Unnatural Disasters


Natural disasters. 

Theses last weeks, they have certainly filled the news… Harvey, Houston, Mexico, hurricanes and earthquake… Irma.

Each reminds us of our fragile social and economic existence.

Thin threads of wire…  when interrupted, our electronics and the routines we survive upon are gone.

There are other types of disasters, created in the darkest minds and hearts.

Hacking…

Recent news has told of electoral storms whipped up by Russian hackers who used hacking and fake social media to slant the US Presidential election.

What is our security.

This question leads to answers that are creepy.

wall street journal

Would you buy hurricane insurance from this Russian businessman?  Maybe not, but something far more crucial to your security has been purchased on your behalf.

Russian hacking has become part of the fabric in the American way of life.

The New York Times article “Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known” (1) shows just one instance of the risks America faces from Russian hacking.

Excerpts from the article: The article outlines how problems in electronic poll books that verify voters’ identities arose after the company that provided the software, had been penetrated by Russian hackers.

There is evidence that at least 21 state election systems were targeted by Russian hackers and that hacking of electoral systems was more extensive than previously disclosed.

Details of the breach emerged in a classified National Security Agency report showing that hackers from Russia’s military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., had penetrated the US voting computer systems as early as August 2016.

What can we do?

Install cyber security…

Right?

Take that thought and throw in another New York Times article “The Russian Company That Is a Danger to Our Security.”

Horror!

The article says:  The Kremlin hacked our presidential election, is waging a cyberwar against our NATO allies and is probing opportunities to use similar tactics against democracies worldwide. Why then are federal agencies, local and state governments and millions of Americans unwittingly inviting this threat into their cyber networks and secure spaces?

It explains that Kaspersky Lab software is readily available at big-box American retailers and that the company provides security services to major government agencies, including the Department of State, the National Institutes of Health and, reportedly, the Department of Defense.

Kaspersky Lab works with Russia’s Federal Security Service and top US intelligence officials are not comfortable with Kaspersky Lab software on their agencies’ computers.

He vehemently dismisses concerns that his company assists Russia’s intelligence agencies with cyberespionage and claims that he is the target of Cold War-style conspiracy theories. But

Bloomberg recently reported on emails from October 2009 in which Mr. Kaspersky directs his staff to work on a secret project “per a big request on the Lubyanka side,” a reference to the F.S.B.’s Moscow offices.  Last year the company launched a proprietary operating system designed for electrical grids, pipelines, telecommunications networks and other critical infrastructure.  The Defense Intelligence Agency recently warned American companies that this software could enable Russian government hackers to shut down critical systems.

Involving Russia in America’s cyber security is just one of our many security problems as a Reuters article “Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets” reveals.

After discovering China-made components in the F-35 fighter jet, a Pentagon investigation has uncovered Chinese materials in other major U.S. weaponry, including Boeing Co’s B-1B bomber and certain Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters, the U.S. Defense Department said.

Titanium mined in China may also have been used to build part of a new Standard Missile-3 IIA being developed jointly by Raytheon Co and Japan, said a senior U.S. defense official, who said the incidents raised fresh concerns about lax controls by U.S. contractors.

U.S. law bans weapons makers from using raw materials from China and a number of other countries, amid concerns that reliance on foreign suppliers could leave the U.S. military vulnerable in some future conflict.

We live in a global economy, connected by thin threads of wire that bring us the best from everywhere…

These worst can also bring the worst.

Natural disasters are random but can clip our strands of existence easily enough.  At least they are arbitary and can let us get out of the way.

Human disasters can create even more damage…

They can shut down our avenues of escape and be directed directly at us.

Gary

(1) www.nytimes.com:  Politics Russia election hacking

(2)  www.nytimes.com: Kapersky Russia cybersecurity

(3) www.reuters.com: Exclusive Chinese raw materials found in US bombers and F-16 jets


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