Iran is on a technological roll this week. First a scientist announced that he’d invented a time machine (never mind that it was more like a 12-year-old girl’s paper fortune teller). Now comes the news that the country is working on its very own “Islamic Google Earth.” It’ll be called Basir, Farsi for “spectator,” and it’s scheduled to debut in four months.
And no, it’s definitely not just a sticker on a piece of glass, either. That would be silly.
Tsk, tsk: Doesn’t anyone have any respect for basic science fictional concepts any more? The Telegraph reports that a scientist in Iran has registered something he calls ”The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine.” But before everyone gets super psyched about watching Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence, the description of the device suggests it’s been woefully misnamed.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to open Internet access to its citizens, or doom them to a state of virtual isolation. Which, if we understand Mr. Schmidt correctly, he thinks will be far more insidious than the actual isolation North Koreans are currently experiencing. [AP]
North Korea’s official Twitter account only follows three, and only three, other accounts. One belongs to Jimmy Dushku, a 25-year-old investor who’s been to almost 60 Coldplay concerts and counts The Fast and the Furious as his favorite movie. What? [Mother Jones]
They’re not saying how they know, exactly, but U.S. officials are convinced that the cyberattacks on the consumer-facing websites of American banks are the work of the Iranian government. [NYT]
Soon you will buy prepaid iPhones at Walmart. Sounds like another season of The Wire is in order. [PRNewswire]
Not to put a timetable on anything, but Digg figures its content discovery app is about one percent done. Which is as fine a time as any to talk about monetization. [Digg]
Analysis of the DDoS tools used in cyber attacks on American banks by religiously-motivated hackers Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters indicates a “well-funded” effort, according to security experts.
As reported by CSO Online, analysts at security firm Prolexic Technologies were able to identify the DDoS toolkit “itsoknoproblembro” as the software behind attacks against Bank of America, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC.
It may have a hilarious name, but “itsoknoproblembro” is serious business:
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Cyber attackers who went after Chase and Bank of America with Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the banks’ websites may have been working for Iran.
A report from the Washington Post cites several officials who have made this claim, including Senator Joseph Lieberman, the chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Post reports that in an interview with C-SPAN, Sen. Lieberman disputed the idea the attackers were independent hacktivists outraged by a controversial anti-Muslim film:
Looks like the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz is, at the very least, 0 for 2 against cyber attacks. First came Stuxnet, which wreaked havoc with the equipment used to purify uranium. And now–at least, if a recent report (via VentureBeat) is true–they are dealing with a malware infestation involving sudden, late-night AC/DC.
F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen received the following email from someone who claimed to be an Iranian nuclear scientist:
When Hackers Attack
Remember last summer, when all anyone could talk about was hacktivists? For a while there, we were living in a William Gibson novel, with hackers wreaking havoc and corporate types running scared. Well, so far, this June is shaping up a little differently, with a wave of state-sponsored attacks straight Read More
Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever
It’s going to be even harder for President Obama to distance himself from Stuxnet now. As Reuters reports, Kaspersky Lab, a leading computer security firm in Moscow, has discovered that portions of code in the newer Flame virus are “nearly identical” to code in Stuxnet, the cyber weapon reportedly used by the United States and Israel to disrupt Iran’s nuclear initiatives.
This new discovery is likely to fuel theories from security experts that Stuxnet was part of an American-led cyber program “that is still active in the Middle East and perhaps other parts of the world,” says Reuters. Not the best way to win those hearts and minds!
Gather ’round, readers, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for a cyberwar spy thriller, courtesy of the New York Times. The paper of record has an excerpt of a new book that offers a thorough history of the top-secret origins of the Stuxnet worm, and it is a corker.
So: Stuxnet, rather than a lone experiment, is actually part of a larger program designed to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear work. Dubbed “Olympic Games,” work began under George W. Bush and continued under Barack Obama, in partnership with Israel. President Obama not only signed off on the program, but ramped it up. It wasn’t supposed to escape Iran’s nuclear facilities at Natanz, but escape it did, apparently as the result of some “programming error.”
We’ve seen enough a) virus-infected laptops and b) zombie movies that we could’ve told the president that would happen.
You guys, didn’t anyone tell Iran we’re not doing Internet April Fools Day anymore? Apparently not, because a fake interview with the country’s communications minister has everyone convinced they’re straight-up banning the internet.
An International Business Times piece is currently racing around the internet, giving everyone the impression that Iran is Read More