Thursday, December 03, 2009

CULT OF CYBERWAR (continued)

Today's dose comes as an opinion piece from The Hill.

It fits with the cult of cyberwar practice in which advertising and wishes to enlarge a company's bottom line are disguised as national strategic advice. In this case, it's delivered by McAfee, the giant computer security company which only a week or so ago issued a report, authored by Richard Clarke's "electronic Pearl Harbor" factory -- Good Harbor, warning cyberwar was about to arrive.

"No line between cybercrime and cyberwar" is the title of the piece by Dave Dewalt.

Why is that central?

Because war is solely thought to be the responsibility of the government -- although, as we've all learned to our everlasting regret -- in real American war, this really isn't the case, either.

However, if you make trouble from the Internet a national existential threat, one that is indistinguishable from cybercrime, then you raise even bigger potential for transfer of taxpayer treasure to the corporates who comprise the cult of cyberwar.

So, from an industry standpoint, one offers sage advice and recommendations which always boil down to conflicts of interest but which have become accounting firm-approved best practices for governance in the last ten years.

"[The] July 4 denial-of-service attacks that pounded U.S. federal agencies, the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and many major private-sector networks," is given as one example of the threat posed. You'll remember this only as the alleged big North Korean cyberattack, the one everyone missed because they were eating hot dogs and playing outside, save for the media which noted, for example, that the Departoment of Transportation's website had been made to run slow. (See here and here for additional context. Hacker attack slows down holiday web surfing, reads one news piece, featuring even me.)

But the meat of the opinion piece for The Hill are its recommendations.

DD will translate them so as to illuminate what they really mean.

"Develop security standards and best practices collaboratively. Define U.S. government cyber security standards with input from the private sector and government agencies that have experience with cyber security."

Naturally, this sounds really good to the layman. However, it's old old news, recommended at least three or four times a year, maybe even more, for the last fifteen.

What it really means now, is this: "Make someone from my company the head of a committee or agency or commission with power to enforce policy standards set by my company, standards which will ensure a quick and permanent expansion of the business."

Another recommendation is: "Define public/private partnership. Create an entity that has the ability to transcend corporate competition. This will allow trust to be brokered and will build relationships so that the best counsel is provided to the national leadership before, during and after cyber attacks happen."

Broker trust, transcend corporate competition, sounds great to the layman. Just as it does every four or five times it's been said in various places over the last fifteen years.

Here's what it means. Seriously.

"Create an agency or commission and appoint me and cronies from my business as its leaders. This will enable us to transcend competition and ensure that national policy is made which will expand even further our bottom line. We will provide the best counsel on how to do this before, during and after cyber-attacks which, quite naturally, we are the best at seeing and defending against. We will provide timely intelligence assessments on world cyberthreats to the nation, menaces we are best positioned to defeat."

"Dewalt is the president and CEO of McAfee Inc., a security technology company," reads the fine print at The Hill.

Why we even need government in this country is totally beyond me.

The last installment from Cult of Cyberwar. Also here.

Quote of month: "I am worried about some terrorist group [with] the capability to destroy the U.S. money supply ... The impact of such an attack would be an order of magnitude greater than the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." -- Cult of Cyberwar VP, Booz Allen Hamilton.


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