More Cyberwar Hype: Gov't Fear Mongering To Get More Control Over The Network

from the where's-the-evidence? dept

We've been discussing the nature of the hype around the concept of a "cyberwar." There still has been no credible evidence presented that any such thing exists. There certainly has been computer based espionage. And there have been various vandalism attempts. But that's hardly a "war" and doesn't amount to all that much. But politicians and defense contractors have been playing up a few stories of vandalism to make it sound like foreign hackers are going to shut down critical services. And journalists are eating it up. Take, for example, a recent MSNBC blog post, that describes the following "scenario":
Imagine this scenario: Estonia, a NATO member, is cut off from the Internet by cyber attackers who besiege the country's bandwidth with a devastating denial of service attack. Then, the nation's power grid is attacked, threatening economic disruption and even causing loss of life as emergency services are overwhelmed. As international outcry swells, outside researchers determine the attack is being sponsored by a foreign government and being directed from a military base. Desperate and outgunned in tech resources, Estonia invokes Article 5 of the NATO Treaty -- an attack against one member nation is an attack against all. It requests an immediate response from its military allies: Bomb the attacker's command-and-control headquarters to stop the punishing cyber attack.

Now, the U.S. government is faced with a chilling question: Should it get dragged into a shooting war by a cyber attack on an ally? Or should it decline and threaten the fiber of the NATO alliance?

About half this fictional scenario occurred in 2007, when Estonian government and financial Web sites were crippled by a cyber attack during a dispute with Russia. That incident never escalated to this hypothetic level, however: The source of the attack was unclear, physical harm did not occur and Estonia never invoked Article 5.
I'd say that's a lot less than "half" of the scenario. Basically, there was a denial of service attack. It's not good, but it happens, and it's hardly a "war." No power grid was attacked. No one was harmed. People and businesses were certainly inconvenienced, but that's not the same thing. It's not war. But, adding in the hypotheticals, suddenly the "reality" that never happened seems so much closer.

And then there's NPR. It recently ran a whole long article about cyberwar that repeatedly suggests that the way to deal with this is to solve the "attribution problem" so that everyone online can be identified. Privacy? Anonymity? Not important, because of this threat -- even though no one can provide any proof actually exists. The NPR piece uses Mike McConnell as a key source, highlighting (as everyone does) his former public service positions: former director of the National Security Agency and later the director of national intelligence. What NPR leaves out? Oh, that McConnell is now a Vice President at defense contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton -- a firm that recently scored contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars around this whole bogus cyber war threat.

Wouldn't you think that a news organization like NPR would at least mention that whopping conflict of interest? It doesn't.

Instead, it lets McConnell go on and on about his favorite idea: re-architecting the internet to get rid of anonymity:
Security experts focus on the "attribution problem" -- the challenge of identifying and tracking down the source of a cyberattack. Under current conditions, cybercrime, cyber-espionage, and cyberattacks can be directed remotely, with the perpetrator's identity and location a secret.
This totally overhypes how much of a problem "attribution" really is. If people want to figure out a way to be anonymous, they'll do so. Worst case, they hijack someone else's line and attack that way. Attribution is not the issue. Having reasonable security is. And that doesn't require taking away anonymity or changing the nature of the internet.
"One side couldn't attack the other side without the side being attacked knowing who it is and from where it came," says retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, a former director of the National Security Agency and later the director of national intelligence.

McConnell argues that deterrence is needed to prevent countries today from waging cyberwar on each other. An attack on U.S. computer networks could knock out power grids, telecommunications, transportation and banking systems in a matter of seconds.
Note, yet again, the lack of a mention of his current job. Note also no explanation of why any critical infrastructure would be connected to the internet? Also, there's no mention of how serious this threat really is. After all, we currently do have this so-called "attribution" problem, and based on other fear mongering reports, there are tens of thousands of "cyberwarriors" conducting attacks around the globe. And we haven't heard of a single case of such an attack knocking any of those things offline. Yes, there have been temporary denial of service attacks that blocked some internet sites. But that's not the same thing.
Such an attack could be deterred if the attacking country knew it would bring immediate retaliation. But first it would be necessary to attribute the attack to someone.

"Some level of confidence that you know from where a transaction originated is a requirement," McConnell says.
Except that's not true. In pretty much every case of such hacking/DDoS attempts, people have been pretty quick to figure out where they're really originating from. No one actually seems confused by that -- and, again, if the lack of such attribution means more attacks, why aren't there more attacks now?
McConnell highlighted the "attribution problem" in a recent interview with NPR. He advocates "re-engineering the Internet" to make more transactions there traceable.

"There is a need for investment in technology that would allow you to achieve a level of attribution," McConnell says, "[so you could know] who's engaged in this transaction."
Why? He doesn't say. He just tells NPR so, and NPR says ok. At least NPR quotes a few people are are skeptical of the fix, but no one who questions either the actual size of the problem or why NPR is letting McConnell spin the story for his employer's benefit, without even the most basic level of disclosure.

And, of course, with all this fear mongering going on in the press -- a very high percentage of which you can trace back to McConnell -- Congress is eager to act. It's put together a new "cybersecurity" bill that will give the White House the power to declare a "cyber emergency" and step in and take control over certain "assets." It will also involve creating an "Office of Cyberspace Policy." Yes, we'll soon have a Cyber Czar. I thought we already had an Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House. We need a separate Cyberspace office too?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    One word: Cybervietnam. Oh the humanity!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    Could this be Obama's Cyberkatrina?

     

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  3.  
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    infowars, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 3:57pm

    Just a way

    To fully get control of all us dirty little domestic terrorists (i.e. US Citizens). WE are dumping the corporate own media outlets and moving to the real news (on the interweb) and they don't like it. The sheep-al are waking from their slumber and the NWO is getting scarred. As they should, we need to smoke them bastards out.. (and I'm not talking blunts..)

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: It's Coming.

    It'll be a cyber-9/11. Just wait for it. Some big false-flag operation--pinned on somebody else (N. Korea, I'll bet) and, of course, the requisite "loss of life" that comes with it (there's no way to fake killing a half-a-million people) and suddenly we'll have a Cyber-Patriot act--one which takes away many of your remaining rights, and neuters the usefulness of the internet in the USA.

    The rest of the world will shrug, and say "That crazy American Government, they're always pulling stuff like this on their citizens. If their citizens are too stupid to realize it and DO something about it, why should we care?"

    ...and the world will keep turning.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Oooooh, new comment buttons!

    Just like any other "security" or "safety" knee jerk measure the government makes, this cyber security bill will take away more of our freedoms, do little to actually protect us, but will act as a pacifier for the uninformed masses.

    I wish Mike had added a TAM button too...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    More "What If"

    What if some "terrorists" got together in someone's living to plan a terrorist strike? Should we allow that? Of course not! That's why there should be surveillance cameras installed in all homes! Some things are just more important than personal privacy!

     

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  7.  
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    Sam I Am, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

    anonymous on (and why)

    We require and use ID irl for a wide variety of pursuits, and to virtually all this is just common sense. Accountability is a fundament of a well functioning civilization. Why, then, the resistance to attribution online?

    I understand that identity can chill a whistleblower and that's a real concern, but that's also one narrow instance that could be addressed independently of a general reorganization of the internet that leads to accountability and---I'm convinced of it---a far better behaved, respectful, more integritied environment for everyone.

    Have we all just gotten so accustomed to being under a cloak of hiding that it feels uncomfortable now to establish similar norms we live with everyday offline? Piracy aside, who needs to be anonymous on (and why) if they don't conceal their identity off?

     

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  8.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    Re: anonymous on (and why)

    Piracy aside, who needs to be anonymous on (and why) if they don't conceal their identity off?

    And who are you again?

     

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  9.  
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    Brian (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    Re: anonymous on (and why)

    Last I checked we don't go carrying our ID out and showing it to everyone. If the identification of a person is NEEDED to be known then it is shown to prove you are who you say you are, otherwise people don't know who that person is, they are unknown. Just like on the internet, we are anonymous unless we choose to be known in some form or another. If my identification needs to be known then it can be found out, otherwise I am just an unknown. My name is not announced to everyone around me in public so why should it be done so online?

    I go online to have fun, if I choose to mess around then that's my business, not the business of anyone else. I can say whatever I want online just like in the real world without people knowing who I am and they shouldn't need to know who I am.

    If everyone is suddenly identified online how would this help ANYTHING in therms of a "war"?!?! If a terrorist or government wants to attack a target via the internet, no reworking of the network and identification could stop them from staying unknown or attacking under the false pretense of another person/nation. This is nothing but fear mongering crap to scare the masses who think a computer can be blown up via the internet, and to scam them out of money while offering false hope of "protection".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Re: anonymous on (and why)

    "Why, then, the resistance to attribution online?"

    Or to surveillance cameras in homes, eh?

    By the way, Sam I Am, why don't you post your ID (full legal name, residential address, national ID number, etc.) when you post? Hypocrite much?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

    Re: anonymous on (and why)

    If the internet is so uncivilized then why is most of the civilized world getting connected?

     

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    dwind (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    Good lord

    Will you have to log onto an isp?
    How can they control it?
    And it won't do any good. Networks are most vulnerable inside their firewalls and you don't need to be logged into anything.

     

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    Darryl, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    Its a SCENARIO !!!

    WAR:

    1) A state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism

    2)A struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end. (a class war, a war against desease)

    "A state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations."

    And I have seen a documentry on that estonia attack, and there was damage done, how can you say there was no damage ?
    Where you there ?



    "I'd say that's a lot less than "half" of the scenario. Basically, there was a denial of service attack. It's not good, but it happens, and it's hardly a "war." "

    Mike, that is WHY is called a scenario.

    DO you know what "scenario" means ?

    A scenario is a guess or analysis of something this is possible and likely to occur.

    You seem to try to right it off as too fantastic to believe, how is that scenario any more fantastic than a bunch of people flying jets into the trade towers ?

    Before it occured, someone could have developed a scenario of that happening, and you would have said, "I has not happend so it wont ever happend". Is that your logic here.

    Sure, a massive cyber attack (with weapons from a state) was made on estonia, there WAS damage, and by all normal definitions (except yours Mike) it IS a WAR.

    Are you saying the "cold war" was not a war because it was mosty esponage, and little or no open conflict ?

    I think your approach and attitude towards computer security and your playing down of problems and POTENTIAL problems, is illinformed, dangerous and reckless.

    People try to look for problems before they occur, so they can take measures to prepare for such occurances.

    No trying to look for potential problems, means you are unprepared, and illequiped to deal with such problems if or when they occur.

    They create scenarios, they look at what COULD happen, and what has allready happend, they look at the potential damage from the scenario, and they take measures and training to mitigate the problem.

    It's done everywhere, firefighters, emergency workers, everyone creates scenarios of what might happen in a situation so they can be prepared for it.

    You go to a job interview, but before the interview, you run some scenarios of what you think the interview will be like, the questions you may be asked and so on.

    That is a way to prepare as best you can for all possible outcomes.

    But according to your logic Mike, because it has not happend before, its not going to EVER happen. Do you think that is a mature, and informed attitude to take as a technical commentator ? I Dont.

    "A scenario is also an account or synopsis of a projected course of action, events or situations. Scenario development is used in policy planning, organisational development and generally, when organisations wish to test strategies against uncertain future developments.

    Scenarios are widely used by organisations of all types to understand different ways that future events might unfold. Scenario planning or scenario analysis is a complex business process related to futures studies."

    Wiki

     

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    Darryl, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Mike, get informed please. So you can write about stuff you know.

    How hackers affect production


    34 security incidents targetted at process plants were identified between 1995 and 2003

    50% of incidents caused damage worth more than £556,000

    41% of the incidents led to loss of production

    29% of the incidents led to companies losing the ability to monitor or control the plant

    70% of the attacks after 2001 were from external sources, 5% were internal and 20% accidental

    36% of external attacks came through the internet, 20% from a remote dial-up modem, 8% from remote wireless, 8% from virtual private networks;and 4% from a trusted third-party connection
    The number of incidents has been increasing sharply since 2000.
    Source: BCIT Industrial Security Incident Database

    ________________________

    Sewage released

    An Australian hacker was sentenced to two years in 2001 after his attack on sewage control computers at a Brisbane council led to the release of one million litres of raw sewage into the grounds of the Hyatt Regency Resort.

    Vitek Boden, who worked for the company that installed the computers, launched the attack in revenge after being turned down for a job at the council.

    Boden used a laptop, a two-way radio and hacking programs to break into the sewage control computers and reprogram the pumps. He was found guilty of 46 counts of computer hacking.

    (I worked for that company, and was involved in the investigation and conviction of the hacker, and fixing the damage he made).

    __________________________

    Nuclear disruption

    The process computer in a US nuclear power station was put out of action by an infection of the SQL Slammer worm in 2002.

    The worm infected the Davs-Besse nuclear power plant, overloading the site network, and preventing the plant's computers from communicating with each other.

    The attack disrupted the plant's safety parameter display systems, which were unavailable for nearly five hours, and the process computer, which was unusable for more than six hours.

    An investigation revealed that the worm had entered through a network link that bypassed the firewall, and that engineering staff were unaware of the existence of a Microsoft security patch that could have prevented the incident.

    -----------------

    So mike your denial that these types of things actaully occure and that no damage is done, its 'just' a bit of friendly esponiage, or kids.

    I dont know why you would claim such ingnorance on the subject, seems your willing to play down possible problems to fit your view of openness and sharing, and taking what is not rightfully yours.

    These are real problems, and if someone takes you advise and does nothing, expecting you to know what your talking about, what damage are you doing to people by making claims that there is NO PROBLEM..

    Very irresponsible attitude from someone who claims to be a (informed) commentator.

    Oh yea, the Estonia cyber attack also focused on the telecom system, taking out the telephones (of the entire country), so during the attack, should you need to call an ambulance, or a doctor and the phones do not work. How is that not LIFE THREATENING, and could have quite possibly led to someone being dead today, that would have been alive had the attack not occured.

    You claiming "no damage was done" is nothing more than a guess, it was clear significant damage was done.
    But somehow you dont seem to get that Mike !! why not..

    --------------------------

    "Utilities across the world are being hit by an estimated 100 to 500 attacks from hackers and malicious worms every year, disrupting the ability of companies to control critical manufacturing plants, with potentially devastating consequences."

    "In one of the most serious incidents, Russian hackers took control of a gas pipeline for 24 hours by penetrating electronic control systems. In another case, in Australia a disgruntled employee released 250 million tonnes of raw sewage by attacking a waste water control system."

    ""In a worst-case **SCENARIO**, if a chemical or petroleum plant were to go up, there would be a risk of loss of life. If people hack into electricity distribution and water systems, there could also be a big impact," said Justin Lowe, principal consultant at PA Consulting."

    "The findings have shown that the number of recorded attacks against plant control systems has risen sharply over the past three years as more manufacturers replace specialist control systems with networked Windows-based devices.

    Control devices, which can be accessed over the internet through wireless links or dedicated telephone lines, either for programming or to feed back management data, have left plants much more vulnerable to electronic attack, said Low"

    "The risks have caught the attention of the UK government's National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre, which is running conferences and an awareness campaign to address the issue. They have also caught the attention of hackers, who see control systems, with their lack of firewalls and other defences, as relatively soft targets.

    A hackers' conference in Birmingham last year gave a demonstration of how to hack into the radio frequency control systems used by UK water companies. An earlier US hackers' conference published details of attacks on embedded control systems."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Its a SCENARIO !!!

    That's nice. What I'm wondering about is why one would connect something vital to the public internet? Unsecured apparently. Wouldn't it make more sense to pass a law to remove the vital parts of an infrastructure from the public internet than it would be to completely remake the entire internet on a "scenario" based assumption?

     

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    Darryl's mom, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Its a SCENARIO !!!

    Darryl,

    Please grow up and get a real job ....

     

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  17.  
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    Shadow six, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Jay Rockefeller

    Everyone remember that Sen. Jay Rockefeller tried (unsuccessfully for the second time) to give the president an "Emergency safety switch" over all of Americas internet access. That went down in flames then this new czar (lots of czars being appointed over domestic interests these days) shows up to save us from the outside threat, whew glad we dodged that virtual bullet.

    (Herman Goering anyone?)

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    Re: anonymous on (and why)

    Watch out what you wish for: you are dealing with a double edged sword here.

    If everyone has to provide full name and adress every time they post anything or even connect to the internet, that would only make it easier for advertisers and criminals to locate you and have their way with you.

    Are you one of those people that thinks that Google street is bad because criminals can look at locations without going there. Forget about that. With this, they can profile their victims without leaving their house!

    This, of course, if people still stick around. If anonymity disappears from the net, it will become a barren deserted wasteland real quick. Forums will vanish. Chat rooms will disappear. Wikipedia will poof away.

    So basically you are sacrificing anonymity online to gain...what? A false sense of security when, in fact, you are exposing yourself much more.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Mike, get informed please. So you can write about stuff you know.

    An investigation revealed that the worm had entered through a network link that bypassed the firewall, and that engineering staff were unaware of the existence of a Microsoft security patch that could have prevented the incident.

    Well there's your problem! Microsoft is not secure!

     

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  20.  
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    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Mike, get informed please. So you can write about stuff you know.

    Simple solution:
    These things do not need net connectivity.

    Industry solution:
    Give us billions (pinky finger) and we will fight the evil doerz

     

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  21.  
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    Darryl, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:08pm

    Baseband - backbone

    Baseband backbone:

    "note also no explanation of why any critical infrastructure would be connected to the internet".

    Mike, do you know much about communications ?

    Do you understand, there is a baseband, backbone network, everywhere (many of them in fact), they are WIDE PIPES, that CARRY EVERYTHING. It's not that critical infrastructure is connected to the internet.

    It's the INTERNET, PHONE SYSTEM, TV, DATA, banking, stock markets, governments and so on ALL ride on the same backbone trunk networks.

    The Internet is not the top level of this trunk system, the trunk system just carries data, its a FAT PIPE, and yes some of that data is internet traffic, much is the phone system, but also companies can buy bandwidth on it, and industry as well, so its on that NETWORK that critical infrastructure is carried, it just happens to be a network that also carries internet traffic.

    And many of the attacks on control systems would be done with radio modems and 'man in the middle attacks' like the Hyatt sewage release in QLD Aust, by Vitek Boden.

    You seem to think the internet is the "BIG THING" that everyone connects onto to do everything, its not the internet, and all other forms of digital communications rides on these massive wideband pipes that form a backbone network, that all data rides on, including (but not mostly, or most importantly) the internet.

    "Note, yet again, the lack of a mention of his current job."

    What does his current job have to do with anything ? Does not change what he is saying, or make what he is saying wrong. Clearly he is an extremely highly qualified person in the field. And not deserving of Ad Hominine attacks.

    Do you disagree what deterrence is needed ? So you think if there is no deterrence there would be LESS attacks ?

    McCommell Says "An attack on computer networks could knock out power grids, telecomunications, transportation and banking systems in a matter of seconds"

    Mike says "There is no mention of how serious this threat really is"

    Well Mike, I would say knocking out power grids, telecommunications, transport and banking would be a "mention of how serious this threat really is " but you don't !!!

    "Some level of confidence that you know from where a transaction originated is a requirement," McConnell says.

    Mike said
    "Except that's not true. In pretty much every case of such hacking/DDoS attempts, people have been pretty quick to figure out where they're really originating from. No one actually seems confused by that"

    Except you Mike:
    So who was behind the Estonia attacks?, and where did it ORIGINATE from,
    What about "TITAN RAIN" (look it up), a coordinated series of cyber attacks on critical US computer systems, origin UNKNOWN.

    Who was the groups and where was the source for the recent google hack ?
    It actually seems he is completely wrong, finding out the ORIGIN of the attack is very difficult, and often its not possible.
    Yet Mike you claim the exact opposite, that most of the time they quickly work it out, do you really believe what your telling us, or do you just expect us to believe it, of face value because you said it.

    Would you expect us to do some simple fact checking to see if what you are saying is accurate or factual ? As we expect you to do your homework first so what you post is at lease accurate, at present this article is misleading, inaccurate, and quite possibly dangerous if people take your authority as true and do nothing, or consider there is no present or future threat because Mike said so..


    AC - "What I'm wondering about is why one would connect something vital to the public internet"

    Its not connecting something vital to the public internet, its the public internet, phones, TV, banking, business, industry all emply wide band backbone truck systems that just carry huge amounts of data. Including the internet.

    But the internet, and this trunk are seperate, just as the phone system and the trunk and internet is separate.

    they all just happend to use the same piples to transfer data. The internet rides on this trunk-backbone, the trunk-backbone does NOT ride on the internet.

    The internet is a passenger, just like the phone networks, TV, banking etc are all passengers on the same network.

    The signals and data does not mix, you cant hack into the backbone trunk system via the internet, and therefore you cannot access the phone data on the trunk that carries you internet traffic.

    So it not the case that these systems are "on the internet", they are on but backbone trunk, along with the phone system, banks, internet and so on.

    May be a little research in communications technology would be an advantage here. along with an understanding of how the internet, and digital communications actually works.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Just a way

    Exactly, this is about re-asserting control over the flow of information. In a 9-11 scenario, they would have shut down the internet so they could get their ducks in a row before facing the people with a story.

     

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  23.  
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    Richard Corsale, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Re: anonymous on (and why)

    bwahahaha i am in tears...

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: anonymous on (and why)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Baseband - backbone

    I'm not sure you know what "ad hominine" attacks are. Though, that isn't surprising, given that your idea of an effective argument is to talk past what you're trying to debate.

     

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    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Baseband - backbone

    broken record

     

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    Corbin of Lox, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Mike, get informed please. So you can write about stuff you know.

    Thats and impressive list of government failures Darryl, perhaps they should learn to secure their networks properly. Perhaps we should hold accountable, the officials that failed to appoint competent technology workers? Perhaps you can explain to me how having the identity of everyone on the internet would have prevented these faux-pas?

    Please, we would love for you to connect the dots. Just answer the last one. How would having the IDs of everyone on the web, help an SQL Slammer worm, from doing it's thing?

    I know, you wont answer this, you would never take a question that requires you to concede even a sliver of your critical argument. You have no intention of an honest debate, you only want to antagonize those that oppose your vision of a plutocratic internet. We get it.. now shouldn't you be dropping a briefcase full of unmarked bills into a trashcan somewhere around DC about now?

     

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  28.  
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    Richard Corsale, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Baseband - backbone

    You seem like you REALLLLLLY want this passed into law.. I wonder why?

    why don't you tell us a little about yourself "Darryl"? I mean, since you have nothing to hide, and this is a discussion about mandatory disclosure which you seem to be passionately in favor of.

    You have my name, so... lets hear it. Your a lobbyist for some copyright firm.. am I close? ??

     

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    United Hackers Association, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

    Paranoia will destroya

    "One side couldn't attack the other side without the side being attacked knowing who it is and from where it came," says retired Vice Adm.

    From a Vice Admiral....FUNNY.
    Guess he never seen a rootkit that has bots and sets them up like a proxy attack. AND got to love that windows.....

    and yet your not seeing that cause hte actual primary use of such tech is YUP
    PIRACY.
    BUT keep mouthing off and soon enough what they are wanting will happen and they will be able to do so little other than turning off there internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Darryl and his other brother Darryl, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:55pm

    Darryl is the vice admiral

    The design of the internet is such that entire sections can be Whacked to dust and you can find routs to get communication around. THIS is why capacity infrastructure needs to keep going , the more you have the less likely hood you can take out a networks communications.

    IF a foreign country however gets ahead of you too far , then you can plug up and whack the ability.

    SO who instigated caps, throttling and UUB?
    Hollywood tried the liability factor and thats caused ISPS to STOP infrastructure investments over profits.
    The net result is a fall behind some nations that can then over power your infrastructure.

    What can be done is that each major country rolls out say 100megabit at same time rather then allow other countries to keep going nd going and get too far ahead.

    Sp tell the admiral to go tell hollywood to f off and ban caps and bring back incentive to add capacities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Baseband - backbone

    "It's the INTERNET, PHONE SYSTEM, TV, DATA, banking, stock markets, governments and so on ALL ride on the same backbone trunk networks."

    Yeah, so?

    "The Internet is not the top level of this trunk system, the trunk system just carries data, its a FAT PIPE, and yes some of that data is internet traffic, much is the phone system, but also companies can buy bandwidth on it, and industry as well, so its on that NETWORK that critical infrastructure is carried, it just happens to be a network that also carries internet traffic."

    What's your point? This isn't a problem and to the extent that it is then perhaps they should separate the infrastructure that carries different things instead of deprive us of anonymity.

    "What does his current job have to do with anything ?"

    It shows there is a conflict of interest here.

    "And many of the attacks on control systems would be done with radio modems and 'man in the middle attacks' like the Hyatt sewage release in QLD Aust, by Vitek Boden."

    Do you even know what a man in the middle attack is? You don't seem to have any idea what you are talking about. and do you honestly think that an attacker is going to identify himself/herself if s/he had the physical access to the infrastructure necessary to conduct a man in the middle attack (I don't even see how that's even relevant here in terms of taking over a control system). Any attacker that wants to connect to a control system should already have to identify him/her self in the same way that I would have to identify myself if I wanted to connect to a bank right now. The security needs to lie in the control system itself, not in everyone's ISP. If the hacker can fool the control system what makes you think s/he can't fool the ISP?

    "You seem to think the internet is the "BIG THING" that everyone connects onto to do everything, its not the internet, and all other forms of digital communications rides on these massive wideband pipes that form a backbone network, that all data rides on, including (but not mostly, or most importantly) the internet."

    What?

    "Do you disagree what deterrence is needed ? So you think if there is no deterrence there would be LESS attacks ?"

    I think that good security should exist within the critical systems that need to resist attacks, not that we should implement a system that infringes on everyone's privacy and does nothing to help advance security. Good security implemented, say, at Bank of America's website is good deterrent. and the word is fewer but clearly forming coherent sentences isn't something you're good at.

    "Well Mike, I would say knocking out power grids, telecommunications, transport and banking would be a "mention of how serious this threat really is " but you don't !!!"

    Do you have any evidence that this would happen? and to the extent that it could, perhaps power grids and the systems that control them shouldn't be connected to the Internet in the first place? We've had working power grids before the Internet was as widely used as it is now for quite some time now.

    "So who was behind the Estonia attacks?, and where did it ORIGINATE from,
    What about "TITAN RAIN" (look it up), a coordinated series of cyber attacks on critical US computer systems, origin UNKNOWN."

    Well, lets begin.

    "In early December 2005 the director of the SANS Institute, a security institute in the U.S., said that the attacks were "most likely the result of Chinese military hackers attempting to gather information on U.S. systems."[1]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_Rain

    Let me ask you something, do you honestly believe that changing U.S. policy is going to do anything to help against Chinese attacks where the Chinese government (not the U.S. government) is the main obstacle to identifying the exact attackers?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    Did you forget mon ?

    by Darryl's mom, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 6:16pm
    Darryl,

    Please grow up and get a real job ....


    You should know by now mom that I have thousands of jobs, more than enough to keep well full time employed, and you know you can call my boss at anytime and tell him how bad I am, but as you would be speaking to me, it might not really matter, ok, so you could call the owner of the company I work for, but as I own it you would again be talking to me.

    See, I make my living from what I know, and having people pay me very well to use that knowledge. I dont have any products, just what I know, and what I can do.

    What I have learned from years of study, and for between $300 and $800 per hour charge out rate plus expenses you can hire me as well.

    what do I do, I design electronics, scientific and industrial instruments, SCADA and control networks, support industry IT systems, including major banks. Im a qualified electronics, Communications, instrumentation and Systems engineer. My services are in great demand, and most if not all my work is repeat work, which means my clients see the value in my work and are willing to pay the premium to have it.

    No I did not rely on trying to talk some company into hiring me, there are sort of two groups here, those that talk about these issues, and those that understand the issues and actually make a good living by understanding these systems and issues attached to them.

    Mike can say these things do not occur all he likes, ive actually been to sites where it has occured, ive met the people involved and responsible, Ive seen, and had to repair the damage caused.

    So you saying it does not happen Mike, is WRONG, when I can say without a doubt, that I have been there, WHEN IT IS HAPPENING, and worked with the police to catch the criminal, we did, and he went to jail.

    And you say that never happens, was I dreaming this ?? No, its actually very well documented.

    So if you need to know how to design and build a scientific instrument, or a SCADA system, I can do the entire system from scratch, I know all about SCADA protocols, the various programming languages, the likes of DNP and SyMAX, PLC's, networks, security, CiTect, LabVIEW, C, assembly, analogue electronics, RF systems, networks, embedded systems, digital design. Mechanical design, electromechanical design and so on.

    And im turning down work, because, well I just dont want to do it. So what about you ?

    Do you make a living based entirely on your own skills and abilities, or do you rely on someone else spoon feeding you work, and sending you a cheque each week ?

    Nice Ad Hominin anyway, I note you avoided the actuall facts and issues !!! why is that ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Jerry Leichter, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 8:47pm

    For an interesting article on this subject from someone who's actually in the security consulting community, see http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2010/06/cyberwar-is-fiction.html


    -- Jerry

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Darryl is the vice admiral

    "What can be done is that each major country rolls out say 100megabit at same time rather then allow other countries to keep going nd going and get too far ahead."

    So wait, you actually want to delay technological advancement for the sake of ... I don't even know what? You are an idiot, truly an idiot, I don't see how anyone can possibly take you seriously anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Baseband - backbone

    Come awwwwn, He's not interested in your *actual* response... you know that. He just wants to quote himself out of context to make it look like he won an argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Spell Checker, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Did you forget mon ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Baseband - backbone

    This "Darryl" person keeps spewing about all kinds of stuff *other* than the internet while he apparently doesn't realize that we're talking about the *internet*.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's Coming.

    You mean the DMCA doesn't already take our rights, spin them in a blender, and wash it down along with the 1st Amendment? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Oooooh, new comment buttons!

    What is TAM mean anyway?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Mike, get informed please. So you can write about stuff you know.

    Remember, if you talk about leaks in Microsoft's code, the DMCA can be used to put you in jail. So maybe we shouldn't talk about how this oversight of government could probably be solved if we COULD talk to the engineers, who NEED to find out ways to secure the weak links in our society. As it stands, bureaucracy ties their hands as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 3:34am

    Most attacks don't come from outside come from an insider from the outside, people who don't know the system can't hack it.

    Now why every one needs ID because of that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Cyberwar the last play to further take away citizens rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:54am

    What would you like to know Richard - to attack the person, not the facts.?

    "Re: Baseband - backbone
    by Richard Corsale, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:43pm
    You seem like you REALLLLLLY want this passed into law.. I wonder why?

    why don't you tell us a little about yourself "Darryl"? I mean, since you have nothing to hide, and this is a discussion about mandatory disclosure which you seem to be passionately in favor of.

    You have my name, so... lets hear it. Your a lobbyist for some copyright firm.. am I close? ??"

    NO, not close at all, and thanks to all you ad hominin attackers (is that all you got ?).

    No Richard, you dont have to be a bank robber to agree that stronger laws provide better protection than weaker laws.

    I dont agree or disagree with the person Mike is commenting on, I was making statements in response to Mikes statements.

    I was (rightly) questioning his handle on IT issues, security, and taking him to task regarding his incorrect claims that there is no problem. Therefore no measures need to be taken, I consider that reckless advice from some who should know better.

    As for the person who said I complained about companies potting and locking their designs, I was not complaining, I was again just stating that is what they do, I also said they have every right to use any and all methods to protect their investments, particularly investments in IP.

    And the claims that there are no significant issues with cyber security, or potential issues, and that we should not even consider thinking about what could possibly happen. Do you think that is responsible action.

    When he says there are no real cyber attacks, And I can point to many examples showing that his is very wrong, (recklessly wrong).

    I get in return abuse, and personal attacks, Can you point me to any posts I have made where I resort to name calling or silly school boy attacks ?

    No, I did not think so.

    And do you now all understand what a data backbone is, and why it is **not** the internet?

    Or do you actually believe the world of digital communications relies on and works ONLY on the internet.

    Thats funny, because this truck/backbone system was here well before the internet.

    And the reason why I made this statement is because someone (Mike) was asking why critical systems where on the Internet, again, he is wrong, they are **not** on the internet. And I am right, they are not on the internet, they are on this backbone network.

    Like the telephone system is on the same network, video conferencing and many other things, (oh yea SOME internet is on it as well) but not all. It is not the internet.

    Just so you understand, It is not the internet that these systems are on.
    and like it or not (clearly you dont) I am right.

    And if you like I can prove it, would you like ?

    At least I address the issues, not just make silly comments that do not address anything I say, or dispute it, but I can understand you not disputing my statements.

    I know, its hard to dispute the facts, particularly such common knowledge facts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Re: Did you forget mon ?

    "Please grow up and get a real job ...."

    Lobbying for laws that unfairly benefit you for no good reason isn't a real job. Sorry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    "Wouldn't you think that a news organization like NPR would at least mention that whopping conflict of interest?"

    The reason they want to control the Internet is because they want to be able to push any agenda they want without any criticism whatsoever. Outside the Internet they have managed to coerce almost all media outlets, they just want to extend their coercion to the Internet as well. They can't stand everyone's criticism of our current legal system, it is unacceptable that we should complain about the fact that our government is an unfair plutocracy that only serves the top one percent at the expense of everyone else. It must be stopped, people must be brainwashed and made ignorant because it takes a lot of brainwashing and ignorance to convince people of the lies that the mainstream media tries to push.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Beta, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 7:00am

    Re: Oooooh, new comment buttons!

    'Just like any other "security" or "safety" knee jerk measure the government makes, this cyber security bill will take away more of our freedoms, do little to actually protect us, but will act as a pacifier for the uninformed masses.'

    You forgot "make somebody rich at public expense".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    and one must realize that identifying users is the first step towards requiring anyone who wants to comment or start a blog to be "registered" or have a license. They can eventually extend that to the point where people can post anonymously to the masses but the government and/or some entity/machine/software checks that you are registered before posting and can identify you. That way if you post anything that the big corporations or the government doesn't like they can revoke your license for malpractice under the pretext that you are misleading people and a bad journalist, unqualified, etc... But this system where anyone can freely comment is not conductive to a controlled system where they can control comments. So the first logical step towards being able to control us is having the government being able to directly identify any commenters and blog posters and whatnot. Then it will extend to the point where that information can be handed over to private corporations who contract with the government and want to sort, organize, and manage that information for the government (they will allegedly keep it private though). That will be extended to the point where they can then sell that information to certain marketers or to corporations that have a "legitimate" reason to request it, perhaps for a fee. but the corporations will secretly misuse the information and secretly hand it over to any interested big corporation that wants to know who you are so that if you are an employee of them they will fire you for other false causes. Eventually it keeps on extending to the point where the Internet turns into what we have outside the Internet, in order for you to be able to start a blog or comment on the Internet you must be licensed or registered with some entity and eventually that will get extended to the point where those who criticize the status quo and help educate people about how broken our laws are and how our legal system is abused by evil rich corporations will be denied a license or have their licenses revoked. It's an incremental process, just like controlling public airwaves and the media outside the Internet is an incremental process. It's allegedly for a legitimate cause (the cyberwar, to prevent public airwave chaos, etc...) but there is no legitimate cause and there never was. It's just about control, nothing more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re:

    (the cyberwar, to prevent public airwave chaos, natural monopoly, etc...) *

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    mdominguez2nd (profile), Jun 15th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    Cyberwar

    I've had the opportunity to write on Cyberwarfare on several occasions.

    Essentially it is asymmetrical warfare (akin to terrorism) aimed to cause disruption of a country's command and control/communications infrastructure.

    (Symmetrical warfare is what we know as more conventional warfare - Korea, WW2, WW1 altho not so much since it was still a war of attrician. Vietnam, Gulf Wars 1 & 2/Afghanistan are all for the most part asymmetrical wars.)

    Aside from your common hacker thugs breaking into systems and wreaking havok, this mass disruption is virtually worthless unless its followed by more conventional attacks ie invasion.

    Look back to the incident between Russia and Georga back in 2008. Now, I don't recall any spicifics, but PRIOR to Russia's physical invasion of Georgia, hackers conducted DDOS attacks, defaced websites, rerouted/broke communications, etc. This thrust Georgia essentially into a state of chaos. Without this state of chaos, any large scale troop invasion would have been met with adequate resistance. Given the state that Georgia was in, Russia pretty much walked right in and owned the place.

    Drawing from this very recent example, unless we REALLY piss off a country to the point that they want to start a confrontation with the US, I think any "threats" of cyberwar are just that - threats. Aside from causing sporadic disruption, large scale loss of life likely wouldn't occur unless there was a conventional attack following the cyberattack. Any cybersecurity incidents that have taken place are likely 1 of 2 things: recon conducted by a county (now we all point fingers to China and N Korea) or rougue groups attempting to cause disruption in a terrorist-like way.

    There's a lot more that I can write on this subject, but in an attempt to keep it brief, I feel (and I am far from an expert on the subject) that running around screaming "hackers" and "cyberwar" just caters to the population's lack of understanding on the subject and feeds the hysteria. Its similar to stepping infront of a corporate boss and word dropping "security" and "privacy" to a person who knows enough about a computer to write an email, casually surf the web, and word process.

    All in all, its not the "threat" that people believe or that the gov't portrays it to be.

    Then again, who am I to say otherwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    A lesson on leased lines (T)runk lines and how its not the internet.

    "T1 and T3 are two common types of leased lines used in telecommunications. Both T1 lines and T3 lines are reserved circuits that operate over either copper or fiber optic cables.
    T1 and T3 are typically rented by organizations at a monthly or yearly rate to connect geographically separated offices for private voice and/or data networking. The high cost of these lines prevents most individuals from leasing them. "

    "T3 lines are a common aggregation of 28 T1 circuits that yields 44.736 Mbps total network bandwidth. Besides being used for long-distance traffic, T3 lines are also often used to build the core of a business network at its headquarters. A T3 line typically costs more than $3000 USD per month. "

    Mike "Note, yet again, the lack of a mention of his current job. Note also no explanation of why any critical infrastructure would be connected to the internet? "

    He did not explain it Mike, because its not the case, critical systems used leased trunk lines (see above), creating private networks, and if necessary no connection to the internet.

    Banks, US ATC, stock markets, utilities, military, industry, media/TV all lease (T)runk Lines. Like T3 as explained, they dont put critical systems on the internet, the US Air traffic control system would be a private network over leased trunk lines, that means the system does not have any IP addess, and cant be accessed by the internet.

    (if something does not have an IP address, it is not accessable from the internet, private networks have IP addresses but they are local address and not usable or accessable from the internet.)

    There is no physical connection between leased lines and the internet, unless the customer requests that line be connected to the net, making the carrier an ISP.

    ISP also use these lines, as would google for transfering data between server farms.

    So that is where critical computer infrastructure is, its not the internet, its private leased data lines.
    Ofcourse, the people who lease these networks, can certainly make the internet accessable through them, they can even mix their corporate private network to the internet via a router, bridge or some thing.

    But for all the systems for SCADA and industrial control, the councils and companies who run them, run 2 or 3 physically detached networks, one corporate/billing one for SCADA and control, and one for public face and net access.

    That way there is no possible connection between the seperate networks, and it is not possible to access any other private network, except the one that is designed for that purpose.

    And Mike, you should know this, and you should be the one making correct statements and not fear mongering, critical systems do not live on the internet, they are in the majority on private leased networks, with no possible method of access from or too the internet.

    You have "TECH" in your web page title, so I would expect some tech savvy to be displayed.

    ________________

    put it another way, to keep it simple, data on the internet is like two-way radio, its easy to find the frequency you are on and listen in, a leased line is like a person to person phone call, the packets of voice on your phone call, does not go anywhere near the internet, therefore it is not possible to access your private call on a private line from the public internet.

    The internet is very good for some things, but it is not intended for real time, or critical infrastructure systems, it can be used for that. But it is not a good idea, risky, and anyone with any knowledge of these issues would never think about doing it, even ISP, and google would do this. When they also have internet available, may by the same trunk line.

    I dont mind if you call me out for being wrong, If I am, and if you can show how im wrong with actual proof and examples, but I see little of that, but I see just knee jerk reactions and personal attacks, or silly AC comments.

    Fair enough, up to you, it does you no credit though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Infowars, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: A lesson on leased lines (T)runk lines and how its not the internet.

    Ok.. Leased lines, closed RFC1918 networks, however you want to call it is a mute point. The whole scam will happen at the core of the internet with the core routing tables. The new laws are not designed to close down private business networks. IT IS designed to keep yourself as well as all the rest of America from seeing the truth about whatever the false flag of the day is. Plain and simple.

    The infowarrior
    CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, CCDP (+written on CCIE)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 15th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Oooooh, new comment buttons!

    One of the frequent posters here called himself "The Anti-Mike", and that was a pretty accurate name considering that he basically just took the opposing position for every story that Mike Masnick posted, usually flying in the face of all logic and even facts. Very rarely he would actually add something to the discussion, but more often than not he was comical at best, offensive and annoying at worst. We're all pretty sure he still comments here still, but he's gone back to being an Anonymous Coward, so you can only tell it's him from the alternate-reality style logic of his posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 15th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: anonymous on (and why)

    Yeah, no kidding, the irony just blasted out from the monitor...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 15th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Oooooh, new comment buttons!

    Sorry, I thought that went without saying, but you're right. :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Darryl,

    There is a blue link below each comment that reads "reply to this comment". The idea is that its use will lead to a threaded structure of related comments which is more easily followed. Perhaps in the future, you might make use of this feature.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 6:38pm

    Re:

    Don't be silly. Darryl is the only one here who understands the internet and everyone else is just stupid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Its a SCENARIO !!!

    If banks can secure their systems without the need to destroy everyone's ISP's and change how ISP's operate, why can't the government? There is tons of incentive to hack into banks yet they manage to secure their systems perfectly fine without messing up ISP's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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