(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for April 23rd, 2009

Speaking Of “Fire Sale”

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A Cyber-Attack on an American City

Bruce Perens

Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported.

That attack demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization. The city of Morgan Hill and parts of three counties lost 911 service, cellular mobile telephone communications, land-line telephone, DSL internet and private networks, central station fire and burglar alarms, ATMs, credit card terminals, and monitoring of critical utilities. In addition, resources that should not have failed, like the local hospital’s internal computer network, proved to be dependent on external resources, leaving the hospital with a “paper system” for the day.

In technical terms, the area was partitioned from the surrounding internet. What was the attackers goal? Nothing has been revealed. Robbery? With wires cut, silent alarms were useless. Manipulation of the stock market? Companies, brokerages, and investors in the very wealthy community were cut off. Mayhem, murder, terrorism? But nothing like that seems to have happened. Some theorize unhappy communications workers, given the apparent knowledge of the community’s infrastructure necessary for this attack. Or did the attackers simply want to teach us a lesson?

The rest HERE

Just last night I was thinking about this as I sat watching Die Hard. Anyway, yeah this is not getting much press and certainly may in fact be kept quiet a bit by design… Maybe we (when I say we, I mean the media really) just don’t care? Don’t understand? I mean, think about it.. With China hacking JSF, Air Force, etc and this incident doesn’t it kinda say “Gee, we really aren’t that secure are we?”

Personally I think that this particular incident was a decoy for a bigger criminal undertaking. I doubt it was a test run on a thought experiment. So, we will see what shakes out when the details (if ever) come to light on this little cable cutting foray.

Keep your wits about you…

Fire Sale: Everything MUST GO!

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Ya know lately with all this Chinese activity I just can’t stop that “Fire Sale” vibe from creeping into my head…

Oh, and of course watching the unrated version of “Die Hard: Live Free Or Die Hard” kinda helps…

Of course this movie was unrealistic on the wholesale disruption of the US as a whole. However, sometimes in this business you just can’t help but feel like Thomas Gabriel when you tell clients they are insecure and they should fix things.

Especially when you get that look from them of;

“Shit, why would we do that? It would be too much work!”

Of course lately with the whole “Chinese in our grid all up in our shit” and “Losing JSF data” might get the .mil and the .gov types all worked up huh? We’ll see I guess. Of course when all the shit goes down, my house will be the one with the lights still on and the anti zombie defenses in place.


Written by Krypt3ia

2009/04/23 at 01:33