Letter and response concerning NYC blackout


Question:  “[Are you] claiming Russia caused the NYC blackout? I’d be interested in what such a claim would be based on.”


Response:  Both books I have recently read  are  lauded by top US and  British defense officials and espionage experts. They point to a shadow war that is under way with the USA on one side and Russia,  China, and at times North Korea and Iran involved.   There are also private actors who benefit from advertisements payments for outlandish reports on Facebook that play to the prejudices of those on the extreme left and right.

Did I send you a copy of “Likewar, the weaponization of social media”  by P. W. Singer?  Everyone needs to read it because it may be the most important book so far this century.  He is highly experienced and very much a scholar.
The other book is “The Shadow War” by CNN’s Jim Sciutto.   It is based on his experiences as a journalist and also the work and efforts of others:  It makes much the same points and an easier read for the lay person.
I only suspect that  the Russians might have caused the New York City, Upper West Side black out last night.   This is the type of thing that goes on.  It is relatively low level so as not to risk retaliation.. Its timing (on the anniversary of a major black out), target and the lack of an explanation (so far) of any type of mechanical break down triggers the question.    If the Russians caused the blackout, it is meant as a signal.
The USA is no longer the sole super power.  Russia and China are devoting themselves to asymmetric weaponry, much of it Cyber but also  threatening us in space  and under the seas.  All of the systems on which our economy and way of life depend can now be taken away from us in a few moments.
Of course we have our own offensive capacities.
Recall what we and the Israelis did to the North Korean missile testing  program. some years ago?  That we could cause test after test to fail through tampering with their software was a lesson  not lost on Vladimir Putin.
We are at war and have been for some time.  The undermining of our elections are just a part of it.  And we may be just waking up to the situation.


1 Comment

  1. On one hand, NewsLanc is a WordPress site so it could be randomly targeted for takeover by hackers who are just looking for yet another platform from which to send out malware. The thing is I run a couple of other WordPress sites that are about the same size as NewsLanc, maybe a bit more heavily trafficked, and they’re very rarely probed.

    At NewsLanc it’s constant, and from time to time escalates to the point that it actually interferes with operation. We’ve only been knocked offline once, for a few days last month, but that’s because our web host takes network security seriously. It just doesn’t feel random.

    It’s true that it’s nearly impossible to say who’s responsible, but I don’t think it’s people who are still pissed about the convention center. It wouldn’t take human involvement nor even sophisticated AI. Just take a list of people who are critics of the regime. Make a simple algorithm and send webcrawlers out to look for items on the web related to those critics, then bots are directed to harass the sites on which they appear.

    A slightly more sophisticated crawler would be able to detect whether an article is critical based on word content alone. They’d get that wrong pretty often but they’re just blunt instruments used for harassment.

    The use of DDOS attacks for political purposes and to censor opinion is not new. I assume that our government and NATO allies are doing it as well.


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