Is cyberwar just a myth?

posted at 9:31 am on September 15, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

For some time now we’ve been told that the Next Big Threat, when it finally arrives, would not come in the form of nuclear tipped missiles flying over the poles or suitcase sized dirty bombs detonating in a subway. It would be a silent string of ones and zeros sneaking in over the internet and destroying our infrastructure, crippling our military and making your invisible dog fence kill you. In short… cyberwar. As recently as this summer we were warned that both Syria and Iran could launch such an attack on us and that maybe our best approach to Assad would be to do the same to him first. Washington spends more than $4B a year on it and the costs in the private sector dwarf that by a vast margin.

But there is now a movement among one set of thinkers saying that the reality doesn’t live up to the hype and there really isn’t any cyberwar.

Why a cyberwar won’t happen

EXACTLY two decades ago, the RAND Corporation, an influential think tank, proclaimed that “cyberwar is coming!” In 2005, the US Air Force declared it would now “fly, fight, and win in cyberspace”. The future of war would surely play out in that fifth domain, on top of land, sea, air and space. Dark warnings of “Cyber Pearl Harbor” soon became a staple of Washington discourse…

What would an act of cyberwar look like? History suggests three features. To count as an armed attack, a computer breach would need to be violent. If it can’t hurt or kill, it can’t be war. An act of cyberwar would also need to be instrumental. In a military confrontation, one party generally uses force to compel the other party to do something they would otherwise not do. Finally, it would need to be political, in the sense that one opponent says, “If you don’t do X, we’ll strike you.” That’s the gist of two centuries of strategic thought.

No past cyberattack meets these criteria. Very few meet even a single one. Never has a human been injured or hurt as an immediate consequence of a cyberattack. Never did a state coerce another state by cyberattack. Very rarely did state-sponsored offenders take credit for an attack. So if we’re talking about war – the real thing, not a metaphor, as in the “war on drugs” – then cyberwar has never happened in the past, is not taking place at present, and seems unlikely in the future.

This is a complicated subject, and as much as I’ve read about it, I still feel like there’s a world of information out there which we should probably know. But even given that admission, this type of partial dismissal of the danger – and several others just like it – seem more like quibbling over definitions than any sort of revelation. The resounding phrase which defines these arguments is, essentially, it ain’t war until somebody dies. The other argument is that it’s not cyberwar… it’s cyber sabotage, espionage or subversion.

I’m sorry, but that sounds a bit too much to me like saying, “It’s not war war.” Sabotage, espionage and subversion are, by definition, things that happen in war war. They just aren’t the parts that take place on open battlefields with body armor, tanks and fighter jets. But how much damage could cyber terrorists really inflict? The Economist published an excellent piece last year which is worth a read if you’re interested in the subject. In it they argue that the real threats come in the form of purely criminal activity, stealing vast swaths of commercial and financial data or forms of industrial espionage. The ability to enact serious, widespread attacks on military or infrastructure targets is far less clear.

This seems to match what I found out when I had the chance to speak with a software engineer this summer who has been working on Smart Grid technology in both New Jersey and Ohio. She told me that while there are definite concerns to watch out for, hackers looking to wreak such havoc have a much tougher task than simply finding some deeply hidden password from a secret decoder ring in the right box of cereal and shutting down America’s electricity for months or years on end as in NBC’s series, Revolution.

The problem for the hackers, as she explained, is twofold. First, Smart Grids rely largely on what’s described as “hard triggers” rather than software control. Before an event takes place – such as isolating a particular grid by cutting the lines to prevent a rolling brownout – there has to be an actual failure of the power on the other side of the grid line. In other words, to produce a given physical result, you need to trigger another actual physical condition first, rather than sending some remote computer command to make it happen. Its apparently much harder than it sounds.

Second, the ironic thing that could potentially save us from that sort of infrastructure attack is that so much of our grid is still “dumb” rather than smart. The vast majority of America’s power transmission system is really still nothing more than “wires hanging on sticks,” as some Smart Grid supporters like to say. There simply is no computer interface capable of shutting it off, so there’s nothing to hack into. Yes, individual power generating stations might be briefly shut down through a computer attack, but those tend to be isolated quickly and manually restored to operational status in short order.

So what do you think? Are we overthinking this and spending too much time and resources worrying about something which is more hype than horror? Or is cyberwar really lurking out there and waiting to shut down our way of life?


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Yes there is a cyber war, it’s just the govt. against the citizens.

Robert Jensen on September 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

It is important for us to be able to defend against any such attack.

bluegill on September 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

It doesn’t take the form portrayed in pop culture or the media, but yes, cyber warfare does exist. And it has for quite some time.

flipflop on September 15, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Yes, it’s Wikipedia, but this isn’t far from reality.

flipflop on September 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Cyberwar only works against soft targets. There is no hard target that has ever been compromised. There were targets that were fronted as hard that were penetrated but the security in each situation was sloppy or non-existent.

Karmashock on September 15, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I’ll believe in cyberwarfare when someone lauches another country’s nukes or shuts down their defenses.

That sabotage of the Iranian centrifuges was pretty nice, though.

Too bad they had to take it in on a flashdrive, so that’s just sabotage, not cyberwarfare.

Wino on September 15, 2013 at 9:44 AM

the Next Big Threat, when it finally arrives

The biggest threat to our power grid has already arrived in the form of shutting down coal plants and preventing oil drilling.

Fenris on September 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Think of it this way, if a nation flew a reconnaissance plane into another nation’s airspace to collect data, that could be considered an act of war. That is happening in the cyberworld. Nations and their actors are “flying” into computer systems with the intent of doing harm; either disrupting operations or stealing information on military networks. War through wires.

Aplombed on September 15, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Sorry Jazz. Actual War needs some component of violence. There needs to be a physical force involved. Otherwise, it’s just using colorful metaphors.

That’s why as an Active Duty Marine, my eyes tend to glaze over around a lot of the hype surrounding “Cyberwar”.

Don’t get me wrong, the Cyber capabilities have lots of avenues of approach to hurt or enable the main objective. The most pressing example is what would happen if U.S. GPS and Blue Force Trackers were all knocked out, going back to the map-and-compass would cause lots of friction among those of us that don’t practice that skill enough. What would happen if all U.S. drones were jammed and couldn’t fly? Degrading capabilities that U.S. forces depend on could put us in a world of sh–.

But as the main effort, cyber is a nuisance. Just the ask the Iranians. Stuxnet was a speedbump, not a deterrent.

The Iranian Mullahs won’t be cowed by a bad computer virus. Only by brute force. That goes for the entire world, both good guys & bad guys.

HDFOB on September 15, 2013 at 9:55 AM

the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on September 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

The problem for the hackers, as she explained, is twofold. First, Smart Grids rely largely on what’s described as “hard triggers” rather than software control. Before an event takes place – such as isolating a particular grid by cutting the lines to prevent a rolling brownout – there has to be an actual failure of the power on the other side of the grid line. In other words, to produce a given physical result, you need to trigger another actual physical condition first, rather than sending some remote computer command to make it happen. Its apparently much harder than it sounds.

Of course, the hacker(s) could simply access the local grid in question and send a false failure report to the control center. At which point the “smart grid” would do exactly what it is designed to do; isolate and shut down that section.

This is not terribly useful to the typical “I Wanna F**k With Everybody ‘Cause I’m A Hypercool Snotnose” ‘tweener with a high-end laptop and a rockstar attitude. However, it could be very useful to terrorists, or even more mundane criminals, who wish to isolate a single section to render a high-value target, such as a hotel or school (terrorists) or a bank (criminals) more vulnerable to attack.

The major danger of widespread failure attacks comes from the typical ‘tweener “hacker group”, who attack large-scale sections of the Net mainly because they like hurting people they don’t even know, or radical “social reformers” with one or more axes to grind. In either case, their target will be the central control system itself. And more than likely, they will have help from sympathetic “inside men” who will supply them with the necessary security codes, superuser/administrator codes, etc., to bypass the external security protocols;

Control; ACCESS NOT AUTHORIZED

Attacker: CODE*^YMKLY^BHTRYUTR&^GG

Control; GOOD MORNING MR PRESIDENT WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU

Attacker; CODE GERICHT EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN LOCKOUT ALL OTHER USERS RESTART ON MY AUTHORITY ONLY

Control: ACKNOWLEDGED ALL SECTIONS SHUTDOWN ALL OTHER USERS LOCKOUT NEXT COMMAND LINE

Attacker; PRAISE HOLY MOTHER GAIA EARTH POWER DEATH TO THE HUMANS

And lest we forget, there’s also the problem of simple human error. That is, after all, how Chernobyl went down, due to (literally) two switches being set the wrong way at the wrong time.

Now imagine the results of someone doing the same thing in the control complex of a “smart grid”. Accidentally- or otherwise.

As H. Beam Piper showed in Day Of the Moron, too much centralization puts you at the mercy of not only the criminal and the malicious, but also the careless and/or the simply stupid. When you have two or more of those attributes in a single person or group, disaster is more or less a foregone conclusion.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

For some reason, those never lived in cities in China come to mind. I wonder what the infrastructure is like, and whether they are simply cyber bombing ranges so to speak.

Sapience on September 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Cylons.

Johnny Crow on September 15, 2013 at 10:09 AM

if you have friends working on (and supporting_ smart grids and smart meters then you might not be a conservative…

dmacleo on September 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Yes there is a cyber war, it’s just the govt. against the citizens.

Robert Jensen on September 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

…Bingo… Bob!

KOOLAID2 on September 15, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Second, the ironic thing that could potentially save us from that sort of infrastructure attack is that so much of our grid is still “dumb” rather than smart.

And from what I’ve been hearing, the Gov’t really, really wants to change that. They want one massive system that they can control and monitor constantly. Their desire is to use modern technology to keep us cowed and to squeeze every nickel they can out of us.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM

The vast majority of America’s power transmission system is really still nothing more than “wires hanging on sticks,” as some Smart Grid supporters like to say. There simply is no computer interface capable of shutting it off, so there’s nothing to hack into.

That’s why Captain Adama refused to allow the computers on BSG to be networked.

tomwinfl on September 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Jazz,

You are completely out of your element here. After admitting that there is much you don’t know, you assume that warfare involving those things that you don’t know isn’t going to happen — or, worse, isn’t happening right now.

Cyberwar is happening. Ask the Iranians. Ask any utility company whose scada nets have been penetrated by the Chinese. Ask the DOD which has found back doors in Chinese-made communications hardware which will permit disablement of said hardware if used properly. Ask the defense contractors who’ve found similar kinds of bad behavior in chips destined for insertion into the systems of our most advanced fighter planes.

What was Sherman’s march through Georgia all about? What was the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima all about? The answer is obvious — to instill terror by the destruction of people and economic resources. Such is the middle portion of a cyberwar — kill people, damage the economic infrastructure of the enemy.

What will a cyberwar entail? Everything a regular war will entail, for the end point of cyberwar is the need to win a regular war. Reconnaissance and sabotage are the first steps in denying the enemy the battlefield. If you can cripple an enemy by taking down their electrical systems without dropping a bomb, you have done the equivalent of dropping a bomb. And the sappers who enable that crippling are every bit as much of an attacker as the soldiers with the bullets and missiles and bombs.

Cyberwar is war. We are in a cyberwar right now.

unclesmrgol on September 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

OT…But related…

45% of current jobs will be lost to technological advances in the next 20 years.

“What’s more, even if today’s digital technologies are holding down job creation, history suggests that it is most likely a temporary, albeit painful, shock; as workers adjust their skills and entrepreneurs create opportunities based on the new technologies, the number of jobs will rebound. That, at least, has always been the pattern. The question, then, is whether today’s computing technologies will be different, creating long-term involuntary unemployment.

At least since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1700s, improvements in technology have changed the nature of work and destroyed some types of jobs in the process. In 1900, 41 percent of Americans worked in agriculture; by 2000, it was only 2 percent. Likewise, the proportion of Americans employed in manufacturing has dropped from 30 percent in the post–World War II years to around 10 percent today—partly because of increasing automation, especially during the 1980s….

Will the job disruptions caused by technology be temporary as the workforce adapts, or will we see a science-fiction scenario in which automated processes and robots with superhuman skills take over a broad swath of human tasks? Though Katz expects the historical pattern to hold, it is “genuinely a question,” he says. ‘If technology disrupts enough, who knows what will happen?’…”

http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs/

workingclass artist on September 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Ghost in the Machine.

Bmore on September 15, 2013 at 10:50 AM

.

Bmore on September 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

It is important for us to be able to defend against any such attack.

blue…. on September 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

…help me jezzuz!

KOOLAID2 on September 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

What should really worry everyone is the government intruding on the private enterprises and enforcing a once size fits all with backdoors galore for NSA, FBI, Israel etc which can then be exploited in large numbers.

While it is true that most of our electricity is “dumb”, the federal government wants and needs to make it “smart”. It needs to do this in order to control the people and be able to have control beyond the power they have over the utilities.

astonerii on September 15, 2013 at 11:09 AM

The problem is disablement of out computer systems might not come from an enemy over the internet and the NSA snooping on the internet wont help us. A surprise EMP attack is much more scary.

Resolute on September 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

.. was fixin to make a point about cyberwar and smart meters — then came the above mention of surprise EMP attack

/take your pick, eh?
/.

CaveatEmpty on September 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

.. was fixin to make a point about cyberwar and smart meters — then came the above mention of surprise EMP attack

/take your pick, eh?
/.

CaveatEmpty on September 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I’m sure there are “apps” to cover all those.

*rolls eyes*

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM

A surprise EMP attack is much more scary.

Resolute on September 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Been reading a lot of doomsday type books lately. All of them have major technical flaws but are interesting nevertheless. Some are better than others, some are pure crap. Did you know that the yield curve for the E1 component of an EMP surge is classified? Wonder why that is? What characteristics do you think would be desirable in a nuclear weapon designed for an EMP attack? Do you know what actions have been taken by the electric utilities to mitigate EMP and how far along they are?

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

The Iranian Mullahs won’t be cowed by a bad computer virus. Only by brute force. That goes for the entire world, both good guys & bad guys.

HDFOB on September 15, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Losing control of a nuclear reactor might scare the crap out of them.

Cybernetic attacks most certainly are a component of war, but not the only component, just as infantry isn’t.

If I can penetrate the software that controls badge access to a protected building and merely open a door, that’s a significant part of an op, although it may not seem like much.

We have been under attack for some time.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

The problem is disablement of out computer systems might not come from an enemy over the internet and the NSA snooping on the internet wont help us. A surprise EMP attack is much more scary.

Resolute on September 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

EMP is destructive. Shutting network gear down will have the same effect, without damaging anything. Done selectively, it won’t look like an attack.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Losing control of a nuclear reactor might scare the crap out of them.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Define losing control.

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM

the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on September 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Agree, there is a big element of this, as there is with SARS, West Nile Virus, Mad Cow disease and, let’s not forget, global warming.

The Stuxnet attack on Iran is the only cyber-war that comes to mind, and it has not really changed the outcome. Various attacks on web-sites undermine security and are psychological in nature. They are guerilla tactics that don’t amount to very much in the long-run.

virgo on September 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Define losing control.

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Unable to use automated cooling systems, or if the automated readout behaved erratically. Yes, I know they have manual systems, My point is even small attacks like that have an effect.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 12:19 PM

How safe are our satellites? How about the drones?

Rancher on September 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Unable to use automated cooling systems, or if the automated readout behaved erratically. Yes, I know they have manual systems, My point is even small attacks like that have an effect.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 12:19 PM

You are correct it could be disconcerting. I don’t know how their systems are designed. I’m guessing since there a a lot of Russian components not very well. In our systems we have multiple, redundant indications and it’s very hard to fool an analog temperature indicator. That’s a mechanical thermometer. In addition all our systems are designed to fail to the safe position. That doesn’t mean to a safe operational mode as in continuing to operate rather to the position needed for safe shutdown. Our systems will function with a total loss of electrical power to safely shutdown the unit and keep it from overheating without operator actions. These systems work, I’ve seen them in action. It is much more difficult to get a nuclear power plant up and running than it is to shut it down.

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I have a manual typewriter ready to write a letter to the NSA thanking them for failing to stop the crashing of the entire cyber infrastructure when it happens thanks to China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.

The cyberwar has been ongoing for 20 plus years already.

Eventually it will disrupt entire nations and kill (tens of?) millions through chaos, no food delivery, no energy for refrigeration, etc., etc, etc.

Because the government has not built a redundant, analog parallel system for safety’s sake.

Or even Faraday cages on the present set up.

profitsbeard on September 15, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Yes, the Iranian system is based on and probably put together with Russian technology. Imagine the look on the console operator’s face if the screen before him started showing images of Chernobyl, then sirens and the sprinkler system went off…

Image further if the doors refused to unlock and the phones went dead.

Certainly the mullahs would be alerted to a problem at the facility, but no way to know what. Being the 7th century types they are, they might just freak out a little.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

The NSA has admitted to installing their own ‘back door’ access into virtually every computer system through hardware and software.

Hence, the NSA CREATED a cyber-war, in order to protect their special access, the minute they started down this path.

PS: The NSA will NEVER be able to keep this access to themselves.

Freddy on September 15, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Or even Faraday cages on the present set up.

profitsbeard on September 15, 2013 at 1:13 PM

You may want to take another look around at this. You might be surprised at what you find. Of course the government may not be doing it but then they’re the government.

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 2:22 PM

PS: The NSA will NEVER be able to keep this access to themselves.

Freddy on September 15, 2013 at 2:19 PM

If your network is physically isolated, they cannot see anything. Of course most people don’t have a computer lab in their home.

dogsoldier on September 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Are we overthinking this and spending too much time and resources worrying about something which is more hype than horror?

Yeah, well that’s what people said about Y2K, too. They laughed and said it was all a bunch of hype. But they stopped laughing precisely at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999, when the electrical power grid shut itself down, all those airliners fell out of the sky, all those ICBMs launched themselves, and the world as we knew it came to an end. Remember?

Hayabusa on September 15, 2013 at 6:01 PM

and the world as we knew it came to an end. Remember?

Hayabusa on September 15, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Damn straight! Remember it well. Then it ended all over again on December 21, 2012 when the Mayan apocalypse happened. Too much to go through in such a short time.

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

and as much as I’ve read about it

You need to read more. The Soviet economy went bust. This brought about the end of the Cold War. At that time the Soviet economy, as does the current Russian economy, depended on petroleum and natural gas. The Soviets built long petroleum pipe lines to bring their petroleum from the far reaches of Siberia. They bought a single copy of a controller for their pumping stations from a Canadian company. A scientist at the AEC dreamed up a scheme to sabotage the pipe lines at multiple locations.
He expected the controller to be copied by the Soviets. With the help of government officials in USA and Canada the Canadian company modified the software to misfire at random intervals. Shut off valves at each pumping station are supposed to shut and the pumps are supposed to turn off if the pipe pressure drops indicating a leak in the pipe. With the bad software, the valves would close randomly without turning pumps off and the pipes and pumps would be destroyed. When the pipes and pumping station were repaired, the pipeline would be restarted and at a random time another valve would misfire. This went on for many months before the cause of the failures was detected. In the mean time, the economy tanked.
The cold war with the USSR was much more significant than the current cold war with Iran and the closing of the Soviet economy was more significant than STUXNET.
This is discussed in Tom Reed’s book At the abyss : an insider’s history of the Cold War

burt on September 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

A scientist at the AEC

burt on September 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

What is the AEC?

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 8:44 PM

What is the AEC?

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 8:44 PM

(You are kidding, right?)

Simple answer: US Atomic Energy Commission.

The United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was an agency of the United States government established after World War II by Congress to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. [2] President Harry S. Truman signed the McMahon/Atomic Energy Act on August 1, 1946, transferring the control of atomic energy from military to civilian hands, effective from January 1, 1947. Public Law 585, 79th Congress.

An increasing number of critics during the 1960s charged that the AEC’s regulations were insufficiently rigorous in several important areas, including radiation protection standards, nuclear reactor safety, plant siting, and environmental protection. By 1974, the AEC’s regulatory programs had come under such strong attack that Congress decided to abolish the agency. The agency was abolished by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, which assigned its functions to two new agencies: the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[3] On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977, which created the Department of Energy. The new agency assumed the responsibilities of the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission, and programs of various other agencies.

My HS chemistry teacher (late sixties) had worked at the AEC before coming to our school, which made her Way Cool in those days. (She was pretty cool in other ways too, not the least being a female geek in the Dark Ages.)

AesopFan on September 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM

What would an act of cyberwar look like? History suggests three features. To count as an armed attack, a computer breach would need to be violent. If it can’t hurt or kill, it can’t be war. An act of cyberwar would also need to be instrumental. In a military confrontation, one party generally uses force to compel the other party to do something they would otherwise not do. Finally, it would need to be political, in the sense that one opponent says, “If you don’t do X, we’ll strike you.” That’s the gist of two centuries of strategic thought.

Seems to me they were very careful to settle on a definition that “cyberwar” could never meet.

No, you’re not going to have people killed by a “cyberattack.” At least, not directly.

Cyberwar is not war all on its own. But it is a very useful attack vector to degrade an adversary’s ability to make war.

To make an analogy, it would be like being able to infiltrate your enemy’s water supply with the equivalent of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” It might not cost a single life, but if it incapacitates a large portion of the enemy during a conflict, even temporarily, then it’s a useful tactic.

Another analogy would be to blow up a bridge that the enemy is using to transport equipment. It might not cost a single life, but if it hampers their ability to move food and equipment where it’s needed, then it’s a very common military objective.

Cyberwar is certainly overhyped, but to dismiss it as not real would be foolish.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

(You are kidding, right?)

AesopFan on September 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM

No, not kidding at all.

A scientist at the AEC dreamed up a scheme to sabotage the pipe lines at multiple locations.

Since the AEC was abolished in 1974, over a decade before this happened.

1986: Oil prices fall to almost half of their 1985
average, and stay low for the rest of
the decade. Soviet oil production falls steeply from 1987 onward.

I thought that perhaps it was the African Economic Community.

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Oldnuke on September 15, 2013 at 11:27 PM

I just assumed the time discrepancy was between the “dreaming it up” and getting results. Or maybe the AEC guy moved along to the new agency.
Makes a good story; would it have worked?

AesopFan on September 16, 2013 at 12:16 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofvf3tUTGvw

Great song ! Ghosts in my machine – Lennox

stenwin77 on September 16, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Iran hacked by US/Israel
http://google.com/search?q=stuxnet+site%3Aarstechnica.com
http://vimeo.com/25118844

Google hacked by China
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/world/asia/13beijing.html?pagewanted=all

These are just the ones we know about.

hatespam on September 16, 2013 at 10:53 PM