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How the Code War Has Replaced the Cold War

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the time-to-update-the-rules-of-engagement dept.

Security 79

An anonymous reader writes "After years on the defensive, governments are building their own offensive capabilities to deliver digital attacks against their enemies. It's all part of a secret arms race, where countries spend billions of dollars to create stockpiles of digital weapons and zero-day flaws. But is this making us any safer, or putting us and the internet at risk? 'Estonia is a small state with a population of just 1.3 million. However, it has a highly-developed online infrastructure, having invested heavily in e-government services, digital ID cards, and online banking. ... The attacks on Estonia were a turning point, proving that a digital bombardment could be used not just to derail a company or a website, but to attack a country. Since then, many nations have been scrambling to improve their digital defenses -- and their digital weapons. While the attacks on Estonia used relatively simple tools against a small target, bigger weapons are being built to take on some of the mightiest of targets.'"

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cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846437)

I love when reality mirrors sci-fi

Re:cool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846461)

fuck you

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846529)

cyberwars == y2k bug

OMG the sky is FALLING!!!

meh

Re:cool (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46847007)

So do I.

Let me know when it happens, will you?

Re:cool (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 months ago | (#46847305)

exactly I want my Hoverboard, flying car, and FTL drive.

Lots of challenges in dealing with this (4, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46846455)

Since they seem destined to exist I hope that the cyber weapons being built have adequate safeguards against their misuse or accidental use.

Cyber warfare is worse than submarine warfare in terms of being able to identify an attacker. It provides the means for potentially anonymous devastating attacks. How will the world react to that?

Cyber arms control will be difficult to achieve, at best, maybe impossible.

Will a "Cyber Geneva Convention" be needed? No attacking hospitals, etc.?

How will organized crime and black hats fit into this framework? Will they be in the new era what pirates were in the 1700s - 1800s?

Re: Lots of challenges in dealing with this (2)

siddesu (698447) | about 5 months ago | (#46846509)

We must not allow a byteshift gap!

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846515)

Anonymous attacks? The even worse part is that it is possible to make it look like it was someone else that started the attack by going via insecure third-party systems and covering your tracks.

But sure, we can trust the reports stating that China is one of the major cyber war actors. Despite them having insecure systems and anonymous hosting that anyone in the world can abuse....

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846547)

China sure did a number on the US solar industry, "liberating" mask info, then selling panels for cheaper than the cost of the rare earths. So, if it were a false flag operation, it would mean a lot of Chinese companies and ships magically had those panels coming to US shores from factories out of nowhere.

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46846587)

What do solar panels have to do with rare earths? Yeah, I'm quite sure they are also cheaper than titanium, which is another thing they have nothing to do with, but you could mention half an encyclopedia like that.

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (1, Informative)

XanC (644172) | about 5 months ago | (#46846665)

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46846697)

If you're trying to prove that you're useless, you could have just said "sorry, I'm useless" and saved yourself some hyperlinking. Otherwise, you ought to educate yourself on semiconductor technology and the periodic table.

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46957879)

K. S. Kyosuke: You've been called out (for tossing names) & you ran "forrest" from a fair challenge http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46957867)

K. S. Kyosuke: You've been called out (for tossing names) & you ran "forrest" from a fair challenge http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#46847017)

The even worse part is that it is possible to make it look like it was someone else that started the attack by going via insecure third-party systems and covering your tracks.

That's always been possible, even with conventional attacks.

For example, The Mossad & 9-!! ,$@#
no carrier

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846971)

Safeguards ? Like an Evil bit flag parser on my shellcode ?

Re:Lots of challenges in dealing with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46847075)

You're right Fjord, this is far worse than submarine warfare, it's potentially anonymous, holy shit!

This is the worst of all possible scenarios. It seems that our computer systems have bugs and design flaws and if our insane governments continue in this mad arms race, this mindless brinkmanship, that we may have to fix these bugs!

Can you imagine how crippling it would be to our corporations if they had to take security seriously? Can you imagine the investment? Just the thought of it scares me shitless. Innovation would grind to a halt overnight!

To be honest, I don't think it's even worth creating a "Cyber Geneva Convention", because we are all doomed. Hospitals with their backup generators won't have much to fear from an electrical outage, but just imagine if their websites were inaccessible... THEIR WEBSITES!!! In an instant we would be cast back into the stone-ages. Without a website it would be as though they never existed... vanished from existence.

Indeed Mr. Fjord, it is a new era. When the cold-war rhetoric deflated, we needed to find a new line of rhetoric to help funnel vast sums of money into the pockets of the "defense" industry. The terrorism story has worked out pretty well, but that threat is still pretty distant in the minds of most Americans. But computers, damn, they have so much power, they are so hard to understand, and all that power is scary.

That brings us back to your fist question... control. How can we possible control these horrific offensive weapons? What if the firing pin goes off accidentally, or someone who isn't the President pushes the big red button? How can anyone possible control software?

Re: Lots of challenges in dealing with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849053)

More importantly, what is with nuclear power stations and airborne civil aircraft ? Is is ok to down, say, all 787 where the owner was stupid enough to have  on-line problem diagnosis enabled for the engines. Is it fair game to cause another Tshernobyl ? I am not saying no, as the results were clearly not as bad as the vietnam war, for example.

Have we been hurt in this "war"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846467)

So, if the summary is true, Snowden has really hurt one side in this war with his revelations about foreign intelligence gathering. How much (if any) does this negate his whistleblowing about domestic surveillance?

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846535)

> Snowden

Screw him. He recently admitted to voting for a Republican. Even though it was in a local race, that is still horrible of him. We don't need his kind.

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#46846695)

I can't tell whether you're being serious or sarcastic.

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (2, Interesting)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 5 months ago | (#46846541)

How does mass surveillance of private communications prevent DDOS attacks?

Blackhats are on the same "side" from the perspective of the innocent people they are attacking, even when they fight against each other.

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846617)

That's some hyperbole you got there. What's next? Kill kittens because they are really aliens!!

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (2, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 5 months ago | (#46846745)

Yes, he hurt the attack side, which is the side we don't actually need. Give the military and spook budget to security research, and the code war becomes no more of a threat than a literal pissing contest.

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (3, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 months ago | (#46847257)

This.

This isn't a war between Us and Them where we race to break each other's stuff.

This is a war between people who would like to use computers to build nifty stuff to make people's lives better, and people who would like to break other people's computers to advance their political agendas.

Re:Have we been hurt in this "war"? (1)

HJED (1304957) | about 5 months ago | (#46847247)

How much (if any) does this negate his whistleblowing about domestic surveillance?

Not at all, just because something immoral is being done for a strategic military reason does not make it more moral.

Re: Have we been hurt in this "war"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849057)

The cyber war thing was well underway before Snowdens release and you are FULL OF SHIT.

Two words : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846477)

Air gap.

Re:Two words : (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846527)

Only if done properly. If you allow your people to insert random storage devices between the systems then you are still vulnerable. One example using the mistakes made in the separation is Stuxnet.

Re:Two words : (2)

Wootery (1087023) | about 5 months ago | (#46847103)

Only if done properly.

Sure, but this applies to every engineering solution ever, no?

If Goverment and Industry (1)

stox (131684) | about 5 months ago | (#46846495)

wasn't so downright negligent in their race to adopt new technology, most of the problem would not exist.

Re: If Goverment and Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846749)

Sent from your android phone?

Re:If Goverment and Industry (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846855)

It isn't adopting new technology, it is doing so focusing being as cheap as possible in the short term, and damn the long run.

In reality, I see at least six things that, had it been implemented earlier, would have saved us a lot of issues:

1: The concept of tainted instructions and having anything a Web browser grab be viewed as potentially hostile. This means add-ons are restricted to a sub-context and only can get keyboard input if they have the focus (and they have to be clicked on to have that happen), and the OS the Web browser sits on not just isolate its processes in memory, but also the file system. This way, there isn't an undocumented API a compromised browser or add-on could use to expand its context.

2: Moronic things like the USB protocol where a disk drive can present itself as a keyboard. It would be nice to have specific USB ports where only drives can register in one set, keyboards in another set, and so on.

3: The almighty firewall as the answer to all remote hacking. This worked when hacks were incoming, but now with the primary means of attack holes in Web browsers, the focus needs to be on add-ons and the browser, then defense in depth.

4: Backups got set aside. It wasn't that long ago when every serious PC had a tape drive with it because hard disks died, and tape was cheap, and worked well. Now that people think they can back up to hard disks (note, none I know of are archival grade), it is a matter of course to lose data.

5: Trusting other people with security. When people stopped packing their own parachutes, the shit hit the fan. If one wants to store stuff with an offshore provider, great. Just encrypt the damn files before they leave the site.

6: Final one... no security specs or audits whatsoever except for the US Government's FISMA compliance that can have random audits happen. Only time an audit happens in a lot of private companies is after a breach happens.

Re:If Goverment and Industry (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846889)

7. Equating a running process with a user and assigning privilege accordingly - this is a massive fail. It was relevant back in the day when researchers logged on to shared systems and ran programs they had written themselves. It assumes a complete knowledge of the program to be run, which has not been the case for 30 years, but is still the standard level of trust.

Re: If Goverment and Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849123)

Get off your lazy ass and build AppArmor profiles. Back in the days when I had no kids, I once did this in about two working days for firefox.

And yeah, convice the spineless rodent who calls himself your Âmanager to give you serious time for that activity. I guess you will fail while you explain to him the rationale. Rodent brains are not really THAT able for logical reasoning.

Re: If Goverment and Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849077)

I see your understanding of the free enterpise thing is ZERO. And even the last commy economies of the globe do use computers in lots of applications. Actually, hacking electronic systems has been done well before 1990, because the Russkies were rather naive in their expecation of chivalry by the west.

Sad to see this site go full retard Republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846519)

They're trying to bring the cold war back. Just look at the crisis they're trying to manufacture in Ukraine. Rational people support Russians becoming a part of Russia while they want to start a war over it.

Re:Sad to see this site go full retard Republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846819)

How would you feel about New York becoming part of Isreal? Or Italy? If you are not from the US, then substitute whatever minority lives in whatever part of that.

Putins lackeys are everywhere it seems....

Re:Sad to see this site go full retard Republican (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 5 months ago | (#46847825)

Rational people support Russians becoming a part of Russia while they want to start a war over it.

Rational people look at the polling statistics of how many (ethnic) Russians in Ukraine actually want to become a part of Russia. Support for joining Russia has never broke 30% in Eastern Ukraine even with widespread anger and disappointment at the new government.

Even in Crimea, where earlier polling suggests only a slight majority wanted to join Russia (ignore the referendum which was organized quickly to avoid scrutiny, and which was boycotted by many ethnic Ukrainians and Tatars), one state taking territory from another -- as opposed to a reasonable compromise of letting the region become independent -- on the basis of a mere slight majority is hardly fair.

Billions of dollars? (4, Interesting)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 5 months ago | (#46846551)

Stockpiles of exploits? Sounds like some reporter is out of his/her depth and can't understand the difference between physical weapon stockpiles and software vulnerabilities. Welcome to the new Yellow Journalism. FUD, FUD and more FUD.

cybersecurity is one more thing for modern armies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846589)

they have information technology, now they need to make sure it's secure, and their fleet doesn't get blacked out at the start of a battle like happened to the Federation and the Romulans as soon as the Breen entered the war.`

Cybersecurity is very important, and doesn't need to be oversexed, but needs to be taken seriously on its own terms instead of being compared to weapons.

Re:Billions of dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46847079)

I don't see why you have a problem with the description "stockpile of exploits". If you have ten zero-day attacks ready to be deployed isn't that at least roughly analogous to having a stockpile of ten physical weapons?

Re:Billions of dollars? (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46847141)

I fail to see the problem with his choice of words, you find exploits and put them in an arsenal of attacks. Just because you count number of exploits and not numbers of guns it's still an accumulation of weapons set aside for future use in cyber-warfare. And of course it costs lots of money to maintain such an arsenal as old exploits are patched or the vulnerable software or hardware goes out of use, it doesn't have a shelf life like physical weapons but your capability degrades over time unless you supply it with new exploits not entirely unlike when your enemies upgrade their weapons capabilities making yours obsolete. At least it's no worse of an abuse than using "cyber warfare" for sending bits and bytes instead of bullets at each other.

Re:Billions of dollars? (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 5 months ago | (#46847221)

What would happen to the exploits if these apps and services were reimplemented using safer languages like Java and .Net (i.e. replace C/C++) that don't allow buffer overflow/underflow? Sure, the hacker would still be able to crash the program, but it's highly unlikely he can gain control of the system or do any kind of crazy damage to important data.

Re:Billions of dollars? (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 months ago | (#46847259)

Then those apps and services would run really, really slowly.

(Yes, I know Java can be made to not suck, but every .NET program I've had to deal with has been clunky.)

Re:Billions of dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46847461)

>Then those apps and services would run really, really slowly.

Maybe that will become an acceptable alternative to vulnerabilities that can lead to death or serious damage to facilities. Maybe if enough effort was put into improving the languages and coding methods, they would be fast enough. The benchmarks I've seen put Java in the ballpark. A 20% performance hit is well worth it for the added security.

you trade a preventable class of vuln for more (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#46847725)

Buffer overflows are one important class of vulnerability. They are also fairly easy to prevent /detect in new code. Use strncpy, not strcpy, etc. Static analysis can flag the dangerous constructs 99.9% of the time.

Java and C# are vulnerable to other, less readily identified vulnerabilities because key parts of the operations are hidden in the libraries and programmers are not accustomed to thinking about them. Both can easily have vulnerablities from memory management problems, but they can be harder to positively identify, especially for the typical .net programmer who doesn't normally think about memory management at all.

I'm having trouble finding the right words to express the issue. Imagine cars had a automatic steering mode that worked 99.9% of the time - there was rarely any need to touch the wheel. We can picture young people who learn to drive in these cars would have their hands full while driving, saying "why shouldn't I be texting and eating, the car steers itself". Then that 0.1% would happen - every three years they'd crash into something because they don't even think about steering. .Net memory management is just like that - it works well enough, often enough, that most .Net programmers don't bother to learn under what conditions it doesn't work automatically, and what their code needs to allow it to work as designed. Every so often, it causes .net programs to crash or corrupt data on accident. Beyond accidents, someone actively attacking memory management flaws in a .net application can easily cause damage, just as they can with errors in using the more direct memory management practices.

 

Estonia has 1.3 million.... (2)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 5 months ago | (#46846655)

E-stoners.

Re:Estonia has 1.3 million.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46846673)

So much E-waste...

Re:Estonia has 1.3 million.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849605)

The EU takes care of that.

Joke of a comparison (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#46846675)

If cyber "war" has replaced nuclear war then that is an excellent trade. Even John Kerry was waxing nostalgic for the Cold War [yahoo.com] the other day. What a joke! Are people that dumb? Have we so quickly forgotten what it was like to face a REAL threat of annihilation and actual global destruction? I would take another 9/11 over another Cuban Missile Crisis any day of the week. Let alone some computer hacking.

Re:Joke of a comparison (2, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about 5 months ago | (#46846799)

Technically speaking, most of those nuclear weapons everyone was afraid of back then are still there, just waiting to be fired. Now, rather than the Soviet Union, they're in the hands of Russia. A least nothing is going on that might increase tensions between Russia and the rest of the world right? Oh, and fortunately Russia isn't run by some hard-right authoritarian, obsessesed with projecting strength.

Re:Joke of a comparison (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46847205)

Technically speaking, most of those nuclear weapons everyone was afraid of back then are still there, just waiting to be fired. Now, rather than the Soviet Union, they're in the hands of Russia. A least nothing is going on that might increase tensions between Russia and the rest of the world right? Oh, and fortunately Russia isn't run by some hard-right authoritarian, obsessesed with projecting strength.

The Soviet Union with half of Europe as allies was a superpower. Russia is barely in the top 10 biggest economies of the world, they have 140 million men against 900 million in NATO. Their military technology and spending suffered during the reforms, by all means they're powerful but they got no chance of pulling off a victory. Putin is gambling that nobody wants to pick a fight with Russia over a few areas in Ukraine, if he's called on it they'd lose but probably not before a hundred million people have died. Unless of course China were to join on the Russian side, 1.35 billion people and the world's second biggest economy along with Russia's nukes would give NATO a real run for their money. Personally I think what's happening in Ukraine will push all the other countries in the "buffer zone" between NATO and Russia to seek NATO membership over Russia's objections.

Re:Joke of a comparison (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 5 months ago | (#46847837)

Russia still has the nuclear weapons that had everyone scared of nuclear annihilation back in the day. Well, technically the US has most of the nuclear weapons that had everyone scared of nuclear annihilation back in the day, but Russia still has its share.

Re:Joke of a comparison (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46848683)

The thing about MAD, it isn't about winning. It's about "neither side can win." And Russia still has the power to ensure that no one who engages in war with them can win.

Re: Joke of a comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849151)

Their road-mobile Topol-M missile is the latest and greatest of ICBM technology. It can hide in the largest landmass of all nations. Their SU34 are the best fighter in existence from an aerodynamics point of view.

Discount Russia at your own peril.

Re:Joke of a comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46853493)

The Soviet Union with half of Europe as allies was a superpower.

Allies, as in: "give us your resources with the price we set and shut up or face the tanks."

Re:Joke of a comparison (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46846821)

John Kerry said diplomacy was simpler then than it is today - considering his experience as a soldier and a prominent protestor in the Cold War, and now as a top diplomat, he might know what he's talking about.

Re:Joke of a comparison (3, Interesting)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | about 5 months ago | (#46846875)

He may know what he is talking about, or maybe he just doesn't understand how good Kissinger was at his job. A master of a profession makes it look so easy that even someone with mediocre grades at Yale (He was outscored by W. after all - and see what people think of him) can do it. Turns out there are a lot of subtleties that I don't think our current batch of diplomats understand.

Re:Joke of a comparison (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#46848271)

That's why I said "even" John Kerry, I was surprised he said it. Vietnam was a flareup of the Cold War and killed about 60,000 of us and about 1,500,000 million of them. In absolute terms, what is going on now that compares?

Re:Joke of a comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849397)

But you seem to be intentionally misreading what he's saying. He simply said it was more complicated now than it was then. He never said the Cold War was better than the current situation, or that he wishes the Cold War would re-start.

good (3, Funny)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#46846679)

Instead of global thermonuclear war, we now have to worry about WoW going down. Seems like a good tradeoff to me.

Re:good (4, Insightful)

Calibax (151875) | about 5 months ago | (#46847171)

Instead of global thermonuclear war, we now have to worry about WoW going down. Seems like a good tradeoff to me.

Instead of WoW, worry about the national infrastructure. Imagine all the SCADA devices insecurely connected to the Internet going down more-or-less simultaneously. No electricity, natural gas, or water distribution systems, no sewage treatment, etc. After a few hours/days without electricity the backup systems would start dying, so no phones or Internet either.

So no WoW, as you pointed out. But that would be the least of our problems :)

Re:good (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#46847479)

The SCADA systems are hundreds of thousands of different platforms/version combinations. Many of them aren't even connected to the Internet, many are based on firmware. Most are easy to secure and restore if they get corrupted/attacked.

"Cyberwarfare" really is a misnomer. In regular warfare, bombs and guns don't have compatibility problems, you permanently destroy infrastructure or occupy it, and you kill people trying to restore it; in "cyberwarfare", the attacks only work against compatible hardware/software, you (usually only) temporarily disable infrastructure, and you have no physical control over it or ways to harm the people restoring it.

"Cyberwarfare" is a tempest in a teapot. It's an attempt by people to get massive amounts of funding for useless programs. The idea that "cyberwarfare" is analogous to warfare is ludicrous.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46848361)

Remember Stuxnet? I don't think Iran would describe it as a tempest in a teapot.

Imagine a number of similar software weapons created with the aim of disabling SCADA devices that are located in a geographical area. Creating them would not be an easy task, to be sure, but it would require a lot less materials, manpower and time (and therefore cost) than building an army.

Also they can't be detected by satellite reconnaissance so the target has less opportunity to detect them before deployment. Spending money on securing a country's cyber infrastructure is no different than spending money on civil defense in advance of an anticipated war.

A lack of imagination or a "head in the sand" approach doesn't help. Some of the billions spent of homeland security would be better spent on cyber defense.

Re:good (1)

Agripa (139780) | about 5 months ago | (#46849593)

Instead of WoW, worry about the national infrastructure. Imagine all the SCADA devices insecurely connected to the Internet going down more-or-less simultaneously. No electricity, natural gas, or water distribution systems, no sewage treatment, etc. After a few hours/days without electricity the backup systems would start dying, so no phones or Internet either.

An easier target would be the banking and government systems. Just screwing up social security transfers would be effective if slower.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849613)

Putin thinks it is a mistake.

Imagine 9/11, but with no radio or phone. Gradual (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#46849871)

Imagine a 9/11 style attack, or a "poison gas in the subway", but at the same time they take out both the cell phone network and the most important radio trunking system used by first responders. The next day, the bad guys trigger the New York blackout.

Or, think back to how the US won the cold war - slowly, gradually, by economically outperforming the Soviets. The US is already the target of sustained, large scale attacks. If those attacks improve to the point that it costs 1%-3% of GDP in defense or damages, over ten years SIGNIFICANTLY changes the international balance of power.

I know a lot of Russian programmers... (3, Insightful)

aralin (107264) | about 5 months ago | (#46846773)

... and let me tell you, if Cyber War replaces Cold War, they are winning this time...

An interesting question for any country (1)

zuse (457033) | about 5 months ago | (#46846815)

Is the army protecting us from this?

I.e. in the advent of a cyberwar will our army do anything to protect private infrastructure like the electricity supply or the banking system from harm?

Right now: No.

The book to read on this is "Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It" by Richard A. Clarke. A great read and very scary.

Sensationalist Bull... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46847227)

...shit

zero-day Windows flaws .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46847609)

"It's all part of a secret arms race, where countries spend billions of dollars to create stockpiles of digital weapons and zero-day flaws."

In order to be effective, the vast majority rely on Microsoft Windows

Apache fuckups on patches anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46847969)

Eat your words, Open SORES idiot https://threatpost.com/apache-... [threatpost.com]

OpenSSL fuckups, anyone?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46848607)

And this is why... (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 5 months ago | (#46847959)

... mission-critical things like banking and providing essential government services should "play it conservatively" and not be at the forefront of technology.

OR, where it makes sense for them to be at the forefront, the "old way of doing things" should be kept around until after the "new" way has proven it is robust enough for the task.

Being "robust enough for the task" means, among other things, not having unacceptable levels of downtime under normal or abnormal-but-common conditions (such as DDOS attacks) and having an acceptable and well-tested contingency plan when the unexpected or expected-but-rare event happens (such as a large earthquake taking out your primary and backup data centers and most of your communications, leaving only your "hardened" disaster-response and other "can't-fail during a public emergency" systems mostly intact).

Code war defined (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 5 months ago | (#46847971)

Code war: What the US and the Soviet Union had during the nasopharyngitis [wikipedia.org] outbreaks of the 1950s through the 1980s.

Must everything be "online"? (1)

Marlin Schwanke (3574769) | about 5 months ago | (#46848275)

Of course instead of laying off everyone in sight in favor of making everything "web-based" and "self-service" major corps and governments might try using people to deal with people but of course that cuts into bonuses and dividends...

KURSUS DESAIN GRAFIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46848509)

https://flashcomindonesia.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/kursus-desain-grafis/

Bullshit Rothschild Problem Reaction Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46849589)

Baron Rothschild: We want to control the entire internet, all of the data (We own the NSA) , and all of the bandwidth.

Rothchilds' minion: But how do we take complete control?

Baron Rothschild: We need to convince the people to give up their rights, so let's put on scary press releases to the entire media and entertainment industry (which they own to manipulate public opinion)

Rothchilds' minion: So write a bunch of scary hacking stories to perpetuate a conflict?

Baron Rothschild: Exactly my little minion. Drum up a fake conflict we completely control, like the cold war, so we can manipulate the dumb fucks of humanity into giving up all of their rights to us.

Rothchilds' minion: Brilliant Mr Rothchild.

Baron Rothschild: Not exactly, our bloodline has been doing it for thousands of years. Manipulating the dumb sheep. Isnt it fun while we get rich every single time?

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