Venezuela’s sponsoring terrorism, and Brazil gets hacked

In today’s news:

Mack: “Obama Administration Has All the Proof They Need to Make Venezuela a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’”

Chairman Mack Renews Call for Freedom Loving Americans to Boycott CITGO
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — At today’s hearing of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Chairman Connie Mack (FL-14) again called on the Obama Administration to cease their delaying of placing Venezuela on the “State Sponsor of Terrorism List.” The hearing, “Venezuela’s Sanction able Activity,” was held to provide oversight of sanctions available for the State Department and Treasury Department to dissuade illicit activity in our Hemisphere. To date, the Obama Administration has underutilized these tools allowing ruthless dictator Hugo Chavez to profit from the drug trade, sell fuel to the Iranians, and transport terrorists around the world.
Mack stated, “The State Department said they would name Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism as well as enforce consequential sanctions on their state run oil company if they received proof that Venezuela is demonstrably sanctionable. That proof was again presented to officials of the State and Treasury Department and further delay by the Obama Administration is unacceptable and will only continue to coddle Hugo Chavez.”
Chairman Mack reiterated Venezuela’s repeated support for acts of international terrorism; including the sale of refined fuel to Iran and the actions of Ghazi Nasr al Din, a Venezuelan Diplomat, who was sanctioned by the Treasury Department for facilitating the transfer of funds to Hezbollah and escorted Hezbollah officials to and from Venezuela. Additionally, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) drew sanctions on several Venezuelan senior government officials, Hugo Carvajal Barrios, the Director of Military Intelligence, and Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva, General-in-Chief of the Venezuelan Armed Services, for materially assisting and supporting drug trafficking and terrorism activities by the revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Chavez, still in Cuba, twittered yesterday. Daniel ponders Chavez’s condition.

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In other, unrelated, news,
Cyberattacks Hit Brazil Government

Key Brazilian government websites have suffered a series of cyberattacks, with the worst occurring early Friday, but there is no evidence of any data loss, the government said.

Presidential spokesman Murilo Gabrielli said the denial-of-service attacks—in which access to a website is disrupted—are being investigated by the government’s Federal Data Processing Service, or Serpro. A Serpro spokesman said the service has established an internal task force to stop the attacks, guarantee security of the sites and restore website access.

The worst attack occurred early Friday, taking down the website of Brazil’s main government statistical institution, the IBGE. The site includes a vast archive of demographic and economic data.

Hackers were able to briefly post their own message on the IBGE’s site early Friday: “This month, the Brazilian government will suffer the highest number of virtual attacks in its history. These attacks are a protest by a nationalist group that desires to transform Brazil into a better country.” The group called itself Fail Shell.

A government cybersecurity expert said the hackers apparently took down the government sites through use of robotic computers. Under this technique, the computers bombard a site with billions of access requests until the site shuts down.

More blogging later.

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