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358 comments

Dem cyberterrerrists (3, Funny)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450102)

It's no good burying your heads in the sand. Cyberterrorism is VERY real [linuxvirus.net]

Re:Dem cyberterrerrists (1)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450242)

One of the best stories I ever had the joy of reading in Wired magazine was Cyberwar [wired.com] (pops) which was posted back in June of 02.

Looks like some of the formatting is broken, but it is a good read. (IMHO)

Decently written, and even today somewhat realistic version of what may or may not happen in such a scenario.

Re:Dem cyberterrerrists (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450244)

Ok, either that is some weird coincidence, or you managed to whip that up and get first post too. . .if its the latter, kudos man. That is the most elaborate first post ever, and one of the most thought out as well.

Re:Dem cyberterrerrists (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450302)

"Ok, either that is some weird coincidence, or you managed to whip that up and get first post too"

He's a subscriber. That theoretically gives him at least 15 minutes to whip up a low-quality, yet hillarious cartoon before posting is allowed.

TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450106)

the term is being used to justify basically anything the american government wants to loegalize to suppress its peoples rights. the reason? who knows..

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (4, Funny)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450195)

Hint: Shift+4. Keep holding.

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450222)

to suppress its peoples rights. the reason? who knows..

Power, money, Jesus, hot and cold running hookers.

I think that pretty much covers it.

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong. . .

KFG

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (3, Informative)

olego (899338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450232)

Running. Hookers don't run.

Errata (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450328)

Hookers don't run.

Hot and cold slinking hookers.

But if you wave a $10,000 bill at them they'll slink really, really fast.

KFG

Re:Errata (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450368)

If you wave a $10,000 bill at them, they'll wonder when they got teleported to the year 1847 ;-)

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (4, Insightful)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450229)

TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD

Try telling that to the families of the 2000+ people that died on 9/11/01.

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (0, Flamebait)

BkBen7 (926853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450276)

Its too late, get freaking over it. Yes, a lot of us lost someone close to us in that attack, but when does it stop?

When do people quit using their names and our memories of them to excuse taking our rights and freedoms away. America is being raped by its own leaders.

And you are just as guilty as our President for spreading your idiotic rhetoric.

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (3, Insightful)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450459)

When do people quit using their names and our memories of them to excuse taking our rights and freedoms away. America is being raped by its own leaders.

I was responding to the statement that "terrorism is fud period". For people that lost relatives in the terrorist attacks, it's more than just FUD period. I said nothing about taking freedoms away, etc. I wasn't even responding to the article.

And you are just as guilty as our President for spreading your idiotic rhetoric.

I said nothing about politics. You as a human should be able to see that the previous post was extremely insensative and just plain old not true. Terrorism is more than FUD. If it were just FUD, no one would have died. Even if you hate Bush, etc....you should really think about what you say.

Its too late, get freaking over it.

Forget about politics for a minute and just think about what you're saying. It's too late, [your family member is dead], get freaking over it. I'm not trying to justify any policies, etc. I'm just pointing out that terrorism is real. I'm sorry that it's an inconvenient fact, but the truth is the truth.

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (5, Insightful)

Retric (704075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450423)

Let's see annual death total from TERRORISM 2000 to 2006
~2k from 9/11 + 2.5k in Iraq(Which seems silly but we can add them in if you want...) / 6 = ~750 / year.

So my annual risk from TERRORISM is about 250,000,000 / 750 US deaths / year or so my risk is around 1 in 333,333 per year.

Let's compare that to:
"Normal" Homicide which kills over 20,000 people in the US every year. Which means I am 27 times as likely to be killed by someone in the US vs. a foreign TERRORIST.

Motor Vehicle Crashes: 26,000+ US deaths / year aka 35x as likely to kill me vs. Al Qaeda, yet I still drive.

Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity: 365,000 US deaths / year aka 467x as likely to kill me which is why I work out and try to keep a healthy diet.

Yet we are spending how much to fight TERRORISM?

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450427)

So? How many people died in car accidents that day?

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450458)

How much economic damage was caused by those car accidents? And by 9/11? The stock market could have crashed due to the 9/11 attacks (if I remember correctly, they had to close quite a few stock exchanges right after 9/11).

Also remember that most car accidents are Darwinism at work. A good driver can prevent being involved in car accidents (100% of those caused by him, and most of those caused by other drivers through defensive driving, etc.).

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (1, Insightful)

user317 (656027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450476)


Try telling that to the families of the 2000+ people that died on 9/11/01.


http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statisti cs.html [alcoholalert.com]


Thats tens of thousands deaths every year. Do you think that would justify orwellian laws for drivers?

Re:TERRORISM IS FUD PERIOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450420)

Hein? What? The fact that the term terrorism has been overused doesn't mean that terrorists do not exist...

Oh please... (3, Insightful)

Audent (35893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450109)

Is that the best they can come up with?

Attacks on SCADA systems?

Who puts their vital power infrastructure controls online anyway?

I cry FUD, and let slip the dogs of mainstream media.

SCADA with backend windows machines (2, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450169)

The SCADA equipment does not have to be Internet accessible,
it just has to have a corrupted windows box attached to it.

Am I the only one.... (1)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450198)

..that read "masturbation media"?

Re:Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450466)

Well ... let me tell you ...
      More people than you think put their SCADA systems in harms way.
I work for a Company that specializes in doing security audits on SCADA networks and SCADA gear. I've got first hand accounts SCADA security going bad ... Plants being shutdown, power going out ... simply due to the "decision makers" having the same attitude that you do ... "People wouldn't be so stupid to put the SCADA systems on-line" ... ... Man ... obviously need to age a bit ... with age comes the knowledge that ... yes people are stupid enough to do just that.

I've got my generator and emergency rations ..
How about you?

Re:Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450489)

Who puts their vital power infrastructure controls online anyway?

The City of Muskegon, MI does.

The incompetent city IT and management wanted to be able to access the system from their homes. Forget that threre are trained experts on staff 24/7 the manager of the Muskegon Water plant DEMANDED he have the ability to "PC ANYWHERE" in and watch the employees screens. SO they put the SCADA system online, connected it to the city network and then punched a hole in the firewall.

Pure and unadulterated incompetence. all SCADA systems should be on their own network and not connected in any way to a normal computer network let alone one with net access and a firewall hole put in for a micromanaging manager to spy on his employees with.

So if you write a targetted virus and get a dimwitted clerk in city hall to open it it can easily find the SCADA systems and blow the waterlines all over town if you simply turn on all the high pressure pumps at once.

Pure genuis. and I guarentee that such rampant incompetence is all over this great country.

Traffic lights (2, Funny)

antiaktiv (848995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450116)

We all know the most efficient way to cause chaos over the internet is to control the traffic lights to all turn green at the same time.
I can't wait for it to actually happen.

Re:Traffic lights (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450443)

I reckon red would be more effective. Can you imagine the frustration? People would start killing each other.

Re:Traffic lights (2, Funny)

sorak (246725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450445)

We all know the most efficient way to cause chaos over the internet is to control the traffic lights to all turn green at the same time. I can't wait for it to actually happen.

Drivers in my home town have found a way around that. They tend to ignore traffic laws entirely.

Chicken Littles? (4, Interesting)

informatico (978356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450120)

Reminds me of the up coming horrors of Y2K that amounted to a few slot machines not working after midnight.

Although chicken littles can be right once in a while given the sheer number of warnings tossed about, and then no one listens to them when they should have ;).

Re:Chicken Littles? (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450162)

Maybe there was no Y2K disaster because people where pooring over code and fixing them before they happened?

I saw some testing of systems in '95, I can tell you for a fact that they would have failed in some very spectacular ways.

It's like knowing there is going to be a tidle wave on a specific time. Then building a huge wall to prevent it. Then when the wave comes and the wall prevents people from dying people say "That wasn't so bad, we shouldn't have built the wall"

Re:Chicken Littles? (2, Insightful)

Audent (35893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450192)

Well done that man...

I get sick and tired of the "Y2K was all nonsense" line of argument. I saw plenty of companies that would have been unable to function without their Y2K upgrades.

Sure, the Hollywood spectacular was never on the cards, but we all knew that right?

Y2K was real. It was a problem. We solved it. Well done to all concerned.

Re:Chicken Littles? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450310)

Any piece of software that would have failed spectacularly due to Y2K had way too much reliance on dates to have been using a two digit year in the first place.

Y2K had largely no effect because most code would simply display 00 or 1900 rather than 2000. Odd, yes, life-threatening, no, and if it is, why the fuck didn't they think of that when they were programming their software in the first place?

Re:Chicken Littles? (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450411)

I'm tellin' you, the Y2K computer's got him. We'll face burnin' roads, cars exploding, painkillers transformed into Scud missiles. There's nothing we can do.

Wolf, Wolf, not Chicken Little (4, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450467)

You've got the wrong childrens' story here. The Bush Administration has been crying "Wolf Wolf" since they started running for office, and their military-FBI-spook allies in Washington have been crying it for years before that. Their most important political strategy has been to keep announcing things that Americans should be afraid of and announcing that they're strong decisive leaders who can protect us from the enemies that are trying to kill your children and hate your freedom. (Their other main strategy has been to preemptively smear their potential opponents, usually by saying that they're not strong enough or decisive enough to protect our families from our enemies as well as saying they don't share our values - "Kerry the Flip-flopper" trumps "Kerry the War Hero" any day, much more effectively than "Kerry the Liberal".) It doesn't matter that the wolf didn't show up this time, or that the "credible evidence" or "terrorist chatter" didn't turn into an attack, because We Scared The Wolf Away Again, But There Are Still More Wolves To Be Afraid Of.

Cindy Sheehan was really effective against Bush for a while because she's a strong family-protection figure who made it clear that Bush had endangered her family rather than protecting it. And Katrina was even more effective, because it demonstrated that Bush wasn't decisive, or strong, or competent, when faced with an actual threat that he couldn't control but could have responded to. Osama bin Laden was just fine - if you're crying Wolf Wolf and a real Wolf shows up on occasion, that demonstrates that your strong leadership is needed just like you said.

Really... more sabotage than TERROR, isn't it? (4, Insightful)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450125)

I mean, really, this all sounds more like industrial sabotage than terror. I mean, are you really going to have people running in fear for their lives that... say... the next time they fill up their car, the gas pump might explode? Or that any pill that they take next could be their last?

Most acts that they're looking at would be one time things, and isolated/restricted in nature. (Also making it easy to identify/avoid/fix.) I can't see that something like this would actually cause terror.

Again, CyberSabotage. Nothing more.

Re:Really... more sabotage than TERROR, isn't it? (2, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450141)

If anyone's the terrorist, it's the guy in the summary making all these doomsday predictions.

Are you old enought to remember (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450180)

then tylenol scare?

Yeah, if people started dying because medical drug formulas were screwed up, it would cause terror, and for a longer time then a bomb could.

Re:Are you old enought to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450270)

Oh yeah, everyone was quaking in their boots at that one. People still buy tylenol.

If it happened again these days people would be lining up to buy the stuff so they could give it to their kids and sue when they all die. What's a hungry brat when you could get rich?

Re:Are you old enought to remember (1)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450457)

The difference is that was product tampering, which didn't happen at the centralized production point, but out on the shelves. That is where the tampering with Tylenol was going on. When you've got tampering at the factory level, the initial impact may be worse, but the clean-up is much easier. Because you can track lot numbers and shipments.

Centralized tampering is easier to mitigant than decentralized tampering.

And then once Tylenol has a scare... someone would have to find a way to pull the same feat at several other drug companies to create any real sense of fear or panic. And that would mean breaking into totally dissimilar systems (unlike shelf product tampering) and redoing things from the ground up. Unlikely.

So distributed tampering on shelves (small scale, but easily reproducable) is nothing at all like centralized tampering at the factory level. That's high risk.

Re:Really... more sabotage than TERROR, isn't it? (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450253)

Hey! I'm not afraid of those Homeland Security guys and whatever cyberterrorism they have planned.

After all, they Millennium Mall Police (in Florida) have busted some for public indecency; the Florida State Police have busted some of them for attempted child molestation, and the Target Police (in D.C. and Maryland) have busted some of them for shoplifting.

As long as we have those police forces, we're all safe.....

Wincars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450129)

"...to causing cars to explode after a few weeks of driving."

I didn't know Microsoft made cars?

It's FUD (5, Insightful)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450130)

It would take an expert insider a lot of work to cause the kind of catastrophes the author is predicting here. Making a bomb is quick, easy way to kill a lot of people, and it gets a lot more media attention. It's also much closer to Al-Quaeda's traditional area of expertise.

Re:It's FUD (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450432)

Making a bomb is quick, easy way to kill a lot of people, and it gets a lot more media attention. It's also much closer to Al-Quaeda's traditional area of expertise.

Making a bomb would have also been a lot easier than hijacking and flying (took a lot of time to learn how to pilot a plane) them into various buildings. Your point being?

Re:It's FUD (1)

frostoftheblack (955294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450451)

"Traditional area of expertise" ?

Just because you saw it plastered all over the news does not mean it is the traditional area of expertise. Al-Quaida does use cyberterrorism.

Here are quotes from "The Terrorist Recognition Handbook" by Malcolm Nance, published in 2004:

"The computer is also a perfect communications device. Many groups such as the al-Qaeda backed Islamic Army of Aden-Abiyan use computers as a primary communications system via email and chat rooms. Al-Qaeda also has a policy of using floppy disks to deliver reports by hand for follow-on transmission from insecure locations, such as Internet cafes and friends' homes......

...Typical Class II Terrorist Profile, Most common operations and experience: explosive bombings...kidnappings...cyberattacks"

Cyberterrorism may not be the biggest thing to worry about, but it sure exists, and it could be bad.

My question... (5, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450134)

From TFA:

"Chatter on Scada attacks is increasing," says Borg, referring to patterns of behaviour that suggest that criminal gangs and militant groups are now fully capable of unleashing such attacks.

Then especially in the case of terrorists, WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T THEY DONE IT YET? If one of them had a shot at bombing the White House tomorrow, do you think he'd say "Eh...no, I'd rather wait until next week and hope they don't improve security by then."

This is not fearmongering for money. This is fearmongering for POWER-and the power they're going to shoot for is the power to control the Internet.

What a hell of an ironic name for that guy, Borg. I think that might tell us about everything we need to know.

Re:My question... (1)

Lobo42 (723131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450216)

What a hell of an ironic name for that guy, Borg. I think that might tell us about everything we need to know.

That's not ironic - it's just appropriate.

Re:My question... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450263)

This is fearmongering for POWER. . .

So, tell me, who are the terrorists again?

KFG

Re:My question... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450286)

Gee whiz and jeepers!!! Let me think now....would it be those guys who have made billions off of 9/11/01???

Let's see now, the Bush family, the Cheney family, the bin Laden family, several extraordinarily large private equity firms who owned the WTC and also gained considerably from currency arbitrage resulting from those attacks....Hmmm....have I left anybody out????

Re:My question... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450306)

Hmmm....have I left anybody out????

Rent-a-cops.

KFG

Re:My question... (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450338)

Terrorism:
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
What your friends in your list are doing is filthy profiteering. This Dept of Homeland Security thing is most definitely terrorism. They are threatening force (by a third party) to coerce both society and government for political reasons.

Re:My question... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450316)

Chatter on scada attacks is increasing.
I didn't have a clue what it was until I read it here.
If I read about it, you can bet some black hat will read it, and its likely he will ask himself "whats all the fuss about?"

From there, a possible exploit will be discovered and something bad will happen.

all because of this whoremongering article.

Re:My question... (1)

Effugas (2378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450395)

Yeah, seriously. You'd think refineries would be blowing up left and right.

Oh. Wait.

Re:My question... (1)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450469)

This is fearmongering for POWER-and the power they're going to shoot for is the power to control the Internet.

Aren't the people claiming that this is fear-mongering for nefarious purposes also fear-mongering to a certain extent (*head blows up*)?

Borg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450135)

1) His name is Borg
2) He works for "Homeland Security"
3) He's a fucking quack

Fearmongering for an increased budget (4, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450139)

Period.

Re:Fearmongering for an increased budget (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450452)

Yeah, and then when nothing happens they can say "look at our good work! we stopped the attack!"

Why the hell... (4, Insightful)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450145)

"Think of the control systems for chemical plants, railway lines, or manufacturing facilities. Shutting these systems down is a nuisance. Causing them to do the wrong thing at the wrong time is much worse."

Am I the only one who is thinking? Why the hell are these things connected to the Internet then? And if its an absolute must why not setup the companies using a system like the US Governments's SIPRNet [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why the hell... (0, Troll)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450372)

Am I the only one who is thinking?

Why no, those others who may have also been thinking (although not the type of thoughts normally healthy individuals think) decided to pay $54 million to the Taliban on March 2001 and agree to withdraw all the American troops from Saudi Arabia (Mission Accomplished!!) and those cutouts were sent (19 Islamic would-be terrorists) to make things appear copesetic.

Fortunately, others of us also happen to think from time to time, and even deduce the obvious --- simply check who benefited from 9/11/01 (simple criminal investigation), and check what connections there may have been among some of the passengers and certain government agencies and defense contractors and defense projects in the past.....

["Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered..." Thomas Paine]

on to something here? (5, Funny)

dazzawazza (131000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450146)

I'd like to suggest he is on something rather than on to something.

The War on Cybercrime... (1)

Monoliath (738369) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450158)

...and what will follow?

We all know the drill, nothing to see here, drive though...

If developers / designers make these systems so incredibly vulnerable over a network such as the Internet that you'd be able to do all that hogwash, the users deserve to have their cars blown up over a week and their medication formulas changed.

*rolls eyes*

Depends on what you believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450165)

The threat posed by "Islamic Terrorism" is dead serious to some and FUD to others. The threat posed by "DRM" is dead serious to some and FUD to others. The truth on both is probably, as usual, somewhere in between.

BTW my CAPTCHA is "massacre." Coincidence?

Of course... (1)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450170)

he's on Something....

Oh, wait a minute..."on to something"

Never mind.

Scott Borg? (2, Insightful)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450175)

The director and chief economist of the US Cyber Consequences Unit (CCU) name is Scott Borg? Is this a set up?

As far as fear mongering, you don't get a $93 million dollar budget for simply recommending that companies follow well established security procedures, including vigilance against social engineering.

Former public servant's opinion (2, Interesting)

trolleymusic (938183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450177)

As a former public servant, I can tell you that fear-mongering and blowing things out of proportion is an important way that a department justifies the resources they are using.

Very Real Indeed! (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450178)

Cyber terrorism is very real indeed. Most large nations rely on electronic communications. So would perhaps say an E-bomb [wikipedia.org] could be even more devastating to cripple a nation more so than say some sort of DoS of a particular IT infrastructure? I think so. I heard something the other day that an E-bomb only 30 miles over the earth above the US could take out about 1/3 of the continental US electronics. Secondly, if they could get one 300 miles above the surface, they could potentially wipe out the entire continental US. This is very scary!

Re:Very Real Indeed! (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450237)

That's not cyberterrorism, that's standard terrorism, in that it involves a physical bomb, and cannot, in fact, be done over the internet.

It's also not entirely true. Most computers, especially large, important servers, have several layers of shielding to prevent just such an occurence. Your home pc and the workstations at your office might short out, but most of the major servers that run the internet and businesses would barely hiccup.

In many cases, the same sort of protections exist for real cyberterrorism, and if they don't, they should. I feel it's more important to fix the flaws in our system that make it possible for terrorists to commit such actions than to go after the terrorists. There will always be more terrorists. Software bugs are finite (unless you're using Windows...sorry, I'm obliged to add that because this is slashdot).

Re:Very Real Indeed! (2, Funny)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450357)

re:"There will always be more terrorists."

Not if we had any balls and did the logical steps required to erradicate it.

See much terrorism in China? Why is that do you suppose?

More FUD and BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450293)

1st off to generate a pulse sufficient to do what's been suggested would require a minimum of a 5megaton Nuclear Detonation that's designed specifically for that.

2nd: Any such detonation above the 50 miles limit would have little chance of taking out hardened military electronics because they're designed to survive the EMP from a 5 Mile high airburst.

Now should terrorists manage to sneak a suitcase nuke into a major metro area, it's likely to be a dirty bomb and not a true nuke. What would happen is contaminate a large area with radioactive isotopes that take 20 years and billion of dollars to clean up.

Psst. Buddy, I've got some interesting Knifes to sell. They're made from Area 51 metal and glow in the dark. Ya Interested?

Re:Very Real Indeed! (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450313)

I'd like to think that at least SOME of our critical systems are protected by faraday cages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_Cage [wikipedia.org]

Re:Very Real Indeed! (1)

TadZimas (921646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450322)

Sorry to be off topic, but i'm more afraid of an eBaum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Bauman [wikipedia.org] destroying than the internet than an E-Bomb. But that's just me.

Re:Very Real Indeed! (1)

Anonimouse (934959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450323)

You talk like the the demise of some electronic equipment is some kind of catastrophe. E-Bomb, so what. The Tv and car won't work, and i won't get sms and email. Woopdifuckindoo. Would anyone die? no (unless you or some ventilator or something) at most it would cause mass inconvenience and cost industry a lot to fix. Is this scary to you? if it is, it shouldn't be. Get a reality check. If you want something to be trully concerned about take a look at the news about the wars, famine and crime. This Borg guy is a nut. Don't buy into this crap

LIES - A New Set of Lies to Reap Citizen's Freedom (1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450185)

This time, on the internet.

pure fearmongering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450194)

That's fearmongering for political advantage. Pure and simple.

The current administration has a long history of scaring
people into electing and re-electing them.

This is no different.

Re:pure fearmongering (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450430)

The current administration has a long history of scaring
people into electing and re-electing them.


Or at least close enough to electing them that they can make up the difference.

KFG

Terror Via Highway Conditions Sign... (5, Interesting)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450217)



Many years ago, I worked for a small company that had a contract to service the massive dot matrix signs that are spaced every few miles along the Southern California freeway network.

As part of the job, we were given a portable ascii terminal to enter test pattern data directly into the sign controller. Just for fun, we held an internal contest to think up 'What was the worst possible thing that we could type into the portable terminal for posting over the freeway at rush hour'.

The winner?

"INCOMING NUKE ATTACK - EST 15 MIN"

Just imagine the bedlam .

Re:Terror Via Highway Conditions Sign... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450311)

What would happen if you saw a sign like this:

"HIGHWAY SLASHDOTTING IN PROGRESS"

Re:Terror Via Highway Conditions Sign... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450332)

For giving people the eeby geebies, you could have one that said:

Don't look back.

Confusing (2, Interesting)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450225)

This doesn't seem like strictly "cyber" terror. My guess is that things like power plants valves and switches, prescription formulas, and car design specifications are NOT ON THE INTERNET. This is industrial sabotage, which requires physical access to the resources. The "cyber" part just means that computers are somehow involved. So what we have here is just a new way terrorists can fuck with us that we need to pay attention too.

Certainly people running power plants or pharmaceuticals need to secure their own internal computer network to keep some guy from reaching over a secretary's desk and altering the recipe for Prozac. But calling it "cyber" terrorism is just going to scare people into allowing the government to monitor their Internet traffic. After all, you wouldn't want a terrorist breaking into a nuclear powerplant over the Internet would you?! It's just another power grab instead of sanely alerting the respective authorities.

Re:Confusing (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450442)

I hate to toss in a major dose of REALITY, but didn't anyone happen to follow that Enron trial recently????

Seems that some of those power plant operators PURPOSELY brought down their power plants instigating rolling blackouts throughout California, not only causing untold damages, extreme loss of manhours, but actually resulted in the deaths of citizens (accidents due to traffic light outages, backup systems not working in some hospitals, home dialysis machine stoppages, etc., etc.).

Appears to this average fellow that these types terrorist acts have been taking place all along in this country without the help of "al Qaeda" or Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.....

And OF COURSE (0, Flamebait)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450230)

Big Brother will be able to protect us better with full visibility into our email and IMing patterns, JUST LIKE they've saved so MANY of our military's lives by intercepting our phone traffic - FUD!!!

What happened to "Give me liberty, or give me death!"?

We've forgotten how strong we truly are, under a very careful campaign designed to keep us afraid and convinced we're powerless to act in any direction whatsoever, a massive misdirection of american attention so that they can steal what they're convincing us we don't have while we drool in front of idiot-boxes.

Sorry, Karl, ol' buddy, the *hard* opiates hadn't been refined when you were alive - satellite TV and Internet-connected PCs, THAT'S the ticket...

(I'm remembering the old Carlin routine about how the truly hip used to answer their phones "Fuck Hoover! Hello...")

Re:And OF COURSE (1)

MrWarMage (787105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450380)

What happened to "Give me liberty, or give me death!"?
"Now you've got both, whaddaya want next?...Here Comes The War!" ~ New Model Army

...This post has no genuine purpose or content. I'm simply bored.

End of internet (and world) predicted. Film at 11 (4, Insightful)

crmartin (98227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450250)

Okay, folks, tell me: what can a cyber-terrorist do to a car that will cause it to burst into flames in a few weeks? All I can think of offhand is changing the spec for the gas line to gum rubber instead of neopreme, or soemthing like that --- and, of course, no one involved will ever notice, because cars are completely assembled by robots and no human ever sees the specs, buys the materials, or checks the figures.

And, if they were to do so, what happens? Someone announces a recall and a bunch of people take their cars to the dealerships.

Hell, why not do it the cheap way: wait until there is an accident, and just announce that it was done by your super secret ninja terror 31ee7 hax0rs.

Or consider the sources: this guy from the "U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit" --- with their empty website [usccu.us] on a non-government '.us' domain.

Remember, kids, only a few years ago, the world didn't need computers to run. Chemical plants and other control systems have failsafes and safety valves and emergency shutdowns; people survive power blackouts, even if the birth rate does go up; we still have analog radios and mechanical water valves.

On the other hand --- here's some guy with a nifty-sounding name on a web-site, and Richard Clarke, who has been making a living from running around with his hair on fire ever since he said cyber-terror was a bigger threat than al Qaeda. Get a little attention, and people will start taking their calls again; maybe the USCCA" can even hire someone to make a web site.

Who benefits from this story?

Re:End of internet (and world) predicted. Film at (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450391)

Okay, folks, tell me: what can a cyber-terrorist do to a car that will cause it to burst into flames in a few weeks? All I can think of offhand is changing the spec for the gas line to gum rubber instead of neopreme, or soemthing like that --- and, of course, no one involved will ever notice, because cars are completely assembled by robots and no human ever sees the specs, buys the materials, or checks the figures.

Easy.. Said terrorist creates fake web page claiming dousing your car's interior with gasoline while smoking cigarettes increases fuel mileage. Said terrorists then spams millions and millions of people with link to the page. 99.9999% of the recipients are smart enough to realize that dousing your car with gasoline is very dangerous, the other people's cars go boom.

Re:End of internet (and world) predicted. Film at (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450399)

wouldn't someone notice that they're using way too much rubber tubing and try to find out why? At the end of all the computers, there are bean counters who are REALLY anal.

Well, someone certainly messed up his prescription (2, Insightful)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450262)

I thought he might have something until I got to the exploding car part. Everything up to that is very unlikely, but probably doable for a determined attacker with local access. And there might even be some companies who put part of their SCADA on the internet--all of them deserve whatever they get. But changing medications and "car specifications so they explode after a few weeks"? Give me a break. Cars do not explode due to spec changes--short of including a pound of C4 and a triggering device in the spec. The worst might be putting a virus or trojan into the engine electronics that would lock the engine. And while cyberterrorists broke into a pharmaceutical company's central computer and changed the recipe for a pill to kill people on the Brit MI5 spy series, systems like that are not online and there is something called quality assurance--as in testing each batch before it goes out to the customers. So an attacker would need local access to the production facility, the automated QA, the manual testing, .... . I think this guy is watching to much TV. He would just have disqualified himself in any sane governmental organization. Thank god the DHS is not one of them.

There are serious cyber threats, though, denial-of-service attacks, attacks on online trading systems,... But that was probably not as dramatic as exploding cars.

fear = income (1)

plams (744927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450285)

"Scott Borg, the director and chief economist of the US Cyber Consequences Unit (CCU)"...

Richard Clarke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450290)

If only Bush had listed to Richard Clarke [amazon.com] !

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/12/08/ security.summit.ap/ [cnn.com]


U.S. cyberspace chief warns of 'digital Pearl Harbor'

December 8, 2000
Web posted at: 1:52 PM EST (1852 GMT)

REDMOND, Washington (AP) -- The nation's top cyberspace official Friday called on the next president to shore up the government's computer security to prevent a "digital Pearl Harbor."

"What this presidential election year showed is that statistically improbable events can occur," Richard Clarke of the National Security Council said at a Microsoft-organized conference.

"It may be improbable that cyberspace can be seriously disrupted, it may be improbable that a war in cyberspace can occur, but it could happen."

On coming to office, the next president will find that several nations have created information-warfare units, Clarke said.

"These organizations are creating technology to bring down computer networks. Some are doing reconnaissance today on our networks, mapping them," he said.

Clarke, appointed by President Clinton as the first national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counterterrorism, spoke at the SafeNet 2000 summit, which brought together computer experts to discuss ways of improving Internet security and privacy.

Clarke said the next president should appoint a government-wide chief information officer, with authority to oversee all the government's computer security, and whose appointment would need confirmation from Congress.

He also said the Clinton administration is creating a scholarship program to increase the number of government computer security experts. Students who study computer security would receive $25,000 a year in return for each year they agree to work for the government.

Another way to improve security throughout the Internet is to create secure lines of communication between the technology industry and the government, Clarke said. That way, they could share information about hackers and viruses without worrying about the public learning about it.

Clarke said the plan would require an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act.

Others at the conference expressed the same notion. Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, said that a nonprofit organization of 18 companies would be created early next year to share information.

"You'll want to have the ability to share high-level intelligence on an anonymous basis, without believing it's going to show up in an AP article the next day," Miller said.


FYI: Clarke, hero of certain partisans in 2004, was also the guy who approved the bin Laden flights out of the country [snopes.com] after 9/11.

He also suggested a connection between the Oklahoma City Bombing and al Qaeda [instapundit.com] , and was worried that Osama bin Laden would "boogie to Baghdad [instapundit.com] " if the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.

As Predicted by Bruce Schneier's contest... (1)

this great guy (922511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450299)

What an hilarious coincidence ! Listen to this: Bruce Schneier is currently running a contest on his blog [schneier.com] where people are asked to invent dumb movie-plot terrorist threats. The purpose of this contest is to demonstrate that such invented threats are only "good for scaring people, but it's just silly to build national security policy around them". And a recent suggestion [schneier.com] (that predates TFA!) is precisely based on the idea that terrorists could build faulty parts into automobiles. I litteraly ROTFL when I heard the director of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit saying that terrorists could cause cars to explode :)

great... (5, Funny)

SekShunAte (978632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450303)

now that it's been publicized we'll have terrorists sittin around in their boxers and socks drinkin beer at their puter screen giggling when they confuse the subway employees on the recipe for a roast beef sandwich.

Let's assume he's making any sense. (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450315)

And these things are not only possible, but seriously in danger of happening.

Why are these things possible?

You'd think, if you have a major security flaw like the ones listed, you would fix it. Who actually puts the controls for their manufacturing process on the internet? No, I'm serious, who does this, and why do we let them get away with it? Screw making kinks in the industrial formation process, if I can get that kind of access over the internet, I'm going to take control of those freakin' huge fabrication robots used to bend metal into shape and go haywire taking out the enitre city. I'm sure that's going to inspire more terror than a few cars exploding. After all, cars have exploded before, but it's not everyday that you have an insane robot go on a rampage and destroy your home (unless you live in Japan).

Seriously, short of a Shadowrun on the corp to take over their computer systems, I don't see this happening. But if it is possible, the best thing to do is fix it. Period.

Realistically, trying to capture terrorists and criminals is going to accomplish one thing for certain, it will create more terrorists and criminals. The only way to make the terrorists go away is education and tolerance, no amount of warmongering or fighting is going to stop terrorists, that just encourages them. If you want to really end terrorism, make their job so ridiculously hard that the next generation of terrorists don't see any value in it. Same for cybercriminals, if the return is too little for the work involved, they'll find a different area to work.

This is FUD, but it's not necessarily bad FUD. He can scream all he wants to justify his job, but if these kinds of things are actually possible, someone needs to work on making them not possible, someone who actually knows how to fix these systems.

Job Security (0)

thunderpaws (199100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450326)

Maybe it is think tanks run amok, or maybe it is politicos making hay, or maybe it is simply bureaucrats increasing thier staffing (importance, income and power).... Likely all this and more. I really don't see a number of things. This is not some Bush Administration plot to take away our freedoms, nor is it the Masons (or what ever conspiracy theory one might subscribe to). The worst case scenarios are really not possible. Maybe on some small scale in some isolated incidents with no lasting effect. Remember before 9-11 the airlines were going bankrupt, then after 9-11 they wer going bankrupt, and they still are going bankrupt. Matter of fact, the airline industry has always had some major issues with bankruptcy. Tylenol was poisoned, the 'Uni-bomber', 'Green River Killer', 'Son of Sam', 'Boston Strangler', etc. reigned terror all for many years (plug in any story of "gloom and doom" you wish).

International terrorism as we seem to know it today is loosely based on a fractured ideology, a hijacked religion. They have no huge infrastructure to support sustainable campaigns on a widely defined front, rather they are semi-independant cells which outside of their common enemy and common "faith" if you will, are people who would just as likely kill one another over disagreements about their own interpretations of these ideologies.

Terrorists as we know them today use the internet and technology to their advantage whenever possible. They communicate amongst themselves, research their targets, and communicate with the ever voracious press to happily get their message(s) across. Theri infrastucture of terror is our freedom. On one hand the terrorists need the cyber world, and quite frankly they are gaining much more for their cause through articles such as this, than they ever would by mounting some extreme attack.

Re:Job Security (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450396)

Unfortunately, far too often among some of the (ahem) posters, the obvious must be belabored again and again....

Coincidence is when I happen to know someone I attended school with --- Conspiracy is when there exists a financial relationship and the exchange of money between the two of us --- and when that happens again and again, this we call concrete connections.

HCF (2, Funny)

nosredna (672587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450373)

Sweet, we might finally have a working Halt and Catch Fire [wikipedia.org] command in our lifetimes!

What does this man really know? (1)

Stalli0n (921471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450386)

I don't believe that becoming a computer expert for any portion of the government under Bush's executive branch can allow you to display your self as a computer expert. I mean, I got my A+ in the mail last week and I got a call to head the White House IT department.

Fearmongers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450397)

He is blatently fearmongering, as is everyone with this supposed war on terror. It all serves to take away your rights and let the powers that be continue with business as usual. It is a charade. It will never return to green.

boxcutters people (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450400)

september 11th was implemented with boxcutters

so let's loose the technophilia when addressing terrorism

it's the low tech/ no tech exploits that should be our focus

How likely was 9/11 until it happened (1, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450434)

This guy has a job to do and that is to come up with worste case scenarios and then try to figure out how to stop them from happening.

In a way that smoke detector the fire department tells you to install is no different. How many houses burn down? Not that many actually, the chances of you ever needing the smoke detector are remote. In fact it will most likely go off on a false alarm.

Yet few would argue with the need for smoke detectors in the kitchen. But how about your bedroom? How many electronic gizmo's are near you bed with hot power adapters?

So I don't think this guy is fearmongering. He is doing his job just as a firemen who tells you your house is going to burn down.

As human beings we got to weigh the dangers vs the benefits. Some american idiots live in hurricane zones and earthquake areas, said this dutchie living in an area that is two meters below sea level with only a natural dune protecing him (Amsterdam, Holland).

We need people to come up with the most terrible storms that can happen and then calculate what will happen to the dykes and dunes if those storm happen to coincide with a tide in a period of heavy rain.

Then we can say if we are willing to take the risk OR invest in a better defences.

This guy has the same job. Are any of the attacks possible? Well considering that a lot of people believe the recent american power failure was due to a windows security hole I think there is a possibilty. Are we willing to accept this risk or do accept it as the price of living in this world, as I accept the risk of drowning and LA's people accept the risk of being the meat in a bridge sandwiche?

But calling fearmongering is just stupid. Accepting the risks is one thing. Denial is another.

It makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450440)

This guys just trying to justify getting $93 million from tax payers for something that will never benefit them.

It's just so funny that this kinda b/s is still going on. Personally the 911 attacks made me think the joke is well and truely over.

Hey America, I'll do you one better, give me only $27 million and I will personally ensure that no cyber criminal ever infects a computer with the bird flu virus.

Please Don't Tell Congress..... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450444)

Look at what happened after CAN-SPAM....

On to something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15450460)

He's not on to something, he's on something!

Governments more paranoid than citizens. (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15450471)

I always find it interesting to see how paranoid governments are, compared with their citizens.
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