Re: [ISN] Alert issued for China's next cyber attack

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 01:41:05 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] 'SQLsnake' Worm Blamed For Spike In Port 1433 Scans"

    Forwarded from: rferrellat_private
    > "We do use our website for outreach and we are sensitive to its
    > security. But it's important to put the defacing of Web pages in
    > perspective. Admittedly it can be done, even with security measures
    > in place, but it's more akin to vandalism than a security threat,"
    > said Dr Steven Metz, director of research and chairman of the
    > Regional Strategy and Planning Department at the Strategic Studies
    > Institute at the US Army War College.
    This completely misses the point.  Yes, Web page defacements are just
    annoying.  But the process of defacement requires, under most
    circumstances, that the attacker gain root access to the victim
    machine.  Script kiddies are doing this right and left, as evidenced
    by the mirrors of their juvenile defacements.  If it's that easy for a
    clueless teenager to get root, imagine what a walk in the park it
    would be for a trained operative with governmental or well-funded
    terrorist organization backing.
    Web defacements are simply the lowest-level indicators of the
    widespread failure to implement even fundamental network security
    measures.  They are the modern IT equivalent to the canaries miners
    once took into the mines with them to serve as early warning for toxic
    gas buildup.
    This is not to say that there's any reason for panic.  Despite the
    loud and shrill cries concerning the horrific consequences of a
    fanatic with a laptop, the odds of a cyberterrorist actually killing
    people are quite slim.  At least for the foreseeable future, it will
    be far easier and more productive to walk into a crowded area and blow
    yourself up than sit huddled in a dark room trying to hack into a
    utility company, air traffic control system, or 911 network.
    What I worry about is not a single event or series of events: it's the
    slow, insidious corruption of network integrity by a well-planned and
    orchestrated long term effort of a group of dedicated, highly trained
    operatives.  A massively distributed denial of service launched to
    coincide with some physical attack, for example.  The Internet has
    become very important to our communcations infrastructure since its
    public introduction a little over a decade ago.  That increasing
    dependence has not been accompanied by a concomitant increase in
    awareness or the practice of data security.  The more unprotected eggs
    we put in the Internet basket, the more likely we are to be
    unceremoniously scrambled.
    Robert G. Ferrell
    ISN is currently hosted by
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed May 22 2002 - 04:15:57 PDT