A new program on The Discovery Channel, The Colony is a reality TV show that puts several people in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment. The official website describes the show this way:
What would you do in the wake of a global catastrophe? How would you find food? Water? Shelter?
The Colony is a controlled experiment to see exactly what it would take to survive and rebuild under these circumstances. For 10 weeks, a group of 10 volunteers, whose backgrounds and expertise represent a cross-section of modern society, are isolated in an urban environment outside Los Angeles and tasked with creating a livable society.
With no electricity from the grid, no running water and no communication with the outside world, all the volunteers have to work with are their skills and whatever tools and supplies they can scavenge from their surroundings.
Episode One focused on establishing the setting, as well as introducing the cast. The "survivors" include a martial artist, a doctor, and a computer engineer, among others. So far, they've had to scavenge for supplies at a destroyed shopping mall, defend their stash from marauders, find shelter, and find water. As we all know, water is one of the most important things any living creature needs to survive, and the nearby L.A. river's water wasn't at all safe to drink. Not until computer engineer John Cohn rigged a filtration system using alternating layers of sand and charcoal in a plastic trash can. From there, the survivors were able to boil the filtered water, making it potable.
When the show was in production, Paladin Press provided the producers with a good supply of books dealing with survival topics. One, Ragnar's Urban Survival: A Hard-Times Guide to Staying Alive in the City by Ragnar Benson, has a chapter specifically about finding, collecting, storing, and purifying water in an urban environment once society has collapsed. It includes a diagram of a sand filter that anyone can make, not at all unlike John's construction, as well as how to purify water with bleach. Being prepared doesn't mean waiting until a disaster has already happened to act: it's about having a plan, supplies, and the knowledge to get yourself and your family out of a jam.
Un sistema de Arnis-Eskrima realmente interesante por la utilización de la fuerza centrifuga. Buenas Tecnicas de Sibat Tapado.Directas y funcionales en combate. Un video de donde se puede aprender mucho.
I dont know if that helps but perhaps it will mention more within the site.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) also has a very organized and well-connected security department that provides information and security advice and assistance to LDS congregations worldwide.
Interesting article, I had no idea the LDS church had such a dept.
Taking to the Streets — and Tweets — in Tehran By Nathan Hodge June 13, 2009 | 3:34 pm | Categories: Info War, Rogue States Iranians are taking to the streets to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While Ahmadinejad’s rivals claimed widespread electoral fraud — and appealed for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, to intervene. Khamenei, however, appeared on state television today to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his victory.
It appears the authorities may have blocked text messaging, a key organizing tool of opposition candidates like Mir Hossein Mousavi. Twitter users reported that SMS service had gone offline just before polls opened.
Game over? Not quite. Iranians have organized protests in Tehran, and some demonstrators are using social media to post video and updates. Here’s a recent YouTube post:
The National Iranian American Council in Washington is liveblogging the election, and they have translations of some of the Farsi Twitter streams. Check it out.
WHEN was Mercer fighting? It seems like QUITE a long time ago. IIRC he came to boxing late in life, with little but lots of power and lots of chin and that his last several fights were quite hard on him.
Ray Mercer was a 1988 Olympian, entered boxing in 1989 and has been fighting on and off since then. Last boxing match was in 2008, Sweden.
Aquaponics—Integration of Hydroponics with Aquaculture By Steve Diver NCAT Agriculture Specialist Published 2006 ATTRA Publication #IP163
Aquaponic vegetable bed in Australia. Photo by Joel Malcolm, Backyard Aquaponics. (with permission) Aquaponics is a bio-integrated system that links recirculating aquaculture with hydroponic vegetable, flower, and/or herb production. Recent advances by researchers and growers alike have turned aquaponics into a working model of sustainable food production. This publication provides an introduction to aquaponics with brief profiles of working units around the country. An extensive list of resources point the reader to print and Web-based educational materials for further technical assistance.
Table of Contents
Introduction Aquaponics: Key Elements and Considerations Aquaponic Systems The North Carolina State University System The Speraneo System The University of the Virgin Islands System The Freshwater Institute System The Cabbage Hill Farm System The New Alchemy Institute Miscellaneous Systems Organic Aquaculture Evaluating an Aquaponic Enterprise References Resources Appendix: Bibliography on Aquaponics Dissertations Introduction
Aquaponics, also known as the integration of hydroponics with aquaculture, is gaining increased attention as a bio-integrated food production system.
Aquaponics serves as a model of sustainable food production by following certain principles:
The waste products of one biological system serve as nutrients for a second biological system. The integration of fish and plants results in a polyculture that increases diversity and yields multiple products. Water is re-used through biological filtration and recirculation. Local food production provides access to healthy foods and enhances the local economy. In aquaponics, nutrient-rich effluent from fish tanks is used to fertigate hydroponic production beds. This is good for the fish because plant roots and rhizobacteria remove nutrients from the water. These nutrients – generated from fish manure, algae, and decomposing fish feed – are contaminants that would otherwise build up to toxic levels in the fish tanks, but instead serve as liquid fertilizer to hydroponically grown plants. In turn, the hydroponic beds function as a biofilter – stripping off ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and phosphorus – so the freshly cleansed water can then be recirculated back into the fish tanks. The nitrifying bacteria living in the gravel and in association with the plant roots play a critical role in nutrient cycling; without these microorganisms the whole system would stop functioning.
Greenhouse growers and farmers are taking note of aquaponics for several reasons:
Hydroponic growers view fish-manured irrigation water as a source of organic fertilizer that enables plants to grow well.
Fish farmers view hydroponics as a biofiltration method to facilitate intensive recirculating aquaculture.
Greenhouse growers view aquaponics as a way to introduce organic hydroponic produce into the marketplace, since the only fertility input is fish feed and all of the nutrients pass through a biological process.
Food-producing greenhouses – yielding two products from one production unit – are naturally appealing for niche marketing and green labeling.
Aquaponics can enable the production of fresh vegetables and fish protein in arid regions and on water-limited farms, since it is a water re-use system.
Aquaponics is a working model of sustainable food production wherein plant and animal agriculture are integrated and recycling of nutrients and water filtration are linked.
In addition to commercial application, aquaponics has become a popular training aid on integrated bio-systems with vocational agriculture programs and high school biology classes. The technology associated with aquaponics is complex. It requires the ability to simultaneously manage the production and marketing of two different agricultural products. Until the 1980s, most attempts at integrated hydroponics and aquaculture had limited success. However, innovations since the 1980s have transformed aquaponics technology into a viable system of food production. Modern aquaponic systems can be highly successful, but they require intensive management and they have special considerations.
This publication provides an introduction to aquaponics, it profiles successful aquaponic greenhouses, and it provides extensive resources. It does not attempt to describe production methods in comprehensive technical detail, but it does provide a summary of key elements and considerations.
Related ATTRA Publications
Aquaculture Enterprises: Considerations and Strategies Agricultural Business Planning Templates and Resources Back to top
Aquaponics: Key Elements and Considerations
A successful aquaponics enterprise requires special training, skills, and management. The following items point to key elements and considerations to help prospective growers evaluate the integration of hydroponics with aquaculture.
Hydroponics: Hydroponics is the production of plants in a soilless medium whereby all of the nutrients supplied to the crop are dissolved in water. Liquid hydroponic systems employ the nutrient film technique (NFT), floating rafts, and noncirculating water culture. Aggregate hydroponic systems employ inert, organic, and mixed media contained in bag, trough, trench, pipe, or bench setups. Aggregate media used in these systems include perlite, vermiculite, gravel, sand, expanded clay, peat, and sawdust. Normally, hydroponic plants are fertigated (soluble fertilizers injected into irrigation water) on a periodical cycle to maintain moist roots and provide a constant supply of nutrients. These hydroponic nutrients are usually derived from synthetic commercial fertilizers, such as calcium nitrate, that are highly soluble in water. However, hydro-organics – based on soluble organic fertilizers such as fish hydrosylate – is an emerging practice. Hydroponic recipes are based on chemical formulations that deliver precise concentrations of mineral elements. The controlled delivery of nutrients, water, and environmental modifications under greenhouse conditions is a major reason why hydroponics is so successful.
Nutrients in Aquaculture Effluent: Greenhouse growers normally control the delivery of precise quantities of mineral elements to hydroponic plants. However, in aquaponics, nutrients are delivered via aquacultural effluent. Fish effluent contains sufficient levels of ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphorus, potassium, and other secondary and micronutrients to produce hydroponic plants. Naturally, some plant species are better adapted to this system than others. The technical literature on aquaponics provides greater detail on hydroponic nutrient delivery; especially see papers cited in the Bibliography by James Rakocy, PhD.
Plants Adapted to Aquaponics: The selection of plant species adapted to hydroponic culture in aquaponic greenhouses is related to stocking density of fish tanks and subsequent nutrient concentration of aquacultural effluent. Lettuce, herbs, and specialty greens (spinach, chives, basil, and watercress) have low to medium nutritional requirements and are well adapted to aquaponic systems. Plants yielding fruit (tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers) have a higher nutritional demand and perform better in a heavily stocked, well established aquaponic system. Greenhouse varieties of tomatoes are better adapted to low light, high humidity conditions in greenhouses than field varieties.
Male tilapia fish. AARM - Aquaculture & Aquatic Resources Management Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Fish Species: Several warm-water and cold-water fish species are adapted to recirculating aquaculture systems, including tilapia, trout, perch, Arctic char, and bass. However, most commercial aquaponic systems in North America are based on tilapia. Tilapia is a warm-water species that grows well in a recirculating tank culture. Furthermore, tilapia is tolerant of fluctuating water conditions such as pH, temperature, oxygen, and dissolved solids. Tilapia produces a white-fleshed meat suitable to local and wholesale markets. The literature on tilapia contains extensive technical documentation and cultural procedures. Barramundi and Murray cod fish species are raised in recirculating aquaponic systems in Australia.
Tilapia is a warm-water species that grows well in a recirculating tank culture. Water Quality Characteristics: Fish raised in recirculating tank culture require good water quality conditions. Water quality testing kits from aquacultural supply companies are fundamental. Critical water quality parameters include dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH, chlorine, and other characteristics. The stocking density of fish, growth rate of fish, feeding rate and volume, and related environmental fluctuations can elicit rapid changes in water quality; constant and vigilant water quality monitoring is essential.
Biofiltration and Suspended Solids: Aquaculture effluent contains nutrients, dissolved solids, and waste byproducts. Some aquaponic systems are designed with intermediate filters and cartridges to collect suspended solids in fish effluent, and to facilitate conversion of ammonia and other waste products to forms more available to plants prior to delivery to hydroponic vegetable beds. Other systems deliver fish effluent directly to gravel-cultured hydroponic vegetable beds. The gravel functions as a “fluidized bed bioreactor,” removing dissolved solids and providing habitat for nitrifying bacteria involved in nutrient conversions. The design manuals and technical documentation available in the Resources section can help growers decide which system is most appropriate.
Component Ratio: Matching the volume of fish tank water to volume of hydroponic media is known as component ratio. Early aquaponics systems were based on a ratio of 1:1, but 1:2 is now common and tank: bed ratios as high as 1:4 are employed. The variation in range depends on type of hydroponic system (gravel vs. raft), fish species, fish density, feeding rate, plant species, etc. For example, the Speraneo system described below is designed for one cubic foot of water to two cubic feet of grow bed media (pea gravel). Further, when shallow bed systems only three inches in depth are employed for the production of specialty greens such as lettuce and basil, the square footage of grow space will increase four times. Depending on the system design, the component ratio can favor greater outputs of either hydroponic produce or fish protein. A “node” is a configuration that links one fish tank to a certain number of hydroponic beds. Thus, one greenhouse may contain a multiple number of fish tanks and associated growing beds, each arranged in a separate node.
There are a couple Yahoo Discussion groups I belong to that are a valuable resource for info the first one you might be interested in is the aeroponics_aquaponics group which has allot of info on Barrelponics which are usually very small systems a good one for you to start out with. Another group I belong to is aquaponicfarm Group which has allot of info on larger systems and homemade equipment such as diagrams for wind powered pumps and such.
Cycling between fish harvest is not really an issue on an established tank. The more problematic one is the initial start of your system. I like to start off with Goldfish, if they die no big deal because they are very cheap. Some aquaponics set ups use a very high ratio of fish per gallon of water. I've seen up to 1 fish per gallon but many things can go wrong quickly with that dense of a population. I have had best results in 1 - 1 1/2 Lb. fish per 4 gallons of water but it differs from the size of fish that is going to be raised
OK. Ill be checking that out later today, thanks for the info.
I really believe this is one of the most viable farming methods on earth. In Ca. we are having a major water shortage and becoming a problem for traditional farmers. Most Aquaponic farms use 10% of the water regular farming methods use per acreage and can grow up to 44% more produce. There are no nutrient run off that can go into the environment which regular farming has a major problem with. The system if run by solar power or wind power it has almost 0 impact on the environment other than taking water out of it but in my system I only go thru 15 gallons a day which is less than a shower.
With this system you also have the benefit of harvesting some type of freshwater species. Most systems use Tilapia but you can use any freshwater creature that poops. You can use Trout, Bass, Fresh Water Prawn, Crawfish, Catfish the list goes on. Some people even use gold fish or Koi. Koi is a more viable fish to use because you can sell Koi at a high price but Goldfish are pretty much a waste of space you can't eat them and they don't sell for much.
The system works fairly simple...The fish effluent is pumped into grow beds using some sort of substrate usually pea gravel. Then a bacteria called Notrosomonas converts ammonia into nitrites and another bacteria named Nitrobacter converts the nitrite to nitrate which is consumed by the plants. The water then is drained into a return tank and then pumped back into the fish tank and is 97% pure water when it has gone thru the grow beds.
Tilapia is one of the most popular fish to use because it is a warm water fish and the system does better because the bacteria like it warm. For most of the year average water temp. is around 82 degrees which the bacteria thrive in. Also Tilapia is a very fast growing fish where it can become full size within 7-12 months averaging around a pound and a half.
Well I will leave you with this much info for now if any body has any questions about it feel free to ask.
Ah well.. that answered some questions. I was wondering why some people used Koi. Fortunately Im in Hawai'i so the weater is usually pretty warm and so I believe well start with Tilapia. Ive seen some kits that have the option of using solar again being in Hawaii I think that would be the obvious choice I am also interested in trying out some other type of fish too.
We are also thinking about starting an adult foster home and using the Aquaponic garden to raise most of our vegetables and gardens but first I wanna get a small kit / or make our own and start small. Eventually once I get going and feel comfortable we thought about contacting homeless shelters (possibly provided some food for the shelter) and / or sell fish and veggies at the farmers market and / or get involved with a co-op.
Oh.. what about the cycle betweeen harvesting the fish and adding new fish i.e. initially start with 15 fish and then maybe 60 days later add in more?
Obama Now Wants Your Pocket Knife by Evan F. Nappen, Esq.
June 4, 2009
Beware! That folding knife in your pocket may turn you into a criminal if the Obama administration gets its way. Although there has been a lot of fear and speculation that the new administration wants to take your guns, the most pressing threat now is actually to your pocket knives. With the changing of the guard at U.S. Customs, that agency has now embarked on redefining "switchblades" under federal law to include a wide variety of one hand opening knives that never were intended to be prohibited. In fact, many of the knives U.S. Customs now seek to prohibit under the Federal Switchblade Law had not even been invented at the time of its enactment! Furthermore, four previous U.S. Customs ruling letters (prior administrations) specifically determined "assisted opening" knives not to be defined as switchblades.
This new proposed U.S. Customs regulation is so broad that thousands of pocket knives will fall under its sweep and millions of knife owners will be affected. The problem is not simply that imports will be banned (which is bad enough), but that the "agency determination" will be used by domestic courts and law enforcement to determine what a "switchblade" is under both federal and state laws. Many states, including New Hampshire, fail to define switchblades and simply rely on the federal definition.
Luckily, the two premiere knife organizations in the US, American Knife and Tool Institute (AKTI) and Kniferights.org, are fighting hard on this issue, but they both need your immediate help. Customs is attempting to jam this new regulation though at record speed.
U.S. Customs has proposed revoking earlier rulings that assisted opening knives are not switchblades. The proposed new rule would not only outlaw assisted opening knives its broad definition could also easily be interpreted to include one-handed opening knives and even most other pocket knives.
Note that customs interpretation of the Federal Switchblade Act forms the basis for national, state and even local law and judicial rulings in many cases. The effect is NOT limited to just imports.
URGENT NEWS - U.S. Customs Proposal would characterize assisted-openers as switchblade knives and jeopardize all pocket knives. On behalf of the entire sporting knife industry and knife owners across the country, AKTI will be filing an official response to U.S. Customs.
This is the biggest threat to American knife owners in U.S. history. AKTI informs us that this "Customs' proposal will make criminal out of 35.6 million Americans."
AKTI further states:
U.S. Customs proposes to bypass Congress and expand the switchblade definition to include all knives that open with one hand. These include multi-tools, traditional pocket knives, one-hand openers, and assisted-openers. More than 35.6 million law-abiding Americans now own one-hand-openingknives in one of the above four categories.
AKTI suggests that to register your opposition to the U.S. Customs'plan (19 CFR Part 177) to re-classify assisted openers and all folding knives; address your comments by June 21, 2009, to:
19 CFR Part 177 U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of International Trade, Regulations and Rulings Attention: Intellectual Property and Restricted Merchandise Branch Mint Annex, 799 Ninth St. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20229
Shaggy Dog does something quite like this too in his backyard in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. For the fish, he uses Tilapia, which are an excellent clean protein source as well.
Actually, I got the idea after reading a post from Shaggy to DogZilla on Facebook. After doing some research there is a farm here on Oahu that has classes as well as a family on the big island that does it commercially. I think we will start out with Tilapia but I have also been reading that other people use Koi, Crawdads, Goldfish, and Perch. Interesting stuff. The more I read the more excited I get.
A small step to being self sufficient.
(geez, just realized that I totally misspelled the subject)
Well, the new agey guys snored me before I could get to the end, but the Doczac guy is dead on with one of what I believe to be the two principal patterns to look for.
Yeah.. I thought I would throw him into the mix. There are a lot of clips on youtube.
This was interesting too but it looks to be addressed to someone specific.
This is the PDF file the guy in the video references, he provided more info within the comments section, it is an article "An exercise programme for the management of lateral elbow tendinopathy" from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
As I remember Sonny telling it, this footwork was traditionally practiced on a large cross section (approx 4") piece of bamboo cut in half on the ground - Sonny would use a 2x4. It looks like Chris has expanded on this concept by combining the 2x4 with the X that Sonny always had drawn out on the floor of his living room. More than that would be telling ... wink cheesy
Ah cool, it looks like a fun training "device" just think of the fun you could have by you adding the pendulum ball like J does in one of his clips.
BTW I googled Chris Charnos' just to see if he had some more clips or info about his training with Sonny and apparently he fought out of AMC Pankration \ Matt Humes gym AND he was Josh Barnett's 1st Professional Opponent.
Following years of shoulder abuse and injury (particularly whilst experimenting during training for the OAC), I was more than a little keen to try out The Rotater. And I have to say, it easily exceeded expectations.
Rather than relive my own shoulder-training trials however, here are a couple of thoughts from my father, who has been using The Rotater for a few days now. As you'll see, it really is an incredible piece of equipment.
When Scott asked me to test the Rotater my response was keen but somewhat apprehensive. Following years of bodily abuse in various sporting activities (several breaks, dislocations & tears) I am now, at age 67, suffering early stages of arthritis. One area of concern is my shoulders - not so much because of pain and stiffness but the limitations this places on my ability to exercise on a regular basis.
When I first used The Rotater for a few minutes my feelings were confused. How could such a simple device create the feeling of freedom I was now experiencing? Having now used The Rotater for several days I have come to the following conclusions :
1. After a few minutes of stretching with The Rotater I can now comfortably exercise my shoulders using my home gym & appropriate free weights. 2. Until recent years I have done twists on a daily basis using a broomstick across my shoulders. This had become impossible as holding the stick behind my neck was too painful. After a suitable warm up I can now once again twist for as long as I choose.
The results of my test of the Rotater are surprising, amazing, & in my case stimulating. A look at The Rotater in action
Here's a brief look at The Rotater in action. As you can see, it's an incredibly simple device; yet you can feel a difference almost immediately. If years of squatting have robbed you of a bit of shoulder mobility, you'll be amazed at just how great this feels.
Final Thought on The Rotater
If you've ever experienced shoulder pain, you'll understand just how frustrating it can be. Apart from the pain itself, it's perhaps the fact that it prevents you from doing your normal exercise routine that's the biggest source of aggravation.
In my case - and in my dad's - The Rotater ended that frustration. An incredible feeling.
it is possible the fans were booing leites' buttflopping instead
Possibly, but even Dana White had something negative to say.
Hopefully a friend recorded the fight on their DVR.
For the second time in as many appearances, middleweight champion Anderson Silva finds himself under heavy scrutiny from fans and the media. Not even White, one of his most ardent supporters, could look past his performance in a lackluster five-round decision win against Thales Leites at UFC 97.
“I wasn’t thrilled with it,” said White, who later hinted at challenging the champion with a return to the 205-pound division. “I did not like the fight at all -- on either side.”
Silva moved into the record books as he passed UFC hall of famer Royce Gracie and welterweight contender Jon Fitch for most consecutive victories inside the Octagon with his ninth. The 34-year-old Brazilian has won 10 straight bouts overall. Still, he wound up on the defensive after his triumph over Leites.
Photo by Sherdog.com
Fans chanted for GSP at UFC 97. “I go out there and train to try and be efficient and have a perfect fight,” Silva said. “Not every fight is going to be a knockout. Not every fight is going to be a spectacular finish. What I trained to do, I felt like I executed in there. He wasn’t able to execute his game, and I was able to do mine. I walked away with the victory and the belt still.”
Silva was visibly flustered by the negative reaction he received but remained diplomatic in the face of criticism.
“I’m comfortable with people’s opinions,” he said. “People have a right to their own opinions. I was unable to finish. Sometimes, I’m able to finish guys; sometimes, I’m not able to. I proved to everybody I can go five rounds and I’m in good shape.”
White addressed a potential showdown between Silva and current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who will defend his belt against Brazilian bomber Thiago Alves at UFC 100 on July 11 in Las Vegas. Chants of “GSP! GSP!” rang out during the Silva-Leites match.
“Everybody’s chanting GSP,” White said. “GSP has probably the toughest fight of his career coming up. Do not overlook Thiago Alves. That’s going to be a very hard fight for him. Georges St. Pierre can’t start looking at Anderson Silva until he gets past Thiago Alves.”
You can catch the UFC @ Roundtable Pizza on the conrer of Kuhio & Kaiulani in Waikiki, there might be more in Waikiki but I'm not sure. If you want to venture further then you can go to Red Lions or perhaps the varsity in the University District.
Main Academy Hours & Fees Call the academy at (808) 589-2524 for updated class schedules & fees
The main academy is located on the second floor of the Mosler building on Queen Street. If you are traveling east on the H-1 Freeway you can take the Kinau Street exit and take a left onto Ward Avenue. Then take a right onto Queen Street, one block after the Blaisdell Arena (which is on your right). If you are traveling west on the H-1 Freeway, you can take the Lunalilo Highway exit. Take a left on Pensacola, then take a right on Kapiolani Blvd. Blaisdell Arena will be on your left, at that stop light, take a left Ward Avenue, and a right on Queen Street. The academy will be on your right side.
A cyber spy network operated from China hacked into classified documents on government and private computers in 103 countries, internet researchers have revealed.
The spy system, which investigators dubbed GhostNet, compromised 1,295 machines at Nato and in foreign affairs ministries, embassies, banks and news organisations across the world, as well as computers used by the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles.
The work of Information Warfare Monitor (IWM) investigators focused initially on allegations of Chinese cyber espionage against the Tibetan exile community but led to a much wider network of compromised machines. Related Links
* Spy chiefs fear Chinese cyber attack
* Councils rapped as spy requests surge
* Big Brother only wants to help you
IWM said that, while its analysis pointed to China as the main source of the network, it had not been able conclusively to identify the hackers. The IWM is composed of researchers from an Ottawa-based think tank, SecDev Group, and the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.
The researchers found that more than 1,295 computers had been affected at the ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan. They also discovered hacked systems in the embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan.
The remote spying operation is thought to be the most extensive yet uncovered in the political world and is estimated to be invading more than a dozen new computers a week. Other infected computers were found at Deloitte & Touche in New York.
The IWM report said: "GhostNet represents a network of compromised computers resident in high-value political, economic, and media locations spread across numerous countries worldwide. At the time of writing, these organisations are almost certainly oblivious to the compromised situation in which they find themselves. The computers of diplomats, military attachés, private assistants, secretaries to Prime Ministers, journalists and others are under the concealed control of unknown assailant(s)."
It added: "In Dharamsala [the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile] and elsewhere, we have witnessed machines being profiled and sensitive documents being removed. At our laboratory, we have analysed our own infected 'honey pot' computer and discovered that the capabilities of GhostNet are potent and wide-ranging.
"Almost certainly, documents are being removed without the targets’ knowledge, keystrokes logged, web cameras are being silently triggered, and audio inputs surreptitiously activated."
Once the hackers infiltrated the systems, they gained control using malware – software they had installed on the compromised computers – and sent and received data from them, the researchers said. The investigation concluded that Tibetan computer systems were compromised by multiple infections that gave attackers unprecedented access to potentially sensitive information, including documents from the private office of the Dalai Lama.
The investigators went to India, Europe and North America to collect evidence about the infected systems used by Tibetan exiles. It was in the second stage of the inquiry, when they were analysing the data, that they uncovered the network of compromised computers.
The IWM report said in its summary: "The GhostNet system directs infected computers to download a Trojan known as Ghost Rat that allows attackers to gain complete, real-time control. These instances of Ghost Rat are consistently controlled from commercial internet access accounts located on the island of Hainan, in the People’s Republic of China."
The researchers said GhostNet was spread using classic malware techniques. "Contextually relevant emails are sent to specific targets with attached documents that are packed with exploit code and Trojan horse programmes designed to take advantage of vulnerabilities in software installed on the target’s computer.
"Once compromised, files located on infected computers may be mined for contact information, and used to spread malware through e-mail and document attachments that appear to come from legitimate sources, and contain legitimate documents and messages."
Greg Walton, the editor of IWM, said: "Regardless of who or what is ultimately in control of GhostNet, it is the capabilities of exploitation, and the strategic intelligence that can be harvested from it, which matters most. Indeed, although the Achilles’ heel of the GhostNet system allowed us to monitor and document its far-reaching network of infiltration, we can safely hypothesise that it is neither the first nor the only one of its kind."
Two researchers at Cambridge University who worked on the part of the investigation related to the Tibetans are releasing their own report. In an online abstract for The Snooping Dragon: Social Malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement, Shishir Nagaraja and Ross Anderson wrote that while malware attacks are not new, these attacks should be noted for their ability to collect "actionable intelligence for use by the police and security services of a repressive state, with potentially fatal consequences for those exposed".