The story of Venezuela spread very quickly across most media in various countries. What happened there was like a complete package of modern soft warfare designed and orchestrated by a team outside Venezuela. The story desperately needed a new source as reference for everyone to be convinced. There was NetBlocks, a new and apparently small believed to seek internet freedom, was introduced as one of the major sources for Internet limitations and governmental internet disruption in Venezuela.
Before going through the details of consequences in Venezuela, it would be interesting to know a little more about the Internet Observatory team. According to what is written on Wikipedia it is a non-governmental organization that monitors cybersecurity and the governance of the Internet. The organization was founded in 2017 to monitor internet freedom. We have inferred that the team includes five members and they are located in the UK.
Cyberspace has seen variety of incidents since the initiation of Netblocks’ work in the sphere, however the team has only chosen few incidents which gradually has emerged as what American and Israeli Media needed to convince the audience the events going on in Venezuela is exactly what they are publishing.
The principal of setting up cyber warfare as part of a hybrid war
The United States in its various documents has cited cyber-attack as a means of securing its own interests. The purpose of cyber operation is not only spreading malware or malicious attacks, but also includes cognitive operation, information warfare, cyber-attack electronic warfare. In the cyber doctrine of the United States, cyber operation is considered as a tool for achieving diplomatic, military and economic interests.
The principal of setting up cyber warfare as part of a hybrid war is one of the key principles in US cyber operations. Various think tanks have proposed the strategy as one of the tools for advancing US goals to US statesmen. A new report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) said the US government should use cyber intelligence to bridge the gap between governments and dissatisfied people. The aforementioned think tank also mentioned in another report the need to carry out operations known as DOXING against the Iranian authorities in order to disclose information on military and terrorist costs, showing that the costs were useless and waste of costs instead of consumption in the domestic affairs.
The United States uses the Cyber-enabled information warfare for spreading propaganda and orienting public opinion in order to mislead people in decision-making. In fact, these actions are a kind of operation of influence. This is part of the new DOD's cyber defense doctrine, which has been mandated by the US Cyber Command to support military operations.
Some documents from the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence describe the use of non-kinetic tools to erode and disable the will of the enemy and to thwart and limit their decision-making power and influence their public opinion to achieve victory without shooting a bullet.
DoD and the CIA track in support of the Venezuelan opposition
On October 3, 2018, more than three months before the post-election protests in Venezuela, a CNET news release revealed a security application to circumvent restrictions on the Internet. The Alphabet Jigsaw Technology Center - the parent company of Google - developed software called Intra, which has its own unique ability to cross the blockade of the Internet by governments. Intra makes it impossible for the hackers and governments to make any disruptions by creating an encrypted connection between the user's mobile phone and the DNS servers.
With the help of several political activists in Venezuela, Google tested the Intra security software. This security software was designed and implemented to circumvent the possible Venezuelan government restrictions on the Interne. Hence, US intelligence and security agencies easily support political activists and journalists opposed to Maduro administration through their Silicon Valley subsidiaries.
Ten days before the start of the post-election protests in Venezuela, Haaretz reported that Nicolas Maduro's name was removed from the article on the president of the country on Wikipedia and his rival's name, Juan Guido was replaced as Interim President.
According to the Zionist news agency reporting from NetBlocks the Venezuelan government blocked access to the Wikipedia. The internet observatory told Haaretz the ban was discovered by attempting to access Wikipedia and other services 60,000 times from 150 different points in the country using multiple providers.
The US president at the start of the post-election protests in Venezuela publicly announced the support of the opposition leader.
Mike Pompeo said in a statement a week ago before the release of Haaretz news on January 7th that he would fully support Juan Guaido. Before the Pompeo remarks, Juan Guido had announced on January 4th of his readiness to hold the provisional presidential term instead of Maduro.
The American approval went so far as the official page of Juan Guaido is available in 56 other languages on Wikipedia.
In 2016, the Venezuelan president announced that crippling cyber-attacks had been launched against the country's banking system with the aim of blocking people's access to money. At the same time, it was said that one of the main pillars of hybrid warfare is cyber attacking during turmoil against the critical infrastructure needed by the people. This action will exacerbate dissatisfaction and increase chaos, especially the equipment that is related to financial and communication issues.
The United States, as acknowledged by its officials, has launched attacks against ISIL since 2015 to cut off their communications and disrupt the payment apparatus of this terrorist group. Consequently, it is unlikely that such attacks will be launched against an agitated country such as Venezuela to increase chaos and dissatisfaction.
Delivering the Internet balloons at the time of Internet disconnection
Some sources suggest that Loon has approached the Venezuelan border for the past month. Given the media reports that Venezuela is cutting off the Internet, the United States is pushing for interconnected communications with the Internet. The following illustrates the approach of the Internet balloon to the Venezuelan border.
While almost all western mainstream media spread the lie of humanitarian aid trucks were set on fire by troops loyal to Maduro. The lie was quickly disseminated over social media as a Venezuelan journalist tweeted this report blaming Maduro and 12 minutes later US senator Marco Rubio retweeted the unsubstantiated claim.
National Security advisor, John Bolton posted a tweet 12 minutes later.
And then USAID Administrator, Mark Green less than two hours later claimed that Maduro had ordered the burning.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo tweeted the same visual that evening.
None of the US officials offered any definitive evidence supporting their claim. Eventually, the truth came out that it was anti-Maduro protesters, not Maduro troops, who set the trucks on fire. American and Israeli media were able to do it in the hours immediately following the incident, not three weeks later.
Power and Internet outage across Venezuela
Since the beginning of March, NetBlocks has added a new release on the interruption of electricity in various parts of Venezuela, in addition to covering the blocking of the Internet and social media on its news feed. According to internal Venezuela and Net Bank notes, the 20-hour YouTube blockade on March 7th, as well as the unprecedented interruption of the Internet and electricity, has also come a long way.
Nationwide electrical blackouts in Venezuela, which were the US CYBERCOM’s cyber tradecraft, have occurred in three phases so far. During the month of March, Venezuela was without power for at least 10 days overall. The second outage has worsened the crisis in Venezuela and suffering, cutting off water supplies and leaving hospitals and airports in the dark.
Existing evidence suggests that one of the latest and greatest hybrid battles in Venezuela has come to the scene. This new operational approach, which is the main implementer of the strategies of the US Cyber Command Center, seeks to carry out the most recent regime change in the world.
A very important point in this regard is the new form of US CYBERCOM strategy and policy that needs to be carefully analyzed because the intersection of the aforementioned actions by the United States and its allies represents the full use of the cyber domain and conquering nations and governments without physical presence. In fact, we can say that the strategy of hybrid warfare by the United States leads to the overthrow of systems that are in conflict with America's interests.