WAR! in HYPERSPACE: The Cyber Jihad!
A day or so ago, a story came out and made the rounds on the INFOSEC-O-Sphere about the Hezbollah Cyber Army.
The story, which was cub titled “Iranian Terror” was titled ”Iranian Cyber-Jihadi Cells in America plot Destruction on the Net and in Reality”, which would get all our collective attentions right? The story goes on to tell about the newly formed Cyber Army that will be waging all out war on the US and others in “Hyperspace”.
Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly... This guy Abbasi is either trying to be clever, or, this is some bad translation. Sooo... Hyperspace it is! Well, I have a new tag line for him: “In hyperspace, no one can hear you giggle...”
(click image to enlarge)
At any rate, the whole idea of a Cyber Jihad or a Cyber Hezbollah is a notion that should not just be sloughed off as rhetoric. I do think that if the VEVAK are involved (and they would want a hand in this I am sure) they could in fact get some real talent and reign in the ranks to do some real damage down the road a piece I think.
So, while I may be a little tongue in cheek here at the start of this post, I want you all to consider our current threatscape (*cough* SCADA etc) and consider the amount of nuisance they could be if they made a concerted effort with the likes of the HCARMY.
So, yeah, this could be an interesting development and it is surely one to keep our eyes on collectively, but... Don’t exactly fear for your lives here ok? After all, my opinion still applies that the bugaboo of SCADA does not easily fit into the so called cyberwar unless it is effectively carried out with kinetic attacks and a lot of effort.
Nope, if the HCA is going to do anything at all, it will be on the playing field of the following special warfare fronts:
- DISINFORMATION (PSYOPS)
- Support of terrorism (Hezbullah and others)
- INTEL OPS
These are the primary things I can see their being good at or being pawns of the VEVAK for. So... Sleep well for now because really all you have to truly worry about is that they are going to deface your page it seems (click image to enlarge, and see picture at the top of this post):
More than anything else though at the moment, the whole revealing of the HCA is more a publicity stunt than much else I think. For all of the talk in the US and other countries about mounting their own “Cyber Militia’s” it seems that Iran and Hezbollah wanted to get in on the ground floor..
Oh... Wait... They forgot about the PLA and the Water Army! DOH!
Oh well, sorry guys… Guess you will have to keep playing on that whole “HYPERSPACE WAR” angle to get your headlines huh? Besides, really, how much street cred is an organization like this anyway? So far I have been poking around all of their sites and find nothing (links or files) that would he helpful in teaching their “army” how to hack.
My guess... This is kinda like putting out the inflatable tanks and planes for the Germans to bomb in place of the real ones (click image to enlarge):
Meanwhile, I have seen the story that I linked up top scrawled all over the digital wall that is Twitter these last couple days. I am sure with everything that has been going on in Iran of late (i.e. the tendency for their bases to explode lately as well as their pulling another takeover of a consulate as well as spy roll ups) the media is salivating on this story because its juicy.
It has it all really...
- Cyberwar (hate that term)
- BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA - We’re gonna activate our hackers inside your borders and attack your SCADA’s!
What’s the media not to love there?
(click image to enlarge)
Well, let me set you all straight. This is piffle. This is Iran posturing and the proof thus far has been they have defaced a couple of sites with their logo.
This group has not even reached Anonymous standards yet! So relax... Sit back... Watch the show. I am sure it will quickly devolve into an episode of the keystone cops really. They will make more propaganda videos for their YouTube, create a new Twitter account, and post more of their escapades on their two Facebook pages to let us all know when they have defaced another page!
...Because no one will notice unless they let us know...
Just The Persian Facts Ma’am
The real aegis here seems to be shown within the “about” statement for the group. Their primary goals seem to be to attack everyone who does not believe in their moral and religious doctrine. A translation of the statement rattles on about how the West are all foul non believers and that we are “pompous”, which really, kinda makes me think that the Iranian people, or at least this particular group, has a real inferiority complex going.
More so though, it seems from the statement that they intend more of a propaganda and moral war against the west and anyone else they see fit than any kind of real threatening militant movement. You know... Like AQAP or AQ proper... Or Jamaa Islamiya.
This is an ideological war and a weak rallying cry by a group funded by a government in its waning years trying to hold on to the digital snake that they cannot control forever. Frankly, I think that they are just going to run around defacing sites, claiming small victories, and trying to win over the real hackers within their country to their side of the issue.
Which... Well, I don’t think will play well. You see, for the most part, the younger set who know how to hack, already bypass the governments machinations and are a fair bit more cosmopolitan. Sorry Mamhoud, but the digital cat is already out of the bag and your recognition of this is too late. How long til the Arab Spring reaches into the heart of Tehran and all those would be hackers decide to work against you and your moral jihad?
Be afraid Mamhoud... Khomeini... All you really have is control temporarily... You just have yet to realize it.
Tensions In The Region: Spooks & The Holiday Known as KABOOM
Now, back to the region and its current travails. I can see why this group was formed and rolled out in IRNA etc. Seems to me even with the roll up of the CIA operations there in Iran you guys still are being besot with problems that tend to explode.
- Wayward Trojan drones filled with plastique
- Nuclear scientists who are either being blown up or shot in the streets
- Nuclear facilities becoming riddled with malware that eats your centrifuges.
You guys have it tough right now. Let me clue you guys in on something… If you weren’t such a repressive and malignant regime, we might work with you on your nuclear programs to power your country.
But, unfortunately, you guys are NUTS! So, we keep having to blow your plans to hell (we as in the rest of the world other than say North Korea that is) because we are all concerned you just want a bomb. Why do you want that bomb? So you can lord it over the rest of us and use it as a cudgel to dismantle Israel say... Or maybe to just out and out lob it over the border. You are untrustworthy.
Oh well... Yes we all have played games there and I agree some frak was bad. The whole Shah thing... Our bad... Get over it. I suspect that the reason why all of these bad things are happening to you now though sits in the PDB on the presidents desk or maybe in a secret IAEA report that says you guys are close to having a nuclear device.
You keep claiming that you are just looking to use nuclear power peacefully… But then you let Mamhoud open his mouth again and crap just comes right out. Until you guys at least try to work with others and not repress your people as much... Expect more KABOOM.
What You Should Really Worry About From All of This
My real fear though in all of this hoo ha out of the HCA is that VEVAK and Hezbullah will see fit to work with the other terrorist groups out there to make a reality of this whole “Cyber Jihad” thing. One of these factors might in fact be the embracing of AQ a bit more and egging them on in their own cyber jihad.
So far the AQ kids have been behind on this but if you give them ideas AND support, then we have a problem I think. The ideal of hit and run terror attacks on infrastructure that the government and those in the INFOSEC community who have been wringing their hands over might come to pass.
If the propaganda war heats up and gains traction, this could embolden others and with the support of Hezbollah (Iran) they could “try” to make another Anonymous style movement. Albeit I don’t think that they will be motivated as much by the moral and religious aspects that HCA puts out there as dictum. Maybe though, they will have the gravitational force enough to spin all of this off into the other jihadist movements.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”
If the HCA does pull off any real hacks though (say on infrastructure) then indeed they will get the attention they seek and more than likely give the idea to other movements out there to do the same.
AND that is what worries me.
Cinch Up That Seatbelt... It’s Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride
Finally, I think that things are just getting started in Iran and its about to get interesting. With all of the operations that seem to be going on in spook world (please don’t use PIZZA as a code word again mmkay?) and the Israeli’s feeling pressured by Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and rhetoric, I suspect something is about to give way.
Add to this the chicken-hawks who want to be president (Herman I wanna touch your monkey) Caine and the others who have so recently been posturing like prima donna models on a runway over Iran and we have a disaster to come.
Oh... and Bachmann.. *Shudder* Please remove her from the Intelligence committee!! That whole Pakistani nuclear AQ attacks thing was sooo not right!
PSSSSST BACHMANN they’re called SECRETS! (or, for your impaired and illiterate self SEKRETS) STFU ok?
OH... Too late, now NATO is attacking into Pakistan...
It looks to me like the whole middle east is about to erupt like a pregnant festering boil and we are the nurse with the needs who has to pop it and duck.
So... Uh yeah, sorry, got carried away there… I guess the take away is this; When you look at all the other stuff going on there, this alleged cyber army is laughable.
Yuk yuk yuk... You’re killin' me Ahmed!
Cross-posted from Krypt3ia