There are some scare tactics in this….while it is possible, I am not convinced that CyberCom has the capabilities, they are pretty noisy in their actions…..and then we have Y2K as a precedent for all talk and no damage.
Cybersecurity analysts work in the watch and warning center during the first tour of the government’s secretive cyberdefense lab intended to protect the nation’s power, water and chemical plants, electrical grid and other facilities on Sept. 29, 2011, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Published: May 09, 2012
by Tom Gjelten
For the CEOs of companies such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, talk of cyberweapons and cyberwar could have been abstract. But at a classified security briefing in spring 2010, it suddenly became quite real.
“We can turn your computer into a brick,” U.S. officials told the startled executives, according to a participant in the meeting.
The warning came during a discussion of emerging cyberthreats at a secret session hosted by the office of the Director of National Intelligence and the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, along with Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the U.S. military’s Cyber Command.
The meeting was part of a public-private partnership dubbed the “Enduring Security Framework” that was launched at the end of 2008. The initiative brings chief executives from top technology and defense companies to Washington, D.C., two or three times a year for classified briefings. The purpose is to share information about the latest developments in cyberwarfare capabilities, highlighting the cyberweapons that could be used against the executives’ own companies.
“We scare the bejeezus out of them,” says one U.S. government participant.
The hope is that the executives, who are given a special one-day, top-secret security clearance, will go back to their companies and order steps to deal with the vulnerabilities that have been pointed out.
“I personally know of one CEO for whom it was a life-changing experience,” says Richard Bejtlich, chief security officer for Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm. “Gen. Alexander sat him down and told him what was going on. This particular CEO, in my opinion, should have known [about the cyberthreats] but did not, and now it has colored everything about the way he thinks about this problem.”
Phi Beta Iota: In fairness to General Alexander, he is making up for decades of dereliction of duty by OMB and his predecessors, but he is also going about it completely wrong, spending tens of billions on secret capabilities that are at best immature and incomplete, while failing to illuminate the battlefield publicly and call for common open source hardware, open source software, and open spectrum that are secure at “root.” He is completely ignoring the related matter of computational mathematics and mathematical ethics.