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UK Announces "Cyber Strategy" 56

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-can't-handle-freedom dept.
concealment writes "The UK government has announced a 'cyber strategy' outlining its plans to make the UK a safe place to do business online. Not limited to merely defending against attacks, the strategy outlines plans to take aggressive, proactive online action against security threats and criminals. Stricter enforcement of Internet usage restrictions and recruitment of volunteer 'cyber-specials' are also planned." An interesting bit from the article: "In promising to undertake aggressive, military cyberattacks, the UK will be following in the footsteps of the U.S. and Israel — together the presumed creators of the Stuxnet worm — and China, a nation regularly accused of infiltrating and compromising both private and government organizations to extract information."
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UK Announces "Cyber Strategy"

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  • by kenzal (1726510) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @11:24AM (#38214502)
    My "Cyber Strategy": I put on my robe and wizard hat.
  • Do me a favour (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Viol8 (599362)

    UK governments can't even stop foreign criminals walking through the doors at the airports, nevermind computer viruses with malicious intent coming along the wires. The ministers probably can't even spell "cyberwarfare" never mind understand how to counter it.

    And given the record we have of foaming at the mouth histrionic "rights" activists with brains the size of peanuts it wouldn't surprise me if some bunch of right-on swampies start a protest group for the right to existence free of persecution of said v

    • Re:Do me a favour (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @11:54AM (#38214904) Homepage

      And given the record we have of foaming at the mouth histrionic "rights" activists with brains the size of peanuts it wouldn't surprise me if some bunch of right-on swampies start a protest group for the right to existence free of persecution of said viruses and trojans.

      Actually those people don't really exist, they are a fantasy invented by foaming at the mouth Daily Mail journalists and their equally foamy readers.

      UK governments can't even stop foreign criminals walking through the doors at the airports, nevermind computer viruses with malicious intent coming along the wires.

      So do you advocate doing nothing? Contrary to what you believe some parts of our security services do work quite well. Of more concern is the apparent declaration of a cyber cold war. I makes me wonder who they intend to target, as presumably there is little point in hacking Chinese companies since they stole all their designs from us in the first place. Actually thinking about it that makes sense, why try to hack your allies for commercial intel when you can hack the Chinese and steal the stuff they already stole from them?

      • by djsmiley (752149)

        Vote this up for speaking sense. Seriously.

        If you think our security forces suck, go to Iran and try working in the British Embassy, when was the last time anyone did something like that here? :D

        • by EdZ (755139)

          when was the last time anyone did something like that here?

          1980. It didn't go too well for the DRFLA chaps though.

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        "Actually those people don't really exist, they are a fantasy invented by foaming at the mouth Daily Mail journalists and their equally foamy readers"

        Thats odd because I actually new some at university. Perhaps they were a Daily Mail plant to sucker all us students?

        "So do you advocate doing nothing?"

        No I don't. I simply have my doubts that any UK government can manage it to competantly given the mess that was the NHS IT system amongst many other governmental IT failures.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Thats odd because I actually new some at university. Perhaps they were a Daily Mail plant to sucker all us students?

          Classic Daily Mail retort, totally impossible to verify. You can probably find extremists in any argument if you look hard enough, but they are just that: extremes. By setting them up as straw men to attack you divert attention from the mainstream issues and try to make out you must be the voice of reason in a world gone mad.

          You know I was in Starbucks the other day and picked up the free copy of the Daily Mail that they provide. I do enjoy a good laugh. As soon as I touched it I heard a shriek from behind

          • by Viol8 (599362)

            "Classic Daily Mail retort, "

            Classic liberal lefty retort - use the Daily Mail as a straw man to discredit any further argument you don't agree with. If the best you can do is just call people liars then you're pathetic. Do try harder. You also might want to attend a university since clearly you've not been within a hundred miles of a student union.

            • by AmiMoJo (196126)

              Classic liberal lefty retort - use the Daily Mail as a straw man to discredit any further argument you don't agree with.

              WOOOOSH

              And BTW I have a degree. There were some fairly half baked ideas floating about, but at least people were not so cynical that they just assumed everything would inevitably be crap and a massive failure. You still have not stated what your alternative is.

      • So do you advocate doing nothing? Contrary to what you believe some parts of our security services do work quite well. Of more concern is the apparent declaration of a cyber cold war. I makes me wonder who they intend to target, as presumably there is little point in hacking Chinese companies since they stole all their designs from us in the first place. Actually thinking about it that makes sense, why try to hack your allies for commercial intel when you can hack the Chinese and steal the stuff they already stole from them?

        ...could hack the Chinese, Russians or whoever to find out what they're doing and how they're doing it in order to better defend against it or to assist in tracking attacks back to their sources for public and political exposure should that prove useful.

        ...could find out who is already compromised and either help them close the hole(s) or use them to plant misinformation.

        ...could infiltrate defense infrastructure to be able to disrupt or assume control in the event of a cyber or non-cyber war.

    • by nhat11 (1608159)
      Yeah right now UK is in chaos since they never stop foreign or non foreign criminals. The system does not work at all.
  • Well, what they mean saying "proactive"? Best way is to get rid of botnets sitting in each Windows PC across the land. How to do that? Kill owners? :)

  • by ciderbrew (1860166)
    What are the odds that they dream up a whole bunch of laws to "protect the children" and then local councils use those laws in a totally different context.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2696031/Anti-terrorism-laws-used-to-spy-on-noisy-children.html [telegraph.co.uk]
    Whilst not a news paper - -
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1053039/Council-use-anti-terror-laws-spy-binmen-accused-accepting-strawberry-pop-bribe-away-trade-waste.html [dailymail.co.uk]
    and many more examples on Google. I don't think I trust them much.
    • by tehcyder (746570)
      The thing is, if both the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail oppose something, my inclination would be to support it.
      • I go one further and try my best never to get opinion from a paper; but I get your point. They have to be right some of the time don't they. Is it possible?
  • by jkyrlach (1076609) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @11:56AM (#38214926)
    If you are organizing a cyber division of your military, and one of your first inclinations is to alert the media. your more than likely are going to suck as as an administrator for said cyber division. Either that, or you are just hoping that the mere rumor you have such a division will deter would-be cyber combatants from picking you as a target.
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      Because the UK is the first government to rely heavily on media to toot its agenda? Sounds more like they want to further lock down the internet for the people of the UK than actually stop cyber criminals. Big brother is watching.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        More accurate headline "Right Wing UK Government Plans to Corporatise The Internet". No longer will individuals have free reign to communicate any way they wish. The Right Wing UK Government, will hand over the internet to corporations. Corporate Mass Media, will once be given the reigns over communication, to once again control who can communicate with whom, how many they can communicate with and what they can say.

        The military industrial complex will be given the power, to criminalise discontent, to imp

  • -- how cyber combatants react to such headlines.
  • For a country with cameras everywhere in the name of public safety, this surprises me not. It's like Orwell wrote the play.

    • I am always amused when Americans claim that filming policemen without their consent then putting it on the Internet for the whole world to see till the end of time is a civil right, but when a camera takes a picture of you that is viewed by at most one policeman (unless there is a warrant), and gets deleted after a few months it's 1984.

      • by jkyrlach (1076609)
        Good sir, That is not what makes it 1984. it's when there's an effing camera on every effing street corner all controlled by the state that we scream 1984.But that will change. No one over here reads anymore, so soon no will even know what 1984 is if someone screams it.And yes, being able to film officers in uniform performing duties of their office is a vital check and balance for warding off corrupt or inept uses of power, especially when it's illegal to resist arrest. If you don't think that's important
        • by tehcyder (746570)
          It's hard to feel much sympathy for someone stupid enough to commit an arrestable offence in front of a CCTV camera. And once you're talking about jackbooted thugs kicking open your door at dawn and disappearing you, they don't exactly rely on fuzzy street camera pics for evidence.
  • Stricter enforcement of Internet usage restrictions and recruitment of volunteer 'cyber-specials' are also planned."

    Three guesses (hint) what that means? I suggest the name "Special TAskforce Security Internet" or STASI, and it will recruit volunteers from the general public to spy on other members of the general public, to make sure they adhere to the Internet "usage restrictions" that are of course necessary to protect the rights holders.

  • by Madman (84403) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @12:11PM (#38215124) Homepage

    So far the UK government has managed to do 0% of the things it says it will do, so I fully expect these measures to go precisely nowhere. Of course they'll annouce several monumenatally draconian and ineffective policies that they will later backtrack on before allowing this initiative to fade away.

  • "Stricter enforcement of Internet usage restrictions"
    Somehow that strikes me as fostering an environment hostile to online business.
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      "Stricter enforcement of Internet usage restrictions" Somehow that strikes me as fostering an environment hostile to online business.

      Online businesses do not give a fuck about restrictions on your ability to download porn and pirate movies.

  • The plan consists of creation of two new dedicated enforcement units:

    1. MAFIA Secirity (MAFIA'S) - a dedicated unit charged with protection of music and movie mafia interests. This will solve the shortcomings of former feeble attempts to protect Megacorps of England from the people of England. [slashdot.org]

    2. Microsoft Windows National Guard - dedicated agents 008 through 9800 will protect Windows security loopholes around the world. License to Kill will be granted indiscriminately to resolve all outstanding securit
  • military cyberattacks

    It's a military attack xor a cyberattack. There is no such thing as "military cyberattack".

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      military cyberattacks

      It's a military attack xor a cyberattack. There is no such thing as "military cyberattack".

      Why? "Cyberattack" just means it's an attack involving computers. "Military attack" just means it;s an attack involving the military. Why shouldn't a cyberattack involve the military, at either end?

  • by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @02:42PM (#38217070) Homepage Journal

    I've worked in IT for 20+ years. During that time, the security of systems has plummeted. The behaviour required to run systems with a level of 'hygiene' and appropriate controls has been systemic and eroding. Most businesses I see have most staff running as Admin, on old Windows machinery. And you can include significant chunks of government and elsewhere in the same state.

    Spyware, and malware have reached a state where defenses and defensive measures are overwhelmed, beaten, ineffective - and the sheer scale and size of 'IT' structures out runs all efforts unless they are highly controlled environments. The points mooted by the Foreign minister are deeply delusional. The idea that you'd open up your security to try and encircle the shambles that is the real world computational landscape is erroneous.

    The engineers get over-ruled by management, and the scale of the failings are the end result.

    Most Chinese Government sponsored actors (and others) are able to walk into the greater number of interesting targets, and circumvent the appalling data protection layering - and take what they like.

    And in due course, if you want to see the full scale hilarity and complete lack of knowledge in the area, I expect UK ministers to be signing up to deals with
    http://www.huawei.com/uk/ [huawei.com]
    in due course. At which point you can take it as read that its business as usual and that nobody who talked about it had any idea about what they are talking about.

    Current data systems, and how they are operated from are fundamentally broken, and nobody can fix it as it currently stands. It required whole root and branch rethinking, incluing the idea that software can ship, be sold and be used full of security holes and problems, and the authors can write a license that eradicates all responsibility for it in totality, and the world just goes round building stuff on sand.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They should also give Harry Pearce the ability to turn off the internet... just in case any more Russian submarines attempt to hack the UKs internet.

  • Protect MS products with more quality 3rd party AV?
    As for letting the GCHQ be seen in public - the UK tried this in the 1990's.
    The tracking of EU based crime went very well. All was set for a trial with transcripts from different parts of the EU.
    The problem is after the first big public show trial - who of real interest will ever use a mobile or computer in the same sloppy way again?
    They pulled back from the trial and the public embraced mobile and net use not really aware of what could be done.
    So the

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