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Online Attack Hits US Government Web Sites

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the world-war-three-point-oh dept.

Security 199

angry tapir writes "A botnet composed of about 50,000 infected computers has been waging a war against US government Web sites and causing headaches for businesses in the US and South Korea. The attack started Saturday, and security experts have credited it with knocking the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) web site offline for parts of Monday and Tuesday. Several other government Web sites have also been targeted, including the Department of Transportation."

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blame China (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621275)

ok let's blame China now for this.

Re:blame China (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621335)

Or perhaps DPRK? They're annoyed with both of the target countries lately.

Welcome to Niggerbuntu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621577)

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should "Just Work", even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. The OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD. It also features the packaging manager apeghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom to run, copy, steal, distribute, share, change the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer!

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world. The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way: "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that others species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie." We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

Re:Welcome to Niggerbuntu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621851)

Is this sh*t really called for?

Re:Welcome to Niggerbuntu (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622771)

Yes, it is. What would Slashdot be without some racist troll spam in or near the first post?

Re:blame China (5, Insightful)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621363)

ok let's blame China now for this.

Let's not. See what offends me about this whole thing is that it's so obivious. If they'd just targeted America, it could have been anyone. But 'whoever' it was had to go and hit South Korea too, at the same time. Who hates both the US and South Korea?

By the way, don't say "Chinese Plot", they have nothing to gain from upping tensions at this point. They've been trying to bring the North Koreans into negotiations and they too have issued denounciations against NK by this point. Iran's official line is that the UK is mostly responsible for their problems, they have little to gain from doing something to the Americans and the Russians were just recently in negotiations with Obama that appear to have gone well.

Re:blame China (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621609)

What always bugs me with these "cyberwar" news is that people try to put one country as responsible for them, and its always China or Russia or one of the other "bad guys". Like parent post said, their goverments have no reason to do something like DDOS attacks against US. Who's to say its not just some individual who either is pissed at US/South Korea or has such political views, or does so for whatever reason? Stop blaming countries as a whole if you dont know it.

Re:blame China (3, Insightful)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621803)

What always bugs me with these "cyberwar" news is that people try to put one country as responsible for them, and its always China or Russia or one of the other "bad guys". Like parent post said, their goverments have no reason to do something like DDOS attacks against US. Who's to say its not just some individual who either is pissed at US/South Korea or has such political views, or does so for whatever reason? Stop blaming countries as a whole if you dont know it.

But there's two things that are important here..

1. An individual would have to be VERY motivated to attack two countries at once. Especially if those countries are the US and South Korea. The only thing that makes them unique is that they're at war with North Korea. We also know for a fact that the North Korean citizen does not have internet access from reporters inside the country, in fact posessing a device that can access the outside is punishable by death there so it can't have been a NK citizen acting alone. Assuming it was just one citizen from another country they would have to be very dedicated to perform what is basically a military strike against a foreign power. Prepared to risk death to frame North Korea; that would be a very unique combination and it makes little sense.

2. North Korea has recently been upping it's cyberwar capability enough for it to show up in overseas media. They only recently sent teams to participate in international hacking challanges and appear to have done well in them. One of the main reasons I instantly suspected NK is because of this.

So my personal suspicion is based on the fact that they've recently been working hard to build up their capability in this field despite having no internet connectivity for the average citizen and then all of a sudden a cyber strike hits North Korea's enemies at the same time they're conducting missile tests in contravention of UN sanctions.

Re:blame China (2, Interesting)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621963)

An individual would have to be VERY motivated to attack two countries at once.

The point of a botnet is they don't have to be very motivated at all. Just bored. Having a list of IP numbers or URLs that includes 2 countries is *not* difficult.

Re:blame China (2, Interesting)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622031)

The point of a botnet is they don't have to be very motivated at all. Just bored. Having a list of IP numbers or URLs that includes 2 countries is *not* difficult.

I mean there's a high probability (50%+) that they will spend the rest of their lives inside a prison. Targeting a foreign country's military infastructure is no small thing and their home country is unlikely to go to defend them from something like this. If they're smart enough to pull this off no doubt this would have occured to them as well. Remember the guy that infiltrated NASA got something like 20+ years and that wasn't even military critical, neither did he do damage.

Re:blame China (3, Insightful)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622283)

You think for one second that a bored hacker even thinks that far ahead?

And lets get some perceptive here. A few website went down for less than a day. Hardly an attack that anyone should care about. And not national security or military level either.

Really a DDOS attack like this, *is* a small thing.

Re:blame China (1, Interesting)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622353)

You think for one second that a bored hacker even thinks that far ahead? And lets get some perceptive here. A few website went down for less than a day. Hardly an attack that anyone should care about. And not national security or military level either. Really a DDOS attack like this, *is* a small thing.

I'm not disagreeing, it's entirely possible. I merely think it's unlikely. The scale of the attack does appear small, but the NASA example I used was nothing to care about, intent to attack matters.

Re:blame China (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622313)

It's IP ADDRESSES, not fucking IP NUMBERS.

purple monkey dishwasher

Re:blame China (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622641)

IP addresses used in attacks are usually Chinese or Russian. Furthermore, the malware found on hacked machines often uses Chinese or Russian characters.

It's a pretty good bet that the hackers themselves reside in those countries. We can't conclude that they are hacking at the request of their governments, but it wouldn't be surprising; those governments aren't doing much to stop the hacking (which would be easy to do using national firewalls).

Re:blame China (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621653)

Why does it have to be a country. What about some dirty hacker somewhere with nothing more than an axe to grind. Or perhaps he/she just doesn't like getting teased at school.

Its not fricken national emergency. Its just a botnet attack. Seriously what are the effects? Some website wasn't available all day? Sounds like just another day on the internet...

Re:blame China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621809)

dont be naive. Why would China try to bring NK to the table? They have nothing to gain from that! Of course they pretended, seeing how far the US goes.
The NK pressure clearly causes headaches for US, ergo its good for China.

Re:blame China (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621955)

dont be naive. Why would China try to bring NK to the table? They have nothing to gain from that! Of course they pretended, seeing how far the US goes. The NK pressure clearly causes headaches for US, ergo its good for China.

The Chinese fund something like 9/10th of NK's fuel and 8/10th of their consumer goods, they basically keep the country running and the word I've heard is because they want to both bolster communism in the world and because it buffers the incredibly rich incredibly capitalist South Korea from their borders. If the Americans finally snap and burn North Korea to the ground the Chinese are unlikely to go to bat for them, it's not worth it, the Americans owe them money and being seen to start wars is bad for business. The end result would be the ultra capitalist South right up against China's borders plus hundreds of thousands of North Korean refugees rushing into China.

Re:blame China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622579)

The Chicoms are not happy with what North Korea is doing. With North Korea getting nuclear weapons, this means that South Korea - and more importantly to the Chicoms - Japan AND TAIWAN will also do the same.

If hostilities resume, it would mean that China will have to deal with millions of illegal aliens coming from Noth Korea.

Rastillin (my sibling post), South Korea is much more socialistic than China is.

Re:blame China (1)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621835)

Let's not. See what offends me about this whole thing is that it's so obivious. If they'd just targeted America, it could have been anyone. But 'whoever' it was had to go and hit South Korea too, at the same time. Who hates both the US and South Korea?

It could be the Martians.

Re:blame China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622387)

Most likely caused by war mongers right there in the USA. Talk about a troll...

Re:blame China (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621877)

Well said. And might i add that we in the past used to blame Canada for all that's wrong. With their beady little eyes and flapping heads so full of lies.

Who hates both the US and South Korea? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622769)

Japan.

Granted, Japan from 60-70 years ago but still...
How would USA feel about someone dropping not one, but two nukes on them AND robbing them of say... Texas (Korea)?

Re:blame China (4, Informative)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621365)

No. They [timesonline.co.uk] are suspecting [telegraph.co.uk] North Korea [google.com]

Re:blame China (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621443)

It's patriotic North Koreans using their home computers! Wait...

Re:blame China (2, Funny)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621593)

No, it's the PFUWU-ML (People's Front of Unpatched Windows Users - Microsoft Legacy).

Re:blame China (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621729)

Splitters!

It's obviously the Unpatched Windows Users People's Front.

Re:blame China (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621921)

It was a communication problem between the botnet control servers. They just didn't get the update.

Counter attack (0, Troll)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621331)

The best defense is always a good offense. Why not launch an attack on North Korea? We have far more advanced technology and could probably cause more damage to them than they could cause to us. If we are crippling their systems, they won't be able to attack ours. I would love to see our government take off the gloves in the cyber world for a change rather than always invading everyone.

Re:Counter attack (0)

techhead79 (1517299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621395)

How do you declair a win in a cyberwar? When you crash a plane or when you have 911 services blocked for 24 hours? How about when the leader of the nation's e-mail is hacked and all their private e-mails regarding enlarging their penis is revealed to the world...

Re:Counter attack (2, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621711)

"Cyberwar" is a minor inconvenience, unless they DoS GPS and Satellite communications.

It's propaganda, PsyOp distraction from things that matter. If a bunch of government shovelware is unavailable for a few hours, really the folks who benefit are you and me. And the folks who thrive on theses "scares" by setting "Threat Levels".

You want to know what you should REALLY be worried about? Stuff like this:
http://colonelsabow.com/home.html [colonelsabow.com]

Re:Counter attack (0)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621843)

Cyberwar is more than just an inconvenience. Cyberwarfare is not limited to taking down networks and websites, it includes the infiltration of networks to gather intelligence. And also, "the folks who thrive on these 'scares by setting 'Threat Levels,'" are not setting those levels for the everyday American; it's the media who would like you to think that. Those threat levels are mostly for military and government agencies, as different threat levels imply different procedures in ensuring national security.

Re:Counter attack (2, Insightful)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621433)

The best defense is always a good offense. Why not launch an attack on North Korea? We have far more advanced technology and could probably cause more damage to them than they could cause to us. If we are crippling their systems, they won't be able to attack ours. I would love to see our government take off the gloves in the cyber world for a change rather than always invading everyone.

Since they started it, it would only be fair. However, there would definitely be some line about imperialist agression. Still, there's almost no chance they would escalate it to physical conflict. A shot above the bows would be nice for once. It might save us from having to drop the hammer when they finally go too far.

However, do they have enough internet connected infastructure to be worth hitting?

Re:Counter attack (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622107)

Do we really need government involvement? It seems to me that a few script kiddies with an attitude and a small botnet could return North Korea to its usual, Stone Age situation.

News that it was six tweens and a pet gerbil who brought North Korea to its metaphorical knees might make them think twice against pulling this kind of crap in the future.

Re:Counter attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622213)

what makes you think nk has anything of value on internet? nk (if it was them) could easily launch this from anywhere. setup could have happened over months. waves of such attacks could be staged easily with sacrificial botnets. it's not like there's a shortage of compromised or compromisable computers. infinite resources available for infinitesimal cost for use against finite and costly targets. very asymmetrical

Re:Counter attack (-1, Offtopic)

GeorgeStone22 (1532191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621447)

I had a dream last night where I was on an island, but it was actually North Korea. A great big US ship pulled up to it with a Saturn 5 rocket on the deck. Then NK shot 2 little artillery shells at the ship, they missed, but then the Saturn 5 launched and hit the island, to which it caused a nuclear explosion for some reason. Then me and my friends ran away from the blast, I hid behind a rock and my leg got burned a bit. Funny since the dream started with me driving a Ferrari.

Re:Counter attack (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622337)

Yep. That's a real dream. That's just how they go - especially the Ferrari bit.

Re:Counter attack (5, Insightful)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621449)

The reason the U.S. wouldn't attack North Korea in a cyber war is the same reason we wouldn't attack Iran. The internet is a far more powerful tool when it is use to sway opinion than it is to cripple systems.

Re:Counter attack (3, Insightful)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622053)

Other than Lil Kim's xbox, how much is there to attack?

Seriously, NK is dirt poor and supremely paranoid. It's not like their economy depends on the internet in any way.

And if you attack their military computers then you quickly escalate things to a very dangerous level.

Intensifying the conflict much? (1)

Vernes (720223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621475)

Every reaction will result in a counterreaction. And with each itteration, things enhance. Now it is some group of assholes. When you take this cyber asshattery into the realm of militairy warfare, you can nolonger stick it undert the label of web-security, it becomes a... war activity. Who would you attack? The zombied systems? Or just govermental systems of a nation who you PRESUME to be responsible for the attack? And then the counter attack is made officially by the USA militairy, not an anonymous group. Nobody wins... except the asshats behind the original attack.

Re:Intensifying the conflict much? (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621663)

Could always do what Russia does they recruit and help train them and supply them, but never officially support them however they pretty much sick them on people to have their way example with with Georgia.

Re:Intensifying the conflict much? (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622425)

Could always do what Russia does they recruit and help train them and supply them, but never officially support them however they pretty much sick them on people to have their way example with with Georgia.

That carries the same problems; people find out and the fallout comes back home sooner or later.

Re:Counter attack (1)

hnangelo (1098127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621491)

I don't think anyone should be attacked for being a suspect, it doesn't seem fair. But that's just me. Besides, just because the government does something (or have a certain position) doesn't mean their citizens share that opinion. It could have been the North Koreans, the Chinese or anyone not linked to a government, even in the USA itself.

Re:Counter attack (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621819)

I don't think anyone should be attacked for being a suspect, it doesn't seem fair.

Why not. It worked when we "suspected" Iraq of having WMDs?

Re:Counter attack (1)

hnangelo (1098127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622171)

That's true. But does North Korea have oil to be stolen err... I mean released from the evil dictator?

Re:Counter attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622293)

Nope, but they have nukes - funny that. Same for Pakistan - convenient not to attack countries that can strike back hard

Re:Counter attack (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621537)

You can't really win that war.

If you want to wage a "real" war for a "virtual" one, you can't win. Hell, NC is so beaten up, any bomb you drop there would only increase land value due to the increase of resources, whatever you might want to bomb is worth less than the bomb you drop on it.

And staying in virtual land... now, what virtual targets of NC do exist, anyway?

Re:Counter attack (1)

JesterUSCG (1371271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621637)

How said anything about Winning? How about we just crush the one or two systems they have... Just as a reminder, you know... We are the big kids here and this is our block. Step out of line and you get the "pimp hand". -- Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful, hate me cause I'm better than you!

Re:Counter attack (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621735)

Could I just hate you for being a bully?

Re:Counter attack (1)

JesterUSCG (1371271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621813)

Sure!

Re:Counter attack (1)

JesterUSCG (1371271) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622165)

Is it really being a bully if you pick the fight with me? I think its then my responsibility to remind you why it a bad idea to pick a fight with those who can blast you back to the stone age.... Just a thought.

Re:Counter attack (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621547)

Do you seriously think that North Korea has any significant systems exposed on public networks?

You could probably deface their Wikipedia entry, though. Go hog wild.

Re:Counter attack (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621683)

That's BS.
The best defense is invisibility to the possible attacker.

>We have far more advanced technology...
*COUGH*
Did you notice, you are being pounded by your own technology?
Like in BSG, the least 'advanced' battleship survived the first attack.

Re:Counter attack (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621689)

Can you say joe job? Also, the FTC website is down? OMG THE FTC WEBSITE IS DOWN!!!! Oh hang on, wait, ermm, world totally failing to collapse here. Can we stop calling this rubbish cyber warfare and call it a middling DoS attack, which is what it is? It's not war, it's pathetic. 4chan could probably do better than this.

Re:Counter attack (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621697)

Even if the gov't does nothing there will be some vigilante script kiddies that take up the fight and go after anything related to N. Korea... even if no proof the attacks originated from there is ever found.

Of course we could just blame Michael Jackon's funeral for the internet meltdown.

Irresponsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621873)

As suspicious as North Korea may be, with this incident, there is no proof that they are the culprits. Assuming that North Korea is behind it and acting accordingly could have disastrous results even if they are right. (Also see: Intensifying the conflict much)

Re:Counter attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622015)

So you're sure koreans did:
1- medium-scale attack of US cyber-infrastructure
2- ???
3- PROFIT!!!

There is a dozen other scenarios where this attack would benefit different entities than North Korea.

PS. Troll :D

Re:Counter attack (0)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622035)

Someone obviously needs to read my signature again.

Article missing other attack target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621413)

4chan has been down also

Internet Sovereignty (3, Interesting)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621503)

I'm just curious when or if rules are going to be put up about Internet sovereignty, so that an attack on a website is seen as an act of war.

I can totally see a situation where a US gov't website or economic hub (e.g. stock exchange servers) would get hit by a series of computers based out of N. Korea, the US declares war on N. Korea for violating US internet sovereignty, and the whole thing was a setup by a third party looking to create and exploit a power vacuum.

Maybe I've been reading too many NetForce novels, but the whole idea scares me, and I have the feeling that most people in America wouldn't understand why... particularly the people who make the laws about this kind of thing.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (3, Interesting)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621571)

I'm just curious when or if rules are going to be put up about Internet sovereignty, so that an attack on a website is seen as an act of war. I can totally see a situation where a US gov't website or economic hub (e.g. stock exchange servers) would get hit by a series of computers based out of N. Korea, the US declares war on N. Korea for violating US internet sovereignty, and the whole thing was a setup by a third party looking to create and exploit a power vacuum. Maybe I've been reading too many NetForce novels, but the whole idea scares me, and I have the feeling that most people in America wouldn't understand why... particularly the people who make the laws about this kind of thing.

What stops people doing that is the same thing that stops them doing it in the physical world. People have been trying to frame others for military attacks since the dawn of human history and the main deterrant is that if it backfires not only will the government become destabilized from within as people oppose the subterfuge but both involved nations with pile on it simultaneously.

Not to mention, even if they succeed, it will come back to haunt them at some later point after their intervention is discovered.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622151)

except that the reichstag fire worked, the gulf of tonkin worked, many others worked.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622475)

except that the reichstag fire worked, the gulf of tonkin worked, many others worked.

They do work, otherwise people would never do it. However when your country stands to suffer from the fallout, the risk/reward balance is heavily skewed. If it is a third party, eventually they will be found out. If they had succeeded in starting a war, the fallout would be crushing.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (1)

Minion of Eris (1574569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622743)

Hmmm. like the sinking of the Maine (Spanish American War), or the Gulf of Tonkin Incident actually bit anyone on the ass when those Black-Flag ops were exposed? or to bring it up again, the Iraqi WMDs that were going to be used against everybody?

Sadly the citizenry of the "advanced" world is far more concerned with American Idol and the next Survivor iteration than govenmental subterfuge. Shouldn't be, but it is.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621645)

That's actually an interesting brain teaser. On so many levels.

First, nothing's more trivial than to frame someone in such an attack. The computers participating are usually bots, the server is often a hacked box as well (and if not, you can rent one for little money), it's nothing you could easily trace to the source.

Second, will people understand why they should fight and possibly die for a virtual attack, people who don't use a computer and don't know the importance of the internet to modern commerce and military? Would your soldiers understand why they should fight a war so a few geeks can enjoy their net?

And let's ignore the ignorance in our political bodies about that matter, or it crosses into the surreal.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621861)

If China gave us clearance to attack North Korea, I would hope that we would start by blowing up the government (using air power). I think the people would get the idea pretty quickly, so I'm not sure a deadly ground war would follow.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (3, Insightful)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622233)

If China gave us clearance to attack North Korea, I would hope that we would start by blowing up the government (using air power). I think the people would get the idea pretty quickly, so I'm not sure a deadly ground war would follow.

Yes, because that worked so well in Iraq [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Internet Sovereignty (0, Flamebait)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622407)

There is little need for the U.S. to go into North Korea and establish a government (and we could just continue to bomb the shit out of any government we didn't like). If we did, we might even learn a lesson from Iraq and not bungle the shit out of the process. It is more likely that we would work with the Chinese and let the Chinese establish a government that they could live with. Maybe the South Koreans would also be involved.

Anyway, the fun thing about Shock and Awe was that it was restrained. I would suggest using less restraint in North Korea.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622281)

You mean how bombing the shit out of Pearl Harbor didn't precipitate the US entrance into the second world war? Aggressive action usually has the effect of galvanizing the populace against you, on top of that North Koreans have been taught since the end of the Korean War that the world, especially the US is out to get them, war just proves that.

Re:Internet Sovereignty (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622479)

The U.S. government was looking for an excuse to actively enter WWII. Pearl Harbor galvanized the people and then the Japanese had a problem on their hands (A huge, far away, resource independent, angry enemy).

The North Korean people might be really pissed off if the U.S. bombed their country, but after the military was demolished, there would barely be any resources with which they could do anything.

Aiding and abetting? (1, Troll)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621533)

Whenever some whacko grabs a gun and kills a bunch of people, the hew and cry is for "gun control". When someone takes a computer and attacks government sites, and other important infrastructural servers, where is the cry for "Computer control?"

Why are people who harbor botnets not as guilty as those who harbor criminal and terrorists? If you let someone use your garage to store gasoline/petrol for Molotov Cocktails, you'd be arrested.

What was the OS and browser of the botnetted collaborators? Wouldn't it be fun if the FBI knocked on the doors of those whose machines were "hijacked*" and brought their computers in for questioning?


*I use the phrase 'hijacked' loosely. If a person leaves the car running, the keys in the ignition and the windows down (pun intended), can they say that their car was 'stolen'?

Re:Aiding and abetting? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621731)

There is no Computer license to revoke, no background checks for suitability. There certainly should be.

The petrol in my garage is for my mower and my motorcycle. If someone uses it for another use by breaking into my garage and stealing it, that's their problem.

Yes, you can report it stolen, but don't expect an insurance payout.

:)

Re:Aiding and abetting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621811)

*I use the phrase 'hijacked' loosely. If a person leaves the car running, the keys in the ignition and the windows down (pun intended), can they say that their car was 'stolen'?

Yes, that person can still say their car was stolen. Regardless of what condition it is left in, if my car is in my garage one minute and it isn't the next, it was stolen, even if I left it on.

Re:Aiding and abetting? (2, Interesting)

Marnhinn (310256) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622045)

So, normally I would agree with you hands down, however, I think the issue is that many people are unaware that their computers are being used for malicious purposes.

Case in point: recently I visited a friend of mine to take a look at his computer. He was complaining it was running slow. A quick check showed multiple viruses on his machine. I asked him how long it had been that way, and his response was, "a few months".

The thing is, by far and large a significant portion of the population is more than likely unaware of what a botnet is, let alone possess the ability to diagnose when their computer has been infected. This is quite different then say, a harboring a bomb maker, as most people (hopefully) would be aware that the guy building bombs in their garage is bad news.

Further, this issue is complicated that the attacks may be motivated politically but carried out by private individuals. If a connection is found, say possibly even a direct link, how is a government supposed to react. Does this qualify as an act of war, espionage, or state sponsored terror attack?

It becomes a sticky issue whenever states are involved, simply due to the politics behind it. If it was soley an attack on a private enterprise, by some general criminal, I would simply recommend getting the cooperation of the government that is harboring / serving as a base of operations for the person / people behind the botnet and having it resolved that way. (Now, I do realize that there are many rogue nations or places that are willing to harbor these types of people, so in reality, a different solution is more than likely needed.)

Re:Aiding and abetting? (2, Insightful)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622347)

Yes you can say the car was stolen. There are parts of the country that don't lock their doors and leave keys in there ignition. Thats a good thing, it says people are relatively honest in those parts. Should you suddenly be an accomplis a theft if someone steals your car. I think not unless you hand them the key and say steal it. And no leaving your keys in the ignition is Not handing to them, its showing some amount of trust. That justification is a spin done by theives to justify their actions. Well they left the door open so they were handing my their silverware, or she did not have a chastity belt on so its her fault. All that is spin and should be avoided. Computers that come off the shelf in stores should not be hijacked. Consumers should not be responsible for someone coming into their home and stealing use of their computers. Its a crime, and should be thought of as such and systems should be strengthened for protection and investigation and prosecutions done to find and punish this type of crime.

Re:Aiding and abetting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622797)

You know damned well that this is a Windows botnet running on Windows machines.

If a person can only buy a car with keyless ignition, no windows or locks can they say that their car was stolen?

Why isn't Microsoft being held accountable for this sad state of affairs? IE is a joke; I have worked on no less than 6 machines over the past year that were hijacked by simple drive-by downloads, i.e. simply viewing a malicious web-site caused the machine to be infected. All were patched and current.

Just thinking theoretically here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621553)

How much connectivity does NK have? How hard would it be to just cut them off for a day and see if all the attacks cease? It's not like NK wants anyone other than the military to have access to any information anyway. I don't think a severed backbone would inconvenience the general population in the slightest.

Re:Just thinking theoretically here... (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622061)

Are you proposing a few dropped anchors accross international cables?

Re:Just thinking theoretically here... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622615)

You plan to drop anchors on cables that cross from North Korea into China?

Brilliant insight - yet used wrong... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622575)

What on Earth gave you the idea that it was North Korea that did it?
As you have so insightfully put it "How much connectivity does NK have?".

Japan on the other hand has a lot more connectivity, and a huge bone to pick with both US and SC.
Or how about China? India? Germany? Vatican?

Even if the botnet CAME from a particular country, with each attack being accompanied by spamming of the mailboxes around the world with the .mp3s of the national anthem of the particular country - that is still NOT EVIDENCE that said country had anything to do with it.
It could all be work of a drunk Australian hacker for all we know.

Re:Brilliant insight - yet used wrong... (2, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622735)

> As you have so insightfully put it "How much connectivity does NK have?"

That's irrelevant. The bots are not in North Korea and the goverment behind the attack could communicate with the controllers (who could be anywhwere) via short-wave radio. The attacker may not even have created the botnet: they may have purchased it on the open market.

I agree that there is no direct evidence of North Korean involvement, though.

Re:Just thinking theoretically here... (1)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622715)

If they're using a botnet to carry out the attack there is no guarantee that any of the computers are even in NK. Cutting off NK's connectivity would likely have little to no impact.

Re:Just thinking theoretically here... (1)

dimension6 (558538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622793)

I was thinking the same thing, but considering NK's lengthy border with China and shorter one with Russia, the odds of cutting all the cables (let alone getting permission from China and Russia!) are slim.

South Park Obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28621621)

US General: Bring me Bill Gates

(Bill Gates walks in)

US General: YOU TOLD US WINDOWS WOULD BE FASTER AND MORE SECURE WITH BETTER ACCESS TO THE INTERNET!!!

Bill Gates: It is more secure, over five million ti

(US General pulls out a gun and shoots him in the head. Gates falls to the floor, dead)

Who Cares? (4, Insightful)

VoxMagis (1036530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621727)

I'm sorry, but if this has nothing to do with Michael Jackson, apparently no one cares.

US Government websites attacked... (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621743)

US Government websites attacked... but slashdot is OK so what the heck.

Re:US Government websites attacked... (2, Insightful)

RileyBryan (1475681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622601)

An attack on Slashdot would be an attack on precisely the wrong demographic: the ones who are capable of defending themselves.

Official North Korean Reply - (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621887)

These aren't the bots you are looking for. You can go about your business

I blame Blizzard (2, Funny)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621909)

Seriously, if SC2 were out already those Asian tweens would have something else to keep them busy.

How do you know they went down? (4, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621939)

Honestly, when was the last time you went to ftc.gov [ftc.gov] ? Nobody goes to those sites...

Now if google [google.com] , wiki [wikipedia.org] , or itunes [apple.com] goes down, then PANIC!

Down for Maintenance (1)

xdor (1218206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621971)

Its the July 4th weekend. They were probably down for maintenance and it took longer than expected.
What would you tell your PHB?

Pull the Gdamn plug! (3, Informative)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 5 years ago | (#28621979)

All that is required is to pull the damn plug on these bots. Each of these machines has and IP address which it advertises every time it makes an attack. That's right folks: The return IP address is part of the header. You can't route packets without this information.

These feral packets _ALSO_ come into the ISP's routers. It is easy to identify them. Uninfected machines don't normally sit there and hammer away at port Blah. Some of the worst ports are 80 (html), 25 (mail) and 22 (SSH).

One really needs to only look at the ports that the botnet tries to exploit.

A simple solution is to pull the plug. A solution which is slightly more difficult is to block the ports the botnet is trying to attack on and then redirect any web access to a banner page advising the owner their machine is cracked and what to do about it... or a tech could phone the client.

_any_ ISP can do this. If they don't do it then they don't want to. As for consumer rights - crap! Its the ISP's which write the Terms of Service. They can put pretty much any terms they want providing said terms are considered reasonable. The public will probably not object. Spammers might however but then who cares if they can't find an uplink.

So the first place to start is at the ISP level.

Next: I've blocked botnets of more than 50,000 machines. I use OpenBSD on the webservers and on the firewalls. Its not that hard to do. Pf can easily handle this. If the server admins over at the "US Government Web Sites" can't handle this then IMHO they are incompetent. If reference, here is an example of how to block these bots in PF:

  pfctl -t spammers -T add 190.174.220.241
  pfctl -t spammers -T add 67.10.200.220
  pfctl -t spammers -T add 125.161.37.199
  pfctl -t spammers -T add 71.218.209.198
  pfctl -t spammers -T add 202.28.120.19

This is a shell script BTW. extracting the list of bots can be done by scanning the appropriate logs.

Re:Pull the Gdamn plug! (3, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622225)

Although this might help against some types of denial of service attempt where they're making your machine work harder by servicing what look to be legitimate requests, it does not help against attempts at network saturation from incoming packets unless you can block it at the upstream router.

Re:Pull the Gdamn plug! (1)

xdor (1218206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622461)

Yeah, but what if I flood your sight with custom headers that make your little script block mission critical sites? Your black list would be your own undoing.

Re:Pull the Gdamn plug! (5, Informative)

kybred (795293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622809)

Each of these machines has and IP address which it advertises every time it makes an attack. That's right folks: The return IP address is part of the header. You can't route packets without this information.

Not necessarily. For SYN flood [wikipedia.org] the src address can be spoofed, since the attacker doesn't care if he gets the SYN-ACK.

What the ISPs could do for this is to filter outbound traffic such that if the src IP is not on their network (i.e., is spoofed) the packet is dropped.

stating the obvious... (1)

pig-power (1069288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622049)

Government website?
"and nothing of any value was lost"

Infosec (1)

NES HQ (1558029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622351)

Perhaps folks will take Infosec more seriously given the regularity with which we see these headlines?

I am concerned that a sizable government department can't repel attacks from - allegedly - North Korea.

Shit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622437)

Sorry about the attack guys, tripped on a bag of dorrities and hit the wrong button. My bad.

system check method (1)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622447)


They mentioned that there is a botnet of about 50000 computers that are infected which composed the attack.
It would be helpful if they provided a method for users to check to make sure that their systems are not part of this.

Skynet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28622643)

Skynet is online....

Internet Sanctions (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28622787)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but to me it seems like a perfect solution. Warn a country with an official statement and 24hrs response required. Deploy autonomous cable cutting vehicles, then (if necessary) press the cut cable button at 24:00.01. If you want your computers to talk to our computers on the network we invented; you get to play by our rules or you don't get to play at all.
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