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Separating Cyber-Warfare Fact From Fantasy

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the joshua-called-me dept.

Encryption 111

smellsofbikes writes "This week's New Yorker magazine has an investigative essay by Seymour Hersh about the US and its part in cyber-warfare that makes for interesting reading. Hersh talks about the financial incentives behind many of the people currently pushing for increased US spending on supposed solutions to network vulnerabilities and the fine and largely ignored distinction between espionage and warfare. Two quotes in particular stood out: one interviewee said, 'Current Chinese officials have told me that [they're] not going to attack Wall street, because [they] basically own it,' and Whitfield Diffie, on encryption, 'I'm not convinced that lack of encryption is the primary problem [of vulnerability to network attack]. The problem with the Internet is that it's meant for communication among non-friends.' The article also has some interesting details on the Chinese disassembly and reverse-engineering of a Lockheed P-3 Orion filled with espionage and eavesdropping hardware that was forced to land in China after a midair collision."

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Separating Fact From Fantasy (0, Offtopic)

tomalpha (746163) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061156)

Surely they're not trying to suggest that my l33tness *doesn't* make me more attractive to women?

Re:Separating Fact From Fantasy (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061284)

It does if you find the right woman :)

And don't call me Shirley.

How to deal with network security? (3, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061172)

Audit your code.
Don't try to tac security on at the end, build it in from the start.
Don't assume that the other security layers will hold so yours isn't important.(when i was working in a large tech company this was the most common problem, everyone thought the security above or bellow their own applications or systems was secure enough that they didn't have to worry too much about it themselves)
Make sure your coders know enough about the various types of attack that they know what they've got to defend against.

use Default Deny not Default Permit.
don't try to Enumerate Badness. it doesn't work.
Don't rely on Penetrate and Patch . it works badly.
Don't expect average users to get educated about security, they only care about security enough to not get fired, they will also pick awful passwords 99% of the time and will use Pass1234 if asked for uppercase,lowercase and numbers.
patch your systems.

Fire anyone who writes the domain admin password on a postit and sticks it to their monitor.

Re:How to deal with network security? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061332)

Oh come on, everyone knows that a security review of code is just the last speed bump to getting a program out the door! Usually done right after most of the contributing programmers have been moved on to other programs. Doing security from the beginning would be more expensive for heaven's sake! /sarcasm

Re:How to deal with network security? (2, Interesting)

Pink_Ranger (1024741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061536)

*Default Deny
*don't enumerate badness
*forget about user education

This sounds really familiar. Are you the author of this article [ranum.com] ?

Re:How to deal with network security? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34069798)

Or perhaps someone that have memorized it. And yes, i noticed the same familiarity when reading the list.

There are some parts of the article i agree with (the "default permit" issue for one) but others, dunno.

Re:How to deal with network security? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34071780)

no, just a fan, there's one or two points in there I don't totally agree with but for the most part it makes good arguments.

And now fantasy (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061644)

Security is best outsourced entirely to a company with a metal effect logo and lots of padlocks on their website.
The most important aspect of security is the visualisation shown to the end user.
All workstations should be protected by at least a green spinning cube.
Voice recognition or hand print scanners are the way forward.
Light your server room from above very slow spinning fan blades.
Factor in around one henchman in black, per 100 servers.
Have web access to all critical systems. input[type="password"]{ font-size:1000%; }
Have a physical self-destruct (as in a bomb), to destroy all your unencrypted data, if you simply get overwhelmed by Russian hackers in quasi-futuristic clothing.

Re:And now fantasy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061778)

In the common criteria (security evaluation for software products) I came accross a demand that you "physically" have to destroy your keys if they are not supposed to be used anymore. I've until now not figured out how to accomplish that feat from within the software. I presume the writers meant that you have to clear all the bits in such a way that they cannot be reverted anymore. People get upset when their secure devices start exploding.

Re:And now fantasy (1)

shugah (881805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062836)

Employ a 12 year old to penetration test your security. Type really fast

Re:And now fantasy (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063626)

It's important to protect your access terminals considering that it consists entirely on a keyboard with a perfectly aligned square buttons devoid of characters identifications on them and a monochrome green screen with "PASSWORD:" displayed on them along with a blinking cursor in 4 inch tall font.

Warfare? (1)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061174)

Not to sound like my tinfoil hat has gotten too tight, but really is this warfare? So our grid goes down. Does this mean we can't live? Does it stop us from growing crops, transporting them on trucks, and buying them in markets? Don't we have the resources to build other technologies to provide our food and shelter? If the Chinese crippled us via Cyber Warfare, they would lose all of their economic power. We buy more of their junk than anyone else. If China used this as a method of physically taking over the US (they already own our stuff) I am sure the nukes or an EF bombs would put us all on the same playing field.

Re:Warfare? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061198)

Not to sound like my tinfoil hat has gotten too tight, but really is this warfare? So our grid goes down. Does this mean we can't live?

Nobody said we couldn't live like it as the mid 1800's. But considering how much of our lives depend on electricity it's not something to brush off. How many people do you know own wood stoves (or fire wood for that matter) in case they lost power for weeks in the winter?

Re:Warfare? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061220)

And how likely is that?
Really.

Worst case scenario is someone might disrupt things for a few hours or a day or so while the local admins sort things out though the fact that hackers don't seem to have ever managed that yet makes me sceptical even of that.
That might be enough to give one side an advantage in some kind of military conflict but is fairly useless on it's own.

Re:Warfare? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061374)

But... there's a still that small chance! Therefore, technology is bad and we should get rid of those newfangled computer things!

Re:Warfare? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061394)

I was thinking more on the lines of causing equipment to malfunction and break rather than a network error. But it's not really my area of expertise. You'd think there would be backups. I'm thinking back to the 2003 northeast blackout [wikipedia.org]

Re:Warfare? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062058)

Most safeties are hard set. There are fuses that trip to protect equipment from actual damage.

The 2003 blackout lasted for hours. Once the grid shut down most of the work was isolating the bad sector and restarting the systems. It does take a little while to restart a generator. Hackers might be able to target one or two nodes but to infect 10000 from various manufactures over a 20 year period is a different story.

Sticker does prove it is possible but actual damage was limited. However with stuxnet now out there companies will begin to change to fight that too. Releasing stuxnet was the single stupidest thing any government has ever done.

Re:Warfare? (3, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061202)

China is just the current bogeyman.
there's no shortage of attacks from hackers anywhere, but I'm told china used to be a good place to bounce attacks through and there probably is a certain amount of corporate espionage.

Re:Warfare? (4, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061242)

Not to sound like my tinfoil hat has gotten too tight, but really is this warfare? So our grid goes down. Does this mean we can't live?

You've already had examples of how things break down when the power goes out during the previous major blackouts... imagine it being nationwide and more than 48 hours in duration... you cannot cope with that... people WILL be fighting for food and water...

There were fights in supermarkets in Gloucestershire over bread and water when the floods hit in 2007...

They were minutes away from having to order the evacuation of most of the county if the flood defences had failed to protect the major electricity substation supplying a large part of the county including the city of Gloucester... the main water treatment plant was taken out by the floods and we were having to use water trucked in and distributed via water bowsers for several weeks until the plant was repaired and the water mains had been flushed out and treated

Re:Warfare? (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061558)

if the flood defences had failed to protect the major electricity substation supplying a large part of the county including the city of Gloucester

... if the flood defences had failed to protect the major electricity substation supplying a large part of the county including the UK Government's listening HQ, GCHQ....

FTFY

Re:Warfare? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062362)

... if the flood defences had failed to protect the major electricity substation supplying a large part of the county including the UK Government's listening HQ, GCHQ

GCHQ has it's own independent backup supply... you don't think they'd have built it without one now?

Re:Warfare? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061668)

Any civilization is only three meals away from revolution.

Maybe in the UK... (1)

fuzznutz (789413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061988)

When the remnants of Hurricane Ike came though our area, we lost power for about two weeks. A pretty large area including rural and urban areas were out. Most of the rural areas were on wells. Well pumps don't work without electricity. There were no fights. There were no hoarders or scalpers. (Well... Generators did disappear quickly) We had no perishable food for a couple of weeks, but we survived without cannibalism.

There was less civil unrest than your standard UK Soccer/Football match.

Re:Warfare? (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062232)

Wow. I thought the US was supposed to be "cowboy country" and so violent. When Two tornados tore through my town [slashdot.org] the power was out citywide overnight, and took a week to get back online in many neighborhoods (including mine). Nobody rioted, despite stores being closed for several days (and many stores for a month, as the buildings were badly damaged). I ran out of cat food, one open store that was without electricity was using an old-fashioned credit card reader that relied on carbon paper.

Hell, as chronicled in the linked journal, damaged bars were open the next day, with folks drinking by candle light.

They didn't even riot during Katrina.

Re:Warfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34065784)

I ran out of cat food

Ew.

Just eat the cat, man.

Re:Warfare? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34071106)

Being "cowboy country" helps, rather than hurts, in a disaster. I'm not going of on a guns make us safer diatribe, but rather, if you recognize the world around you is dangerous, you prepare for it.

What kills people isn't harsh weather, but UNCHARACTERISTIC weather. Eg. Blizzards in a normally mild climate. Heat waves in colder areas, etc. Hell, people gathering together on the beach to go watch the hurricane barreling down on them.

City dwellers in particular are most often guilty of having no margin of safety and being unable to survive without the conveniences they've grown so accustomed to always having...

Re:Warfare? (1)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063978)

> There were fights in supermarkets in Gloucestershire over bread and water when the floods hit in 2007...

Let's be fair, they don't really need an excuse to fight in Gloucestershire.

Re:Warfare? (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061260)

The article quotes Richard Clarke on a hypothetical Chinese cyber attack:

Within a quarter of an hour, 157 major metropolitan areas have been thrown into knots by a nationwide power blackout hitting during rush hour. Poison gas clouds are wafting toward Wilmington and Houston. Refineries are burning up oil supplies in several cities. Subways have crashed in New York, Oakland, Washington, and Los Angeles. . . . Aircraft are literally falling out of the sky as a result of midair collisions across the country. . . . Several thousand Americans have already died.

Firstly, China isn't going to attack the U.S. - going to war with one of your largest trading partners and a nuclear armed state would be stupid. But if China were to wage war on the U.S. then the deaths of a few thousand people and the associated chaos would be chickenfeed compared to the effects of nukes raining down on American cities. I wonder whether this kind of alarmism is meant purely to scare people into accepting increased defence spending, or whether the people at the top honestly believe what they are saying?

Re:Warfare? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061322)

I agree here - I think the Chinese are more trying to settle on economic dominance rather than military. They're not invading, they're trying to buy. Unfortunately, they're in a precarious position - they loaned us all this money and really can't do a whole lot if we decide to default.

Re:Warfare? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061362)

it's a little more complex than just deciding to default but yes, as a general rule trying to kill your debtors isn't a good idea.
Also china has it's own debt, who owns that?

Re:Warfare? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061454)

If China has a big debt, don't you think they would try to use their hundreds of billions of dollars to pay it off?

Their net position is a lot more important than the details of whether they have used debt to finance this or that, and their net positions is that of lender.

Re:Warfare? (2, Interesting)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062422)

I can't explain it very well, but the reason China buys so much debt is because it is part of their currency control. Basically by buying debt that temporarily removes their currency from the market, which allows them to print a lot of money but avoid that pesky inflation business. I think that's about right.

Re:Warfare? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34064774)

You are confusing external debt with public debt. It looks like China's government has a huge public debt, that is owned by chineese people. Also, China is a huge external credor, that means, chineese people (including governemnt) owns way more debt of foreign people (again, including governemnt), than foreign people owns chineese debt.

A government may issue public debt to remove money from the market and contain inflation. By the way, they only do that if they are serious about fighting inflation, what Cina doesn't look like doing. Now, their external reserves is mainly composed of debt the rest of the world (mainly the US) issued to buy chineese goods (and some for investing in China). China buys lots of US debt to keep the value of their currency low, to (at least they think) keep its industry competitive.

Re:Warfare? (2, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061958)

China is looking for dominance on every level. I'm convinced they want to be the next superpower. Certainly, focusing on economic might is at the forefront. China isn't shoveling an ever increasing amount of money into military spending for fun. In pretty much every area you can think of technology, space, banking or infrastructure they're heavily invested. If they were interested in only economic might they would be taking Japan's approach, but obviously that's not their intent.

China is likely not intending to invade at some point. But they're very pragmatic and extremely ambitious. And like it or not, a strong China is not necessarily a good thing for America because obviously they're only looking out for themselves.

Re:Warfare? (1)

Amanieu (1699220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065916)

The only problem with defaulting your loan is that you'll have a hard time finding people willing to lend you money in the future.

Re:Warfare? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061460)

It isn't the U.S. under threat, it is Taiwan. China wants to be in the position to dissuade the U.S. from coming to Taiwan's defense when China finally loses her mind and invades. It doesn't need to attack the U.S. to do this, just nibble a bit at the edges.

Re:Warfare? (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061880)

China will never invade Taiwan. China has far too much to gain from Taiwan economically. And, not only that, the current administration of Taiwan has gotten quite friendly with China. Many Taiwanese are more pragmatic and value the money they can make in China more highly than national pride.

The only way China would invade Taiwan is if their economy collapsed, or at least they faced a serious economic downturn which is bound to happen. But by then they may be close enough that a military invasion wont be necessary. And anyway, China has bigger fish to fry.

Re:Warfare? (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34064230)

China will never invade Taiwan. China has far too much to gain from Taiwan economically. And, not only that, the current administration of Taiwan has gotten quite friendly with China. Many Taiwanese are more pragmatic and value the money they can make in China more highly than national pride.

The only way China would invade Taiwan is if their economy collapsed, or at least they faced a serious economic downturn which is bound to happen. But by then they may be close enough that a military invasion wont be necessary. And anyway, China has bigger fish to fry.

The reason China will eventually invade Taiwan is to distract the populace from its inherently corrupt one-party rule, similar to the way the US invaded Iraq to distract from Bush's falling approval ratings. As the middle class in China grows, there will be more interest in being able to affect changes in government, which the Communist Party will try to divert into nationalistic pride when it invades one or many of its neighbors over some overblown, imagined, or manufactured sleight.

Re:Warfare? (5, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061482)

I wonder whether this kind of alarmism is meant purely to scare people into accepting increased defence spending, or whether the people at the top honestly believe what they are saying?

If you read TFA all the way through, Hersh is clearly making the case that the entire body of 'cyberwar' rhetoric is little more than a power (and budget) grab. One of the more interesting quotes comes from a security analyst who says most of the electronic espionage we see these days comes from allied countries, and it's mostly economic in nature.

Re:Warfare? - think Carlyle Group (1)

riondluz (726831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34072664)

Read in friday's NYT that the carlyle group is buying up IT security companies as fast as they could snatch em up!

Re:Warfare? (1)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061484)

I saw that Bruce Willis movie ... it wasn't that good. It was all based on a '97 speculative tech article that was based on a speculative post coldwar war game exercise that might as well have included zombies in its ridiculousness. They had to come up with something since they no longer had a red bogeyman that could do an unknown number of things to the west ... well, until we saw that all they had hiding behind their huge iron wall was a tiny limp dick.

That's not to say we're not vulnerable to things like ... um ... box cutters? That's why we have to take off our shoes and get our junk felt up before we get on a plane. Even though it actually won't even prevent anything. [sify.com]

Re:Warfare? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061516)

Are you seriously attributing sanity to the Chinese? Suppose we didn't know who did it?

Re:Warfare? (1)

Petskull (650178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061578)

While I agree with most of your post, keep in mind Richard A. Clarke [wikipedia.org] was the National Coordinator for Security and the chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council for something like 30 years. He may know a little bit about what he's talking about.

By the way, he wrote a really good book called Against All Enemies [amazon.com] , a good look at his perspective during the rise of al Qaeda. A thoroughly interesting read.

Re:Warfare? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065124)

While I agree with most of your post, keep in mind Richard A. Clarke [wikipedia.org] was the National Coordinator for Security and the chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council for something like 30 years. He may know a little bit about what he's talking about.

But does that make him qualified to understand information security issues? I've seen an unsettling increase in physical security specialists taking on information security roles and being rather clueless about it. While the general mindset isn't entirely inappropriate, there is a tendency to try and force physical security solutions and views on an environment that does not operate under the same rules and restrictions. Granted - my viewpoint isn't anywhere near the level of the world view that Clarke operates on. But I hear what he (and others) say and can't help but notice the echoes of clueless proclamations in my much smaller corner of the world.

Re:Warfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061630)

I wonder whether this kind of alarmism is meant purely to scare people into accepting increased defence spending, or whether the people at the top honestly believe what they are saying?

Likely just alarmism. Those at the top still remember the Cold War, and the threat of wars with casualties in the tens (hundreds, given our likely retaliation) of millions.

In a real war, casualties measured in the thousands would be rounding error. With the end of the cold war, our world became so safe that (as 9/11 proved) a mere 3000 dead and a couple of billion dollars in real estate... was enough to terrorize us into doing trillions of dollars in economic damage upon ourselves.

Thing is, from the point of view of a defense contractor, for every trillion bucks in economic damage (for instance, TSA's foot fetish prompting consumers to drive instead of fly, adding to road congestion and road fatalities)... there are billions in programme funding to be had.

It's the broken window fallacy writ large. If the government's about to spend $100B handing every kid in the country a rock, and $100B subsidizing the glass industry, and you're in the rock-making or window-repair business, all of a sudden 1T in lost economic opportunity doesn't sound so bad.

Re:Warfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062006)

It's possible for nuclear powers to goto war without a nuclear exchange. Specifically, the US and China have gone to war on two separate occasions - Vietnam and Korea. Considering the self-defeating nature of a reciprocating nuclear exchange, it's quite logical to expect that major nuclear powers will restrain from initiating a nuclear exchange even in a head-to-head conflict. A "cyber conflict" with China is certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

Re:Warfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062414)

Even though we haven't seen an old school world domination attempt since Hitler, doesn't mean countries aren't thinking about it. Being a great trading partner is a great way to build the resources needed to try to take over the world. If you succeed, it doesn't matter if you attacked your best trading partner: You have now become their master.

Re:Warfare? (2, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062448)

Seriously, a couple thousand dead from this is zilch. You want real scary? Use that "technological prowess" to screw up food transport from rural areas to cities for a month. Or just use the trillion dollars we owe them to corner the agricultural futures market for a month.

Something like 200 million Americans live in cities and after a month of no or little supply most would either be dead or cannibals.

That's scary.

Re:Warfare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34065086)

Firstly, China isn't going to attack the U.S. - going to war with one of your largest trading partners and a nuclear armed state would be stupid. But if China were to wage war on the U.S. then the deaths of a few thousand people and the associated chaos would be chickenfeed compared to the effects of nukes raining down on American cities. I wonder whether this kind of alarmism is meant purely to scare people into accepting increased defence spending, or whether the people at the top honestly believe what they are saying?

Replace ["China"] with ["Hostile Country of Your Choice"]. Clarke's argument isn't meant to be country-specific, so you can't nullify his point by saying "Country X would never do that." His point is that someday, some hostile country might try cyber attacks if we don't get our act together; and you can't prove that all countries in the world would find cyber attack against the US illogical all the time forever and ever.

The better counter-argument is whether the effects he describes in his scenario are realistic. That's a stronger rebuttal because it's based on objective facts that we can evaluate scientifically. "Is it technologically feasible?" Saying that it'll never happen because no country would ever try it is a weak rebuttal because you're basing the counter-argument on your personal understanding of rational human nature and that's a fool's game. You don't think like a Chinese Premier or a Russian President or an Iranian Mullah. What looks stupid to you might look perfectly logical to them.

Re:Warfare? (1)

Sean_Inconsequential (1883900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061418)

Distribution of food is partially handled by networked systems. I work as a buyer in a grocery store, we send our orders over the internet to Connecticut, they are checked there and sent to Georgia. Our point of sale systems are Windows terminals with a Linux back-end to manage the database. Credit card, debit card and EBT transactions are handled over the internet. But possible and plausible are not synonyms.

Re:Warfare? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061428)

That's actually what the article is about.

Re:Warfare? (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061498)

Actually it could get pretty bad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_start [wikipedia.org]

Almost all of our power stations apparently rely on outside power to start and have contracts with other power plants to supply this cold start power. There's a power plant in Palestine that is actually a pretty good study in this since obviously resources to keep that plant running are pretty restricted. I read about a black start for that plant done after an air strike damaged it that was done by basically finding as many car batteries as they could to get a smaller generator running to then finally get part of the main facility running to then get the rest sort of back online. Rube Goldberg would be proud, those guys have kept that plant running in pretty trying circumstances. A bit of a stretch to think we'd be in that position but a cascading failure - stupidly discounted in this article - could certainly take out far more than an isolated piece of infrastructure. The idiots that wrote this article make it sound like our grid is a bunch of islands when in fact it's ALL connected together and I'd bet that our adversaries have spent more time understanding that than we have - to include the weak points. Just as we probably have dissected their grids... I've seen some stories on how cascading failures in the past have occurred and as I recall the last one damaged a power plant in NYC pretty badly from an overload, why does everyone think things have gotten very much better?

There's an interesting book named One Second After http://www.amazon.com/One-Second-After-William-Forstchen/dp/0765317583/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288356308&sr=1-1 [amazon.com] That discusses what it's like living after a fairly straightforward EMP attack. Now obviously an EMP attack actually destroys infrastructure but the difficulties in surviving without electricity are pretty clear in this book and done correctly a "cyber attack" could damage some hardware.

Mind you - "resources to build other technologies" would likely require electricity. Chicken and egg I'm afraid if you wish to do this post attack. This is part of why people are banging the drum NOW.

Ya well I'm going to have to file that as fantasy (0, Troll)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061184)

I didn't read the whole thing but the first 10 paragraphs or so strike me as nothing but a bunch of half-informed fear mongering from a journalist who doesn't know what they are talking about.

Re:Ya well I'm going to have to file that as fanta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061238)

Actually I thought the first part about the P3 debacle was fairly informative. We handed over an aircraft full of top of the line spy gear to the Chinese. We'd have been better off if the our pilot had simply gone kamikaze and taken the P3 straight down into the drink at speed rather than landing it for the Chinese to dissect. We'd have been in a position to rake the Chinese over the coals over the loss of the plane and entire crew instead of them being the ones who got to act all pissed off at the loss of their incompetent pilot (like they really gave a fuck about the pilot when they got a huge fucking prize out of the mess.)

Re:Ya well I'm going to have to file that as fanta (5, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061350)

I didn't read the whole thing but the first 10 paragraphs or so strike me as nothing but a bunch of half-informed fear mongering from a journalist who doesn't know what they are talking about.

If you only read the first 10 paragraphs, then you haven't done the article justice. Hersh is renowned for his long-form journalism. It's old-school, I know, but he takes his time to investigate and analyse. He doesn't foist his conclusions on the reader; he presents his take on the available information and leaves the reader to think it through.

I'll be the first to admit that he's more patient -and more deliberately objective- than most of us. In fact, that's exactly what I wrote about him [imagicity.com] earlier today.

This is the same guy who broke the story of the My Lai Massacre [wikipedia.org] as well as many of the most important stories about the American military over the last few decades. His sources are impeccable, and his research is world class. Do yourself a favour: load the page onto your favourite e-book reader and take the time to follow his argument all the way to the end.

Re:Ya well I'm going to have to file that as fanta (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063534)

Whoa. Wait a second. You mean we've been complaining all this time about shallow sound-bite and press-release "reporting" and then they slip in a REAL reporter? With an in-depth story? That requires... reading the whole thing?!

Re:Ya well I'm going to have to file that as fanta (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061518)

clearly, it does not fit with your belief structure: it is beyond your ability to cope, so you dismiss it.

ironically it's worth pointing out that the story is probably beyond the journalist's ability to cope as well, resulting in much garblement.

but - yeah. please read between the lines, and try not be quite so dismissive. there's more going on here than meets the eye.

Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061194)

The Navy’s experts didn’t believe that China was capable of reverse-engineering the plane’s N.S.A.-supplied operating system, estimated at between thirty and fifty million lines of computer code, according to a former senior intelligence official. Mastering it would give China a road map for decrypting the Navy’s classified intelligence and operational data.

If China had reverse-engineered the EP-3E’s operating system, all such systems in the Navy would have to be replaced, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. After much discussion, several current and former officials said, this was done.

This makes no sense. Compromise of the OS binary meant that a new operating system had to be somehow created, and every system had to be reinstalled? I can't understand why compromise of a single system led to every other system being vulnerable - that would be a gaping security hole.

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061234)

And you'd think that if it's that sensitive the hard drives would all have blocks of thermite strapped to them to allow them to be destroyed if capture is likely.
simply knowing the cipher shouldn't compromise any non-awful encryption method unless you have the keys as well.

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061452)

The keys are present, and there has been key leakage in the past. This is what John Walker was selling the Soviets -- encrpytion keys for the intel messages sent between the NSA listening posts on various ships and Ft. Meade, among other things.

However, its not just about the keys. It's about the possibility that the Chinese could find a vulnerability in the operating system that could be exploited, or get a better read on what the listening capabilities of the sigint gear is, which means knowing what you need to do to better avoid it.

But yeah, no big deal, right? Let's just assume the Chinese are too fucking stupid to figure it out and go on doing the same old shit.

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061706)

It's about the possibility that the Chinese could find a vulnerability in the operating system that could be exploited, or get a better read on what the listening capabilities of the sigint gear is, which means knowing what you need to do to better avoid it.

To your first point - I seriously doubt that the NSA wrote a new operating system from scratch after the Chinese got a copy of the binary of the existing OS. What are they going to do, keep writing a new operating system every time someone gets a copy of the old one? At 50 million lines of code, and a cost of $850 per LOC (NASA is $850 per LOC, and the NSA's code is just as sensitive as NASA's and will have similar development process and associated costs), that would be $42.5 billion. That's crazy. So I would assume that the "new" OS is just an upgrade of the existing one, which will have the same undiscovered bugs.

And to the second point - that the Chinese will be able to learn how to avoid the intelligence gathering - the OS is not really important here. Since they have all of the hardware and software the Chinese are going to be able to figure it out. Changing the OS isn't going to stop them or even slow them down, since the actual hardware and algorithms for monitoring won't be significantly changed.

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065064)

The OS is only tangentially related. Was writing an entire new operating system necessary? No, but a thorough code review would have been, just to double-check and see if there was anything there that was missed before that the Chinese might have found.

The fact that the hardware was in the hands of the enemy is the problem, and software that drives it is part of the whole package. You're still looking at this from an IT perspective rather than a national security perspective. When the incident happened, it was something of a big deal, and the true fallout may be as of yet unknown.

However, it has happened before that that key pairs and/or encryption hardware has been captured before, and the result was often a complete hardware reworking and redeployment of new equipment to replace the old compromised version.

Also, the comparison to NASA's costs is somewhat fallacious in that NASA is mostly just used as a dick-measuring stick and a reason to keep jobs in otherwise lame places like Louisiana. NSA isn't the sort of institution that's really going to be questioned on why $42.5B is necessary for their project. They're going to get their money, one way or another.

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061532)

Boy that would be a fun ride - strapped into a plane with all of the sensitive equipment set to burn or blow! I do agree that it's disappointing that more wasn't done to destroy the equipment. Perhaps not having the super secret stuff strewn all over would have made it easier? Honestly this is the first I'd heard that what was on that plane was compromised so badly - it was reported at the time that it was all trashed. Did they not have any time on the ground to destroy it or did they bug out the moment it touched down?

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (1)

onionman (975962) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061716)

Did they not have any time on the ground to destroy it or did they bug out the moment it touched down?

The crew stalled for as long as they could, but the Chinese gave them an ultimatum: come out right now or we will come in shooting.

The US learned with Gary Powers that giving people suicide orders is a very unreliable way to keep a secret. That's why I wouldn't expect thermite bricks on the equipment in a confined space in a pressurized airplane.

Re:Bit about compromise of the OS makes no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34062630)

That's retarded. You have them on a 15-30 second delay fuse and hop out of the plane first. Plane starts belching out smoke while you're being held at gunpoint. Sure they can shoot you, but it won't help them recover the equipment. (And if you're the sort of cowardly schmuck who'll trade the equipment and intelligence for your life, what were you doing on a military intelligence aircraft in the first place?

Fantasy (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061204)

I keep reading these articles about "cyber-warfare" and sometimes I forget that they're talking about my field of expertise. The things they talk about are more akin to some kind of real life battlefield, and they seem to want to push that as the methodology to "fight it." Which seems to involve counter-attacks which make no sense and has little to do with patching and best practices.

Frankly I feel as if you have a bunch of Generals and politicians who have seen Operating Swordfish, Hackers, and similar Hollywood blockbusters - and think that hacking (and security) is this glamorous little battle rather than a spotty nerd installing patches, changing configuration files, and others looking for human mistakes in those configurations/networks.

But that all being said, what do I care if some General has a boner for cyber security and wants to invest a few million in a industry I happen to profit from. Go right ahead I say. I just want them to quit attempting to alarm the general public with nonsense threads about hackers setting off a nuclear bomb, shutting down power, and otherwise ending the world.

Here's your answer.... (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061286)

FTFA:

A great deal of money is at stake. Cyber security is a major growth industry, and warnings from Clarke, McConnell, and others have helped to create what has become a military-cyber complex.

And...

In July, the Washington Post published a critical assessment of the unchecked growth of government intelligence agencies and private contractors.

Need we comment further?

Re:Fantasy (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061342)

Good insight. The Chinese lose as much as we do if something like that occurs. Militant Islamists may see that as a goal, but I doubt there are as many "hackers" on their side that know much about what they're doing to really cause something along those lines.

Re:Fantasy (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065552)

Frankly I feel as if you have a bunch of Generals and politicians who have seen Operating Swordfish, Hackers, and similar Hollywood blockbusters - and think that hacking (and security) is this glamorous little battle rather than a spotty nerd installing patches, changing configuration files, and others looking for human mistakes in those configurations/networks.

We're in a state of transition. Those who have long been charged, in one manner or another, with security have long dealt with the concept within a physical domain. But now they are finding that their role has expanded in to information security. The natural instinct is to apply one to the other.

Re:Fantasy (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34068152)

But that all being said, what do I care if some General has a boner for cyber security and wants to invest a few million in a industry I happen to profit from. Go right ahead I say. I just want them to quit attempting to alarm the general public with nonsense threads about hackers setting off a nuclear bomb, shutting down power, and otherwise ending the world.

But it's the alarmed public (and congresscritters) that justifies the funding.

Own Wall Street huh? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061276)

'Current Chinese officials have told me that [they're] not going to attack Wall street, because [they] basically own it,' and Whitfield Diffie.

Something is seriously wrong when you don't control your own economy, this can not possibly be sustainable. Someone will want to cash in on this eventually and who knows if anyone will pay up?

slashdot hit the icon jackpot on this one! 5 icons! woot

Re:Own Wall Street huh? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061416)

They don't "own Wall Street", but they do have a considerable investment in US debt. It's simply not in their best financial interest to cause catastrophic problems for our economy.

Re:Own Wall Street huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061844)

Not counting the fact that a majority of the companies traded on the NYSE, and I suspect all of the 30 companies on the Dow Jones are major customers of Chinese firms. If they tanked Wall Street and drove those companies out of business, they'd kill their biggest customers and hurt themselves too.

What (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061928)

I find his statement accurate, once you stop to consider every major corporation is trying to get into china to "do business", meaning they cooperate and base their profits on access. And big transnationals are all on wall street.

Re:Own Wall Street huh? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061424)

Something is seriously wrong when you don't control your own economy, this can not possibly be sustainable. Someone will want to cash in on this eventually and who knows if anyone will pay up?

The quote is a classic communist bluff combined perhaps with the willingness of a member of the press to exaggerate a little. For example, you might recall hearing this one:

"We are Bolsheviks!" he declared pugnaciously. "We stick firmly to the Lenin precept—don't be stubborn if you see you are wrong, but don't give in if you are right." "When are you right?" interjected First Deputy Premier Mikoyan—and the crowd laughed. Nikita plunged on, turning to the Western diplomats. "About the capitalist states, it doesn't depend on you whether or not we exist. If you don't like us. don't accept our invitations, and don't invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not. history is on our side. We will bury you!"

Point is, you have to consider both what the speaker may have said something different and that deceptive statements are the norm for anything coming out of the Chinese government or its supposed leaks. Also, you have to consider how the mechanism of "ownership" would exist. He's probably just exaggerating the power and influence that comes from being owed a lot of money.

Ron Paul's "End the Fed". (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061890)

read ron paul's book, "End the Fed". it's an incredibly well-written and well-informed book, showing the disastrous economic reality that is the United States. the financially irresponsible decisions made by successive governments is merely stacking up trouble, and the longer it is "delayed" by further irresponsible decisions, the larger the crash will be.

the main problem is that the U.S. dollar is the de-facto international reserve currency. this is why china has had a policy, for the past 18 months at least, of lending to all but the U.S. - and i mean really large amounts of money - but on the condition that the reserve currency is the RMB. and given the stability and growth rate of china's economy, it's a good deal.

Re:Own Wall Street huh? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062384)

Bluff? Translation error? Bravado?

The Chinese are heavily invested in Treasuries, but they need to in order to maintain their currency peg. Without the ability to hold their currency peg their export-based economy has serious, future-of-the-Party problems.

But their "control" of these Treasuries is essentially meaningless as a "weapon". For one, the the US could simply void them and unilaterally declare the debt non-payable. This would be an extreme circumstance, but at the end of the day the consequences of this are largely political and public relations related. The US could also choose (with some pain) to inflate their way out of debt.

For better or for worse, the Chinese and the Americans have quickly and probably without any real thought, completely coupled themselves in ways that are pretty destructive to break out of.

I can safely say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061306)

Anyone who really knows the facts and fantasies of Cyberwarfare will not be posting any meaningful comments.

cyber warfare? (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061318)

Fact from fantasy? Meaning that the text on your computer screen doesn't get reflected on your face and hackers really aren't edgy, thin, clean-shaven hipsters (some of whom are girls) who speak weird slang out of a Gibson novel and define their philosophies by the indie band du jour's latest hit?

Man, cyber warfare is boring.

Re:cyber warfare? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061478)

No, but I think all of those things describe the typical "rubyist"

Easy Solution (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061378)

Just don't use a Windows OS. (ducks and covers)

No really folks, my mum had an issue recently, the government office used an ActiveX component, over the net, to calculate annual TAX, which caused clients to become unstable and crash. The horror, the horror.

Re:Easy Solution (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34068714)

This is slashdot- no need to duck and cover.

Nevermind then! (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061384)

Schmidt told me that he supports mandated encryption for the nation’s power and electrical infrastructure, though not beyond that. But, early last year, President Obama declined to support such a mandate, in part, Schmidt said, because of the costs it would entail for corporations.

Oh, well then if it costs corporate America too much then it's a bad idea. But if it costs the taxpayers money, blank checks for everyone!

Yes, I am well aware that corporations pay taxes. But my point is the double standard applied whenever government mandates something. It's the same with any law. We have water restrictions in the SE - except for businesses. I can't wash my car with my little bucket and hose, but I can go to a car wash and they can use hundreds of gallons of water to wash my car - all because the legislature didn't want to dig into profits of business.

Re:Nevermind then! (2, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061648)

The car wash recycles and filters the water for reuse, do you?

"Warfare" falls under the Geneva Convention (3, Insightful)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061500)

several months back, a very frustrated U.S. General said that it would be a good idea to respond with conventional military strikes in response to cyber "warfare". the problem with that, and the problem with using the word "warfare" at all, is that "warfare" falls under the international treaties that make up the geneva convention.

to spell it out: should someone make a physically violent attack on a citizen of another country who did nothing more than accept an open invitation to manipulate infrastructure which should never have been open in the first place, then all citizens of that country have the right - THE RIGHT - to respond with physical violence against ALL the attacking country's citizens, and against ALL assets and territories of the attacking country.

put simply: no matter what the "excuse", if you attack one country's citizens, you have declared war on that country, and they can LEGITIMATELY attack back.

this is the definition of war.

so it is very, very stupid to link the two words "cyber" and "war" in the same sentence.

regarding the espionage issue and the infrastructure issue: it's very very simple. the best way to protect assets is not to connect them to the outside world! sometimes i have difficulty understanding why this is not understood. it's very simple: pull out the plug! to fail to take this simple precaution is to INVITE attack, and the consequences have to be accepted!

but yes: the "ownership" issue is very telling. america and europe's reliance on cheap chinese products basically places them entirely into china's debt. they really aren't kidding when they say "we own you" - why do you think the U.S. is devaluing its currency so rapidly! they're playing exactly the same trick that Hitler's government played on its war reparations of the first world war. ... we live in interesting times, boys and girls...

Re:"Warfare" falls under the Geneva Convention (3, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061624)

Since when has the US cared about the Geneva Convention? There are more than one Geneva Convention, for a start, and the US never ratified two of those. Those it did, it regularly breaches - you have things like Guantanamo Bay which is still operational and where sleight of hand is used to endorse various forms of torture against people because it's unclear if they are prisoners of war or not.

The US has to decide - either it's at war, and thus the prisoners it holds have the rights of prisoners of war (and, come on, just show some god-damn humanity too), or it's not in which case why is it bombing another country including its civilians? And if that country attacks back, surely that's just an act of war too and nothing that can be condemned? Listen carefully - they have a "war on terror" and even that phrasing has been phased out. You can't be "at war" with a concept rather than a particular country. And if you are "at war" with someone then pretty much any act they perform against your military and (if the US is playing the same game) your citizens is fair game.

The US has much, much bigger problems to worry about that a few hackers, and should be disgusted with itself. Land of the free? Only if you're not foreign-looking, only within the bounds of the US borders (so we'll take you to a foreign country where you don't have those rights), only if you can prove you've never done anything wrong despite never being given a trial. Home of the brave? How much courage does it take to beat, torture and humiliate a captured prisoner? The US doesn't care and even claims that things like an American "Internet kill-switch" would be at all useful in an *international* network - sever routes to the US (just in case their "kill switch" means active attacks against peers) and everyone else carries on as normal. All it could/world ever do is censor the US population.

To be honest, if the US military *is* seriously worried about such things as cyber-warfare over the Internet, then they really don't know how to design a military system.

Re:"Warfare" falls under the Geneva Convention (2, Informative)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061678)

It's not the military systems that are at risk with regards to "warfare" but rather the industrial systems that are public and supply things like water, electricity, and sanitation.

Re:"Warfare" falls under the Geneva Convention (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34063154)

1) The fact that the US hasn't ratified 2 of them (dunno if that's true, not taking the time to look it up) would conversely confirm that we DO take them very seriously, not the opposite.
2) if you want to talk about conforming strictly to the Geneva conventions, then the US military would have been totally within its right to summarily execute all non-uniformed combatants in Iraq or Afghanistan. Either it's a war, and they are nonuniformed combatants that can be executed, or they are bandits operating in a combat zone, who may be similarly treated. I think Guantanamo was stupid both operationally and public-relationally, but it's not nearly as cut and dried as you make it seem.
3) showing humanity - that's an ironic plea on the behalf of declared combatants whose tactics are wholesale slaughter of civilians (regardless of losses) in the hopes that they kill 1 American soldier. This is even setting aside totally the animalistic brutality that they perform on our soldiers that they capture. I do NOT believe that we should descend to their level, but unlike some who draw unjustified moral equivalence, I don't see that the occasional (and punished) dumbass hick naked hogpiling of prisoners is in any way comparable toward a widespread POLICY of brutality and terror. To see them as equal - much less see the US as worse - that's simply a complete dissociation from reality.

So? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061650)

The US has already declared war on (their NATO partner) The Netherlands for housing the International Court of Justice. In the US, declaring war is a national sport.

So any Estonian can shoot any russian (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062432)

he happens to see on the street. Sweet.

Re:"Warfare" falls under the Geneva Convention (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062678)

I have heard the current economic situation between US and China described as "Economic M.A.D.". I found it a telling enough description to bear repetition.

here is the really scary paragraph... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061710)

..the one that shows idiocy of before unheard proportions, and which makes me wonder how some people can attain such a high position anywhere..

Lynn also alluded to a previously classified incident, in 2008, in which some N.S.A. unit commanders, facing penetration of their bases’ secure networks, concluded that the break-in was caused by a disabling thumb drive; Lynn said that it had been corrupted by “a foreign intelligence agency.” (According to press reports, the program was just as likely to be the product of hackers as that of a government.) Lynn termed it a “wakeup call” and a “turning point in U.S. cyber defense strategy.” He compared the present moment to the day in 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt got a letter from Albert Einstein about the possibility of atomic warfare.

But Lynn didn’t mention one key element in the commanders’ response: they ordered all ports on the computers on their bases to be sealed with liquid cement. Such a demand would be a tough sell in the civilian realm. (And a Pentagon adviser suggested that many military computer operators had simply ignored the order.)

Insane... simply insane... and they want to protect us... with liquid cement

WTF

my words fail to describe this

Re:here is the really scary paragraph... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065378)

I was going to post the same thing but you beat me to it...

OK, now who's fault is this? Clearly in some previous "cybersecurity" article on Slashdot, some jokester said "Want your computers secure? Just fill all the ports with epoxy glue! You'll never catch a virus again!" Then some military guy with a buzzcut and a scar on his cheek doing "cybersecurity research" ran across this, exclaimed "Holy shit, this is brilliant!" as he quickly printed it and ran to the office of a high-ranking Pentagon officer.

"Sir...I think we've found the solution to our cybersecurity problems!"

"Sweet Mary mother of Jesus...I can't believe this...why didn't we think of this before!?"

Long article is long (2, Insightful)

divinewind (1108397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34061738)

The article itself is a very good read eh. (Which is probably why there are not that many comments here yet (RTA FTW). It focuses mostly on the war/espionage aspects and has very few mentions of privacy and such, downplaying it rather well. The interesting thing I learnt is that the NSA is pretty messed, [the article saying they] want security but they would rather know everything about everyone. In all, it's probably all hype eh. Sure there are implications of damage war can be brought, but as the article sometimes pointed out, it's hard to distinguish from economic spying and military espionage. In any case, the best thing that can happen (for me) is if America does decide to go ahead and give the NSA even more power they seek. When everyone is under the eye of bigbrother, there should be war. Which is fun eh. If there is no war, America would be a sucky place to live in. Canada would probably be bullied into doing the same thing, so my place would be messed too. Heh... but in all this, I find that I am really anxious for that to happen. I really want to forget everything, take out a few guns, and go out guns ablazing. Like that dude in V for Vendetta. Yarr.

Re:Long article is long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061832)

The article itself is a very good read eh. (Which is probably why there are not that many comments here yet (RTA FTW).
It focuses mostly on the war/espionage aspects and has very few mentions of privacy and such, downplaying it rather well.
The interesting thing I learnt is that the NSA is pretty messed, [the article saying they] want security but they would rather know everything about everyone.

In all, it's probably all hype eh. Sure there are implications of damage war can be brought, but as the article sometimes pointed out, it's hard to distinguish from economic spying and military espionage.

In any case, the best thing that can happen (for me) is if America does decide to go ahead and give the NSA even more power they seek. When everyone is under the eye of bigbrother, there should be war. Which is fun eh. If there is no war, America would be a sucky place to live in. Canada would probably be bullied into doing the same thing, so my place would be messed too.

Heh... but in all this, I find that I am really anxious for that to happen. I really want to forget everything, take out a few guns, and go out guns ablazing. Like that dude in V for Vendetta. Yarr.

Alright, big paragraph looks messed. Do we have to use br or what? (fixing in quote)

Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34061898)

Since we're using cyborgs for warfare now, at least we don't have to worry about soldiers getting injured as much, it's easier to rehabilitate someone with cybernetics.

I enjoy (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34062900)

how all these articles focus mostly on China. If this were 45 years ago, you could replace china with soviet union, and cyber warfare with nuclear holocaust. In my opinion this just goes to show how generally targeted and short sighted most american foreign policy really is. There is always something new to fear, new to hate.

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34063026)

"...a Lockheed P-3 Orion filled with espionage and eavesdropping hardware that was forced to land in China after a midair collision."

Thanks to the pilot who disobeyed orders.

We don't want security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34063926)

The problem is summed up in this paragraph:

One solution is mandated encryption .. This option, in some form, has broad support in the technology community and among privacy advocates. In contrast, military and intelligence eavesdroppers have resisted nationwide encryption since 1976, when the Diffie-Hellman key exchange.. was invented, for the most obvious of reasons: it would hinder their ability to intercept signals. In this sense, the N.S.A.’s interests align with those of the hackers.

One person's security is another person's insecurity. You can't secure citizens without making government nervous, and you can't widely deploy crypto and then control who gets to use and who doesn't.

You're missing the point (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34065588)

The problem that a lot of people seem to be missing is that the Chinese control the US 100% - up until the point where we say they do not. The US has two solutions: devalue the currency such that the debt is worthless and probably pointless as it could be paid off by anyone, or simply repudiate the debt, saying we don't owe it anymore.

There is no "international court" that would rap the US on the hand to say "No, no, you have to pay." If the President were to declare the debt null and void the US would take a big hit worldwide in terms of credit but the Chinese would be left holding the bag. A worthless bag.

Their solution would be to crash the economy first and be holding all the natural resource cards or at least as many as they could grab. They are doing the latter today with holding rare earth metals and making exclusive deals in Africa and South America. At some point they control enough resources that no matter what the rest of the world has to do their bidding.

I'm betting that isn't allowed to happen.

Sure, they don't want to crash Wall Street. It would, however, be in their interest to trigger "unrest" in the US in the form of riots over food, electricity and heat.

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