Dear Journalists: There Is No Cyberwar

from the period dept

At the beginning of April, we noted that director of national intelligence, Michael McConnell, who's now consulting for some firms that would profit greatly from a re-architecting of the internet, is going around pushing a ridiculous moral panic about "cyberwar" and how we basically need to break the internet and get rid of all privacy and anonymity. Forget your civil liberties, there's money to be made in scaring people. While even the US "cybersecurity" czar tried to throw some cold water on these claims, the press sure does love bogus "cyberwar" stories, despite the lack of proof that there is any such thing or that it could do any real damage.

It's being helped along, of course, by another former government official, Richard Clarke, who is selling a new book all about "Cyberwar" (in fact, that's the title), leading to all sorts of news stories about how the US is at risk in this "cyberwar."

The problem, of course, is the same as we described back in March: the people playing up the whole "cyberwar" threat are simply lumping together basic vandalism -- the kind done by script kiddies, as if it's part of a war. If that's the definition of a "war," you can find it going on around the country, anywhere there are kids and spray paint. Thankfully, Tom Lee has written a scathing critique of dumb journalistic coverage of this whole "cyberwar" crap:
The piece starts out by discussing Russian vandals' successful efforts to screw with the Georgian government’s website -- something that can be plausibly done by a disaffected teenager -- then jumps rapidly to "monkey[ing] with GPS" which involves, you know, satellites, or at least skill at building, concealing and fortifying radio transmitters; and, if anything other than a braindead denial of service, would also require the discovery of a novel attack on the system's design. These things are much harder than checking to see if the recently-launched website of a small ex-Soviet country is running slightly outdated software that someone else has written an exploit for....

Disrupting the operation of a website is very different from disrupting the operation of the internet, which is very different from interfering with military communication systems, which is very different from interfering with military battlefield communication systems, which is very different from being susceptible to the interception of digital communications. But all of these things are just jammed together, mindlessly.

What kinds of electronic attack are possible? To what extent are our defense systems susceptible to them -- in particular, are those systems at all tangled up with the internet? If not, what economic consequences could plausibly be inflicted on our country by disruption of the internet, and how do they compare to the historical example of, say, a blockade? If an online attack originates from overseas, what countermeasures are available? And do we have a protocol in place with the major backbone operators to implement them?

None of these questions are asked or answered. Blah blah blah cyber. That's it, over and over.
Welcome to the next moral panic that's more about taking away your rights in an attempt to make some ex-politicians rich.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    P. Orin Zack, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Asymmetric Information Warfare

    It seems to me that most of these moral panics take advantage of an asymmetry in knowledge about the subject at hand. If people don't know enough about whatever is being presented to frighten them to judge for themselves, it's far easier to use the logical fallacy of speaking from authority to induce them to go along with the ruse. Intelligence agencies know more than you do, so what cause have you to question their word, and so forth. But with this one, there are technically adept people all over the planet who can poke holes in the story, just as Mike has noted here. Perhaps the countermeasure fort this cyberwar scare is a crowd-sourced education blitz. Anyone who knows better, and can support what they say, ought to make sure that those in their circle are educated about the farce. This could short-circuit the strategy.

     

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    Richard, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:44pm

    Ironic

    Funny how they insist that every little old lady lock down their Internet connection under penalty of bankruptcy. Yet, they shed buckets of tears for corporate America, who's Security is weak because they simply never invest in it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    terrorism is often a result of the actions of bomb kiddies, who have no real skill who copies an online bomb making recipe and made a bomb. pro bomber or bomb kiddies, the results are usually the same. dismissing their actions would be called sticking your head in the sand.

     

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    Richard Corsale (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Asymmetric Information Warfare

    You're absolutely right. Very well put also. The only way that an educated community can neutralize FUD, is through strategic arguments and education of those that will teach others. The fact is, most people need talking points and a few links. It's almost like you could put a media kit together and serialize .. "gorilla education"?.

     

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    abc gum, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Re:

    wtf are to talking about ?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re:

    DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? THERE'S A CYBERWAR GOING ON! JUST LOOK AT ALL THE CYBERCASUALTIES! THEIR DEAD CYBERBODIES RIDDLE THE CYBERGROUND AND ARE BLEEDING THEIR CYBERBLOOD!

    I blame video games.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Asymmetric Information Warfare

    It would be easily solved. Just challenge Michael McConnell and Richard Clarke to a hacking contest.

    When neither one is shown to be able to even hack a computer then it would confirm that they've no idea what they're talking about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:48pm

    Public Potty War

    If that's the definition of a "war," you can find it going on around the country, anywhere there are kids and spray paint.

    Or on the walls of the stalls of most public toilets.
    OH NO! IT'S A PUBLIC POTTY WAR! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 6:55pm

    There is no cyberwar? That's just what the secret cyberassassins would say from their secret cyberheadquarters!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Is there a war? Probably not, but military systems wouldn't need to be attacked to cripple America. Take out NYC mass transit servers, streetlight controls, you cripple NYC. Take down the power grid and guess what? You put the US without electricty and natural gas and telecommunications (all private sector areas) for 2 weeks and I believe that the country would need to be put under martial law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re:

    Seriously - wtf ?
    that was not even good sarcasm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    Re:

    Oh Noes !!!
    the sky is falling

     

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Re:

    I saw a documentary about this. It had Bruce Willis in it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 3:43am

    Re:

    I totally agree. We should stop all space exploration this instant unless we end up with a bunch of astronauts being exposed to excessive levels of solar radiation, and thus causing them to mutate.

    Theoretically a human "torch" could burn sufficiently hot to ignite the Earth's atmosphere and end all life.

    Think about it, you know it makes sense. Boycott space exploration before it's too late.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Mike, get a clue

    You're always trying to ruin business models. You say you want to help and want content creators to do well, but obviously you want to keep Mr. Clarke from making a living or you wouldn't be writing stories like this.

    Folks, here is the truth: The e-book for Cyberwar isn't free, so Mike is against it. Typical.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    I'm In Your Base Killin' Your Dudes

     

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    abc gum, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 7:36am

    Re: Mike, get a clue

    If that is all you got from the post, then you have failed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 7:58am

    Re: (#8)

    Those potential problems can be easily resolved internally by keeping systems up to date, checking and re-checking them often, constant monitoring and quick response by dedicated internal staff, and basic fundamental restriction of privileges on the systems of all non-administrative users (yes, including management staff). It could also be helped by the state showing a willingness to hold these companies and organizations liable for unlawful negligence in the event of a successful compromise. Look, for all the bleating about the potential disasters that would result from a successful attack, the fact still remains that the biggest risk to any network comes from the inside, large scale networks are checked for vulnerabilities thousands of times daily, and most attack attempts from the outside fail.

    You don't have to positively identify and conduct surveillance on the malicious actors of the world in order to protect even the most critical systems. All you have to do is make sure that whatever they try to do isn't going to work. It's all within the control of the system owners right now, and it's easier (and has a lower cost in money and liberty) than setting up identification, data gathering, data analysis, and enforcement mechanisms.

    Technologically, we're in a position right at this very moment even where we can do the equivalent of putting up building facades that spraypaint will slide right off of--without even having to spend any more money on new products. We just have to correctly implement what's already included in the systems that are in place. System owners are just choosing not to do it.

     

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    Darryl, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    Journo's do what Journo's do !!. It's their job.

    I dont think the "director of national intelligence, Michael McConnell", is a Journo. !!

    Journalists and reports, well report. That's there job.

    So if someone of importance makes a statement, and they report on it, it's not them making that statement, it's them reporting on it. Makes sense :)

    The US likes to define everything in terms of "the war against.....(fill in the blank). Terror, drugs, crime, povity, communism, slavery, you name it. And yes the term cyberwar is not restricted to a few scrip kiddies, it involves any attack using or into a computer system. Yes, net connected systems are common but as you stated SCADA systems, offline banking networks, GPS, and so on are all cyber attacks.

    So sure, saying it's a "war" might be a bit over the top, but that's the US's way, but also trying to reduce or degrade the potential threats to no more than a few script kiddies or some 15 year old tagging a wall is not responsible.

    The variety and severity of attacks vary greatly, as is the damage done by said attacks. In that respect it is a war just as it's a war that the police are in against crime or drugs. It's not a war against a single orginised army like a convertional war, it's more a gorilla type of war. Or scirmish. But it is very serious, it is potentially life threatening, and it's alot more than a few 'script kiddies' doing little more than vandalism.

    So real journo's are reporting on the news and people of authority's opinions, whereas you just seem to simply 'report' on you're own opinions. Which is more responsible ?

     

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    nasch (profile), Apr 10th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Former

    That's FORMER Director of National Intelligence (John) Michael McConnell. I'm hoping the currently-serving director isn't allowed to be a private consultant at the same time.

     

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    Coughing Monkey (profile), Apr 10th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Chicken little was just a journalist

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Mike, get a clue

    "You're always trying to ruin business models."

    No one is trying to ruin business models, we just don't want the government to have undue control over everyone's business models. You are free to implement whatever business model you want that doesn't involve lobbying the government to restrict my rights, freedoms, and liberties and that doesn't involve fraud.

     

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  23.  
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    ajp345, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 4:45pm

    Problem is...

    Our fearless leaders, both public and private, have made the boneheaded mistake of relying on computers and electronic communications networks for just about everything, and even worse, they connected them to public networks.

    What private company is going to rebuild its insecure network without government incentive or regulation? How is an attack on the power grid possible unless the control systems are connected to the public network, and how many utilities are going to build interconnected but isolated control networks without government incentives or regulation?

    Companies have also proven time and time again that backup systems fail and disaster recovery doesn't always work.

    I don't advocate more government regulation on the internet, but the problem is that by and large the free world has built and come to rely on a very fragile network with an infinite number of attack vectors and limited self healing capabilities. DDoS attacks taking out major online companies; backhoes taking out major backbones; undersea cables snapping; comm satellites knocked out by solar flares; There is no last mile redundancy for personal users.
    (Except for the phone system; last weekend a lightning strike took out my power and cable, but the phone, which runs mere feet away, still worked. Took a long time for the lines to be fixed - major downside to underground utilities.)

    What's the solution? I don't have one. It needs to be in the best interests of every organization that runs a computer connected to the internet, whether it's a home laptop, a router at an ISP, or a DNS root server to take security more seriously.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Mike, get a clue

    You are free to implement whatever business model you want that doesn't involve lobbying the government to restrict my rights, freedoms, and liberties and that doesn't involve fraud.

    I've heard there's a lot money to made selling street drugs, but the government keeps interfering with those kinds of business models.

     

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    shively, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 5:21am

    what predicated this piece?

    I don't understand the reasoning for this article.

    Large corporations are getting hacked into. Government military computers are getting hacked into, by other governments, not script kiddies. Why the opposition into researching the best ways to reduce/eliminate this type of intrusion?

    Please explain how your background in labor relations and your MBA qualifies you for the opinion piece you wrote, and why we should give any credence to it. Congrats on having a popular site and all, but c'mon...

     

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  26.  
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    DeFenDor, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    So quick to dismiss the facts...

    As a former DoD contractor working in network security I can ASSURE you, there is in fact a "cyberwar". And, it is being conducted 24/7 365 days a year. Most attacks are being carried out by organized crime groups. However, it is also being carried out by foreign governments. Go ahead and continue to live in your ignorant world where everything is rainbows and ponies. Meanwhile, I will continue to defend our digital boarders from digital attackers. Wake up people, there are other countries that HATE us and want to destroy us. Why? Because of greed and power. Have none of you ever had history 101? Please, read some books.

     

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  27.  
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    John Laprise (profile), Apr 11th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Wrong on so many levels...

    Nuclear war was the shadow that loomed over the Cold War. Did we have a nuclear war? No. Are there nuclear weapons? Yes.

    Cyberwar is a shadow that looms over us presently, even if we choose not to take note of it. Is there an observable well defined cyber war? Probably not though some attacks in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe come close. Attribution is really hard and most cybersecurity professionals are more concerned with closing the security hole and limiting the than figuring out who did what to whom. Are there cyber weapons? Yes, viruses, worms and hackers exist. Are governments developing them? Yes, there is good evidence that China, Russia, and the US are all developing cyberwar fighting capabilities.

    So, do militaries develop weapons with the intent never to use them. Sort of. Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are developed in the hope that they are never used but better to be prepared than caught unprepared. Those weapons are directly lethal. Their effects are acknowledged and constrained by international treaty because they are so devastating. Cyberweapons unknown effects allow them to remain outside the law because we prefer not to think of them. Russia is actively seeking an international agreement on cyberwar.

    Countries do not seek to make treaties about non-existent threats.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Wrong on so many levels...

    Treaties are useless. What happens in those cases is that countries that are not signatories end up being used as proxies for the countries that are. This is even easier in a network communications scenario, since traffic is getting bounced around already even without a treaty to work around.

    And look, I do information security for a living. I know there are "hacktivists" and (much, much worse) organized criminals who are out to conduct information theft and system compromise. They do it all the time already. However, that does not mean we have to have a "war" mindset to deal with what passes for the threat that they pose. Their attacks are only successful because existing systems are configured with "just working" in mind first and with security as an afterthought at best, and because stupid end users keep doing personal browsing (or connecting personally-owned devices) at work and end up letting them in. Implement the systems correctly and keep an eye on traffic coming in and going out and there's nothing the bad people can do.

    There's no point in identifying the actual people involved (not that it's possible anyway). The chances of getting them arrested, put on trial, and incarcerated are slim, the process of doing so is expensive and politically sensitive, and even if you succeed there are thousands of people who can and will step in and take over whatever the role was. Even in the cases of ISP takedowns, the recovery of the malicious networks was seamless. Destroying the liberty, anonymity, and privacy of innocent people is not going to help that situation in the slightest.

    The best approach in my opinion is to make it as clear as possible that if you own the systems, you are responsible for protecting them yourself. That means you bear the considerable cost of doing so and of not doing so. It's the price of participation. Deal. That goes for you folks at home configuring your own devices, too.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 10:27am

    Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    As a former DoD contractor working in network security I can ASSURE you, there is in fact a "cyberwar".

    As a former DoD contractor working in network security myself, I can ASSURE you, there is in fact NOT a "cyberwar". However, claiming that there is one is a good way to keep the money coming.

    Meanwhile, I will continue to defend our digital boarders from digital attackers.

    Huh? I thought you said "former" contractor. So, what are you now, some kind of vigilante? Or maybe a wannabe in your mom's basement?

     

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    DeFenDor, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    I am a professional security consultant. A digital "border" could be a corporate network, or Government network. This is what I am paid to analyze and defend.

    But what is your point? You are trying to push the discussion in a different direction. I am talking about "cyberwar" and the fact that it is happening.

     

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    Any Mouse, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: what predicated this piece?

    How do 'credentials' give anyone the right to a privileged opinion? Explain how your opinion should mean anything to me? Better yet, go back and read through this site and his other sites, and maybe you'll answer your own question. In the meantime, questioning specific points instead of the writer's credibility will make you look like less of an asshat.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    And the person who originally responded to you worked in the same field as you, and states there is no cyberwar, and the facts are that it isn't happening. That isn't pushing the discussion in a different direction, that's you dodging the issues. Can you produce proof that it IS happening? Obviously you can't produce proof that it is not, but if there is a lack of proof, then logically you can't prove that is IS. Can you?

     

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    DeFenDor, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    Sure let me point you to the "Google machine" and show you a few bits of "evidence".

    Try this for a light read. This is a 70 page study on the notorious RBN: http://www.bizeul.org/files/RBN_study.pdf

    The Google Aurora Hack:

    http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11575

    And the list goes on and on. I am not sure how you can deny the facts. I am not going to argue with you if you refuse to accept the truth. I just urge you to education yourself on the topic before dismissing it as rubbish.

    The "evidence" you seek is abundant and publicly available.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    That isn't warfare. It's crime.

     

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    Haapi, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 7:45pm

    Please not another "War on ...." crusade

    I will not try to deny that attacks are happening, are common, are constant, and are growing. But does anyone want to have it treated by the government like it does the War on Drugs? War on Terror? War on Christmas? (ahem.)

    The USA has some damn good crime-fighting capability, and we are now savvy enough for the crime-fighters to bring in the State Department when it turns out foreign countries are involved. But when it comes to "War On's" we are morons.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    Re: what predicated this piece?

    Yes, computers are getting hacked into.

    Every major government is also practicing espionage on every other major government. Would you expect anyone to take you seriously if you claimed then that the entire world is at war?

     

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  37.  
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    DeFenDor, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    This is pointless. Believe what you want. I have nothing to gain nor any type of agenda here. I am telling you what I have seen and provided information for you to do your own research. Yet, you seem to have a simple comeback to anything I say.

    I could pose the same question to you. What EVIDENCE do you have that there isn't a cyberwar? Do you work in information security? Do you work with classified government networks? Do you even understand the current threat landscape in cyber space? I would love to hear more your expert analysis on this issue.

     

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    DeFenDor, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    This app was developed to launch cyber jihad attacks against various US networks. More information here: http://www.v3.co.uk/vnunet/news/2116329/hackers-launch-cyber-jihad

    Various (DoS) and (DDoS) distributed denial of service attacks used in cyber crime and cyber warfare: http://www.ddosinfo.com/

    Cyber attack against U.S. Air Force fighter jets: http://www.mxlogic.com/securitynews/network-security/report-spies-hack-us-air-force-fighter-plans184 .cfm

    Iraqi's hack into drone feeds: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/17/drone.video.hacked/index.html

    "Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading failure of the entire U.S.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/world/asia/21grid.html

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Please not another "War on ...." crusade

    I propose a War on Morons. That should solve all our problems.

    You know the best way to win a cyberwar? Turn off the internet. How hard could that be?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    Congress should declare a cyberwar on hackers. Then the US should invade, well, everybody.

     

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: Please not another "War on ...." crusade

    I have a daughter that is handicapped and she laughs at this joke to:
    Arguing over the internet is like winning the special Olympics; even if you win your still a retard.

     

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Please not another "War on ...." crusade

    oh didn't you know the War on... is just to keep you from relizing the following:

    Homeland Security is the gestapo.
    NBC & ABC are the propoganda spreaders.
    Fox is the only one rebelling
    Oh yeah...
    That you can only own a gun or hunt with the government say so. Don't live in a Dictatorship? Look at the patriot act and tell me if congress has ANY power any more.

     

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    DeFenDor, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    That is completely ludicrous....

     

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    DeFenDor, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    It's sad this is the best thing you can come up with after being presenting with information about cyber warfare. You make a completely radical statement.

    This is about protecting our information and infrastructure. Would you also suggest we just drop all defenses and let foreign governments have access to whatever information they please?

    As I stated before, this discussion is pointless, because you refuse to accept anything other than what you want to believe.

    In a perfect world there would be no hunger, no war, and no evil. That isn't the real world. Good luck to you my friend.

     

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    Technopolitical (profile), Apr 12th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    just because your Paranoid.........

    The electric grid , Air traffic control , communication, and more , COULD BE disrupted -- by rouge gov'ts, terror types , or independent loonies.

    If it can happen---- it will happen ,,, UNLESS we have some sort of security .

    Was Sept 11 2001 preventable ? Yes.

    Let us not be sorry again. The electric grid , Air traffic control , communication , COULD BE disrupted by any of the various "terrorists" loonies that spawn globally, and if we leave our guard down,,, one day one of the loonies WILL succeed.

     

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  46.  
    icon
    jlaprise (profile), Apr 12th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Wrong on so many levels...

    The point I was making with the treaties is that states are treating the threat seriously because they are putting diplomatic energy into discussions about.

    There are people on this thread who do not take it seriously but it's indisputable that governments do treat it as facta nd take it seriously and that has real implications.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    DeFenDor, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    I just want to note that I believe in the US Constitution. I fully support privacy and anonymity on the web. And I am against censorship. I understand that you don't want to see our civil liberties rights taken away. I fully agree with that. IMO the restrictions and high security controls belong on government and corporate networks.

    I agree that our Government should NOT use "cyberwar" as a way to strip us of our rights. HOWEVER, we are being attacked in cyber-space on a daily basis from foreign and domestic hackers. Some or sponsored by other governments and some are part of organized crime groups.

    What we don't want and what I do AGREE with you about is that we don't want another "czar" telling us we no longer have the right to our civil liberties. I'll get off my soapbox now. Thanks!

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    known coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 6:38am

    well if the damm defense dept

    Did not have systems that required security connected to the internet, it would be damm well impossible to hack into defense dept. systems from the outside.

    Same as the power grid, same as transit grids, some systems simply should not be accessable via the net.

     

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  49.  
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    chris (profile), Apr 12th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    Go ahead and continue to live in your ignorant world where everything is rainbows and ponies. Meanwhile, I will continue to defend our digital boarders from digital attackers. Wake up people, there are other countries that HATE us and want to destroy us. Why? Because of greed and power. Have none of you ever had history 101? Please, read some books.

    calm down dude. that's the same stuff that's always happened, it's just happening now with computers, on the internet. spies have always spied, thieves have always stolen, con artists have always conned, and terrorists have always terrorized. a cybercriminal is just a criminal that has added computers and the internet to his or her modus operandi.

    now that everyone uses computers and the internet to do everything, spies, terrorists and criminals are targeting computers and the internet. it's a logical progression.

    the point is that this isn't some new shadowy thing that has sprung up from the internet itself. it's just the same groups taking their acts online.

    using "cyberwar" to create panic is just orwellian doublespeak to create fear and push for new legislation to further damage our civil liberties.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    TROLLEDJA!!!

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    I am a professional security consultant. A digital "border" could be a corporate network, or Government network. This is what I am paid to analyze and defend.

    Private networks are not "our borders" and your presenting them as such indicates a dishonesty on your part that also discredits your claims of a "cyberwar".

    But what is your point? You are trying to push the discussion in a different direction. I am talking about "cyberwar" and the fact that it is happening.

    I'm claiming that it isn't happening. If you want to call that "pushing the discussion in a different direction" then that just indicates the weakness of your claims.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    And the list goes on and on.

    Except none of what you've presented so far proves a cyberwar.

    I am not sure how you can deny the facts. I am not going to argue with you if you refuse to accept the truth.

    I would say the same to you.

    The "evidence" you seek is abundant and publicly available.

    Then why don't you present it? Because so far, you haven't.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    I have nothing to gain nor any type of agenda here.

    Except promotion of your services.

    I could pose the same question to you. What EVIDENCE do you have that there isn't a cyberwar?

    The tactic of charlatans. (Can you prove that the tooth fairy *doesn't* exist?) If you want to claim that something *exists*, you need to prove it, not the other way around.

    Do you work in information security? Do you work with classified government networks? Do you even understand the current threat landscape in cyber space?

    Yes, to all three.

    I would love to hear more your expert analysis on this issue.

    I don't think you'd believe anything contrary to your stated beliefs.

    No one is denying that network attacks are real and constantly occurring. But there is no cyber "war" going on. And if there ever is one, you can expect to also see massive military force deployed in response to it, as there would be with any other *real* war.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    That is completely ludicrous....

    Yes, and it goes right along with your warfare claim.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    This is about protecting our information and infrastructure. Would you also suggest we just drop all defenses and let foreign governments have access to whatever information they please?

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that, so why would you say something like that? Straw man much?

    As I stated before, this discussion is pointless, because you refuse to accept anything other than what you want to believe.

    Back at you.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: well if the damm defense dept

    Did not have systems that required security connected to the internet, it would be damm well impossible to hack into defense dept. systems from the outside.

    Actually, the US military also has networks that are separate from the internet. Contrary to what the chicken littles would have us believe, the whole internet could go down and the US military could still function.

    Same as the power grid, same as transit grids, some systems simply should not be accessable via the net.

    In my experience with systems of those types, the critical parts were connected with private leased lines instead of the public Internet.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    Oh look, a cyberstraw man to go along with the imaginary cyberwar.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 7:29pm

    there is nothing to see where because masnick says so. nothing behind the curtain, no elephant, no smoking gun, no hacked apart body. the masnick knows all.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 9:38pm

    Re:

    Not even going to bother with a lame attempt to refute the post this time, TAM?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Tgr, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So quick to dismiss the facts...

    This app was developed to launch cyber jihad attacks against various US networks. More information here:
    http://www.v3.co.uk/vnunet/news/2116329/hackers-launch-cyber-jihad


    Where "cyber jihad attacks" apparently means the defacing of relatively unimportant government web pages such as the site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center. (Teh horror! Hundreds of citizens interested in oceanic and atmospheric administration in danger of being mildly annoyed! This requires a full redesign of teh interwebs IMMEDIATELY.)

    Various (DoS) and (DDoS) distributed denial of service attacks used in cyber crime and cyber warfare:
    http://www.ddosinfo.com/


    Where on "warfare" we mean that government web pages designed for low traffic might become unavailable for days. Again, teh horror!

    More importantly, DDOS attacks have jack shit to do with privacy and anonimity; they are based on weak security of some older operating systems and lack of security education amongst internet users.

    Cyber attack against U.S. Air Force fighter jets: http://www.mxlogic.com/securitynews/network-security/report-spies-hack-us-air-force-fighter-plans184 .cfm

    Cyber attack against fighter jets! How ominous! Them evil viruses make our jets explode in mid-air!

    Of course upon reading this turns out to be bullshit too; it is about industrial espionage in which some of the less important data on the new F-35 planes was stolen (sensitive technical information, stored separately on more secure servers, was not compromised).

    Iraqi's hack into drone feeds: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/17/drone.video.hacked/index.html

    Where "hack into" means they listened in on unencrypted video feeds sent by these drones.

    "Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading failure of the entire U.S.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/world/asia/21grid.html


    This is, of course, no more "cyber" than your average wall outlet. The paper examines in a very abstract graph-theoretic way how failure in certain parts of the US power grid might overload other parts.



    Thanks for giving us a demonstration of how totally average acts of small-scale hacking and some unrelated news can be glued together into a big scary "cyberwar" concept, I guess.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    alina orozco, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    Re: Hacker for Hire

    i hired a hacker to find out if my husband is cheating me. he hacked the email and gave me evidence that my husband is a real pain in my ***. i can recommend to you his email. his email is hacker4hire@hackermail.com

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Mrio SF Alves, Dec 14th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    Don't panic!

    "Don't panic, eat organic". It is very simple!

     

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


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