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There is no security

Yesterday the partners on my case relayed the terrifying information they had learned when they met with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Peter Pace about computer security — which is to say there is none. Warning: this is not uplifting at all:

  • An estimated 60% of computers have Russian/Chinese bots (probably both) on them, enabling them to be used in distributed attacks on enemy systems — e.g. when Russia took down all of Estonia’s IT system, the IP of the “attackers” came mostly from Peru and Egypt; when Russia took down much of Georgia’s IT system — the IP of the attackers came mostly from the US! And no, Mac/Linux users and antivirus/malware addicts are probably not safe.
  • If you go to China, don’t bring your Blackberry — even if your Blackberry stays off, the Chinese have technology which can read all the information off of it and pump a “call home” virus on it which will infiltrate your corporate/government email system and send all the data back to Beijing (something which happened at the Pentagon apparently)
  • It’s a common corporate security practice to prevent any secret transmissions/work from happening in China out of fear that the Chinese government or Chinese corporate spies will intercept it; the head of Bain China told a visiting partner from the US to not even turn on his laptop for the Chinese will just read your hard drive and inject malware
  • The technology exists for skilled hackers to destroy a country’s energy infrastructure by modulating electrical pulses through the generators
  • The technology exists for you to manipulate the information on Barack Obama’s computer screen, feeding him false information
And the worst thing I learned?
  • We don’t even KNOW what China/Russia are doing to us — all of this is speculation based on what the US has gathered on the limited number of detected incursions and what the US knows its own hackers can do (and hence it conjectures Chinese/Russian hackers can also do it)
We now return you to your (hopefully) less bleak day.

Published in Blog


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