Welcome!

Search Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Vormetric Blog, Elizabeth White, Trevor Parsons, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: AJAX & REA, Search, Cloud Expo, Security, GovIT

AJAX & REA: Blog Feed Post

Google vs. China, Our First Cyber War

Last week we witnessed the first Cyber War, but it didn’t go down quite as many of us expected

Last week we witnessed the first Cyber War, but it didn’t go down quite as many of us expected. Instead of a group of anonymous hackers trying to take over thousands of infected PCs or trying to cut off access to critical infrastructure, we saw Google declare the first salvo in its war against Chinese censorship by moving its servers to Hong Kong.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that this was war, declared by a private company on a nation state. Just because Google doesn’t have its own army (yet), or that no actual physical weapons were fired doesn’t make it any less of a battle. And it is only going to get worse for all of us as other private firms realize that they need to take control over their servers and intellectual property. What is curious is how few companies signed up for the cyber equivalent of the coalition of the willing – GoDaddy was one of the few. Not Microsoft. Not Intel. No PC manufacturer of any shape or size.

Let’s face it. No one wants to declare war on China, whatever form that will take. Most of our PC hardware components are made there. More people are using the Internet in China than the US total population, and it is growing quickly, too. And while the breaches on several Google accounts had Chinese origins, getting accountability isn’t easy.

Coincidentally, while all this was going down I was reading a preview copy of Richard Clarke’s new book called Cyber War. I highly recommend pre-ordering a copy. Clarke was a national security advisor to several presidents and teaches now at the Kennedy School at Harvard.

The book is chilling account of exactly what is wrong with our government and how unprepared we are for Cyber World War I. How so? Think of a Cyber War in terms of nuclear proliferation and the Cold War preparation. But unlike what we did in the 1960s to defend ourselves against possible nuclear annihilation, we are doing everything wrong for a cyber defense. Instead, we have made America more of a target, because so much of our infrastructure, our weapons, our culture, and our PCs are out in the open, ripe for the picking. Look at how easy it is to hijack the drone video feed as a starting point (although the control systems are secured, for the moment.) Clarke talks about various war game scenarios and at one he mentions:

“If you have a mental image of every interesting lab, company, and research facility in the US being systematically vacuum cleaned by some foreign entity, you’ve got it right. That is what has been going on. Much of our intellectual property as a nation has been copied and sent overseas. Our best hope is that whoever is doing this does not have enough analysts to go through it all and find the gems, but that is a faint hope, particularly if the country has, behind the filtration, say, a billion people in it.”

He mentions how there were times when computer professionals working for the Hopkins Applied Physics Lab back in 2009 discovered a data breach. The only way they could solve it was to disconnect their entire organization from the Internet and clean each PC, one by one. “If you are connected to the Internet in any way, it seems, your data is already gone [overseas].”

The problem is that the best defense in a Cyber War isn’t the best offense. Nope: it is hardening your connections. Look at what China has done with its “Great Firewall.” Most of us think this is to keep the porn and liberal thinking out of China. And yes, it does do that. But what is really going on is that in the event of a Cyber War, China can quickly pull the plug and disconnect from the world, to defend itself. Trying asking AT&T or Level 3 to do that here. Ain’t gonna happen.

Another part of the problem is that there is no one actually “tasked,” as they say in DoD-speak, with defending our power grid control systems, transportation networks, and so forth. Where are the cyber equivalents of nuclear strike forces in case someone hits one of these targets? Nowhere. DoD has its own ships, planes, and troops to worry about. Homeland Security is trying to keep shoe bombers and the like out of our skies. What is left is up for grabs. Call it the cyber gap. “Can a nation shut off its cyber connectivity to the rest of the world, or spot cyber attacks coming from inside its geographical boundaries and stop them?” China probably can. We can’t. In an odd twist of irony, the less developed a nation is, say Afghanistan or North Korea, the better defended it can be, because so little of that country’s resources are hackable. How many power grid control rooms have VOIP phones, bringing the Internet literally to the right desktop?

In the past, spies had a harder time of it. They had to physically copy plans, or data, or compromise an actual human being. Now, they can sit in their jammies and download entire manuals without anyone noticing.

When Obama was elected in the fall of 2008, Clarke was an advisor to the transition team. He asked everyone on the team to stop working on their home PCs and even provided brand new Apple MacBooks that were locked down so they couldn’t connect to the public Internet. When the users complained about this when they tried to access public Wifi networks, he “tried to quietly point out that if you are a senior member of the informal national security transition team, you probably should not be planning the takeover of the White House from a Starbucks.” Gulp.

That is the problem. We are too used to our connectivity, and have gotten too complacent with our computers. A lot remains to be done. You have been warned.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By David Strom

David Strom is an international authority on network and Internet technologies. He has written extensively on the topic for 20 years for a wide variety of print publications and websites, such as The New York Times, TechTarget.com, PC Week/eWeek, Internet.com, Network World, Infoworld, Computerworld, Small Business Computing, Communications Week, Windows Sources, c|net and news.com, Web Review, Tom's Hardware, EETimes, and many others.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around the world, while creating a new service that Avnet and its IT solution providers can offer to their...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the M2M space. This really allows some room for influential individuals to create more high value inter...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
It's time to put the "Thing" back in IoT. Whether it’s drones, robots, self-driving cars, ... There are multiple incredible examples of the power of IoT nowadays that are shadowed by announcements of yet another twist on statistics, databases, .... Sorry, I meant, Big Data(TM), tiered storage(TM), complex systems(TM), smart nations(TM), .... In his session at WebRTC Summit, Dr Alex Gouaillard, CTO and Co-Founder of Temasys, will discuss the concrete, cool, examples of IoT already happening today, and how mixing all those different sources of visual and audio input can make your life happier ...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
In his session at WebRTC Summit, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. He will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter Dunkley is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
What if, during a snow emergency, an on-the-ground sensor could automatically trigger a relevant emergency notification related to snowfall and road impact. And then, after it’s triggered, that notification is delivered intelligently to individuals based on an extensive set of rules designed to alert the most available and capable responders. This “what if” question about “smart highways” is short-sighted. We are already there, and we are only getting started. While mainstream attention is paid to machine-to-machine communications, new technologies are being developed to make these communica...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed ...
There are lots of challenges in IoT around secure, scalable and business friendly infrastructure for enterprises. For large corporations, IoT implementations are one of the top priorities of the decade. All industries are seeing a competitive need to sustain by investing in IoT initiatives. The value addition comes from improved customer service, innovative product and additional revenue streams. The data from these IP-connected devices can be leveraged for a variety of business applications as well as responsive action controls. The various architectural building blocks of an IoT ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
The Internet of Things Maturity Model (IoTMM) is a qualitative method to gauge the growth and increasing impact of IoT capabilities in an IT environment from both a business and technology perspective. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will first scan the IoT landscape and investigate the major challenges and barriers. The key areas of consideration are identified to get started with IoT journey. He will then pinpoint the need of a tool for effective IoT adoption and implementation, which leads to IoTMM in which five maturity levels are defined: Advanced, Dynamic, Optimized, Primitive,...