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Current Topic: Security

How China sees the Cyberwar
Topic: Security 10:29 am EST, Dec 26, 2010

Sometimes a huge amount of insight can fit into two tweets:

.cn sees cyberwar on West as an active defense. Control of info (Great Firewall) is protection, not repression. No room for compromise here.

One reason .cn wages cyberwar on the West is .cn belief that we (esp .us) wage cyberwar as psyops on .cn, eg, Western values attack Marxism

Regardless of how we see it, that's how China sees it.

Notice that both the operation of the Great Firewall and the approval of information operations falls under the direction of Li Changchun, the propaganda chief on the standing committee.

WikiLeaks Archive - China’s Battle With Google -
Topic: Security 12:49 pm EST, Dec  4, 2010

For example, in 2008 Chinese intruders based in Shanghai and linked to the People’s Liberation Army used a computer document labeled “salary increase — survey and forecast” as bait as part of the sophisticated intrusion scheme that yielded more than 50 megabytes of electronic mail messages and a complete list of user names and passwords from a United States government agency that was not identified.

The cables indicate that the American government has been fighting a pitched battle with intruders who have been clearly identified as using Chinese-language keyboards and physically located in China. In most cases the intruders took great pains to conceal their identities, but occasionally they let their guard down. In one case described in the documents, investigators tracked one of the intruders who was surfing the Web in Taiwan “for personal use.”

The NYT is starting in on a cables dealing with the APT.

WikiLeaks Archive - China’s Battle With Google -

Assange responds to readers online - Page 3 - CNN
Topic: Security 12:29 pm EST, Dec  4, 2010



I am a former British diplomat. In the course of my former duties I helped to coordinate multilateral action against a brutal regime in the Balkans, impose sanctions on a renegade state threatening ethnic cleansing, and negotiate a debt relief programme for an impoverished nation. None of this would have been possible without the security and secrecy of diplomatic correspondence, and the protection of that correspondence from publication under the laws of the UK and many other liberal and democratic states. An embassy which cannot securely offer advice or pass messages back to London is an embassy which cannot operate. Diplomacy cannot operate without discretion and theprotection of sources. This applies to the UK and the UN as much as the US.

In publishing this massive volume of correspondence, Wikileaks is not highlighting specific cases of wrongdoing but undermining the entire process of diplomacy. If you can publish US cables then you can publish UK telegrams and UN emails.

My question to you is: why should we not hold you personally responsible when next an international crisis goes unresolved because diplomats cannot function.

Julian Assange

If you trim the vast editorial letter to the singular question actually asked, I would be happy to give it my attention.

It seems like no matter which way this issue is raised to the Wikileaks people, it is never directly addressed. This is why many in the FOI and transparency community can't get behind Wikileaks and Assange.

Assange responds to readers online - Page 3 - CNN

Schneier on Security: Close the Washington Monument
Topic: Security 1:08 pm EST, Dec  2, 2010

Securing the Washington Monument from terrorism has turned out to be a surprisingly difficult job. The concrete fence around the building protects it from attacking vehicles, but there's no visually appealing way to house the airport-level security mechanisms the National Park Service has decided are a must for visitors. It is considering several options, but I think we should close the monument entirely. Let it stand, empty and inaccessible, as a monument to our fears.

Schneier on Security: Close the Washington Monument

Taliban Using Mosque Controversy to Recruit
Topic: Security 12:59 pm EDT, Aug 30, 2010

I am seriously disheartened by what I'm seeing take place in Murfreesboro. It's a town that I love, but I'm ashamed of what's going on down there.

Beyond what this says about how people don't get the 1st amendment, it's also helping our enemies recruit:

Taliban officials know it’s sacrilegious to hope a mosque will not be built, but that’s exactly what they’re wishing for: the success of the fiery campaign to block the proposed Islamic cultural center and prayer room near the site of the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. “By preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor,” Taliban operative Zabihullah tells NEWSWEEK. (Like many Afghans, he uses a single name.) “It’s providing us with more recruits, donations, and popular support.

This bigotry is going to wind up being repaid to us ten times over in the form of American blood. The people rallying against these mosques and Islamic community centers are short-sighed and anti-American. Period.

Taliban Using Mosque Controversy to Recruit

WikiLeaks disclosures are a 'tragedy' -
Topic: Security 11:20 am EDT, Aug 11, 2010

First of all, let's look at the "up" side of this release. These documents "prove" that war is grittier when viewed by an infantryman than by a policymaker; that Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, is a difficult partner; that in war innocent civilians sometimes die; and that the Taliban has been growing in strength over the past several years. Not quite "stop the presses" kind of revelations.

Now the downsides. According to multiple press accounts, despite WikiLeaks' claim that it had redacted source-identifying information from the military's intelligence reports, it apparently did a half-baked job and real names of real people are being exposed.

Beyond that, even when you effectively mask source-identifying data, the enemy knows who did or who did not know about the historic operation or meeting or rendezvous now being made public in a leaked American document.

I can already see the Taliban or al Qaeda dialogue: "Brother, in whose house did we hold that meeting in 2007?"

Finally, I can only imagine what adversary intelligence services worldwide are doing with these documents. If I were the chief of Russia's FSB or China's PLA-2, I would be gathering all of my English-speaking officers and directing them to read all 75,000 documents to learn where the Americans are strong, weak, vulnerable, formidable, to be avoided and to be challenged.

I completely agree with Gen. Hayden's comments in this article. Wikileaks has been completely irresponsible. I don't see any positive side to the release of these documents.

WikiLeaks disclosures are a 'tragedy' -

PostPartisan - A final warning to WikiLeaks?
Topic: Security 2:26 pm EDT, Aug  6, 2010

Thiessen telegraphs Pentagon statement as threat - shit is about to go down.

"We are making a demand of them," Morrell said. "We are asking them to do the right thing."

"We hope they will honor our demands," Morrell said, adding if WikiLeaks refuses to comply "we will cross the next bridge when we come to it."

"If doing the right thing is not good enough for them," the Pentagon spokesman said, alternatives will be explored "to make them do the right thing."

Sounds like a final warning has been issued -- and that the Obama administration intends to take action to stop WikiLeaks from disclosing any further life-threatening intelligence.

PostPartisan - A final warning to WikiLeaks?

SpyTalk - CIA applicant's arrest tops wave of China spy cases
Topic: Security 11:57 am EDT, Jul 21, 2010

A young Michigan man was quietly arrested last month and charged with lying on a CIA job application about his connection with Chinese intelligence, a case that drew virtually no attention outside his home state.

Glenn Duffie Shriver, 28, of Georgetown Township, Mich., tried to conceal $70,000 in payments from the Beijing government and denied his “numerous” meetings with Chinese intelligence officials, according to the government’s indictment.

The indictment doesn’t say what kind of work he was seeking at the CIA. It could not be learned if Shriver had yet entered a plea.

I wonder if the media is going to start paying more attention to downright huge amount of Chinese espionage going on. They were all over the Russian spy bust...

SpyTalk - CIA applicant's arrest tops wave of China spy cases

The Tragedy of Oklahoma City 15 Years Later and the Lessons for Today
Topic: Security 8:23 am EDT, Apr 16, 2010

The Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Democratic Leadership Council invite you to a symposium commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. This devastating event saw not only the tragedy of domestic terrorism, but in its aftermath, the political leadership in our country come together to heal its wounds.

Opening the symposium will be a keynote speech by former President Bill Clinton who will discuss Oklahoma City and its aftermath.

Following the speech will be a panel discussion of experts who will discuss Oklahoma City, how the country reacted to it, and what lessons we can lean from it today about our political discourse.

The event starts at 9:30am EST. You can watch the live stream at the link below.

The Tragedy of Oklahoma City 15 Years Later and the Lessons for Today

Future of Cyber Security: What Are the Rules of Engagement?
Topic: Security 7:15 pm EDT, Jul 28, 2009

No one knows to what extent the U.S. has already engaged in cyber offensive attacks. In 2007, the Department of Homeland Security grabbed headlines when it released a video to raise alarm about vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. The video showed a simulated remote hacker attack against an electrical turbine which caused the turbine to spin out of control and collapse in a cloud of smoke.

The performance might easily have been inspired by a 1982 incident, in which the U.S. sabotaged the Siberian pipeline. After the U.S. learned from a Russian scientist that the Soviets were stealing data on U.S. technology, the CIA hatched a plot to insert a logic bomb into software it knew was headed to Russia to operate pumps, valves and turbines on the Siberian natural gas pipeline. The equipment worked fine initially, but at a pre-programmed time caused excessive gas pressure to build on the valves. The resulting explosion was captured by orbiting satellites and was "the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space," according to a former U.S. official who disclosed the incident in his 2004 memoir. Although there were no human casualties, the story might easily have had a different ending.

Future of Cyber Security: What Are the Rules of Engagement?

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