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FBI Warns of Sweeping Global Threat To US Cybersecurity

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.

Security 134

GovIT Geek writes "The FBI's newly appointed chief of cyber security warned today that 'a couple dozen' countries are eager to hack US government, corporate, and military networks. While he refused to provide country-specific details, FBI Cyber Division Chief Shawn Henry told reporters at a roundtable that cooperation with foreign law enforcement is one of the Bureau's highest priorities and added the United States has had incredible success fostering overseas partnerships."

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134 comments

Dark days of paranoia and spying. (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399893)

'a couple dozen' countries are eager to hack U.S. government, corporate and military networks. While he refused to provide country-specific details

Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah [senate.gov] .

While I cannot take the time to name all the men in the State Department who have been named as members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring, I have here in my hand a list of 205.

But the second quote happened at the beginning of a horrible paranoia based on a real external threat. We still have the apparatus of that paranoia, though most of it was outlawed in the late 1970s and the only credible external threat is now our largest trade partner and "most favorable nation." Today we have secret "terrorist" blacklists with more than a million names. Domestic spying, especially web based spying, has jumped to levels that would make the freedom loving senator from Wisconsin angry. Anti-death penalty and peace groups are among those watched. Shame, isn't it?

Shoring up the nation's IT against spying is as easy as dumping the prevalent non free software used by most big dumb companies. This would also save the country hundreds of billions of dollars in licensing fees and other headaches unique to non free software. The problem is that it would make wiretapping very difficult or impossible.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (5, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400055)

FOSS software isn't immune, there have been some terrible security flaws which have gone unnoticed for a long time. Of course proprietry software has even more flaws but profits pay for a team of guys in nice suits to give powerpoint presentations on how good it is and take the head of purchasing out to dinner.

I would be very surprised if there weren't a few NSA plants in the dev teams of some of the more popular linux distros. How hard would it really be for a tallented coder to slip in a few subtle flaws to be exploited later if he's on the dev team and in every other way does the job very well.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25401489)

NSA infiltrated debian's openssl package maintanence?

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (3, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401547)

Why need to be sly and plant agents? The NSA can just go to whatever corporation and say "We want this" and 9 times out of 10 the corporation will hand over whatever they are asking for without any hassle.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402561)

You do know, that there's an outside world to the US, right? :)

In most other countries corporations usually don't just hand over data to a foreign agency if asked politely

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25402657)

What? There is a world outside the US? When did this happen???

Yes anonymous coward, I do know that. I was speaking about corporations within the US. Like all the major telcos and cell phone companies that did just hand over private data when asked - politely or not. Only 1 company asked if they were legally obligated to do so.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (5, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400123)

I hope you are modded up handily.... what you say is the truth, and the only reason that such information makes the news. If govt. agencies were doing their job as prescribed, it would not be news. This is simply creating a new evil-doer to distract the minds of Americans while the government continues it's wholesale grab of liberties and Constitutional pinata frenzy.

Mr Orwell would be happy to note that in 4 more years, most Americans will be on a terrorist watch list, augmented heartily by those signing up for unemployment benefits. How much farther down this rabbit hole must we go before government whistle blowers become folk heroes? Will our grandchildren hear stories of Babe the blue ox, superman, and joe whistleblower? I hope so.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400561)

How much farther down this rabbit hole must we go before government whistle blowers become folk heroes? Will our grandchildren hear stories of Babe the blue ox, superman, and joe whistleblower? I hope so.

I hope not! That means that whistle blowers are so rare that they must be celebrated. I hope they are more common than bus drivers.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25403239)

I hope not! That means that whistle blowers are so rare that they must be celebrated. I hope they are more common than bus drivers.

God, I hope not. Because that would mean wrong-doing was so widespread as to be something we tune out and don't really pay any attention to.

However, I wholeheartedly agree with your point.

Cheers

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400217)

Shoring up the nation's IT against spying is as easy as dumping the prevalent non free software used by most big dumb companies.

It's missing something along the lines of:

This message has been brought to you by Symantec Corporation. Try our new Norton Internet Security for 30 days free!

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401737)

Or, you have violated 235 of their (laws|patents) and they intend on receiving (taxes|royalties) for it from the (citizens|users) in order to properly fund their (job|development).

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400283)

Ok, I'm not an American, but could this be a part of an effort to make the country remember the 'international threats' and remember how the Republicans handle the security issues 'better' than the Democrats?

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (1)

((hristopher _-*-_-* (956823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400655)

Shoring up the nation's IT against spying is as easy as dumping the prevalent non free software used by most big dumb companies. This would also save the country hundreds of billions of dollars in licensing fees and other headaches unique to non free software. The problem is that it would make wiretapping very difficult or impossible.

Doing that would only stop the common 'script kiddie' type hacker from exploiting the nations IT (via pre-built tools and well documented methods), and even then only for a limited time. In effect it would prove to be more of a boon to 'serious' attempts to attack the nations business and military IT systems. FOSS software is swiss cheese for security, it's just that not many people eat it and therefore don't realise it has so many holes.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401355)

FOSS software is swiss cheese for security, it's just that not many people eat it and therefore don't realise it has so many holes.

And gross generalisations are always wrong too! Like this one.

It really depends on the project. Most obvious projects to look at: Apache, PGP, Linux, etc. Very widespread adoption, and nothing like 'swiss cheese' in terms of security. FOSS software can be amazingly secure with the right guidance.

Twitter is making gross generalisations too, of course.

A well conceptualised FOSS project can obviously be just as good as any well conceptualised cllosed source project. Popular Open Source projects will be able to have more developers looking over the code though, and are likely to thank people for disclosing security vulnerabilities, and patch them up quickly. Sometimes closed source vendors get really pissed off when people disclose vulnerabilities - even when they've been given a while to get a patch sorted out and have done nothing about it.

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400909)

More than 140 byte comment from twitter? How did you do that?

Re:Dark days of paranoia and spying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402183)

Canada is the United States largest trading partner.

Re: That's a load of BS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402511)

Riiiiggghhht. And then all the focus of the "evil-doers" gets put on those oh-so-free operating systems and we'll be right back in the same boat.

People and businesses need to hammer all of the the OS manufacturers and get them to fix their damn software.

Free systems aren't any better, it's just that no one is using them to the same degree. They ALL stink as far as security is concerned.

twitter linux troll, mod down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25404073)

n/t

What's a Cyber? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25399899)

I'm now worried that mine's at risk.

Re:What's a Cyber? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399937)

I'm now worried that mine's at risk.

That was my first question as well. At least I'm not in the US so maybe my cyber is safe.

Re:What's a Cyber? (2, Funny)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401339)

So long as it doesn't keep me from sending my internets I'm not worried. Now just the other day one of them companies dumped a tremendous amount of data in the tubes and it buried my internets. If you get some of that tremendous amount of data could you look through it and see if maybe one of my internets is stuck in there somewhere?

Re:What's a Cyber? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400683)

If you remember to wear protection and careful who you choose, you should be safe

no kidding? (5, Funny)

Utini420 (444935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399917)

News Flash: Guy in new job declares new job important!

Re:no kidding? (1, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400023)

Don't mess with this guy. He has an army of cybermen [wikipedia.org] ready to invade the planet!

Well, either that, or a very silly job title.

Re:no kidding? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401047)

To me it sounds like something from Megaman Battle Network. Actually, given the inanity of some of the laws recently passed in the USA it shouldn't suprise us to see Official Netbattler as a real job title soon...

However, while I'd like to think that the FBI has dozens of snotty kids with utterly professional and capable navis on its payroll, most likely all they have are a couple HealNavis with one MiniBomb J each.

Re:no kidding? (1)

whencanistop (1224156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400053)

Maybe his job is important, given all these studies showing that we are more at risk than ever. eg The recent report from the Georgia Tech Information Security Centre [computerweekly.com] saying that all our security is way behind what the hackers use.

Re:no kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25401167)

all our security is way behind what the hackers use.

What? But we use all of the best that Microsoft has to offer!!!

Re:no kidding? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400063)

News Flash:

Do what they did on the Battlestar Galactica (don't use externally-connected networks), and you won't have to worry about being hacked by Cylons..... er, terrorists and spys.

Re:no kidding? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25403275)

News Flash: Guy in new job declares new job important!

And, in an astonishing correlation, guy who has been in same job for over a decade decrees job pretty mundane.

Coincidence? I think not!!

Cheers

Yay! More Security Theater!!! (5, Insightful)

Garrick68 (1165999) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399967)

and here come the cries from the government "Quick we pass these laws to protect us!!!" Yeah right...

Re:Yay! More Security Theater!!! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400663)

No. They will either A) wait until some major government site gets hacked or B) stage a fake 'cyber attack' on U.S. government infrastructure, and when everyone and their mother is inconvenienced or hurt in some way, then they'll ask for new laws. Which The U.S. populace will be all too willing to submit to.

Sound familiar?

how is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25399973)

If this is news to you then you need to wake-up.

They're threatening cybers? (4, Funny)

KeithIrwin (243301) | more than 5 years ago | (#25399987)

Threats against cybers? Uh-oh. I've been cybering all morning. Heck, I even did cam to cam once. No global sweepers have threatened me yet, but now I'm scared. I hope they don't hurt me.

Re:They're threatening cybers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400437)

Newsflash: Slashdotter moves out of his mother's basement to some stranger's attic.

Cybers? (4, Funny)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400039)

Since when is it the FBI's mandate to protect online sex chatting?

Re:Cybers? (2)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400375)

it's part of their two-pronged attack against child exploitation.

They will watch you cyber to assure there are no children involved, but assure protections so others don't watch you cyber.

I hope your fetishes involve spectators : )

What... (4, Insightful)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400045)

...an abundant interview:

. While he refused to provide country-specific details[...]

He then hinted that an announcement[...]

Henry would not comment in detail[...]

He shied away from commenting[...]

Split... yo... com... bet... sub... com... (-1, Flamebait)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400423)

...ting ..ur ...ment ...ween ...ject ...ment sucks. Don't ever do that. Splitting your sentence in half and displaying it in seperate text elements is just as annoying as if someone had taken the time to split each word in the sentence and spread that amongst several text elements. In short, just don't do what you just did. Ever. Again.

No duh... (3, Informative)

cavis (1283146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400059)

So a newly appointed government official announces something that we in the network world have known for years and suddenly it is news? I think that anyone who has any amount of experience in computers would know this by now. If I had a dollar for every attack on my network from Asia, I'd take us all to lunch.

Cybersecurity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400061)

I guess that's what the turboterrorists and hyperextremists are superthreatening to megaattack and ultrasuperdestabilize with their megaultrasupercyberweapons.

Easier from the inside (1)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400101)

"the United States has had incredible success fostering overseas partnerships." Of course they have. If you are friends and are given access to the US networks you don't have to hack. Far easier to shake a hand in a photo than it is to wait for a ssh keygen to work.

Incredible Success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400117)

United States has had incredible success fostering overseas partnerships.

Ha ha! Aaaaahahaha! Heh. Heh... What?

cyberman (-1, Offtopic)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400133)

cyberman, cyberman
does whatever a cyber can

oblig (-1, Offtopic)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400317)

Spiderpig, Spiderpig,
Does what ever a spiderpig does.
Can he swing, from a web?
No he cant, he's a pig.
Look out, he is a spiderpig

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402467)

rofl, troll? wtf kind of moderating are we getting these days?

well, he would say that - wouldn't he? (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400169)

what's the point of having a cyber-tzar if he (or she) is then going to turn around and tell you everything's fine?

Of course he will talk up the threat - that's his job. Since there's no way that these intangibles can ever be measured, he's on pretty secure ground too. If no threats materialise it's because of his vigilance and the skill of his team - not because there were never any real threats to begin with.

If a threat does turn into a real attack - well, he needs more money, powers and curtailed freedoms to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Re:well, he would say that - wouldn't he? (2, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400339)

I'm going to go cry in a corner because of how absolutely right you are and how horribly depressing that is. The last line in particular pretty much sums up the last 7 years.

Re:well, he would say that - wouldn't he? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400479)

Since there's no way that these intangibles can ever be measured..

What are you talking about?

Don't you know the recording, software, and film industries lose hundreds of billions of trillions of dollars a year to p2p piracy?!!

These things CAN be measured.. why just recently the chairman of the fed said a mere 700 billion dollars would fill the potholes in our credit industry!

(for the million /whooshes about to happen .. /sarcasm)

Re:well, he would say that - wouldn't he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400703)

BINGO. In other news, the chief of drug prohibition reports that government needs another $10 billion to fight recreational drug use. While shockingly, the chief of agriculture unveals the immediate threat of food shortage which can be neatly solved by passing another few bilion through his hands?

Let's call a spade a spade here. The people at the top of the power pyramid will always call for more government: more revenue, more power over the people, more military bases overseas, more control -- more business for them at the expense of you and me.

How long is it going to take before people realize (or admit) that government works in self-interest, not "for the people" as they endlessly claim? How long is it going to take for people to realize that what is good for the business of government is nearly always bad for freedom and individual rights?

Job Security 101 (3, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400199)

There is no doubt there are bad people that would like to do bad things to others in the world, but why anyone takes this kind of propaganda seriously is beyond me.

It's more than likely the amount of funding he gets is directly proportional to the amount of fear mongering produced.

Re:Job Security 101 (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400539)

There is no doubt there are bad people that would like to do bad things to others in the world, but why anyone takes this kind of propaganda seriously is beyond me.

It's more than likely the amount of funding he gets is directly proportional to the amount of fear mongering produced.

Not to mention, that "of course" this means that the only way to be "safe" is to increase the size and police power of government. Why, that's always the solution now that you've had problem and reaction! When we all learn the goose step, just think of how incredibly wonderfully SAFE we'll all be!

What you all just said... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400201)

FBI Cyber Division Chief says other countries are trying to hack in to their systems.. if we disband the government we won't have any threat!

We win both ways.. we don't have the paranoid threat of having to deal with terrorists attacking "our government", nor do we have to worry about "our government" attacking us... again.

USAF Cyber-Command Demoted Relation (4, Informative)

jznomad (1007829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400251)

http://defensesystems.com/Articles/2008/10/Air-Force-demotes-Cyberspace-Command.aspx [defensesystems.com] The Air Force announced last week that it has backed off even further from its grand plan to establish a cyberspace command as the military entity primarily responsible for securing and conducting offensive operations in cyberspace. The Air Force launched a provisional Cyberspace Command more than a year ago and scheduled a formal command launch for Oct. 1. However, officials delayed that effort after the departures of Air Force Chief of Staff T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, who were fired for incidents involving the mishandling of nuclear detonators and weapons.

Re:USAF Cyber-Command Demoted Relation (1)

jznomad (1007829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400449)

Also: http://www.fcw.com/online/news/154063-1.html [fcw.com] The government officially has begun to formulate a national research and development agenda for âoegame-changing ideas" as part of the multiyear, multibillion-dollar, governmentwide effort to secure cyberspace through the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI).

Re:USAF Cyber-Command Demoted Relation (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400669)

he Air Force announced last week that it has backed off even further from its grand plan to establish a cyberspace command as the military entity primarily responsible for securing and conducting offensive operations in cyberspace.

The real reason they "delayed" that effort is because some twenty-something Captain told the old fogeys that the "space" term in "cyberspace" didn't mean what they thought it meant. They are now working on an "All your Space belong to us" concept - but it's taking a bit longer than planned.

Was this followed by a request for more money? (2, Insightful)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400253)

Nice way to get more budget, "OMG the terrorists are going to control our nukes from their iPhones!!!11!! You must give us lot of money to protect you".

I know there are threats, and I know that a lot needs to be done about them, but this kind of scaremongering is getting boring after nearly a decade.

This is a real problem, there is no need to exaggerate it. You use unsupported hyperbole at your peril, after a while no-one will take you seriously. Especially now, when budgets are under so much scrutiny.

In many ways these financial problems could be great for civil liberties, constructing a surveillance society costs real money. Just take a look at the UK ID scheme, it will cost billions.

Danger! Danger! (-1, Offtopic)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400309)

We need a complete database of everyone! [today.com] Just to make sure!

Oh, of course we'll run it on Windows. It's incredibly secure, and no-one ever got fired for buying Microsoft!

LOOK OVER THERE! TERRORISTS!!

mod parent spam (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400481)

David, you need to stop spamming your blog on slashdot. You've been doing it every day, and you're not adding value to slashdot's discussions. Your comments are just blatant ads for your blog. What would you think if everybody started spamming their blogs in comments all over slashdot? What you're doing degrades the commons - our commons. So, please, stop. Okay?

Just come out and say it. (1, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400351)

China is at the top of the list of countries that want to see us thrown on the trash heap of history. Feel better now? The biggest threat we face, practically speaking, is from people on our own soil.

One of the major problems we face is Chinese nationals who are now "citizens" (quotes used to denote legal status with no inner patriotism) of the United States. Some of our biggest security violations on classified and controlled technologies have come from people of Chinese descent who have basically retained their loyalty to China, even though they carry citizenship.

What do we do about this? I think the answer is pretty clear. Most Chinese who become Americans are loyal, so the clear answer is to just leave them alone and viciously punish people who trade in controlled technologies to foreign governments. If we executed a few people who sold classified warplane technology to foreign governments, it might make the filthy lucre their governments are offering look nowhere near as enticing.

Most Americans just don't get that in much of the world, ethnicity actually means something pretty profound to the average person. It's one of biggest reasons why people on our own soil betray our trust to foreign governments. The only way we can override that in most cases is to stop being so limp-wristed toward people who break our espionage and export laws, and start seriously ruining the lives of people who break these laws.

The beauty of a deterrence policy based on the certainty that betraying any technology classified Secret or higher will carry at least life in prison without parole, is that it will make preventative surveillance less necessary.

Re:Just come out and say it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400463)

Someone finally gets it! Thank you!

Re:Just come out and say it. (0, Troll)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400543)

in much of the world, ethnicity actually means something pretty profound to the average person. It's one of biggest reasons why people on our own soil betray our trust to foreign governments

So, David Duke posts on Slashdot?

Skin colour aside, consider that recent immigrants quite likely have close family members back in the old country, where they can be rewarded, or punished, depending on the immigrants' response to appeals from their original government.

Re:Just come out and say it. (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400991)

The "worst" part about free societies is that it isn't always easy being a citizen of one. The "easier" it gets the less free the society.

You've got to be willing to take a blow, usually the first one, and not overreact.

You've got to let the rights that protect you protect the people you hate.

Strength is not going medieval on someone who hurt you.

And thank you for reminding me what a scary word loyalty truly is.

Re:Just come out and say it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25401771)

So which country are you spying for?

Re:Just come out and say it. (1)

piemcfly (1232770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401845)

China is at the top of the list of countries that want to see us thrown on the trash heap of history

Can we please stop telling the Chinese how much they hate the USA, before they actually start to believe it themselves?

FUD (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400385)

Anyone who has trouble explaining exactly what "FUD" is to a parent or whatnot should just send them to this tidbit - it's about as clear-cut an example of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt that I've ever seen...

Maybe they're vulnerable (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400459)

I'm sure there's hackers trying to break in to the FBI's computing system all the time, it's just now it's probably gotten so easy and there are so many holes and loose ends to tie up with security, and even if there are people who know what they're doing there, there is no real grand plan for their computer system or security and nobobdy knows how to bring it all together. They're probably also concerned with illegally hacking into other nations' computers and our own. Why should we care about what's wrong with their security (I mean, there are a few things we want to know as well), and how could they even fix it anyway?

Re:Maybe they're vulnerable (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25402017)

If the FBI had a system to access, you would not see it on the internet, it would be a separate fiber line, which only certain field agents would have the tools to access. We are talking about national security, they would not take a chance on putting their network accessible over the internet

The penalty for threatening cybers (4, Funny)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400515)

You are inferior. Man will be reborn as Cybermen, but you will perish under maximum deletion. Delete, delete, delete, DELETE!

Title Misprint - They Mean Cybrans (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400571)

What they ment to say was that any US Cybrans would be at risk. If you are Aeon or UEF, you have nothing to worry about.

Carry on Supreme Commander!

Monkeys should have not computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400699)

They are not Christians, and the Iternete belongs to GOD. Jesurs!

Control Data? (1)

skabob (826380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400841)

Sheesh, I didn't know there were that many CDC Cybers out there still in use to cause panic.

I'm nervous that he would mention corporate nets (4, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25400859)

The implication of a government person saying we have a problem, is that the government should do something about it. And for the military and other government networks, that's fine.

But why do we ("we" being the government) need to do anything to protect corporate (or any other private) computers? The owner/operators of computers can protect them on their own. Just stop running foreign code.

This isn't like physical security, where, say, IBM can't (and shouldn't have the means) to protect themselves from nuclear ICBM attack. It makes sense to put government in charge of securing the country against certain threats, and that job (if stated broadly enough) is arguably the only reason we need government to exist at all. But cyber-security isn't one of those situations, because individuals and groups can protect themselves, without putting anyone else at risk.

Re:I'm nervous that he would mention corporate net (4, Informative)

Thorizdin (456032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401953)

The implication of a government person saying we have a problem, is that the government should do something about it. And for the military and other government networks, that's fine.

But why do we ("we" being the government) need to do anything to protect corporate (or any other private) computers? The owner/operators of computers can protect them on their own. Just stop running foreign code.

This isn't like physical security, where, say, IBM can't (and shouldn't have the means) to protect themselves from nuclear ICBM attack. It makes sense to put government in charge of securing the country against certain threats, and that job (if stated broadly enough) is arguably the only reason we need government to exist at all. But cyber-security isn't one of those situations, because individuals and groups can protect themselves, without putting anyone else at risk.

If you're premise was correct your position would have some merit, but because you're probably thinking very narrowly about the problem you've missed some very big issues.

First, much of our infrastructure is run by private companies. Think about how effective inter agency communication isn't when phones and cell phones don't work (think Katrina and 9-11). Our utilities are almost completely under private control and that includes nuclear reactors, dams, and the electrical grid. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission sets standards for security, but computer systems and security (both virtual and real) are all handled by private companies, most often contractors.

Second, even non-infrastructure companies can be hugely disruptive. Think what could happen if someone gained control over the automated systems that report on the prices of stocks, commodities, bonds, and other financial mechanisms. Creating a run on a bank, Wall Street, or a huge fluctuations in the value of the Dollar would be trivial if someone just had access for a short time period. If someone had undetected access and a more subtle mindset the damage could be both much longer term and much worse.

Finally, even companies and organizations that don't control infrastructure or financial systems can have a huge impact if their systems are compromised. Your example of IBM's being able to protect themselves without risk to others is also critically flawed. Last year IBM did $1.43 billion in consulting work for the US government. (1.4% of total 2007 revenue) You don't suppose that in that some of the work is classified? I know some of it is and further, given continued access, I could see the new stuff as the contracts are awarded to Big Blue. This also ignores the disruption that they could create because they are a well trusted ASN on the Internet. The sheer number of workstations and servers they have would also make them attractive to operate as part of a bot net.

In short, there are lots of ways that any large company can hurt the rest of us if they aren't responsible with their security. Now, I'm not buying into the idea that the government being responsible for everyone's network security, they couldn't if they wanted to, but right now network security is something that a lot of companies haven't taken seriously and they _can_ harm us with their negligence.

Re:I'm nervous that he would mention corporate net (2, Interesting)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25402437)

Your example of IBM's being able to protect themselves without risk to others is also critically flawed. Last year IBM did $1.43 billion in consulting work for the US government. (1.4% of total 2007 revenue) You don't suppose that in that some of the work is classified? I know some of it is and further, given continued access, I could see the new stuff as the contracts are awarded to Big Blue.

Fair enough on that. I'm ok with government demanding authority (or certain standards) over private computer security as a term in government contracts. As long as someone can Just Say No (i.e. don't take the lucrative government business) then surrendering this power isn't hurting anyone.

Infrastructure that is already high-regulated, most of which has some sort of monopoly given by government? Hmm.. ok there too, for the same reason.

Re:I'm nervous that he would mention corporate net (2, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25402593)

much of our infrastructure is run by private companies.

So, basically privatization leads to nationalization?
Interesting.

I'm afraid of China... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25400979)

.. they seem to be trying really hard to do these things. If you are not afraid of a possible Chinese invasion, just come to Vancouver and you will see it with your own eyes.

Cyber Division (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25401345)

Stay tuned for FBI: Cyber Division - coming this fall to FOX.

The biggest to the U.S. is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25401475)

this criminal [whitehouse.org] .

Cordially,

ÐsÐÐÐÐ¾Ñ ÐÑÐÑfÑ
Slashdot needs to accept other alphabets. Morons.

Well, DUH... (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25401743)

I'm sure most-if-not-all want to. Russia's still ticked at us for sending them semis that failed and blew up a pipeline of theirs, so I hear. And with the money that flows around Washington, churned by self-important Congressmen, why doesn't *everyone* get in there and get there fill?

One more time: Why is this news?

zOMG!!!1!!!one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402123)

You mean to tell me that somewhere in the world there are nations that aren't fond of America?! This is big news; we'd better firewall the cybers with extra Norton's or they're likely to steal all of our webs.

Countries? (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25402367)

First worry about individuals and groups of individuals, that are already doing some damage. Worms, spam, virus, botnets, exploiting vulnerabilities, social engineering, phishing... you dont need to have a country's government behind those threats.

And part of the solution is not "attacking", but defending having things right in your side. Detect infected and vulnerable sites and pcs and warn/educate owners/vendors about that, as they are the perfect source for i.e. a big DDos or other kind of attacks. That US is the biggest source of spam and probably botnet activity of the world is a good warning sign.

More scareware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25402913)

was wondering when we'd get our daily dose. please pass it down, i'm starting to feel a little better about things and don't really want to....

the FBI has discovered "D'OH!" (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25403543)

or maybe "duh."

enemies who want to get you in the weak points. who woulda thought it?

any bilged-out 2nd lieutanant would appear to be smarter than the head of cyber security in this regard, since the military academies exist to study this stuff. and the first place to start is not to put critical systems on the web, maybe, you think?

this fella probably wants to go back to tubes to avoid EMP.

worry more about feds then hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25403781)

Fu*k the FEDS! There the Evil ones. There doing more damage to the USA then any other foreign nation, or hacker. Asswipes.

I say go ahead.. (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25403803)

Soo people want to Hack the government, alright.. well your chief of the FBI, you better get on that.. why would I care if they want to hack the FBI.

If I were president I would send every FBI, DHS, CIA, NSA, TSA, and DEA agent in America to guard ANWR Alaska against "terrorism".

Maybe some good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25404269)

Maybe we should let these "hackers" do their best, after all, what's the worst they could do? Fix our government? I don't see how they can do anymore damage then has already been done!

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