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Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:08 AM

The Secret War

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/



INFILTRATION. SABOTAGE. MAYHEM. FOR YEARS FOUR-STAR GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER HAS BEEN BUILDING A SECRET ARMY CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING DEVASTATING CYBERATTACKS. NOW IT’S READY TO UNLEASH HELL.

The Secret War
By James Bamford
06.12.13 9:00 PM

Inside Fort Meade, Maryland, a top-secret city bustles. Tens of thousands of people move through more than 50 buildings—the city has its own post office, fire department, and police force. But as if designed by Kafka, it sits among a forest of trees, surrounded by electrified fences and heavily armed guards, protected by antitank barriers, monitored by sensitive motion detectors, and watched by rotating cameras. To block any telltale electromagnetic signals from escaping, the inner walls of the buildings are wrapped in protective copper shielding and the one-way windows are embedded with a fine copper mesh.

This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army.

~snip~

But there is a flip side to this equation that is rarely mentioned: The military has for years been developing offensive capabilities, giving it the power not just to defend the US but to assail its foes. Using so-called cyber-kinetic attacks, Alexander and his forces now have the capability to physically destroy an adversary’s equipment and infrastructure, and potentially even to kill. Alexander—who declined to be interviewed for this article—has concluded that such cyberweapons are as crucial to 21st-century warfare as nuclear arms were in the 20th.

And he and his cyberwarriors have already launched their first attack. The cyberweapon that came to be known as Stuxnet was created and built by the NSA in partnership with the CIA and Israeli intelligence in the mid-2000s. The first known piece of malware designed to destroy physical equipment, Stuxnet was aimed at Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz. By surreptitiously taking control of an industrial control link known as a Scada (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, the sophisticated worm was able to damage about a thousand centrifuges used to enrich nuclear material.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Secret War (Original post)
unhappycamper Jun 2013 OP
Laelth Jun 2013 #1
Laelth Jun 2013 #2
reusrename Jun 2013 #9
Laelth Jun 2013 #10
reusrename Jun 2013 #12
Laelth Jun 2013 #3
zeemike Jun 2013 #7
Laelth Jun 2013 #8
Laelth Jun 2013 #4
rhett o rick Jun 2013 #5
Autumn Jun 2013 #6
Catherina Jun 2013 #11

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:03 AM

1. k&r for exposure. This is very important. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:20 AM

2. This is also very interesting.

Helping Alexander organize and dominate this new arena would be his fellow plebes from West Point’s class of 1974: David Petraeus, the CIA director; and Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Either Petraeus fell out of favor and Alexander neutralized him, or, one of Alexander's enemies took down Petraeus in order to weaken Alexander.

Very important stuff.

Did this essay get posted in GD? If not, it should have been so that it could be seen by a wider audience.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:37 PM

9. I'm pretty sure Petraeus was fired because of the war crimes.

 

Last edited Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:26 PM - Edit history (1)

The chronology is too precise for it to be anything else.

He was in charge of the drone program when the "double tap" drone strikes occurred.

These were the strikes that targeted emergency responders in violation of the First Geneva Convention. Any "grave breach" in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party is a war crime under US law.

The "double tap" strikes were made public about a month before Obama's re-election, Petraeus was asked to resign a couple of days after the vote. About a month later the UN announced the investigation into the attacks.

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Response to reusrename (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:39 PM

10. Interesting. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 08:25 PM

12. My first link should have been to this page:

 

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:30 AM

3. Interesting comment following the article.

Hoover got his power from the information he held on powerful people. Prism could have done the same for Alexander. If you tap into every data transmission in the US and store it, you will have dirt on everyone. Alexander could turn Obama into a puppet. And perhaps he did.


Nifty (if also horrifying) stuff. Highly recommended.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:42 AM

7. Which would explain a lot

Why Obama appointed the people he did and why he changed his tune after he took office...he may have had no choice.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:43 AM

8. Quite. This is no trivial matter. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 09:33 AM

4. Pure speculation on my part.

Alexander announced his intention to retire in 2014. Perhaps that gave someone the ability to launch a national discussion on this issue without fear of reprisal from Alexander. Or, perhaps, Alexander launched this national discussion in the hopes of reigning in his successor (whomever that may be) because Alexander rightly fears tyranny if the power he has at his disposal were to fall into less benign hands.

Very, very interesting.

-Laelth

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 10:31 AM

5. k&r thanks for posting.

 

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:05 AM

6. Recommended

thanks for this.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 06:26 PM

11. Thank you unhappycamper. n/t

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