ISIS and the 13th Anniversary of 9/11: Should We Really Be Concerned?
Facebook’s outage today put hundreds of millions of users without their favorite platform to communicate with one another. Although Facebook has not publicly addressed the reason for this outage, the real possibility is the organization has been hacked. Add this possible hack to the ISIS threat against the United States on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and we could be in store of another possible catastrophic attack. To further back this notion, there is now reports of Jihadists who have possibly hijacked and in the possession of 11 aircraft in Libya.
The following are a list of Hacks to get an idea of how much of a threat it is and poses:
- 1980s Markus Hess hacks hundreds of US military computers
- 1988 Robert Morris hacks the internet
- 1995 Vladimir Levin hacks Citibank
- 1999 Jonathon James hacks NASA
- 2002 Adrian Lamo hacks the New York Times
- 2011 Anonymous hacks HB Gary
- 2013 Target Credit Cards and Customer Info Hacked
I realize these hacks may or may not pose a huge threat for us as emergency management coordinators (compared to other threats which exist) for possible future attacks by terrorist groups, but I have some food for thought:
How do we coordinate for emergency responses? We do this using technology. Is there any terrorist who does not know this? Is there any terrorist who does not study how we respond and coordinate? Terrorist’s tactics use fear and disruption to spread their hate. So, I would say that if I were a terrorist and wanted to accomplish my goals, I would take out the lines of communication that I know about (internet, RF means, etc.) and then attack (NBC or otherwise). This would be the ultimate in mayhem and chaos which could be produced and with the follow on attack, cause the deaths which would give them even more satisfaction.
Here is my conspiracy theory:
There is a general progression towards being able to hack the United States for a possible attack. The Hacking will cripple our ability to communicate and a follow on series of coordinated attacks will occur in the forms of IEDs, some type of biological/chemical warfare, and possibly aircraft style attacks similar to 9/11.
Look at the series of hacks which lead me to this conclusion:
- 2011 Lulzsec hacks Sony and of course, this happened to SONY just days ago. Why this matters? As there are literally millions of users who interface and communicate with one another using this platform, if this platform was illuminated, this would prevent communications between millions (mainly the youth).
- 2013 Fake Tweet on ‘Obama, Explosions’ which resulted in the DOW dropping 140 points, and the S&P loss of $136.5 billion. Why this matters? The result of this shows terrorists, that if the proper tweets were distributed, the financial loss which could occur could cripple the nation if done properly.
- 2013 Nearly 2 Million Online Accounts Hacked (Google, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook). Why this matters? Well, this is pretty obvious, these are the major means of internet usages by users as a whole. If these accounts can and were hacked, imagine what were to happen if this Pony malware was distributed to an even larger crowd before an attack?
- 2013 Spam Haus Attacks (Geneva, London, Europe). The result was the global internet usage slowed because at the peak of the attack, data requests were around 300 Gbps. Why this matters? One, the internet could be slowed to a crawl if not crippled at least long enough for an effective attack which resulted in diminished communications, via the internet. Two, this would diminish communications between the US and its allies if that type of separation was sought by these terrorists for this attack.
- 2013/2014 Snapchat Hacked. This showed the vulnerability in the App. Why this matters? Not only is this a huge platform to send quick messages and pictures, this concept was observed and could possibly be used on other platforms if similar flaws could be found.
- 2014 Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Skype’s Platforms. Skype’s social media platforms such as its Twitter account and Skype’s official blog were hacked on January 1st by a group called Syrian Electronic Army or SEA. SEA also posted a message asking users not to use email services of Microsoft which owns Skype as “they are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.” Why this matters? One, it is Syria and we have serious conflicts with them. Two this was the same group who was responsible for the Hack (2 above) against Obama. Three, this group seems to be trying to do more than simply hack; they seem to be hacking for a purpose and are methodical with their timing, so as to not attract too much attention to their actual intentions. Lastly, because of the combinations of one, two, and three, this group poses are serious threat for the possibilities of what is to come.
- 2014 Facebook????? Possibly a test run to an attack which will be conducted soon.
As we know, the IED threat was/is responsible for the most US and Coalition force’s deaths between the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. This is a simple and effective choice by terrorists who pose the threat to the United States. I believe it is only a matter of time before this technique is brought to the States and used effectively in coordinated attacks. We know there is a current threat posed by ISIS of a possible VBIED attack which will come from south of the border (possibly to El Paso, Texas). Combine the cyber threat to knock out communications along with combination of IED attacks and chemical/biological warfare capabilities, and this is a real threat. Something which I did not add, because it was not a “hack”, was the power outage of 2011 which effected millions without power across several Western States. Lessons could, and I believe were, learned by terrorists in order to also take out “normal” means of communications (911, RF, etc.). Lastly, the threat of 11 possible aircraft in the possession of terrorists in
Libya (the same location which ISIS has fractions), and may be another factor in this possible coordinated attack upcoming.
Kevin Bernard | News Cult