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"Cyberwar" As a Carrot For Those Selling the Stick

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the always-been-at-war-with-elbonia dept.

United States 115

New submitter sackbut writes with a story at Wired about the often-discussed concept of "cyberwarfare," and the worst-case scenarios that are sometimes presented as possible outcomes of concerted malicious hacking. According to Wired, which calls these scenarios "the new yellowcake," "[E]vidence to sustain such dire warnings is conspicuously absent. In many respects, rhetoric about cyber catastrophe resembles threat inflation we saw in the run-up to the Iraq War. And while Congress' passing of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation wouldn't lead to war, it could saddle us with an expensive and overreaching cyber-industrial complex." Writes sackbut: "Perhaps good for programmers, but not so good for rights."

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21st century--The era of perpetual war (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034517)

Does the phrase "Wartime President" or "Wartime Government" still have any meaning when you're never again NOT at war?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (5, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034571)

You should know that Eurasia is our friends, and that we've always been at war with Eastasia. Or do you need a reminder?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (5, Funny)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034661)

I don't care about what wars we're fighting. I'm just enjoying my 20 grammes of chocolate.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034815)

Your pornography ration has been cut to 20MB per week.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034839)

THERE WILL BE BLOOD!

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035037)

Menstruation Porn?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035155)

Whatever you're into man, but if they cut us down to 20MB motherfuckers are going to die.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (2)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39036009)

A real man loves her all month long.

Uhhh, No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036213)

The subject is child pornography.

The would be "Pre-Menstruation Porn"

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036507)

Hmm, looks like an error that should read "increased to 29MB per week".

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034913)

Service guarantees citizenship. And increased chocolate rations.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034665)

Someone should mod this Funny.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034737)

Except that, in a rather profound way, it's not funny at all.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035221)

You should know that _RUSSIA_ is our friends, and that we've always been at war with _ALQAEDA_. Or do you need a reminder?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39038337)

Can we please stop using 1984 for references. It makes you look like you are still in high school. The book sucked.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034669)

Do civil rights have any value when they are suspended during wartime and we're always at war?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034755)

Civil rights? Sorry, you traded those away for temporary relief from intentionally induced fear. You no longer have any. Don't worry - any persisting illusions of said civil rights should dissipate soon.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035905)

Civil rights? Sorry, you traded those away for temporary relief from intentionally induced fear.

No, we did not trade those civil rights away. Our elected representatives traded them for campaign donations from the military/industrial/cybersecurity complex. Not one of us got a vote to trade or not trade our rights away. That's the beauty of the representative democracy. Our hands stay clean.

They knew damn well that if they did not vote for the Patriot Act and other post-liberty laws that the corporate media would call them liberals and unpatriotic. The fact that the corporate media is owned by the same conglomerates that own military (and cybersecurity) contractors should not be lost.

And isn't it convenient that those same tools that are sold to keep us safe from cyber-terrorists will also keep us safe from the copyright-infringing terrorists. So now we can all sleep well, knowing that our military/industrial/intellectual property complex is awake and watching out for the bad guys.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037043)

Where were the massive Patriot Act protests?

Is not a people at least tacitly responsible for what its leaders do at the end of the day?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038599)

Where were the massive Patriot Act protests?

Is not a people at least tacitly responsible for what its leaders do at the end of the day?

Well, yes and no. People may not be "tacitly responsible" if they don't have sufficient information. There was a lot of public fear in the time after 9/11. The government at the time did nothing to try to alleviate that fear, and even created a bogus color-coded "alert" system that supposedly told the public of the "real" threat. We were at a constant yellow or orange, if my memory serves. At the same time, there was a massive propaganda campaign underway to convince the public that there were threats everywhere. It was a time of hysteria.

But the people at the time who actually had the real information were the ones who voted on the Patriot Act. They knew better, and they went ahead because it was in their best interest. They were either complicit in getting direct cash payments from military contractors or they were bullied into going along with the understanding that any lack of support for the Patriot Act would paint them as unpatriotic or even anti-American. Hell, even the name of the Patriot Act was chosen to pressure legislators.

Further, voices who actually were brave enough to try to inform the public that the threat was wholly exaggerated were severely punished. Think of Joe Wilson, who for his efforts to inform the public that the entire case for going to war in Iraq was a fabrication had his wife's career ruined and his family's name dragged through the mud. Here were two public servants who had to deal with an administration's efforts to crush them just because they were doing what they thought was (and what turned out to be in fact) the right thing.

Unfortunately, the people who benefit from increased paranoia and decreased civil rights have a lot more concentrated resources than the public. They even have more concentrated resources than the government (yes, they do). Even the government has its power distributed across three branches of government, two houses of congress, fifty states and tens of thousands of towns, counties, parishes and other municipalities and hundreds of thousands of elected individuals who administer those entities. The Koch Brothers just have each other, Frick and Frack. ALEC, the secretive right-wing group that is now writing the laws for all Republican-run states, has something like 19 members, all of whom have half a billion or more in wealth and control hundreds of billions in corporate funds.

So what does "responsibility" mean for individuals when their ability to affect any outcomes is nil? We have elections, but the transparency and fairness of those elections is increasingly in question, and we have instance after instance of elections that were, shall we say, dubious. And in the next election, entire segments of the citizenry will have their vote suppressed, thanks to new laws whose goals are to make it difficult or impossible (in the case of students) to vote. (Laws written by ALEC, no less). Get the picture?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034783)

Orwell tried to warn us. See also his work on the use of language and using it as an agent of control (Chomsky says basically the same thing).

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (5, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035259)

Orwell tried to warn us. See also his work on the use of language and using it as an agent of control (Chomsky says basically the same thing).

Orwell got a lot of things right, but his arguments about use of language were pretty wrong. You can't actually create Newspeak. If you start calling copyright infringement piracy, people start to think that pirates are cool and piracy means sticking it to The Man. If you decide that calling it piracy is no longer cutting it and start calling it theft, people will soon start making references to Robin Hood instead of Captain Jack Sparrow. (You must admit that the pigopolists bear a closer resemblance to the Sheriff of Nottingham than they do to the British Navy.)

Chomsky has it more right, but despite being a linguist his points aren't as much about language as information: The issue is that selection bias allows you to tell part of the truth, and then defy anyone to prove that your biased selection is empirically false rather than merely intentionally incomplete, leaving the general public with the impression that the things the media says are irrefutable because no one is allowed any opportunity to refute them. In other words, the problem is not that powerful people choose what you are allowed to say or even how you are allowed to say it, it is that the content of your message determines how large of an audience you are allowed to reach.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (3, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035665)

Orwell got a lot of things right, but his arguments about use of language were pretty wrong. You can't actually create Newspeak. If you start calling copyright infringement piracy, people start to think that pirates are cool and piracy means sticking it to The Man. If you decide that calling it piracy is no longer cutting it and start calling it theft, people will soon start making references to Robin Hood instead of Captain Jack Sparrow. (You must admit that the pigopolists bear a closer resemblance to the Sheriff of Nottingham than they do to the British Navy.)

First, most of the "people" you're referring to are proles in Orwell's vision. As long as they get their free bread, beer, and entertainment, they don't care about any of that stuff. As to the outer party members, or proles who are unfortunate enough to be perceptive and discontented, well, that's what the Thought Police are for. Either the malcontents accept Newspeak voluntarily, or after a visit to Room 101.

I think Orwell had that much right. If you can control the vocabulary, you can control the discussion. If you control the discussion, you can control the conclusion.

The only thing lacking right now is the means and will to unequivocally control the vocabulary. The pigopolists understand this, and probably concede they can't do that by force now, so they just beg their argument ("copyright infringement is theft because it's stealing from artists") and then power through the rest of the debate feeling confident they already have chosen the ground for the conflict. And by working behind the scenes and shaping laws (which are the only meaningful vocabulary in the whole milieu), they have a chance of succeeding.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39037009)

Every time you use the word pigopolist, I feel like you're unintentionally advertising Angry Birds. How's that for thought control?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038089)

I think Orwell had that much right. If you can control the vocabulary, you can control the discussion. If you control the discussion, you can control the conclusion.

What I'm saying is that you can't do that. The Party wants you to be able to say "The Party is good" and "Death to The Enemy," but if that vocabulary exists then you can use it to construct the sentence "Death to The Party" because language is combinatorial. And changing the name from Department of War to Department of Defense doesn't make people any less angry when you send their children to some miserable desert country to die for no apparent reason.

Changing the names of things is not totally without effect (that's why they do it), but the effect is always temporary. They call it the Department of Defense, people start calling it the DoD. And no matter what they call it, it quickly becomes an idiom rather than a phrase: Once people internalize that "the Department of Defense" means "the military," the specific words in the phrase are no longer parsed individually. Words become terms of art in different contexts. So you can create sentences like Yogi Berra, which you aren't "supposed" to be able to: "A nickel isn't worth a dime today." "Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded." "The future ain't what it used to be."

Even in Orwell's own silly language, you can form the sentence "crimethink double plus good." And even if you aren't allowed to say it, you will always be able to think it.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035389)

Only terrorists and communists know Chomsky. Send him to the room.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39036271)

No, Orwell was just obsessed with fear of Communists. Politicians used his works to distract people from absolutely everything else that was and is worth being afraid of.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035841)

Civil rights? Obviously you must be for child porn.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034937)

Considering that the President gets special, temporary powers during wartime, this is an important question.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035323)

Considering that the President gets special, temporary powers during wartime, this is an important question.

Yes, BUT, exactly WHEN was the last we were involved in an official declared war??

Does the president get war powers even when not in a declared war?

When was the last declared war...WW2 or Korea? Hasn't everything since Vietnam till now been police actions?

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035721)

Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. The surrender documents were signed on the USS Missouri on 2 September 1945. Therefore the US has not been at war since 2 September 1945.

So anyone who says we are at war is full of it.

The President does have limited war powers without a declared war. The President can attack another country and has 60 days to get Congressional approval. See the War Powers Act. By the way, the 60 day limit officially makes Obama an actual war criminal (as opposed to "The President has an R/D after his name and I like the D/R team - therefore he is a war criminal" type of war criminal), since he hasn't sought, and still hasn't gotten, Congressional approval to attack Libya.

Re:21st century--The era of perpetual war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036963)

Does the phrase "Wartime President" or "Wartime Government" still have any meaning when you're never again NOT at war?

How are shitty one-liners like this getting +5 insightful on slashdot lately? When has there ever been a period in human history where there wasn't war or fighting going on? Perpetual war isn't 1984, it's human history

Don't you mean (1, Insightful)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034545)

"Cyberwar" As a Cyber-Carrot For Those Selling the Cyber-Stick

FTFY

Re:Don't you mean (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034619)

Missed one:

"Cyberwar" As a Cyber-Carrot For Those Cyber-Selling the Cyber-Stick

FTFY

Re:Don't you mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034735)

As long as I get to talk about taking to subway to my server admin job as "Cyber-Tubing to the Cyber-Defense Cyber-Bunker where we Cyber-Protect Cyber-Space" then I'm okay with it.

Re:Don't you mean (2)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034843)

"Cyberwar" As a Cyber-Carrot For Those Cyber-Selling the Cyber-Stick

CFTFCY

CFTFY (Cyber-Fixed That For Cyber-You)

Re:Don't you mean (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035281)

You clearly mean CFCTCFCY.

Re:Don't you mean (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034909)

Bah. You Cyber-Stick vendors cannot hope to compete with my Industry-Leading Integrated Cyber-Stick Management Solution.

Is your Cyber-Stick Proactive? Does it Synergistically Integrate Intelligence across Multiple Threat Vectors, allowing you Drill Down through a Real-Time Data Matrix and turn Information into Actionable Intelligence? Does it support Robust Delegation, for Interdepartmental Collaboration and Public/Private Security Partnerships?

See you at the trade show, suckers!

Re:Don't you mean (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034981)

You work for either Mitre or Booz Allen. They both spew tons of BS like that but can't connect two cans and a string.

Re:Don't you mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035199)

You work for either Mitre or Booz Allen.

That's Cyber-Booz Cyber-Allen Cyber-Fucking-Hamilton, you insensitive clod.

Re:Don't you mean (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037057)

Human, I will commune with the cyber-controller about providing you with a pet cyber-mat. DELETE DELETE. ;^)

The hackers. (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034547)

They're in the area around 4chan and Romania and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Re:The hackers. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034575)

Let's not forget that there are also some of them in America.

Re:The hackers. (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034759)

Those aren't terrorists! Their all American gun toting freedom loving patriots! Just like McNichols and McVeigh!

Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034553)

Guarantied to prevent cyber and leopard attacks.

Re:Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034589)

CMOT Dibbler, is that you?

Re:Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034699)

No, I'm OTFH (overcharge them for hammers) Darpa.

Re:Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (4, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034721)

The problem is that right after you don't buy into the hype (and expensive products), some less-than-cluefull employee will give out his/her password over the phone, or download and run some malicious attachment.

Please note that the expensive solution being sold won't work any better than your leopard amulet, but you might be able to keep your job if you bought the "Industry Leading Solution", because, hey, how could you have done better than that?

Re:Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035563)

The problem is that right after you don't buy into the hype (and expensive products), some less-than-cluefull employee will give out his/her password over the phone, or download and run some malicious attachment.

That is not really the problem. The problem is that too many congress critters subscribe to the Legislator's Fallacy: "Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, we must do this." If not for that, the existence of dim witted federal staffers could be resolved by firing them (or not hiring them in the first place) rather than spending a trillion dollars a year fighting an imagined enemy.

One of the things people have the hardest time accepting is that sometimes Bad Things Happen and the cost of preventing them exceeds the cost of allowing them to happen. In other cases the problem is a legitimate problem but the solution offered is totally irrational because the better solution requires goring the wrong constituency's ox, and with the rational solution taken off the table for political reasons, people are unhappy that the problem is not being solved and demand the outrageous and ineffective solution.

Of course, in this case it isn't really any of those things: This is just garden variety corruption. If you want to divert a trillion tax dollars into your own pocket then you need to pretend you're providing something of value to the general public. Saving them from imaginary cyber attacks (or whatever) is as good an excuse as any -- and hey, if there are no cyber attacks, it must mean they're doing their job. And if there are cyber attacks, it must mean they need more tax money.

Re:Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034773)

Hmm, that would compliment my Ninja Repellant Entertainment Center [craigslist.org] quite nicely...

I'll take a dozen!

Re:Now selling anti-cyber attack amulets! (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037083)

What about snow leopards and lions?

cyberconsulting (-1, Flamebait)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034583)

Sounds like Microsoft Windows. A half-working, half-broken confection apparently designed to do nothing more than generate endless eons of work for consultants whose primary job it is to sell the half-working part and fix the half-broken part.

And no, I'm not troll-baiting. I half-respect Microsoft, like everyone else on here.

Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034599)

Why does summary link to an article about nigers?

Why did a first post comment with the subject and body of "Why?" get modded +5 Insightful?

Why has slashdot broke its tradition of not censoring posts? In fact, they will delete posts now that are flagged and violate the new terms laid out in their faq.

Many of you reading this are probably not aware of some posts that the Church of Scientology wanted deleted from Slashdot some time ago. Slashdot refused. Now they will delete a post any post they deem unworthy.

"The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way."

Except we'll delete them if enough people disagree. Slashdot is a shell of its former self. When Taco left, this site ceased to be /.

Re:Why? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034677)

Does that "report" feature actually allow comments to be *deleted?* I figured it would allow a site editor to mod a comment to -1 but not delete it. It doesn't say in the FAQ:

http://slashdot.org/faq [slashdot.org]

How do I report abuse?

Below and to the right of each comment is a small "Anti" symbol; click on this, and (optionally) explain why you consider the comment abusive. (Slashdot discussions are and should be robust; only cry "Abuse!" for comments that are utterly without redeeming value -- spam, racist ranting, etc. For everything else, use the other moderation options.) Reported comments will be reviewed and moderated by the editors, if appropriate.

Nope (3, Interesting)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034645)

The truth us that no one but the programmers want to make good and secure programs. It is the management that does not understands the insides to put unreasonable expectations, which leads to not working solutions. And it is the government to always request for a back-door capabilities, which again leads to UNSECURE programs.And good and bright example (not windows) is SCADA systems. The protocol that they defined and implemented is so wrong by design, so so so wrong, that i could now have 100 years just to start to explain how wrong it is. Just believe me. IT IS WRONG BY DESIGN.

Re:Nope (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034765)

SCADA was invented before programmers worried about security. They didn't have to back then as the only people who know computers that well were programmers. You must have been born after the 80's.

Re:Nope (2)

cruff (171569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034771)

The truth us that no one but the programmers want to make good and secure programs.

Not even most of the programmers I have come into contact with, either directly or via their code, want to make much of an effort at doing things correctly, much less securely. Some can't even be bothered to test thoroughly. Much of the time this is made worse by management pushing unreasonable schedules. Thus it is no wonder that many pieces of software are insecure and can be exploited.

Re:no one but the programmers (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035019)

Actually, borrowing a few stories over, something we'd learn from a mission to Mars is the old-SF mentality of "there's no room for moron managers". Of course, the trouble is, that those types are good at weasel dealing, but stuff like code security/robustness would suddenly matter if we got a broadcast from space like "Sorry to say this folks, the manager who insisted we run the mission 6 months early for political reasons just killed all of us. The embedded Oxygen manager software has a fatal flaw that gives us only two days of air left. We're 6 weeks from home. Oops. So Long and Thanks For All the TPS reports you made us do."

Seriously, the future is coming out like the Family Guy episode where they created some awful WWIII. I want my good old SF future back. I don't even want the flying car. Just one where I can wake up without being ...uh... TERRIFIED of the ... "Good Guys".

Re:no one but the programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035093)

sounds like the war on terror is working for you, citizen. carry on.

Fear as a selling point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034657)

Who knew! Why next you'll say that the Sky isn't falling, and that Foxy Loxxy doesn't want to eat Chicken Little.

That's the thing, either you're being scammed on one end or the other.

Somewhere there's a big Ganntt Chart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034673)

The end node is 'World Domination'. But somewhere in the middle, right on the critical path, there is an action node 'Shut Down Internet'.

Y2K (4, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034685)

Whip everyone into a frenzy about a scary, ethereal threat.
Sell products that play into the new fears.
Profit!

Re:Y2K (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39036935)

There was NOTHING ethereal about the Y2K threat.

A good solid decade of work by tens of thousands of programmers prevented it from being a goddamn global catastrophe...

Cybersecurity legislation (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034693)

Congress' passing of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation

What, "think of the children" and ACTA/SOPA/PIPA are "sooo 2011", no good no more?

EMP is worse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39034697)

An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) [wikipedia.org] would be much more devastating. One EMP would wipe out all electronics and yet the weapon would not harm one person. Think hurricane Katrina on steroids.

Re:EMP is worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035333)

Yes Newt, we've heard you blather on about the big scary EMP. Unless someone's perfected the explosively pumped flux compression generator, the only way to cause an EMP is with a high altitude nuclear detonation. If someone's tossing one of those up, then we've got a much more serious problem on our hands - nuclear war.

Paging Mr Bond Paging Mr Bond (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035659)

One nasty way to do this is to have some sort of satellite that does X as a cover for being a GoldenEye charge. SpySats are bad enough but what about them having a small/medium NUKE inside??

Re:EMP is worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035929)

Nuclear war, schmuclear war. I'll be king of the road with my 67 Chevelle with carburetor and points!

Oh please! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034703)

Won't you just think of the children^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HPentagon?

Net Neutrality. (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034733)

It really is sad - the foes of Net Neutrality and all that it stands for have completely taken control of the overall fight and the message. Those who would have an open 'net are now completely on the defensive, and never on the offensive anymore.

Not good for rights or taxpayers (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034745)

A waste of money. We have have no money for education, the elderly, the infirm, veterans, community development, R&D, or infrastructure. But we have plenty of money to sink into DHS, DoD, the secret police, the weapons industry, and the intelligence black hole.

Re:Not good for rights or taxpayers (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034787)

Besides, just putting all the PLC/SCADA systems behind VPNs or SSH tunnels would be 99% of the work in preventing Die Hard 4 from happening.

Re:Not good for rights or taxpayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036549)

Gov't has to cut it's budget 45% in order to balance the budget; in 2008 that number was something like 20% and in 2000 it was something like 10%.

DOD spending isn't going away; our energy policy is "invade foreign countries and pump their oil to the US while taxing everyone else with petrodollars". Until people are willing to accept nuclear, it isn't going away.

What "No money for Education"? The average school teacher salary is in the 80th percentile of paying jobs in the US, Easily. Some of those people are retiring with 100k/year pensions.

Now the Elderly, Infirm, Veterans, R&D, Infrastructure, Community Developement; those are where the money ain't going.

The Moneys been going to scams for some 30 years; I wish people like you would spend some time learning about how that's done.

Still waiting - (3, Insightful)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034847)

I was expecting all the hordes of commenters from the recent NASA/Mars/fed. budget thread to also show up here, to again say "hurf durf, you guys, we just can't go on spending money we don't have!!!1! Don't you understand?!!?! Budgets!! Deficit!! Taxes!!! Entitlements!!!46% (or whatever)!!"

What? Oh, this is Department of Defense? Oh, well, never mind then.

Re:Still waiting - (2)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035481)

I'll say it; even the "sacred" budgets of the DoD, DHS, and the Intelligence Agencies need to be cut. There's only one presidential candidate that's serious about that - Ron Paul.

Re:Still waiting - (2)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038261)

Ron Paul is not in the slightest bit serious. If he were ever to be elected President, he would have no real power to carry out the reforms he claims he will. Most of what he wants to do require legislation, and there is no way Congress will come close to passing what he wants. Ever. Ron Paul knows this - there's no way he can't - and he's clearly having a whale of a time on his libertarian soapbox. I have a lot of sympathy for his politics, but for effectiveness? No.

Like child pr0n? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034919)

Cyber warfare seems very much like child pornography. There are plenty of people there claiming that there's child pornography everywhere in the internet, the FBI spends considerable resources fighting it.

Yet, after some 20 years browsing, after seeing countless examples of pornography of nearly all kinds, I have yet to see one single example of child pornography. I have never, ever, seen one photo or video of a child engaged in sex.

Proponents of the existence of child pornography have only one goal in mind: total control of the internet. What they want is censorship, under their control, they will invent all sort of lies to obtain it.

Re:Like child pr0n? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035157)

The opening scene of the film Brazil is a terrorist bombing perpetrated by the government. By the end of the film, it's revealed that the extent of the terrorists' actual activities extend little further than making unauthorized repair work.

In the past twelve months there have been not one but two cases where the DHS has claimed that a SCADA system has been taken down by foreign hackers, only to be refuted by actual analyses that point the blame at contractor ineptitude.

And yet the blame continues to be heaped on the humble idiots of Anonymous, most of whom excel primarily at picketing and guessing luggage combinations [youtube.com] . Their primary accomplishment has been embarrassing the self-important and those unwilling to admit their mistakes.

It is our fault that we are here; our fault for not living up to the conviction of our great grandparents, people like Edward R. Murrow, and fighting against this blatant corruption. Some day, I hope, the light of reason and honesty will shine again. Some day.

Re:Like child pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035805)

Grab a copy of LimeWire or FrostWire some time, search for porn, and look for JPEG files with giant filenames consisting of keywords strung together. I don't recommend downloading those files.

I like how they ignored some facts... (1)

raist21 (68156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39034983)

I couldn't help but notice how this "opinion piece" didn't bother to mention the use of Stuxnet and it's effect on the Iranian enrichment program. This was as prime an example of Cyberwarfare as you'll ever get.

I guess if you're a zealot on a platform, its customary to completely ignore anything that's counter productive to your agenda.

Not that I feel that sacrificing individual rights and/or providing the government with more power is the answer.
More like user education...user education...user education!

Re:I like how they ignored some facts... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035079)

didn't bother to mention the use of Stuxnet...This was as prime an example of Cyberwarfare as you'll ever get

Agreed. And for all the reactions of "but there's nothing to worry about"...in that case, would somebody tell Anonymous to stop playing their bloody stupid games and making people think there is something to worry about.

Script kiddies hacking to protest "oppressive rules" over the internet (aside: is Anonymous really made up almost entirely of 14 year old entitled rich brats? Because that's what they come off sounding like) is just silly. See a problem, real or perceived, and act in a way guaranteed to exacerbate the response. Yep, that'll work.

Re:I like how they ignored some facts... (1)

CapitalOrange (1552105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035379)

I was in shock that they brushed off SCADA systems too. We don't need BS ideas like moving everything to the cloud (or any other industry lingo), but we do need some real work on some very important systems. User training helps for workstations (and overall), but the threats from nation-states that are highly complex do unfortunately require some serious planning and thought. The problem is differentiating the snake oil salesmen from the few people with real solutions. The people have problems because they don't understand the threat, and often they also don't have the ability to see through a sales pitch.

Some examples that contradict the Wired assertion (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035077)

How about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035087)

Does this qualify as evidence? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203363504577187502201577054.html

Is the problem just with the rhetoric? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035171)

While the term "cyberwarfare" is a bad analogy (as I have detailed [slashdot.org] in a previous topic), is it such a problem that a government wants to enforce security in certain infrastructural systems? The article writes nothing about what exactly is the problem with the plans.

Discounting attacks on SCADA systems lost me (1)

CapitalOrange (1552105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035173)

The idea that this is a fake threat, as implied by the article is just not in line with reality. This article all but brushes off the threat from SCADA systems which shows a massive logic fail on the part of the author. Just with Backtrack and a handful of other freely available tools, one would be able to see what scada systems are talking out to the internet at this second in the US. Just because there is a lot of money to be made, doesn't mean the threat isn't real. We view cyber security as an add on to a computer system after its been completed instead of working it in from the start. We don't take it as a serious problem right now. Worse the people who would need to write legislation about improving it can barely turn on a computer themselves. That said, ignore the threat of real disaster at your own peril, its real and as we continue to ignore our cyber security its more than likely going to cause real damage in the near future.

Re:Discounting attacks on SCADA systems lost me (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035341)

Exactly. Rome didn't fall because they fought too many wars, they fell because they shied away from one.

Re:Discounting attacks on SCADA systems lost me (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035525)

Rome fell because it was to large to manage effectively, and all civilizations suffer entropy being eaten away from the edges and corrupting at the core.

At first (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39035509)

I was puzzled by the seeming lack of security on so many "critical" sites, lately I have been entertaining the idea that maybe they are that way for reason, so that something could "happen" and accelerate the Internet lock-down which benefits not only the Government but the content owners (MPAA/RIAA/etc) as well.

However for the little I know about Internet security, it seems to be a task of "how hard can I make it" rather than creating an impenetrable fortresses of data.

Oh no.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39035885)

It's a damn firesale!

rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036081)

What are these 'rights' of which you speak?

Wondering what kind of world my grandkids will live in...

As someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036615)

As someone who knows a thing or two about computers (and I'm sure many of you will agree), I don't think it's news that the claims of "cyberwar" are inflated. I know a guy that states that he stops taking anyone seriously that uses "cyber-" with what they're talking about. I agree.

In my youth, the Y2K craze was abound. I was no expert in the industry, I understood the concept, but I found it highly unlikely all the predictions of chaos would come true. I set the clock on my old Windows 95 computer to Jan. 1 2000. It had no issues. Then I set it to multiple other dates in the future. No issues. That may have been naive, but I wasn't surprised when the end of the world didn't ensue on Jan 1, 2000.

There were some survivalists I knew that would viciously attack me when I stated that I think the "YTK bug" is all hype.

It makes me wonder how many other things I don't know a thing or two about -- that I just drink the koolaid up on like everyone else is fooled by the threat of "cyberwar."

Fear creates money and power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39036695)

Hasnt the american people realized yet how fear does nothing but make the rich richer and the powerful more powerful?

Everything something bad happens politicians exploit it to the fullest extenet to scare the people into going along with it. Like yes the 9-11 thing wasnt nice but ever since then its been terrorists this and terrorists that and 90% of it is simply because "they told us so" and a lot of unconfirmed information has created a lot of money flow for the government and because us common folk are scared were willing to give up freedoms and rights for the illusion of safety. In reality the who 9-11 thing amerkahns were all chanting "support our troops they protect our freedom! Amerikah is the bestest thing in the history of ever anything!" and not realizing the only way we lose freedom is when our own government takes it from us is what they were and are doing.

Same thing here, if the government scares people wth cyberwarfare then we all will give up more rights and industrial complex gets more money and more power all the while were not any safer than we were before, it just seems that way. Kind of like how people think the little airbag and floating seatcushion will keep you alive when the planes crashes into a mountain.

Personally this whole cyberwarfare thing is a overblown sham, they make a bigger deal of it than it is in order to justify spending a billion more dollars on things that dont actually do anything or help anyone.

Typical Governmental Response (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39036953)

Finally, at this late hour, they realize that they do not like freedom of speech, they do not enjoy liberty, that special interests and the unjust exercise of power are harmed or defeated by such blessings. They want the old system back, where the individual could scream into the wind and no one would hear it. Where only large media conglomerates had the coverage, and the privilege, to control "public opinion." They long for the days when "public opinion" was their opinion, and not off-message as it is now.

Well, I have five words for them: Too late. Too damn bad.

Dear antediluvian governments: Enjoy your newly empowered citizenry. You don't get an Arab Spring without this, and you can't control the people at home if you decide to treat us as they did in the Middle East, or Soviet Russia. Good luck with that.

5th domain of warfare. (1)

jofny (540291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037023)

Not believing in cyber war is like not believing in air war, sear war, land war, or space war.

Computers have tangible effects on our culture, our economics, our politics, and our military. We all know this.

Computer systems are broken into regularly, we all know this (go google a list of known data breaches, for example).

"Someone" (for this purpose it doesnt matter who) has used code to manipulate physical controls of industrial equipment (possibly for politics/military reasons). We all can see this (see: Stuxnet)

Cyber attacks have their own logical benefits that don't really need proof, they exist by definition (can be executed, remotely, relatively difficult to attribute, can reach multiple geographically separate locations at once, etc).

So, to deny "cyber warfare" here is a lot like saying "I know the enemy can reach out assets this way, I know they can impact us this way, Ive seen lesser versions of it in action so I know it could work if there was political will....but I havent actually SEEN anyone use ballistic nuclear weapons so the threat must not be there".

(And this is assuming there isnt any evidence for it, which is itself debatable. But if you can prove the likelihood and possibility given the right motivations, the difference in position if there is/isnt evidence of it *currently* going on doesn't amount to much. Defensive and offensive pre-positioning should be the same.)

Re:5th domain of warfare. (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038401)

Rubbish. Warfare is ultimately the art of taking and controlling territory. Cyber attacks may play some part in this but when you win a "cyberwar" you've got no more territory and no more control. Further reading. [tandfonline.com]

and... (1)

BlackArrow (61347) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037089)

The Cake is a Lie.

Invisible post (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39037105)

fnord fnord fnord

Skeptical. (1)

endus (698588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038297)

I agree with the overall tone of the article, but at the same time I am pretty skeptical that this is going to lead to an overblown cyber warfare capability. I guess it could lead to massively over budgeted security theater and rights-trampling clusterfuck legislation, but at the same time the trend I see as an infosec professional is to massively under-invest in information security and underestimate the threats.

Just today we learned that there were Chinese hackers in Nortel's network for a decade. Can you imagine? How many organizations used the Contivity client? Uhm....like *every* organization? Add that to Symantec's dismal failure to deal with the theft of their source code. These are *security companies* and THEY have had mind blowing security lapses...what's going on with the rest of the corporate world? What's going on with government systems where there are government funded APTs going after them 100% of the time? Do we seriously think the US government is so good at cyber-security that there are no major problems there? Not likely. I would say "not possible" in fact.

I think where it gets overblown is the threat to infrastructure. Not that I think serious compromises there aren't possible, but its not the boogeyman they are starting to make it out as. The threats are becoming more sophisticated all the time, though.

What I definitely agree with the article about is that declassification is necessary so that the public can evaluate these issues on their own, rather than relying on people who have a.) something to gain and b.) absolutely no idea what information security is, should be, or how one goes about implementing it. I mean you hear things anecdotally from vendors about what the government is up to and you think, "gee...I wouldnt go with that solution for my network...so why would the government, which has a lot more to lose, go with it....?" The instinct is always to close off, to classify, to protect but that is absolutely the wrong way to go about security. Organizations do this to try and keep their flaws secret, but at the end of the day all they do is lose visibility and accountability which invites even worse compromises. I can think of nowhere this is more dangerous than with government systems.

I think there is a real lack of high level expertise in InfoSec. I am not the most technical person who has ever gotten into this field, and have been starting to steer my career accordingly. However, common sense and a decade or so in the trenches will give you some pretty good ideas about what the threats are, how to prevent them, and what direction you should be moving in. Unfortunately, InfoSec personnel are rarely listened to when architecting networks, designing implementations, etc.

Replaced the wrong word. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39038735)

it could saddle us with an expensive and overreaching cyber-industrial complex.

Ignoring the ridiculous use of "cyber," you replaced the wrong word -- "cyber-industrial" doesn't imply any public-private collusion the way "military-industrial" does. Perhaps you meant military-cyber complex? Or government-cyber complex? But either way, internet technologies are an industry, so "military-industrial complex" has that covered already.

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