Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cyber-Spook Origins of 'FLAME' Computer Virus Confirmed

Some blogs ago, e.g.

I predicted that the recently released 'FLAME' virus would be found to have the same sort of code origins as Stuxnet, namely engineered by the cyber-spooks embedded at NSA Headquarters, at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Now, that has been confirmed with the recent Washington Post report that "commercial security researchers last week confirmed the Flame virus contained some of the same code as Stuxnet". And we know, thanks to a terrific 60 Minutes piece some months ago, the NSA was behind that latter malware creation (though they tried to hedge around it while not outright denying responsibility).

But as the WaPo lead -in observed: "NSA is expert at breaking codes and creating malware".

Well, doh and duh! As anyone who's lived in the DC corridor can attest (I Iived nine years in Columbia, MD) one sees adverts all the time (e.g. in local papers like The Baltimore Sun)  for "exceptional mathematicians" and new math graduates to join the high profile team of encryptionists, code breakers and computer savants at.....NSA!  They probably have, no kidding, the biggest pool of Geek brains outside of the quants in the investment banks of Wall Street - especially since there are few other outlets for such brainiacs to go now that our space program has been pared down to a joke.

So, instead of having our eyes set on returning to the Moon or colonizing Mars, the drive is to be a well-paid super cyber-snoop (or Wall St. derivative pestilence) and either create malware ostensibly to attack 'enemy' computers (but which can boomerang and whack our own) or create obscure financial derivatives with the potential to cause yet another market crash ...or even depression. How the mighty have fallen! How vision has been reduced and perverted.

Anyway, this FLAME malware was evidently created five years ago "as part of a classified code named 'Olympic Games' " (do these cyber-spook  fuckers really believe these things amount to 'games'?) . The report went on to note the "U.S. -Israeli collaboration" was intended to "reduce the pressure for a conventional military attack and extend the timetable for negotiation, diplomacy".

All very noble to be sure. But what these would -be brainiacs never took into account is how possible malware that seizes computers (not just Iran's but maybe the Russkies' too) can have unintended consequences and exploit weaknesses and create glitches that may cause incorrect signal or information processing. This occurred in the 1990s as Russian computers mistakenly detected what first appeared to be a U.S. first strike and were prepared to launch a missile counter-strike. It was only with minutes to spare that it was discovered that the rising Moon had triggered missile radars but a computer glitch caused the warning machines to detect a nuclear missile! (Similarly, in 2002, an airburst meteoroid was briefly detected as a possible nuclear weapon air burst by Indian and Pakistani forces then engaged over the disputed province of Kashmir- but fortunately their computers and warning systems identified the cause at the last minute. But what if a rogue Stuxnet or Flame virus had appropriated the respective systems and distorted the information?)

What these eggheads never get is their potential to wreak more havoc. Will they change? Doubtful, because now with the post-9/11 terror-security frenzy still infecting most brains in the US of A, the security hawk or spook enclave is pulling in twenty times more money a year than NASA. They are the new kingpins on the Beltway funding block, and they will do everything to suck up more billions for their security networks and new bases of operation. If JFK were alive, he'd puke at what our nation's become and the lost vision.  Letting a bunch of robed punks induce us to spend ourselves into oblivion, essentially destroy our own Bill of Rights, and whatever constructive  future remains on offer. Sad!

Anyway, Flame - this outrageous boomerang -potential virus - was designed to 'replicate across even highly secure networks".  It then had the wherewithal to control all computer functions, including activating all computer microphones and cameras, taking screen shots of users, logging keystrokes, extracting geo-location data from images (better than a GPS) and dispatching all this to the creators ensconced at the Puzzle Palace - the modus operandi  (for sending and receiving commands, data) enhanced through "Bluetooth wireless technology."

To make it even more sobering, the entry of Flame could be entirely innocuous - since Flame was designed to do all the above while "masquerading as a Microsoft software update". How did the blasted thing avoid detection for so many years? By "using a sophisticated program to crack an encryption algorithm"

And what do the spooks have to say about the WaPo report? What you'd expect spooks to say! According to the piece:

"Spokesmen for the CIA, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.....declined to comment".

So, what's new? All the evidence released so far tells us all we need to know. As for your privacy, that went out the window a long time ago. Just wait until the drone makers now put 30,000 of the spying little bastards up to fly around and monitor neighborhoods constantly.....and where do you think all that info will end up? One thing for sure: not on Mars!

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