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[liberationtech] Is the Cyberwar beginning?

Rich Kulawiec rsk at gsp.org
Thu Jan 31 02:12:59 PST 2013


There's no such thing as cyberwar, any more than there's a "war on
poverty" or "war on drugs" or "war on terror".  It's a construct either
(a) devised by people who can't come up with a better metaphor -- or
simply abstain from trying and/or (b) devised by people with an agenda,
e.g., further bloating already-obscene military budgets, advancing
political agendas such as domestic spying, etc.

I prefer to think of it as the set of consequences which ensue when we
have a profession (IT security) that, sadly, has proven itself stunningly
inept on a large scale over a long period of time.  We don't seem to have
the ability to learn from repeated catastrophic failures.  And well, it's
much easier for a CSO to tell the press "OMG!Cyberwar!! Chinese hackers!!"
than it is for them to admit that they really, really screwed up.

(Think that's harsh?  Okay.  Here's an exercise for you.  Every time
one of these stories -- like the NY Times breach -- comes along, read it.
Then go read this:

	The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security
	http://www.ranum.com/security/computer_security/editorials/dumb/

and see which mistakes they made.  In this particular case: #1.)

---rsk



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