Monday, June 20, 2011

The Summer of Cyberattacks?

Government and corporate websites are being hacked with alarming frequency.

This is rapidly cecoming the summer of hacks, with hackers growing bolder, competing against each other for prestige as to who can crack the bigger organizations. Not good for the West, this disturbing trend. David Petraeus, incoming CIA Chief, may want to check out his brilliant commentary from FT's Misha Glenny: Thus far the list of hacked organizations includes SONY, SEGA (1.3 million user passwords stolen), the International Monetary Fund, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Turkish government, Citibank and the US Senate. We must learn how the hackers think and recruit them. I know that generationally the idea of incorporating hardcore hackers will probably apall the Cold Warriors, but the young ones on the far right and far left of the political spectrum are deeply diseenchanted with the system, and their numbers are growing. We ignore them at our peril.

And more and more vital information is stored online. From FT:
This battle is not new. Over the past 10 years, at the behest of lobbyists from the music and film industries, governments have sought to curb the illegal downloading of music and movies. They have failed. Most of us aged 40 and above still pay for our albums and DVD boxsets. But the younger generation does not pay and will not pay.

Groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec will only proliferate as more young people turn to the web to express their idealism and their frustration with a political culture deaf to their concerns. Yet the establishment has just one response – treat them like criminals, hunt them down and throw them in jail.

If this continues, the hacking we have seen in recent weeks will continue too. But even as the threats proliferate, the security industry complains of a dearth of good specialists able to understand the technology and psychology behind hacking. Most hackers develop their skills while in their early teens. So it is time to seek them out, by identifying them while they are still at school, while still allowing them to experiment and absorb hacker culture. And then recruiting them.
The full article here.

PS: On a less serious note -- wouldn't this idea, this premise make for the most incredible basic cable series?

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