Now That Booz Allen Scared The Gov't Into Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Contracts, It's Time To Cash Out

from the how-this-works dept

Earlier this year, we noted that government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton had been making the rounds ringing up the moral panic over "cyberterrorism," without any significant evidence of it actually existing in any real form. The key to all of this was the hiring of former director of national intelligence Michael McConnell as a VP, whose main job seems to be scaring the press into repeating Booz Allen fear mongering talking points and attributing them to him without even bothering to mention that he's employed by a company that is making a ton of money from this fear mongering. And, boy, has Booz Allen raked in the money. Since the fear mongering began, the firm has secured at least hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts.

Of course, that's good for the firm, but what about its investors? Well, now that it's scared the government and the public into handing over all this cash, it looks like its investors want to cash out. The company has now announced plans for an IPO so they can walk off with the cash, built off of scaring the public over a supposed threat for which they have little actual evidence. What a deal!


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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 10:16pm

    I think you have a typo in the title. It's spelled S-C-A-M-M-E-D.

     

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    ampere (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 10:31pm

    Can they make up their minds?

    Booz Allen was public, 1970-1976, then went private in a management buyout.

     

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    Will Sizemore (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 11:13pm

    A Word of Advice

    Your opinion here, as well as on many other posts, is sadly represented as equally unfounded.

    I do not know that this alleged fear mongering is in fact fear mongering, and neither do you.

    As government contractors, these employees are privy to information the public is not, but contractors in this arena have earned public trust, as well as the security clearance to support the claim on this trust.

    If I was a part of Booz Hamilton, and I knew of evidence to support the claim, I would not be allowed to disclose that proof to the general public. I wouldn't be able to prove it to you, or Singel.

    That being said, we have the choice to bash companies like this, or simply trust that they have our best interests in mind and don't intend to throw us to the wolves for a shiny gold dollar.

    Cyber Terrorism COULD be exploited to attack our nations' interests. To what end, I don't know, but to simply ignore that possibility would be asinine.

    I, for one, hope that the government does NOT monitor absolutely everything on the internet out of sheer paranoia, but who am I besides a taxpayer and a constituent?

    But keep writing. Your opinions are usually entertaining to say the least.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 12:21am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      >>It's possible that "Cyber Terrorism" could be exploited
      >>to attack our nations' interests.

      About that advice... Horace once said "A good scare is worth more than good advice."

      So let's start by identifying interests that (more accurately) "the Government" (not "nation's interests") should oversee at a more granular level. Once they are identified, these "Government interests" should perhaps be regulated within a legal framework.

      Geez, you write like tomorrow the TCP/IP stack is going to fall apart and we'll have to change to something like Netware. Sorry, but that's simply not going to happen.

      Remember, it's also possible that H1N1 could also kill people and in turn, a company's workforce productivity. In this case, which is more valuable? How did the Governments respond to this false fear? Governments ultimately subsidized flu vaccinations and NVS, GSK, SNY, among other pharmacutical companies saw on average a 20% lift in stock prices during the 6 month period which it was a news story.

      So Will, are you sold on the idea that government should lend a hand to chase away the imaginary ghosts under your bed too?

       

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      Jay (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 12:39am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      "Cyber Terrorism COULD be exploited to attack our nations' interests. To what end, I don't know, but to simply ignore that possibility would be asinine. "

      Let's really, really think about this...

      I don't think anyone is ignoring the possibility of cyber terrorism. But we have to call them like we see them. China's attack on Google was focused specifically on activism. That's a threat.

      Right now, he's using rhetoric to say "We could be attacked by anyone, anytime, anywhere" That's fear mongering. Then he isn't using that money to upgrade servers or find new ways to patch around DDoS attacks. No, he's using the money to pay off debts.

      That's some shady BS there. The money could be used in a number of ways. Quite frankly, the military budget was spent for something that won't amount to much. Military intelligence indeed.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 1:40am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      Your opinion here, as well as on many other posts, is sadly represented as equally unfounded.


      Hi Will. Usually when you claim someone is "unfounded" in their opinions, you are then supposed to back that up with actual evidence as to why it's unfounded.

      I do not know that this alleged fear mongering is in fact fear mongering, and neither do you.


      So, um, you are admitting that it's actually your accusation about my post is the only thing "unfounded" here?

      If I was a part of Booz Hamilton, and I knew of evidence to support the claim, I would not be allowed to disclose that proof to the general public. I wouldn't be able to prove it to you, or Singel.

      Ah. We're here from the gov't, trust us. We've played that game before. It doesn't work. It's widely abused. Calling it out seems like fair game until they offer up some kind of proof. "I'm sorry, we know better" is not it.

      That being said, we have the choice to bash companies like this, or simply trust that they have our best interests in mind and don't intend to throw us to the wolves for a shiny gold dollar.

      Given the history of the folks involved, they have not earned that benefit of the doubt. In fact, nearly everything in their histories suggests the latter is the prevailing interest here.

      The Carlyle Group and Booz Allen aren't exactly philanthropists.

      Cyber Terrorism COULD be exploited to attack our nations' interests. To what end, I don't know, but to simply ignore that possibility would be asinine.

      I'm not ignoring it. I'm asking for proof. "COULD" without any evidence to back that up? Sorry. Not convincing.

      I, for one, hope that the government does NOT monitor absolutely everything on the internet out of sheer paranoia, but who am I besides a taxpayer and a constituent?

      You are a taxpayer and a constituent. I didn't realize that does not qualify you to speak out when you smell something fishy.

      Will, I'm curious what kind of gov't you think we would have if everyone was to take the gov't at it's word and otherwise sit down and shut up?

      But keep writing. Your opinions are usually entertaining to say the least.


      I'm glad I have your permission. Otherwise, I would have stopped.

       

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        harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re: A Word of Advice

        i am so tired of your outright lies mike.


        you would not have stopped without his permission....

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re: A Word of Advice

        "Hi Will. Usually when you claim someone is "unfounded" in their opinions, you are then supposed to back that up with actual evidence as to why it's unfounded." - how do you prove something that you claim does not exist?

        while you may not agree with their logic or their opinion, booz allen has apparently brought more than enough to the table to show that this jackalope exists. your denial, on the other side, is certainly lacking in anti-jackalope proof.

        would you care to apply the same high standards and show us specific examples of cyber terrorism not existing?

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

          "would you care to apply the same high standards and show us specific examples of cyber terrorism not existing?"

          Okay, that's just dumb. You don't apply the same standards to justify NOT spending billions of dollars as you to justifying spending it.

          C'mon, are you serious?

          There are evil pink unicorns that are raping baby elephants! Give me 2 million dollars to stop it!

          Uh, but you can't prove that this is happening, or that there is even an evil pink unicorn....

          Yeah, but you can't prove there aren't, can you? Gimmie some money....

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 8:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

            i can show you plenty of examples of hacking from one country to another, at attempts to shut down or harm the internet, to block access, etc. there are plenty of stories around regarding attacks on one government from another country, on political parties, etc.

            you cant show me a single pink unicorn. you cannot show me a raped baby elephant. in fact, i can bring any number of zoologists to say that there are no pink unicorns known to exist.

            sorry, but your argument is a fail.

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 8:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

              Fine. Here's your chance. Show me an example of a cyberthreat from another country on ours that has the ability to harm our national infrastructure and/or security. What specific threat has been demonstrated that would warrant this type of contract money? I'll happily admit you were right if such a threat exists (real threat, not theoretical potential threat)....

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 9:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

                in the case of the us, much of what is attacked is not reported (for security reasons). however, i know a couple of people who have been doing work for various agencies and there is plenty of activity, from door knocking to attempts to breach networks, etc.

                http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/coordinated-russia-vs-georgia-cyber-attack-in-progress/16 70

                it does happen.

                 

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 9:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

                  Okay, I asked for an example of a real threat from another country upon the United States....

                  "in the case of the us, much of what is attacked is not reported (for security reasons)."

                  That's simply silly. They can redact the details for security reasons, but our government LOVES to flaunt how dangerous the world is. If they had any specific threat information, they'd have not only acknowledged it, they would have promoted it. As would Booz Allen.

                  "i know a couple of people who have been doing work for various agencies and there is plenty of activity, from door knocking to attempts to breach networks, etc."

                  Sorry, hearsay at best doesn't cut it for multi-billion dollar defense contracts. Or at least it shouldn't.

                  So basically, despite saying, "i can show you plenty of examples of hacking from one country to another", which wasn't really what I was asking for, the best you came back with was a story about one of the Russian alphabet agencies attacking Georgian public websites and defacing them as well as doing DDoS attacks?

                  And did you even read that article? The Georgian govt. had a new site up within hours (on BLOGSPOT for christ's sake). And where did they relocate their server hosts to so that they were secure? Atlanta, Georgia (how's that for coming full cirlce?). In other words, in a failed attempt to equate our internet policies and security w/the nation of Georgia (come on....), you included a link that basically states the nation of Georgia believes we are safe from a cyber attack from the alphabet agencies of Russia, probably some of the most notorious and technologically advanced secret service types on the planet.

                  Sorry, but I don't think you made much headway there....

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 9:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

                  Hey Dark, you forgot to specify the country. He apparently thinks you live in Georgia.

                   

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                    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 11:13am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

                    Well, to be fair, I'm an American so mind-numbing ethnocentrism is our 2nd nat'l pasttime, right below baseball....

                     

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 9:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

              you are stupid, our government is supposed to be required to prove why they are spending our money. and also i suppose this means you should be a christian, or maybe a catholic, i guess youd be all religions with god since they cant prove god exists
              also, didnt an earlier post talk about how they arent using the money to do anything but pay off debts?
              ps, im sure a simple google search will show you raped elephants since thats wat you wanna see

               

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 5:52am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      "but contractors in this arena have earned public trust, as well as the security clearance to support the claim on this trust."

      One word: Blackwater.

      And that company is STILL getting government contracts, now from the CIA, and no longer just in Iraq but they've been cleared to operate with the direction of the CIA worldwide. This is the company who has had employees go to jail for MURDER while conducting supposed American government business. The director of the CIA acknowledged that they are part of a secret CIA assassination program and that they now operate in several foreign nations, including: Iraq (w/o an Iraqi license, as they tried to throw them out for murder), Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Indonesia.

      Most people aren't aware that, according to a recent book by Jeremy Scahill, 80% of our DOD personnel are not government employees, but are from private companies. This may not sound all that bad (yay free market of death!), except that they partake in roles like secret CIA assassination programs (that don't, by the way, have ANY congressional oversight according to the director of the CIA, Leon Panetta).

      You want to know how the name of America got tarnished? You'll find the answer in the minutes of government contractor meetings. This is what Dwight Eisenhower tried to warn us all about in his farewell address:

      "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

      We failed our former President. Badly....

       

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        Overcast (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 6:50am

        Re: Re: A Word of Advice

        One word: Blackwater.

        Now Xe - had to change their name because of the bad rep they were getting over doing things like gassing civilians.

        But indeed, perfect example.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:02am

          Re: Re: Re: A Word of Advice

          Sort of like how the Aldrich Plan got turned into the Federal Reserve Act?

          Dammit, I'm starting to slowly lose faith in my fellow citizens....

           

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:03am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      Would someone at techdirt check this guys IP address ... GRIN

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:21am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      "contractors in this arena have earned public trust"

      Bing, you have lost all credibility right there, your point is moot and you have clearly misunderstood or are simply misrepresenting the massive distrust that "the public" has for the people that made these sleazy deals.

      Since you like to talk about evidence, your evidence is nothing more than "you might not know what they know". I can tell you this, I've been fighting the massive attacks on the front lines for years prior to the red cyber scare and it's the same tech that we have deployed from day one. The only difference is who's golfing with whom.

       

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      The Truth, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

      Re: A Word of Advice

      @Will Sizemore: Well said.

      I would think that it's Booz Allen's responsibility to let the government know what they are facing in the first place. If that induces fear, than so be it.

      A friend of mine once said, "You know you made it when they start talking shit." I agree, and this article is a good example of the type of "shit talking" that goes on.

       

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      Beta, Jun 28th, 2010 @ 8:14am

      Re: A Word of Advice

      "As government contractors, these employees are privy to information the public is not, but contractors in this arena have earned public trust, as well as the security clearance to support the claim on this trust.

      If I
      [were] a part of Booz Hamilton, and I knew of evidence to support the claim, I would not be allowed to disclose that proof to the general public. I wouldn't be able to prove it...

      This argument comes up often enough that it's worth addressing.

      "They are not free to present whatever evidence they may have." This proves nothing. If I were on a jury and saw that the defendant were being prevented from presenting evidence in his own defense, I would vote to acquit, but I would not be persuaded that he was innocent. If someone says "there can't really be a crashed spaceship at Roswell because if there were the military would tell us all about it", I reject that argument because I don't think they would, but that does not persuade me that there is such a spaceship.

      If there is no evidence for something, then there is no evidence for it. The fact that any such evidence would be suppressed is not evidence for it.

      (Also, just so you know, a security clearance means that the government trusts you to keep a secret, it really has nothing to do with general honesty or truthfullness.)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2010 @ 3:15pm

      Re: A Word of Advice

      Cyber Terrorism COULD be exploited to attack our nations' interests.

      There's a big difference between "COULD" and "REASONABLY PROBABLE". I COULD get rich playing the lottery or panning for gold in water fountains, but I don't waste my money or time doing either one because neither one is REASONABLY PROBABLE to be a good investment. Likewise, the time and money being wasted on "cyberterrorism" is a bad investment because it diverts time and money from things that actually would make the notion more secure. Thus, it is actually harming national security, not helping it.

      To what end, I don't know, but to simply ignore that possibility would be asinine.

      No, to waste such large amounts of money on it for no good reason is really "asinine".

       

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    HuwOS, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 11:51pm

    cyberterrorism AND evil wizards

    You give a lot less attention to actions being taken by companies on behalf of the US government to target and defend against the threat caused by evil wizards.
    But if you did start picking on those companies in the same manner as you pick on Booz Allen and the cyberterrorism threat, it is also something you should take on faith alone that the threat identified by the US government and the companies involved is real.
    It's just that no evidence can be presented to prove it, but we can surely take it on trust that they do actually have the evidence and so you don't know nothing and shouldn't talk or write 'bout such stuff that you don't know anything about.
    Evil Wizards COULD be exploited to attack your nations' interests. To what end, I don't know, but....
    shoot did someone else write this asinine stuff.

     

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    HuwOS, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 12:03am

    I suspect and believe that there's a moron in the room, but I got to tell you, looking around at everyone else I ain't seeing him/her.
    Wonder what that means.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 12:19am

    About that advice-- A good scare is worth more than good advice.

    >>It's possible that "Cyber Terrorism" could be exploited
    >>to attack our nations' interests.


    Let's start by identifying interests that (more accurately) "the Government" (not "nation's interests") should oversee at a more granular level. Once they are identified, these "Government interests" should perhaps be regulated within a legal framework.

    Geez, you write like tomorrow the TCP/IP stack is going to fall apart and we'll have to change to something like Netware. Sorry, but that's simply not going to happen.

    Remember, it's also possible that H1N1 could also kill people and in turn, a company's workforce productivity. In this case, which is more valuable? How did the Governments respond to this false fear? Governments ultimately subsidized flu vaccinations and NVS, GSK, SNY, among other pharmacutical companies saw on average a 20% lift in stock prices during the 6 month period which it was a news story.

    So Will, are you sold on the idea that government should lend a hand to chase away the imaginary ghosts under your bed too?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:22am

    "Will Sizemore": TROLL with an agenda.

    Let's look at the evidence provided.

    1) Offers "advice" and is "sad", a cheap psychological ploy.

    2) Will Sizemore: new profile, ONE comment.

    3) Appeal to authority: alleging gov't has knowledge that we don't.

    4) Mentions (Ryan) Singel. Seems only one hit shows up in Google for Booz Hamilton and Singel. The troll has been following this since at least March 5th, and had the name in mind as someone else to discredit.

    5) An odd turn of phrase: "That being said, we have the choice to bash companies like this, or simply trust that they have our best interests in mind and don't intend to throw us to the wolves for a shiny gold dollar." -- Hints that there is in fact a conspiracy. That may be due either to compulsion to tell the truth OR to relish secret knowledge.

    6) "who am I besides a taxpayer and a constituent?" -- The only evidence is some gov't or industry troll. Again, this is an attempt to build confidence, while blurting that there *is* more to tell.

    7) Ends with mild scoffing, "keep writing". Common tactic of those who wish to silence a voice.

    8) Overall, an attempt to sound knowledgeable but since this "Sizemore" has an agenda to keep hidden, the result is odd and clumsy phrasing.

    In sum, I don't think there's any doubt that we have here a real live TROLL with an agenda.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    You make it sound like Booz-Allen is some dot.com startup looking to screw it's investors over. Booz-Allen has been around since 1914 and is a good company. I was employed by them back in the 1990s as a software developer. And you still seem to have absolutely no clue regarding cyber warfare so how about going back to bashing the RIAA for not wanting to make everything free?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:58am

      Re:

      "looking to screw it's investors"

      No, just the taxpayers

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      "You still seem to have absolutely no clue regarding cyber warfare"...

      Since you do, let's hear it? I've deployed IDSs (do you know what that is?) all over the world. I know first hand what security is, I have also worked at government shops that went MS because someone bought someone else lunch. Tell me this, how much greater is the threat today as opposed to five years ago? I'll answer since I'm sure you don't actually know. We have far less risk today, than we had in 05. We will have less risk tomorrow than today.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      "And you still seem to have absolutely no clue regarding cyber warfare"

      LOL ... where to start. Electrical generation, fuel transportation, chemical processing facilities, water distribution, financial services, communications, and transportation and transportation infrastructure are all vulnerable to disruption.

      The probability of succssfully shutting down the US power grid approaches zero. The same for financial services. There are to many different controllers and differing pieces of software making the individual sectors almost impossible to hack. Am I off to a good start?

      Now about Booz Allen Hamilton. Where to start on this. They are majority owned by The Carlyle Group. The Same Carlyle Group that the Bin Laden, Bush families, members of the board of Haliburton, US politicians and their families, have money with. Hmmm I wonder how they got this contract?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re:

        "I wonder how they got this contract?" - they snuck in, knocked out obama, and allowed shrub bush to sneak back in and sign the contracts?

        holy crap, talk about conspiracy theories. that tin foil hat must be mega-think.

         

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    abc gum, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    Here's a crazy idea ...

    Maybe one shouldn't connect critical infrastructure to the intarwebs.

     

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    mhenriday (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 4:59am

    Be afraid, be very afraid !

    Meanwhile, we shall continue to pick your pocket to the benefit of our owners and stockholders.... Henri

     

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    I know stuff..., Jun 25th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Sounds like Booz Allen have learned from and now bettered the cyber-terrorists at their own game...

    I mean they cause fear, and made lots of money out of it...I wonder if the violent terrorists will learn the error of their ways.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Cyberterrorism...

    What a joke.

    Make systems redundant, don't depend on them for critical functions - like power plants, if they are at all connected to the internet, and back them up with a solid DR plan.

    How much more of a 'scare' is Cyber-Terrorism over say... a bad mainboard or array controller on a system? not much, really - if you take steps to protect the data.

    We have 'critical' machines where I work too - and on occasion, they die. We fix them and continue to profit.

    Hard?

    No - just need to be prepared.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      incorrect. if you have redundant systems with the same failure, connected in any way online, they will both get taken out. the failure of one by means of computer attack means the other one is just as likely to get taken out within seconds of the first one going down.

      even if you hide things behind a firewall, there are almost always computers that are connected on both sides. if the power plant happens to have a pc that is used for email, example, that is on the inside of the firewall, it can be an access point and could be turned into a relay for an attack.

      sorry, but most of what appears in this thread, including mikes initial comments, appear to come from people with little in the way of a technical undestanding of what is possible. for a bunch of people so fast to use tunneling and proxies, you seem not to have too much imagination when it comes to actually using them.

       

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        techflaws.org (profile), Jun 26th, 2010 @ 6:29am

        Re: Re:

        for a bunch of people so fast to use tunneling and proxies, you seem not to have too much imagination when it comes to actually using them.

        Of course, howerver without any evidence we don't just take anyone's word face value but chalk it up to security theater until proven otherwise.

         

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    WammerJammer (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Cyberterrorism

    Only in America! Land of opportunity!

     

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    identicon
    Richard Corsale, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Ciber Nine Eleven!

    You KNOW Toby Kieth is itching to sing about when the full tower servers went down...

     

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    ClosedEyesSeeing, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Focus

    First - Hi, Mike, I like your writing and generally enjoy TechDirt and its writers. Hopefully I don't come off as a dick, as I this is only the first time I've really disagreed with how you feel.

    You seem to be blaming Booz Allen on the actions of Michael McConnell. Yes, I agree that Mr. McConnell has a very obscured view of 'cyberwar' and his fixes are not exactly ideal. But Booz Allen, as a whole, is not Michael McConnell. Yes, he's a VP, but that company has a many VPs. I just don't find it fair to brand the whole company on the actions of one man.

    These are just my opinions and I'm not intending to be a dick. If I'm missing a bigger picture here, please let me know - I'm not trying to be closed minded here and blindly argue.

    Thanks.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 10:26pm

      Re: Focus

      First - Hi, Mike, I like your writing and generally enjoy TechDirt and its writers. Hopefully I don't come off as a dick, as I this is only the first time I've really disagreed with how you feel.

      You don't come off as a dick. Disagreeing with me is not dickish and is perfectly acceptable.

      You seem to be blaming Booz Allen on the actions of Michael McConnell.

      I certainly don't mean to imply that McConnell is Booz. Booz is a giant company that has been around for years. But he has very much been the public face of this particular round of fear mongering. I can't recall a cyberwar article that doesn't quote him.

      My problem isn't so much with McConnell, but it does seem clear that Booz mgmt is using him to spread this sort of FUD.

       

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    Bob Condon, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    Cyber Terrorism

    You don't scare the US Government into doing anything. Seems like you have it out for Mr. McConnell? How about some credit due to the US Government teams who have been fighting off the daily hackers into Department of Defense Mainframes? Have you ever paused for a moment and considered China's massive intrusion attempts into our Goverment and Commercial Systems. Next time you swipe your debit card for a cash withdrawal, you need to think about some clown with a lap-top cleaning out your checking account. Booz, Allen IPO, running away with the cash? How is that done? What's your source? Did you say that about SAIC when they went public last year. Poorly written article, no facts just opinion, Marvel Comic Books wouldn't dream of taking your abilities seriously.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

      Re: Cyber Terrorism

      FEAR!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! DOUBT!!!

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 25th, 2010 @ 10:35pm

      Re: Cyber Terrorism

      You don't scare the US Government into doing anything.

      If only that were true. Unfortunately we've detailed plenty of examples where that is simply not true.

      Seems like you have it out for Mr. McConnell?

      I have nothing against Mr. McConnell. I do have a problem with the press quoting him as if he was some unbiased source. McConnell is doing his job, which is perfectly reasonable. My problem is with folks who take the FUD and don't ask for evidence.

      ave you ever paused for a moment and considered China's massive intrusion attempts into our Goverment and Commercial Systems.

      Why yes, I have, actually. And, to date, there has been no evidence presented that the hacking attempts amount to anything approaching "war" or that would require the re-architecting of the internet that McConnell/Booz have been pushing for.

      I will note that your comment doesn't either. Like McConnell it consists of "but really, you should trust us, it's scary."

      I'm sorry. I prefer to have actual evidence.

      Next time you swipe your debit card for a cash withdrawal, you need to think about some clown with a lap-top cleaning out your checking account.

      I'm not sure what that has to do with cyberwar, frankly. The TJX hacks from a few years back were due to insecure wireless and some script kiddies. That's not war either. If retailers have insecure networks that's something they need to deal with, but I'm not sure what that has to do with anything we were discussing, though it is a nice attempt to sidestep the actual issues and point at something shiny.

      Booz, Allen IPO, running away with the cash? How is that done? What's your source?

      Are you familiar with how IPOs work? It's a way for company owners to cash out. I didn't realize that was controversial. As for sources, you are free to look at the "blue words" in the post, which are commonly called "links."

      Poorly written article, no facts just opinion

      I see. So it's an "opinion" that Booz Allen is going to hold an IPO? It's an "opinion" that Booz got hundreds of millions in contracts? I didn't realize that. I was pretty sure both were facts.

      But, yes, it is very much my opinion that Booz is spreading fear mongering in order to make money. I didn't realize I wasn't allowed to have an opinion. This is my site and it is and has always been about my opinions. Most people consider that to be a good thing.

      But while we're on the subject of opinions and facts, your post doesn't include a single fact, but lots of opinions. My post at least included a bunch of facts to explain and back up my opinions.

      So if mine is worthless, what does that make yours?

      Marvel Comic Books wouldn't dream of taking your abilities seriously.

      That's quite a headscracther there. I don't particularly care what Marvel Comic Books thinks of anything that I do, frankly. But plenty of people who I do respect do, in fact, take my "abilities" seriously, and that's good enough for me, Bob.

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Jun 26th, 2010 @ 6:33am

      Re: Cyber Terrorism

      Have you ever paused for a moment and considered China's massive intrusion attempts into our Goverment and Commercial Systems.

      Sure but since those paid off politicians morons often went for crappy Micro$oft software it's any breaches would be well deserved.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

      Re: Cyber Terrorism

      You don't scare the US Government into doing anything.

      Yeah, it's not like some ragtag little band of camel jockeys could scare the US Government into invading a whole country that had nothing to do with them, is it? Nah, the US Government doesn't scare *that* easily.

       

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    identicon
    Bob Condon, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Cyber Terrorism

    You don't scare the US Government into doing anything. Seems like you have it out for Mr. McConnell? How about some credit due to the US Government teams who have been fighting off the daily hackers into Department of Defense Mainframes? Have you ever paused for a moment and considered China's massive intrusion attempts into our Goverment and Commercial Systems. Next time you swipe your debit card for a cash withdrawal, you need to think about some clown with a lap-top cleaning out your checking account. Booz, Allen IPO, running away with the cash? How is that done? What's your source? Did you say that about SAIC when they went public last year. Poorly written article, no facts just opinion, Marvel Comic Books wouldn't dream of taking your abilities seriously.

     

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      btrussell (profile), Jun 26th, 2010 @ 8:16am

      Re: Cyber Terrorism

      "You don't scare the US Government into doing anything."

      No need to. Just as long as they figure they can scare a few key people.

       

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    Will Sizemore (profile), Jun 28th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    1) I am not a troll and I did not post as any representative of the government other than as a patriot and as a voter.
    I love wikipedia. Even though its largely unreliable as a source of information for papers because 'anyone can edit' the content, it is stil laccurate enough for me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

    I assume you didn't mean that I was any other kind of troll, but I did not post anything intended to be inflammatory. I don't see where I posted anything that was extraneous. And I certainly did not post with the intent to post anything that would invoke any emotional response other than possibly a mild jocular reaction.

    Further, I did not conceal my identity. This is in fact my name!

    Of course, you could easily argue that voters are members of the government too, but that's getting off topic.

    2) I do like a great deal of what Mike posts and I didn't mean to defend this or any company, but rather the US Government. The government is flawed, yes. The government representatives have, in my experiences while I was a soldier in the US Army, bought crap from these companies who promised a whole lot but delivered none. Now there are other, more honorable contract companies who have to clean up that mess.

    3) As I understand the format of this website, its SUPPOSED to be opinion based and I enjoy opinions whether I agree with them or not.

    And FYI, this wasn't my first post here. I've posted several times anonymously and at least once using my name but I don't recall whether it was a network error but my post still came back anonymous.

    Mike, thank you for responding to me directly. I truly appreciated that. And for what its worth, I am a big fan of your posts regarding intellectual property and the govenrments' reactions the cases brought into our court systems.

    And finally, because you cannot prove something exists, nor that it does not exist, does not prove the opposite. The potential threat may be mitigated in many ways and the contract should likely go to the company that bids the lowest yet still meets the criteria specified by a government person who is (hopefully) knowledgeable enough about the threat and has analyzed the likelihood of that threat becoming a reality.

    If you don't like that we taxpayers pay contractors all kinds of money to help us better prepare our government "from all threats, foriegn and domestic" then you can propose a better solution and take less money on the bid for that contract.

     

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      The Queen of England, Jun 28th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      Further, I did not conceal my identity. This is in fact my name!

      I love it when people think that posting a name, any name, means that they aren't anonymous. Well, if that's really your name, then prove it. And before you say "prove it isn't", let me challenge you to prove that I'm not The Queen of England.

       

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


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