NSA Chief Warns Of Pending Cyberattack… Which He Wants To Make Easier With Backdoors

from the ridiculous dept

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers has often seemed somewhat more reasonable than his predecessor, but he’s still not above spewing FUD. The latest is that, last week, he pulled out the favorite of surveillance state supporters everywhere: the pending cyberpocalypse, in which hackers take down the economy. Prepare for the “dramatic cyberattack” that is inevitably on the way:

The director of the National Security Agency issued a warning Thursday about cyberthreats emerging from other countries against networks running critical U.S. infrastructure systems.

Adm. Michael Rogers said he expects a major cyberattack against the U.S. in the next decade. ?It?s only a matter of the ?when,? not the ?if,? that we are going to see something dramatic,? he said.

Of course, as venture capitalist/entrepreneur Marc Andreessen pointed out in response, the best way to stop that from happening would be to not require that software have backdoors that can easily be hacked:

And, in some ways, it’s even worse than that. Even as law enforcement, intelligence officials and clueless commentators keep pushing for less encryption and more backdoors, those in the actual security world know that the best way to keep things secure is with more encryption, not less. It means fewer security holes and backdoors, not more. And yet the NSA seems to be working actively against that.

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Comments on “NSA Chief Warns Of Pending Cyberattack… Which He Wants To Make Easier With Backdoors”

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Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

He's right -- except for one small detail

There has been a major cyberattack — the news just broke yesterday: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2851472/symantec-identifies-sophisticated-stealthy-regin-malware.html and http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/24/regin/ provide a quick guide to it.

Oh. That one small detail? It looks like the US and the UK are the ones behind this: http://www.zdnet.com/now-we-know-who-developed-state-sponsored-regin-malware-7000036111/


That One Guy (profile) says:

The director of the National Security Agency issued a warning Thursday about cyberthreats emerging from other countries against networks running critical U.S. infrastructure systems.

You know how you solve that problem? Don’t connect critical systems to the internet in the first place. If someone has to be physically at the location of the system in order to even be able to hack into it, that right there will eliminate the vast majority of threats.

If they really cared about keeping critical systems safe, that is what they would be pushing. Instead what are they pushing for? Less security, by introducing and making mandatory more vulnerabilities in those systems, and for no other reason than to make their jobs easier.

They don’t want critical systems to be secure, they want them to be vulnerable, as it gives them an excuse to swoop in and offer to ‘protect’ them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If you need remote access for monitoring and control, which usually has low data requirements, use a ring back/ring the control center on state change system. That way only the control center has the ability to control the system, and all anybody else can do is get it to ring the control center.

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course the NSA is pushing for backdoors! Haven’t you guys been reading about Regin, the newly disclosed nation-state malware that’s been backdooring GSM cellphone network infrastructure and backdooring cryptography expert computers?



Telling the NSA and GCHQ to give up their backdoors, is like asking a crack addict to quit using crack.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Given the choice between some hacker’s control and the government’s control, I’ll take the hacker’s. What’s he going to do? Demand my dirty pictures? Put smarmy ads on my phone? Steal my paltry few dollars?

And what would a government do? Monitor my communications/movements for the ever-shifting ‘suspicious behaviour’. Mark my location for the army of minimum wage armed thugs itching to play with their military-grade hardware. And, ultimately, put my data in an unsecured laptop left in the back of a car where some hacker will get it anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

They already been approved tons of everything to catch those in the War On Drugs. Funny how that hasn’t stopped anything. They’ve arrested so many that we have the worlds’ #1 amount of prisoner population. Yet we are still hearing from those the cry for every more access.

Russia and it’s various old satellites it gave up have been a steady source of malware for robbing banks electronically for better than a decade. They almost never catch the ones that did it. Same with credit cards.

Now pile on this pile that the US has owned up to distribution malware. Those little gems like Stuxnet or the recently discovered Regin. A/V companies say only a state sponsored program can deliver it at this level of complexity. Congress got the willies over China’s possible hacking of routers, banning them in the US. Then up comes a photo of the NSA doing the same damn thing.

Face it, the US escalated this and now they are running with a guilty conscious. The Pearl Harbor is the fear that others will do what the US has shown it can do. I’m getting to where I fear my government and their actions more than the hackers.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Idiocy would probably be an improvement actually, as you can educate an idiot, and as long as it’s a well meaning idiot, there’s at least a chance they’ll change when they are shown how their actions are just making things worse.

No, the NSA’s main problems are arrogance and indifference. They assume that no-one could possibly take advantage of the security weaknesses they create, and simply don’t care how much they screw over everyone else, as long as they can continue to do whatever they want to.

comment held for moderation says:

censorship on techdirt


seems the web gods have turned shit up on this site to make it bend over…

as said as a actual hacker im laughing my ass off at this….can’t wait to test out all the apps after this passes and its like being back in the xp days for years we held a nice lil back door , heck sony even got hold of that rootkit….with process hiders and anti virus protecting it , WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

good times….

GEMont (profile) says:

Look!! In the Sky!! Its a Terrorist! No its a Cyber Terrorist!!

““It’s only a matter of the ‘when,’ not the ‘if,’ that we are going to see something dramatic,” he said. “

Oh absolutely.

As soon as the CIA and NSA can be reasonably sure that their crack Army Signals hacker team won’t get caught, and can make it appear to be an attack by ISIS/ISIL – they’ll be pulling another Electronic Pearl Harbor on the Good Old Gullible US citizenry for certain.

If they can fake a terrorist attack by ISIS/ISIL on American soil – so to speak – just think how the US public will be shitting their pants and demanding the USG protect them from the masked evil overlords of doom.

And it’ll work too. Every false flag op the USG has pulled since the Lucitania has worked like a charm, just like Goering said they would.

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war;
neither in Russia nor in England nor in America,
nor for that matter in Germany.
That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders
of the country who determine the policy and
it is always a simple matter to drag the people
along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist
dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist
dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is tell them
they are being attacked and denounce the
pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing
the country to danger. It works the same way
in any country.”

– Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall

These guys spend probably three quarters of their time manufacturing possible false flag scenarios, for fun and profit. After all, there is no better “enemy” than the ones you create yourself, from whole cloth.

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