Understanding Empire: Technology, Power, Politics

U.S. intelligence specialists conducted 231 cyber-operations in 2011, part of a full-spectrum surveillance campaign that uses the internet for sabotage, spying, and war. Based on leaked documents detailing the $56 billion “black budget” by Edward Snowden, the Washington Post paints a disturbing picture of cyber-warriors infiltrating thousands of computers and networks across the globe. Under a campaign of clandestine activity codenamed GENIE, computer “hackers” use tailor-made “implants”, or malware, to exploit and disrupt foreign IT infrastructures.

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These offensive operations were primarily targeted against Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea. The “Stuxnet” worm developed by the U.S. and Israel is the most prominent example of cyberattack.The sophisticated virus was used to sabotage Iranian scientists’ efforts to enrich uranium. According to an October 2012 presidential directive, cyber-operations are activities intended to “to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers or computer networks, or the computers…

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