over OPM Hack-ERIC KATZ-Senior Correspondent
        Government says feds are not entitled to damages as hackers intended to use the personal information they gathered for spying, not identity theft or fraud.
        SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 03:53 PM ET
        https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2019/09/trump-administration-seeks-quash-lawsuit-over-opm-hack/159684/

        PULL THE PLUG ON THE AXIS OF EVIL…

      2. Mike,

        Can you describe, in however general terms, the nature of the damage you got from the OPM hack?

        As for the Court suit, like every other article I’ve seen about this – it does not mention a single instance of actual harm. Not one. Courts are rationally skeptical of giving awards for hypothetical damage.

        “Former and current federal employees caught up in the breach “could” become the victims of identity theft, the court ruled, but the government attorneys said it was “implausible” to assume they would. “

        The govt officials are, as usual, being Dicks for not giving credit protection services to those affected. That’s business as usual for our govt – and pretty much every govt anywhere and everywhen.

        “PULL THE PLUG ON THE AXIS OF EVIL…”

        That seems a bit over the top. Not everything bad is evil.

  2. A simple case of blowback.
    The NSA has been doing this kind of stuff globally, with no discernible restraints.
    Hacking the cell phone of the German Chancellor is just one example.
    So now we find that others can play the same game and that we’re not so much smarter than they.
    Whom should we now blame?.

  3. So glad us US taxpayers get pay for 22 million plus credit monitoring accounts…see: The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West
    Book by David Kilcullen

    1. Mike,

      I too am glad that they did so.

      But this isn’t in the top hundred thousand worst screwups by the US government.

      New tech is usually poorly handled. Hacks of personal information from institutions, esp credit card and banking information, are commonplace.

  4. Fight the hysteria about the hack of OPM’s files. It’s probably not a big threat.
    WRONG!
    Fortunately I’m not a sheep – Will continue to ask questions (FOIA) about the OPM HACK and cover up by ‘high level US and Chinese CCP/State Security Officials…THE RUSSIANS NEVER LOST THE COLD WAR, BECAUSE IT’S NEVER BEEN OVER!

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    1. Mike,

      How sad that is. Every emergent industrial power has stolen IP from the current giants. Britain did it. We did from the Brits. The Japanese did from the West. The Chinese are doing it today.

      History is your friend, but only if you use it to overcome your blindness.

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  8. It’s great to see you posting again! Good start with that article. Reading about The Great Hack, I wondered what you would write and now you have. There’s so much craziness and panic this year about COVID and the election. Then this hack happens.

    I look forward to your thoughts on the “Great Reset” and Cryptocurrency. I’m aware you post on an economy site but can’t recall which.

    1. Long tail,

      Thank you for the review. It’s been difficult to write again, for reasons discussed upthread.

      All events now make sense in the framework I have sketched out so often for so long. They are all symptoms of the great process now working to its inevitable end.

      1. Be of good cheer. I saw your exchange upthread. Keep at it Larry. I am with you Scout Leader! If you do I’ll update the masthead on my tailgate. It still reads, “Reigniting the Spirit of a Nation grown Cold.”

  9. All part of the plan…to ensure that we the sheeple aren’t to question the need for our near trillion dollar per annum “defense” budget to keep us all “safe” from the boogey men that are really only a threat(and a rather modest one at that)to the elite’s quest for global domination. Meanwhile, on main street people and small businesses are dying by the thousands while our elected whores fiddle and preen like the fops they are, pretending to do the “people’s business”.

  10. I just perused the headlines on Citizen Free Press. There’s a headline about Trump’s latest tweet. He essentially stated what you wrote about “The Great Hack”.

    I would love to read your observations about this election.

  11. TheAmericanMuse

    Mr Kummer,

    First of all it is good to see you post here once again. If nothing else we can drink and debate as the Republic burns.

    I found this quote on twitter today and it reminded me of much of what you have said before:

    “Don’t tell me the U.S.A. went down the drain because of Leftism, Knotheadism, apostasy, pornography, polarization, etcetera etcetera. All these things may have happened, but what finally tore it was that things stopped working and nobody wanted to be a repairman.”
    —Walker Percy
    From, “Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World.”

  12. Larry, have you read Peter Turchin and Jack Goldstone? There is much descriptive material about the state of the nation and how its changed over the last decades. But Turchin attempts analysis to get to why and how, with implications for prognosis.

  13. The Man Who Laughs

    When a government manages to catch a spy, they have to make a decision about whether to try the case in court, and that decision will be affected by the amount of classified material that may be compromised bringing the case to trial. Some cases won’t be worth the candle. If there is a trial, then it all gets hashed out publicly. There is a actual public airing of what the person did, and what damage was caused. With John Walker, Aldrich Ames, or the various atom bomb spies, you know what they did.

    Since hacks like this basically never end up in a trial, there’s no downside to the Government announcing in public that a cyber crime of great and unspecified horribleness has occurred. The claims end up being more or less untestable. You trust the people telling you about the horribleness of this dastardly whatever, or you don’t. I take the need for cyber security seriously, but see little reason to take untestable claims on faith. You don’t know, really what happened, and neither do I. Maybe if we knew, they’d have to kill us. But you do know the recent record of the MSM, the FBI, etc. It does not inspire much in the way of trust.

  14. Due to the ongoing trends of social alienation that have been well-identified and described by Larry Kummer in his older posts, I seem to have less skin-in-the-game with every passing day.

    It follows that I could care less about yet another government hack attributed to either malevolent foreign actors or domestic managerial incompetence: Why should I care?

    After all. I have been systematically stripped of any influence over my country, community, household, family, wife & children and, along with it, any reward derived from my contributions, actions and efforts.

    I’ve been a model citizen, an ideal parent, a hard worker and high earner up to this point, perfectly willing to self-sacrifice for the sake of the greater good & my posterity, even as the domestic courts have ruled that this is neither my circus nor my monkeys.

    Opting out appears to be the wisest option, whereas patriotism only suggests a foolish inability to learn from our mistakes.

    1. Recidivist,

      What you say is logical. Surrender often seems so. But history is made by those who act beyond logic to defend what they value.

      Please just don’t comp,sin about the consequence of Americans’ surrender, and accept the new regime – made by those that care and strive.

      1. Your insightful arguments are diminished by inconsistent word use.

        Whereas ‘surrender’ describes the cessation of resistance, Opting Out constitutes an act of passive resistance which (if ongoing) cannot be described as either a surrender or a ‘cessation of resistance’.

        Note also that those who continue to participate, ‘care and strive’, in accordance with an unjust, one-sided & oppressive rule set, have effectively surrendered themselves to the unjust rules of an unjust system.

        Our once great nation dies by Catch-22 and logical double bind — this you know —
        so why not accept that breathing on the embers of a dying Republic must necessarily fail as long as you insist of preserving the very same dysfunctional rule set that has condemned those republican embers to extinction?

  15. You are not a cyber expert, so you have no idea what you’re saying here. Dismissing a cyber attack out of hand and ignoring experts sows the kind of doubt among Americans that our adversaries love. You have done their dirty work for them.

      1. Randolarian,

        You go to the heart of the matter. “Multiple times” is too kind. “Frequently and routinely” is more accurate.

        But they lie to us because we unquestioning and gullibly believe. So their behavior is logical. Dogs are treated differently than citizens.

        When we change, our rulers will change.

  16. Mick Geez illustrates the insidious nature of the logical double bind as he argues that American freedoms require the forfeiture of said freedoms.

    It therefore follows that (1) our freedom of speech is limited to obediently agreeable speech, (2) our freedom of movement is absolute as long as our movements remain restricted, (3) our freedom of assembly is limited to no more than 2 households because health & welfare, and (4) our freedom of worship is subject to whimsical regulatory approval.

    When everything that is permitted is also forbidden, this is the Catch-22 double bind, and our culture chokes and dies on these contradictions.

    1. Recidivist,

      Mick shows the unquestioning desire to believe combined with amnesia about past lies that is characteristic of subjects. “1984” describes this in painful detail.

      If we stay on this path, we might get to not just read it – but to live it.

  17. Private sector security experts at FireEye were the first to catch the hack. The consensus of private sector security researchers – including at Amazon, Microsoft, and CrowdStrike – attributes the hack to Russia.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/02/us/politics/russian-hacking-government.html

    It is therefore impossible to believe the Fabius Maximus contention that news of this hack is some kind of alarmist US government lie to falsely smear Russia. There is no way the entirety of the private sector’s cybersecurity community would go all-in on such a lie given the preponderance of the evidence for Russia’s hacking.

    Fabius Maximus, you do a disservice to security professionals (like me) who have to counter Russian hacking for a living.

    1. “Cyber pro”,

      “ consensus of private sector security researchers – including at Amazon, Microsoft, and CrowdStrike – attributes the hack to Russia.”

      Please re-read the article you cite. The only firm’s people saying that are Fireeeye. That tells us nothing, except perhaps that they want to support the govt’s claims – for any of several likely reasons.

      I’ve blocked your comments, since they are consistently false – as is this one. Life is to short to bother correcting you.

  18. https://wethepeoplefightback.org/

    Sir,

    I would like your thoughts on this. The organizer seems to think like you and is trying to take up where you left off.

    I wrote him about you and gave him a link.

    There are lots of stories out there about the Great Reset. Some of the financial sites are discussing the American Jubilee. Markets are going nuts due to uncertainty.

    There are 4 Million people going crazy in D.C.. It’ll be crazy in Congress.

    Man, What a Day! Are you having fun yet?

  19. Please post Larry. I’ll tip. I promise.

    Also, I’ve decided to come out. I used ro post as Longtrail. My name is Frans. I am going to blog under my nom de plume Frank Brooks.

    My theme song is “In America” by Charlie Daniels Band.

    The very best to you Sir. Thank you. I was a brainwashed fool. You, your compadres and astute commenters have helped me to gain wisdom. It’s a priceless gift for which I am truly grateful.

    I am also impressed with your son.

    Blessings to both of you (3 Finger Salute).

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