Thursday, December 24, 2009


THe script the Cult of Cybersecurity is now most in love with is simple: If we don't do something, like pay for more of our Booz Allen/Lockheed Martin/Raytheon etc cyberdefenders, cybergangs or China or Russia or someone will attack Wall Street, the US financial industry, and the economy will be maimed. And you'll lose all your money and treasure.

It's not said quite so bluntly but that's the favorite story.

Take this last news segment on the PBS Newshour a couple evenings ago.

Host: "And, in Washington today, President Obama named a new national cyber security coordinator. Howard Schmidt will oversee the government's efforts to secure its own computers and work with companies in the private sector.

"We look at all this now with James Lewis, director and senior fellow of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington.

"Welcome, James.

"Let's start with the attack -- the report of the attack on Citigroup. Not a lot of details we ... know here, but how common are attacks on financial institutions?"

James Lewis: "They're more frequent than you might think. Ten to 12 a year is one number I have heard, about in this range, you know, 10 million, maybe more, maybe a little less. So, this is not that unusual."

Host: "In this case, they're talking about, they're pointing to this Russian cyber gang. Now, what or who is that?"

James Lewis: "You know, the Russians have some tremendously skillful hackers, cryptographers, mathematicians, not a lot of work there for a while in Russia. And, so, a lot of them went into hacking. And the main reason you find them in the former Soviet Union is because it's a sanctuary. They're not going to be arrested. So, it's a beautiful crime, lots of money, no risk ... Every once in a while, one of them gets caught. The main rule you have to know if you're a hacker in Russia is don't take vacations in the West."

Ten million stolen off Citi. Serious business -- an attack on Wall Street initially reported by the WSJ.

There's some opportunity for pillory here.

So DD will just say that the line -- "The main rule you have to know if you're hacker in Russia is don't take vacations in the west" might be changed to read, "What, you hacked Citi and only got 10 million? Chickenfeed. They'll be laughin' about it over cocktails this weekend and how it'll be written off on the taxpayer."

Or how, if you put the news in front of a townhall meeting in a place like Pennsylvania, someone might stand up and say: "They deserved it!"

Now switch to Matt Taibbi, writing in Rolling Stone a week or so ago on the Citi bailout arranged by the Obama administration:

So on November 23rd, 2008, a deal is announced in which the government will bail out Rubin's messes at Citigroup with a massive buffet of taxpayer-funded cash and guarantees. It is a terrible deal for the government, almost universally panned by all serious economists, an outrage to anyone who pays taxes. Under the deal, the bank gets $20 billion in cash, on top of the $25 billion it had already received just weeks before as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But that's just the appetizer. The government also agrees to charge taxpayers for up to $277 billion in losses on troubled Citi assets, many of them those toxic CDOs that Rubin had pushed Citi to invest in. No Citi executives are replaced, and few restrictions are placed on their compensation. It's the sweetheart deal of the century, putting generations of working-stiff taxpayers on the hook to pay off Bob Rubin's fuck-up-rich tenure at Citi.

There's no other way to say it: Barack Obama, a once-in-a-generation political talent whose graceful conquest of America's racial dragons en route to the White House inspired the entire world, has for some reason allowed his presidency to be hijacked by sniveling, low-rent shitheads.

See here.

We must save Wall Street from cyberattack or it'll savage the economy, warns the Cult of Cyberattack in the news, on 60 Minutes, everywhere.


Those Russian hacker gangs stole 10 million from Citi! As compared to the 300 some billion we've given Citi for directly screwing up the economy.

And that's the problem with the Cult of Cyberattack.

No proportion, no self-consciousness, only emphasis on how pressing it is that financial systems, the infrastructure, everything be protected from potentially massive attacks from cyberspace. Or something vague but terrible will happen to the economy, the lights and you.

Selected quotes from the Center for Strategic and International Studies report, "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency:"

"The immediate risk lies with the economy."

"As a result [of no coherent plan to secure cyberspace] there has been immense damage to the national interest."

"Depriving Americans of electricity, communications and financial services may not be enough to provide the margin of victory in a conflict, but it could damage our ability to respond and our will to resist."

"The simplest approach [to expanding the skilled cybersecurity workforce] would be to expand the scholarship for services National Science Foundation scholarship program that provides tuition and stipends ..."

See yesterday's post here on how the private sector poaches these workers as soon as it can so they can be leased back to government service for even higher rates. This is a plan with a solid future.

"Cybersecurity is among the most serious economic and national security challenges we face in the 21st century. Our investigations and interviews for this report made it clear ... this struggle does more real damage to the economic health ... of the United States than any other threat."

"It will be easy to be distracted ... both by the larger crisis the nation faces [that which cannot be named] and by the discussion of cybersecurity itself."

See here for the full report.

The Cult of Cybersecurity -- from the archives.

PBS Newshour hosts the Cult.


Blogger amanfromMars said...

"Depriving Americans of electricity, communications and financial services may not be enough to provide the margin of victory in a conflict, but it could damage our ability to respond and our will to resist."

Oh Please, you cannot be serious! It would be more than enough.

Indeed, Smart Subversion, which only needs to be a few nuggets of sensitive intelligence shared in plain text virtually, and which causes a Defensive Reaction/DDOS Attack or simply increases Greater Public Awareness of a Known Systemic Catastrophic Vulnerabilities at Core Cabal Command and Control Level in just one of three, would be more than enough.

Which is a Simply Complex Inconvenient Truth which AI and CyberIntelAIgent Security Operations Protect against in Perverted and Subversive Systems, and in SCADA Controls.

And thus is such AI Protection a Vital InterNetional Asset to be Securely Purchased at whatever the Cost from whatever/whoever would be able to Supply it. To do anything less, would be to deliberately and maliciously risk national and international calamities on a scale which, obviously although they can be imagined, have hitherto been considered unlikely and impossible rather than being accepted and believed as being most probable and most probably already launched in covert demonstration of overwhelming ability and capability.

It is not something against which one would bet without adequate mirror resources ...... given the dire consequences of a weak speculative play, although the Stupid Arrogant Folly of Ignorant Man has consistently Proven in the Past to Know No Bounds and to Imagine the Impossible Doable in Concealment.

11:38 PM  

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