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McAfee CSO Issues Warning On the 'New Cold War'

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-thought-global-warming-fixed-that dept.

China 77

angry tapir writes "The Cold War between the USA and the USSR may have ended in 1991, but a new conflict involving the same enemies has emerged on the digital frontier, according to McAfee's US chief security officer. Brett Wahlin, a former North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) counter intelligence agent, told Computerworld Australia that the RSA token hack in March this year – where the token information was used to infiltrate US defense contractor Lockheed Martin – used the same espionage tactics he encountered while serving as an agent from 1987 to 1991 with the US army for NATO."

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More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449408)

"It seems the targets like Lockheed Martin are starting to get softened up. This isn't the end game; there is something bigger coming down the pipe and what we are seeing right now is a prelude to that. There could be a new warfare doctrine been created. I was in that world [NATO] for so long that when it looks and feels like a Cold War, there may be something else going down."

Congratulations on the nebulous statements, sir. You rival politicians. Not a single one of these statements is falsifiable. Oh, you're the head of a company that sells remedies to this horrible future? You don't say ...

<Zoidberg> I'll take one "security" please! </Zoidberg>

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (0)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449498)

"It seems the targets like Lockheed Martin are starting to get softened up. This isn't the end game; there is something bigger coming down the pipe and what we are seeing right now is a prelude to that. There could be a new warfare doctrine been created. I was in that world [NATO] for so long that when it looks and feels like a Cold War, there may be something else going down."

By asserting that he is only doing this to make money, you are also guilty of making unfalsifiable statements.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449532)

By asserting that he is only doing this to make money, you are also guilty of making unfalsifiable statements.

Where exactly is that "asserted"? It's awfully convenient and a possible motive ...

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449596)

He's implying that it's to make money, not asserting it.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449646)

Well at the very least, there's a big conflict of interest here, so his advice can't be taken any more seriously than an oil executive warning of a lithium shortage.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449934)

Well, the descriptions of the various attacks that led up to Lock-Mart's breaches (including the sustained campaign against RSA) makes a lot of analysts think the entire sequence is the activity of some nation's intelligence apparatus. Blaming China just seems like a knee-jerk to me, though. I would ROFL slightly into my waffles if it turned out to be Lulzsec (although those blowhards would have been boasting about it by now) or maybe the French or something. Maybe the Israelis?

Defense-oriented industrial espionage definitely broadens the pool of suspects; even your friends and allies wouldn't mind getting a peek at what you've got, if they think they can get away with it.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450534)

I would say:
"some group's intelligence apparatus."

Maybe it's a nation, maybe not. It is a group that has access to good tools and gear; but it could have been done by a small independent group using compromised computers to do their attack against the token.

This is the future. Borders, as we know them politically, are going away. The future will be fought by groups scattered across the globe, openly hidden in different nations. As that emerge old school military tactics will need to change into a more 'police' force style action. Because it is more like getting 'bad guys' out of a neighborhood, and less like taking over a neighborhood.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

Alimony Pakhdan (1855364) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525248)

Borders, as we know them politically, are going away. The future will be fought by groups scattered across the globe, openly hidden in different nations.

The 80s called and they want their cyberpunk thriller plot device back.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452264)

Uhhh...how EXACTLY is this ANY different than what we and everybody else has been doing since the beginning of time? Kinda funny how people forget that when a new Mig would come out we would offer a big fat pile of cash and asylum to any pilot who would give us one, just like how China paid farmers in Belgrade to dig up as many parts from that downed F-117 nighthawk as they could find so China could steal the stealth tech.

This is as old as time, and just sticking the word cyber in front of it don't make it any different. Probably will give McCrappee a nice defense contract though, which is usually what this "ZOMG we're doomed ZOMG!" BS usually boils down to anyway.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36453862)

It's different because you can do this hiding out in an Internet Cafe in Mongolia or Central Russia. Before we 'cyberized' things the MiG pilot would have to have the cajones to fly out of Russian airspace. The Chinese had to get sandals on the ground to bribe the locals to find the bits or they had to force a collision between the spy plane and theirs. All with attendant risks of reputation, money and people. Now, not so much.

It's not a black or white issue by any means - it's the same game. But the rules have changed. Now you don't necessarily need to be a "state supported" actor. Anybody with enough money and enough will and do it. It really does complicate things.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36455990)

^_^ . It's the NSA, they hack their own systems so they can boast about it.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450548)

I wouldn't say he can't be taken seriously. Sure, take his advice with a grain of salt, but don't ignore it altogether.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36457882)

Can you explain why not to ignore him? He does not say anything substantial.

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449854)

> Congratulations on the nebulous statements, sir.

If he were talking in a more concrete manner, the people who heard him speaking most likely would need to be shot and / or embedded in concrete.

Otherwise why not sever China's oceanic TCP/IP fiber links with spec-ops submarines, combat swimmers and ROV (of which the US NAVY has ample many) and send Beijing's plan for greatness down the sewer?

Re:More Bad Omens from a Soothsayer (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452506)

Why sever when you can just tap and manipulate when necessary?

nebulous and foggy (3, Funny)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449876)

"I was in that world [NATO] for so long that when it looks and feels like a Cold War, there may be something else going down."

So it's not Cold War, and summary title is wrong?
May I suggest a new name? It's the Cloud War. Just to be even more nebulous.

Re:nebulous and foggy (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450860)

May I suggest a new name? It's the Cloud War. Just to be even more nebulous.

Would that be Cumulonebulous?

Not "remedies". (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449990)

Oh, you're the head of a company that sells remedies to this horrible future?

McAfee doesn't sell remedies for anything (other than a remedy for a lack of McAfee software).

None of the "anti-virus" companies do. Because the way they're currently structured is as a reactive process.

Bad guys release a new "virus".
Users get infected.
Someone sends the infected files to McAfee.
McAfee releases new "signatures" to detect the new virus.
Repeat.

And McAfee makes a lot of money off of that process. Meanwhile, users keep getting infected by "mal-ware". It's so bad that you cannot even depend upon McAfee to detect all the "mal-ware" that is detected by other anti-virus products from a week ago. Why should you need to run multiple scans from multiple products to clear a Windows machine?

Where's the bootable CD from McAfee that will at least be able to identify what is known to be a regular Windows file and what has not been identified before? With a way to move those questionable files to external storage / submit them to McAfee?

But why spend money on something that might help? Particularly when just giving interviews about how things MIGHT get worse will generate more revenues for your company?

Colour me cynical.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

marnues (906739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451856)

I'd suggest this is how doctors work as well. It's poor engineering, but I'd bet people would claim it's the best we've got. It's the proactive/reactive IT debate. Is it better to keep locked down, smoothly running machines that fail at your expense? Or do you keep open systems that fail at the whim and fancy of your co-workers with you as their hero every time it's fixed? Human nature points people towards the poor option.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

laurelraven (1539557) | more than 3 years ago | (#36455052)

I'd suggest this is how doctors work as well. It's poor engineering, but I'd bet people would claim it's the best we've got. It's the proactive/reactive IT debate. Is it better to keep locked down, smoothly running machines that fail at your expense? Or do you keep open systems that fail at the whim and fancy of your co-workers with you as their hero every time it's fixed? Human nature points people towards the poor option.

I'd argue that the former option (inarguably the better option from a security standpoint) can be very risky from a career standpoint. If you don't get it perfect the first time (and you won't), people will assume incompetence from you as you get everything working smoothly, and bitch and complain every time they can't do exactly what they want without going through you. You get labeled a tyrant, and even if you are very, very good and good with people, the wrong impression could leave you without a job.

Some might argue that that would be the sort of job you should want to lose. I'd point at the unemployment rate and that there are damned few companies hiring who would act much differently than that.

At least in the second option, you can get lots of praise and promotion.

I'm not saying it's right, but sometimes, you do what you're made to do by the higher ups because you can't afford to lose your job if you stick to your guns.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

laurelraven (1539557) | more than 3 years ago | (#36455068)

P.S., that's from a sysadmin standpoint; companies like McAfee really have no excuse not to be working towards this methodology.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36458084)

No, that's really how patients work.

Most people, when told by their doctor, "You need to lose weight or you'll get diabetes," do what? That's right nothing. "You should be exercising for 30 min. 4 times a week," and yet most people don't change their habits. "You should have a biannual checkup, and get a colonoscopy every 5 years, a mammogram or prostate exam...."

Yes there are some things that doctors must take from a reactionary standpoint. But since we don't have magic pills yet, the only proactive thing a doctor can do is give advice, which frequently gets ignored.

You wouldn't blame the architect who told you to keep your house painted when your paneling start rotting through. Don't blame doctors who tell you how to maintain your body, or the security experts who tell you to choose strong passwords.(or how to write secure software) Their advice is good, but all to frequently ignored.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452644)

None of the "anti-virus" companies do. Because the way they're currently structured is as a reactive process.

Well, certainly not McAfee anyway. There are anti-virus packages with heuristic analysis, and supposedly those occasionally do something, but I've never personally seen a scanner catch anything with it.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452678)

Funny you should say that as I've found while Horton and McCrappee do suckth the big wet titty I've found a couple of free AVs that knock on plastic have actually been pretty damned good at keeping bugs out of my users PCs, and that is Comodo IS Free and Avast Free of all things. both use HIPS and default sandboxing to treat everything unknown as a possible infection, and use behavioral analysis as well as sigs.

Comodo is great for those that like to tweak settings and fiddle, as everything is customizable, while Avast is more "plug and play". I've got some customers that I swear could pick up more bugs than a Bangkok whore on a Saturday night but these two have kept them squeaky clean and work well enough I've switched my own family to Avast. Certainly nicer than having to deal with malware from my family as well as from customers 6 days a week.

As for TFA I don't see how sticking the word cyber on it makes it any different than the wholesale thievery every militaristic nation does to each other. We stole from the Russians , and the Russians did likewise from us, the Israelis stole from the French, I'm sure India and Pakistan has likewise stole from all of the above, and the Chinese steal every idea and tech that ain't nailed down, hell I heard they paid dirt farmers in Belgrade to dig up that crashed F-117 so they could steal stealth tech.

Frankly I'd argue anything less than airgapped is a waste of time anymore, just look at the Iran SCADA hack. So for home and most businesses a good AV will do most of the time but honestly the military should know better than allowing anything worth having to be on any net that connects to the WWW.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452772)

Bingo. I want to see an AV program that includes a bootable DVD, and can not just do an offline check for viruses and malware like the stinger.exe, but do serious heuristic checking. Some executable not Authenticode signed that is a Windows system file? Flag it, and optionally ask for install media to fix it after the executable is saved to a quarantine area. Another executable a different SHA-512 hash than what is in the original copy of Windows, or subsequent patches? Move it aside and replace it with a known uninfected copy. Files and folders with unknown alternate data stream that is not from a known application? Quarantine a copy of the object, strip the ADS info, and call it done.

Then go for the disk. First check the disk for reserved/read-only space MBR malware isn't tough to spot. Checking for a part of the HDD marked read-only on a low level is a good idea. Then check partitions and such.

Then comes the Registry. Not just an option to bump off known malware out of any crevice it can hide in to start as a driver or utility, but an option to rip everything out except the known Windows programs that need to start. This way, even if a rootkit buries itself as a filesystem driver, it will not run on subsequent bootup. If the offline AV scanner detects a rootkit that encrypts the HDD, either have a means to decrypt it, or a way for the user to recover data.

After that, comes the user profiles. If malware just runs as a user, it can win the game, so cleaning out Web caches, unhooking unfamiliar browser add-ons, and disabling startup of code in the user's hidey-holes will ensure that the user logs into a clean box.

For Joe Sixpack, the offline AV program could be bundled with an external HDD. Then, it could boot into "automatic clean" mode, make an offline image of the machine in case of problems, and start removing stuff that would be hidden by rootkits normally. Of course, the chance of false positives exist, so that is why stuff would be quarentined and snapshots taken, so the whole system can be rolled back.

What is ironic is that the only full featured (stinger.exe isn't really that full featured) A/V protection I know of which works on a disk level is the plugin that works on EMC SANs, where the SAN itself can scan for viruses and rootkits, even if the machine can't see the malware on its presented LUNs.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

Ararat (716144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36457684)

Ambitious. I don't know if this is technically feasible -- since Win7 and all other MS OS' seem to inevitably be dynamic (ie. big, imperfect, and thus updated with frequent patches) -- but if you build it or find it, please report back here. . I, for one, would probably buy it. . PS : McAfee, btw, bought Secure Computing, another OTP vendor and a major competitor to RSA, in 2008.

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462632)

It shouldn't be too difficult to keep hashes of an OS executables and libraries, even with the updates coming out. Probably easier than trying to keep abreast of new signatures of malware.

Of course, software not aware of what programs should hook into a machine might cause startup items like the HP printer driver stuff and reminders of having to buy ink to go away, but I'm sure most users rather have disabled startup items than missed items which contain malware.

Essentially this would be a "gritty reboot" of the old shareware program called Integrity Master that would boot from a floppy, scan a volume, then store the signatures on another floppy, making it impossible for the potentially infected OS to attack it. Add some Registry checking and this would be a useful utility for delousing most machines. The only caveats are if it pulls a driver that it doesn't know about that might be used for RAID, or WDE.

Re:Not "remedies". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461316)

McAfee has the DISA contract for HBSS, which is on a lot of DoD boxes...

Re:Not "remedies". (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465030)

Eh, yes and no.

Anti-virus software is primarily reactive. Proactive is typically called patching (if you catch it in time, though that can become reactive as well).

However, some anti-virus software does have a feature to detect virus-like behavior though it's not 100% successful. Additionally - anti-virus companies (at least Norton) have teams that are essentially white hats who look for new vulnerabilities and methods of virus delivery and obfuscation.

So yeah, I'll colo(u)r you cynical and respectfully disagree.

My concession to you is that I don't know the specifics of each and every anti-virus product, so maybe you've had a bad experience with McAfee, and that's fine - that's life. But in general having anti-virus software is a Good Thing (tm), IMHO.

Additionally - I do agree with the skepticism of the parent "Oh, you're the head of a company that sells remedies to this horrible future?". However, when you work in a specific industry chances are good you'll have opinions within your own industry. Just as Google engineers will have comments on the state of search engines or other technologies related to their fields.

Sir! I have a plan! (2)

Centurix (249778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449488)

Mein Führer! I can walk!

A new name for a new war (2)

the_saint1138 (1353335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449550)

A new online Cold War huh? For clarity we should call this one the Flame War.

And now a message from our glorious protectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36449632)

Next will be scare tactics from the watchers saying we need to give up more liberties to ensure a safe and secure future for the children.

USSR? (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449634)

There is no USSR anymore and the article says the new enemies are possibly North Korea and China - not Russia. What an incredibly misleading summary (I know I shouldn't be surprised).

Re:USSR? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449858)

Both North Korea and Red China were participants in the Cold War, more or less (from the perspective of US strategic planning) on the side of the USSR. Of course, there was ample wargaming and what-if planning on scenarios involving China or Korea independent of the Russians, or even in opposition; even the most raving foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Communist had to acknowledge that the East Asian side of the Iron Curtain was separable from the Near-European side.

Still, it's naive or misinformed to insist that the presumptive adversaries in a current intelligence war aren't the same actors as during the Cold War. Russia wasn't the end-all and be-all of the Red side.

Re:USSR? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449888)

Re-read the opening of the summary. It doesn't mention China, North Korea or communism anywhere. It said USA and USSR.

Re:USSR? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450004)

I suppose that's a fair cop, although criticizing Slashdot article summaries is much like mocking the intelligence of the retarded, I mean mentally challenged. It's redundant and not very insightful.

It's a summary on Slashdot. Being merely misleading is actually pretty good, on balance.

Re:USSR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36453676)

But there is a great wall icon right there.

lol wut (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449680)

(picture of a pear goes here)

Of course he sells the idea of a new Cold War (2)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449788)

If he succeeds in selling the idea that there is a new Cold War which oh so happens to be fought with the product his company sells then he is in line to get a hefty ton of money from people spending money on their quackery. There is a reason why all of a sudden McAfee started complaining about losing the war on computer security and companies such IBM started warning that there is a supercomputer arms race between China and the US and the US was about to lose. It's all about generating demand where there is none and creating a market for something which isn't needed.

Difference (5, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449790)

There lies a fundamental difference between the USSR vs. USA Cold War and the so-called USA vs. China Cold War: the USA just might collapse under its own weight just as the USSR did. America does not have the collective scientific, engineering, and military resources it once had. Our military is strung thin and war weary and our mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers are going into financial careers. Our economy has stagnated with unemployment at a high for this century. Also, our infrastructure such as roads, bridges, electrical grid, etc. is crumbling whereas in China it is growing. Towards the end of the first cold war, conditions in the USSR were economically very, very bad and there was an omnipresence of political infighting which ultimately lead to its demise. History may repeat itself yet again since the similar conditions can be found here in the USA>

Re:Difference (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449866)

You are missing one very large factor in all this:

You actually can say this on a public forum. Soviet leadership made our politicians (now and then) look like honest Abe. While we get plenty of propaganda we also have plenty of sources telling us the truth (or as close as they can get). What's worse, is that their leadership even started believing the propaganda.

Re:Difference (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450508)

At the tail end of the cold war in the late 1980s, you probably could say things like this due to the concepts of Troika and Parastroika. These two concepts roughly equate to free and openness. In a last ditch attempt to keep the politburo in some sort of power, they allowed published criticisms. In the end, it was the politburo's undoing. Towards the end of the USSR, a somewhat limited freedom of the press and limited capitalism were allowed. So, the factor is not quite as large as it may seem. The US is headed towards a police state not to dissimilar to that of the USSR during Troika and Parastroika.

Re:Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36451766)

Surely you mean Glasnost (roughly translated as "transparency" or "openness") and Perestroika ("new course" or "change of the course").

Re:Difference (1)

LS (57954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451788)

You actually can say this on a public forum.

This is the robotic response spouted by everyone who wants to counter any comparison of the US with China or the USSR. Please think for yourself for a moment, and don't boil the entire world down to free speech. While free speech is important, it in itself is also neither a monolithic right nor a clear-cut win for the US. There are shades of grey in what can and can't be said on both sides of the world, though it can be argued that China and the Soviets had less rights.

In the end though, how important is free speech on a sinking ship? You can scream all you want on in your public forum while the thieves are stealing everything out of your bank account and selling you down the river, and then once shit hits the fan, you might end up losing your rights to free speech anyway, after some authoritarian power comes in to take over when the people demand something be done about the horrid state of things.

Re:Difference (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36453204)

My point - from reading the rest of the post - is that we can see the problems and try to address them. In the Soviet Union everybody was kept in the dark and even the leadership was self-deluded.

Re:Difference (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450758)

You forgot to mention the fact that the US and China are more closely tied together than the US and USSR ever were.

Re:Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36452926)

People said that about Germany, England, France, and Austria before WWI, that the countries were too close as trade partners to ever start going to war.

China can decide to throw the switch anytime. There will become a time where they don't need the US anymore. Then, the real "fun" will start. In a span of 24 hours, Iran mysteriously decides to mine the strait between the Golf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, and decides to have Red Guard bases near key centers in return for handing China oil. The US's power grids mysteriously start having a lot of problems (seems to be old SCADA systems all having faults at once), Kim decides to use Seoul as target practice. Russia turns off the gas pipelines to Germany, forcing them to choose between leaving NATO or having their citizens freeze to death.

Only a matter of time before this starts. The fires of nationalism are starting to catch in China, and it is only a matter of time before they decide to expand their empire. Just ask any neighbor of theirs about islands and other territories and the many disputes.

Re:Difference (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36456084)

Losing the USA isn't going to throw the rest of the planet into chaos.

Re:Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36451050)

No Sir, we have the requisite skills. What we lack is the efficiency to properly leverage them. We have become so mired down in national control and bureaucracy that we have lost our reaction time and therefor lag behind. This gross inefficiency will result in hemorrhaging of money and (eventually) talent...but not yet on the talent part.

That's because we were conquered politically. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451568)

How are we supposed to even try to compete when politicians are doing everything they can to decrease overall competitiveness?
They wont pay for education so that the brightest minds can actually learn the necessary knowledge whatever it is.
They wont pay to build infrastructure to actually take advantage of those bright minds.
They wont pass a competitive budget to fund it all because they don't want to raise taxes.

So basically politicians are arguing about who will pay the Chinese and how. They aren't even trying to compete with the Chinese. The reason is because the USA has already been internally conquered. There wont be any competitive coldwar. If the USA wanted to truly compete then they'd start with making college free for all American citizens. Suddenly you'd have more engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and whatever else is needed. Secondly the USA could just draft whoever they need from the private sector. If there is some brilliant mathematician, or some brilliant hacker in IRC, nothing stops the US government from simply creating a cyber militia or cyber corps and drafting them into it. The selective service provides a legal basis, as does the Constitution.

So there really is no excuse for this other than general political incompetence. The weakness is in the law making policy making part of the system. The military does a great job defending the system overall. The law enforcement do a great job enforcing the laws overall and locking people up. The courts do a great job distributing justice. The only real weakness seems to be that our laws are fucking stupid, irrational, dumb. We pass laws which criminalize the majority of our own citizens, and then we end up having to enforce those laws locking ourselves up. Then we wonder why we aren't as competitive as we could have been.

On top of that we don't even try to build anything. We won't use the government to invest in infrastructure and the government wont use it's muscle to infect the private sector and make it invest in infrastructure. We can't or wont defend civil liberties so that citizens would actually feel like there is a country worth saving, and then we wonder why nobody is defending the country?

Form a goddamn militia if it's a cyber war. Draft a few million cyber soldiers into it. Pay them, give them jobs, give them an education, give them healthcare and other benefits, and let them work from home/telecommute and I guarantee most Americans will take that offer if the pay is in the same range as the private sector or even if it's a bit less. But as it's going now, the government is treating it like a cyber security law enforcement problem. They are saying a new war docrtine has to be created? So create the doctrine and present that to Slashdot. Then utilitze a draft, and I think if they wanted to they could have a million cyber soldiers within a year just by drafting them.

The government is taking something simple (at least on the surface), and making it over complicated. If you look at history, when nations were threatened they drafted their best, and they pit their best against the other nations best. But right now our nation probably wouldn't even be willing to fund the initiative.

Re:That's because we were conquered politically. (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452364)

The USSR had plenty of mathemeticians and computer scientists and engineers. They just didn't have many good jobs for them outside of making military hardware, which is economically unproductive.

Re:That's because we were conquered politically. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36453186)

The USSR had plenty of mathemeticians and computer scientists and engineers. They just didn't have many good jobs for them outside of making military hardware, which is economically unproductive.

What about software?

Re:That's because we were conquered politically. (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36466192)

Fallacy: If you made college free in the USA, you would not get more engineers. You would get more English and Basket-Weaving majors. Of this, I am certain. The fundamental flaw in our system, is rooted in our failing methods of math and science (mostly math) education for GRADE SCHOOL children. Our kids start behind, and they stay behind. With the exception of the top 5%, very few can handle math beyond algebra in secondary school. And most of the sciences rely on math this advanced. (actually, far beyond this). Kids should be getting their introduction to calculus concepts in middle school. All children.

The reason we do not, is the dismal funding state of our grade and middle schools, and our absurd focus on athletics as some kind of social panacea. Fitness is important. Socialization IS important. But we fucking WORSHIP it. And this religion will be our undoing.

Draft a few million cyber soldiers? Lol. What you will have is a few million idiot script kiddies. What is needed is perhaps ONE man, who can think, and write the code, that is smarter than the attacker's code. Of course a large, competent, trained staff will be needed to implement that in IT systems, just like, Einstein came up with E=mc^2, and we needed a Manhattan Project to build *A Bomb*, and then we needed a huge military-industrial complex and a global empire, to create the situation of MAD, to hold the Soviets at bay during the cold war (long enough so that their own arrogance could be their economic undoing. . . which ultimately was the case).

My point is that - I agree somewhat with your idea: but we can't just take the "America" we have now, and throw money at it to solve this problem. We need to recognize that the educational solutions we've been pursuing for the last two generations have been FOR SHIT. We have screwed ourselves over. And the only way out, is to re-invest in education for our youth, and MAYBE, in 10-15 years, we can BEGIN to see the benefits, in terms of competitiveness. Until then, we are fucked-fucked-fucked.

Re:Difference (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451854)

you're on drugs

i remember the old days when AT&T was a real monopoly and you could only get a home telephone from an AT&T store. back in the 80's it was $80 for a cheapo rotary dial phone.

back in those days the smartest people worked for the government or a contractor and new tech first showed up in huge government projects and then decades later filtered to us civilians. this started to change in the late 1990's with the internet and now with mobile phones and other devices. now everyone gets new tech first and the government/military is behind

Cold war? Espionage tactics changed? (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36449930)

If you sell hacked information or talk about telco systems, what has changed?.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Koch_(hacker) [wikipedia.org] - was found burned to death with gasoline in a forest near Celle in 1989.
Post cold war if you talk in open court about the reality of cell phone tracking eg. Adamo Bove was the head of security at Telecom Italia
He was found under a freeway overpass.
Costas Tsalikidis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostas_Tsalikidis [wikipedia.org] was a 38-year-old software engineer for Vodaphone in Greece.
He uncovered a highly sophisticated bug embedded in the mobile network. Spyware eavesdropped on the Greek prime Minister and other top officials’ cell phone
calls; it even monitored the car phone of Greece’s secret service chief.
His mother found him hanging outside of his apartment bathroom in 2005.
Whats changed? The front end is a MS/token sellers hourly dream that attracts UFO hunters using 56k modems. The back end seems the same.

since 1984 (1)

alien9 (890794) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450050)

But we always have been in war against Eurasia?!

FUD WAR (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450066)

As others have said, this article and many others are the primer for FUDing the public to allow the internet to be locked down into governmenland-net--or at least being to apathetic too care when it happens. OMGTEHHAXORS WILL RUIN US DONT FIX OUR NETWORKZ OR INTERNETZ JUST MAKE IT MORE SECUR LIKE DA TSA DOEZ AIRPORTZ!!!!@#!@#

Re:FUD WAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36451314)

More FUD from the FUD Masters.

God Help Us... (0)

cozzbp (1845636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450094)

Oh wait, CSO of McAfee? Fuck him and his shitty company.

Re:God Help Us... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450676)

I wouldn't fuck him with your 10 foot logic probe!

The last person I'd take advice from... (2)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450274)

Considering how badly McAfee's enterprise security software sucks ass, this guy is the last person I'd take security advice from.

I'm not just blowing smoke here, I've worked in IT at companies large and small for 20 years, and every time an employer has used a McAfee anti-whatever solution, I've seen more viruses and malware infected users than you can imagine. Their software simply does not work. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone scared of the cyber-future. Maybe he'll drive some business to Norton :)

Re:The last person I'd take advice from... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36453642)

I have ended up deploying McAfee on IBM and Oracle hardware. Not that AIX gets viruses (other than the directory that is shared via CIFS with the Windows boxes), but that it allows me to tick off a check-box saying "all computers, regardless of OS, have ICSA labs certified antivirus software running on them."

In this case, McAfee does the job well.

So Stephen Colbert was right... (1)

daHIFI (458710) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450286)

...when he told Henry Kissinger that the Cold War wasn't over on Monday night.

McAfee Gap Shaft (2)

drerwk (695572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36450562)

take it as you will

or a fate worse than HELL?! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36453234)

the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

One basement's as good as another.
But how are we going to prevent all these women in the confines of the bunker from synchronizing their cycles?!!!

Something bigger coming down the pipeline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36450618)

Sorry. When he makes references to the cold war and says it's a sign of "something bigger coming down the pipeline" lets go back to the history books and see what came down the pipeline. The USSR collapsed. There was no global nuclear war. --- www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

McAfee produces a horrible product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36451032)

Just wanted to make that clear in this discussion. I only know their retail product, which is a bloated, ugly mess. Maybe their enterprise products are better, but after clearing McAfee garbage off several friend's PCs the past few years, I wouldn't touch anything they make with a 10 foot pole.

IT Security vs as cost center... (1)

kbonin (58917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451082)

The only thing changing is that IT in general is generally considered a "cost center" to trim, IT security an even less indirectly profitable component of that cost center, and management of most organizations is becoming more aggressive at reducing that cost. Add outsourcing and subcontracting issues and you end up with a system where there is real interest only in having an appearance of security, and standard practices revolve around plausible deniability and passing the buck.

Almost everyone whose been in enterprise security for a while has a collection of cringe worthy stories they cannot share... (sigh)

Is Russia losing to their Mafia? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36451904)

Russia has their own problems. When communism went down, they had a power vacuum, which was filled by organized crime. For a while, Russia had rule by "oligarchs". Putin managed to get the biggest oligarchs under control, the ones big enough to challenge national power. But there are still too many crooks per capita left, and they tend to be too closely tied to parts of the Government.

This is why we have so much trouble with various computer attacks out of Russia. Some are private, some may be actual military intrusions, and some may be private parties trying to get info they can sell to the military.

Bear in mind that Russia (and many third world countries) have little private fiefdoms within their military. Generals running profit-making businesses on the side isn't at all unusual in much of the world, especially when the military is better organized than the rest of the country. (This is a disease of countries with too big a military and not enough for them to do. The US military is so busy nobody has time for that nonsense. Homeland Security, though...)

Of course, there is a cold war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36452580)

And America as well as the west, are losing badly. The reason is that China and Russia are keeping it quiet.

The sound (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36452612)

of salesmen.

Re:The sound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36453182)

TLDR: "Trust us. We have ex-NATO intelligence officers to help us advise you. We can protect you and your loved ones from the scary world out there. A new war's breaking out you know. You will need our help. Buy our software."

synopsis (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36454646)

I read between the lines and came away with this : blah blah security threats blah blah worse every day blah blah mcaffee blah blah most secure blah blah blah even withstood anonymous blah blah scary cybermercs coming blah blah buy from us blah blah

Cold war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36455562)

Sure Mc A fee has a problem with Russia. Kaspersky Labs is taking a lot of their business away.

Reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36487516)

Thaks for the article.

My personal site:
http://www.pagineverdionline.it/

Funny banner ads (1)

Alimony Pakhdan (1855364) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525336)

I got two Confucius Institute banner ads for this page. Had to giggle.
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