Monday, June 12, 2006

Are Terrorists Probing Our Computer Systems?

I read a pretty alarming article by Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, stating that terrorists might already be planning cyber-attacks:

"Late last fall, Detective Chris Hsiung of the Mountain View, Calif., police department began investigating a suspicious pattern of surveillance against Silicon Valley computers. From the Middle East and South Asia, unknown browsers were exploring the digital systems used to manage Bay Area utilities and government offices. Hsiung, a specialist in high-technology crime, alerted the FBI's San Francisco computer intrusion squad."

"Working with experts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the FBI traced trails of a broader reconnaissance. A forensic summary of the investigation, prepared in the Defense Department, said the bureau found "multiple casings of sites" nationwide. Routed through telecommunications switches in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Pakistan, the visitors studied emergency telephone systems, electrical generation and transmission, water storage and distribution, nuclear power plants and gas facilities."

The article also reports another issue, which is a big problem:

"New public-private partnerships are helping, but the government case remains a tough sell. Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute in Bethesda, said not even banks and brokerages, considered the most security-conscious businesses, tell the government when their systems are attacked. Sources said the government did not learn crucial details about September's Nimda worm, which caused an estimated $ 530 million in damage, until the stricken companies began firing their security executives."

"Experts said public companies worry about the loss of customer confidence and the legal liability to shareholders or security vendors when they report flaws."

For the full story, link here.

If the observations in this article are accurate, we can no longer afford to "keep the lid" on cyber-attacks in the interest of protecting bottom lines. Being worried about consumer confidence and legal liability should take second place to the safety and welfare of all concerned.

Here are some previous posts, I written on this subject:

Mounties Lack Resources to Fight Organized Crime and Cite Ties to Terrorism

Do Financial Crimes and Internet Fraud Fund Terrorism


prying1 said...

Great post Ted - This is a very serious matter and I appreciate your putting the news out.

T.L. Stanley said...

Good post. I hope our government wakes up to the danger. Take care.

Bill Stevens said...

The government is 349874584 billion steps ahead of terrorists. The US control the world and has the un in it's back pocket. The government knew about 9/11 and didn't do anything. They needed a reason to take out the powers that be in our 3rd world associates land. Militarism is the new democracy. It was an obvious agenda executed with millitary percision. The war machine got started, we got what we set out to get, innocent's died, and the european world has new reasons to hate us (even more) the fat americans who do nothing about our over militarized government because our lives revolve around tv and football.

Is it me or is nothing ever questioned?

Why wasn't there an investigation of 9/11 building reminents, why did they just remove the evidence insted of doing a full blown investigation?

Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Did they vaporize in the tank tracks cracking up the cities of families who have known only the life they lived before?

Insted of worrying about us getting attacked worry about why the Disclosure Project has so many credible people attesting to other life forms and the smoke and mirrors / cloak and dagger thats been going on. The former director of the CIA having a boating accident. (come on.)

Information Technology has already expanded beyond it's current scope in government labs in places no one has the whole complete truth/knowledge about things in. Decentralized intelligence is the root of a runaway train you can't stop. When you give someone only so much, they may draw thier own conclusions but ultimately imagination is passed off as paranoia, and anything extreme is passed off as imagination with nothing to do.

If you never saw the inside of an apple would you assume that it was red like it was displaying on the outside as with the case of an orange?

You simply do not know, you never will and anyone wanting to expose anything will suffer the same fate as those who came before them.

I love my country, it's the government I'm scared of.

You want to look at something creepy? google government and carnivore in the same sentence. Suprise! we are leaps and bounds ahead of terrorists and we most likely have technology the likes of which we can't imagine, that is far beyond what I will see "officially" invented in my life time.

prying1 said...

Hey Nicky! I've got some foil covered baseball caps for sale. - Let me know. The price is right.