Cyberattack: Is Denver the Next Ground Zero?

Parastoo takes credit for Mystery JFK Drone, proclaims video will prove it

The day may come when we look back at the cyber incidents of early 2013 as the smoking gun, the origin of a needless catastrophe, tracing back to the Denver region.  Denver is the home of hacked military and CBRN intelligence company IHS Jane’s, as well as the headquarters of Hosting.com, the computer systems that were compromised.  When you look back at the history of 9/11 and the warnings we had that could have perhaps prevented that disaster and compare them to the warning signs we are seeing today, the lack of focus from the mainstream on this is troubling.

The claims we have heard put out  were sensational to say the least.  We saw threats to attack US nuclear fuel sites with drones and the drone targeting of Secret Service agents and the Vice President of the United States.  If you think about that, this drone interception would have to be accomplished with some hacking skills, which they clearly have demonstrated on some level.  Critics assume it’s doable, but won’t believe that drones can be hacked unless they’ve seen it.  Strangely, they don’t seem to require the same visual confirmation that drones exist in the first place.  They may be getting the visual evidence of drone hacking shortly.  In the last week a mystery drone was seen at JFK airport, one of the country’s busiest and high profile airports.  We still have no determination in hand on what happened there.  Over the weekend, a report stated that Parastoo, the very group that made the drone threats, was operational in the hacking and control effort in the fly-by of JFK airport.

Parastoo takes credit for mystery JFK Drone – Will Release Video

I can’t help but think of the “dry runs” that took place before the September 2011 attacks.  Parastoo itself made not so vague claims about the JFK incident and in fact stated that it would be shortly releasing a video showing how they have hacked drones and can control them.

IN TECHNICAL PART OF OUR LAST MESSAGE WE TALKED
ABOUT HOW PARASTOO GOT INTO C4ISR SYSTEMS BELONG TO NATO AND USED A VSAT-BASED ATTACKS TO CONTROL AND “PARASTOOJACK” A DRONE , LONG TIME AGO .
….IN OUR NEXT MESSAGE WE WILL RELEASE A VIDEO OF HOW THE ATTACH TO IDIRECT-CONTROLLED C4ISR SYSTEM HAPPENED AND HOW PARASTOO BROKE INTO A FIPS 140-2 SECURE SATCOM ON THE MOVE . IT DEMONSTRATES , IN A LIMITED WAY THAT PUBLIC WWW CAN HANDLE , WHAT DID WE MEAN BY “AN EASY SPORT” IN OUR LAST MESSAGE

Armed with airport intelligence, CBRN data, and claims of drone hijacking, this is something that adds up to trouble and could be only the beginning.  Drones are stealthy by design, and are built to evade detection, if one thought a drone was targeting them they wouldn’t know until it was too late.

{… And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spider, if they only knew.} [Surat Al-’Ankabût (The Spider): 41]

From the Qur`an, The Spider, refers to the flimsy, insecure structures upon which we tend to depend, comparable to a spider’s web.

All in all, we have a motivated, and unafraid hacking group that does not care whether there are civilian, public or government targets.  At this time, they can only be tied to threats and exposing information, though we may perhaps they may end up being tied to the JFK mystery drone.  Lest one think the exposure limited to drone threats and airports, the targets could be anything.  Scenarios could include an attack on our nation’s power grid – one that exploited a weakness in security whether physical or virtual, wiping out power for an entire multi-state area for weeks, even months.  The chaos that would create would be significant, and on order with the worst of cataclysmic events.  It’s easy to sit here and predict doom, the point is that more must be done.  Whether this is a fire drill for the real thing or the actual real thing, we need to get better.

About John Casaretto

SiliconANGLE's CyberSecurity Editor - Have a story tip or feedback? Please reach out to me! Security is as critical as ever and our mission is to uncover those stories that will help our industry be more secure.