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Department of Homeland Security Wants Nerds For a New "Cyber Reserve'" 204

Posted by samzenpus
from the grabbing-geeks dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "Just three weeks after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an audience at the Sea, Air and Space Museum that the U.S. is on the brink of a 'cyber Pearl Harbor,' the government has decided it needs to beef up the ranks of its digital defenses. It's assembling a league of extraordinary computer geeks for what will be known as the 'Cyber Reserve.'"
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Department of Homeland Security Wants Nerds For a New "Cyber Reserve'"

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  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @07:21PM (#41848719)
    give the prevalence of H1B immigrants and the fact that most aren't staying in the country (better digs back home) does America have any hope of hanging onto a competitive edge? Not that it matters much for the guys at the top (they're global, they don't think about little stuff like countries anymore), but for little 'ole me stuck here in the good 'ole US of A it's a worry.

    And if you think I'm exaggerating, you either aren't working in tech or you're not paying attention.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @07:34PM (#41848829)

    Once again, the clueless people in high places prove they don't understand. Attaching "cyber", "e", "online" or even "with a computer" to something does NOT make it a new threat. And "Cyber Pearl Harbor"? Gimme a damn break. There is no need to try and compare unlawful access to a computer system by a foreign entity to an attack that killed thousands of people and drew the US into one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history.

    Espionage is espionage, regardless of wether it's someone sneaking documents out of a building or tapping into someone's computer system. Just because something happens on a computer does not automatically make it a new class of crime for which there must be an immediate expenditure of untold sums of taxpayer money.

    So please, governments....stop with the crap already...

    Do you understand that we're not talking about stealing credit cards from Sony's PSN?

    We're talking about China deciding that the USA needs to be taught a lesson. So, Chinese military hackers break into a wastewater treatment plant, use the SCADA controls to prematurely dump a tank of sewage into the clean water intake. The bacteria that enter the drinking supply poisons a good portion of an entire city and thousands (if not tens of thousands) die.

    "Cyber Pearl Harbor" is not really as far-off the idea as you might imagine. It's killing people with computers instead of airplanes and bombs.

  • by Penurious Penguin (2687307) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @07:39PM (#41848873) Homepage Journal
    I think they know this well enough, but their terminology is specifically targeted at the sort of people who consider the act of defacing a webpage serious hacking. What we really need is a GUI interface in Visual Basic to track the IPs of these terrible cyber-terrorists. That'd do it, mark my wurd.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @07:46PM (#41848909)

    But but but people connect their power plants and natural gas pumping stations to the internet because they wanted to post some updates on their facebook or do a foursquare checkin and they forgot their iPhone at home! Then when some work gets into these control systems and causes problems (maybe even people could die), it is not because of action of some locals that hooked up critical systems to the internet. It will be "digital perl harbor"!!

    In politics it is not about rationality and common sense. It is about posers and perceptions. Hell, that's how we almost all died back in the engineered "Cuban missile crises".

    So when some retards screw up a power grid, the result will be "how do we respond?!? war! WAR!", not "why were these systems on unprotected networks?".

    Times change, but our thought patterns seem to clearly remain back in the stone age. DHS just proves the point once again.

  • by pla (258480) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @08:01PM (#41848997) Journal
    How much does it pay,
    How long until I qualify for a pension, and
    Do I get to hack other countries for fun and profit without worrying about legal repercussions?

    (Hey, the SCADA hacks on Iran sound like pure geek porn. Don't lie, you all wish you could have done that without fear of the MIBs showing up at your door to ship you off to Gitmo!)


    Oh, and most important - I want a guarantee, in writing, notarized, and reviewed by my lawyer, that they won't ship me off to die in some foreign sandbox (no tech-pun intended) when they need sacrificial grunts for the next blood-for-oil charade.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @08:22PM (#41849167)

    Look she spouted a lot of garbage about 'cyber-geddon' and it was torn apart by geeks pointing out that hacking a web page of a power station with its 10 visitors a day, is not synonymous with attacking the power station, and that the fix for these problems is to keep critical stuff on private network links.

    So they hire a few geeks who will talk sh1t to attack the real enemy, us and our plain talking common sense! The War on Common Sense!

    I noticed that the Russian Hacker, Georgia revealed a few days ago, was a sad man living in a crappy room, not a soldier in a military uniform surround by War Game screens. They are just a pest, and for Georgia it should have patched its servers and locked down its logins, even for the government websites so he couldn't deface them.

    If you have a problem, you fix the problem, you don't declare war on it.

  • Re:NO! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @08:50PM (#41849353)

    It shows you have better taste than all them kids theses days, with their colorful bovine

  • by 3seas (184403) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:01PM (#41849753) Journal

    Hitler and the motherland....

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:23PM (#41849883)
    No, I'm saying how are we suppose to build up any know how and skill in this country if all we do is ship in cheap labor and ship it out. For the record though I've got nothing against stealing the world's best and brightest. We did it in WWII with the Nazi's and it worked out great (rockets, atomic bomb, etc). OTOH, I do wish we'd stop shipping in entry level programming positions. You will never convince me there's a shortage of VB programmers :P.
  • by node159 (636992) on Friday November 02, 2012 @02:49AM (#41850769)

    There is hardly ever a shortage of skills at such a geographically large scale, rather there is a shortage of candidates willing to work at the offered rate. If there really was a true shortage, as will all supply and demand scenarios one would see a significant rise in pay rates across the sector, which as not happened.

  • Re:Assembling? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:07AM (#41850969)

    The enemy is trying to blow up shopping malls and Christmas tree lightings, not prevent those actions. Very few people will shuffle off this mortal coil due to a pat-down for refusing the back-scatter sensor, or from having excess shampoo removed from their baggy of liquids before boarding a flight. Very few people will survive having a building collapse on top of them, their plane being flown into the ground, or standing too close to a truck bomb that goes off 50 feet away at the mall.

    I would say that some people are immature, or badly confused, or mentally ill, if they think DHS are the enemy. One might reasonably argue about their necessity, but not their hostility.

    This is genuine state terror: Stalin's Cannibals [slate.com], Remember the Holodomor [weeklystandard.com]

    .

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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