The NSA is trying to spread FUD about Anonymous to cover holes in US Infrastructure Security

Written by  Tuesday, 21 February 2012 11:50 Published in Editorials

anonymousThe National Security Agency has just released a report to the powers that be in the US that expresses concern that the online activist group Anonymous could go after the US power grid in the next 3-5 years (we told you things like this would happen). This report was put together by their counter terrorism group and while it lacked any details in the body of the report (like the axis for attack) and forgot to mention there are other people out there that would like to do this (like foreign countries and real Terrorists) it does raise some real concerns.

The problem is that they decided to focus their repot on Anonymous. This sad attempt at fear mongering is one of the problems that exist in the US today. Instead of going in and saying: “there is a growing problem with our infrastructure that makes it really vulnerable” they chose to point the finger at Anonymous.

There is a real problem with the security of SCADA devices (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). We have reported on that issue multiple times (Here and Here). These issues leave some of the control units open to attack (as they are not secure at all and should never be on the internet like they are). Once the control units are compromised it is possible to cause damage to subsystems by continually cycling motors or switches on and off.

Now here comes the amazing leap of intellect that some government officials are capable of. The initial discovery of this flaw came at the BlackHat Convention in August of 2011. It would seem that someone thought they could link Anonymous with the popular security convention. Never mind the fact that BlackHat is all about identifying security issues, bringing them to the attention of other security experts and then finding and fix for them.  

However, in order to bring more negative attention to Anonymous they went after them instead. Anonymous must be really putting the pressure on the corporate world to get the attention of the NSA like this. Especially considering how the collective has repeatedly stated their targets are corporations and government bodies like the CIA, FTC, etc. They have not once claimed that pulling the plug on power or other critical infrastructure services was their goal.

In fact looking at tweets on YourAnonNews they are laughing at the thought of that. One tweet says ;
“Why would Anons shut off a power grid? There are ppl on life support / other vital services that rely on it. Try again NSA. #FearMongering”
While a more recent tweet says;
“NSA head engages in alarmist rhetoric & fear-mongering. Why would Anons take out power grids when lives depend on them?”

The fact of the matter is that if Anonymous were to do this it would kill everything they have tried to do. Just look at the reaction that the release of private citizen’s data caused within the group when one small faction decided to endanger the lives of informants and the families of police officers. This move seems to be nothing more than an attempt to discredit the group in the public’s eye and ignores the real problem if the actual security issues at hand. Yes Anonymous is a dangerous organization and they can do some real harm if they wanted to, but to lay this one at their feet is just plain ridiculous and makes the government agencies responsible look afraid and incompetent. On the other hand, bringing Anonymous into this could be the only way they saw to make legislators afraid and willing to do something about it, however if that is the case it is even more sad than an attempt to make the general public afriad of this type of attack from Anonymous...

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Read 7634 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 21:20