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Showing posts from June 3, 2015

Rapid escalation of the cyber-arms race

The potential damage from cyber-attacks is rapidly becoming more extensive
Codenamed Locked Shields 2015, Nato officials say it was the "most advanced ever live-fire cyber-defence exercise".

Four hundred cyber-warriors from 16 countries last week responded to a scenarioin which computer networks came under attack from another state's hackers.

The scenario was based around the idea of "hybrid conflicts", just below the level of war, in which one state both carries out espionage and disrupts the communications and operations of another, tied in with other activities.

The countries portrayed in the scenario were fictional, but it is hard to interpret this as anything other than thinking about Russia, which is seen as having pioneered hybrid conflict in Ukraine and, before that, Georgia.

The exercise itself was taking place in Estonia, which was subject to its own cyber-attack.

But the ability to carry out significant - even destructive - cyber-attacks is spreading rapid…

Warnings over growing IS cyber-threat

French TV station TV5 Monde was knocked off air for hours after a hack attack

A growing band of hacktivists is helping Islamic State spread its message by attacking media organisations and websites, a security company suggests.

Supporters of IS were helping it with opportunistic attacks and more sophisticated operations, said FireEye.

French TV station TV5 Monde was a high-profile victim early this year, but attackers have hit other media groups.

FireEye said the wide range of targets made it hard to say who was at risk.
Media message

"There's a lot of people that go to Syria fight for IS but another way to fight is to stay home and do it from there," said David Merkel, chief technology officer at FireEye.

"If you have an internet connection and have some skill levels you can definitely contribute."

Mr Merkel said IS was known for using cyber-attack tools in conflict zones to gather intelligence about enemy forces.

However, he said, there was also growing evidence that …

Ukraine coal mine: Dozens feared dead in Zasyadko gas blast

A suspected methane gas blast at a mine in a rebel-held area of east Ukraine is believed to have killed at least 30 people, the rebels told the BBC.

They only confirmed 23 deaths at the Zasyadko coal mine. Ukraine's officials say as many as 33 people may have died.

There are fears the rebels lack the resources to deal with the disaster, the BBC's Tom Burridge reports.

Zasyadko was the scene of Ukraine's worst mine disaster nearly eight years ago, when 101 people were killed.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has demanded access to the mine for government rescuers and police.

The mine is close to a front line where the pro-Russian rebels have been battling Ukrainian government troops.

However, Ukraine's mine unions head Mykhailo Volynets told a Ukrainian TV channel there had been no fighting in the area in recent days.

While Ukraine's economy has significantly shrunk since fighting began in April, many coal mines continue to operate in the conflict zone.

Mining safety st…

‘I came to fight’: Pirates of the Caribbean actor joins battle against ISIS

Michael Enright (L) (Screenshot from video)

A British actor known for small Hollywood roles, including one he played alongside Johnny Depp, quit his career to join the Kurdish forces fighting against Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) in Syria.

Manchester-born Michael Enright was seen in a video made by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), The Guardian reports.

The video was posted on Facebook and shows Enright firing a weapon with other fighters while sitting in a trench. Calling IS“dangerous to every human being alive,”Enright asks viewers for more weapons and medical aid for the Kurdish forces.

Enright is most famous for his role as the deckhand in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

The actor-turned-fighter earlier told Dubai-based Al-Aan TV that he had been outraged by a video in which Islamic State terrorists “cut off an American journalist’s head.”

But it was the video released in February, showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive, that was th…