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US, China Face Mutually Assured Destruction In Cyberwar 110

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bad-movie-plot dept.
chicksdaddy writes with a tidbit from the RSA conference. From the article: "A panel of security and policy experts speaking at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday said that, despite dire warnings about the information warfare capabilities of China and other developing nations, the risk of an all-out cyberwar is remote, and that the U.S. still holds many of the cards. Rather than trying to deliver a knock-out cyberwar capability, the U.S. should embrace the Cold War notions of containment and mutually assured destruction with advanced nations like China and Russia. Tried and true methods to win security from cyberattacks include international diplomacy, multilateral agreements that clarify the parameters for peaceful and hostile cyberactions and — of course — a strong offensive capability."
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US, China Face Mutually Assured Destruction In Cyberwar

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  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @02:50PM (#39212203)

    Something makes me think that they will take the rest of us with them . . .

  • Cyberwar? *yawn* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @03:07PM (#39212519)
    Whatever makes the warmongers in congress happy.
    At least this way we're not sending young men to die needlessly.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @03:31PM (#39212897) Journal

    > I'd hate to see something that worked poorly.

    Wait a year.

  • Re:I don't agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @03:35PM (#39212939)
    If I were a Chinese intelligence expert tasked with meeting this challenge, I'd place my killswitch in the offload engine of network interfaces. Just have to get the chip fabs in China to switch their masks for slightly modified ones, with a tiny bit of extra circuitry on the silicon. It'd look for a specific sequence of 16 bytes in the packet (Putting it in the offload engine ensures it won't inadvertantly break routers en route - at worst you'd knock out a web proxy instead) and, upon detecting them, short every data line on the PCIe interface to ground (or +5v) in the hope of frying the northbridge, or at least crashing the system. Now you've got a simple but effective killswitch. Good for exactly one major use before it's discovered and the trigger blocked, but one use should be quite enough - when the war goes serious, the ability to crash half the US internet will provide many hours of disruption. Enough to cover a first strike. Alternatively, it could be used to quietly fry the webservers of dissidents or proxies - so long as you don't try to hit too many at once, it'd look like nothing more than a failed mainboard and never be detected as a deliberate attack.

    You could use it as an ECM system - respond to hacking attempts with a packet containing the kill-code - but if you do that consistantly they'll eventually realise something is going on and start replaying packet dumps until they find the cause.
  • by jafiwam (310805) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @05:57PM (#39214707) Homepage Journal

    I might start with a few ships dragging anchors through the fiber to China. Follow it up with a few ships threatening the same to India if they route Chinese traffic over land. Of course, that would be treated like an act of war (it is), however, I don't see the Chinese as the protagonists on this, we don't attack their shit aggressively and constantly but their great firewall has the capability to stop outgoing attacks and they seem to not bother or even encourage it.

    It would be relatively easy to drastically reduce or completely cut of China by physically destroying the network. They'd have to use operatives or proxies that were pre-located elsewhere on the planet, which takes their "there's billions of them!" advantage down most of the way.

    Hell, half of Africa was shut off accidentally a couple days ago.

    Anybody with any brains already has most of the Chinese netblocks killed at their firewall anyway. For my stuff, the Chinese are a zero signal to noise ratio. Know what else NOBODY NOTICED.

    There's already a war going on, the Chinese host a lot of compromised machines and initiate a lot of attacks already.

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