May 2013 Archives

An article last week got the Cyber Pacifists group in a tizzy.  A congressional committee reported that utilities experienced over 10,000 'cyber attacks' per month.sinewave_silverwuff.jpg

My immediate and admittedly snarky reaction was to look through my log files.  Last week
I experienced 34,000 SSH bruteforce attempts originating from 52 hosts in 18 countries.
I also experience numerous web server attacks.  This is on my single colocated server.

I could use the term 'cyber attack' to describe what I face every day, but it's a
bit counterproductive.  I don't call my wife a criminal even if she does get parking
tickets from time to time (she pays them right away, don't worry).  Similarly,
'cyber' fatigue will cause both companies and our representatives to make stupid decisions: to not focus security dollars on the areas that they should be focused upon.

Indeed most of the hacking going on right now -- spear phishing campaigns combined with intellectual property theft -- isn't really attacking either.  It's espionage.  It's weird espionage,
to be sure: when in history have governments been so interested in stealing the research
of commerce?  The 'who is doing it to who' is interesting in its own way because it says
something about globalization and how important governments really are anymore, but that's
besides the point.

The only real 'cyber attacks' to date have been the well-known Stuxnet example, and the
still little-talked-about Syrian radar example (and how would we know if the latter is even true).

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