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Fears of Olympic Cyber Attack Detailed After Snooping Revealed

samzenpus posted 1 year,23 days | from the timing-is-everything dept.

United Kingdom 109

First time accepted submitter Dr_Ish writes "The BBC is reporting that the opening ceremonies of last the Olympics last year were potentially subject to a cyber attack that could have cut all the lights and power. Of course, it did not happen. However, the interesting question is whether this is real, or whether this is a FUD story promoted by GCHQ to help shore up some credibility issues."

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109 comments

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C'mon (4, Interesting)

vikingpower (768921) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217309)

Proof ? Any credible material, anywhere ? No ? Then walk on, people. Nothing to see here. News at eleven.

Re:C'mon (5, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217471)

The best part? The article even lays bare the complete idiocy

Thirty seconds at the opening ceremony with the lights going down would have been catastrophic in terms of reputational hit

Ahh, so it's your reputation you care so much about, not, you know, actual threats.

Re:C'mon (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217945)

Exactly. And my pet rock keep tigers away. Beware of the tigers!!!!

Re:C'mon (1)

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Re:C'mon (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218227)

The best part? The article even lays bare the complete idiocy

Thirty seconds at the opening ceremony with the lights going down would have been catastrophic in terms of reputational hit

Ahh, so it's your reputation you care so much about, not, you know, actual threats.

Please. The aftermath and financial ruin the Olympics brings to damn near every city they've been in recent history causes far more damage than the a hack during some obscene opening ceremony they spent millions on. Oh yeah, millions spent, in order to light a damn torch.

Of course, no one wants to speak of that rather large elephant in the room. No, let's just keep the marketing hype up and convince countries they need the Olympics.

Re:C'mon (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218629)

Hey. The 1976 Olympics were paid off a full 7 years ago [wikipedia.org]

Re:C'mon (2)

dintech (998802) | 1 year,22 days | (#44219391)

Also when I read this, I thought to myself, why in the fuck were you considering connecting stadium lights to the internet?

Then it occurs to me that was government funded. Maybe they've got some stupid fucking £1m iPhone app that turns them off remotely when they forgot to do it.

Re:C'mon (2)

cheater512 (783349) | 1 year,22 days | (#44222477)

'National security' being thrown about to cover up incompetence? Tell me it ain't so!

Re:C'mon (1)

omnichad (1198475) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217629)

The funny thing about prevention is that you get to take credit for everything that doesn't happen. Did there have to be a threat? Stores prevent millions of thefts every day by having doors that they can lock when the store is closed.

Re:C'mon (1)

Mitreya (579078) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218229)

The funny thing about prevention is that you get to take credit for everything that doesn't happen. ... Stores prevent millions of thefts every day by having doors that they can lock when the store is closed.

Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

(and your doors w/locks).

Re:C'mon (1)

jkflying (2190798) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218139)

I think the real issue drawing the credibility into account is the timing of this news story...

Like Eurodisney Paris, April 12th 1992 (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218271)

Proof ? Any credible material, anywhere ?

No proof, but it wouldn't have been the first time in history. The opening night of Eurodisney Paris was marred by a terrorist attack against one of the power lines to the parc [lesechos.fr] . Fortunately, this bomblet didn't have any impact on the opening ceremony, thanks to a redundant power supply.

Re:C'mon (1)

EdZ (755139) | 1 year,22 days | (#44219629)

Here's the GCHQ risk analysis:

RISK: Cyber attack on Olympic Ceremony lighting system
MITIGATION: Do not connect Olypmic Ceremony lighting system to internet

Prevention of prevention (5, Funny)

BSAtHome (455370) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217311)

Last week I prevented the prevention of the prevention to take place preventing the mishaps that prevents you from using preventative steps.

You didn't know all that because I prevented you from hearing about it until now. Please thank me and bow to your preventive overlord.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda...

Re:Prevention of prevention (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217347)

Last week I prevented the prevention of the prevention to take place preventing the mishaps that prevents you from using preventative steps.

You didn't know all that because I prevented you from hearing about it until now. Please thank me and bow to your preventive overlord.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda...

As long as I haven been alive there has not been an apocalyptic alien invasion.

Therefore, all of Earth's resources and science should be dedicated to making me immortal.

Re:Prevention of prevention (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217619)

Sounds like a Best of Craigslist post [craigslist.org] in the making.

So what? (2)

JockTroll (996521) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217315)

It also happened that the whole audience AND the torchbearer disappeared. The Doctor fixed that. Then the Cracks in Time made everybody forgot. Same would happen with any Cyber-Attack. Can't vouch for any "upgraded" limeys, however.

FUD (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217337)

A government of liars cannot be trusted. Whether the story is actually FUD or not doesn't really matter. We must greet every bit of information with skepticism... assume every story is FUD. The only thing we know for sure is that we don't know the whole truth.

Re:FUD (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217493)

I'm sorry but I disagree in that this DOES matter. They pissed away $15 billion on the olympics (almost a billion just on security) and didn't even secure it properly?

Re:FUD (2)

ackthpt (218170) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217595)

I'm sorry but I disagree in that this DOES matter. They pissed away $15 billion on the olympics (almost a billion just on security) and didn't even secure it properly?

Next Olympics: No computers - no problem! :)

Re:FUD (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217631)

I'm sorry but I disagree in that this DOES matter. They pissed away $15 billion on the olympics (almost a billion just on security) and didn't even secure it properly?

Next Olympics: No computers - no problem! :)

Right; we'll just reorganize the entry gates so they lead into the nearest prison instead of the stadium. Voila!

Re:FUD (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217767)

I think that's just for the time between the Olympics.

Re:FUD (4, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217961)

Hey now, I distinctly remember something about them putting anti aircraft guns on buildings, some of the people who had to live with a WWII era machine gun on their roof were, as I recall, quite upset about it. Or maybe it was missiles? I forget, point is, it is quite obvious to everyone that the security was perfect! And since the Red Baron did not show, we can conclude that at least one attack was averted.

As for the rest of the money, weren't you entertained for a whole goddamn month by people jumping about and generally trying to accomplish feats of human stupdity (I mean, who swims 1000 meters? what the fuck?) - all for your amusement.

Re:FUD (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | 1 year,22 days | (#44220007)

They were missiles. [bbc.co.uk]

I smell bullshit. (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217343)

I smell more government/industry stirred bullshit along the lines of the rest of the "we must have absolute control of the internets0rs because hax0rs will kill everyone and destroy the world" garbage we've had shoved down our throats the last five years. In exactly what reality would you have your fucking lights and power connected to the internet, exactly...?

Re:I smell bullshit. (1)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218373)

5 years? Have to go back further than that! You may have only been paying attention for 5 years, but this shit goes back to Bush the first.

Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217369)

Just imagine the horror, the horror! The primary lights and AV systems could have gone out, forcing the audience to endure the inconvenience of use the emergency exit lighting systems that(as a new venue) would have been legally obligated to comply with the relevant portions of British Standard 5266, and possibly other similar regulations(unless some Olympic Comittee weasel bent that rule, or somebody hired G4S to handle it...)

Clearly, when a problem could either be reliably solved with some lead-acid batteries and a few LED light strips, or possibly, not guarantees solved by ubiquitous surveillance of all IP communications in, to/from, or through the United Kingdom, Our Choice Is Obvious!

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (1)

omnichad (1198475) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217653)

The world's 4th largest sporting event suffered a power outage - The Super Bowl - and it didn't really matter all that much.

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (2)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217837)

During a Nats game recently, one of the big lights caught fire, so they ushered the people sitting under it to other seats and continued the game.

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,22 days | (#44220081)

The world's 4th largest sporting event suffered a power outage - The Super Bowl - and it didn't really matter all that much.

Arguably, that's the other vice(as though it needed more) of various OMG TOTAL SECURITY schemes: anybody chasing some Panopticon-silver-bullet scheme is likely tempted(and funding constrained) to ignore the basic, boring, highly useful, local redundancy and resilience measures that come in handy in all kinds of situations. A fire in the electrical closet would also have brought down the power during the Olympic games; but there wouldn't have been a whisper on the internet; because it would have been a mere accident. So would a zillion other misadventures of large-scale electrical wiring, most of which are entropy, accident, or laziness, not pre-planned malice.

Even if prevention of pre-planned malice actually works(possible; but debatable) isn't it better to have resilience in place that will serve you in both malice and in accident?

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (2)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218403)

Actually if the power went out it would have increased revenue due to increased ratings. Everyone would have been tuned in to see "The 30 second horror of darkness in London", because that's what we have been trained to do.

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,22 days | (#44220097)

Even better, any broadcast affiliates whose cameras were disabled by the power outage would be able to convincingly synthesize the needed footage with nothing more than a lens cap and some pre-canned scream effects!

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | 1 year,22 days | (#44222729)

By ratings, you mean people would have turned on the news for a few minutes just to see it? And this would result in increased revenue?

Not trying to be snarky, but I don't understand how those eyeballs translate into revenue. There's quite a leap between flicking on the TV and buying seat tickets.

Re:Oh gosh! A Cyber Attack!!! (1)

s.petry (762400) | 1 year,22 days | (#44225267)

Nope, not the news. People would have tuned in to the Olympics and watched looking for the "terrorism". We saw the same exact scenario when the lights went out at the Superbowl. As soon as the news went out that power was out, everyone tuned in and waited for something bad to happen. "News" would have also seen an increase in viewing.

Oh no they could turn the lights off (5, Insightful)

thetagger (1057066) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217375)

I am pretty sure that the fear of "terrorists" turning off the lights at a stadium is a good reason to throw away my personal freedoms!

Re:Oh no they could turn the lights off (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217585)

I am pretty sure that the fear of "terrorists" turning off the lights at a stadium is a good reason to throw away my personal freedoms!

Or throw away the employment of the douchebag who connected the stadium lights and power to the Internet. The same sort of stupidity that would get you fired if you were employed at a gun shop and sold a gun to a known gangster that failed a background check.

Re:Oh no they could turn the lights off (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218057)

What's the problem of connecting the lights to the Internet? Are you afraid that some terrorist would invade your computers and TURN THE LIGHTS OFF? Did you stop to consider how stupid is that?

Or maybe I shouldn't post this, beause some terrorist might READ IT!

Re:Oh no they could turn the lights off (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218113)

Especially considering that the story is released almost a year after the alleged threat would have taken place.

More conveniently, it is mere weeks since PRISM was exposed, and with governments scrambling to save their credibility, they need such stories, proving how useful it is.

Re:Oh no they could turn the lights off (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218545)

Even worse is that they dug through their huge list of "successes" and this is the best one they found.

Re:Oh no they could turn the lights off (1)

Mitreya (579078) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218255)

I am pretty sure that the fear of "terrorists" turning off the lights at a stadium is a good reason to throw away my personal freedoms!

I am absolutely certain that if they actually stopped anything (even someone who was going to sabotage janitor's broom), that would be all over the news. Who would pass on such great publicity?

Just like if TSA ever accidentally catches a terrorist, they would be trumpeting it for years (and requesting to double their funding).

Re:Oh no they could turn the lights off (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218627)

Worse than this, the biggest _actual_ security story to come out of the Olympics was that the company that was actually hired to provide security, G4S, didn't actually provide enough people and they had to bring in the military to cover at the last minute, thus proving the things you actually could plan for were screwed up:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/supportservices/10070425/Timeline-how-G4Ss-bungled-Olympics-security-contract-unfolded.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Logical response (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44217381)

Oh no, the Olympics might have temporarily lost lighting. How fucking terrible. I guess we better spy on everyone in the world then. Never again can we allow such an alleged tragedy to happen. Imagine how all of the people who are watching without a tape delay would feel! And imagine how much money the IOC would lose!

Never was so much owed so many to so few. I'm not talking about the brave cyberwarriors and cybersnoops who saved the world. I'm talking about the public being bent over by the IOC staff.

And so what? (1)

ruir (2709173) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217399)

The Olympics maybe big, but is just a business like any other. They hack it as much they want, I don't give a damn. There are more important things. Actually they would be doing us a favour if they hacked it, the idols and big brother.

Re:And so what? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217455)

The Olympics is a business markedly worse than most, in terms of nakedly abusive regulatory capture and overt plunder of the public who are unlucky enough to reside in its chosen location.

Re:And so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217573)

The olympics is unlike any other business I know. Just by requesting it they get special laws passed and exemptions to existing laws.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Olympic_Games_and_Paralympic_Games_Act_2006 [wikipedia.org]

But I agree that any actions taken to disrupt the games would have been a good thing.

The threat never materialized (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217411)

In most fields, when you say that something is going to happen, but then it doesn't, then that means you were wrong. In secret intelligence, if you say something is going to happen, but it doesn't, then that means that you prevented it.

You don't need pervasive spying to know that someone might try to hack into the electrical system during a highly publicized event, so the big takeway from this is that apparently they were not prepared for this kind of likely attack if they had to take any action to prevent the attack once they received the "credible threat" -- they should have already been prepared for a cyber attack... maybe some of the intelligence money would be better spent on preventative measures.

Re:The threat never materialized (1)

tnk1 (899206) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217525)

You can't protect against every likely attack vector and while you are setting up preparations, the bad guys are seeing how you prepared and looking for what you missed.

Good plans always need to be backed up with recon or you'll be done by what can't adapt to in time to stop it.

Re:The threat never materialized (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217657)

In most fields, when you say that something is going to happen, but then it doesn't, then that means you were wrong. In secret intelligence, if you say something is going to happen, but it doesn't, then that means that you prevented it.

So, if they say that they have prevented the second coming of Christ, would you believe them? some things need to stay within the boundaries of plausibility.

Re:The threat never materialized (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217873)

Considering that the action in this case was to have people standing by to manually turn the lights back on within 30 seconds, we can be 100% sure the attack was not actually attempted OR that it would have failed with or without the intelligence reports and recon.

Re:The threat never materialized (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218001)

Considering that the action in this case was to have people standing by to manually turn the lights back on within 30 seconds, we can be 100% sure the attack was not actually attempted OR that it would have failed with or without the intelligence reports and recon.

Or, to put it another way - by not having property network security including air-gaps from the internet, the venue's network security is a big fat fail.

Re:The threat never materialized (1)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218031)

That's harder to say. If the attempt was made, then the network security was perfectly adequate though nobody had any confidence in it. If no attempt was actually made, we cannot say one way or another.

Re:The threat never materialized (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217923)

In secret intelligence, if you say something is going to happen, but it doesn't, then that means that you prevented it.

Nope. In secret intelligence, you don't say something is going to happen publicly because if you do, you tip off the bad guys that you're monitoring them. The most successful secret missions to prevent attacks are the ones that are never made public. Of course, their worst failures are also kept secret from the public. That's why when an intelligence agency is publicizing how successful it is by pointing to attacks that never materialize, its trying to justify its expenses and activities. And that is usually a sign of panic about potential investigations and more oversight control.

Re:The threat never materialized (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218263)

preventative

Stop it. The word is preventive.

Re:The threat never materialized (1)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218475)

preventative

Stop it. The word is preventive.

Unless, of course, the word is "preventative":

http://grammarist.com/spelling/preventative-preventive/ [grammarist.com]

Preventative vs. preventive
Preventive is the original adjective corresponding to prevent, but preventative has gained ground and is now a common variant. The two share all their definitions.

http://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=preventative&submit.x=41&submit.y=12 [ahdictionary.com]

preventive (pr-vntv) also preventative (-t-tv)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/preventative [merriam-webster.com]

preventative adjective

concerned with or serving to keep something from happening
Synonyms precautionary, preventative, prophylactic

Interestingly, the Merriam Webster Thesaurus doesn't even mention preventive as a synonym for preventative

Of course, if you're on a mission to eliminate a widely used word from the English Language, well, I wish you luck.

Re:The threat never materialized (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44219679)

In most fields, when you say that something is going to happen, but then it doesn't, then that means you were wrong. In secret intelligence, if you say something is going to happen, but it doesn't, then that means that you prevented it.

You don't need pervasive spying to know that someone might try to hack into the electrical system during a highly publicized event, so the big takeway from this is that apparently they were not prepared for this kind of likely attack if they had to take any action to prevent the attack once they received the "credible threat" -- they should have already been prepared for a cyber attack... maybe some of the intelligence money would be better spent on preventative measures.

The goal of intelligence is well informed decision makers. I think very few people here really understand that.
Informed decision making. Those responsible for making decisions and taking action will continue to do so with good, bad, or no intelligence.

All this connecting the dots between intelligence and actions resulting from it is just bordering on insanity, like the word intelligence itself has almost lost its meaning.

Let's summarize (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | 1 year,23 days | (#44217459)

GCHQ found a 'credible' threat that someone might turn the lights off during the opening ceremony and warned officials to have a contingency plan.

Officials posted a team of techs prepared to manually turn the lights back on if necessary. That's all they had time to do.

The threat never materialized and a bunch of techs were bored for a while.

In other words, it was exactly like that Mayan calendar thing. However 'credible' they found the threat, there was simply nothing to it and nothing was averted.

Every night, probably millions of parents spray 'monster spray' under their small child's bed. They must be more powerful than Ultraman.

Re:Let's summarize (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44219091)

I would like to purchase your monster spray.

Evaporating terrorists (5, Interesting)

Kingston (1256054) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217481)

A few years ago the UK government leaked the story that there was a crack team of Islamic terrorists equipped with surface to air missiles ready to launch a "spectacular" attack. These extremists had based themselves in west London near Heathrow airport and were planning an imminent attack. In response the government sent 400 troops and tanks to the airport. Strangely no arrests were ever made and no missiles were ever recovered and the whole event was quickly forgotten. When did this happen ? about 5 weeks before the invasion of Iraq [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Evaporating terrorists (0)

Mikkeles (698461) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217535)

I think you may be remembering an episode of 'Spooks' (MI5 on this side of the Atlantic). Probably just as fictional as this "credible" threat.

Re:Evaporating terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218211)

I think you may be remembering an episode of 'Spooks' (MI5 on this side of the Atlantic). Probably just as fictional as this "credible" threat.

Nope [bbc.co.uk] .

The prime minister gave his personal authorisation for soldiers to be drafted in to boost security at Heathrow airport and other sites in London, says Downing Street.

A total of 450 troops have joined 1,000 extra police officers in patrolling the airport as part of a tightening of security at sites across the capital.

The heightened security is linked to intelligence concerns that al-Qaeda may try to use surface-to-air missiles in the UK or US this week.

Re:Evaporating terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218235)

Hah, just noticed I missed a quote in that article which states exactly what Kingston implied:

I think probably the authorities feel that they should build up emotions - what I call the `war spirit' -Dr Zaki Badawi Muslim College

Re:Evaporating terrorists (1)

Kingston (1256054) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218585)

OK, I think they made another appearance in July 2011. This was around two weeks after a report of a NATO missile killing children in Libya. [guardian.co.uk] The British public were not keen on another war in the middle east. Then this appeared in the Telegraph. [telegraph.co.uk] The strange thing is that this village is neither on the Heathrow nor Gatwick flight paths. I know the area quite well and there are no low flying aircraft there, no wonder the villagers were amazed, it was all arranged for the national press. Here is a good analysis of the story. [hostingprod.com]

Re:Evaporating terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217563)

Inside job.

"potentially subject" (1)

bmimatt (1021295) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217489)

FYI - we are also 'potentially subject' to an asteroid strike.

FUD (3, Insightful)

longk (2637033) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217497)

According to research people are more afraid of things they don't understand well (like cyber attacks, terrorism, nuclear energy) than things they do understand well (like train or car accidents), even if the number or deaths is much higher for the second category.

Expect government agencies to go all out on cyber attacks. It sounds dangerous and nobody asks for details or proof.

The latter (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217503)

"Who are you going to trust - your lying eyes, or scumbag spooks already caught in a manifold of lies?"

Weak sauce, GCHQ.

So who hacked the Super Bowl ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217521)

So when does the story leak about what really happened during this year's Super Bowl?

Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217523)

Absolute complete bullshit. The National Grid is not connected to the internet.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217797)

That's why they connected it. So they could stop the threats.

Win-win!

Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217545)

Such an attack would only be possible, if it was possible to control the lights and power over the Internet in the first place, right?
So who's the idiot, who decided that was a good idea?

Until the responsible idiot comes forward and admits that he/she is an idiot, I'm going to say "Pics^H^H^H^HProof or it didn't happen!".

to clarify, its fud. (2)

nimbius (983462) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217561)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3948321&cid=44215203 [slashdot.org]
you can expect a few more of these "see its freedom surveillance!" stories in the next few days. After all, we dont want anyone else questioning the American Dream(c) now do we?

local LAN or VPN anyone? (1)

devent (1627873) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217623)

What a BS. Do you know how easy it is to prevent a "cyber attack" on the light infrastructure? JUST DON"T PLUG THE LIGHTS TO THE INTERNET. You know, either create a local LAN or use a VPN. It's called a "virtual private network" and you can not hack it from the internet. To get the idea please look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Virtual_Private_Network_overview.svg [wikipedia.org]
See the grey cloud? That's the Internet and it have no access what-so-ever to the VPN.

The only risk is an insider with access to the local LAN or VPN. But if you have an insider then he or she can do much more harm then switch off the lights.

Re:local LAN or VPN anyone? (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218619)

It's called a "virtual private network" and you can not hack it from the internet.

That kind of thinking is exactly why we get massive security holes. Of course its possible to crack a VPN - you just crack one of the endpoint routers.

I say FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217663)

this FUD stands on the vague memory of lights going out at the US superbowl.

The evil ones, trying to play with our minds.

We are the people we are righteous, wherever you are FUD spreaders of all kinds, we see you. Fear will change side. You will fear us.

A herd of rogue elephants was ready to (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217701)

be released into Picadilly Circle by terrorist mahouts.

We caught wind of this by collecting phone metadata and prevented it from ever happening.

Prove we didn't.

I have better idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217703)

Put everybody in jail. There will be no more crime. Everybody's happy.

Re:I have better idea. (1)

neminem (561346) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217833)

I think you mean kill them. Killing everyone would stop all crime. *Tons* of crime happens inside jails.

It's true, we have always been at war with Eurasia (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217727)

When are the people in charge going to stop using 1984 as a resource manual?

Tron (3, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217743)

The head of the government's surveillance centre GCHQ, Sir Iain Lobban, says reconnaissance has taken place in cyberspace

Ok, after reading that I'm firmly convinced that this guy doesn't actually own a computer, use the internet and his concept of what networking is entirely based on watching the movie Tron a few too many times. He's probably paying his security experts six figures and at the end of each day they turn in reports full of details about light-cycles and occasionally they "capture" a glow in the dark frisbee at the local wallgreens and claim that they are some hackers identity disc.

Re:Tron (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218635)

The head of the government's surveillance centre GCHQ, Sir Iain Lobban, says reconnaissance has taken place in cyberspace

Ok, after reading that I'm firmly convinced that this guy doesn't actually own a computer, use the internet and his concept of what networking is entirely based on watching the movie Tron a few too many times.

TBH, "reconnaissance has taken place" is so vague as to be meaningless - he might just mean that they get ssh scans on internet-facing machines every so often (which *everyone* with a global scope IP address gets).

+3 FUD (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,22 days | (#44217761)

It would be FUD anyway since it's pure speculation. +1 for more FUD since there was already a lot of arm-waving about it the first time. Another +1 since there is a possibility of a Snowden factor thrown in to make it look like he's harmed the US somehow.

Don't get distracted by the real issue here. Snowden is not accountable for the laws broken by large government agencies.

But it DID happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217777)

On Earth-31.

Super Bowl (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217925)

What about the lights going off at the Super Bowl? I always thought that was suspect...

Follow the Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44217991)

question is whether this is real, or whether this is a FUD story promoted by GCHQ

The revolving door between the gov't and companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, etc. give the phrase "pass it forward" a whole new meaning. Gov't officials tell us we need to spend billions on contractors to protect us from the boogeyman and conveniently end up working as contractors themselves after they retire.

We were told that budget cuts to defense due to the sequester would be disastrous yet here we are doing just fine, so don't believe the FUD. In the past the taxpayer was robbed by being protected from the boogeyman by spending on unnecessary military equipment - unfortunately today the taxpayer is robbed by spending on unnecessary spying on taxpayers themselves. We're getting it up the ass twice now.

A potential cyber attack in the past (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218195)

The possibilities are limitless!
Yes we DEMAND echelon, prism, anal retention, whatever.

Even if it were true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218207)

...it still is an "ends justifies the means" argument. Did anyone ever tell you this was an OK to use this type of argument to get your way? Seems like I was always told that this is not a justifiable position to take.

Re:Even if it were true... (1)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218737)

You an any other person with a shred of intact personal ethics and honor. These people have neither.

Surveillance societies and police states are among the most despicable and repulsive constructs the human race has come up with. No surprise those in favor of creating them try every imaginable angle to justify what they are doing. Make no mistake, these people are on the same moral level as Hitler's and Stalin's helpers and if another Hitler or Stalin comes along, they will be the first to fall in line. That is what makes all this so dangerous.

goddamnmotherfuckingtittysuckingsonofabitch.co.uk (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218225)

Iceweasel can't find the server at goddamnmotherfuckingtittysuckingsonofabitch.co.uk.

safe for children (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218291)

acctually putting/forcing so many people into such a close confinment is dangerous to begin with. maybe next time they can film the whole spectacle and stream it to the internetzzzzz^hehe^hehe.

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218309)

Who cares if the power goes out during the Olympics.

Just imagine how humiliating it would be if the power were to go out at an important event, like the Super Bowl!

NM, its happened already.

FUD... or incredible stupidity (1)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,22 days | (#44218701)

While I would not rule out incredible stupidity by the system designers, this is very likely just another piece of FUD created by the amoral scum that presumes to "protect" us nowadays.

The real threat: Crayons (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218759)

If they were smart, they would have gathered up all of the crayons in the country before the opening ceremonies.

BBC = propaganda arm of MI5/MI6 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44218829)

OK, first yes, MI5 and MI6 are not the real names of the UK's intelligence agencies, but they serve as a universally accepted shorthand for describing domestic and foreign spying.

ALL of the BBC's foreign correspondents are official members of MI6, for instance. MI5 vets ALL (and I mean ALL) employment at the BBC, even having permanent offices in major BBC installations for this purpose. BBC real-time current affairs and news broadcasts are directly over-seen by MI5 personnel, and MI5 can (and has) directly cut feeds if, for instance, an interview starts going seriously in the 'wrong' direction.

The BBC (as a radio service long before TV) was created to be a propaganda arm of the UK government, and continues to this day in this role. When, for instance, Tony Blair wanted the use of torture to be widespread AND visible to the public, the BBC ran a day and night PR campaign for the usefulness of torture on EVERY type of show it produced, including children's shows. This continued for a period approaching 6 months.

The BBC has a pseudo-science show called 'Horizon' that exists purely to push agenda messages. This show 'PROVED', for example, that skyscrapers must fall at freefall speed into their own footprint if one exposes a small portion of the top of the building to the same kind of heat conditions an average household barbecue unit experiences during a cook-out. A later episode of the same show 'PROVED' that the US passenger plane that was actually shot down by a US missile from a near-by military training exercise (under circumstances identical to how Russia also accidentally destroyed a passenger jet) actually suffered from a spontaneous 'explosion' in an interior fuel containment space.

Horizon is re-badged in the USA, given a different name when it plays on PBS, and an American narration. A future episode is going to explain to viewers why the official narrative of the Boston marathon bombing cannot be questioned.

It should be noted that the BBC declared that WTC7, the third building of 9/11 that collapsed at free fall speed, had crashed to the ground in such a remarkable fashion 30 mins before the actual event. Indeed, for several months AFTER 9/11, the BBC kept the story in its daily newsfeed by constantly referring to the extraordinary scenes at the disaster site, specifically the rivers of molten steel that made the site so 'hot', it could be seen from space by thermal imaging satellites. However, when it became apparent that the official narrative made it IMPOSSIBLE for molten steel to exist on the ground in any significant quantity, the BBC removed EVERY archived news broadcast from facilities available to journalists and researchers. In a perfect Orwellian act, the BBC simply re-wrote history to erase an 'impossible' detail they had previously used on a daily basis to justify constant coverage in the aftermath.

Now here's an interesting fact about the BBC. In the 1960s, the BBC was sensitive in their coverage of 'black' issues. At some point in the mid 70s, a political decision was made that black people in the UK were to be demonised (which led to the rise of an ultra-extreme far right racist movement called 'The National Front' - a movement whose fallout specifically helped bring Thatcher to power). At the BBC, it was if a switch had been thrown. BBC output suddenly became unthinkably racist, especially the comedy programs. The BBC was at the forefront of escalating racial tensions. The irony was that the blacks they targeted were mostly conservative hard-working Christian families from the Caribbean islands.

Most of you will be aware of a news agency called Al-Jazeera. What most of you won't know is that this so-called 'Islamic' channel is actually part of the BBC MI6 propaganda project called the BBC World Service. BBC simply took a large part of its Arab desk, converted it into a pseudo independent service called Al-Jazeera, and unleashed it on the world in a blaze of publicity. Today, the BBC operates Al-Jazeera from British military intelligence facilities in Qatar. It is mostly used to lay down black-op propaganda initiatives like pushing 'civil' war in Syria and Egypt, although these wars are exclusively created by foreign 'actors' (the new buzz term).

No sane person ever goes to the BBC for news (you are actually better of with Murdoch's Fox News, because at least there you are constantly aware of the agenda). With vanishing rare exceptions, no sane person goes to the BBC for fictional entertainment either these days. The BBC does excel at music and live coverage of events though.

If you thought you'd heard FUD.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44219659)

...then I comment the linked article to the House.

Of course, since the propoganda is tailored on a country-by-country basis, you may need to route around some stuff just in order to listen - and be appalled - by this.

Potentially subject to cyber bullshit .. (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | 1 year,22 days | (#44220353)

"the interesting question is whether this is real"

NO!

"or whether this is a FUD story promoted by GCHQ to help shore up some credibility issues"

YES!

More Likely Story: (1)

froth-bite (2777385) | 1 year,22 days | (#44221737)

facebook sees itself in a mirror, and goes into infinite loop. all those affected turn to twitter, which promptly fowls itself. WaPo, while listening to Alanis Morissette, realizes that the internet itself is under attack...and that's when NSA claims credit (IRL) for edge detection.

Where are the pictures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44221907)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Our Services (1)

webdesign12 (2942269) | 1 year,22 days | (#44223983)

Our services is Web design & development service, Social media marketing services, Search Engine Optimization service,Software service and Desktop services etc.My Company Name is iDragon Tech LTD . Ours services website name is http://idragontech.co.uk/services [idragontech.co.uk] .

Pshhhh (1)

SraL (320007) | 1 year,22 days | (#44223987)

When you can't even get an olympic countdown clock to run past the first 24hrs.....what faith in "Cyber Security" is left....

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