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"The future masters of technology will have to be lighthearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb." -- Marshall McLuhan, 1969

Can naming, shaming curb China cyber attacks? - Technology & science - Security -
Topic: Computer Security 1:28 pm EDT, Jun  6, 2011

They are also relentless, said Nick Levay, associate director of information security and operations at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank.

"Those who have been targeted by China have dealt with a certain level of persistence and seen these attacks take place over long periods of time, where all signs point back to China and it really feels like they're not even trying to hide that it's them anymore," he said.

Levay said Chinese cyber attacks noticeably escalated after the 2008 Beijing Olympics and "expanded pretty much across all sectors: the financial sector, the tech sector, the non-profits involved in government policy."

"So far when breaches occur, like the ones with Google, the people who were breached condemn the attacks and say they were attributable to China and China turns around and denies that anything happened at all," said Levay.

"So far there hasn't been a downside for them (China)," he said, suggesting that cyberspace be made a formal part of military dialogue between the United States and China.

Can naming, shaming curb China cyber attacks? - Technology & science - Security -

YouTube - You Should Work for Symantec
Topic: Humor 1:34 pm EST, Jan 10, 2011

Funny, true.

YouTube - You Should Work for Symantec

How China sees the Cyberwar
Topic: Security 10:29 am EST, Dec 26, 2010

Sometimes a huge amount of insight can fit into two tweets:

.cn sees cyberwar on West as an active defense. Control of info (Great Firewall) is protection, not repression. No room for compromise here.

One reason .cn wages cyberwar on the West is .cn belief that we (esp .us) wage cyberwar as psyops on .cn, eg, Western values attack Marxism

Regardless of how we see it, that's how China sees it.

Notice that both the operation of the Great Firewall and the approval of information operations falls under the direction of Li Changchun, the propaganda chief on the standing committee.

WikiLeaks Archive - China’s Battle With Google -
Topic: Security 12:49 pm EST, Dec  4, 2010

For example, in 2008 Chinese intruders based in Shanghai and linked to the People’s Liberation Army used a computer document labeled “salary increase — survey and forecast” as bait as part of the sophisticated intrusion scheme that yielded more than 50 megabytes of electronic mail messages and a complete list of user names and passwords from a United States government agency that was not identified.

The cables indicate that the American government has been fighting a pitched battle with intruders who have been clearly identified as using Chinese-language keyboards and physically located in China. In most cases the intruders took great pains to conceal their identities, but occasionally they let their guard down. In one case described in the documents, investigators tracked one of the intruders who was surfing the Web in Taiwan “for personal use.”

The NYT is starting in on a cables dealing with the APT.

WikiLeaks Archive - China’s Battle With Google -

Assange responds to readers online - Page 3 - CNN
Topic: Security 12:29 pm EST, Dec  4, 2010



I am a former British diplomat. In the course of my former duties I helped to coordinate multilateral action against a brutal regime in the Balkans, impose sanctions on a renegade state threatening ethnic cleansing, and negotiate a debt relief programme for an impoverished nation. None of this would have been possible without the security and secrecy of diplomatic correspondence, and the protection of that correspondence from publication under the laws of the UK and many other liberal and democratic states. An embassy which cannot securely offer advice or pass messages back to London is an embassy which cannot operate. Diplomacy cannot operate without discretion and theprotection of sources. This applies to the UK and the UN as much as the US.

In publishing this massive volume of correspondence, Wikileaks is not highlighting specific cases of wrongdoing but undermining the entire process of diplomacy. If you can publish US cables then you can publish UK telegrams and UN emails.

My question to you is: why should we not hold you personally responsible when next an international crisis goes unresolved because diplomats cannot function.

Julian Assange

If you trim the vast editorial letter to the singular question actually asked, I would be happy to give it my attention.

It seems like no matter which way this issue is raised to the Wikileaks people, it is never directly addressed. This is why many in the FOI and transparency community can't get behind Wikileaks and Assange.

Assange responds to readers online - Page 3 - CNN

Schneier on Security: Close the Washington Monument
Topic: Security 1:08 pm EST, Dec  2, 2010

Securing the Washington Monument from terrorism has turned out to be a surprisingly difficult job. The concrete fence around the building protects it from attacking vehicles, but there's no visually appealing way to house the airport-level security mechanisms the National Park Service has decided are a must for visitors. It is considering several options, but I think we should close the monument entirely. Let it stand, empty and inaccessible, as a monument to our fears.

Schneier on Security: Close the Washington Monument

Hoder sentenced to 19 years prison
Topic: International Relations 3:11 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2010

Iranian-Canadian Hossein Derakhshan, 35, was a controversial figure among Iran's blogging community. Writing his blog from Canada, he was initially a critic of Iran's clerical leadership, and in 2006 he visited Israel - Iran's archenemy - saying he wanted to act as a bridge between the two countries' peoples.

But he later became a vocal supporter of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praising him for standing up to the West and criticizing regime opponents. Derakhshan then visited Iran in 2008 and was arrested. Over the next two years, he was often held without communication with family or lawyers, according to rights groups.

The court sentenced him to 19 1/2 years in prison, the report said, adding that Derakhshan can appeal. It was unclear if he would benefit from time served.

Derakhshan helped ignite blogging in Iran by posting simple instructions online on how to create sites in Farsi in 2001. The flourishing of blogs by Iranians at home and abroad that resulted gave the country's reform movement an online platform that has helped it survive heavy crackdowns at home - though authorities tried to block many, including Derakhshan's.

His later embrace of Ahmadinejad angered many reform bloggers. Before returning to Iran, Derakhshan on his blog dismissed worries he could be arrested for his previous writings.

Decius and I sat on a panel with Hoder several years ago. To say some of his positions angered people would be putting it lightly. However, I was still quite dismayed when he was arrested.

19 1/2 years in jail is definitely excessive, but it's way better than the death sentence the prosecution was pushing for. Hopefully the political climate in Iran changes, and he can be freed...

Hoder sentenced to 19 years prison

UN 'to appoint space ambassador to greet alien visitors' - Telegraph
Topic: International Relations 11:34 am EDT, Sep 27, 2010

Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, is set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact.

Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to Mrs Othman.

I'm sure glad to know we are prepared...

UN 'to appoint space ambassador to greet alien visitors' - Telegraph

Reuters mention of Israeli cyberwar capability
Topic: Military Technology 3:20 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2010


Overt or covert? Israel has been developing "cyber-war" capabilities that could disrupt Iranian industrial and military control systems. Few doubt that covert action, by Mossad agents on the ground, also features in tactics against Iran. An advantage of sabotage over an air strike may be deniability.

From September 2009, a few months after Stuxnet was deployed. I'd love to know the specific attribution for the text in bold.

Reuters mention of Israeli cyberwar capability

Siemens Provides Stuxnet Update | News | Automation World
Topic: Computer Security 12:42 pm EDT, Sep 23, 2010

Siemens has isolated the virus on a test system to carry out more extensive investigations. Based on previously analyzed properties and the behavior of the virus in the software environment of a test system, this does not appear to be the random development of one hacker, but the product of a team of experts. The company suspects that this team is comprised of IT experts with corresponding engineering knowledge of industrial controls based on the virus deployment in industrial production processes.

The extent of the threat to industrial systems still posed by Stuxnet following the implementation of the security updates will, however, remain uncertain until further investigations into the Trojan and its mode of operation are complete. Siemens does not yet have any leads as to the source and origin of this malicious software, but analyses are ongoing.

This whole Stuxnet business is highly intriguing. For those not following it, I highly suggest Googling around about it. Bullets in the cyberwar are certainly whizzing by in all directions these days...

Siemens Provides Stuxnet Update | News | Automation World

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