Hadley on Cyberattack – Today’s Quote

If Google doesn’t have the resources to withstand a cyberattack, probably very few companies in the United States do.

Roy Hadley, Cybersecurity Attorney with the law firm Barnes & Thornburg


News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:

Security Threat News:

DHS Admits It Is Unprepared for EMP Threat:  The Department of Homeland Security says that our electrical grid is even more vulnerable to an Electromagnetic Pulse attack than we were a few years ago.

Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires:  If true, Al-Qaeda has found an extremely efficient and low risk way damage Western society.

‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson:  A disturbing look inside the thought process of a street gang member.  Give some thought to what’s between your family and people like this…then take appropriate steps.

Communication News:

Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia:  In all the old movies the nuclear hotline phones are red…what color will the cyberhotline phone be…hope it’s not an IP phone.

Financial News: (more…)

Cyberthreat, Cybersecurity and the Cyber Future

Andrew’s Note: Today we return to our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future.  As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one.  Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about our Cyber future, the Cyber Threat and Cybersecurity (highlights are emphasis I added):


The pace of technological change is accelerating exponentially. If the pace of technological advancement continues, greater change will occur over the next twenty years than occurred in the whole of the Twentieth century. The key will be the use to which these technologies are put. In many ways the world of 2030 could appear nearly as strange to us today as the world of 2000 would have to an observer from 1900.

The advances in communication and information technologies will significantly improve the capabilities of the Joint Force. Global information networks enabled by wireless and broadband technologies will link deployed forces to supporting assets at home. Deployed forces will be able routinely to access analysis, research, computation and planning capabilities located outside the theater. Joint forces will conduct globally-ranging cyber warfare, either as independent operations or in support of deployed units, manipulating or overwhelming adversary systems. The creation of virtual models of potential operational areas will allow the Joint Force to train and plan for those environments. Much as flight simulators allow pilots to refine flight skills, immersive training environments could allow future joint forces to practice key operational tasks.

Cyberspace permeates nearly every aspect of societies from personal computers and cell phones to networked transportation and inventory systems. Our society’s very way of life has come to depend fundamentally on the use of cyberspace. In much the same way that we depend on our highways and the oceans, we rely on networks pieced together through the electromagnetic spectrum to conduct business, purchase goods, entertain ourselves, and run our basic utilities. Our ability to maneuver freely in cyberspace amplifies all instruments of national power. In fact, our ability to maneuver in cyberspace is an emerging instrument of power itself.

Many of those same advances also will be available to America’s opponents, who will use them to attack, degrade, and disrupt communications and the flow of information. It is also essential that the Joint Force be capable of functioning in a hostile information environment, so as not to create an Achilles’ heel by becoming too network dependent. (more…)

Announcing Our Newest Advertiser, Mozy Online Backup with Free Option

I’m pleased to announce Prepography‘s newest advertiser is Mozy Online Backup.

Here at Prepography we pride ourselves on helping people become more self reliant and prepare for the unexpected…even little disasters like a virus or hard drive failure.  While there’s no substitution for a backup flash USB drive inside a Faraday cage (and hardcopy of your most important documents) there’s no reason not to have the convenience of daily, automatic backups…especially when it’s free (up to 2GB).

They have other plans available (I use the 3 computer, 125GB plan myself) but you can select just your desktop and documents folders and get by with the free 2GB plan if you aren’t a digital packrat like me.  They’re even beta testing a cloud storage option to access your files from multiple locations (I haven’t tried this feature).

The initial upload takes a while, but after that it does a twice daily update that happens without my even noticing it (until it tells me it’s done).  There’s also a nice little green circle with a check-mark that lets you know each file has been downloaded as well as you’re looking at your desktop or folder.

It’s free up to a whopping 2GB, easy (even for the non-technical) and only takes a few minutes to set up…give Mozy a try by clicking on the graphic below or the one at the right of this page.

Free backup is finally here.  Mozy Remote Backup.


Why Prep, Part 3 Triggers & Stressors

Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE.

Today we present the third article in our series on why to prepare for disaster.  In the first article, ‘Why Prep, The Introduction’ we asked and answered the following question:

Question:  Why Prep…why become more self-reliant?

Answer:  Because it’s the only reasonable and logical response to an unknown future and even a cursory study of history.

In the second article, ‘Why Prep, Historical and Current Examples’ we discussed examples of places and periods where preparedness could have made the difference between survival and suffering (or worse) for you and your family.  In this third installment we’ll discuss stressors and triggers for potential The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) situations.

Today we’re going to talk about stressor events and triggers.  A stressor event is an occurrence that has the potential to change a system or society.  Stressor events happen all the time and can vary dramatically in the amount of stress or influence they place on a system.  Some examples of stressor events are election outcomes, legislation, trade wars, disease outbreaks, government spending programs, wars, acts of terror, social movements, development or loss of key infrastructure (like the internet you’re browsing), information releases (like the Watergate scandal) or changes to the physical environment (like drought or natural disasters).  From a societal standpoint, stressors often manifest themselves in multiples and if significant enough disruption occurs…they can create a situation that cascades out of control.  While it’s an overly simplified model think of these stressors from the last century:

  1. Germany loses World War I and a large percentage of its reproductive age males
  2. War damage and reparations create severe economic hardship
  3. Rise of the National Socialism in Germany bringing Adolf Hitler and his Brownshirts to power (were the Brownshirts easier to recruit due to a lack of fatherly guidance?)
  4. Election of 1933 gives Hitler enough power in the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act and assume dictatorial powers

This example from history led to TEOTWAWKI for much of the world from the mid 1930’s to the mid 1940’s and eventually ushered in the atomic age.


What Keeps The Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Awake At Night?

Ever wonder what perils and threats keeps senior defense officials up at night?  Well you don’t have to guess anymore what keeps the Department of Defense’ Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs (how does that title even fit on a business card?), Paul Stockton up because he told us.


Cyberattack Vulnerability

The Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned that a popular system used by organizations around the world to manage millions of machines and devices over the Internet is vulnerable to attack from hackers.

The software system… enables corporate, military, health-care and other users to remotely control or monitor medical devices, elevators, video cameras, security systems and a wide array of other sensitive operations.

via Homeland Security warns of hackers targeting popular Niagara software – The Washington Post.

The more complex and inter-related our systems are the more vulnerable they are.  Make sure that you take the time to learn the weaknesses of your automation systems as well as the strengths.  While Iranian nuclear programs and big businesses make attractive targets for cyberattack, small companies are especially vulnerable if they don’t hire or take the time to learn their system’s vulnerabilities and how to protect those systems and the resources/people dependent on them.

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