TREMONTON - A joint investigation between local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has led to the arrest of a man they say threatened to bomb several targets, including the Tremonton Police Department in order to instigate an uprising against the government.
John Huggins, 47, was under surveillance by the FBI after an anonymous tip came into local police that he was planning to blow up his Bible study group. Police say they learned that he was allegedly planning to blow up the police department along with several bridges and infrastructure points to prevent assistance from showing up, according to court documents.
Huggins had allegedly targeted two police officers to kill before initiating his plan.
Police say Huggins goal was to get the community to rise up in defiance of the government.
The supply chain attack, dubbed “Zombie Zero,” was identified by security researchers from TrapX, a cybersecurity firm in San Mateo, California, who wrote about it in a report released Thursday.
TrapX hasn’t named the Chinese manufacturer, but said that the malware was implanted in physical scanners shipped to customers, as well as in the Windows XP Embedded firmware available for download on the manufacturer’s website.
The malware was designed to launch attacks using the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol and the Radmin remote control protocol when the infected inventory scanner was connected to a company’s wireless network. It then looked for ERP (enterprise resource planning) servers with the word “finance” in their names and used known exploits to compromise them, said Carl Wright, executive vice president and general manager of TrapX.
According to the TrapX researchers, once an ERP server is found and compromised, the malware installs a second-stage component that connects to command-and-control server at the Lanxiang Vocational School in China’s Shandong province. The researchers noted in their report that the Lanxiang Vocational School has been linked in the past to cyberespionage attacks against Google and other companies as part of a campaign called Operation Aurora.
The second-stage component downloads a third and more sophisticated payload that establishes a separate connection to a facility in Beijing.
The malware’s goal is to steal corporate financial and customer data from ERP servers, as well shipping manifest information, the TrapX researchers said.
RENO, Nev. — U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they agree with a Nevada sheriff’s position that rancher Cliven Bundy must be held accountable for his role in an April standoff between his supporters and the federal agency.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Bundy crossed the line when he allowed states’ rights supporters, including self-proclaimed militia members, onto his property to aim guns at police.
“If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions,” Gillespie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it.”
Reflecting on the past five years, a leading far-right extremism expert I recently interviewed described the homeland security report as “prophetic.” Mark Pitcavage, the Anti-Defamation League’s director of investigative research, explained that most of the warnings in the 2009 report have become realities. Yet at the time of its release, the document was derided by many inside and outside of government as “ridiculous [and] deeply offensive,” an “inconceivable” assault on US veterans, and, in general, “a piece of crap.” Buckling under political pressure from conservatives, homeland security rapidly repressed the report. Promptly removed from department’s website, the tabooed document also disappeared from the computer systems of state and local law enforcement divisions as well as federal intelligence agencies. The homeland security unit responsible for the report was virtually muzzled. The report essentially fell into obscurity.
The report’s demise was an unfortunate loss for all levels of law enforcement. Since its release, credible plots and attacks by violent extremists have surged. As the report forewarned, responsibility for the vast majority of these events lies with far-right individual extremists and extreme groups. Moreover, veteran and active-duty military personnel, when compared to the general population, were disproportionally involved in far-right extremist incidents. In just the first two months following the report, significant attacks occurred via the hands of major components of far-right extremism. For example, in May 2009, a “soldier” in the Christian terrorist anti-abortion network Army of God assassinated Kansas late-term abortion provider George Tiller. One day earlier, members of an anti-immigrant vigilante group—the Minutemen American Defense—invaded the home of an Arizona Latino and his 9-year-old daughter. Both were killed as part of a plan aimed at securing money to fund the group’s anti-immigrant terrorist operations. Less than two weeks later an octogenarian white supremacist shot and killed a security guard at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Reflecting the conspiracy theories adhered to by many white supremacists, hand-written notes found in his car read, “The Holocaust is a lie… Obama was created by Jews… Jews captured America’s money. Jews control the mass media.”
In the five years following the report’s release, far-right extremists have also plotted against and, at times, successfully attacked a wide-range of additional targets, including government buildings and leaders, law enforcement personnel, polling stations, courthouses and judges, a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, anti-racist gatherings, a Mexican consulate, synagogues and other Jewish institutions, mosques, a Sikh temple, African-Americans and other minorities, and interracial couples and families.
Despite this grim record—amid a political environment that often discounts warnings of far-right extremist threats and terrorism—the Department of Homeland Security remains reluctant to address the growing threat.
A great read by Bill Scher in Politico’s magazine section: The Liberal Case for the NSA.
Edward Snowden raised some eyebrows when he told NBC News, “people have unfairly demonized the NSA to a point that is too extreme.” The remarks that followed made clear he was only defending the National Security Agency’s working stiffs, not its leadership, mission or past history. But we should take that comment to heart and reflect on what the NSA has accomplished. During pivotal moments in history, America’s clandestine surveillance on its allies played a hidden role in dramatically advancing the cause of peace and freedom over the past half-century of international diplomatic relations.
The most significant and best-chronicled example is from mid-1945, when Secretary of State Edward Stettinius heavily relied on the NSA—technically, its precursor, the U.S. Army’s Signal Security Agency, or SSA—to successfully make various deals with other countries at the San Francisco Conference, which culminated in the drafting and signing of the United Nations Charter.
As detailed by the writer Stephen Schlesinger in his 2004 book Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations, Stettinius used the SSA to break the codes of intercepted diplomatic cables and learn the private views of nearly all the attending delegations before and during the April-to-June conference, informing the secretary’s negotiating strategy on a series of conflicts that threatened to derail the process.
The SSA helped Stettinius navigate the controversy over the admission of the once Nazi-friendly government of Argentina….