Australian Attorney-General is his own biggest enemy

I promise not to go through the whole “it’s not identity theft, it’s identity fraud” discussion here. The article misses that point, but that’s to be expected. What really got my goat, though is the following: McClelland tells us that […] “The survey also revealed that the majority of identity theft or misuse occurred […] through the loss of a credit or debit card (30 percent). Stolen identify information was primarily used to purchase goods or services (55 percent) […]”

Would a cyberwar be possible on a global scale?

A few months back, as part of my post-grad studies, I had to look into the viability of electronic warfare on a global scale. This is part one of many posts that will revisit that work and expand on it where applicable and reduce parts of it where. Abstract Information warfare is currently fought on two planes: first is the legal and diplomatic plane where Russia and China on one side, and United States and the Western world on the other are trying to pass globally acceptable resolutions on cyber arms control and the definition of, and use of information warfare.

US cyber strategy legalises espionage on friends and foes alike

Associated Press runs the story on the fresh information about US cyber-warfare strategy. For example there’s the legalised continuation of espionage of friends and enemies alike by the US. Whilst most other countries have the decency to at least vehemently deny any such actions, the US decided to proudly, and - at least based on the AP article - publicly, declare it. As an example, the new White House guidelines would allow the military to transmit computer code to another country’s network to test the route and make sure connections work - much like using satellites to take pictures of a location to scout out missile sites or other military capabilities.

Huntsman on China, or why pragmatism doesn't sell headlines. Also why possibility of cyber-war with China is overblown.

I’ve been saying before that all the furore over Chinese academics’, senior military, etc. comments in Chinese newspapers are usually for internal, rather than external consumption. Of course this doesn’t go down well with those that tend to simplify China to be a large, well-oiled and fantastically operated government machine. I’m sure the Chinese leadership would love nothing less. Truth, of course, is much different. Mr Huntsman highlighted the unprecedented leadership change that China is about to undergo, with by his count around 70% of the top 200 jobs in the Chinese government likely to change hands over the next couple of years.

Saudi Arabia v Iran: status quo v progress

That Iran had nothing but good experiences with revolution is well known. But, having staged a revolution in 1979, the Old Guard is not willing to see another revolution on their home soil. Saudi Arabia and its oil-rich Gulf allies accuse Iran of instigating protests that have already toppled the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia, provoked brutal crackdowns and escalating violence in Libya, Syria and Yemen and could threaten the governments of others in the Middle East and North Africa.

Hermit Kingdom and Computer Mercenaries. Infowar at its best or just business as usual?

For a long time there were many rumours about the Hermit Kingdom (North Korea). Why it was self-evident that North Korea can get funding by money laundering, counterfeiting US currency and similar decently creative funding approaches, yet not also pay foreign hackers to do their biding is beyond me. It seems that the truth on the creativity of the Hermit Kingdom is out, thanks to a number of defectors: But now the thinking is that North Korea may have hired foreign experts (gangsters, or other outlaw types) to obtain the needed skills.

More on China and Information Warfare

This is my post to LinkedIn’s "Operation Aurora - Cyberconflict Research" group. It might be just me, but today’s outcry over China’s unflinching and shameless use of corporate espionage reminds me of Japan’s rise as an industrial and later post-industrial power. Sure, the tools have changed, the scope may have changed slightly, but the intent is the same. And yet Japan, despite their recent history as a hegemon and their long history of inward-looking empire, has not threatened the world as much as the scaremongers of the 50’s (industrial espionage) to 80’s (financial domination) would have you believe.

China will not threaten the world with their modernised military might

You really need to pay attention to what is not said, rather than what is said. "We do not intend to threaten any country with the modernization of our military force. I know many people tend to believe that with the wealth of China’s economy, China will be a military threat," [General Liang Guanglie] said, speaking dressed in full military uniform. With the economic might that China wields, they do not need to threaten anyone with their military force, modernised or not.

Shrill voices never help in a crisis, but they are the first to be heard

Ever since Stuxnet thundered on the global scene in the second half of 2010 the world has been awash with fresh doses of FUD. Slowly but surely calmer and more pragmatic heads are prevailing: Stuxnet: It’s a real threat, but not something we should shovel money at - By Tom Ricks | The Best Defense The correct response to Stuxnet is to acknowledge the risks of cyber war, but be discerning in our reaction. We must separate the sensational from the legitimate, and only invest in valid and practical strategies.

Internet resilience

Richard Clayton has a great post summarising the recent paper for ENISA that he co-authored on the Internet resilience. Food for thought: Internet interconnectivity is a complex ecosystem with many interdependent layers. Its operation is governed by the collective self-interest of the Internet’s networks, but there is no central Network Operation Centre (NOC), staffed with technicians to leap into action when trouble occurs. The open and decentralised organisation that is the very essence of the ecosystem is essential to the success and resilience of the Internet.