Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US Mounted 231 Offensive Cyber-operations In 2011, Runs Worldwide Botnet

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the distributed-denial-of-espionage-attack dept.

Government 367

An anonymous reader sends this news from the Washington Post: "U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to top-secret documents [from Edward Snowden]. Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed 'covert implants,' sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions. ... The implants that [an NSA group called Tailored Access Operations (TAO)] creates are intended to persist through software and equipment upgrades, to copy stored data, 'harvest' communications and tunnel into other connected networks. This year TAO is working on implants that “can identify select voice conversations of interest within a target network and exfiltrate select cuts,” or excerpts, according to one budget document. In some cases, a single compromised device opens the door to hundreds or thousands of others."

cancel ×

367 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

wow (4, Funny)

alienzed (732782) | about a year ago | (#44728157)

that is so cool.

Re:wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728201)

Yeah. And to think that they can't secure their own networks, hence that Snowden got this out.

Sometimes I wonder if the NSA planted some or all of this stuff to impress the hell out of the world and strike fear into the hearts of the Opposition. I mean, this is straight out of a Sci-Fi plot: Homer Simpsonvich brings one infected iPod into his FSB headquarters, and soon the whole goddamned place is full of programs that are listening in on anything in sight, autonomously making cuts to exfiltrate back to Ft. Meade, copying anything that looks interesting, and surviving whatever the Opponents do to the host machines.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728229)

The budget documents don't really speak to the actual SUCCESS of these programs, or the complexity involved - it is highly likely that the vast majority of work done on this level isn't far beyond your typical high school hacker.

Re: wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728517)

*citation needed

Re: wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728775)

Citation [wikipedia.org]

Re:wow (5, Interesting)

Digital Ebola (29327) | about a year ago | (#44728261)

Yeah. And to think that they can't secure their own networks, hence that Snowden got this out.

Sometimes I wonder if the NSA planted some or all of this stuff to impress the hell out of the world and strike fear into the hearts of the Opposition. I mean, this is straight out of a Sci-Fi plot: Homer Simpsonvich brings one infected iPod into his FSB headquarters, and soon the whole goddamned place is full of programs that are listening in on anything in sight, autonomously making cuts to exfiltrate back to Ft. Meade, copying anything that looks interesting, and surviving whatever the Opponents do to the host machines.

Securing a network is always harder than attacking a network and you can never fully understand a person's intentions when you grant them access. I'm sure a small part of what they publish is a psyop of some kind but for the most part, yes, sci-fi is reality. We are not the only ones doing it and we may not even be the best.

When you start to consider everyone who is "operating" on the Internet, things get really scary, really quick. The new cold war will be one of constant paranoia of an attack that can influence a piece of critical infrastructure. There have been small rumored instances but until the Hiroshima of the online world happens, it will be a constant game of shadows and you never, ever, fully know or understand an operator's capabilities.

Sci-fi, indeed.

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728341)

This is why the critical infrastructure, whose failure could cost lives and fortunes, doesn't belong on the network. The sluice gates on the dam, the control rods in the reactor, the ventilator machine standing between granny and the reaper—none of that belongs on a network. So what if you have to pay someone to get off his ass and check an inconvenient readout manually: at least that's a job created in an otherwise machine-driven economy.

Re:wow (3, Insightful)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#44728771)

So what if you have to pay someone to get off his ass and check an inconvenient readout manually: at least that's a job created in an otherwise machine-driven economy.

But that cuts into profits and corporations have shown repeatedly they'll throw anyone/anything under the bus to maintain their profit margin.

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

Zaldarr (2469168) | about a year ago | (#44728209)

Not to mention fucking terrifying.

Re:wow (2)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about a year ago | (#44728227)

Yeah, I was wondering how they can get away with charging $100 for a years worth of Norton 360 that is completely worthless against their root kit? Meet the U.S., it's not illegal if it's classified, we're the "good guys" -cough...

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#44728579)

Norton 360 that is completely worthless against their root kit?

For all we know, Norton 360 might *be* their root kit.

Re:wow (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44728663)

Norton 360 that is completely worthless against their root kit?

For all we know, Norton 360 might *be* their root kit.

Don't look at me - I turned down a job w/Symantec. Some guy named Snowden recommended against it. Wonder what he's doing these days...

Re: wow (1)

AlephNaut (120505) | about a year ago | (#44728403)

Not scary at all to me but I have very low paranoia...

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#44728701)

Considering that the US has been, in recent years espousing the theory that cyber-attacks should be treated as real acts of war, suitable for real retaliation with real weapons, I would say it's pretty terrifying.

Re:wow (0)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#44728727)

that is so cool.

231 offensive operations wow, that IS cool. Prying into the privacy of 231 million taxpaying Americans, wow now THAT is offensive. Jailing corrupt government officials, priceless!

Re:wow (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44728809)

that is so cool.

GENIE's free from the lamp! And one wonders, were the Chinese showing where this TAO leads to?

Allies? (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#44728213)

Allies, "ALLIES", we don't need no stinkin' Allies. All of it, ALL OF IT, ours, we, want it all, exploit it, burn it, the whole world, it's ours, Ours, OURS.

Seriously out of control. Looks like Chinese hardware is the least of the worlds problems. With the US Stupidity Services trying to purposefully break everyone's networks and insert back doors that only they, and their contractors, and anyone who wants to pay those contractors knows about.

Morons there is no such thing as an exclusive back door. Once you broken the security of other countries networks, you leave access for anyone waiting to exploit, bet anything you like those morons did not at all to monitor and ensure those back doors were not exploited by others. I wonder how many times now the US government has blatantly lied about cyber attacks they launched that have been discovered and then blamed on other countries and pseudo organisation like Anonymous.

How many attacks have they launched they were designed to do nothing else but increase their budget?

Re:Allies? (5, Interesting)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about a year ago | (#44728303)

Personally, I take comfort in knowing that this will only be used against foreigner's computers, since I am a US citizen. Just like how we were assured the collection of phone data only applied to foreigners. Damn it, why does my CPU usage keep spiking?

Re: Allies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728519)

Damn it, why does my CPU usage keep spiking?

That's just your computer agreeing with your comfortable assesment of the situation ;-)

Re:Allies? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44728783)

I wonder how many times now the US government has blatantly lied about cyber attacks they launched that have been discovered and then blamed on other countries and pseudo organisation like Anonymous.

I wonder how many attacks by the Chines, Russians, North Koreans, and Iranians you have blamed on the US? Does anyone in the world do disagreeable things besides the US, in your mind?

I Oppose the Cyber-War... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728221)

...but I support the hackers.

Re:I Oppose the Cyber-War... (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44728641)

I Oppose the Cyber-War...but I support the hackers.

an ethical US citizen which pays taxes?

As a taxpayer, I'm comfortable employing BLACKHATS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728239)

It's not like we're paying for killers for profit, right?

Bad USA (1)

mfh (56) | about a year ago | (#44728253)

Vulgar display of power.

Re:Bad USA (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44728285)

> Vulgar display of power.

These programs are secret. That makes them, by definition, not a display of anything.

Re:Bad USA (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#44728561)

Music reference.

Re:Bad USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728513)

Great album.

Conspiracy theory: Bitcoin crash of April 2013 (3, Informative)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728255)

Who believes the US government had something to do with it?
Suddenly after meeting with regulators the price recovers?
Conclusion: Promote regulation of the Bitcoin network as it's correlated with a rise in the price.

Re:Conspiracy theory: Bitcoin crash of April 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728295)

and nobody cared

Re:Conspiracy theory: Bitcoin crash of April 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728347)

If the NSA want to, they could easily dominate the bitcoin mining with their computers,

Re:Conspiracy theory: Bitcoin crash of April 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728489)

Why don't they want to, exactly? That sounds like as good a use or better than 99% of what they're ending up DOING!

Re:Conspiracy theory: Bitcoin crash of April 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728661)

If the NSA want to, they could easily dominate the bitcoin mining with their computers,

Why don't they want to, exactly?

Because the intelligence community knows how worthless Bitcoin is.

Re:Conspiracy theory: Bitcoin crash of April 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728801)

Why don't they want to, exactly? That sounds like as good a use or better than 99% of what they're ending up DOING!

Because nobody with intelligence uses Bitcoin.

holy shit (3, Interesting)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year ago | (#44728267)

Time for me to destroy my webcam and make sure no device on my computer has a microphone.

i thought snowden.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728277)

agreed to stop posting this stuff before putin would let him stay

Re:i thought snowden.... (3, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | about a year ago | (#44728429)

He had already leaked it all to the Guardian. The information is out now. He just can't effectively comment on any of it anymore.

Re:i thought snowden.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728437)

that was before Obama threatened to bomb the Russian port in Syria...

Does it work? (2)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about a year ago | (#44728279)

Budget documents say the $652 million project...

Most big budget "defense" projects go over budget, over time, and don't perform to expectations. How well does this actually work (yeah, I know it's a rhetorical question)? Of course, by comparison, it's quite a bit less than the cost of a single B-2 bomber, so maybe its budget isn't large scale enough to underperform?

adversaries such as Iran, Russia, China and North (1)

oheso (898435) | about a year ago | (#44728289)

Cold warriors haven't got the memo ...

Conspiracy Theory: Network Neutrality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728293)

I wonder how they can afford all that bandwidth across the internet (sarcasm)...

Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728305)

If Snowden leaked this at this point he's exposing information on operations, methods, everything.
At what point does it cross the line and become treason? Is there a line which gets crossed where every Snowden supporter would say "this has gone too far"?

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (5, Insightful)

oheso (898435) | about a year ago | (#44728339)

Whistleblowing on a secret US government agency that's governed (if at all) by secret laws and secret courts, and is clearly out of control? Sorry, that would never cross the line into treason. It's the agency which is breaking the law.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728359)

Whistleblowing on a secret US government agency that's governed (if at all) by secret laws and secret courts, and is clearly out of control?

Sorry, that would never cross the line into treason. It's the agency which is breaking the law.

So if the identities of operatives were leaked, is that treason? What would be too far even for you?

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (4, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#44728397)

What operatives? None of the people involved in this are working undercover, they're working in cubicles in office blocks in the US.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44728679)

What operatives? None of the people involved in this are working undercover, they're working in cubicles in office blocks in the US.

The people in Wall Street work in cubicles too. Nobody accused them of causing widespread destruction. In other news, the government would like to stop criminals from running botnets... because they hate competition.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728681)

So as long as the government puts someones life at risk with an "operation" or claims that it is at risk . . . then it doesn't matter that the "operation" is illegal, immoral and/or unethical and exposing the "operation" is treason?

You can be manipulated trivially.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#44728677)

Sorry but this isn't whistleblowing - this is edging into sources and methods along the lines of what the Walker ring leaked.

at what point do illegal, secret acts of war (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728351)

become recognized as conduct unbecoming the beacon of the free world?

Re:at what point do illegal, secret acts of war (4, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44728505)

We aren't talking about the beacon of the free world, we're talking about the USA!

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (2)

paenguin (311404) | about a year ago | (#44728357)

Since the line for treason gets drawn by the government he is exposing, of course the answer is yes.

The question is, does he care?

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728367)

Since the line for treason gets drawn by the government he is exposing, of course the answer is yes.

The question is, does he care?

I'm asking what line do Snowden supporters draw. Or should Snowden have no limit to what he can leak?

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44728421)

The schedule for the Two Minute Hate has been adjusted to 13:00 Pacific Time.

Snowden is the new Emmanuel Goldstein.

--
BMO

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44728719)

I'm asking what line do Snowden supporters draw. Or should Snowden have no limit to what he can leak?

Direct observation of the posts in the Slashdot petri dish reveal that for many of them there is apparently no limit, regardless of the consequences.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (3, Insightful)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#44728793)

Or maybe you should be asking: should the government have no limit as to what it can do in the name of protecting the country from supposed foreign conspiracies.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728361)

LET ME FIRST STATE that whatever secret pacts with Satan that are absolutely vital for national security he exposes, it in no way diminishes the good that exposing our fledging autocratic police state's voyeur programs. That said, I'd say he crossed the line when he revealed that we hacked into China. Still, I'm receptive to whatever else he has on the NSA and other internal abuses that he may have. I'd wish he'd stop revealing foreign actions, if I can't pick and choose, I'd rather have both.

Please, no replies from foreigners, especially Europeans. I have absolutely zero interest in anything you have to say about this. If you absolutely must, know that I'm going to stop reading the first time I see "Silly Americans!".

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728743)

It's not a fledgling system, though. Back when telegrams were e-mail, we intercepted all telegrams: that was SHAMROCK. Other comms ran through MINARET. They were directed at US citizens by one or more WW2-outgrowth agencies that preceded the NSA.

Telephone metadata monitoring? Not new. Wiretapping capabilities? Not new. Reading your e-mail did you really think that your Gmail, which Google was explicitly reading to adjust advertising to you, wasn't going to end up on the NSA's platter?

Basically, what can potentially be monitored is and has been monitored, and we're still not living in 1984. Not even the French are terribly oppressed, and their version of the NSA doesn't have even the make-believe oversight that the NSA does.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728365)

As a non-american, I think Snowden went far enough for one man. I think we need other Snowdens to stand up and speak the truth. Treason against his government or all of humanity. Tough choice to make.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728447)

Depends, are you alarmed by the fact that the government has been taking over computers all over the world and using them in a way that gets normal people thrown in jail for multi-decade terms?

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

hilather (1079603) | about a year ago | (#44728459)

Is there a line which gets crossed where every Snowden supporter would say "this has gone too far"?

I have a better question, how much will it take for the American public finally do something about their government that is committed so many international crimes? For the record, I for one do not believe that shedding light criminal activities could ever go too far. What's the old phrase, "Don't shoot the messenger?"

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728503)

It is really, really easy to turn a blind eye to the evil one's government perpetrates when that evil is not directed at one's self or one's loved ones, and when in fact these benefit in some way from said evil.

Does all this evil keep our economy strong (possibly at the expense of other economies)? Does it keep stuff cheap at walmart? Does it keep the movies and tv programs flowing? Does it keep most of us basically comfortable in our lives? Then maybe we just won't bother sticking our necks out for a bunch of foreigners who offer nothing to us in return.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728601)

It is really, really easy to turn a blind eye to the evil one's government perpetrates when that evil is not directed at one's self or one's loved ones, and when in fact these benefit in some way from said evil.

Does all this evil keep our economy strong (possibly at the expense of other economies)? Does it keep stuff cheap at walmart? Does it keep the movies and tv programs flowing? Does it keep most of us basically comfortable in our lives? Then maybe we just won't bother sticking our necks out for a bunch of foreigners who offer nothing to us in return.

What is it that you want people to do exactly? Do you think we have any control over what intelligence agencies do? If we try to stop them then their allies will be in the position to do to us and our loved ones exactly what the US intelligence agencies are capable of doing to people in your country.

You don't seem to understand how things work. The US citizen cannot stop the US government because your government would work with the FBI to stop that. It would be called terrorism. The penalty for terrorism is harsh and can even include death.

If someone in your country tried to take on the intelligence agency of your country, then if your country is allied with the US government then the CIA would destroy those people/terrorists.

The only realistic solutions which aren't suicide or completely insane all take time. Decades. The government agencies can be made less abusive over time, and made to follow the laws of war or at least make it clear to us what rules they follow.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (2)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#44728745)

As an american citizen it is not easy to figure out how to deal with this. Neither party is running on the "stop being evil" platform. Minor protests don't have much effect in this country and a revolution is clearly worse than what we have now.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728553)

The people exposed here are committing treason, not Snowden. The more Snowden et al expose, the breadth and counts of that treason is simply increased, the who is the perpetrator doesn't change.

Ask yourself if these activities would be considered acts of war if committed by other countries against the U.S. If so, where is the authorization of this activity by Congress, much less the American people?

The fact one has a job title suggesting they are acting in the interests of America in no way demonstrates they in fact are. It is the same issue as constitutionality. Go right ahead and convene a secret panel of judges to decide in secret that the Constitution doesn't say what it plainly says. It alters reality, and constitutionality, none whatsoever.

We simply need to get around the notion that the U.S. Government in any way should be assumed to represent the United States, as it is defined to be--and yes, there is a document defining exactly that. And, currently, the U.S. Government plainly, clearly, does not meet that definition.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#44728811)

If so, where is the authorization of this activity by Congress, much less the American people?

Authorization is in USC Title 50.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#44728573)

Is there a line which gets crossed where every Snowden supporter would say "this has gone too far"?

- not a chance.

For all I care Snowden could fire bomb Washington DC and personally execute every government official in the world and NONE of that would be treason.

Treason is going against the people, government is going against the people, not Snowden.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728583)

At what point does it cross the line and become treason? When what he reports is deemed 'illegal'? oh, SNAP!

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728589)

As long as he leaks real/true information then there is no fucking limit. It will just make him a bit more of the hero he already is.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44728607)

If Snowden leaked this at this point he's exposing information on operations, methods, everything.
At what point does it cross the line and become treason? Is there a line which gets crossed where every Snowden supporter would say "this has gone too far"?

No. Next question.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728645)

If Snowden leaked this at this point he's exposing information on operations, methods, everything.
At what point does it cross the line and become treason? Is there a line which gets crossed where every Snowden supporter would say "this has gone too far"?

No. Next question.

Nice dodge to the question.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (4, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44728651)

If Snowden leaked this at this point he's exposing information on operations, methods, everything. At what point does it cross the line and become treason? Is there a line which gets crossed where every Snowden supporter would say "this has gone too far"?

As a non-US citizen and potentially impacted by the US govt actions, I don't have any incentive to say "this has gone too far".

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728657)

Let me be candid as a supporter.

There was a point where I would have said "yes, it's gone too far".

However, in response to revelations -- multiple agencies lied before congress, the american public, and the POTUS himself lied to the public.

At this point, I can think of no action short of personally leading an army down Pennsylvania avenue that I would consider treasonous.

The interests of the US Citizen are /no longer/ aligned with the interests of military and government policing and intelligence. That which hampers their ability to function can only immediately strengthen the peaceful citizenry.

Sound radical? All they had to do was own up to democratic process.

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (3, Interesting)

ljw1004 (764174) | about a year ago | (#44728725)

It is NEVER treason to expose government wrongdoing or unconstitutional behavior. It is NEVER treason to expose government coverups or lies. It is NEVER treason to disclose programmes that should have had proper congressional or public oversight but didn't. Everything so far disclosed has fallen into the above categories. If ever disclosing one of these wrongdoings or unconstitutional behaviors or coverups has put an operative or operation in jeopardy - then the blame rests solely on the shoulders of whoever perpetrated that cover up. Otherwise, any wrongdoing could be hushed up simply by entangling it with something else.

At least, that's my view as a Snowden and Manning supporter

Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728735)

I'm ambiguous about the leak of the black budget. Let's just say that although I didn't need to know this, I'm actually moderately reassured about it. NSA appears to be more interested in pwning the big fish, and less about going after the three-felonies-a-day committed by law abiding joe sipacks like you and me.

But having said that, there were a few things in there, particularly regarding the choices imposed on the IC by the sequester, that I was genuinely surprised to see WaPo publish. I suppose our adversaries already know about those facts, or can trivially deduce them, so the harm is minimal, but it was still weird to see it stated so plainly.

And having said that, I was just as bemused at the silliness of the choice of classification levels of a couple of paragraphs of PR fluff that, to me, seemed no more informative than the immediately-adjacent paragraph of PR fluff.

The only conclusion I can reliably draw is that bureaucracy is a silly way to run a nation-state.

Disclaimer: I don't have a clearance to jeopardize, and will neither confirm nor deny having read the damn thing. But if I were to read the damn thing, I'd be really pissed at WaPo not just linking to a damn static PDF and instead "embedding" it with some embedded viewer that uses a bunch of AJAX so WaPo (and anyone eavesdropping on WaPo) can get analytics of which IP addresses spent how many seconds reading each page.

It may be a coincidence (5, Funny)

sandbagger (654585) | about a year ago | (#44728327)

But I can't find a single typewriter in any antique shops any more.

Re:It may be a coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728467)

Relevant: http://typewritermovie.com/

It's a documentary about the current state of typewriter usage.

They are no longer produced due to limited demand. Businesses still use them for carbon copy forms, and some writers and hobbyists use them for the quaint factor or artistic reasons. The former group uses electric typewriters, which are still produced, while the latter two groups use different kinds. Those who use manual typewriters get them used, refurbished, etc. and may cannibalize machines for parts to repair other machines. They also don't constitute a large enough market to justify mass production.

3rd world countries still use manual typewriters in business, due to limited grid reliability. Don't know how they will fair now that fewer factories produce the machines.

Oh! and there is a company that makes electric typewriters with transparent cases for prisons.

Re:It may be a coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728545)

It's when pens vanish and ID is required to buy notebooks that I'll really worry,

Winston Smith started out writing in a notebook, after all.

Re:It may be a coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728597)

You lack Slack.

Re:It may be a coincidence (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44728625)

You lack Slack.

Kill Bob.

We the people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728363)

What bothers me about this is that it is unconstitutional.
Fourth Amendment states "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."and it just rolls on.
Foreign governments are aware of the spying and have countermeasures
We the people have no countermeasures or oversight and are paying out billions for these people to invade our privacy.
Please consider repealing the Patriot Act

Welcome to the 21st Century (1)

wrackspurt (3028771) | about a year ago | (#44728381)

Wouldn't it be cool to display it somehow, not just text descriptions, but to watch it virtually rage across the globe. William Gibson wrote a short story called Burning Chrome [wikipedia.org] that graphically in narrative form described the destruction of a virtual domain. Beyond Gibson's talent it would be cool to see what this stuff does in terms of infiltration and damage in some 3d medium.

Serious question for the Linux community (3, Interesting)

Mr_Plattz (1589701) | about a year ago | (#44728461)

Like everyone else on slashdot, I only run Debian and must say I smile when I see reports such as country sponsored malware strikes like this. But it does make me ask an honest question:

How can we be sure that the Linux kernel isn't compromised? I don't really have the time to go through all lines of code and I doubt my security analysis and development skills are up to the task anyway.

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44728515)

Perhaps you should ask Linus?

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (2)

caseih (160668) | about a year ago | (#44728521)

That's a very good question. But you can also bet that there are a lot of parties around the world who have a strong interest in knowing if this is true or not. They also have access to the source code, and can build it themselves (I don't believe the NSA quite has the influence to propagate a Thomson compiler attack). I bet that if such a backdoor was discovered by China or Russia, that they'd use it as a propaganda weapon and we'd thus know about it.

But in the meantime, we don't know that it's not compromised, but a compromise is not likely. Or at least not as likely as Windows, or any other commercial, closed-source operating system.

Re: Serious question for the Linux community (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728541)

We don't and its safe to say that from the gov Linux is just as vulnerable as the rest

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728557)

Like everyone else on slashdot, I only run Debian and must say I smile when I see reports such as country sponsored malware strikes like this. But it does make me ask an honest question:

How can we be sure that the Linux kernel isn't compromised? I don't really have the time to go through all lines of code and I doubt my security analysis and development skills are up to the task anyway.

I seriously doubt that Linux can hold up against attacks from *ANY* (determined) state-sponsored attackers. Unless you're writing your own obscure OS to run your own programs using a compiler with libraries are that you are sure not compromised.

So.. yeah.

Many eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728581)

There are many people that work on the kernel, and even more students that study it. The kernel is of little concern. What is a concern is the thousands and thousands of little executables that are in so many distros. Worse still, how many people look through all the code from an average everyday apt-get?

Doesn't really matter in the end as there is always the Underhanded C Contest to think about.

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728613)

Like everyone else on slashdot, I only run Debian...

You lack Slack.

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728653)

Gentoo has been my new slack....

Start from hardened minimal and install only what you want. Use emerge -j option to parallel build with modern multi-core cpu's.

It's like debian with apt-get-like installing but slack-like souce-code simplicity. I can go apply a patch and rebuild without fuss like with other distros.

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44728643)

Like everyone else on slashdot, I only run Debian and must say I smile when I see reports such as country sponsored malware strikes like this. But it does make me ask an honest question:

How can we be sure that the Linux kernel isn't compromised? I don't really have the time to go through all lines of code and I doubt my security analysis and development skills are up to the task anyway.

Guess it's time to bring up the innovation of AmigaOS? OS that was decades ahead of it's time and NSA free!

=)

Re:Serious question for the Linux community (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about a year ago | (#44728797)

They don't need to backdoor the kernel, they can install stuff in the hardware your os runs on to do the same job.

How soon before /. is taken down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728493)

At some point the U.S. government is going to snap and deny the internet to everyone until we comply with their master plan of freedom for all.

Re:How soon before /. is taken down? (1, Flamebait)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44728523)

Do you read slashdot? Lots of US patriots here who've been drinking the kool-aid their whole life.

What is a good system admin to do? (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year ago | (#44728555)

What is a good system admin to do when presented with information like this?

Companies large and small need to think long and hard about their responsibility
in the presence of secret orders, nationally funded hackers with agenda.

Data and data compromise by hook, by crook, by truck, by cloud collapse are all possible.

Key management, process management and more need to be understood by managers.

Companies have been coasting and relying on credentials to qualify their employees
to the point that managers near and far only have computer science skills if you add
Excel and Powerpoint to the curriculum.

A good one should memo out to management for legal advice BEFORE the secret documents
show up. Small companies should go in as a modest group splitting the legal fees. The number
of legal counsels that would have a clue on this will be too limited but seek them out. Sadly
the involved parties (legal) at big companies are now poisoned by the paper served on their company.
This will get tangled and the best advice with regard to getting hacked or getting served can only
be discussed before the event. Joseph Heller, George Orwell and Franz Kafka rule.....

Time to dust of Gentoo and backups near and far.

Quest for power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728565)

The never-ending struggle to control everything in life, down to the last bit - simply because we can.

I'm girding for the blowback (1)

hohosforbreakfast (40807) | about a year ago | (#44728571)

I'm in the US, and thanks to the our belligerence, I can now expect to try to defend my networks from the blowback from all this. Lovely.

Re:I'm girding for the blowback (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44728621)

I'm in the US, and thanks to the our belligerence, I can now expect to try to defend my networks from the blowback from all this. Lovely.

What blowback? This isn't something that they didn't know already. Maybe they didn't know details and scope and this confirms it.

Re:I'm girding for the blowback (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44728791)

I'm guessing that, if the US government is doing this, other governments will say 'open season'. They can hardly complain when the Chinese start breaking into computers all over the world and installing malware.

an international agreement (1)

Max_W (812974) | about a year ago | (#44728609)

Could governments to reach an international agreement, a treaty, with verification inspections to stop this network sabotage? I have severe unexplainable problems on my routers periodically.

I could not explain it. I spent years trying to find a reason. Now I have got an idea.

ao funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44728675)

looks like they know a "thing or two" about the conputery things

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?