Monday, November 19, 2012

"Anonymous" cyber attacks Israel

CNET: Anonymous' hacking campaign against Israel to protest its attacks on Gaza escalated today with the release of a list of thousands of individuals who supposedly donated to a pro-Israel organization.

The collective posted a Pastebin document that it said featured names -- and in some cases home addresses and e-mail addresses -- of donors for the Unity Coalition for Israel, which claims to represent "the largest network of pro-Israel groups in the world." The document appears to be quite old: one of the military e-mail addresses belonged to Douglas Feith, the U.S. undersecretary for defense under Bush, who left that job in 2005.

A second document, allegedly also extracted from the coalition, appears to be an e-mail announcement list. It includes e-mail addresses from officials in the White House, Senate, and the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, as well as many news organizations.

The Unity Coalition for Israel did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET.

Anonymous' latest attempts to take Israeli Web sites offline or deface them, called OpIsrael,started last week and resulted in temporary outages or spotty connections to the Bank of Jerusalem, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and many other Web sites. A list shows more than 600 Web sites have been attacked.

One Anonymous Twitter account reported this morning that Israeli Bing, MSN, Skype, Live and other sites were "defaced by Pakistani hackers." A Microsoft spokesman told CNN that: "Microsoft is aware of the site defacements and working to get all sites fully functional We have seen no evidence to suggest the compromise of customer information but will take action to help protect customers as necessary."

A statement from Anonymous says "when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza, they crossed a line in the sand." CBS News reported today that Israel's attacks on the homes of Hamas activists "have led to a sharp spike in civilian casualties, killing 24 civilians in just under two days and doubling the number of civilians killed in the conflict," according to a Gaza health official.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz downplayed the denial-of-service attacks in an interview with Reuters yesterday, saying only one unnamed site was actually hit by a successful intrusion. "The ministry's computer division will continue to block the millions of cyber attacks," Steinitz said. "We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerized defense systems."

F-22s take back to skies after Tyndall crash

The 325th Fighter Wing resumed normal flight operations today as the Wing Commander, Col. David Graff, flew one of the first F-22 Raptor missions this morning at approximately 7:45 a.m.
The colonel stood the wing flying operations down following Thursday’s F-22 crash on Tyndall Air Force Base.
A total of eight F-22 aircraft completed training missions this morning, and six others are scheduled to fly this afternoon.
“I have complete confidence in the F-22 and its reliability. We will continue to accomplish our mission while the Safety Investigation Board searches for the cause of last week’s accident,” said Colonel Graff.
Immediately following the crash, an interim safety investigation board was established with local members, tasked with securing the scene and preserving all evidence. The official SIB composed of specially trained members from different military installations arrived this weekend and has taken charge of the investigation.
Safety Investigation Board results are never released to the public, but are conducted to prevent future mishaps. Safety investigations of weapons systems such as aircraft, missiles and space platforms also assess possible force-wide implications on the combat readiness of these systems.
An Accident Investigation Board will convene following the SIB. The purpose of this board is to provide a publicly-releasable report of the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident to include a statement of opinion on the cause or causes of the accident. No timetable for the completion of either the SIB or AIB is known at this time.
The F-22 performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing for full realization of operational concepts vital to the defense of the nation. The $143-million jet is designed to project air dominance rapidly and to defeat threats to national security and safety.

LINK: High resolution photo of the Tyndall F-22 crash site

Petraeus contradicts Obama on Benghazi ...

THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE: The CIA knew terrorists attacked the U.S. embassy in Benghazi despite Obama administration claims it was not, former CIA Director David Petraeus said during closed-door testimony before a House investigating committee last week.
The testimony Petraeus gave directly contradicts the line given by the Obama administration – and one Petraeus himself repeated – that the attack was sparked by a spontaneous Muslim protest over a YouTube video mocking the Prophet Mohammed that spun out of control.
Behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, now-civilian Petraeus stressed to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that he always felt it was a terrorist attack, and that Al Queda related groups may have had a hand in it. But he also said that was unclear until key information, such as live security camera footage, came to the CIA over the days following the attack.
That information showed there was no demonstration and it was clearly a terrorist attack from the beginning to the end.
The initial story of a protest spun out of control unraveled shortly after the Obama administration launched a media offensive to establish that narrative. When it was revealed terrorist group Al Queada planned the assault to coincide with the anniversary of September 11, 2001, the CIA was blamed for refusing aid to the besieged embassy. The spy agency denied the charges, directly contradicting the White House. 
Two of the Americans killed during the attack were later revealed to be CIA agents, as were a large number of Americans on the ground at the site.
Congressional hearings in October revealed that not only was the State Department aware of several requests for increased security in Benghazi, the department rejected them.
The meeting did nothing to settle the argument on whether there was enough security at the consulate, or if the attack was actually preventable.
That debate divided along partisan lines during last week’s hearing, with Republicans arguing there was not enough security, and Democrats insisting the situation was too unclear to determine proper levels of security.
Petraeus also told lawmakers that in his initial report, he declared there was “al Qaeda involvement.” But that reference was stripped from his agency’s original talking points.
White House national security council spokesman Ben Rhodes denied on Saturday the administration made any changes to the intelligence, reports the Washington Times, suggesting instead that the CIA itself altered the documents.
Other than changing change the word “consulate” to “diplomatic facility,” the White House “worked off of the [talking] points that were provided by the intelligence community,” Rhodes said. “So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made within the intelligence community. I can’t speak to what the process is within the CIA.”
The issue of who changed the memo became a main issue following Petraeus’ testimony, with top Republican lawmakers taking to the Sunday morning talk shows to make their case, reports the Washington Times.
Michigan Republican Congressman Mike Rogers blamed the White House’s National Security Council Deputies Committee for altering an unclassifed summary of what U.S intelligence knew of the attack.
Speaking on Meet the Press, Congressman Rogers said that the flow of information went from the CIA to the Committee, which is “populated by appointees from the [Obama] administration.” It was there that the story changed from on of a terrorist attack to a protest that spun out of control, which U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan E. Rice repeated over the following week.
“The narrative was wrong, and the intelligence was right,” Congressman Rogers said.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, blamed the changes on the National Security Council.
Ranking Democrats disputed Republican claims. California Senator Diane Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Rep. Rogers’ claim that the White House changed the narrative “false,” adding it was still unclear who changed the “talking points.”
She added that intelligence officials told her committee that the talking points were changed because it was not clear which groups had been involved in the consulate attack.
“The answer given to us is [U.S. intelligence agencies] didn’t want to name a group until [they] had some certainty,” the senator said.
According to intelligence officials, the talking-points changes removed the names of two extremist groups suspected in the attack — the Libyan Ansar al-Shariah militia and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the terrorist network’s affiliate in North Africa.
An intelligence official told The Washington Times that the changes also were intended to protect intelligence sources, because evidence of the groups’ involvement came from highly classified electronic surveillance methods.


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