Tag Archives: cyber

Four Million Records!: The Meaning of Massive Cyber Intrusions

It has become common to wake up to news of yet another intrusion in America, or even Chinese systems by cyber hackers.  The deeper ignored question is just what does this mean?  What can someone really do with four million records of identity for United States government employees?

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The Cyber Discourse and Alliances

I have been busy lately promoting my recently released book (with Ryan Maness), Cyber War versus Cyber Realities. In it, we dissect and empirically evaluation the emergent cyber era finding more bluff and bluster than realistic analysis of cyber conflict. In fact, there is very little evidence of cyber conflict and what conflict we do observe is very low level operations or espionage.  cyber-spy

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The Rise of the Cyber Moderates: Refusing to be defined by the Opposition

In the cyber security discourse, critics of cyber revolution hypotheses and the dominant coming “cyberwar” narrative tend to be painted as cyber skeptics.  I refuse to accept this terminology.  It is a dangerous and dismissive technique that seeks to limit the influence of moderates and critics because they will not proselytize about the expanding range of military power in the digital age.  It also obscures a greater point, we can study the field of cyber security as the domain evolves and not assume that we have seen the evolution play out already with the emergence of the technology.  As with all technologies that might have a role to play in war and diplomacy, we have to understand its uses, limits, and impacts.  To be moderate about this process accepts that all research is confronted with promises and pitfalls, that there is much to discover before we assume knowledge. Moderate-Balance

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What is the True Cyber Threat?

There is a consistent theme in every zombie film or television show.  The real enemy is not the rampaging hordes of brain eating monsters, but the human individual.  We look in the mirror and see ourselves as the real threat.

I think we need to be reminded on this discourse in the context of the cyber security debate.  More often than not, the threat is not external, but ourselves.  We debate over and over again who the true cyber threat is, but rarely do we look within.  In this piece I will evaluate the various cyber threats, which some say is the most pressing international threat and discuss the merits of the various ideas.  cruise mr

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Punishing China for Cyber Espionage: Spitting into the Wind

The United States recently  indicted five Chinese military operatives for cyber espionage. The grand jury charges bring about 31 different counts that could result in sentencing the individuals to 227 years in prison combined (by my count).   Many are calling the U.S. Justice Department’s latest move to punish Chinese citizens for cyber espionage an unprecedented step (a Google news search brings up an amusing number of articles that seem to basically copy each other).  While this goes a bit too far in that the U.S. Government has punished individuals for state crimes before, this move to charge five Chinese military officials with espionage is clearly an escalatory step that also at the same time represents doing the least that can be done beyond doing nothing.

A strong reaction is likely.  Jon Lindsay, notes that “it [the charges] does broach new ground by fingering Chinese military personnel actively serving in China. Retaliation by China, perhaps even outing US intelligence personnel serving at the NSA, is probably inevitable, although accusations are sure to be more rhetorical than evidence-based.”

In fact, China has taken the first step by calling the charges preposterous and charging the U.S. with double standards.  They have called in the ambassador to launch a formal complaint and canceled cooperation on a cyber initiatives for the time being.  Further action in private or in public is clearly forthcoming.  China has also taken the step to ban Windows 8 on all government computers.  A strong step in that Windows XP was so popular there and it was assumed that Windows 8 would be just as prevalent in the future.  They are reacting both to these moves but also Microsoft’s abandonment of the XP operating system leaving current Chinese systems vulnerable.

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