Last February - not pre-911 - the Department of Homeland Security ran a large-scale international cyberterror simulation testing public and private sector response to computer-based attacks. And the terrorist group used as the good guys' foil? Al Quaeda? Hezbollah? Hamas? Nope. Globalization-hating hippes, Wired's Kevin Poulson reveals.
The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors.
At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks, eventually (spoiler warning) claiming responsibility for a commuter rail outage and the heat going out in government buildings.
The Black Hoods are a faction of Freedom Not Bombs, whose name is suspiciously similar to the real Food Not Bombs, which provides vegan meals to the homeless.
All this and more is revealed in a DHS PowerPoint that was published on Cryptome. Poulson notes: "The scenario is nicely laid out, and perhaps technically plausible -- some of the incidents are ripped from the headlines, kind of. And I'm frankly glad to see al Qaida wasn't behind it all, since it seems unlikely that real terrorist groups will ever move to computer attacks, while physical destruction and murder is easier and more terror-producing."
But does the administration really see the far left as potential cyber terrorists ready to take down the power grid and air traffic control systems? This might explain why the U.S. keeps getting caught spying on peaceful war-protestors.