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CIA's Info Ops Team Hosts 3-Day Cyber Wargame

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the do-you-want-to-play-a-game dept.

Security 279

ScentCone writes "The CIA has booked some conference rooms and is working through a simulated 'digital Pearl Harbor' to see how government and industry handle a monster net attack from an imaginary future foe composed of anti-American and anti-globalization hackers. Having been accused of lacking imagination about potential terror attacks, they're using the exercise to better shape the government's roles in a variety of attack scenarios. The networking industry, it seems, is expected to always play a big part in detecting and thwarting such threats, as 9/11-scale economic disruption is a likely bad-guy objective."

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If you aren't with us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642276)

you're against us!

Re:If you aren't with us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642328)

so what if i'm against u.
What are u gonna do about it punk!

In Soviet Russia... (4, Funny)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642281)

The network attacks YOU [] !

Google RSS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642284)

Slashdot have banned the Google RSS reader :-P

Re:Google RSS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642362)

Subject: dude


First post ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642285)

404 File Not Found
The requested URL (it/05/05/26/044209.shtml?tid=172&tid=103) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to

Digital Pearl Harbor is Nice... (5, Funny)

neo5064 (822494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642286)

But personally, I'm waiting for "Digital Hiroshima"

Re:Digital Pearl Harbor is Nice... (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642427)

Too hot in the summer.

A nice "Digital Banff" to summer in would be appreciated.

Re:Digital Pearl Harbor is Nice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642604)

Neh... to easy... just link the server to slashdot to accomplish that.

Comparison in slightly bad taste... (4, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642287)

People compare September 11 with a lot of things, but comparing it with a crack-fest? I doubt that it's even *possible* to kill several thousand people with cracking, you could only cause extreme inconvenience.

Besides, security can be achieved through a couple of simple steps: Don't use Windows, use OS's designed with security in mind. Use SELinux or equivalent on mission critical nodes. And secondly, educate the users and gain a culture of safety.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (5, Insightful)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642303)

What? Bringing down a power grid during rush hour, changing details of patient notes on a hospital network, or sending false messages and checking the content of sent messages all have the potential to kill.

Have you no imagination at all? ;)

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (3, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642369)

What? Bringing down a power grid during rush hour, changing details of patient notes on a hospital network, or sending false messages and checking the content of sent messages all have the potential to kill.

Almost all hospitals have generators, so power would not be an issue for them. Sure, the hospital might shut down the non-emeregency, non-critical care wards, they will have enough energy to protect life.

As for traffic signals not working, that won't cause a loss of life, it will cause many people to get pissed off.

If 9/11 was not about flying airplanes into buildings, but shutting down all electricity in the USA, maybe we would not be in Iraq or in the middle of a war.

Still... it would piss me off a ton if I could not watch any TV, could not check email. It is like an addiction, like caffine or cigarettes. Once you get hooked, you need your daily dose. In one way, they might be doing us a favor. Maybe people would pick up a book and think about the world, not in 30 second bursts like the TV programs us to do, but in thoughtful ways.

What the fuck am I saying. I need some cake. I am sooo fucking hungry, not like the bastards in ethiopia who fake it for attention, but really hungry for some cake with icing. Then I am going to watch the 2am edition of the news to see if anything changed from the 1am edition of the news. Then I am going to work to make enough money to pay for my cable bill, my tivo bill, my cell phone bill, my internet bill, my insurance bill... i am sure everyone gets the idea.

Slashdot folks are smarter than most. And that scares me.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (3, Insightful)

Canberra Bob (763479) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642444)

"If 9/11 was not about flying airplanes into buildings, but shutting down all electricity in the USA, maybe we would not be in Iraq or in the middle of a war."

Maybe if the USA went after the culprits of 9/11 you would not be in Iraq either. Otherwise I agree with your point.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (2, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642491)

Maybe if the USA went after the culprits of 9/11 you would not be in Iraq either. Otherwise I agree with your point.

Do you know how many Americans think Iraq had WMD or was involved with 9/11? With 30 second news spots, and an ever smaller attention span, Americans will believe just about anything. Just package the editorial as news, pump in some patriotism and emotion, and Americans will do anything the big boys tell us.

Hell, god forbid if the news started spending 10 minutes on each news story. Sure, that would only be 4 or 5 news stories a night, but it would be better to know something about a topic than just associate an emotion with a 30 second news clip. "God Damn Iraqi's, they set off another bomb. That does it... time to send more troops, lets bomb them more. Those bastards. Screw the bystanders, they probably deserve it anyways, they asked for it.".

The truth does not matter. Everything can be spinned and made into an emotional issue. Everything can be rationalized.

Is it any wonder the government wants to cut funding for PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. They are some of the few places left that will spend half an hour on an issue, and even then that is not enough time to capture everything needed to understand a topic. The powerful are better served with a population that does not think deeply about the world, their lives, and what life is for. Most just think about the next car they want, or how to make more money. They don't think about happiness, at least not the way Aristotle or the philosophers did.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642476)

You might want to read the comment you responded to again. The poster did not suggest that cutting power to a hospital would result in lost lives. However, cutting power during rush hour would result in grid lock. Guess you wouldn't mind having a heart attack and waiting for an ambulance, since "that won't cause a loss of life".

Now, messing with patients records definitely could. I remember an old Law & Order where a hacker (given the story, I actually would call this kid a hacker) messed up the glucose monitors at a care home and resulted in several diabetic patients reporting with very high sugar levels and thus getting overdosed with insulin. Yes, overdosing with insulin can lead to death.

There's a lot of other similar type scenarios as well. No more early warning systems for natural disasters like tsunamis and tornados. You'll still have phone service, unless of course you only have cordless phones which for the most part won't work without power.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642384)

If I wanted imagination, I'd read Niven.

The dorks can play their silly simulation games and still not be prepared. Face it, if you want to be a terrorist, you've got to think like one. I doubt the CIE geeks pack the gear for that gig.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642403)

Bringing down a power grid during rush hour

Sorry, nope, doesn't do crap. Maybe one or two more accidents but that's it. During the summertime this happens a lot here in Vegas. Everyone's AC is getting revved up to cool down the houses in time for everyone to come home/those who have come home have just turned their AC down, and then we get large brown-outs.

Thankfully, people tend to remember what they've learned years ago. Namely that a non-working stoplight is the same as a stop-sign.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (1)

arstchnca (887141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642441)

I believe that strider44's post was written with the intent to dispel myths that a large scale "cyber-attack" could be nearly as destructive or deadly as the acts of September 11th, 2001 or December 7th, 1941.

Bringing down a power grid during rush hour,

At least where I live, traffic lights switch to backup power and default to timed red/yellow blinking.

changing details of patient notes on a hospital network,

Unless things changed recently, and someone who's stayed in a hospital recently, please correct me if things have, patient notes, such as prescibed medication and scheduled procedures, are still kept on one or more physical charts. While a hospital's loss of internal network connectivity would surely impair its efficiency, possibly causing an indirect cause of death, it would not rival an act of terrorism/war. Disregard my post if you were joking (I haven't overlooked the smiley at the end of your's). I hope the +5, Insightful isn't deceiving me.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (1)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642548)

Imagination is not enough, the bad guys need the actual expertise. Islamists have so far demonstrated expertise in blowing things up and slaying the hosties. What I have seen about their computer skills and their attempts to build biological, chemical and nuclear weapons left me very unimpressed.

Net security is important - but for God sake first make secure the liquified natural gas terminals! There are proposals for building several new giant port terminals in US which would accept tanker-sized ships filled with cryogenic liquid natural gas. It is not that difficult to invade such a tanker and blow holes in the tanks to spill the content into the port.

Unlike oil or gasoline fire, liquified gas fire cannot be extinguished - the stuff has to burn out by itself. Also, burning liquified gas spills over water surface with incredible speed. Any port where the liquified tanker was spilled would be fried crisp. Nothing virtual about this kind of Pearl Harbor.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (4, Informative)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642606)

Apparently the US managed to screw over the Russkies by doctoring some software and letting them steal it (from WWII onward, the Soviets engaged in industrial espionage on a massive scale); the software ran pipelines. From _At the Abyss_:

"In order to disrupt the Soviet gas supply, its hard currency earnings from the West, and the internal Russian economy, the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines, and valves was programmed to go haywire, after a decent interval, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds... The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space. While there were no physical casualties from the pipeline explosion, there was significant damage to the Soviet economy. Its ultimate bankruptcy, not a bloody battle or nuclear exchange, is what brought the Cold War to an end. In time the Soviets came to understand that they had been stealing bogus technology, but now what were they to do? By implication, every cell of the Soviet leviathan might be infected. They had no way of knowing which equipment was sound, which was bogus. All was suspect, which was the intended endgame for the operation."

You could wreak a lot of havoc on the American economy if you chose to. At present, I doubt many nations would be interested in that- it's just not in their interest. China, for instance, is making just way too much money off the U.S. economy to want to touch it. Even if we started exchanging shots over Taiwan I think they'd think hard before trying that. But what what about Al Qaeda?

"All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies. This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the mujahidin, bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat. All Praise is due to Allah. So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah."

Bin Laden's ultimate goal probably isn't to kill American civilians, kill American troops, or defeat us militarily. He wants to attack our economy. That was definitely a large part of what 9/11 was about, and it's a very large part of what the ongoing insurgency is about (200 billion for this invasion by the end of 2005, with no end in sight. What's really shocking is that everybody is puzzling over the Iraqi insurgency's strategy, when bin Laden explicitly lays out his strategy). And it will be a very large part of any future attacks, which could concievably move into internet attacks. Carnage is part of it, sure. But if he can't bleed you physically, he's perfectly happy to bleed your bank account. Incidentally, I had to go to Al Jazeera to find that passage- CNN, those J-school dropouts, post a heavily edited version without even mentioning that it was edited.

didn't say anything about death (1)

mtrisk (770081) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642376)

" 9/11-scale economic disruption is a likely bad-guy objective."

Well, say someone broke into stock market computers, or bank computers, or servers of some other major financial institution...I'd say the potential for disruption is even greater than what happened on 9/11.

Worse! (2, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642396)

What if someone was selling off your country's debt to its largest rival (ideologically, politically, economically, and militarily) to such an extent that they were able to blackmail your government with the threat of bankruptcy and thereby force your government to bow to their demands?

Re:Worse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642479)

Perhaps intent was irony, but I should say but in a way as to not reveal the ironic aspect that the implied nation is as much compatriot of goals as the current administration and the puppet who must make his father very sad often as it may be in some sense the supposed enemy. Rather than enemy even, and on this point countering your ironic implication, that nation is actually taking a more efficient method to paramount status globally by economics and with military that make all others and former nations of paramount seem foolish not to have done the same when they had the opportunity for the much greater influence than currently possible for them.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (4, Insightful)

voixderaison (665336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642380)

I suppose there are a variety of crack scenarios that would result in massive loss of life. Spoofing the air traffic control system in some fantastically improbably way might cause a few mid air collisions before the planes were grounded.

Launching a single nuclear missile would shoot past the mark by rather a lot. Let's hope the control systems for those things are not connected via some backdoor to to a network in turn connected via some other back door to a network connected to the internet, eh?

These crackfest doomsday scenarios are not preparing government for the real problems at hand, today. Consider the case reported by the New York Times last week [] :
"During a two-day period they watched as the intruder tried to break into more than 100 locations on the Internet and was successful in gaining root access to more than 50. "
It was probably a lone cracker, possibly a small group. rooting fifty boxes in a couple days. That was just a two day sample of a months long probably-one-man crackfest. Low level information theft poses a real threat to national security. Many government agencies are not even able to detect it.

By the way, it seems to be more popular in government circles to invoke September 11, probably because in the current climate it helps get funding. At least there is that perception.

We fear what we don't understand (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642407)

The less one knows about computers and networks, the more one can believe any "digital Pearl Harbour" scenarios.

E.g., I still fondly remember when I was 18, and mind you I was programming assembly for some years already, I thought I could write _the_ virus that would bring the whole economy to its knees. (Which is why I didn't actually release it.) Looking back in retrospect, omg, that idea was soo retarded.

Now throw in politicians, who have about as much clue of computers as your cat has _and_ make a living by blowing things out of proportion to an audience who knows even less. Right. You can see where that is going.

In practice, our computers aren't that vulnerable, ironically, because we know they're a fragile contraption. They don't exist in a vaccuum, as some box in a corner that noone knows about. Any company has a small army of admins who can deal with threats, has backups, etc.

Even things like Blaster didn't really do that much harm. The network congestion died pretty quickly, as everyone scrambled to block ports and disinfect machines. At the corporation I work for, it cost a total of a couple of days of the IT staff's work, to deal with some tens of infected computers out of many thousands. And that was the only virus I know of that made it inside in the last half a decade. (Unlike what Linux zealots like to claim about Windows securitiy, IRL it doesn't really cost _that_ much to keep it running.)

Or I remember one bank bitching about their DB/2 corruption, but even that didn't shut them down. Even doing the irresponsible thing and keeping running with a corrupt database and repairing it on the fly, in the end worked. It cost them some millions per day, yes, but the bank continued to work.

Just about the only thing one can't really defend against is a DDOS attack. No matter how well patched and firewalled a network is, when you have 10 GB/s stuffing your inbound pipe, you're stuffed.

But here's the fun part about those: they work against one site at a time. Directing some tens of thousands of zombies to spew 10 GB/s at one site, yeah, stuffs it. Directing the same 10 GB/s at 10,000 sites, won't even start to matter. There is no way that can be a threat to the whole economy or anything.

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (1)

songofthephoenix (858004) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642495)

How often do you use cash to purchase anything? and are you given cash in hand from your employee. Without certain networks the world could be in a very weird place. Imagine the little things that would be affected by this:
You pull up to the petrol station, the attendant is no longer there because they no longer recieve pay. If they do happen to be there are you going to pay in cash or do you have an electronic card? The petrol station would be pretty much void. Meaning trucks that delivery food to your shops would also be void. Which means no food. Oh and no refrigeration to store what food you have because the power plant has failed.
Things could get really bad very quick...

Re:Comparison in slightly bad taste... (2, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642573)

People compare September 11 with a lot of things, but comparing it with a crack-fest?

I don't think they are comparing the 9/11 attacks themselves to a crack-fest, they are compairing the resulting economic disruption to something that could be done through a coordinated cracking session. I'm not wholly convinced that economic disruption of such large proportions can be coordinated through cracking though.

Don't use Windows, use OS's designed with security in mind.

I'd agree with this - certainly for mission-critical systems anyway. However, *all* OSes must be kept patched and up to date - a 4 year old Linux distribution is probably just as vulnerable as a 4 year old Windows release, it's only when you keep them patched up to date that Linux gets significantly more secure than Windows.

For workstations, Windows is sometimes a necessary evil but I think in most cases you *can* ditch Windows in favor of a better OS (Linux or consider OS X if Linux won't run the software you need).

Use SELinux or equivalent on mission critical nodes.

SELinux is still far from perfect on current distributions - certainly under Fedora Core 3 the supplied policies are too restrictive in a number of cases (Apache can't do a lot of stuff you want it to do, etc.). Whilest you _could_ rewrite the SELinux policies, you probably need a brain the size of a planet. :)

And secondly, educate the users and gain a culture of safety.

This is probably _the_ most important point. No matter how much you secure the software, the users are always a weak point. For the servers this isn't a big deal coz anyone who can log into them has (hopefully) got a clue. But you don't need to compromise the servers to cause disruption - once a single workstation has been compromised (maybe the user wanted to look at the cool new screensaver someone mailed them, whcih turned out to be a trojan) then your network is unsafe - your firewall won't do you much good now.

People don't die when networks crash (3, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642291)

For all the hoopla about the pervasiveness of the internet in our daily lives, when it comes down to brass tacks, it's all just electronic pulses. When those pulses go dark, the wires are still around routing telephone calls. No one dies in a burning, collapsing building. No one dies in a hijacked airplane. No one dies because they stand too close to a bomb. Those bits just go dark and the internet disappears for a while.

A day without the internet is like a sky without vaportrails.

Even the data that is destroyed by such an attack is not at such a disadvantage. Though the paper-less office has been a longstanding goal, it is totally a dream. Everything has a papertrail and can be backed up.

There is no calamity awaiting us in the event of a terrorist cyberattack. The real calamity is the usurpation of rights due to terrorist attack fearmongering.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (2, Interesting)

louarnkoz (805588) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642338)

Actually, people may very well already have died in network attacks, as these attacks managed to clog telephone lines and bring down 911 response centers. Someone may well have been waiting for the ambulance that never came.

Or, suppose that someone manages to sneak a virus inside a nuclear plant control system. Wait -- that actually already happened! Slammer worm crashed Ohio nuke plant network [] .

Re:People don't die when networks crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642349)

Gosh, I'm shaking with fear! That network failure at the nuclear power plant caused a huge meltdown and the irradiation of millions of square miles!

Oh, wait. Physical failsafes prevented that.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642398)

Actually, people may very well already have died in network attacks

Spoken like a true Y2K Chicken Little.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642555)

y2k was totally over blown it's true. i bought a fucking toaster with y2k safe stickers on it. however it WAS a very real bug and many old system run cricital inferstructure.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (4, Insightful)

thynk (653762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642343)

It depends on what network is crashed. Crash the network of your local 911 and see how many people die because the operator isn't able to find the address of a heart patient who can't speak well enough during the attack to give thier address.

We've become very dependant on computers and networking. Sometimes, very critical systems are left wide open. I think that having them tested for security leaks is a good idea.

A friend of mine who is a consultant did a 26 page report on a small town police department's network, finding that he was able to access everthing on thier network, including personal and critical information from home, with out a user account on the network.

Is that your attack strategy (1)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642596)

"Crash the network of your local 911 and see how many people die because the operator isn't able to find the address of a heart patient who can't speak well enough during the attack to give thier address."

Is that you're terror attack strategy? Try to break into the 911 network just as someone who doesn't speak very good English, is having a heart attack?

Re:People don't die when networks crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642359)

Everything has a paper trail? Wake up! This is certainly not true.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642364)

Those bits just go dark and the internet disappears for a while. excuse me, but your lack of thought is ASTOUNDING your obviously one of these idiots that think the internet is the www. when someone shutdowns the power at rush hour and all the traffic ligths go out, try telling that shit to the people mangled in car wrecks. i'm sure they will agree. or better yet, if your one of them and you go to hospital, and they look on your hacked medical records and they give you something your alergic to, be sure to consol yourself of the fact "internet disappears for a while." as you slowly die. the information and services provided by computers are life and death in many many cases.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (1, Insightful)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642372)

Shut up.

Now, the rest of you, pay attention to the shiny anti terrorism plan. Feel the soft, warm, blanket of security envelope you, as your government protects you from nonexistent threats. There.... That's it. Good citizen.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642416)

I have to hand it to you, you are a true master.

How deep do you want to look? (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642517)

Electronics are EXTREMELY embedded within modern American society. Sure it may seem like it doesn't extend beyond the internet, but it all depends on how far and deep you want to look into it...

Socially: An electronics crash would result in mass social disorder. Loss of school records would mean weeks of paperwork sifting, confirming, checking and double checking to make sure people didn't make counterfeit diplomas. Throw in messed up court cases, work schedule mix ups and just general confusion and you've got a cripped country. Sure, on the local level things will continue to run acceptably, but above the state level? You've basicly gone into a time warp ~50 years backwards.

Economically: You could make a career by being a consultant here. Messed up business deals, incorrect shipping orders, loss of time, loss of material, loss of product, loss of production, corporate sabotage, lost research, and again general 'wth is going on here?!' You could probably cause the stock market to crash a couple thousand points if you manage to hit enough of the big name corporations.

Militarilly: A no-brainer. If terrorists knew that on X day and Y time, B soldiers in C country would lose all communications with their HQ (remember we use computer encrypted radio satellites now just in case the enemy overhears our troops talking over the radio saying that they've run out of toilet paper) the damage would be impossible to believe. No air or artillery support because you can't call in coordinates without your unsecure radio, lest the enemy triangulates onto the direction/location of the support fire and move to avoid/counter-attack it. No reinforcements because HQ is blind and don't want to send troops into an ambush. No extraction because you don't know if the area is secure or if the radio/camp/person calling in is compromised or not. Classic military nightmare scenario. No eyes, no ears, can't take risks, no guarantees, no intel.

Thats not even going into diplomatic dangers (was a nuke suddenly launched and/or by who?), health care (how many people die each year because the 911 call center was too busy to respond to their call fast enough?) or simple electrical issues (sure there are generators, but lets be realistic, how many people/buildings having generators and how long do they last on average?) The list goes on.

Re:People don't die when networks crash (2, Insightful)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642581)

It is not lives that are at stake, it is business.

Cold as it may be, but a country can afford to loose a few thousand people. It can't afford to loose one or two large corporations.

For the record, I find the above fact sickening, but this does seem to fit in with the world's priorities at the moment.

Tis already happened! (5, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642292)

The networking industry, it seems, is expected to always play a big part in detecting and thwarting such threats, as 9/11-scale economic disruption is a likely bad-guy objective."

Sadly my website [] has already fallen victim to the hordes of the digital pearl harbour. There is [] a pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress at this period in history.

Simulation Games are useless (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642302)

All these simulation games and such designed to train/improve government IT security is BS. Everyone knows the overwhelming majority of the government budget is spent on politicians. Lawyers next, hospitality, then maybe techies.

Now I am not saying the government has no talent. I am just saying the money that attracts top talents are with the corporations.

Re:Simulation Games are useless (1)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642355)

...adding to that...How could you possibly even try and figure out which scenarios are going to happen?

The most damaging scenarios are going to be the ones that nobody has thought of yet (some crazy idea that only a psychotic genius could think of, not some underpaid/overworked CIA agent. Even if they are able to work on some of these situations, is there really *that* much they can do?

Re:Simulation Games are useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642505)

How could you possibly even try and figure out which scenarios are going to happen?

They don't. These tests are about testing the efficiency of the beaurocracy.

They want to know things like, the time from the start of the attack to the time it's discovered. How long it takes to reach a specific level of leadership. How long it takes to get the techies involved and a plan formulated to stop the specific attack.

They can't know in advance what form it will take, but they want to make sure the response protocols are working.

Re:Simulation Games are useless (4, Interesting)

CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642439)

"I am just saying the money that attracts top talents are with the corporations.

To some people money doesn't matter. Time and time again the military and intelligence communities attract hugely talented individuals because of the work environment. Dave Grossman talked about this in his book On Killing [] . There is a small minority of people who are talented warlike mischeif makers who given the right environment, ethical and monetary backing can go a long way to louse up the enemies day. Bruce Schneier says the same thing in Secrets and Lies. Examples of this in history are myriad. Google topics like the Tunnel Rats in vietnam. The bad guy mentality in the right environment attracts these guys.

You don't have to have to be a "bad guy" but being/thinking so is what separates the best intelligence and military personnel from the average. Obviously, you still need a 'good' value system but the 'bad guy' psyche still is needed.

It's even written in the vast majority of intelligence literature out there that the best overall intelligence guys are borderline 'bad guys'. Examples are myriad:

The original detective Eugène François Vidocq [] was the founding father of criminal investigation. He was a notorious bad guy whose innovations bolstered police intelligence gathering.

Michael Levine [] who was one of the top undercover agents ever assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency said in an interview that "The secret to my success was ..... A police lieutenant, with whom I worked many years later, looked at me, after I had done, in one day, something like four or five undercover buys from different groups -- from Hispanics, from Blacks, from Whites -- and he was covering me along with my group. He said: "You know what the thing is about you, Levine? You're a guy who should've gone bad. You should have been a gangster. You should have been in jail. But somehow you turned out right. And that's why you're so ..." [convincing]. And I thought about it, and I thought about my youth and about the way I grew up, and I realized that there was a lot of truth in what he said. I was FROM the streets. The streets were in me. There was a thin line between me and the guys who I was working against. And that line was so thin that drug dealers couldn't see it. Do you understand? The line that separated them from me as a suspected agent was so thin that drug dealers could NEVER believe that I was an agent. And that's an attitude .... that's something you can't teach."

The CIA Case officer Gust Avrakotos [] who ran the covert operation arming the Mujahideen by proxy through Pakistan in the 1980's Afgan-Russian war was nicknamed 'Dr Dirty' by his CIA peers because he was such an aggressive rule-breaking intelligence operative who had an inherent 'bad guy' view of intelligence operations which helped him numerous times in executing deals inside and outside the CIA.

Ex US Army intelligence analyst Ralph Peters [] Essay "The Black Art of Intelligence" speaks that the best intelligence analysts have a specific talent for the job and that talent is an underlying understanding of the dark side of humanity and this talent is born not made.

I could go on and on. Of course, you don't have to be a bad guy or empathise to be good at the job. In fact having an organisation filled with these guys would be counter-productive. But, like I stated, what separates the good from the brilliant is this 'bad guy' mentality.

"The best soldiers have a seasoning of devilry." General A.P. Wavell

Re:Simulation Games are useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642520)

Then how the hell do these people get through the security screening process? I am practically a monk and pass by jobs with security clearance requirements because I had some overdue tax returns...

Re:Simulation Games are useless (1)

CHESTER COPPERPOT (864371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642575)

Then how the hell do these people get through the security screening process?

That's a damn good question. These types of people are a minority so the signal to noise ratio could get them in. Could be a number of reasons though. The security vetters could look past their idiosyncrasies. They could be good people underneath, just a little mischievous.

One of the big things with the vetting process is whether or not you are honest up front in your dealings even if you have problems. Sometimes they'll let little things past if you are honest about it. I think this comes from the whole recruitable weaknesses idea. If you have recruitable weaknesses (a penchant for sex, money problems, fervent ideology) and you tell the vetters about it they may be able to apply damage control, however if you didn't tell them it could be used against you by foreign intelligence collectors. Then again, I don't know that much about the vetting internal process. I'm sure there are good reasons as to why these people get past.

Re:Simulation Games are useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642552)

Great post, dude.

CIA security.... (3, Funny)

iibagod (887140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642309)

It's wonderful that the CIA has such trustworthy people that wouldn't think of disclosing details of such a secure operation..... Oh, wait.

It is probably recruitment (3, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642468)

It's wonderful that the CIA has such trustworthy people that wouldn't think of disclosing details of such a secure operation..... Oh, wait.

Nah, we don't kill people. We play video games.

Sometimes I think the Army and government recruits like a gang or drug dealer. They offer people with little hope in life a job. They offer training. Stop me if you have heard this one: "The Navy will train you how to work on nuclear submaries... do you know how much people who work on nuclear stuff make outside the navy? $100,000 cash. Cold cash. Come on, let me hook you up, we'll even give you $5,000 if you sign up. It is a cakewalk, in 4 years you'll be out, and while you are in, we'll show you exotic places, exotic pussy. What do you want to do? Work in a McDonalds the next 4 years trying to save money for college? Hell, you can't even read".

Then the real story starts after boot camp. "You want me to do what? Tie a rope around my waist and drop down off the side of the battleship and clean the salt off the boat??" then in 4 years "My time is finally up. WHAT??? I got extended. By who?". And then the worst trick of all, 5 years later. "But I have nuclear experience, why can't I work for Ford? What, you exported all your jobs? Where??"

They have to get people in one way or another. Army and government recruitment is like spam for making your penis bigger. They will rip off anyone they can. It is ashame we let them in highschools to sell their programs to kids under 18, to prep them for when they turn 18. Kids should need to have their parents sign an approval form for their kids in highschool to watch the recruitments.

About time Some appreciates the Sweet Deal that is (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642558)

the military life. I get so annoyed with some of these active duty crybabies and their complaints about low pay.

Let me tell you something, the military is a swank deal and everyone should stop crying wolf over a bogus issue. Let me break it down.

Okay, so starting off, military pay is kind of on the low side. However, its not low considering the great benefits, which render the salary pure gravy. Especially considering, you're getting free paid training. How many companies offer free paid training, with total benefits, to completely unskilled people? Not many. You get free housing, all you have to do is pay for optionals like cable TV and telephone calls. But even that is subsided by the BAH II, which chips in some dough, tax-free, to you, to pay for things, like toilet paper and paper towels. Hell, your initial work clothes are given to you free, everyone else in the real world has to pay out of pocket.

Replacement work clothes, aka BDUs, are paid for too. They give you a nice fat check to use to buy new clothing as you see fit.

These things, and many many others, are sold at a heavily discounted rate .... Wholesale cost plus 5%. You have subsided entertainment options, you pay nothing for health, dental, mental health, or vision care. Your transportation costs are lower because the base has its own intra-base mass transit, and if you own a car, maintenance is a available at a discount rate,

Plus you get 30 days of paid vacation and 12 federal holidays off a year. That's 42 day or 12% of the year off. That's 3xs the average of two weeks a year in the civilian world. The military even provides free travel on Space Available Flights, for, at worse a nominal fee, and there are often on base accommodations for members at discount. In addition to paid vacation time, you also receive unlimited paid sick leave. Plus there is no risk of being fired for using these benefits as very few soldiers are fired during their period of guaranteed employment. How many companies offer their wage slaves guaranteed employment? Again not many. This is because the military does not outsource its jobs overseas, rarely does it cut down on its numbers, and never does it fire anyway for anything less than gross incompetence or criminality. In many cases, criminal conduct is swept under the rung with a slap on the wrist thanks to Article 15s.

As you mature,get older, and serve longer guess what? The deal gets even sweeter. You only have to serve twenty years and guess what? You get a free retirement for life, a giant, never ending 401k you didn't have to pay into. Its free money and you can start receiving, depending on the age of enlistment at 37. The VA begins to provide you with low cost healthcare upon retirement as well. You get the MGIB, which will pay for any college expense you may have left over. This should not be too much of a problem given the military already pays 100% of all college tuition of all people on active duty. If you went to college before enlistment, the military has programs, for student loan repayment. Soldiers who retired or leave after one enlistment get access to numerous other benefits like low cost VA housing lows, job training, and preferential hiring for government jobs, no matter how unqualified or incompetent they are, allowing them to beat out superior applicants.

In addition, over those twenty years of service, you get multiple, guaranteed pay raises. You get more money for marrying and for each dependent you have, meaning the military pays you to fuck and have kids.

So to brake it down: The military deal includes
Free College
Free Housing
Free Health/Mental/Dental/Vision care (often for life)
Free Retirement
Free Paid Training
Paid Vacation
Unlimited Paid Sick Leave
Guaranteed Raises
Job Programs
Subsided Shopping/ Transportation/ Entertainment
Security Clearance

(taken from 556/20#20 [] )

Digital Pearl Harbor? (2, Insightful)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642317)

"You hear less and less about the digital Pearl Harbor," said Dennis McGrath, who has helped run three similar exercises for the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth College. "What people call cyberterrorism, it's just not at the top of the list."

We finally get rid of one useless buzzword and this idiot wants to bring it back.

The funniest thing about this is that from the sounds of it the whole thing is being run by CIA goons. I'm no "info-warrior" but seems kind of pointless to run a war-game with people whose tricks you already know. Wouldn't it be far more realistic if they setup a network and put out the word to John Q. Hacker that is open season.

Re:Digital Pearl Harbor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642410)

john q hacker's not going to waste his precious exploits and time on a network that has no data or processes he'd like to compromise.

Re:Digital Pearl Harbor? (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642503)

I've heard a lot of people who say what we really need is something like:
Make a test network, put a file worth of fictional critical data on it. Give out one hint on the Internet about how to find it and tell people its no holds barred. First to disclose the data to an email address you set up gets $100,000, no questions asked.
The problems with this approach are a) you're not really sure you're going to get any useful information ("Well, we got rooted, really fast. So that was interesting, and now we're out $100k. Uh, thats about all I've got to report, boss."), it costs a lot more money than a consultant and you're sure the consultant will at least produce 100 pages to justify his existence, and importantly it doesn't tell you anything about real life. Not that the consultant necessarily does, of course, but you can't make a crackable fascimile of any real life system which you're worried about cracking because there is no simulation which has the right bugs, exploits, and social engineering approaches except the real thing and you can't possibly let people try to break the real thing. I mean, sure, you could make a I-can't-believe-its-not-a-nuclear-power-plant simulation on a Linux box and put it on the Internet, but does its software have the buffer overrun in the log analyzer the real plant does? Is the Linux box guarded by one guy at night who goes off at 12:30 to have a drink at the local bar and thinks no one knows? Is the world's resident expert on your Linux box now a consultant who mouths off about its security features to his clients without even stopping to consider whether they're more interested in the box than the project they're theoretically paying him for? These are the kind of threats you'd "realistically" see against a critical institution -- inside jobs, social engineering, stupid software bugs, the works -- and they're all but impossible to test for in a "realistic" manner.

Re:Digital Pearl Harbor? (1)

iibagod (887140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642521)

Two scenarios: A) After being bombarded with legions of script-kiddies, the CIA concludes that there is nobody capable of breaching their security....USA wins! B) Since they secured their network to block most primitive attacks, they catch the few idiots who try their mad skillz against the big bad CIA...and are then shipped off to $BIG_BAD_CIA_PRISON and are never seen again. However, the few persons with skills enough to actually crack their network are just smart enough to avoid advertising the fact to the CIA....causing the CIA to conclude there is nobody capable of breaching their security....USA wins! Or Super Sekrit Option C: The CIA server is totally hacked by some ubergeek living in a hole somewhere. Unwilling to lose face, they black out all logs pertaining to this attack and deny it ever happened, claiming there is nobody capable of breaching their security.....USA wins!

"Anti-American and anti-globalization hackers" (4, Insightful)

Raindance (680694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642319)

I'm not sure whether this is completely appropriate to include in a press release.

Insofar as the intelligence community is coming up with possible scenarios, yes, I think this is a possible scenario. And worth looking into.

Insofar as the government- MY government- is identifying and singling-out anti-globalization folks as "The Enemy" and "anti-American," I'm a bit frustrated. I'm an American who is also somewhat anti-globalization*.

So, thumbs up for doing some preparation that might actually matter. Thumbs down, however, for singling out anti-globalization as "The Enemy" and "anti-American."

You're the government. You have a responsibility to your citizens to not insult moderate views commonly held by U.S. citizens, however accidentally you do so. If you're going to put out press releases, hire some rhetoric Ph.Ds or something.

*There a lot of ins-and-outs to globalization. I'm against greedy globalization, which so far has unfortunately been rampant.

Re:"Anti-American and anti-globalization hackers" (1)

downsize (551098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642363)

ha, no shit. so the CIA wants to spend some money relaxing and playing some video games, you don't have to hype it all up and spin it to make 90% of the nation think you are wasting our tax dollars wisely.
and I have to agree with you on not being the enemy. most of the globalization gets me hot under the tie as well... rampant is a fitting way to describe the gg. although I must admit, I tend to stay away from political matters, even though I vote and do my part, you just never win and infuriates.

Re:"Anti-American and anti-globalization hackers" (1)

Xoro (201854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642442)

You are misreading it.

The writeup just lists two groups that might be motivated to make such an attack. It does not say that anti-globalizers were anti-American. In fact, if they were making that assumption, the sentence you cite would be redundant.

And yes, I know *you* aren't planning to attack anything. Neither are the vast majority of people who have strong feelings against the United States. But the possibility that someone in either group might interested in doing it is not beyond the pale.

Re:"Anti-American and anti-globalization hackers" (1)

Xoro (201854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642458)

Okay, forget I said that.

You could read it either way. Looks like they just chose the red team for maximum drama.

Re:"Anti-American and anti-globalization hackers" (0, Flamebait)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642513)

you have to agree that anti-globalization people are hardly pro-american.

Government computer security? (3, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642322)

I don't ever remember government computer systems ever being regarded as being anywhere near secure. Whether it's Microsoft Windows, unpatched Unix boxes, or incompetent sysadmins, government and military boxes have historically been regarded as some of the least secure on the Internet.

Has any progress been made in the last few years on improving the state of government computer security?

Re:Government computer security? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642528)

Has any progress been made in the last few years on improving the state of government computer security?

The short answer is: no.

I have some experience with this. I can't get into any details, but if I could, the stories might curl your toes. I can say that there are people working hard to keep up, but that they are stymied by resistance to improvements, particularly in the area of doctrine, rules, regulations, approvals, waivers, and so on, and by the sheer volume of systems. Change is slow and hard for the military, and it is damn frustrating.

On a related note, the Air Force is heavily involved in informations systems warfare.

I hope my anon posting takes.

sounds like fun (3, Interesting)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642326)

Hey, if you were on the committee deciding how to spend the new money you got on the defence budget, wouldn't you want to spend it on some fun war-style games? That way, you can pretend there's a disaster and save the world without the whole mess of killing lots of Americans. Much more fun. I bet you that more money is spent on the lunches of the people involved in this than money spent on ACTUAL foriegn aid (not money called foreign aid sent to the pockets of other politicians, real foreign aid). And I'm not joking.

Re:sounds like fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642498)

What is this organization called A.C.T.U.A.L. ? I have never heard of it and work with some of the best in the business. Hmm???

OH MY GOD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642327)

please cmdrtaco stop raping me

i hate you so much

Digital Pearl Harbor? (3, Funny)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642336)

Why not just call the event "Perl Harbor," I think everyone would get the reference.

What's the BFD? (5, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642346)

I saw a show on History channel or something about the NYSE and how they have everything backed-up at a secure location.

I fail to see how an internet-attack would cause all that much havoc.

I remember in 2000 or so, the internet went down and it wasn't that big of a deal.

Bill Maher said "millions of people were forced to go back to masturbating to magazines."

From the article:

"One of the things the intelligence community was accused of was a lack of imagination,"

Actually, this shows no imagination at all, considering that Tom Clancy already wrote about it in Debt of Honor.

But then again, before 9/11 Tom Clancy wrote about Islamic Radicals using airplanes to crash into the house of congress, and they didn't pick up on that threat. Nor did they pick up on the threat after psycho Sam Bicke tried to hijack a Delta flight in the 70s planning to fly into the white house. So I guess maybe this is an improvement.

Re:What's the BFD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642382)

Tam Clancy has made a lot of good estimates what happens in the near future. I guess "enemies of USA" read more Clancy than the defenders.

Re:What's the BFD? (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642432)

I beleive Debt of Honor was about about Japanese radicals crashing an airplane into the senate. Sum of All Fears was about islamic radicals nuking a stadium. (If I recall correctly)

Re:What's the BFD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642443)

Yeah, but the nuclear bomb was detonated in Baltimore so it was more like a spontaneous city-wide cleanup effort than anything.

Re:What's the BFD? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642514)

Oh, right. Also it was the Japanese crashed the stock exchange in Debt of Honor, right?

Re:What's the BFD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642465)

WRONG. Debt of honor was about the Japanese, not Islamic militants.

Do you even read books?

stop drop 'n roll ! (1)

majest!k (836921) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642361)

this reminds me of those fire drill videos we had back in 4th grade... there was some announcer from the 50's who would say "Remember kids, in a fire, stop drop and roll!"

i laughed when i thought how funny it would be if someone actually started rolling on the ground when a fire broke out..

now i'm laughing again thinking about this simulation.. cia: please stop wasting taxpayer money. do some real work. thanks.

You totally missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642371)

Perhaps you had an old fire drill announcement tape or something.

"Remember kids, if you are on fire, stop, drop, and roll."

No need to do that if you aren't burning.

Re:You totally missed the point (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642453)

More likely he misheard, and yet he's somehow managed to escape being burned to death....

Re:You totally missed the point (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642582)

don't bother flaming me for the apostrophe, thanks.

Re:stop drop 'n roll ! (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642527)

And if you see lava coming toward you, remeber:
Duck & Cover.

Softwars (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642383)

trying to put together a script for an animated film and looking for a standard format (svg???) so that the film can be produced by an open group using an open licence to develop the production

so here's the first draft of some script ideas for the opening scene

------BEGIN SCRIPT--------

proclaimed the emperor
there will be no software freedom for them

the jar is a gift from the sun, he will fight first against us, then will greatly assist us

go forth! make the hardware merchants aware of the greater price that awaits those that do not bow to our wishes

ignore or disrupt councils and courts
remind rulers and states of the great dangers that will confront them
if they forsake our bounties for the elusive benefits of software freedom

embrace, extend and disrupt
the efforts of contemporaries
and always
be ...

the emperor paused, looking around the table
glancing first to his right as if to reassure himself

master of designs that favoured the empire
the base upon which the foundations of the empire were built
these annoying free software creators had developed a surprisingly capable threat
impudently using the master of clones creations
but the soon to be completed plan to restrict hardware to trusted imperial systems
together with the convoluted eulas that bound the populace
and the hidden iceberg of patents
would eventually crush all resistance

aah, the mighty demon that fuelled the empire from below
providing the population with a never ceasing flow of hardware bearing the imperial software
not one of his subjects was equal to this hell-fiend, or more useful
looking at him the emperor saw faint tinges of the software freedom anomaly flaring up in the folds between the hardware demons mighty muscles
the demon dared to provide a few dicerning citizens with the loathsome collaborative software
once this softwar was over the hell-fiend would humbly toe the line, his massive logistic neck bowed with sintels help

a glance at the once mighty soft and hard-ware wizard brought a supercilious sneer to the emperors lips
to think that this wizard had once threatened the budding empire with his well engineered core systems
hughs cloak could not hide the tell-tale traces of anti-imperial flames that reflected feeble dreams of escape
but alas sir hugh was rendered decrepid with the sheer power of the emperors implacable resolve

this litigous being of unknown gender laughed hideously as she boldly met the emperors eyes
the spirits of the enslaved masters of illusion chained to its throne howled in misery
so did the vast sea of wretches addicted to the exquisite fantasies woven by these fettered adepts
the banshees grip on the populace was dangerous as the wretches could not live without illusion to mask the misery of existence

this one will have to be ensared and tamed,
thought the emperor to himself
or destroyed once the last free entities were dispensed with
but at least this one did not show any signs of the enemy as yet
he mused as his eye fell on the newcomer to his court

having recently submitted openly to the emperors will, this arrogant blustering janus was a sorry sight
with one eye tightly closed and and the other widely open
the rest of his person minutely mirrored his dual nature
one hand clutched powerful core systems that were in appearance as tightly closed as the imperial systems
the other brazenly wielded a shockingly open threat to the emperors flagship
imps redolent with the aroma of coffee guarded their master from the active ex-chimps surrounding the emperor
who somberely regarded his latest ally with feelings as mixed as the face of the janus

sat with his back almost pointed at the emperor, his immense stature amplified the implied disrespect by its sheer mass
as did the mantle of software freedom slung graciously over the shoulder farthest from the table
once again the emperor sneered, how easy it had been to surpass this giant in the early softwars
of course the beast was sulking
it had been almost imperial in its day
but the emperor had been merciless as a raptor
and the giant had stumbled and limped
for what would be eons for lesser beings
out-manuvered by imperial subterfuge and cunning

but, to the emperors horror
the giant had with intricate and surgical precision
slowly and publicly amputated one of its arms, the one that had performed imperial tasks
near the foundries where

this disparate but extremely numerous group
did all the manufacturing at unbeatable unit price
with great ingenutity but extreme cruelty
in the sweatshops and slave-pens
the planets hardware was forged

with immense beauty the arm still performed as if still attached to the giant
the manuhardware clans chattered in pleasure
at the accuisition of this powerful artifact
even if the arm could not substantially affect the clans gargantuan output
the giants designs were held in the deepest respect
the manuhardware and ibeem had a dryly congenial regard for each other

the emperor hissed with displeasure
these manuhardware clans were not of his country and idealogically opposite to his imperial ideals
the mutual distaste and suspicion the the emperor and the manuhardware clans was almost tangible
however it was of utmost strategic importance to keep the manuhardware clans locked down
luckily the early softwars had bound them to the empire by legal and punitive methods
they were bound as well to the courtiers
notably sir hugh and the hell-fiend
but the clans had also caught the scent of freedom

the emperor drifted into plans of world dominance
into that pleasurable and comfortable den of yore

hmmm ... then He would have a place in history
He, the First Human to ever amass such incredible wealth
then He would ultimately donate the bulk of it to improving life for His subjects
thus doubling the reasons for history to remember His Empire
hmmm ... only the Truly Ambitous realise that history only rewards Superlative megalomania
how simple and joyful His subjects would be
once the planet achieved Imperial Harmony
with every device locked to His Imperial Designs
make it unlawful to ...

the fireplace crackled and all eyes turned to watch

hovering in the flames, calmly decimating the emperors explorers who wilted in the searing heat
its power grew steadily. fuelled by the increasing masses of citizens fleeing vast hordes of elementals
those shadowy monsters voraciously preying on the weak underbelly of imperial systems
causing immense damage to the general populace who subsequently flocked to the shelter of the fire-being

the emperor woke from his reverie in startled rage
had he not once crushed this dinosaur in the early stages of the softwar?

the raptor reacted with well prepared deadliness
he tirelessly whipped his armies of trolls, shills, kept politicians and litigators into renewed frenzy
these servants
thus lubricated by the network of imperial commerce
and anxious to preserve and further their positions in the shifting sands of the imperial global hive complex
screeched the emperors message in all places, obfuscating the true issues and spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt

---------MUST WRITE MORE-------

Dave Rexel alias darex

That's pretty limited. (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642393)

anti-American and anti-globalization hackers
You fools. You fail to realize the potential of thousands of script kiddies who just got out of school for the summer and are really bored. Prepare to be WinNuked into submission!

suggestion (1)

Sase (311326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642394)

Why don't they just confront Slashdot users... and make it open game for Slashdotters..

'Hey slashdot.. here's our network.. do your worst'

Or is that.. too much of a security risk to allow people open knowledge to try and exploit systems that normally, their presence would be unknown?

Maybe they should follow the 'don't write down passwords' routine M$ has suggested...

Help from private technology firms (2, Interesting)

CUGWMUI (639218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642397)

From TFA:

It also questioned whether the U.S. government would be able to detect the early stages of such an attack without significant help from private technology companies.
This is a very important statement. The US govt may have their eye on all the networks, but given the nature of the Internet, as well as the PSTN to some extent, they just cant do it themselves. It has to be strong collaboration with private firms, whose technology may well be better than theirs, as well as all the big service providers.

Bad Guys? (2, Insightful)

larsl (30423) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642404)

Defending yourself against the United States makes you a "bad guy?"

Re:Bad Guys? (4, Funny)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642426)

Defending yourself against the United States makes you a "bad guy?"

From the perspective of a citizen of the United States, yes.

Re:Bad Guys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642542)

Not even a citizen. From a useless citizen, yes it seems to. However, for a citizen with function-one who both works and is aware of global events and trends, history and results of various policies, and of the general state of their own nation and of others in the immediate vicinity and on transit routes of materials necessary for production-including training of workers and worker supply, as well as population trends is not one who says that all who defend against a lumbering giant are enemies of all of its citizens.

anti globalism = anti americanism? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642412)

I'm against passing away our soveriginity to international megacorporations and undisclosed power brokers. That makes me an anti-globalist. I am a patriot, and I would fight for the country if it came to open war (no the blood-for-oil, power and Israel war in Iraq does not count). I am in other words an anti-globalist patriot. I suppose that makes me a terrorist in the administrations eyes.

Re:anti globalism = anti americanism? (3, Insightful)

arstchnca (887141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642492)

It is an all-too-common misconception that disagreeing with a nation's administration renders one "unpatriotic." As far as I know, the definition of a patriot remains "one who loves and defends his or her country."

What many these days seem to fail to realize is that one's country and one's government are too very different things. If that were not the case, those fighting for America's freedom from British rule during the American Revolution, the quintessential example of an American patriot, would not be considered patriotic at all.

I'd like to remind everyone that the kid wearing the "Fuck Bush" t-shirt is still very much a patriot, so long as he loves his country for blessing him with the freedom to express his beliefs that contradict the administration's policy.

(And yes, I do realize that anyone kid wearing said t-shirt is, in all likelihood, doing so for attention rather than to further a political opinion.)

You need to say it in a way that geeks understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642515)

The "country" to which you are referring can be considered to be like a "process" and the "government" like a "thread".

Only one thread can run at any given time and that thread defines the behavior of the process to all external viewers. At some point, context will switch and a new thread will run which will then define the process behavior by its actions.

From the outside, it looks like it is the process going in one direction or another, but in actuality it is the behavior of the threads that they are seeing.

So when some external viewer says, "Man, I hate that process," they are really saying that they hate what the current thread in that process is doing. Naturally, if all the threads in the process are doing bad things, then the process itself is seen to be bad, but in most processes there are a majority of good threads who simply don't get enough CPU time compared to the bad, errant threads.

So any thread so designed can actually go back and fix to some extent the damage created by another thread. However, if the good thread doesn't fix the problem before an outside viewer sees it, or worse, is attacked by it, then the process as a whole is seen as bad.

Once you start adding CPUs such that multiple threads within the same process can run simultaneously, you start running into things such as resource starvation and other bad things that are probably beyond the scope of this analogy. Needless to say, processes are not threads, but it is easy to confuse the two.

The Truth Is Not Out There (2, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642434)

I can't help but wonder, with the USA threatening Korea and Iran for their weapons programs, how the hell we get away with half the shit we make that has no usefullness outside of killing people. Like the new bomb they have developed, that kills all the people in a city, but does not damage any structures.

1984 has come people. They have weapons of mass destruction and we must defend ourselves. They don't have weapons of mass destruction but we needed to remove a tyrant. We have, as a basic saftey gaurd against an overbearing government, the right to be secure in our papers and possesions unless a judge signs a warrents. It is war against terrorism, the FBI needs the powers to conduct searches without judicial overview. WTF???

People, is the USA about to have a coup? It is one of the most common events in history. How many people in other countries expected the coup when it happened? I believe Bush will never leave office, or he will hand pick his sucessor.

There are so many danger signs with that family. Bush's father was the chief of the CIA in the 1970s, he ran the CIA and did all the hiring of senior staff. Then he was VP for 8 years in the 1980's. He becomes president through the early 90's, then his son becomes president 8 years later. There is a saying that power currupts, and this family has been in the highest level of power for over 40 years, and that is not counting their grandfather who was in congress.

This is more than haliburton or giving government contracts to friends. This is more than the spoils system. This is about jobs leaving the USA, about people having a lower standard of life, about more people becomming poor, about the rich getting richer, about government removing 200 year old rights gaurenteed to us by the founding fathers. What has happened the last 20 years should be a warning. A whole class of people is getting enslaved, to working for only enough money to pay for rent and very little low quality food.

Just wait people. Those fingerprint machines in public libraries are not there because libraries are going bankrupt with non-members checking their emails.

Most coups do not happen with the people overthrowing the government. Most coups happen when a powerful person gains too much influence and power, and takes over the military. But this coup will be about economics. The people with the money will have the lobbyists which will control the congress, and the rest of us will be relegated to nothings. Government will jail the loudest voices as terrorists. The rest will believe they are free, free to work for $9 an hour. Just wait.

Re:The Truth Is Not Out There (2, Informative)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642499)

haha i love the fact that this was modded insightful! ive see this post in several other places.

Re:The Truth Is Not Out There (1)

arstchnca (887141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642518)

[...] war against terrorism, the FBI needs the powers to conduct searches without judicial overview. WTF???

To quote the most (probably, I haven't reviewed them all) insightful line from the recent blockbuster -
This is how liberty dies - to thunderous applause.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642524)

How the hell did this get modded up? First, it's completely off topic. Secondly, it's a soapbox rant that takes advantage of /. groupthink thereby giving the guy karma. Finally, half this shit he is spouting is complete crap. MOD DOWN.

Re:The Truth Is Not Out There (2, Funny)

corpsiclex (735510) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642533)

Actually, 1984 came (and went) more than twenty years ago. Parent may want to review this article [] for a quick update on where things stand.

totally friggin off-topic, but (1, Funny)

tulare (244053) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642437)

I got karma to blow here

Does anyone else notice that /. has banned its own headline reader? HAHAHA!!!

Re:totally friggin off-topic, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642475)

Even better is that it affected Google's personalized page service, too, and who knows what else []

Wrong branch? (2, Interesting)

P0ldy (848358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642447)

Isn't this the NSA's job, or Homeland Security? I can't really see how this is gathering intelligence. Is this supposed to be Ops? TFA mentions

"Information Operations Center, which evaluates threats to U.S. computer systems from foreign governments"

, which is understandable, but the conventional notion of "terrorists" aren't "foreign governments". Does this mean we're expecting to go to cybercarpetbombing against France, the "anti-Americans"?

Greetings, Professor Falken (1)

bnitsua (72438) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642497)

How about a nice game of Chess?

(I apologize in advance... *somebody* had to make the reference)

Shouldn't that read "Anti-American-Globalization"? (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642563)

The particular brand of globalization done by American people is to treat "the rest of the world" as yet another "Hawaii".

Globalization can be good, pity some (non-internet enabled) Americans have a twisted idea of what it (the rest of the planet) is about. I think a re-education will solve all the problems, and not the hosting of a LAN. ;)

This story is a case in point by grouping 'anti-American' and 'anti-globalization' into one concept. Showing just how easy it is to alienate the rest of the world (which should be an integral part of a globalization effort.

RPG? (1)

david.heyman (36692) | more than 9 years ago | (#12642584)

You sure this isn't just an elaborate version of a tabletop RPG game based on 24 [] ?

Slashdot has caught the political meme (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12642597)

There used to be a time when you could comment on such articles without it being turned into a political diatribe. This article is damn interesting and there could be some awesome commentary by some /.'ers. However you political numbnuts decided to turn this into soapbox rant afternoon.

BTW, I am left-leaning as well, but for fucks sake keep your politics to yourself. It's completely off-topic yet gets modded up becuase of /. groupthink. Leave your political rants for the /. political threads.

Cmon guys don't drag this place down a notch. It's annoying to sort through at +4/5 expecting cool comments but all you get is some guys off topic political rant that fits the /. atmosphere.
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