Archive for Cyber War

Big Brother plan calls for more scanning of private Web traffic, email

Posted in Big Brother, cyber security with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2013 by saynsumthn

The U.S. government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.

As a result, more private sector employees than ever before, including those at big banks, utilities and key transportation companies, will have their emails and Web surfing scanned as a precaution against cyber attacks.

Under last month’s White House executive order on cybersecurity, the scans will be driven by classified information provided by U.S. intelligence agencies — including data from the National Security Agency (NSA) — on new or especially serious espionage threats and other hacking attempts. U.S. spy chiefs said on March 12 that cyber attacks have supplanted terrorism as the top threat to the country.

The Department of Homeland Security will gather the secret data and pass it to a small group of telecommunication companies and cyber security providers that have employees holding security clearances, government and industry officials said. Those companies will then offer to process email and other Internet transmissions for critical infrastructure customers that choose to participate in the program.

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Former cybersecurity czar: WARNING: Every major U.S. company has been hacked by China

Posted in China, cyber security with tags , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by saynsumthn

H/T IT World

Former White House cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke has made a career out of issuing security warnings.

His most famous, of course, was his alert to Bush Administration officials in July 2001 — 10 weeks before 9/11 — that “something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s going to happen soon.”

Clarke was talking about an attack on U.S. soil by Al-Qaida, the terrorist group he had been warning the new administration about — to virtually complete indifference — since that January.

Now Clarke, author of the book Cyber War, is issuing an alert via Smithsonian magazine that the U.S. is defenseless against a cyberattack which could take down major parts of the nation’s infrastructure, including civilian, military and commercial networks.

What makes the U.S. especially vulnerable, Clarke says, is that its aggressive “cyberoffense” — “the U.S. government is involved in espionage against other governments,” he tells Smithsonian — isn’t matched by an effective, or even competent, cyberdefense, making the nation particularly vulnerable to blowback.

Clarke says he’s concerned that hackers on the Chinese government payroll are threatening the U.S. economy.

“I’m about to say something that people think is an exaggeration, but I think the evidence is pretty strong. Every major company in the United States has already been penetrated by China,” Clarke says in the Smithsonian interview:

Clarke claims, for instance, that the manufacturer of the F-35, our next-generation fighter bomber, has been penetrated and F-35 details stolen. And don’t get him started on our supply chain of chips, routers and hardware we import from Chinese and other foreign suppliers and what may be implanted in them—“logic bombs,” trapdoors and “Trojan horses,” all ready to be activated on command so we won’t know what hit us. Or what’s already hitting us.

To Clarke this is a more insidious and dangerous attack than some high-profile, real-time assault on commercial and government networks.

“My greatest fear is that, rather than having a cyber-Pearl Harbor event, we will instead have this death of a thousand cuts. Where we lose our competitiveness by having all of our research and development stolen by the Chinese,” Clarke tells Smithsonian. “And we never really see the single event that makes us do something about it. That it’s always just below our pain threshold. That company after company in the United States spends millions, hundreds of millions, in some cases billions of dollars on R&D and that information goes free to China….After a while you can’t compete.”

It’s easy to dismiss this as alarmism, but the man has a track record of being right.