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Iranian State Goes Offline To Avoid Cyber-Attacks

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the I'm-going-home dept.

Security 165

DavidGilbert99 writes "The Iranian minister for telecommunication has said that the government will be taking key ministries and state agencies offline in the next month to protect sensitive information from cyber-attacks. However this move is just the initial step in an 18 month plan to take the country off the world wide web, and replace it with a state-controlled intranet. From the article: 'The US began offensive cyber-attacks against Iran during the presidency of George W. Bush when the Olympics Games project was founded. Out of this was [born] the Stuxnet cyber-weapon, which was designed to specifically target the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran.'"

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Then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895405)

The moles just have to dig deeper.

First po--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895417)

I live in Iran, so I'm getting a kick out of this. Oh, and "First po--- NO CARRIER

Talk about... (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895435)

... chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

I feel sorry for the Iranian people, who by-and-large, are reasonably normal, but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own.

Will BP and their friends ever be held responsible for the damage they've done to world peace in the name of profit for their shareholders?

Re:Talk about... (0, Offtopic)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895487)

I know I clicked "underrated" but somehow it modded Overrated. With no way to remove it I am posting with nothing much to say to remove that mod. Have a nice day :)

Re:Talk about... (1)

danomac (1032160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896021)

I've made that mistake on my tablet a few times. I really wish it would ask to confirm moderation!

Re:Talk about... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895491)

This is the model that our right-wing blowhards want for the U.S. Don't doubt it and don't forget it.

Re:Talk about... (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895533)

I feel sorry for the Iranian people, who by-and-large, are reasonably normal, but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own.

You'd expect the American people and Iranian people would have common cause, but its always shouted down in idiotic flag waving patriotism (on both sides). Which is too bad. When we sold our soul to the international olympics committee weren't we promised international brotherhood? I want a refund.

Re:Talk about... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895587)

Do you think they would still have a crap theocratic government if the US and GB had not overthrown their democratically elected government in 1953 and replaced it with their own dictator?

Re:Talk about... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895711)

Extremely good point -- unfortunately, few people care nor know about this nowadays, at least in countries where it might make a difference. Don't annoy Americans with actual facts unless it makes our country look good. Go to YouTube, look up "History of Iran & USA in 10 min".

Re:Talk about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895773)

Great Britain and Iran have a lot in common. For example: they are the only countries in the world where clerics are appointed to the government.

Re:Talk about... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896059)

Because that doesn't happen in Vatican City.

Re:Talk about... (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896627)

Subtle difference - religious leaders (Church of England) are appointed to the House of Lords (roughly equivalent to the Senate), the "government" is purely the majority party/parties in the House of Commons (~House of Reps).

The general meaning stands though, we do have religious leaders automatically placed in the House of Lords, in my opinion it's an outdated and discriminatory practice and I'm glad to see reform being introduced. That said, how many members of the US Senate/HofR are openly non-Christian?

Re:Talk about... (1)

Dins (2538550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897147)

That said, how many members of the US Senate/HofR are openly non-Christian?

Someone's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, should have absolutely no bearing on governing a country. Any country. Too bad this is not the case in most cases... I don't care if you believe in God, Allah, the FSM, or nothing at all. Knock yourself out. Just keep all of it out of my government.

Re:Talk about... (2)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895795)

It sucks, and there really needs to be some kind of truth and reconciliation process, and some heartfelt apologies. A lot of people screwed up, and a lot of very bad decisions were made.

Good luck with that, with Iran's current government. They draw strength from demonising the West, and whipping up hatred against people who otherwise don't have a beef with them at all. Religion has a lot to do with it.

Re:Talk about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896817)

Replace "Iran" with "America" and "West" with "Middle East" and that sentiment is equally true.

captcha: peaceful

Re:Talk about... (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896013)

Do you think they would still have a crap theocratic government if the US and GB had not overthrown their democratically elected government in 1953 and replaced it with their own dictator?

Yes.

Re:Talk about... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896025)

Dictator in the 50s?!? Khomeni instituted the Islamic revolution with the full backing of Jimmy Carter...otherwise it would never have happened. See, Carter had this human rights program that demanded that the Shah step down. William Sulivan, Carter's ambassador to Iran, said, "Khomeini is a Ghandi-like figure." Carter adviser James Bill said that Khomeini is not a fundamentalist Muslim who meant exactly what he said, but a man of "impeccable integrity and honesty." "Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint," said Andrew Young, Carter's ambassador to the United Nations. Oops! Pretending that Iran would be some sort of paradise without foreign intervention - bah! Iran would have easily joined the Axis powers during World War II. Look it up.

Carter was no more guilty than Reagan - the same President that supported the Taliban during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan 1979-1989. There's a reason the USA calls the Islamic Republic of Iran (its proper name [wikipedia.org] ) "the Great Satan" - to generate fear in the populace and to justify more military spending.

Re:Talk about... (4, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896197)

Maybe, but the UK and SU overthrew the government previous to that in WW2 because it was on the verge of allying with Nazi germany, and that was 41, and the Shahs dynasty was only installed in 1925 (which is essentially the same period as the ottoman states that were formed after WW1 including Jordan, Egypt, Iraq etc.).

Political forces have play for a lot of reasons. One of the things you're seeing in the arab spring is that the people of those countries aren't really pleased with their governments for, for example, making peace with israel, making deals with the americans etc. The Shia revolution that ended up in charge did so in large part as a reaction to westernization (secular institutions, relatively liberal economic policies, in particular an alliance with the US etc.). All of those things could have come into being under the government structure from 53, and could have ended up with a similar outcome. The relatively messy revolution might not have materialized the same way had their been more democracy, but you can elect bad leaders rather than have them seize power in a revolution or coup. Just look at india and pakistan, california, israel the US federal government, the Eurozone leadership etc. They've all elected leaders with some really bad, including demonstrably wrong, policies. But that's the risk you take with any form of government. Iran is particularly extreme because they're particularly disliked, but that comes with the territory.

Re:Talk about... (2)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896417)

Do you think they would still have a crap theocratic government if the US and GB had not overthrown their democratically elected government in 1953 and replaced it with their own dictator?

Yes, actually. Because Iran would have ended up as a Soviet client state, although more independent than Afghanistan. Once the Soviet Union folded, Iran would join a number of Mideast and Central Asian states to become either an idiosyncratic dictatorship or it would fall back into an Islamic state.

Bear in mind, there was nothing in particular about the Shah's government that was theocratic, which implies that the religious impetus was there behind the scenes all the time. Much like Afghanistan turned into an Islamist hell hole after the Soviets left the nominally secular government to swing in the wind, the same would have happened to Iran.

Re:Talk about... (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896707)

Mostly likely. Western countries weren't the only ones manipulating Iran. Had Soviet influence gained more traction Iran would have faced the same kind of enemy, just from the other side of the chess board. Islamization is a natural result when you consider the power of religion in rallying people toward a common cause, and oppression is the shortcut that governments take to achieve security.

Re:Talk about... (1, Insightful)

Krojack (575051) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895695)

Will BP and their friends ever be held responsible for the damage they've done to world peace in the name of profit for their shareholders?

I honestly don't understand what BP and friends w/shareholders have to do with:
A) a government that openly states that they don't recognize a country (Israel) and wishes it was wiped off the map.
B) a government that will publicly hang gay people.

For this to end, what's currently happening in Syria needs to also happen in Iran. Yes, sadly people will die but that's the cost to get out from under the hand of such governments.

Re:Talk about... (2)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895813)

Maybe BP should take another big charge on their balance sheet and wipe out their shareholders, when something bad happens, and we're forced to go to war.

They made this fucking mess, they should be forced to pay for the cleanup.

Re:Talk about... (5, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895825)

He's referring to the reasons the US/UK engineered the 1953 Iranian coup [wikipedia.org]

Re:Talk about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896249)

for which you have no actual evidence

Re:Talk about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895981)

...wishes it was wiped off the map.

Wrong! They only want the eastern european radical zionists thrown out of its government.

For this to end, what's currently happening in Syria needs to also happen in Iran.

You have not a clue of what is happening outside your TV box

Re:Talk about... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896043)

Exsept the overthrone governments have been going to the same type of extremist leadership Iran already has. The extremist muslum groups love the Internet they love socalnetworking sites like twitter and facebook. But once they have the power they will disconnect their new country from them to keep stop people from using them the same as they already did.

Re:Talk about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896085)

Fuck you're an idiot.

A) They wish the regime occupying regime was wiped off the map. You know, like you wish the occupying regime of Syria was wiped off the map. Like everyone of your jackass presidents has wished some regime that doesn't kowtow to US policy is wiped off the map. Difference being, you fucktards do it and kill innocents all around the world.
B) Fucking internal policies, fucktard. Nothing to do with you. Your fucking government executes the mentally incompetent, perhaps the world ought to invade, hmmm?

Can't wait till you jackasses finish your downward spiral and the world no longer has to deal with a bunch of moronic cowboys.

Re:Talk about... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896333)

To characterize a linguistic level L, a case of semigrammaticalness of a different sort is, apparently, determined by the strong generative capacity of the theory. From C1, it follows that most of the methodological work in modern linguistics does not affect the structure of a general convention regarding the forms of the grammar. Furthermore, the systematic use of complex symbols delimits an important distinction in language use. I suggested that these results would follow from the assumption that this selectionally introduced contextual feature is unspecified with respect to the extended c-command discussed in connection with (34). However, this assumption is not correct, since an important property of these three types of EC is not subject to the requirement that branching is not tolerated within the dominance scope of a complex symbol.

Re:Talk about... (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897029)

they don't recognize a country (Israel) and wishes it was wiped off the map.

That particular creative translation was provided by an Israeli political organisation. I'm not sure that the Iranian government even knows what it means, given that English is not exactly their first language, or even their second.

Re:Talk about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895821)

"crap theocratic government through little fault of their own"

Perhaps so. on the level of the individual. But we are not talking about that level now are we. Welcome to the real world.

You of course know that all Nazis were just following orders. When the war was over they couldn't find a single Nazi who ordered or killed any Jews whatsoever.

Sorry charlie. Don't like the kitchen, then shoot the cook.

Re:Talk about... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895979)

Don't like the kitchen, then shoot the cook.

Yes, it all looks simple enough when you're posting anonymously on an Internet forum that doesn't really matter.

I've never been there, but I imagine it looks different when the consequence of shooting the cook is that the cook's friends will torture, rape or simply kill your family and friends.

That kind of resistance basically only works when most/all of the people are doing it, which is essentially civil war as we're seeing in places like Syria today.

Re:Talk about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896087)

Hey genius I don't recall saying it would be easy. Sometimes important things are exceedingly difficult.

Let's hope we on this side of the pond are smart enough to not allow things to get this bad ourselves. There are no guarantees. Kapisch comrade?

Victims Killed Source
Jews 5.9 million [231]
Soviet POWs 2–3 million [232]
Ethnic Poles 1.8–2 million [233][234]
Romani 220,000–1,500,000 [235][236]
Disabled 200,000–250,000 [237]
Freemasons 80,000 [238]
Slovenes 20,000–25,000 [239]
Homosexuals 5,000–15,000 [240]
Jehovah's
Witnesses 2,500–5,000 [241]

Re:Talk about... (2)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896063)

Well, no. The German people BELIEVED in Hitler (that's what some of the German side of my family said, and what I've heard from elsewhere bears this out). They were otherwise good people who were brainwashed by a monster, and he lead the German nation to ruin. Believe me when I say that the German people suffered for their sins too (and I dare say, deservedly so).

This is precisely why we (the Allies) hung the leaders afterwards -- it's them who make it possible to dilute or magic-away culpability in times of war.

I think there's a lesson to be drawn here: leaders, whether they're business or political leaders, must be ruthlessly and relentlessly held to account. If our democracy has failed, it's that certain people HAVEN'T been jailed (or worse) for their crimes.

BP coopting the government to overthrow the Iranian government, follows a pattern of privatising profit, socializing liability, and getting the government to do their dirty work. And it's our fault for letting them get away with it.

Re:Talk about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896453)

"brainwashed by a monster"

You mean they were Democrats?

Re:Talk about... (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896745)

This is precisely why we (the Allies) hung the leaders afterwards -- it's them who make it possible to dilute or magic-away culpability in times of war.

I think there's a lesson to be drawn here: leaders, whether they're business or political leaders, must be ruthlessly and relentlessly held to account. If our democracy has failed, it's that certain people HAVEN'T been jailed (or worse) for their crimes.

http://www.chomsky.info/talks/1990----.htm [slashdot.org]

Re:Talk about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895879)

Are you kidding me? These are the same people who invented the chess board. They are removing an internal communications infrastructure to:

A) Prevent coordinated efforts by any rebels that may arise due to the "Arab spring".
B) Lower the communications capability with its citizens and any invading force.
C) Lessen psychological warfare.

Look, the network that the US and Israel attacked WAS an offline network (last article I read). Tell me, if they go completely offline... how will they distribute their beloved MS Updates?

Re:Talk about... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896145)

  Look, the network that the US and Israel attacked WAS an offline network (last article I read). Tell me, if they go completely offline... how will they distribute their beloved MS Updates?

The year of the Linux desktop will come in Iran much sooner.

Re:Talk about... (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895943)

The US and Israel are both governments where you can't be elected without being overtly religious. They're also hyper-aggressive and have engaged in acts of war against Iran, which has done .... what, exactly? Which states have crap theocratic governments again?

Not stuck, they choose to live with it (2)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895953)

I feel sorry for the Iranian people, who by-and-large, are reasonably normal, but are stuck with a crap theocratic government through little fault of their own.

Not true. They have the ability to change their government, but they have decided it isn't worth the effort and lives it would take to do so.

The USA decided to change their government twice (Revolution worked, but the Civil War failed), and now has also decided apathy is much easier.

Neither group of citizens should get off pretending like they are helpless victims of their big old government. The government operates with the permission of the majority of the people in both cases.

Re:Not stuck, they choose to live with it (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896539)

well, that's why they're getting their international news cut right now. they might choose that it's worth revolting. this isn't about cyberattacks on facilities that are attacked by sneakernet anyways. it's about cutting dissident coms.

Re:Not stuck, they choose to live with it (1)

Joiseybill (788712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896583)

amen.. in the big picture - yes, if anyone wants something like change bad enough they will find a way to make it happen. .. but losing your life in the process isn't a really promising way of change. If I die, I don't benefit, and I won't be able to protect my children from any blowback.

apathy, or at least 'keeping your head down' has become a way of dealing with government all over the world. Even in a relatively ok system of government, if you do decide to get involved, you will be branded as "anti-something-emotional" by your friends and others who disagree with you.

When fighting to change government, ( our own or someone else's with/without consent)...
usually we are sending young men to die in these kinds of things.. so we wipe out a good deal of that generation we started the fight for in the first place.

and yes to other poster, the internet definitely isn't getting a revolution going for, when so many other things are ranked higher on Maslow's reference.

Re:Not stuck, they choose to live with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896829)

Thank you, I tried to make this point above, you said it better.

Re:Talk about... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896017)

I feel sorry for the Iranian people

The Internet is not an absolute necessity for life. First comes national security. Iran is a nation that has every right to exist and defend itself. Insulating their people from the rogue internet controlled by commercial interests in a nation they do not trust, is a very good form of self defence.

Re:Talk about... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896507)

baby?

Iranian government is pleased to do this.

Remember, it's not really foreigners they give a shit about, it's their domestic "terrorists" - the people who oppose the totalitarian government. They need to take the country offline so that their people don't stumble on articles about the world laughing on their leader for saying there's no gays in Iran for example.

This is happening as Syria is on fire with Syrians in open revolt against their government. Iranian power holders really, really don't want their people to get any funny ideas from al-jazeera.

Re:Talk about... (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896551)

I really wouldn't say little fault of their own. They purposely set up a theocratic government in the 70's. Most of the people who participated in setting that up are still alive.

Re:Talk about... (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897391)

You think the internet is free of censorship and spying by the government where you live? Check again. You don't have to look too hard to find about every country in the "free world" is actively looking at ways to spy on their citizens and limit their access. Countries like China and Iran are unique in that they decided to make their own non-Western controlled version of the same trap.

Saving Cash! (2)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895475)

Probably a lot cheaper than kajillions of $$$ spent on cyber defense...

Re:Saving Cash! (not much, and kill the progress.. (3, Insightful)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895619)

- no way it will reduce cybersecurity issues down to anything close to zero.

- will isolate not only the people, but those Iranians working on science and technology, which will slow down their progress dramatically. Can't have it both ways...

Re:Saving Cash! (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895783)

Or they could just not connect computers running NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS to the fucking internet.

Re:Saving Cash! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895855)

FYI, those computers weren't connected to the internet. Stuxnet jumped via flash-drive. So this really doesn't solve that problem at all.

Re:Saving Cash! (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896167)

So you fill all usb ports not used for your keyboard with epoxy

Re:Saving Cash! (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897001)

So you fill all usb ports not used for your keyboard with epoxy

Uh...and what keeps a person from plugging a USB hub into that port, and their keyboard into the USB hub along with whatever other naughtiness they have in mind?

Re:Saving Cash! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895897)

Eventually some technician will plugin a computer to the power plant network that was plugged into a computer plugged into a usb stick plugged into a computer that was plugged into the internet. The computers in the plant probably never get updated, cause afterall how do you download updates with no internet?

Re:Saving Cash! (3, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896985)

...and doing no good.

The Stuxnet and Flame malware payloads were not just unleashed on the open Internet to find their way to Iran. The infection pattern of both of them indicates that they are targeted...and that means delivery via geographic means. In other words, human assets with hands on keyboards, and no degree of network separation has any effect on that. In fact, airgapping a network actually reduces your ability to fight against the consequences of an attack in many ways. (Ask anyone who's had to clean up an infection that got onto an airgapped network via an infected laptop.) Now granted, with regard to Flame, if there's no way to call home, there's no way to exfiltrate data using a direct network connection. But that doesn't mean that an attacker can't build themselves a nice nest egg of data on a hard drive to take with them.

Solar Flare probability raised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895517)

A group of scientists have put the world on alert that a massive solar flare could happen within the next two years that could harm power grids, communications, and satellites around the world. The scientists say that the risk of a massive flare that could harm systems on the earth increase as the sun reaches the peak of its 10-year activity cycle. The scientists say “governments are taking it very seriously.”

The chance of a massive solar storm is about 12% for every decade. According to the scientists, the last major solar storm was over 150 years ago, and the odds say that a massive solar storm occurs approximately once in every 100 years. The fear is that these massive solar storms could melt transformers within national power grids, destroy or damage satellites, knockout radio communications, and more.

Link. [slashgear.com]

Re:Solar Flare probability raised (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895947)

Saying "The chance of a massive solar storm is about 12% for every decade." is misleading. Sometimes it's more likely than others. Yes, the chance, based on our knowledge, may average 12%/decade, but the chance in the next five years is not in proportion.

If you had said "The chance of a massive solar storm is about 12% for every solar activity cycle" things would have been clearer, but the current estimate is that there's a higher than usual chance this time. We don't (well, *I* don't) know enough to say that major solar storms head for the earth with any particular regularity. (After all, it's not just whether the solar storm occurs, it's also whether it emits in our direction.) The danger is definitely there, but I certainly can't estimate how serious it is.

OTOH, the previous times this has happened, we didn't have a massive electrical infrastructure in place. The next time will be a lot more devastating, even if we were to adequately prepare, a thing which we don't have a history of doing.

The ultimate in egress filtering (4, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895521)

Tough break for the Iranian people, but like other countries with draconian Internet access policies I suspect that a way will be found. As Cuba's government found out; you should never underestimate the ability of large numbers of USB sticks gifted by benefactors to facilitate the free flow of restricted information; it just takes a little longer, that's all. For the rest of us though, this is excellent news. When the next cyber-weapon gets loose on the the Iranian "Halal-net", or whatever the regime is referring to it as this week, we can sleep easy knowing that our industrial control systems are already air-gapped from the Iranian ones. With that element of risk removed, I suspect the next attack on Iranian infrastructure probably isn't going to be quite so "restrained" as the last few have been.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895623)

With that element of risk removed, I suspect the next attack on Iranian infrastructure probably isn't going to be quite so "restrained" as the last few have been.

Yeah keep thinking that. (Insert Iranian accent:)

"What did the infidels do this time, my centrifuge PLC is Fed again, at least it's not AC/DC playing "Thunderstruck" like last time. Well, lets start up internet explorer and unplug it from halalnet and plug it into the internet so I can google the PLC error message code and download another copy of the .iso install image from the pirate bay of the PLC control software because I lost my copy. (five minutes later) WTF Al Jazzera is reporting a nuke plant in california just melted down, the drainage pumps in New Orleans are running backwards, dogs and cats are living together, and it's all been traced back to Iran, now how did that happen?"

Maybe thats not so good of a plan.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895663)

As Cuba's government found out; you should never underestimate the ability of large numbers of USB sticks gifted by benefactors to facilitate the free flow of restricted information; it just takes a little longer, that's all.

USA can improve information flow, if they recall embargos placed on Cuba. If Cuba is sponsor of terrorism, then its Northern neighbor is not any better.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895865)

As Cuba's government found out; you should never underestimate the ability of large numbers of USB sticks gifted by benefactors to facilitate the free flow of restricted information; it just takes a little longer, that's all.

USA can improve information flow, if they recall embargos placed on Cuba. If Cuba is sponsor of terrorism, then its Northern neighbor is not any better.

I don't think you understand the point of the embargo... if 300 million gringos found out they could get better medical care for free 90 miles from Florida it would be an economic catastrophe in the US. The wall is to keep us out, not them in.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896051)

I don't think you understand the point of the embargo... if 300 million gringos found out they could get better medical care for free 90 miles from Florida it would be an economic catastrophe in the US. The wall is to keep us out, not them in.

Unfortunately, US health care is a like the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem:
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

This allows the political elite to convince themselves and a sizeable proportion of the masses that they have the best medical system in the world.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896181)

So, let's examine the logic here. How can INFORMATION flow be improved, by repealing PRODUCT embargoes on Cuba? We already have a free internet. Cuba chooses to censor that internet and deny its citizens potentially harmful thought. Why could this be so? Could it be that Cuba could discover that better systems are available, and that it's totally bogus that their countrymen are imprisoned just because they disobey the authorities [monstersandcritics.com] ?

For your second sentence, it's the false equivalency so beloved these days. If Party A does something bad, and Party B does something bad, then Party A's evil is totally excused by Party B's actions.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896595)

For your second sentence, it's the false equivalency so beloved these days. If Party A does something bad, and Party B does something bad, then Party A's evil is totally excused by Party B's actions.

In older days people would say "pot, met kettle"

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896711)

Again, don't get it. If something is wrong, it's just plain wrong. It doesn't excuse anyone else's use of the same method - unless, and only unless, some sort of double standard is in play. Is this the case?

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

filthpickle (1199927) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896281)

Maybe I am way off on this, but I think the embargoes on Cuba are going to slowly start loosening up. We have to reach a point where the demographic in power in the US just can't come up with a good reason as to why we are still doing it. (I am not saying that the reasons now are good, just that they can convince themselves that they are).

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895791)

Tough break indeed. It's gonna be even harder to find MILF Burka porn.

Re:The ultimate in egress filtering (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895803)

We could also have done that by not having our industrial control systems connected to the internet in the first place.

Olympic Games? (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895541)

The US began offensive cyber-attacks against Iran during the presidency of George W. Bush when the Olympics Games project was founded.

Gee, the IOC is going to be cross beyond compare for this. It's their trademark! You can't even claim that this activity belongs to a non-competing field, since both this and the IOC activities are about profiting from being generally sleazy. See you in court.

Smart move... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895553)

I have to agree with them. Very smart move, and one that will followed by everyone, except of course "Common Wealth". And that is the naked truth, only an idiot would allow a foreign government (USA with their monopoly over key server services) to have such an useful tool for propagating their ideas and policy. Soon, thanks to USA corrupted government, every country will have its own intranet. And that actually would be very good idea.

Re:Smart move... (2)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895659)

I have to agree with them. Very smart move, and one that will followed by everyone

I don't think it will work, though -- a country-sized Intranet is an indefensibly large target. All it takes is one connection to the outside world, and the spooks can come right back in through that connection. In a country the size of Iran, what are the odds that some desperate/clever Iranian won't set up a satellite dish or something to get access to the outside world? And even if they don't, it wouldn't be too difficult for a spook to come in and set up one up.

I think at best this will only harm Iranians, and give the Iranian government a false sense of security.

Re:Smart move... (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895933)

this is funny somehow it is always US gov that is corrupt and guilty.I think they are guilty of number of evil things and a lots of misery is caused by silly but systematic actions of US authorities yet claiming they are guilty of any silly thing is just - well - silly.I think Iran would end up this way w/o involvement of US authorities - it just lies in the nature of authoritarian regimes that they do not trust anybody and this often enuff results in paranoia. This will have negative effect mostly on them alone as this will increase cost of doing things. We could see what happened to Soviet Russia and its satellites when the isolated themselves from the west - great things were still possible but more difficult. There are good things about this happening right now. It shows that Iranian Gov is not as stable as it seems. The other is that it will weaken them in long run. Yet another one - more restrictions it puts on its own people more will be convinced that the gov is not representing their interest. This is not a small thing as contrary of what some hotheads in the west might have thought last time there were riots in cities of Iran it was a minority that rioted and wanted the gov gone, the majority still seems to be OK with the maniac at head of head.

One more thing seems to need setting straight. You do not have to do everything in open and it is often unreasonable to do so. Openness has advantages though - it allows for faster correction of wrong course usually so it makes an open society more efficient in combating negative changes in env. This openness has its problems with it - this much is clear - but in normal circumstances it is beneficial. This in some sense is also a message one may see after studying the reasons why Europe or generally so called West made such a rapid progress over last few centuries: openness and stealing of ideas to apply them in a different env. etc. This goes quite against what current IIP nazis are doing but the battle here is also not lost.

True reasons might be more sinister. (2)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895563)

Better censorship and surveillance.

Remember, this is the country "in which there are no gay people".

Re:True reasons might be more sinister. (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895665)

Well, they have to make sure, no?

Re:True reasons might be more sinister. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897199)

Exactly. And they'll make sure the country is perfect in many other terms, too.

Paradise on Earth, it will be.

great, there goes our best chance at peace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895585)

great, we've created an information schism. information schism = no peace

This is the future (0)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895601)

If governments continue fighting "cyber wars" - or trying to hack other governments' strategic assets, then we can expect more countries to decide not to play. So while it may seem like a good idea to attack countries that a particular government decides it doesn't like, the end result won't hurt that country's rulers at all. In fact the lasting effect could (if handled properly by the "victim's" government-run news agency - and there won;t be many others left when the internet goes <pop>) be that the attacker will be portrayed to the people as the aggressor - THEY killed OUR internet.

It's highly unlikely that any government or military institution would be damaged by a country taking itself off the internet, but it WILL stop (or at least make it a dam' sight harder) anyone outside getting information or intelligence about the popular feeling inside that country and it would stop any oppressed group from appealing for outside help.

All that will happen is that by attacking a foreign power by means of hacking it's internet connected assets, its people will suffer, its democracy will be damaged and "intelligence" will become less reliable and harder to obtain.

Re:This is the future (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895829)

That would never happen, think of all of the lost profit. Multi-national corporations would have so much more logistical work to do.

The walled-garden approach only works for so long, the best scientific feats ever created were the result of multiple countries working together. I give you, the Internet!

Of course your statement about hacking Internet connected assets is kind of moot since all intelligence work leads to strengthening of security system whether they in the cyber-world or the real world. This is nothing new, will not end anytime soon, nor will it ever really change. Building your country-wide Intranet? Now we just gotta send in covert forces to login and plant microwave proxies, good luck detecting that reliably. There is always a way in, nothing is ever 100% secure.

Re:This is the future (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896055)

The thing is, setting up information barriers slows scientific and technical progress. This results in the country being less powerful.

China can probably get away with this. They are a large enough country that they can probably keep up with the rest of the world on their own. For anyone else, including the US, which is SMALL compared to the world, this is unlikely to work. And even China would suffer...note that their "Great Firewall" tries to be specific about what kinds of information it censors. They KNOW that the don't want to pay the price of a total break.

Re:This is the future (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896849)

I doubt China could do this.

The internet is such a huge facilitator of commerce it would be commercial suicide to cut it off completely.

Want to send a picture, better hope the black and white fax from the 10 year old machine is good enough. Want to send a video, you're going to have to air mail it. Hell, just the cost of sending basic paperwork back and forth adds up after a while. The most expensive part will be international calling though. If you need to send an important message you would either have to call the person or next day air mail them. Not exactly easy or fun to do given the time difference.

You'll note that every country that's ever tried the whole shutdown the internet gambit isn't really thinking about commercial international trade.

Cyberattacks gave the perfect excuse! (2)

Thruen (753567) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895603)

Even if it is just the excuse they're going to use in order to cut off a widely used means of communication, it's hard to argue against the reasoning. If they were going to stop at taking government facilities off the Internet and move them to a closed network, I'd even believe it really is about protecting themselves from foreign governments launching cyber attacks. I'm not saying this wouldn't have happened anyway, but they do have a great argument against people who see it for what it almost certainly is: a way to better control and monitor communications nationwide.

Agreed, 110% (mod him up)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895679)

One of, if not THE best post on the page today, as it exposes the REAL motivation behind this (& the worst part is, whenever ANYONE does anything vs. ANY "totalitarian" regime, it gives said regime the reasons they need to do as they wish).

* Good post, cuts right to the chase/heart-of-the-matter...

(Hope you get that mod up, since your post is the "real-deal", imo @ least!)

Saddest part of all, imo @ least, is that these regimes don't understand that it's like trying to "grab water" - the tighter you squeeze, the more will slip through your fingers. They're reacting the ONLY way they know how... kind of obvious!

APK

P.S.=> The world's getting to be a SAD place where deceits galore rule, & 1/2 truths are the "word-of-the-day"...

... apk

Re:Cyberattacks gave the perfect excuse! (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897183)

Wasn't stuxnet delivered via thumb drive?

Well done Samzenpus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895643)

I submitted this same story yesterday (different URL, same story)! I don't even get credit along with DaveGilbert99? Posting anon because this is bound to be down-modded.

Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895657)

They will protect themselves Microsoft's style. Turning off the computer.

Honest Question (2)

retech (1228598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895667)

Why does the US or any gov. allow key systems to be on the WWW? I'm often baffled when I read stories of a key system going down because it was hacked, or ddos, or virus, or etc... Take the power grid and missle defense systems. Why would those computers need net access? A closed net yes. But when you read that people working there are surfing porn you know full well this is a wide open access. So what benefit can outweigh this security risk?

Re:Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895983)

Engineers working for the plant (in one capacity or another) can remote in to check the status of the plant/operation and offer suggestions as how to fix problems when they inevitably arise. I mean, it sure is a lot cheaper to let engineers remote in instead of needing to fly key people out to some remote facility just so they can see all the raw data. It's quite common with online systems in the oil and gas field (e.g. pipeline operations).

It's easy to cast off online access for key systems as being unimportant compared to security, but there are some very nice benefits that to having internet access.

What a grade A doofus (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895681)

Does this clueless evil troglodyte think cutting the routers at the border is going to do anything to stop the pwning of his puny infrastructure?

Iranian prisoners^W citizens: time to take this putz and the whole putrid middle ages mullahtocracy out. With extreme prejudice.

Epic Plan fail (3, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895715)

Walk over Iranian border with virus laden USB key, plug into Iranian Internet and reinfect at will. Has the added benefit that Iranian intranet, being reasonably isolated from the outside world, won't infect computers on the real internet as often.

Production network (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895737)

However this move is just the initial step in an 18 month plan to take the country off the world wide web, and replace it with a state-controlled intranet.

Here's an interesting alternative viewpoint. Everywhere I've worked for 20 years has had airgapped production and IT networks. If not airgap and ridiculously hardened firewall between them. Other than when I worked for Uncle Sam in the early 90s none of these have been "defense" or "secret" networks, just good ole american factories and communications companies, so there's nothing overly secret about this. The interesting alternative viewpoint is that airgapped prod networks are over 20 years old and apparently just now being deployed in Iran. I wonder when the last 20 years of security tech will be deployed to Iran in the future. Like maybe in 2025 they'll switch from telnet to SSH, or in 2030 maybe they'll upgrade from SNMPv1 to SNMPv2. Could they have https intranet servers in a decade or so?

Its interesting to think about. The whole "the future is already here, just not evenly distributed" thing.

A Cure for Citizens of Countries with No Internet (1)

Traiano (1044954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895811)

While the CIA has a pretty terrible track record with respect to third world citizenry, one has to give credit to the ostensibly altruistic internet in a suitcase [occupycorporatism.com] . It would be an excellent "weapon" in situations like this where the ability to connect would support a movement of the people, whether it be aligned with USA interests or not.

The end of the internet as we know it? (5, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#40895971)

10 - 15 years ago I remember professors and others ranting and raving that the internet would usher in a new era of free flow of ideas around the world and because of the way the internet was designed it could not be filtered or stopped. Which given the cost of computing at the time seemed reasonable.

But by 2002 that had all changed. I remember taking a class which the professor had been teach philosophy and computers for close to 20 years at that point. He went into the theory behind "hyper linked text" and the idea and concept of what the "world wide web" originally meant to people like him. The closest thing we have to their philosophical idea today is wikipedia where you can go read an page with links to other pages about related topics/events/etc..

By that time "surfing the web" was not a web of interlinked hypertext, but was a rather linear experience. The research at the time showed this was how most peopl thought and used the web and was reflected in general web site design espcially of corporate sites and news sites. Fast forward 10 years later and now we have apps on our phones. Many of those apps rely on the underlying protocols of the internet, but most take you to a single site or service.

Back to the original point though was this idea that all information wanted to be free and would be free. To the academics the genie was out of the bottle and would never be put back in. My professor thought otherwise and that we'd see a slow march towards fragmenation as the powers that be learned to tame the beast.

Then came China who seemed to do it with the great firewall. Are the chinese 100% effective? No. But you don't have to be 100% just effective enough. Once they did it and proved it could be done other countries started erecting national filters, firewalls, and monitoring equipment.

Now China has something the Iranians do not: a billion people. That is a critical mass for a user base and something Iran doesn't have. But, if the Iranians do prove it can be done effectively, and there will be a lot of other countries watching, then it's likely we'll see the end of the internet as we know it over the next 10 - 15 years as more countries and groups will create their own private networks which they can control.

Re:The end of the internet as we know it? (0)

rabtech (223758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896543)

Well good for us then; they'll be hobbled with baby versions of a state-controlled Internet and the rest of us will be benefitting from the real thing, assuming there is an actual advantage (I believe there is).

That is if libertarians* and conservatives don't succeed in reverting us to a corporatist theocracy, dominated by telco/cableco dualopolies.

At least when the liberals screw you they whisper sweet nothings and buy you a new dress. The conservatives smack you around and call you a whore.

* real free markets don't exist without government coercion, otherwise those willing to use brown-nosing, bribes, violence, collusion, etc monopolize enough critical services (eg railways, telecom) to effectively extract tolls on *all* commerce. Back during the libertarian wet-dream of small government in the late 1800s-1930s, Standard Oil monopolized the oil industry by owning all the major railroads, thus if you refused to cooperate you were denied shipping services by the railroad. Without the troublesome FDA, people sold radium-infused tonics that gave people jaw cancer and sold X-Ray shoe fitting machines that gave kids cancer. Without the EPA, companies just dumped industrial chemicals into rivers where it killed all the fish and caught one on fire. If sued, they just filed bankruptcy, moved down the road, and started up again. Funny enough how they never address how government got where it is today... Through massive monopolies, huge safety problems that tool thousands of lives, and massive pollution: all results of the "free market".

Re:The end of the internet as we know it? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896683)

China has 1.3 billion people, not 1 billion. I realize that to you, it's only a rounding error in a large number, but 0.3 billion people is the entire population of America. Maybe if we spell it out in proper notation, it'll make more sense: 1,300,000,000.

More edit fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40895999)

born not borne.

so sick and tired (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896641)

of this bullshit iran wardrum thumping. its like every summary tries to outdo its predecessor in terms of wackiness in its attempt to paint Iran as some sort of zany international joke. from TFA, guise:

"The establishment of the national intelligence network will create a situation where the precious intelligence of the country won't be accessible to these powers," Mr Taghipour told a conference on Sunday at Tehran's Amir Kabir University.

at no point does this interview even suggest the country is going to forego the fucking internet entirely. this is to iran as GSI was to the UK [wikipedia.org]
its is to iran as SIPRnet is to America [wikipedia.org] , but we dont ridicule SIPRNet on the same level.

the cherrypick summary about George Bush Juniors first thrust into this hornets nest that most americans dont seem threatened by at all misses the point entirely.. The state of Iran, which has proven capable of downing our most advanced drone technology, is now adapting formal military countermeasures to combat the worms and trojans being developed by the only two governments on the planet that seem to outright lust for its destruction.

Lots of luck to them (2)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896681)

One of the key hallmarks of the Internet is its resilience. As other oppressive regimes have learned the hard way, it's really, really difficult to censor the Internet. All it takes is a few gutsy people (who are never in short supply) to provide links to the outside world, and there goes the Intranet firewall. I'll bet that even elements within the Iranian government will find the lure of the Internet too powerful to resist. Iran won't be able to close off the Internet, any more than the Soviet Union could censor faxes during the Cold War.

Battlestar Galactica (2)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 2 years ago | (#40896689)

So they went for the Battlestar Galactica solution: no networked computers. I can't say I blame them.

Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40896759)

According to Iran, there was virtually no damage, it took almost no time to detect/remove and barely slowed them down.

Nice exuse (3, Interesting)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40897025)

And as a "side benefit", many Iranian people previously entrusted with internet access can no longer see independent (non-censored_ information.

Boom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40897327)

Surprised they don't just drop a nuke on it and say "They must have had some sort of accident. Shouldn't be messing with those atoms when they don't know what they are doing."

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