Cybersecurity

Hackers Installed Sophisticated Malware on U.S. Computers. Why Doesn't Anyone Care?

The worm was designed to gather intelligence on the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks.

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@sage_solar/Flickr

For years, cybersecurity hawks have painted grim pictures of a "cyber Pearl Harbor," when sophisticated hackers will be able to infiltrate and commandeer critical U.S. networks to wreak whatever havoc they choose. Yet for some reason, when the most advanced cyber-espionage malware known was discovered on American systems, the usually indefatigable "tough on cyberterror" crowd was quiet.

The malware was made public in June, when Russian software security firm Kaspersky Lab rocked the information-security community by revealing that a powerful computer worm—similar to the 2010 Stuxnet virus—had been unleashed on computers in America and around the world roughly one year prior. The new malware, called "Duqu 2" for its apparent succession to 2011's Duqu worm, alarmed info-security professionals with both its unprecedented strength and audacious targets. For months, attackers deployed frighteningly sophisticated espionage technology to secretly spy on all sorts of parties involved (however tenuously) in the ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations, including government leaders, telecommunication and electrical-equipment companies, and impartial researchers.

Worms like Stuxnet and Duqu are worlds away from the run-of-the-mill "script kiddie" hacks that take Xbox Live offline or deface the USCENTCOM Twitter account. When executed, this elite class of malware allows external entities to expertly enter almost every cranny of even the best-protected networks, capture stored data and live keystrokes, and even assume control of large-scale industrial targets like nuclear reactors, power plants, and air traffic control systems—often leaving virtually no trace of invasion for months. In other words, Stuxnet-like infections provide the technical means to wreak exactly the kinds of "planes falling out of the sky" doomsday scenarios so beloved by cyber-fearmongers.

While Duqu 2 is built from large portions of the Stuxnet code, the worms are intended for separate missions. Stuxnet, widely believed to be a joint effort between the U.S. and Israel, was developed to infiltrate and remotely shut down Iran's uranium enrichment facilities—a mission that ultimately failed. Still, the remote access and control capabilities Stuxnet pioneered to launch industrial-scale attacks on infrastructure computer systems introduced dark new possibilities for the future of cyberwar.

The Duqu family of attacks, on the other hand, optimizes certain Stuxnet methods to focus on snooping instead of hijacking. The Duqu developers were also interested in Iran, but had no aspiration to sabotage physical factories from within their own networks. Rather, Duqu 2 was designed to gather intelligence on participants to the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks.

Duqu 2 is noteworthy for the unparalleled number of victims it intentionally infected, having compromised computer systems owned or used by Western heads of state, European telecommunications providers, American corporations, and Kaspersky Labs itself. During that time, hackers could freely explore comprised systems for a pervasive surveillance operation on the multilateral nuclear negotiations. Yet the scant and nonactionable details gleaned from this paranoid bugging scheme are surely not worth the tremendous geopolitical cost that comes with it. By targeting a trusted security research center and U.S. computer systems, the Duqu 2 attackers have dangerously crossed an unspoken barrier preventing an all-out global cyber war. 

The choice to attack Kaspersky reveals some things about the Duqu developers. For one thing, they're assholes. As founder Eugene Kaspersky explained on the morning of his company's announcement, security firms like Kaspersky or U.S.-based Symantec are a little bit like medics on the battlefield—whatever the international grudges or corporate chicanery that may motivate malicious online behavior, all groups benefit from the work these firms do to make the Internet more predictable and secure. Hackers of all hats have historically maintained a sort of gentleman's agreement against directly targeting such entities. We see no such honor, but rather an abundance of chutzpah, from the Duqu hackers. Whether they were gripped by a delusional obsession to leave even the most tenuously-related stones unturned or merely competitive jerks desperate to hack into one of the world's most secure systems to prove they could, the Duqu hackers have made it clear that they don't care how many peace-keeping conventions they have to step on in the process.

Targeting American systems is similarly bold. Our world dominance might not be what it used to, but we still have big guns and the world's technology capitol. As far as our intelligence community is concerned, we're the guys who deploy the insane cyberattacks, not the ones targeted. Indeed, the National Security Agency's (NSA) elite "Equation Group" of cyber-espionage developers has been infecting computers around the world, including some within U.S. borders, with similarly-sophisticated malware since 2001.

Because the Equation Group targeted many of the same marks as the Duqu group, it is unlikely that Duqu 2 was the work of the U.S. Which brings us to the awkward elephant lingering about: most people in the intelligence and security communities agree that Duqu 2 was either directly developed or at least indirectly financed by Israel, despite Israel denying culpability.

This tricky geopolitical quandary may explain some of the dulled response to Duqu 2 from Washington. When the latest Seth Rogen romp was allegedly leaked online by hermit programmers in North Korea, everyone in the District ran around like chickens with their feathers on fire clucking about cyberwar and the best form of retaliation. Now that an enormously more destructive technology has been deployed against the U.S. and major European powers, we haven't heard one peep. The bizarre mismatch between the level of political hysteria surrounding each incident and the underlying risk profile of each is a good reminder how power, not reason, drives policy.  

NEXT: Could King v. Burwell spell bad news for the EPA?

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  1. “Why Doesn’t Anyone Care?”

    Simple; the vast majority have next to no idea how computers and their networks work, and most of the rest are only slightly better informed (full disclosure; I am part of the “only slightly better” group, and I’ve been mucking about with the things since the purchase of an Apple II). Many draw their conclusions about hacking and malware from films, which have been oversimplifying and exaggerating both for a long time. They BELIEVE the basic premise of WARGAMES, but know that that was a “long time” ago (which it was, in Computer years) and figure that if nothing catastrophic has happened yet, it probably won’t.

    1. I admit I’m one of the “no idea how shit works” brigade. I know a little, but really it’s just enough to render my own equipment useless to me.

      I view things like this, including the breach at OPM, in a similar way as natural disasters. I can’t do anything about it, really, so all I can do is pre-emptive damage control. That’s not to say that I don’t care; I just don’t know *what* to do about it.

      And that’s the shitty part. As soon as more people care, the demand to “do something” will grow and then we’ll end up with stronger rhetoric in support of internet controls in the name of safety.

    2. I too, have been mucking around since the Apple II.
      There are two fundamentally opposed ways to look at information systems.
      The first extends the traditional view inherited from the day’s of paper, that information is valuable, and therefore you should gather as much as you can and hoard it.
      The second view is that information wants to be free; that, in the way water will always go downhill, so too, information will eventually find a way out.
      The ramifications of the second view are vast, and carry the potential to completely change every aspect of society. I’m sure someone can recommend a book or two?
      It’s an interesting question though: If the government has information, shouldn’t all citizens have access to that information?

      1. I cant find who first said it, but I prefer “Information wants to be $5.99”

        1. And freedom costs a buck-o-five.

          I can’t find it as a quote on Google, so maybe it was you. Or Amazon when they started selling ebooks.

          1. I think it was about the WikiLeaks app.
            “Information wants to be free, but the app costs $1.99”

            1. It was from the 90s.

              1. So, prehistoric and thus un-Googleable.

                1. I may have an old copy of Ask Jeeves lying around somewhere, maybe I could ask Jeeves.

                  1. Is that on your Prodigy account?

                  2. A copy of Ask Jeeves? I only know of the Web meta-search engine, ask.com . Was there also a local-based database or program?

              2. It was in the era when there was a lot of discussion of The Cathedral and The Bazarre.

                1. Bazaar.

                  And that was published in 1999.

                2. I want that sophisticated back then, I was just starting to read Kurzwell and Hughes.
                  I just googled it, is it worth reading? Outdated?

                  1. The original essay is from 1997. It is available around the internet. I havent read it in maybe 15 years.

                    1. I found an open license copy here . It is old, but I became interested by the beginning, and think I’ll read it. Thanks.

    3. Yeah, I have a pretty good high-level understanding of how it all works (hardware, software, networks, internet). Definately would like to have a more detailed understanding of it all particularly cyber-security, encryption, etc.

  2. I’m 70 years old and have been living with the threat of nuclear annihilation my entire life. Why would a few gigabytes of software code bother me?

    1. Because it will zero out your Social Security account.

      1. So, it will improve my SocSec account balance?

      2. Luckily, his account is the general fund, which appears to be bottomless.

        1. Debt can mimic prosperity until the bill comes due.

  3. Operating systems, software, and communication infrastructure are so complex and full of security holes that cyber attacks will be impossible to prevent until there is a bottom up redesign and new implementation of pretty much everything digital.

    1. Pfft.

      Nothing will be secure until we have a department of homeland cybersecurity. Preferably several. One as its own agency, on inside the Air Force, and one inside the Dept of Homeland ‘Security’.

      Then we’ll be triply safe.

      1. I did forget to mention that the new systems need back doors for the government to use keeping us safe.

      2. And then we’ll be able to put cybercriminals on double secret probation!

    2. The only way to completely secure a computer system is to cut it off from all networks and put it inside a Faraday cage. If a computer is connected to the Internet there is usually a way to hack into it. Nothing not even encryption can guarantee a computer won’t be hacked if is hooked up to the Internet.

      1. But then the computer system will be used by Fred, who just wants to listen to some new music while he works, which he’s brought in on a USB thumb drive that he found on the sidewalk in front of his house, and which seems to work fine….

        1. I got an answer for both of you.

          1. It will need to be made illegal to keep a computer off of a government monitored network.

          After all, how can our selfless heroes at the Department of Homeland Cyber-Security monitor your computer for safety if its not networked?

          2. We make it illegal to use unsecure data transfer equipment on a computing device.

          Make it a strict liability *federal* crime.

          With those two laws in place, we’ll have perfect security, I’m sure of it.

          1. What could possibly go wrong? DHCS just has to avoid hiring people named Fred.

        2. Fred is the reason I can’t bring my phone to my office. Fuck Fred.

          1. Fred’s not here, man.

            1. +1 Giant Blunt

  4. Discussing things like this undermines the notion of a competent state. And, in reality, I’m willing to bet our intelligence apparatus has some pretty damn capable and intelligent individuals working in its cyber divisions. The problem is that, sort of like planning an economy and predicting the future, there is only so much you can know or do to stop it. Such a thought is scary where as mocking Sony for getting hacked by North Koreans is just entertainment. Plus, our government to go use that to rhetorically attack North Korea which always sells with the electorate. Probably boosted Obama’s approval rating a full percentage point with all that tough talk of consequences.

    At the risk of sounding like Sheldon for a moment, maybe people should question whether the government really has the right to develop these sorts of tools. Maybe they should spend more time working on their defense. We most likely gave this technology to Israel in the first place (another bad move) so we could fuck with the Iranians. I bet Obama would have had a press conference had Stuxnet succeeded where he would have rubbed Republican noses in how much smarter he was than them for getting rid of the Iranian nukes without dropping bombs.

    Leftists don’t trust citizens with guns. I don’t trust governments with this sort of technology.

    1. A good offense is a good defense. You are creating a dichotomy where none exists.

      1. Split NSA into blue & red team.

        Once a year they flip a coin, so one team attacks US infrastructure & the other team defends it.
        The team that fails to meet mission loses 10% of their employees, but get top 10% of new employees.

        The NSA only cares about offense, not protecting American computers.

    2. “I don’t trust governments with this sort of technology.”

      Do you trust government when they tell you North Korea was behind hacking Sony? Or have you managed to confirmed this independently?

      1. Whether or not North Korea hacked Sony or not is irrelevant to what I was saying, you tool. The government told the media and the media reported it dutifully.

        A good offense is a good defense. You are creating a dichotomy where none exists.

        Why, it’s akin to preemptive self-defense for an individual…oh, wait. Repeating cliches that sound good in your head isn’t much of an argument.

        Our government has shown a willingness to use cyber weapons where conventional would fail or lead to too much damage. Attacking Iran with it in a clandestine fashion would be an act of terror if anyone else did it.

  5. OT – The Indiana ACLU on the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Part One:

    “The timing of this legislation is all important to understanding its intent: the bill was introduced as a backlash reaction to achieving marriage equality for same-sex couples in Indiana,”…”We are deeply disappointed that the governor and state lawmakers have been tone-deaf to the cries of legions of Hoosiers–including businesses, convention leaders, faith communities and more than 10,000 people who signed petitions against the bill–who say they don’t want this harmful legislation to impair the reputation of our state and harm our ability to attract the best and brightest to Indiana.”

    http://www.aclu-in.org/news/36…..om-bills-2

    1. The Indiana ACLU on the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Part Two:

      “Indianapolis ? A state law that went into effect on July 1 that results in banning some sex offenders from attending religious worship violates both the state’s newly enacted Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, claim two men who filed suit against county officials yesterday.

      “The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of John Doe 1 of Allen County and John Doe 2 of Elkhart County, challenges Indiana Code ? 35-42-4-14, which prevents “serious sex offenders” from attending religious worship when the place of worship is “school property,” even though school is not in session during the time services occur. The men wish to attend church services without fear of being arrested, because church attendance and group prayer are essential to their ability to worship in a meaningful way.

      “”An absolute ban on attending religious worship substantially burdens plaintiffs’ exercise of religion under the recently enacted RFRA, and violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk. “The law, which is broadly drawn, is not the least restrictive means of furthering the government’s interest here.””

      http://www.aclu-in.org/news/32…..nstitution

      1. “The law, which is broadly drawn, is not the least restrictive means of furthering the government’s interest here.””

        Can anyone out there explain where government interest originates in our concept of law? It seems like it was all invented in the late nineteenth century and then expounded upon during the New Deal rubber stamp period.

        1. I think the idea was that government has a series of duties that its required to perform. So there are certain things that it either must compel or forbid the citizenry from doing to perform those duties.

          But then the definition gets expanded to encompass anything the government thinks might be a good idea.

          So you go from compelling jury duty and forbidding murder to making interracial marriages illegal and taking property from one private citizen and giving it to another private citizen, justifying it on the grounds that the latter guy can generate more tax revenue from that property.

      2. How’s the priest going to conduct the service if he can’t get in?

    2. tldr version of my posts:

      The Indiana Civil Liberties Union opposed the state RFRA because it was “harmful” and would give Indiana such a bad rep as to discourage people from moving there.

      Then the Indiana Civil Liberties Union is trying to use the law to defend the rights of sex offenders – specifically their right to worship at churches located on school grounds.

      1. What the hell does the first part have to do with civil liberties? And why is the ICLU trying to promote the state as a place to live and not civil liberties? Seems a little odd all around.

        Second part sounds OK. Those laws are liberty restricting and useless.

    3. “to the cries of legions of Hoosiers–including businesses, convention leaders, faith communities ” -who don’t want to get sued or blacklisted.

  6. Florida judge restricts speech on the sidewalks around the court:

    “Demonstrations or dissemination of materials that degrade or call into question the integrity of the Court or any of its judges (e.g., claiming the Courts, Court personnel or judges are “corrupt,” biased, dishonest, partial, or prejudiced), thereby tending to influence individuals appearing before the Courts, including jurors, witnesses, and litigants, shall be prohibited on the Duval County Courthouse grounds”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..sidewalks/

    1. No wood chippers to disseminate materials on the Duval County Courthouse grounds.

      1. Could a wood chipper on the courthouse sidewalk “degrade” or “corrupt” a judge?

        1. It could certainly make them “partial’.

    2. NZ passes anti-cyberbulling law:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/n…..d=11473545

      1. Cyberbullying? You mean like beating up computers? Shaking them down for parts?

  7. Off-topic:
    Interesting article on “Seeing Like a Taxman“.

    It articulates some of what I have been thinking.

    Hat tip to Instapundit.

  8. Get your NSA-approved laptops here! Want to surf the web anonymously? Use one of our approved TOR nodes!

  9. I have an idea. Let’s make it illegal for the government to use electricity. That seems like it would solve a lot problems including this one.

  10. Happy Independence Day, fuckers!

    I’m in France and forgot that’s what it was until just now. I guess France is an OK place to be for it as they did help out a bit.

    1. France was our very bestest freind during the Revolution. Not only did they give us material aid and military advisors, they declared war on Great Britain. Now, this was just the pretext they were looking for, they were still pissed about losing the Seven Years War, and were itching for a rematch with England.
      All of this, of course, is the result of the Napoleonic Wars, and part of the progression of cause and effect which caused WWII.
      Which is why the founding fathers warned us against getting involved in Europe’s wars.
      It’s also why we have that really cool Statue of Liberty. 🙂

      1. Forgot to add:
        Happy Independence Day to you, and tell all those Frogs “thanks” from America.

  11. When the latest Seth Rogen romp was allegedly leaked online by hermit programmers in North Korea, everyone in the District ran around like chickens with their feathers on fire clucking about cyberwar and the best form of retaliation. Now that an enormously more destructive technology has been deployed against the U.S. and major European powers, we haven’t heard one peep.

    If it is derived from Stuxnet, then there is a strong possibility that Israel or other allies are involved with Duqu as speculated, so the silence makes sense. The lack of concrete or publicized evidence of specific actors, the complexity, the subtle effects without any overt signs of damage or detrimental effects due to its snooping nature means there’s not much anyone outside of security can really say about it.

    Indeed, the National Security Agency’s (NSA) elite “Equation Group” of cyber-espionage developers has been infecting computers around the world, including some within U.S. borders, with similarly-sophisticated malware since 2001.

    Outside of IT press, no one really covered Kaspersky’s revelations about the Equation Group either. Their EquationDrug platform is pretty mind-boggling. It’s a full flegded OS that hides itself in various part of your software and hardware with hundreds of modules and plugin architecture.

    1. (cont’d)

      Perhaps the most powerful tool in the Equation group’s arsenal is a mysterious module known only by a cryptic name: “nls_933w.dll”. It allows them to reprogram the hard drive firmware of over a dozen different hard drive brands, including Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Maxtor and IBM. This is an astonishing technical accomplishment and is testament to the group’s abilities.

      It raises concerns is not just because of its capabilities, but what it implies:
      http://www.reuters.com/article…..QV20150217

      1. A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky’s analysis was correct, and that people still in the spy agency valued these espionage programs as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives, but said he did not know which spy efforts relied on it.

        Raiu said the authors of the spying programs must have had access to the proprietary source code that directs the actions of the hard drives. That code can serve as a roadmap to vulnerabilities, allowing those who study it to launch attacks much more easily.

        “There is zero chance that someone could rewrite the [hard drive] operating system using public information,” Raiu said.

        According to former intelligence operatives, the NSA has multiple ways of obtaining source code from tech companies, including asking directly and posing as a software developer. If a company wants to sell products to the Pentagon or another sensitive U.S. agency, the government can request a security audit to make sure the source code is safe.

        “They don’t admit it, but they do say, ‘We’re going to do an evaluation, we need the source code,'” said Vincent Liu, a partner at security consulting firm Bishop Fox and former NSA analyst. “It’s usually the NSA doing the evaluation, and it’s a pretty small leap to say they’re going to keep that source code.”

        1. WOW.
          That’s insane. Does formatting the hard drive get rid of the infection?

          1. No. They can also infect the firmware (BIOS / EFI) of your computer and most hardware like disk controllers.

            1. Sweet Jesus. Flashing BIOS fix it?

              1. Maybe. It depends on how their deep their hacking goes. There’s a reserved portion of firmware that’s usually not overwritten by flashing and it depends if they infect that area too.

      2. .dll

        Get a Mac.

        (Ducks and runs….)

        1. Hah. But don’t worry, they’ve got OSX and iOS covered too

          1. Do they?

            1. Maybe the NSA can make Macs useable. Nah even they aren’t that powerful.

              1. You seem to know as much about Macs as you do about many other things…. ;-

            2. iOS: http://www.forbes.com/sites/er…..ur-iphone/

              OSX: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2…..e_backdoor

              See also older projects targeting OSX for interns a couple years ago in my pdf below

              1. Well sure, the NSA can do lots of things, and there are always theoretical Mac exploits, or uberhackers who can crack a laptop they have access to. But Macs are not plagued with malware to even 1/100th of the degree that Windows machines are. Most Mac users don’t even run anti-virus software, and very rarely do you hear of any exploit “in the wild” beyond the occasional downloaded trojan. You regularly here about many thousands of compromised Windows machines, but when was the last time that happened on Macs? AFAIK, in the ’90s, before OS X.

                1. If Apple doesn’t talk about viruses, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
                  https://macviruscom.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/
                  0-day-flaw-in-ios-and-os-x/

  12. I confess: I was really interested in this article and where it might lead…

    …until it landed on (scary dramatic sound)…Teh Jooos, and ended there, as though that was a supposed to be a chilling coda as opposed to a mere detail

    1. But, sometimes, it really is the Teh Jooos!

      BTW, you know who else blamed Teh Jooos?

      1. Give them the malware and let them do it.

        1. I mean, NSA is not allowed to do that stuff anymore, right? That big bunker in Utah is being turned into a paintball park, right?

          1. Yup, the supreme court sent in the bulldozers and leveled it. Then, the AG indicted all those responsible for violations of civil rights under color of authority ( and perjury for lying to Congress).

          2. A very well air conditioned paintball park.

    2. It’s the USS Liberty all over again!!1!

    3. I noticed that too.

      “Duqu 2 was either directly developed or at least indirectly financed by Israel,”

      They either did it, or got their grubby Jooo paws on money that eventually ended up with someone else. Bastards.

      Actually that argument is an ingenious way to blame anyone for anything. Fine, you may not be a pedophile, but I bet you’ve touched money that you used to pay for a candy bar that ended up in a cash register that eventually was returned as change to someone who bought kiddie porn!

  13. Apparently it’s also the kind of work they let their interns do
    http://www.spiegel.de/media/media-35661.pdf

    Way beyond any CS/EE/IT intern level work

  14. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

    1. Not funny, Anonbot.

    2. Would I have to create spyware for the government?

    3. That’s about what Snowden made.

  15. Nobody cares, because we first need to ban trans-fats. As a nation our first priority is figuring out how to prevent obesity, not deal with fucking computer viruses infecting critical infrastructure.

  16. Happy 4th of July. Here is the feel good story of the summer.

    Now they probably love the cops.
    A group of flag-burning anti-NYPD protesters needed New York’s Finest to save their skin from a gang of angry bikers who tried to pummel them in a Brooklyn park for setting Old Glory ablaze Wednesday.
    The fiery stunt by a few dozen members of the group Disarm the Police led to a chaotic scene at about 8 p.m. in Fort Greene Park, when the activists enraged 40 members of the Hallowed Sons Motorcycle Club by roasting the flag on a tiny barbecue grill.
    “They took off like little b?hes,” said one biker. “They lit the f?king flag and took off running once they got slapped once or twice.”
    The anarchists had announced on social media that they had planned to burn the flag in protest of NYPD policies, drawing a large group of flag-waving counterprotesters, including the bikers.

    http://nypost.com/2015/07/02/c…..ry-bikers/

    Never forget the left are bullies and douche bag losers. All you have to do is stand up to them and they will run away.

    1. I don’t know. I think this is one of those times when you should defend the rights of free speech and non-aggression, even if it means appearing to side with the “bullies and douche bag losers.” The heckler’s veto shouldn’t be encouraged, even if it makes you “feel good.”

      1. Fuck non aggression. Non aggression is great, right up until someone hits you in the face. And the flag burners will do just that the first change they think they can get away with it.

        1. But you don’t get to preemptively beat people up because they might hit you some day. Should we be locking people up because we think they might steal a car some day?

        2. I hope you are just really drunk today, because this is some dark shit. How do you know what they would do?

        3. Oh, John, you’re so cute when you let the little fascist out. “Someone is displaying an opinion that differs from mine? Release the goons.”

          Fuck those biker cunts.

          1. This.

            I guess John doesn’t support free speech – who would have figured.

            1. John has dropped all pretense that he gives any fucks about liberty.

    2. I don’t get it. The bikers are leftists? If anyone is bullying it is the bikers using violence to show their displeasure with the flag burning, no?

      The flag burners probably are some pussy douchebags, but the bikers committed a criminal assault to prevent an act of protest, well conceived or not.

      It’s a feel shitty story, if you ask me. Everyone involved is a piece of shit, except the police. I don’t know what to think anymore.

    3. So… you support mob violence on peaceful conduct?

    4. Who is standing up to who here?

    5. Sorry, John, the only feel-good part of this story is that the cops protected the flag-burners, even though the cops probably hated everything the flag-burners were doing.

      Now *that’s* worth celebrating – the cops doing their duty and protecting citizens in the exercise of their rights – even the right to burn the symbol of the very country which guarantees those rights.

    6. When the Spartacists get beaten up by the SA, should you cheer? I dunno. I cheer when the Steelers beat the fucking Modells, so maybe.

      1. NO. I would cheer when the SA got beat up by anyone. The flag burners are the SA warty. If they had any balls or the ability, they would be beating people up. So, no I have no sypathy for them and love it that the bikers kicked their asses.

        This is where Libertarians and I part ways. Libertarians always will lose to fascists because they would rather lose than resort to fighting back. I don’t see it that way.

        1. There has to be some fighting before you can fight back. That’s not what happened.

        2. And if I recall correctly, it was the Fascists who used patriotically fueled mob violence to silence political opposition. Sorry, you can’t win by becoming the thing you hate.

        3. You dumb fuck, the bikers are the SA. And you cheer them on. You are a disgrace to the uniform you wear.

  17. The soundtrack to your holiday.

    First, R O C K in the USA:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLQrAKhg-4c

        1. Star Spangled Banner

          (the coolest part starts at 2:50)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuv1Mt6kMOU

          1. The *unofficial,* but best, national anthem:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmvG2ZiPfoo

            1. A worthy entrant in the national-anthem contest

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R5A0pg4oN8

              1. +1 Defend that faith, bro.

              2. I see your Judas Priest and raise you a Julia Ward Howe:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpZ3jPMM5Ac

  18. Big guns come from big defense spending. So probably not the time to start slashing defense spending.

    1. The second statement does not remotely follow from the first. The first is not even helpful.

    2. Right, so what parts of the internet should they bomb or shoot up??? We need smart programmers, not smart bombers.

  19. If Israel did it they can hardly be blamed. The Iran Nuclear issue is an existential one for them. Really, their government has a moral obligation to do all it can in this area.

  20. I hope MaidSafe and Enigma can put a dent in these kinds of attacks though.

  21. 1. Those cyber terror hawks are needlessly spreading fear and floating doomsday scenarios!

    2. There’s a new computer super virus that can seize nuclear reactors and make planes fall out of the sky!

    What am I supposed to be scared of? Tell me, I have to know!

    1. I can only tell you what you don’t need to fear. Don’t fear the reaper.

      1. Need more cowbell.

    2. Tell XM about it. Tell him all your crazy fears. Give him every reason to accept that the world is going to end. You’ve got to tell him about it before it gets too late.

  22. #1 = Happy Independence Day: Be Ashamed of Your Racist, Lowbrow, Country And Its Declaration of Lies

    #2 = Baltimore police probe ‘enjoy your ride’ sign in transport van

    ‘Baltimore police are investigating a sign inside a police transport van that tells passengers, “Enjoy your ride, cuz we sure will!”, authorities said on Friday.”

    I love how police ‘investigate’ things that are simply static objects that have been in plain sight for ages. “How did this get here!? Why, I am amazed! These words, shall we attempt to interpret them? Perhaps we should call in experts”.

    1. No way that I’m clicking on a salon.com article about Independence Day. I do appreciate your sacrifice, though.

    2. From the Salon.com article:
      “What exactly do we celebrate on the Fourth of July? I mean, beyond meat charred beyond recognition and then slathered with sriracha”

      OK, that’s the very first sentence, and I’m not even going to read the rest, but I’m 100% certain that badmouthing American BBQ is the most blood-boiling part of the entire piece.

      1. They hate every single thing about America. What a sad life that must be.

        1. Oh, they don’t really. its just a pose that signals their membership in a cultural class that shits on “regular people” as being horribly boring, tasteless, ignorant rubes who do not treat their food items as part of any elaborate ritual of cultural self-expression and environmental guilt-mongering.

          They love America – their America – and they just get a giggle out of their moral/cultural superiority to everyone else who happens to be paying for its existence.

          they see July 4th as an opportunity to express their superior disdain – because its the opposite of what the rubes would do.

          its sort of like how ‘Columbus Day’ has become ‘Indigenous People’s Day‘ if you live in the right neighborhood. Oh, they’ll totally still go to the Italian festivals in NYC because those things are “authentic”. But then they’ll deride the holiday to their friends as some kind of “Rape Apology” for colonialism. Its just how they roll.

        2. I don’t care if you’re from Kansas City, Texas, Memphis, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, or wherever the fuck – nobody does smoked pork slathered up in flavorful sauce better than the Americans.

          The USA is far from being a perfect country, but goddamnit, when it comes to BBQ, American exceptionalism applies.

  23. “, and even assume control of large-scale industrial targets like nuclear reactors, power plants, and air traffic control systems”

    and this is why the government should have fucking listened to the pioneers of network tech and made these stand alone systems.

    homer simpson doesnt need to work from home, managing a nuclear power plant.

    holy fuck…. government employees are the mung of humanity.

    -FFM

  24. Ahem…

    WHY IS YOUR SENSITIVE SHIT ON THE INTERNET?!

    That is all.

  25. I would surmise that the reason no one cares is that these issues have not affected their entertainment. As long as all the mobile devices and the like are working, then all is good.
    So if you were an “enemy of the state” why would you wake the children? No crying, no response.

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  29. This obvious suspect here, if not a US agency, is Israel. Which would account for the lack of outcry, too.

  30. The thing that no one care is that they only want to make the world better place but not help there people in these type of matter this is terrorist attack and they should write it on. I have written all these things in my Income growth Economics Assignment As this attack can also affect the economy of the country.

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