Monday, June 13, 2011

The Pentagon Needs to Use Cyber-Ninjas

By Lazy J Janso

Network World released an article back in May about the Department of Defense's statement that cyberattacks can warrant military response. This prompted a response on 6/6/11 from the same site questioning the tactic, and the Pentagon's ability to decipher whether or not a major cyberattack on an American company or infrastructure would require military retaliation against that country, or against a single individual or group residing in that company. The main point made by the Pentagon's released statement would be that all possible measures would be taken to block the attacks, and that the DOD would due their due damn diligence to pinpoint the nature of the attack before responding.

Y'know what's easier than taking military action during the course of 3 wars (two we're directly involved in, one that we're simply financing through NATO)?


Hear me out, because I know it sounds super dumb (and admittedly not very funny). I'm not literally talking about atom-sized ninjas running around the Internet slicing hacker worms in half with swords. Although that would be cool. And adorable.

But I mean more the super-cool team of twenty-somethings who operate from remote basements who skateboard around public train stations and hack government files from payphones.

I'm talking about the movie Hackers.

Remember how COOL that movie was when we were younger?!? It was so absent from all reality, and it didn't matter because nobody knew what the Internet was and how it worked! Nobody knew that two cross-dressing Asian dudes couldn't control and entire Rebel Army of hackers, or that you could take over a TV Network by wrapping an Ethernet cable around a wet fork and jamming it into a toaster as hard as you possibly can.

Obviously now even the dumbest of people (like myself) understand how networking works. Go watch Hackers and see if they mention MAC address filtering. I betcha they don't. I betcha they just use the word "gigga" as a prefix for like, 30 different words.

"We're running the worm at 200 giggatrips per byte. I'm into the main server drive's coupling giggasystem! Where's my hairspray?!?!?"

Now obviously finding this elite team of Internet misfits is going to be damn near impossible. There's no coffee house/skate park in America where a tattooed 16 year old mega-genius can make a complicated backwards-compatible wrap around an existing security system without interfering with its activity sound like a dumbed-down analogous sound bite...

"Imagine wrapping a band-aid around a cut finger. Except digitally!" (sipping coffee)

In order to stop real cyber-criminals from toppling our paper-thin infrastructure, we'll need to use pretend cyberninjas as a deterrent. Honestly, who's going to try and take on Matthew Lillard, Angelina Jolie and Jonnie Lee Miller? Maybe it's just my 1990's sensibilities, but the best way to stop the fear of the unknown is by creating something else to fear.

And if there's one thing that someone who can topple Lockheed Martin with a keystroke is afraid of... it's a sexier version of themselves making more money doing it.

Oh and the Chinese. Everyone's afraid of the Chinese.

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