Computer Security for the 1 Percent: What The Prez said

Posted in Cyberterrorism at 3:23 pm by George Smith

“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. So tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. That should be a bipartisan effort. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.”

Same old.

First, Congress generally won’t pass anything the President recommends, in this case CISPA.

Second, you can’t conflate shutting down networks, “stealing our trade secrets,” and civilian privacies. In the United States the only things that have mattered on the national stage are protecting the properties of the corporate sector, Wall Street and the military; secondarily, ameliorating the embarrassment and liability caused when a huge corporate system is breached and its data spilled.

Everyone else is on their own.

Anyway, you can’t have a secure global network when a limitlessly funded wing of the national defense has, as one of its main functions, the subversion and undermining of network security for its own uses and agenda.

Someday, expect a cyber-Bruce Ivins:

Normally, internship applicants need to have polished resumes, with volunteer work on social projects considered a plus. But at Politerain [a training program for the NSA’s malware programs], the job posting calls for candidates with significantly different skill sets. We are, the ad says, “looking for interns who want to break things.”

Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to “remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware.” Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to “remotely brick network cards.” With programs like Berserkr they would implant “persistent backdoors” and “parasitic drivers”. Using another piece of software called Barnfire, they would “erase the BIOS on a brand of servers that act as a backbone to many rival governments.”

An intern’s tasks might also include remotely destroying the functionality of hard drives.

Volunteer work on social projects. Good joke, that.

Comments are closed.