Crumbling infrastructure – its not just highways and bridges anymore

The big news in Connecticut these days is Congress’s patched-up highway bill to continue patching-up our highways, while Connecticut has the the worst highway conditions in the nation. CTMirror: White House says CT roads and bridges deficient <read>

The White House issued an alarming report Monday that said 41 percent of Connecticut’s roads are in poor condition and more than 9,500 jobs in the state will be lost unless Congress acts quickly to replenish a fund that pays for a lion’s share of the state’s infrastructure construction and repair.

But we are also just as dependent on electricity and the Internet.  A Washington Post editorial highlights the risks: Congress is overdue in dealing with the cybersecurity threat <read>

THE INTERNET security company Symantec revealed recently that a group of hackers known as Dragonfly infiltrated malware into legitimate software belonging to three manufacturers of industrial control systems — the stuff that controls factories and power grids. In one case, the contaminated control software was downloaded 250 times by unsuspecting users before the compromise was discovered.
This kind of cyberattack is not new, but it is audacious and dangerous. One of the first such assaults was the Stuxnet campaign, which had sabotage as its primary goal, against the Iranian nuclear program. By contrast, Dragonfly was a multi-pronged infiltrator, aimed at cyber- espionage and gaining long-term access to computers, with sabotage as a future option, perhaps flicking off the electrical power to a city or shutting down a factory. Dragonfly probably was state-sponsored from somewhere in Eastern Europe…
A torrent of cyberattacks — disruption, espionage, theft — is costing U.S. business and government billions of dollars. This is reality, not science fiction. In March, Chinese hackers broke into the U.S. government agency that houses the personal information of all federal employees.
For several years, it has been clear to many in government and the private sector that the nation needs to vastly improve protection of its private networks and that only government has the sophisticated tools to do that. But Congress has balked at legislation that would ease the necessary cooperation….

State Sponsored – is that some kind of official conspiracy theory to spend gobs of money on another threat beyond terrorism? Of course that could be the result even if the threat is real.  But we don’t have to believe the Government – we could read  proof from the Snowden documents:  Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet<read>

The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.

The tools were created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG’s use of “fake victim blog posts,” “false flag operations,” “honey traps” and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users. [Hi English spy guys, welcome back to CTVotersCount]

Prime Minister David Cameron has justified as an “emergency” to “help keep us safe,” a newly released top-secret GCHQ document called “JTRIG Tools and Techniques” provides a comprehensive, birds-eye view of just how underhanded and invasive this unit’s operations are. The designed to notify other GCHQ units of JTRIG’s “weaponised capability” when it comes to the dark internet arts, and serves as a sort of hacker’s buffet for wreaking online havoc.

Yes, nothing to worry about, just our friends the British and probably our friend Israel is even farther along, every body does it…ask Germany about their friend in North America.  What chance is there that the Russians and Chinese are up to the same things, along with all sorts on non-government friends and non-friends as well? And of course nobody inside the U.S. Government itself would have any interest in influencing election outcomes, would they?

Internet voting, that is probably as safe and trustworthy as Facebook.


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