A colossal cyber-economic attack is coming – Game Plan

The U.S. economy is in the cross-hairs of a major economic cyber attack. There is an alarming amount of evidence that it has not only happened before, but that it will be coming again. That’s the warning from author Kevin Freeman, in Game Plan: How to Protect Yourself from the Coming Cyber-Economic Attack – the follow-up book to his blockbuster New York Times bestseller, Secret Weapon. Freeman is an authority in economic warfare and financial terrorism that has been commissioned by the Pentagon and has consulted with the CIA, FBI, SEC, among others. In the book, Freeman illustrates a variety of financial threats against our economy, including cyber attacks, EMPs, espionage, collusion in coordinated short-sale attacks and much more. He also goes in to how individuals can protect themselves from this threat and guard their assets, by showing how in times of ‘disaster economics’ survival comes down to preparing for a variety of possible economic meltdown scenarios.

A Game Plan for the Next Attack

 

America was attacked in 2001 and again in 2008. We are still suffering from those attacks. Secret Weapon explained in detail how the attack of 2008 happened, who was involved and what would come next. Many signs of the next attack have already appeared. It appears that a third attack is imminent. Game Plan is your companion to Secret Weapon, taking the research to the next level, personalizing it for individuals, and providing a strategic path to respond.

Freeman argues that arrogance has kept us from realizing the economic war that is underway, while cyber-security is at the heart of it. The new frontier for war isn’t really terrorism as people know it, but financial attacks and that’s exactly what is laid out in the book – a history of attacks and motives that he reported to the Pentagon and eventually in Secret Weapon. There is evidence that either Chinese, Russian influences may have forced the bailouts of 2008. Evidence that enemies are preparing for a catastrophic EMP attack – with the potential of wiping out the power grid over swaths of the country for months. We’re unprepared to respond to that type of event, and it could even come from natural events which are cyclically overdue. The report floated around the DOD but was apparently suppressed because of political sensitivity.

“The law required that the report be released in late 2011, allowing the voters to assess the information before the national elections in 2012. Unfortunately, the report was held up for months. When I asked the reason for the unusual delay, I was told that there were fears that the findings might be used as “a political weapon.”

Now, there are many that dismiss all this because there is a perception that China is a trade partner and an interdependent economy. Freeman explains how the Chinese military is in it for the long game and that it’s basically a winner-take-all situation. Cyber attacks that originate in China and other countries are continuous and are largely expected to rise. Al-Qaeda has absolutely defined their ambitions to commit financial cyber attacks. This may be the most critical issue we face today.

This is modern warfare, and a new kind of war

 

This is America’s new battle space. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction or the notion of taking on our military even after years of prolonged challenges is not something that enemies are even thinking of engaging in anymore. It’s all about cyber attacks, attacking the financial and national infrastructure – that’s the frontier. On December 15th 2013, General Keith Alexander, the Commander of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Director of the NSA was featured on 60 minutes, where he basically admitted that a foreign nation state could potentially crash the U.S. economy. In a stunning reaction to this revelation, Wall St actually continued its rise to close out the year, with the DJIA rising some 800 points – meaning they’re not taking these threats seriously.

Freeman sees a way out, and a way for people to navigate their own way through this kind of crisis. It goes beyond buying gold and hunkering down in the basement. That’s because the decline can take time, spiraling in the throes of a ‘domino effect’ – with people hoarding assets, the economy stagnating and the flaws in our current economic strategy exposed. Part of his prescription is a recipe of 8 steps for America to avoid this financial disaster. It is going to require a lot of leadership and investment.

Whether the attacks come in the form of a cyber-attack, or they come in the effort of a collapsed dollar, hyperinflation, deflation, or an all-out disruption of our electrical grid through an EMP, the warnings are dire. Reading this book was a chilling affair as we have covered a good deal of these events which are quite clearly linked and the ramifications of neglecting the threats are great. It seems that the focus on only particular economic indicators has put us in a perilous position, with the country largely unaware of the gravity and the true situation at hand. Even worse, while the threats may be motivated by foreign interests, much of the action culminating in an attack could have elements working right here on shore. We’ve talked about Advanced Persistent Threats, we’ve talked about the internet kill switch, we’ve talked about spear phishing – Game Plan ties all of those things together with motive and a degree of alarm that should be talked about. Get the Book.

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.