History Expects the Sixth Seal in NYC (Revelation 6:12)

If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.Based on historical precedent, Armbruster says the New York City metro area is susceptible to an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 once a century.According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.There’s another fault line on Dyckman St. and one in Dobbs Ferry in nearby Westchester County.“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”“Considering population density and the condition of the region’s infrastructure and building stock, it is clear that even a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact,” says the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation on its website.Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)

Preparing for the great earthquakes of Prophecy: Revelation 16

With ‘big one’ coming, quake alert system launches in Oregon

Mar 11, 2021

National

by: ANDREW SELSKY, Associated Press

Posted: Mar 11, 2021 / 02:25 PM GMT-0500 / Updated: Mar 11, 2021 / 03:31 PM GMT-0500

FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2019, file photo, a mobile phone customer looks at an earthquake warning application on an iPhone in Los Angeles. An earthquake early warning system operated by the U.S. Geological Survey has been activated in Oregon on the 10th anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. California already has the system. Washington state joins it in May, which will complete coverage of the West Coast of the contiguous United States. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Gaza fishermen killed by Israeli drone outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Gaza fishermen killed by Israeli drone caught in nets, Hamas says

GAZA (Reuters) – Three Palestinian fishermen who died in an offshore blast on Sunday had encountered an explosive-laden Israeli drone that had fallen into the sea and blew up in their nets, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza said on Thursday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment. At the time of the blast, the Israeli military had denied it had any involvement in the incident.

The incident came at a time when Palestinian militants have been test-firing rockets into the sea, and a Gaza-based human rights group, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said on Sunday the fishing boat may have been hit by accident.

But Eyad Al-Bozom, the Gaza Interior Ministry’s spokesman, said no Palestinian rocket had hit the fishing boat, and that parts of an Israeli quadcopter drone that carried explosives were discovered in its nets. The drone had blown up as the fishermen were lifting their nets, killing all three.

Bozom said the drone had probably been in the water since an Israeli attack on a Palestinian naval craft on Feb. 22 off Gaza.

The Israeli military said at the time its forces noticed suspicious naval activity off Gaza’s shore and thwarted a “potential threat to Israeli naval vessels”, without elaborating on the weapons used.

The Israeli military rarely comments publicly on the use of explosives-carrying drones.

Hamas, an Islamist militant group, took control of Gaza in 2007, and the seaside strip, home to 2 million Palestinians, has since been under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt, which cite security concerns for the measure.

(Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Peter Graff)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

America and the China Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

How the U.S. and China could go to war

By Ishaan Tharoor

March 9, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. EST

The scenario may be speculative, but it’s all too real, says Adm. James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO who imagines these events as co-author of “2034: A Novel of the Next World War,” which publishes Tuesday. The book, written with novelist and combat veteran Elliot Ackerman, is what Stavridis describes as “a tale of cautionary fiction,” tapping into a rich tradition of Cold War storytelling — think John Hackett’s “The Third World War” or Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” — that made clear the apocalyptic disaster that war between the Soviet Union and the United States would represent.

“Part of why we never ended up throwing nuclear weapons at each other during the Cold War is that we imagined how terrible it would be, how gripping and societally destructive it would be,” Stavridis told Today’s WorldView.

The scenario may be speculative, but it’s all too real, says Adm. James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO who imagines these events as co-author of “2034: A Novel of the Next World War,” which publishes Tuesday. The book, written with novelist and combat veteran Elliot Ackerman, is what Stavridis describes as “a tale of cautionary fiction,” tapping into a rich tradition of Cold War storytelling — think John Hackett’s “The Third World War” or Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” — that made clear the apocalyptic disaster that war between the Soviet Union and the United States would represent.

“Part of why we never ended up throwing nuclear weapons at each other during the Cold War is that we imagined how terrible it would be, how gripping and societally destructive it would be,” Stavridis told Today’s WorldView.

Beyond the fiction, though, is a road map to war that could easily translate to the real world. “The novel lays out a pretty plausible ladder of escalation that goes from a conventional attack to a second conventional attack to a third conventional attack to America deciding to pull a tactical nuclear weapon and use it,” Stavridis said. “That’s more real [a prospect] than I wish it were.”

The action in “2034″ takes place 15 years from when Stavridis and Ackerman began writing the book, a framing of the future that allowed them to “create a world where the technology is roughly the same, but the underlying tensions are going to be coming to a head,” Stavridis said, acknowledging “the timeline of China’s advance, its military, its artificial intelligence capabilities, its cyber-capabilities.”

In their telling, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has expanded from its network of infrastructure and economic deals into a significant geopolitical enterprise that includes enhanced security relationships with countries such as Iran. The United States, meanwhile, has an unnamed female president who is intriguingly not affiliated with either of the two traditional political parties. The post-partisan administration she leads still cannot avoid the miscalculations and blind spots that see a maritime dispute explode into ruinous global war.

In Washington’s national security establishment, a growing body of policy papers and think tank reports chart similar terrain. The inexorable waning of U.S. military supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region will lead to a more tense standoff. Both sides will be — or already are perceived to be — drawing “red lines” over an array of interests, from freedom of navigation in the South China Sea to Chinese claims over Taiwan. The United States may feel compelled to redeploy more of its strategic assets to China’s neighborhood, while China may grow all the more insecure as Washington beefs up its security cooperation with Asian allies.

As strategists plot a burgeoning hemispheric great game, they are also reckoning with the risks of escalation. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chief of staff of the Air Force, told reporters last year that a conflict with an adversary like China now would see “combat attrition rates and risks … that are more akin to the World War II era than the uncontested environment to which we have become accustomed” in recent decades.

“While planning to win a war with China remains necessary, it is no longer sufficient,” warned a 2016 report from the Rand Corp. “The United States must also consider how to limit war and its costs.”

Both U.S. and Chinese officials insist that they have no interest in provoking conflict or locking horns with the other in a new Cold War. But the hubris of great powers has often instigated calamity. “Nations are like people, and they can become overconfident in ways that lead them to make bad choices,” Stavridis said. “Certainly that’s been the case for the U.S. in many occasions.”

A disastrous Sino-U.S. war is not “preordained,” he added, pointing to moments in the novel “when either side could have pulled the keys out of the car.”

“Big doors can swing on small hinges,” Stavridis said.

The Risk of War with the China Nuclear Horn

How U.S.-China War in the South China Sea Could Start in 2034

In the year 2034, U.S. naval destroyers enter the waters of the South China Sea, where they eventually encounter a heavily armed Chinese vessel.

Apparently, it all goes downhill from there.

Relentless cyberattacks put a stranglehold on the United States’ ability for strategic action, and the devastating sea battles lead to thousands of lives lost on both sides.

That’s the lethal scenario imagined in the recently published 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, which was co-authored by combat veteran Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme allied commander of NATO.

The content may be highly speculative, but the book has already garnered solid reviews.

“This crisply written and well-paced book reads like an all-caps warning for a world shackled to the machines we carry in our pockets and place on our laps, while only vaguely understanding how the information stored in and shared by those devices can be exploited,” the Washington Post wrote in its book review.

“We have grown numb to the latest data breach—was it a political campaign (Hillary Clinton’s), or one of the country’s biggest credit-rating firms (Equifax), or a hotel behemoth (Marriott), or a casual-sex hookup site (Adult FriendFinder), or government departments updating their networks with the SolarWinds system (U.S. Treasury and Commerce)?”

According to Stavridis, the novel is “a tale of cautionary fiction” that utilized the rich tradition of storytelling during the Cold War era, which could have ended in apocalyptic disaster for the entire planet.

“Part of why we never ended up throwing nuclear weapons at each other during the Cold War is that we imagined how terrible it would be, how gripping and societally destructive it would be,” he told the Washington Post.

Stavridis added that he hopes his story can make the public more aware of the grim consequences of a real United States versus China war.

“The novel lays out a pretty plausible ladder of escalation that goes from a conventional attack to a second conventional attack to a third conventional attack to America deciding to pull a tactical nuclear weapon and use it,” he said. “That’s more real (a prospect) than I wish it were.”

In Washington, there is indeed a growing body of policy papers and reports that do envision a tense standoff that could potentially lead to an all-out war.

For example, recent reports are indicating that last fall—less than a year after the start of the coronavirus pandemic—the U.S. Air Force simulated a military conflict that began with a Chinese biological weapon attack.

The highly classified war games simulation culminated with Chinese missile strikes on U.S. bases and warships and a lightning air and amphibious assault on the island of Taiwan, which China has recently doubled down its claim to.

According to Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote, in that particular scenario, the U.S. military will likely “lose fast.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters

The New Nuclear War: Revelation 16

The Future of Cyberwarfare

Over the years, we have seen an escalation in the series of hacks on health care services, power grids, nuclear plants and our privacy, with no respite. The threat is not just from China alone. It could be from North Korea or, as a matter of fact, from any state or non-state actor. This intent is to destabilize a country.

Cybersecurity is critical for national security and requires indigenization, and the cybersecurity framework of a nation should aim to provide a safe, secure and resilient system for the country’s prosperity. Cybersecurity is not the responsibility of an individual or an organization, but of the country as a whole. It is a culture that has to be inculcated. Furthermore, government ministries should be cognizant of the latent threat of cyberwarfare and not behave like an ostrich!

This article walks you through the possible cyberwarfare tactics that could be the knockout blow for democracies around the globe.

The Future of Cyberwarfare

Interconnected Lives

We live in a highly connected world. Most of the cities across the globe are connected to computerized systems that connect vehicles, traffic, utility services, people and the government to one another. These connections are themselves connected to grids that manage the networks efficiently; be it the energy grid, the finance grid or the transportation grid, all are connected, interdependent and, sometimes, connected to a super grid.

However, a super-connected smart nation also means security threats that have the potential to destabilize, or at least disrupt, the country. A potential vulnerability on one grid can have a multiplier effect that impacts them all.

The Cost of Deterrence

Most countries are substantially equipped with weapons of mass destruction. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Russia possesses 6,800 nuclear weapons, while the United States has 6,185, India has 150 nuclear warheads, while China and Pakistan have 320 and 160, respectively. Certain countries have significant military advantages, with thousands of troops and an advanced infantry, and also are armed with possible allies.

India’s latest – and one of the most advanced – medium range artillery guns, the ATAGS Howitzer, comes at a price of USD $3 million; each artillery shell costs USD $14,000. On the other hand, developing a cyber weapon is quite cheap and easy. The Top 10 VPN Hacking Tools Price Index found malware that can be bought for $45, while tutorials on building an attack are available for a mere $5. Considering the fact that, if a nation-state sponsors such attacks and bears the cost, $1,000 to buy a single component for a zero-day exploit or $28,000 for a cell tower simulator kit to intercept call data seems insignificant.

Cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare is unlike any war we have witnessed, and will almost certainly be a tragic part of our future. In fact, it has already begun. Cyberwarfare, put simply, will include fighting enemies remotely using new classes of weapons such as computer viruses, malware and programs that alter a system’s operability or initiate a complete system shutdown. Cyberattacks will be the new battlefield — unseen, invisible and unpredictable, where hackers from various nations will compete to disrupt economies and lives.

Although there are legal frameworks in place for prosecuting cybercrimes, incidents are exponentially rising — warfare that lets nations or individuals take down organizations and economies without guns and bombs. As the cybercrime statistics of 2020 prove, the most significant threats we face today are threat actors operating from their home desktops with an intent to propagate harm.

The future seems grim, as recent reports reveal state-sponsored cyberwarfare tactics. According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (“DBIR”), there’s been an increase in state-sponsored espionage-related incidents, ranking only second after organized crime. What’s more, Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) revealed in October 2020 that it had managed to absorb one of the biggest DDoS attacks in 2017 – a massive bandwidth attack of 2.5 TB per second over six months. In a separate report, Google TAG also revealed that the attack was state-sponsored, wherein the researchers could connect the dots to internet service providers in China.

The list goes on. In February 2020, Iran announced that it faced and eliminated a DDoS against its communications infrastructure that disrupted the internet. In the same month, Chinese hackers tried to steal confidential information on Malaysian government-backed projects through its officials. As reported by the DHS and the FBI, the Russian government has deliberately intruded into the U.S. CI since 2011.

Although the recent power grid failure in Mumbai was the result of human error, the power ministry confirmed cyberattacks happened on their SCADA system. The malware was unable to hit the operating systems, which is a wakeup call to strengthen our cyberfront further. Even the possibility that such a massive power outage could be a result of a state-sponsored attack was enough to send a shiver down a nation’s spine, especially during the pandemic.

These attacks are not only limited to data theft, impersonation, malware and viruses. Social engineering attacks that target a specific group are rampant, as well. For instance, in April 2020, it was found that a Russian hacking group forged diplomatic cables and planted articles on social media to turn the masses against the governments of Estonia and the Republic of Georgia.

In 2010, a virus named Stuxnet demolished a secret Iranian nuclear weapons plant. Hackers at Symantec Corporation unraveled its mysteries – what made Stuxnet different was that it impacted the cyber world and caused real-world kinetic damage, which baffled cybersecurity experts. Although Stuxnet’s threat actors are still unknown, it was clear from the objective that it was a nation-state that wanted to perpetuate damage in Iran.

The Cause and Effect

As cybersecurity experts expect more attacks that exploit how “hackable” humans are, it is prudent for countries to be prepared for strategic destabilization from an indirect cyberattack.

Cyberwarfare is a huge challenge, considering the widespread and long-lasting impact an attack can have. Such attacks have penetrated every aspect of our being — call logs, geolocation data and text messages across domains such as manufacturing, media, health care and non-profit sectors.

Cyberweapons have potential to inflict damage that is the equivalent to any other weapon. They can shut down the power grid of an entire city; for example, if the financial capital is out of power, banks can no longer operate or carry out transactions after backup generators fail, the stock exchange will be shut down, and consumers won’t be able to withdraw money, as ATMs won’t work. A well-orchestrated attack could lead to nationwide panic, as people try to stock up on cash and essentials as soon as possible.

What’s more, the ripples of the attack will be felt in other industries — for example, essential utilities such as water treatment plants and waste management will come to a screeching halt. Stores will run out of stock and credit cards won’t work, leading to absolute mass panic. An attack on the power grid would also mean blinding the armed forces by shutting down GPS and computer networks. It may take days or weeks for the systems to recover from a strategic cyberattack and return to normalcy.

Building Cyberresilience

It is estimated that by 2025, cybercrime will cost global economies over $10.5 trillion.

This represents the greatest peril for economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, and dwarfs the damage inflicted from natural disasters and illegal drugs, combined, in a year.

Fighting the ongoing cyberwar is not going to be easy. Unlike traditional scenarios, where we could trace an IP and threat actor to eliminate both, in the cyber world, the very existence of a malicious module means that several mirrored, infected modules have already been propagated throughout the networks.

What makes threat detection even more difficult is that state-sponsored threat actors rarely draw attention to themselves. They reportedly use limited malware and generic administrator tools to unravel layers of security. They also have been reported to linger in the network for a long time, going undetected for days or months.

These threat actors are motivated by their own sense of nationalism, and are aware of the consequences of their actions. Their attacks may be a type of hacktivism, financially motivated or opportunistic. They may be part of a larger army of cybercriminals available for hire, and some often have close links to the military, intelligence or state administration of their country.

The objective of the undeclared cyberwar is to place persistent mechanisms on networks that may stay dormant for years. Their methodologies also exploit the industry-wide perception that the third party holding one’s data is not as vulnerable. Similarly, a company that doesn’t consider its data highly confidential or itself a prime target doesn’t tend to have appropriate measures in place for threat detection and response.

As a closing note, state-sponsored attacks are highly incentivized and relatively easy to carry out and get away with. It is also increasingly difficult to trace an incident back to a specific country. Thus, countries are now collaborating and innovating to counter such attacks. India, for instance, for the most part a silent observer, is now diving into cyberwarfare to protect assets, as well. The inherent lack of international norms in this domain will always be a gray area, until addressed seriously. The future may see a full-blown cyberwar if the uncertainty around global cybersecurity regulations persist.

The Antichrist supports PM call for national dialogue

Iraq’s Muqtada Al-Sadr supports PM call for national dialogue

January 28, 2021

Poster of Sadrist Movement Leader Muqtada Al-Sadr is seen as Iraqi demonstrators gather at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq on 3 January 2020 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

March 11, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Leader of the Iraqi Sadrist Movement and prominent Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr yesterday announced his support for Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s call for national dialogue, Anadolu reported.

This came in a statement read by the director of Al-Sadr’s media office, Haider Al-Jabri, in which he also said: “Everyone is required to activate reform dialogue between all parties, including the protesting youth generation”, adding that dialogue should take place under the supervision of the United Nations and that everyone who has a Baathist or terrorist affiliation should be excluded.

The statement did not define who was included in “the terrorist” affiliation, but Al-Sadr went on to accuse some political parties of using infiltrators within peaceful protests to escalate the security and political situation for electoral gains.

Al-Sadr called on the Iraqi government to carry out its duties in preserving the state’s security and prestige.

Earlier on Monday, Al-Kadhimi called on the country’s rival political groups to use dialogue to solve their differences.

“In the atmosphere of love and tolerance promoted by the visit of His Holiness the Pope to the land of Iraq, we present today the call for a national dialogue,” Al-Kadhimi said in a televised speech.