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Why The US Will Lose a Cyber War

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-enough-code-red dept.

China 244

An anonymous reader writes "There's not another nation in the world that can wage kinetic warfare as effectively as the United States, and that's probably at the heart of the reason why the United States will lose a war fought in cyberspace, leading cyber security analyst Jeffrey Carr writes."

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We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (5, Funny)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043342)


I've written about cyber warfare before and made some insightful points.

The bottom line is this: We *CAN* win at cyber war but what we must do is ensure our warriors are comfortable and well nourished as they enter the battlefield. When a warrior is scheduled to go online, make sure they get a well balanced meal the night before. Lower carbohydrates and plenty of protein, preferably from vegan sources. For breakfast a high protein meal is a must, perhaps with some fair trade coffee lightened with a hint of organic soy milk. Some vitamin B complex and Omega 6 fatty acids will also help the brain stay alert during his mission.

That's the nourishment side. Now to comfort.

Low level, indirect lighting. High contrast, high refresh monitors at a distance that helps reduce the amount of EMR the soldier absorbs. Comfortable Pro Shiatsu massage chairs to keep the blood from pooling up in the back and torso.

On of the most important things is the soldiers' nervous system care. If they are to be sitting at a computer all day long, they *must* have proper care both before and after their missions. I'd recommend an on-staff Chiropractor to break out the micro-subluxations that will inevitably form during the hours sitting in a chair. Even a good massage chair will let some develop, but they won't be serious if attended to within reasonable time. The last thing we want is a great cyber warrior crippled by subluxation (or worse, given cancer or heart disease by one) Chiropractic is by far the cheapest method of this. That's why we are petitioning the Veterans' Association to bring us on board in their long term care facilities. We can extend their lives and make the duration better quality.

Take care,
Bob

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043488)

That one was actually kind of funny.

that was definitely insightful (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043684)

thank you, for posting this. i feel like my life has changed after reading it. so beautiful, so simple, so sincere.

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043716)

Dr Bob! Hi!

Charl LaTan, FD here!

You tell'em! I have some crystals that will BLOCK all the EMF and other Cyber attacks! It will protect a soldier's nervous system from all those electromagnetic and tachyon particles that are emitted by those cyber devices.

We also should issue chickens to our men in uniform to fight these cyber-wars. So, if they get attacked by let's a microwave weapon, the chicken along with the specified VooDoo dance will protect them. And afterwards, they can eat the microwaved chicken.

Of course, if they should need more treatment, there's always chiropractic care - we, at least, know for a fact that manipulation of the skeleton cures EMF sickness.

Btw,

Some vitamin B complex and Omega 6 fatty acids will also help the brain stay alert during his mission.

There are plenty of Omega-6 fatty acids in that chicken and in french fries, Big Mac, potato chips, and every other form of junk food. Hence why in my Homeopathic Chiropractic care, I prescribe plenty of pizza, wings and malt liquor or beer.

Anway, take care Dr. Bob! We in the real medicine practices need to stick together from those quacks and charlatans in the "scientific" medical fields with all their non-sense with double blind studies and statistics. If it feels better then it works! No need for this science crap!

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (2)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044232)

I'm not really sure why you keep at it, Bob. These folks on /. are far to enamored with their germ theory of disease, and their scientific method, and their actual evidence that science based medicine lengthens lives and cures (or mitigates) diseases and their double blind studies and all the other things that are on their side.

Of course, you and I know the truth. All these polio-free children running around today are the beneficiaries of chiropractic. Likewise, all the smallpox-free children, Diphtheria-free children and malaria-free children. Boy, what would we do without chiropractic?

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (1)

shugah (881805) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044242)

What's your opinion on tinfoil hats?

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044344)

A tinfoil hat is simply a perfectly aimed parabolic dish for the Mole People's brain control rays.

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044362)

Who wouldn't want a hat that you can also, at a push, use to roast a turkey in?

Re:We *CAN* win, if we treat our soldiers well! (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044368)

What do you think this is? The Air Force?

- Dan.

It just works like that (2)

zget (2395308) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043352)

Large empires have always fallen when new technologies have arisen. They allow someone else to take the new number one place. China is extremely viable candidate for this, even without the whole cyberwar thing.

Re:It just works like that (1)

jasmusic (786052) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043486)

Just look at their new aircraft carrier, for example.

Re:It just works like that (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043552)

Just look at their new aircraft carrier, for example.

The aircraft carrier is a threat long-term, once they have another carrier and adequate ships around it to make a carrier group, but for now is largely symbolic.

The anti-ship ballistic missiles are a much bigger threat right now, since they are not a member of the accords we've signed with Russia limiting their development (so China gains superiority on that tech) and such missiles are potentially very effective weapons against other carriers.

Re:It just works like that (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043736)

drop a nuke on, or near, above the carrier & carrier group and problem solved

Re:It just works like that (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043840)

Not even the US will get away with dropping nukes in the current political, ecological and economical climate.

Re:It just works like that (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043976)

Even in a war against a major power, there will be hesitation to use nuclear weapons. Nobody will want to use them unless they are sure they can be decisive with little or no threat of retaliation. That being said, any country *might* use them if, for example, it will take out a carrier group launching attacks on their capital or another large enough target.

Re:It just works like that (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044264)

When you're talking about taking out an 'entire carrier group', you're talking about another world war, in which case political, ecological and economical concerns will be entirely different than anything you've ever seen in your lifetime, unless you happen to have witnessed WWII.

There are only a few countries who have this sorts of ships and they aren't little. China JUST GOT a SINGLE carrier, with no escorts. Its not like we're talking about taking out The Isle of Man's Atlantic battle fleet ... which is a dingy with a couple outboard motors on it.

Now I don't see using nukes as something anyone will want to do anyway, but when you get to the that level of fighting, the world will be nothing like it is now.

Re:It just works like that (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044160)

You mean the same new aircraft carrier that has far inferior planes on it and doesn't stand a chance against even sub-standard submarines?

Besides, this era is way different than before. The US has the capacity to blow up the planet several times over, something the Roman/British/Ottoman/etc Empires never had. Perhaps the US's glory years are over, but mutually assured destruction is still nothing to laugh at.

Besides, I don't know why everyone seems to be rooting for China. The Chinese government treats people worse than animals, has a horrendous human rights record. If anything, there should be a call to neuter it before we get to WWIII.

Re:It just works like that (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043558)

China has their own problems. For one they are tied to the U.S. financially. They are in the hopes that we will repay all that debt.

Cyberspace has that odd dependency that we call real-life. Drop the connection and the servers and cyberspace disappears... Question becomes who is willing to do that.

Cyber warfare is not the next battle ground. At best it is the next street fight. Yeah China or some country may break into some company or government computer, but hell we have 16 year old doing that as well. We also have companies that are stopping such attacks on their networks. No the next battle ground is the economy (some might even argue it has always been the battleground). Cyberspace is a nice distraction.

As they say "It's the economy stupid."

Re:It just works like that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043922)

China has their own problems. For one they are tied to the U.S. financially. They are in the hopes that we will repay all that debt.

Debt is irrelevant compared to the trade deficit. They're dependent on U.S. consumers buying Chinese products. The debt is just a way to keep their inflation down so that the trade imbalance stays in their favor and U.S. consumers keep buying artificially cheap Chinese products. Works out great for China and great for U.S. borrow-and-spend politicians.

Re:It just works like that (4, Interesting)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044036)

China has increased it's import of food by a factor of 5 from the US just over the past 6 years. On the other hand China makes nothing the US can not produce domestically or import from other emerging countries who can also pay their employees a dollar a day to create cheap products. China has also started reporting trade deficits and inflation is driving their export prices up past the point where their currency manipulations can control. Doing anything to really piss off the US would threaten 30% of their current export market while the US might see a slight increase in prices for imported goods.

No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043356)

The problem with defending the U.S. in a cyber attack is that there are so many targets and its economy has become so utterly and completely dependent on the internet and its computer systems. They're a very easy target because there are so MANY targets to hit there. Now, contrast that with a place like North Korea, which has almost no internet infrastructure and whose ragged economy probably wouldn't take a hit if every computer in the country exploded tomorrow. That's asymetric warfare taken to the nth degree. North Korea in that situation basically CAN'T loose a cyber war against the U.S. The worst that could happen is that the U.S. would stop their attack. And with enough attacks, one is bound to connect. And even one successful attack on an important sector or piece of infrastructure could produce chaos in the U.S.'s very large and powerful house of cards.

In comparison, what has North Korea got to lose? Their few power plants are running on 50's tech. Most of the country lives in abject poverty with no electricity (much less internet access). They're like Battlestar Galactica, a ship with such old technology that a computer virus doesn't even phase them. How the hell is the U.S. going to fight a cyber war against them and NOT lose?

Now, that's an extreme example. China, Russia, Iran, et. al. are a little more dependent on their network/computer infrastructure than North Korea. But NO ONE (outside of the first world, certainly) is as dependent on their IT infrastructure as the U.S. That's a real vulnerability that's almost impossible to plug.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

dokc (1562391) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043426)

They're like Battlestar Galactica, a ship with such old technology that a computer virus doesn't even phase them.

Err... Battlestar Galactica survived and eventually won the war against Cylons. And the technology was not so old, they just switched the network off.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043932)

Yes, that is true. You do realize that North Korea is Battlestar Galactica in this analogy, and the United States is the Cylon?

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044152)

United States is the Cylon?

That means we're blonde and super smoke'n hot... oh no! China is bending us over the chair and taking us from behind...

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043942)

I haven't finished watching BSG on Netflix you insensitive clod!

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044304)

Thanks for the spoiler douche... I haven't seen the show yet, just put it in my Netflix queue a month or so ago, and now at least one episode is already ruined!!

grumble grumble grumble

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044316)

They didn't win, they hid from them and hid all their take from them so they just couldn't be found.

The Cylons weren't wiped out, just no longer essentially immortal. They can still produce new Cylons in the same old mechanical way they used to before the original 5 met them.

In BSG, humans clearly lost the war, even 150k years later, humans had not advanced to the point of being a threat to the Cylons (yet) again, and still only populated one planet with a joke for space travel compared to the old colonies. Thats not a win, even if they took out one of the biggest advantages the Cylons had.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

zget (2395308) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043446)

North Korea does have internet infrastructure. They started using their block of 1024 ip addresses last year. It was assigned to them before, but late 2010 companies in the capital started using it. They also have good internal "internet" infrastructure.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

zget (2395308) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043518)

Just to clarify the internal infrastructure. They started building their own network in 2000 which now connects all the universities, libraries, companies and even cybercafes where people casually hangout. Remember that internet to home isn't that common elsewhere in Asia either - most population go to cybercafes to check their email, play games or just surf the internet. It's really cheap too, and they stock beer and other drinks for customers.

Most people stupidly seem to assume that North Korea is technologically somewhere in the beginning of 1900. They are not.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (0)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044106)

Well I saw enough NatGeo documentaries about North Korea to see what it's like. In rural areas people don't even have cars, there are no gas stations. Just like in Cuba, there are supermarkets for rich people with imported goods. Power is unreliable and blackouts happen several times a day. Medicine is just basic and for any serious treatment they have to wait for humanitary help. And only a while ago they started getting cell phones.

And it's a country of 24 million sharing 1024 IP addresses. From wikipedia:

Kwangmyong is a North Korean internal nationwide network opened in 2000. It provides email, web, and news services. Only a small number of government-authorized people are allowed to use the Internet, so all other people must use Kwangmyong. Filtered content from the Internet is placed on it.

NK is another failed communist dictatorship, with the standard Soviet formula of social classes:

People who work IN the party
People who work FOR the party
People who DO NOT work for the party

So please, don't try to sell us what it's not.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044262)

Power is unreliable and blackouts happen several times a day.

Sadly, you just described portions of the US too. Even worse, this will become ever more common over the next decade. If left unchecked, and utility companies are not required to maintain and repair the equipment they've already been paid *twice* to do so, within two decades the US will have a second world power infrastructure. The peak reliability for the US power grid was in the 1970s. Its been at a steady decline ever since even though our utility rates (and lump sum government payments via taxes) have literally paid to do it properly twice now.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044366)

Most people stupidly seem to assume that North Korea is technologically somewhere in the beginning of 1900. They are not.

No, but 60s or 70s is probably a pretty accurate description of their technology level for most of the population in North Korea. They may have some people that can use a network, but the general population is lucky to have electricity, even living on the outskirts of the capital and some of the capitals 'skyscrapers' are electricity optional. So its not the 1900s ... but its pretty fucking close from a practical perspective.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043590)

Then you had better go update the Wikipedia article on the subject [wikipedia.org] . Obviously the editors at Wikipedia don't appreciate glorious reforms that Glorious Leader has made of late. Typical western imperialists!

missile the 3 gorges dam and china is fucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043498)

missile the 3 gorges dam and china is fucked

yes. that would kill at least 1% of their (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043608)

population.

now about the other 990 million...

they might be rather upset.

well seeing how bad the rail system is that fail (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043744)

well seeing how bad the rail system is that may fail on it's own.

Re:well seeing how bad the rail system is that fai (2)

ender- (42944) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044280)

well seeing how bad the rail system is that may fail on it's own.

I'm not sure the US is in any position to criticize the rail system of any other nation. :)

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

Jaime2 (824950) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043508)

Which is why, if the US is blatently attacked, they will respond with troops and bombs instead of cyber retaliation. That's one of the points of making the Internet a 5th domain. I would envision a typical response to be either cutting off the Internet connections from an attacking country (by physically destroying the cables with air strikes), or pinpointing the location of the attackers and turning them into red mist.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043888)

Which is why, if the US is blatently attacked, they will respond with troops and bombs instead of cyber retaliation.

Cyber attack is already a routine reality; it's not some kind of looming futuristic threat. And yet the troops aren't being deployed and the bombs not being dropped, because no one knows how to do that and where to bomb.

I would envision a typical response to be either cutting off the Internet connections from an attacking country (by physically destroying the cables with air strikes)

This countermeasure definitely isn't viable, because the main mode of cyber attack is insurgency. The first step of cyber attack is to have your adversary attack itself. The US isn't going to cut off access to itself. Indeed, persuading the US to do that, could in fact be the very goal of the attacker, so your suggested defense is in fact surrender.

i.e. The purpose of the president's "Internet kill switch" to destroy the US economy, in the event that the US economy is threatened. It's pretty damn funny, almost right out of Dr. Strangelove.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044270)

This countermeasure definitely isn't viable, because the main mode of cyber attack is insurgency. The first step of cyber attack is to have your adversary attack itself. The US isn't going to cut off access to itself. Indeed, persuading the US to do that, could in fact be the very goal of the attacker, so your suggested defense is in fact surrender.

You've got to distinguish between pulling the plug on the external internet (i.e., international links) which would be annoying but not fatal, especially if temporary, and pulling the plug on internal internet (i.e., what you seem to be thinking of). Losing connectivity with China for a few days would hardly be the end of the world, would it? Moreover, you don't have to kill all the links; pushing things so that congestion chokes the rest will do just fine and once the attack rate is reduced, it's quite possible to react sanely.

But it is still important to ensure that critical infrastructure (e.g., electric grid control hardware) is adequately protected. In fact, I'd call that a no-brainer, and consequently the people who have let things get into their current state are "brainless morons".

i.e. The purpose of the president's "Internet kill switch" to destroy the US economy, in the event that the US economy is threatened. It's pretty damn funny, almost right out of Dr. Strangelove.

Don't worry. You've got Congress to do the destruction of the economy for you. No need to have internet hackers involved at all.

Sargent! What the hell is wrong with that missile (2)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044156)

I would envision a typical response to be either cutting off the Internet connections from an attacking country (by physically destroying the cables with air strikes), or pinpointing the location of the attackers and turning them into red mist.

Well, since the attackers would be a BotNet of compromised XP PCs located all over the US mainland, I don't think that would be effective. But I could certainly see some bonehead launching cruse missiles, then wondering why they appear to be circling back to base.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043564)

But NO ONE (outside of the first world, certainly) is as dependent on their IT infrastructure as the U.S. That's a real vulnerability that's almost impossible to plug.

How about Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and those outsourced spots in the Philippines?

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043634)

Japan is a first world country. Can't really comment on the others, but I doubt they have as much to lose as the U.S.

China infrastructure is on the cheap with safety n (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043612)

China infrastructure is on the cheap with safety not that good all over the place. Look at the China high speed rail crash and after that they where very quick to bury the train cars.

Maybe they can hack a us nuke plan and likely at most trigger any number of auto shut downs / safety's but there own plans are likely lacking the same auto shut downs.

we already had a cyber attack. remember Enron? (3, Informative)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043670)

they shut down the power grids, by twiddling some bits in a computer, and laughing about grannies who would be without power.

of course they got away with it, because they were well connected politically and ideologically to the 'free market uber alles' people.

you could also argue the financial crisis of 2008 was a cyber attack on the part of the bankers, hedge fund managers, ratings agencies, insurance companies, and government regulators who all colluded to create massive fraud of the Synthetic CDO "industry", which wiped out vast mountains of money ... all using little numbers in computers, swishing things to the Cayman Islands and so forth.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043852)

It'd be easy to beat North Korea in a cyber attack just unplug them from the network. It's not like anyone would care or could leave the country in order to reconnect it. Then again Kim Jong Il is an internet expert so we might have some trouble with him.

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044302)

Yeah, you going to unplug all the countries with the botnets around the world that they set up to conduct the attack too (including in the U.S. itself)?

Re:No, it's because the U.S. has the most to lose (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044192)

A cyber war is a war that No one will win as well...
A normal war while can have some that there isn't a declared winner or looser. But there are also wars where there is a Winner and a Looser. A cyber war will go on and on. Sure US will get hit the hardest and fastest, then they will just rebuild from the backups and make better security and retaliate and back and forth...
There are no real people dying directly, so the war will just keep going and going. Until all sided are dried up. Or until one side had enough and takes the war out of the cyber and starts killing people.

I vaguely remember a star trek episode like this?
 

sigh (5, Funny)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043392)

no such thing as a cyber war. If i were to guess, it would be koreans who win a cyber war because they're pros are starcraft. The US might be able to win at halo though, so it would be some sort of give and take.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043626)

I can make telephone calls and send e-mails faster than anyone. I can also flip lightswitches in a strategic manner that is beyond compare. I am an American, and I will win the cyber war for us, single-handedly.

I'm also going to get some cool cybernetic implants and an awesome cyborg arm like Cable from X-force. Once I have those, it won't even be a contest.

Re:sigh (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043924)

no such thing as a cyber war...

I used to believe that, but not any longer. And if you still struggle to believe in this, then I challenge YOU to go without any form of electronic communication for one week. Let's see how you, as an individual, fares without email, internet, or even a cell phone. You'll likely find yourself at "war" with yourself after a few days.

Going to school? Good luck enrolling in classes or communicating with teachers.

Looking for a job? Gonna be kind of hard to do that today on foot, sans any type of electronic communication. Do you even have a hard copy of your resume? Wait, don't tell me, let me guess, it's online.

Going to work? Go see how productivity drops when email and internet are down, regardless if they're actually needed to do your job or not.

I wonder what would ultimately have the larger impact on the US; someone cutting off all access to foreign oil, or someone cutting off access to the internet? I'll bet if you asked the majority of your friends, they would give up a car before they would give up a cell phone or internet access.

Bottom line is yes, there is such a thing as cyber war, and yes, it would have a significant impact on almost everyone, personally and professionally. It's a sad state of affairs, but it is the burden of dependency that we've built up over the last couple of decades.

Re:sigh (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044098)

ohh so inform me how a foreign country is going to shut down all communication. I would love to hear that. Last i checked, there's phone and radio as backup to loss of the internet. Backbone routers go down every day, rerouting occurs and their fixed. What you're suggesting is that everyone in the US gets DDOSed all at once? I somehow doubt you realize how the internet works. How there are all private networks that interconnect at multiple different places, that if a private network goes down it doesn't affect everyone.

So in your example you say i won't be able to communicate with my teachers, enroll in classes? I can't, you know, bring my laptop, connect to their wireless network on campus, sign into their webpages through their intranet and email/sign up/do whatever i want in the case that the internet was turned off?
Sure it would be inconvenient to actually go to campus, be in range of their wifi, talk to my teachers face to face (ohh noes!), sign up for classes at the registrar, etc. It's a loss of convenience, nothing else.
A hard copy of my resume? You mean a printed out copy? Yes, i have many of those. Surely you don't go to interviews without printing it out a few times? How will this national cyberwar affect optical data?
The whole thing is insanity. Drop it. We're more likely to get hit by a meteor and have the earth explode than suddenly lose the internet.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044186)

The US might be able to win at halo though, so it would be some sort of give and take.

Halo - I'm an inheritor guys - if you need my help just ask

SELL TO SAVE YOUR ASS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043418)

In related news, Ghadaif rings up PMs and says "See, it ain't so easy, now is it ?" !!

The auther just wants money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043448)

DoD has all of their cyber security task force in house and well within arms reach. What this guy is preaching is that DoD should be more lax on spending in this sector and make it easier for start-ups to get this kind of money....

The last thing we need is some start-up company handling billions of dollars worth of military secrets using modified Norton Antivirus code....

This is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043466)

If shit really truly hits the fan, you unplug.

Re:This is dumb (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043570)

If shit really truly hits the fan, you unplug.

What makes you think there aren't sleeping botnets designed to attack in the event of prolonged disconnection from country X?

Re:This is dumb (2)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043990)

what makes you think there are? cuz the boogie man told you?
This is all just scare tactics and fear mongering to get people to spend money on a non existent problem. After all the terrorists have been defeated (lol) we need a new enemy to focus on. Might as well start looking around, spending money on cyber security sounds just as good as spending money on a missle defense shield or star wars program circa 1980s.

Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043470)

Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks? "The Chinese will win because the I Ching teaches them synchronicity"! Haven't soldiers consistently exhibited synchronicity? The "gut feeling" that a valley is unsafe. The WWI idea that the "third light" was unlucky, so they extinguished the match after lighting two - years before someone figured out that the time to light three cigarettes was just long enough for a sniper to notice, aim, and fire!

Also, It will take a lot to convince me that synchronicity is of primary importance in a cyber-war. We are not talking about pursuing agents through second life, we are talking about finding weaknesses in web-connected devices that control infrastructure, and viruses that will make the centrifuges in a uranium processing plant wear out. I think the author is talking complete bollocks.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (4, Insightful)

ugen (93902) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043542)

mod this up. the "article" is a complete hog-wash. if anything, author just wanted to show-off a shiny new word he found, and do it in a way that attracts attention

It also ignores an important part of "cyber war" (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043972)

That would be the "war" part. These silly little hacking games that go on all the time, even if they have a government behind them, are not cyber war. They don't cause any real amount of trouble, don't advance any strategic objective. They are a nuisance more or less. Real "cyber war" would be like any other war in that the objective would be to hurt an enemy.

Ok well two things to keep in mind about that:

1) In such a case, the US would probably take more drastic measures. It would be easier than you think for them to cut off all Internet in and out of the US. That would work for the moment to keep things secure. They then could set about cutting the cables to the attacking country, via sub, bombs, etc. Once that country was off the net, they re-enable their link back to the world. That a cyber attack can be shut down by turning off routers or cutting cables means its long term effectiveness is rather limited.

2) It is a war which means that it will be responded to as such, namely with physical force. If a nation started destroying US infrastructure by hacking, you think the US government would really sit back and say "Oh well it is cyber, so we have to just use computers in response."? Hell no, they'd start blowing shit up. See how well that cyber war goes when stealth bombers take out your power grid, your telecom centers, and so on.

There would be no "cyber" war, there would be real war.

Also in general it seems the government is reasonably well prepared for such a thing by virtue of having their own private systems for a lot of stuff. The government has its own phone system, its own internets, and so on. They were created for other reasons (the phone system because the PSTN got slammed when Kennedy was killed and the government wanted communications that couldn't get interrupted like that, the internets for security against espionage) but they also have the fairly useful function of limiting the damage someone could do to the government and military with a cyber attack. It isn't like a hacker could go and turn off NORAD or something.

Finally, who the fuck is this guy? A "leading cyber security analyst"? Only according to himself. He is the "CEO" of some shit company who's site doesn't appear to have a functional domain, just an IP, and that is run in Wordpress. The guy is just trying to use scare tactics to sell worthless shit to CEOs. Slashdot shouldn't publish crap like this.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044256)

The story submitter also used Obama's cacophony term "kinetic", i.e. kinetic military action, instead of just calling it "war". Repeating the spin words is a little disingenuous.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043592)

Huge bollocks. The reason the Chinese are effective is because they've got a group of people who are good at hacking by their own inclination, and those people were told "make", and so they did what they were good at. The fundamental problem is management. Admiral Adama doesn't give an eff about hacking, and needs to let the kids do their thing and stop trying to educate them.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043614)

Why would WWI soldiers be worried about the 3rd light? They would all be hanging out in their trenches down below the sight line of the enemy, NOT lighting matches and having a smoke in the middle of no mans land.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043666)

Why would WWI soldiers be worried about the 3rd light? They would all be hanging out in their trenches down below the sight line of the enemy, NOT lighting matches and having a smoke in the middle of no mans land.

I stand corrected. Some web research shows that it was the Boer War.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

Willuz (1246698) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043648)

I'm glad someone else read the article and realized how absurd it was. Most people here appear to have just read the title and assumed they knew the content. While the premise may very well be true, vague reverences to philosophy and physics did absolutely nothing to prove the point.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043654)

I fully agree. It's a nonsense article. The evidence he gives of why the US military doesn't get it looks a lot more like evidence that it does ( and takes it seriously).

The point that cyberspace (I shudder to even type that name) is a hodgepodge of technology kludged together well enough to work most of the time, and consequentially extremely fragile, is exactly how it should be viewed. If the military didn't say that, then I'd be afraid.

I'd rather hear more along the lines of the adage: "War is politics by other means." So electronic wars must have political motives. What political objectives can be served by cyber war and how can they be mitigated? Our military hinted at one aspect: Blow up our stuff with telnet, we'll blow up yours with TNT.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (3, Insightful)

MuValas (91840) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043672)

Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks? "The Chinese will win because the I Ching teaches them synchronicity"!

Agreed. I got to the end and the author just loses it: The "West" will lose because we're the West and the Chinese have a superior way of thinking. There was almost nothing of substance in the article except the very end: "

The decision to call cyberspace a domain was based on organizational necessity. That’s how the Defence Department is set up. It’s how budgets are created and funds distributed. It’s how contracts get assigned. Simply put, it’s how things get done at the Pentagon. This is why the United States will lose a war fought in cyberspace. A strategic doctrine built upon a flawed vision can’t yield a victory against an adversary whose knowledge of the battle space is superior to our own."

If he would've just expanded on that idea instead, it would have been much more informative. Pulling a "the chinese have a mystical way of thinking that we can not replicate!" is just dumb.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

director_mr (1144369) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043746)

My thoughts exactly. I'm not even sure I understand what the point of the author is. He is asserting that the Internet does not consist of man-made hardware and is instead an artificial and natural domain? And this matters why? I'll let the author go with his artificial and natural domain theory, and lets see what happens to his internet when the backbone is bombed, or the electrical grid is taken out.

He uses a lot of pretty words to say nothing of substance.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043914)

That second one. Load of bollocks.

I'm all for Jungian synchronicity and all, but not really seeing the overt connection to cyber warfare. Also, it's probably fair to say the author is not a disinterested party, if he's trying to promote his own blog about these issues. Better to pose a big, apparently unsolvable problem, and direct everyone to your blog and/or your O'Reilly textbook for some solutions. The author's blog is subtitled "Evolving Hostilities in the Global Cyber Commons", and the OReilly book is entitled CYBER WARFARE.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044166)

I'm all for Jungian synchronicity and all, but not really seeing the overt connection to cyber warfare.

Me too, and from the quote and snippets I'm reading here, (admittedly after reading them I don't even want to bother reading TFA) I don't quite see how synchronicity plays into this. Jung defined it as essentially "meaningful coincidence", not precognition or clairvoyance.

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043986)

The WWI idea that the "third light" was unlucky, so they extinguished the match after lighting two

"Fish *** in it"
- Captain Reggie Thistleton

Re:Is it me or is the article a load of bollocks (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044244)

The "Kinetic War" thing is a load of dingo's kidneys, too. The US cannot wage an effective war. The military machine is huge, but inefficient; we need a military 1/10 the size of ours, run on more advanced technology and with better planning.

What a load of tosh (3, Insightful)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043496)

"The information that circulates in CST is every bit as material as a chair, a car, or a quantum particle. Electromagnetic waves are just as material as the earth from which the calculi were made: it is simply that their degrees of materiality are different. In modern physics matter is associated with the complex relationship: substance-energy-information-space-time. The semantic shift from material to immaterial is not merely naive, for it can lead to dangerous fantasies."

Now there's plenty of reasonable ways to talk about US weaknesses in cyber warfare (which IMHO is commonly overstated: what seems like weakness can often be a strength. It may merely be the case that the US is more subtle about its cyber shenanigans), but this article seems to meander into complete incoherence. Jung's synchronicity? I Ching? Seriously? Seems like someone's watched too much Serial Experiments Lain.

Re:What a load of tosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043898)

Yeah but it's intrinsic energy content (em-waves vs matter) is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less.

Re:What a load of tosh (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044310)

"The information that circulates in CST is every bit as material as a chair, a car, or a quantum particle. Electromagnetic waves are just as material as the earth from which the calculi were made: it is simply that their degrees of materiality are different. In modern physics matter is associated with the complex relationship: substance-energy-information-space-time. The semantic shift from material to immaterial is not merely naive, for it can lead to dangerous fantasies."

Now there's plenty of reasonable ways to talk about US weaknesses in cyber warfare (which IMHO is commonly overstated: what seems like weakness can often be a strength. It may merely be the case that the US is more subtle about its cyber shenanigans), but this article seems to meander into complete incoherence. Jung's synchronicity? I Ching? Seriously?

Guess it's all fixable by attaching special crystals ($599+tax each) to the DOD's computers, and having everyone sitting in a circle, holding hands and chanting "Omm" or whatever woowoo is being pushed this week.

Needs more cowbell, err, quantum.

Simple answer, Laws and Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043510)

We will lose the cyber war because we have laws that aim to criminally punish curious individuals. Most importantly Microsoft was a whore and gave SOURCE CODE to our largest cyber adversary, CHINA, for the promise of sales that never even happened. How easy do you think it is to find a nice fat 0-day when you have the source to something that no one else has....

Enormous Piece of Shit (5, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043512)

Regardless of whether or not the U.S. would win a cyberwar (or even if such a thing exists), the article makes no testable or even clear assertions on any such thing. It's all about Carl Jung and "interconnectedness" and mind/body material/immaterial synchronicity and at root:

"The Book of Changes or Yijing. It’s a divinatory oracle that dates back to the Qin dynasty and teaches that the universe is composed of parts that are interconnected. The yarrow stalks used in the Yijing symbolize those parts, while the casting of them symbolizes the mystery of how the universe works (Pauli's quantum indeterminacy). Chinese emperors and generals have used this oracle since approximately 300 BC, and it may still provide a glimmer of insight into the mysterious nature of this new age of cyber-space-time and how cyber battles may be fought and won. Unfortunately for Western nations, synchronicity has its origins in the East. Western nations have a tradition in causality, not synchronicity. And the US Defense Department is deeply grounded in traditional western thinking and practicality..."

Seriously, this article makes the argument that the DOD doesn't understand cyberspace because it spends insufficient time casting stalks and reading from a 2,300-year-old book of divinations. Made my eyes roll so hard it hurt my head. Possibly the biggest piece of bullshit I've ever seen on Slashdot. Yeah, the DOD is just too "practical" (insufficiently magical?), there's your argument.

Re:Enormous Piece of Shit (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043778)

I think his point is that the DoD is thinking about cyberwarfare wrongly. To do this, he invokes a psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic principles and attempts to connect them to the Internet.

He fails. The Internet is not some new form of "cyber-space-time". It is a massive repository of information, connected by wires (mostly) and run by computers according to the rules we have established. Its complexity does not make it something new. It is no more a new field of "space-time" than Conway's Game of Life is. Using psychoanalysis to talk about it is, frankly, somewhat ridiculous and makes me question just how much of a "leading analyst" he is.

Re:Enormous Piece of Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37044188)

You do know that Carl Jung was a gay, and was in love with his "father", Zigmund Freud?

We are now threatened with a script kiddie gap (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043578)

"We are now threatened with a script kiddie gap that leaves us in a position of potentially grave danger."

Senator John F. Kennedy, American Legion Convention, Miami Beach, FL http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=74096#ixzz1UdOSia3p [ucsb.edu]

Re:We are now threatened with a script kiddie gap (1)

LordGr8one (1174233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043948)

"Gentlemen, we cannot allow an I Ching gap!" -Gen. Buck Turgidson

What Did You Expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043588)

The United States has spent the better part of the last two decades using its resources to help media conglomerates imprison computer users. Now the government doesn't understand why they can't seem to recruit the best and the brightest to save us.

HA (1)

mikeru22 (1222780) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043718)

Not if we blow up their computers first!!!!

So China is going to win a cyber war because they believe that the universe and its parts are interconnected?? What kind of opium is this guy smoking?

Why is it that Chinese students come to the U.S. to learn? Why is it that they in turn are constantly trying to hack into our networks thousands of times a day to steal our information? I'm sick of people undervaluing the U.S. for no good reason. Clearly this author doesn't know anything about what he's talking about, getting all philosophical like this. SHEEEITTTTTTTTTTT

yuo faiJl it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043756)

NIGGER AASOCIATION pro-homosexual bottoms butt. Wipe

no such thing as cyber war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043800)

There is only war. period. Different wars may be fought with different weapons, but be assured that both parties in a conflict will use the most effective weapons they have for a given situation.
If that happens to be the US's conventional army they will use that. It is not a coincidence that the Pentagon has adopted a new strategy that will classify major cyber attacks as acts of war, paving the way for possible military retaliation.
Any serious cyber attack on the US that can not be countered with technology WILL result in someone's internet infrastructure being bombarded back to the stoneage.

For the same reason we don't get invaded... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043812)

(charleton heston voice) We will never be cyber invaded because we have a well armed cyber militia. Oh sure, if you were to cyber-invade france, france where the only criminals have crypto, that'd be easy. The citizenry can't defend themselves. But here in the good old US of A, we have private ownership of crypto, rootkits and exploit frameworks. We got college kids with fuzzers, aging hippies with portscanners and investment bankers with spam botnets. You try to cyber invade here and you'll have your ass handed to you. Even if you were able to get by the United States Cyber Force, the best equipped and best trained body of griefers and trolls in the whole world you can't stand against the will of the American Cyber Republic

False Assumptions (1)

eric02138 (1352435) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043848)

Carr's notion of "war" is outdated. The short history of internet hacking has shown that a) national borders are close to meaningless b) a defined start and end of hostilities is difficult, if not impossible to ascertain and c) the attackers and defenders need not belong to traditional defense establishments.

What the US government should do (and they may require this already, I don't know) is create a standard that would ensure security is built into any system developed for government use. Of course, relying on existing operating systems with known vulnerabilities means that the foundation of US government security is shaky.

The whole "Wolfgang-Pauli-Karl-Jung-I-Ching-We're-too-grounded-in-a-causal-mindset" seems like a pretty specious argument for why we would lose a war. I have a feeling that Carr read a book by Nicolescu and wanted to show people how smart he is.

The only way to win the cyberwar (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043854)

is not to play it. Too bad US, the country most vulnerable to its potential effects, already did their first moves (i.e. stuxnet).

Are we talking about .gov or .com? (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043872)

It is quite understandable how the government would lose in cyber warfare: We all know .gov sites look ugly and are fat and bloated, and clearly their back-ends don't look any better.

But it would seem like USA, Inc., the big corporations that pretty much define USA, are far better at it than other foreign big corporations, such as, say SONY.

Although Amazon's cloud failures are quite discouraging, if North Korea attacked, I doubt Amazon would even notice.

Not to mention China would NEVER attack Amazon, or even USA for that matter. Everything we sell is made in China!! They want us to be online 24/7/365. In fact, I would go as far as to say, China would probably PROTECT us.

because... (1)

islon (1864460) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043886)

Because it can! wait...

Layer 1 attacks vs layer 7 attacks . . . (1)

blackanvil (1147329) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043906)

The author seems to have bought into the hype about "web 2.0" and "web 3.0,' as if somehow they can operate without physical hardware. DDOS can be remedied by an inbound filter, or in extreme cases renumbering your server and updating DNS after placing a blackhole route on the attacked IP at the ISP level. Infiltrate a server, and it might require a reload and reboot to recover. Sure, you might lose a few days data if you've been sloppy, but if you're keeping proper backups, it'll be good again in a few days. Attack physical hardware, such as cable plants, colos, and satellite farms, and it may well be down for weeks to months -- plus once you know it's being worked on by the relatively few people who have the know-how to fix them, you can get them too. Take out power and water at the same time, and your enemy will have higher priorities than fixing their Internet infrastructure. In a cyber war, a real one where a declared enemy is using the Internet to actually do damage, I suspect the US Military will simply destroy the enemy infrastructure. Physical attacks can't be firewalled against.

Effectively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37043958)

You serious?
You used the word "effectively". I ask again. ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Mind the gap (2)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043984)

Bomber gap, missile gap, mineshaft gap, Dr. Strangelove gap.

This is just another example of either someone who's feeling a little insecure or is trying to exploit the insecurity of others for their own ends.

Both strategies have a long tradition in the USA and all the defence related FUD has been found to be baseless when the truth leaks out (usually against the wishes of the govt/military).

Ultimately there is absolutely no need to fight a cyber war. if the USA was ever attacked, the most effective defence would simply be to pull the plug on all incoming/outgoing IP traffic. Most americans simply wouldn't notice (except when the amount of SPAM decreased, or their favourite porn sites became inaccessible) and for most facilities that are targets for attack, there's no legitimate reason to have them exposed to the internet anyway.

A connecting principle of BS (2)

jjohn (2991) | more than 3 years ago | (#37043988)

Whether or not the US is adequately prepared for "cyberwar" is certainly an open question.

However, this article is riddled with neologism ("cyber-space-time" really?) and magical
thinking (e.g. I Ching, synchronicity).

If the Internet really isn't a hardware-software system, what is it? Why not claim it has a soul too
and that we should sing to it?

The real issue is that the Internet infrastructure is public resource controlled by private interests.
That's what makes the DoD's job of defending it difficult. Defense cannot simply issue edicts like
"upgrade all your router firmware right now."

I do not propose we retreat back to a paper-based information system. I propose we go back to clay tablets.

We won't lose the war, we'll lose the first battle (3, Interesting)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044128)

And then in typical American reactive manner we'll dump a bunch of money into cybersecurity and thereby create the military-IT complex...

The Cult of the Mysterious Cyberspacetime (2)

cipher42 (2432936) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044194)

The author seems to be of the opinion that cyberspace is some strange and mysterious entity that is beyond the ken of standard reasoning. From his comparisons to the I-Ching (aka Yi Jing) and Jung's synchronicity, it appears that he approaches cyberspace from an almost religious perspective (the only other alternative being that he approaches it from the perspective of bad pop science...). He even goes so far as advocating the new name of "cyberspacetime" to wrap the idea in even another layer of mystery (obfuscation?). That he buys into this strange idea is bad enough, but then he decides to criticize the DoD because they don't share this outlandish view. I'm just happy that he's not the one making national security decisions.

Hidden Agenda (1)

gradkiss (2423632) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044202)

There is a hidden agenda within the uS government; not to protect the airwaves, etc. but to achieve goals of the tax system, and to insure their longevity ...not as servants of the public,but as professional beggars. Their solution is like two cans communicate; a single string held taunt between the two cans, is the method the uS government should use for their type of communication.Commercial businesses as well as individuals should be separate. 3 individual networks. 3 individual places to go on terminals. Example: a boxing ring with 20 contestants will always appear as a free for all, but 10 arenas, each with 2 contestants will not. Conclusion: Sit back and watch the uS loose! As 1 contestant out of 20 will surely fail with the 19 surrounding the 1 ... resulting pleasure, peace, and happiness for the 19. L.O.L.

Very narrow vision (2)

maverickjesterx (2434230) | more than 3 years ago | (#37044266)

I have worked in several countries in IT, specifically IT security. The author clearly sees things only from one perspective. Other nations IT capabilities especially within small to medium companies is very limited with IT staff's that have very limited experience. This is not to say all countries but many. The problem of IT security is not just a U.S. problem but globally IT security is a mess. Think about this: in Austria a very small European the television is state run and you pay a tax. That state run company was just hacked a few weeks ago and every Austrian that has a TV is a customer so they all lost personal data to hackers. Birthday, bank information if they paid with a bank or credit card. Full name and address and etc...... Yes the U.S. has a problem but so does every country out there. Personally I am concerned about all security.
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