Defense Against Crime

11/10/2012

The Enemy Within

It only takes a few strokes of the keys to cause chaos

One of the things that some of the national security agencies like FBI, the NSA and other organization get to do is imagine how the enemy can attack us and develop plans of defense or survival. You’ve seen it in the movies and television shows, but how realistic can it be. It is possible that the next cyber war has already been imagined, but not by government think tanks, but by Hollywood? I think it is very safe to say that our society is very dependent on computers, and computers are very dependent on their computer processors, computer chips and the software running the systems. A few years ago many computers were largely independent, but now we have them networked, via cables or the internet. Our transportation systems, or utilities systems including power grid, our communications, our government, and many other systems are all using computers to help them operate and some of them are inter-connected.

Let’s look at a few Hollywood movies. In the Star Wars films the Republic became dependant on the Jedi and a massive clone army to defend and protect them against the Separatists army. Little was anyone aware of the fact that the enemy had secret control of their clone army with a hidden command. Is it possible that some of those computer chips that are not made in this country have a hidden command, or that the security software meant to protect us, have secret commands?

In the Ronald Moore Battlestar Galacticia re-imaged version the 12 colonies were pretty much a society like ours, networked computers, and their planetary and military defense computers were networked. Little did they know that the Cylon enemy walked among them and looked like them and had been planning to attack them be disabling their defenses by taking out their computers from within. The enemy simply got access to their military command network and implanted a virus to allow them to take the colonial defenses off-line.

The whole premise of Die Hard 4 is based on being able to control certain segments of society with a cyber attack by using the very same software that was created to defend against cyber attacks.

Of course the ultimate form of cyber attack has been seen in the Terminator series where a piece of software called Skynet which was a self-aware artificial intelligence system meant to help with the defense from our enemies. Skynet’s operations are almost exclusively performed by war-machines, cyborgs (usually a Terminator), and other computer systems, with its ultimate goal the extinction of the human race. I’m not too worried about this.

There are some in our government who don’t see a problem with buying computer components from nations that are less than honest or who may have a motive more than making money. For example most of our electronics, computer components, microchip and processors are not made in the United States. So are these systems 100% safe?

Consider that China has set up a specialized online “Blue Army” unit that it claims will protect the People’s Liberation Army from outside attacks. This has also prompted fears that this crack team was being used to infiltrate foreign governments’ computer systems. At a rare briefing, China’s defense ministry spokesman, Geng Yansheng, announced that the 30-strong team was formed to improve the military’s security, the Beijing News reported. When asked if the Blue Army was set up in order to launch cyber attacks on other countries, Geng said that internet security was an international issue that impacted not only society but also the military field, adding that China was also a victim of cyber attacks and that the country’s network security was currently relatively weak. The online unit, organized under the Guangdong Military Command, is believed to have existed for at least two years before Geng’s acknowledgment Wednesday. Sources throughout the internet security industry have long believed that China-based hackers are the single largest source of worldwide cyber attacks. A report from US anti-virus software maker Symantec last year found that almost 30 percent of so-called malicious emails were sent from China, with 21.3 percent of the attacks originating from the eastern city of Shaoxing.

Cyber-attacks and web hacks are almost in the news every other month. Some computer hackers are just people getting kicks by being mischief, some are not. Suppose that while we are defending against all of the cyber attacks that keep happening, that the enemy is quietly and patiently preparing to attack from the back-end.

This week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued a call to arms against cyber attacks on U.S. targets and said the Pentagon must be prepared to launch preemptive attacks in cyberspace against potential attackers. He warned that a cyber attack by a nation state or terrorists on the U.S. could be America’s “cyber Pearl Harbor” and “be just as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.”

In the first Iran war, we rolled out the latest military technology. We found that this created a problem. The equipment was very complex, too complex for the average military support personnel to handle. They needed to constantly call in service technicians and trainers from the manufacturers. Who are these technicians?  Who created the hardware and software for this equipment and does it have any hidden surprises? 

A few weeks ago a Chinese company called Huawei want to expand its company by building communications infrastructure for various nations. After the grilling company received from the US Congress, which turned down its offer to build the US infrastructure, Canada’s government has obtusely hinted that it, too, would block the company from bidding to build its new secure network. I think these are smart moves. Europe however has not problems with doing business with this company. I hope they don’t regret it.

In October 2012, the personal information of millions of South Carolinians were put at risk after an international hacker got into the state Department of Revenue’s computer and plundered credit card, debit card and Social Security numbers. There were very little details on how it happened, but best estimates say it was from lax internal security, like opening e-mail that created a portal to the system.

When it come to cyber security it’s not a matter of if, but when!

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and I just wanted you all to think of the possibilities.

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable personal protection products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime. If you want to take personal responsibility for yourself, your home or your business, purchase our high quality discount personal protection products and arm yourself with the knowledge of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option. PepperEyes.com is a division of Onyx Knight Enterprises

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2 Comments

  1. I found something similar elsewhere and really enjoyed. Some more of this please! Thanks very much

    Like

    Comment by Marcel Soo — 24/11/2012 @ 5:32 PM

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    Comment by serate napoli — 27/11/2012 @ 11:02 PM


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