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Should you be concerned about cyberwar?

By debate ·
Do you agree with Jonathan Yarden that cyberwar and cyberterrorism is just fodder for sensational media? How concerned are you about the threat of cyberterrorism? Tell us what you think about the Internet's vulnerability to cyberterrorists, as featured in this week's Internet Security Focus e-newsletter. Then, rate this column from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.

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All sounds hokey to me.

by mrafrohead In reply to Should you be concerned a ...

In all seriousness. I don't think that a "cyberwar" could really be THAT bad. I mean, we haven't always used computers. There's still a lot of people that know how to work without one. The net is more of a convenience factor, not a necessity. And if some lamer terrorist wants to drop the net, so be it. All it's really going to do is **** off a bunch of online gamers and inconvenience the business world. And the AOL crowd won't be able to "chat". The rest of us will just head back to dialup and continue doing what we do, just a little bit slower

Not to mention, I'm sure there are tons of networks that are unsecure, but I would assume that majority of the networks are safe and would be able to withstand an attack.

The press, in my opinion, is just looking to ruffle some feathers and spark up paranoia in people. And from some articles I have seen, they are succeeding at this time. But I think that it's all just a bunch of hokey crap.

Personally, I think that there are more important things to worry about than a "cyberwar". hehehaha


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You are missing the point

by timwalsh In reply to All sounds hokey to me.

You obviously don't understand the concepts involved. "Cyberwar" and "Cyberterrorism" are not about taking down the Internet as a goal. They are about using the Internat as a means to attack networks connected to the Internet.

"Not that bad???" Consider some of these scenarios:

Your bank's computers are attacked and all records erased. But not being able to access your money isn't that bad.

The network that controls your state's power grid is attacked. But being without power in the dead of winter for an extended period of time probably won't be that bad.

Your identity is stolen. But trying to prove you are who you say you are and that you really aren't responsible for thousands of dollers in charges with your name on it really can't be that bad.

The Air Traffic Control system of a major airport is taken down. But several hundred planes (one of which your family are passengers on) in congested air-space suddenly without any form of control or guidance certainly can't be all that bad.

You need to look at the bigger picture. The United States Department of Defense obviously has several major commands whose missions include information warfare (both defensive and offensive) because the problem "isn't that bad".

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Still not convinced. ---PART 1 of 2----

by mrafrohead In reply to You are missing the point

First off. For attacks to networks. If you are running a secure network, you shouldn't have that much to worry about. If you don't, then you shouldn't be running one.

You're banks computers are attacked and all the data is erased. Well, nope,that's not that bad either. Per Federal Regulations, all financial institutions are REQUIRED to have backups of all data and transactions. If data is deleted. It will be inconveniencing, but it is repairable.

Being without power for an extended period of time. First of all, blankets work wonders. And if we were able to live that way back in the past, we can still do it now. Again, it's just an inconvenience.

You're identity is stolen. I hope you payed the extra three bucks when youwere born to get that piece of paper called a "Birth Certificate". That with your picture ID will be enough to prove who you are. From my understanding, you can't delete physical paper copies from the net yet...

The air traffic system is about the only thing I can seriously think to pose a problem. Although, I am sure that our pilots are trained on how to fly a plane and not just sit in it and rely on those little dials and knobs doing things all by themselves. If your systems go down, there's got to be a backup plan.

I think that you're just overreacting. But again, this is just my opinion. And we all know what we think of other people's opinions

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Jumping In

by LordInfidel In reply to Still not convinced. --- ...

While it is not possible to bring down the net.

Cyber-terrorism is a real factor in national security.

It's not the "hey we just brought down a bank", it's more of terrosists targeting key national cyber targets.

i.e. Stock Marcket (nasdaq,NYSE), Large Banks, DoD, NASA, Nuclear Reactors, Silo's, etc.

Terrorists that makes those things there targets have a multi-level agenda. Bring down the stock market and not only did you just disrupt the market. You have erroded investor confidence and shaken the stability of the global financial market.

Bring down national gov't and you just eroded our countries strength.

A large coordinated DoS attack on *any* network, secure or not, will bring it down to it's knees.

This is just reality.

If a well funded terrorist group brought down all of the DNS root servers in one fail swoop. That would cause widespread dissepation of the net.

There are millions of companies that rely on the net for their living. Including the one I work for.

While it is nearly impossible for terrorists to bring down all of the backbone providers via electronic means. Physically blowing up certain key POP's can have severe consequences for the net.

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Wow, Where the **** have I been!?!

by LordInfidel In reply to Jumping In

Do a deployment for 3 days and look what happens.

Where the **** did all of these posts come from?

I thought this one got buried a couple of days ago.

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Power stations...purlease...

by DEvianT666 In reply to Jumping In

Having worked in the power and chemical industries since the days of the Sinclair Z80 I can assure you they do not put plants like this on an open network. They do not let M$ software anywhere near the systems that actually run the places. They are simply not threatened by hackers. That's ill informed press gibberish.

Airports, financial institutions, the WWW backbone they are all at risk though and the financial fallout would be very serious indeed.

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Not so sure about that one

by LordInfidel In reply to Power stations...purlease ...

I'm not going on by what the press says.

I'm going on the people I know who work in gov't.

It's not all closed off. I know several police dept's who allow remote access into the network by their officers. Officer's whose systems I have worked on that was wracked with trojan's.

And, to make matters worse. Sending confidential documents via unecrypted public e-mail systems such as yahoo, aol and hotmail.

hackers don't always look for the front door into a network. we look for the weast possible link and exploit it to gain access into the interior of the network.

We are not even talking about M$ software. Every OS (expect BSD) is inhernetly insecure out of the box.

Any place that allows even 1 computer to have access toa network that is connected to the net and also has access to other internal systems, is a potential hole for an hacker to exploit.

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Sidebar on Law Enforcement

by admin In reply to Not so sure about that on ...

Interestingly enough, one of the big BBS's around here was ran by a local county sheriffs department and was had security problems. That they would run an open BBS at all always struck me as interesting.

Anyway, it would seem that law enforcement would be most secure, but apparantly not necessarily.

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Being without power

by generalist In reply to Still not convinced. --- ...

Sure blankets work wonders when you're out of power. But being without power can create other problems.

First of all, your water company may also be without power. So it becomes rather hard to get water for cooking, washing or flushing the toilet.

Second, the sewage system may be without the pumps needed to get the sewage past certain choke points. This means that some people will have sewage backing up and flowing into their houses if they are unlucky enough to be 'downhill' from the pump assisted choke points.

Third, you may find that your job doesn't pay you if there isn't any power. So even if you have the low tech means to survive the lack of power, you might end up losing it because you can't pay the bills.

Now you could have backup power sources for everything. But they cost money to install and maintain and they may not be feasible for power hungry businesses. And if the power outage lasts too long, they may not be enough.

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Thanks for the reminder!

by admin In reply to Being without power

A lot of us around Idaho have wood heat, wells, solar panels and propane (our capital is geothermal!) so we don't think of that so much. The newer subdivisions would probably suck to live in, but I would actually not only be fine, but be computing at least part of the day.

Thank you for the reminder that it would truly be horrible for many people. It helps me be more empathetic to the problems posed in this discussion. :)

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