Streams

Cyber War

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Joseph Gross looks at the scope of the raging cyber-war and gives details of what happened at Google during their 2009 attack. He also reveals information on a government-initiated program—Operation Starlight—to combat cyber-attacks. Gross was the first to report on Operation Shady RAT, which cyber-security firm McAfee has just released details of. His article “Enter the Cyber Dragon” appears in the September issue of Vanity Fair. He’s also written a Web exclusive, “Operation Shady RAT—Unprecedented Cyber-espionage Campaign and Intellectual-Property Bonanza.”

Guests:

Michael Joseph Gross
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Comments [4]

barent

casey anthoney ? oh, bad example,not a slamdunk,mr gross. you need to look elsewhere, to make a viable comparison,for the specific point you were making.

Aug. 11 2011 02:56 PM
Mark

In the wake of the Newscorp scandal how do we know these attacks don't come from unscrupulous journalists rather than governments?

Also security researchers constantly complain that when they discover a vulnerability in some software they first report it to the company so they can patch it and the company just sits on it and doesn't bother to issue a patch. Then after months and months the researcher finally decides to go public even though it's unpatched because they feel it's irresponsible to sit on a known vulnerability that exposes millions of systems. Then the company attacks them saying they were irresponsible!

Companies need to stop hiring bums to run their networks and write their code. They either bring in the cheapest guys possible from India or they get some high GPA overachiever with degrees flowing out his butt who doesn't know jack about security. There's no substitute for real geeks.

Aug. 11 2011 12:29 PM

The most secure IDs in use anywhere depend upon very (very) large prime numbers (numbers with hundreds, thousand, even -- in the most extreme cases -- millions of digits).

The US government, again, wants to have it both ways. Americans wring their hands and bleat about fairness if there is any suggestion that China might be doing something, but the same government has _opposed_ private distribution of very good encryption protocols because the _US_ wants to be able to spy everywhere -- including its own citizens (as we have learned repeatedly through the Bush and Obama administrations, something Obama has viciously sought to suppress with prosecution of whistleblowers).

Aug. 11 2011 12:21 PM

There is little reason to believe that the US is any better regarding these issues than China. The only reason that the US may not be helping industry is that the firms in any given industry or across industries would lobby, object, threaten campaign funding over selective US government assistance . . . and the growing indifference of US firms to national boundaries.

The US (along with Israel) is implicated in the attacks on Iran that disabled some part of Iran's nuclear enrichment program.

For the time being, at least, US firms remain wealthy enough to be able to buy legally what poorer firms abroad might obtain by hacking. But we shouldn't doubt that Pfizer or Microsoft or ExxonMobil resist hacking or other forms of corporate espionage out of any sense of duty or moral obligation.

Aug. 11 2011 12:17 PM

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