Governments In Glass Houses & Babies Out With The Bathwater

So much for the, “hacker as petty criminal” motif Western nations have used the last dozen or so years.  So if you have any hacking skills, it’s a good time to market them to a government who is fighting cybercrime as you are in demand.  Either that, or you may find yourself in the history books as the catalyst to World War III.  Today, cybercrimes are up and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight, or any chance that these crimes are limited to frisky students with too much time on their hands.  In our world, cyber war is the new battlefield and recruitment is brisk.  Anyone with hacking skills today is in high demand from any nation with a budget to get in on the fight.  Forget nuclear, or nook-you-ler, if you prefer.  Today, and tomorrow’s battles will be fought in the ether and the warriors will be of the #hack variety.  If you’ve been diddling around with this stuff, this may be the only chance you’re going to get to go straight and make some money for what you’ve learned.

And whatever you do, don’t forget, “The first computer worm ever unleashed on the internet (in 1988) was written by a graduate student from Cornell, whose father happened to be the chief scientist of the American National Security Agency.  Reactions to that worm spawned the computer security industry as we know it today, which in turn spawned what’s becoming known as the military digital complex.”  Somehow, the lack of public gratitude from the digital security industry doesn’t surprise me.

There has been much innuendo, and many accusations, over the last dozen years, about who has been responsible for many of the serious attacks which have cost companies, and states, big bucks to combat.  China has been the most maligned of late, but Russia and the Eastern bloc nations have also been accused of engaging in these tactics.  Until recently, however, it has been much ado about nada.  Finger pointing has been met with the usual lack of proof and then capitulation to diplomacy.  However, until recently, most of the hacks have not jeopardized weaponry or a government’s ability to stay in business. Things have changed dramatically and that is not going to revert back to the usual innocuous intrusions.

The Pentagon has issued their statement that, “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks.”  Yet recent attacks on the Pentagon and their chief missile maker Lockheed Martin have upped the ante apparently.  The only question now is, whose smoke stacks are you going to hit?  In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, even after all the threats and chest pumping, we’re still left with, “For instance, the weapons used in a major technological assault, such as taking down a power grid, would likely have been developed with state support, Pentagon officials say.”  The word “likely” strikes me as a fairly large caveat, but these are bellicose times, by anyone’s imagination.


Protecting Windows: Microsoft Exchange Server Data Protection

And it’s not just the Generals thumping their chests, yesterday the FBI raided a datacenter and seized Swiss hosting company DigitalOne.  Their chief executive, Sergej Ostroumow, said: “This problem is caused by the F.B.I., not our company. In the night F.B.I. has taken 3 enclosures with equipment plugged into them, possibly including your server — we cannot check it.”  I’d say the only thing safe to say is that those servers are probably trashed and I can’t imagine how they can be restored.

It’s tough to cover the full Monty of every incursion today by everyone listed to folks like Anonymous or LulzSec who are making it their ambition to “teach” the government just how badly they are doing protecting their information.  They claim credit for hacking into the U.S. Senate, PBS.org, Sonypictures.com and an Web site associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  This may possibly be why the Feds are a little edgy.  But if you come up with any additional sources or problems emanating out of the global attacks, we’d sure pay to hear about them.

here are some links on these:

Hackers Claim to Breach Senate’s Web Site – http://tek-blogs.com/a/p03iex

Pentagon may fight cyberwar with rockets  – http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20532-pentagon-may-fight-cyberwar-with-rockets.html

Cyberwar, Stuxnet and people in glass houses – http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/06/20116673330569900.html

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