Nov 162012
 

By Eric Schmitt (NY Times)  David H. Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told lawmakers on Friday that classified intelligence reports revealed that the deadly assault on the American diplomatic mission in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration refrained from saying it suspected that the perpetrators of the attack were Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers to avoid tipping off the groups.

Mr. Petraeus, who resigned last week after admitting to an extramarital affair, said the names of groups suspected in the attack — including Al Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa and a local Libyan group, Ansar al-Shariah — were removed from the public explanation of the attack immediately after the assault to avoiding alerting the militants that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tracking them, lawmakers said.

via Petraeus Says U.S. Tried to Avoid Tipping Off Terrorists – NYTimes.com.

 November 16, 2012  Posted by at 9:19 pm Comments Off
May 272012
 

By Sergei Skorobogatov (Cambridge University) Claims were made by the intelligence agencies around the world, from MI5, NSA and IARPA, that silicon chips could be infected. We developed breakthrough silicon chip scanning technology to investigate these claims. We chose an American military chip that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standard, manufactured in China. Our aim was to perform advanced code breaking and to see if there were any unexpected features on the chip.

We scanned the silicon chip in an affordable time and found a previously unknown backdoor inserted by the manufacturer. This backdoor has a key, which we were able to extract. If you use this key you can disable the chip or reprogram it at will, even if locked by the user with their own key.

This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems.

via Latest news on my hardware security research.

 May 27, 2012  Posted by at 7:12 pm Comments Off
May 272012
 

By Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) After years of dealing with photographs of troops torturing prisoners, desecrating corpses and generally behaving badly, commanders in southwestern Afghanistan have announced that they are going to solve the problem by banning photography.

via Military to Avoid Embarrassing Pictures by Banning Photography — News from Antiwar.com.

 May 27, 2012  Posted by at 6:39 am Comments Off
Apr 092012
 

By Kim Murphy (Los Angeles Times) “Prior to the Iraq war, soldiers could not go into combat on psychiatric drugs, period. Not very long ago, going back maybe 10 or 12 years, you couldn’t even go into the armed services if you used any of these drugs, in particular stimulants,” said Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist who has written widely about psychiatric drugs and violence.

“But they’ve changed that…. I’m getting a new kind of call right now, and that’s people saying the psychiatrist won’t approve their deployment unless they take psychiatric drugs.”

Military doctors say most drugs’ safety and efficacy is so well-established that it would be a mistake to send battalions into combat without the help of medications that can prevent suicides, help soldiers rest and calm shattered nerves.

via For Army troops, prescription drugs may add to fog of war latimes.com.

 April 9, 2012  Posted by at 7:43 am Comments Off
Nov 272011
 

By Jenny Deam (Los Angeles Times) According to the Air Force Academy’s enrollment records, only three of United States Air Force 4,300 cadets identified themselves as pagans, followers of an ancient religion that generally does not worship a single god and considers all things in nature interconnected.

Still, the academy this year dedicated an $80,000 outdoor worship center — a small Stonehenge-like circle of boulders with propane fire pit — high on a hill for the handful of current or future cadets whose religions fall under the broad category of “Earth-based.” Those include pagans, Wiccans, druids, witches and followers of Native American faiths.

Chaplain Maj. Darren Duncan, branch chief of cadet faith communities at the academy says that it is no different from the worship spaces that serve this year’s 11 Muslim, 16 Buddhist and 10 Hindu cadets. There are also 43 self-identified atheist cadets whose beliefs, or lack of them, are also to be respected.

This is not about religious tolerance — a phrase Duncan, a Christian, rejects as implying that the majority religion is simply putting up with the minority. He calls it a 1st Amendment issue. If the military is to defend the Constitution, it should also be upholding its guarantee of religious freedom. “We think we are setting the standard,” Duncan says.

via Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans – latimes.com.

 November 27, 2011  Posted by at 8:40 am Comments Off