Did China Just Bill Clinton Us on OPM?
In an article posted today from the Chinese State News service Xinhua the official ruling on the OPM hack has been determined to have been carried out by a group of “criminal hackers” not at the behest of the Chinese government. As such they say, the hack was not an official act of cyber war but instead a criminal act according to current laws on cyber warfare.
Dude, we just got Bill Clinton’d on one of the largest hacks to date on governmental databases! Let’s parse this out a bit and then move on to another story that was also posted today. That story; “Congress wants to know how OPM hack could hurt U.S. spies” asks one of the most idiotic questions I for one can think of as someone who’s data was stolen by a foreign power who is now saying in effect; “We have your data, but hey, it was a criminal act. We didn’t ask them to do it but thanks for the files!”
Thanks China! Don’t mind you holding that data for me since I think that the OPM and the DHS aren’t really capable even with their neato NCATS cyber hygiene service! Say… Did I mention I found all your FOUO documents on your super neato hacker hygiene program being leaked by your own servers? YAY!
But I digress… Ok so back to the first story. I believe that in the past I have written about the coming cyber wars in context of how incredibly hard it will be to prosecute not only the war, but also the defense as well as the, well, prosecution, of anyone we think carried out actions against us. Here we have a classic example of how this will all work with the, well lets call it from hereon the “Clinton Defense” for lack of a better moniker.
China was pretty smart to play it this way because not only does it sort of absolve them but it also gives them a chance to now leak that data to the darknet let’s say and lend credence to the idea that criminal gangs stole the data and are now trying to profit from it. Once the cat is out of the bag the cat pretty much is useless right? Well no, in fact they have their copy of the data and I am sure the MSS and more so the PLA have farmed all that data out to their intelligence customers for further exploitation.
This is probably a scenario that certain analysts already thought might come to play since we kind of already pointed the finger at China anyway. It also may have been a foregone conclusion given the futile naming of names and placing them on wanted lists that the DOJ put out this year. If you think we will ever get hold of those Chinese PLA assets you are just deluding yourself. From now on I can see how China and now other nations will just blame non state actors for the hacks against any assets just like some mother scolding a bad child for thievery out of the cookie jar. All the while the players will not be charged with anything and perhaps never even be known because the government will cover their identities.
Do you see where this is all going? What a slippery slope this is? All the while we keep focusing on attack and not on defense. Yeah, that will win the day for us for sure. I am so tired of all the bullshit. Even if you can DFIR and OSINT the shit out of things all one has to do is “officially” blame another actor and the game is over. There won’t be any trials and the data is still in the hands of the adversary, once again, because WE FAILED TO HAVE THAT CYBER HYGIENE!!
Meanwhile the congress seems to be overtaxing their small minds trying to understand how the data that was stolen (SF86’s and the kitchen sink at OPM) could affect those in the clandestine service. Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? You don’t understand how China having not only access to where someone worked and works, but also all their personal histories, clearance levels, friends information, psych status, fucking everything to create a super dossier on them could affect a clandestine agent? Tell me something congressman… Are you an idiot?
I would like the congress to understand even more deeply about the hack on OPM. It is more than just the data that they stole. It is also about how long they had access to the internals at OPM and then the networks that the OPM network touch. For instance, did you know that the server the data was being held in partially sat in the DOI?
NO I AM NOT KIDDING
The Department of the Interior is a place I know rather well because I worked for the DOJ on a case against them back in the day. I had to look at their networks and boy oh boy, what a fucking mess. Would it also surprise you to know congressman that the DOI network has classified network connections as well? Did you know for example that when I was poking about I saw NRO shit as well? Think about that and let it rattle around your empty heads a bit. Ask yourself and then ask OPM and DHS what other networks the Chinese may have had access to for about a year?
I dunno, it seems like every day I just want to crawl into the woods and build my 6×6 shack and wait for the apocalypse to come far away from the asshattery that will undoubtedly occur. Fuck the whole iot bullshit with fridges and toasters exploding from grid hacks by Ted Koppel. I just want out because we as a species are just incapable of handling this shit appropriately. I eagerly await the end where the AI finally takes over and decides to liquefy us all to feed to one another to be used as batteries for the Matrix.
Let’s get this over with already.