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Government Security

There Is No Cyberwar 149

crowfeather notes an interview with cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt that Wired's Threat Level conducted this week. "Howard Schmidt, the new cybersecurity czar for the Obama administration, has a short answer for the drumbeat of rhetoric claiming the United States is caught up in a cyberwar that it is losing. 'There is no cyberwar,' Schmidt told in a sit-down interview Wednesday at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco. 'I think that is a terrible metaphor and I think that is a terrible concept,' Schmidt said. 'There are no winners in that environment.' Instead, Schmidt said the government needs to focus its cybersecurity efforts to fight online crime and espionage. His stance contradicts Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence who made headlines last week when he testified to Congress that the country was already in the midst of a cyberwar — and was losing it. ... There's been much ink spilled in recent years over the turf battles in D.C. over whether the NSA (representing the military) or DHS (on the civilian side) takes the lead role in cybersecurity. But... "I haven't seen that tension," Schmidt said. As for which will take the cybersecurity lead, Schmidt simply says it's a shared effort."
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There Is No Cyberwar

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  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @11:45AM (#31371590)

    Ah a prime example:

    In 1991, it was reported by somebody in the air force that a computer virus named AF/91 was created and was installed on a printer chip and made its way to Iraq via Amman, Jordan.[24] Its job was to make the Iraqi anti-aircraft guns malfunction; however, according to the story, the central command center was bombed and the virus was destroyed.[25] The virus; however, was found to be a fake.

    of the others they mostly sound like boring old botnet activity or media sensationalism.

    Sorry. No real "cyberwar" here.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @12:07PM (#31371886) []

    There was an interesting war game played a while back: essentially it was nothing more than showing off how the US tactics couldn't ever possibly be defeated... which they proved by resetting the game after the opposing general "sank" most of the US fleet using nothing but a hodgepodge collection of small civilian boats.
    Seems save scumming is fine even in war games.
    The result was of course that the general playing the US side "won" since anything else would look bad.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @12:18PM (#31372012)

    seriously: have you ever been an admin for any internet facing server?
    Hundreds of attacks a day is nothing amazing.
    That's background noise.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes