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:
Why do we need TSA full body scanners? They have more important things to do.
In case of Cyberwar, seek out low flat area, avoid underpasses and bridges.
You never know what wireless networks are in your area.
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?