back to article Iran is doing to our networks what it did to our spy drone, claims Uncle Sam: Now they're bombing our hard drives

Hackers operating on behalf of the Iranian government have turned destructive, the US Department of Homeland Security has claimed. A statement issued over the weekend by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) director Christopher Krebs describes how Tehran-backed miscreants have gone from simply attempting to …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    In other news

    I can also reveal that Iran is the reason I missed the bus this morning and spilled coffee on a clean t-shirt

    (for reasons of security we cannot reveal how we know this, but there is definitely a dossier somewhere on the internet proving it)

    1. cornetman Bronze badge

      Re: In other news

      And this is precisely the problem with everything that comes out of the US government these days.

      Considering the complete and utter bullshit that they have been proved to have spouted on various things over the years, why should be believe any word of what they say?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: In other news

        "why should be believe any word of what they say?"

        It's ok because we don't believe anything they say since the WMD fiasco.

        1. Aussie Doc
          Mushroom

          Re: In other news

          Was even before that.

          Look at The Bay Of Tonkin 'affair in Vietnam.

          1. NoneSuch Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: In other news

            Have you noticed how the word "Impeachment" has disappeared from the news while this crap is going on?

            If you don't think that's a coincidence, it's time for your nurse to give you more anti-psychotic meds.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: In other news

              Have you noticed how the word "Impeachment" has disappeared from the news while this crap is going on?

              If you don't think that's a coincidence, it's time for your nurse to give you more anti-psychotic meds.

              Acually I've stopped taking anti-psychotics. I'm donating them to the US government. They seem to need them much more than I do at the moment!

              (As to 'news' - if I was to watch even a few minutes a year on the goings on of the US, I'd be taking anti-psychotics by the truckload and still loosing control!)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In other news there are other reasons.

              This crap or the somewhat earlier Mueller report, what's a totally partisan lie among commentards? Even the loony left don't want to appear utterly out of their minds. Last I heard, google colluded to change election results far more than other actors...Do try to keep up!

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: In other news

        And this is precisely the problem with everything that comes out of the US ANY government these days.

        FTFY. Can you name any government that hasn't been shoveling shit for decades if not centuries?

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: In other news

          Sealand.

          1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: In other news

            Sealand.

            You mean other than calling themselves a country?

        2. Tom Paine Silver badge

          Re: In other news

          Not sure the FCO would be terribly happy to be described as shit-shovellers.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: In other news

            Not sure the FCO would be terribly happy to be described as shit-shovellers.

            Of course not, they've got Oxford PPEs. The correct term is stercor distribution facilitators.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In other news

          "Can you name any government that hasn't been shoveling shit for decades if not centuries"

          Shovelling shit is an honest job and those who do it deserve respect.

          Running a government, however...

      3. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: In other news

        why should be believe any word of what they say?

        Why would you believe that an operation led by Donald J Trump, right-wing flake Mike Pompeo, and aspiring war criminal John Bolton might not be entirely honest and forthcoming?

        However, I would point out that Trump's Iran policy is quite similar to that applied to Japan by the US and England in the 1930s. In both cases, the US would like the object of their ire to pack up and depart the planet forthwith. While 1930s Japan (and today's Iran) certainly were/are less than ideal global citizens, leaving them with little option other than war is a strategy that will quite likely lead to war. In 1941, that meant discovering the hard way that the US Pacific Fleet was poorly prepared for a Pacific naval air war. Today, that's likely to mean discovering the hard way that the US is far more dependent on the internet and vulnerable to cyberattack than Iran and that in cyberspace we are all neighbors and all distressingly vulnerable.

        This might conceivably be one of the few cases where President Dingbat and his enablers are mostly telling the truth.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: In other news

          The widespread dislike of Mr Trump does not warrant suggesting that previous administrations were any better in practice. Deeds matter more than words, and the golden-tongued Mr Obama killed far more people than Mr Trump has (so far).

          As Noam Chomsky observed almost 40 years ago, if the Nuremberg laws were actually put into practice every single US president since 1945 would have been hanged.

          The reason they weren't is, of course, that Goering was absolutely right when he stated - with no particular rancour - that the Nuremberg Tribunal was a kangaroo court dispensing victor's justice.

          https://chomsky.info/1990____-2/

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: In other news

          "While 1930s Japan (and today's Iran) certainly were/are less than ideal global citizens..."

          I agree with the main thrust of your comment, but this remark is completely over the top. There is no possible comparison between the two cases.

          In the 1930s Japan was aiming to establish itself as a peer of the USA, Britain, France and other Western imperial powers. Having been told, in about 1898, by Teddy Roosevelt that they were now "honorary Aryans" (look it up if you don't believe it) they felt entitled to behave like "Aryans". So they set out to create an empire comparable with those of Britain and France. They attacked and occupied Korea and China, killing millions of their citizens, and their armed forces expanded through the islands of South-East Asia and the Pacific.

          In stark contrast, Iran has never attacked another country - certainly not for several centuries, at least - and is committed to a peaceful existence.

          The only common factor is that the US government wishes to overthrow Iran, just as it wished to overthrow Japan in the 1930s.

          1. phuzz Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: In other news

            "In stark contrast, Iran has never attacked another country - certainly not for several centuries, at least - and is committed to a peaceful existence."

            The first half of that is pretty much true, Iran has not started any wars, but they've always been more than happy to push back pretty hard when they've been attacked, so I'd dispute the second half. Taking a pop at US drones (whether they're overflying your territory or not) isn't the most peaceful solution.

            (Still, you know you're the underdog when both the USA and the Soviet Union are supporting your opponent...and you still win)

            1. Benson's Cycle

              Re: In other news

              As the French naturalist put it, "This animal is very bad. When attacked, it defends itself."

              The explanation of the US attitude to Iran is quite simple. Due to the quality of history teaching in US schools, Trump, Bolton and co. think the film 300 was a documentary about recent history.

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: In other news

              >Taking a pop at US drones (whether they're overflying your territory or not) isn't the most peaceful solution.

              Neither is flying your drones in an area known to provoke this style of response...

              I suspect, given the US (military) control of the GPS satellite system, we can not rely on either the Iranian's corrrectly identifying where the drone was and the US not misrepresenting the location of the drone to Iranian security services - to provoke exactly the response they received...

              1. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: In other news

                >Taking a pop at US drones (whether they're overflying your territory or not) isn't the most peaceful solution.

                That drone was collecting targeting information on their country, it wasn't out for an evening stroll in the country. There's only one reason for collecting up to date targeting information....

                The US operates a 200 mile defense zone off our coasts (its marked on the charts) so I'd guess that any Iranian drone that was flying up and down along the coast of California would get the same treatment.

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: In other news

              "but they've always been more than happy to push back pretty hard when they've been attacked"

              Funnily enough when you have a history of around 5000 years of being invaded, you tend to get tetchy about wanting to be left the fuck alone. Russia's still raving on about Ghengis Khan taking Moscow and St Petersberg. Iranians still scare their children with stories about Alexander killing Darius.

              1. Danny Boyd
                Thumb Down

                Re: In other news

                Ghengis Khan taking the St.Petersburg? That's news worthy disseminating!

                FYI:(1) Ghengis Khan never invaded Russia, his descendants (Batu et al.) did.

                (2)Tartar-Monghol rule in Russia ended in late 14th century (1380), at the battle of Kulikovo field, where the forces of Dmitry Donskoy defeated forces of Mamai.

                (3) St.Petersburg was founded by Tzar Peter I The Great in 1703.

                Jeez, man, go learn some history before coming back!

                1. martinusher Silver badge

                  Re: In other news

                  >Jeez, man, go learn some history before coming back!

                  Let's get a bit more up to date. Starting with Napoleon. Then the Crimean War -- France, England and Turkey versus the Russians. Then there's WW1 (although Russia was on the attack initially due to the web of alliances). Then there's WW2, something that was not so much an invasion as a form of genocide (Slavs were intended to become slaves, at least those left west of the Urals).

                  So, yes, the Russians are a bit touchy about being invaded because they've had a lot of practice at it.

                  Iran's history goes a way back. Modern history starts with the end of the Ottoman Empire and various interventions by Western interests due to them being blessed with oil reserves. The most recent experience was in '53 where their government was replaced by one of our choosing (complete with a Synthetic Shah) and some really serious oppression of those that didn't toe the line. (Look up "SAVAK" .....that's the recent Persian experience of "Freedom and Democracy (TM)".)

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In other news

              And how would the US react if Iran was flying drones close to the USA sea border?

            5. Archtech Silver badge

              Re: In other news

              Hahahahahaha! I wrote that "Iran has never attacked another country" - and you try to rebut that by saying that, when attacked, they defend themselves successfully.

          2. Kicker of Metaphorical Cats

            Re: In other news

            I believe it was James Bradley that said that was how TR treated them (honorary Aryans) in his book The Imperial Cruise. To the best of my knowledge TR never actually made that statement.

        3. Surblaze

          Re: In other news

          US policy was not the reason Japan chose to go to war nor was Japan anything like Iran is today.

          Japan had choices. They decided to align themselves with Nazi Germany as a power move to dominate all of Asia. They had already beaten Russia and taken territory as a result, crushed an weak France for more terriorty and had even begun carving out portions of China. for their own. They were a powerhouse with a modern Navy and Air Force.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: In other news

            "US policy was not the reason Japan chose to go to war"

            I think the USA's trade embargo and oil blockade had a hell of a lot to do with it.

            The USA knew that they were going to have to go to war with Japan, but they were planning for about 1943. What they didn't _expect_ was for Japan to reach out early and hit the fleet at Hawaii as a starting shot.

        4. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: In other news

          " Today, that's likely to mean discovering the hard way that the US is far more dependent on the internet and vulnerable to cyberattack than Iran "

          Whilst ALSO discovering that aircraft carriers were obsolete for warfare sometime ago (as the USA did with battleships in 1941, despite many years of warnings).

          Hint: DF21D, DF26 - and they don't even need to have explosive tips. A kinetically achieved hole in the flight deck is more than sufficient to ruin the Admiral's day.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In other news

          "While 1930s Japan (and today's Iran) certainly were/are less than ideal global citizens"

          The thing is, while 1930s Japan was doing the "invading other countries with a view to expanding the empire" thing, Iran hasn't done much in the way of serious empire building for centuries - and (to give one example) hasn't forgotten the invasion by Western-backed Iraq (in the days before Saddam Hussein was recast as the devil incarnate) that led to a very long and very bloody war.

          So when a "foreign power" threatens Iran, turns the screws one way or another, when the Iranian leadership feels under pressure and without friends in the world - oh look, they kick back. Quelle surprise.

          No, no, I'm no fan of the current Iranian regime - but on the other hand, I can sympathize to some extent. And anyway, what sort of clown thinks you can treat Iran like it's some sort of fragile little mayfly nation which will cave in under a bit of pressure? Someone who's ignorant of history both modern and ancient, that's who.

          1. Benson's Cycle

            Re: In other news

            Well, Ronnie Reagan was a great President* and he couldn't tell Eyerack from Eyeran.

            *For some value of "great" .

    2. Palpy

      Re: In other news... lying liars.

      Yeah. It goes back forever -- the Gulf of Tonkin incident was heavily fictionalized by the CIA and the Johnson Administration in order to start the Vietnam fiasco, there were lies in the run-up to the Gulf War in 1990, there were multiple lines by multiple liars leading to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      Any US politician who advocates going to war with Iran should be drawn and quartered, old-style, and his head put on a pike. Lookin' at you, Johnny "Chickenhawk" Bolton.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: In other news... lying liars.

        Any US politician who advocates going to war with Iran should be drawn and quartered, old-style, and his head put on a pike. Lookin' at you, Johnny "Chickenhawk" Bolton. .... Palpy

        That's a tad drastic, Palpy, but there's sure to be many realising it is not the worst of solutions?

        Here's another head for those pikes, Palpy, ......... https://www.rt.com/op-ed/462586-jeremy-hunt-uk-support-iran-war/ ...... and because of that quaint notion of Cabinet Collective Responsibility, that a target rich environment for anyone who prefers peace making rather war-mongering.

        Do you think there is a screw loose in Jeremy head, for he does appear to be easily led to believe there are enemies everywhere which need addressing with the spending of billions which he doesn't own and knows can never be repaid? What a loser be he. ...... https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/06/24/jeremy-hunt-pledges-extra-15bn-defence-ensure-britain-can-guard/

        And how very odd to think that he or anyone else would think he be of Prime Ministerial materiel. Is there a MADness virus out there in the wild targeting Politically Inept Parties?

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: In other news... lying liars.

          amanfromMars with what is actually, perfectly cromulent political analysis. If elReg ever decide they need a political commentator, perhaps amfM1 is the bot for the job?

          1. EveryTime Silver badge

            Re: In other news... lying liars.

            I'm actually a little confused by that post.

            It's off-topic, but not the usual bot-off-its-meds nonsense. Did it fail to properly randomize the scraped text?

            1. FozzyBear Silver badge

              Re: In other news... lying liars.

              It's off-topic, but not the usual bot-off-its-meds nonsense.

              Which perfectly describes every politician out there. Hence the natural choice as a political commentator

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: In other news... lying liars.

          "Do you think there is a screw loose in Jeremy head"

          The instated part about the £15bn is that in short order they'll be patrolling to prevent the exodus of skilled people. The population losses of the late 1960s will seem minor by comparison.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: In other news... lying liars.

        For Iran, it kinda goes back to 1953. Iran was part of the Empire, and Britain was happily looting it's riches. Then along came Mohammad Mosaddegh, who wanted to nationalise Iran's oil industry. So Churchill & EIsenhower cooked up Operation Boot & Ajax to depose Mosaddegh and install a more friendly/compliant government under the last Shah, Pahlavi. Then he was removed in '79 with Iran's revolution and declared the US & UK as the greater and lesser Satans.

        Which is somewhat understandable give Ajax, interventions during the Iran-Iraq war, shooting down an Iranian airliner and not apologising etc etc.. And also a long history of secular conflict between Sunni and Shia, plus Iran's self-proclaimed "National Liberation Army" or MEK, who've flitted between being proscribed terrorists, and paying Bolton for speaking engagements. If they're supposed to take over the running of Iran Ukraine-style, then Bolton doesn't really understand Iran.

        1. Danny Boyd
          WTF?

          Re: In other news... lying liars.

          *Secular* conflict between Sunni and Shiah? Could you please elaborate? I see you are a specialist in Islam.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: In other news... lying liars.

            My bad.. should have been "sectarian", and that's been a long standing grudge match in the region, and something that's been exploited by secular powers.

          2. Benson's Cycle

            Re: In other news... lying liars.

            It was obviously a misprint but not without merit.

            As Sir John Glubb pointed out, a lot of the history of the Middle East is actually the story of conflict between Baghdad and Damascus, with the intervention of a chorus of assorted warlords, marginal states, and Iran from time to time sticking its oar in to defend its frontiers. The recent war is a perfect example of how valuable Glubb's insight was since it exactly met the description.

            Religious differences, as in Northern Ireland, are pretexts to cover the real reason for these wars - pursuit of commercial and political advantage for an ethnic grouping. It helps to have a label for the other side to differentiate them or you end up with a free for all as so often happened in Europe till Protestantism was invented.

        2. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: In other news... lying liars.

          For Iran, it kinda goes back to 1953. Iran was part of the Empire

          It was ?

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: In other news... lying liars.

            Pretty much. UK & Russia invaded it in 1941 replacing the then Shah with his son, Pahlavi. Then Russia was supposed to vacate in 1946, but stuck around leading to an Anglo-Iran shindig in 1946. Behind that, the British had been.. facilitating the production, extraction and wealth transfer of oil thanks to William Knox D'Arcy doing an oil deal in 1901. Naturaly the Iranians objected to the looting, and the US coming in with their own Saudi JV, leading to Operation Boot/Ajax and revolution. So the UK and US lost their oil interests in an utterly predictable way, and have been sulking ever since.. And also explains why Iranians don't trust the West to negotiate in good faith.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: In other news... lying liars.

        'Johnny "Chickenhawk" Bolton'

        Chickenhawk is also a term for a violent homosexual predator who goes after young teenagers.

        Given what happens to young men in wars, it fits.

      4. Danny Boyd

        Re: In other news... lying liars.

        A politician lying - who could possibly thought of that? Like Homer Simpson said: "Duh!"

        And you buddy are a blood-thirsty type! I like it.

    3. HildyJ
      Trollface

      Re: In other news

      With actual hackers shutting down cities with ransomware or uploading millions of records (not to mention NSA hacker toys) to the dark web, wiping some hard drives seems lame, especially with no evidence.

      Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if this showed up in the Who, Me? column in a few years. "I was working late and I accidentally reformatted a disk when I meant to check it for errors. So I called my supervisor and blamed it on Iranian hackers. Tehran got nuked but I kept my job and even got a bonus for discovering it."

      1. Sanguma

        Re: In other news - shutting down cities with ransomware

        I've always felt that a lever doesn't need to be ornate.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other news

      perhaps it's the day to bury some bad news?

    5. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: In other news

      Iran ate my homework.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: In other news

        Shouldn't have written a review of The Satanic Verses, should you?

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    WTF?

    That's Rich!

    what about Stuxnet then?

    1. mics39
      Flame

      Re: That's Rich!

      Didn’t someone some time ago say reap what you sow? If I were Iranian I’d be contributing.

    2. big_D Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: That's Rich!

      Or the attacks on Iranian infrastructure last week...

      You reap what you sow.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: That's Rich!

        Except that, over Iran, the Reapers are promptly shot down. (And then carefully reverse engineered and copied - no doubt with improvements).

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: That's Rich!

          I thought Huawei was Chinese, or was he been confused again?

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: That's Rich!

          Except that, over Iran, the Reapers are promptly shot down. (And then carefully reverse engineered and copied - no doubt with improvements).

          That's been a tradition in Iran. So pre-79 revolution, Iran was supplied with a lot of US kit. Then during the Iran-Iraq war in the '80s, got more US kit via (of all places) Israel. See the Iran-Contra affair for more details.

          So ironically, the latest & greatest US drone was probably shot down by a Sayyad-2 missile that started life as a US SM-1, then modernised and updated with a pinch of Russian & Chinese technology to produce a political statement. And an expensive pile of scrap. But that's sanctions for you. Cut off international supply, and it creates a strong incentive to build up your own domestic industry, with help from nations who ignore the current sanctions.

    3. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: That's Rich!

      Yeah that alreayd happened, years ago: the response to Stuxnet was called Shamoon.

      1. Andytug
        Joke

        Re: That's Rich!

        Also known as the "Michael Jackson" virus......

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    But as the tin foil hat brigade know, it's actually the US TLA agencies taking down their own networks and blaming it on the enemy.

  4. Any other name

    What goes round, comes around

    Unfortunately for all of us, this sort of attacks against both military and civilian infrastructure has been effectively legitimized a while ago. If it is (il)legitimate [1] for the US to hit Iran's centrifuges or air-defence network with a destructive virus, it is equally (il)legitimate[1] for Iran to hit defence and government installations in the US. If it is (il)legimate [1] for the US to booby-trap Russian civilian energy infrastructure, it is equally (il)legitimate [1] for Russia to do the same to the US. And on and on it goes.

    Unlike the convenventional warfare, it is the more technologically advanced opponent, which presents a bigger target, who ends up at a greater risk and a greater disadvantage. It is inconceivable to me that this point escapes american military and civilian leaders - and yet it is the US which continues to enthusiastically push "cyber warfare". I'd really love to understand what logic and what compulsion drive them.

    [1] Feel free to choose the word according to taste.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: What goes round, comes around

      Selectively delete?

    2. Magani
      Unhappy

      Re: What goes round, comes around

      It is inconceivable to me that this point escapes american military and civilian leaders...

      Regrettably it would seem that them's wots in power live in their own bubble that has its own reality. It's been going on forever. General Curtis LeMay wanted Kennedy to start WWIII over the Cuban missile crisis. Let's hope cooler heads prevail.

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: What goes round, comes around

      Foreign policy by other means. In this case, violation of data sovereignty. Not sure if this counts as a causus belli or use of a weapon of mass deletion. But could be a handy way to clean data that's.. incovenient wrt Trump/Clinton investigations.

      Bolton's been trying for decades to get someone else to die so he can clobber Iran on behalf of MEK. Never trust a man with an ego larger than his mustache, and an IQ smaller than his penis* The future's not looking too bright either, ie Joe Biden.. But hey, Iran has oil, so his son Hunter will do just fine..

      *Measured in good fearing Imperial inches, of course.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: What goes round, comes around

        "...an IQ smaller than his penis".

        That small? I assume you are working in Angstroms?

        1. Fatman Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: What goes round, comes around

          Perhaps nano meters.

    4. Blazde

      Re: What goes round, comes around

      "I'd really love to understand what logic and what compulsion drive them."

      What choice do they have? Standing up in the UN and asking everyone just to be nice to each other (please)? They're playing a game that's been plainly inevitable for 30 plus years now. It didn't need any legitimising. It's the nature of cyber that direct risk for the aggressor is low, attribution is difficult, attacks can be relatively cheap, and impact relatively high. Therefore small and less technologically reliant states were always going to use it to go after more technologically states, even large ones, with impunity.

      Surely the only response to this as a vulnerable state is to get your own capability, try to toughen up as much as possible, expose attacks against you, and reveal your own attacks as a deterrent. ie. If it seems like the US is most responsible for cyberwar right now it's only because it's most in their interest to publicise what's happening.

      The worry should be that other Western states lack capability and so become reliant on the US, or are so asleep they're not even aware when they're under attack.

      1. Any other name

        Re: What goes round, comes around

        What choice do they have? Standing up in the UN and asking everyone just to be nice to each other (please)?

        That would be a good start.

        The next step would be to sit down with everybody else, and to try to really negotiate, at the very least listening to other nations' concerns and ideally doing something constructive to alleviate them. This is difficult, and it takes skill, and patience, and it takes a lot of time, and eventually one might have to concede a bit more than one would have been willing to give up at the beginning to get something one really needs. However, this is exactly how many key international treaties have been negotiated.

        Since we are talking about Iran, the nuclear deal currently coming apart has been negotiated in exactly that way - with all sides very slowly and painfully coming to the point where they are ready to sacrifice something they value very highly to get something they really need.

        1. Blazde

          Re: What goes round, comes around

          Isn't this exactly how China was handled in the pre-Trump era? All kinds of constructive trade deals were reached giving them access to world markets. The Chinese economy benefited (along with the global economy). Dignitaries from liberal nations largely ignored human rights abuses. No official diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Hong Kong returned. No apology for the Opium Wars yet but it's bound to happen eventually.

          They've still hacked the living crap out of America, and why wouldn't they? They've a lot to gain from it and very little to lose.

          Meanwhile the various cyber attacks on Iran's enrichment facilities were part of the backdrop of pressure which brought about the Iran nuclear deal, or at the very last didn't seem to harm it. Indeed without all the various sticks, the sanctions, the assassination of scientists, the possibility of a pre-emptive conventional strike on their facilities, they wouldn't have had any reasons at all to agree to the deal.

          Talking is great, essential even, but it doesn't get you everywhere and it can not possibly disarm anyone's covert cyber capabilities.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: What goes round, comes around

            Talking is great, essential even, but it doesn't get you everywhere and it can not possibly disarm anyone's covert cyber capabilities.

            1) Only those with an excessive sense of entitlement would go to 'other means' if they don't get everything they want. A key thing to remember is if you get something from the other side, they haven't had everything they want.

            2) The issue is NOT to get the other side to disarm, the issue is to have them not use their weapons against you.

            Talking works well, especially if you're willing to do a bit of give-and-take to help make every one as happy as possible - obviously some self-entlted types will never be happy even if they get the lions share with the least effort, but if every one else leaves the table smiling then talking has worked well. A lot better than anything involving any form of force.

      2. Stork Silver badge

        Re: What goes round, comes around

        This is the thing that worries me a bit. If you want to wreck havoc at an adversary, start by taking out electronic payment systems. There is not enough cash in circulation, and most European countries hardly do cheques any more.

        If you then want to increase pressure, move on to telecom, power. Water is probably the most difficult.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: What goes round, comes around

          If you then want to increase pressure, move on to telecom, power. Water is probably the most difficult.

          Actually, attacks against physical transports are potentially the most damaging. So Stuxnet may have been intended to stop Iranian centrifuges, which are delicate, fast spinning beasts filled with very nasty uranium hexaflouride. Water and oil pipes contain a lot of energy, ie large amounts of water & oil moving fast. So messing with valves & pumps could result in burst pipes & damage that takes time to repair.

    5. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: What goes round, comes around

      Except that the two cases are substantially different.

      Stuxnet was launched against Iran when that nation was at peace with the world.

      If Iran is currently attacking US systems (and it may not be), that is fully justified because the USA has committed overt acts of war against Iran. (Look no further than the sanctions, which kill people just as effectively as bombs - if more deniably).

      1. EveryTime Silver badge

        Re: What goes round, comes around

        > (Look no further than the sanctions, which kill people just as effectively as bombs - if more deniably).

        I completely disagree with that claimed equivalence.

        You are effectively claiming that doing anything to dissuade rogue nations is equivalent to war. Should we just go straight to a shooting war, or should we ignore everything that happens until it's our turn to be invaded?

        Sanctions aren't as quick or effective as dropping bombs, and there certain a valid debate about how effective they are and how they are best implemented, but most people prefer them to a combat-focused conflict.

        1. Benson's Cycle

          Re: What goes round, comes around

          The problem is right there with your "rogue nations".

          You mean "Anybody who doesn't roll over for the US".

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: What goes round, comes around

            The problem is right there with your "rogue nations".

            You mean "Anybody who doesn't roll over for the US".

            Much better put than I would've done!

    6. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: What goes round, comes around

      I'd really love to understand what logic and what compulsion drive them.

      An influential part of US decision makers totally believe that Armageddon is a ritual to summon Jesus with and they will be rewarded by going straight to heaven on beams of light avoiding the Tribulations!

      A significant part of the US electorate believes Armageddon is a Good Thing, It is Gods Will, and only Godless Heathens would stand in The Way of God's Will.

      So great forces are aligned who out of the goodness of their unselfish hearts want to bring it on and Save Us All.

      ??

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: What goes round, comes around

        An influential part of US decision makers totally believe that Armageddon is a ritual to summon Jesus with and they will be rewarded by going straight to heaven on beams of light avoiding the Tribulations!

        What would be really cool would be if they were to check their Bible's so see if they were right.

        At which point, they'd see that only by the most insane twists of anything that could be called 'logic' could their current view even remotely be seen as correct. They might find their current view places them amongst those most deserving of the fictional 'hell'.

  5. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Nuking each others networks and hard drives is better than the alternative

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Possibly, but...

      Hacking critical infrastructure could lead to multiple loss-of-life events. If they manage to hack the control system for a dam, nuclear plant, chemical plant (etc)...

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Possibly, but...

        "Hacking critical infrastructure could lead to multiple loss-of-life events".

        Which is why the USA has been doing it for decades. Not to mention other low-key attacks, such as imposing sanctions that - if you remember - were acknowledged to have killed at least 500,000 Iraqi children, and are certainly killing Iranian children as we speak.

        Or carefully bombing hospitals, sewage processing plants, water supplies, the electricity supply system, and other essential social infrastructure - then imposing sanctions to prevent any medical supplies getting in, then sitting back with folded hands to watch thousands die of infectious diseases.

        Very elegant (if you're a CIA or Pentagon psychopath).

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Possibly, but...

        Hacking critical infrastructure could lead to multiple loss-of-life events. If they manage to hack the control system for a dam, nuclear plant, chemical plant (etc)...

        The key thing is to keep these controls as isolated as you can, and also have local staff with local abilities to over-ride the remote stuff, and also design safeguards around problems. Take a dam - emergency spillway that means the dam won't breach, a simple physical channel that cannot be opened or closed, it simply is. The tops of your spillway gates also allow water to safely overflow should a slip close the emergency spillway and for some reason you cannot open the normal gates. Turbines that can have the maximum imaginable flow of water directed to them and still be safe, not relying on brakes that may fail to keep things in control.

        So what can I do? If I shut down all systems at the dam so no spillway gates work, all the turbines etc are closed, and I blow up a chunk of hillside blocking the emergency spillway, the damn still survives.

        Also have physical and automatic cutouts on your switch gear. I start trying to pull too much power through them, the contacts get open. That silly Bruce Willis movie where someone remotely sends all the natural gas in a region towards one main hub to blow it up? That should never be able to happen; flow restrictors and cut-offs or vents should be able to make sure the pipes cannot be asked to carry more gas than the weakest link can survive.

        Nuke plants are much the same. Have means to start shutting them down and open up emergency cooling systems in the event of a loss of normal coolant ability. Even extra control rods that can automatically drop into place without electricity if certain parameters are exceeded (assuming I have enough understanding of how nuclear reactions are controlled - there is a very good chance that I may not :) )

        There should be no way to remotely mess with things and cause problems, and very little chance even directly, short of liberal applications of C4...

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Meh

    Contractor computer security

    Hackers might gain access to your crap systems and abuse them -> Don't care

    Hackers are erasing your crap systems -> Panic!

    1. vaporland

      backups

      have you heard of them?

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: backups

        A quaint old 20th-century custom. Ask your grandpa about them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: backups

        No, they were contracted out to the lowest bidder some while ago. Since then no one has heard of them.

        1. batfink Bronze badge

          Backups are always fine

          It's always the Restores that are the tricky part

      3. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: backups

        backups

        have you heard of them?

        Why yes!

        Years back I found a special backup device thanks to a fellow countryman named Simon.

        It holds massive amounts of capacity - I've been backing systems up to it for years and not yet run out of space. And it is extremely fast as well, always has been! As fast as you can throw data at it!

        Yes. If you want a fast way to back up your data, simply point your backups to /dev/null.

        And the biggest benefits - it's free, yet the restores are just as reliable as any of the larger 3rd-party systems where you might pay $hundreds of thousands!

  7. DougS Silver badge

    Silver lining

    The computers that Iran compromises and wipes will be forced to be rebuilt with better security policies and employees having learned the hard way to be more resistant to social engineering. That will better protect them in the future when China, Russia et al try to compromise them.

    Wiping is incredibly disruptive, so it is obvious you've been compromised. If someone silently penetrates your network and steals secrets they might continue doing that for a long time before it becomes known.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Silver lining

      Yes, it struck me as well that while they might not like the attention from the Iranians, this is a dry/preparatory run for conflict with far better organised/resourceful adversaries from, say, Russia or China?

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Silver lining

      "The computers that Iran compromises and wipes will be forced to be rebuilt with better security policies..."

      I see that you are unfamiliar with the ways of government. Try reading Clifford Stoll's classic "The Cuckoo's Egg", for a start.

      It was written about 30 years ago, admittedly. But that's the whole point: nothing important has changed since Stoll found many US Army VAXen with the "System" account password unchanged from "Manager". Not only did no one in charge see what was wrong about that, they didn't know what accounts and passwords were.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Silver lining

        If all the VAX with SYSTEM/MANAGER were logged into and had all their files deleted, I'll bet when they were rebuilt they'd use a different password.

        Having someone point out "hey, this is a bad idea" is the stuff that gets ignored. Not the stuff that causes major headaches for everyone involved and long hours of overtime for the IT guys. They will take security more seriously in the future, I guarantee it.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Silver lining

        In today's news:

        "Stop us if you've heard this one: US government staff wildly oblivious to basic computer, info security safeguards"

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/06/26/government_security_failures_report/

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Silver lining

      >The computers that Iran compromises and wipes will be forced to be rebuilt with better security policies and employees having learned the hard way to be more resistant to social engineering.

      You're forgetting (as reported by El reg) the US government sends interdepartmental emails over the Internet using SMTP...

      Also, as a number of UK teenagers have demonstrated over the years, old habits die hard, so expect the US government to continue to expose critical systems to the Internet and protect them using variants on System/Manager aka Admin/Admin as their admin credentials...

      Remember the only reason Iran (if the events the US government claim, have really happened) has been able to wreck havoc is because the US government, across ALL branches does not understand basic security.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Silver lining

        Remember the only reason Iran (if the events the US government claim, have really happened) has been able to wreck havoc is because the US government, across ALL branches does not understand basic security. .... Roland6

        Another greater systemic vulnerability which can always be ruthlessly exploited are defenders of the indefensible, Roland6, for by natural default does it identify that particular and peculiar opposition and/or competition as being intellectually challenged/retarded/corrupted/perverse.

    4. Kiwi Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Silver lining

      Wiping is incredibly disruptive, so it is obvious you've been compromised. If someone silently penetrates your network and steals secrets they might continue doing that for a long time before it becomes known.

      This is what causes me to entertain the possibility of a 'false flag' operation. Far more value in sneaking in, planting cameras and microphones, and sneaking out than smashing your way in, tripping every alarm imaginable, and fleeing with only the trinkets they wanted you to see.

  8. alain williams Silver badge

    Oh, I thought it was the NORKs that did that!

    Oh, silly me: the NORKs were the last enemy, the current enemy is Iran: so of course it is the Iranians.

    Quick: where is the nearest Memory Hole into which I can put everything that I (thought that I) remembered about the NORKs.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Oh, I thought it was the NORKs that did that!

      We have always been at war with Eastasia North Korea Iran

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Oh, I thought it was the NORKs that did that!

      Oh, silly me: the NORKs were the last enemy, the current enemy is Iran: so of course it is the Iranians.

      Quick: where is the nearest Memory Hole into which I can put everything that I (thought that I) remembered about the NORKs.

      To carry that on a bit further (scarily, for the easily startled), just consider how uch time and effort Trump put in to showing the world how great he was at negotiating with the NORKs and how the two nations would soon be on very good friendly terms...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Statement by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

    I totally believe this statement by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, that would never lie to us.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Statement by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

      You forgot the troll icon, not everyone here recognises sarcasm.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Statement by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

      Why can't I upvote this comment? Does DHS control The Reg's moderators?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: Statement by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

        Archtech: “Why can't I upvote this comment? Does DHS control The Reg's moderators?”

        Someone is keeping a close moderation on my comments, including this one :(

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Statement by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

          Someone is keeping a close moderation on my comments, including this one :(

          No, I'm certain that's not the case at all.. Why, I haven't seen any remotely suspicious posts from you in weeks!

  10. martinusher Silver badge

    A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

    I sense a bit of a disconnect between the administration and the military. Both entities are used to working with adversaries that can't shoot back and the track that the drone and its accompanying P-8 surveillance plane took suggests that they were confident that they could parade around wherever they wanted and the Iranians could just pound sand. Taking out the drone -- and, equally as important, not taking out the P-8 -- would have come as a huge shock. This isn't actions of an incoherent rabble but the deliberate act of a state that possesses an advanced air defense capability. The military now find themselves tasked with a mission which is of uncertain value, potentially high risk (especially as anyone on the P-8 may be well justified in assuming they were dangled out as bait) and no end point. They will reluctant to do the 'shock and awe' thing so the administration has to come up with a saving face maneuver -- part 'A' being "Well, we could have taken them all out but it would have been unkind" (since when has that stopped them?) and part 'B' being "we've engaged them in cyber warfare" which doesn't seem to have had much effect. (In cased you didn't notice a week or so back one of the administration was boasting about how they could 'turn the lights off in Russia' if they wanted to.....then the lights went off in Argentina and Uruguay -- a test drive?). The problem with that is that post-Stuxnet, well, its "Fool me once....".

    We've got to think of a harmless way to give these guys a 'win' before they take us all out by starting WW3.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

      I suppose it might not be common knowledge, but it's no secret that many countries with serious military capability frequently probe other country's borders and air defenses. Russian patrols, for example, frequently probe US airspace in the Arctic. In 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 that may or may not have been wondering about on the Turkish side of their border.

      My guess would be that the US was flying its drone right down the edge of Iranian airspace. Maybe they pushed it a little too close. Or maybe the Iranians got tired of seeing the blasted thing on their radars. Or maybe the US and Iran have slightly different ideas of where Iran's boundaries are.

      1. OffBeatMammal

        Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

        per the Washington Post (and others) the Iranians claim that not only did the drone enter their airspace a manned support aircraft briefly infringed but was not targets because it was manned.

        of course any 'evidence' their either side releases isn't going to match up with the other sides version of events so here we are at the brink of another war (still, nuclear winter will solve the climate change issue one way on the other)

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          "per the Washington Post (and others) the Iranians claim that not only did the drone enter their airspace a manned support aircraft briefly infringed but was not targets because it was manned".

          Not quite. The US aircraft was just as legitimate a target as the drone, and the Iranians would have been entirely within their rights to shoot it down. That is the case either in time of peace or war.

          The Iranians refrained from killing those Americans because they did not wish to inflame the situation even more.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

        "My guess would be that the US was flying its drone right down the edge of Iranian airspace. Maybe they pushed it a little too close. Or maybe the Iranians got tired of seeing the blasted thing on their radars. Or maybe the US and Iran have slightly different ideas of where Iran's boundaries are."

        Or the SatNav said "Turn Left at the next exit"

        1. Fatman Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          <quote>Or the SatNav said "Turn Left at the next exit"</quote>

          I still chuckle when the sat nav get it wrong:

          https://www.foxnews.com/tech/apple-maps-app-directs-drivers-to-runway-at-alaska-airport-2-end-up-on-tarmachttps://www.foxnews.com/tech/apple-maps-app-directs-drivers-to-runway-at-alaska-airport-2-end-up-on-tarmac

      3. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

        "Russian patrols, for example, frequently probe US airspace in the Arctic".

        Incorrect. If you study the matter you will find that the Russians never trespass into US or Canadian air space. (Of course the word "probe" is deliberately chosen for its ambiguity - does it mean to penetrate US airspace, or just to come close and flirt with it?)

        Apart from the fact that Russia respects international and national law, there is the practical consideration that any violation of US airspace would probably lead to combat. And combat between the USA and Russia might, with high probability, lead to everyone dying.

        As for the Su-24 that was shot down in 2015, only Turkey and the USA claimed that it violated Turkish airspace. Russia and Syria denied that, and I find their version more plausible. Why would Russian aircraft attacking terrorists enter Turkey? It's not as if there have ever been any terrorists there. But again, Russia respects national borders - unlike the USA and Israel, which have bragged loudly about the thousands of times they have overflown Syria and killed Syrian people.

        1. batfink Bronze badge

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          "It's not as if there have ever been any terrorists there" - Pardon?

          Turkey has been actively supporting the FSA, which are a pretty dodgy bunch if you look closely at the makeup of the group. They seem to have been happily going backwards & forwards across the Turkish border around where the SU-24 was shot down.

          If you look at the location of the (alleged?) infraction, you'll see there's a narrow tongue of Turkish territory sticking down into Syria. Easy enough to fly across if you're following the rest of the border, so I can quite believe that the SU-24 did stray across it. It wouldn't take long to cross - hence the plane coming down in Syria.

          Interestingly enough, that part of the border seems to have been the main route for smuggled oil out of Syria, at least some of which was probably bought from ISIS. RT (unreliable source of course) even published a story (sorry can't find the link) accusing Erdogan's son of running the company which was transporting most of the smuggled oil into Turkey. That aside, at the time of the shoot-down, Russia was announcing that it was targeting the oil smuggling in northern Syria, and loudly asking the western forces why they weren't doing the same. I wonder to this day whether the shoot-down was Turkey trying to protect the oil convoys.

          So back to the "no terrorists in Turkey" line: even if you're on the other side of the "terrorist/freedom-fighter" equation, Turkey has long declared the PKK to be a terrorist organisation, on Turkish soil and beyond. Choose your poison.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

            'So back to the "no terrorists in Turkey" line: even if you're on the other side of the "terrorist/freedom-fighter" equation, Turkey has long declared the PKK to be a terrorist organisation, on Turkish soil and beyond'.

            My remark was ironic. I tend to forget that other people may not be familiar with that part of the world.

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          I think both the Ukrainian and Estonian governments have a different view of the Russian respect for international borders.

          But the Russians are a bit more choosy.

          The case with the jet could easily be a small mistake combined with a trigger-happy pilot imho

      4. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

        "My guess would be that the US was flying its drone right down the edge of Iranian airspace. Maybe they pushed it a little too close".

        A plausible opinion, but to anyone who knows about modern military technology (especially US) it's what we technically call "balls".

        The USA has satellites and other means that can detect a submarine 20 metres underwater by the surface wave it pushes up (a few inches high). They can see a person smoking on the ground, and it has been claimed they can read licence plates (although I doubt that). The military version of GPS is far more accurate than the civil version, and the drone operators would have known exactly where they were to within a few feet at all times - as would the crew of the manned aircraft.

        As for the limit of Iranian territorial waters, that theory won't wash either. It's 12 miles, and there is no controversy about it.

        Besides, just try flying a foreign military aircraft anywhere near the USA's 12-mile limit and see what happens.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          @Archtech, re: technically call "balls"

          That sounds like US apologist talk. They needed people like you in the 1960s when they were flying aircraft over Russia.

          Apparently Eisenhower didn't have any qualms over it being illegal, just that it might be seen as "aggressive". Who'd have thought?!?

          When you back someone into a corner so they have no other option than to retaliate, you can guarantee they will. And it will be asymmetric.

          It would be ironic if a digital WW3 caused catastrophic damage to western economies without a shot being fired.

          And all thanks to Donald.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

            >Apparently Eisenhower didn't have any qualms over it being illegal

            Well, according to recent disclosures, he did get the flights to be operated by the RAF and UK pilots, just in case. However, it was just unfortunate that the US forgot the previously agreed operational criteria and sent one of their own U2's over Russia to be shot down....

          2. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

            AC, I am bitterly opposed to US aggression. Unfortunately there will always be people who have no understanding of irony and little or no knowledge of the topic under discussion.

            My point was that the USA cannot possibly plead that its drone and aircraft somehow strayed into Iranian airspace by mistake.

        2. agurney
          Trollface

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          As for the limit of Iranian territorial waters, that theory won't wash either. It's 12 miles, and there is no controversy about it.

          12 US/statute miles = 19.3121 Km

          12 Nautical miles = 22.224Km

          So, no chance for confusion there.

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

            It's 12 nautical miles, as all the relevant agreements and treaties spell out.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

      What makes them think that if they turn out the lights in Russia, that Russia won't or can't turn out the lights in the US?

      Considering the hacking skills of even a deprived, small and relatively poor country with an apparently uneducated population like N Korea, it should be easy for a large country like Russia with it's resources to have developed such skills.

      The US has probably got more to lose in terms of disruption if significant portions of industry were hit by full on cyber warfare. I would be surprised if Iran was this blatant they are generally far more subtle in their approach.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

        Absolutely. We Americans must get our political leaders to understand that if we push our enemies too hard, they will strike back and hit us where it hurts. They might shut down Facebook. Or Netflix. They could even -- if pushed too far -- shut down Google and Microsoft telemetry. How will we know where we are and what we want if our phones don't know?

        1. PK

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          ...or if they're really nasty, they take out everything useful and leave us with just Facebook

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          " We Americans must get our political leaders to understand that if we push our enemies too hard, they will strike back and hit us where it hurts. They might shut down Facebook. Or Netflix. They could even -- if pushed too far -- shut down Google and Microsoft telemetry".

          If you push Russia too hard, you will find yourself floating around in the stratosphere as a small radioactive cloud, while your country becomes a sea of ash.

          Americans really need to bear in mind the important principle that Russians don't threaten. First they warn, and then they strike.

          It's hard for Westerners to grasp that, as the MO of American leaders is exactly the opposite.

        3. Fatman Silver badge

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          <quote>Absolutely. We Americans must get our political leaders to understand that if we push our enemies too hard, they will strike back and hit us where it hurts.

          They might shut down Facebook.</quote> Bosses all over the USofA would be grateful for the massive productivity increase.

          <quote>Or Netflix.</quote> Think of all of the suddenly freed up bandwidth from choking off those movie streams.

          <quote>They could even -- if pushed too far -- shut down Google and Microsoft telemetry.</quote> WIN!!! WIN!!! WIN!!!

          <quote>How will we know (1)where we are and (2)what we want if our phones don't know?</quote> (1)Use a fucking MAP! and (2)Use your fucking head.

          </sarcasm>

      2. vaporland

        Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

        fortunately the nuclear launch systems are controlled by obsolete (but very secure) IBM Series/I minicomputers, so armageddon can proceed unabated.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

          Nope, that's what they would like you to believe. In actual reality, it's either been 'upgraded' to Unix [1] by some contractor 'coz "Linux is better than Windows, innit?' (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/04/bofh_2004_episode_14/)

          Or it's been silently replaced with a 'puter that's still IBM, yet is PC compatible and runs MS-DOS 6.22 beta build 2220.

          Or Longhorn.

          _______________

          [1] It's a 16-bit, but still, IBM supported it for Unix, according to a 1985 Byte article linked to on Wikipedia

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

            They should modernise, make all the silos part of the IoT so that commanders can start Armageddon with their Android phone from anywhere in the world.

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: A certain amount of thrashing around going on here....

      "We've got to think of a harmless way to give these guys a 'win' before they take us all out by starting WW3".

      Or we could give them a funeral.

    4. Sanguma

      Re: A certain amount of thrashing - give these guys a 'win'

      A discreet visit from the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells? Red-hot iron pokers thrown in for free?

  11. Potemkine! Silver badge

    PR BS

    The PR move is always the same: Iran, Iran, Iran.

    For all the warmongers, this is well how a war against Iran could turn

    Don't mess with Shiites, their only wish is martyrdom. Attacking Iran will be the best way to unite the Iranian people behind their rulers, and the resulting hell will be scores more hotter than the Iraqi fiasco for the USofA.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PR BS

      Articles largely make sense, some are plain bullshit though, but the funny part is that their paywall can be bypassed by simply disabling bleedin' JavaScript.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US: WE! ARE! UNDER! ATTACK!!!!

    I wonder, if the US really believe this spin would work on anybody? That said, in this day and age, just as nobody cares, the US administration probably doesn't care that nobody cares...

  13. Sanguma
    Coat

    Now were I

    A: a patriotic Iranian, B: a competent computer security specialist, and C: pissed off with Uncle Sam who too often oscillates between Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees in character, I think I would be rather more circumspect and indirect. This is amateur script-kiddy stuff.

    Unless of course the Iranians are using this panic to do something else. For which I could not in all honesty blame them. Everybody knows about Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram Airbase.

    But anyway, I'm off to soothe my sorrows with Tom Lehrer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHPmRJIoc2k

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Now were I

      I'm with you about Tom Lehrer. Asked why he didn't write some songs about George W Bush and his crew, he replied, "The trouble is that I don't want to satirize them - I want to vaporize them".

  14. Archtech Silver badge

    Surprising...

    Odd, isn't it, how "authorities" who are plainly unable to keep their networks secure always know, immediately those networks are penetrated, exactly who did it and why.

    Almost as odd as the way all the media immediately parrot whatever officials tell them - officially or unofficially.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprising...

      Almost as odd as the way all the media immediately parrot whatever officials tell them - officially or unofficially.

      So do you mean that The Register is a TLA front?

      (add $TROLL icon)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surprising...

        The BBC is definitely a government parrot.

        It doesn't matter whether the material is true or not, the BBC covers itself by stating "the Government says xxx". Which is true enough but hardly objective truth.

        And so they have to put a "persuader" at the bottom of their articles on "Why you can trust us".

        :/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Surprising...

          Couldn't help laughing today hearing Jeremy Vine talking about cybersecurity (LOL) and how Iranian cyber attacks are putting the West at risk, so the US is therefore obviously justified in retaliating.

          It's very subtle propaganda but it's there nonetheless.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Surprising...

            Yeah 'cause Jeremy Vine is a cyber expert.

            The Daily Mail taught him everything he knows!

            1. Benson's Cycle

              Re: Surprising...

              And what did they do after lunch?

      2. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Surprising...

        The Register can take whatever line it pleases. It knows very well that commentards will ... erm ... explore different angles on the story. A story that slavishly follows an official line could be seen as stirring the pot.

        Except of course those stories where comments are put into a moderation queue before appearing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it knows very well that commentards will ... erm ... explore different angles

          don't mistake freedom with appearances of freedom. "Moderation" applies to particularly stupid or offensive or not-in-our-interest comments but the fact is, it applies to_any_ comments with / without an angle. However, this is a private turf with an unusually generous moderation policy (in this day and age). That said, it's not a public body with oversight / appeal procedures (although I bet you can appeal til you're blue in the face on supposedly accountable bbc :)

      3. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Surprising...

        I don't include The Reg as part "the media" - by which I usually mean "the mainstream media", aka the MSM, aka what Paul Craig Roberts felicitously dubbed "the presstitutes".

  15. Aussie Doc
    Holmes

    Stop picking on me!

    Let's just be honest here.

    The US is going to do whatever it can to be seen as a victim and the only way to stop this / prevent it / nip it in the bud will be to attack Iran physically, financially, psychologically or however it may.

    If it doesn't have proof, it will invent it and have a 'damning' video of the event.

    The US is the world's biggest bully.

    You don't need to be Sherlock to see this.

    1. YARR

      Re: Stop picking on me!

      Re. If it doesn't have proof, it will invent it and have a 'damning' video of the event

      ... like the video of the Iranian boat detatching limpet mines from the oil tanker that was attacked? Can they do that with deepfakes?

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Stop picking on me!

        Normally when you attack a ship you attach limpet mines, not remove them.

  16. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    That's nice of them.

    Saves the US lads detecting and cleaning their infected machines themselves.

    Whether this is believable really rather depends on whether you believe the Iranian cyber lads really are so fucking stupid that they'd cack on their most valuable assets just to stick two fingers up at the USA. This, in turn, depends on whether you think some wankhammer's imaginary friend thought it might be a good idea.....so not such a stretch as at first glance.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: That's nice of them.

      >Whether this is believable really rather depends...

      Remind me which security software all these compromised US government systems were running; it certainly wasn't Kaspersky...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's nice of them.

        LOL

  17. Julz Bronze badge

    Imperial v Metric

    The US claim that the territorial airspace extends 12 miles off the Iranian coast. The Iranians claim that they have a territorial limit of 22Km. Twelve miles is approx 19300 meters, not 22000 meters. Perhaps both sides are telling their own truth.

    Anyway, flying anything that close under the current circumstances is provocative. I guess the US just thought the Iranians didn't have the capability to shoot down the drone (or plane). I guess the US will be re-assessing that belief along with the belief that they might be able to just swan into Iranian airspace with impunity.

    1. agurney

      Re: Imperial v Metric

      The US claim that the territorial airspace extends 12 miles off the Iranian coast. The Iranians claim that they have a territorial limit of 22Km. Twelve miles is approx 19300 meters, not 22000 meters. Perhaps both sides are telling their own truth.

      12 Nautical Miles IS 22000 metres (well, closer to 22224).

    2. Any other name
      Boffin

      Re: Imperial v Metric

      The US claim that the territorial airspace extends 12 miles off the Iranian coast. The Iranians claim that they have a territorial limit of 22Km. Twelve miles is approx 19300 meters, not 22000 meters.

      Good try, but the nice thing about miles is that there are so many to choose from. In this particular case, the relevant mile is the nautical mile, which is 1852 meters. 12 nautical miles is 22.224 km.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enemy of my enemy...

    So the current US action will guarantee the Iranians teaming up with North Korean nuclear scientists and bring about an Iranian weapon much sooner than anyone anticipated.

    And this is good because?

  19. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Ticking Time Bombes of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT ...

    ..... Greater Applications of Proprietary Intellectual Property

    Methinks the almighty nuclear weapon system has effectively morphed from the explosive radioactive military device to a deeply destructive and undeniably much smarter virtual program of alternate narrative trails?

    'Tis always the course of idiots ....... sticks and stones against new thoughts and novel systems.

  20. sitta_europea Bronze badge

    " ... the Washington Post reports that a separate cyber-attack is specifically targeting the same missile systems Iran used to take down the US drone. "

    Shame they didn't think of that before the missile was launched at their drone.

    Or shame that they did, and failed.

    So either they're clueless, or they're incompetent.

    Or, I suppose, they could be both.

    Doesn't inspire confidence however you look at it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or maybe they didn't do any such thing and just relied on CNN, FOX and BBC propaganda channels to spread the word.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Donald was right this time

    WW3 is gonna be huuuggge.

    :(

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it is time for USA to stop illegally invading (no congressional or UN Security Council approval) sovereign nations and causing untold misery and destruction, and just stay at home to take care of the many of America's internal problems. Shut down the CIA, shut down the total surveillance Police State the USA has become, stop funding and training terrorists only to later use them as "patsies" to keep citizens in escalating states of fear. Who caused the refugee problem in the Middle East? Who preplanned 9/11? Sure wasn't Tim Osman. If the USA stopped bombing innocent civilians (collateral damage) in foreign countries, perhaps our world would be a lot more peaceful. Being the uninvited bully to the rest of the world is not appreciated. What kind of supposedly Christian country ignores "Thou shalt not kill". A Satanic aggressor run by psychopaths apparently.

  23. William Higinbotham

    Why is it the IRS does not get targeted?

    I would have thought that Iran would target the IRS. How does the old adage go? Hit'em in their pockets... Oh, that's right; they use some arbitrary currency. https://www.xe.com/currency/irr-iranian-rial

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Why is it the IRS does not get targeted?

      Except that the US government doesn't really depend on the IRS any more. When it wants a few trillion dollars, it just "prints" them. You know, with computers. Er...

  24. SNAFUology
    Big Brother

    No No No not like the US has ever done that

    not for years and years, not stealing info and trashing hard drives to obliterate the original owners copy.

    not building holes into O/S's and software with major market share not to give access at a flippant wish of anyone who new of it.

    Not at all.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A simple headless runaway missile @BolticShit is another relatively bombastic future event to ponder at and check the systems thoroughly, setting off all newly shaved necks in EW ground service appointees. Really guys, who cares, please do.

    La Habanera's dancing on the streets.

    55 73

  26. plrndl
    FAIL

    Surprise!

    So, you employ vast armies of people who have never had even a minute of formal computer training, stick them is sensitive government and government support jobs, and give then a powerful, internet connected PC.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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