Category Archives: warfare

Hacking EirGrid: NCSC MiA, GCHQ Inertia, US Data Centres, & Creating Backdoors to UK/EU Grid

This post was first published by me on Peerlyst on 7th August 2017.

This hack took place last April (2017) but the details are only emerging now. Hackers compromised EirGrid’s routers at Vodafone’s Direct Internet Access (DIA) service at Shotton, Wales. The MITM “virtual wire tap” then intercepted unencrypted messages between EirGrid and SONI (EirGrid NI). Firmware and files were copied from the compromised router devices but there is no estimate as to the scale of the breach or the magnitude of the data that was stolen.

The Role of NCSC & GCHQ

An informed source has confirmed to AirGap Anonymity Collective that this hack was going on for some time before it was “detected” and before EirGrid were informed – that was already reported.

However, the same source is also of the opinion that the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre – part of GCHQ – instructed Vodafone not to tell EirGrid of the breach – while they tried to ascertain who the perpetrators were (understandable) but that this was for an unreasonably extended period of time.

The source is not clear on what portion of the estimated nine weeks of the hack overlapped with GCHQ’s attempts to identify the hackers.

Where was Ireland’s National Cyber Security Centre while all of this was going on?

The Irish National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) & Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT)

Formally established in 2015. Together with the (CSIRT), they have responsibility for Ireland’s national cyber security defences. They say:

“The global cybersecurity threat landscape continues to pose an immense challenge. As part of wider efforts to address these security threats, the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS Directive) was approved in July 2016. Member States have until May 2018 to implement the NIS Directive, with both the NCSC and CSIRT playing a critical role in this regard.”

Seán Kyne – Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources & Digital Development – discussed the NCSC’s objectives, and offered his thoughts on the nature of the digital security threat to the public and private sector alike in a press conference last month.

INCSC

EirGrid & UK Energy Policy

The UK has become increasingly reliant on off-shore wind farms and it’s power needs are augmented by the purchase of power generated in the Irish Midlands. Irish supplied power is key to the UK meeting its projected 2020 energy needs. The Irish supply is seeking to generate circa 3GW for the UK market.

The Irish national grid is managed by a company called EirGrid. They took over the Irish national grid in 2006 from ESB (the Electricity Supply Board). They own all of the physical electricity transmission assets in the country (about 7000kms of cable (fact check)).

As such, they run a monopoly and nearly all of the large independent generators (Airtricity, Synergen (70% EirGrid) Viridian and others) connect to the transmission system and utilise it to transport their power to all regions and abroad. They also operate the wholesale power market and operate (and own) the 500 MW East–West Interconnector, linking the Irish power system to Great Britain’s grid.

Last month the operator was awarded over €20 million by the EU to fund research into the deployment of renewable energy. Ireland’s own target, set out by the European Union, is to secure 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“We won’t have enough renewable energy left over to export to the UK without completing some specific projects, such as the proposed Midlands development,” according to Fintan Slye (EirGrid CEO). “There are sufficient renewable projects in train to meet the 2020 targets, but it’ll still be challenging. There are 2,000MW connected across the island – we need to get that to over 4,000MW by 2020.”

The EU is also funding a France-Ireland power link (that bypasses the UK) via an undersea cable as an “obvious solution” to Ireland’s energy reliance on a post-Brexit United Kingdom.

Motives – All Those Data Centres in Ireland & A BackDoor to the EU/UK Grids 

IE DCs

Extract from EirGrid Group All-Island Generation Capacity Statement 2016-2025:

“2.2(d) Data Centres in IrelandA key driver for electricity demand in Ireland for the next number of years is the connection of large data centres.Whether connecting directly to the transmission system or to the distribution network, there is presently about 250 MVA of installed data centres in Ireland. Furthermore, there are connection offers in place (or in the connection process) for approximately a further 600 MVA. At present, there are enquires for another 1,100 MVA. This possibility of an additional 1700 MVA of demand is significant in the context of a system with a peak demand in 2014/15 of about 4700 MW (where it would add 35%). In forecasting future demand, we need to appreciate that data centres normally have a flat demand profile.”

Culprits

Lots but the most likely candidate for this hack is Russia – why? Because I cast lots, sacrificed a chicken, and got my Tarot cards read. And also …

Irish energy networks being targeted by hackers – Hackers have targeted Irish energy networks amid warnings over the potential impact of intensifying cyber attacks on crucial infrastructure. Senior engineers at the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), which supplies both Northern Ireland and the Republic, were sent personalised emails containing malicious software by a group linked to Russia’s GRU intelligence agency, reported.
Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine’s Power Grid – It was 3:30 p.m. last December 23, and residents of the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine were preparing to end their workday and head home through the cold winter streets. Inside the Prykarpattyaoblenergo control center, which distributes power to the region’s residents, operators too were nearing the end of their shift.
Ukraine power cut ‘was cyber-attack’ – BBC News – A power cut that hit part of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in December has been judged a cyber-attack by researchers investigating the incident. The blackout lasted just over an hour and started just before midnight on 17 December. The cyber-security company Information Systems Security Partners (ISSP) has linked the incident to a hack and blackout in 2015 that affected 225,000.
Hackers targeting UK energy grid, GCHQ warns – Hackers may have compromised Britain’s energy grid, GCHQ has said as it warned that cyber criminals are targeting the country’s energy sector. The security agency said industrial control systems may have already been the victim of attacks by nation state hackers.

 

ENDS

Doves & Hawks & Skewed Reality

The uncomfortable truth about doves and hawks, a truth that doves generally fail to appreciate, is that doves cannot exist without hawks. Hawks cherish and fight for the freedoms and principles that doves enjoy. It is possible to be hawkish and philosophical and to aspire to the principles of peace, love, respect for diversity and co-existence with peaceful but different ideologies.

Doves and hawks employ different methods but seek the same outcome. They occupy the same societal structures and enjoy the same freedoms. Doves tend to believe that these freedoms exist by divine right and do not require defending.

Doves also tend to believe that hawks are mindlessly jingoistic. To counter this is well served by quoting several from Thucydides as follows:

“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.”

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”

“Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.”

“Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved.”

“History is Philosophy teaching by examples”

One can be hawkish and cherish the values and freedoms that doves enjoy. Generally speaking one cannot be a dove and respect hawks. This thesis is well served by an exchange in the comments sections on a Facebook post that I made recently which re-posted this tweet:

The reaction to this post from a old acquaintance (a dove) of mine was:

“Left to me, I’d rather see my sons or daughters arrive home safely from vacation, rather than in this sad manner. There is no glory to be had in such a flight of fancy. There is no joy in such a homecoming. There is only grief behind this picture. And yet, we rush to paint it as some sacred scene, to be hung on walls, in houses where life and purpose, has lost its true centre. Death, decay, and destruction, is ALL the military mind will ever bring to the table. Time for heads to come out of dark holes. Time for The Light to shine!”

The response to this comment from a friend and colleague of mine (a hawk) was:

“When the job is done for right or wrong this is what happens when they are brought home. It will always be that doves disagree with hawks but the doves can disagree with the hawks in our society because the hawks have to fight to preserve the doves right to disagree.

The doves forget this but the doves always have a selective opinion. I do not disagree with you that military minds are narrow. I do disagree with you that the ultimate sacrifice that some people make is not worthy of a post like this on Memorial Day.

It is easy to cry for freedom and liberty and justice and love and peace but there are very significant groups in this world who want the exact opposite for you and the society that you live in and the military, good and bad, are sent to deal with them on your behalf.

This is the way the world works so that you can speculate about love and peace in your country without fear. I want all of the things that you want. The difference is that I am willing to kill those people who oppose them.

You may find this discomforting but that is the way it is and that is the way it always will be and when it stops so will your freedom.”

Which one are you?

ENDS

"Finchie Cova" Open Letter to ISIS on behalf of Paddy

So after the past few weeks of shite that’s been floating around on Facebook I’ve tried to stay out of it. But I can’t, not anymore. Finchie needs to speak.

MY OPEN LETTER TO ISIS 

What’s the craic lads! I don’t think we have officially met. Finchie here from Ireland, we are that non-aggravating, laid back post-English island to the West of the bullshit.

So how’s yourself? Been busy I hope.

I see from the shallow media outlets and the “copy & paste” fear posting on social media that ye have been up to your neck in it the past few months. Good for you!

Sorry to be bothering ye boys while ye are busy planning the world’s biggest burning man festival in the name of Alan (or what ever he’s called) but something has come to our attention in the past few days that we need to have a quick “chat” about.

What’s this I hear about ye adding us to a list of countries called “The Global Coalition” in some mad 80’s themed propaganda video? Ah lads come on will ya, shtep down from the 3 legged horse now for a second and rewind the cassette cuz I think ye got it wrong.

First of all, lads we’re only here for the craic! We have been through too much shite-hawking over the past couple of thousand years to be goin all “rouge and shit” and joining in fights we clearly don’t want to be part of.

It’s like when a fisht fight breaks out in primary school between Vince and Iano Kelly. Most of us just watch, shout a bit and kick a bin to make noise or whatever, but we don’t bother getting involved (well Vince is English so any sly opportunity for a shneaky kick to the shins and we’re all over it) we couldn’t be arsed with the whole thing, we’re simply too laid back.

Now keeping that in mind let me let you in on a few tips if you do decide to come over here and piss in our cornflakes. Don’t judge us on the actions of the lads across the pond. We don’t like that craic. I get that ye have yer fight an all, but don’t drag us into it, we don’t give a left bollock for Alan and what he tells ye to do. Sharon’s law (or whatever it is) won’t work here. I know a Sharon, and she’s a cunt. We don’t like her either.

Don’t bomb our shit. We just finished building it back after breaking free from the very enemy you also have on your hit list (if you want tho you can destroy Leitrim, absolute shitehole lads I’m not joking).

We have more than one army. One official army actually went training in north Cork recently to prepare for your arrival. And yes north Cork is exactly like Damascus, especially Fermoy on a Friday night.

We also have a few non-official, highly secretive, multi-talented armies all with the same name (you get used to it after a while) who hate each other but have one very important thing in common … all mad bastards. Let that sink in.

By the way the unofficial armies are all trained in guerrilla warfare. Meaning you’re fucked. Like actually fucked. Unless you want to buy weapons, then some of them will turn a blind eye to “the cause” and sell ya a few AKs while you visit.

Don’t even think about blowing up Leo Burdocks!!!

Consider this your harshest warning! If any single pub is damaged during your short stay here, we will consider this an act of war!!! We praise our God Arthur (Guinness) and we will strike down on you with great vengeance and furious anger if you attempt to destroy our drinking patterns during a time of crisis!

On a final note, remember these and you should be fine:

1. “Offies” close at ten;
2. Don’t leave the immersion on;
3. PM me for Bono’s address;
4. Don’t bomb shit when the Toy Show is on;
5. Start with Leitrim;
6. If you’re looking for virgins you won’t find any on Harcourt Street;
7. Get a Tesco clubcard. Trust me;
8. If you want to blow up a stadium, go to Dalymount please;
9. Go to a water protest, they don’t judge you for where you’re from, just if you pay or not;
10. Finally, if asked for change, eyes down and keep fucking walking!

So ISIS it’s good to meet you. Do yourself a favour and us – stay where you are. You don’t want to come here, we’re not bothered with the issues you have. But if you do, we will beat the shit out of all of you using mammies wooden spoon, Kilkenny hurlers and the bouncers from the copper faced Jack’s.

Yours Unintentionally
Finchie and the rest of Ireland

EDIT: Offaly, Offaly too!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: 

Mr. Finchie Cova;
Republished entirely from The Irish MIRROR ;