Planet GOOG

Now Iran Expects Us to Believe They’re Creating an ‘Islamic Google Earth’

Right, sure.

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. Read More

SMDH

No Big Deal, Some Iranian Dude Just Says He Invented a Time Machine

Not even close! (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: When Google’s Eric Schmidt Discovers North Korea is Isolated Edition

PICEDITOR-SMH

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]

Cyber Nukes

Experts Think Muslim Cyber Fighter Attacks on U.S. Banks Were ‘Well-Funded’

This guy is everywhere now. (Image Devdsp on Flickr

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: Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Iran Possibly Behind ‘Operation Ababil’ Cyber Attacks Against Financial Institutions

Stuxnet's command and control. (Krebs On Security)

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: Read More

Cyber Nukes

Iranian Atomic Scientists Reportedly Being Assaulted With AC/DC

THUNDA STRUCK!

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:  Read More

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Cue the Conspiracy Theories: Parts of Flame Virus Are Nearly Identical to Stuxnet

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! Read More