Cyber Arms Intelligence Report for December 6, 2010

Wikileaks again makes front page news. This time Assange threatens to release a large cache of secret encrypted documents if he is arrested or if any action is taken against Wikileaks. What is this? Some sort of Cyber Extortion? And how is this different from what he has been doing already? He is basically saying, “If you try to stop me from releasing sensitive classified documents, I will release more of them”. He has already proved that he is out to damage the US as much as possible, so this is not really a threat. He will release them anyways.

Where is our Cyber Command in all of this? Several have questioned why hasn’t the US Cyber Command taken out Wikileaks by now. Cyber Command was commissioned to defend Department of Defense systems. With the release of military documents it would seem that this would fall well into the realm of Cyber Command’s operational realms. This question was posed to Pentagon’s Press Secretary Geoff Morrell last week, and the response? Granted the leaks are embarrassing, but they really don’t hurt us:

 But, at the end of the day, it does not, at least over the long term, adversely impact America’s power or prestige. Secretary Gates just does not buy into that. People don’t do business with America necessarily because they like us or even trust us. They do business with us because they must. We are the last, one, remaining, indispensable power.

Interesting statement, but this may not be the whole story. Last Month Cyber Command’s chief, Gen. Keith B. Alexander petitioned for additional rights to perform offensive operations in protecting US interests. But it looks like it won’t happen:

But current and former officials say that senior policymakers and administration lawyers want to limit the military’s offensive computer operations to war zones such as Afghanistan, in part because the CIA argues that covert operations outside the battle zone are its responsibility and the State Department is concerned about diplomatic backlash.

So it would seem that Cyber Command has its hands tied and for the meantime this is going to become a legal battle that will go on for months. Even as Wikileaks mirror sites now pass 200.

Some information that has come out in the leaks has been interesting though. Saudis continue to be major financial supporters of terror groups. According to a NY Post article from earlier this year Saudis create the text books for many Muslim nations and they still contain anti-Semitic and anti-Christian teachings. These text books have even appeared in British class rooms.

Another document released, China uses access to Microsoft source code to help plot cyber warfare, is also very interesting. It appears that China has signed an agreement with Microsoft that allows select Chinese companies access to Microsoft source code. And what is China doing with this access? Some of the companies involved are known for hiring and working with Chinese hacker groups. Nothing like handing them the keys to the castle…

Some interesting picture links:

And lastly, other top cybersecurity news from around the web:

The 12 cyber scams of Christmas
Expert: Pentagon cybersecurity changes ‘very basic, very late’
US works to secure networks as hackers advance
Visited Porn? Browser Flaw Secretly Bares All
Basic tips for Android protection
Russia tops Kaspersky Labs’ list of global spammers
Intel Plans 1,000-Core Processors — But How Fast Will They Be?


6 thoughts on “Cyber Arms Intelligence Report for December 6, 2010”

  1. I think the biggest flaw in ASSanges logic is that he assumes the government really cares. I don;t think they do, at least, they understand that since the information has been so widely distributed, there’s nothing they can do to stop it’s un-encryption and release to the public.

    So what does that mean? Well for one, I don’t believe for a second that the government doesn’t know what the contents of this “insurance” file is. Short of some kind of revelations about aliens or 9-11 truther bs, I doubt there’s anything really special.

    They’re all ready making the changes now, that will be required from full-disclosure in the future. There’ll be a bunch of nasty news headlines for a few months, maybe an election or two goes a direction it might not have, but overall, life will go on.

    The guy really showed his true colors releasing the info on important strategic sites though, didn’t he? Insulin factories and medical complex’s, civilian comms stations and the geographic local of international interwebs backbones. What a wanker.

    1. Absolutely Philo. I did think it funny though that the government released a statement effectively banning government employees from reading the documents. 🙂

      You are right, Wikileaks released the location of over 300 foreign sites that are critical to the US. What was the purpose of this? It just shows that Assange is supporting terrorism and giving the terrorists a list of potential targets.

      What scares me Philo is once I heard a speech from a recently graduated US Air Force Academy cadet. She said that the main thing she learned was “All wars start from a lack of communication”.

      Wow! I can’t think of one war that started because of a lack of communication. Wars usually start because of revenge, greed, power or control.

      Releasing these documents to the public isn’t going to bring peace to the world. It is just going to get more innocent people killed.

    1. Don’t fool yourself Ace, this has nothing to do with showing “hypocrisy” or “making the world a better place”. It has everything to do with harming the US, which, as the biggest beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, I would think most liberty loving people would be against…

  2. I guess what I really can’t understand is the number of Americans and Europeans that are supporting Wikileaks.

    I was stunned to read comments yesterday from a fairly prestigious American. Basically he said that he doesn’t agree with how Wikileaks is releasing the documents. But he felt that is was a good thing for America and citizens have a right to know.

    A good thing?? How could this be perceived in any way as a good thing? Information that puts people at risk, especially our troops is never a good thing.

    Also “a right to know?” No, actually we don’t need to know information that is classified or Top Secret, and neither do our enemies! Doesn’t anyone remember from history class the WWII “Loose lips sink Ships” sayings? This still holds true today!

    I think though that this is not an issue of “free speech” but it points to a much greater and deeper issue in America and Europe.

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