A New Kind of War

BALTIMORE – “Hey, Dad, did you see this?” said our son Edward yesterday. Edward was chronicled yesterday as a boy; now he is a man. A lot has happened in the intervening 10 years.
“Anonymous … the international network of computer hacker activists … has joined the war on ISIS.”

 

anonymous_wallpaper_hd___by_thenextlover-d57gbi5Back in 1988, the DC Comics imprint Vertigo published Alan Moore’s graphic novel “V for Vendetta”. The iconic Guy Fawkes mask used by the story’s protagonist – a vigilante who starts a revolution against a fascist British government in a dystopian future – has made quite a career since then (Anonymous’ new war is reportedly beset by quality control issues though).

Image credit: thenextlover

 

Now, this was news! A man in a Guy Fawkes mask – speaking in French – vowed revenge on ISIS for the Paris bombing. As far as we know, this is the first time an unknown, unfindable, and unidentifiable group has declared war on anyone.

 

A French chapter of Anonymous declares war on ISIS (again) following the Paris attacks of November 13.

 

Anonymous has no troops, no bombs, no tanks, no flags to wave, no medals to award, nor any fat contracts to give out. It levels no towns. It annihilates no armies. It rapes no women. It hands out no candy to children. What kind of war is this?

We turn to an essay from the archive for a closer look at just how far all this hacking has gone:

 

Time-Wasters and Nuisances

American writer and economist George Gilder argues that information precedes and creates wealth.

 

slider-knowledge-and-power

It is of course the human mind and human action that transform nature-given resources into wealth. Ongoing technological progress is helping this process along. And yet, countless things that have seen the light of day in recent years – including reams of useless information – seem a bit dubious in this respect.

 

“In the beginning was the word,” he recalls in his book Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How It Is Revolutionizing Our World. The “Internet of Things” is an attempt to give the word flesh. So far, the skeleton is pretty bare.

But although the Internet may not be able to create wealth, it can surely destroy it. Think of all the hours wasted on Facebook! Think of all the billions of unnecessary email messages that need to be processed.

Think of all the hours spent trying to figure out how to program home-heating/cooling control panels… install new software on our computers… send photos to relatives… and otherwise keep up with the latest techno-fads?

But those are just time-wasters and nuisances. Wired magazine recently ran a well-publicized test. Could computer hackers take command of a modern automobile by gaining control of its electronic systems? Andy Greenberg at Wired reports:

 

“I was driving at 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold. Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system.

Next the radio switched to the local hip-hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass. […]

As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.

Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.”

 

Hackers_hijacked_Jeep_using_wi_fi_leavin_3205310000_21846567_ver1.0_640_480Car remotely hacked via Wifi ends in a ditch

Screenshot via abc News

 

To cause this kind of havoc, the hackers didn’t need to modify the Jeep. Nor did they need to attach any physical devices – or have any physical access – to the vehicle.

Instead, they “got in” through the entertainment system, which was connected to the Internet, as it is in most modern cars. This gave the hackers entry into the control system. The “Internet of Things” suddenly looked like the “Internet of nothings.”

The hackers hadn’t created wealth; they had destroyed it. They made a $25,000 automobile worthless. “Hackers Kill a Jeep,” was the Wired headline.

 

The jeep-hackers at work, taking control of the car remotely with a lap top and a cell phone.

Photo credit: Whitney Curtis for wired.com

 

Wreaking Havoc

Tim Price, an analyst in our London office, offers:

 

“It’s a potent example of how cyber-attacks can wreak havoc beyond the world of bits and bytes. If you can remotely crash cars, you can – theoretically at least – remotely stop passenger airplanes… tanks… and fighter jets. Presumably, that’s why United Airlines grounded flights for nearly two hours in early July due to a “network connectivity issue.”

This may seem like a run-of-the-mill kind of problem… like dropping your Wi-Fi connection while surfing the Web. But it takes on more sinister overtones when you consider that the outage happened on the morning the New York Stock Exchange was forced to halt trading “in all symbols” due to a computer “glitch” of its own. The website for the Wall Street Journal also went dark at the same time.

Also in July, the Obama administration revealed that hackers stole personal information – including fingerprints and Social Security numbers – belonging to 21.5 million U.S. federal government employees. It’s no surprise that cyber-security is big business… and a political and economic priority. With a little imagination, hackers could shut down power grids… send nuclear reactors offline… and even fleece the world’s biggest and most powerful banks.”

 

Hacking away in the dark. Most people are unaware of the true extent of computer-criminality, as organizations and businesses that are attacked often try to keep such information under wraps for PR reasons.

Image via insidesources.com

 

It seems that the surest source of profits from the new technology may be in companies that try to stop it.

New technology helped create the power grid… ATMs… traffic lights… flash mobs… ISIS… and Social Security’s payment system. Now, all are at risk from Anonymous and other hackers with newer technology.

It’s war all right. And that will cost real money…

 

Image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 

 

 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 


 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • A Surprise Move in Gold
      Traders and Analysts Caught Wrong-Footed Over the past week gold and gold stocks have been on a tear. It is probably fair to say that most market participants were surprised by this development. Although sentiment on gold was not extremely bearish and several observers expected a bounce, to our knowledge no-one expected this:   Gold stocks (HUI Index) and gold, daily. As noted in the annotation above, a Wells Fargo gold analyst turned bearish at the worst possible moment...
  • May Away
      May Gone in June... Yes, now that June is here, it is indeed the end of May. Theresa May, to be precise, the henceforth former British Prime Minister. After delivering her unparalleled masterclass in “how to completely botch Brexit”, British cartoonists are giving her a well-deserved send-off, which we are documenting below. But first, in case you don't know anything about Ms. May's heroic “Brexit”-related efforts, here is an explanation of how she tried to finagle the best...
  • US Money Supply Growth and the Production Structure – Signs of an Aging Boom
      Money Supply Growth Continues to Decelerate Here is a brief update of recent developments in US true money supply growth as well as the trend in the ratio of industrial production of capital goods versus consumer goods (we use the latter as a proxy for the effects of credit expansion on the economy's production structure). First, a chart of the y/y growth rate of the broad US money supply TMS-2 vs. y/y growth in industrial & commercial loans extended by US banks.   At...
  • Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Bamboozle American Voters
      A Plan for Everything! The run-up to the presidential primaries offers a funhouse reflection of American life.  Presidential hopefuls, hacks, and has-beens turn to focus groups to discover what they think the American electorate wants. Then they distill it down to hollow bumper stickers. After that, they pump their fists and reflect it back with mindless repetition.   A plea for clemency from Mr. 1/1024th crow. [PT]   Change We Can Believe In.  Feel the...
  • How Not to Launch a Gold Standard - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Money of the Free Market, not of Governments Monday was Memorial Day holiday in America. Last week the price of gold rose 8 bucks, and silver 16 cents. With Keith traveling in Asia right now, this will be a brief report. But speaking of Asia, everyone seems to be talking about China’s (and other countries, such as Russia) accumulation of gold.   Accumulation of gold reserves over the past decade by various emerging market central banks (from the new Incrementum In Gold We...
  • The Ugly End of Globalization
      The Ugly End of Globalization Sometime in the fall of 2018 a lowly gofer at the New York Stock Exchange was sweating  bullets.  He had made an honest mistake.  One that could forever tag him a buffoon.   Art Cashin the living hat-stand, going through a succession of DJIA milestone hats. He promised was going to crack a smile for the Dow 27,000 hat photo, alas, it was not to be. [PT]   After trading sideways for most of the spring, the Dow Jones Industrial...
  • In Gold We Trust 2019 
      The New Annual Gold Report from Incrementum is Here We are happy to report that the new In Gold We Trust Report for 2019 has been released today (the download link can be found at the end of this post). Ronnie Stoeferle and Mark Valek of Incrementum and numerous guest authors once again bring you what has become the reference work for anyone interested in the gold market.   Gold in the Age of Eroding Trust   A chart from the introduction to the 2019 IGWT report: trust...
  • Gold vs. Silver - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Is Silver Still Useful as a Monetary Metal? The price of gold jumped a whole twenty bucks last week. We imagine that the marginal gold bug is relieved to be rid of his gold, in this opportunity afforded by the highest price since early April. OK, all kidding aside, the price of silver went up a penny.     The gold-silver ratio keeps hitting new highs recently (this is actually a long-term trend, frequently interrupted by strong rallies of silver against gold). Is silver...
  • Bitcoin: What is the Best Day of the Week to Buy?
      Shifting Patterns In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have discussed Bitcoin’s seasonal pattern in the course of a year. In this issue I will show an analysis of the returns of bitcoin on individual days of the week.   Bitcoin, daily – since bottoming in early December, BTC has advanced quite a bit. It remains an excellent trading sardine. [PT]   It seems to me that Bitcoin is particularly interesting for this type of study: it exhibits spectacular price...
  • The Italian Job - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Lira Comeback? The price of gold jumped 35 bucks last week, and that of silver 48 cents. The dollar is now down to 23 milligrams of gold. Keith is on the road this week, so we will just comment on one thing. If Italy is serious about moving back to the lira, that will make the euro less sound (to say nothing of the lira). That will drive people mostly to the dollar, but also to gold.   Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini (as the leader of the Lega party he is...
  • Paul Tudor Jones Likes Gold
      Gold is Paul Tudor Jones' Favorite Trade Over the Coming 12-24 Months In a recent Bloomberg interview, legendary trader and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones was asked what areas of the markets currently offer the best opportunities in his opinion. His reply: “As a macro trader I think the best trade is going to be gold”. The relevant excerpt from the interview can be viewed below (in case the embedded video doesn't work for you, here is a link to the video on...
  • Fed Chair Powell’s Plan to Pickle the Economy
      A Loose Relationship The Dow Jones Industrial Average made another concerted run at the elusive 27,000 milestone over the last several weeks.  But, as of this writing, the index has stalled out short of this psychosomatic barrier.  By our estimation, this is for the best.   Since early 2018 the DJIA has gone nowhere, albeit in interesting ways... [PT]   While not always apparent, the stock market generally maintains a loose connection to the underlying...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment

j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Archive

Dog Blow

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!