Terrorists now using Remote Control Vehicle Born IED’s

Suicide VBIED or Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device have been a favorite weapon of terrorists for decades. Since the first VBIED used against the American barracks in Lebanon in 1983 to the 9/11 attacks, terrorists have been looking for new ways to use vehicles to spread terror.

It now looks like they are now turning to remote control.

The captured video above from NavySeals.com shows a new weapon in the terrorist’s arsenal, the remote control VBIED. (Note: As there is no translation to the video above, I am not certain of its contents.)

As we have seen from headline news, vehicles packed with explosives can be very deadly.

See the ATF VBIED blast damage chart below:

Atf blast chart

Adding remote control capabilities to these weapons is very concerning. There are jamming devices that block IED signals, and the military already has several tactics and procedures to deal with VBIEDs.

But hopefully the DHS and military will take this discovered threat seriously and work to create additional ways to defeat them.

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Are Russian Hackers Helping the Syrian Government?

Russia supplied attack helicopters in Syria. (Getty Image)
Russian supplied attack helicopters in Syria. (Getty Image)

As the Syrian civil war drags on one thing is clear, Russia is arming the Syrian government. As they have already supplied arms and attack helicopters to al-Assad’s regime, could Russian hackers be performing cyber attacks against Syrian opposition too?

It’s really no secret that Russia is arming the Syrian government, and there is nothing illegal about it. Russia and China have used their veto power at UN security council meetings to block sanctions against Syria. But as the physical battle rages on, a war in the cyber realm is also well under way.

A full blown war of cyber attacks is unfolding in Syria, with some calling it the most active cyber conflict in recent times. Apparently pitting the Syrian government and a group called the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) against a loose group of Syrian resistance hackers and surprisingly the hacker group Anonymous.

So far the majority of the cyber conflict is one sided, with Syrian rebels taking the brunt of the attacks (Syrian rebels have  really only been able to deface some government sites in response). But with the overwhelming efficiency and strength of the attacks, it is apparent that the Syrian government must be getting outside help.

DefenseNews article discloses that Syrian government forces are using cyber tools that have been created by several other countries in their offensive strikes:

Assad has Iran’s backing, and his supporters are allegedly also using Iranian cyber tools. Alexander Klimburg, a senior adviser at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs, said it’s widely believed that the Syrians are using popular offensive software designed in Iran.

But it is just not Iranian software, they are also using utilities created in Europe and surprise, surprise… Russia.

The Russian government is well known to use hacker groups like the Russian Business Network to attack other nations. Doing so gives the Russia government plausible deniability in the attacks.

With Russia apparently investing military equipment in the al-Assad regime and offensive cyber tools, it is not a far stretch to assume that they may also be supplying the use of Russian hacker group services.

Israel creating Digital “Iron Dome” to Combat Constant Cyber Assault

(Photo: Reuters)

Israel is facing daily electronic attacks against critical systems, and the attacks are on the increase. To counter the rising cyber storm, they are in the process of creating a digital “Iron Dome”. Which according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will help block the attacks and “protect Israel from cyber terror“.

Israel has been in a battle to survive ever since the nation was re-formed. They have been under constant threat by Islamic nations that simply do not want the country to exist. Now, along with the possibility of physical and even possible nuclear attack, electronic attacks have been rapidly on the rise. All together, Netanyahu recently said that these are “the greatest security-related challenges Israel has faced since its inception”.

Israel has not been sedentary in preparing for these threats. They have put their best and brightest minds at work creating defenses against the unique threats that they face, sometimes on a daily occurrence. For example, the Trophy Active Protection System by Rafael  was created in response to militant RPG attacks against their military vehicles:

(It is interesting to note that the US looked into using the same technology on it’s deployed tanks, but it was turned down due to the possibility of collateral damage.)

The “Iron Dome” system was also created to help protect whole cities against militant rocket launches. Also created by Rafael, Iron Dome is an integrated mobile air defense system that detects, tracks and intercepts incoming short range rocket and artillery shells. Since it has been deployed, it has shot down 90% of the rockets launched from Gaza (over 90!).

Now that Iran has created a 100 man cyber team, ostensibly to attack US and Israeli systems, it sounds like Israel is looking to use the same concept and create a “digital Iron Dome”:

“Just as we have an Iron Dome missile interceptor to protect against missiles, and a border fence to prevent infiltrators and terrorists from entering, we will also have a similar defense against cyberattacks.

For this purpose, I established the National Cyber Directorate a year ago and it has been working to block these attempts by developing what I would call a ‘digital Iron Dome’ to protect Israel from cyberwarfare,” Netanyahu said Sunday at a weekly cabinet meeting.

Though the system is classified and no details have been publicly released, it could not come at a better time.

Anti-Islam Movie, Cyber Jihad and Political Irresponsibility

It is very sad to see something developing and just knowing what would come of it. I figured the “cyber jihadists”, would jump in on the “Innocence of Muslim” anti-Islam movie bandwagon. And they have, targeting American companies with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks until, they say, the “offending film” is removed.

As one group states in a Pastebin post:

We, Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam will attack the Bank of America and New York Stock Exchange for the first step. These Targets are properties of American-Zionist Capitalists. This attack will be started today at 2 pm. GMT. This attack will continue till the Erasing of that nasty movie. Beware this attack can vary in type. Down with modern infidels.

One Cyber Jihad group even went as far as to publicly post their “DDoS” tool for new budding cyber-jihadis to use. The frustrating part of this whole mess is that irresponsibility on several levels have made this situation much worse.

The maker of the offensive film (an Egyptian!) was irresponsible for publishing the trailer. Many theories have been swirling around about why he made this. One of the latest even points to a co-producer who allegedly is a supporter of terrorism. The timing of the “protests” though is highly suspect (September 1th) especially when the film was allegedly made a year ago and was even publicly displayed in a California theater.

Our administration was irresponsible for blaming the embassy attacks on this film. Though all signs pointed to a terrorist attack, this administration blamed them on the film and not terrorism. Sadly it took quite a while for the administration to change their stance, even though Libyan intelligence stated right away that it was indeed a terrorist planned attack, and supposedly the US had been warned in advance. It was not until  the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center testified before the senate stating it was indeed a terrorist attack that the stance was changed at the White House.

Our President and Hillary Clinton were irresponsible for creating what have been seen as “apology commercials” and having them displayed in Pakistan, placing the blame on the film instead of on terrorism. This again did not have the desired effect of calming people down, but seems to have just stirred up more Anti-American sentiment.

The media was irresponsible too for blaming the embassy attacks on this film. Though all the evidence pointed to a planned and co-ordinated terrorist attack, many media outlets fell in line with the stance of the White House. Blaming the film (again it was just a trailer for the film!) for the protests was then projected around the world by the media seemingly stirring up more Anti-American protests.

Religious and political leaders in Islamic countries were irresponsible for the roles they played in this also. Many religious leaders encouraged protests and even called for “American Muslims to perform Jihad on the movie creator”. And according to CNN, “A Pakistan government minister has personally offered a $100,000 reward for anyone who kills the man who made the anti-Islam movie that is drawing ire throughout the Muslim world.” And Pakistan is supposed to be an ally in the war on terror.

Now along with public protests, Islamic hacktivists are jumping into the fray and attacking American websites with Denial of Service attacks.

Was the film trailer offensive? Absolutely, but the facts just don’t add up.

For example the cyber jihad Pastebin post mentioned above also states, “United States of America with the help of Zionist Regime made a Sacrilegious movie insulting all the religions not only Islam.” They claim that all religions were insulted with the making of this film. It is interesting to note that allegedly the outrage was over the way Mohammed was represented in the film. And similar outrage has been seen when he has been portrayed in cartoons.

Jesus is also a prophet in Islam, and is actually mention many more times by name in the Koran than Mohammed. But the image of Jesus has been portrayed in some very vial images of “art” including urine and feces, yet there was no storming of American Embassies or worldwide Islamic protests over it.

I am very discouraged over the actions of our President in handling this situation, as it seems his response was very politically motivated. I am discouraged with the media for their part in stirring things up. And I am also very discouraged over the reaction of leaders in supposed allied countries who have fanned the flames of hate into an inferno.

There is very strong Anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world, though this film is being used as an excuse, sadly I think we are just seeing these nation’s true feelings for the US.