Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two CyberWar Hacking Stories. Just Coincidence? You decide.

China has admitted for the first time that it had poured massive investment into the formation of a 30-strong commando unit of cyberwarriors - a team supposedly trained to protect the People's Liberation Army from outside assault on its networks.

While the unit, known as the "Blue Army", is nominally defensive, the revelation is likely to confirm the worst fears of governments across the globe who already suspect that their systems and secrets may come under regular and co-ordinated Chinese cyberattack.

In a chilling reminder of China's potential cyberwarfare capabilities, a former PLA general told The Times that the unit had been drawn from an exceptionally deep talent pool. "It is just like ping-pong. We have more people playing it, so we are very good at it," he said. (more)

Lockheed Martin Cyber Attack: Routine, a Warning or a Possible Act of War?

Last Thursday, Reuters ran a story that the US defense firm Lockheed Martin was experiencing a major disruption to its computer systems because of cyber attack.

The Reuters story said that the attack began the weekend before and indicated that it involved the company's SecurID tokens which allow Lockheed's 126,000 employees "... to access Lockheed's internal network from outside its firewall."

As a result of the attack, Lockheed reset all of its employees' passwords.

Thought Wall Stickers:
• "You have no idea how many people are freaked out right now [about the SecurID breach] ... TASC is no longer treating the RSA device as if it were as secure as it was beforehand."
• As one military official in the WSJ article stated it: "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks."

A while back, I visited the new Cyber-war exhibit at the Spy Museum in DC. It was about just this sort of thing, and the consequences of remotely destroying electrical generators using code. The outcome is very scary. Glad to see folks waking up and smelling the coffee.

The hackers have done us a favor, this time. ~Kevin