People are beginning to call this the “Year of the Hack”. No need to go into the details, but he believes that we should look separately at the various attackers’ identities and policy solutions. He uses the abbreviation CHEW.
“Cybergang” money rivals some drug cartels, billions of USD. Foreign law enforcement (e.g. eastern Europe) frequently on the take, so that the real ‘bad guys’ operate from “cybersanctuaries”. We can get the mules sometimes, but that doesn’t solve the issue. Policy solution looks like what’s been done about money laundering, so that the crime doesn’t pay. Grow the Budapest Convention into an organization with teeth, otherwise the costs will increase for banks. And while it’s fine for the banks to get screwed, they pass on the costs to us anyway.
Personified by Wikileaks and other similar groups. Hacking because they believe in cybersecurity is like shooting people because you believe in gun control.
The other group believes that there should be no secrets (unless it’s their own secrets). Overclassification is a real problem, but the Foreign Service has done a good job. The cables aren’t revealing nefarious stuff like if this had happened in the 1970s. The cables should never have been revealed, and the Army should never have allowed a private with a questionable background to have access to these data. The DoD facility where he sat had technology to detect and prevent this stuff but it wasn’t installed and operational.
A cancer that is destroying our economy. We do it, too, but against foreign governments to protect ourselves. The US doesn’t spy on private corporations and research labs to steal proprietary information for competitive business advantage. The WTO should have written rules about what can and cannot be done via espionage. There are rules about intellectual property, albeit often disregarded. China (primarily) has hacked its way into every corporation it can find in the US, Asia, and Europe, sucking out petabytes of data. Even if data isn’t secret research stuff, they will auction off the data (e.g. transactional data and business plans to international competitors).
The attacks are frequently successful and not noticed, so companies believe they haven’t been hit. In the meantime, a factory in China looks just like theirs and produces stuff just like theirs. And the Predator drone plans were stolen years ago, so the Chinese have the “Flying Dragon” drone that is just like it. In a nation with high labor costs, the only way to compete is through knowledge and innovation. Take that away and we can’t compete.
The technology and systems need to catch up. We need a plan to deal with the “cyber-rape” of our time. The Chinese will never stop until we penalize them somehow, either overtly (sanctions, etc.) or covertly. We’re not doing either.
4: War (cyberwar)
Something we’ve never had yet. It’s not hype; if it weren’t real, we wouldn’t have a 4-star general running Cyber Command and the Navy’s 10th Fleet that has no ships.
We’re talking about blowing up the same things in society that we traditionally blow up with missiles: telco facilities, power generators, all communications. We can also do it from data centers in Nevada and Maryland, like the Russians DDOSing Estonia or Georgia.
Then there’s Stuxnet. (China’s not the only company stealing digital certificates.) It looked for very specific sorts of SCADA operating systems, and when it found it, it looked very closely at which particular version and deployment it found. 1000 of the Iranian nuclear centrifuges were physically damaged so badly that they had to be removed and replaced, but without using B2 bombers.
The code is available now, as it didn’t actually wipe itself. People can modify and redeploy it to attack other SCADA systems, including inside the US. Someday, someone will attack us this way. It doesn’t even have to be a nation state like Iran. It could be some “nutcase group” that gets its hands on attack software. Cyber Command defends .mil and .gov but not .com. DHS can offer assistance, but companies have to defend themselves.
This is like asking every company in the Cold War to mount their own anti-air defenses against Soviet bombers. But Washington thinks any new government regulation of any sort is a bad thing. Until regulations require ISPs to filter packets and SCADA systems to disconnect from the Internet, none of these things will happen.