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There Is No Cyberwar

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the because-i-say-so dept.

Government 149

crowfeather notes an interview with cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt that Wired's Threat Level conducted this week. "Howard Schmidt, the new cybersecurity czar for the Obama administration, has a short answer for the drumbeat of rhetoric claiming the United States is caught up in a cyberwar that it is losing. 'There is no cyberwar,' Schmidt told Wired.com in a sit-down interview Wednesday at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco. 'I think that is a terrible metaphor and I think that is a terrible concept,' Schmidt said. 'There are no winners in that environment.' Instead, Schmidt said the government needs to focus its cybersecurity efforts to fight online crime and espionage. His stance contradicts Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence who made headlines last week when he testified to Congress that the country was already in the midst of a cyberwar — and was losing it. ... There's been much ink spilled in recent years over the turf battles in D.C. over whether the NSA (representing the military) or DHS (on the civilian side) takes the lead role in cybersecurity. But... "I haven't seen that tension," Schmidt said. As for which will take the cybersecurity lead, Schmidt simply says it's a shared effort."

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All this cyberwar bullshit (4, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371270)

I have actually always wondered about this. I remember how we had to write a school subject about "chinese superhackers" newspaper article in the early 2000's. The Google thing was also showed off to be a work of amateurs, not some Chinese superhackers working for their government. For me it just starts to look like trying to put fear into people for whatever personal reason. "Chinese hackers working for their country to break into US systems" sure sounds cool and creates fear in people, but is there any actual truth behind it? As it is now it's almost like cold war carried over to new technological area. It also looks to be a common thing here on slashdot too - without actually even questioning if theres any truth behind it.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (4, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371310)

Chinese hackers are indistinguishable from Chinese bored teenagers. Or American bored teenagers. Seriously, who cares where they come from?

Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371576)

You've just given me an idea for Teenager Top Trumps.

Player1: Average fat +40kg
Player2: Average fat -30kg ...Awww

Player 1: Erm, Indoctrination 500
Player 2: Indoctrination 9000+
Woot!

Re:Thanks (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371864)

Are you suggesting Chinese are fat?

Re:Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372142)

I think the idea is that player 1 is the American hacker and player 2 the Chinese one.

Re:Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372742)

Woosh!

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372072)

They do. Zee Internet Hackers are in your PC and in order to make you safe they need to monitor your connections. Of course providing them with your personal information will make the whole procedure way safer for you. They are going to ass rape you, without taking you to diner first.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372324)

For sure, when crimes are investigated, the investigation should focus first on the activity (is is a crime?), then on motive (boredom, profit, revenge, political?), then on who. You can't start by assuming a who, that would be profiling. and since cyberwar and other cybercrime use similar tactics, you can't investigate one without simultaneously investigating the other.

In another thread, someone here suggested Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, about what us old timers would call civil disobedience. At the end, other books on the subject are recommended including one I had't read since my teen years, Steal this Book, by Abbie Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman doesn't mention cyberwar or cybercrime, but his comment on real world crimes can be reconsidered in light of our current technology and politics.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372438)

The coined term "cyberwar" is an abstraction. Like all abstractions, it's an imperfect model of a much more complex reality. It would be foolish to believe that capable nation states would not conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, and when conditions are favorable, offensive operations, and therefore defensive as well, in cyber-space as one would in any other physical medium (not that cyber-space is not physical -- it is). The same is true for criminality, organized certainly, but not exclusively, by demonstration, for example, here: http://www.ic3.gov/media/default.aspx [ic3.gov] . Why would one expect otherwise where there are risks and rewards in favorable ratios? So, offensive and defensive cyber-warfare is one very likely potential, if not an ongoing and evolving reality. So is cyber-crime. So are script kiddies. So are average people behaving typically well, badly, and all points in between in a complex environment. For policy makers, the challenge is in changing the risk to reward ratio. So, what is bullshit? Depends on your bullshit criteria and thresholds, I suppose.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371424)

If there's no "cyber-war", only online crime, what's in that for government?

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (2, Interesting)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372240)

possibly a lot of funding for the civil side (FBI) but not for the military side. Hence the power struggle over definitions.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371458)

No, not much. Just a bunch of massive cyber attacks on the U.S. government's websites.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberwarfare#History_of_attacks

Doesn't really matter if it's China behind any of it to call it a cyber war.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (2, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371590)

Ah a prime example:

In 1991, it was reported by somebody in the air force that a computer virus named AF/91 was created and was installed on a printer chip and made its way to Iraq via Amman, Jordan.[24] Its job was to make the Iraqi anti-aircraft guns malfunction; however, according to the story, the central command center was bombed and the virus was destroyed.[25] The virus; however, was found to be a fake.

of the others they mostly sound like boring old botnet activity or media sensationalism.

Sorry. No real "cyberwar" here.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371786)

From the below article about the 2007 attack on the Pentagon: The Pentagon is exposed to "perhaps hundreds of attacks a day," and the department has back up systems in place, Gates said.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/133301/pentagon_shuts_down_systems_after_cyberattack.html

What would you call a regular series of attacks on our military headquarters using computers, hmmm? A compu-insurgency? Techno-terrorism? Cyberwarfare seems pretty apt to me.

Let's see ... (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371866)

What would you call a regular series of attacks on our military headquarters using computers, hmmm?

I'd call it "the daily life of a firewall". Seriously, check your firewall logs. Mine are being "attacked" every hour of every day and I'm not a military installation.

Re:Let's see ... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372806)

Seconded. If you run something on it that tells a lot of people about your system, you will get ssh dictionary attacks, port scans, etc, 24/7. Even if it’s a small dyndns system.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371872)

My home router constantly has regular attacks on it. Have I ever thought I was on a cyber battlefield? No.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372210)

My home router constantly has regular attacks on it. Have I ever thought I was on a cyber battlefield? No.

Pft. Damn hippie pacifist. I'll bet your router's covered in daisies!

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (4, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372012)

seriously: have you ever been an admin for any internet facing server?
Hundreds of attacks a day is nothing amazing.
That's background noise.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372186)

No, I have not been an admin. And I had previously read it was closer to tens of thousands a day, though perhaps that too is within the range of normal.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372222)

If you're running a well know organisation? probably.
It depends what you consider an attack.

Is a portscan an attack?
Is sending a single packet to a port an attack or are we looking for more than worms trying to buffer overflows?
Is emailing one of the staff a virus an attack?
Is emailing one of the staff with a link to a virus an attack?
etc etc.

depending on what you consider an attack you could easily hit tens of thousands.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372954)

I would say a portscan followed by attempts to login to various services with public interfaces without proper credentials not meant to be public could be considered an attack... I find my FTP server is attacked a couple hundred times a day, with various login attempts as accounts my FTP server software doesn't even have "Administrator" "root" etc... Though in that case, 3 failed attempts in 5 min, blocks the source IP for a day. It's still an attack, automated or not. There are similar efforts for any given RDBMS port, as well as other common services, such as email.

I don't consider a portscan itself to be an attack, or even seeing if an anonymous user is allowed via FTP, or accessing the web server (with typical calls)... But running a series of login attempts from an obvious dictionary or compromise script, is an attack. The severity is a secondary issue... It's the difference between an IAD going off (warfare), and a crazy guy on the side of the road saying "boom" in a soft voice repeatedly.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372966)

IED

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372242)

I would probably lump it in with signals intelligence, or perhaps counter-intelligence as well. While disabling infrastructure and/or command/control is definitely attractive, it may or may not even be advantageous to do so. These days, just for example, America and China are so co-dependent on each other economically that blowing up a factory or even disabling the electrical grid would actually end up doing reciprocal economic damage to the perpetrating party by taking out part of a market and closing off cash flow. It's b.s. but there it is.

However, gathering information (intelligence) as well as poising the well (counter-intel) by corrupting databases, etc, would be incredibly useful. Knowing what data the other side is making their decisions on, as well as being able to make change to that data to give your opponent a false impression in order to gain the upper-hand in trade negotiations or raw diplomacy would be friggin' awesome.

Of course, there are countries with which we don't have such strong economic ties to preclude an actual "military" type attack, or even an actual war. However, between the big players (and frankly, even our "allies" -- Israel is notorious for spying on its so-called friends, and god only knows what MI6 is up to, for instance) the likelihood for big-time industrial espionage against the US, from the US, or between each other, I would suggest it still high.

Assuming this, I suspect that top targets would really be Commerce, Treasury and State and that those are the locations which need to be hardened more. No one is going to seriously suggest the NSA itself is going to be attacked successfully. The Pentagon, maybe/maybe not. However, those are where the expertise in defense and attack lie Civilian departments are more vulnerable and sweeter fruit to most foreign countries anyway.

I could be wrong though, but I think that's a fair appraisal of the situation.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372302)

'hundreds of attacks a day'. What's an attack? is a port scan an attack? Is a botnet sending a virus payload in an email attachement an attack? How many of those 'attacks' are commercially driven, versus militarily driven? Likely we're dealing with standard internet 'crime' not 'attacks'. Wouldn't be surprised if 95% of what he called attacks involved the word V1AgArA.

Fear is excellent for controlling people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371554)

You don't need religion. You don't need dogma. You don't need issues.
They're all rooted in basic primal emotions..

You just need to instill fear in people, and they will give you that much more power, status and sex.
Best way to gain power and stop intelligent discussions is to start a war.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371792)

The "For whatever reason" makes me think of the cold war and the rhetoric cast back and forth during that whole thing. It is something so established in our society that even saying "socialist" gets you all kinds of irrational emotional rage about something people know nothing about.
So the reason? Because people in government positions want unlimited funds for fighting ghosts.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371794)

I think it's naive to believe or suspect it's not happening. I also believe it's naive to think governments don't sponsor it. Espionage, particularly from China, has been rampant in the corporate sector for longer than most of us have been alive. Government is an even bigger target with bigger payoffs. Using the Internet to do so makes it very accessible and completely deniable. I'm not a conspiracy freak but it's foolish to think it's not going on, even if it wasn't right in your face via the news.

A.C.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (5, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371836)

There is a cyber war, but it's within our own government, and it's over who gets the budget dollars to fight it.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (2, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372230)

mod parent up please, this is exactly what it's about: budget and turf.

Re: Where are your sources? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372616)

What amateurs use zero day exploits alongside rootkits? Tailoring their hacks to specific companies?

You should read the security considerations from iSEC https://www.isecpartners.com/files/iSEC_Aurora_Response_Recommendations.pdf regarding the "Aurora Response Recommendations". The truth is that every organisation has some people that are a liability on the internet.

Apparently Google found over 30 companies had been totally compromised - and over 100 had been targeted. Of course it's probably not the same gang, as Gary McKinnon said, there are loads of people from all around the world hacking into insecure systems. Some for fun, some to see secret / privilledged information.

Of course the new guy says, don't worry folks everythings OK, there is no war. That is because hacking is not about distruction, it's about knowledge. In the right hands, knowledge really is power.

Re:All this cyberwar bullshit (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372818)

Regardless of whether there is a war or not, the Chinese hackers concentrated on Chinese civil rights enthusiasts. I find it doubtful a group of Chinese teenagers would care about that lot.

There is no cyberwar... (4, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371306)

... we have always been at war with Eurasia.

Re:There is no cyberwar... (1)

ixidor (996844) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371418)

no mod points so here is your +1 funny

Yeah, but... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371490)

The chocolate rations went up.

no cyberwar...more like a vicious beating (-1, Flamebait)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371814)

C'mon. The jackass is hired to be Microsoft's number on apologist. If he admitted to the cyberwar that has been going for two years at least, then he'd open the door to an investigation of the situation the US finds itself in and how it got there. He and the other Microsoft party members would find themselves in very hot water, fast.

Besides, with all the Microsoft products permeating even military bases [gcn.com] , it's not a war it's nasty beating. The US is permeated with Windows, which are systems designed to be taken over back door or hole. There's no reason why any Microsofter, from your average asshole MCSE on up to the party chairman Bill Gates should be walking free. It's one thing for them to be racketeering and destroying the US' ability to compete in research or industry. It's an entirely additional problem once it affects national defense and standing. From Bill's party, we've already had a sampler of navy ships dead in the water, power blackouts, disaster recovery clusterfucks, air traffic outages, and many hundreds of billions of malware damage.

Re:There is no cyberwar... (1)

jwest (21646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372718)

Cyberwar is cyberpeace

Re:There is no cyberwar... (1, Offtopic)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372986)

Sounds like it's time to dust off the ol' Monroe Doctrine [wikipedia.org] then. Do you think it would be taken more seriously in pdf or html format online? =)

And he's right. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371338)

It's not a war if only one side is putting up a fight.

Re:And he's right. (4, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371362)

So that explains why the whitehouse banned the term war on terrorism.

Re:And he's right. (5, Insightful)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371420)

I definitely agree. I make sure my house and car are locked and secure but I wouldn't say that I am waging a war against burglary.

Re:And he's right. (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372660)

You would if you're trying to sell papers

Re:And he's right. (1)

city (1189205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372784)

Or trying to convince the people of your neighborhood that your houses and cars are unsecure and that you are all losing war against burglary! Won't someone think of the children!

Roll the bad analogies (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371436)

There is no war, but if you use IE, acrobat and flash, you are standing up in a front-line trench. It is only a matter of time before a bullet hits you in the head.

Ok, ratings out of 10 for this analogy.

Re:And he's right. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371776)

Let's call it an asymmetric threat situation.

What a tool (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371344)

He's been in office THREE MONTHS and he's not only got a handle on this, but is proclaiming that nothing is going on. WTF?

Re:What a tool (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371844)

Well after the "CYBER SHOCKWAVE" exercise proved to be a failure, Schmidt must feel its time to go French on the cyber war front.

Re:What a tool (-1, Troll)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372070)

He's been in office THREE MONTHS and he's not only got a handle on this, but is proclaiming that nothing is going on. WTF?

Are you suggesting Obama had never been on the internet before he became President?

Re:What a tool (1)

camg188 (932324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372268)

First line in the article summary:
"Howard Schmidt, the new cybersecurity czar for the Obama administration"

This guy sounds out of touch (1, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371350)

This guy sounds out of touch, like he is more concerned with the politics of appeasing China than the job of securing our country. Can we somehow get this guy removed from office for incompetence?

Re:This guy sounds out of touch (4, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371426)

Incompetence has never been a reason for dismissial in government why start now.

Re:This guy sounds out of touch (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371716)

I don't see how emailing your post to the white house could fail to do the job. I mean "sounds out of touch"? How can anyone read that and not know he's not suited for the job?

Seriously, focusing on online crime and espionage without re-engineering the internet to eliminate anonymity, instead of focusing on a Cyber-War buzzword with all the "but we're at war!" excuses for doing whatever they want? That's no way to exercise executive power! You're so right; how incompetent can you get?!

Re:This guy sounds out of touch (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372050)

The current administration is out of touch with the threat of cyberwar. When Russia invaded Georgia to control natural gas supplies Georgia's communications were shut down and mobilization efforts were hindered cyber war is an effictive tool and should not be dismissed so easily. The curent attacks on the US infrastructure are simply finding our many weaknesses and no matter of sticking our heads in the sand will stop it. The only way to stop it is to start taking a proactive approach, shoring up our weaknesses, and start doing the same to our enemies.

Re:This guy sounds out of touch (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372244)

The curent attacks on the US infrastructure are simply finding our many weaknesses and no matter of sticking our heads in the sand will stop it. The only way to stop it is to start taking a proactive approach, shoring up our weaknesses, and start doing the same to our enemies.

Huh, that sounds like a familiar sentiment. Where have I heard it? Oh yeah, TFA!

"We can't sit there and be waiting for the next intrusion attempts to take place," Schmidt said. "We need to become stronger in what we are doing so we are better able to resist the things that are being thrown at us."

Get it? "Shoring up our weaknesses" is exactly what he's talking about. What he's also saying is that you don't have to cry "Oh my god we're in a CYBERWAR!" and then use that to justify destroying privacy on the internet like McDonnel wanted to do.

Re:This guy sounds out of touch (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372266)

That's not cyber-war. That's good old fashioned war. We are not at war with any technologically advanced power, there is no cyber-war.

Now, we should look at wartime cyber considerations, but looking at cybercrime will be far more productive, and probably yield lessons that will easily translate to a war.

Re:This guy sounds out of touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372464)

This guy sounds out of touch...

Maybe he's that way on purpose. Wouldn't be the first time a government spokesman was intentionally kept out of the loop. The rule is don't tell marketing anything you don't want the public to know. I'm sure the same rule exists in government.

So, wait... (4, Funny)

Androclese (627848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371370)

Are you telling me I planted my Cyber War Victory Garden and bought Cyber War Bonds for nothing?!

Re:So, wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371636)

So tell me, who the hell do you have buried in the tomb of the Anonymous Soldier?

Re:So, wait... (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371800)

So tell me, who the hell do you have buried in the tomb of the Anonymous Soldier?

An Anonymous Coward, of course.

Re:So, wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372474)

Anonymous Coward: I'm not dead.
The Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is.
Anonymous Coward: I'm not.
The Dead Collector: He isn't.
Large Man with Dead Body: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
Anonymous Coward: I'm getting better.

Re:So, wait... (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371878)

I thought Anonymous was his name!

Re:So, wait... (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371938)

well played.

Re:So, wait... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372670)

Sadly yes, and not only that. Your HOA is about to come after you for having a bunch of PCBs sticking out of your yard.

***Hand Waive*** (5, Funny)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371396)

There is no Cyber-War ...and these are not the droids you are looking for.

Re:***Hand Waive*** (3, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371950)

Don't waive your hand! You're going to need it someday!

Re:***Hand Waive*** (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372002)

There is no Cyber-War ...and these are not the droids you are looking for.

But those WERE [filippovitale.it] the droids you were looking for!
 
... and there certainly is a cyber war. However, it just falls under the espionage and sabotage categories. We have satellites and planes that specialize at electronic eavesdropping. We have *unknown* numbers of cyber spies constantly monitoring what emails and page traffic goes to and from what. Remember, ESCHELON is the one we in the public know about. How much is out there that we don't know about? How much of that is from other counties and pointed at us?

Re:***Hand Waive*** (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372252)

Hand waive? Well, if you're not using yours I guess I could find "uses" for an extra two.

We're on the cyber-frontier on the cyber-gan-trail (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371398)

You can say there's no war because there's no structure. That's quaint. You're lying about it, if for no other reason that our own military's cyber 'forces'.

The risks are real and the burden is being carried by civilians. Just like it was out on the last frontier. Eventually larger and larger organizations will come into conflict and some will aptly begin to label that as 'war'.

Aptly? (3, Insightful)

ink (4325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371670)

If it's a war, then the Constitution requires Congress to declare it. We have wars on poverty, drugs, terrorism; why do we need to further dilute what it means to be at war? I find Schmidt's comments refreshing; perhaps we could have a rational discussion about security without needlessly ratcheting up the fear machine. Traditionally wars had beginnings and endings -- that is to say, they had structure (not to be quaint). When we're eternally at war with concepts, it numbs the sentiment.

Re:Aptly? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371948)

You mis-read my intent with your well-meant objection to war on concepts.

I, too, agree with your disdain for those. I would likewise believe that China's government attacking a US corporate interest within our sovereignty would qualify as an act leading to a declaration of war.

I'm not saying we're at war with the concept. I'm saying if and when we're attacked by specific sovereign bodies this should qualify as acts of war just as if they were using tanks or bombs to do it.

I further assert that we know it is going on and we're not doing much about it.

Re:We're on the cyber-frontier on the cyber-gan-tr (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371676)

In this case given that nobody is actually getting shot civilians in the form of sys admins and programmers are far better equipped to fight this one.
They're more numerous, they're just as skilled and they're on their home ground.

Meh (3, Funny)

Dracophile (140936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371486)

There is no spoon.

A note for non-Americans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371492)

This is just a brief note to non-Americans, to help you avoid some potential confusion.

The following is from the article:
There's been much ink spilled in recent years over the turf battles in D.C. over whether the NSA (representing the military) or DHS (on the civilian side) takes the lead role in cybersecurity.

Keep in mind that in this context, "civilian" means "transnational corporations".

There is no backbone cabal (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371526)

Sounds familiar?

All's quiet.... (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371588)

Does this mean that the Information Superhighway has NOT become the Information Western Front?

CyberWar becomes Fiber War (3, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371626)

The US owns the sea. the Chinese know this. Their sub technology is borrowed from the Soviets, and the Akula class is a barge underwater and it's all they got, and their Navy sucks.

The US has shown it possess the technology to splice underwater fiber cables and tap them. Google it, they've already done it in the North Sea.

And that is the trump card. China launches a major offensive against the world, they better have routes down through Korea, because every trans-pacific cable leading to the mainland will get cut in minutes.

Re:CyberWar becomes Fiber War (3, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371886)

http://www.rense.com/general64/fore.htm [rense.com]

There was an interesting war game played a while back: essentially it was nothing more than showing off how the US tactics couldn't ever possibly be defeated... which they proved by resetting the game after the opposing general "sank" most of the US fleet using nothing but a hodgepodge collection of small civilian boats.
Seems save scumming is fine even in war games.
The result was of course that the general playing the US side "won" since anything else would look bad.

NOBODY EXPECTS the ... GOOD GOD, WHAT IS THAT?!!!! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372380)

just wait until they run into real missile-toting kangaroos [snopes.com] !

...and at the same conference, FBI director says: (2, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371638)

FBI director warns of 'rapidly expanding' cyberterrorism threat [washingtonpost.com]

This "there is no cyberwar" business plays right into Singel's agenda that anything related to cyber war is really a conspiracy to kill the open internet [wired.com] .

All the "cyberwar" stuff may be overplayed, and no, we're not in a "war", per se, at the moment, but we are most certainly unprepared, as are many open, information-dependent societies...

Re:...and at the same conference, FBI director say (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371824)

Watch out for the following: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Re:...and at the same conference, FBI director say (1)

DJoffe (1747746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371908)

If you ask me, most of the rhetoric one hears from government officials is more about money than anything else; warning of a 'rapidly expanding cyberterrorism threat' is mainly scaremongering that translates to 'give us a bigger budget than ever'. Not saying there aren't vulnerabilities; certainly there are, just look at all the Windows botnets and viruses (and nowadays PDF seems to be a primary attack vector). If there was a "cyberwar" already being waged, it would probably already have been lost. But giving more money to some state department to employ a building full of people somewhere to 'tackle the problem' is hardly going to fix things like IE and Adobe's PDF reader.

Re:...and at the same conference, FBI director say (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372054)

The internet is essentially a massive number of walled communities.
There is nothing that any potential adversary could do which isn't already being done by the botnet herders and we seem to be doing fine despite them.

In any case I see little or no way in which the government could do a better job than the current crop of sys admins.

War against small... (1)

tarlss (627609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371678)

I think all that China is doing is not employing bored script kiddies. From all accounts these hackers have no day jobs. Our biggest online security threats come from people trying to trick folks into clicking links about viagra and SEE BRITTANY SPEARS NUDE!

Re:War against small... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372080)

I think your links are broken, please repost

Re:War against small... (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372932)

While Brittany Spears nude is certainly dirty warfare, I think what concerns the U.S. military most is that the Chinese bureaucrats running the asylum will think they'll be seen as having bigger penises if they invade Taiwan. The U.S. has a treaty to defend Taiwan. If we ever got into a hot war, there won't be any question of whether cyberwar will be part of it if nothing else than for Chinese hackers to keep the U.S. too preoccupied to properly respond. They needn't even be working for the Chinese government, just the usual bunch of nationalist nutjobs that went apeshit over China downing one of the U.S. fighters awhile back...and that's after they won one.

This is Good News (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371692)

This means we can fire Howard Schmidt since his position is not needed and we can put his salary towards the Fed. deficit.

War on X (3, Funny)

S77IM (1371931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371722)

We had a War on Poverty, and poverty increased.
We had a War on Drugs, and drugs increased.
We had a War on Terror, and terror increased.

So, yeah, let's have a War on Cyber, and maybe cyber will increase too. Cybernetics? Cyborgs? Cyberspace? Cybering? I guess you take the good with the bad.

  -- 77IM

Re:War on X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371838)

Just like Harry Browne used to say: "If we have a War on Abortion the way we have a War on Poverty and a War on Drugs, within five years men would be having abortions."

Re:War on X (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372956)

Ah, you Sir get the Internet Award for Gratuitous and Absurd Use of Induction.

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371732)

If only they could apply the same rationale to the "drug war".

He's right (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371744)

In a war both sides are fighting... but so far, only the bot(net)s are attacking, and what the "attacked" front does efficiently is giving them more drones. Is not war, is harvest.

Yeah, right (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31371748)

The First Rule of Cyberwar is...

Re:Yeah, right (1)

impeach (1760162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372216)

...to know friend from foe.

There is no spoon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31371944)

These aren't the droids you're looking for!

"No Cyber(security) War" - Yeah, right. Impeach! (1)

impeach (1760162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372084)

It sounds right out of When Mars Attacks, misdirection. We need Articles of Impeachment, before these people (run by the International bankers) can fully crash the global economy. Converting the Internet to their police state grid is just part of their plans. But while we can still communicate over the Internet, there is still time to impeach and throw a wrench in their plans.

IBM layoffs and coporate espionage (3, Insightful)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372144)

IBM has recently started directly laying off American developers and replacing them with Chinese developers working in the "CDL labs". They're doing this for code designed to run on System z mainframes, such as Rational HATS (half the team just moved to China in the past couple of weeks). The main reason why companies use System z at all is because it's supposed to be ultra-secure, and therefore it is used for the most sensitive of processes (like banks, etc...). How unrealistic would it be for a Chinese developer (either willingly, or coerced by the Chinese government) to plant security holes in IBM mainframe products? They did it with Google...isn't it logical that they'd also be trying to target IBM? It scares the heck out of me thinking how many Fortune 500 companies that use System z for their ultra-secure mainframes might be getting exposed to Chinese corporate espionage.

Constant break-in attempts not aggressive actions? (1)

zerosomething (1353609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372212)

So does he just not getting the data from his IT people on the constant SSH scans and Remote Desktop attacks aimed at every computer on the network?. And we are suppose to think this isn't a concerted effort by foreign entities to take over US government property and steal information? I guess it's just a bunch of vitamin 'D' deprived adolescents doing it.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372336)

This is just a prelude to cost cutting. No cyberwar, no funding required.

News for Paranoid Cynics (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372494)

The problem with kneejerk cynicism and paranoia is that if (when) there is a real threat we might not be prepared to respond to it. We might choose to not respond. Maybe the boy shouldn't be crying wolf so often, but the village should at least think about what to do when the wolf comes calling.

Let's take as a given that there is no cyberwar. Does that mean that China, Russia and anyone else with an interest in hurting the US isn't working on a plan to attack us? They might be able to keep a secret. The plans we make to thwart a cyber attack might be useful in dealing with some unforseable problem.

Are we pretending that the internet is unimportant to our economy and culture just because we don't trust anyone over 30?

If a panel of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, George Bush, a box of hair and Jeffrey Dahmer advised us to look both ways before crossing the street it would be good advice. We shouldn't dismiss what the gov't says out of kneejerk mistrust. Even if the gov't is out to get YOU (unlikely), they might be right about something anyway. Sure, we should question their motives and approach but on the merits of the claim... not by "is he wearing a suit".

Now if only... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372606)

...he would re-release that same statement, with:
s/cyber.?war/terrorism/i

Then we would start to get somewhere... and maybe fix more important problems.

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